Commercial Contracts

  • June 10, 2020

    8th Circ. Upends Jet Co. Workers' Win In Overtime Case

    The Eighth Circuit said Wednesday that a lower court jumped the gun in ruling that a group of employees of a Dassault Aviation unit weren't exempt from overtime requirements, finding there were factual disputes over how the workers were paid.

  • June 10, 2020

    Aircraft Lease Co. Says Airline Must Face $20M Award Fight

    A Lithuanian aircraft leasing company urged a D.C. federal court on Tuesday not to toss its suit seeking to enforce a more than $20 million arbitral award issued after Tajikistan's state-owned airline broke its lease on two planes, arguing that the company is well aware of the litigation.

  • June 10, 2020

    DC Salon Chain Hits Insurer With Virus Business Loss Suit

    A pair of Washington, D.C., salons have sued Erie Insurance Exchange in Pennsylvania state court, insisting that city-ordered closures due to the risk of contamination and the spread of the coronavirus should be covered by their business insurance.

  • June 10, 2020

    Mall Of America Takes Sears Lease Row To 2nd Circ.

    The owners of the Mall of America told a New York federal judge Wednesday that it will be asking the Second Circuit to review her determination that she lacked the authority to rule that Sears' new owners can't assume the bankrupt retailer's Mall of America lease.

  • June 10, 2020

    Pot-Focused Fintech Co. Wants Lobbyist Dispute Arbitrated

    A financial services company catering to high-risk industries including cannabis has asked a New Jersey federal court to send a compensation dispute with a group of lobbyists to private resolution, saying their agreement contains a bulletproof arbitration clause.

  • June 10, 2020

    Terminal Owner Doesn't Deserve $3M For Oil Spill, Court Told

    A contractor held partially liable for a Los Angeles oil spill has urged a federal court to reduce a $3 million verdict an oil terminal owner won, arguing the owner only paid a 12th of the cleanup costs out of pocket while the rest was covered by insurance.

  • June 10, 2020

    XFL Parent May Be Roped Into Ex-Commissioner's Firing Suit

    The $24 million breach of contract suit between ousted XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck and the bankrupt football league's owner, Vince McMahon, won't be resolved until a Connecticut federal judge decides whether the league's corporate parent should be added to the case.

  • June 10, 2020

    Ex-Braidy Industries CEO Settles Claims Over Aluminum Mill

    Feuding sides in a battle for control of Kentucky's Braidy Industries have settled a bitter Delaware Chancery Court fight for control of the startup's planned $1.8 billion aluminum rolling mill, putting the state-backed economic development project back on track.

  • June 10, 2020

    UBS Accuses Ex-Worker Of Bolting With $97M In Accounts

    A UBS Group AG wealth management unit has claimed in Texas state court that an ex-employee used confidential client information to convince them to move more than $97 million in received accounts to her new employer, Morgan Stanley, in the weeks following her May resignation.

  • June 10, 2020

    Coronavirus Q&A: Becker & Poliakoff's Real Estate Leader

    In this edition of Coronavirus Q&A, Becker & Poliakoff PA's real estate leader discusses the ways force majeure clauses are changing and the process of reopening businesses in Miami and across Florida.

  • June 09, 2020

    Feds Charge Biotech Exec, Investor In COVID-19 Test Scam

    The U.S. Department of Justice charged the president of California medical technology company Arrayit Corp. in an alleged COVID-19 testing scheme, while an investor in the company faces related civil claims from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the agencies announced on Tuesday.

  • June 09, 2020

    Student Housing Co. Hit With COVID-19 Refund Suit

    The mother of a University of Central Florida student hit a Georgia-based off-campus apartment operator with a proposed class suit Monday, claiming the company has continued to charge rent to residents even though Florida university campuses are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 09, 2020

    SeaWorld Slapped With $3.3M Roller Coaster Suit

    A construction company hired by SeaWorld to build a new roller coaster at its San Diego location is now accusing the theme park of withholding almost $3.3 million in payments while the park is closed during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit.

  • June 09, 2020

    5th Circ. Tosses Verdict Against Dow In Contract Dispute

    A Fifth Circuit panel on Tuesday erased a Louisiana jury's $74,000 verdict against The Dow Chemical Co. in a breach of contract suit, finding that the jury's damages calculations were improperly based on extrapolated data submitted by Gulf Engineering Co. and not actual profits lost.

  • June 09, 2020

    Cert. Denied In FIFA Corruption Suit Against Televisa

    A Manhattan federal judge denied a motion for class certification Monday in a suit over the sprawling FIFA corruption scandal against Mexican media company Grupo Televisa SAB and two of its executives, ruling the lead plaintiff didn't fairly represent the rest of the proposed class because it held both short and long positions on the company's shares.

  • June 09, 2020

    2nd Circ. Won't Say If Skin Is Copyright's 'Tangible Medium'

    The Second Circuit is refusing to wade into a "lively academic debate" over a novel question: whether human skin can be the kind of "tangible medium of expression" required for copyright protection.

  • June 09, 2020

    Ex-Partner Wants Sanctions In Pierce Bainbridge Fraud Fight

    A former Pierce Bainbridge partner who says he was falsely accused of sexual assault has asked a New York state court to sanction the ailing law firm, claiming its leadership forced a low-level employee to lie in a sworn affidavit in order to send his case to arbitration.

  • June 08, 2020

    Bull Semen Co. Boosts Win Against Rival To $11M In IP Row

    A Wisconsin federal judge awarded a Texas bull semen company nearly $11 million on Monday, boosting an $8.5 million verdict handed down last year after a trial in which the jury found a rival business had infringed the Texas company's patents for breeding milk cows.

  • June 08, 2020

    Judge Says Cert. Unlikely For Parent ADHD Med Buyers

    Parents who say they overpaid for their children's ADHD medications can't pause their antitrust suit against Actavis and Shire while they appeal the court's decision to deny them class certification, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Monday.

  • June 08, 2020

    Ford Wants New PowerShift Trial After Driver Atty 'Misconduct'

    Ford has urged a California federal judge to scrap a jury's finding that it violated California's lemon law by refusing to buy back a Focus with problems in its PowerShift transmission, arguing its $23,155 trial loss was the result of a "strategy of pervasive misconduct" by the plaintiffs.

  • June 08, 2020

    Pa. Restaurants, Dentist Join Surge Seeking Virus Coverage

    A surge of lawsuits seeking insurance coverage for business losses due to COVID-19 closures was filed in Pennsylvania state court Friday, including individual claims and proposed class-action suits from four Pittsburgh-area restaurants and a dental practice.

  • June 08, 2020

    Oxy, Gas Royalty Owners Settle $13M Payments Dispute

    Some 1,800 gas royalty owners have reached a confidential settlement with Oxy USA Inc. in their $13 million suit accusing the company of shorting them on payments, according to court documents filed Monday.

  • June 08, 2020

    CBD Co. Fights Dismissal Of Claims From $6M Contract Suit

    A CBD manufacturer has told a Connecticut federal court not to toss various claims it leveled against a pet store in a $6 million breach of contract suit, saying the store's motion to dismiss lacks merit and misinterprets a product supply contract between the parties.

  • June 08, 2020

    Ruby Tuesday Hit With $2.5M Suit Over Closure Due To Virus

    A property management firm has filed suit against Ruby Tuesday in Ohio federal court, saying the restaurant chain owes it $2.5 million in contractual damages from a failed sale-leaseback deal after shuttering one of its eateries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 08, 2020

    General Dynamics Unit Must Face $13M Contract Breach Suit

    A Maryland federal court allowed a Canadian biotechnology company to proceed with its suit alleging that a General Dynamics subsidiary owes it nearly $13.4 million for developing a nerve agent antidote for the U.S. military, but the judge tossed three of its claims.

Expert Analysis

  • 7 Steps To Romancing The Virtual Classroom

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    For professors, trainers, lawyers, students and businesses grappling with the unexpected challenges of distance learning, trial attorney and teacher James Wagstaffe offers best practices for real-time online instruction.

  • Connected Products, Disappearing Features

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    Reports that Tesla remotely disabled software features within one of its Model S vehicles after it was resold reflect the fact that copyright-protected software is rarely sold, only licensed — and point to how the future might look for consumers buying connected products, says Dan Venglarik at Munck Wilson.

  • College Refund Suits Raise Complex Tuition Questions

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    The flurry of putative class actions against universities contending that students no longer receive the benefit of their bargain with remote learning during the pandemic will require courts to undertake individualized and burdensome inquiries to determine what exactly tuition pays for, say attorneys at Bryan Cave.

  • 5 Tips For Emergency Relief Petitions During COVID-19

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    Business disputes are not a priority for courts right now, so companies looking to protect their trade secrets or rights to contractual performance must tailor their requests for emergency relief to the unique circumstances of this time, says Shannon Armstrong at Holland & Knight.

  • Role For COVID-19 Liability Waivers In Employment Is Limited

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    COVID-19 liability waivers between companies and employees may not hold their weight in court due to the parties' unequal bargaining power, but they may be viable between businesses and customers when robust safety measures are in place, say Isaac Mamaysky and Mark Papadopoulos at Potomac Law Group.

  • Revisiting The Benefits Of An Efficient Contract Breach

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    The efficient breach theory — accepted and thoroughly addressed by the Delaware courts — provides companies and their boards an opportunity to mitigate losses incurred from unstable and unprofitable contracts during times of economic uncertainty, say Aaron Rigby and Jack Zeringue at Sidley.

  • Key Return-To-Work Considerations For Law Firms

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    There may be precious little notice before the legal community ramps up, so it's important to have return-to-work plans that address the unique challenges law firms will face in bringing employees back to offices, say attorneys Daniel Gerber, Barbara O'Connell and Richard Tucker.

  • 3 Approaches To IP Valuation For Pandemic Recovery

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    Determining an intellectual property asset's value in light of the pandemic using a market, income or cost approach can help companies faced with a restructuring, sale or licensing situation, say Ryan Herrington and Jeffrey Kersey at FTI Consulting.

  • Litigating Lending Agreements During And After Pandemic

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    When faced with potential disputes over funding obligations in deals agreed to — but not closed — before the pandemic, parties should carefully review key lending agreement provisions, such as force majeure and conditions precedent, say Andrew Kratenstein and Chelsea Cosillos at McDermott.

  • A Creative Solution For Teaching Local Practice In Law School

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    To help prepare my students to navigate local practice, I wrote a set of rules for the classroom that mimics those they might encounter from a local judge or court, says Michael Zuckerman at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

  • A More Commercial Paradigm For M&A Agreements

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    As COVID-19 disruption brings "material adverse effect" questions from clients that have entered into acquisition agreements, there is a way to redesign affected provisions to clearly state the parties' intent — eliminate the concept of material adverse effect and replace it with remedies defined by measurable loss, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • EU Treaty Proposal Constricts Rights Of Energy Investors

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    The Energy Charter Treaty is one of the most frequently invoked instruments in international investment treaty disputes — and the European Union's recent proposal to modernize the treaty's investment chapter will, if adopted, significantly reduce its scope, and make investor claims far more difficult, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Key Issues In Pandemic-Induced Contract Disputes

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    While many contract disputes due to COVID-19 are sure to raise novel issues in litigation and arbitration, companies across industries can benefit from understanding certain commonalities — related not only to affirmative defenses and burdens of proof, but also to relevant evidence, expert testimony and winning strategies, says James Ferguson at Mayer Brown.

  • Making Law Firm Panels Work For The Cost-Conscious GC

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    General counsel may be tempted to resort to matter-level requests for proposals in the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but alternatively, a singular, global RFP process — to select a panel of law firms for all legal needs — can reduce legal spend while fostering long-term relationships, say Vivek Hatti, formerly at Avis Budget Group, and Jaron Luttich at Element Standard.

  • Remote Notarization Is A New Virtual Frontier For Mass.

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    Massachusetts' new law allowing for online execution of notarized documents leaves several unanswered questions regarding its requirement for all participating parties to be located within the state, potentially setting up for future litigation, says Katie Von Kohorn at Casner & Edwards.

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