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May 9, 2019

Why would you want to sue your neighbor? Well, first, think very carefully about it before you do it. These cases are emotional, expensive, and rarely give you a real good sense of relief in the end. At least that's my experience. The typical claims against neighbors are for what is called a private nuisance.  You are entitled to the quiet use and enjoyment of your property.  The law protects that right and if someone's unreasonable use of their property interferes with your "quiet use and enjoyment" of your property, you can sue for damages, or an injunction to stop them from doing... Read more.

April 20, 2019

Connecticut commercial litigators sometimes overlook an archaic civil procedure tool which can be used very successfully to obtain discovery of information before a company commits itself to what could be expensive litigation. We’ve used this procedure in employment cases, toxic tort cases and trade secret matters. And a recent Superior Court opinion validates this litigation strategy.

First, a little background before talking about that case. The procedural tool is called a “bill of discovery” under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-156a. While its roots are ancient, the procedure is still on... Read more.

April 17, 2019

I have taken a keen interest in Connecticut’s new SLAPP statute and written about it here. I was scheduled to moderate a panel discussion recently at the Raymond E. Baldwin Inn of Court recently but an out-of-state deposition kept me from doing it. So I need another dose of the special motion to dismiss. Connecticut business litigators and employment litigators should become familiar with the Connecticut SLAPP statute and advise clients who are considering bringing “close call” cases about the risk under the statute, because if the case is thin, and is based on the target defendant’s “... Read more.

March 6, 2019

Connecticut employers and small businesses often look to save money on payroll expenses by classifying individuals as independent contractors rather than employees. The practice, while not forbidden, is laden with risk. In order to compete, businesses in some industries decide to take that risk. Those companies that don’t take the risk, experience a hit to their profit margins. We’ve written about these issues before, here which will give you some background to follow along this post.

We now have another case from our Connecticut Supreme Court to add to our prior post that focuses... Read more.

January 19, 2019

Google Ads is a powerful way to drive business to your company's website, no doubt.  By bidding on keywords and crafting relevant ad content, your business can improve its advertisement's chance of showing up at the top of a google search, and above the organic search results.  And Google's Dynamic Keyword Insertion tool can take your ad a step further.  DKI will allow Google to insert a keyword from your ad campaign directly into the headline of the ad. Cool huh?  If the searcher's query matches one of your keywords, bam, that keyword will headline the ad.

Assume one of your... Read more.

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.

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