Lago Agrio: The Egg Has Landed

I titled my last post on the dust-up between MCSquared and Sharon Stone “Lago Agrio: Someone’s Going To Have Egg On His Face.” The gist was that Stone gave notice that she intended to seek dismissal of MCSquared’s suit against her on the grounds that the relevant contract contained an agreement to arbitrate. MCSquared claimed that there was no contract with an arbitration agreement. This is one of those questions that has a right answer and a wrong answer, so the point was that someone—Stone’s lawyer or MCSquared’s lawyer—was going to have some egg on his face.

Well, here is the contract between Stone (or more precisely, a corporation she apparently controls) and APB, the talent agency, which names MCSquared as the client and which contains an indemnity provision apparently signed by MCSquare’s principal, Maria Garay. And here is the contract between APB and MCSquared, again apparently signed by Garay. Both contain arbitration agreements.

So egg, meet face. I don’t mean to say that Stone is obviously in the right: MCSquared’s lawyer has argued that one of the two contracts “appears to contain” a forged signature purporting to be Garay’s. This is an odd way to put it, since Garay should know if the signature is forged. But MCSquared is not doing a good job of inspiring confidence—apparently, it did not have the pages of the contract containing the arbitration provisions in its records, and its lawyer has sought entry of default against Stone for failure to answer, even though Stone is represented by counsel and even though she filed a request for a pre-motion conference in advance of filing the motion to dismiss. Stone calls this move “frivolous.” I would simply call it uncool.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2012), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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