Commercial Contracts

  • April 1, 2015

    Wal-Mart Gets Pa. Land Development Row Tossed

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday threw out a suit alleging that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reneged on a land development agreement with now-bankrupt property owner B.L. McCandless LP, concluding that the claim was rooted in an unenforceable oral agreement.

  • April 1, 2015

    DLA Piper Lures Life Sciences Deal Maker From Morgan Lewis

    DLA Piper announced Wednesday that it had landed a former Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP partner who specializes in transactional work for life sciences companies, including technology licensing, to join its Philadelphia office.

  • April 1, 2015

    CohnReznick Slams 'Gilmore Girls' Widow's $14M 'Money Grab'

    CohnReznick LLP urged a New York judge on Tuesday to toss a $14.5 million fraud suit alleging the firm mismanaged the late "Gilmore Girls" actor Edward Herrmann's finances, calling the suit "an unfounded money grab" by Herrmann's widow and saying the claims are too late and inadequately pled.

  • April 1, 2015

    Baker Donelson Rips Apart Hedge Funds' Legal Fee Fraud Suit

    Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC told an Illinois federal court Tuesday that two Cayman Islands hedge funds improperly brought their fraud suit against the firm in Illinois, as the squabble over nearly $1 million in legal fees from a struggling Texas energy company has no relation to the Midwest state.

  • March 31, 2015

    Justices Look Ready To Keep Expired-Patent Royalty Ban

    The U.S. Supreme Court looked poised Tuesday to leave intact a 50-year-old rule barring royalty agreements that continue after a patent expires, with several justices saying they saw little reason to disturb the long-standing precedent in a suit over a defunct Spider-Man patent.

  • March 31, 2015

    GT Strikes Deal For $45M Ch. 11 Asset Sale

    A unit of sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies Inc. requested a New Hampshire bankruptcy court's blessing Tuesday for a $45 million sale of sapphire furnaces and the maintenance of an IP licensing deal, which would hand off furnaces originally intended to make screens for Apple Inc. phones to an unknown Chinese buyer.

  • March 31, 2015

    NY Court Revives MPEG LA's $4M Converter Box Royalty Suit

    A New York appeals court on Tuesday revived patent-pool manager MPEG LA LLC’s bid to rope the owners of GXI International LLC into a breach of contract suit seeking to extract nearly $4 million from the company for television converter box royalties, finding that the business's owners were involved enough to be named as alter ego defendants.

  • March 31, 2015

    SandRidge Stiffed Texas On Gas Royalties, State Justices Told

    The Texas General Land Office and two companies on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to take up a royalty fight alleging SandRidge Energy Inc. shorted the state on royalty payments by charging it post-production costs associated with 12 mineral leases.

  • March 31, 2015

    NY Justices Won't Extend Drilling Rights Under Fracking Ban

    Energy companies unhappy with the disruptive nature of New York’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing cannot extend drilling rights on Tioga County land for operations that have yet to get under way, the state’s top court said Tuesday.

  • March 31, 2015

    Judge Won't DQ Milberg & DePhillips In Surfboard IP Row

    A California federal judge on Monday refused to disqualify Milberg & DePhillips PC from representing a celebrity surfer and co-owner of Kookbox Surfboards Inc. in a suit alleging he’s using the company’s trademark in a separate venture, saying the firm doesn’t have confidential information that’s adverse to Kookbox from the earlier trademark filing.

  • March 31, 2015

    NLRB Won't Let Workers Drop Arbitration Pact Charge

    The National Labor Relations Board refused Monday to let ex-workers who sued a limousine company that made them sign allegedly unlawful arbitration pacts with class-action waivers withdraw their NLRB charge, though the ex-workers agreed to seek withdrawal as part of a settlement in a related wage suit.

  • March 31, 2015

    Filmmakers Blast Stroock Arbitration Bid In $32M Row

    A production company that hit Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP with a $32 million legal malpractice suit in California called the firm’s recent attempt to force arbitration “confusing” and “inaccurate,” saying it never signed a retainer agreement the firm claims compels arbitration.

  • March 31, 2015

    Aetna Ignoring Key Claims In $120M Kickback Suit, Court Told

    A Houston-area hospital on Monday labeled as “lackluster” Aetna Life Insurance Co.’s response to claims that it is judge-shopping in a $120 million lawsuit over alleged kickbacks and exorbitant billing, telling a Texas federal court that Aetna essentially ignored the bulk of the hospital’s claims. 

  • March 31, 2015

    Nationstar Ducks Suit Over $150M Loan Auction Deal

    The Second Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's decision to toss Truman Capital Advisors LP's claims that a unit of mortgage service Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. wrongfully killed a $150 million deal when it scrapped an auction of residential loan pools backing certain securities.

  • March 31, 2015

    Honeywell Steams Most Claims In Faulty Humidifier Suit

    Honeywell International Inc. shed most claims against it Monday in a class action accusing the company of breaching its warranty by selling defective humidifiers that allegedly leak scalding water and fall apart after becoming clogged with mineral deposits.

  • March 31, 2015

    GSK Urges 3rd Circ. To Nix $121M Damages In Paxil Row

    GlaxoSmithKline PLC has defended its push for the Third Circuit to vacate about $121 million in damages against the company, saying that the award is based on an unqualified expert witness whom Mylan Inc. used in its suit accusing GSK of breaching an exclusivity agreement over generic Paxil.

  • March 30, 2015

    Axed Trustees Of Herbalife Founder's Estate Still Fired

    A California appeals court on Monday upheld the removal of three trustees from the estate of Herbalife Ltd. founder Mark Hughes for breach of trust and gross negligence epitomized by the botched sale of 157 acres of land in Beverly Hills that exposed the trust to millions in litigation costs.

  • March 30, 2015

    Med Mal Arbitration Rule Waives Consumer Rights, Attys Say

    The Texas chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates on Friday told the state Supreme Court that allowing the Federal Arbitration Act to preempt state malpractice law secretly takes away a patient's right to a jury trial, urging the court to reconsider its decision that the state law isn’t an insurance law shielded from the act.

  • March 30, 2015

    Judge Tosses Photogs' Antitrust, IP Suit Against NFL, AP

    The National Football League and the Associated Press on Friday sacked a copyright and antitrust suit brought by seven photographers, when a New York federal judge ruled that exclusive deals cut between the league and photo agencies that allow the NFL to use photos royalty-free are not anticompetitive.

  • March 30, 2015

    Paterno Family’s Contract Claim Axed Again In NCAA Suit

    A Pennsylvania judge ruled the family of the late Joe Paterno can’t sue Penn State University and the NCAA for breach of contract over fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to an order released Monday, the second time the judge has thrown out the claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Schwab Case Opens Litigation Doors Most Thought Closed

    Jeffrey B. Maletta

    A Ninth Circuit opinion in a mortgage-backed securities-related case, Northstar Financial Advisors Inc. v. Schwab Investments, charts potential new pathways for claims for damages resulting from portfolio losses by mutual fund shareholders. However, the court’s opinion is inconsistent with established principles of investment company governance and litigation, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • Ethics In The Tech Age: What Every Lawyer Should Consider

    J.S. “Chris” Christie Jr.

    In light of recent changes to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, what are a lawyer’s ethical duties arising from new technology? And what should a lawyer know about this technology? Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP partner J.S. “Chris” Christie Jr. offers an in-depth assessment of what every lawyer should consider in 2015.

  • Pa. Mechanic’s Lien Waivers, Releases: The Nuts And Bolts

    Thomas C. Rogers

    While it has been eight years since the first dramatic changes were made, subsequent amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Act addressed problems or other issues that the 2007 amendments created. Thomas Rogers, co-chairman of White and Williams LLP’s real estate practice, outlines the mechanics of the law for practitioners documenting commercial real estate transactions.

  • Don’t Skip The Air Emission Credits In M&A

    Michael Scott Feeley

    One issue that all too frequently gets lost in the shuffle during the diligence and purchase agreement negotiation process is the evaluation of whether air emission credits are necessary to run the business, and if so, how these credits will be treated in the deal documents, say Michael Scott Feeley and Aron Potash of Latham & Watkins LLP.

  • Mediation And The Thorny Issue Of Settlement Authority

    Douglas H. Flaum

    Many mediation orders state that attendees must have “full settlement authority” without providing clarity as to what that term actually means. Attendance by just outside counsel or a corporate spokesperson is not enough, even if someone else with full settlement authority is just a phone call or keystroke away, say Douglas Flaum and Kevin Broughel of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • 'Hypothetical Test' Takeaways From Trump Entertainment

    Debra McElligott

    The Section 365(c)(1) "hypothetical test" adopted by the Third Circuit remains an obstacle for debtors that simply wish to keep their intellectual property licenses. A Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. opinion, however, hints at the role Section 365(f)(1) can play in limiting the reach of the hypothetical test, says Debra McElligott of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • China’s New Tax Regulation Complicates Offshore M&A Deals

    Niping Wu

    The recently issued Bulletin 7 will have a major impact on how offshore merger and acquisition transactions involving Chinese underlying assets are to be negotiated and conducted. As the risk for buyers, as withholding agents, to be held ultimately “wrong” has become much higher, it may not be easy to align the interests of buyers and sellers, says Niping Wu of Fenwick & West LLP.

  • What Experts Can Say About Inadmissible Facts During Trial

    Jason McDonell

    For reliance material that is not admitted on the stand, consider bolstering the testimony by having the expert describe the evidence generally, but in a way that signals to the jury that the expert has a strong foundation of supporting facts and data. If done well, such testimony can open the door to admitting the evidence, say Jason McDonell and Heather Fugitt of Jones Day.

  • Implied Easements And Lessons For Landowners

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    For the first time in more than 50 years, a California appeals court effectively expanded the scope of an express written easement by granting a concurrent implied irrevocable license. Landowners simply can no longer assume that a written agreement will limit the rights of the parties if the factual circumstances would otherwise establish new or additional implied rights, says Sylvia Arostegui of Nossaman LLP.

  • High Court May Take On Corporate 5th Amendment Privilege

    Ramzi Abadou

    A festering but virtually unnoticed circuit split over a legal doctrine the U.S. Supreme Court first recognized early last century may provide the Roberts court with the opportunity to grant corporate persons privilege against self-incrimination for the first time in U.S. history, says Ramzi Abadou of Kahn Swick & Foti LLP.