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Commercial Contracts

  • June 12, 2018

    Costco Shoppers Ask. 9th Circ. To Revive Slave Labor Suit

    Costco shoppers asked the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday to revive their false advertising class action claiming the retailer knowingly sold shrimp farmed with slave labor while touting its anti-human rights abuse policy, saying the court’s recent ruling for Mars Inc. in another case differed because the candy maker hadn’t advertised its human rights policies.

  • June 12, 2018

    Arbitration Pact Named Parent, Not Tech's Co., 4th Circ. Says

    A telecom services technician can pursue a proposed wage-and-hour class action even though he signed an arbitration agreement that included a class waiver provision since the document names only the employer’s parent company as a party, the Fourth Circuit ruled Tuesday.

  • June 12, 2018

    Cotton Cos. Urge Court To Confirm $9M Arbitration Award

    Two U.S. cotton companies doubled down on their request that a California federal judge confirm an $8.9 million arbitration award against an Indian yarn spinner that unsuccessfully lodged competition claims against the pair, saying Monday that the foreign company’s opposition holds no water.

  • June 12, 2018

    Ice Cube's Hoops League A Toxic Workplace, Ex-Exec Says

    A former executive at Ice Cube’s scandal-plagued three-on-three basketball league is suing the organization and its co-founder in California state court, alleging he was forced to quit because he refused to lie about a bitter business dispute with Arab investors marked by “erratic behavior” and “racist rhetoric.”

  • June 12, 2018

    Delta Pilots' Pension Fund Suit Trimmed To A Single Claim

    A Washington, D.C., federal judge on Monday lopped five claims off a suit accusing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. of shortchanging thousands of retired Delta Airlines pilots by misallocating their insolvent retirement plan’s assets after the company’s 2005 bankruptcy, leaving the agency to face a single fiduciary-duty breach claim.

  • June 12, 2018

    Shuttered Restaurant Group Sues Texas Music Complex

    A restaurant group that briefly opened five eateries at the new Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, has sued the entertainment venue’s owner, saying the group’s sublease is void because the venue failed to live up to its promises and the city must serve as landlord.

  • June 12, 2018

    Del. Justices Uphold $56M Award In Drug Contract Dispute

    Delaware’s Supreme Court late Monday upheld a $55.8 million breach of contract ruling from September 2017 that favored oncology drug developer Wellstat Therapeutics Corp., but called for revised prejudgment interest calculations under terms still likely to push the overall award above $70 million.

  • June 12, 2018

    Beats' Designer Says Royalty Deal Only Covered 1st Model

    The industrial designer who drew the headphone designs at the heart of the $107 million royalty dispute between a businessman and Beats Electronics founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre told a California jury on Tuesday that the group's royalty agreement was only meant to cover Beats’ first headphone model.

  • June 12, 2018

    Consumers Say Miami Airport 'Exit Fees' Suit Belongs In Fla.

    Consumers suing Venezuelan airline Avior Airlines CA over surprise “exit fees” they allegedly paid before boarding flights at Miami International Airport told a federal judge Monday that their case was properly filed in Florida and meets the Class Action Fairness Act’s jurisdictional requirements.

  • June 12, 2018

    Walmart Urged To Reach Deal With Exec In Noncompete Suit

    A suit lodged by Walmart Inc. against its chief tax officer for entertaining a job offer with Amazon.com Inc. will proceed on an expedited basis after a Delaware state court judge on Tuesday agreed that the job offer represents a threat of harm to the company, but urged the parties to explore a mutual resolution over the next week.

  • June 12, 2018

    AT&T Layoff Suit By CWA Nixed By Arbitration Clause

    A federal magistrate judge in Texas has recommended that a lawsuit brought by the Communication Workers of America AFL-CIO against AT&T seeking to halt the layoffs of 713 workers be tossed, citing an arbitration provision in an agreement between the groups.

  • June 12, 2018

    Hospital Plaza Transfer Sank PE Firm's Deal, 3rd Circ. Told

    A private equity firm on Tuesday urged the Third Circuit to revive its $5 million case against a New Jersey hospital over the firm's would-be acquisition of a medical plaza under foreclosure, arguing that an ownership transfer that sank the sale ran afoul of the purchase deal.

  • June 12, 2018

    Antero Gets W.Va. Royalty Owners' Payment Row Trimmed

    A West Virginia federal judge on Monday trimmed now-consolidated suits brought by a coalition of oil and gas royalty owners who allege Antero Resources Corp. and related entities improperly reduced their payments, keeping only a breach of contract claim against a single defendant.

  • June 12, 2018

    Texas Accounting Firm Blew $3.5M Refund Deadline, Suit Says

    Nobilis Health Corp. has filed a malpractice lawsuit in state district court in Houston against professional accounting and tax firm Briggs & Veselka Co., alleging the firm busted a deadline to file for a $3.5 million tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, despite reminders to file early.

  • June 12, 2018

    Tilton Balks At $500K White & Case Role In Zohar Ch. 11

    Financier Lynn Tilton and her investment firm Patriarch Partners LLC objected Monday to the appointment of White & Case LLP under a $500,000 retainer as counsel to an independent director assigned to the Delaware Chapter 11 cases of her Zohar funds.

  • June 11, 2018

    JPML Won't Combine Suits Against Alleged Chicken Cartel

    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has rejected a group of farmers’ request to combine two lawsuits accusing major chicken companies of operating a cartel to suppress the price of broiler chickens in Oklahoma federal court, saying centralization is unnecessary because a “minimal number of actions are involved.”

  • June 11, 2018

    Sirius, SoundExchange Strike $150M Deal In Royalties Fight

    Sirius XM Radio Inc. agreed to pay music royalty collector SoundExchange Inc. $150 million for both companies to walk away from litigation over whether the satellite radio purveyor shorted the licensor on royalties for recordings from 2007 to the end of last year, SoundExchange said Monday.

  • June 11, 2018

    11th Circ. Revives Expropriation Suit Against Venezeula

    The Eleventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a suit brought by a mother and son claiming Venezuela expropriated their petrochemical company in violation of international law, remanding the case to Florida federal district court in light of a recent high court decision.

  • June 11, 2018

    2 Fired Execs' $11M ERISA Deal Not Covered, Insurer Says

    Federal Insurance Co. is suing a bean producer in Colorado federal court to get out of paying for an $11 million settlement it reached with two fired executives, saying a litany of exclusions apply to bar coverage for the deal.

  • June 11, 2018

    BMW Can't Immediately Appeal In $33M Fisker Clawback Case

    A Delaware federal judge refused Monday to let BMW immediately appeal a bankruptcy court order keeping alive a $32.6 million clawback suit by the trustee for the estate of electric-car company Fisker, saying there's nothing present to justify such an appeal.

Expert Analysis

  • Rule 23 Changes: How Electronic Notice Can Save Money

    Brandon Schwartz

    Courts are acknowledging a shifting consumer preference toward electronic mediums. Proposed changes to Rule 23, scheduled to take effect at the end of this year, will officially provide for the use of electronic notice in class actions — a change that could save parties a significant amount of money, say Brandon Schwartz and Maggie Ivey of Garden City Group LLC.

  • How We Got Here: A Look Back At Trailblazing Women In Law

    Jill Norgren

    Today's female lawyers stand on the shoulders of several generations of pioneers. Here, historian Jill Norgren explains how the status of women in the legal profession has changed since the 1870s.

  • Getting The Snaps And Tweets Into Evidence

    Matthew Hamilton

    Litigants who proffer data obtained from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram must authenticate that data before it will be admitted as evidence. Attorneys with Pepper Hamilton LLP examine decisions from Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions to determine whether courts are imposing a more demanding standard for social media data than other documentary evidence.

  • Illinois’ Unique Lease Tax Leaves Lessors Liable

    David Machemer

    While most jurisdictions impose sales tax on lease receipts collected from the equipment lessee, Illinois differs by treating the lessor as the user of the equipment and consequently responsible for Illinois use tax. This presents some unique challenges for lessors, says David Machemer of Horwood Marcus & Berk Chtd.

  • 4 Tips For Drafting A Strong Arbitration Agreement

    Zela Claiborne

    When counsel finish negotiating and memorializing a business deal, there may be little attention paid to crafting a dispute resolution provision for disputes that may never arise. However, it's important to take the time to craft a straightforward clause that will serve the parties well even when a complex dispute arises years later, says Zela Claiborne of JAMS.

  • Business As Usual For Employers After Epic Systems Opinion

    Veronica Gray

    While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday in Epic Systems v. Lewis is a decisive win for employers, it simply preserves the status quo in wage and hour litigation and reaffirms the ability of employers to avoid costly class actions by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements containing class action waivers as a condition of employment, say Veronica Gray and Allison Callaghan of Nossaman LLP.

  • 5 Crucial Contract Provisions For Mature Construction Cycles

    Colby Drew

    The construction industry is currently in a mature cycle, meaning construction skills and costs are very high, but contractor availability is low. A properly worded contract reflecting the cycle's unique benefits and challenges will greatly enhance the prospects of successful project completion, says Drew Colby of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

  • Employee Choice Doctrine — Alive And Well In NY

    Jerome Coleman

    While the fate of recent bills seeking to prohibit or severely limit employment restrictive covenants is uncertain at best, in New York the employee choice doctrine remains a useful tool in the employer arsenal for restricting post-employment competition if the groundwork is properly created and administered, says Jerome Coleman of Putney Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP.

  • Arbitration Jujitsu: 'Sealed Settlement Offers' Add Leverage

    Gilbert A. Samberg

    When negotiating a settlement before incurring the costs of arbitration, counsel may leverage the weight of anticipated arbitration costs by means of a "sealed settlement offer" — thereby putting additional pressure on a counterparty to be realistic in calculating the settlement value, says Mintz Levin member Gilbert Samberg.

  • High Court Has Returned Workers To 'Like It Or Lump It' Era

    Scott Oswald

    With Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion Monday in Epic Systems v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court revives a toxic idea that was common before the New Deal: the fiction that an individual employee’s waiver of rights in an employment agreement is a voluntary tradeoff — not an illegal power grab by the employer at its time of maximum leverage, says Scott Oswald of The Employment Law Group PC.