Seagate Tech., LLC v. W. Digital Corp.Annotate this Case
After Sining Mao left his employment with Seagate Technology, LLC, Mao joined Seagate’s competitor, Western Digital Corporation. Seagate subsequently commenced a district court action alleging that Mao stole Seagate’s trade secrets and confidential information and provided it to Western Digital. Western Digital invoked an arbitration clause in Mao’s employment agreement with Seagate. Before the arbitration hearing, Seagate brought a motion for sanctions against Western Digital and Mao (Appellants) based on alleged fabrication of evidence. An arbitrator issued an award against Appellants in an amount exceeding $500 million. The district court vacated the award in part, but the court of appeals reinstated the award. On appeal, Appellants argued that the arbitrator’s exceeded his authority by issuing punitive sanctions and prejudiced Appellants by refusing to hear evidence material to the controversy. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision reinstating and confirming the arbitration award in full, holding that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority or refuse to hear material evidence as required for vacatur.