The Business Litigation Blog

Archive for tag: business litigation

Problems with E-commerce in Business Litigation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that injuries could be claimed against Barnes & Noble, Inc., because “scoundrels had compromised” its PIN pads used to verify payment information. They had obtained names, card numbers, expiration dates, and PIN numbers. Damages permitted include a California plaintiff’s loss of use of money for three days even though trifling and purchase of a credit-monitoring service by an Illinois plaintiff. The Court did not consider liability questions even though merchants may not be liable for “failure to crime-proof their point-of-sale systems,” and was not opining that the case was appropriate for certification as a class action. The case is worth noting for its damages holding and bears watching as the District Court decides these other matters.  ...

Former Officer and Shareholder Breaches Fiduciary Duty By Starting Competing Company

A shareholder and corporate officer of a closely-held business owes a fiduciary duty to the company to refrain from competing, even if he is effectively forced out of his position. In March 2016, the Northern District of Illinois decided Root Consulting, Inc. v. Insull, in which it granted summary judgment for the plaintiff on its claims that its former vice president breached his fiduciary duty by starting a competing business.   Root Consulting is an Illinois-based corporation providing IT services in Illinois and Texas. Scott Taylor is founder and president of Root Consulting. William Insull was the company's vice president. He is also a shareholder. Part of the dispute revolved around when Insull left his post as vice president. Insull claimed he was forced out in July 2013 when Root Consulting stopped...

As Lawsuits Mount over Food Labeling, Some Companies Avoid Litigation

Back in July we wrote a blog post on PepsiCo’s lawsuit over the use of the term “natural” for their popular naked juice product. The post was focused mainly on the difficulty of the situation with regard to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has no clear definition as to what foods can actually be considered natural. While it considers any food without synthetic additives or other ingredients that are not already part of the food item itself natural, others argue that the term natural would only apply to food that has come directly from the earth. The countless lawsuits related to mislabeling over the past couple of years highlight the fact that there is a lack of agreement on the definition of the word. As healthy eating becomes increasingly important in the United States, food items labeled “all natural” have...

Ethics, Business Litigation | The Patterson Law Firm

The recent disclosure of one law firm’s emails that seem to reveal over-billing or churning of cases should be of concern to every business lawyer.  An individual’s reputation is an integral component of a career.  Firms can develop reputations based on the actions of only a few of their lawyers. And the profession as a whole can develop a reputation based on the actions of only a few firms.   Our firm offers various fee plans to eliminate the incentive to over-bill, but also works to establish the right professional culture.  Putting ourselves in our clients’ shoes is one of the key tools to keep litigation costs—both financial and psychological—to a minimum.  If we were the client spending our own money, would we want our lawyer to do X?  If not, we won’t recommend it.  If yes,...

Twitter, Business Litigation | The Patterson Law Firm

From Hollywood stars like Ashton Kutcher to President Obama, the number of Twitter followers you have can indicate popularity and social status. Some companies have been using this to their advantage by offering a service that sells Twitter followers with pricing as low as $18 per 1,000 followers, according to the e-security firm Barracuda Labs. Twitter is now casting lawsuits against these companies that sell followers and said these companies have violated its terms-of-service agreement that prohibits “using or promoting third-party sites that claim to generate more followers… including sites promising ‘more followers fast’ or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account.” “Twitter’s overall scheme is to promote following,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at S...

Instagram, Privacy Laws | The Patterson Law Firm

Until recently, many were unaware that Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. The move came as a result of the social networking site leaping into the mobile space. Now, with suggested plans to incorporate advertisements into Instagram, the privacy policy and terms of service of the popular photo-sharing site were recently updated, and it’s causing a major uproar by users. With celebrity users like Kim Kardashian, Anderson Cooper and Jonah Hill threatening to boycott, Instagram responded by slightly modifying the terms of service again. But the modifications don’t really address the concerns over privacy and control of personal data. These changes will go into effect January 19, 2013 and apply to about 100 million users. Here’s a brief overview of the changes. Instagram can share information about...

Chicago Law Firm, Year in Review | The Patterson Law Firm

We’re breaking down the last year of business litigation at our law firm. From announcing four new attorneys, to partnering with ApexCLE and blogging about the legal implications of Hurricane Sandy, the Patterson Law Firm, LLC highlights the top stories of our law firm in 2012. December - Announcing Erica Daiell as New Associate Attorney Daiell graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 2012. Prior to joining The Patterson Law Firm, LLC Daiell was a law clerk for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Read More… November - NBI Seminar Led by Owner of Chicago Law Firm Reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts can be one of the most important and tedious aspects of a business attorney's practice. Tom Patterson of The Patterson Law Firm, LLC helped advance contract negotiation and drafting skills...

Patent, Preliminary Injunctions | The Patterson Law Firm

If a patentee plaintiff wins his patent infringement suit, he may not necessarily be awarded a permanent injunction against the defendant. Of course, this seems somewhat strange, since the whole point of getting a patent (and disclosing the secrets of your patented subject matter) is to receive the exclusive right to make, use, sell and offer the patented subject matter. This implies that the patentee should be able to permanently enjoin any infringing use of his valid patent.  However, this idea was explicitly rejected in the Supreme Court’s eBay decision “eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange, LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006).” Prior to the Supreme Court’s holding in eBay, the Federal Circuit held that as a general rule, that courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances. In ...

Illinois Legislation, Governor Quinn | Patterson Law Firm

Several new laws were passed and signed by Governor Quinn with the intention of protecting senior citizens in the state of Illinois. The Alzheimer's Association® and advocates supported these bills as they aim to promote safety, increase accountability for caretakers and help authorities identify and respond to reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Below is a short synopsis of some of this crucial legislation passed to protect the elderly from abuse. House Bill 5653 allows a prosecutor to ask a court to freeze a defendant's assets if he or she is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. This is an AARP Illinois initiative that advocates for greater protection against elderly financial exploitation committed by family and non-family members. This new law will help prevent defendants from spending ...

Class Action, Business Lawsuit | The Patterson Law Firm

Swiss chemical maker Syngenta AG, a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology, has settled a class action lawsuit by paying $105 million. The suit comes as a result of the company contaminating U.S. water supplies due to the use of the chemical Atrazine, its weed-killing product. The business lawsuit has been going on for nearly eight years and has affected 1,887 community water systems, serving more than 52 million Americans. While the manufacturers constantly denied that the agricultural herbicides contained any danger to the humans, six states had filed claims against Syngenta in 2009. So far, around 45 states in the U.S. have reported that their water supplies had been contaminated with the chemical Atrazine. Because of this, the water supplies in se...

 
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