This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 10:11:40 (UTC).

MARK K FRIEDMAN VS CONQUEST CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/05/2017 MARK K FRIEDMAN filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against CONQUEST CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SUSAN BRYANT-DEASON. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5760

  • Filing Date:

    01/05/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

SUSAN BRYANT-DEASON

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

FRIEDMAN MARK K.

Defendants and Respondents

CONQUEST CAPITAL PARTNERS LLC

DOES 1 TO 10

CONQUEST CAPITAL SERVICING LLC

AUSTRIA ALIVER

TRIUMPH CAPITAL PARTNERS INC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

DARREL C. MENTHE

OVERING MICHAEL STEVEN

Defendant Attorney

MILLER SCOTT ALAN

 

Court Documents

Notice

5/14/2019: Notice

Notice of Lien

5/10/2019: Notice of Lien

Substitution of Attorney

3/11/2019: Substitution of Attorney

Substitution of Attorney

1/3/2019: Substitution of Attorney

Certificate of Mailing for

10/11/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

9/20/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM NAME

9/11/2018: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM NAME

Proof of Service

9/7/2018: Proof of Service

DECLARATION OF MARK K. FRIEDMAN IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD

8/22/2018: DECLARATION OF MARK K. FRIEDMAN IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD (FILEE CONCURRENTLY WITH NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION; DECLARATION OF MARK K. FRIEDMAN]

8/22/2018: MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD (FILEE CONCURRENTLY WITH NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION; DECLARATION OF MARK K. FRIEDMAN]

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD [FILED CONCURRENTLY WITH MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIESAND DECLARATION OF MARK FRIEDMAN) MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD

8/22/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD [FILED CONCURRENTLY WITH MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIESAND DECLARATION OF MARK FRIEDMAN) MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF LODGING FOREIGN AUTHORITIES CITED IN PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD (FILED CONCURRENTLY WITH MEMORANDUM OF POIN

8/22/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF LODGING FOREIGN AUTHORITIES CITED IN PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD (FILED CONCURRENTLY WITH MEMORANDUM OF POIN

Certificate of Mailing for

6/28/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Minute Order

6/28/2019: Minute Order

5 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/28/2019
  • Docketat 2:21 PM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 06/28/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order re: Notice of Related Cases)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/28/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order re: Notice of Related Cases) of 06/28/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/14/2019
  • DocketNotice ( of Statement Re Filing of Notice of Lien from Colorado Creative, LLC v. Conquest Capital Partners, LLC (BC634557) in Pending Action); Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lien; Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/11/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2019
  • Docketat 08:31 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (to appoint an arbitrator, motion for leave to amend *********************CRS********************)

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  • 01/03/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/12/2018
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore ((Rhona S. Reddix, CSR #10807)); Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/11/2018
  • Docketat 08:31 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other ((Legacy)) - Held

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46 More Docket Entries
  • 08/22/2018
  • DocketMEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MOTION VACATE ARBITRATION AWARD (FILEE CONCURRENTLY WITH NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION; DECLARATION OF MARK K. FRIEDMAN]

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  • 03/24/2017
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 52; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service (OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Advanced to a Previous Date) -

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  • 02/24/2017
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 52; Court Order (Court Order; Court makes order) -

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  • 02/24/2017
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 02/23/2017
  • DocketStipulation and Order; Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/10/2017
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/10/2017
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 01/05/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Mark K. Friedman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/05/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAWT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT ;ETC

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  • 01/05/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: BC645760 Hearing Date: August 10, 2021 Dept: 52

Tentative Ruling:

\r\n\r\n

Defendants’\r\nMotion to Confirm Arbitration Award; Plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate Arbitration\r\nAward

\r\n\r\n

Defendants Conquest Capital Partners, LLC,\r\nConquest Capital Servicing, LLC, Triumph Capital Partners, Inc., and Oliver\r\nAustria move to confirm the arbitration award. \r\nPlaintiff Mark K. Friedman moves to vacate the award.

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues defendants’ motion to\r\nconfirm the award was filed prematurely. \r\nThe court, however, must decide whether to confirm the award regardless\r\nof whether defendants’ motion was filed too soon because plaintiff filed a\r\nmotion to vacate the award. CCP § 1286 provides, “If a petition or response under\r\nthis chapter is duly served and filed, the court shall confirm the award as made,\r\nwhether rendered in this state or another state, unless in accordance with this\r\nchapter it corrects the award and confirms it as corrected, vacates the award\r\nor dismisses the proceedings.”

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff also argues the award should be vacated\r\non several grounds.

\r\n\r\n

1. Mistake of Law

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues the award should be vacated for\r\nmistakes of law violating fundamental public policy. Plaintiff relies on Moncharsh v. Heily\r\n& Blair (1992) 3 Cal.4th 1 (Moncharsh), which held that if\r\narbitrators make an error in law, they have not exceeded their\r\npowers. (Id. at p. 28.) An arbitrator’s legal and factual\r\ndeterminations are final and, even if erroneous, are not subject to judicial\r\nreview. (Id. at p. 31.) The court recognized a potential exception\r\nwhere “there may be some limited and exceptional circumstances justifying\r\njudicial review of an arbitrator’s decision when a party claims illegality\r\naffects only a portion of the underlying contract. Such cases would include those in which\r\ngranting finality to an arbitrator’s decision would be inconsistent with the\r\nprotection of a party’s statutory rights.” \r\n(Id. at p. 32.)

\r\n\r\n

In Pearson Dental Supplies, Inc. v. Superior\r\nCourt (2010) 48 Cal.4th 665 (Pearson), the court clarified the\r\nnarrow exception. There, an employee\r\nsued his employer for age discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment\r\nand Housing Act (FEHA; Gov. Code, § 12900 et seq.). The plaintiff’s employment contract included\r\nan arbitration clause and a provision requiring him to commence arbitration\r\nwithin one year of the date the dispute arose. \r\n(Pearson, at p. 671.) The\r\ncontractual time-limit was shorter than the statute of limitations provided for\r\nFEHA claims. (Ibid.).

\r\n\r\n

The arbitrator in Pearson made an error in\r\nlaw by misinterpreting the tolling provisions of Code of Civil Procedure\r\nsection 1281.12. Under a proper\r\ninterpretation of the statute, plaintiff’s claim was not time-barred. (Pearson, supra, 48 Cal.4th at\r\np. 675.) The court held that the\r\narbitrator’s “legal error misconstrued the procedural framework under\r\nwhich the parties agreed the arbitration was to be conducted, rather than\r\nmisinterpreting the law governing the claim itself.” (Id. at pp. 679-680.) \r\nThe court held “that when, as here, an employee subject to a mandatory\r\nemployment-arbitration agreement is unable to obtain a hearing on the merits\r\nof his FEHA claims, or claims based on other unwaivable statutory rights,\r\nbecause of an arbitration award based on a legal error, the trial court does\r\nnot error in vacating the award.” (Id.\r\nat p. 680.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff first argues the award violates\r\nfundamental policy by depriving him of his rights under the anti-SLAPP statute. Plaintiff provides no authority that rights\r\nunder the anti-SLAPP statute cannot be waived. \r\nIt can. Navellier v. Sletten (2002) 29 Cal.4th 82, 94 held, “as the statute is\r\ndesigned and as we have construed it, a defendant who in fact has validly\r\ncontracted not to speak or petition has in effect ‘waived’ the right to the\r\nanti-SLAPP statute's protection in the event he or she later breaches that\r\ncontract.” (Accord DaimlerChrysler\r\nMotors Co. v. Lew Williams, Inc. (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 344, 354.) Even if it were unwaivable, plaintiff cannot\r\nhave suffered any prejudice because the arbitrator found for Austria on the\r\ndefamation counterclaim, which this court cannot review. Friedman therefore could not have prevailed\r\non the second prong of an anti-SLAPP motion—that Austria would lose.

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff next argues the award violates the public\r\npolicy of Civil Code § 1717. Section\r\n1717(b)(2) provides, “Where an action has been voluntarily dismissed or\r\ndismissed pursuant to a settlement of the case, there shall be no prevailing\r\nparty for purposes of this section.” \r\nPlaintiff argues that because he voluntarily dismissed his claims arising\r\nfrom the investor relations agreement, Austria should not have recovered fees.

\r\n\r\n

Even assuming the arbitrator’s ruling on attorney\r\nfees is reviewable, the arbitrator did not err. \r\nThe stipulation for arbitration provides for reasonable attorney’s fees\r\nand costs to the prevailing party. \r\n(Friedman Decl., Ex. 1, ¶ 3.) Although\r\nplaintiff voluntarily dismissed his affirmative claims, the entire action was\r\nnot voluntarily dismissed, and Austria was the prevailing party.

\r\n\r\n

Finally, plaintiff argues the arbitrator applied\r\nthe wrong standard for defamation for statements about private matters rather\r\nthan public matters. That could only\r\nconstitute an unreviewable error in law. \r\nIn Pearson, the error in law concerned the statute of\r\nlimitations and ultimately deprived the plaintiff of any hearing on the\r\nmerits. (Pearson,\r\nsupra, 48 Cal.4th at pp.\r\n679-680.) Unlike in Pearson, here there was a hearing on the merits. Applying the wrong standard for defamation is\r\nnot the type of error in law that is reviewable.

\r\n\r\n

2. Manifest Disregard of Law

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues the award must be vacated due to\r\nthe arbitrator’s manifest disregard of law. \r\nThat is not grounds for vacating the award. Comerica Bank v. Howsam (2012)\r\n208 Cal.App.4th 790, 830 (Comerica) held:

\r\n\r\n

[I]t is unclear whether the manifest disregard of the\r\nlaw ground remains as basis for vacatur in federal court. The federal Courts of Appeals are divided as\r\nto whether the arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law\r\nremains a basis for vacatur in federal court. But one thing is clear, an\r\narbitrator's manifest disregard of the law is not a ground for\r\nvacatur under California law.

\r\n\r\n

3. Failure to Rule on Necessary Issues

\r\n\r\n

CCP § 1283.4 provides, “The award shall be in\r\nwriting and signed by the arbitrators concurring therein. It shall include a\r\ndetermination of all the questions submitted to the arbitrators the decision of\r\nwhich is necessary in order to determine the controversy.” Failure to fully determine all the necessary\r\nquestions submitted is grounds for vacating the award. (VVA-TWO,\r\nLLC v. Impact Development Group, LLC\r\n(2020) 48 Cal.App.5th 985, 998.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues the arbitrator failed to rule on\r\nall necessary issues because she made no finding on whether Friedman defamed\r\nAustria via statements about him misappropriating funds. “[I]t is for the arbitrators to determine\r\nwhat issues are ‘necessary’ to the ultimate decision.” (Advanced\r\nMicro Devices, Inc. v. Intel Corp.\r\n(1994) 9 Cal.4th 362, 372.) Austria won\r\non the defamation claim based on Friedman’s statements that the FBI was\r\ninvestigating Austria. The issue of the\r\nother statements was not necessary to the decision because Austria already\r\nwon.

\r\n\r\n

4. Award Procured by Fraud

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff fails to meet his burden of showing the\r\naward was procured by fraud or other undue means. CCP § 1286.2(a)(1) provides that courts must\r\nvacate an award “procured by corruption, fraud or other undue means.” “Fraud… is that perpetrated by the arbitrator\r\nor a party. Only extrinsic fraud which\r\ndenies a party a fair hearing may serve as a basis for vacating an award.” (Comerica,\r\nsupra, 208 Cal.App.4th 790, 825.) “[T]he essential characteristic of extrinsic\r\nfraud is that it has the effect of preventing a fair adversary hearing, the\r\naggrieved party being deliberately kept in ignorance of the action or\r\nproceeding, or in some other way fraudulently prevented from presenting his\r\nclaim or defense.” (Maaso v. Signer (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 362, 372, internal quotes,\r\ncitations, and alterations omitted.) By\r\ncontrast, “California cases uniformly hold that the introduction of perjured\r\ntestimony or false documents in a fully litigated case constitutes intrinsic\r\nrather than extrinsic fraud.” (Kachig v. Boothe (1971) 22 Cal.App.3d 626, 634.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff lists seven items as evidence of\r\nfraud. (Motion to Vacate, 11:1-12:11.) Number one is that Austria “procured\r\nwitnesses” Travis King and George Flint “by entering into a business\r\npartnership by way of fraud” because he lied to them in 2016 about not being a\r\nparty to litigation. Numbers two and\r\nfour are purported false testimony. Number\r\nthree is (again) that Austria fraudulently induced King and Flint to enter into\r\na business agreement, without which Friedman never would have made the\r\ndefamatory statements. None of these are\r\nextrinsic fraud affecting plaintiff’s ability to have a fair hearing.

\r\n\r\n

Numbers five and seven are that Austria transferred\r\nmoney to entities controlled by witnesses King and Flint (the Brixton entities)\r\nand to witness Martin Ammerman and prior to their testimony. Bribing witnesses would be extrinsic fraud,\r\nbut plaintiff fails to provide evidence of fraud.

\r\n\r\n

For King and Flint, plaintiff makes a conclusory\r\ncitation to Exhibit 14 of his declaration, which is dozens of pages of the\r\nConquest entities’ bank statements. As\r\nplaintiff’s petition mentions, Austria, King, and Flint (and their entities) were\r\ninvolved in business relationships. \r\nPlaintiff provides no evidence suggesting any transfers were done to\r\ndeprive him of a fair hearing in the arbitration proceeding, i.e. to influence\r\nKing and Flint’s testimony.

\r\n\r\n

For Ammerman, plaintiff cites Oliver Austria’s\r\njudgment debtor examination in another case (Friedman Decl. ISO Motion to\r\nVacate, Ex. 17, 30:13-31:11) as showing that Conquest Controller Ammerman was\r\npaid over $600,000 within the months before his testimony. Austria did not testify that Conquest paid\r\nAmmerman that amount. He testified that\r\nAmmerman would have more information about that transaction:

\r\n\r\n

Q. What was that [$613,000\r\ntransaction] for?

\r\n\r\n

A.\r\nI don't know.

\r\n\r\n

Q.\r\nOkay. Who would know, besides yourself? If you know, who would know?

\r\n\r\n

A.\r\nMy former controller [i.e., Ammerman].

\r\n\r\n

Number six is that Michael Jacobson and his mother\r\nwere discussed as creditors of Conquest, and Friedman proffered Jacobson as a\r\nwitness to discuss his and his mother’s financial losses at the hands of the\r\nConquest defendants. Plaintiff fails to\r\nexplain how that constitutes a fraud in any way and shows no nexus to the\r\nissues in this arbitration.

\r\n\r\n

Finally, in plaintiff’s opposition to the motion to\r\nconfirm the award, he argues the agreement to arbitrate the defamation claim was\r\ninduced by fraud and therefore cannot be enforced. (Opp., 13:7-15:5.) Fraud in the inducement of the agreement to\r\narbitrate is again not extrinsic fraud. \r\nAnd in contrast with claims of fraud in the execution, “claims that the\r\ncontract as a whole was obtained through fraud in the inducement are, in the\r\nabsence of evidence of the parties’ contrary intent, arbitrable.” (Rosenthal\r\nv. Great Western Fin. Securities Corp.\r\n(1996) 14 Cal.4th 394, 419.) The issue\r\nwas therefore for Judge Schulte to decide, not this court.

\r\n\r\n

5. Arbitrator Exceeded Her Authority

\r\n\r\n

Under CCP § 1286.2(a)(4), courts must vacate an\r\naward when “[t]he arbitrators exceeded their powers and the award cannot be\r\ncorrected without affecting the merits of the decision upon the controversy\r\nsubmitted.”

\r\n\r\n

In his opposition to defendants’ motion to confirm\r\narbitration, plaintiff argues the arbitrator exceeded her authority by ruling\r\non Austria’s defamation claim because it was not properly before her. Judge Mary Fingal Schulte (Ret.) heard this\r\nmatter after this court vacated the original arbitration before Judge John W.\r\nKennedy, Jr. (Ret.) and ordered a rehearing. \r\nJudge Kennedy’s final arbitration award ruled on Austria’s defamation\r\nclaim. (Miller Decl., Ex. 6, p. 5.) As Judge Schulte noted in her ruling on the\r\ndemurrer, Judge Bryant-Deason ordered the entire case for rehearing. (Miller Decl., Ex. 9, 4:9-16.) The rehearing properly included the\r\ndefamation claim.

\r\n\r\n

In plaintiff’s motion, he also argues the\r\narbitrator exceeded her authority in three other ways. First, plaintiff argues the award does not\r\ndraw its essence from the parties’ agreement because the arbitrator voided the\r\nJuly 6, 2017 stipulation, in which defendants agreed to pay $87,000 to\r\nFriedman, which could be offset by the counterclaims. Again, this court ordered this entire case to\r\nbe reheard. The parties’ February 23,\r\n2017 stipulation for arbitration included all disputes between the parties,\r\nincluding any cross-complaint defendants could have brought. (Friedman Decl., Ex. 1, ¶ 1.)

\r\n\r\n

Second, plaintiff argues Judge Schulte ruled on the\r\nissue of malice, which had not been submitted to her. Plaintiff cites only one case for the\r\nproposition that ruling on an issue not submitted is grounds for vacating an\r\naward: Fahnestock &\r\nCo., Inc. v Waltman (2d. Cir.\r\n1991) 935 F 2d 512, 514, which does not discuss that issue. It dealt with manifest disregard of law,\r\nwhich is discussed above.

\r\n\r\n

Moreover, the parties did submit the issue of\r\nmalice. Judge Schulte only ruled on that\r\nissue in the alternative, “even if Austria had to prove malice.” (Miller Decl. ISO Motion to Confirm, Ex. 1,\r\nFinal Award, 8:25-28; see also Ex. 1, Corrected Final Award, 3:20-24.) To the extent that constituted ruling on the\r\nissue, plaintiff submitted the issue by arguing his statements were privileged\r\nunder Civil Code § 47(c). (Miller Decl.\r\nISO Opp., Ex. 9, 8:23-9:4.) Civil Code §\r\n47(c) delineates a privilege for “a communication, without malice.”

\r\n\r\n

Third, plaintiff argues the arbitrator exceeded her\r\nauthority by failing to explain all conclusions of law and facts as required by\r\nthe arbitration agreement. Plaintiff\r\nrelies on Western Employers Ins. Co. v. Jefferies & Co., Inc. (9th\r\nCir. 1992) 958 F.2d 258. But there, “the\r\npanel did not include any findings of fact and conclusions of law in its award.” (Id. at p. 259.) \r\nJudge Schulte’s rulings: the interim award, final award, and final\r\ncorrected award, all contain numerous findings of facts and conclusions of law. Plaintiff attempts to “use issues of the\r\narbitrator’s authority as a ruse to obtain judicial review on the merits of an\r\narbitral award.” (Halim v. Great\r\nGatsby's Auction Gallery, Inc. (7th Cir. 2008) 516 F.3d 557, 564.) Vacating the award on the grounds that the\r\narbitrator needed to provide more detailed findings would constitute improper\r\njudicial review of the award’s merits.

\r\n\r\n

6. Prejudicial Refusal to Postpone or Hear Evidence

\r\n\r\n

Finally,\r\nCCP § 1286.2(a)(5) provides that courts must vacate an award when “[t]he rights\r\nof the party were substantially prejudiced by the refusal of the arbitrators to\r\npostpone the hearing upon sufficient cause being shown therefor or by the\r\nrefusal of the arbitrators to hear evidence material to the controversy or by\r\nother conduct of the arbitrators contrary to the provisions of this title.”

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff\r\nargues the arbitrator denied the admission of material evidence by not issuing\r\na subpoena for FBI Special Agent Mark Heaton. \r\nPlaintiff fails to show he attempted to submit any material evidence\r\nfrom Heaton or that Judge Schulte refused to hear that evidence. He requested a postponement of the hearing\r\nwhich included the need for Heaton’s testimony as one reason among many. (Friedman Decl., Ex. 7, pp. 3-4.) Judge Schulte granted that request. Plaintiff fails to show he asked Judge\r\nSchulte to issue a subpoena or that he submitted any written testimony from\r\nHeaton.

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff\r\nalso fails to show any prejudice. Judge\r\nSchulte heard evidence purporting to show there was an FBI investigation via an\r\nemail from Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranee Katzenstein. (Miller Decl. ISO Opp., Ex. 9, Arbitration\r\nRehearing Brief, 6:1-6.) The absence of\r\ntestimony from Heaton (including a declaration) is a substantial lack of\r\nevidence that Heaton’s testimony would have changed the outcome.

\r\n\r\n

The corrected final award issued by Judge Mary\r\nFingal Schulte (Ret.) is hereby CONFIRMED.

"
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