The legal situation that we have at our disposal revolves around the lawsuit that has been filed by a shareholder of a famous and highly reputable law firm known as Harrell and Johnson. The suit has been filed by Gregory Johnson which waives his right for arbitration. During the formation of the law firm it was decided and finalized that the in case of the removal or termination of any partner of the firm, he would be provided the right for arbitration which will be in accordance with the legal criteria that has been outlined by the American Arbitration Association.
The matter of arbitration was earlier supervised by Judge Richard O. Watson; however Johnson instead of filing the case for arbitration filed a three count complaint in a court circuit. The video of the legal proceeding that has been provided once again accentuates upon the point of granting arbitration to the appellant which was represented by Sam Jacobson in defense of Gregory Jacobson whereas the case for the appelle, Harrell was represented by his respective attorney. The case presented by the counsel in front of the court was to provide Johnson the right to arbitration after he has been terminated from the law firm and to provide good reason to the jury in legitimizing this action.
The Appellant Sam Jacobson presented the case in front of the jury by first providing a brief overview about the reputation and prestige that the law firm has in the entire region of North-East Florida which is mainly why the organizational dispute has been able to entice considerable media attention also. The key argument presented by the appellant in front of the court was to outline the salient features on the basis of which the law firm came into inception along with the twin set of immunities that were provided to the owners and mutual shareholders of the firm. This included that the share of executive committee would require unanimity between the owners of the firm along with a legal provision that Johnson could not be terminated from the firm unless the cause of any dispute is proved through arbitration, hence the core foundation of appellant revolves around in making the acquisition of arbitration possible for his client Gregory Jacobson. In some of the questions that were put forward by the jury included the selection of inappropriate standard of review that was used by the attorney.
Secondly, the jury asked the appellant regarding the regulations that the Supreme Court has already outlined regarding the answer that is being filed by the defendant in a circuit court and is therefore considered permissible under the arbitration code. In addition to this the jury also raised some fundamental questions and reservations regarding the negligence of the client in not simultaneously filing the complaint in the American Arbitration Association. During the entire course of the argument I think that the attorney was not able to defend the case in the most effective way possible. All the three questions that were asked to the appellant by the jury, he was not able to provide concrete, evidence based and cohesive answer to the jury.
In some of the questions he expressed a little indifference by saying that he has no clear idea about the extent to which the gravity of the case has heightened. In answering the jury regarding the negligence of the client in filing a concurrent complains with the AAA he was indeed able to provide a satisfactory counter argument by comparing the situation of his client with a runaway train that needs to be stabilized and controlled first, rather than deciding on the destination it is aimed for. One of the strong points that were pinpointed by Jacobson in front of the jury was the criteria that was incorporated by Harrell in appointing his wife and his in law as the shareholder of the company, but the strength of debate that could occur on this particular point was overshadowed by the presence of myriad rudimentary flaws in the argument that was presented by the appellant.
The case of Bill Harrell was wisely handled by his attorney with the help of legal precedence and also exposes the loopholes present in the argument presented by the appellant. The appelle argues that if the crux of the law suit and complaints that have been filed by Johnson pre dominantly comprises of being granted the legal right of arbitration, then why is there a need for depositions in such a case.
In support of this the jury also supports the point by saying that a mere request of arbitration by Johnson would have been suffice to grant him arbitration marginalizing any further occurring complications in the entire case. The appelle said that Jacobson extended the argument far beyond its specified limitations by filing the motion that he must be allowed to stay in his office as he was wrongfully terminated.
Furthermore he also emphasized upon changing the name of the firm from Harrell and Harrell back to Harrell and Johnson. The appelle basically constructs his argument based on the shortcomings in the point that has been presented in front of court by the appellant. The appelle says that it was the failure of getting a temporary injunction by the appellant that actually changed their strategy towards acquiring the right of arbitration in order to find an easy way out.
Furthermore, unlike the appellant, the appelle builds his argument with the help of directly quoting the dates and the precise happenings that took place in the legal proceeding. In addition to this the use of precedence incidents that he quotes in his entire argument such as Hill V. Ray Cater Auto Sales and Raymond James. With the help of quoting such information from the incidents that have occurred in the past the appelle has been able to provide greater sanctuary to his client. In addition to this the entire argument presented by the appelle in front of the jury clarified the notion that he was in the court to present. To quote his exact words ‘we chose not to submit to arbitration, but we did not refuse arbitration’ providing his whole line of argument an excellent defensive approach.
The rebuttal argument presented by attorney Jacobson can more correctly be referred to as a reconciliation argument. The appellant focuses squarely on the right of having been arbitrated by shunning all other operations and demands presented earlier by his client until the entire process and legal proceeding of arbitration are concluded by the court.
Jacobson once again tries to unsuccessfully handle the case by providing it a rather sentimental touch by saying that his client in the prevalent circumstances only had three possible options, first he could have provided Harrell complete authority to do whatever he wanted, second he would have tried to commit suicide by killing himself with a shot gun and lastly, he could have tried to apply a legal procedure that the law permits him to go for achieving and struggling for the rights that he is destined to have.
Furthermore in the rebuttal argument the attorney also acknowledges that a mistake was committed in not approaching the AAA on immediate basis in informing them about the legal dispute, but when things started to get out of control it was during this time that the client took the opportunity to go and file a lawsuit against the other shareholder directly into the court completely sidelining the required participation of AAA. (Oral Argument, 2010)
The extent to which judges asked questions from both attorneys vary considerably, due to the nature of the argument that was being dealt by both attorneys and the points that were being stated it was natural that the appellant was being targeted greater by the jury than the appelle. There is less doubt about the fact that the answers provided by the appelle were much more satisfactory that the ambiguous claims made by the appellant. The key difference that contributed to the way each of them presented their respective argument was in terms of precedence, facts and precise dates of events when they took place.