APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION
532 N.E.2d 366, 177 Ill. App. 3d 414, 126 Ill. Dec. 681 1988.IL.1786
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Roger J. Kiley, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court. BILANDIC and EGAN, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARTMAN
This appeal emanates from a circuit court order denying a petition to stay arbitration.
Petitioner Geldermann Securities, Inc. , a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois, is involved in the business of clearing market makers, providing clearing and floor brokerage services, and other activities in connection with the purchase and sale of equity stock options and index options traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange . Petitioner Geldermann, Inc. (Geldermann), an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, owns all the capital stock of GSI and directly or indirectly controls most of GSI's operations.
Respondents James Stathis and John Martorello are the owners and officers of GRK-JNO Investments, Inc., an Illinois corporation, which provides floor brokerage services at the CBOE, with which it is a registered member firm.
In the spring of 1986, Geldermann and Stathis began negotiations which culminated in a written agreement dated December 24, 1986 (the December Agreement), wherein Stathis agreed to manage certain "Profit Centers" for GSI, involving floor brokerage and clearing services at the CBOE. Geldermann formed GSI for the purpose of implementing the provisions of the December Agreement.
The December Agreement contains 22 paragraphs, two of which are relevant to this case. Paragraph 14 provides:
"14. Compliance. Both parties agree to comply with all Exchange Rules, Securities and Exchange Commission Rules, and applicable state and federal law."
"22. Relevant Law. This Agreement shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois. The parties agree that venue for any action hereunder shall lie exclusively with any State of [ sic ] Federal Court of competent jurisdiction situated in Cook County, Illinois."
On June 24, 1987, Geldermann and GSI entered into a one-page memorandum agreement with Stathis and Martorello for the operation of a new "profit center" of GSI, involving public customer business at the CBOE. A dispute developed between the parties regarding each other's performance under the terms of the December Agreement. On January 12, 1988, Stathis notified Geldermann and GSI by letter that he would ...