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Wells Fargo Advisors v. Michael W. Lopez

February 10, 2012

WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL W. LOPEZ, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VIRGINIA A. Phillips United States District Judge

ORDER CONFIRMING ARBITRATION AWARD [Motion filed on July 11, 2011]

Before the Court is a Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award ("Motion") filed by Plaintiff Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC ("Plaintiff"). The Court finds the matter appropriate for resolution without a hearing. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After considering the papers in support of the Motion, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's*fn1 Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

On October 12, 2007, Defendant Michael Lopez entered into a promissory note ("the Note") with Plaintiff for $102,963.00. (Ex. 2.) Under the Note, if Defendant's employment with Plaintiff ended, the remaining balance of the Note would be due and payable immediately at Plaintiff's option. (Id. at 1.) The Note also contains an arbitration provision ("Arbitration Provision") that states:

[Defendant] agree[s] that any action instituted as a result of any controversy arising out of this Note, or as a result of any section interpretation thereof, shall be brought before the arbitration facility of the National Association of Securities Dealers to the exclusion of all others. [Defendant] agree[s] that arbitration shall be [the] exclusive remedy and that the results of such arbitration shall be final and binding upon [Defendant]. Judgment upon any award rendered by an arbitration panel may be entered in any state or federal court of competent jurisdiction. (Id. at 2.)

On March 31, 2009, Defendant's employment with Plaintiff ended.

On October 6, 2009, Plaintiff filed a "Statement of Claim in Arbitration" against Defendant ("the Arbitration") with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), Wachovia Securities, LLC v. Michael W. Lopez, FINRA Case No. 09-05774. (Ex. 4.) After Defendant failed to file a responsive pleading in the Arbitration, Plaintiff moved for a default award. (Ex. 5.)

On July 14, 2010, the arbitrator issued an award in Plaintiff's favor ("Arbitration Award"), requiring Defendant pay:

1. $106,655.50 in compensatory damages for the Note and overpayment of commissions;

2. interest at the rate of 8.5% per annum from March 31, 2009, until the award is paid in full on the amount of $91,830.86;

3. interest at the rate of 7.00% per annum from March 31, 2009, until the award is paid in full on the amount of $14,824.64;

4. $15,000.00 in attorneys' fees; and

5. $1,425.00 in hearing session fees. (Ex. 1.)

On July 11, 2011, Plaintiff filed this Motion seeking confirmation of the Arbitration Award. (See Doc. No. 1) On August 16, 2011, Plaintiff filed a proof of service indicating that on August 2, 2011, Plaintiff served Defendant with all documents it had filed in the action, including this Motion. (See Doc. No. 9.) To date, ...


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