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Unison Co. v. Juhl Energy Dev., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 26, 2015

Unison Co., Ltd., Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Juhl Energy Development, Inc.; Juhl Energy, Inc.; Winona Wind Holdings, LLC; Winona County Wind, LLC; Daniel Juhl; John Mitola; John Brand; Bartly J. Loethen; Audrey Loethen; Jeff Bendel, Defendants - Appellants

Submitted, February 11, 2015

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Unison Co., Ltd., Plaintiff - Appellee: Katherine Nicole Arnold, Paul R. Dieseth, Dorsey & Whitney, Minneapolis, MN; Boyoon Choi, Choi Capital Law, Seattle, WA.

For Juhl Energy Development, Inc., Juhl Energy, Inc., Winona Wind Holdings, LLC, Winona County Wind, LLC, Daniel Juhl, John Mitola, John Brand, Bartly J. Loethen, Audrey Loethen, Jeff Bendel, Defendants - Appellants: John Matthew Berner, Timmy LeRoy Droel, Droel, Pllc, Bloomington, MN.

Before GRUENDER, SHEPHERD, and KELLY, Circuit Judges. SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge, concurring.

OPINION

Page 817

KELLY, Circuit Judge.

Juhl Energy Development, Inc. (JEDI), appeals from the district court's order denying its motion to compel arbitration for contract disputes between JEDI and Unison Co., Ltd. (Unison). Because the arbitration clause in the Turbine Supply Agreement (TSA) covers the parties' dispute, we reverse the judgment.

I. Background

Unison is a South Korean company that manufactures, sells, delivers, and services Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs). JEDI is a corporate subsidiary of another named defendant, Juhl Energy, Inc., and is incorporated and located in Minnesota. JEDI and Unison are parties to the contractual agreements at issue; the other defendants are not.[1] There are two agreements between JEDI and Unison that are relevant in this case: the TSA and the Financing Agreement (FA). In the TSA, Unison agreed to design, manufacture, and sell two WTGs to JEDI for installation in Minnesota in exchange for $2,574,900; the effective date for the TSA was April 16, 2010. In the FA, Unison agreed to lend to JEDI the amount of the TSA contract price--$2,574,900; the effective date for the FA was April 14, 2010.

Unison brought suit against JEDI in federal court in Minnesota, asserting 17 claims for relief, all of which relate to the

Page 818

FA. JEDI filed a motion to compel arbitration, based on an arbitration clause in the TSA, and to dismiss Unison's complaint. Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion, and JEDI timely appealed. This court has jurisdiction ...


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