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Commercial Contracts

  • June 21, 2018

    Trump Supporter Must Pay $5.7M in Fees: Ill. Appeals Court

    An Illinois state appeals panel on Thursday upheld a Nixon Peabody LLP predecessor’s $5.7 million win for attorneys' fees the firm says it's owed for trial work it performed for a wealthy backer of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in a suit against a Chicago suburb.

  • June 21, 2018

    Split 9th Circ. Ditches Own Precedent In Nu Image Union Row

    A divided Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that film producer Nu Image Inc. can't sue in federal court over a union contract provision requiring it to pay into health and pension funds, in a decision that pitted a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the appeals court’s own precedent.

  • June 21, 2018

    Jury Reaches $2.4M Decision In Booze Biz Pay Dispute

    A Dallas County, Texas, jury reached a verdict Thursday that puts two ex-executives for liquor distribution giant Glazer’s Inc. in line to receive nearly $2.4 million as a result of a company merger under a “change of control” contract provision, according to their counsel.

  • June 21, 2018

    Dealer Barred From Arbitrating Fla. City Car Contract Row

    A car dealership accused of hiring another auto seller’s employee and helping her steal a lucrative contract with the city of Tallahassee can’t participate in the arbitration between the employee and her former company, a Florida appeals court ruled in a split decision Wednesday.

  • June 21, 2018

    Fraud, Contract Suit Over $110M Tech Co. Sale Dismissed

    A company that paid $110 million to acquire multinational software firm Symbio SA had its case against the sellers dismissed on Thursday, with a New York state judge saying the buyer's claim that the sellers had fudged Symbio's profits and taxes wasn't enough for the case to advance.

  • June 21, 2018

    9th Circ. Affirms Viacom’s $15M Unpaid Ads Win

    The Ninth Circuit affirmed Viacom International Inc.’s $14.9 million win in a suit accusing toy company MGA Entertainment Inc. of breaching four contracts in connection with ad sales and production of a TV show for the Lalaloopsy doll brand, agreeing with the lower court that MGA failed to show that Viacom materially breached the contracts first.

  • June 21, 2018

    NJ Strip Club Exec Knew Arbitration Clause, Court Says

    A New Jersey state appeals court affirmed Thursday that the members of a strip club venture must arbitrate their ownership dispute, ruling that the entrepreneur who is suing is an “experienced businessman” who understood that the buyout agreement with his partners was subject to a related deal to keep disputes out of court.

  • June 21, 2018

    PBMs, Insurers Back Anthem, Express Scripts In Pricing Suit

    Two trade associations for pharmaceutical benefits managers and health insurers have thrown their support behind Anthem Inc. and Express Scripts Inc. in a dispute at the Second Circuit over the companies’ drug pricing, arguing that the companies weren’t acting as fiduciaries when they contracted together.

  • June 21, 2018

    Credit Suisse Can Arbitrate Ex-Worker's $300M Class Suit

    Credit Suisse Securities on Thursday dodged a proposed class action accusing the company of stiffing its workers on up to $300 million in deferred compensation after a California federal judge ruled that the financial adviser bringing the case was bound by an arbitration agreement.

  • June 21, 2018

    Beats’ Expert Disputes $107M Figure In Royalties Row

    A damages expert for Beats Electronics LLC told a California jury Thursday that, if it agrees with an entrepreneur’s interpretation of a 2007 agreement he made with Beats' co-founders, then he is owed about $15 million in additional royalties for his work on the company's headphones — not the $107 million he claims.

  • June 21, 2018

    Sears Customer Can't Revive NJ Suit After Not Being Harmed

    A New Jersey state appeals court ruled Thursday that a Sears customer was not actually harmed by purported consumer protection violations on her sales receipts for ovens and so could not revive her putative class action against the retailer, noting that she received a full refund for the returned merchandise.

  • June 21, 2018

    Sharper Image Defends Right To Petition PTAB At Fed. Circ.

    A patent licensing agreement between Sharper Image and a virtual reality company doesn’t bar Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenges, as it only limits litigation tied to interpreting the contract, the retailer told the Federal Circuit in a brief made public Thursday.

  • June 21, 2018

    'Westworld' Phone App 'Blatant Rip-Off,' Video Game Co. Says

    The maker of the commercially successful video game "Fallout Shelter" sued Warner Bros. Entertainment and a Canadian game developer in Maryland federal court Thursday, claiming the pair stole its intellectual property and trade secrets to create a “blatant rip-off” game app for the HBO show “Westworld.”

  • June 21, 2018

    'Super Size Me' Director Escapes Suit Over Ruined Project

    A California federal judge dismissed Morgan Spurlock from a suit brought by Turner Entertainment Networks Inc. to recover cash it gave the documentarian for a project that was later canceled amid allegations of his sexual misconduct, finding Thursday that Spurlock was not a party to his production company’s agreement with Turner.

  • June 21, 2018

    Pension, Discovery Deals Reached In Tops Markets Ch. 11

    Tops Markets LLC on Thursday received approval from a New York bankruptcy court for a settlement of a long-standing dispute over $184 million in pension liabilities at the same time it told the court it had reached an agreement with creditors in a discovery dispute.

  • June 21, 2018

    Creditors Object To $750M Lehman-Credit Suisse Deal

    Two hedge funds threw a wrench into a massive proposed derivatives settlement between Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Credit Suisse AG with an objection filed on Wednesday, sharply questioning Lehman's whiplash-inducing turn from demanding $75 million to agreeing to pay $750 million in the "black box" deal.

  • June 21, 2018

    7th Circ. Says Ex-Housing Agency Worker's Status Is Unclear

    The Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court's decision that found an Illinois affordable housing authority properly classified a handyman as an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act, saying Wednesday the case “abounds” with factual questions about his employment status.

  • June 21, 2018

    Southwest Airlines, Boeing Sued Over Deadly Engine Failure

    Passengers of an April flight with Southwest Airlines have sued in New York court over an engine failure that resulted in one passenger death and spurred the Federal Aviation Administration to evaluate its safety oversight of the airline.

  • June 20, 2018

    Beats Are Nuthin' But A Me Thang, Dre Says In $107M Trial

    Beats Electronics LLC co-founder Dr. Dre told a California jury Wednesday that he came up with the concept and title for the Beats By Dre headphone brand, disputing claims that another entrepreneur deserves as much as $107 million in additional royalties for helping launch the business.

  • June 20, 2018

    Ex-Masimo VP’s 11th-Hour IP Arbitration Bid Earns Eye Roll

    A California appeals court has ruled that a former Masimo Corp. vice president cannot force the medical device maker to arbitrate claims that he stole trade secrets, saying he may have acted in bad faith by litigating for years and then seeking arbitration just weeks before trial.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    BigLaw's Associate Salary Model Is A Relic Of A Bygone Era

    William Brewer

    Legal industry compensation practices are once again in the news as BigLaw firms continue to match the new high watermark of $190,000 for first-year associate salaries. The typical model of increasing associate salaries uniformly fails star associates, the firms they work for and, ultimately, the clients they serve, says William Brewer, managing partner of Brewer Attorneys & Counselors.

  • #MeToo At Law Firms And What We Can Do About It

    Beth Schroeder.JPG

    While some may say it’s ironic, it’s also embarrassing and enraging that the very industry that offers anti-harassment training, policies and counsel now finds itself the subject of #MeToo headlines. The American Bar Association recommendation that will bring about the greatest change is the call to provide alternative methods for reporting violations, says Beth Schroeder, chair of Raines Feldman LLP's labor and employment group.

  • New Licenses Ease Ukraine, Russia Business Wind-Downs

    Seetha Ramachandran

    The U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control continues its effort to allow U.S. persons to wind down operations or existing contracts that would otherwise violate Ukraine- and Russia-related sanctions. Even though OFAC has issued general licenses for this purpose, U.S. persons may need to obtain specific licenses to fully divest their interests, say attorneys with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Knowledge Lawyers Can Help Firms Stay Ahead Of The Curve

    Vanessa Pinto Villa

    In a profession notoriously averse to change, it should come as no surprise that there is skepticism about the value of having attorneys perform nonbillable tasks. But U.S. law firms have slowly begun to incorporate knowledge lawyers into their operations — and the trend is likely to continue, says Vanessa Pinto Villa of Hogan Lovells.

  • An Unprecedented Look Inside The FARA Unit

    Brian Fleming

    For close observers of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the June 8 release by the U.S. Department of Justice of over 50 FARA advisory opinions was a watershed. These opinions offer an unprecedented glimpse into how the FARA Registration Unit interprets the law, say Brian Fleming and Andrew Herman of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.

  • Pre-Mediation Caucuses May Improve Mediation Efficiency

    Thomas Elkind

    The more procedural tools a mediator can offer, the higher the likelihood that a mediation will be successful. Mediators should be prepared to employ pre-mediation initial caucuses in appropriate cases, says JAMS mediator and arbitrator Thomas Elkind.

  • Why Lawyers Shouldn't Accept Fees In Cryptocurrency: Part 2

    John Reed Stark

    The legal industry has already begun to feel the impact of anti-bribery and anti-money laundering requirements. When involved with cryptocurrency trading and remittance, law firms face more than the risk of being perceived as organizations that support money laundering practices, says John Reed Stark of John Reed Stark Consulting LLC.

  • A Growing Divide On Trademark License Rights In Bankruptcy

    Luke Barefoot

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to clarify in the case of Tempnology the extent to which trademark license rights survive rejection in bankruptcy proceedings. In the meantime, licensees face continued uncertainty on their ability to use licensed trademarks following rejection, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • E-Signature Laws Provide Legal Framework For Blockchain

    Brian Casey

    The drafters of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act had the foresight to create a model electronic signatures and records law that, 19 years later, readily accommodates blockchain-based transactions. Businesses should consider utilizing UETA compliance checklists before proceeding with blockchain transactions or smart contracts, says Brian Casey of Locke Lord LLP.

  • Why Lawyers Shouldn't Accept Fees In Cryptocurrency: Part 1

    John Reed Stark

    Law firms are increasingly accepting cryptocurrency as payment for services. While this might seem innovative and forward-thinking, ironically it is much more of a throwback, says John Reed Stark of John Reed Stark Consulting LLC.