Articles Posted in Best Business And Class Action Lawyers Near Chicago

Published on:

A plaintiff’s attorney in New York recently challenged a federal court’s authority to order him to pay a $10,000 fine as a sanction for misconduct under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a copyright infringement case. Southern District of New York Judge Denise Cote imposed the monetary sanction on attorney Richard L. pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules and the court’s inherent authority to manage its own affairs (Paul Steeger v. JMS Cleaning Services, LLC).

The alleged conduct for which Richard was sanctioned included failure to serve notice to the defense of a pretrial hearing as required by court order, which the judge accused Richard of having done on three other occasions in the southern district, and also failing to respond to the defendant’s settlement offer.

Shortly after the defendant complained of Richard’s conduct to the court, the parties reached a voluntary settlement in the case. As a result of the complaint, the judge issued Richard an order to show cause why he should not be sanctioned.

At issue in Richard’s motion for consideration was what the court is allowed to do under its inherent power and under Rule 11, which requires that no monetary sanction or order may be imposed against a party or its counsel after the litigants have reached a voluntary settlement.

Judge Cote noted, however, that she received the defendant’s complaints about Richard’s misconduct and issued the order prior to the case’s formal dismissal or settlement. Instead, Richard had notified the court only that the parties had reached a settlement “in principle.” The case was not dismissed pursuant to the settlement until four weeks later.

The judge accused Richard of a pattern of omissions and misrepresentations in the case and failing to adhere to standards expected of officers of the court. Continue reading

Published on:

The sports industry is one of inflated prices. From tickets to merchandise, rabid fans are often willing to pay outrageous prices for the illusion of a connection to their favorite player and this includes the selling of equipment that was allegedly worn by star players during games. The question of whether it can be proven that a specific piece of equipment was worn during a game or not was up for debate in a recent lawsuit against Eli Manning, the Giants, two equipment managers for the NFL team, and Steiner Sports, a company that sells helmets and jerseys worn by players during games.

The lawsuit was filed by Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab, and Sean Godown, who purchased two helmets that were supposed to have been worn by Manning during games, but the three men allege that is not actually the case. Inselberg, who filed the lawsuit in 2014, claimed photographic experts used a technique known as “photo matching” to determine if the helmets he, Jakab and Godown had bought had actually been used in NFL football games. According to the lawsuit, these experts allegedly failed to find any evidence that either helmet had, in fact, been worn during any game.

Manning and the Giants argued that photo matching isn’t reliable because helmets are routinely reconditioned after, and even during seasons. They claim photo matching fails to take this into consideration and the evidence that a particular helmet was worn during games is to be found on the inside of the helmet, rather than the outside. Continue reading

Published on:

 

It’s common for early versions of a new technology to suffer from some kinks that still need to be worked out, but usually, developers find remedies for those problems in later versions of the technology. Unfortunately, Apple allegedly failed to find a fix for their defective Apple Watch screen, according to a recent consumer class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California, is seeking $5 million in damages – enough to take the case to the federal level if a judge agrees to certify the class and the parties agree that federal court is the best venue for arguing the case.

The lawsuit alleges Apple Watch screens are prone to shattering, cracking, and popping out through no fault of the wearer. According to the complaint, Apple knew about this problem when it started selling its smartwatches (and possibly even earlier), but failed to do anything about it. The problem allegedly started with the very first Apple Watches the tech giant ever sold and has continued through Series 3, which is the latest version to be sold by the company.

Although Apple forums are full of complaints about the Apple Watch screens, Apple refuses to publicly admit the devices have a problem. The only step the company has made toward remedying the situation is to offer extended warranty plans for certain versions of the Apple Watch for screens that had popped out as a result of a battery swelling issue. Apple announced in spring of 2017 that it would begin offering these extended warranty plans. Continue reading

Published on:

Although no one legally needs a reason to fire a consultant, it’s another matter entirely to allegedly defame that consultant to other potential clients. According to a recent defamation lawsuit, that’s allegedly what happened after Tim Semmerling was fired from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Military Commissions.

Semmerling, who lives in Illinois, opened his own mitigation services practice in 2010, called The Mercury Endeavor LLC, which specializes in working with Arabs, Muslims, and the military.

Semmerling said he was contacted in June of 2011 by Cheryl Bormann, another Illinois resident who is a qualified lead counsel attorney for death penalty litigation. At the time, Bormann was working as a defense attorney for a member of al-Qaeda who was being held at Guantanamo Bay while facing charges pertaining to the terrorist attack that happened on September 11, 2001.

According to the complaint, Bormann allegedly offered to hire Semmerling as the client’s mitigation specialist and instructed him to not accept any offers from other defense teams.

Semmerling said he started working for the client in October of 2011 when he traveled to Washington to meet with Bormann and the rest of the capital defense team. In July 2012, he made another trip to Washington for an interview with agents of the CIA so he could get the security clearance required to serve his new client. According to the complaint, Bormann and Michael Schwartz, a U.S. Air Force officer who was acting as an attorney on assignment at the Military Commissions Defense Organization, allegedly told Semmerling to be open and honest with the CIA operatives, and so when they asked questions about his personal life, Semmerling allegedly did not hold back from talking about his long-term, romantic relationship with another man. Continue reading

Published on:

While Stormy Daniels has been dominating headlines since news broke of her alleged affair with Donald Trump when his wife was recovering from having given birth to their son, another woman from Trump’s past is also refusing to let him forget about the misdeeds he allegedly committed with her. The main difference being that, while Daniels was a willing participant in her alleged affair with Trump, Summer Zevos alleges Trump’s advances on her were unwelcome, unsolicited, and were committed during what she had been led to believe would be a business meeting.

Zervos was initially a contestant on Trump’s show, The Apprentice. Although she didn’t make it to the end of the season, Zervos said she was invited to meet with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel so she could pitch some of her business ideas to him. That’s when he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Like many other women, Zervos went public with her experiences during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump followed in the footsteps of countless other men accused of sexual misconduct, not only by accusing Zervos of lying but by trying to degrade her character in general. In the age-old he said/she said debate, discrediting the woman is a classic tactic and Trump is hardly the first to use it. He’s also far from the first person to get away with it.

But Zervos is firing back. She sued Trump for defamation of character in Manhattan. Continue reading

Published on:

Uber settled its legal fight after being accused of plotting to steal self-driving technology, which is considered to be the way of the future. It took more than four days in court, which included arguments and testimony. An overall case worth stood at $245 million.  The settlement was mainly concerning the trade secrets. The case was between Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and could be considered one of the most intense legal fights of Silicon Valley. This is especially since it concerns a startup vs. one of the biggest technology giants’ parent. The overall potential of the industry is trillion-dollars that are predicted to transform transportation.

The case showcased what many in Silicon Valley normally struggle with: the sudden rise of start-ups, the workings of the rich companies, the rivalries, and competition for talent.  Continue reading

Published on:

Bands work hard to build and maintain a certain image, which is why they have to react quickly when someone tries to infringe on that image.

According to a recent trademark lawsuit, a Mexican hotel, located in Baja, California, was allegedly trying infringe on the image of the famous rock band, the Eagles, by changing the hotel’s name to Hotel California. The hotel was also allegedly playing the band’s music in and around the hotel, and selling T-shirts and other merchandise with “Hotel California” emblazoned across them as part of the hotel’s marketing campaign for their new name.

The hotel’s original title was actually “Hotel California” when it was founded back in 1950. Over the years, it acquired new owners and new names, but when John and Debbie Stewart bought the hotel in 2001, they decided to restore its original name.

The hotel is now owned by a company called Hotel California Baja LLC, which applied for a trademark for the name of the hotel, and that’s when the Eagles filed their lawsuit against the hotel company in the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles. Continue reading

Published on:

Environmental groups have sued to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline after it received construction permits and the green light to start. The construction will take a toll on the environment. This has affected local businesses who used to harvest large amounts of crawfish but now the traps yield dead crawfish.

The purpose of the pipeline is to deliver crude oil to a terminal in St. James Parish. The first phase of the project, which consists of a 30-inch pipeline from Nederland to Lake Charles.

The U.S. Army Corporation of Engineer’s decision to issue the permit for construction followed completion of an environmental assessment, review of its compliance with Section 408 of the Clean Water Act and feedback received during a public notice.

Construction must comply with provisions aimed at protecting nesting periods for birds.  Builders of the pipeline also will have to survey the route for the presence of both active and inactive eagle nests.

Engineers had a permit issued in around mid-December and the people in the vicinity of the Atchafalaya Basin know of its uniqueness to the whole world. Part of nature provides subsistence for the Cajun people.  The water quality is substantially affected.

Environmental groups are trying hard to block further construction by requesting the state court to force the company to turn over records to seize private property or obtain easements on property along the pipeline path. Surveillance records from a company have also been requested.  The suit, called a writ of mandamus, was filed against the pipeline and its president, by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.

Public purpose and the right to the state’s public laws are being asserted and become grounds for being subject to Public Records Law.  The land that was once public will become for private profit usage with no oversight.  The pipeline process could affect health, the natural environment, and people’s livelihoods.  Multiple parties have a stake in this: from small business operators who harvest food, locals and those who profit.

To challenge the making of the pipeline for violations of environmental law is the starting ground for the attack on a corporation that is said to have a history of violations. The plaintiffs claim the permit granted violates the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act. Continue reading

Published on:

Jurisdictional issues can affect any case and are most likely to be more common in America where the variances in counties and states are, perhaps, greater than anywhere else in the world.  Such concerns affect all cases in terms of venue and the ties that parties may have to a certain jurisdiction over another.

The death of Charles Manson has been no exception to challenging jurisdiction.  His recent death has to lead to unexpected claims over his remains and the venue for the matter still needs to be decided.

Shortly after his death, two Wills have resurfaced with each one leaving the estate to a different person.  He died at a hospital in Bakersfield, California but those that wish to claim rights reside in a different jurisdiction.  A judge in Los Angeles considers it to be too early to determine who has the right to the remains and the estate of the cult leader that died in November. He was originally have thought not to have any next of kin and now that people claiming entitlement have surfaced, the decision over his remains and estate should be decided in a separate hearing.  The judge will also decide whether the case should be tried in the county where he lived before the crimes that he was involved in were committed, where he was imprisoned before his death or where he died.  Continue reading

Published on:

Although most board members of publicly traded companies are paid an annual salary, plus a bonus based on performance (usually in the form of company stock), being on the board of a company or organization tends to be a part-time job and most members have day jobs in addition to their position on the board.

But because board members bear a fiduciary responsibility to look after the financial interests of the company’s investors, they have to be very careful where they get the rest of their income. Accept some money or do a favor for someone from the wrong company, and you raise suspicions that you might have a conflict of interests.

Alan Kahn, an investor in United Flexible, Inc., an aerospace parts manufacturer and an affiliate of Arlington Capital Partners, filed a lawsuit in Delaware against two of Kreisler Manufacturing Corp.’s board members for allegedly conducting a merger in bad faith. According to the lawsuit, the two board members, Edward Stern and his brother Michael, received side deals from Arlington just before the board decided to drop its asking price for the company.

The lawsuit further alleges board members deliberately failed to disclose important information from shareholders regarding the merger. As evidence, Kahn’s complaint points to the fact that the board members refused to make copies of the merger agreement, requiring instead that all shareholders who wanted any information about the details about the agreement needed to be willing to fly to Philadelphia to see a physical copy of the contract. Continue reading