On December 19, 2014, United States District Judge Jack B. Weinstein rejected all the claims brought by Haiti’s first cellular telephone company (Haiti Telecommunications International S.A., a/k/a HAITEL) and its founder Franck Cine, against Madsen Law P.C.’s client, the Haitian national telecom provider Les Télécommunications d’Haiti S.A.M. (a/k/a TELECO).
In Teleco v. Cine, No. 13 Civ. 6462 (JBW) (E.D.N.Y.), Cine and HAITEL alleged that TELECO had used its influence as a government-controlled entity in Haiti and conspired with Haitian authorities to “extort … licensing fees from Haitel” and ultimately drive the cellular telephone giant out of business. Cine and HAITEL sought an award of more than US$ 240 million, representing the value of Cine and HAITEL’s assets, all of which have been seized in on-going bankruptcy proceedings in Haiti.
Represented by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Guy A. Lewis of the law firm LEWIS TEIN PL, Cine and HAITEL sought an order compelling TELECO to arbitrate their claims in Bermuda in accordance with an agreement that was signed by the parties in 1998. TELECO, represented by Madsen Law P.C., countered that the arbitration agreement was null and void because the agreement had been signed without any involvement from TELECO’s board of directors.
Following a two-day bench trial, Judge Weinstein agreed with TELECO and issued a sweeping 19-page decision, ruling that TELECO had no obligation to submit to arbitration because the parties’ agreement was invalid. Applying Haitian law, Judge Weinstein found that TELECO had proven its case “by clear and convincing evidence” and that “Haitel has no right to arbitrate disputes it has with Teleco.”
For more details on the case, you may want to read the following: