Commercial Contracts

  • April 17, 2015

    Homeless Case Fee Fight Imperils Other Suits, 11th Circ. Told

    Counsel for homeless Miami residents whose class action prompted a landmark 1998 agreement over their treatment by the city told the Eleventh Circuit on Friday that a lower court's denial of attorneys' fees for their work on recent modifications endangers similar civil rights consent decree cases.

  • April 17, 2015

    Logistics Co. Wants High Court To Review DHL Contract Row

    Falcon Express International Inc. last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Texas appellate ruling letting DHL Express USA Inc. off the hook for a jury’s $5 million damages award, saying Texas courts wrongly interpret federal aviation law to preempt state law claims.

  • April 17, 2015

    Contract Claims Barred In Malpractice Suit: Littler Mendelson

    Littler Mendelson PC on Friday asked a district court to dismiss contract and other claims in a $235,000 lawsuit brought by the daughter of a Houston billionaire who said she stopped paying overtime to domestic workers at her Houston mansion on the firm's advice, arguing that claims are illegal attempts to fracture a legal malpractice suit.

  • April 17, 2015

    Brooklyn Property Owners Can’t Duck Developer’s $76M Suit

    A Brooklyn judge has refused to throw out a contract dispute between the owners of a $76.5 million building near Prospect Park and investors who want to turn it into posh apartments, ruling the owners haven’t shown the buyers defaulted by failing to attend the sale’s closing.

  • April 17, 2015

    SBE's Nazarian Bilking Hotel Investor In $125M Deal, Suit Says

    An investor in SLS South Beach hotel sued owner Sam Nazarian and his SBE Entertainment Group for $15 million Thursday for allegedly breaching a contract by trying to close the property's $125 million sale while paying the plaintiff “peanuts.”

  • April 17, 2015

    Two Sigma Can't Extend VP's Work Ban In Contract Fight

    A New York judge on Friday refused to extend a non-compete period for a former vice president of Two Sigma Investments LLC who was accused of breaching his employment agreement  by starting a rival firm that threatened the hedge fund’s trade secrets, but issued an injunction enforcing the contract.

  • April 17, 2015

    Agents Can’t Strike Out ‘Trouble With The Curve’ Suit

    A California judge ruled on Friday that a talent agency swept up in a suit alleging that screenwriters stole a project to make the 2012 film “Trouble with the Curve” can’t invoke the First Amendment to nix the suit because it wasn’t part of the creative process.

  • April 17, 2015

    Harris County To Appeal Int'l Paper River Pollution Judgment

    Harris County on Friday filed a notice of appeal in its river pollution lawsuit against International Paper Inc., saying that the trial court wrongfully excluded expert testimony and witnesses affected by a series of abandoned 14-acre waste disposal pits built near the San Jacinto River.

  • April 17, 2015

    Atty Can’t Prove Insurer Promised To Hire Him, Judge Says

    A California federal judge on Thursday declined to reconsider an order finding that Lexington Insurance Co. didn’t renege on an oral agreement with Cell-Crete Corp. to hire its personal counsel, ruling that additional depositions wouldn’t advance the plaintiffs’ claims.

  • April 17, 2015

    NJ Judge Blocks Straub's Plan To Re-Energize Revel

    A New Jersey federal judge issued a bench ruling on Friday morning barring the new owner of the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City from using equipment claimed by the resort’s former energy supplier to restore power to the building following a weeklong blackout.

  • April 17, 2015

    American Apparel Sued Over Improper Notices Of Mass Layoff

    American Apparel Inc. was hit Thursday with a proposed class action in California that accuses the beleaguered retailer of giving 180 employees only a couple of days' notice before a mass layoff and pressuring some non-English-speaking workers to sign “paltry” separation agreements.

  • April 17, 2015

    Ex-Franchisees Seek To Sanction Texas Food Chain In TM Row

    A group of former franchisees of a Houston Tex-Mex restaurant chain urged a Texas federal judge on Thursday to sanction the chain for allegedly having “literally no basis” to accuse the group of infringing on its trademark after the franchise deal fell through.

  • April 17, 2015

    DOJ Official Warns Against Anti-Steering In Contracts

    A top official from the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division urged leading suppliers Friday to analyze anti-competitive market impacts before referencing rivals in merchant contracts lest they face antitrust liability, as evidenced in a recent ruling against American Express Inc. over anti-steering agreements.

  • April 17, 2015

    Trump Agency Blasts Model's Opposition To Dismissal Bid

    Trump Model Management LLC pressed forward Thursday in its bid to dismiss a putative class action accusing the agency of exploiting and underpaying foreign models, telling a New York federal judge the plaintiff has yet to address the fatal flaws of her argument.

  • April 16, 2015

    ETP Says Enterprise Changing Tune On Contract Interpretation

    An attorney for Energy Transfer Partners LP on Thursday grilled an employee for Texas pipeline lessee Enterprise Products Partners LP over the history of a contract between the two companies, using a 1993 corrosion incident to illustrate how Enterprise allegedly interpreted the contract's terms previously.

  • April 16, 2015

    Corning IP Suit Against Supplier Allowed To Proceed

    A Delaware federal judge on Thursday allowed Corning Inc. to proceed with an intellectual property case that seeks to invalidate a supplier’s fiber optic coating patents.

  • April 16, 2015

    Judgment Nixed Against Ex-Mostyn Atty In Referral Fee Fight

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday vacated a judgment against a former Mostyn Law Firm attorney being sued by the firm for allegedly claiming illegitimate referral fees from insurer settlements, saying the trial court erred by failing to strike the firm's petition because its plenary power had expired.

  • April 16, 2015

    FTC To Dive Deep In Pay-To-Delay Analysis, Brill Says

    Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill said Thursday that the agency will begin "a deep dive" to analyze the motives of pharmaceutical companies suspected of pay-for-delay schemes, responding to criticism that its current analysis of anticompetitive behavior is too simple.

  • April 16, 2015

    Kmart Says 5th Circ. Misunderstood Testimony In Flood Case

    Kmart Corp. has asked the Fifth Circuit to reconsider its decision killing the retail giant’s $2.6 million contract suit against the owner of a shopping center, saying the three-judge panel misinterpreted testimony on how the landlord could have prevented floodwaters from infiltrating one of Kmart's Mississippi stores.

  • April 16, 2015

    Natrol Buyer Tells Judge It Resolved Row With Ex-Owners

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge was told Thursday that Natrol LLC, the company formed when Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. bought Natrol Inc., settled its dispute with the supplement maker’s former owners connected to an alleged "sham" contract, but the precise details of the deal were not revealed to the court.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Taking Legal Analytics To The Next Level

    Nathalie Hofman

    Sixty-eight percent of legal technology professionals expect their organizations’ investments in legal data analytics to increase over the next two years. That is just one of the results of a recent survey of more than 125 legal professionals, say Laurie Fischer and Nathalie Hofman of Huron Legal.

  • Why Counsel Should Direct Your Data Security Investigations

    Alfred Saikali

    Reports generated from privacy audits and data breach investigations often contain unintentionally harmful statements about a company’s security safeguards or privacy practices. But — as a Tennessee federal court recently held in Genesco Inc. v. Visa Inc. — when those investigations are directed by counsel to evaluate a company’s legal rights and obligations they are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege, say A... (continued)

  • Tips For Enforcing Failed-Bank Notes Purchased From FDIC

    Daniel C. Wennogle

    Defenses to enforcement of a note based upon an apparent defect in a document often lack any real legal or factual merit. Financial institutions purchasing assets of a failed bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will be well-served to know its rights when faced with defenses of this kind, say Daniel Wennogle and Christy Milliken of Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • Playing In Peoria: Hospital Exclusive Dealing Case Proceeds

    Dionne Lomax

    In Peoria, Illinois, a small hospital’s antitrust suit alleging illegal exclusive dealing and attempted monopolization against its largest competitor — Methodist Health Svcs. Corp. v. OFS Healthcare System — has the potential to create important precedent and guidance regarding the use of exclusive contracts, particularly when employed by parties with market power, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.