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Laine Hedwall filed a cross-complaint in the underlying action against CLP, Arcis, and PCMV, alleging claims for breach of contract, fraud, declaratory relief, and related causes of action. The trial court sustained CLP's demurrer to the cross-complaint with leave to amend, Hedwall filed a first amended cross-complaint (FACC), CLP then demurred to all but one of the claims against it in the FACC; and, while CLP's demurrer to the FACC was pending, Hedwall then filed a second amended cross-complaint (SACC). The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's decision to cancel the filing of the SACC on its own motion, sustain CLP's demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend, and grant of judgment on the pleadings in CLP's favor on Hedwall's sole remaining claim against CLP. The court also affirmed the trial court's denial of Hedwall's request for an order staying the proceedings relating to Arcis and PCMV. View "Hedwall v. PCMV, LLC" on Justia Law

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit certified two questions of New Jersey law to the New Jersey Supreme Court arising from two putative class actions brought under the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA). Plaintiffs David and Katina Spade claimed that on or about April 25, 2013, they purchased furniture from a retail store owned and operated by defendant Select Comfort Corporation. They alleged that Select Comfort’s sales contract included the language prohibited by N.J.A.C. 13:45A-5.3(c). The Spades also alleged the sales contract that Select Comfort provided to them did not include language mandated by N.J.A.C. 13:45A-5.2(a) and N.J.A.C. 13:45A-5.3(a). The Third Circuit asked: (1) whether a violation of the Furniture Delivery Regulations alone constituted a violation of a clearly established right or responsibility of the seller under the TCCWNA and thus provided a basis for relief under the TCCWNA; and (2) whether a consumer who receives a contract that does not comply with the Furniture Delivery Regulations, but has not suffered any adverse consequences from the noncompliance, an “aggrieved consumer” under the TCCWNA? The New Jersey Supreme Court answered the first certified question in the affirmative and the second certified question in the negative. View "Spade v. Select Comfort Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of West Davisville Realty Co., LLC (West Davisville) holding David Paolo liable on a personal guaranty of a termination of lease agreement between West Davisville and Alpha Nutrition, Inc. (Alpha). West Davisville filed a complaint against Alpha and Paolo alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The hearing justice granted West Davisville’s motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) any attempt by Paolo to point to purported evidence that West Davisville fraudulently induced Paolo to personally guarantee the agreements was not relevant in this appeal; and (2) the personal guaranty was valid because the underlying termination agreement was supported by consideration. View "West Davisville Realty Co. v. Alpha Nutrition, Inc." on Justia Law

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At issue was whether an indemnity clause in a rental agreement required the renter to indemnify the rental company for the rental company’s negligence. The Tower Tap & Restaurant entered into an agreement to rent folding picnic tables from London Road Rental Center, Inc. for an event. Plaintiff injured his hip at Tower Tap’s event after one of the rented tables collapsed on him. Plaintiff sued Tower Tap and London Road. London Road filed a cross-claim against Tower Tap, seeking contractual indemnity based on the indemnity clause in the rental agreement. The district court granted summary judgment to London Road, concluding that the clause unequivocally covered liability for London Road’s own negligence. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the indemnity clause did not include express language that clearly and unequivocally showed the parties’ intent to transfer such liability to Tower Tap. View "Dewitt v. London Road Rental Center, Inc." on Justia Law

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Unitherm filed suit against Hormel, alleging that Hormel wrongfully terminated a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) and breached a Mutual Confidential Disclosure Agreement (MCDA). Hormel counterclaimed and alleged that Unitherm breached the JDA and sought a declaratory judgment that Hormel owned the patented "Unitherm Process" for precooking bacon in a spiral oven. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment, dismissing Unitherm's breach of contract claims and Hormel's breach of contract and declaratory judgment counterclaims. The court held that Unitherm failed to present evidence permitting a reasonable jury to find that Hormel wrongfully terminated the JDA; Hormel was under no contractual duty to disclose to Unitherm whether it intended to continue exploring a commercially viable method to produce precooked bacon using a process that included superheated steam in a spiral oven; the spiral test oven did not qualify as confidential information; Hormel did not breach the MCDA; and the district court did not err in denying Unitherm's request for discovery. Finally, no reasonable jury could find that Hormel became the rightful owner of Unitherm's patented process. View "HIP, Inc. v. Hormel Foods Corp." on Justia Law

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University Park hired Linear as its Village Manager through May 2015, concurrent with the term of its Mayor. In October 2014 the Village extended Linear’s contract for a year. In April 2015 Mayor Covington was reelected. In May, the Board of Trustees decided that Linear would no longer be Village Manager. His contract provides for six months’ severance pay if the Board discharges him for any reason except criminality. The Village argued that the contract’s extension was not lawful and that it owes Linear nothing. The district court agreed and rejected Linear’s suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, reasoning that 65 ILCS 5/3.1-30-5; 5/8-1-7 prohibit a village manager's contract from lasting beyond the end of a mayor’s term. The Seventh Circuit affirmed on different grounds. State courts should address the Illinois law claims. Linear’s federal claim rests on a mistaken appreciation of the role the Constitution plays in enforcing state-law rights. Linear never had a legitimate claim of entitlement to remain as Village Manager. His contract allowed termination without cause. His entitlement was to receive the contracted-for severance pay. Linear could not have a federal right to a hearing before losing his job; he has at most a right to a hearing to determine his severance pay--a question of Illinois law. View "Linear v. Village of University Park" on Justia Law

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The thirty-day deadline provided by Practice Book 11-21, which governs motions for attorney’s fees, is directory rather than mandatory, thus affording a trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions. In this contract and promissory estoppel action, the trial court rendered judgment for Plaintiff. The Appellate Court reversed and remanded to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of Defendant. Defendant filed a motion for attorney’s fees pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 42-150bb. The trial court denied the motion on the basis that the motion was not timely. The Appellate Court reversed, determining that the thirty day deadline set forth in Practice Book 11-21 is directory. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Practice Book 11-21 is directory and therefore affords the trial court discretion to entertain untimely motions for attorney’s fees in appropriate cases; and (2) the Appellate Court properly remanded the case for a hearing on Defendant’s motion. View "Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman" on Justia Law

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In 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established to rule Iraq pending transfer of authority to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG). CPA awarded Agility a Contract to operate warehouses, providing that “[t]he obligation under this contract is made with Iraqi funds.” Agility acknowledged the impending transfer of authority and CPA’s scheduled dissolution. CPA authorized the IIG Minister of Finance to delegate contract administration to CPA’s Program Management Office (PMO). CPA administered Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), composed of various sources, including revenue from sales of Iraqi petroleum and natural gas. The IIG Minister delegated contract-administration responsibility concerning DFI-funded contracts to the PMO but did not give PMO contracting authority. Subsequent Contract task orders obligated U.S. funds. A U.S. contracting officer (CO) determined that Agility owed the government $81 million due to overpayment. Separately, Agility unsuccessfully sought $47 million for unpaid fees. The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals dismissed Agility's appeals for lack of jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), 41 U.S.C. 7101–7109. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The Board’s CDA jurisdiction is limited to contracts “made by an ‘executive agency.’” CPA was not an executive agency under the CDA. CPA awarded the Contract and there was no evidence that it was novated or assigned to an executive agency. The government acted as a contract administrator, not as a contracting party. View "Agility Logistics Services Co., KSC v. Mattis" on Justia Law

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A corporate shareholder sought a shareholder list to mail proxy solicitations for an annual director election. The corporation required a signed confidentiality agreement in exchange for releasing the list. After obtaining and using the list, the shareholder later declared the agreement unenforceable, and refused to return or destroy the list. The corporation sued, seeking to that the shareholder had breached the confidentiality agreement and that the corporation was not obligated to provide the shareholder access to its confidential information for two years. After the superior court refused to continue trial or issue written rulings on the shareholder’s two pending summary judgment motions, the shareholder declined to participate in the trial. The court proceeded, ruled in favor of the corporation, and denied the shareholder’s subsequent disqualification motion. The shareholder appealed. The Alaska Supreme Court determined the superior court did not err in determining the shareholder had materially breached a valid, enforceable contract and did not err or abuse its discretion in its pretrial decisions or in denying the post-trial disqualification motion. But because the declaratory relief granted by the superior court regarding the shareholder’s statutory right to seek corporate information no longer pertained to a live controversy, the Court vacated it as moot without considering the merits. View "Pederson v. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation" on Justia Law

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Corsair obtained a $5,443,171.33 judgment against the defendants. Corsair learned that one of the defendants had a contract with National Resources, entitling the defendant to a payment of more than $3,000,000 and obtained a writ of execution.  Corsair engaged Connecticut State Marshall Pesiri, who successfully served the writ. National Resources ignored it, relinquishing $2,308,504 to Corsair only after Corsair instituted and won a subsequent turnover action. Perisi sued, seeking a statutory commission. The Second Circuit concluded that Connecticut state law was insufficiently developed for the court to answer the question raised on appeal. The court certified questions to the Connecticut Supreme Court. The court responded that Marshal Pesiri was entitled to a 15 percent fee under CONN. GEN. STAT. 52‐8 261(a)(F). It does not matter that the writ was ignored and that the monies that were the subject of the writ were procured only after the judgment creditor, not the marshal, pursued further enforcement proceedings in the courts. The Second Circuit then affirmed the district court’s fee award in the amount of $346,275.60. View "Corsair Special Situations Fund, L.P. v. Pesiri" on Justia Law