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Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. v. Marrs

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

July 20, 2017

FRANK N. MAGID ASSOCIATES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SHANNON MARRS, ELIZABETH SHEPHERD and CHIRP RESEARCH, LLC, Defendants. SHANNON MARRS, ELIZABETH SHEPHERD and CHIRP RESEARCH, LLC, Counter Claimants,
v.
FRANK N. MAGID ASSOCIATES, INC. Counter Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ...................................... 2

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY ........................ 2

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION ......................... 3

         IV. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ....................... 4

         A. Parties .......................................... 4

         B. Overview of the Dispute .............................. 4

         V. ANALYSIS ........................................... 6

         A. Compel Arbitration ................................. 6

         1. Valid Arbitration Agreement ....................... 7

         a. Disparity in bargaining power ................. 8

         b. Substantive unfairness ...................... 8

         2. Arbitrability ................................ 11

         B. Dismiss Shepherd Counterclaims ....................... 12

         1. Compulsory counterclaims ....................... 12

         a. Same issues of fact and law .................. 13

         b. Res judicata ............................ 14

         c. Same evidence ........................... 15

         d. Logical relationship ....................... 15

         2. Permissive Counterclaims ........................ 16

         VI. CONCLUSION ....................................... 17

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Frank N. Magid Associates, LLC's (“Magid” and “Company”) “Motion to Compel Arbitration of Shannon Marrs'[s] Counterclaims and Motion to Dismiss Elizabeth Shepherd's Counterclaims” (“Motion”) (docket no. 43).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On November 29, 2016, Magid filed a Complaint (docket no. 1) asserting the following claims: (1) breach of contract against Defendant Shannon Marrs and Elizabeth Shepherd; (2) tortious interference with contractual relationships against Marrs, Shepherd and Defendant Chirp Research, LLC (“Chirp”); (3) tortious interference with prospective business advantage against all Defendants; (4) misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b)(1), against all Defendants; (5) a state law claim for misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of the Iowa Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Iowa Code Chapter 550, against all Defendants; (6) violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, against Marrs and Chirp; (7) common law claims of ...


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