Business Torts Civil Procedure

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The Government Knowledge Defense to the False Claims Act after Universal Health Services

As recited in seemingly every brief and opinion involving the statute, the False Claims Act traces its history to the Civil War and efforts to deter and punish fraud on the Lincoln administration. The lure of treble damages,...more

Supreme Court of Illinois Says Courts Can Decide ARES Rate Disputes

Courts – not the ICC – have jurisdiction over rate cases involving an ARES, said the Supreme Court of Illinois.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Karmeier, the Court in December answered the Seventh Circuit’s...more

Retail Hospitality Newsletter - Late Fall 2016

Sudden cardiac arrest (“SCA”) is the largest cause of natural death in the United Statesand is responsible for approximately half of all heart disease deaths. SCA, however, is not a “heart attack” (i.e. an artery blockage)...more

Chris Lazarini Analyzes Requirements in FRCP Rule 23 for Class Certification

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini analyzed a putative class action case that posed whether common questions of law or fact predominate on the reliance element of Plaintiffs' Section 10(b) claims. The court concluded...more

Solak v. Sarowitz et al., C.A. No. 12299-CB (Del. Ch. Dec. 27, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

In this opinion, the Court of Chancery held that Section 109(b) of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) prohibits a bylaw shifting to a stockholder plaintiff the attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by the...more

Ninth Circuit Lowers Hurdle for Class Certification

On January 3, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to adopt “administrative feasibility” as an independent requirement for class certification. It held that Rule 23 does not require class counsel to show at the...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Addresses Limited Partnership Drop-Down Transactions and Conflicts Committees"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently ruled on two appeals from Court of Chancery decisions involving "conflicts committees" of Delaware limited partnerships. Both decisions arise out of challenges to "drop-down" transactions...more

Voluntary Dismissal of Contract Claims Leads to Involuntary Payment of Attorneys’ Fees

Recently, in Khan v. Shim, No. H041608 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 29, 2016) (“Khan”), the California Court of Appeal held where a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses an action involving contract and tort claims, Civil Code section 1717,...more

I.A.T.S.E. Local No. One Pension Fund v. General Electric Company, C.A. No. 11893-VCG (Del. Ch. Dec. 6, 2016) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery rejected defendants’ argument that certain fiduciary duty claims asserted by a pension fund with respect to a squeeze out merger adhered to the stock received as consideration...more

UPDATE: BOSTON’S Founder and a Former Bandmate Still Seek Peace of Mind

We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing....more

IAC Search, LLC v. Conversant LLC, C.A. No. 11774-CB (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2016) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) Plaintiff IAC Search, LLC’s (“IAC”) claim against Defendant Conversant LLC, formerly known as ValueClick, Inc. (“ValueClick”), that it...more

Investor’s Relocation to New York after Structuring a Financing Deal in Hong Kong Does Not Provide a Basis for Suit Against Swiss...

In Ace Decade Holdings Ltd. v. UBS AG, No. 653316/2015, 2016 BL 413780 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Dec. 7, 2016), Justice Eileen Bransten of the Commercial Division dismissed a $500 million fraud suit brought by an investment holding...more

NY Expands Jurisdictional Reach Over Foreign Banks Using Correspondent Accounts

The New York Court of Appeals recently gave a leg-up to plaintiffs seeking to hale foreign banks before New York state courts, clarifying that the use of a New York-based correspondent account could, under certain...more

Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Director Independence

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Delaware Supreme Court recently reversed the dismissal of a derivative complaint for failure to plead demand excusal because it found that certain directors of Zynga Inc. were not independent due to...more

Challenge to ITC’s Extraterritorial Authority over Trade Secret Dispute Launched by Chinese Corporation

The United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) is an independent, quasijudicial Federal agency with broad oversight over trade matters. In addition to trade practices such as dumping and subsidies, the ITC...more

Preserving or Eliminating Fraud Claims in M&A Transactions (Update)

In this April 2016 post, we addressed preserving or eliminating extra-contractual fraud claims in M&A transactions. In this follow-up, we discuss a recent Delaware Chancery Court decision that further clarifies the framework...more

The Ghost of Systems Past: “Big Data” Suits Loom, But Old Data Issues Remain Unresolved

2017 could be big for litigation over “Big Data” applications in insurance. This past year saw the filing of several “price optimization” class actions, and claims against a fraud detection tool, similar to the ones used by...more

Middle District of Florida Defines Settlement Communications Allowed Under the FDCPA

On November 18, 2016, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida held that the communication of an unequivocal and non-coercive settlement offer does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act...more

Think You Can Appeal The Business Court's Denial Of Your Opposition To Designation? You Probably Can't

The NC Supreme Court's jurisdiction over appeals from the Business Court expanded significantly with the passage of a bill by the NC General Assembly "modernizing" the Business Court in 2014. A party can appeal even...more

Court Tosses Time-Barred Rico Claims Alleging Captive Reinsurance Kickback Scheme

Plaintiffs asserted class claims for RICO violations based on allegations that Bank of America referred borrowers to private mortgage insurance providers in exchange for kickbacks, funneled through a captive reinsurance...more

Alternative Duties for Alternative Entities: High Court Allows LLC and LLP Managers to Limit or Waive Fiduciary Duties

The nation’s leading forum for business and shareholder disputes recently confirmed that alternative entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs) can...more

Federal Court Rejects Defend Trade Secrets Act Whistleblower Immunity Defense on a Motion to Dismiss and Orders Employee to Return...

This past Spring, we reported on the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), which provides a new federal civil cause of action to trade secret owners seeking to pursue claims of trade secret misappropriation. ...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Rules on Director Independence"

The Delaware Supreme Court recently issued an important decision on the subject of director independence. In Sandys v. Pincus, No. 157, 2016 (Del. Dec. 5, 2016), the Delaware Supreme Court held that certain directors of...more

Chris Lazarini Examines Genuine Issue of Material Fact Standard

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini continues to examine an ongoing case questioning the validity of an arbitration agreement. Read Chris' earlier analysis here. In this most recent installment challenging the...more

Eighth Circuit Upholds Arbitral Immunity In Challenge To AAA’S Removal Of Arbitrator

Owens, a terminated CEO, engaged in a AAA arbitration with his former company before a three-member panel. In the course of the proceeding, the company sought to remove an arbitrator for making an incomplete disclosure...more

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