Leete & Lemieux, P.A. v. HorowitzAnnotate this Case
Leete & Lemieux, P.A. (L&L) provided legal services to James Horowitz and Oxford Aviation, Inc. (collectively, Horowitz) for several years. When L&L stopped receiving payments for its services, it filed a four-count complaint against Horowitz for failure to pay $10,917 for legal services rendered, plus interest. The district court stayed the action until resolution by the fee arbitration commission. A fee arbitration panel determined that Horowitz owed L&L the full amount of the unpaid fees charges plus interest. The district court affirmed the award of the panel. Horowitz appealed, arguing that the court (1) was required to vacate the arbitration award because the panel allegedly determined that it did not have the power to decide whether L&L's claim was time-barred, and (2) erred in confirming the award because it remained within the trial court's authority to decide a statute-of-limitations defense that was not subject to arbitration and was not decided during arbitration. The Supreme Court affirmed because Horowitz did not preserve a statute-of-limitations defense at the proper procedural stage of the proceedings, and therefore, the statute-of-limitations defense was waived.