Commercial Litigation

We have represented plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes involving billions of dollars of damages.

  • Novell v. Microsoft
    We represented Novell in a multi-billion dollar antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft.  Novell alleges that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive behavior which prevented its WordPerfect and Quattro Pro software from being compatible with Windows 95 and thus inflicted billions of dollars of harm on Novell.  We appealed the district court’s dismissal of the suit, and the Fourth Circuit reversed.
  • 216 Jamaica Ave., LLC v. S & R Playhouse Realty Co., (6th Cir. 2008)
    We successfully represented a commercial property owner in a landmark case involving the enforcement of gold clauses in long-term commercial leases. Gold clauses were a common feature of early twentieth century contacts and allowed landlords to index rental payments to the value of gold.  We convinced the Sixth Circuit that transfer of a lessee’s interest constituted a novation and revived gold clauses from the original lease contract.  After a favorable ruling from the Sixth Circuit, the case settled.
  • State of Alabama v. Exxon
    No. 1001053, 1031167(Al. Sup. Ct.) We represent the State of Alabama in connection with its suit against Exxon for fraud in connection with the extraction of natural gas from Mobile Bay. Exxon was obligated to make royalty payments on the “gross proceeds” of all gas produced under the leases, but instead concealed its practice of paying royalties solely on the net proceeds of a portion of the gas produced. A jury has awarded more than $3 billion of compensatory and punitive damages. The case is now pending on appeal before the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • Ford Motor Company v. United States
    286 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2002) We successfully represented Ford Motor Company in connection with its challenge to the United States Customs Service’s determination that $10 million in import duties and interest were properly assessed. The Federal Circuit held that the trial court’s verdict was clearly erroneous and that Ford was entitled to judgment.
  • Ford Motor Company v. United States
    No. 03-5092 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 3, 2004) We successfully represented Ford Motor Company in a breach of contract suit against the United States arising from a World War II contract for the manufacture of B-24 Liberation Bombers. Ford seeks to recover the environmental cleanup costs it has incurred in connection with Ford’s performance of the cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contract. The Federal Circuit reversed the trial court and ruled in Ford’s favor.
  • Marketing and Management Information, Inc. v. United States
    57 Fed. Cl. 665 (2003) We successfully represented EmpowerIT (formerly known as Marketing and Management Information, Inc. (“MMI”)), in a breach of contract action against the United States in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The lawsuit stemmed from the decision of the Defense Commissary Agency (“DeCA”) (an agency within the Department of Defense) to terminate a sale/exchange contract between MMI and DeCA, pursuant to which DeCA agreed to provide MMI with raw “scanner data” pertaining to sales at commissaries and MMI agreed to process that data and to perform certain category management support services for DeCA. The trial court granted our summary judgment motion on liability. After extensive discovery, the government agreed to settle the case on the eve of trial.
  • Shell v. United States
    No. 05-704C (Fed. Cl.) We represent Shell, Unocal, Atlantic Richfield Co., and Chevron-Texaco in a major contract dispute with the United States government. Our clients seek compensation for environmental remediation costs that they have incurred as a result of their performance of World War II contracts for the federal government. The case was recently transferred to the Court of Federal Claims.
  • Harbinger Capital Partners, LLC v. United States
    No. 14-597 (Fed. Cl. filed July 11, 2014) We represent Harbinger in a multibillion dollar breach of contract case against the United States government. Harbinger invested billions of dollars building out a nationwide cellular network in reliance upon its contract with the government. After this investment was made, Congress passed a law forbidding Harbinger from utilizing its newly constructed network.
  • Fairholme Funds v. Federal Housing Finance Agency
    No. 14-5254 (D.C. Cir. filed Oct. 10, 2014) We represent a mutual fund and a number of insurance companies challenging the validity of the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The suits challenge the government’s arrogation of 100 percent of the companies’ profits for itself in contravention of FHFA’s and Treasury’s statutory authority, binding contractual commitments, and the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. To date, the government has benefited by over $130 billion from its illegal conduct.
  • Safe Streets v. Alternative Holistic Healing, LLC
    No. 15-349 (D. Colo. filed Feb. 19, 2015) We represent individual Coloradans whose business or property has been injured by the recreational marijuana industry in that state. The suit challenges the legality of the recreational marijuana industry both under RICO and the Supremacy Clause.
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corp. v. United States
    No. 14-354 (Fed. Cl.) We successfully represented ULA in a major bid protest brought by SpaceX challenging the award and execution of a 5 year contract with the Air Force, valued at $11 billion, for 27 rockets to launch national security satellites into orbit. SpaceX ultimately agreed to dismiss the protest with prejudice under terms that honored all of the Air Force’s contractual obligations to ULA.
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