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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

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

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

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

Don’t Friend My Friends: Nonsolicitation Agreements Should Account for Social Media Strategies

As social media becomes an important part of many companies’ sales and branding strategies, issues relating to companies’ ability to protect their investments in such strategies are emerging. Indeed, this blog has previously...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Addresses Fee-Shifting Bylaws and Raises the Question of whether Fee-Shifting Could Be Plausible by a...

In 2015, the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”) was amended to prohibit Delaware corporations from adopting bylaws that imposed liability on a stockholder for the attorneys’ fees or expenses of the corporation or any...more

In Bizarre Procedural Posture, Ninth Circuit Finds FCRA Willful Violation

In Syed v. M-I, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that combining a liability waiver and a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure in an employment application constitutes a willful...more

Recovery of Contractual Attorneys’ Fees for Tort and Contract Claims - Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee...

Dismissing Contract Action May Mean Attorney’s Fee Liability. Neeshat S. Khan v. Michael Shim - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (December 29, 2016) - Civil Code § 1717(b)(2) generally bars the award...more

Commercial Division Grants Preliminary Injunction in Shareholder Dispute

On January 6, 2017, Justice Charles E. Ramos of the Commercial Division issued an order enjoining two corporations from taking action in violation of a shareholders agreement of a third company. The case, Ciment v. SpanTran,...more

Case Halted: California Court Denies Class Certification in Ford Defective Steering Case

On December 22, 2016, a federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of California denied certification of three proposed classes of statewide consumers who purchased or leased certain Ford Fusion or Ford Focus...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

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

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

Sole Owners of Close Corporation and LLC Discover They're Not So Sole

What makes a shareholder a shareholder? What makes an LLC member a member? The simplicity of the questions belies the difficulties and endlessly unique fact patterns encountered in case after case involving close...more

Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory Dismissal for an FCA Seal Breach

The Supreme Court held that a relator’s breach of the seal in a qui tam case does not require mandatory dismissal of the complaint, but the Court declined to articulate what factors are appropriate to consider in determining...more

Chris Lazarini Discusses Whether Defamatory Statements Constitute Libel Per Se

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini discussed a case where defendant carried out a personal vendetta against the plaintiff following plaintiff's report against defendant for violations of securities laws. Following...more

Gatekeeping - stops class action cold!

On 16 November 2016, Madam Justice Dillon issued her decision in Harrison v. Afexa Life Sciences Inc., 2016 BCSC 2123, denying the certification of a class action against the makers of Cold-Fx under the Class Proceedings Act,...more

Chris Lazarini Comments on Application of Manifest Disregard of the Law

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini commented on a case in which a former trader fraudulently purchased $1 billion in Apple shares that ultimately forced the closure of the trader's firm, Rochdale Securities. Rochdale...more

Change in How SC Supreme Court Views Conspiracy Claims May be Coming

As our various courts decide cases, we watch to see if there are any trends that seem to be developing or whether a case signals that the courts are beginning to change how they view a particular issue or type of case. We've...more

Plus Feature - OUCH

When plaintiffs’ counsel settle a massive antitrust class action for $244 million, they should be happy, right? One would think so, unless their $72.3 million fee request is cut by the court to $48,825,000 in the...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Fall Term: the Internet Court?

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Fall term, which began on October 3rd, could probably be labelled the “internet term”, with major cases involving both Google and Facebook. The Court will also be hearing a number of other cases...more

Courts Address Conspiracy, Knowing Participation, and Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

In Rhymes v. Filter Res., Inc., a former employer sued a former employee and the employee’s new business for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference related to the employee’s competition with...more

A Diamond is Forever. What About Your Advertising Claim?

An advertising slogan like “A Diamond is Forever” may be eternal, but the same cannot be said about some comparative advertising claims. If a company advertises its product as superior to a competitive product, the ad claim...more

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