Commercial Contracts

  • February 27, 2015

    Judge Won't Boost Firm's Cut Of Volkswagen Oil MDL Fees

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Friday refused to increase Chimicles & Tikellis LLP’s cut of a $15.5 million fee award in the Volkswagen AG and Audi AG oil sludge buildup multidistrict litigation, days after other class counsel firms asked the judge to recant his criticism they should be "ashamed" of their “internal rancor.”

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Won't Rehear Exxon Bonus Plan Suit

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday denied an appeal to rehear a former Exxon Mobil Corp. top executive's case against the company for stripping him of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, re-confirming the court's decision granting employers more leeway in bonus plans.

  • February 27, 2015

    8th Circ. Revives Fraud Claim In Blood Patent License Beef

    The Eighth Circuit ruled Friday that Safeblood Technologies Inc. must face fraud claims brought by two patent licensees, saying they were not required to investigate the status of the licensed patent, even though the information was publicly available, unless it was obvious they were being duped.

  • February 27, 2015

    Stan Lee Media Urges High Court To Revive Spider-Man Suit

    Stan Lee Media Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court in a filing made public Friday to revive its suit seeking profits and ownership rights to Spider-Man and other characters created by its ex-President Stan Lee, arguing that the Ninth Circuit’s dismissal deviated from Twombly.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas Justices Extend Clock For Suits Against Partners

    In an oil and gas investment dispute, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that the clock to sue business partners to recover partnership debt doesn’t start when the underlying cause of action accrues, but after a final judgment against the partnership is entered.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Won't Rehear Promega, Life Tech IP Dispute

    The Federal Circuit shot down on Thursday dueling petitions by Promega Corp. and Life Technologies Corp., which each sought to have the appellate court review its ruling that reversed an order vacating Promega’s $52 million win in a patent and licensing dispute over gene-testing technology.

  • February 27, 2015

    Texas High Court Won't Touch $1B Dallas Back Pay Suits

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined to weigh in on a state appellate court’s decision to allow Dallas first responders to move forward with their claims for $1 billion in back pay, returning their cases to a state trial court.

  • February 27, 2015

    Jimmy John's Managers Seek Class Cert. In Noncompete Row

    Assistant store managers at Jimmy John’s LLC and several of its franchises asked an Illinois federal judge on Thursday for class certification in their suit alleging the sandwich chain violated federal and state wage laws and forced workers to sign unduly restrictive noncompete agreements.

  • February 27, 2015

    SC Sheriff, DOD Sued For Reneging On Aircraft Swap

    Win Win Aviation Inc. on Thursday sued the U.S. Department of Defense and South Carolina's Richland County Sheriff’s Department over an alleged threatened seizure of two aircraft that the sheriff had exchanged for a Win Win plane under a 2013 contract.

  • February 27, 2015

    2nd Circ. Revives Sleepy's Claims Against Select Comfort

    The Second Circuit on Friday revived claims accusing Select Comfort Wholesale Corp. of bad-mouthing its former business partner Sleepy's LLC and undermining a contract by providing the mattress retailer with an allegedly inferior line of Sleep Number beds to sell.

  • February 26, 2015

    NY Judge Uses Stones Lyrics To Sanction Collections Attys

    A New York judge has issued sanctions against four law firms and debt collectors for treating a case in which a judgment was issued seven years ago as active litigation, according to a colorful decision loaded with lyrics from Rolling Stones songs.

  • February 26, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Nixes Injunction Blocking Luxury Condos

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday vacated an injunction barring construction of a sidewalk on a Miami-area island, finding the developer of a planned luxury residence on the adjacent island should have been allowed to intervene as an indispensable party because the injunction effectively blocked that project.

  • February 26, 2015

    Hotel Developer Says Partner Reneged On Project Stake Deal

    Hotel development-management firm Shaner Hotel Holdings Ltd. Partnership has sued a Miami-area property owner, claiming it was cheated out of a 20 percent stake in a project near Miami's Dolphin Mall.

  • February 26, 2015

    Deutsche Bank Rival Denies Raiding Employees

    Financial adviser HPM Partners LLC on Thursday asked a New York judge to quash a Deutsche Bank AG unit’s lawsuit over HPM's purported “wholesale raid” of the lender’s chief investment office and wealth management division, saying there was nothing improper about its overtures to Deutsche Bank’s workers.

  • February 26, 2015

    Macy's Win Over JC Penney In Martha Stewart Spat Affirmed

    A New York appeals court on Thursday revived two claims against J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and affirmed that the retailer unlawfully interfered with an exclusive contract between Macy’s Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., a decision that could increase J.C. Penney's liability in the case.

  • February 26, 2015

    3rd Circ. Keeps Carlyle Investor Battle In Delaware Court

    An investment fund controlled by a Dutch investor must pursue its breach of contract claims against Carlyle Investment Management LLC in Delaware state court even though the fund never signed the contract requiring the dispute to take place there, the Third Circuit ruled Wednesday.

  • February 26, 2015

    Ill. Judge Axes German Auto Parts Co.’s HD Radio Patent Suit

    An Illinois federal judge on Thursday killed a German automotive supplier’s suit seeking a declaration it doesn’t infringe patents for high-definition radio, ejecting all of the suit’s federal claims and declining to exercise jurisdiction over the suit’s six remaining claims, which concern contracts currently being litigated in state court.

  • February 26, 2015

    Steven Tyler Atty Can’t SLAPP Away Agent’s Suit: Calif. Court

    Communications between a lawyer for Steven Tyler and an “American Idol” representative over the Aerosmith rocker’s contract negotiations are not protected speech, a California appeals court ruled on Wednesday, reviving a management company’s $2 million suit alleging the attorney sabotaged its bid to get Tyler a more lucrative deal.

  • February 26, 2015

    JPMorgan, Deutsche Ordered To Give Argentine Bond Docs

    The New York federal judge overseeing Argentina's bond payback fight with hedge fund NML Capital Ltd. ordered Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Wednesday to give NML private information on payments regarding a new set of bonds Argentina announced for a select group of creditors.

  • February 26, 2015

    Wachtell Ducks Icahn's Malpractice Claim Over Deal Fees

    A New York state judge has tossed CVR Energy Inc.’s malpractice claim against Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz stemming from $37 million in fees incurred by the company as part of Carl Icahn’s takeover, according to an order filed Wednesday, finding CVR can’t argue the firm was responsible for the financial hit.

Expert Analysis

  • Not Exactly A Solution To Creditors' Nightmares

    Robert K. Edmunds

    In commercial and real estate disputes, California courts have consistently refused to permit a creditor to recover the full amount of a debt following the debtor's breach of the settlement agreement. A decision in Jade Fashion & Co. Inc. v. Harkham Industries Inc. might suggest that forbearance agreements could be the solution, but creditors would be wise to view the ruling as muddying the waters rather than providing clarity, say... (continued)

  • Tips For Developing Effective Licensee Monitoring

    Sidney Blum

    Both novice and seasoned licensors make the same critical mistake — not adequately instructing the licensee on how to calculate the royalty and preserve supporting records, says Sidney Blum of Stout Risius Ross Inc.

  • Defining Atty Fee Enforceability In Illegal Contracts

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    California courts have previously enforced attorneys' fees provisions in a real estate purchase contract even though the underlying contract was illegal. However, in Mountain Air Enterprises v. Sundowner Towers, a state appeals court distinguished prior decisions and clarified when a party can recover attorneys' fees under a real estate purchase contract that is ruled to be illegal, say Sylvia Arostegui and Brendan Macaulay of Nossaman LLP.

  • Bridging The Discovery Gap In International Arbitration

    Joseph Cheriathundam

    Forensic analytics reduces time and costs to process information and provides tangible findings for counsel to support various theories. These techniques offer significant opportunities to narrow the gaps in international arbitration matters in which evidence is often unavailable or not easy to obtain, say members of StoneTurn Group LLP.

  • The Buck Stops With JPMorgan And Counsel

    Barkley Clark

    As a result of a $1.5 billion filing error, JPMorgan and its syndicate of lenders now face losing their collateral to the unsecured creditors in the General Motors bankruptcy proceedings. Needless to say, the two prominent firms that served as outside counsel to JPMorgan and General Motors are also feeling the pain as they grapple with malpractice exposure, say Barkley Clark of Stinson Leonard Street LLP and Barbara Clark of the Co... (continued)

  • In-House Counsel's Dirty 'Little' Secret: Data Leakage

    Jennifer Topper

    Not every data breach is a massive headline-grabbing theft of consumer credit card information. As significant as these events may seem, the more dangerous and prevalent threats are the least visible — occurring through "data leakage." Put simply, this is raw meat awaiting a strike by the plaintiff’s bar, says legal industry adviser Jennifer Topper.

  • Early Termination Of Hotel Management Contracts Is Costly

    Lindsay C. Harrison

    Lawyers for hotel management companies and for hotel owners, as well as judges hearing these issues, will likely continue to disagree about whether the increasingly common strategy to prematurely end management contracts is legally justified in particular cases. What may get lost in the chatter are the high costs of that course of action, say Julie Carpenter and Lindsay Harrison of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • Takeaways From NY's Dietary Supplement Investigation

    Matthew J. Kelly Jr.

    Two takeaways from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's recent investigation into retail dietary supplements are that there is a danger unproven science can be used to attack a company's stores and public image and that retailers should keep track of their suppliers, which includes making sure testing records called for in any sales contract are current, say attorneys at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP.

  • Options For Energy Investors Amid Falling Oil Prices

    Michael Polkinghorne

    While the legal options available to those with long-term energy projects governed in a common law jurisdiction will likely lie within the four corners of a contract with very limited exceptions, the doctrine of hardship may provide relief for participants plagued by plunging oil prices in civil law jurisdictions, say attorneys at White & Case LLP.

  • Rejoice In New York’s Revised UCC, But Beware Traps

    G. Ray Warner

    While recent amendments bring most of New York’s Uniform Commercial Code up to date, the state chose not to modernize its entire UCC, as a result of which certain of its provisions do not reflect modern practices, and its version of Article 9 is still out of sync with that of other states, says G. Ray Warner, of counsel at Greenberg Traurig LLP and associate dean for bankruptcy studies at St. John’s University School of Law.