Commercial Contracts

  • April 24, 2015

    Studios' Score Outsourcing Sour Note For Musicians' Union

    The world’s largest musicians’ union Friday blasted Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc., Paramount Pictures Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. in California federal court for going off-script and having films, including “Interstellar” and “Carrie,” scored outside the U.S. and Canada in violation of a collective bargaining agreement.

  • April 24, 2015

    Firm Wrapped Up In Partner's Malpractice Row: Ex-Client

    A name partner in Blum Collins LLP should have told an ex-client who was contemplating suing him for malpractice that he had been working for her independently, and not as part of his firm, a California appeals court heard Friday in a suit stemming from a $6 million dispute over a backyard pool.

  • April 24, 2015

    Diablo Beats Ban On Chip Sales After Trade Secrets Trial

    A California federal judge on Friday lifted a ban on Diablo Technologies Inc.'s sale of chips used in data storage products from SanDisk Corp., IBM Corp. and others, saying the injunction isn't justified after a jury largely handed Diablo a win in Netlist Inc.'s trade-secrets and contract trial.

  • April 24, 2015

    Tidel Asks Chancery To DQ Locke Lord From Contract Fight

    Cash management equipment company Tidel Inc. and several affiliates pushed the Delaware Chancery Court on Friday to disqualify Locke Lord LLP as counsel for its opponent in a tangled contract dispute, arguing that the other side would have an unfair advantage because the firm represented Tidel in several patent cases.

  • April 24, 2015

    Bergstein Fights To Keep Stroock In Atty Betrayal Fight

    An attorney for film producer David Bergstein told a California appeals court Friday that Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill LLP weren’t protected by litigation privilege when they elicited secrets from Bergstein’s longtime attorney to use against him in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.

  • April 24, 2015

    Morgan Stanley Wanted A Dark Pool 'Feast,' Suit Says

    A company formed to create the intellectual property behind an off-exchange spread trading system has filed suit in New York state court accusing Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. of fraud and breaching contracts in a dispute stemming from the investment firm’s alleged refusal to protect institutional investors from high-frequency traders.

  • April 24, 2015

    Del. Justices Nix Cyveillance Shareholders' $40M Bonus Bid

    The Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday ruled QinetiQ North America Operations LLC did not shortchange former shareholders of Cyveillance Inc. after it acquired the cyber tech outfit, rejecting the investors' claim that QNA purposely tried to avoid triggering up to $40 million in earn-out payments.

  • April 24, 2015

    Carnival Settles With Many Of Cruise Disaster Plaintiffs

    Carnival Corp. has reached a settlement with most of the remaining plaintiffs in a Florida federal court suit alleging that the cruise ship operator was negligent in connection with the infamous 2013 Triumph cruise disaster, leaving just four holdout plaintiffs.

  • April 24, 2015

    NJ Firm, Dentons Exit Malpractice Dispute Over $41M Loan

    Mandelbaum Salsburg Lazris & Discenza PC is exiting YA Global Investments LP's malpractice suit over a $41 million loan for a failed resort, and dismissing accusations that Dentons played a substantial role in YA Global's losses, according to New Jersey federal court filings Friday.

  • April 24, 2015

    Judge Keeps Breach Of Contract Claims Against Ambit Alive

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has denied Ambit Energy Northeast LLC's motion for summary judgment in a proposed class action lawsuit claiming the company breached its contract with customers by promising low electricity rates before soon doubling the charges.

  • April 24, 2015

    Transport Co. Wants Discovery Sanctions In Shipment Row

    Transport company Estes Express Lines Inc. urged a Florida federal judge Friday to sanction a cabinet company and its counsel for refusing to comply with an order to produce documents in a suit over a botched shipment, saying the attorneys stopped replying to emails about the discovery violation.

  • April 24, 2015

    5 Tips For Negotiating Native American Land Leases

    While recent U.S. Department of the Interior rule changes have helped make striking a land lease involving tribal property easier, experts say these deals still come with challenges. Here, attorneys with experience on both sides of the negotiation table offer five tips for keeping a lease deal on track.

  • April 24, 2015

    Calif. Landowners Sue Union Pacific Over ‘Illegal’ Land Use

    A proposed class of California landowners on Thursday alleged Union Pacific Railroad Co. has improperly used the subsurface of its railroad right-of-way to grant “illegal and unauthorized” easements and collect rents from pipeline companies, trespassing and violating their land ownership for decades.

  • April 23, 2015

    Texas Court Pauses CB&I Suit Against Ex-GC, Hogan Lovells

    A Texas appellate court on Thursday declined to allow Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. to move forward with breach of fiduciary duty allegations against its former general counsel, now a Hogan Lovells partner, in light of the anticipated arbitration of an underlying dispute.

  • April 23, 2015

    Ex-Jones Bell Atty Can’t Shake Former Firm’s Fee Bid

    A California appeals court on Thursday tentatively ruled Jones Bell Abbott Fleming & Fitzgerald LLP can pursue its suit to recover fees from a partner who took clients with him when he started his own practice, saying an attorney’s nonpayment isn’t free speech protected by California law.

  • April 23, 2015

    Charter Tells Del. Chancery Avaya Can't Halt NJ Suit

    Cable giant Charter Communications Inc. asked a Delaware Chancery judge Thursday to deny Avaya Inc.’s request to halt a New Jersey lawsuit over a contract dispute stemming from patent litigation, which was filed the same day as a practically identical action in Delaware Superior Court.

  • April 23, 2015

    Credit Suisse Beats Lender's Fraud Suit Over $1.5B CDO

    A New York judge has thrown out Aozora Bank Ltd.'s suit against Credit Suisse Group over losses that the Japanese lender suffered after investing in a $1.5 billion collateralized debt obligation it claims Credit Suisse used as a “trash bin” for toxic assets, saying Aozora sued too late.

  • April 23, 2015

    Oil Group Says Texas Justices Got $21M Royalty Ruling Wrong

    The Texas Oil and Gas Association on Wednesday told the Texas Supreme Court its ruling in a $21 million royalty dispute fundamentally misunderstands how the state’s energy regulator maintains records.

  • April 23, 2015

    NJ Devils Sued For Restricting Season Ticket Resales

    The National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils have been hit with a proposed class action in New Jersey federal court alleging the team is attempting to control the market by restricting the rights of season ticket holders to resell individual game tickets, including charging unnecessary fees and canceling ticket packages.

  • April 23, 2015

    'Paw Patrol' Toy Co. Gets Toon Ripoff Claims Trimmed

    A California federal judge on Thursday trimmed a toymaker’s suit alleging Viacom Inc. and toy manufacturer Spin Master Ltd. stole his idea for a team of talking rescue dogs with their “Paw Patrol” cartoon, saying federal copyright law preempted a Florida state law misappropriation claim against the toy company.

Expert Analysis

  • A Strategy For Nixing FLSA Collective Actions After Filing


    Arbitration agreements that include waivers of class and collective actions can be an effective tool to avoid collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act or under similar state wage laws, but what can be done if a collective action has already been filed? A recent Eight Circuit decision in Conners v. Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria suggests an answer, says Nathaniel Glasser of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • NJ Borrowers Under HAMP May Pursue State Law Claims

    Wayne Streibich

    The New Jersey Appellate court recently held that the language of a Home Affordable Modification Program trial period plan or forbearance agreement may require a lender to modify the loan if a borrower complies with its terms, which qualifies the long-standing principle that a borrower does not have a right to a loan modification and a lender is not required to offer one, say attorneys from Blank Rome LLP.

  • Maximizing Value In The Disposition Of Portfolio Cos.

    Stephen Fields

    Private equity sellers are looking for bidders to offer the highest price possible, and for buyers that are willing to live with their one-sided terms and conditions. But what happens frequently is that buyers will hedge their position, says Stephen Fields of Dentons.

  • Tips For Guiding Your Client Through The Mediation Process

    Raphael Lapin

    With all the tangible and intangible costs associated with litigation today, mediation is becoming more common as a means of resolving disputes. Yet attorneys trained and experienced in litigation do not always have the skills to guide their clients through a mediation process, says Raphael Lapin, an adjunct professor at the Whittier School of Law and principal of Lapin Negotiation Strategies.

  • 7 Negotiating Points In Broker Listing Agreements

    Robert E. Scher

    Most commercial real estate brokers will not object to adding language to the listing agreement requiring that the sale close before the broker has earned its commission. Further, it is in the seller’s interest to expand upon this concept so that, except for specific carveouts, no other fee, compensation or reimbursement is due to the broker unless the sale closes, says Robert Scher, chairman of Ober Kale Grimes & Shriver PC's real... (continued)

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • Protecting Company And Athlete In Endorsement Deals

     Sekou Lewis

    Situations where a professional athlete no longer feels comfortable using a product that he or she has been paid to endorse, such as the recent case of Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons and Chinese shoe company Anta, present a litany of problems for both the athlete and the apparel company. There are ways to structure an endorsement contract to avoid issues like this, say Sekou Lewis and Benjamin Wanger of Schnader Harrison... (continued)

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Title Due Diligence Tips For The Oil Patch

    Bernard F. Clark Jr.

    Title in the oil and gas industry may be messy, but the fact that asset buyers routinely sign off on contracts with title defects representing tens of millions of dollars is as costly as it is wrong. Buyers may be able to save millions of dollars upfront with a well-designed title due diligence plan in place prior to starting their transaction process, say Buddy Clark and Randy Browne of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • How To Weather Media Inquiries In High-Profile Cases

    Jolie Balido

    Avoid using “no comment” in response to a question or statement from reporters. Some reporters, particularly TV news reporters, are simply trying to elicit a reaction for a quick visual and aren’t particularly concerned with the actual answer, says Jolie Balido, president of marketing communications firm Roar Media.