Commercial Contracts

  • November 29, 2017

    Steinbeck Kin Won’t Silence Wrath Over $13M Copyright Loss

    The widow of John Steinbeck’s son fired back at a bid to keep her from talking to the press after a jury awarded Steinbeck’s late wife's daughter $13.15 million in a copyright infringement dispute over movie deals for “The Grapes of Wrath” and "East of Eden."

  • November 28, 2017

    $18.5M Aircraft Contract Row Belongs In Court, Judge Told

    A Hong Kong company has urged a Missouri federal court to reject an American aircraft and parts seller's bid to compel arbitration of claims relating to an $18.5 million sales agreement, saying the request shows “breathtaking audacity,” as it reflects a total reversal from the position the company advanced in a related suit.

  • November 28, 2017

    AT&T Customer Fights Bid to Put Roaming Fee Suit On Hold

    An AT&T customer urged a California federal judge Monday to deny the company’s bid to pause his case regarding overseas roaming fees while it appeals to the Ninth Circuit a recent ruling vacating a past arbitration decision in its favor.

  • November 28, 2017

    Stryker Unit Settles Biomet Trade Secret Suit

    A subsidiary of the medical technology giant Stryker Corp. told a Texas federal judge Tuesday that it has settled its suit against three Biomet Inc. affiliates alleging the affiliates pilfered its employees, customers and trade secrets, according to court filings.

  • November 28, 2017

    7th Circ. Upholds Hyatt's $9M Award In Contract Dispute

    The owners of a Los Angeles hotel lost another “pointless” round of litigation on Tuesday, after the Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling that found a $9 million dollar arbitration award to Hyatt in a breach of contract dispute rested on rock-solid legal foundations.

  • November 28, 2017

    Chinese Co. Wants Speaker Seller's Owners To Pay $1M Award

    A Chinese company that had a $1 million award confirmed against a California-based wireless speaker seller asked a federal judge on Monday to amend the judgment to include the company’s founders as judgment debtors, claiming the married couple are alter-egos of the speaker company.

  • November 28, 2017

    Cloud Computing Co. Unit's Suit Paused By Hong Kong Judge

    A Hong Kong judge on Monday paused litigation initiated by the British Virgin Islands subsidiary of a cloud computing services provider over a share purchase agreement with two Hong Kong companies, finding an arbitration clause in their deal had not been superseded by a subsequent agreement.

  • November 28, 2017

    Del. Court Nixes Toss Of Suit Over Failed Oil Co. Venture

    Oil shale venture Red Leaf Resources lost a Delaware Chancery Court bid Tuesday for dismissal of a hedge fund investor’s challenge to a deal that broke off a more-than $200 million joint venture with French energy giant Total SA

  • November 28, 2017

    Barnes Says Cellino Wants To Burn Firm To The Ground

    One of the name partners of Cellino & Barnes PC, who is fending off an attempt by the other to dissolve the Buffalo, New York-based personal injury law firm known for its catchy jingle, accused his partner of threatening in an expletive-laden rant to “burn the place to the ground.”

  • November 28, 2017

    Insurer Asks 5th Circ. To Ax Landlord's Win Over Lease Case

    An insurance company on Monday urged the Fifth Circuit to find it doesn’t have to provide liability coverage to a Texas shopping center landlord for failing to complete commercial lease negotiations with a new restaurant on time, arguing a lower court wrongly equated a right to occupy with occupancy itself.

  • November 28, 2017

    Judge Guts 'Excessive' Fee Bid In Helmet Royalty Fight

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Tuesday awarded a startup hockey-helmet design company less than half of the fees it requested as part of a sanctions order over destroyed evidence in its contract suit against Reebok-CCM Hockey, calling the request excessive and unreasonable.

  • November 28, 2017

    Venable Nabs Gerard Fox Commercial Litigator In LA

    Venable LLP has hired as a partner a Gerard Fox Law PC commercial litigator who specializes in antitrust, securities, entertainment and intellectual property litigation and government compliance, Venable said Monday.

  • November 28, 2017

    Mistras Wants Redo Of Jury’s $7.4M Award In Pipeline Row

    Mistras Group Inc. on Monday asked a Georgia federal judge for a new trial in an attempt to undo a $7.37 million jury award to AGL Services Co. in its suit alleging that the contractor provided poor radiological services for a pipeline project, arguing that testimony in Mistras’ favor was improperly barred.

  • November 27, 2017

    Katy Perry Seeks $1M More In Atty Fees Over Convent Buy

    Lawyers for Katy Perry urged a California judge Monday to grant another $1 million in attorneys’ fees on top of the $1.57 million a jury awarded after finding that a developer had interfered with the pop star’s $14.5 million deal to purchase a former convent.

  • November 27, 2017

    Janitorial Co. Sues 2 Ex-Employees In Trade Secrets Row

    Illinois-based janitorial services company The Millard Group Inc. sued two of its former employees in Illinois federal court Sunday, claiming one longtime executive stole trade secrets from Millard in order to benefit a competitor, and another employee broke his noncompete agreement in order to work for the same competitor.

  • November 27, 2017

    Pension Funds Slam Contractor's Bid For $135M DIP Loan

    A group of employee pension funds urged a New York bankruptcy court on Monday to reject a construction contractor's request for $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing, saying the proposed creation of a new superpriority lien may preclude their ability to collect on a $76 million judgment against the company.

  • November 27, 2017

    7th Circ. Can't Find Bad Faith In Purchase Of Bacteria Co.

    The Seventh Circuit on Monday affirmed the dismissal of claims arising from a $5.5 million purchase of a bacteria company that allegedly concealed product-quality issues, finding the buyer could not legally prove bad faith even if there were dubious practices behind the scenes.

  • November 27, 2017

    Electronic Trader Sues To Keep Access To Hibernia Cable

    A company recently acquired by electronic trading firm Virtu Financial has filed suit in New York federal court to block telecom Hibernia from shutting off its access to a high-speed transatlantic cable it uses for its trading operations, accusing Hibernia of retaliation for an unrelated contract dispute.

  • November 27, 2017

    2nd Circ. Nixes Google, Netflix Appearance In BMI Appeal

    The Second Circuit has denied a request from Google, Netflix and other media industry heavyweights to appear at oral arguments in the U.S. Department of Justice's dispute with Broadcast Music Inc., saying the companies should offer feedback to the court by letter instead.

  • November 27, 2017

    Airline Says Miami Airport 'Exit Fees' Suit Lacks Standing

    Venezuelan airline Avior Airlines CA asked a Florida federal judge Monday to toss a proposed class action claiming it forced passengers to pay surprise “exit fees” that weren’t mentioned in their ticket contracts before boarding flights at Miami International Airport, saying the plaintiffs lack standing to sue.

Expert Analysis

  • Still Difficult For Patent Holder To Use Equivalents Theory

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    The courts have come up with various ways of limiting the application of the "doctrine of equivalents" infringement theory. The Federal Circuit's recent decision in Jang v. Boston Scientific demonstrates an example of the ensnarement rule, says Alan Wang of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • The Law Firm CFO’s Role In The Strategic Planning Process

    Tyler Quinn

    Today's law firm chief financial officer should be involved in many areas beyond traditional financial management, including operations, risk management and information technology. He or she can support strategic planning throughout the process, from development of the plan to its implementation, measurement and eventual evolution, say Tyler Quinn and Marc Feigelson of Kaufman Rossin PA.

  • Law Firms Must Transition To An Industry Sector Approach

    Heidi Gardner

    Clients are beginning to expect and demand that their external lawyers provide advice tailored to the client's industry. Aside from this, law firms should want to move toward a sector approach because industry-focused groups are a natural place for cross-practice collaboration to flourish, say Heidi Gardner and Anusia Gillespie of Harvard Law School.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Kozinski Reviews 'The Judge'

    Judge Alex Kozinski

    In their new book, "The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons," do Ronald Collins and David Skover prove their thesis that hypocrisy is the key to judicial greatness? Some of the examples they present are hard to dispute, says Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Strategic Considerations In Selecting Emergency Arbitration

    Javier Rubinstein

    In recent years, all of the major arbitral institutions have introduced an emergency arbitration procedure, yet studies suggest that parties rarely avail themselves of emergency arbitration and instead turn to local courts in times of crisis. Attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP explore several considerations when determining where to pursue emergency relief.

  • The Vicissitudes Of Partnership Assumption In Bankruptcy

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    When a debtor partner makes a motion to assume a partnership agreement, courts have disagreed on the appropriate legal standard — whether to apply the “actual” or “hypothetical” test. The split in the circuits on this question continues to lead to controversy, says Richard Epling, a retired partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Evaluating 'Loser Pays' Clauses In Arbitration Agreements

    Brian Laliberte

    Several recent judicial decisions have considered the validity of “loser pays” and cost-shifting clauses in arbitration agreements. The most compelling arguments have invoked unconscionability and overriding public policy considerations, but even where courts have rejected those arguments, their decisions reveal how to successfully attack such clauses, says Brian Laliberte of Tucker Ellis LLP.

  • 3 Strategies I Learned From LegalZoom

    Jeff Unger

    Critics of legal tech companies will often say, “Trust a reputable attorney that understands you, your situation and the law.” As an attorney, I wholeheartedly agree. But from the consumer’s perspective, the message seems out of touch with the digital age, says Jeff Unger, founder of the law firm eMinutes.