Ultra Resources, Inc. v. McMurry Energy Co

In Ultra Resources, Inc. v. McMurry Energy Co., 99 P.3d 959 (Wyo. 2004), appellant challenged the district court's confirmation of an arbitration award where the district court held that: (1) the parties had agreed, in a settlement agreement, that the outcome of the arbitration would be binding and non-appealable; (2) the appellant had failed to prove the merits of its arguments in favor of vacating the award. On appeal, the appellant designated for review only the merits of the decision not to vacate. Id. The Court held that: Rule 7.01 of the Wyoming Rules of Appellate Procedure requires an appellant to include in its opening brief a statement of the issues presented for review. W.R.A.P. 7.01(d). Rule 7.01(f), W.R.A.P., requires an appellant to present argument on every issue it is requesting this Court to review on appeal. . . . Presenting argument in a reply brief is not equivalent to framing the issues in an opening brief. A reply brief is not a second chance to raise an issue or present argument that the appellant had the responsibility, but failed, to address in its opening brief. . . . Since Ultra failed in its opening brief to designate or argue the issue of the propriety of the holding by the district court that it contractually waived its right to seek judicial review of the arbitration award, the holding is uncontested. The points presented in this court on behalf of the plaintiff in error are very limited and it is, of course, elementary that points not urged in this court are deemed to be waived. Ultra's opening brief raises no issue that would support reversal of the district court order. Ultra's issue regarding the merits of its motion to vacate the arbitration award is moot. (Ultra Resources, 11, 13, 99 P.3d at 962-64.)