Trials, Arbitrations and Appeals
In 2016, the firm achieved a $40.4 million jury verdict in favor of our clients in a defamation case. After a 10-day trial, the jury awarded our clients more than $39 million in actual damages and $800,000 in punitive damages. The Court then awarded an additional $6 million in pre-judgment interest. The 2016 trial was a damages only re-trial of the 2011 defamation case discussed below after the NJ Supreme Court decided the appeal of the 2011 verdict. The firm represented our clients on appeal to the Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court. At the trial and appellate levels, we acted as co-lead counsel to our clients.
In 2011, the firm achieved $2.6 million jury verdict in favor of our clients in defamation case. We were co-counsel for our client -- a New Jersey based financial firm. At trial, we proved that our client was defamed by statements printed in a due diligence report prepared and distributed by the defendant due diligence company.
The firm achieved the dismissal of breach of contract claims asserted against the firm's client in an arbitration proceeding before the American Arbitration Association and an award of damages on a counterclaim and an award of attorney's fees. Our client was a construction company engaged to renovate a synagogue in Manhattan. The plaintiff was a contractor on that project that claimed it was owed money for work performed.
The firm achieved a six-figure jury verdict on a discrimination claim brought under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination in New Jersey state court. Our client was a cancer survivor and we proved she was terminated from her job at a private university in New Jersey because she had cancer.
The firm won summary judgment for a garment design and manufacturing client. The firm's client, a garment manufacturer operating in New York City, fired its independent sales and showroom company. The sales company sued, alleging a right to commissions and future profits. On summary judgment, the court ruled that the parties' contract did not provide any right to commissions or profits after termination. The sales company appealed and the First Department affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment. We handled the appeal.
The firm represented a horse racing stable, its principals and a trainer engaged in a dispute over whether a horse they sold at auction at the Meadowlands was improperly treated with a banned substance prior to the sale. The case was arbitrated before the American Arbitration Association and, after a full hearing, the claims against the firm's clients were dismissed. The arbitrator ruled that the sale of the horse was “as-is” and, since no misrepresentations about the horse were made prior to the sale, the plaintiffs had no grounds upon which to recover. .
The firm represented a European pharmaceutical company with a claim against a muliti-national pharmaceutical company for patent infringement and license violations. Our representation resulted in a re-negotiation of an existing license agreement at a rate favorable to our client. .
The firm successfully settled several actions in New York and New Jersey seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of non-compete and trade secret clauses. The firm has represented parties on both sides of these disputes. .
Mr. Olsen and Ms. Vecchi, while at Robertson, Freilich, Bruno & Cohen, LLC, represented General Cigar in its efforts to enforce its Cohiba trademark. As part of those efforts, General Cigar filed suit in federal district court in Las Vegas against a Las Vegas company engaged in marketing and selling cigars, rum and other products bearing the name “Cohiba Caribbean’s Finest.” The court granted General Cigar's motion for summary judgment and awarded the company more than $700,000 in damages and attorney's fees. .
Contract Drafting and Negotiations
The firm represents property owners and developers, including the owner of a large commercial building in Manhattan, in negotiations with various building contractors. The drafting and subsequent contract negotiations often focus on insurance, limitation of liability and risk of loss provisions and requirements. Many of the negotiations concern multi-million dollar contracts. The firm recently drafted and negotiated construction contracts with a value of over $100 million for for Hurricane Sandy renovation work..
The firm represents a social media company and other individuals and companies drafting and negotiating service and employment contracts. These negotiations often focus on trade secret and non-compete provisions. .
Employment Counseling and Litigation
The firm regularly represents companies and individuals with concerns involving employment and the protection of intellectual property, including the enforcement of non-compete provisions in employment and severance agreements. The firm also drafts and negotiates stock, employment and severance agreements for both sides. The firm also handles discrimination claims for plaintiffs and defendants. .
Mr. Olsen and Ms. Vecchi, while at Robertson, Freilich and Bruno, LLC, filed an antitrust claim for Swedish Match North America against United States Smokeless Tobacco in federal court in Owensboro, KY. A team of lawyers from Robertson, Freilich worked with lawyers from Debevoise & Plimpton and Kentucky counsel on the litigation. The litigation eventually settled. As part of the settlement, United States Smokeless Tobacco paid $200 million and transferred ownership of a cigar company to Swedish Match. .