Commercial Contracts

  • January 27, 2015

    9th Circ. Won't Revive EBay Sellers' Contract Claims

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday refused to revive eBay Inc. sellers' breach of contract class action alleging the online auction giant's delays in posting paid product listings deprived members of the full value of the service, saying the plaintiffs didn't provide a viable way to calculate classwide damages.

  • January 27, 2015

    Verizon Will Face Bulk Of $20M Contract Suit, Judge Says

    A California federal judge said Tuesday he'd likely preserve much of Telecom Asset Management LLC's suit claiming Verizon Wireless owes it $20 million under a contract to help improve Verizon’s network in the South, saying Verizon will have to pay the infrastructure broker for work it performed.

  • January 27, 2015

    Atty Blasts 'Baseless' DQ Bid In Enviro Settlement Fight

    Representing plaintiffs suing law firm Freese and Goss PLLC and others over their handling of a settlement in an environmental contamination class action, attorney Chuck McRae and his co-counsel told a Mississippi federal court Monday that the firm’s second attempt to disqualify him for concurrent representation was "baseless."

  • January 27, 2015

    Muscle Milk Nutrition Claims Are Lean On Facts, Class Says

    The makers of Muscle Milk have been slapped with a suit in California federal court by a putative class of consumers unhappy that the products’ labels allegedly overstate the nutritional benefits of the brand’s protein supplements.

  • January 27, 2015

    MLB Commish Calls Orioles Beef Over Proskauer Ties Baseless

    Major League Baseball's newly minted commissioner on Monday told a Manhattan trial judge that the Baltimore Orioles' bid to reverse an unfavorable television revenue arbitration award by alleging conflicts between his office and the Proskauer Rose LLP law firm are unfounded.

  • January 26, 2015

    Tyco Sues Fire Safety Rival For Stealing Employees, Secrets

    Tyco Fire Products LP slammed fire-safety products rival Conbraco Industries Inc. with a lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court Friday, alleging the company poached several Tyco employees and tried to lure away Tyco customers by using stolen trade secrets.

  • January 26, 2015

    Downey Financial Gets $370M Refund In FDIC Fight: 3rd Circ.

    A Third Circuit panel upheld a decision in favor of Downey Financial Corp.'s Chapter 7 trustee on Monday in a $370 million tax refund dispute with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., finding a tax sharing agreement with Downey’s subsidiaries ensured the funds are part of its bankruptcy estate.

  • January 26, 2015

    Developers Can't Shake $19M Suit Over 'Looted' Funds

    A California judge on Monday tentatively rejected a bid by individual owners of bankrupt developer Griffin Homebuilding Group LLC to toss Weyerhaeuser Realty Investors Inc.’s contract suit seeking $19 million, saying defendants didn’t prove WRI wasn’t damaged when the owners allegedly "looted” funds intended for development ventures.

  • January 26, 2015

    NJ Court Backs BofA Over Loan Modification Refusal

    New Jersey appellate judges on Friday upheld a summary judgment ruling allowing Bank of America to deny a mortgage modification to a couple who claimed they had a contractual right to modified terms, ruling that the homeowners' repeated lapses in payments breached their contract.

  • January 26, 2015

    Contractor Hit With Sanctions In Construction Project Suit

    An Illinois magistrate judge on Monday hit Alacran/O&S JV LLC with nearly $35,000 in discovery sanctions in a breach of contract battle with Weatherproofing Technologies Inc. over a federal construction project in Illinois.

  • January 26, 2015

    Cargill Bilked Partner To Take Control Of Resort, Suit Says

    Agriculture company Cargill Inc. and its financial and hedge fund units were hit with a suit in New York federal court Friday alleging they breached a joint venture deal for a luxury resort in Mexico and illegally took control of the resort for themselves.

  • January 26, 2015

    Diamond McCarthy Ex-Partner Can't Escape Texas Court

    A Texas district judge on Friday rejected a former Diamond McCarthy LLP partner’s bid to dodge Texas jurisdiction in a $1.4 million breach of contract suit over fees she generated as Dreier LLP’s Chapter 11 trustee.

  • January 26, 2015

    High Court Denies River Shipper's Oil Pollution Act Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition brought by river shipping company American Commercial Lines LLC on whether the Oil Pollution Act trumps general maritime law in a suit seeking to recover payments the U.S. made to two oil cleanup companies after a 2008 accident.

  • January 26, 2015

    Nelson Brown Drops Fee Fight With Ex-Subrogation Attys

    Ailing insurance boutique Nelson Brown and Co. has dropped a Pennsylvania state court lawsuit against seven of its former attorneys who split to form the subrogation-only practice de Luca Levine LLP, in which it sought to hold onto contingency fees.

  • January 26, 2015

    Rank Group, Alcoa Open Trial Over $10M Chilean Tax Burden

    Rank Group Ltd. and Alcoa Inc. squabbled on Monday before a Manhattan federal judge over who should foot a $10 million Chilean tax bill levied after Rank's $2.7 billion purchase of packaging businesses, including the Reynolds Wrap brand, with Rank demanding contractual indemnification and Alcoa countering that Rank caused the liability.

  • January 26, 2015

    Workers Say ConAgra Wrongly Avoided $160M Injury Verdict

    Grain workers and a salvage contractor have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a decision releasing ConAgra Foods Inc. from a $160 million jury verdict stemming from an Illinois grain mill’s explosion, saying the appeals court created a new defense doctrine that replaces existing Illinois law.

  • January 23, 2015

    JPMorgan Accused Of Futures Manipulation In $25M Suit

    Hedge fund manager Daniel Shak on Thursday commenced a lawsuit in New York against JPMorgan Chase & Co. accusing the lender of manipulating the silver futures market at the expense of other traders and seeking at least $25 million in damages.

  • January 23, 2015

    DHS Technologies Scoffs At Attys’ Fee Request In FCA Row

    Military contractor DHS Technologies LLC on Friday urged a Pennsylvania federal judge to deny an employee-turned-whistleblower’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs after it agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a claim that it overcharged the federal government on emergency mobile shelter purchases.

  • January 23, 2015

    Anchorage's Suit Over $302M Port Project Gets Green Light

    The Court of Federal Claims largely allowed to move forward a suit brought by the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, against the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration for breach of a contract related to a $302 million port expansion project, according to an opinion published Thursday.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ex-PilePro CFO Gets Former Firm DQ'd In IP Theft Case

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday ruled Shumway Van & Hansen can’t represent PilePro LLC in a suit alleging its former chief financial officer stole millions in intellectual property, saying the firm’s previous work for the executive while he was still a PilePro employee was a “clear conflict of interest.”

Expert Analysis

  • Caution To Landlords: Calif. Nonwaiver Clauses Revisited

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    Historically, California landlords have taken refuge in the protections afforded by including a nonwaiver clause in their leases. And under most circumstances, courts will enforce such nonwaiver provisions. But there are exceptions that can leave landlords without the protection they expect, says Sylvia Arostegui of Nossaman LLP.

  • Calif. Land Grant Case May Change Railroad Rights Of Way

    Neil M. Soltman

    A California appellate court's recent ruling in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines Inc. is likely to significantly affect the relationships between railroads and their subsurface tenants on rights of way that were originally granted by the government, particularly in the western part of the country, say Neil Soltman and Michael Kerr of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Can Consumers Waive Right To Revoke Consent Under TCPA?

    Amy Pierce

    Most authorities and courts agree that, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, consumers have the right to revoke previously given consent to be called using an autodialer or prerecorded message. More recently, however, courts have been asked to decide whether a consumer is permitted to revoke this consent where it was previously given as part of an independent contractual arrangement, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • NLRB Joint Employer Redefinition Threatens Franchises

    Michael J. Lotito

    The impact of the National Labor Relations Board's redefinition of joint-employer status will be substantial and have profound implications across industries and on the franchise business model in particular because the threat of a “joint employer” finding may eliminate the economic benefit of franchising and shift the costs of the new model toward consumers, say attorneys at DLA Piper LLP (US) and Littler Mendelson PC.

  • Unique Challenges In The Panama Canal Expansion

    Jerry P. Brodsky

    Construction halt and war between the owner and contractor are two of the most undesirable situations that can occur on any project, let alone one of the largest and most complex projects in the world. Regarding what went wrong in Panama, we do not have all the answers yet, but we do have some educated ideas, says Jerry Brodsky of Peckar & Abramson PC.

  • Moving The Needle For Prepetition Waiver Permissibility

    Kyle J. Ortiz

    Prior to the commencement of a bankruptcy case, the waiver by a potential debtor of the protections afforded by the Bankruptcy Code is usually found to be unenforceable. As a recent bankruptcy court decision in the case of Triple A & R Capital Investment Inc. demonstrates, however, this general proposition has become more nuanced over the past few years, says Kyle Ortiz of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Kimble V. Marvel — A Tangled Web Of Patent Licensing

    Adam Daniels

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises Inc., thus opening the door to review of its holdings in Brulotte that royalty agreements projecting payments beyond the expiration date of a patent are unlawful per se patent misuse. Overturning Brulotte or revising its unyielding per se standard could affect rates of post-expiration patent royalties, says Adam Daniels of Novak Druce Connolly Bove Quigg LLP.

  • Software Vendors, 3rd-Party End Users And The CFAA

    Pierre Grosdidier

    Can a software vendor assert a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim against a third-party end user for unauthorized access to the vendor’s licensed software operating on the vendor’s client’s computers? According to the courts, such a claim might stand provided that the client did not authorize the access, says Pierre Grosdidier of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • OFAC Sanctions Compliance: Sample Contract Provisions

    Margaret Gatti

    Due to costly settlements secured by U.S. regulatory agencies, increasingly banks, insurers and corporations are inserting rigorous Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions compliance language into their credit agreements, insurance policies, and corporate acquisition agreements, say Margaret Gatti and Louis Rothberg of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.