Commercial Contracts

  • February 22, 2024

    Supertramp Royalties Deal 'Smart Move,' Doors' Manager Says

    The manager of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane testified Thursday in a California federal breach of contract trial between former Supertramp members that the songwriting royalty agreement at the center of the case looks like a "smart move" and that songwriters often share royalty proceeds with non-writing band members.

  • February 22, 2024

    Sanctions Bids By McDonald's, Byron Allen Cos. Look Cooked

    An attorney for McDonald's urged a Los Angeles judge on Thursday to reconsider a tentative ruling denying its motions for sanctions, saying attorneys for Byron Allen's media companies "knowingly" included false information in a complaint alleging the fast food giant lied in pledges to spend more advertising money on Black-owned media.

  • February 22, 2024

    BofA Pulling Fast One To Exit Gag Clause Suit, Customers Say

    Consumers suing Bank of America for allegedly trying to stifle consumer critics through clauses in its online service agreements have urged a California federal judge not to toss their suit, arguing the bank's dismissal arguments are without legal merit, factually incorrect and "intended to mislead."

  • February 22, 2024

    Wash. AG Seeks $1.2M In Damages For Debt Collector's Errors

    A debt collection company should pay more than $1.2 million after it "didn't even come close to complying with the law" while recovering medical debt payments for a hospital in Washington, the state attorney general's office told a judge during a bench trial Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    No Early Win For Geothermal Co. Founder In Ownership Row

    A Colorado federal judge Thursday declined to give a geothermal startup founder an early win in a bitter fight over ownership of the company, concluding in an order that there are too many disputes over a noncompete agreement for the case to be resolved through summary judgment.

  • February 22, 2024

    Trump Atty Sanctioned For Filing IP Suit On Gut Feelings

    A Florida federal judge has sanctioned an attorney who said he could "just know" if a product infringed his client's patents, rather than conducting a factual investigation — a move that the attorney claimed was backlash for representing former President Donald Trump elsewhere.

  • February 22, 2024

    No Partnership In Hot Dog Eatery Deal, NC Court Rules

    A restaurateur has beaten a lawsuit that alleged he jilted an associate in a deal to buy hot dog eateries, with North Carolina's business court reasoning the two never had a legally binding partnership.

  • February 22, 2024

    Coldwell Banker Wins Trade Secrets Fight On Directed Verdict

    A California state judge issued a directed verdict for Coldwell Banker's Orange County division in a case where a rival real estate company accused it of poaching employees and stealing trade secrets.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-HFZ Capital Chief Denies $86M Real Estate Fraud Charges

    The former head of troubled real estate firm HFZ Capital Group has pled not guilty in New York state court to dozens of criminal charges alleging he spearheaded a series of theft and tax fraud schemes that netted more than $86 million in total.

  • February 22, 2024

    Invisalign Maker Beats Refusal-To-Deal Claims In 3Shape Row

    The makers of Invisalign beat an antitrust class action from orthodontists and aligner buyers Wednesday after a California federal judge ruled that the company's decision to terminate its interoperability agreement with a dental scanner company was at least partly made for "legitimate business reasons."

  • February 22, 2024

    Total Vision's Antitrust Suit Against VSP Kept Largely Intact

    Total Vision can move forward with most antitrust claims accusing eye care insurance giant VSP of hamstringing it and trying to force an acquisition at a dramatically reduced price, after a California federal judge said VSP cannot summarily duck behind a deal signing away Total Vision's rights to sue.

  • February 22, 2024

    'Baffled' Judge Tells Attys Flo Health Case Isn't 'World War III'

    A California federal judge on Thursday blasted the parties in a proposed class action alleging that menstruation tracking app Flo Health impermissibly shares users' health information with Google and others, saying with their voluminous expert requests and "nitpicky" discovery letters, they're "litigating this case like it's World War III."

  • February 22, 2024

    Things To Watch As Boeing's 737 Max Crisis Grows

    Boeing is bracing for another round of government investigations, production pauses and mounting litigation in its enduring 737 Max crisis after last month's midair panel blowout, but experts say a leadership shakeup and promises to enhance inspections offer cold comfort to regulators, airlines and passengers.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge Irked By Arbitration Ask Years Into Au Pair Wage Case

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Thursday twice lobbed the phrase "judge shopping" at lawyers for an au pair placement agency that, four years into a proposed collective wage action by former child care workers, now want the case sent to arbitration in Switzerland.

  • February 22, 2024

    NC Day Cares Say Buyer Violated $6M Post-Sale Deal

    A day care group has asked the North Carolina Business Court to force a buyer to hand over more than $6 million, arguing that the purchaser "artificially" deflated earnings after acquiring the day care businesses in an attempt to get out of paying the millions.

  • February 22, 2024

    Venable Hires Ex-Smith Gambrell Construction Partner In NY

    Venable LLP announced Wednesday the hiring of a former partner at Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP for its construction law group in New York.

  • February 22, 2024

    DraftKings Says Ex-Exec's $310K Attys Fees Bid Is Excessive

    DraftKings has told a California federal court that the "whopping" $310,000 in attorney fees requested by a former executive after the company shuffled the case back and forth between state and federal court is an unreasonable fee no "reasonable client" would pay.

  • February 22, 2024

    IRS Agent, Gov't Attys Immune From RICO Suit, Judge Says

    An Arizona federal judge dismissed a $15 million lawsuit against an Internal Revenue Service agent and two assistant U.S. attorneys brought by an investment adviser convicted of filing false tax returns, saying Thursday the government employees were immune from claims that included racketeering and malicious prosecution.

  • February 22, 2024

    Lumber Co., Insurer To Settle $4.9M Coverage Dispute

    A subcontractor and its professional liability insurer have reached a settlement in principle on about $5 million in underlying claims over moldy, defective wooden framework the subcontractor supplied to a senior living project, the parties told a Florida federal court.

  • February 22, 2024

    Locke Lord Settles Failed Health Plan Malpractice Suit

    Locke Lord LLP has reached a settlement to resolve a health plan fiduciary's malpractice suit alleging the firm provided bad legal advice that doomed the plan, permanently ending an Illinois federal suit first filed in 2018.

  • February 21, 2024

    Tribes Say Oil Co. Must Face Tribal Court In $12M Award Fight

    Two Native American tribes have asked a Wyoming district court to block a bid by Merit Energy attempting to stop them from using their tribal judicial system to vacate a $12.6 million arbitration award, saying the company has not yet exhausted all tribal remedies.

  • February 21, 2024

    Supertramp's Ex-Drummer Says Royalty Deal Was For Good

    Supertramp's former drummer took the stand Wednesday in a breach of contract suit he and two other former band members brought against co-songwriter Roger Hodgson, telling a California federal jury that a 1977 agreement for all members to receive a piece of songwriting royalties was meant to be permanent.

  • February 21, 2024

    Fatal Crash Payout Flouts Insurance Law, NC Justices Told

    North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to undo a trial court's decision that it owes $50,000 to a policyholder whose car caused a fatal wreck, arguing that his liabilities didn't trigger underinsured motorist coverage.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Urged To Turn Away $285M Panama Canal Award Suit

    The operator of the Panama Canal on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a case in which $285 million in arbitral awards are being challenged over an arbitrator's "evident partiality," saying close relationships between arbitrators are so "ubiquitous" in international arbitration that they are unremarkable.

  • February 21, 2024

    Mother Defeats Daughter's 'Que Sera, Sera' Royalties Suit

    A federal judge in Tennessee told the granddaughter of one of the Oscar-winning songwriters behind "Que Sera, Sera" on Wednesday that she should have simply said whatever will be, will be in a feud with her mother over splitting royalties that were already decided by a probate court over two decades ago.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Competing In Dressage Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My lifelong participation in the sport of dressage — often called ballet on horses — has proven that several skills developed through training and competition are transferable to legal work, especially the ability to harness focus, persistence and versatility when negotiating a deal, says Stephanie Coco at V&E.

  • Considering A Practical FRAND Rate Assessment Procedure

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    As the debate over a fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory rate continues inside and outside courtrooms, a practical method may assess whether the proposed FRAND rate deviates significantly from what is reasonable, and ensure an optimal mix of assets for managers of standard-essential patent portfolios, says consultant Gordon Huang.

  • How Poor Governance, Weak Contracts Harm Cannabis Cos.

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    Decades into cannabis decriminalization and legalization, many companies in the industry still operate on a handshake basis or fail to keep even minimally required records, which can have devastating effects and lead to costly, business-killing litigation, says Griffen Thorne at Harris Bricken.

  • How Biotech Cos. Can Utilize Synthetic Royalty Financing

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    Synthetic royalty transactions have been on the rise as a funding structure for biotechnology companies, but questions have arisen surrounding how such transactions work, and structuring them correctly requires a nuanced understanding, say Todd Trattner and Ryan Murr at Gibson Dunn.

  • Key Maritime Law Issues In 2024: Election-Year Unknowns

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    In the final installment of this three-part article reviewing the top challenges for the maritime industry this year, Sean Pribyl at Holland & Knight examines how the uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming U.S. election may affect the maritime sector — especially companies involved in offshore wind and deep-sea mining.

  • The Legal Industry Needs A Cybersecurity Paradigm Shift

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    As law firms face ever-increasing risks of cyberattacks and ransomware incidents, the legal industry must implement robust cybersecurity measures and privacy-centric practices to preserve attorney-client privilege, safeguard client trust and uphold the profession’s integrity, says Ryan Paterson at Unplugged.

  • Key Maritime Law Issues In 2024: Environmental Challenges

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    In the second installment of this three-part article examining key concerns for the maritime sector this year, Sean Pribyl at Holland & Knight considers how the industry will be affected by environmental concerns — including the growing push for decarbonization, and regulatory scrutiny around greenwashing and ESG issues.

  • 5 Reasons Associates Shouldn't Take A Job Just For Money

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    As a number of BigLaw firms increase salary scales for early-career attorneys, law students and lateral associates considering new job offers should weigh several key factors that may matter more than financial compensation, say Albert Tawil at Lateral Hub and Ruvin Levavi at Power Forward.

  • How Biotech Deals May Help Competition, Despite FTC View

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    The Federal Trade Commission's complaint against Sanofi's proposed partnership with Maze Therapeutics highlights increasing skepticism of so-called killer acquisitions, but a closer look reveals potentially legitimate reasons behind why entities might decide to delay or abandon the development of acquired products, say consultants at Analysis Group.

  • Key Maritime Law Issues In 2024: Geopolitics And Sanctions

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    Major challenges are on the horizon for the U.S. maritime sector in 2024, including geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea and ever-evolving sanctions targeting Iran and Russia — which may lead to higher shipping costs and greater compliance burdens for stakeholders, says Sean Pribyl at Holland & Knight.

  • Series

    Playing Competitive Tennis Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experience playing competitive tennis has highlighted why prioritizing exercise and stress relief, maintaining perspective under pressure, and supporting colleagues in pursuit of a common goal are all key aspects of championing a successful legal career, says Madhumita Datta at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Djerassi On Super Bowl 52

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    Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ramy Djerassi discusses how Super Bowl 52, in which the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed over the New England Patriots, provides an apt metaphor for alternative dispute resolution processes in commercial business cases.

  • Black-Led VC Fund Case Could Hinge On Nature Of Grants

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    Organizations whose missions involve any manner of race-conscious funding should closely monitor arguments this week in American Alliance v. Fearless Fund, a case filed against a grant program that seeks to address the gap in venture capital funding for Black women-led businesses, which will examine whether grants are charitable under Civil Rights Act Section 1981 liability, say Kali Schellenberg and John Stapleton at LeVan Stapleton, and Kenneth Trujillo at Chamberlain Hrdlicka.

  • Unraveling The Bundled Benefits Of Retail Memberships

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    The recent prevalence of paid retail memberships and the associated findings of a consumer survey suggest that assessing consumer preferences and welfare may be important when considering resolution mechanisms in antitrust contexts, say Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz at Berkeley Research Group, Mame Maloney at The Brattle Group and Jeff Brazell at the University of Utah.

  • Ill. Insurance Ruling Helps Developers, Community Orgs. Alike

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    The Illinois Supreme Court's decision in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago, holding that commercial general liability policy exceptions did not prevent coverage for damage caused by faulty workmanship, will bring more potential insurance coverage for real estate developers and, in turn, larger payouts when community organizations sue them, say Howard Dakoff and Suzanne Karbarz Rovner at Levenfeld Pearlstein.

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