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CoreLogic Sanctioned For Refusing Arbitration

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CoreLogic Sanctioned For Refusing Arbitration

CoreLogic Sanctioned For Refusing Arbitration

“CoreLogic Sanctioned For Refusing Arbitration”
Daily Journal, January 14, 2020

By Meghann M. Cuniff

A U.S. judge has sanctioned a data analytics service for disobey­ing an arbitration order, ending a fight over licensing in out-of-state arbitrations that the plaintiffs’ at­torneys said is part of a growing defense tactic.

Irvine-based CoreLogic Inc. is to pay $18,482.49 to Bryan Schwartz Law and $67,873.13 to Nichols Kaster UP, which covers the firms’ work related to Core­Logic’s refusal to participate in arbitrations it compelled in a rest­-and-meal break class action. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered the payments Jan. 8 after last month rejecting CoreLogic’s argument that it couldn’t ethically participate in arbitrations initiated in states in which the plaintiffs’ at­torneys aren’t licensed.

Carter said the argument was a state issue, and he concluded CoreLogic “willfully and unrea­sonably disobeyed” his arbitration order. Still, he declined to retain jurisdiction and instead ordered the arbitrations ·to continue with American Arbitration Associa­tion. Mitchell et al.CoreLogic, Inc., 17CV-02274 (C.D. Cal., filed Dec. 29, 2017).

CoreLogic’s attorney, Amy S. Williams  of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, said when arguing that sanctions can’t be is­sued because the plaintiffs didn’t prevail. She also said sanctions aren’t warranted because “CoreLogic did not engage in bad faith, reckless or vexatious, litigation in violation of the court’s orders that justifies the award of sanctions,” repeating earlier arguments about the ethical dilemma she said Core­Logic faced.

Meanwhile, Williams told the arbitration association CoreLogic won’t yet participate in arbitration because “the issue is not final and the time for CoreLogic to exercise its right to appeal has not run,” according to an email cited by Nichols Kaster. Williams also said CoreLogic plans to raise the issue of locally unlicensed attorneys ini­tiating arbitrations “to the respec­tive state bars … once the court’s order becomes final.’

Reached by phone Monday, Schwartz said the sanctions are needed.

“Courts need to consistently take the position that Judge Car­ter is holding here, which is, ‘You made your bed, you’ve got to lie in it,” Schwartz said.

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