Commercial Contracts

  • August 13, 2020

    Halliburton Patent Retrial In Texas Pushed Back Again

    In what "will likely surprise no one" tracking the COVID-19 crisis, a Texas federal judge said Wednesday he has again pushed back a retrial against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. over a gas separator patent to possibly the end of the year.

  • August 13, 2020

    Choice Hotels Franchisees Fight Arbitration For Kickback Suit

    Dozens of Choice Hotels franchisees are fighting the hospitality company's attempt to arbitrate their claims that a vendor kickback scheme cost them $61 million and that the chain more aggressively enforces its contracts against Indian and other South Asian franchisees.

  • August 13, 2020

    DOJ Defends Lenovo Intervention, Antitrust Policy Evolution

    The U.S. Department of Justice doubled down Wednesday on its support for InterDigital in a licensing dispute brought by Lenovo over standard-essential patents, arguing that its views on the intersection of competition law and intellectual property have not abruptly shifted as Lenovo claims but have evolved over time.

  • August 13, 2020

    9th Circ. Says Insurer Needn't Cover Porn Studio In HIV Suits

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Atain Specialty Insurance Company does not have a duty to defend a pornography studio in underlying lawsuits alleging performers contracted HIV on the job, ruling the insurer's exclusion provision precludes coverage of injury resulting from sexual acts.

  • August 13, 2020

    Fiat Chrysler Rips Drivers' 'Duplicitous' Lifetime Warranty Suit

    Fiat Chrysler asked a Michigan federal judge Wednesday to shut down a "duplicitous" proposed class action alleging the automaker duped consumers into buying Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles that were advertised as having a lifetime powertrain warranty but that turned out to be a hollow promise.

  • August 13, 2020

    Chancery Finds Tilton In Contempt Over $6.5M Insurance Deal

    Distressed debt mogul Lynn Tilton was ruled in civil contempt Thursday for ignoring a Chancery Court order requiring notice to bankrupt noteholder funds before she secured a $6.5 million payout from an insurer for legal fee expenses in a deal that also secured releases for the insurer from the claims of others covered by the insurer's policy.

  • August 13, 2020

    Coronavirus Litigation: The Week In Review

    Ticket buyers say Stubhub is on the hook for refunds for events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest egg suppliers in the country has been accused of price-gouging and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has opted not to centralize all COVID-19 insurance cases.

  • August 13, 2020

    Hollywood Talent Agencies Can't Pare WGA's Antitrust Claims

    Two of Hollywood's top talent agencies lost their bid to pare down counterclaims from the Writers Guild of America unions in a dispute over fee structures, with a California federal judge ruling Thursday that the guilds have standing on state antitrust claims and can seek declaratory and injunctive relief.

  • August 13, 2020

    Canadian Co. Says Hemp Dispute Can't Jump Between Courts

    A Canadian hemp company has asked a Kentucky federal judge to throw out a breach of contract suit brought by a business partner, saying the case was recently tossed by a Wisconsin court and doesn't belong in Kentucky either.

  • August 13, 2020

    Construction JV Seeks $8M Over Ga. Highway Wall Collapse

    A construction venture is seeking at least $8 million in damages after sections of a retaining wall collapsed during construction of an $840 million toll highway expansion project in Atlanta, telling a Georgia state court that four subcontractors' negligence caused parts of the wall to "suddenly, dangerously and catastrophically" fail.

  • August 13, 2020

    Utility Says Magistrate Got It Wrong In Tribal Jurisdiction Case

    A Montana utility urged a federal judge not to hand a win to a Crow Tribe member and the tribe's court and health board in a jurisdiction dispute, saying the magistrate judge in the case overlooked key details in his July recommendations.

  • August 13, 2020

    Wawa Aims To Toss Financial Institutions' Data Breach Suit

    Wawa Inc. has called on a Pennsylvania federal court to toss a consolidated proposed class action from three credit unions over a data breach at the convenience store chain, saying they can't pursue negligence claims since losses related to the incident are governed by contracts dealing with credit and debit card transactions.

  • August 12, 2020

    UMB Bank Says Revlon Stole Collateral Tied To $1.8B Loan

    UMB Bank hit Revlon with a lawsuit in New York federal court Wednesday accusing the company of unlawfully shifting its collateral trademarks away from a group of creditors that extended nearly $1.8 billion to the cosmetics giant.

  • August 12, 2020

    NBC's 'The Voice' Production Co. Stiffs Musicians, Suit Says

    The production company behind the hit NBC television show "The Voice" is underpaying musicians by downplaying some of their tasks or declining to pay them entirely for other tasks, the American Federation of Musicians said in a California federal court lawsuit filed Wednesday.

  • August 12, 2020

    Vale Wants 'Equal Treatment' In Fight Over Mining Venture

    Brazilian mining company Vale SA is asking a New York judge to let it seek documents held by Beny Steinmetz as it pursues litigation in the U.K. relating to a doomed Guinean mining project, saying the Israeli billionaire should not have exclusive access to broader U.S.-style discovery.

  • August 12, 2020

    Morgan Stanley Ex-VP Can't Arbitrate Bias Claims

    A New Jersey federal judge ruled Wednesday that an ex-Morgan Stanley executive can't pursue his wrongful termination claims in arbitration after he declined to do so earlier and instead refiled identical claims with regulators after the case was dismissed.

  • August 12, 2020

    9th Circ. Judge Open To Reviving Google AdWords Fight

    A Ninth Circuit judge on Wednesday appeared open to reviving a consumer's proposed class claims that he was overcharged for ads by Google, questioning why the consumer wouldn't have standing to sue even if he sold his company that once advertised on the AdWords account.

  • August 12, 2020

    Winners In $506M Apple Trial Say EDTX Nailed Virus Safety

    Attorneys who won a $506 million jury verdict against Apple this week over 4G LTE patents said Wednesday that experiencing an in-person trial during a global pandemic was surprisingly normal, so long as you overlook the face shields, plexiglass and temperature checks outside the Eastern District of Texas courthouse.

  • August 12, 2020

    Calif. County Wants $77M Tribal Hemp Seizure Suit Tossed

    A Northern California county has asked a federal judge to toss an amended lawsuit accusing its officials of improperly seizing $77 million in hemp from a Native American company, saying the hemp was entirely illegal.

  • August 12, 2020

    StubHub Owner Hit With Ticket Refund Suit Amid Pandemic

    StubHub's new parent company Viagogo Entertainment Inc. on Wednesday became the latest ticket marketplace to be hit with a proposed class action over its alleged failure to give customers refunds for events that were canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • August 12, 2020

    NFL, DirecTV Say Sunday Ticket Case Not Like NCAA TV Suit

    The National Football League and DirecTV urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a suit alleging their exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package harms sports fans, saying an appeals panel wrongly allowed the case to proceed by citing the 1980s high court case that struck down NCAA limits on college football game broadcasts.

  • August 12, 2020

    Domino's Delivers Argument Against Ex-Worker's Appeal Bid

    Domino's Pizza has urged a Michigan federal court not to pause a suit targeting no-poach provisions in its past franchise agreements while a former employee attempts to appeal a Sixth Circuit loss to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the lower court can't undo the appellate court order sending the case to arbitration.

  • August 12, 2020

    Halliburton Workers Should Arbitrate Wage Suit, Judge Says

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. workers who allege they weren't paid for the time they spent waiting to be called into work must individually arbitrate their wage claims, a California federal magistrate judge has recommended.

  • August 12, 2020

    Mayer Brown Nabs Bracewell Atty To Lead Upstream Group

    Mayer Brown LLP has hired a Bracewell LLP partner experienced in upstream oil and gas mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions to lead the firm's U.S. upstream oil and gas group in Houston.

  • August 12, 2020

    Ex-Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Sued Over $6.45M Loan Default

    A Houston lender is demanding former Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst repay more than $6 million for a loan given to his energy investment company in 2018 that it has since defaulted on, according to a petition filed Tuesday in state court.

Expert Analysis

  • What 9th Circ. Qualcomm Licensing Ruling Means For SEPs

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    As a result of the Ninth Circuit's decision Tuesday that Qualcomm's licensing practices for standard-essential patents don't violate antitrust law, future SEP disputes are likely to be rooted in contract and patent law, and innovators are more likely to aggressively seek 5G wireless-related SEP patents, say attorneys at Sterne Kessler.

  • 3 Ways Law Firms Can Guard Diversity Gains During Crisis

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    Law firm managing partners must institute comprehensive, firmwide policies to ensure tenuous progress made in recruiting and retaining more women and attorneys of color is not lost due to pandemic-related layoffs and budget cuts, says Debra Pickett at Page 2 Communications.

  • Expediting M&A Deal Processes Via Negotiations Vs. Auctions

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    A close look at preannouncement mergers and acquisitions sheds light on how conducting a deal via negotiation, versus by auction, can influence a transaction's timeline — a crucial consideration amid the uncertain markets and increased event risk caused by the pandemic, say Gaurav Jetley and Yuxiao Huang at Analysis Group.

  • What I Learned As A Virtual Summer Associate

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    It is necessary in a virtual law firm summer program to think twice about asking questions you may be able to answer on your own, but this independence and other aspects of a remote internship may help to instill habits that would be useful for future full-time associates, says law student Kelley Sheehan, who interned at Patterson & Sheridan this summer.

  • Auto Supply Chain Price Disputes During COVID-19

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    With COVID-19's effects on automotive supply chains increasing the chance of pricing disputes between suppliers and customers, parties should look to the facts of the situation and the specific contract terms, says Nicholas Ellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • Lesser-Known Litigation Funding Best Practices For Attorneys

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    Following the American Bar Association's recent publication of third-party litigation funding guidance, Jiamie Chen and Dai Wai Chin Feman at Parabellum Capital outline some additional considerations, including the ethical limitations on single-case funding and the futility of economic prenegotiations between attorneys and their clients.

  • Using Sidecar Funds As A Source Of Capital Amid Volatility

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    Private investment fund sponsors seeking additional sources of capital to protect or enhance their portfolios may consider sidecar vehicles to help navigate pandemic-related liquidity issues, but should carefully analyze whether such structures would breach existing fund documents or agreements with limited partners, say Michael Suppappola and Emily O'Brien at Proskauer.

  • Key Points For Lenders Taking Control Of Oil And Gas Assets

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    As oil and gas producers' revenues fall, and their creditors see the value of their reserve-based collateral plummet, some lenders may want to protect their interests by taking temporary ownership of the assets through foreclosure, credit bid or other remedy, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • Opinion

    ADA Protects Lawyers With Disabilities, But We Must Do More

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    As an attorney with cerebral palsy, Danielle Liebl at Reed Smith says that while the 30-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act has protected her against discrimination, the legal industry must do more to accommodate lawyers with disabilities and make them more comfortable in self-identifying.

  • Perspectives

    Legal Deserts Threaten Justice In Rural America

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    Many small towns and rural counties have few lawyers or none at all, which threatens the notion of justice for all Americans and demands creative solutions from legislators, bar associations and law schools, says Patricia Refo, president of the American Bar Association.

  • 1st Circ. Ruling Complicates Gig Worker Arbitration Pacts

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    The First Circuit’s recent ruling that Amazon delivery drivers are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act opens the door to patchwork state enforcement, and will likely force gig economy employers to reevaluate arbitration agreements and class action waivers, say Christopher Feudo and Christian Garcia at Foley Hoag.

  • Foreign Discovery Ruling May Provide New Defense Tool

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    Motransa, a recent first-of-its-kind Florida federal court decision moving a foreign discovery proceeding to arbitration, may provide a new defensive option for U.S. targets of Section 1782 discovery demands, say Alexander Lawrence and David Hambrick at MoFo.

  • Analyzing Upward And Downward Trends In Legal Tech

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    Advances in legal technology are often accompanied by bombastic overstatements, but it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff by looking at where various technologies stand on the hype curve, says Lance Eliot at Stanford Law School.

  • What A Biden Administration Could Mean For Employers

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    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s labor and employment policy initiatives would strengthen unions and increase employer mandates, but some policies could benefit companies by creating broader workforce access and supporting retention of existing workers, says Anthony Oncidi at Proskauer.

  • What UK Insolvency Law Changes Mean For US Finance Cos.

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    In light of recent amendments to the U.K. insolvency regime that enhance restructuring options, introduce stay and moratorium powers, and include new safe harbors, U.S. financial institutions should determine whether rights under existing arrangements could be stayed, say attorneys at Allen & Overy.

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