Articles Posted in Contracts

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Paysys Atos non‐exclusive rights to use Paysys software and to grant licenses for that software within a specified territory. The agreement provided that in litigation with respect to a territorial violation, the prevailing party would be entitled to an award of its reasonable attorneys’ fees. Paysys sued Atos for breach, alleging multiple violations of those territorial restrictions. Three years later, 12 of Paysys’s 13 claims had been dismissed. Paysys sought a dismissal with prejudice of its remaining breach of contract claim, offering to provide Atos a perpetual, global software license. Atos asserted that it would consent if the court recognized Atos as the “prevailing party.” Paysys argued that if such a condition were imposed, it should be entitled to withdraw its motion. The district court granted Paysys’s motion on the condition that it pay Atos’s attorney’s fees, finding that Atos had succeeded in getting most of Paysys’s claims dismissed. The court held that Paysys was not entitled to withdraw its motion because the fee‐shifting obligation was a contractual one. The Second Circuit vacated. Paysys was entitled to an opportunity to withdraw its motion rather than acquiesce to the court’s terms. When a plaintiff files a motion for dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2), it takes on the risk is that its motion will be denied, not that the motion will carry additional consequences to which the plaintiff does not consent. View "Paysys International, Inc. v. Atos IT Servs. Ltd." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit reversed the district court's denial of Defendant Emmons and Wallace's post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law, and the corresponding entry of judgment following a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on his claims against defendants for tortious interference with contract under New York law. The court held that there was insufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to have found at least two elements of plaintiffs claims where the jury's intent finding that defendants purposefully targeted particular contracts was wholly without support, and there was no evidence that anyone stopped performing under a specific contract because of anything said or done by defendants. Accordingly, the court remanded with directions to enter judgment for defendants. View "Conte v. Emmons" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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A maritime lien may be asserted by an entity when that entity contracts with a vessel's owner, charterer, or other statutorily-authorized person for the provision of necessaries and the necessaries are supplied pursuant to that agreement even if by another party. This appeal arose from competing maritime lien claims arising from the delivery of fuel to a vessel between the assignee of a maritime fuel contract supplier and the physical supplier. The district court denied both maritime liens sua sponte and entered summary judgment for the vessel. At issue was which parties were entitled to the maritime lien under the Commercial Instruments and Maritime Liens Act (CIMLA), 46 U.S.C. 31301 et seq. The Second Circuit held that an entity such as O.W. Denmark, which agreed to supply necessaries and then contracts with one or more intermediaries to supply them, can itself be deemed to have "provided" necessaries under CIMLA. Therefore, ING, as O.W. Denmark's purported assignee, was entitled to assert a maritime lien against the vessel because O.W. Denmark could assert such a lien. The court also held that an unsecured entity such as CEPSA was not entitled to a maritime lien for the bunkers it supplied, or in the alternative, a recovery based upon equitable principles. Finally, the district court erred when it sua sponte granted summary judgment for the vessel. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "ING Bank N.V. v. M/V TEMARA" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit held that the district court erred in its interpretation of the contracts under the court's prior precedent and therefore, the court vacated the original judgment and remanded to the district court for reconsideration of the contracts employing standard principles of contract interpretation. The appeal stemmed from a dispute between Century and Global over the extent to which Global was obligated to reinsure Century pursuant to certain reinsurance certificates. The court held that the district court's determination that the contract was unambiguous was premised on an erroneous interpretation of New York state law. The court explained that the district court should construe each reinsurance policy solely in light of its language and, to the extent helpful, specific context. View "Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co." 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

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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

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Plaintiff filed suit seeking enforcement of an English judgment against defendant for failure to tender payment under a freight-derivative contract and asserted admiralty jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1333(1). The Second Circuit vacated the district court's holding that admiralty jurisdiction did not exist. The court held that, considering plaintiff's identity as a shipping business together with the substance of the agreement, the agreement's principal objective was to further plaintiff's shipping business. Therefore, the court held that the agreement was a maritime contract subject to federal‐court jurisdiction under section 1333(1). The court remanded for further proceedings. View "d'Amico Dry Ltd. v. Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd." on Justia Law

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In this dispute between a judgment creditor and a Connecticut State Marshall over whether the Marshal was entitled to a statute that awards a commission, the Second Circuit concluded that Connecticut state law was insufficiently developed for the court to answer the question raised on appeal. Therefore, the court certified the following questions to the Connecticut Supreme Court: (1) Was Marshal Pesiri entitled to a fifteen percent fee under the terms of CONN. GEN. STAT. 52‐8 261(a)(F)? (2) In answering the first question, does it 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? View "Corsair Special Situations Fund, L.P. v. Pesiri" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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Plaintiff filed suit against Lincoln, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Lincoln, holding that plaintiff did introduce sufficient evidence from which a jury could conclude that he revoked his consent, but that the TCPA does not permit a consumer to revoke its consent to be called when that consent forms part of a bargained‐for exchange. In this case, plaintiff's consent was not provided gratuitously, it was included as an express provision of a contract to lease an automobile from Lincoln. View "Reyes v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law, Contracts

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Carrington appealed the district court's judgment requiring them to pay plaintiff, the indirect purchaser and assignee of a limited prejudgment interest in defendants' fund, damages plus prejudgment interest for breach of the limited partnership agreement. Defendants principally contend that the district court erred in its interpretation of the agreement and should have granted summary judgment in their favor on the issue of liability. Defendants argue that, in any event, permitting plaintiff to withdraw from the fund would have precipitated a sale of fund assets at distressed prices, making it impossible for plaintiff to receive more than a minuscule distribution, if any. The court rejected defendants' challenges to the district court's ruling on the issue of liability. However, the court concluded that there were factual issues to be tried as to the calculation of damages. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings. View "Umbach v. Carrington Investment Partners (US)" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts