April 6, 2020
Kenneth Watnick Prevails on Appeal!
Congratulations to Kenneth Watnick for his victory on an appeal contesting an arbitration award rendered in Ken’s client’s favor. In Hymanson, Inc. v. Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. (April 2, 2020, B296770), 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2118, Hymanson, the developer of a personal fitness product known as the Bodyblade, instituted arbitration to recover royalty fees and other monetary damages under a licensing agreement with appellant Mad Dogg. The Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District, Division One, affirmed judgment confirming the arbitration award for Hymanson, for $815,387.91 in damages and attorney’s fees. Mad Dogg appealed, alleging that the arbitrator failed to fully disclose her relationship with one of Mad Dogg’s founders. The Superior Court, which affirmed the arbitrator’s award, determined that the arbitrator had disclosed her relationship, Mad Dogg waived any bias challenging by purposefully waiting to see if the arbitration award would land in its favor, and the Arbitrator’s Award was a reasonable interpretation of the evidence. In affirming the judgment on appeal, the Appellate Court held that a party aware of an arbitrator’s incomplete or otherwise inadequate disclosure cannot passively reserve the issue for consideration after the arbitration. In essence, the Appellate Court ruled that Mad Dogg waived its disqualification argument.
Ken’s victory on appeal speaks not only to his skills as a trial lawyer, but to the ability of all our attorneys to handle appeals in their assigned cases. We invite all our clients with business related matters to consult with those in our Business and Financial Institutions Department. Way to go, Ken!