Commercial Contracts

  • July 29, 2014

    Fla. Appeals Court Told Voided Clauses Nix Arbitration Pact

    The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit against an assisted living facility told a Florida appeals court Tuesday that a trial court erred when it voided several provisions in an arbitration agreement but then severed those provisions and let the agreement stand.

  • July 29, 2014

    CIT Group Sues Over $2M In Costs From Deadly Derailment

    CIT Group Inc. hit Western Petroleum Co. with a lawsuit Monday in Minnesota federal court claiming the oil company failed to indemnify the financing giant from over $2 million in legal fees and costs associated with a deadly freight train derailment, as required by a leasing agreement.

  • July 28, 2014

    Donald Sterling Loses Clippers Fight As Judge OKs $2B Sale

    Shelly Sterling had authority to seize control of the Los Angeles Clippers from her husband, Donald Sterling, and can complete her $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, a California probate judge tentatively ruled Monday.

  • July 28, 2014

    Quinn Emanuel $2.5M Fee Award Survives Calif. Appeals Court

    A California appellate panel on Monday upheld $2.5 million in cost and fee awards for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP after the firm successfully defended itself against a malpractice claim stemming from the settlement of a real estate partnership dispute, ruling that pro se attorneys can recover fees if specifically outlined in an agreement.

  • July 28, 2014

    NJ High Court To Hear Solar Contractor's $50M Lien Effort

    The New Jersey Supreme Court will consider the enforceability of liens issued against municipal financing, agreeing Monday to hear a company blocked from issuing liens on over $50 million in financing for a public solar project because county improvement authorities are statutorily exempt from liens.

  • July 28, 2014

    Argentina Gets OK For Bond Payments On Technicality

    With less than 56 hours left to solve a debt-repayment impasse, Argentina got permission Monday evening to make interest payments on certain bonds because of a newly discovered technicality — but the clock will keep ticking, and the special master for the country's debt crisis announced a new round of talks for Tuesday.

  • July 28, 2014

    Developer Goes After Attys For Bungled Foreclosure Defense

    A Florida property management company on Monday sued its former counsel claiming the firm botched a foreclosure proceeding that ended in a $5.8 million judgment and drove the company into Chapter 11 protection.

  • July 28, 2014

    General Mills' Arbitration Flop Felt Across Food Industry

    General Mills Inc.'s recent decision to revoke a controversial arbitration policy with its customers highlights the difficulties food companies face in pushing these contracts, including the challenge of securing arbitration agreements with consumers who seldom buy products directly from them.

  • July 28, 2014

    Would-Be Trump Plaza Buyer To Recoup Funds In Escrow Suit

    A suit tied to the alleged mishandling of escrow funds for a collapsed deal to buy the Trump Plaza Tower East hotel in Atlantic City was settled in Florida federal court on Friday with the would-be buyer securing $920,000 from some of the defendants.

  • July 28, 2014

    NJ AG Sues Co. For Selling Bogus Appliance Warranties

    New Jersey's attorney general has filed suit in state court against a company that allegedly induced customers to purchase repair coverage for their major appliances then denied claims under the policies, forcing consumers to cover the repairs out-of-pocket, according to a complaint released Monday.

  • July 28, 2014

    Rail Logistics Firm Accused Of Cooking Books In $18M Deal

    A subsidiary of Continental Intermodal Group on Saturday sued a railroad logistics provider that works in South Texas oilfields in state court, alleging it uncovered fraudulent invoices designed to falsely inflate the value of the company, which Continental bought for $18 million in May.

  • July 28, 2014

    CTCA Sues Avax For $5.8M Over Cancer Vaccine Promise

    A $5.8 million breach of contract complaint filed Monday in Pennsylvania federal court by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America alleges that Avax Technologies Inc. has failed to deliver on its promise of a "unique cancer vaccine" that could help CTCA's patients.

  • July 28, 2014

    Law Firm Ads May Fish For Grumpy Clients, NY Bar Group Says

    Empire State law firms may drum up business by telling potentially unhappy parties that they would be available to provide a second opinion as long as the firms follow other rules for attorney advertising and the ad doesn't come in the context of representing an established client, the state's largest lawyer group has found.

  • July 25, 2014

    Texas Appeals Court Reverses Fee Award In Attorneys' Row

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday reversed a trial court's judgment that an attorney breached his contract with another attorney in a separate lawsuit and remanded the case for further proceedings, finding the court erred in its submission of one of the jury questions.

  • July 25, 2014

    Judge Asks If Dreier Fall Busts Browne Arbitration Clause

    A California judge on Friday stayed Browne George Ross LLP's move to arbitrate a malpractice suit alleging the firm blew dental implant maker Sargon Enterprises Inc.'s shot at millions in a breach-of-contract fight, asking for briefing on whether Browne George’s involvement in Dreier LLP's dissolution affected its agreement with Sargon.

  • July 25, 2014

    5th Circ. Says Orders To Clarify Arbitration Awards Aren't Final

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday said a district court decision to send a case back to an arbitration panel for further clarification was not a final order that could be appealed, rejecting a Nuance Communications Inc. bid to enforce an arbitration award of zero dollars to investors challenging a $45 million merger.

  • July 25, 2014

    LA Clippers Must Be Sold Quickly, Sterling's Wife Says

    Donald Sterling will ruin the $2 billion value of the Los Angeles Clippers unless his wife obtains an order allowing her to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer immediately following the probate battle over the team, she and Ballmer argued in a brief filed Thursday.

  • July 25, 2014

    Hospital System Alleges Insurer Withheld Medicare Payments

    Susquehanna Health System on Thursday sued American Progressive Life and Health Insurance Co. of New York in Pennsylvania federal court, alleging it breached an agreement by withholding 2 percent of all Medicare Advantage PPO reimbursements it was required to pay Susquehanna.

  • July 25, 2014

    Urban Compass Hit With IP Theft Suit After $360M Valuation

    A man who claims to be the former business partner of apartment search website Urban Compass Inc. founder Robert Reffkin sued him and the company in New York state court Wednesday, accusing Reffkin of stealing proprietary information that helped Urban Compass reach a more than $360 million valuation last week.

  • July 25, 2014

    2nd Circ. Nixes Berger & Associates' Fee Clawback Bid

    The Second Circuit on Friday dismissed Berger & Associates Attorneys PC’s attempt to recoup legal fees stemming from an aborted referral agreement, rejecting the law firm's argument that its former business partner was barred from bankruptcy relief for concealing or destroying evidence.

Expert Analysis

  • VNA V. Jupiter Reflects Dramatic Shift By Fla. Courts

    Donald J. Hayden

    In Visiting Nurse Association of Florida Inc. v. Jupiter Medical Center, the Florida Supreme Court entered a unanimous decision that falls in line with a growing trend providing further certainty in using arbitration as a speedy and cost-effective vehicle for resolving commercial disputes, say attorneys with Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Litigator’s Perspective: 5 Tips On Arbitration Provisions

    Daniel T. McCloskey

    It happens all the time. When a dispute arises, two parties find themselves in arbitration, realizing that they might have had more leverage to dictate the terms of the process when they were negotiating the arbitration provision — but missed the opportunity, says Daniel McCloskey of Duane Morris LLP.

  • 6 Years In, Why Haven't FRE 502(d) Orders Caught On?

    John A. Rosans

    In this e-discovery era, why aren't more litigants using Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) orders and affording themselves basic protection of their most sensitive information? Or, if they are moving for such orders, why are they doing it wrong? asks John Rosans of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

  • Code Trumps Contract In The 5th Circ.

    Debra McElligott

    The Fifth Circuit opinion in Goldsby v. 804 Congress suggests that even where parties agree upon foreclosure-related fees, costs and charges before a bankruptcy, Section 506(b) of the Bankruptcy Code may still trump the provisions of their contract, says Debra McElligott of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • The Ins And Outs Of Competitor Restrictions In Leases

    Stuart Mass

    When representing a large tenant at a shopping mall or an office building, remember to consider whether there are competitor leasing and signage restrictions that are required or desired by your client. When representing a landlord, remember to “just say no,” say attorneys with Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • When You Are Responsible For Your Book Of Business

    Jennifer Topper

    Finding prospective clients and retaining them has little to do with your legal training and expertise, and yet you have no practice without successful client acquisition and retention. There is no reason you cannot apply your basic legal training to successful sales efforts hinging upon your practice strength and experience, says independent law firm consultant Jennifer Topper.

  • An Inventive Way To Remove Pure State Court Claims

    Michael E. Blumenfeld

    Nondiverse state court defendants facing purely state law claims that seek to secure federal jurisdiction should determine whether a good faith basis exists to pursue a third-party action against a federal actor in order to trigger the representative U.S. Attorney’s certification and remove such claims under the Westfall Act, say Michael Blumenfeld and Jonathan Singer of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • BDO Seidman Continues To Rule NY Restrictive Covenants

    Richard I. Janvey

    When drafting restrictive covenants in New York, employers and their counsel need to keep in mind the seminal appellate case BDO Seidman v. Hirshberg, which lays out what constitutes a reasonable covenant while setting the terms for what will be judicially enforced in the state, say Richard Janvey and Joan Secofsky of Diamond McCarthy LLP.

  • Powerful Tools For Discovery And Litigation Strategy

    Nathalie Hofman

    Analytics offer opportunities for refining both discovery strategy and overall litigation strategy by providing information to support better informed decisions. As an added bonus, they can result in significant cost savings, say Nathalie Hofman and Carolyn Southerland of Huron Consulting Group Inc.

  • Mass. Court Clarifies 'No Damage For Delay' Waiver Issues

    Scott A. McQuilkin

    A recent Massachusetts Superior Court decision makes clear that courts are unlikely to find that a "no damage for delay" clause in a construction contract has been waived unless a contractor provides evidence showing a clear and unequivocal intent, says Scott McQuilkin of Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.