Contract Disputes

News & Analysis as of

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

Court Directs Cedents To Indicate Whether They Will Continue To Argue Against The Finality Of An Arbiration Award To Preclude Its...

In a pending dispute in the Southern District of New York arising from a quota share contract of reinsurance between Employers Insurance of Wausau, as reinsurer, and Nutmeg Insurance and Twin City Fire, as cedents, Nutmeg and...more

6th Circuit Holds that Accountants Conducting Financial Arbitration Can Also Make Legal Determinations

A new case from the Sixth Circuit addresses whether accountants who are resolving a dispute about payments made under an agreement can also make legal determinations about the same agreement. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth...more

Effect Of Agent's Surreptitious Dealing

In Tigris International NV v China Southern Airlines Co Ltd & anr [2014] EWCA Civ 1649, 17 December 2014, the Court of Appeal confirmed, obiter, that when a contract is terminated because of a party's surreptitious dealing...more

Recent Developments in the Canadian Law of Contract

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered two decisions relating to the law of contract. Parties doing business in Canada should be aware of these decisions because they have significantly changed how contracts are to be...more

TOP TEN Construction Clauses - The “Work” Clause

This clause defines the scope of work in a construction project and the definition varies by source. For instance, American Institute of Architects Document A201-2007 defines "Work" as "construction and services required by...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Actions Directed At Forum Resident Alone Are Not Enough for Personal Jurisdiction

In Picot v. Weston, (filed 3/19/15, No. 12-17098), Plaintiff sought a declaration that there was no oral agreement between plaintiff and defendant concerning the sale of proprietary technology and alleged that defendant had...more

The Managed Mediation of a Payor-Provider Health Care Dispute

In the health care industry, payors and providers often have claims for both underpayment and overpayment arising from ongoing contracts or other health care services rendered. When claims arise between a payor and a...more

Contracts 101: Read Twice, Sign Once

Fast and loose; quick and dirty; speedy and greedy are three ways to describe businessmen and women who enter into contracts without reading the fine print. As soon as an executive signs his or her name to an endlessly long...more

Analysis: Prevailing Party In Jury Trial Finds Uncertainty In Remedies Available Under Pennsylvania Contractor And Subcontractor...

Since 1994, Pennsylvania law has provided enhanced remedies for prevailing in a payment dispute arising out of a construction project. The prevailing party in a recent jury trial discovered uncertainty in the precise...more

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