Pershing, LLC v. Kiebach, No. 15-30396 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Appellants, investors who suffered financial losses as a result of R. Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme, alleged that Appellee, a clearing broker for Stanford Group Company, failed to disclose adverse financial information. A FINRA panel rejected appellants' claims but awarded them $10,000 in compensation for certain arbitration-related expenses. In this interlocutory appeal, appellants challenge the district court's denial of their motion to dismiss, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, appellee's motion to confirm an arbitration award. At issue was whether the amount in controversy for establishing diversity jurisdiction over a petition to confirm an arbitration award is the amount awarded by the arbitration panel or the amount previously sought in the arbitration proceeding. The court affirmed the judgment and adopted the better reasoned approach to the amount in controversy under these circumstances. The court held that monetary amount sought in the underlying arbitration is the amount in controversy for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.