November 17, 2018
Last year Connecticut’s Governor signed into law a statute that now about 33 states have. Click here for an overview of the states’ laws. Click here for Connecticut's law's legislative history. SLAPP is a law that allows defendants in lawsuits to move to dismiss a lawsuit (or counterclaim) against them that is simply retaliation against them for filing their own lawsuit, or for engaging in other activity that the SLAPP statute protects. And it’s a fee-shifting statute that gives wrongfully sued parties another tool in the arsenal to fight back against lawsuits that may lack a real... Read more.
November 8, 2018
You’re a small business owner who provides a service; maybe you’re a contractor, landscaper or own a bakery. You have built a strong reputation in your community by word of mouth and quality work. It doesn’t matter what type of small business you own, you can still become a victim of a scathing negative review from a customer. Bad reviews, whether true or not, can hurt your reputation and damage your bottom line. If they are false, and damage your business, you can sue them for libel, among other things. But the decision to sue even a former customer should not be made lightly.
... Read more.
July 24, 2018
In 2017 in Bristol Meyers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, the United States Supreme Court narrowed the concept of personal jurisdiction. Bristol Meyers requires that the state where the plaintiff brings suit must have some affiliation with an act or occurrence that forms the controversy. Basically, whatever bad happened, some of it must have occurred in the state where the plaintiff has sued. Bristol Meyers dealt with a bunch of plaintiffs, not from California, suing in California over a drug that was certainly marketed and sold in California. Typically you'd think no problem... Read more.
April 27, 2018
I love reading about cases involving partnerships and employment law. It’s the best of both worlds; commercial law and employment law. What happens when one partner leaves the partnership and takes some – maybe a lot – of the partnership’s clients? A fight, that’s what happens.
And we had a good one in a recent Connecticut Appellate Court opinion. Judge William Bright, one of the newer appellate judges, wrote this one, and did a fine job. Judge Bright litigated a lot of these types of cases and it shows.
In DeLeo, the name of the case which you can read here, one partner... Read more.
March 1, 2018
A jury tagged Alston & Bird yesterday with a legal malpractice verdict arising out of allegations that one of its partners failed to properly advise and protect a small, family-owned limited liability company, when its manager looted the business of nearly $1.5 million in excess compensation and overvalued shares in the company. The jury took only a few hours to reach a verdict, which, to trial attorneys, typically means the jury didn't have to think much about responsibility and went right to damages.
Alston & Bird represented the business, but were taking direction from... Read more.
February 4, 2018
Nothing. Seriously, though, even large companies, like Ford Motor Company, seem to forget this. And it will probably end up costing it a lot of money in attorneys fees.
Under pretty much any trade secret analysis, the party seeking to protect the information must make reasonable efforts under the circumstances to keep it secret. Makes sense. Every state that has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, including Connecticut, has this requirement. If you don't try to keep it a secret than why should the Court?
In a products liability case out of West Virginia federal court,... Read more.
November 16, 2017
On Tuesday the Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments from the lawyers for some of the families suing Remington Arms over the marketing and sale of the gun that Adam Lanza used almost 5 years ago. I wrote about this case before here, and wrote about another Newtown case here, if you’re interested.
The case was on appeal because Judge Bellis granted what Connecticut calls a “motion to strike” the plaintiff’s complaint. This is very similar to a federal 12(b)6 motion to dismiss. The motion challenges whether the facts alleged make out a cause of action under the law. The motion is... Read more.
October 28, 2017
If you are thinking of selling your business to another company, we think you’re going to want to read this blog post. Because often times the selling owner will join the purchasing business as a member of its board of directors or as an officer. Usually this is part of the consideration, or payment, for the assets of the business being sold. And sometimes the purchasing business will pay a portion of the purchase price over time pursuant to a promissory note. That set of facts turned out pretty badly for one individual in a recent case decided by the Federal Court of Appeals in New York... Read more.
September 16, 2017
Equifax’s handling of its recent data breach has drawn significant criticism, and for good reason. Some of the criticism was aimed at three executives who dumped 1.8 million dollars’ worth of stock before Equifax publicly disclosed the breach. Equifax seems to be in the most hot water over its attempt to force harmed consumers to agree to arbitrate claims arising out of the security breach by sneaking it into the website that provided consumers with an answer to whether or not their personally identifiable information was compromised and when they signed up for credit monitoring.
... Read more.
September 13, 2017
It’s not too often I get to blog about one of my favorite topics, limited liability litigation, in connection with a case involving a law firm. Typically, law partners want to keep their partnership disputes out of court, at least in Connecticut. But one case filed back in April involving a local law firm has heated up, and another was recently filed between the same parties. Check the dockets out here and here. The litigation raises interesting questions about what it means to be a true “member” of an LLC versus simply holding an economic interest, along with the issue of assignments... Read more.