In Which An In Pro Per Defendant/Appellant Takes On Adam Sandler’s Corporation . . .
HP, a company owned by Adam Sandler, employed McDonald as a nanny for his children. When her employment ended, she entered into a confidential settlement agreement, and as a result, $48K was paid to her, and $32K was paid to her attorneys. After McDonald “purported to terminate the settlement agreement and threatened to sue,” HP invoked an arbitration provision. Things did not go so well for McDonald in arbitration, because she was ordered to cough up the $48K, was permanently enjoined from filing suit against HP and from disclosing confidential information, and was directed to pay $33K in attorneys fees and costs. The award was confirmed, and McDonald appealed in pro per. HP Production, Inc. v. McDonald, B252175 (2/4 Aug. 5, 2014) (Epstein, Willhite, Edmon) (unpublished).
The grounds for vacating a judgment under CCP 1286.2 are narrow. And McDonald’s arguments that the fee award was “exorbitant,” and “obscene”; that HP breached the settlement agreement; that it was unconscionable for her to have to pay more than she could afford; that the disparity in net worth of the parties made consideration for settlement unfair; and that she signed the settlement agreement under economic duress, just didn’t cut it. Nor did her argument that the trial court had no authority to issue an injunction, because the arbitration clause gave broad authority to the arbitrator to issue an injunction, and the trial court could confirm the award.
Sometimes it’s better not to stir the pot.
Stirring the pot. Thomas Fogarty. Sometime between 1890 and 1938. Library of Congress.