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Commercial Contracts

  • September 28, 2018

    Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: 8 Cases To Watch

    With D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s fate as the ninth justice still hanging in the balance, the U.S. Supreme Court kicks off its new term Monday without a case of blockbuster proportions. But there are several bread-and-butter business issues filling out the docket.

  • September 28, 2018

    Wachtell Prevails In CVR's Takeover Malpractice Suit

    A New York federal judge on Friday dismissed CVR Energy Inc.'s malpractice claim against Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz stemming from $37 million in bank fees incurred by the company in connection with Carl Icahn's 2012 takeover, saying CVR hasn't shown the firm's conduct fell below the applicable standard of professional care.

  • September 28, 2018

    Lyft Drivers Shift Claims, Tell 1st Circ. Terms Were Obscured

    Lyft drivers fighting to revive a class action over their employment status have shifted arguments at the First Circuit in light of two recent court rulings, moving from holding that a class waiver violated their right to organize to saying Lyft Inc. hid its terms in an online scroll box.

  • September 28, 2018

    Manatt Can't Dodge Recruiter's $335K Trial Win, Panel Says

    A California appeals court on Friday affirmed a jury’s finding that Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP must pay a legal recruiter $335,000 for connecting the firm with its managing partner-elect, ruling that substantial evidence backed the jury’s verdict.

  • September 28, 2018

    Rays Want Concessionaire To Hand Over Personnel Files

    Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays asked a Florida federal judge Friday to make its former concessions operator hand over its employment records, saying they are relevant and employee privacy claims aren’t a barrier to production.

  • September 28, 2018

    Ill. Panel Ends Malpractice Suit Against Quarles & Brady

    An Illinois state appeals court affirmed Quarles & Brady LLP’s bench trial win over a former car dealership owner’s claims that the firm's malpractice cost him roughly $2 million in a buyout deal, ruling the firm's failure to bring a breach of contract claim didn't make a difference in the suit.

  • September 28, 2018

    Avis Can't Assert New Defenses In E-Toll Hidden Fee Row

    Avis lost its bid to raise additional defenses in a class action alleging the rental car giant secretly charged customers for an electronic toll-payment service after a New Jersey federal judge ruled Friday that the company should have asserted those claims earlier in the nearly seven-year-old case.

  • September 28, 2018

    EB-5 Investors Press Fraud Claims Over Bankrupt Fla. Hotel

    A group of Chinese nationals Friday urged a Florida bankruptcy judge to allow claims they were fraudulently induced to invest through the EB-5 immigrant visa program in a now-bankrupt South Florida hotel project to move forward.

  • September 28, 2018

    Wanu Water Founder Claims Director Plot In Chancery Suit

    The founder and majority stockholder of nutrition-infused, packaged “Wanu Water” sued five current or former company directors in Delaware’s Chancery Court Friday, accusing them of plotting his ouster through a smear campaign now said to threaten the company.

  • September 28, 2018

    United Launch Inks Rocket Engine Deal With Rival Blue Origin

    United Launch Alliance has chosen rival Blue Origin to supply engines for its pending Vulcan Centaur rocket, it announced Thursday, the same day that it won an $867 million deal from the U.S. Air Force to keep supplying its Delta and Atlas rockets to the military in the meantime.

  • September 28, 2018

    NJ Justices To Weigh Revival Of Car Dealer Fraud Claims

    Two car dealers have convinced the New Jersey Supreme Court to take a second look at a published state appellate decision that revived separate consumer fraud actions against them on the grounds that trial courts improperly directed the cases into arbitration, according to orders filed Friday.

  • September 28, 2018

    Walgreens, Kroger Have No Right To Sue Over Remicade: J&J

    Johnson & Johnson urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Friday to toss a lawsuit from pharmacy giants Walgreens and Kroger accusing the drug company of compelling insurers not to cover biosimilar versions of the blockbuster immunosuppressant Remicade, arguing they can't participate in the closely watched antitrust fight.

  • September 28, 2018

    Calif. Court To Review $414M Award Nixed Over Bad Service

    California's highest court has agreed to consider whether a lower court was correct to ax confirmation of a $414 million arbitral award, which was issued to an American investment partnership following a dispute with a Chinese font company that said it had never been properly notified of the underlying arbitration.

  • September 28, 2018

    Cellphone Buyers Win Class Cert. In Qualcomm Chip Row

    A California federal judge certified a class of cellphone buyers, estimated to be numbered in the hundreds of millions, who allegedly paid overages stemming from Qualcomm’s anti-competitive licensing practices.

  • September 28, 2018

    Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic Backs Airbnb In Rowdy Guest Suit

    Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic has urged the Ninth Circuit not to touch a lower court decision ending a corporate landlord's lawsuit accusing Airbnb of helping tenants break building rules and host rowdy guests, saying that a revival of the suit could undermine Communications Decency Act protections of internet startups.

  • September 28, 2018

    Petrobras Says $622M Drilling Award Must Be Nixed

    Petrobras has urged a Texas federal court to nix a more than $622 million arbitral award issued to Vantage Deepwater Co., saying the Texas driller's appointed arbitrator, Charles N. Brower, displayed open hostility to Petrobras and improperly refused to consider allegations that the underlying contract had been tainted by bribery.

  • September 27, 2018

    Chrysler Dealership Faces 2nd Loss This Week At 9th Circ.

    A Ninth Circuit panel dealt a San Jose, California, car dealership its second defeat in as many days Wednesday, this time snubbing allegations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV hurt local competition by offering better incentives to rival dealerships.

  • September 27, 2018

    US Co. Says Korean Tools Maker Can't Arbitrate Contract Row

    A Wisconsin machine tools distributor urged a federal court Wednesday to deny a Korean manufacturer’s bid to compel arbitration of a contract dispute between the companies, reiterating its claim that the agreement’s call for arbitration before a nonexistent forum renders it void and unenforceable.

  • September 27, 2018

    3rd Circ. Slams Duo's 'Vulgar' Bid To Sanction Morgan Lewis

    The Third Circuit on Thursday blasted a hedge fund manager and her husband for cussing and questioning the court's integrity, and refused their bid for millions in sanctions against Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP for pursuing an allegedly baseless bankruptcy case against them.

  • September 27, 2018

    Uber Can't Wipe Slate Clean With Driver Pay Deal, Judge Says

    A California federal judge Thursday refused to preliminarily approve Uber's class action deal with about 4,600 drivers who say they were underpaid in breach of contract, saying he's "not going to let Uber get away with wiping the slate clean on claims that are not at issue in this case."

Expert Analysis

  • Signed Texts Can Be Binding Real Estate Contracts

    Peter Carr

    The commonplace reliance upon text messaging in commercial dealings has forced courts to examine the legal implications of texting within the seminal rule that a contract concerning real estate must be signed to be enforced. At the trial court level, some courts have embraced the concept of "contract by text message" as long as some key elements are established, says Peter Carr of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • New Pennsylvania Law Protects Rights Of Unpaid Contractors

    Patrick Kingsley

    Under the previous version of Pennsylvania's Contractor and Subcontractor in Payment Act, there was no consequence for owners and contractors failing to provide written explanation for withholding payment. However, the act's recent revisions plug that gap, says Patrick Kingsley of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP.

  • 'High Availability' — A Key Term In Law Firm IT Strategy

    Jeff Norris

    While most law firm executives and partners may instinctively want to tune out terms like "high availability" and "disaster recovery" — concepts that IT managers usually worry about — there are five reasons you should lean in and wrestle with the vocabulary, say Jeff Norris of Managed Technology Services LLC and Greg Inge of information security consulting firm CQR.

  • Mediation Tips For Settling Big-Dollar Business Disputes

    Robert Fairbank

    Throughout a mediation, there are times of heightened uncertainty when something might happen to swing the leverage in one side’s favor. These windows of opportunity can be maximized by a number of methods other than in-person mediation sessions and formal exchanges of settlement numbers, say Robert Fairbank and Kimberly West of Fairbank ADR.

  • 5th Circ.'s New Maritime Contract Test Takes Shape

    Hansford Wogan

    Recent cases demonstrate Louisiana courts' willingness to embrace the Fifth Circuit's simplified analysis of what constitutes a maritime contract in the context of insurance obligations. The courts are homing in on whether parties expected to use a vessel, and how significant the use is, says Hansford Wogan of Jones Walker LLP.

  • The 'Post-Fact' Jury In The 'Fake News' Era

    Ross Laguzza

    The "fake news" phenomenon is ever more prominent in the political arena — but not in the jury box. At a trial, jurors don’t have to rely on the media or any other source to tell them the facts and issues, since they have a front-row seat to the action, says Ross Laguzza, a consultant at R&D Strategic Solutions LLC.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Lipez Reviews 'Last Great Colonial Lawyer'

    Judge Kermit Lipez

    In his new book, "The Last Great Colonial Lawyer: The Life and Legacy of Jeremiah Gridley," Charles McKirdy argues that Gridley — someone I had never heard of — was the last great colonial lawyer, and that his cases illuminate his times. The author largely substantiates both claims, says First Circuit Judge Kermit Lipez.

  • Time To Update Prop 65 Warnings For Residential Rentals

    Andrea Sumits

    The ubiquitous Proposition 65 warning signs posted throughout apartment communities in California may soon become a thing of the past. Under a new draft rule that is being finalized, safe harbor warnings for residential rental properties will be found in lease agreements rather than on posted signs, says Andrea Sumits of Environmental General Counsel LLP.

  • 6 Tips For Drafting Autonomous Vehicle Contracts

    Jim Jordan

    During the past year, I have been tossed headfirst into the murky water of autonomous vehicle contract drafting, where no well-tested forms exist and negotiating parties often do not know what terms to request. But what is required more than anything is just old-fashioned, common-sense business lawyering, says Jim Jordan of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC.

  • Interview Essentials For Attorneys On The Move

    Eileen Decker

    Across the country this fall, recent law school graduates, law firm associates and experienced professionals will interview for positions in private practice and government service. Sharing tips on how to stand out in this high-pressure, hypercompetitive process are Eileen Decker, former U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, and Keith Jacoby, co-chairman of Littler Mendelson PC’s class action practice group.