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Law360 (October 26, 2020, 10:48 PM EDT) — JPMorgan Chase Bank NA has urged an Arizona federal court to toss claims that it unjustly enriched itself by failing to pay a law firm for its work on federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, arguing that the parties never had a deal.

Because Radix Law PLC never signed an agreement with Chase that would entitle it to fees for helping borrowers obtain the loans awarded as part of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court should dismiss the firm’s attempt to now cash in, the banking giant argued Friday.

Other federal courts reviewing similar arguments in other cases have determined that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that created the PPP does not entitle agents to collect fees from lenders if they do not have an agreement that calls for it, according to a memorandum accompanying Chase’s motion to dismiss.

“Plaintiff’s theory is refuted by the plain language of the CARES Act and the existing regulatory framework, as the only courts to have considered this issue have held,” the memorandum said.

Radix Law sued Chase in a county court in Maricopa County, Arizona, in August, contending that under a fact sheet issued in March and a final rule issued in April by the U.S. Treasury Department for the PPP, lenders who accept and issue loans under the program must pay fees to agents, including attorneys.

The firm asserts that it was the agent for 10 Chase clients who got PPP loans totaling over $700,000, according to the complaint for the case, which was removed to federal court in September.

“Defendant did not at any time during the PPP process object to paying Radix Law this fee,” the complaint says. “However, after completing the loan process, and despite demand, defendant has failed and refused to compensate Radix Law as required.”

Radix Law seeks an unspecified amount of damages, interest, costs and attorney fees.

Jonathan Frutkin of Radix Law, representing the firm, told Law360 on Monday that thousands of small service providers responded to the government’s emergency call for application assistance for small business owners.

“The government said don’t charge your clients — we will make sure that you get paid,” Frutkin said. “Instead the banks want to keep every penny of the government-paid fees for themselves.”

Counsel for Chase could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Radix Law is represented in-house by Jonathan Frutkin and Robert N. Mann.

JPMorgan Chase is represented by Nicole M. Goodwin and Adrianna Griego Gorton of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

The case is Radix Law PLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, case number 2:20-cv-01810, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

October 27th, 2020

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Sometimes we can control our financial situations. Sometimes we cannot. The reality of Arizona bankruptcy is that most people never intended to end up there. Many fight as long as possible to avoid it. In these trying times, many people are losing their jobs, confronting unexpected medical bills and job losses. As a result, many people find themselves with a debt burden they cannot overcome.

The federal and Arizona bankruptcy laws are designed to protect people from unreasonable debt burden. No matter how you got there – job loss, medical bills, mortgage underwater, skyrocketing expenses, divorce, job loss, or health issues – you may be able to find relief by filing for bankruptcy. The first step is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who will help you make a plan for a better future.

Early legal consultation is important. It may be that you need to stop making payments on debts that you cannot repay, such as credit cards and mortgages on properties you plan to surrender. Planning is important. You cannot simply give away your valuables and home contents to relatives and friends, expecting to hide them. In bankruptcy, people can keep most of their possessions, but full disclosure about your assets and any transfers must be made. We will be able to counsel you regarding allowable and prohibited transfers as well as property that is exempt from the claims of your bankruptcy trustee.

Allowable bankruptcy planning can protect some of your assets.

Understand that your credit score is probably already damaged. While a bankruptcy filing will have an adverse effect on your credit, you will be able to rebuild your credit faster than you may think. More importantly, the discharge of your debts will allow you to build a better future.

Once your bankruptcy petition is filed, all the collection phone calls and letters will stop, allowing you to regain your peace of mind.

Try to make peace with your situation. The federal bankruptcy laws exist to allow honest people to get a fresh start.

April 1st, 2020

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March 26th, 2020

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Attorney Bob Man helped break down the legal language for ABC15 with regards to the ‘6-Day Law’ on pet ownership in Arizona.

January 19th, 2018

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We all know that when leaving the safe confines of our Arizona existence for international travel to a place such as London, we can expect some minor differences.

As between Arizona and England, the language is basically the same, although (depending on whom you ask) one side speaks with an accent. Some words mean different things – such as the soccer / football, boot / bonnet, and trunk / hood debates. And cars are driven on different sides of the roads.

But what of the attorney whose business client is leaving the safety and comfort of Arizona for the unknown of international arbitration in London?

As in Arizona, there are different ways to participate in a London arbitration, which are guided by the contractual agreement calling for disputes to be handled in this manner. The parties can find their own private arbitrators. Or they can look for the assistance of organizations whose purpose is to handle arbitrations and have extensive rules in place to allow for the experience.

Many business contracts here in Arizona and throughout the United States of America provide for arbitration, often (but certainly not always) through the American Arbitration Association (or, “AAA”). In international transactions, many agreements will cite London as the location for arbitration, and in particular The London Court of International Arbitration (or, “LCIA”) as the entity for use in international arbitration. Although considered by many to be a leader in international arbitrations, LCIA certainly is not alone. AAA, for example, created its own international arbitration commission in the 1990s. And although London might be the arbitration location cited in an agreement, LCIA proceedings can be conducted throughout the world.

Although separated by an ocean and much of a continent, the differences between AAA and LCIA are so minimal as to provide comfort to those who are familiar with one but not the other. Both have been around long enough to pretty much get things right. LCIA came into existence in the 1890s, with AAA following thereafter in the 1920s with the merger of two arbitration organizations.

The starting point for any arbitration is the agreement calling for such alternative dispute resolution. LCIA’s recommended contract alternative dispute resolution language looks familiar to anyone who has included arbitration clauses in a domestic business agreement.

“Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this contract, including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the LCIA Rules, which Rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause. The number of arbitrators shall be [one/three]. The seat, or legal place, of arbitration shall be [City and/or Country]. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be [ ]. The governing law of the contract shall be the substantive law of [ ].”

Once LCIA is the agreed-upon source of the tribunal, it is – as with a AAA arbitration proceeding – mainly a matter of following LCIA’s rules. The rules are straightforward, and the LCIA’s administrators are incredibly responsive. As with AAA, the parties have options as to how to select arbitrators, submit position statements if they choose, are given an expedited path to resolution (when compared to typical civil litigation), and participate in an evidentiary hearing.

So as it turns out, it does not matter which side you drive on, so long as you obey the rules of the road.

August 10th, 2017

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As Arizona’s crushing summer heat once again sets multiple records, there tends to rise a chorus of those who would like to see a “Stupid Hiker Law,” modeled after Arizona’s well-known “Stupid Motorist Law.” The refrain this year is not as loud, due to the fact that, thankfully, there has not been recent publicity surrounding any heat-related rescues. But the murmur remains.

August 2nd, 2017

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Attorney Bob Man spoke to 12News about the Revenge Porn laws in Arizona.

July 12th, 2017

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Attorney Bob Man talked to 12News about the laws surrounding fireworks in Arizona.

July 6th, 2017

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High summertime temperatures in Arizona reach close to or above 120 degrees leaving the many popular hiking trails a chance to become dangerous or even deadly. With over 200 hiking rescues each of the last few years, and nearly 300 in 2016, the Stupid Hiker Law has been discussed by city officials, but has yet to be put into effect.

July 6th, 2017

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Arizonans experience the extreme heat every summer, with temperatures crawling towards 120 degrees.

Yet, the Phoenix hiking trails remain open.

While hiking is popular in the Valley, trails can be dangerous, even deadly, when it comes to extreme heat.

Arizona has the “Stupid Driver Law,” but why hasn’t there been a “Stupid Hiker Law?”

June 21st, 2017

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