Commercial Contracts

  • October 22, 2014

    7th Circ. Rules Against Tablet Product Co. In Contract Fight

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday sided with Block and Co. Inc. in a breach of contract dispute with tablet accessories company nClosures Inc., finding the companies' confidentiality agreement was unenforceable because nClosures hadn’t taken reasonable steps to guard its proprietary information.

  • October 22, 2014

    Schiff Hardin Snags Arent Fox Construction Group Head

    Schiff Hardin LLP earlier this week picked up a former leader of Arent Fox LLP’s construction practice, who will bring with him experience working on high-profile projects including New York’s Grand Central Station and Yankee Stadium, the firm said.

  • October 22, 2014

    Hollister Fights Class Cert. In Expired Reward Card Fight

    Hollister Co. on Tuesday urged a New Jersey appellate panel to overturn a lower court's certification of a class alleging the clothing retailer duped customers with promotional gift cards with an inconspicuous expiration date, arguing the class members can't be ascertained.

  • October 22, 2014

    Credit Suisse Can't Duck $1B RMBS Suit, Appeals Court Says

    A New York appeals court on Tuesday rebuffed a Credit Suisse Group AG subsidiary’s bid to escape a residential mortgage-backed securities lawsuit that claims the bank failed to repurchase toxic loans that cost investors $1 billion, finding the case is not time-barred.

  • October 22, 2014

    Highland's RE Loan Suit Against Credit Suisse Gets Axed

    A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by affiliates of Highland Capital Management LP that claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to a Credit Suisse Group AG unit’s deceptive marketing of loans for resorts and high-end residential communities, including the troubled Yellowstone Mountain Club.

  • October 22, 2014

    2nd Circ. Tosses Argentina's Appeal Of $539M Payment Block

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday dismissed Argentina's appeal of a New York federal judge's order blocking a $539 million payment to bondholders via Bank of New York Mellon, finding that it doesn't have jurisidiction because the order appealed from was a clarification rather than a modification of prior rulings.

  • October 22, 2014

    Prophet Equity Says Insurer Owes $15M For Ex-Worker's Suit

    Prophet Equity LP filed a $15 million suit against Twin City Fire Insurance Co. in Texas court Tuesday, for allegedly breaching a policy by refusing to pay the private equity fund after it was sued by a former employee.

  • October 22, 2014

    PAGA Divide May Push High Court To Take Up Iskanian Case

    Several federal judges have recently rejected the California Supreme Court's employee-friendly Iskanian ruling that workers can't waive representative Private Attorney General Act claims through mandatory arbitration agreements, a trend lawyers say increases the chances that the U.S. Supreme Court may choose to weigh in.

  • October 22, 2014

    Bose McKinney Can't Shake $7.6M Malpractice Suit

    A Michigan federal court on Wednesday shot down Bose McKinney & Evans LLP and its tax service group head's request that the court reconsider its summary judgment decision, in Booth American Co.'s $7.6 million malpractice suit over a disputed pension plan indemnity agreement.

  • October 22, 2014

    Amid $1B IPO, REIT Founder Accuses Ex-Partner Of Fraud

    The founder of a New York real estate investment trust gearing up to go public for $1 billion again sued his former business partner in New York federal court earlier this month for allegedly conspiring to ruin him through unauthorized access to the REIT's network, extortion and misrepresentation of the REIT to other parties.

  • October 22, 2014

    Morgan Stanley Asks 11th Circ. To Nix Tribe's $26M RICO Suit

    Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC has asked the Eleventh Circuit to affirm a lower court’s refusal to allow an Indian tribe to sue the company for allegedly helping to embezzle $26 million from it, arguing that an arbitration agreement be upheld because it was made with an authorized chairman.

  • October 22, 2014

    'Kids For Cash' Attorneys Escape Asset Freeze

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday denied a bid by plaintiffs embroiled in several class actions over Pennsylvania’s notorious “kids for cash” scheme to freeze 20 percent of any legal fees due to a Powell Law Group attorney and his company, saying he lacked the authority to issue one.

  • October 21, 2014

    ‘Jemima' Heirs Scolded For Exhumation Bid In PepisCo Row

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday threatened possible sanctions against the great-grandchildren of an actress who played Aunt Jemima in their $2 billion royalty suit against PepsiCo. Inc., denying their request to exhume their grandmother because it was based on a parody obituary.

  • October 21, 2014

    Ex-Yahoo Worker Can't Duck Patent Row Under Anti-SLAPP

    A former Yahoo Inc. employee must face a suit alleging he stole a patent from the tech giant when he founded his own startup, a California judge ruled Tuesday rejecting the ex-worker’s argument that Yahoo’s trade secrets and patent suit violated his free speech rights.

  • October 21, 2014

    Google Can't Hide Behind Stored Communications Act: Court

    The Stored Communications Act doesn't allow service providers to defy civil discovery subpoenas, according to a California appellate court, which ruled Tuesday that Google Inc. must provide emails sought by a ship manufacturer suing a former employee for breach of duty.

  • October 21, 2014

    Hunter Labs Can't Dodge Contract Suit Over $6.3M FCA Share

    Hunter Laboratories LLC on Monday couldn't dodge a contract suit brought by partners in a litigation sharing deal who were allegedly denied their share of proceeds from a $241 million False Claims Act recovery, with a New Jersey federal judge ruling his court is a proper venue.

  • October 21, 2014

    Highmark Loses Bid To Ax Pa.'s Challenge To Medicare Plan

    A federal judge ruled Tuesday that he could not intervene to stop Pennsylvania officials from pursuing litigation in state court aimed at blocking Highmark Inc. from offering a Medicare Advantage plan that allegedly violates an agreement defining the insurer’s relationship with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

  • October 21, 2014

    DirecTV Dealer Urges Calif. Panel To Reinstate $9.5M Award

    A DirecTV Inc. dealer on Tuesday urged a California appeals court to reinstate a $9.5 million arbitration award it won against the satellite company in a contract dispute, arguing a trial court erred in applying state rather than federal arbitration law to vacate the award.

  • October 21, 2014

    Avandia User's Warranty Violation Suit Flops In 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a putative class action accusing GlaxoSmithKline PLC of violating the warranty on its diabetes drug Avandia, ruling a label declaring the drug “safe and effective” was not enough to create a warranty under New Jersey law.

  • October 20, 2014

    Cinemax Actress Can't Avoid Claims Over Refused Sex Scenes

    An actress suing HBO, Cinemax and a production company saying she was coerced into filming "softcore porn" sex scenes for a late-night adult television series can't avoid counterclaims alleging she breached her contract by refusing to appear nude in the scenes, a California judge ruled Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Testing Texas CGL Coverage For 3rd-Party Products

    Kristin C. Cummings

    In U.S. Metals Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., perhaps the most significant issue to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court is whether the incorporation of a defective product into other property constitutes “physical injury” to other component parts of the property, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a civil subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Export Controls And The Art Of Voluntary Disclosures

    Brett Johnson

    A person who dabbles in art is not likely to paint museum-worthy masterpieces. The same principle applies to drafting, submitting and addressing the long-term impact of voluntary disclosures. Companies should prepare well in advance for a possible export control violation, says Brett Johnson of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • How Hotels Can Control The Consequences Of Force Majeure

    Andrew P. B. MacGeoch

    Force majeure clauses in hotel management agreements may be regarded by some as boring boilerplate provisions. Yet, in the aftermath of a significant event — which could range from heightened political tension as in Hong Kong to the rapid spread of viruses such as Ebola — it can become key to the operation of the whole agreement, say Andrew MacGeoch and Emily Wong of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Texas Clears Path For Property Damage Calculations

    Bryan D. Rohm

    In Wheeler v. Enbridge Pipelines, the Texas Supreme Court provided guidance to midstream companies on the proper calculation of damages to real property stemming from the breach of a pipeline right-of-way agreement — a decision that has implications well beyond the oil and gas industry, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • Who Runs My Joint Venture?

    Sean A. Bryan

    It is common for investment funds and other entities, whether in the form of a limited liability company or limited partnership, to have boards of advisers or otherwise provide for consultation with nonmanaging equity owners. The partnership or operating agreement should be explicit in granting authority, if any, or disclaiming authority, as is more customary, says Sean Bryan of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Planning For Disputes In Cross-Border PE Deals

    Timothy J. Lindsay

    International arbitration can offer important advantages in cross-border private equity transactions, with the precise wording of the so-called “midnight” dispute resolution clauses in commercial agreements being the keystone to contractual certainty and, ultimately, enforcement of the bargain struck, says Timothy Lindsay of Dechert LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • Battling On The Front Lines Of Service Member Foreclosures

    Meredith L. Minkus

    Although a somewhat sensitive issue for lenders, foreclosing upon the property of a member of the armed forces does not have to be a costly and frustrating process, as often depicted in the media. The difficulties arise when lenders wait until the last minute to determine whether a defendant is, in fact, a service member, say Meredith Minkus and Steven Ferrell of Burr & Forman LLP.