Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Edman Controls, Inc.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
Nos. 12-2308 & 12-2623 Cons.
Decision Date: 
March 18, 2013
Federal District: 
E.D. Wisc.
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendant’s motion to confirm arbitrator’s decision in underlying dispute in which arbitrator found that plaintiff had breached contract with defendant calling for defendant to be exclusive distributor of plaintiff’s products in Panama. Arbitrator’s award will be upheld as long as arbitrator was arguably construing or applying terms of contract, and arbitrator’s citation to evidence indicating that plaintiff was selling its own products directly to third-parties in Panama to support finding that plaintiff breached contract was within scope of his authority. Moreover, arbitrator could properly award defendant attorney’s fees based on 33% contingency fee contract and was not required to use lodestar method where: (1) underlying agreement did not require lodestar method to calculate fees; and (2) experts testified that instant contingency contract qualified as “commercially-reasonable fee.”