Contract Disputes

News & Analysis as of

Do dropped channels mean you can drop your satellite contract?

Salt Lake City — (KUTV) Ted Hansgen is not shy about which is his favorite 24-hour news network channel. "I spend a lot of time watching Fox News," he said. So when Ted was propositioned to switch TV providers...more

Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act Not Applicable to Public Works Project

In a decision issued last week in Clipper Pipe & Service, Inc. v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Company, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, 73 P.S §§ 501-516 (CASPA) does not...more

IT Project Disputes Management - Managing the Cloudy Skies

In this issue: - Overview of Presentation - Prevention is better than cure - Fix problems in the design phase - Early diagnosis and treatment of problems - So what do you do? - Areas of major...more

When the Federal Govt acts badly, but not badly enough to show bad faith – what’s a contractor to do?

In the prior issue of this newsletter, we included an article on the high standard of proof and the practical considerations for a federal government contractor claiming that the federal government acted in bad faith in its...more

Are ‘Best Efforts’ Provisions Enforceable in Maritime Contracts?

Parties to maritime contracts frequently include requirements that one or the other party or both of them will use their “best efforts” to perform duties described in the contract. But they also frequently give little thought...more

Fitness for purpose or reasonable skill and care, which is it to be?

Introduction - The Court of Appeal recently considered the interpretation of conflicting fitness for purpose and reasonable skill and care provisions in a contract for a large engineering and construction project....more

Construction Manager at Risk Held to Assume the Risk of Design Changes on Massachusetts Public Construction Project

The Massachusetts Superior Court (County of Worcester) held in Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Gilbane Building Co. and Travelers & Surety Company of America decided on June 24, 2014 that a Construction Manager at...more

Wisconsin's Supreme Court Creates More Power for the Arbitrator

Most commercial litigators know that a circuit court will enforce an arbitration agreement as long as a given dispute falls within the agreement’s scope. What is or is not within the scope of an agreement, however, has not...more

Realty Repurchase Agreement Provided A Basis For The Recovery Of Fees

In Mountain Air Enterprises LLC v. Sundowner Towers LLC, 2014 DJDAR 15552, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided a complex contractual dispute. The litigation involved several different...more

Dispute Resolution: The Alabama Supreme Court allows arbitration to proceed, even after litigation had been initiated

Recently, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a Mobile County trial court’s order granting the stay of an action until arbitration was completed. IBI Group, Michigan, LLC v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC. In 2007 and 2008, IBI...more

Violation of Corporate Charter: Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duties or Both

When a company takes action through its board in violation of its certificate of incorporation, may a plaintiff stockholder bring suit against the company directly for breach of its certificate—the most important of corporate...more

Are Federal Appellate Courts Growing Impatient with Procedural Errors? — Risks for Clients and Their Counsel

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of partial summary judgment in a dispute about an indemnification agreement. That decision, Lehman Bros. Holdings, Inc. v....more

You Can Always Get What You Want, or At Least What You Contract For – Fifth Circuit Affirms Vacation of Arbitration Award

On April 7, 2015, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Southern District of Texas’ decision to vacate an arbitration award rendered in a dispute involving two separate contracts – one which was to be governed by the Commercial...more

Inconsistent Positions Appear to Contribute to Interlocutory-Appeal Denial

In The Renco Group v. MacAndrews AMG Holdings LLC (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion for interlocutory appeal of a decision dismissing the plaintiff's breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and...more

There Two Ways To Create An Obligation And Six Ways To Extinguish It

The California defines an “obligation” as “a legal duty, by which a person is bound to do or not to do a certain thing.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1427. An obligation is created in one of two ways: by contract or by operation of...more

Tennessee “As Is” Property Buyers Better Beware

A recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision reinforces that parties to a contract are free to disclaim reliance on representations made by the other party. In Terry Pritchett v. Comas Montgomery Realty & Auction...more

Federal Arbitration Case Update | Bound and Determined

Owner Not Bound by Arbitration Clause in Engagement Agreement between Contractor and Law Firm - Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi v. King Construction - 2015 WL 1379980 - United States Court of Appeals, Fifth...more

Operator Granted Summary Judgment Against Producer for Disputed Invoice Amounts

A gas facility operator was recently awarded summary judgment for its unpaid invoices, even though the non-paying producer disputed the amounts owing and claimed various set-offs. In SemCAMS ULC v Blaze Energy Ltd, 2015 ABQB...more

Real Estate Tip: Enforcing Shopping Center Reciprocal Easement Agreements in a Declining Market

Lord & Taylor signed a Reciprocal Easement Agreement, requiring its landlord to maintain a “first class high fashion regional shopping center.” The REA also required shared access and parking and required Lord & Taylor’s...more

Federal District Court Holds that General Contractor’s Failure to Provide Notice of Default Does Not Preclude Recovery on...

Curtiss-Manes-Schulte, Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10032 (W.D. Mo. 2015) - This dispute between a general contractor and its subcontractor’s performance bond surety arose out of a renovation...more

Court Of Chancery Notes The Outer Limits Of Contract/Fiduciary Claims

There is a long line of decisions that holds when the parties set out their mutual rights and obligations in a contract, only contract law governs and a breach of fiduciary duty claim cannot also be brought....more

Fifth Circuit Affirms Vacatur Of Arbitration Award Where Arbitrator Failed To Follow Provisions Governing Selection Of Arbitrator...

Organizational Strategies Inc. (OSI) had entered into an agreement with Capstone Associated Services Ltd. for the latter to form three captive insurance companies for OSI. Included in the contract was an arbitration clause...more

Third Circuit Holds Subcontractor To Its Proposal On Grounds of Promissory Estoppel

DCK TTEC, LLC v. Postel Industries, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2775 (3d Cir. Feb. 25, 2015) - This action arose out of the construction of two maintenance hangars at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona (the...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Public Entity May Only Withhold Contractor Funds Where There are Liens or a Good Faith Dispute...

In East West Bank v. Rio School District [2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 274], the California Court of Appeals held that a dispute over contract price does not entitle a public entity to withhold funds due a contractor under California...more

NC Business Court Takes On The Oxford Comma

You most likely have heard of the Oxford Comma. It is also referred to as the "serial comma." If you are not familiar with this literary device, it is a comma placed before the word "and" or another conjunction (like or or...more

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