Porter v. WilliamsonAnnotate this Case
Donald Porter, Marc Porter, Porter Capital Corporation, Porter Bridge Loan Company, Inc., Lowerline Corporation, Capital Partners Leasing, Inc., and Capital Partners Leasing, LLC (referred to collectively as "the Porter defendants"), appealed the denial of their motion to compel arbitration of the claims asserted against them by Byron Porter Williamson. Marc and Donald Porter are brothers; they founded Porter Capital Corporation in 1991 and thereafter established the related companies Porter Bridge Loan Company, Inc., Lowerline Corporation, CapitalPartners Leasing, Inc., and CapitalPartners Leasing, LLC. In 1992, the Porters hired their nephew Williamson as an employee of the Porter companies. In 2004, Williamson, Marc Porter, and Donald Porter entered into a shareholders agreement that made Williamson a 10% shareholder in Porter Capital Corporation, Porter Bridge Loan Company, Inc., Lowerline Corporation, and CapitalPartners Leasing, Inc. Following his termination and resignation as a shareholder of the corporations and a member of the limited liability company, Williamson demanded that his shares in the corporations and his interest in the limited-liability company be purchased by the Porter companies pursuant to the agreement. The parties, however, were unable to agree on the value of Williamson's shares and interest. Williamson sued Marc Porter, Donald Porter, and the Porter companies. Citing the arbitration provision of the agreement, the Porter defendants moved to dismiss the action without prejudice or to stay discovery and compel arbitration. Williamson opposed the motion, arguing that some or all of his claims fell within the specific-performance exception of the arbitration provision in the agreement. Following a hearing on the Porter defendants' motion to dismiss or to compel arbitration, the trial court issued an order denying the Porter defendants' motion. The Porter defendants appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's denial of the Porter defendants' motion to compel arbitration insofar as that motion related to Williamson's request for specific performance and injunctive relief. With regard to Williamson's remaining claims seeking rescission and alleging misrepresentation and suppression and conversion, the Court reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case with instructions for the trial court either to dismiss those claims or to grant the Porter defendants' motion to compel arbitration of them.