Commercial Contracts

  • November 25, 2015

    GSI Wins Nearly $1M At Calif. Trade Secrets Trial

    A federal jury in California found on Wednesday that a chip design company was liable for breach of contract in a trade secrets suit brought by chipmaker GSI Technology and awarded GSI nearly $1 million in damages, according to court documents.

  • November 25, 2015

    NY Service Provider Seeks Tech Co. Info To Enforce Award

    Business services provider Sutherland Global Services urged a New York federal court Tuesday to compel Adam Technologies to produce information about the whereabouts of its assets so that Sutherland can retrieve an arbitration award affirmed by the court last year.

  • November 25, 2015

    Land O'Lakes' Whey Suit Not About Negligence, Insurers Say

    Four insurers urged a Wisconsin federal court on Wednesday to grant their summary judgment motions and let them stop defending a whey supplier in a suit by Land O'Lakes over whey allegedly tainted with a urine byproduct, saying the supplier can't twist the underlying complaint to paint the adulteration as a covered accident.

  • November 25, 2015

    United Beats Suit Over Limitations On DirecTV Service

    A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday tossed a proposed class action alleging United Airlines Inc. stiffed customers who bought DirecTV or Wi-Fi service that didn't work beyond the continental U.S. on international flights, saying the suit’s claims are preempted under federal law.

  • November 25, 2015

    3rd Circ. Finds FCC's ISP Jurisdiction Not Exclusive

    The Third Circuit overturned Wednesday a Pennsylvania district court’s finding that AT&T did not have to pay Core Communications Inc. for terminating calls from AT&T customers to Core’s Internet service provider customers, saying in a precedential opinion that state commissions have some say over local ISP-bound traffic.

  • November 25, 2015

    UK Court Won't Nix Chinese Proceedings Entirely In Ship Row

    The British High Court ruled Wednesday that a Greek shipping company needn't face proceedings in China in a dispute over a breached vessel purchase agreement, citing related arbitral proceedings in London, but wouldn't let the Greek bank that lent the money for the vessel escape the Chinese litigation.

  • November 25, 2015

    Debevoise Partner Elected Int’l Arbitration Group President

    The International Council for Commercial Arbitration tapped the co-head of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s international disputes group as its next president, the firm announced Tuesday.

  • November 25, 2015

    British Airways Wants Fliers Sanctioned In Surcharge Suit

    British Airways PLC on Wednesday asked a New York federal judge to sanction a proposed class of passengers accusing the airline of violating its frequent-flier program contract by imposing impermissible fuel surcharges on rewards flights, blasting the passengers’ “brazen” attempt to "sandbag" it on expert testimony.

  • November 25, 2015

    Aetna Pushes For Sanctions In Surgery Center Kickback Suit

    Aetna on Wednesday asked a Pennsylvania federal court to sanction Foundation Surgery Affiliates LLC and its attorneys from Buchanan Ingersoll for allegedly lying to the court about its practices when fighting the insurer’s suit accusing the surgical center of running a patient referral kickback scheme.

  • November 25, 2015

    Calif. City Loses Appeal Of Insurance Coverage Dispute

    A California appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling that American Alternative Insurance Corp. owed no duty to defend the city of San Bernardino's water department in a breach of contract suit, saying the policy excluded such actions.

  • November 25, 2015

    NLRB Orders Calif. Grocer To Nix Class Action Waivers

    The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday ruled that a popular upscale grocer in California has kept in place arbitration agreements that illegally forbid employees from pursuing actions on a class or collective basis, and rejected the company's bid to revise the arbitration pacts to clarify them as voluntary. 

  • November 25, 2015

    Ex-Food Network Star Sues Developer Over Texas Restaurant

    A restaurateur who appeared on the reality TV series "The Next Food Network Star" in 2008 has hit a developer, landlord and project manager hired to build her new restaurant Shelby Hall in Dallas with a suit in Texas federal court, claiming the developer unlawfully broke their lease agreement after running into cost issues that prolonged construction.

  • November 25, 2015

    Morgan Lewis Can Rep Itself In Ex-Client’s Suit, Judge Says

    A California federal judge on Monday said Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP can represent itself in a malpractice suit brought by a former meat-broker client, finding that any confidentiality or client privilege agreement was waived when the suit was filed.

  • November 25, 2015

    The Dangerous Secrets Your Client Is Keeping From You

    Any secret a client keeps from outside counsel can be a liability, but certain types are especially harmful, lurking in the shadows like a grenade with the pin pulled. Here, experts discuss the most menacing secrets clients hide.

  • November 24, 2015

    'Master Softee' Barred From Using Mister Softee Trademarks

    A New York federal judge ruled Monday that Mister Softee Inc. had proven its trademark infringement claims against a man who operated a rogue line of ice cream trucks called "Master Softee," permanently barring the impostor from using any of the ice cream company's registered trademarks.

  • November 24, 2015

    Cochran Firm Slams Fraud Counterclaims In Trademark Row

    The Cochran Firm PC on Monday urged a California federal judge to nix fraud counterclaims filed by a former partner of Johnnie Cochran in a trademark row over the famous attorney’s moniker, arguing the court already barred the famed defense attorney’s ex-partners from raising such claims.

  • November 24, 2015

    PE Firm Can't Rewrite $100M Enviro Co. Buy, Rival Says

    Private equity firm Florida Capital Partners Inc. has asked a New York judge to toss a suit claiming The Halifax Group LLC was misled into paying $100 million for an environmental remediation company, arguing the PE competitor is just trying to renegotiate the buyout in court.

  • November 24, 2015

    Chamber, Others Ask 9th Circ. To Rethink PAGA Ruling

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two other organizations pushed the Ninth Circuit on Monday to rethink its recent ruling to uphold a bar on California Private Attorneys General Act waivers in employment arbitration agreements, backing eyewear retailer Luxottica's call for a second look at the decision.

  • November 24, 2015

    Revel Owner Inks $45M Deal To End Casino Utility Feud

    The new owner of Revel Casino Hotel and its utility provider reached a $45 million settlement Tuesday that will end the litigation over a soured power supply contract and restart full electricity service at the shuttered New Jersey venue.

  • November 24, 2015

    FCC Head Tells Sens. TV Exclusivity Rule Bad For Customers

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler defended his proposal to eliminate broadcast TV exclusivity rules, saying in letters to lawmakers posted online Tuesday that the rules exacerbate TV blackouts and distort the free market.

Expert Analysis

  • OPINION: In Search Of Our Best Law Firm Selves

    James Maiwurm.jpg

    Several developments over the past few months caught the eye of Jim Maiwurm, chairman emeritus of Squire Patton Boggs. Try as he might, he could not resist the temptation to comment on a few — such as the expansion of the Dentons “polycentric” empire, a confused verein controversy, and provocative suggestions that the law firm partnership model is a dinosaur.

  • Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Attacked From All Sides

    Norman Tabler Jr.

    Arbitration agreements in all consumer areas appear to be under attack. But the most venomous attacks are reserved for those that accompany nursing home admission forms, says Norman Tabler Jr., counsel with Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and former general counsel of Indiana University Health.

  • 5th Circ. Clarifies And Complicates Choice-Of-Law Analysis

    Michael D. Karpeles

    As companies grow and expand into multiple states, determining the applicable law for restrictive covenants can be puzzling. In a case related to the merger of Prosperity Bank in Texas and F&M Bank in Oklahoma, the Fifth Circuit provides a useful road map, but also demonstrates that there is no certainty that the chosen law will be enforced against employees in other states, says Michael Karpeles of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • New Federal Rules Acknowledge It’s Time To Drop The 'E'

    Gregory Leighton

    The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure scheduled to take effect Dec. 1 are designed to usher in a new era in the U.S. litigation system, this time acknowledging that what was once known as “e-discovery” is now just discovery. The amendments are sweeping in scope, but none is more important than the revised Rule 37(e), say Gregory Leighton and Eric Choi of Neal Gerber & Eisenberg LLP.

  • Safe Harbor Needed For Arbitral Rights In Absent Class Claims

    Richard A. Ripley

    To determine a waiver of arbitral rights, circuit courts generally look at whether the party seeking arbitration takes action in litigation inconsistent with its arbitration rights, and whether that action prejudices the plaintiff. However, two 2015 decisions — Checking Account Overdraft Litigation and Healy v. Cox — reveal that framework as an ill-fitting suit when the waiver implicates absent putative class members, says Richard ... (continued)

  • Class Counsel Fees Getting 'Intense Judicial Scrutiny'

    Carolyn Cole

    Recognizing that defendants have no duty and little incentive to object to an inflated class counsel fee request, and that class counsel have every incentive to increase their fees, Judge Richard Posner and the Seventh Circuit have filled this void by directing “intense judicial scrutiny” of class counsel fee awards. In doing so, the court identified issues all counsel now should consider when crafting a class action settlement, sa... (continued)

  • Wind Integration Costs At Issue In Oregon PURPA Dispute

    While the need for the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act has been increasingly questioned, it remains a vehicle for developers of renewable power projects to require utilities to buy their power at state-administered costs. Recent litigation between the Portland General Electric Company and PaTu Wind Farm may shed additional light on PURPA's adaptability to the evolving competitive marketplace, says Arthur Adelberg of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Terms And Conditions For Your App: 6 Key Considerations

    John Delaney

    While Apple, Google and Amazon each provide a “default” end user license agreement to govern mobile apps downloaded from their respective app stores, a company ideally should adopt its own EULA to best protect its interests in its apps, say John Delaney and Anthony Ramirez of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Don't Let Lax Vendor Info Security Ruin Your Holiday Sales

    Dean Harvey

    Large retailers often have thousands of vendor relationships, some of which are tightly integrated with the retailers’ businesses. Yet contracts with vendors, and particularly agreements entered into years ago, may not include clearly defined information-security obligations and standards. Perkins Coie LLP attorneys discuss the seven steps retailers can take to mitigate the risks of vendor-related data breach.

  • Severance Agreements — Do's And Don’ts For Employers

    Jennifer Fontaine

    With increased attention by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding employer-employee agreements, it is vital that all severance agreements containing a broad general release or confidentiality provision include certain language, says Jennifer Fontaine of Paul Plevin Sullivan & Connaughton LLP.