Commercial Contracts

  • November 14, 2019

    Law Firm's Nondisparagement Pact Illegal, NLRB Memo Says

    Missouri-based Stange Law Firm PC imposed an illegal nondisparagement agreement on employees and would have violated federal labor law if it kept pursuing legal action over negative online job reviews, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel’s office said in a new guidance memo.

  • November 14, 2019

    Ford Owes $64K In First PowerShift MDL Verdict

    Ford violated California's lemon law by declining to buy back a Ford Focus after numerous clutch repairs and transmission issues, a California federal jury ruled Thursday in the first verdict to come from nearly 1,000 consolidated federal cases over alleged defects in Focus and Fiesta PowerShift transmissions.

  • November 14, 2019

    Netflix Snubs Black Women Over Comedy Pay, Mo'Nique Says

    Netflix courted comedian and Oscar-winning actress Mo'Nique for a comedy special, then made her a discriminatory offer that "perpetuated the pay gap suffered by black women," according to a complaint she filed Thursday in California state court.

  • November 14, 2019

    8th Circ. Stands By Keeping Gas Royalties Out Of Tribal Court

    The Tenth Circuit has rebuffed a request by Three Affiliated Tribes court officials that it rethink a ruling that tribe members' suits seeking royalties for the flaring of natural gas on reservation lands can’t be heard in tribal court, despite the officials’ claims the decision flouted U.S. Supreme Court precedent and trampled on tribal court authority.

  • November 14, 2019

    Trump Panama Hotel Suit Plows Ahead in NY, As Stay Is Nixed

    A Manhattan federal judge waived off a bid to stall discovery in fraud litigation brought by owners of luxury hotel units in Panama after they argued that President Donald Trump's management companies had violated a previously-agreed-upon pause.

  • November 14, 2019

    Ex-Wanu Water CEO's Conspiracy Suit Is Weak, Chancery Told

    A lawsuit by the founder and ex-CEO of nutrition-infused water startup Wanu Water that alleges a former director plotted his ouster through a defamatory smear campaign is filled with deficient and unsupported claims, a Delaware vice chancellor was told Thursday.

  • November 14, 2019

    Tieks Shoemakers Win $37M Trial Against Founder's Brother

    The married couple behind the popular Tieks foldable ballet flat have won a $36.67 million verdict after a weekslong trial against their former business partner, one founder's brother, persuading a Los Angeles jury that the brother breached his fiduciary duty to the company.

  • November 14, 2019

    Ex-NFL Player Agrees To Pay $1.25M Concussion Deal Loan

    An ailing retired NFL player has agreed to pay litigation funder Thrivest $1.25 million to repay a $500,000 loan tied to the NFL concussion settlement, ending a yearslong legal battle and foreshadowing victory for Thrivest in more than 30 similar cases.

  • November 14, 2019

    Timeshare Biz Sues Firm Over Promises To Contract Owners

    Timeshare company Bluegreen Vacations has slapped a Missouri law firm with a false advertising lawsuit in Florida federal court, claiming it can’t legally make good on its promise to help share owners cancel their timeshare contracts.

  • November 14, 2019

    Subcontractors Say They're Owed For Parking Garage Work

    Two developers and their owners have alleged in North Dakota federal court that a construction company hasn't properly compensated them for subcontracting work done on a project to build a pair of parking garages.

  • November 14, 2019

    Sater Can't Ax Money Laundering Suit, Kazakh City Says

    The city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, and one of the country’s banks are urging a New York federal court not to dismiss their suit accusing Felix Sater and others of helping to launder about $440 million.

  • November 14, 2019

    NJ Car Dealer Pushes To Topple Arbitration Waiver Ruling

    A New Jersey car dealership called on a state appellate panel Thursday to upend a trial court ruling that the business waived its right to compel arbitration of "hidden fee" class claims under a vehicle order contract after unsuccessfully trying to force arbitration based on a lease agreement.

  • November 14, 2019

    Houlihan's Files Ch. 11 With $40M Bid From Landry's

    Restaurant chain Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. has filed for bankruptcy in Delaware and plans to sell its assets at auction, with rival dining chain operator Landry’s LLC serving as the stalking horse bidder with a $40 million opening bid.

  • November 13, 2019

    Bankruptcy Stay Orders Not Final, Creditor Tells Justices

    A Chapter 11 creditor told the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday that its appeal of a bankruptcy court's order denying relief from the automatic stay didn't need to be filed immediately as lower courts had said but could have waited until the Chapter 11 was resolved.

  • November 13, 2019

    Dollar Tree Gets 1,600 Workers Dropped From Wage Class

    About two-thirds of a certified 2,400-worker class accusing a Dollar Tree unit of wage violations can only pursue their claims in individual arbitration, a California federal judge has ruled.

  • November 13, 2019

    Oregon Hemp Seed Co. Says Grower Botched $44M Crop

    An Oregon hemp seed company has shot back at a CBD producer suing it over a batch of allegedly nonflowering seeds, filing a $3.7 million claim over an unpaid contract and telling a state court that the grower’s own incompetence was to blame for its ruined crop.

  • November 13, 2019

    Southwest, Boeing Can't Duck Max 8 Suit, Passengers Say

    Southwest Airlines passengers have accused the carrier and Boeing of using a red herring argument in an attempt to dodge claims they colluded to keep 737 Max 8 jets flying when they knew about defects that caused two deadly crashes.

  • November 13, 2019

    Chancery Ignored Risks In ETE Deal, Del. Justices Told

    The Chancery Court wrongly ignored real — albeit never materialized — risks to Energy Transfer Equity LP unit holders excluded from an unfair private offering in 2016 when it rejected their class suit seeking cancellation of the new units, attorneys for ETE investors told Delaware's Supreme Court on Wednesday.

  • November 13, 2019

    Seterus Should Face Most Claims In FDCPA Suit, Judge Says

    Seterus Inc. must face the majority of allegations brought by a proposed class of borrowers in default who say the mortgage servicing platform lied about its intention to foreclose on their homes, a Georgia federal magistrate judge recommended Wednesday.

  • November 13, 2019

    Md. Atty Can't Get Fees From Fatal Car Crash Settlement

    A Maryland injury attorney demanding his cut of an auto collision wrongful death settlement struck after he withdrew from the case was rebuffed by a state appeals court, which ruled that the terms of a retainer and contingency fee agreement were not met.

  • November 13, 2019

    Uber's 'Meritless' Bid To Arbitrate ADA Suit Thrown Out

    Uber can’t force arbitration upon a group of Pittsburgh-based wheelchair users who allege the ride-hailing company violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, a Pennsylvania federal court ruled, saying the users have grounds to sue even without using the Uber app and its baked-in arbitration agreement.

  • November 13, 2019

    Justices May Nix Ruling That OK'd Bias Suit Against Comcast

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed to lean toward reversing a Ninth Circuit decision allowing a studio’s $20 billion racial bias suit to proceed against Comcast Corp. because, in the words of some justices, the appeals court adopted a seemingly “wrong” standard for proving illegal discrimination in contracting.

  • November 13, 2019

    Insurer Asks For Win In Dolphins Stadium Renovation Fight

    Berkley Assurance is asking a New York federal court for a win against a contractor seeking coverage for a claim stemming from the renovation of the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, arguing the contractor reported the claim after its policy expired.

  • November 12, 2019

    No Ford Focus, Fiesta 'Shudder' At High Speeds, Jury Hears

    A Ford Motor Co. engineer testified in California federal court Tuesday that he hadn't seen evidence of "shudder" problems in Focus and Fiesta transmissions at high speeds, countering claims that a California man's Focus shuddered violently at high speeds even after numerous clutch repairs.

  • November 12, 2019

    Amazon Asks For Redo In $2.5M Shipping Stiffing Case

    Amazon on Monday requested a new trial after it was hit with a $2.47 million verdict for failing to pay a shipping company, claiming the Washington federal judge presiding over the case provided jurors with a de facto verdict before deliberation started.

Expert Analysis

  • Comcast Bias Suit A Bad Way To Make Law, Arguments Show

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    Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media highlighted the case's flaws, including that it concerns the dismissal of a complaint that omitted a key fact and was tainted by dubious insinuations, says R. Scott Oswald of The Employment Law Group.

  • Resolving Warranty And Guaranty Confusion In Construction

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    It is essential that property owners, contractors and their lawyers understand the key distinctions between warranties and guaranties, and are mindful of these distinctions when drafting and enforcing prime construction contracts or subcontracts, says Michael Scheffler of Blank Rome.

  • Opinion

    Cannabis Social Equity Programs Are Fundamentally Flawed

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    While programs granting a licensing advantage to communities disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of cannabis have gained support in progressive legislative circles, they are failing due to poor legislative design, says Avis Bulbulyan of SIVA Enterprises.

  • Texas Could Take Page From Mass.'s Judicial Selection Book

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    As Texas and other states review their judicial election processes, they would be well served by taking guidance from Massachusetts' Governor’s Council system, which protects the judiciary from the hazards of campaigning, says Richard Baker of New England Intellectual Property.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: McKeown Reviews 'Conversations With RBG'

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    Reading Jeffrey Rosen’s "Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law" is like eavesdropping on the author and his subject while they discuss how the restrained judicial minimalist became the fiery leader of the opposition, says Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown.

  • What NCAA Publicity Rights Guidance Means For Athletes

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    Following the recent release of NCAA student-athlete compensation guidelines, it remains unclear how disparate governing bodies will choose to set rules, leaving student-athletes seeking to commercialize their names, images or likenesses through contracts or trademark rights with a confusing mix of incentives and prohibitions, says Radhika Raman of Knobbe Martens.

  • Can Business Conduct Establish A Partnership In Texas?

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    After hearing arguments last month, the Texas Supreme Court is poised to decide whether Energy Transfer Partners and Enterprise Products Partners entered into a partnership based on their conduct and statements. The case emphasizes the need to draft preliminary agreements carefully, says Ladd Hirsch of Winstead.

  • Retaining Federal Jurisdiction After Fed. Circ. License Ruling

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    Following the Federal Circuit's recent holding in Inspired Development v. Inspired Products that unjust enrichment claims pertaining to a license agreement did not arise under federal patent law, parties can keep jurisdiction on their side by drafting licensing agreements with an eye toward litigation and carefully selecting claims to assert, say Jeffrey Whittle and Christopher Limbacher of Womble Bond.

  • Where A Litigator's Advice Can Improve Agreement Drafting

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    Transactional attorneys should consider consulting with litigation counsel when drafting certain contractual provisions — choice of law, choice of forum, attorney fees and others — that could come into play in a broad range of substantive disputes, says Adrienne Koch at Katsky Korins.

  • What Will Calif. Privacy Law’s 'Do Not Sell' Button Look Like?

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    Although the California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect in less than two months, one of its key provisions ― the right of California residents to opt out of the sale of their personal information ― remains to be defined or subject to public review or comment, creating uncertainty for businesses, say attorneys at Akin Gump.

  • As Cannabis IP Grows, So Do State Licensing Headaches

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    Washington and Colorado have come up with disparate regulations for cannabis-related intellectual property transactions, providing an indication of the licensing challenges ahead for attorneys drafting cannabis agreements across state lines, say attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Undressing The Risks Of Naked TM Licensing

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    Earlier this year, in Mission Product v. Tempnology, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of naked licenses resulting in trademark abandonment, an outcome that can be avoided if attorneys counseling suppliers address the requisite quality controls in supplier/distributor agreements, says Joseph Sullivan of Taylor English.

  • 9th Circ. Ruling Stresses Need For Arbitrator Bias Disclosures

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    Following the Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Monster Energy v. City Beverages, arbitrators should consider whether to amend disclosures concerning potential conflicts of interest to meet the court's hypertechnical, but not wholly illogical, partiality standard, says Dustin Hecker at Arent Fox.

  • Opinion

    Flat-Fee Legal Billing Can Liberate Attorneys

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    Replacing hourly billing with flat-fee arrangements, especially for appellate work, will leave attorneys feeling free to spend as much time as necessary to produce their highest quality work, says Lawrence Ebner of Capital Appellate Advocacy.

  • Spoliation Rule Remains Ambiguous Despite Amendments

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    Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to provide a uniform standard of culpability for spoliation, cases with similar facts are still reaching differing results because the rule does not specify how a court should evaluate a party's intent, say attorneys at Pepper Hamilton.