- On July 14, 2023, Chancellor Anne C. Martin, of the Davidson County Chancery Court in Nashville, Tennessee, ruled in favor of firm clients MGG Group and Drs. Michael Weinstein and Dominique Howard, and dismissed a $5 million-plus case filed against them in a 19-page written opinion for lack of personal jurisdiction. AmSurg EC Washington, Inc. had sued the defendants for, among many other things, an alleged breach of a partnership agreement involving the operation of an ambulatory surgery center (“ASC”) in Washington, D.C. All the causes of action stemmed from the defendants’ alleged refusal to vote in favor of entering into a new lease agreement for the ASC. Even though AmSurg (the general partner in the partnership) was headquartered in Nashville, and the partnership agreement was controlled by Tennessee law, the Court ruled that each of the defendants lacked sufficient contacts with Tennessee to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendants in Tennessee.
- Our client, Brasfond USA, successfully defeated $35 million in claims from one of the largest construction companies in the world after it was terminated for default on the widening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel project. At the conclusion of an arbitration spanning two years, Brasfond was awarded $5.6 million including attorneys fees. The prime contractor received nothing.
- The Firm recently won an appeal on behalf of our clients Michelle Tygier and Robert Rubin in Garcia v. Tygier, Case Nos. 22-CV-0051 and 22-CV-0302, A.3d, 2023 WL 3744526 (D.C. June 1, 2023). In this case, Appellant, Karl Garcia, filed a lis pendens on Appellees’ family home, which they had owned since 1973. The lis pendens was an offshoot from litigation then pending in Fairfax County stemming from the sale of an allegedly defective condominium unit in 2017. Appellees’ filed an action in DC Superior Court to lift the lis pendens and filed a motion for sanctions against Garcia for asserting a frivolous and unjustified lis pendens and awarded Appellees’ over $28,000 in attorneys’ fees as a sanction. Garcia appealed. The D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the Superior Court in every respect except one – the Court ordered that the attorney who filed the frivolous lis pendens should be sanctioned instead of the client. This lengthy and well-researched opinion (nine pages with 50 footnotes) is a message to the bar to be careful when asserting a lis pendens to gain leverage in litigation not related to the real estate in question. The case also contains an interesting discussion on the limits of Virginia’s fraudulent conveyance statute.
- In Progressive Technology Federal Systems v. Glass, 2022 WL 3441481 (Md. App. Aug. 17, 2022), the Firm teamed with Schertler, Onorato, Mead & Sears in a case of first impression concerning whether Maryland’s rules on attorneys’ fees applied when a party “prevailed” outside the context of a summary judgment or trial victory. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed with the Firm’s client that they do and reversed a Montgomery County Circuit Court ruling that the attorneys’ fees rules apply only in more limited contexts.
- In Consumer 2.0, Inc. v. Tenant Turner, Inc., 796 Fed. Appx. 752 (Fed. Cir. 2020), the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a patent infringement case against Firm client Tenant Turner by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The Firm successfully argued that the business method patent at issue was invalid as a matter of law based on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014). The E.D. Va. held that claims requiring generic computer implementation of abstract business method ideas did not transform the abstract ideas into patentable subject matter.
- In Zurich American Ins. Co. v. City of New York, 176 A.D.3d 1145 (2d Dep’t 2019), the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York affirmed a decision holding than firm client Recall Total Information Management (now Iron Mountain) had sufficiently alleged negligence against the Fire Department of the City of New York for negligent performance of a governmental function where the FDNY responded to a fire alarm at a document storage warehouse in Brooklyn containing over 1 million boxes of documents; the fire had been suppressed by the warehouse sprinkler system; and FDNY turned off the sprinkler system and then left scene without posting a fire watch. The fire re-kindled and destroyed the warehouse. It took FDNY over one month to extinguish the re-kindled fire. The case is a rare example of a fact pattern sufficient to overcome strong governmental immunity defenses under NY law.