The role of juries in adjudicating cases has long been the subject of consternation and debate by those in the legal system. In civil jury trials, the jury acts as the fact-finder and must determine the proper level of liability (and where applicable, damages) to assign the defendant. Much psychological research has focused on how to craft trial procedures to assist juries with this complex task. For example, providing juries with both preliminary and final jury instructions has been found to improve decision-making processes and trial outcomes by giving jurors a cognitive framework to assess the evidence presented at trial. Other studies have observed that simplifying jury instructions, as well as allowing jurors to take notes and ask questions, can improve both juror comprehension and satisfaction. But how do jurors come to a verdict once they are sent to deliberate?
It’s no secret: plaintiffs’ attorneys want to win big. Using reptile theory, plaintiffs (and their counsel) are enjoying gargantuan jury verdicts. Through thoughtful and strategic lawyering, however, the harsh effects of reptile theory can be avoided.
The concept of corporate legal separateness has long been a fortress protecting affiliated business entities such as parents, subsidiaries, and sister companies from various kinds of liability and litigation. However, how much protection does such legal separateness offer the information that corporations gather and store when faced with vehicles of written discovery such as interrogatory requests or requests for production? In other words, if an opposing party requests information or documents from a party that requires that party to seek information or documents from an affiliated non-party entity, is the party then required to seek the requested information or documents from its affiliated non-party entities?
A recent order from a federal magistrate judge provides helpful insight to parties concerning the destruction of evidence and the proof required to obtain the ultimate sanction of dismissal of a case as a result of such destruction.
In McLaughlin v. Lenovo Global Tech. (United States) Inc., Magistrate Judge Gail Dein of the District of Massachusetts issued numerous sanctions against plaintiff but decided that dismissal of plaintiff’s case was too harsh a punishment after he wiped his company-issued laptop prior to returning it to defendant.
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.
Buy-side executives in an M&A deal negotiate with their sell-side counterparts for months, plying them for information, assessing the seller’s weaknesses and pressure points, and even making informal entreaties when the parties’ standstill agreement says they shouldn’t —all to get the best deal for the acquirer. Under Delaware’s contractarian corporate regime—that would seem to be a good thing.
The Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion that could shape how companies draft and revise two oft-encountered types of contracts: terms of service agreements (“TOS”) and arbitration clauses.
In Jackson v. Amazon.com, Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order denying Amazon.com, Inc.’s motion to compel arbitration in a case brought by a proposed class of “Amazon Flex” drivers. Amazon Flex is a delivery program run through a smartphone app that Amazon uses to engage individuals to make Amazon deliveries in their personal cars.
The choice of arbitration institution can arise at any point in an investment cycle: from finalising initial agreements at fund or portfolio company level, or on an ad hoc basis when a dispute arises.
To help demystify some differences – this article sets out the key features of three commonly used international arbitration regimes that an asset manager should take into account when making such a choice.