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Business Litigation

Litigation is an inevitable part of doing business in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive global economy. Trends such as globalization, financial innovation and the rise of e-commerce mean that even local mom-and-pops often interact with customers, suppliers, competitors and government agencies from across the country and all over the world. This higher order of complexity creates more opportunity for businesses of all types and sizes, but it also boosts their odds of becoming involved in a wide range of potentially costly legal and regulatory disputes.

The attorneys on LeClairRyan's Business Litigation team have years of experience helping companies quickly and efficiently resolve a full spectrum of disputes—whether the task at hand is fending off antitrust claims, putting a halt to trademark infringement or pursuing litigation related to fraud or breach of contract.

Our team members represent domestic and international clients in state and federal courts across the country, as well as in state and federal administrative tribunals and before various arbitration panels. Because we are well-versed in the legal pitfalls often associated with contract drafting and other daily business practices, we routinely help our clients make decisions and adopt best practices that dramatically reduce their liability exposure.

We endeavor to become fully conversant with each client’s industry-specific dynamics and objectives. This enables us to resolve complex disputes in ways that take into account our clients’ on-the-ground business realities. When pragmatic solutions cannot be reached, however, we are fully prepared to take cases to verdict.

Our attorneys represent international and U.S. businesses before courts, arbitration panels and administrative tribunals in matters involving:

  • Antitrust claims 
  • Business fraud, conspiracy, tortious interference with contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition claims 
  • Contract and covenant not-to-compete claims 
  • Corporate dissolutions 
  • Shareholder disputes and corporate control cases 
  • Defamation 
  • Trademark, patent, copyright, licensing, and distribution disputes and trade secret claims
  • Statutory claims
  • Appellate matters

Financial Litigation

In conjunction with LeClairRyan’s Financial Services Regulation and Litigation team, our attorneys routinely handle litigation and arbitration of cases involving allegations of securities fraud, insider trading, churning and unsuitable and unauthorized investments. We also have significant experience representing clients in insurance coverage disputes and in claims against corporate officers for breach of fiduciary duty or malfeasance in office.

Businesses and financial institutions also turn to us for representation in so-called “lender liability” actions, litigation related to UCC Article 3 and Article 4, and claims involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and surety/fidelity bonds.

In conjunction with the firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights team, we handle guarantor disputes, lien priority litigation, detinue (wrongful detention of goods), alter-ego claims (brought under the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil), successor liability issues, debt collections, judgment enforcements, professional malpractice, preferences, fraudulent conveyances, and other insolvency-related matters.

Appellate Litigation

LeClairRyan’s appellate team has decades of experience handling all types of appellate matters – from commercial litigation and employment litigation to federal and state appeals, administrative appeals, and appellate mediation.

Members of our team are strategically positioned to provide our clients with legal representation and counsel of varying degrees during the appellate process. With more than two decades of experience in the New York State judiciary, one team member most recently served as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the Second Judicial Department. In addition to offering clients this invaluable insider perspective, our team is composed of veteran appellate lawyers who began their careers as law clerks to state and federal judges, where they obtained an up-close understanding of how the appellate system is administered and how appellate judges decide cases.

Our Business Litigation services include:

  • Business Litigation
  • International Law
  • First Amendment

Representative engagements:

Antitrust

  • Represented a national franchisor in a multi-week arbitration proceeding in California brought by an area developer and multi-unit franchisee involving Robinson-Patman Act (price discrimination) claims and unlawful product restrictions 
  • Represented a division of a Fortune 500 company against claims of antitrust violations, resulting in a defense verdict on an award of attorneys’ fees 
  • Represented client in an eight-week jury trial alleging monopolization of an exclusive dealer in the market for transparent tape in the United States 
  • Represented manufacturers of submersible gasoline pumps against an injunction sought by the United States under the Clayton Act against the merger of their businesses

Business fraud and conspiracy claims, tortious interference with contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition 

  • Defended publicly traded company in six-week jury trial in Texas against a $70 million claim alleging fraud, breach of contract and alter ego theories of liability 
  • Defended publicly traded company against a $50 million claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with business expectancy theories of liability 
  • Prosecuted multi-million dollar claim by a company’s founder against various investors for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty 
  • Defended former officers of a major national bank that started a competing business against a $60 million claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy and tortious interference with business expectancies 
  • Defended a major investment company against a commercial real estate developer and its owners and directors involving the breach of a joint venture agreement, fraud, tortuous interference and conspiracy to tortiously interfere with contact, in a jury trial that went to verdict 
  • Defended a bank and its officers and employees in suit alleging fraud, tortious interference, conversion, violation of the Virginia Trade Secrets Act and statutory business conspiracy pertaining to the acquisition of a residential loan business by the bank 
  • Represented a non-profit association in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a malpractice case against the association’s outside accountants and a case for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion against the association CFO and Executive Director in which we obtained a jury verdict for $1 million 
  • Defended a corporate officer in a multimillion-dollar suit in the Arlington Circuit Court brought by a judgment creditor alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion 
  • Defended a suit brought in Federal Court in Seattle, Wash., against the president and CEO of a company alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and RICO violations

Shareholder disputes and corporate control cases

  • Represented defendant (the former president of the plaintiff corporation) in multimillion-dollar action for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and fraud arising out of a takeover play by outside investors 
  • Represented minority shareholders against the majority shareholder and the company in a two-week arbitration proceeding involving breach of a shareholder agreement, fraud, conversion and breach of fiduciary duties and obtained a $10 million arbitration award against the company and the majority shareholder

Corporate dissolution 

  • Represented plaintiff who was one of two shareholders in an action for dissolution of a corporation which resulted in a substantial payment by the other shareholder to buy out the plaintiff

Trademark, patent, copyright, licensing, and distribution disputes and trade secret claims 

  • Represented a start-up company against claims that its mark infringed on a competing company’s trademark 
  • Represented a Fortune 200 company prosecuting claims throughout the county to protect its registered trademark 
  • Represented the manufacturer of a dialysis product in defending a patent infringement suit in the Eastern District of Virginia 
  • Represented a motion picture company in a copyright infringement suit in the Eastern District of Virginia to enjoin video and international distribution of a major motion picture
  • Represented a builder in a copyright infringement suit in the Eastern District of Virginia pertaining to the use of architectural plans in the construction of residential housing 
  • Represented a franchisor in trademark infringement litigation to enjoin the unauthorized use of the franchisor’s trademarks

Citations:

Fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference 

  • American Model Home Corp. v. Resource Mortgage Capital, Inc., 1999 U.S. App. Lexis 2849 (4th Cir. 1999) 
  • Bay Tobacco Co., LLC v. Continental Distribution, LLC, 273 F. Supp. 2d 721 (E.D. Va. 2003) 
  • Bay Tobacco Co., LLC v. Continental Distribution, LLC, 261 F. Supp. 2d 483 (E.D. Va. 2003) 
  • Godlewski v. Affiliated Computer Services, 210 F.R.D. 571 (E.D. Va. 2002) 
  • Godlewski v. Affiliated Computer Services, 210 F.R.D. 568 (E.D. Va. 2002)

Trademark, copyright, trade secret, patent claims 

  • Design 88 Ltd. Partnership v. Power Uptik Prods. LLC, 133 F. Supp. 2d 873 (W.D. Va. 2001) 
  • Design 88 Ltd. Partnership v. Power Uptik Prods. LLC, 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21042 (W.D. Va. 2000) 
  • MicroStrategy, Inc. v. Business Objects, S.A., 331 F. Supp. 2d 396 (E.D. Va. 2004) 
  • MicroStrategy, Inc. v. Business Objects, S.A., 331 F. Supp. 2d 432 (E.D. Va. 2004) 
  • Tao Systems of Integration v. Analytical Services and Materials, Inc., 299 F. Supp. 2d 565 (E.D. Va. 2004); 330 F. Supp. 2d 668 (E.D. Va. 2004); aff’d 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 16378 (4th Cir. 2005) 
  • Knorr-Bremse Systeme Fuer Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH v. Dana Corp., 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 25438 (E.D. a. 20001), aff’d, 344 F.3d 1336 (4th Cir. 2003) 
  • Knorr-Bremse Systeme Fuer Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH v. Dana Corp., 133 F. Supp. 2d 843 (E.D. Va. 2001) 
  • Stephens v. Caruthers, 97 F. Supp. 2d 698 (E.D. Va. 2000)

Antitrust 

  • LePages’s, Inc. v. 3M, 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 3087, 2000-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P72, 846 (E.D. Pa. March 14, 2000), rev’d, 277 F. 3d 365 (3d Cir. 2002), reinstated, 324 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. 2003) (en banc), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 2932 (2004) 
  • United States v. Franklin Electric Co., 130 F. Supp. 2d 1025 (W.D. Wisc. 2002)