21st Century Financial Services v. Manchester Financial Bank, No. 13-50389 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The Bank sought to vacate an arbitration award in favor of 21st Century. The court concluded that the district court did not clearly err in determining that the Bank had actual or constructive notice of the arbitration; the record contained several communications showing that various bank organizers knew of the forthcoming proceedings; and because the Bank had actual or constructive notice and Bernstein Seawell & Kove v. Bosarge requires no more, the court did not need to decide whether 21st Century failed to comply with section 15.2 of the Agreement. The court also concluded that the contract did not expressly require senior management to engage in negotiations; even if senior management were required to engage in a second round of negotiations, the Agreement did not expressly condition the ability to arbitrate a dispute on failed senior management negotiations; and the record supported the district court's finding regarding good-faith negotiations on the operational level. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.