Case News

Commercial Law Case Summaries

[12/08] US v. Scott
Affirming the conviction of a man for wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering in association with a Boston area mortgage fraud scheme because his unconditional guilty plea barred him from subsequently raising independent claims relating to the deprivation of constitutional rights and prevented him from complaining about the alleged use of information obtained during plea negotiation proffers where the plea was not involuntary.

[12/06] Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman
Certifying the following question for the New York Court of Appeals a question of state law; 'Does a merchant comply with New York General Business Law so long as a merchant posts the total dollars-and-cents price charged to credit card users' in the case of businesses that wanted to include a surcharge for credit card transactions but were unsure of how to do so legally, given the law, because the answer would impact the court's First Amendment analysis of proposed billing methods.

[12/04] Marathon Petroleum Corporation v. Secretary of Finance for the State of Delaware
Reversing the district court's conclusion that private parties cannot invoke federal common law to challenge a state's authority to escheat property, but holding that the case was not ripe for judgment and vacating the prior order of dismissal for its reentry as a dismissal without prejudice to permit the claim's pursuit at a later time, if appropriate.

[11/29] QDOS, Inc. v. Signature Financial, LLC.
Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment against a merchant in a case involving the sale of a high end sports car because the court determined that the receipt of payment in the form of checks from a third party made out to the merchant does not trigger common law duties not to ignore 'red flags' or 'suspicious' circumstances indicating fraud against a third party because payment by a check not in the customer's own name, by itself, is not a red flag.

[11/27] Flores v. Southcoast Automotive Liquidators, Inc.
Affirming the judgment awarding damages to a consumer from a car dealer and lender for fraud and imposing an injunction on the dealer's advertising under the Unfair Competition Law because the Consumers Legal Remedies Act does not prevent a consumer from pursuing causes of action for fraud and violation of the Unfair Competition Law based on the same conduct because the remedies are cumulative.

[10/12] Wiseman Park LLC v. Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits LLC
Reversing a trial court order sustaining respondent's demurrer and remanding for proceedings the case of a restaurant who purchased alcoholic beverages from a distributor and later sought to recover 'carrying charges' levied against them that they felt were barred by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act where the trial court ruled that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department had exclusive claims over actions involving the sale of alcohol because while the agency has exclusive control over issues relating to licensure the case also invoved contract, unfair competition, and declaratory relief claims.

[10/10] Teixeira v. County of Alameda
Affirming the district court dismissal for failure to state a claim in the case of a man who felt that Alameda County regulations that effectively prevented the opening of a gun shop because the Second Amendment does not protect the right of commercial proprietors to sell firearms.

[10/10] Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. v. Owen
Reversing district court orders dismissing motions for preliminary injunction in a case involving Nationwide's 'biweekly interest savings' mortgage payment model and holding that the company was unlikely to succeed in First Amendment claims that California could not make them include truthful disclosures in mailers, and that the company was likely to succeed in its claim that the Dormant Commerce Clause precludes California from making in-state incorporation a prerequisite of licensure to engage in interstate commerce.

[09/29] RSB Vineyards, LLC v. Orsi
Affirming the grant of summary judgment to the former owners of a vineyard that included a residence that had been converted into a wine tasting room because the room was structurally unsound and although the construction professionals involved should have been aware, this knowledge was not imputable to the sellers who had no actual knowledge of the problem and couldn't be held liable for nondisclosure of information that they were unaware of.

[09/25] Mission Beverage Company v. Pabst Brewing Company, LLC
Affirming the trial court's denial of a beer brewer's motion to strike a complaint filed by a distributor who alleged breach of contract in the termination of their distribution agreement because the cancellation of a contract that is expected to be followed by negotiation and possibly arbitration doesn't qualify as protected activity under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute and the ousted distributor's suit did not lack minimal merit on account of its termination and compensation clauses.

[09/25] Mission Beverage Company v. Pabst Brewing Company, LLC
Affirming the trial court's denial of a beer brewer's motion to strike a complaint filed by a distributor who alleged breach of contract in the termination of their distribution agreement because the cancellation of a contract that is expected to be followed by negotiation and possibly arbitration doesn't qualify as protected activity under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute and the ousted distributor's suit did not lack minimal merit on account of its termination and compensation clauses.

[09/19] Katz v. The Donna Karan Company, LLC
Affirming the judgment of the district court dismissing the plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction in a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) case because the printing of a credit card number on a receipt was held not to increase the risk of material harm of identity theft, but remanding for the dismissal to be entered without prejudice due to the lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

[09/19] California State Outdoor Advertising Association v. City and County of San Francisco
Reversing and remanding the district court's denial of a plaintiff motion for preliminary injunction for abuse of discretion in the case of a group of retailer associations challenging a San Francisco city ordinance that required a warning about the health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages they say violated their First Amendment rights because the associations are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that this is an unjustified and unduly burdensome disclosure requirement chilling protected commercial speech.

[09/18] U1IT4Less, Inc. v. FedEx Corporation
Affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant FedEx because the plaintiff, who complained of inflated shipping and customs charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) because the plaintiff failed to adduce evidence that FedEx Corp/Services, the alleged Rico 'persons,' are distinct from FedEx Ground, the alleged RICO enterprise.

[09/12] Campidoglio LLC v. Wells Fargo and Company
In a case alleging the miscalculation of interest on loans the court determined that the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA) does not preempt common law breach of contract claims, affirmed that summary judgment for the defendant loan provider was appropriate as it related to the use of unapproved indexes because the lenders gave notice to their primary regulators of the intent to change indexes and there was no objection, affirmed the denial of the borrower's motion for discovery sanctions because there was no prejudice resulting from the ruling, and vacated the denial of attorneys' fees pursuant to the HOLA ruling.

[08/28] California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland
Affirming a Court of Appeals judgment that article XIII C of the California Constitution, limiting the ability of local governments to tax, does not constrain voter constitutional powers to propose and adopt initiatives or raise taxes by such initiatives in the case of a city ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries and requiring an annual licensing and inspection fee of $75,000.

[08/07] Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition v. US
Affirming the Court of International Trade's decision affirming a Department of Commerce ruling in the administrative review of an earlier anti-dumping order, the court held that no error occurred in the determination that a Chinese saw blade manufacturer was seeking to sell their products at less than fair market value in the United States.

[08/02] US v. Stone
Affirming the district court's rulings in the case of a mortgage fraud scheme where the defendant alleged a conflict of interest but the court found that the interest was not significant and the court's judgment would not substantially affect the companies involved and because the sentence and restitution order were not an abuse of discretion.

[08/02] Olagues v. Icahn
Affirming the judgment of the District Court dismissing the plaintiff's claims seeking the disgorgement of 'short-swing' profits under the Securities Exchange Act from three companies owned by a single individual because the plaintiff had not plausibly alleged that the defendant had failed to disgorge all of the premiums he received for selling the put options at issue.

[07/28] Conroy v. Wells Fargo Bank
Affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a couple being foreclosed against alleging that there was misrepresentation and negligence associated with their contract with the lender and that the company never designated a single point of contact, as well as other contracts claims, but many of the causes of action were derivative to other causes of action that failed to plead reliance or damages and were not viable.

[07/26] Shaulis v. Nordstrom, Inc.
Affirming the dismissal of a case brought by a Nordstrom customer who purchased a fifty dollar sweater whose tag said 'compare at' a price of more than two hundred dollars, alleging that the sweater had never been sold by anyone at that price, agreeing that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim.

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