THIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (this Agreement) is made this 17 day of November, 2004 (the Effective Date), by and between Tumi, Inc., a New Jersey corporation (the Company), and Alan Krantzler (Executive).
In consideration of the mutual covenants contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the Company and Executive, intending to be legally bound, hereby agree as follows:
1. Employment. The Company agrees to employ Executive, and Executive accepts such employment, upon the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement, for the period beginning on the Effective Date and ending upon Executives separation pursuant to Section 4 hereof (the Employment Period).
2. Position and Duties.
(a) During the Employment Period, Executive shall serve as the Vice President, Product Management of the Company and shall have the normal duties, responsibilities, functions and authority of such position, subject to the powers of the Companys board of directors (the Board) to expand or limit such duties, responsibilities, functions and authority and to override actions of officers of the Company.
(b) During the Employment Period, Executive shall report to the President or the person or persons designated by the President, and shall devote Executives best efforts and Executives full business time and attention (except for permitted vacation periods and reasonable periods of illness or other incapacity) to the business and affairs of the Company. Executive shall perform Executives duties, responsibilities and functions to the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affliliated companies of the Company) hereunder to the best of Executives abilities and in a diligent, trustworthy, businesslike and efficient manner.
3. Compensation, Benefits and Bonuses.
(a) Commencing on the Effective Date, Executives base salary shall be $205,000.00 per annum (as adjusted from time to time as the Board may determine). The Executives Base Salary shall be payable by the Company in regular installments in accordance with the Companys general payroll practices; provided, however, that Executives Base Salary for any partial year shall be pro rated based upon the number of days elapsed in such year.
(b) During the Employment Period, the Company shall reimburse Executive for all reasonable expenses incurred by Executive in the course of performing Executives duties and responsibilities under this Agreement which are consistent with the Companys policies in effect from time to time with respect to travel, entertainment and other business expenses, subject to the Companys requirements with respect to reporting and documentation of such expenses.
(c) In addition to the Base Salary, Executive will be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 35% of Executives Base Salary, which annual bonus shall be determined in the discretion of the Board based upon Executives performance and the Companys achievement of budgetary and other objectives set by the Board. In addition, during the Employment Period, Executive shall be entitled to (i) such other benefits approved by the Board (to be set forth on Schedule 1 hereto, as amended from time to time) and/or made available generally to the Companys senior management, in each case consistent with the coverage provided to Executive as of the Effective Date, and (ii) such other benefits that the Company provides, generally, to or for the benefit of the Companys employees (including, without limitation, medical and hospitalization insurance coverage, participation in the Companys 401(k) retirement plan, and so forth), subject to the eligibility and participation requirements of applicable plans.
(d) All amounts payable to Executive as compensation hereunder shall be subject to all required withholding by the Company.
4. Term: Severance.
(a) The Employment Period shall continue until a Separation, which shall mean the date of any of the following events: (i) Executives resignation, death or disability (as determined in good faith by the Board) or (ii) the Boards termination of the Employment Period at any time, with or without Cause, as hereinafter defined. Except as otherwise provided herein, any termination of the Employment Period by the Board shall be effective as specified in a written notice from the Board to Executive.
(b) In the event that the Company terminates Executives employment without Cause, the Company shall continue to pay to Executive (consistent with past payroll practices) Executives Base Salary during the Severance Period, as hereinafter defined, provided, however, that Executive has executed and delivered to the Company a General Release, in form and substance substantially similar to Exhibit A attached hereto, and provided further that such payments shall continue only for so long as Executive has not breached any provision of Section 5, Section 6 or Section 7 hereof. In addition, in the event that the Company terminates Executives employment without Cause, the Company shall pay, during the Severance Period, the premiums for Executives continuing medical/hospitalization insurance provided under the Companys medical/hospitalization insurance plan pursuant to the federal legislation known as COBRA, on the same basis as the Company paid such premiums prior to the Separation; provided, however, that Executive shall make a COBRA election in accordance with the said plan, the Company continues to provide coverage under the plan to the Companys employees generally, and the Executive continues to be eligible for continuation coverage under the said plan pursuant to COBRA and the terms of the plan. The Severance Period shall commence as of the day after the Separation, and shall be a period of the lesser of (i) twelve (12) months or (ii) the sum of three (3) months, plus one month for every full calendar year of Executives employment with the Company Executives employment with the Company.
(c) In the event Executive ceases to be employed by the Company for any reason other than a termination by the Company without Cause, Executive shall only be entitled to receive Executives Base Salary through the date on which the Employment Period terminates, and Executive shall not be entitled to any other salary, compensation or benefits from the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company).
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(d) Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, all of Executives rights to salary, bonuses, fringe benefits and other compensation hereunder which accrue or become payable after the termination of the Employment Period shall cease upon such termination (other than those expressly required under applicable law, such as COBRA). The Company may offset any amounts Executive owes the Company and/or Tumi, Inc. against any amounts the Company owes Executive hereunder.
(e) For purposes of this Agreement, Cause shall mean (i) the commission of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or the commission of any other act or omission involving dishonesty or fraud with respect to the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company) or any of its or their customers or suppliers, (ii) conduct tending to bring the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company) into substantial public disgrace or disrepute, (iii) substantial and repeated failure to perform the duties of the office held by Executive as reasonably directed by the Board, (iv) gross negligence or willful misconduct with respect to the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company), (v) any material breach of Section 2(b) of this Agreement that is not cured within 10 days after the Company delivers written notice of such breach to Executive, and/or (vi) any breach of Section 5, Section 6 and/or Section 7 of this Agreement.
5. Confidential Information. Executive acknowledges that the information, observations and data (including trade secrets) obtained by Executive while employed by the Company and/or Tumi, Inc. (including those obtained by Executive while employed by Tumi, Inc. prior to the date of this Agreement) concerning the business or affairs of the Company and its affiliates (Confidential Information) are the property of the Company and its affiliates. Therefore, Executive agrees that he shall not disclose to any unauthorized person or use for Executives own purposes any Confidential Information without the prior written consent of the Board, unless and to the extent that the Confidential Information becomes generally known to and available for use by the public other than as a result of Executives acts or omissions. Executive shall deliver to the Company at the termination of the Employment Period, or at any other time the Company may request, all memoranda, notes, plans, records, reports, computer tapes, printouts and software and other documents and data (and copies thereof) embodying or relating to the Confidential Information, Work Product (as defined below) or the business of the Company or its affiliates which he may then possess or have under Executives control.
6. Inventions and Patents. Executive acknowledges that all inventions, innovations, improvements, developments, methods, designs, analyses, drawings, reports and all similar or related information (whether or not patentable) which relate to the Companys or any of its affiliates actual or anticipated business, research and development or existing or future products or services and which are conceived, developed or made by Executive while employed by the Company and its affiliates (Work Product) belong to the Company or such affiliate. Executive shall promptly disclose such Work Product to the Board and, at the Companys expense, perform all actions reasonably requested by the Board (whether during or after the Employment Period) to establish and confirm such ownership (including, without limitation, assignments, consents, powers of attorney and other instruments).
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7. Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation. In further consideration of the compensation to be paid to Executive hereunder, Executive acknowledges that in the course of Executives employment with the Company he shall become familiar with the trade secrets of the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company) and with other Confidential Information concerning the Company (and/or to the Companys parent and any subsidiaries and affiliated companies of the Company), and that Executives services have been and shall be of special, unique and extraordinary value to the Company. Therefore, Executive agrees that:
(a) during the Employment Period and during either (i) the Severance Period, if Section 4(b) shall apply, or (ii) the twelve (12) month period commencing on the day after a Separation, if Section 4(b) shall not apply, as the case may be, Executive shall not, within the United States, directly or indirectly own, manage, control, participate in, consult with, render services for, or in any manner engage in any business competing with the businesses of the Company or its Subsidiaries or any business in which the Company or any of its Subsidiaries has entertained discussions or has requested and received information relating to the acquisition of such business by the Company and the Subsidiaries prior to the Separation;
(b) during the Employment Period and for a period of one (1) year thereafter, Executive shall not directly or indirectly through another entity (i) induce or attempt to induce any employee of the Company or its Subsidiaries to leave the employ of the Company or such Subsidiary, or in any way interfere with the relationship between the Company and any Subsidiary and any employee thereof, (ii) hire any person who was an employee of the Company or any Subsidiary within 180 days prior to the time such employee was hired by Executive, (iii) induce or attempt to induce any customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company or any Subsidiary to cease doing business with the Company or such Subsidiary or in any way interfere with the relationship between any such customer, supplier, licensee or business relation and the Company or any Subsidiary or (iv) directly or indirectly acquire or attempt to acquire an interest in any business relating to the business of the Company or any Subsidiary and with which the Company and any Subsidiary has entertained discussions or has requested and received information relating to the acquisition of such business by the Company or any Subsidiary in the two-year period immediately preceding the Separation;
(c) if, at the time of enforcement of this Section 7, a court shall hold that the duration, scope or area restrictions stated herein are unreasonable under circumstances then existing, the parties agree that the maximum duration, scope or area reasonable under such circumstances shall be substituted for the stated duration, scope or area and that the court shall be allowed to revise the restrictions contained herein to cover the maximum period, scope and area permitted by law;
(d) in the event of the breach or a threatened breach by Executive of any of the provisions of this Section 7, the Company and its affiliates, in addition and supplementary to other rights and remedies existing in their favor, shall be entitled to specific performance and/or injunctive or other equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in order to enforce or
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prevent any violations of the provisions hereof (without posting a bond or other security). In addition, Executive agrees that, in the event of an alleged breach or violation by Executive of this Section 7, the applicable period shall be tolled until such breach or violation has been duly cured; and
(e) the provisions of this Section 7 are in consideration of: (i) employment with the Company and (ii) additional good and valuable consideration as set forth in this Agreement. In addition, Executive agrees and acknowledges that the restrictions contained in Section 5, Section 6 and this Section 7 do not preclude Executive from earning a livelihood, nor do they unreasonably impose limitations on Executives ability to earn a living. In addition, Executive agrees and acknowledges that the potential harm to the Company of the nonenforcement of Section 5, Section 6 and/or this Section 7 outweighs any potential harm to Executive of its enforcement by injunction or otherwise. In addition, Executive acknowledges that he has carefully read this Agreement and has given careful consideration to the restraints imposed upon Executive by this Agreement and is in full accord as to their necessity for the reasonable and proper protection of confidential and proprietary information of the Company now existing or to be developed in the future. Executive expressly acknowledges and agrees that each and every restraint imposed by this Agreement is reasonable with respect to subject matter, time period and geographical area.
8. Executives Representations. Executive hereby represents and warrants to the Company that (i) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by Executive do not and shall not conflict with, breach, violate or cause a default under any contract, agreement, instrument, order, judgment or decree to which Executive is a party or by which he is bound, (ii) Executive is not a party to or bound by any employment agreement, noncompete agreement, confidentiality agreement or any similar agreement with any other person or entity and (iii) upon the execution and delivery of this Agreement by the Company, this Agreement shall be the valid and binding obligation of Executive, enforceable in accordance with its terms. Executive hereby acknowledges and represents that he has consulted with independent legal counsel regarding Executives rights and obligations under this Agreement and that he fully understands the terms and conditions contained herein.
9. Survival. Sections 4 through 18 (inclusive) shall survive and continue in full force in accordance with their terms notwithstanding the termination of the Employment Period.
10. Notices. Any notice provided for in this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be either personally delivered, sent by reputable overnight courier service or mailed by first class mail, return receipt requested, to the recipient at the address below indicated:
Notice to Executive:
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with a copy to:
Notice to the Company:
|1001 Durham Avenue|
|South Plainfield, NJ 07080|
with a copy to:
|Steven A. Holt, Esq.|
|1120 Route 22 East|
or such other address or to the attention of such other person as the recipient party shall have specified by prior written notice to the sending party. Any notice under this Agreement shall be deemed to have been given when so delivered, sent or mailed.
11. Severability. Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement shall be interpreted in such manner as to be effective and valid under applicable law, but if any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect under any applicable law or rule in any jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision or any action in any other jurisdiction, but this Agreement shall be reformed, construed and enforced in such jurisdiction as if such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.
12. Complete Agreement. This Agreement, those documents expressly referred to herein and other documents of even date herewith embody the complete agreement and understanding among the parties and supersede and preempt any prior understandings, agreements or representations by or among the parties, written or oral, which may have related to the subject matter hereof in any way (including, without limitation, any and all agreements between Executive and Tumi, Inc. dated prior to the date hereof).
13. No Strict Construction. The language used in this Agreement shall be deemed to be the language chosen by the parties hereto to express their mutual intent, and no rule of strict construction shall be applied against any party.
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14. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in separate counterparts, each of which is deemed to be an original and all of which taken together constitute one and the same agreement.
15. Successors and Assigns. This Agreement is intended to bind and inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by Executive and the Company and their respective heirs, successors and assigns, except that Executive may not assign Executives rights or delegate Executives duties or obligations hereunder without the prior written consent of the Company.
16. Choice of Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, enforcement and interpretation of this Agreement and the exhibits and schedules hereto shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New Jersey.
17. Amendment and Waiver. The provisions of this Agreement may be amended or waived only with the prior written consent of the Company (as approved by the Board), its successors and assignees, and Executive, and no course of conduct or course of dealing or failure or delay by any party hereto in enforcing or exercising any of the provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, the Companys right to terminate the Employment Period for Cause) shall affect the validity, binding effect or enforceability of this Agreement or be deemed to be an implied waiver of any provision of this Agreement.
18. Arbitration. Except with respect to any dispute or claim under Section 5, Section 6 or Section 7 hereof (which may be pursued in any court of competent jurisdiction as specified below and with respect to which each party shall bear the cost of its own attorneys fees and expenses except as otherwise required by applicable law), each party hereto agrees that the arbitration procedure set forth in Exhibit B hereto shall be the sole and exclusive method for resolving any claim or dispute (Claim) arising out of or relating to the rights and obligations acknowledged and agreed to in this Agreement and the employment of Executive by the Company and its affiliates (including, without limitation, disputes and claims regarding employment discrimination, sexual harassment, termination and discharge), whether such Claim arose or the facts on which such Claim is based occurred prior to or after the execution and delivery of this Agreement. The parties agree that the result of any arbitration hereunder shall be final, conclusive and binding on all of the parties hereto. Nothing in this Section 18 shall prohibit a party hereto from instituting litigation to enforce any Final Determination (as defined in Exhibit B hereto). Each party hereto hereby irrevocably submits to the jurisdiction of any United States District Court or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Newark, New Jersey, and agrees that such court shall be the exclusive forum with respect to any dispute or claim under Section 5, Section 6 or Section 7 hereof and for the enforcement of any Final Determination. Each party hereto irrevocably consents to service of process by registered mail or personal service and waives any objection on the grounds of personal jurisdiction, venue or inconvenience of the forum. Each party hereto further agrees that each other party hereto may initiate litigation in any court of competent jurisdiction to execute any judicial judgment enforcing a Final Determination.
* * * * *
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Employment Agreement as of the date first written above.
I, Alan Krantzler, in consideration of and subject to the performance by Tumi Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation (together with its affiliates, the Company), of its material obligations under the Employment Agreement, dated as of , 2004 (the Agreement), do hereby release and forever discharge as of the date hereof the Company and all present and former directors, officers, agents, representatives, employees, successors and assigns of the Company and its direct or indirect owners (collectively, the Released Parties) to the extent provided below.
|1.||I understand that any payments or benefits paid or granted to me under Section 4(b) of the Agreement represent, in part, consideration for signing this General Release and are not salary, wages or benefits to which I was already entitled. I understand and agree that I will not receive the payments and benefits specified in paragraph 4(b) or 4(c) of the Agreement unless I execute this General Release and do not revoke this General Release within the time period permitted hereafter or breach this General Release.|
|2.||Except as provided in paragraph 4 below, I knowingly and voluntarily release and forever discharge the Company and the other Released Parties from any and all claims, controversies, actions, causes of action, cross-claims, counter-claims, demands, debts, compensatory damages, liquidated damages, punitive or exemplary damages, other damages, claims for costs and attorneys fees, or liabilities of any nature whatsoever in law and in equity, both past and present (through the date of this General Release) and whether known or unknown, suspected, or claimed against the Company or any of the Released Parties which I, my spouse, or any of my heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, may have, which arise out of or are connected with my employment with, or my separation from, the Company (including, but not limited to, any allegation, claim or violation, arising under: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Civil Rights Act of 1991; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (including the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act); the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended; the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act; the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974; any applicable Executive Order Programs; the Fair Labor Standards Act; or their state or local counterparts; or under any other federal, state or local civil or human rights law, or any other federal or state law which regulates or otherwise applies to employment, including the New Jersey Conscientious Protection Act, or under any other local, state, or federal law, regulation or ordinance; or under any public policy, contract or tort, or under common law; or arising under any policies, practices or procedures of the Company; or any claim for wrongful discharge, breach of contract, infliction of emotional distress, defamation; or any claim for costs, fees, or other expenses, including attorneys fees incurred in these matters) (all of the foregoing collectively referred to herein as the Claims).|
|3.||I represent that I have made no assignment or transfer of any right, claim, demand, cause of action or other matter covered by paragraph 2 above.|
|4.||I agree that this General Release does not waive or release any rights or claims that I may have under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 which arise after the date I execute this General Release. I acknowledge and agree that my separation from employment with the Company in compliance with the terms of the Agreement shall not serve as the basis for any federal or state claim or action (including, without limitation, any claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967).|
|5.||In signing this General Release, I acknowledge and intend that it shall be effective as a bar to each and every one of the Claims hereinabove mentioned or implied. I expressly consent that this General Release shall be given full force and effect according to each and all of its express terms and provisions, including those relating to unknown and unsuspected Claims (notwithstanding any state statute that expressly limits the effectiveness of a general release of unknown, unsuspected and unanticipated Claims), if any, as well as those relating to any other Claims hereinabove mentioned or implied. I acknowledge and agree that this waiver is an essential and material term of this General Release and that without such waiver the Company would not have agreed to the terms of the Agreement. I further agree that in the event I should bring a Claim seeking damages against the Company, or in the event I should seek to recover against the Company in any Claim brought by a governmental agency on my behalf, this General Release shall serve as a complete defense to such Claims. I further agree that I am not aware of any pending charge or complaint of the type described in paragraph 2 hereof as of the execution of this General Release.|
|6.||I agree that neither this General Release, nor the furnishing of the consideration for this General Release, shall be deemed or construed at any time to be an admission by the Company, any Released Party or myself of any improper or unlawful conduct.|
|7.||I agree that I will forfeit all amounts payable by the Company pursuant to the Agreement if I challenge the validity of this General Release. I also agree that if I violate this General Release by suing the Company or the other Released Parties, I will pay all costs and expenses of defending against the suit incurred by the Released Parties, including reasonable attorneys fees, and return all payments received by me pursuant to the Agreement.|
|8.||I agree that this General Release is confidential and agree not to disclose any information regarding the terms of this General Release, except to my immediate family and any tax, legal or other counsel I have consulted regarding the meaning or effect hereof or as required by law, and I will instruct each of the foregoing not to disclose the same to anyone.|
|9.||Any non-disclosure provision in this General Release does not prohibit or restrict me (or my attorney) from responding to any inquiry about this General Release or its underlying facts and circumstances by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), any other self-regulatory organization or governmental entity.|
|10.||I agree to reasonably cooperate with the Company in any internal investigation or administrative, regulatory or judicial proceeding. I understand and agree that my cooperation may include, but not be limited to, making myself available to the Company upon reasonable notice for interviews and factual investigations; appearing at the Companys request to give testimony without requiring service of a subpoena or other legal process; volunteering to the Company pertinent information; and turning over to the Company all relevant documents which are or may come into my possession all at times and on schedules that are reasonably consistent with my other permitted activities and commitments. I understand that in the event the Company asks for my cooperation in accordance with this provision, the Company will reimburse me solely for reasonable travel expenses, including lodging and meals, upon my submission of receipts.|
|11.||Notwithstanding anything in this General Release to the contrary, this General Release shall not relinquish, diminish, or in any way affect any rights or claims arising out of any breach by the Company or by any Released Party of the Agreement.|
|12.||Whenever possible, each provision of this General Release shall be interpreted in, such manner as to be effective and valid under applicable law, but if any provision of this General Release is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect under any applicable law or rule in any jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision or any other jurisdiction, but this General Release shall be reformed, construed and enforced in such jurisdiction as if such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.|
BY SIGNING THIS GENERAL RELEASE, I REPRESENT AND AGREE THAT:
|1.||I HAVE READ IT CAREFULLY;|
|2.||I UNDERSTAND ALL OF ITS TERMS AND KNOW THAT I AM GIVING UP IMPORTANT RIGHTS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, RIGHTS UNDER THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967, AS AMENDED; TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED; THE EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1963; THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990; AND THE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT INCOME SECURITY ACT OF 1974, AS AMENDED;|
|3.||I VOLUNTARILY CONSENT TO EVERYTHING IN IT;|
|4.||I HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE EXECUTING IT AND HAVE DONE SO, OR, AFTER CAREFUL READING AND CONSIDERATION, I HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO DO SO OF MY OWN VOLITION;|
I HAVE HAD AT LEAST 21 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF MY RECEIPT OF THIS RELEASE SUBSTANTIALLY IN ITS FINAL FORM ON , 2004,
|TO CONSIDER IT, AND THE CHANGES MADE SINCE THE , 2004, VERSION OF THIS RELEASE ARE NOT MATERIAL AND WILL NOT RESTART THE REQUIRED 21-DAY PERIOD;|
|6.||THE CHANGES TO THE AGREEMENT SINCE , 2004, EITHER ARE NOT MATERIAL OR WERE MADE AT MY REQUEST.|
|7.||I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE EXECUTION OF THIS RELEASE TO REVOKE IT AND THAT THIS RELEASE SHALL NOT BECOME EFFECTIVE OR ENFORCEABLE UNTIL THE REVOCATION PERIOD HAS EXPIRED;|
|8.||I HAVE SIGNED THIS GENERAL RELEASE KNOWINGLY AND VOLUNTARILY AND WITH THE ADVICE OF ANY COUNSEL RETAINED TO ADVISE ME WITH RESPECT TO IT; AND|
|9.||I AGREE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS GENERAL RELEASE MAY NOT BE AMENDED, WAIVED, CHANGED OR MODIFIED EXCEPT BY AN INSTRUMENT IN WRITING SIGNED BY AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY AND BY ME.|
|10.||I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY FACT, EVENT OR CIRCUMSTANCE OF WHICH I AM NOT NOW PRESENTLY AWARE AND WHICH I SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME AWARE OF, WHICH RELATES TO OR INVOLVES IN ANY MANNER, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ANY ASPECT OF MY EMPLOYMENT AND TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT, WILL NOT IN ANY MANNER EFFECT THE FINALITY AND ENFORCEABILITY OF THIS GENERAL RELEASE BY THE COMPANY.|
1. Notice of Claim. A party asserting a Claim (the Claimant) shall deliver written notice to each party against whom the Claim is asserted (collectively, the Opposing Party), with a copy to the persons required to receive copies of notices under the Agreement (the Additional Notice Parties), specifying the nature of the Claim and requesting a meeting to resolve same. The Additional Notice Parties shall be given reasonable notice of and invited and permitted to attend any such meeting. If no resolution is reached within 10 business days after delivery of such notice, the Claimant or the Opposing Party may, within 45 days after giving such notice, invoke the arbitration procedure provided herein by delivering to each Opposing Party and the Additional Notice Parties a Notice of Arbitration, which shall specify the Claim as to which arbitration is sought, the nature of the Claim, the basis for the Claim, and the nature and amount of any damages or other compensation or relief sought (a Notice of Arbitration). Each party agrees that no punitive damages may be sought or recovered in any arbitration, judicial proceeding or otherwise. Failure to file a Notice of Arbitration within 45 days shall constitute a waiver of any right to relief for the matters asserted in the notice of claim. Any Claim shall be forever barred, and no relief may be sought therefor, if written notice of such Claim is not made as provided above within one year of the date such claim accrues.
2. Selection of Arbitrator. Within 20 business days after receipt of the Notice of Arbitration, the Executive and the Board shall meet and attempt to agree on an arbitrator to hear and decide the Claim. If the Executive and the Board cannot agree on an arbitrator within ten business days, then they shall request the American Arbitration Association (the AAA) in Newark, New Jersey to appoint an arbitrator experienced in the area of dispute who does not have an ongoing business relationship with any of the parties to the dispute. If the arbitrator selected informs the parties he cannot hear and resolve the Claim within the time-frame specified below, the Executive and the Board shall request the appointment of another arbitrator by the AAA subject to the same requirements.
3. Arbitration Procedure. The following procedures shall govern the conduct of any arbitration under this section. All procedural matters relating to the conduct of the arbitration other than those specified below shall be discussed among counsel for the parties and the arbitrator. Subject to any agreement of the parties, the arbitrator shall determine all procedural matters not specified herein.
(a) Within 30 days after the delivery of a Notice of Arbitration, each party shall afford the other, or its counsel, with reasonable access to documents relating directly to the issues raised in the Notice of Arbitration. All documents produced and all copies thereof shall be maintained as strictly confidential, shall be used for no purpose other than the arbitration hereunder, and shall be returned to the producing party upon completion of the arbitration. There shall be no other discovery except that, if a reasonable need is shown, limited depositions may be allowed in the discretion of the arbitrator, it being the expressed intention and agreement of each party to have the arbitration proceedings conducted and resolved as expeditiously, economically and fairly as reasonably practicable, and with the maximum degree of confidentiality.
(b) All written communications regarding the proceeding sent to the arbitrator shall be sent simultaneously to each party or its counsel, with a copy to the Additional Notice Parties, Oral communications between any of the parties or their counsel and the arbitrator shall be conducted only when all parties or their counsel are present and participating in the conversation.
(c) Within 20 days after selection of the arbitrator, the Claimant shall submit to the arbitrator a copy of the Notice of Arbitration, along with a supporting memorandum and any exhibits or other documents supporting the Claim.
(d) Within 20 days after receipt of the Claimants submission, the Opposing Party shall submit to the arbitrator a memorandum supporting its position and any exhibits or other supporting documents. If the Opposing Party fails to respond to any of the issues raised by the Claimant within 20 days of receipt of the Claimants submission, then the arbitrator may find for the Claimant on any such issue and bar any subsequent consideration of the matter.
(e) Within 20 days after receipt of the Opposing Partys response, the Claimant may submit to the arbitrator a reply to the Opposing Partys response, or notification that no reply is forthcoming.
(f) No later then twenty (20) days prior to the hearing date scheduled by the arbitrator each party shall provide the other, and the arbitrator, with a list and copies of the documents upon which they may rely and/or submit as exhibits at the hearing and a list of the witnesses they may present, with a reasonably detailed summary of the testimony that each witness may give.
(g) Within 10 days after the last submission as provided above, the arbitrator shall notify the parties and the Additional Notice Parties of the date of the hearing on the issues raised by the Claim. Scheduling of the hearing shall be within the sole discretion of the arbitrator, but in no event more than 30 days after the last submission by the parties, and shall take place within 50 miles of the corporate headquarters of the Company at a place selected by the arbitrator or such other place as is mutually agreed. Both parties shall be granted substantially equal time to present evidence at the hearing. The hearing shall not exceed one business day, except for good cause shown.
(h) Within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator shall issue a written decision to be delivered to both parties and the Additional Notice Parties (the Final Determination). The Final Determination shall address each issue disputed by the parties, state the arbitrators findings and reasons therefor, and state the nature and amount of any damages, compensation or other relief awarded.
(i) The award rendered by the arbitrator shall be final and non-appealable, except as otherwise provided under the applicable Arbitration Act, and judgment may be entered upon it in accordance with applicable law in such court as has jurisdiction thereof.
4. Costs of Arbitration. As part of the Final Determination, the arbitrator shall determine the allocation of the costs and expenses of the arbitration, including the arbitrators fee and both parties attorneys fees and expenses, based upon the extent to which
each party prevailed in the arbitration. In the event that any relief which is awarded is nonmonetary, then such costs and expenses shall be allocated in any manner as may be determined by the arbitrators.
5. Satisfaction of Award. If any party fails to pay the amount of the award, if any, assessed against it within 30 days after the delivery to such party of the Final Determination, the unpaid amount shall bear interest from the date of such delivery at the lesser of (i) prime lending rate announced by Citibank N.A. plus three hundred basis points and (ii) the maximum rate permitted by applicable usury laws. In addition, such party shall promptly reimburse the other party for any and all costs or expenses of any nature or kind whatsoever (including attorneys fees) reasonably incurred in seeking to collect such award or to enforce any Final Determination.
6. Confidentiality of Proceedings. The parties hereto agree that all of the arbitration proceedings provided for herein, including any notice of claim, the Notice of Arbitration, the submissions of the parties, and the Final Determination issued by the arbitrator, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed at any time to any person other than the parties, their representatives, the arbitrator and the Additional Notice Parties; provided, however, that this provision shall not prevent the party prevailing in the arbitration from submitting the Final Determination to a court for the purpose of enforcing the award, subject to comparable confidentiality protections if the court agrees; and further provided that the foregoing shall not prohibit disclosure to the minimum extent reasonably necessary to comply with (i) applicable law (or requirement having the force of law), court order, judgment or decree, including, without limitation, disclosures which may be required pursuant to applicable securities laws, and (ii) the terms of contractual arrangements (such as financing arrangements) to which the Company or any Additional Notice Party may be subject so long as such contractual arrangements were not entered into for the primary purpose of permitting disclosure which would otherwise be prohibited hereunder.