Business Torts Civil Procedure

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A Common Interest Agreement May Not Be Worth the Paper It’s Written On

It is a very common practice for counsel to co-defendants or co-plaintiffs to enter into agreements that shield their communications. The agreements are expressions of intent that the communications will be protected by the...more

Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act Would Mandate Sanctions for Frivolous Claims

On March 10, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017 ("LARA") by a vote of 230–180. 163 Cong. Rec. H2025-03, H2025. The bill seeks to undo the 1993 amendments to Rule 11 of the...more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty (and Related) Claims Are Not Easily Defeated: A Case Study in Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings

Just what must be alleged for claims for breach of fiduciary duty to proceed past initial pleadings and into meaningful fact development? In a recent decision, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of...more

El Paso Pipeline GP Company, L.P. et al., v. Brinckerhoff, No. 103, 2016 (Del. Dec. 20, 2016)

In this unanimous en banc decision, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed a $171 million judgment of the Court of Chancery, holding that the plaintiff limited partner lost standing to pursue the underlying derivative claim...more

6,905 Billable Hours for Attorney Review May Not Be Billable if the Reviewer Isn’t Actually an Attorney: eDiscovery News

A contract lawyer for a Pennsylvania plaintiffs’ firm clocked 6,905 hours of work on a shareholder lawsuit against former executives and directors of Sprint Corp. related to its 2005 merger with Nextel.  One problem, however:...more

Important Decision by Massachusetts Supreme Court May Significantly Reduce Risk of Merger Litigation

The recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Loc. No. 129 Benefit Fund v. Tucci has the potential to significantly reduce merger litigation for publicly traded companies...more

Step Aside! Trade Secret Preemption of Other Claims

Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss, Henry Schein, Inc. v. Cook, et al., 16-cv-03166-JST (Judge Jon Tigar) - One purpose of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) is to preempt and...more

Sixth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Fraud and Contract Claims Against Employer Sponsoring Green Card Application for Employee

In an interesting case situated at the intersection of immigration and contract law, the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s dismissal of claims against Dow Corning Corporation stemming from its sponsoring an...more

False Claims Act Dangers on Display in Ruckh

A recent jury verdict in an FCA lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida resulted in a not-so-subtle reminder of just how high the stakes can be in such litigation....more

"Another Mutual Fund Adviser Prevails at Trial in Excessive Fee Litigation"

Following a four-day bench trial, Judge Renee Marie Bumb of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of an adviser on claims brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act by investors...more

Chris Lazarini Discusses Heightened Pleading Standard Under Rule 9(b)

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini discussed the heightened pleading standard for claims of fraud under Rule 9(b) in an auction rate securities case....more

Federal Court Issues Trial Ruling in Section 36(b) “Manager of Managers” Lawsuit: Second Consecutive Opinion Finding Plaintiffs...

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently issued its post-trial ruling in Kasilag et al. v. Hartford Investment Financial Services, LLC et al. The Hartford ruling is the second post-trial Section 36(b)...more

Dechert survey: Developments in securities fraud class actions against U.S. life sciences companies

Life sciences companies continued to be popular targets of securities fraud class action lawsuits filed in 2016, and prudent life sciences companies should take heed of the results of this year’s decisions. In 2016,...more

A Parallel Universe: Navigating Discovery in Concurrent Civil and Criminal Proceedings

As criminal law has expanded into almost every sector of the American economy, one byproduct is the rise of "parallel proceedings"—lawsuits that proceed concurrently in criminal and civil court based on largely the same...more

CelestialRX Investments, LLC v. Krivulka, C.A. No. 11733-VCG (Del. Ch. Jan. 31, 2017) (Glasscock, V.C.): Delaware Law Firm

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery addressed a motion for partial summary judgment concerning the construction of a limited liability company agreement to determine whether it eliminated common-law fiduciary...more

Standing to Enforce Foreign Trademark Rights After Belmora v. Bayer Certiorari Denial

On February 27, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, 819 F.3d 697 (4th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, __ S. Ct. __, 2017 WL 737826 (U.S. Feb. 27, 2017) (No....more

First Department Allows $45 Million Fraud Claim to Proceed Against Patriarch Partners

In Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v. Tilton, No. 651695/15, 2017 BL 55790 (App Div, 1st Dep’t Feb. 23, 2017), a divided panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed a Commercial Division order that denied...more

Family breeds contempt: the expansion of the tort of conspiracy by unlawful means

The recent Court of Appeal decision in the long line of Ablyazov cases (Khrapunov v JSC BTA Bank1) has given contempt of court extra steel – being in contempt can constitute "unlawful means" in a tort claim for unlawful means...more

New York Court Reverses Rejection of M&A Disclosure-Only Settlement Signaling Split from Delaware

Seyfarth Synopsis: On February 2, 2017, the Appellate Division for the First Department in New York entered an order approving a “disclosure-only” settlement. While acknowledging the “increasingly negative view” of...more

What’s Past is Prologue: How The FCA’s Eventful Year in 2016 Will Affect Government Contractors

2016 was a big year for the False Claims Act (FCA). Total government recoveries were up; total new matters filed were up; and total new government-led FCA matters were up. The Supreme Court issued multiple decisions...more

France: No requirement for a domain name to be distinctive in unfair competition claims

In a decision of 6 December 2016, the French Supreme Court of the Judiciary (“Cour de Cassation”) provided a very useful clarification in relation to unfair competition claim (“concurrence déloyale”, a tortious action) based...more

English Courts Stay Enforcement of ICSID Award

On 20 January 2017, the English Commercial Court handed down an important judgment addressing the intersection of a State’s public international law obligations in investment treaty arbitration and its obligations under...more

Bass, Berry & Sims Releases Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC announces the release of its annual "Securities & Shareholder Litigation 2017: A Look Ahead," a high-level report that covers recent developments and offers best practices for the year ahead. The newly...more

Kentucky Appellate Court Holds That a Contractor May Pursue Claim of Negligent Misrepresentation Against Architect Despite Lack of...

D.W. Wilburn, Inc. v. K. Norman Berry Assocs., No. 2015-CA-001254-MR, 2016 Ky. App. Lexis 206 (Ky. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2016) - This case arose out of a construction project in which the Oldham County Board of Education...more

Proof by Proxy in FCA Suits? District Court Says It Depends

Admissibility of statistical sampling to prove liability in FCA suit is fact dependent. In a February 14, 2017 decision, the Fourth Circuit declined to rule on the question of whether statistical sampling can be used to...more

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