Commercial Contracts

  • June 8, 2017

    Tesla Can't Dodge Sudden Acceleration Suit

    A California federal judge Wednesday refused to toss a proposed class action alleging some Tesla vehicles are prone to sudden and unintended acceleration, saying the drivers sufficiently alleged a manufacturing defect and breach of warranty claims.

  • June 8, 2017

    Landowners Fight Gas Cos. Royalty Suit Arbitration Request

    A group of Marcellus Shale landowners asked a Pennsylvania federal court on Wednesday to deny requests by Chesapeake Energy Corp., Anadarko Energy and others to force individual arbitration in a series of lawsuits alleging that the companies engaged in a monopolistic scheme to improperly deduct royalty payments.

  • June 8, 2017

    LoJack Gets $46M From Ex-Supplier Following HKIAC Award

    LoJack Corp. has reached a $46 million settlement with its former battery supplier following a contract dispute over purported quality issues, an agreement that comes after a Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre tribunal concluded the vehicle tracking company was owed damages, according to a Wednesday securities filing.

  • June 8, 2017

    NFL Seeks To Stall Discovery In Fight Over Rams Move

    The NFL urged a Missouri court Wednesday to delay discovery in the city of St. Louis' suit seeking to recoup money spent trying to keep the Rams, arguing that it shouldn't have to respond to broad information requests until the court determines which claims and parties are properly before the court.

  • June 8, 2017

    Cos. Fight HK Arbitration Because Tribunal Doesn't Exist

    Three companies suing over an alleged $1.65 million investment fraud have told a Michigan federal court that they were not bound by a clause requiring Hong Kong arbitration to settle disputes because the tribunal named by the clause does not exist.

  • June 8, 2017

    Swisher Owes Securities Fraud Defense To Ex-Exec, Suit Says

    The dissolving Swisher Hygiene Inc. was sued Wednesday in Delaware Chancery Court by a former executive who alleges the commercial cleaning services company is violating its bylaws by refusing to pay for her defense against securities fraud charges.

  • June 8, 2017

    NJ Drugmaker Accuses Ex-Partner Co. Of Defamation

    A New Jersey-based generic-drug maker has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a Florida pharmaceutical company ensnared it in frivolous business litigation over allegedly adulterated drugs and then cost it business by announcing the allegations in a worldwide media release.

  • June 7, 2017

    NY Ruling Curtails Contractors' Additional Insured Coverage

    New York's highest court ruled this week that a common insurance policy endorsement extends coverage to additional insureds only when an injury is proximately caused by the named insured's conduct, a ruling that substantially limits the protection available to general contractors whose subcontractors have purchased such policies.

  • June 7, 2017

    Sears Resolves Contract Dispute With Craftsman Supplier

    Sears Holdings Corp. on Monday announced it had settled a feud with the supplier of its Craftsman tools and products, marking the end of a 3-week-long legal battle with the company over the terms of their contract.

  • June 7, 2017

    Despite 'Distasteful' Tactics, VMware's Video Depo Gets OK

    A California federal judge on Wednesday allowed a VMware witness to testify via videotaped deposition in Phoenix Technologies’ $110 million copyright infringement trial, but said he was “not enthusiastic about ratifying [VMware]s plainly intentional tactical decision” to let the witness return home instead of testifying live, agreeing with Phoenix the development was “distasteful.”

  • June 7, 2017

    Transocean, Eni Owed Millions In Drill Ship Row, Court Hears

    Both Eni US Operating Co. and Transocean Deepwater Drilling Inc. told a federal judge in Houston during opening statements Wednesday in a contract dispute over a deep-water drilling rig ship that the other party was responsible for the breach and owes millions as a result.

  • June 7, 2017

    Singh Strikes Back With Own Appeal In Antler-Spray Case

    Professional golfer Vijay Singh filed a cross-appeal Tuesday against the PGA Tour in a long-running case over his suspension for using a purportedly illicit deer antler-derived spray, arguing that a New York judge improperly tossed out the golfer's argument that the tour violated an implied duty to act in good faith.

  • June 7, 2017

    Monster Seeks OK Of Arbitration Award Against Ex-Distributor

    Monster Energy Co. asked a California federal court Tuesday to confirm an arbitration award finding that the energy drink maker's decision to terminate its deal with a French Guiana distributor had been proper and ordering that company to pay Monster's legal fees.

  • June 7, 2017

    Stryker Unit Says Biomet Trade Secret Suit Should Proceed

    A Stryker Corp. subsidiary told a federal judge in Texas on Wednesday to deny a bid from three Biomet Inc. affiliates to dismiss its lawsuit alleging Biomet pilfered its employees, customers and trade secrets, because contrary to Biomet's argument, Stryker isn't required to name the former employees as defendants.

  • June 7, 2017

    Music Aggregator Accuses Insurer Of Ducking IP Coverage

    Music company INgrooves, which delivers songs to streaming services, sued insurer Westchester Surplus Lines in California federal court on Tuesday for help paying GooglePlay and Zune Marketplace, which went after INgrooves for indemnification in an underlying suit.

  • June 6, 2017

    Fitbit Using Kindred To Keep Up Arbitration Args, Users Say

    Fitbit users suing over what they called “wildly inaccurate” fitness trackers told a California federal court Tuesday that Fitbit Inc. is using a notice on the new Kindred precedent to improperly further arguments for arbitrating the consumers' claims.

  • June 6, 2017

    CEO Of Freight, Drink Cos. Fudged Financials, SEC Says

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit a former CEO and a company he ran with a lawsuit in New York federal court on Tuesday alleging that he used a sham company as a dumping ground for unwanted liabilities from the motor freight and beverage businesses he was hired to turn around.

  • June 6, 2017

    Sleep Lab Rejects Emory's Coverage Bid After $20M Verdict

    A contractor that ran a sleep lab at Emory University said it shouldn’t be on the hook for the school’s share of a $20 million medical malpractice verdict because Emory’s subsidiary company had ultimate control over the lab, according to documents filed Tuesday in Georgia federal court.

  • June 6, 2017

    BofA Pays $37M To End Tutor Perini Securities Row

    A Bank of America Corp. unit paid $37 million to Tutor Perini Corp. to settle a suit alleging the bank’s securities unit sold the construction company auction-rate securities without warning the market was likely headed for a crash, according to filings in Massachusetts federal court Tuesday.

  • June 6, 2017

    VMWare ‘Hack’ Plan Just ‘Engineering Lingo,’ Jury Hears

    A VMWare lead software engineer took the stand in a California federal courtroom Tuesday to kick off the company’s defense of Phoenix Technology's $110 million patent infringement suit, saying another employee was using “engineering lingo,” not plotting wrongdoing, when he emailed about plans to “hack” Phoenix’s source code.

Expert Analysis

  • Calif. Supreme Court Clarifies 'Prevailing Party' Ambiguity

    Louie Castoria

    The California Supreme Court's decision in DisputeSuite v. Score this month resolved a division of authority among California's district courts of appeal regarding who the "prevailing party" is when a California contract case is dismissed on procedural grounds, but may be refiled in another state. This decision is a narrow one hinging on the fact that DisputeSuite will have its day in court in a distant, contractually agreed upon, ... (continued)

  • Satire

    A Law Firm Ranking Model By 'Fake News & Distorted Reports'

    Alan B. Morrison

    Suffering from law firm ranking fatigue? Bewildered by the methodologies? If so, you're in good company. Alan Morrison, associate dean for public interest and public service law at George Washington University Law School, wonders just how far law firm ranking efforts may go.

  • Suits Under NJ Consumer Act Overshoot Lawmakers' Intent

    Patrick McKey

    Norris Hite claimed that the terms of use on Lush Internet's website violated New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act. But a federal district court found last month that Hite alleged no concrete harm and lacked standing to sue. Such lawsuits appear inconsistent with the legislative intent of the TCCWNA, say attorneys from Bryan Cave LLP.

  • Calif. High Court Creates Exception To Concepcion

    Kathleen Taylor Sooy

    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in McGill v. Citibank is the latest entry in the court's well-known history of limiting what rights consumers may waive through arbitration agreements — potentially setting the stage for another review by the U.S. Supreme Court, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Opinion

    Calif. Nearer To Needed Mediation Reform

    Jeff Kichaven

    Recently proposed reforms to California's mediation confidentiality laws increase consumer protection and promote the rule of law, while protecting the effectiveness of mediation. However, one additional dimension of reform is needed to ensure fair trials, says Jeff Kichaven of Jeff Kichaven Commercial Mediation.

  • When Arbitration Clauses Collide With Bankruptcy Laws

    Laura M. Fontaine

    A bankruptcy trustee or a debtor in possession has several specific powers that frequently come into conflict with a nondebtor’s desire to invoke an arbitration clause. The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Janvey v. Alguire pushed back on a trend of expanding the nonsignatory related parties that can be swept into arbitration, says Laura Fontaine of Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP.

  • Crowdfunding For Legal Cases: 5 Trends Reshaping Justice

    Julia Salasky

    Most people have never had an opportunity to personally take part in a legal case that directly challenges laws or policies they don’t agree with. Now that crowdfunding is available for legal cases, people can engage directly with legal change in the community and be a check on the powerful, says Julia Salasky, CEO of CrowdJustice.

  • Opinion

    ABA Needs A New Model Legal Ethics Rule

    Kevin L. Shepherd

    Perhaps lost in the presidential post-election tumult was a report issued in late 2016 by an international body evaluating U.S. compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Considering repeated criticisms of the legal profession, the American Bar Association should seriously consider a new model legal ethics rule, says Kevin Shepherd of Venable LLP.

  • Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreements: 6 Key Points

    Heather Cooper

    Commercial-scale solar power has consistently lagged behind utility-scale and residential solar, due to a lack of standardization and high transaction costs. Unlike the residential solar market, commercial-scale projects generally do not use standardized power purchase agreements or other project documents. Attorneys from McDermott Will & Emery LLP suggest six standard contract terms that developers should use to streamline power p... (continued)

  • When Diversity Jurisdiction Fails, So Does Removal

    Carolyn Davis

    The Eleventh Circuit's recent ruling in Thermoset v. Building Materials Corp. of America is a reminder that a court can decide its jurisdiction at any time, even after judgment. Defendants must be wary of removing an action to federal court on diversity grounds if the diversity of each party is not firmly established, says Carolyn Davis of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.