Contract Disputes

News & Analysis as of

No Economic Recovery Available For Breach Of A Non-Compete Set Forth In A Distributorship Agreement Which Bars Damages Awards

Where a freely negotiated contract between two sophisticated companies included a provision barring an award of monetary relief for breach of contract, the court will enforce the provision as written and award no economic...more

Is the Mechanic’s Lien or Bond Waiver Clause in Your Contract Enforceable in Virginia?

A new Virginia law invalidates any mechanic’s lien or payment bond waiver signed before work has commenced. The Governor recently signed new legislation into law, effective July 1, 2015, that invalidates waivers of...more

Contractor Authority Over Means and Methods

A central principle of construction contracts is that, where a contractor (a) commits to construct in accordance with plans and specifications (b) provided by the owner (c) in exchange for payment of a firm, fixed price, the...more

“If You See Something, Say Something” Applies to Construction Contract Bidding

In Otis Elevator Co. v. W.G.Yates & Sons Construction Co., 589 Fed. Appx. 953; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20214 (11th Cir. 2014), a subcontractor installed a series of escalators for an airport expansion project and sued the...more

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Parties May Adjudicate Contract Disputes Through Application Despite Factual Questions

In a recent decision, Energy Fundamentals Group Inc. v. Veresen Inc. (Veresen), the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that, even where there are factual questions the court must resolve, a contract dispute may be adjudicated...more

Dangers of a Self-Drafted Letter Agreement

Court Unwilling to Impose a Reasonableness Limit on Expenditures - Exploration expenditures incurred to earn into a mining claim did not have to be reasonable, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently held in American Creek...more

Australian Court Follows International Best Practice in Enforcing Commercial Arbitration Award

Australian courts have now overwhelmingly adopted a pro-enforcement approach to commercial arbitral awards, both international and domestic. Two recent decisions of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Colin Joss & Co...more

What Makes a Multi-tiered Dispute Resolution Clause Enforceable?

A recent High Court decision serves as a reminder that multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses are not necessarily enforceable, and provides insight into key drafting points. Overview - Multi-tiered dispute...more

Penalty Clauses: A Question Of Context?

In ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] EWCA Civ 402, 23 April 2015, a dispute about the non-payment of a GBP 85 parking fine the Court of Appeal has explored the fundamental principles of the rule against penalties and given an...more

Resolving Inconsistent Jurisdiction Clauses And Limits To Fiona Trust Presumption

In Trust Risk Group SpA v AmTrust Europe Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 437, 30 April 2015, the Court of Appeal held that when resolving competing jurisdiction clauses in two different agreements where one is entered into at a later...more

Landmark Supreme Court ruling on default clauses and damages: Bunge SA v Nidera BV

The decision has been long awaited. In its landmark unanimous ruling handed down on 1 July 2015, The Supreme Court laid down clear guidance on the assessment of damages arising out of a wrongful repudiation of a contract for...more

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

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