Brook v. Peak International, Ltd.

294 F.3d 668 (2002)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Brook v. Peak International, Ltd.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
294 F.3d 668 (2002)


Brook (plaintiff) was employed by Peak International, Ltd. (Peak) (defendant). Brook’s employment contract contained an arbitration clause stating that any disputes between the parties would be subject to arbitration. The arbitration clause provided that in the event of a dispute, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) was to provide the parties with a list of nine potential arbitrators. Each party was to be given the opportunity to strike one arbitrator from the list until only one potential arbitrator remained. This arbitrator was to be granted the power to arbitrate the dispute. Brooks was terminated less than a year after beginning his employment with Peak. A dispute arose over the amount of severance payments due to Brook. Brook and Peak agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration pursuant to the arbitration clause in Brook’s employment agreement. The AAA did not follow the arbitrator selection procedures outlined in Brook’s contract. Rather, the AAA initially submitted a list of nine potential arbitrators and instructed the parties to strike any names they wished from the list. At the request of Brook and Peak, AAA submitted a second list of six new arbitrators and requested the parties to strike names from the list. Brook submitted a strike, but Peak did not. On July 26, 1999, AAA informed Brook and Peak that it had selected Professor David Sokolow as arbitrator. Peak immediately protested this selection and requested AAA comply with the terms of its employment agreement with Brook. Brook made no objection to the selection of Professor David Sokolow. On August 11, 1999, AAA withdrew its selection of Sokolow, and appointed Judge Chuck Miller as arbitrator. On August 13th, Brook objected on the ground that the AAA did not follow typical AAA rules and procedures for appointing an arbitrator. At no point did Brook reference the arbitration selection procedures outlined in his employment agreement. Brook also requested AAA reinstate “the properly appointed individual, Professor David Sokolow,” as arbitrator. AAA denied this request. Before arbitration commenced, Judge Miller asked if either party had any objections to the arbitration process. Brook raised no objections, and Judge Miller entered an arbitration award favorable to Peak. Brook filed suit in federal district court seeking to vacate the arbitration award on the ground that AAA violated its own arbitrator selection rules. On January 17, 2001, a magistrate heard oral argument and noted that AAA’s failure to follow the terms of arbitrator selection outlined in Brook’s employment agreement could constitute grounds for vacating the arbitration award. Brook then raised this issue in a subsequent “Supplement to Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award” in the district court. The district court vacated the arbitration award, and Peak appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership