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Anamiria Madgrigal v. At&T Wireless Services

December 20, 2010

ANAMIRIA MADGRIGAL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
AT&T WIRELESS SERVICES, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (Docs. 56, 57)

I. INTRODUCTION.

On November 18, 2008, Anamiria Madgrigal ("Plaintiff") filed an action in Fresno County Superior Court against AT&T Wireless and affiliated companies ("Defendants"). (Doc. 1). Defendants removed Plaintiff's action to federal court on January 1, 2009. (Doc. 2).

On August 17, 2009, the court issued a Memorandum Decision granting Defendant's motion to compel arbitration. (Doc. 30). Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the Memorandum Decision on December 31, 2009; this motion was denied as moot on September 2, 2010 in light of the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Rent-A-Center, W., Inc. v. Jackson, 130 S. Ct. 2772 (2010), and Plaintiff was directed to file a new motion to dismiss addressing that case. (Docs. 34, 54).

Currently before the court is Plaintiff's second motion for reconsideration filed October 11, 2010. (Doc. 56). Defendant filed opposition and to the motion and objections to Plaintiff's evidence on October 18, 2010. (Docs. 59, 60).*fn1 Plaintiff filed a reply and responses to Defendant's objections on October 25, 2010. (Docs. 61, 62).

The court heard Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration on November 8, 2010. At the hearing, the court requested supplemental briefing regarding an argument orally offered by Plaintiff that was not included in Plaintiff's written motion. (Doc. 63). Plaintiff filed her supplemental brief on November 15, 2010. (Doc. 64). Defendant filed its supplemental brief on November 22, 2010. (Doc. 67).

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND.

On or about April 1, 2002, Plaintiff Anamiria Madrigal and AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. entered into an Exclusive Dealer Agreement ("Dealer Agreement"). (Doc. 13 at 3; Doc. 16 at 10). The terms of the Dealer Agreement authorized Madrigal to market wireless products and services to customers of AT&T Wireless. (Doc. 13 at 3). Madrigal opened and operated several retail stores under the name "Aztek Cellular." (Doc. 13 at 3; Doc. 16 at 10). After "Atzek Cellular" incorporated, on August 8, 2002, Madrigal assigned her rights under the Dealer Agreement to Atzek Cellular, Inc. (Woosley Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. C). The term of the Dealer Agreement was two years with automatic one-year extensions if not terminated by either party. (Doc. 13 at 4; Doc. 16 at 10). The Dealer Agreement was renewed in 2004 and 2005. (Doc. 13 at 4; Doc. 16 at 10). During the term of the Dealer Agreement, Plaintiffs experienced considerable financial success while operating nine retail stores. (Doc. 13 at 4).

In 2004, Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless after which AT&T Wireless was renamed New Cingular Wireless Services, Inc. (Doc. 13 at 2). As part of the conversion from AT&T Wireless to Cingular, Plaintiffs were offered "Special Promotional Incentives Funds" ("SPIFs"). (Doc. 13 at 5). For former AT&T Wireless customers Plaintiff successfully transferred to Cingular and/or sold additional data features, Plaintiff earned SPIFs (or commissions) as incentive compensation. (Id.). By the fall of 2005, Plaintiff calculated that she was owed more than $2,000,000 in unpaid and improperly calculated commissions. (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 4-5). However, calculations of SPIFs were complicated and Cingular contested the unpaid amount claimed by Plaintiff. (Doc. 13 at 5). Plaintiff was offered $475,000 in settlement. (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 5). Plaintiff rejected the offer and alleged that Cingular's calculations were erroneous. (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 5). Plaintiff maintains that Cingular "had no accounting reflecting their own calculations were in error." (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 5). Cingular then reduced its offer to $435,000, without providing supporting documentation. (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 5).

After Plaintiff refused to compromise, on December 24, 2005, Defendants served Plaintiff with a 90-day written notice of termination of the Dealer Agreement. (Doc. 13 at 4; Doc. 16 at 10).

On or about April 1, 2006, the Dealer Agreement terminated. (Doc. 13 at 8; Doc. 16 at 10). Cingular made a final attempt to settle the disputed commissions for $149,275. (Doc. 13 at 5; Doc. 16 at 5). Plaintiff rejected the offer. Subsequently, Plaintiff, through counsel, requested mediation or, in the alternative, arbitration of the commission dispute. (Swingle Decl. Ex. A). The parties agreed to mediate (Swingle Decl. Exs. B-C), but the mediation never occurred. After retaining new counsel, Plaintiff requested arbitration of the commission claims. (Cornwell Decl. Exs. A-B). A couple months later, Plaintiff filed a state-court complaint asserting statutory claims arising from termination of the Dealer Agreement.

III. LEGAL STANDARD.

A motion for reconsideration is appropriate where the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there was an intervening change in controlling law. See School Dist. No. 1J v. AC&S, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); McDowell v. Cameron, 290 F.3d 1036, 1038 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc). A reconsideration motion should not merely present arguments previously raised, or which could have been raised in a previous motion. See Backlund v. Barnhart, 778 F.2d 1386, 1388 (9th Cir. 1985).

IV. DISCUSSION.

A. Arguments Advanced in Plaintiff's Motion for ...


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