Complaint Review: American Arbitration Association and Arbitrator Rosemary Townley - Larchmont NY
American Arbitration Association and Arbitrator Rosemary Townley Rosemary Townley Not a neutral arbitrator Larchmont NY
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Rosemary Townley in my personal and professional opinion is unfit to be an arbitrator, self-serving and she has abused and exceeded her power on numerous instances in my opinion of which I believe inured to her benefit on many levels. In my opinion and based on my experience, she is a "rogue" arbitrator, more focused on marketing herself, networking on social media,panels, etc. (even though she is supposed to be a "neutral"), and making money and victories for big corporations and deep-pocketed entities that pay her big bills as opposed to being a fair and honest arbitrator.
In one case that was overturned on appeal by Townley- a defendant employee sued his company for approximately $600,000. There was of course a mandatory arbitration clause in his employment agreement by defendant Audionamix. The company counter-sued for approximately $1 to $5 million dollars. Bare in mind that punitive damages are illegal in New York State. Arbitrator Townley awarded a whopping $9.4 million dollars against the plaintiff. Seriously? How is this legal? It is my belief under law that there is no support for this type of decision, and it is certainly not compensatory when the arbitrator doubles the amount of the award that was even sought after! There was no justification for that award under any laws in New York. How would an individual like the plaintiff making a few hundred thousand dollars a year ever pay that type of money off to the defendants? Keep working until he or she is 180 years old? Of course not. The arbitrator in my opinion would force the plaintiff into bankruptcy if they could not afford to appeal a decision.
The lawyer first appealed to the American Arbitration Association about Townley's decision. The American Arbitration Association makes money in arbitration and of course does not want to forfeit the money or their reputation- and the decision by AAA was strangely and irrationally upheld. The employee then appealed and in a rare court decision- won. The remedy? The employee had to go back to arbitration to redo the case and pay for it all over again because of Townley's original decision. The kicker? Arbitrators- many of whom are not even lawyers- are immune from lawsuits by disgruntled parties. One can't e even uncover the wrongdoing of arbitrators many times due to the confidential nature of the proceedings and even if you suspect wrongdoing- you still can't sue and win without absolute proof of fraud. So- an arbitrator is immune from lawsuits and "judicial immunity" in spite of not being a Judge. All decisions are confidential- shielding any wrongdoings of a company (one of the perks of a big company avoid transparency and media press) yet companies can go back to their employees and scare the heck out of them with outrageous and cautionary arbitration decisions that are geared favorably toward big companies that pay the arbitration fees. What incentive does any arbitrator have to go against a party not paying their fees?
Arbitration is a lucrative business..... It is difficult to even pick arbitrators. If they have undisclosed contacts- it is generally difficult to ascertain as arbitration decisions are confidential. Unlike Judges- where you can easily find public legal filings and information about them- you cannot do that readily with the secrecy that cloaks arbitration. In one decision, Townley was an arbitrator with a multi-biliion dollar company, Allegis, founded by Steve Bisciotti and his cousin Jim Davis, both literally in the Forbes 400, with their company Major, Lindsey & Africa. Steve Biscioitti is one hundred percent owner of the Baltimore Ravens Football team and his company was the plaintiff in the suit. Townley was one of I believe four NFL special NFL arbitrators in the country. Major Lindsey also had the American Arbitration Association as a client, and never revealed this fact in spite of a duty as a party to the arbitration to disclose all potential conflicts. When this was pointed out on appeal- which appears to be a huge conflict of interest- Major Lindsey downplayed this fact, yet promptly removed this client from their website according to public court papers..... and yet the American Arbitration Association did not find this to be a conflict of interest....
The arbitration is currently public now on appeal. Allegis paid a $200,000 arbitration fee..... the entire dispute was over allegedly a $200,000 fee, which morphed into a $2.7 million dollar award against the defendant employee. Townley charged a whopping $100,000 just to REVIEW the file... This is a multi-billion dollar company suing one single employee! Arbitrators- under the American Arbitration Association requirements- allege that arbitrators are trained in how to streamline discovery and not increase costs for parties. It is supposed to be fair, efficient and inexpensive. My opinion is that Townley must have ignored that memo. This was a multi-billion dollar plaintiff against one single defendant employee. The amount of money that it cost the defendant is prohibitive for the average individual defendant.....but Townley got paid by the company regardless...
In the above-staetd case, Townleu wrote that the defendant had no credibility- even though a Federal Court Judge indicated that Major Lindsey & Africa and Allegis had "bogus" and "trumped up" and "nuclear" allegations meant to coerce a settlement by the companies against the defendant. Suddenly, after a scathing Federal Court Judge blaseted Major Lindsey & Africa and Allegis for filing unsupported civil allegations against the defendant- Allegis and Major Lindsey pulled out of the Federal Court case when they couldn't prove their case and refiled in arbitration. It is unclear how the companies were able to sue the employee in Federal Court and then arbitration- taking two proverbial bites of the apple- but it happened. Further, Allegis and their companies have a long history of pursing top performing employees. Allegis has sued according to the defendant's papers at least 26 other Allegis employees - not including those against whom they took legal action in arbitration and other private procedures. This is a company that is and has likely been a "repeat customer" in arbitration - a lucrative client for AAA and JAMS.
Similar in both cases before Townley- both individual parties lost against big companies. Both parties according to the public information on appeal were not permitted by Townley to present valuable evidence in their cases, which of course gives the big companies a huge advantage on the record. In the Major Lindsey case, according to public filings- the defendant sued the largest shareholder of the company individually for allegeldly stealing internally a major deal from the employee - and the employee was forced to sit out of the room while the shareholder gave his testimony because he alleged it involved a "trade secret" - even though the plaintiffs never sought an injunction against the defendant for taking any trade secrets! The arbitrator just bascially took the word of the big company without making them prove that any of the information was protected as a trade secret. In essence, it appears on its surface to be a major due process violation- how does one defend oneself against evidence that you can't hear in your own case against a defendant that you are suing individually?
Townley was supposed to render a decision within 30 days. Townley took 7 or 8 adjournments - and delayed rendering a decision for almost ONE YEAR. So much for the assurances by arbitration proceedings on being efficient, and fair, which is the major marketing push of the American Arbitration Association as to why it is a valuable alternative to litigation. She took a year according to the papers to decide two motins. She single-handedly delayed the proceeding for two years- all the while conducitng other money-making arbitrations in the interim. Townley decided in favor of the big company, and made the defendant according to the appeal papers forfeit all commissions from the employed time at Major Lindsey, in spite of there being zero proof of damages, zero complaints against the employee, no criminal activity, zero causation- and made the company an immense amount of money as one of the former top employees in the world (and likely in my opinion one of the reasons the company was trying to tie up the employee in years long litgation and arbitrtion.) In spite of the foregoing- Townley still awarded according to the publc appeal papers the company a windfall.
The arbitrator in my opinion is abusive, personally, professionally and financially. With the advent of the internet, and appeals being public- arbitrators can no longer hide under a cloak of anonymity. These arbitrators, like Townley, need to be weeded out, identified and accountable. Most importantly- this information now needs to be transparent so that others can be aware of their arbitrator's motives (in my opinion and in accordance with my experiences) before needlessly blowing money and years of your life in sressful and life-altering expensive arbitraiton....
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/11/2018 06:51 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-arbitration-association-and-arbitrator-rosemary-townley/larchmont-ny-10538/american-arbitration-association-and-arbitrator-rosemary-townley-rosemary-townley-not-a-1446917. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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