Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Aguillard v. Louisiana College

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

May 1, 2019

DR. JOE W. AGUILLARD
v.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE

          APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 261, 386 HONORABLE MONIQUE F. RAULS, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Billy R. Pesnell J. Whitney Pesnell W. Alan Pesnell The Pesnell Law Firm, A P.L.C. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Dr. Joe W. Aguillard

          Charles S. Weems, III Jonathan D. Stokes Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Louisiana College

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE.

         This appeal comes to this court from a judgment granting exceptions of no cause of action and res judicata and dismissing a petition to annul a judgment confirming an arbitration award. The arbitration award was in favor of a college in a wrongful termination suit brought against the college by its former president and tenured faculty member. We find no error by the trial court.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

         Plaintiff/Appellant, Joe Aguillard (Aguillard), became the president of defendant/appellee, Louisiana College (Louisiana College) on January 18, 2005. Aguillard served in that capacity until April 15, 2014, when he became "president emeritus" of Louisiana College and a fully tenured member of the faculty at Louisiana College per written employment agreement.

         In March 2016, following notice, a due process hearing before a faculty committee of his peers, and an appeal to the Board of Trustees, Aguillard was fired as president emeritus and tenured professor. Aguillard filed suit alleging tort and contract issues against Louisiana College and others. Per their agreement, Aguillard and Louisiana College entered into arbitration. In October 2016, the arbitration panel dismissed, with prejudice, the breach of contract, wrongful termination, and detrimental reliance claims filed by Aguillard against Louisiana College. This arbitration award was confirmed by a consent judgment signed by both Aguillard and Louisiana College in September 2017. This confirmation judgment became a final judgment after all time limits for appeal or modification had run.

         In March 2018, Aguillard filed a petition to annul the judgment confirming the arbitration award under La.Code Civ.P. art. 2004 against Louisiana College. Aguillard's petition alleges that Louisiana College's failure to inform him of its acceptance of a $10, 000, 000.00 donation subject to the condition that he remain "President Emeritus" of Louisiana College for at least five years was an ill practice because, at arbitration, Louisiana College claimed that Aguillard was employed at will versus his employment having a term. Aguillard contended that Louisiana College's acceptance of the donation served as a stipulation pour autrui that amended his employment contract to have a term. As such, Aguillard alleged that Louisiana College's ill practice was violating its continuing duty to disclose this information to him, the arbitration panel, and the court.

         In response, Louisiana College pointed out that Aguillard was fired for cause. Accordingly, whether his contract had a term is not relevant, and "[a]rticle 2004 dictates that a judgment will not be annulled on account of fraud or ill practice in the course of a legal proceeding if the fraud or ill practice pertained to a matter irrelevant to the basis of the decision." Belle Pass Terminal, Inc. v. Jolin, Inc., 01-149, p. 7 (La. 10/16/01), 800 So.2d 762, 767. This is true because, under those circumstances, the judgment "was not obtained by fraud or ill practice." Id.

         Moreover, Louisiana College states that even if Aguillard's amended petition was taken as true, the ill practice alleged related to the arbitration proceeding and its award. As such, Louisiana College, citing Napolitano v. Gill, 12-206 (La. 5/4/12), 88 So.3d 446, filed exceptions of no cause of action and res judicata based on the untimeliness of Aguillard's initial petition to annul and the fact that Aguillard's allegations relate to the arbitration award, not the confirmation judgment.

         The trial court granted these exceptions, dismissing Aguillard's petition to annul. Aguillard appeals this judgment of the trial court and assigns two errors.

         ASSIGNMENTS ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.