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Find out how Gardner Bell's experience promoting financial and economic development initiatives both locally and abroad informs his role as an attorney. Find out more>

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On December 1, 2016, Parker Hannifin Corporation and CLARCOR Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Parker will acquire CLARCOR for approximately $4.3 billion in cash, including the assumption of net debt. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. Upon closing of the transaction, expected to be completed by or during the first quarter of Parker’s fiscal year 2018, CLARCOR will be combined with Parker’s Filtration Group to form a leading and diverse global filtration business. Bass, Berry & Sims has served CLARCOR as primary corporate and securities counsel for 10 years and served as lead counsel on this transaction. Read more here.

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Securities Law Exchange BlogSecurities Law Exchange blog offers insight on the latest legal and regulatory developments affecting publicly traded companies. It focuses on a wide variety of topics including regulation and reporting updates, public company advisory topics, IPO readiness and exchange updates including IPO announcements, M&A trends and deal news.

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Chris Lazarini Provides Insight on Whether a Non-Signatory to an Arbitration Agreement May Be Required to Arbitrate

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January 21, 2015

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini analyzed whether a plaintiff who did not sign an arbitration agreement but who claimed to be the agent of the signatory to the arbitration agreement may be required to arbitrate his claims. Chris provided the analysis for Securities Litigation Commentator (SLC). The full text of the analysis is below and used with permission from the publication. If you would like to receive additional content from the SLC, please visit the SLC website to sign up for the newsletter.

Andrews vs. T.D. Ameritrade, Inc., No. 14-3466 (6th Cir., 12/30/14)

*A non-signatory to a pre-dispute arbitration agreement (PDAA) who holds himself out as the agent of the signatory to the PDAA is bound by the terms of the PDAA.

**A defendant is not required to disclose its intent to compel arbitration in its notice of removal of a case from state to federal court.

Plaintiff sought to liquidate his adult son's 401(k) account under authority purportedly granted to him by a Power of Attorney (POA) and Trading Authorization Agreement (TAA). Defendant refused to do so, however, advising Plaintiff that the POA had been revoked. Plaintiff then sought injunctive and other relief in a state court filing. Defendant removed the matter to the federal court, which denied Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief, compelled arbitration and dismissed Plaintiff's complaint (see SLA 2014-30).

Affirming the district court's decision, the Sixth Circuit rejects all of Plaintiff's arguments against compulsory arbitration. First, the Court states that, by holding himself out as the agent of his son, Plaintiff, although not a signatory to Defendant's Client Agreement, is nevertheless bound by the terms of the PDAA in the agreement. The Court also points out that the TAA on which Plaintiff relies in support of his claim for control over the account also states that the Client Agreement is binding on the authorized agents. The Court finds, therefore, that Plaintiff cannot seek to enforce the power granted him by the TAA while simultaneously ignoring its arbitration clause.

Second, the Court rejects Plaintiff's argument that the adequacy of the POA is a question of law that should be answered by a court, not arbitrators. The Court finds that, even if it is determined that the POA was adequate -- an issue that is in dispute -- questions regarding Defendant's actions to confirm that its account holder's wishes were followed fall within the broad scope of the PDAA.

Third, the Court rejects Plaintiff's waiver argument, finding that Defendant was not required to disclose its intent to seek to compel arbitration in its Notice removing the matter to federal court. Similarly, the Court rejects Plaintiff's arguments that the PDAA is unconscionable, finding that Plaintiff affirmatively sought to control his son's account and willingly signed the TAA.

Finally, the Court rejects Plaintiff's argument that the boilerplate PDAA is a contract of adhesion. The Court states that, because Plaintiff is a lawyer, he was not in a position of unequal bargaining power when he signed the TAA containing an arbitration provision.

Plaintiff also challenged the district court's decision to dismiss his case instead of ordering a stay pending the outcome of the arbitration. The Court finds that, where there is nothing for the district court to do but execute the judgment, dismissal is the appropriate remedy.


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