John Marshall, et al v. Wachovia Securities LLC


Opinion issued by court as to Appellants Hispanic American Foundation, John Marshall Property Inc., John D. Marshall, Marshall Family Education Trust and Palm Coast Collectibles, Inc.. Decision: Affirmed. Opinion type: Non-Published. Opinion method: Per Curiam. The opinion is also available through the Court's Opinions page at this link

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Case: 16-10497 Date Filed: 09/13/2016 Page: 1 of 3 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-10497 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 0:15-cv-61864-JIC JOHN D. MARSHALL, JOHN MARSHALL PROPERTIES, INC., PALM COAST COLLECTIBLES, INC., MARSHALL FAMILY EDUCATION TRUST, HISPANIC AMERICAN FOUNDATION, Plaintiffs - Appellants, versus WELLS FARGO ADVISORS, LLC, formerly known as WACHOVIA SECURITIES, LLC, Defendant - Appellee. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ________________________ (September 13, 2016) Before TJOFLAT, MARCUS and JILL PRYOR, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Case: 16-10497 Date Filed: 09/13/2016 Page: 2 of 3 John Marshall Properties Inc., Palm Coast Collectibles, Inc., Hispanic America Foundation, Inc. (“Corporations”), Marshall Family Education Trust (“Trust”) and John D. Marshall, Sr. (Marshall) brought this action to vacate an arbitration award in favor of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, f/k/a Wachovia Securities, LLC’s (“Wells Fargo”). Wells Fargo moved to strike the Corporations and the Trust from the complaint because they are not represented by an attorney, but proceed pro se instead. Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the complaint to the extent that it is brought by Marshall because he lacks standing to sue since he was not a party in the arbitration proceeding and thus is not a party to the award. The District Court granted Wells Fargo’s motions to strike and to dismiss, and the complaining parties appeal. We affirm. As the Court properly held: The Corporations and the Trust “can act only through agents, cannot appear pro se, and must be represented by counsel.” Palazzo v. Gulf Oil Corp., 764 F.2d 1381, 1385 (11th Cir. 1985). “It has been the law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a corporation may appear in federal courts only through licensed counsel.” Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, Unit II Men’s Advisory Council, 506 U.S. 194, 202 (1993). .... In addition, “a trust, like a corporation, must be represented by an attorney.” Walker v. Schentrup, No. 1:13-CV-59-MW/GRJ, 2014 WL 1379638, at *3 (N.D. Fla. Apr. 7, 2014). 2 Case: 16-10497 Date Filed: 09/13/2016 Page: 3 of 3 Doc. 27 at 4. The Court informed the Corporations and the Trust that they would be dismissed unless they obtained counsel. They failed to obtain counsel; therefore, they were properly dismissed from the case. Palazzo, 764 F.2d at 1388. The Court properly dismissed Marshall for lack of standing. The validity of an arbitration agreement is typically governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (“FAA”). Under 9 U.S.C. § 10(a), “any party to [an] arbitration” may seek to vacate an arbitration award. However, by the express terms of the statute, a nonparty to the arbitration generally has no standing to challenge the award. See, e.g., See More Light Invs. v. Morgan Stanley DW Inc., No. CV-08-580-PHX-MHM, 2008 WL 5044557, at *2 (D. Ariz. Nov. 24, 2008) (“As a non-party to the underlying arbitration, [plaintiff] lacks standing to challenge it.”); Meshkin v. Vertrue Inc., No. 3:07CV109CFD, 2007 WL 2462172, at *2 (D. Conn. Aug. 28, 2007) (“[A] non-party to the arbitration may not seek to overturn its outcome.”); Katir v. Columbia Univ., 821 F. Supp. 900, 901 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (“Because [the plaintiff] was not a party to the arbitration, she lacks standing to petition to vacate the Award.”). Id. at 5. AFFIRMED. 3

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