Contract Disputes

News & Analysis as of

District Court Recognizes The Viability Of Manifest Disregard Of Law Doctrine In The Second Circuit

The Eastern District of New York recently denied plaintiff’s request to vacate an arbitration award in a contractual dispute between Incredible Foods Group, LLC, (“IFG”) and Unifoods, S.A. de C.V., (“UF”) over a shared...more

No Escape: California Court of Appeals Gives a Primary CGL Insurer’s “Other Insurance” Clause Two Thumbs Down

“No Escape” is a 2015 action movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson (that’s right, Owen Wilson) and which the folks at described as “a dreadful…would-be thriller” and “low-grade trash.”...more

Differing Site Condition Defense Rejected

The Court of Appeals of Washington recently decided King County v. Vinci Construction Grands Projects/Parsons RCI/Frontier-Kemper, JV, a dispute between a joint venture contractor (the Contractor) and King County, Washington...more

Back to basics... Contractual interpretation

It often seems to be the case that contractual wording which seemed crystal clear during negotiations somehow becomes much less clear by the time it has to be looked at again… often at a point in time when the parties are on...more

New Jersey Companies Face Significant Class Action Risks When Using Limiting or Exculpatory Language in Consumer Contracts

A federal judge in Camden, N.J., recently granted class certification in a case brought under the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”). The class is made up of individuals who signed lease agreements...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19309 - Staton v. Commissioner of Correction - SC19195 - Campos v. Coleman - SC19195 Dissent - Campos v. Coleman - In a 4-3 split decision the Court insured that the cost of living will be going up in...more

Fourth Age Limited v. Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, October 28, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s holding that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims against estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in action over right to make digital merchandise based on Tolkien’s books, as counterclaims were...more

Enforcement of contractual provisions: the Supreme Court reviews the law on unenforceable penalty clauses

Cavendish Square Holding BV (Appellant) v Talal El Makdessi (Respondent); ParkingEye Limited (Respondent) v Beavis (Appellant) [2015] UKSC 67 - The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of two disputed penalty clauses,...more

New Jersey Commercial Landlord Finds Loophole in Lease to Avoid Tenant Exclusivity Restrictions

On October 21, 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a trial court ruling that a South Jersey landlord did not violate a coffee-related exclusivity provision in its lease with Starbucks when it subsequently rented...more

Bar Against Forum Selection Clauses in Construction Contracts Extended to Design Professionals

It’s a tactic as old as war itself. You can often gain a strategic advantage by selecting the location of battle. The same is true in litigation....more

The Chicago Cubs, Errors, and Arbitration of Florida Non-Compete Agreements

Some clients prefer to resolve disputes in arbitration. In theory, an arbitration proceeding can more quickly and — in some instances — more cost effectively resolve disputes. However because most arbitration clauses call for...more

Don’t Take Needless Chances When it Comes to Personal Jurisdiction, Forum Selection and Choice of Law

Not spelling out in your agreements, even in informal agreements, where disputes can be resolved and what law will govern them can lead to some unhappy results. That is exactly the position that United Excel Corporation and...more

Court Clarifies the Circumstances in which an Expert Determination is Reviewable

The recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Australian Vintage Limited v Belvino Investments No 2 Pty Limited [2015] NSWCA 275 has clarified when an expert determination can be reviewed by the court, giving...more

Leading Cases on Chapter 93A

Nearly all business disputes in Massachusetts are governed by Chapter 93A. The winning plaintiff under Chapter 93A is entitled to an automatic award of its attorney's fees, and may be awarded up to three times its actual...more

JPMorgan Scores Major Victory in Ongoing Lehman Bankruptcy

On Sept. 30, a district court resolved a significant portion of outstanding litigation in the bankruptcy proceeding of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries. See Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,...more

US: Courts' Deference to an Arbitration Award is not Without Limits

As a matter of public policy, United States courts strongly favor alternative dispute resolution and show great deference to awards made by arbitration tribunals. However, a recent ruling by the US District Court for the...more

England: Inordinate Delay in Delivering Award is not Sufficient as a Ground to Set it Aside

The English courts have recently taken a firm position on a party's right to challenge an arbitral award on the basis of the tribunal's delay in producing that award. In B.V.Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem v The Marine Institute...more

Court of Appeal Opens Pandora’s Box on Definition of “Contractor” for Forum Selection Clauses

In Vita Planning and Landscape Architecture, Inc. v. HKS Architects, Inc. (“Vita Planning”), the First Appellate District held California’s Code of Civil Procedure section 410.42 (“Section 410.42”) which prohibits an...more

"New York Courts and International Arbitration Tribunals Take Varying Approaches to Corruption Issues in Commercial Disputes"

When faced with questions of corruption in a commercial dispute, New York courts and international arbitration tribunals have historically taken different approaches. In particular, questions often arise pertaining to...more

UnitedHealthcare Services Denied Injunction Against Out-of-Network Physician Seeking to Bar Balance Billing of the Patient

In UnitedHealthcare Servs., Inc. v Asprinio (2015 NY Slip Op 25298), decided on August 31, 2015, in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, UnitedHealthcare suffered a set-back against attempts to prevent balance billing by...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19253 - RBC Nice Bearings, Inc. v. SKF USA, Inc. [An important decision on contract waiver but one all attorneys should recall from the UCC or Contracts course we took...more

Court of Federal Claims Holds Contractor’s Duty to Continue Performance Under Disputes Clause May Be Excused Where Government...

Vanguard Constr., Inc. v. United States, 2015 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1158 (Fed. Cl. Sep. 8, 2015) The United States Air Force (the “Government”) entered into a contract with Vanguard Construction, Inc. (“Contractor”) to replace a...more

Second Circuit Rules That Movie Directors Generally Don’t Have A Copyright Interest In Their Individual Contributions To A Movie

The Second Circuit was recently asked to decide whether a contributor to a creative work, whose contributions are inseparable from and integrated into the work, can maintain a copyright interest in his or her contributions. ...more

Practical guidance on drafting and negotiating commodities contracts: Focus on Chinese counterparties with emphasis on successful...

It is inevitable that some commodity trades end in dispute, particularly in current markets where prices are generally low and have been falling. This may happen in any jurisdiction, although this article focuses on China and...more

Attorney Fees Are Improper Where The Services Were Not A Catalyst For Municipal Action Under CEQA

In Coalition for a Sustainable Future in Yucaipa v. City of Yucaipa, 2015 DJDAR 7857, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case under the California Environmental Quality Act...more

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