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Superadio Limited Partnership v. Winstar Radio Productions, LLC

844 N.E.2d 246 (2006)

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Superadio Limited Partnership v. Winstar Radio Productions, LLC

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

844 N.E.2d 246 (2006)

Facts

Superadio Limited Partnership (plaintiff) and Walt “Baby” Love Productions, Inc., to which Winstar Radio Productions, LLC (Baby Love) (defendant) was successor in interest, entered into an agreement for the equal division of net revenues collected from the sale of advertising on radio programs. Under the agreement, any dispute was to be arbitrated before a panel of the American Arbitration Association sitting in Boston, Massachusetts. Superadio filed an arbitration demand, alleging that Baby Love had withheld advertising revenues that should have been shared with Superadio. Baby Love counterclaimed, alleging that Superadio had violated the agreement by withholding advertising revenues Superadio had collected on Baby Love’s behalf. During the arbitration proceeding, Superadio maintained that Baby Love’s attorney, who was licensed to practice in New York but not in Massachusetts, was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The arbitration panel granted partial summary judgment to Baby Love but could not enter a damages award because Superadio had failed to produce documents relevant to damages. The panel rejected the argument that Baby Love’s attorney was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and sanctioned Superadio for the discovery violation. Superadio filed a complaint seeking to vacate the arbitration award. The trial court affirmed the award. On appeal, Superadio argued, in part, that the award was obtained by undue means because Baby Love's out-of-state attorney had been engaged in the unauthorized practice of law during the arbitration proceeding. The appellate court reversed the award. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted Baby Love’s application for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greaney, J.)

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