United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ben Dogra, seeks an order pursuant to the Federal Arbitration
Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., compelling
defendant CAA Sports LLC to arbitrate their dispute. This
employment compensation dispute between the parties has been
going on for more than five years, and has resulted in
multiple arbitration decisions, although no final award has
been issued because there has been no final calculation of
the amount of damages owed to either party. Dogra seeks this
order because the original jurisdiction of the arbitrator who
oversaw the dispute expired, and CAA Sports refuses consent
to the arbitrator's continuing jurisdiction.
a hearing on the petition to compel arbitration on May 3,
2019. After fully considering the positions of both parties,
I will grant Dogra's petition to compel arbitration
pursuant to 9 U.S.C § 4, because the issues raised in
this petition are simply a continuation of the earlier
dispute. For the same reason, I will direct that the parties
select the same arbitrator, assuming he is still willing to
serve, with his jurisdiction to continue until the dispute
between the parties is concluded.
CAA Sports terminated Dogra from his position as a sports
agent. Disputes about the termination and about money owed to
Dogra from CAA and to CAA from Dogra immediately arose, with
Dogra alleging that CAA Sports breached the employment
agreement and committed other torts, and CAA alleging the
same against Dogra. The employment agreement contains an
arbitration clause, which states in relevant part:
If a dispute arises under this Agreement which cannot first
be resolved through good faith negotiations, this dispute
will be submitted to arbitration and resolved by a single
arbitrator … in accordance with the Commercial
Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association in
St. Louis, Missouri then in effect as modified herein.
ECF 1-6 at 8.
in 2015, the parties submitted their disputes to arbitration
under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and
selected M. David Vaughn as the arbitrator. In July 2016
Arbitrator Vaughn issued his first arbitration award,
sustaining in part various claims by both parties. The
arbitrator retained jurisdiction with respect to
interpretation and implementation of the award, and then
extended that jurisdiction multiple times by written consent
of the parties. He later issued first, second, third, and
fourth supplemental awards. After the fourth supplemental
award was issued, Dogra sought an extension of the
arbitrator's jurisdiction and CAA Sports opposed that
request. Arbitrator Vaughn concluded that his jurisdiction
expired on September 30, 2018; he told the parties that any
further exercise of jurisdiction by him “could only
take place upon my acceptance of a joint request by the
Parties or by direction of the Court.” CM/ECF # 16-1.
November 2018, CAA Sports filed an earlier suit in this Court
seeking to vacate the fourth supplemental award. CAA
Sports LLC v. Dogra, No. 4:18CV01887 SNLJ. After
considering the parties' motions and briefs, United
States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., concluded
that the award was not final because there was an ongoing
dispute over damages, and so dismissed that case. 2019 WL
1001041, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 28, 2019). Neither party
appealed. Dogra then filed the instant case on April 8, 2019.
hearing before me, the parties agreed that a number of
disputes arising from Dogra's employment with CAA remain
unresolved. CAA Sports opposes an Order for arbitration,
arguing that this matter is not yet ripe for judicial
resolution because an audit contemplated by the earlier
awards is not complete and because the disputes might be
resolved through further good faith negotiations.
Sports also argues that if I were to compel arbitration, the
Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration
Association would require selection of a new arbitrator.
grant Dogra's petition and compel arbitration because
there are ripe disputes for an arbitrator to resolve and CAA
Sports has refused to arbitrate. Section 4 of the FAA states:
A party aggrieved by the alleged failure, neglect, or refusal
of another to arbitrate under a written agreement for
arbitration may petition any United States district court
which, save for such agreement, would have jurisdiction under
title 28, in a civil action or in admiralty of the subject
matter of a suit arising out of the controversy between the
parties, for an order directing that such arbitration proceed
in the manner provided for in such agreement.
9 U.S.C. § 4.
dispute must be ripe before a court can compel arbitration.
See Lower Colorado River Auth. v. Papalote Creek II,
L.L.C., 858 F.3d 916, 922 (5th Cir. 2017). In Lower
Colorado River the Court concluded that it was required
to “look through” to the underlying dispute to
make this determination. Id. at 922-23. It concluded
that the case was not ripe at the time the district court had
ruled because neither party was alleged to have ...