Commercial Contracts

  • June 26, 2017

    Judge Won’t Decertify Class After Win For Gas Developers

    Charter Land Co. LLC can’t get the class decertified in a suit against natural gas developer Southwestern Energy Co. and its subsidiaries alleging the companies violated certain lease provisions to scam money from royalty owners, an Arkansas federal judge ruled Friday before entering a final judgment affirming a jury’s verdict against the class.

  • June 26, 2017

    Roche Defends Suit Over Alleged $89M Test Strip Scheme

    Medical testing supplier Roche Diagnostics Corp. on Friday urged an Indiana federal court not to dismiss its claims of a conspiracy that caused $89 million in lost profits by diverting sales of diabetes testing strips, saying the alleged conspirators “fail to mount a serious challenge” to its claims.

  • June 26, 2017

    Insurers Aim To Exit Cummins-Allison IP Theft Row Coverage

    A pair of insurers have filed suit in Pennsylvania state court looking to avoid providing coverage to Cummins-Allison Corp. over claims that it misappropriated trade secrets from a rival as the two parties collaborated to develop new coin-counting technology.

  • June 26, 2017

    DC Circ. Won't Rehear Case On Wind Farm Power Contract

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday rejected a request by a wind farm and renewable energy advocates to rehear its decision that upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s ruling that forced Portland General Electric Co. to purchase the wind farm’s power using a method the farm didn’t like.

  • June 26, 2017

    Judge Recommends Pausing Oil Field Suit For Arbitration

    A Texas magistrate judge on Friday recommended pausing for arbitration Carlton Energy Group LLC’s suit relating to an African oil field dispute potentially worth $1 billion, rejecting Carlton’s contention that PetroChina Co. Ltd. and related companies can’t agree to arbitrate because they weren’t part of an original contract. 

  • June 26, 2017

    Plaintiffs Bar Perspective: Susman Godfrey's Matthew Berry

    Cases are typically decided based on a relatively small number of key issues. It is critical not only to identify those key issues at the outset of the case, but to also plot a strategy for getting them resolved in your favor, says Matthew Berry of Susman Godfrey LLP.

  • June 23, 2017

    2nd Circ. Ruling Offers Way Out Of TCPA Litigation Jungle

    The Second Circuit ruled Thursday that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act doesn’t allow consumers who consent to receiving calls as part of a contract agreement to revoke that permission, handing a major win to businesses in their efforts to quell a popular accusation that has fanned the rush of TCPA litigation in recent years.

  • June 23, 2017

    Texas High Court To Hear Row Against Payday Lender

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a would-be class action from borrowers alleging payday lender Cash Biz LP broke the law when it filed criminal charges against them for unpaid debts.

  • June 23, 2017

    NJ Court Tosses $1.4M Fees Award In Equipment Lease Row

    A New Jersey appeals court on Friday vacated a more than $1.4 million attorneys' fees award to counsel for Tangible Secured Funding in an equipment lease dispute with a medical imaging center, finding the award unreasonable in multiple respects, including because one of the company's lawyers was not licensed to practice in New Jersey.

  • June 23, 2017

    Caribbean Bottler Gets $1M Award OK'd In Florida Court

    A Florida federal judge Friday signed off on an agreement awarding a Trinidad and Tobago bottling company $1.08 million, after an international arbitrator found that its Panama business partner and bulk perfume purchaser failed to repay its $2 million investment.

  • June 23, 2017

    Warranty Cos. Can't Force Fraud Claims Into Arbitration

    A New Jersey state appeals court on Friday rejected a bid from home warranty companies to force a putative class action over consumer fraud and related allegations into arbitration, saying a contract did not clearly notify a customer that she was waiving her right to pursue her claims in court.

  • June 23, 2017

    Snapchat Maker's Arbitration Bid Blasted By Ex-Employee

    The former Snap Inc. employee who claims he was fired for raising concerns about the social media company’s user metrics ahead of its initial public offering fired back at the Snapchat maker’s attempt to force arbitration of his whistleblower suit, telling a California federal court Friday that the arbitration agreement he signed at hiring was unconscionable.

  • June 23, 2017

    Consulting Co. Seeks Attys' Fees After $3.2M Award OK'd

    After a $3.2 million arbitral award was confirmed in its favor in a dispute with a dolphin park operator, a financial consulting company asked a California federal judge to award it more than $50,000 in attorneys' fees, saying it is entitled to them based on a contract between the parties. 

  • June 23, 2017

    RJR Tobacco Says ITG Had Duty To Join In Fla. Settlement

    R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. told a Delaware chancellor on Friday that ITG Brands LLC relied on tortured contract readings to support claims that time ran out on ITG’s duty to pursue and assume a $30 million yearly payment obligation to Florida to offset harms from tobacco sales.

  • June 23, 2017

    Texas Justices Split On Deed Interpretation In Royalty Row

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday was closely divided in a suit involving competing royalty claims, with a majority holding deeds must be interpreted according to the parties’ intent, not under “rigid, arcane” rules of deed construction.

  • June 23, 2017

    Nursing Home Can’t Arbitrate Wrongful Death Row: Ga. Court

    A Georgia appellate court Thursday rejected a nursing home operator’s attempt to arbitrate wrongful death allegations brought by the daughter of a late patient, affirming a lower court’s finding that the arbitration agreement at issue was unenforceable because the deceased hadn’t signed it herself.

  • June 23, 2017

    Bloomingdale’s Takes Iskanian Challenge To High Court

    Bloomingdale’s has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the precedent set by California's high court in its landmark Iskanian ruling, which held that claims under the state's Private Attorneys General Act can’t be waived in employment arbitration deals, saying it created an “enormous loophole” in federal arbitration law.

  • June 23, 2017

    Texas High Court Says Contract Law Rules In Royalty Row

    The Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Samson Exploration LLC on Friday and said the company must pay royalties for a gas well’s production to two pooled units of royalty owners, deciding a lower court was right to assert that contract law governed the overlapping obligation.

  • June 23, 2017

    BNSF Seeks Clarity On Order In Tribe's Oil-Shipping Suit

    BNSF Railway Co. on Thursday asked a Washington federal judge to clarify a recent order disposing of one of the railroad’s defenses in a dispute over the right to ship crude oil across a Native American tribe’s land, saying the order could be read as more expansive than intended.

  • June 23, 2017

    NBA Agent Sues Agency CEO For $30M After Firing

    Top NBA agent Dan Fegan sued his former boss Hank Ratner for $30 million in California state court on Thursday over a purported “Machiavellian” scheme to force him out of Ratner’s agency Independent Sports and Entertainment.

Expert Analysis

  • The Current State Of 'Class Arbitration' Law

    Gilbert Samberg

    Thus far the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed only a few issues concerning “class arbitration." Gilbert Samberg of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC examines several elements of the current law, muddled as it is.

  • 1 Year After Ambac: Sharing Information Among Deal Parties

    Daniel Halston

    Despite all the attention Ambac v. Countrywide has received in the legal press, so far it has not sparked a trend outside of New York toward a narrower application of the common interest doctrine. But one year after the court’s decision, one thing remains clear: parties should proceed with caution before sharing privileged information with an opposing party in a transaction, say attorneys with WilmerHale.

  • Navigating NBA's New CBA During Misconduct Investigations

    Jeffrey Monhait

    Although the investigatory and disciplinary measures in the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBA Players Association are largely unchanged from the 2011 CBA, the start of a new agreement presents an opportunity to review the powers of both the teams and the league in order to assist players and their representatives in navigating this process, say Jeffrey Monhait and Stephen Miller of Cozen O'Connor PC.

  • Unwritten Settlement Terms May Still Be Enforceable

    Angela Whittaker-Pion

    Once parties in a civil case agree on a monetary amount in exchange for a release of claims, a settlement is considered effective. But in between agreeing on the amount and finalizing all the terms of the settlement, parties must take care not to end up with terms that are not to their liking, say Angela Whittaker-Pion and Lynn Schlie of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Defining OFAC Property Interests Beyond The 50% Rule

    Sean Kane

    The fact that a company is not a "specially designated national" according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control — nor 50 percent or more owned by an SDN — does not remove the possibility of blockable property interests. As with all things in the complex world of sanctions, risks abound, say Sean Kane and Joseph Schoorl of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

  • Weekly Column

    Innovating For Wise Juries: Setting Trial Time Limits

    Stephen Susman

    This is the second in a series of articles discussing ideas proposed by the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project to resuscitate the American jury trial. In this article, Stephen Susman, Richard Lorren Jolly and Dr. Roy Futterman argue for setting early and strict time limits in civil jury trials.

  • Opinion

    Big Business Lobby Tries To Hobble Litigation Finance, Again

    Allison Chock

    In its most recent petition advocating mandatory disclosure of litigation finance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce simply rehashes the same arguments from its previous failed efforts to convince the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the dire implications of undisclosed funding relationships, say members of IMF Bentham Ltd.

  • A Slice Of MFN With That Incremental Loan

    Daniel Winick

    With ever expanding bargaining leverage, borrowers are negotiating creative ways to minimize "most-favored nation" provisions and related incremental loan protections. Clifford Chance LLP attorneys Daniel Winick and Andrew Young discuss some of the key MFN exceptions borrowers have been pursuing of late.

  • 4 Steps To Avoid 'Bet-The-Company' Trade Secret Litigation

    Michael Elkon

    Waymo v. Uber Technologies is fascinating on a number of levels and presents a host of object lessons for employers. From these lessons, there are four steps that all employers and workplace attorneys should consider adopting to avoid being embroiled in a similar high-stakes courtroom battle, says Michael Elkon of Fisher Phillips.

  • A New Reason For PE Sellers To Hate Fraud Carveouts

    Glenn West

    A recent Delaware decision in EMSI Acquisition v. Contrarian Funds provides yet another reason for private equity sellers to vigorously resist the inclusion of fraud carveouts in M&A agreements, or to carefully define them so that the potential havoc they can wreak on deal certainty can be understood and managed, says Glenn West of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.