The Contingency is slow off the mark this Monday, but it’s not because federal and state appellate courts reduced their output due to COVID-19 last week. That may change as social distancing measures postpone live hearings, but so far so good.

Be well.

  • Article III standing test required more than risk of misdiagnosis or mistreatment

COVID-19 isn’t stopping The Contingency or @contingencyblog, but we are following authoritative directives and best practices and hope you and your families are and remain healthy and safe too.

Barry Barnett

  • Light bulb maker could grant distributor a copyright sublicense to use licensor’s photos of light bulbs without saying so and as matter of

In this time of concern and disruption over Covid-19, I and my colleagues at Susman Godfrey (SG) are busy taking steps to safeguard our firm family while continuing to be proactive in protecting the interests of our clients and moving matters forward as necessary and appropriate. I hope that you, your colleagues, and your families

Because my practice focuses on complex commercial disputes–especially cases involving antitrust, oil and gas, and patents–I keep daily track of important decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals.

You can follow along during the week on Twitter (@contingencyblog) or here at The Contingency each Monday with this Commercial Case Roundup: U.S. Appeals.
Continue Reading Commercial Case Roundup: U.S. Appeals

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A U.S. appeals court judge told me a few years ago that private contracts between businesses should call for settling disputes through bench trials rather than by arbitration.

But neither the judge nor I thought to mention a factor that may matter more than the relative quality of justice in courts versus private arbitration. As a recent 2-1 ruling by the Ninth Circuit just reminded us, federal courts strongly favor public access to case records — even if the records include deeply embarrassing documents that a party produced in discovery.
Continue Reading Keeping Secrets

Handshake with TearLast Thursday, the Association for Corporate Growth hosted a talk in Dallas about deals that result in a lawsuit or arbitration. Several dozen deal-makers, mergers and acquisitions lawyers, and consultants attended. The Honorable Jeff Kaplan of JAMS, Elizabeth Brandon of Vinson & Elkins, and I gave the talk. Ladd Hirsch of Diamond McCarthy organized and moderated the event. In a little over an hour, we discussed the characteristics that commonly occur in transactions that produce formal claims, offered suggestions on how deal-makers can manage the risk of earl disputes, and answered several thoughtful questions from the audience. I enjoyed the session immensely. Please see my review of the lively discussion below.
Continue Reading Why Some Deals Result in Disputes