Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Spotlight on Past Price Hikes: Anticipating and Establishing Defenses to Price Gouging Class Actions

Six months into the states of emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a sizeable amount of data on how prices have actually moved, potentially leading to more private actions as plaintiffs now have the opportunity to review prices retroactively and establish claims based on hard data. Continue Reading

Use of Technology Assisted Review Finds Support in Northern District of Illinois

In a recent order from Livingston v. City of Chicago, Magistrate Judge Young Kim of the Northern District of Illinois provided useful guidance to litigants in the use of technology assisted review, or TAR. Importantly, Judge Kim affirmed what is known as “Sedona Principle Six,” the notion that a responding party is in the best position to design and evaluate procedures for preserving and producing its own electronically stored information, or ESI.    Continue Reading

Recent Decisions Spotlight Arbitration Agreements in Online Delivery Service Terms and Conditions

The global pandemic has brought about countless changes, including, for many households, increased reliance on online retail and delivery services, such as Amazon.

When consumers sign up for these services or place their orders, they are likely to see a notice regarding terms and conditions, which may include an arbitration agreement pursuant to which the consumer agrees to arbitrate disputes arising from the use of the service, rather than pursue their claims in court. Recent decisions underscore the importance of the terms of these agreements and the challenges consumers may face if they wish to avoid arbitration of disputes with service providers, especially when they continue to rely on those services. Continue Reading

11th Circuit Rejects Litigant’s “Creative Effort” To Escape Forum Selection Clause Requiring Federal Forum

Common practice dictates that plaintiffs often prefer to be in state court – and will sometimes go to great lengths to avoid federal court jurisdiction. That was the case in Deroy v. Carnival Corporation, a recent Eleventh Circuit decision, wherein the court rejected a plaintiff’s “creative effort” to escape a forum-selection clause requiring her to litigate in federal court. Continue Reading

State Price Gouging Laws and Price Controls: A Historical View on a Questionable Objective

Price gouging laws have become more relevant than ever, but a historical review reveals that price gouging laws may be a historically recent, and misguided development. It was not until 1979 that New York State enacted the nation’s first law explicitly targeted at price gouging. Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: A Guide to Preparing for and Responding to a Breach

A cyber breach can have serious legal, financial, and reputational consequences for a company, as described in our previous post. As such, cybersecurity threats must be treated as business risks, not just a potential IT problem. Senior management at a company should take the lead to ensure that the company is taking appropriate actions to protect itself against cyber risks. There are several steps that senior management can guide the company to take to prevent breaches from occurring and to mitigate the impact when they do occur. Continue Reading

Annual Contract Renewals at the Intersection of Price Gouging and Antitrust Laws

As annual supply contracts come up for renewal, businesses may be wondering whether price increases for annual contracts are permitted under the panoply of price gouging laws currently in effect. Parties may want to negotiate contracts with “normal” price increases, operating under the assumption that, at some point during the contract year, price controls will expire. But if states of emergency remain in effect when the new contract prices become effective, parties can find themselves facing questions about how the agreement can be carried out.

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