Commercial Contracts

  • July 30, 2015

    3 Takeaways From 9th Circ.'s Motorola FRAND Decision

    By affirming Thursday that Motorola Inc. failed to license its standard-essential patents to Microsoft Corp. on fair terms, the Ninth Circuit endorsed the detailed process the trial judge devised for setting royalty rates for essential patents. Here are three things attorneys can learn from the decision.

  • July 30, 2015

    Texas Court Won't Revive $6.4B Brenham Oil & Gas Suit

    A Houston court of appeals on Thursday refused to revive a $6.4 billion suit filed by Brenham Oil & Gas Inc. over alleged interference in a contract with the government of the African nation of Togo, saying the trial court was right to throw out the suit against TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. and ENI SpA on jurisdictional grounds.

  • July 30, 2015

    Texas Allows Lucchese To Arbitrate Worker Injury Claims

    Legendary cowboy-boot maker Lucchese Inc. can require former employees to arbitrate allegations they suffered on-the-job injuries under a provision in their employment agreements, a Texas appellate court held Wednesday in three related cases.

  • July 30, 2015

    Katy Perry A Step Closer To Buying Convent With Calif. Ruling

    The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles succeeded in blocking a group of nuns from selling their convent to a local developer Thursday when a California judge ruled that the archbishop, who wants to sell the convent to pop star Katy Perry for $14 million, controls the property.

  • July 30, 2015

    Honeywell Gets Army Subcontractor Suit Pared Back

    A Missouri federal magistrate on Thursday largely sided with Honeywell International Inc.'s argument that it never committed in writing to bringing a process plating company onto a $61 million U.S. Army facility contract, tossing an important chunk of the would-be subcontractor's suit.

  • July 30, 2015

    Developer Can’t Block Resort’s Casino: NY Appeals Court

    A New York appeals court said Thursday that the Adelaar resort could build a casino on its upstate property because a neighboring developer hadn’t met the terms of a deal that would have given it the exclusive right to build a casino in the area.

  • July 30, 2015

    NFL Players Will Have Single Trial In $53M Suit Versus BB&T

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday rejected Branch Banking and Trust Co.'s call for split jury and nonjury trials on a group of National Football League players' claims of unauthorized transactions, saying the bank's arguments of potential prejudice fell short of a need for judicial economy.

  • July 30, 2015

    Travel Sites Say Towns Didn't Fix Class Cert. Bid In Tax Row

    Expedia Inc. and other travel websites asked a federal judge Wednesday to reject a second bid for class certification by 14 Illinois municipalities that accused the sites of failing to pay municipal hotel taxes, saying the towns are merely reshuffling subclasses that still don’t pass muster.

  • July 30, 2015

    9th Circ. Backs Microsoft's $14M Win In Motorola FRAND Suit

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a jury's decision awarding Microsoft Corp. $14.5 million after finding Motorola Inc. breached its obligation to license its standard-essential patents on fair terms, and ruled that a judge's landmark decision establishing the proper licensing rate for the patents was correct.

  • July 29, 2015

    4th Circ. Urged To Revive Marriott ERISA Suit Over Stock Plan

    Two former Marriott International Inc. employees urged the Fourth Circuit on Monday to revive their putative class action accusing the hotelier of failing to fulfill terms of a stock awards program and reject Marriott’s contention that its plan was exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

  • July 29, 2015

    Reebok Hit With Trade Secrets Suit Over CrossFit Apparel

    Reebok International Ltd. was slapped with a patent infringement and trade secrets suit in Delaware federal court on Wednesday by a rival accusing the shoe and apparel maker of marketing a line of CrossFit athletic wear that infringes its Kevlar-coating technology.

  • July 29, 2015

    Film Co. Says Union Owes $5M For Lying To Secure CBA

    Nu Image Inc., a California film production company, sued its employees' union Tuesday to recover more than $5 million in damages it claims to have incurred after the union allegedly tricked it into signing a collective bargaining agreement requiring contributions to benefit plans.

  • July 29, 2015

    SCE Raises Nuclear Plant Stakes To $7.6B, Mitsubishi Says

    Southern California Edison Co. has raised its arbitration demand against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. from $4 billion to $7.6 billion over claims the Japanese company provided defective steam generators for the now-shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Mitsubishi said Wednesday.

  • July 29, 2015

    Fla. Court Affirms Receivership In TV Joint Venture's Breakup

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday affirmed the appointment of a receiver in the breakup of a joint venture formed to produce Spanish-language television programming in the Caribbean.

  • July 29, 2015

    NJ Appeals Court Revives Condo's Tennis Court Fraud Claim

    The New Jersey Superior Court’s appellate division on Wednesday revived Hudson Harbour Condominium Association Inc.’s claim that the owner of Oval Tennis Inc. violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by falsely stating that he held a certification that doesn’t exist and then botching the installation of a tennis court.

  • July 29, 2015

    8th Circ. Told Food Giants Can't Arbitrate Antitrust Row

    A Minnesota grocery store operator told the Eighth Circuit Monday that the two largest grocery wholesalers in the U.S. are attempting to enforce arbitration agreements over which they have no legal authority in order to dodge retailers’ consolidated actions accusing them of conspiring to hike prices.

  • July 29, 2015

    Philly Landowner Wants Lien Axed In $18M Development Row

    The owner of a five-acre South Philadelphia lot being eyed by developer Bart Blatstein for a major retail and residential complex has asked a state judge to strike a lien lodged as part of a lawsuit alleging that the closing date of the $18 million deal was improperly moved up.

  • July 28, 2015

    NFL Players Suing BB&T For $53M Get Their Ranks Cut

    What started as a group of 16 National Football League players who brought a $53 million suit against Branch Banking and Trust Co. over unauthorized transactions is down to six plaintiffs after a Florida federal judge ruled for the bank Monday on breach of contract claims.

  • July 28, 2015

    Forced Arbitration Brings Stay, Not Dismissal, 2nd Circ. Says

    The Second Circuit on Tuesday deepened the appellate split on whether compelled arbitration should dismiss or stay lawsuits, finding that a customer's proposed class action accusing Verizon Wireless Inc. of concealed billing practices should be paused while the two sides go to mediation.

  • July 28, 2015

    Venable Beats OLG's $6M Counterclaim In Fee Fight

    A Washington federal judge dismissed Overseas Lease Group Inc.’s $6 million professional negligence counterclaim against Venable LLP in the firm’s suit to recover $300,000 in legal fees, saying none of the alleged damages stemmed from Venable’s actions.

Expert Analysis

  • 7th Circ. Doesn't End Debate Over Ill.'s Fifield Rule

    Jason B. Hirsh

    The Seventh Circuit's opinion in Instant Technology LLC v. DeFazio did not so much as mention adequacy of consideration, Illinois' Fifield rule and the series of opinions challenging its validity, or the inconsistency in the district court. In the end, with any luck, the Illinois Supreme Court will soon step in and resolve this matter once and for all, says Jason Hirsh of Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC.

  • Commercial Common Sense And Bad Bargains

    Peter McMaster

    For lawyers in the U.S. working in finance, insurance and other areas where business is conducted through offshore financial centers, the English approach to interpreting commercial contracts matters. A recent U.K. Supreme Court decision in Arnold v. Britton & Ors acknowledges the importance of commercial common sense while insisting on its limits, even in the face of an extreme outcome, say Peter McMaster and Rupert Coe of Appleby... (continued)

  • Screened Selection In Party-Appointed Arbitrations

    Charles B. Rosenberg

    The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution's screened selection process for party-appointed arbitrators is a simple compromise between the positions of those who believe the existing system of party appointments should remain unchanged and those who would overhaul the system, say Charles Rosenberg of White & Case LLP and Olivier Andre of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

  • The Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption: Part 3

    Susan Krawczyk

    Some broker-dealers may choose to develop a separate customer platform for retirement investor accounts in order to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor's proposed best interest contract exemption, rather than subject all of their retail customer accounts to the same rules. The more formidable challenge, though, will likely be the fee and compensation disclosure requirements, says Susan Krawczyk of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • The Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption: Part 2

    Susan Krawczyk

    In light of the U.S. Department of Labor's proposed best interest contract exemption guidance, a broker-dealer might decide to exclude transactions in retirement investor accounts from incentive or bonus programs offered to its brokers, says Susan Krawczyk of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • REBUTTAL: The Problem With 3rd-Party Litigation Financing

    Lisa Rickard

    Manipulating gender disparity in the service of hawking a flawed investment product does nothing but trivialize a serious and important issue. The tortured logic in Burford Capital LLC’s recent plug for third-party litigation financing is nothing more than a marketing ploy to boost revenues, says Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • The Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption: Part 1

    Susan S. Krawczyk

    A closer look at the U.S. Department of Labor's proposed best interest contract exemption for financial institutions and their advisers reveals that the elements are very different from existing requirements. Proposed transaction fee and cost requirements not only conflict with existing broker-dealer rules but also would require an operational platform that does not currently exist, says Susan Krawczyk of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • What To Consider When Drafting Arbitration Agreements

    Matthew Brown

    In order to draft arbitration discovery provisions that are both enforceable and also do not put the enforceability of the entire arbitration agreement at risk, employers must look to state law and should think strategically about who will decide the question of arbitrability, says Matthew Brown of Baker & McKenzie LLP.

  • 10 Questions In Employment Contract Disputes: Part 2

    Joseph A. Kroeger

    Before you appear on behalf of your defendant-client at a temporary restraining order hearing, there are 10 questions you should ask first. Obtaining quick and accurate answers to them may not only determine your client’s fate at the impending hearing, it may shape the course of the entire litigation, say Joseph Kroeger and Matt Milner of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • Ex Ante Vs. Ex Post: Janis Joplin’s Yearbook Revisited

    Paul E. Godek

    Fisher and Romaine’s well-known article, “Janis Joplin’s Yearbook and the Theory of Damages,” argues that commercial damages should be measured as of the time the challenged act occurred, an approach that has generally been favored. However, their argument is somewhat contrived, says Paul Godek, principal at MiCRA and a former economic adviser at the Federal Trade Commission.