Commercial Contracts

  • October 21, 2014

    ‘Jemima' Heirs Scolded For Exhumation Bid In PepisCo Row

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday threatened possible sanctions against the great-grandchildren of an actress who played Aunt Jemima in their $2 billion royalty suit against PepsiCo. Inc., denying their request to exhume their grandmother because it was based on a parody obituary.

  • October 21, 2014

    Ex-Yahoo Worker Can't Duck Patent Row Under Anti-SLAPP

    A former Yahoo Inc. employee must face a suit alleging he stole a patent from the tech giant when he founded his own startup, a California judge ruled Tuesday rejecting the ex-worker’s argument that Yahoo’s trade secrets and patent suit violated his free speech rights.

  • October 21, 2014

    Google Can't Hide Behind Stored Communications Act: Court

    The Stored Communications Act doesn't allow service providers to defy civil discovery subpoenas, according to a California appellate court, which ruled Tuesday that Google Inc. must provide emails sought by a ship manufacturer suing a former employee for breach of duty.

  • October 21, 2014

    Hunter Labs Can't Dodge Contract Suit Over $6.3M FCA Share

    Hunter Laboratories LLC on Monday couldn't dodge a contract suit brought by partners in a litigation sharing deal who were allegedly denied their share of proceeds from a $241 million False Claims Act recovery, with a New Jersey federal judge ruling his court is a proper venue.

  • October 21, 2014

    Highmark Loses Bid To Ax Pa.'s Challenge To Medicare Plan

    A federal judge ruled Tuesday that he could not intervene to stop Pennsylvania officials from pursuing litigation in state court aimed at blocking Highmark Inc. from offering a Medicare Advantage plan that allegedly violates an agreement defining the insurer’s relationship with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

  • October 21, 2014

    DirecTV Dealer Urges Calif. Panel To Reinstate $9.5M Award

    A DirecTV Inc. dealer on Tuesday urged a California appeals court to reinstate a $9.5 million arbitration award it won against the satellite company in a contract dispute, arguing a trial court erred in applying state rather than federal arbitration law to vacate the award.

  • October 21, 2014

    Avandia User's Warranty Violation Suit Flops In 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday refused to revive a putative class action accusing GlaxoSmithKline PLC of violating the warranty on its diabetes drug Avandia, ruling a label declaring the drug “safe and effective” was not enough to create a warranty under New Jersey law.

  • October 20, 2014

    Cinemax Actress Can't Avoid Claims Over Refused Sex Scenes

    An actress suing HBO, Cinemax and a production company saying she was coerced into filming "softcore porn" sex scenes for a late-night adult television series can't avoid counterclaims alleging she breached her contract by refusing to appear nude in the scenes, a California judge ruled Monday.

  • October 20, 2014

    NLRB Judges Knock 2 Employers' Arbitration Pacts

    A California grocery chain and a Las Vegas limousine service were faulted Friday by National Labor Relations Board judges who found the employers violated federal labor law by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements that interfered with their right to bring collective actions.

  • October 20, 2014

    PR Team Says Texas Attys Owe $8M For Soliciting Spill Claims

    A team of public-relations specialists have filed a suit accusing a pair of Houston-based law firms and their principal attorneys of cheating them out of $7.9 million in fees for bringing the firms some 10,000 clients filing claims for damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • October 20, 2014

    Defense Contractor Ordered To Ship Cars In $3M Contract Row

    A Georgia federal judge on Sunday temporarily blocked Liberty Global Logistics LLC from halting its ocean carriage services to military contractor International Auto Logistics LLC over $3 million in alleged nonpayments, ruling such a stoppage could disrupt the federal government's ability to transport troops.

  • October 20, 2014

    Harbinger Battles For $50M Discount On OM Group Sale

    Harbinger Group Inc. locked horns with OM Group (UK) Ltd. over a $350 million insurance acquisition's terms Monday, with Harbinger claiming the London seller had no plan to cope with skeptical Maryland regulators and with OM insisting Harbinger seized on a regulatory stumble to unlawfully demand a $50 million price break.

  • October 20, 2014

    Pashman Stein Wins Rehearing Of Nostrum Fee Battle

    The New Jersey Appellate Court on Monday ordered a new hearing over Pashman Stein PC's injunction compelling Nostrum Laboratories to pay at least $500,000 in fees for a generic-drug developer in a noncompete suit brought by Dr. Reddy's, saying the case’s underlying facts were in dispute.

  • October 20, 2014

    Silent CBA Weighs Against Lifetime Healthcare, Justices Told

    A Sixth Circuit ruling that left M&G Polymers USA LLC responsible for a class of retirees' lifetime health benefits was “infected” by precedent regarding collective bargaining agreements that is out of step with federal labor policy and common sense, the company has told the Supreme Court.

  • October 20, 2014

    M&T Bank To Pay $4M To Exit MDL Over Overdraft Fees

    A Florida judge on Monday granted preliminary approval to a $4 million settlement in a case alleging M&T Bank was part of a group of lenders that acted in bad faith by charging high overdraft fees, becoming the latest bank to settle in a once-massive multidistrict litigation in Florida federal court.

  • October 20, 2014

    High Court Won't Mull Bankrupt Co.'s Row With Puerto Rico

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will not review a First Circuit ruling regarding a construction company's allegations that the Puerto Rican government drove it into bankruptcy by yanking contracts after an unrelated plea deal.

  • October 17, 2014

    Dish, Fox Each Say Aereo Backs Their Claims In DVR Fight

    Dish Network Corp. and Fox Broadcasting Inc. faced off in a California federal courthouse Friday, each arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Aereo ruling supports its bid for a quick win in their fight over whether Dish's Internet-streaming DVR features infringe Fox's copyrights.

  • October 17, 2014

    Ferrari Fans Say Facebook, Carmaker Stole Valuable Pages

    A multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed against Facebook Inc. and Ferrari SpA on Tuesday in California Superior Court says the social network and automaker worked together to misappropriate two popular Ferrari fan pages from their creators, posing the question of who has ownership rights over Facebook fan pages.

  • October 17, 2014

    AA Pilots Can't Challenge CBA Ruling, Judge Says

    A New York federal judge on Friday refused a challenge to a bankruptcy court’s approval of a collective bargaining agreement between American Airlines and a pilots’ union that scaled back benefits, finding a group of disgruntled pilots nearing retirement lack the standing to object.

  • October 17, 2014

    Pa. Court To Decide Class Arbitrability In Gas Lease Row

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Thursday gave a boost to Chesapeake Appalachia LLC in its dispute with Scout Petroleum LLC over gas lease royalties, saying that recent Third Court precedent determined that the court, rather than arbitrators, should decide whether class arbitration is permissible in the case.

Expert Analysis

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Export Controls And The Art Of Voluntary Disclosures

    Brett Johnson

    A person who dabbles in art is not likely to paint museum-worthy masterpieces. The same principle applies to drafting, submitting and addressing the long-term impact of voluntary disclosures. Companies should prepare well in advance for a possible export control violation, says Brett Johnson of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • How Hotels Can Control The Consequences Of Force Majeure

    Andrew P. B. MacGeoch

    Force majeure clauses in hotel management agreements may be regarded by some as boring boilerplate provisions. Yet, in the aftermath of a significant event — which could range from heightened political tension as in Hong Kong to the rapid spread of viruses such as Ebola — it can become key to the operation of the whole agreement, say Andrew MacGeoch and Emily Wong of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Texas Clears Path For Property Damage Calculations

    Bryan D. Rohm

    In Wheeler v. Enbridge Pipelines, the Texas Supreme Court provided guidance to midstream companies on the proper calculation of damages to real property stemming from the breach of a pipeline right-of-way agreement — a decision that has implications well beyond the oil and gas industry, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • Who Runs My Joint Venture?

    Sean A. Bryan

    It is common for investment funds and other entities, whether in the form of a limited liability company or limited partnership, to have boards of advisers or otherwise provide for consultation with nonmanaging equity owners. The partnership or operating agreement should be explicit in granting authority, if any, or disclaiming authority, as is more customary, says Sean Bryan of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Planning For Disputes In Cross-Border PE Deals

    Timothy J. Lindsay

    International arbitration can offer important advantages in cross-border private equity transactions, with the precise wording of the so-called “midnight” dispute resolution clauses in commercial agreements being the keystone to contractual certainty and, ultimately, enforcement of the bargain struck, says Timothy Lindsay of Dechert LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • Battling On The Front Lines Of Service Member Foreclosures

    Meredith L. Minkus

    Although a somewhat sensitive issue for lenders, foreclosing upon the property of a member of the armed forces does not have to be a costly and frustrating process, as often depicted in the media. The difficulties arise when lenders wait until the last minute to determine whether a defendant is, in fact, a service member, say Meredith Minkus and Steven Ferrell of Burr & Forman LLP.

  • NY Court Clarifies When Yellowstone Relief Is Appropriate

    Jesse B. Schneider

    It has long been believed in New York that a Yellowstone injunction is not available in an action stemming from a default based solely upon the nonpayment of rent. However, the recent decision rendered and analysis proffered by a state court in Sagi Restaurant Corp. v. Brusco W. 78th St. LLC serves to debunk this notion, says Jesse Schneider of Davis & Gilbert LLP.