Breach of Contract

News & Analysis as of

Court Throws Wet Blanket On Prime Contractor's Attorneys' Fees Request In Prompt Payment Case

In James L. Harris Painting & Decorating, Inc. v. West Bay Builders, Inc., et al. (No. C072169, filed 8/27/15), the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District upheld the trial court's discretion to not award...more

Federal Circuit Patent Updates - August 2015

The Dow Chemical Company v. Nova Chemicals Corporation (No. 2014-1431, -1462, 8/28/15) (Prost, Dyk, Wallach). Dyk, J. Reversing award of supplemental damages. "We hold that the intervening change in the law of...more

State Law Claims for Short-Term Disability Benefits Not Preempted By ERISA

A federal district court in Tennessee ruled that ERISA did not preempt state law claims for short-term disability benefits because the short-term disability plan fell under the “payroll practice” exception of ERISA. LeBlanc...more

What are the three most important risk-shifting provisions contractors and subcontractors should be concerned about?

“No damages for delay” clauses: “No damages for delay” clauses allocate the risks of project delays and disruptions between the owner and contractor. Oftentimes, these clauses preclude a contractor from recovering...more

Court Of Chancery Explains “By Reason Of The Fact” Test

Former directors are entitled to advancement when they are sued “by reason of the fact” that they acted as directors in committing allegedly bad conduct. That test can be hard to apply. However, as this case makes clear, when...more

Court of Chancery Explains Notice Required Before Directors Act

This decision concerns a soap opera with bizarre facts and alleged witness tampering that hopefully will never be repeated. It does have a good discussion on what notice the board of directors must give to a controller before...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Reaffirms At-Will Employment Doctrine

In Read v. Willwoods Community, 2014-C-1475 (La. 2015), the Supreme Court of Louisiana overturned a jury verdict awarding damages to a plaintiff who claimed that his employer breached a verbal contract to employ him for a...more

ITC Finds Nokia Does Not Infringe Interdigital Patents, So Does Not Address FRAND Issues (337-TA-613)

On Friday, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a Notice on its review of Judge Essex’s decision in the InterDigital v. Nokia investigation and found that Nokia did not infringe InterDigital’s 3GPP patents (see our...more

I will survive: Help your reps and warranties endure with a smart survival clause

The desire to protect oneself is human nature. Nowhere is that more obvious than when drafting complex commercial real estate deals, where parties often have conflicting goals regarding liability....more

Third Circuit Says ERISA Administrative Appeal Denial Letters Must State Plan-Imposed Time Limits

The Third Circuit recently held that ERISA administrative appeal denial letters must include plan-imposed time limits for commencing a lawsuit challenging the claim denial, and the failure to provide such notice warranted...more

ERISA Plan Can't Shrink Deadlines Without Providing Notice, Says 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that an ERISA plan can’t shorten the deadline for filing a legal action challenging a denial of benefits unless the participant receives written communication of the plan’s altered...more

Unvacated: 11th Circuit Finds Repeat Arbitrator Not Biased

The Eleventh Circuit has a lesson for future litigants: the presence of a repeat player is not enough to show the evident partiality needed to vacate an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act. In Johnson v....more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 4 – A decision in Schlumberger, sort of

Since we published Part 3 that discussed the details of an interesting case here in Houston, Schlumberger v. Rutherford, the First Court of Appeals issued its opinion on Tuesday. The best description of the decision is a...more

Upper Tribunal Finds That Individual Lacked Integrity Due To Recklessness

In this case report, we consider the decision of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) in Ghanshyam Batra v Financial Conduct Authority [2014] UKUT 214 (TCC), in which the Upper Tribunal upheld the FCA's decision to...more

11th Circuit Finds a Covered “Occurrence” Under CGL Policy For Damages Resulting From Contractor’s Faulty Work and Rejects...

In Pennsylvania National Mutual Insurance Company v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 790 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2015), a judgment was obtained by the Parish (a Catholic Church) against Kiker Corporation (“Kiker”), which was...more

Legal Insights on the Ashley Madison Hack: Part I

Internet commenters and legal analysts alike are buzzing about the Ashley Madison hack. The website -- which billed itself as a networking site for anyone who wanted to discretely arrange an extramarital affair -- has already...more

When Is a Breach of a Covenant Not to Compete Also Unfair or Deceptive?

Next Monday, August 31, the North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important business-versus-business case. Beverage Systems of the Carolinas v. Associated Beverage Repair (No. 316A14) includes two...more

Standard-essential Patents and the RAND Requirement: Recent Decisions on Reasonable and Nondiscriminatory Royalties

Issues related to standard-essential patents (SEPs) have generated significant attention in the wake of the first appellate decisions on royalties for SEPs – Ericsson, Inc. v. D-Link Systems. 773 F.3d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 2014)...more

Florida’s Fifth District Court Of Appeal Allows Insurer Facing Breach Of Contract Lawsuit Over Water Loss Claim To Join Plumber As...

In Florida Peninsula Insurance Company v. Ken Mullen Plumbing, Inc., 2015 Fla. App. Lexis 11572 (Fla. 5th DCA July 31, 2015), the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s decision to dismiss the insurer’s...more

How Not To Write An Employment Agreement Arbitration Clause: Court Of Appeal Rejects One Sided Clause As Procedurally And...

In Carlson v. Home Team Pest Defense, Inc. (Ct. of Appeal A142219), published August 17, 2015, the Court of Appeal held that an employer’s arbitration clause which allowed only the employer to file lawsuits for certain...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Is There a Lesson from Dunkin’ Donuts for Franchisors Outside Quebec?

The Quebec Court of Appeal has recently upheld the 2012 decision of the Superior Court awarding substantial damages – CA$10.9 million – to former franchisees of Dunkin’ Donuts.1 Application for leave to appeal was filed with...more

Civil Code Reform: New Provisions on Contracts and Obligations

On 8 March 2015, the President signed Federal Law No. 42-FZ "On Amending Part 1 of the Russian Civil Code." The amendments aim at increasing the stability and predictability of contractual relations under Russian law at...more

Construction and Engineering Toolkit: Novation - August 2015

In This Issue: Novation in construction and engineering projects Novation is the cornerstone of design and build procurement. It is the novation of the design consultants' appointments to the main building...more

Shame on You Productions, Inc. v. Banks - USDC, C.D. California, August 14, 2015

Plaintiff Shame on You Productions, Inc., was assigned a screenplay titled “Darci’s Walk of Shame” by its author, Dan Rosen. Shame on You sued defendants, including actress Elizabeth Banks, for copyright infringement and...more

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