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Business Litigation

Overview

Nutter’s business litigation practice encompasses the full spectrum of complex business problems, whether the client is a business or individual, based in the U.S. or abroad, and regardless of industry. Our litigators bring an abundance of experience, a farsighted strategic outlook, an acute sensitivity to costs and benefits, a passion for client service, and a dogged determination to win.

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Business litigation is not simply a series of tactics to win a lawsuit. It is a process of understanding the client’s business, analyzing threats or injuries to that business, quantifying their impact, and finding the most efficient and effective pathway to overcome the threats, repair the injuries, and help secure the biggest achievable benefit.

Your chief scientist and top engineer just left to work for a well-funded startup rumored to be developing a product that will compete with yours. These two top talents did not sign a non-competition agreement with your company, but they both know key information about your product and marketing strategy. Feeling threatened?

Your company’s earnings have been in continuous decline for five years. After a few months on the job, the new CEO discovers that the old CEO had been siphoning millions of dollars from the company. The old CEO claims the funds were part of a deferred bonus arrangement approved ten years ago by directors who have long since departed, but the board minutes are ambiguous and the former directors who are still alive are friends or business associates of the old CEO. Is your company in trouble?

A sheriff appears at your office—unannounced—with a summons and complaint. Your insurance carrier is suing your company. The carrier no longer wants to defend your company in a product liability class action. The carrier claims that, when your former risk manager applied for the policy, she failed to disclose that the company knew about potential product liability claims. How will you respond?

These are examples of complicated business problems that can keep you up at night, but Nutter’s business litigators will concentrate on your problems, developing and executing strategies to resolve them so that you can focus on your business. 

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Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Defense against claims of breaches of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements

    Pursuing and defending against claims of breaches of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements for a diverse group of employers across the country.

  • Represented a professional services firm against RICO claims

    Representing a professional services firm against RICO claims, claims which were dismissed by a federal court in a ruling that was affirmed at the appellate level.

  • Summary judgment entered in putative class action alleging improper deductions from collision damage payments

    Nelson Apjohn defended The Commerce Insurance Company in a putative class action in which the plaintiff claimed that Commerce violated policy provisions for collision coverage by deducting for so-called betterments when paying collision claims. After briefing and a hearing, Nelson obtained summary judgment on behalf of Commerce from the Massachusetts Superior Court (Business Litigation Session).

  • Represented individual defendants as part of trial team against claims of breach of fiduciary duty

    Representing individual defendants as part of trial team against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and freeze-out in close corporation. Following a five day hearing, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the clients on all claims.

  • Represented an equipment leasing company against claims of breach of contract and tortious interference

    Representing an equipment leasing company against claims of breach of contract and tortious interference claims which the court dismissed before trial.

  • Supreme Judicial Court rules in favor of The Commerce Insurance Company, reversing summary judgment and an Appeals Court affirmance

    Nelson Apjohn successfully argued an appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court, reversing summary judgment against Commerce and an Appeals Court affirmance of that decision. The lower court decisions held that an insurer could not terminate personal injury protection benefits under the applicable statute based on an independent medical examination by a practioner licensed under a medical specialty different from the specialty of the treating or billing practioner. Boone v. Commerce Insurance Company, 451 Mass. 192 (2008). Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly ranked the Supreme Judicial Court opinion as one of the most important insurance opinions of 2008.

  • Supreme Judicial Court victory leads to dismissal of putative class action against The Commerce Insurance Company

    Nelson Apjohn successfully argued an appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of The Commerce Insurance Company in a putative class action, overturning a lower court summary judgment holding that the Massachusetts standard motor vehicle policy provided collision coverage for so-called "inherent diminished value." Given v. Commerce Insurance Company, 440 Mass. 207 (2003). Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly ranked the decision as one of the ten most important decisions of 2003.

  • Obtained a defense verdict after a four-week jury trial in U.S. District Court (D. Mass.)

    We obtained a defense verdict after a four-week jury trial in U.S. District Court (D. Mass.). The case was brought by an Italian luxury hotel chain against our client, a Massachusetts-based building products manufacturer. The claims, which were for amounts in excess of $80 million, arose under Italian law and were brought in connection with our client’s decision to host a conference for its customers at the plaintiff's hotel in Rome. After extensive discovery and legal motions involving the interpretation of foreign law, we won outright before a federal jury. We are now seeking to recover the client’s fees and costs in connection with the case. 

  • Successfully defended an investment bank in an arbitration brought by 42 former employees seeking more than $550 million in damages

    We successfully defended an investment bank in an arbitration brought by 42 former employees seeking more than $550 million in damages arising out of employment contracts, deferred compensation agreements, oral promises, and RICO claims.

  • Successfully defended our client against plaintiff's claim that it was entitled to a more than $2 million success fee

    We successfully defended our client where the plaintiff, an investment banker retained to raise money for corporation through debt or equity financing, claimed that it was entitled to a more than $2 million success fee because our client purchased all of the outstanding shares of a corporation through a tender offer. The Massachusetts Appeals Court held that our client was entitled to directed verdict/summary judgment because the tender offer did not constitute raising money for the corporation.

  • Defended a large motor vehicle insurer in a putative class action in which the plaintiff claimed that the insurer violated policy provisions for collision coverage

    We defended a large motor vehicle insurer in a putative class action in which the plaintiff claimed that the insurer violated policy provisions for collision coverage by deducting for so-called betterments when paying collision claims. We obtained summary judgment on behalf of the insurer from the Massachusetts Superior Court (Business Litigation Session).

  • Retained as lead counsel for a class of 500 insurance companies in litigation against AIG and its affiliates

    We were retained as lead counsel for a class of 500 insurance companies in litigation against AIG and its affiliates where damages sought are in excess of $1 billion in relation to premiums on workers compensation insurance policies.

  • Won dismissal of all claims in a civil RICO action against healthcare complex

    We won dismissal of all claims in a civil RICO action brought against a regional hospital and healthcare complex.

  • Represented several companies and their boards in successful resolution of shareholder strike suits

    We represented several companies and their boards in successful resolution of shareholder strike suits brought in connection with corporate mergers.

  • Successfully negotiated resolution of a dispute on behalf of selling shareholders

    We successfully negotiated resolution of a dispute on behalf of selling shareholders of a privately-held software business.

  • Represented a bank in two-week jury trial resulting in a verdict finding breach of contract and violation of Article 9 of the UCC against a construction company

    We represented a bank in a two-week jury trial resulting in a verdict finding breach of contract and violation of Article 9 (Secured Transactions) of the UCC against a construction company. The case arose out of the triangular relationship between the bank, the construction company, and its subcontractor. Despite receiving notice of an assignment of the subcontractor’s account receivables to the bank, the construction company issued multiple payments to the subcontractor. Overcoming a multitude of defenses, we obtained for our client a judgment of more than $3 million, plus prejudgment interest.

  • Obtained summary judgment against an insurer that disclaimed coverage under a D&O policy

    On behalf of high-level executives of a Fortune 50 company serving on a board of an affiliated company, we obtained summary judgment against an insurer that disclaimed coverage under a D&O policy.

  • Obtained a jury verdict for defendant owner of commercial property

    We obtained a jury verdict for defendant owner of commercial property that one plaintiff’s purchase option had not been exercised properly and that second plaintiff’s right of first refusal had not been triggered, so that owner retained title to property.

  • Obtained summary judgment for owner of painting by 20th century American master against gallery

    We obtained summary judgment for owner of painting by 20th century American master against gallery that defaulted on $9 million purchase.

  • Obtained dismissal of putative class action

    We obtained dismissal of putative class action of purchasers of “scalped” tickets.

  • Successfully resolved a case arising under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”)

    On behalf of a bank, we successfully resolved a case arising under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”). The plaintiff alleged that that when he withdrew funds from the bank’s ATM, there was no notice posted “on or at” the ATM informing him that he would be charged a fee. The plaintiff claimed that the absence of an on-machine notice violated the EFTA, thereby entitling him to statutory damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees. The bank moved to dismiss the litigation, arguing that the plaintiff did not have standing under Article III of the Constitution. Shortly thereafter, the parties agreed to dismiss the case, with no money paid to the plaintiff.

  • Obtained dismissal in Illinois Chancery Court of claims

    We obtained dismissal in Illinois Chancery Court of claims by would-be purchaser of corporation against successful purchaser.

  • Obtained jury verdicts in plaintiff’s consolidated breach of contract cases against investment group

    We obtained jury verdicts in plaintiff’s consolidated breach of contract cases against investment group. To enforce judgments, we secured a post-trial injunction based on the group’s fraudulent transfers.

  • Mediated breach of contract action, resulting in an award of $2 million for individual advisory board member against former employer

    Represented client in suit against former employer for claims of breach of contract and 93A violations arising from a stock repurchase agreement. Mediation resulted in an award of $2 million, which was the full value of the shares that the client sought to enforce pursuant to the agreement.

  • After trial, bank obtains judgment in excess of $3 million against construction company

    Nelson Apjohn, Eric Magnuson, and Cynthia Guizzetti represented a bank that commenced suit as a secured creditor in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court against a construction company, claiming that the company had misdirected payments to a subcontractor in violation of contract and Article 9 of the UCC. In connection with a credit agreement with the bank, the subcontractor had assigned its payment rights to the bank, which the construction company acknowledged and agreed to. After an approximately 10-day trial, the jury returned a special verdict, finding that the construction company had misdirected payments—totaling $3,015,000.49—to the subcontractor.  On June 15, 2010, based on the special verdict, the Superior Court ordered entry of judgment for the bank in the amount of $3,015,000.49, plus prejudgment interest at a rate of 12% per annum from May 25, 2006, for distribution pursuant to the UCC provisions.

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