Commercial Litigation

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

  • Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, 505 F.3d 302 (4th Cir. 2007).
    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 Company, 540 F.3d 433 (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.
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 986 So.2d 1093 (Al. Sup. Ct. 2007). 
    We represented the State of Alabama in connection with its suit against Exxon Mobil 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. We secured a judgment of more than $100 million against Exxon for breach of contract.
  • 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, 378 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 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 Oil Company, et al. 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 Court of Federal Claims recently handed down a trial verdict of $99.5 million in our clients’ favor.
  • Harbinger Capital Partners, LLC, et al. v. United States, No. 14-597 (Fed. Cl.). 
    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, Inc., et al. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., No. 14-5254 (D.C. Cir.). 
    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 Alliance, et al. v. Alternative Holistic Healing, LLC, et al., No. 15-349 (D. Colo.). 
    We represent individual Coloradans whose property has been injured by the recreational marijuana industry in that state, challenging the legality of the industry under RICO. The Tenth Circuit ruled that federal racketeering claims against marijuana businesses may go forward and remanded the case to district court for further proceedings.
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corporation 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 five-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.
  • Baynard et al. v. Commonwealth Investments, Ltd., et al., 14-cv-1367 (S.D. Ohio).
    We represent several co-owners of commercial property in Columbus, Ohio, that is subject to a long-term lease that includes a “gold clause.” Gold clauses were a common feature of early twentieth century contracts; they allowed landlords to index rental payments to the value of gold. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has ruled in our favor that the gold clause is currently in force; the matter is pending before the district court on the issue of damages and certain affirmative defenses.
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