Dewan v. Walia
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
544 Fed. Appx. 240, 250 (4th Cir. Md. 2013)
Arun Walia (defendant) was a Canadian national who came to the United States on an employment visa to work as an accountant for Kiran M. Dewan, CPA, P.A. (the company) (plaintiff), a corporation held by Kiran Dewan (Dewan) (plaintiff). Walia’s employment agreement with the company contained noncompete and nonsolicitation provisions and an arbitration clause. Dewan signed the employment agreement on behalf of the company. Following a dispute about the termination of Walia’s employment, Walia signed another agreement that released and discharged Dewan and the company from any claims relating to Walia’s employment in exchange for a monetary payment. Dewan signed the release agreement for the company. The release contained a binding arbitration provision that required any dispute arising from the release to be arbitrated and a Maryland choice-of-law provision. Dewan and the company later alleged that Walia breached the noncompete and nonsolicitation provisions of the employment agreement and demanded arbitration under the employment agreement. Walia asserted counterclaims, alleging that the company had underpaid Walia and violated federal immigration law. The arbitrator ruled in favor of Walia on Dewan’s and the company’s breach-of-employment-agreement claims. The arbitrator determined that Walia’s agreement to release Dewan and the company from all claims was valid and enforceable and interpreted the release agreement as meaning that Walia agreed never to file a lawsuit or action in court against Dewan and the company. The arbitrator awarded monetary damages on Walia’s counterclaims. Dewan and the company motioned the district court to vacate the award. The district court denied the motion and confirmed the award in favor of Walia. Dewan and the company appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
Dissent (Wynn, J.)
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