Statutes permitting discretionary attorney fee-shifting for prevailing defendants vary in the circumstances under which fee-shifting is permitted. Two recent cases tackling the question of why and when a lawsuit warrants shifting attorneys’ fees from a prevailing defendant to the plaintiff who brought the claim reflect some of these differences. One case focused on “frivolousness” of the lawsuit, and the other imposed a “bad faith” requirement—despite the absence of such language from the relevant statute. The perceived motivation of the respective plaintiffs and purpose behind the statutes under which the claims were brought were influential.
Briana Seyarto Flores is an associate in the Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in both state and federal court. Her practice encompasses a versatile range of matters, including false advertising and unfair competition claims, consumer class-actions, antitrust claims, and contract disputes. She advises clients in connection with active litigation, government investigations and internal business strategy.
Briana maintains an active pro bono practice centered on immigration and issues relating to education and Constitutional rights.
While attending UCLA School of Law, Briana was a writing advisor to first-year law students and a managing editor of the Journal of Internal Law & Foreign Affairs. She also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Cathy Ann Bencivengo in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Prior to law school, Briana worked for several years in higher education while completing her M.A. in Guidance and Counseling.
In the latest of a string of losses for antitrust enforcers, the Northern District of California resoundingly denied the FTC’s bid to enjoin the Microsoft-Activision merger, allowing the deal to proceed a week in advance of its upcoming merger termination date. In a case that tested the bounds of antitrust law in vertical integration deals, Presiding Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley found “the record evidence points to more consumer access,” rather than showing signs of reduced competition. Federal Trade Commission v. Microsoft Corporation, et al.
Corporate boards are subject to a duty of oversight, as part of their duty of loyalty to their company. As outlined by Delaware’s famously stringent Caremark standard, pleading a violation of that duty is often difficult. However, the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued several recent opinions addressing duty of oversight claims where they held the plaintiffs successfully met the Caremark standard. These decisions serve as important reminders for corporate boards to thoughtfully carry out their oversight duties, in order to ensure that their internal controls, reporting systems, and other oversight-related practices are sufficiently comprehensive.