Contract Interpretation

News & Analysis as of

Discovery Of Reserve And Reinsurance Information Permitted In Coverage And Bad Faith Action Against Insurers

A federal district court in Colorado has denied motions for a protective order filed by the insurers in a coverage litigation where Cantex, a third-party assignee to claims against the insurers, asserts causes of action for...more

Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators...more

Court Addresses Honorable Engagement Provision In Arbitration Clause

In First State Insurance Company v. National Cas. Co., 2015 WL 1263147, No. 14-1644 (1st Cir. March 20, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit (the “Court of Appeals”) affirmed the lower court’s refusal to...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

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

Insurance Review (Australia) - February 2015

In This Issue: - REGULATORY: - The Financial System Inquiry - Insurance Reform In The UK - CYBER: - Top Five Privacy And Cyber Predictions, Trends And Issues Impacting Insurers In 2015 And...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

Texas Supreme Court Revisits Additional Insured Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Disaster

In In Re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13–0670 (February 13, 2015), the Texas Supreme Court had occasion to consider the extent to which the scope of additional insured coverage is limited by the terms of a contract between the...more

Insurance is Big in Texas: In Deepwater Horizon Case, Texas Stretches a Policy’s Four Corners to Include Other Contracts

Last month, in In re Deepwater Horizon, Relator, the Supreme Court of Texas applied a fundamental principle of insurance law to a case with enormous financial implications. The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had...more

Texas Supreme Court Incorporates Limitations From An “Insured Contract” Into GL Policy

In In re Deepwater Horizon, Cause No. 13-0670, Slip Op., Feb. 13, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that an allocation of liability found in an “insured contract” would determine the coverage provided to an additional...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” ...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules Additional-Insured Coverage is Limited by Underlying Indemnification Agreement in In re Deepwater...

In a much anticipated 8-1 decision, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that BP is not entitled to additional-insured coverage in In re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13-0670 (Feb. 13, 2015)....more

The $750 Million Comma? BP Is Not Entitled To Coverage For The Gulf Oil Spill As An Additional Insured Under Policies Issued To...

The Supreme Court of Texas ruled on February 13, 2015, that BP is not entitled to coverage as an additional insured under insurance policies Transocean procured for the Deepwater Horizon. ...more

$750,000,000 Missing Comma Comes Unhinged in BP’s Additional Insured Claim

Action Item: Courts must consider whether an insurance policy incorporates other documents and the extent thereof in evaluating the existence of additional insured coverage. Parties should evaluate the policy and underlying...more

Considerations with Regard to “Material Adverse Effect” Clauses

In the mergers and acquisitions context, there is a risk that the occurrence of some event between signing and close may cause the value of the target to diminish significantly, making the deal no longer attractive to the...more

Fifth Circuit Un-Vacates Arbitration Award, Offering Guidance to District Courts

“When an arbitration goes an opponent’s way on the basis of questionable contract interpretation, parties often seek refuge in [Section] 10(a)(4).  But the Supreme Court has made clear that district courts’ review of...more

Contract-Drafting Bulletin - February 2015, Vol.1 Issue 1

In this issue: - Does Quality Contract Drafting Matter? - Shall I Dispense with ‘Shall’? Not Entirely - Interview with a Commercial Litigator - World of Boxing LLC v. King - Comments to a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Traditional Contract Rules Determine Whether Retirees Are Entitled to Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts must apply ordinary rules of contract interpretation when determining whether retiree healthcare benefits vest for life pursuant to the terms of a...more

Ericsson, Inc. v. D-Link Sys., Inc. Guidance on Determining Damages for Standard Essential Patents

Patents claiming inventions which must be used to comply with certain technical standards (for example, the Wi-Fi standard or standards for 3G) are referred to as standards-essential patents or “SEPs”. There has,...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending November 28 & December 5, 2014

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Contract Interpretation: trial court erred by interpreting declaration in way that rendered provisions meaningless – Bethany Trace Owners’ Association, Inc. v Whispering Lakes I, LLC, et al., No....more

Actual Negotiations Trump 40-Year Georgia-Pacific Test to Determine Type of Patent Licensing Royalties

The Grigoleit Co. v. Whirlpool Corp. - Addressing a lower court’s reasonable royalty determination that chose not to rely on the Georgia Pacific factors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently...more

2014 Autumn Review – M&A Legal Developments

We set out below a number of interesting English and European court decisions which have taken place and their impact on M&A transactions. This Insight looks at these developments and gives practical guidance on their...more

Second Circuit Considers "No Oral Modification" Clause in Helicopter Contract - The Court Examined Exceptions to "No Oral...

The Second Circuit recently issued a summary decision concerning the scope of a "no oral modification" clause in contracts governing the sale of helicopters. The underlying dispute involved three separate helicopter purchase...more

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