We round up the most significant appellate decisions relevant to commercial litigation each week.

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I am trying an experiment.

In this post–which covers almost all of June–I’ve sorted commercial rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and a selection from the highest state courts according to subject matter.

The resulting headings group decisions by broadly descriptive categories (e.g., Antitrust and Intellectual Property) for quicker reference. As usual, you may access the decisions by clicking on the case summary itself.

Please let me know you find these signposts worthwhile.
Continue Reading Commercial Appeals Roundup

Contempt action for violation of bankruptcy discharge order belonged in court despite arbitration clause. ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isys

DACA survives. supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf

Lawyer who won judgment on Argentine bonds had lien on proceeds of settlement he didn’t participate in and could sue Argentina under commercial activity exception to FSIA. ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isys

Arbitration clause required

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

How many trial lawyers sit on the U.S. Supreme Court?
How many trial lawyers sit on the U.S. Supreme Court?

In the last quarter-century and more, no current member of the Supreme Court tried a lawsuit of any kind to a judge or jury. Almost none of the justices has ever tried a civil case to verdict. And before their honors became appellate judges, only one of their number served as a full-time trial judge.

Does the justices’ nearly total lack of trial-lawyer chops matter? Has the almost utter absence of actual trial experience in fact degraded the quality of civil justice? And will confirming the nomination of a former trial lawyer like Neil Gorsuch make a difference?

Continue Reading A Trial Lawyer for the Supreme Court?

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

FundingBig dollars in business cases

Expenses in big-dollar lawsuits can run into the millions of dollars. An antitrust class action that I’ve handled since 2003, for instance, cost more than $8 million. The law firms representing the class fronted all that money, with no assurance we would ever get any of it back. Why would any sane person do such a thing?
Continue Reading The Cost of Funding Litigation Expenses

FundingSizable expenses

A big commercial case can cost millions in expenses — by which I mean out-of-pocket costs that the plaintiff or its counsel must pay net of attorneys’ fees. A portfolio of cases — for infringement of a patent or family of patents, say — can run many millions more. Who will bear that burden? And what will it cost?
Continue Reading The Cost of Third-Party Litigation Funding