Commercial Contracts

  • October 30, 2014

    Charles Schwab Sues Law Firm Over 'Defamatory' Website

    Charles Schwab Corp.'s founder and his son sued a Beverly Hills law firm and one of its clients Thursday in California state court, accusing them of creating a website associating them with an infamous Indonesian dictator in order to gain an advantage in another suit over a real estate investment venture.

  • October 30, 2014

    Fry’s Tells Calif. Panel Concepcion Requires OT Arbitration

    Fry's Electronics Inc. urged a California appellate panel Thursday to send to arbitration a putative class alleging the retailer violated wage and hour laws, saying a lower court erroneously ruled its arbitration contract was unconscionable and unenforceable by applying outdated case law superseded by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011 Concepcion decision.

  • October 30, 2014

    6th Circ. Says Manufactured Homes Aren't Consumer Product

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday overturned a lower court’s decision that CMH Homes Inc. violated federal warranty law by improperly installing a customer’s premade home, saying that a manufactured home is not a consumer product covered by federal regulation.

  • October 30, 2014

    NJ Court Boots Atty From Derivative Suit Due To Conflict

    Fleischer Fleischer & Suglia and one of its partners were disqualified from a derivative shareholder suit accusing an insurance brokerage of defaulting on loans, according to a New Jersey Superior Court order filed last week, due to the firm's past representation of the brokerage.

  • October 30, 2014

    Title Ruling Can't Alter Gas Lease, Pa. Justices Told

    An Anadarko Petroleum Corp. unit has urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to uphold a decision finding that a gas lease agreement it inked with a Tioga County couple in 2006 remains valid as originally drafted despite the subsequent discovery of a deed restriction requiring legal action to resolve.

  • October 30, 2014

    Judge Demands NFL Union's Input In Players' Painkiller Case

    The California federal judge presiding over former National Football League players' class action claiming the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers demanded input from the players union Thursday, saying he can't decide whether to toss the case without first learning whether the players exhausted their union grievance opportunities.

  • October 30, 2014

    3 Tips For Keeping Noncompetes In Check

    Reports that sandwich chain Jimmy John's requires low-level workers to sign noncompete agreements have prompted media and congressional criticism, and attorneys say the situation shows the downsides of a one-size-fits-all approach to restrictive covenants. Here, attorneys offer advice on how to keep a noncompete from going too far.

  • October 30, 2014

    Devon Energy's Oil Deed Suit Stays Dead In Texas

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday refused to revive a Devon Energy Corp. unit’s suit over oil and gas assets in Louisiana, saying a trial judge had properly dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction and allowing KCS Resources LLC to pursue attorneys’ fees.

  • October 30, 2014

    Highmark Plan Doesn't Violate UPMC Deal, Pa. Court Finds

    A new Medicare product by Highmark Health that allegedly denies seniors in-network access to medical services at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is not in violation of an agreement with the hospital, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court said on Thursday.

  • October 30, 2014

    LA Beats Union Workers' Suit Over Pension Payment Hike

    A California appellate panel Wednesday tossed a putative class action brought by public workers who alleged the city of Los Angeles and their unions illegally increased their pension contributions to avert layoffs during a fiscal emergency, saying the employees' contracts were properly modified through a mutual agreement.

  • October 30, 2014

    11th Circ. Sends Trade Secret Dispute To Arbitration

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday sent to arbitration a dispute brought by U.S. Nutraceuticals LLC alleging that microalgae products maker Cyanotech Corp. breached an agreement by stealing confidential information.

  • October 30, 2014

    Judge Won't Block Sale Of Pa. Nissan Dealership

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined Wednesday to block the sale of a Nissan North America LLC dealership at the center of an antitrust lawsuit, ruling that the rebuffed would-be buyer had not proven the necessity of an injunction in his suit alleging price-fixing.

  • October 30, 2014

    KC And The Sunshine Band Don't Stop Copyright Suit

    A Florida judge on Wednesday allowed copyright and breach of contract claims against KC and the Sunshine Band by the estate of a former band member to go forward, while dismissing claims the band and its publishers breached fiduciary duty and misappropriated his image.

  • October 30, 2014

    GTAT Judge Intends To Unseal Records On Apple Spat

    The judge presiding over GT Advanced Technologies Inc.’s secretive bankruptcy on Thursday endangered a settlement of the contract dispute with Apple Inc. that destroyed GT's business, saying that a key document both companies want sealed should be made public.

  • October 30, 2014

    Gordon Ramsay Has Beef With Fraud Claims In Fat Cow Fight

    Lawyers for Gordon Ramsay told a Manhattan judge Thursday that fraud claims in a $10 million suit against the chef filed by the co-owner of their ill-fated Fat Cow Restaurant in Los Angeles are defective because plaintiff Rowen Seibel couldn't reasonably rely on Ramsey's allegedly duplicitous vows to pursue a viable trademark.

  • October 30, 2014

    Another Judge Nixes Stan Lee Media's Spider-Man Claims

    A second judge in as many days has rejected Stan Lee Media Inc.'s oft-asserted claim that it owns the rights to Spider-Man and other lucrative Marvel Comics characters created by its former president, booting the litigious company Thursday from a suit The Walt Disney Co. filed against a Pennsylvania theater.

  • October 29, 2014

    Nossaman Dodges Malpractice Suit In Hospital’s Leasing Row

    A California appeals court on Wednesday refused to revive a hospital operator’s suit accusing Nossaman LLP and an ex-partner of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty in a property lease dispute, ruling the claims are blocked by a one-year statute of limitations.

  • October 29, 2014

    Calif. Court Cites Iskanian, Sends OT Row To Arbitration

    A California appeals court on Wednesday sent to arbitration a class action accusing Fred Loya Insurance Agency Inc. of shorting employees on minimum wage and overtime pay, reversing a lower court’s refusal to do so following the California Supreme Court’s landmark Iskanian decision.

  • October 29, 2014

    Attys Flubbed Trial Against Doctors' Group, Ex-Client Claims

    A former client of Houston's Pendergraft & Simon LLP has sued two of the firm's lawyers for $3 million in a case that accuses the lawyers of a laundry list of alleged flubs in a dispute between a doctors' group and its former president and improperly advised the group to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

  • October 29, 2014

    Software Co. Says Rival Raided Staff, Stole Trade Secrets

    Risk management software company Reval.com Inc. slapped rival Kyriba Corp. with a $3.7 million suit in New York state court alleging it improperly sought to obtain an unfair competitive advantage by poaching employees and seeking out confidential trade secrets.

Expert Analysis

  • How To Manage Client Expectations During Litigation

    Mark E. Goodman

    Litigation is a fluid and amorphous process, subject to shifts in strategy based on constant flows of information and events, not the least of which are the reactions of opponents and those who don the black robes. If a client feels informed and part of the process, he or she will feel satisfied with services received — even if the result is not a good one, says Mark Goodman, co-chairman of Capes Sokol Goodman & Sarachan PC's litig... (continued)

  • Tips To Help Prevent Selective Rejection In Sale-Leasebacks

    Edward C. Prokop

    Buyer-landlords in multiproperty sale-leasebacks usually assume that the seller-tenant cannot selectively terminate sites from the lease, leaving the buyer-landlord with ownership of underperforming sites and no related rental stream. Unfortunately for buyer-landlords, bankruptcy courts provide an opportunity for seller-tenants to achieve exactly this result, say Edward Prokop and John Patrick White of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • How Law Firms Are Revolutionizing Services In California

    Michael Pontrelli

    The California legal market is experiencing a disruptive transformation as in-house counsel look for ways to trim their budgets by disaggregating services. Business growth in certain sectors of the state's economy has spurred the development of new ways to manage escalating legal costs — for example a new service delivery model that “right-sources” work, says Michael Pontrelli of Huron Legal.

  • When Things Do Not Go As Planned In A Bankruptcy Sale

    Jeffrey A. Krieger

    The somewhat problematic issue in a bankruptcy sale is determining what rights or obligations, if any, do the parties have under the agreement between the date of execution and the date the court enters an order approving the sale. This is precisely the issue the parties encountered in the Chapter 11 case of Hot Dog on a Stick, says Jeffrey Krieger of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • Supply Chain Management And The Alien Tort Claims Act

    Michael G. Congiu

    The Ninth Circuit's recent revival of the potential for supply chain liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act in Doe v. Nestle USA Inc. less than one year after many believed the U.S. Supreme Court effectively put an end to ATCA's use as a litigation tool to address alleged corporate human rights abuses has increased the importance of effective supply chain management, say Michael Congiu and Stefan Marculewicz of Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Use Social Media For Legal Service Only As A Last Resort

    Steven Richard

    Courts remain largely skeptical about allowing litigants to serve and notify evasive parties of legal proceedings through their social media accounts. A recent split ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court shows the competing considerations, say Steven Richard and Britt Killian of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Sterling Case Offers Valuable Trustee Incapacity Insight

    Shari A. Levitan

    The dispute between Donald and Shelly Sterling — resolution of which determined the control of the trust that owned the Los Angeles Clippers and whether it could be sold for a reported $2 billion — highlights the steps required for trustee removal, and raised other interesting issues as to the relevant degree of capacity required for certain actions and the time at which the measure of capacity was taken, say Shari Levitan and Stac... (continued)

  • An Associate's Perspective On Business Development

    Jason Idilbi

    Let’s face it: Taking friends or acquaintances to Justin Timberlake concerts or golf at the Ocean Course is not how we as law firm associates are going to develop business. Our primary value comes not from out-of-office networking jaunts but from bearing a laboring oar for our partners. Which is why our best approach to business development is more likely from the inside out, says Jason Idilbi of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.

  • A Possible Game-Changer For 'Silent' Arbitration Clauses

    Brian Berkley

    Notwithstanding its arguably questionable precedential support, the Third Circuit’s decision in Opalinski v. Robert Half Inc. is not surprising. It continues arbitration law’s march toward a likely end, by any path, for class action liability for companies and other business entities, say Brian Berkley and Matthew Adler of Pepper Hamilton LLP.