Contract Disputes

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Venture Capital Firm Liable For "Aiding And Abetting" Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

A recent case in the California Court of Appeals underscores the dangers that await venture capital firms brave (or foolish) enough to fund companies in the midst of internal disputes. In American Master Lease LLC v Idanta...more

Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping

“Web scraping” or “web harvesting”—the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders”—accounted for 18% of site visitors and 23% of all Internet traffic in...more

CSLL Does Not Bar Successor Entity’s Compensation Claims After Contractor’s Change of Business Entity During Construction

A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal imposed a sensible limit on the prohibition of compensation claims by unlicensed contractors under the Contractors’ State License Law (“CSLL”), specifically California Bus....more

English Contract Law: Has the Camel’s Nose of “Good Faith” Crept Under the Tent Flap?

Under the English Arbitration Act 1996 the grounds on which an English arbitration award can be challenged in court are very limited. Section 67 of the Act provides that a challenge may be brought on the basis that the...more

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract ambiguity

Ambiguous contract terms are ordinarily a liability for government contractors, opening the possibility of misunderstandings, expensive disputes, and, potentially, unpaid additional work. However, contract ambiguity recently...more

Include A Clear and Unequivocal Statement in Your CDA Claim

As most contractors are aware, the Contract Disputes Act requires that a contractor must present the Contracting Officer with a certified claim prior to proceeding with a formal claim before the Board of Contract Appeals or...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

It is Not Tortious to Interfere if You Are Exercising a Legitimate Interest or Right

In many commercial disputes, one or more of the parties will assert a tortious interference claim against the other. While there are several variations of tortious interference claims (e.g., interference with existing...more

In re Westech Capital Corp., Consol. C.A. No. 8845-VCN (Del. Ch. May 29, 2014) (Noble, V.C.)

In this post-trial Section 225 decision, the Court of Chancery resolved a dispute about the meaning of two subsections of a voting agreement that determine how its signatories would designate the directors of Westech Capital...more

Court Awards Sanctions Against Buyer and Attorney for Meritless Claims Against Sellers’ Agent

Plaintiff Joanne Peake purchased a home from the Underwoods, who were represented by a real estate agent, John Ferrell. Two years after close of escrow, she discovered that subfloors had been damaged and not repaired by the...more

Franchise & Distribution News - June 2014

In This Issue: - NEW FRANCHISE LEGISLATION IN CANADA: British Columbia, which presently does not have a franchise specific statute, recently took one step closer to implementing such legislation when the British...more

New York Appellate Division Affirms Denial of Merrill Lynch’s Motion to Dismiss Repurchase Claims

On June 17, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department intermediate appellate court affirmed the denial of Merrill Lynch’s motion to dismiss a repurchase suit brought by two RMBS Trusts. The plaintiff-trusts allege that...more

Does the Economic-Loss Rule Bar Claims Under Section 75-1.1?

The economic-loss rule says that a contract dispute generally does not state a tort claim. The concern is that if a plaintiff could recover tort damages, that outcome would disregard the expectations reflected in the parties’...more

Is There Any Escape From Your Contract?

Are you stuck in a contract with onerous provisions and desire to get out of it? Are you paying too much for an item or service and want to stop making such payments? If you answered yes to either of the preceding...more

Southern District of New York: Bad Faith Claim Based on Underlying Contract Claim Must be Dismissed as Duplicative

Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 7:13-CV-06790-NSR (S.D.N.Y. May 14, 2014). The Southern District of New York granted an insurer’s partial motion to dismiss insured’s separate claim of bad faith as...more

U.S. District Court Upholds FDIC’s Golden Parachute Decision

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) issued a memorandum and order (the “Order”) in which the District Court upheld a decision of the FDIC that contract damages sought by the...more

New York Creates Rocket-Docket for Commercial Disputes—But Accelerated Adjudication Comes With Trade-Offs

As of June 2, the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court will allow for the accelerated adjudication of commercial disputes. Rule 9 of Section 202.70(g) of the Uniform Rules for the Supreme and County Courts takes...more

Germany: Collecting society’s payout to publishers highly disputed

On 13 May 2014 the District Court of Berlin (16 O 75/13) rejected a claim brought by a songwriter and a composer against a collecting society’s payout to music publishers. The claim was directed at a declaratory judgment that...more

What Does Section 75-1.1 Prohibit?

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 prohibits several different clusters of conduct. Thus, whether you’re bringing a 75-1.1 claim or defending against one, it’s crucial to identify, at the outset, what kind of 75-1.1 claim you’re...more

Mediating Alternative Energy Disputes

Energy disputes are usually complex and very expensive to litigate, so those in the traditional oil and gas industries have used arbitration and mediation successfully for years. Most contracts in the energy sector have ADR...more

2014 Resolutions Series: Don’t Just Throw in the Towel

A business relationship is just that: a relationship. It has phases like any other relationship, and takes effort and mutual interest from both parties to keep it functional. While ideally every business relationship will...more

Legitimate Interests Provide No Immunity For Intentional Interference Claims

In law school we study contract law and we study torts. We don’t study contracts and torts as a single subject (e.g., “contorts”). Why? Because they are generally regarded as fundamentally different areas of the law. They...more

Ten Myths of Government Contracting: Myth No. 5: My prime contractor will tell me what clauses should be in our subcontract

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard this one. Anyone who believes it is true needs some immediate counseling, because this is a recipe for disaster. Let’s start by stating the obvious: a prime contractor has...more

Texas Supreme Court Issues Opinion with Implications for Power Purchase Agreements

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion with implications for negotiating terms in power purchase agreements in the renewable energy market. In FPL Energy LLC, et al. v. TXU Portfolio Management Co., LP, the Court...more

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