How Ignoring An Arbitration Notice Cost Miss USA Contestant $5 Million
Posted Jul 15, 2013
By the Lawyers at Beresford Booth
Recently, a Manhattan federal judge upheld a $5 Million arbitration award against Miss Pennsylvania for remarks she made claiming the Miss USA beauty pageant, which is owned by Donald Trump, was rigged.
Several lessons can be learned from the ruling upholding Mr. Trump’s arbitration award.
First, and most importantly, never ignore an arbitration notice or an arbitration action if you are a named party. In the case of Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania, she ignored the arbitration proceedings entirely—apparently on the advice of her lawyer—and the arbitrator awarded the $5 million award against her by default.
The entry of the award in arbitration by default was not overlooked by the federal judge, who noted in his order “…Monnin undeniab[ly] is suffering from her poor choice in counsel…(But) sympathy, or apparent inequity, may play no role in a court’s legal analysis…” The judge goes on to note Ms. Monnin’s legal counsel “chose to ignore the responsibilities owed to his client, along with the ethical duties governing his profession.” Thus, echoing the warnings from the federal judge, choose your legal counsel wisely.
Second, and less important to most of us, you may make fun of Mr. Trump in a variety of venues for any one of his excesses, from his famous comb over to his infamous ego, but when you go on the Today Show and call his Miss USA contest rigged, The Donald takes notice.
If you have been served with a arbitration notice contact one of the attorneys in the commercial litigation department at Washington State Law Firm Beresford Booth PLLC.
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