Litigation is, above all, a business issue. It must be seen in the context of a company’s overall business strategy and pursued accordingly. Clients trust our Commercial and Contract Litigation group to handle their most problematic, high-exposure, or reputation-sensitive legal disputes in a practical, goal-oriented manner.
We have substantial experience in a broad range of legal areas, including antitrust, breach of contract, business torts, fraud, insurance and reinsurance, lender liability, restrictive covenants and trade secrets, sales of goods, and unfair competition. When the stakes are especially high—when complete command of every aspect of the case is essential—our litigators have the legal acumen and business sophistication to fit the right approach to the strategic need.
Taking a Business-Centric Approach
Our clients rely on us to ask them the right questions—to probe for the ultimate business objective—before planning a litigation or responding to a pre-litigation demand. What’s at stake financially? How much discovery is required? Will operations be disrupted? Will this create an unfavorable precedent or lead to more litigation? What’s the reputational or regulatory risk? Will a pending transaction be affected? Only when we have a complete set of answers do we move forward with a case.
Assuming a Trial
Our reputation as skilled trial lawyers precedes us. Our litigators, who include former federal and state prosecutors and former in-house counsel, assume every dispute is headed for trial. That assumption informs our preparation and works to our client’s benefit even if the case never sees a courtroom. The best path to a good settlement is to convince the other side they’re in for a fight.
Drawing on Cross-Disciplinary Resources
Our litigators often pair up with thought leaders in our firm’s other disciplines (health care, employee benefits, and employment, labor, and workforce management, among others) to make sure that every angle of a client’s dispute is evaluated and that all issues—whether obvious or unapparent—are resolved. Our ability to quickly mobilize needed resources and approach each case in a strategic manner also helps us resolve our clients’ disputes efficiently and cost-effectively.
For too many companies, serial litigation—the same types of claims over and over—is a fact of corporate life. We work with our clients to find effective ways to reduce these lawsuits or eliminate them altogether. We analyze past claims to identify the weak spots in contracts and the hazards in certain statutes. From that learning, we suggest ways to alleviate problem areas through policy changes and employee training. In bringing much-needed consistency to our clients' litigation, we significantly lower their vulnerability to repetitive claims.
- Obtained a very favorable result in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary duty case in federal court between a Chinese joint venture regarding electrical wiring device manufacturing and a former U.S.-based employee, who caused a patent to be put in his relative’s name and set up a competing business in China. A significant part of the successful strategy included winning two spoliation motions and obtaining significant evidentiary sanctions. We also defeated the employee’s counterclaims.
- Defeated a breach-of-contract claim brought by an ordained minister employed in an executive role of a major church organization. In this case, we argued that the United States Constitution denied a secular court any authority to analyze a church organization's governing documents to determine the merit of a contract breach claim.
- Represented a group of employees who left a bank to join another bank. The former bank sued the employees, claiming they violated trade secret laws and breached fiduciary duties by leaving to join an alleged competitor in the health care lending industry. After several motions and many contentious months of litigation, we were able to secure a dismissal of the claims against our clients.
- Defeated multimillion-dollar claims against a financial services company that included breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent concealment, and tortious interference. At trial, we systematically whittled down the case to show it had no merit, ultimately compelling the court to issue a directed verdict in favor of our clients on all claims. The plaintiffs received nothing.
- Defended a graduate research university after a former student and employed research assistant alleged breach of contract, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Our lawyers got the case dismissed, and that ruling was upheld on appeal. In proving that the university’s contractual commitments to its students were limited, we helped underscore the binding nature of the university’s procedures and requirements when advancing through its graduate programs.
- Obtained a rare ex parte temporary restraining order on behalf of a supermarket client to put a stop to an ongoing trademark infringement and fraud scheme. The defendants appropriated the well-recognized trademark of one of our client's subsidiary supermarket brands to pass themselves off as franchisees of that brand, in order to get financing for fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities. After our restraining order was granted in New Jersey federal court in less than 24 hours, we filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the defendants.
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