Commercial Contracts

  • April 28, 2017

    Charles Schwab Slips $25M Real Estate Suit Against Son

    A California judge Friday dropped Charles Schwab Corp.’s founder from a $25 million suit alleging he directed his son to force a business partner out of an Indonesian real estate investment venture, after the investor’s attorney called the plaintiff a surfer con-man conducting a “shakedown."

  • April 28, 2017

    Brazilian Fund Intermediary Wants $3.6M Award Confirmed

    A Brazilian intermediary for investment funds on Friday asked a New York federal court to confirm an arbitral award, now exceeding 11.4 million Brazilian reais ($3.6 million), against a broker after a tribunal found that the broker had failed to pay a bonus under the terms of the parties’ contract.

  • April 28, 2017

    4th Circ. OKs RJ Reynolds' Win In $50M ERISA Suit

    The Fourth Circuit on Friday upheld tobacco giant RJ Reynolds’ win in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over $50 million allegedly lost to retirement plan mismanagement following its 1999 spinoff from RJR Nabisco Inc., saying that a hypothetical and prudent plan manager would have done the same thing.

  • April 28, 2017

    Fla. Judge Won't Bar Sales Of Primo Shrimp In Contract Row

    A Florida federal judge Thursday denied Primo Broodstock Inc.'s request for an injunction barring a former shrimp farming facility partner from selling hybrid Primo shrimp, ruling that the genetic material in the shrimp is not confidential.

  • April 28, 2017

    Qualcomm Rips Apple For Unpaid Contractors In Royalty Row

    Apple Inc. ratcheted up an escalating royalties dispute with Qualcomm Inc. when it decided to withhold payments to contract manufacturers who owe royalties to the chipmaker under their licenses for sales ending March 31, Qualcomm huffed in a statement on Friday.

  • April 28, 2017

    DC Circ. Nixes Steel Supplier's Noncompete Agreement

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s decision that a steel industry supplier illegally started forcing new hires to sign a noncompete agreement without first consulting a union about the policy shift.

  • April 28, 2017

    Atty Pushes For 2nd Look At Duane Morris Malpractice Claim

    A Philadelphia attorney and part-owner of a company he says was swindled out of a lucrative telecom merger asked a Pennsylvania state judge Thursday to reconsider her decision ending a malpractice suit that accused Duane Morris LLP of botching an appeal over the handling of the deal.

  • April 28, 2017

    BP Keeps Gas Well Lease, Texas Supreme Court Rules

    The Supreme Court of Texas on Friday overturned a lower court and ruled that BP America Production Co. did have the right to a natural gas well lease in the state, deciding that the plain language of the contract allowed it to secure its continuation with a payment.

  • April 28, 2017

    Avis, Insurer End Suit Over $23.5M Crash Verdict Coverage

    Avis and ACE Insurance have mutually agreed to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the insurer has improperly refused to provide coverage in two personal injury actions, including one case in which a jury returned a $23.5 million verdict against the car rental company, according to a stipulation filed in New Jersey federal court on Thursday.

  • April 28, 2017

    Sheppard Mullin Adds MSK's Employment Partner In Calif.

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP has hired a Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP partner who’s represented corporate clients in a variety of contract and employment disputes to join the firm’s labor and employment practice group in Los Angeles' Century City, the firm said Friday.

  • April 28, 2017

    Glaser Weil DQ Bid Back In Play In Tupac Biopic Row

    A California appeals court found Thursday that a lower court abused its discretion when it refused to disqualify Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP from representing a Hollywood production company in a suit over financing a Tupac Shakur biopic, finding the court failed to apply the “substantial relationship” test between the firm and the parties in the case.

  • April 28, 2017

    Holland & Knight DQ'ed From Suit For Repping Both Sides

    A New York federal judge on Friday disqualified Holland & Knight LLP from representing First NBC Bank in an upcoming trial against ethanol distributor Murex LLC, saying that the firm offered legal services to both parties concurrently despite preparing the bank’s lawsuit against Murex over alleged sham transactions.

  • April 28, 2017

    Texas Justices Won't Revive Andrews Kurth Malpractice Suit

    Citing a lack of evidence, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday affirmed dismissal of a legal malpractice case where former clients of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP alleged that their lawyers' drafting of an unenforceable health care investment agreement and failure to designate damages experts resulted in a $6 million judgment against them.

  • April 28, 2017

    2 UAE Men Seek To Halt Cerner's Collection Of $62M Award

    A United Arab Emirates businessman and his son asked a Massachusetts federal court Thursday to stay proceedings brought by health records giant Cerner Corp. to confirm a $62 million arbitration award over a billing dispute, saying they haven’t been properly served.

  • April 28, 2017

    Proposed Deal In Baseball Expansion Suit Stays Under Wraps

    An independent baseball team owner can keep the terms of a proposed settlement over a failed expansion effort undisclosed to the Frontier Professional Baseball league, an Indiana federal magistrate judge recommended Wednesday.

  • April 28, 2017

    Admiral Reaches Deal To Avoid Coverage In Med Mal Suit

    Admiral Insurance Co. has reached a quick settlement with a Florida medical center that it sued to avoid coverage of a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the wife of a deceased patient, with the center agreeing that Admiral doesn’t have to defend or indemnify it in the underlying litigation.

  • April 28, 2017

    Retainer Wording Sinks NJ Atty's Bid For Arbitration Costs

    A New Jersey attorney lost his bid to recover counsel fees after he prevailed in a fee arbitration dispute with a former client Friday when a state appeals panel found his retainer agreement didn’t allow for such a recovery.

  • April 27, 2017

    Nuclear Plant Owners Fight IP Clause In Westinghouse Loan

    The owners of a nuclear power plant in Georgia being constructed by bankrupt nuclear energy giant Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC told a New York court on Wednesday that the contractor is unnecessarily putting the project in danger by pledging its intellectual property in exchange for an $800 million loan.

  • April 27, 2017

    NY Law Sinks RICO Claims In Appeal In Hedge Fund Suit

    A New Jersey appeals court on Thursday affirmed the dismissal of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations claims in a lawsuit alleging a network of investment professionals forced an insurer’s financial ruin, finding that New York law, which doesn’t allow private civil RICO claims, applied because the alleged wrongdoing was concentrated in the Empire State.

  • April 27, 2017

    FirstEnergy Settles BNSF, CSX Coal Delivery Row For $109M

    A FirstEnergy Corp. unit said on Thursday that it will pay $109 million to two railway companies to settle claims that it failed to fulfill the terms of a coal transportation contract, a situation that the company had tried to blame on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency power plant emissions rule.

Expert Analysis

  • The Mediator’s Proposal As A Tool For Litigants

    Dennis Klein

    Mediators’ proposals, which call for an unconditional and confidential acceptance or rejection, are resolving high-value disputes on a regular basis. Dennis Klein of Critical Matter Mediation examines why this is happening and the tactical implications for litigants in anticipating that a mediator’s proposal could resolve litigation.

  • Expectations After The Trump Administration's First 100 Days

    Jim Flood

    In its first 100 days, the Trump administration has had mixed results and may be behind where it wants to be. The biggest threat to President Donald Trump’s domestic policy agenda beyond the first 100 days is the difficulty of reconciling the Freedom Caucus Republicans, moderate Republicans and Democrats, say Jim Flood and Cari Stinebower of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Post-Closing Liability Risks For Private Equity Firms

    Sara Duran

    Despite thoughtful negotiations, private equity firms selling portfolio companies can have direct post-closing liability. Sara Duran and Sacha Jamal of Sidley Austin LLP look at one example — fraud-in-the-inducement claims — through the lens of the Delaware Superior Court’s recent decision in ITW Global Investments v. American Industrial Partners.

  • In New York Lending Agreements, The Contract Rules

    Richard H. Epstein

    In some states, borrowers may invoke the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” to circumvent certain express loan terms. The recent decision in Transit Funding Associates v. Capital One Equipment Finance made clear that such arguments will be rejected by New York’s First Department, says Richard Epstein of Sills Cummis & Gross PC.

  • The 9-Year Winning Streak Of Virginia ‘Rocket Docket’

    Bob Tata

    Out of 94 district courts, the Eastern District of Virginia has been the fastest civil trial docket in the country for nine straight years. Without micromanaging the process, the EDVA's judges, magistrate judges, and clerks and staff continue to perform at a stunningly efficient level, says Bob Tata of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Employment Class Waivers: Which Came First, FAA Or NLRA?

    Bonnie Burke

    Until the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether mandatory arbitration agreements containing class action waivers are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act — despite any protections afforded by the National Labor Relations Act — a close reading of recent appellate decisions provides employers with guidance to overcome the current attacks on such agreements, say Bonnie Burke of Lawrence & Bundy LLC and Christina Tellado of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Opinion

    Let's Talk About Half-Hearted Innovation

    Michael Moradzadeh

    Allowing attorneys to telecommute may seem like a great fix for law firms. But without significant changes to the firm's culture, telecommuting is just a patch applied to the problem of attrition, says Michael Moradzadeh, founding partner of Rimon PC.

  • Protecting Communications From PR Privilege Issues

    Donna Fisher

    Two recent opinions out of Pennsylvania and California state courts offer important lessons for avoiding claims of privilege waiver when using public relations consultants during litigation, say attorneys with Pepper Hamilton LLP.

  • Roundup

    Counsel To Counsel: Insights From Law Firm GCs

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    General counsel at four law firms share the biggest issues they face in an increasingly complex legal environment.

  • Is 'Class Arbitration' An Oxymoron?

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    The premise is that “class arbitration” signifies the utilization of a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 class action protocol in an arbitration proceeding. Here we examine possible bases for the viability of class arbitration. Spoiler alert — they do not hold up to scrutiny, says Gilbert Samberg of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.