Complex Commercial Disputes



Protecting your business by resolving disputes predictably and efficiently giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Litigation Issues

The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing significant business disruption-related disputes, and Nixon Peabody’s Commercial Disputes practice group is actively addressing these matters to help clients wade through the challenges.

Click here for some of the coronavirus-related issues we can help you address »

Our approach

Complex litigation can be a costly and disruptive assault on your company.

By knowing your business, its strategic objects and your industry, we provide custom solutions that minimize risk, limit costs and protect your human capital. Collaboration with a firm that knows your business, your goals and your objectives helps to secure success on your terms.

Our deep bench of seasoned trial lawyers protects clients in high exposure “bet-the-company” disputes, class action and aggregate litigation and international arbitration.

We provide efficient, predictable and transparent services customized for your needs through state-of-the-art technology and project management.

We pioneer alternative service models and fee structures to ensure alignment with your needs. We are constantly innovating new ways to deliver client value. We aspire to be your strategic partner in solving your most vexing disputes.

We work with

  • Public and private companies
  • Corporate officers, directors and shareholders

Representative Experience

  • Georgia Tuttle, M.D., et al. v. The State of New Hampshire, Belknap County Superior Court, NH, Docket No. 09-E-148(2009); NH Supreme Court Docket No. 2009-0555 (2010) and related judicial, administrative and legislative proceedings.
    Acted as lead counsel for a consortium of over 300 health care providers, on behalf of themselves and a class of more than 6,000 current or past policyholders in the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), in an action that successfully challenged state legislation that required the JUA to transfer a total of $110 million in alleged excess surplus funds to the state’s general fund in fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011. Both the trial court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in our clients’ favor, holding that the legislation constituted an impermissible impairment of clients’ contract rights in violation of the New Hampshire Constitution. In 2011–2012, we successfully defended clients’ adjudicated rights in a sequence of judicial, administrative, and legislative proceedings culminating in the prosecution of a precedent setting litigation class action. Class certification was granted, summary judgment was obtained and, after a fairness hearing, the Plan of Allocation to return the $110 million in funds to policyholders was approved.
  • Signature Flight Support Corporation v. Landow Aviation Limited Partnership, Case No. 1:08cv955, (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 2010); U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, No. 10-1440, 10-1968, August 9, 2011.
    Represented Signature Flight Support Corporation in a multimillion dollar contract dispute involving a Signature sublessee, Landow Aviation, at the Washington Dulles International Airport. Signature claimed Landow Aviation went beyond what the sublease permitted. After a three-week trial, the court ruled in favor of Signature on all contract issues and entered a permanent injunction forcing Landow to comply with the sublease. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirms our 2010 trial victory and protects our client’s business interests against improper competition at Washington Dulles Airport for the next 25 years.
  • Skilstaf, Inc. v. CVS Caremark Corp., et al., U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, No. 10-15338, February 9, 2012
    Secured unanimous published decision affirming the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s dismissal of a putative class action filed against national pharmacy chains Supervalu Inc., New Albertson’s Inc., Walgreens Co., Longs Drugs Stores Corp., The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp., which alleged the pharmacies’ participated in an unlawful scheme to artificially inflate drug prices.
    • Wardman Investor LLC v. Marriott International, Inc. and Washington Convention and Sports Authority, Case No. CA 006427 B, (Superior Court, District of Columbia, 2010).
      Represented the Washington Convention and Sports Authority in a case involving a constitutional challenge to the public/private financing of a commercial real estate deal. In a case of first impression in the District of Columbia, the D.C. Superior court ruled that the Washington Convention Center Headquarters Hotel, a $550 million Marriott Marquis Convention Center hotel to be built adjacent to the new convention center in Washington, could go forward as planned.
    • Representation of a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in an action commenced by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office alleging that the company violated the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute as a result of off-label promotion and the failure to disclose certain product risk information.

    Employers face a ‘minefield’ of legal issues as they prepare to reopen

    The Boston Globe | April 29, 2020

    This article, which looks at the potential flood of litigation as the economy reopens, quotes Boston co-office managing partner and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns on the possibility of shareholder lawsuits at publicly-traded companies, even if companies have listed the coronavirus as a risk factor in their annual reports.

    Judge says COVID-19 can't be only reason to release ICE detainees

    New Hampshire Union Leader | April 27, 2020

    This article, covering Monday’s hearing in the case of immigration detainees at Strafford County (N.H.) Department of Corrections, quotes Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Nate Warecki contending why detainees should be released to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The article notes the judge “seemed to be leaning toward arguments” that conditions at the facility could be enough to make her order bail hearings for all immigration detainees at the facility—as sought in the class action lawsuit filed by Nixon Peabody, the ACLU and four regional law firms.

    Breaking Down Illinois' Biometric Privacy Litigation Boom

    Law360 | April 27, 2020

    In this article on the rise of BIPA litigation in Illinois, Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner John Ruskusky is quoted for his outlook on what it means for a defendant to be negligent under BIPA, and the technologies at issue.

    Former United Way VP asks judge for home confinement, claims he is vulnerable to COVID-19

    New Hampshire Union Leader | March 30, 2020

    This article highlights the efforts of Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Deane and associate Michael Strauss to secure home confinement for their client, who is currently serving a sentence in a Merrimack County jail where a corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Pandemic prompts urgent review of overlooked contractual clause

    Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | March 26, 2020

    Providence Corporate partner Adam Gwaltney weighs in on the implication of force majeure clauses, particularly in cross-border contracts. These boilerplate clauses are becoming a popular topic as businesses consider the possibility they may not be able to fill contractual obligations as a result of coronavirus.

    Hold off or proceed?

    Inside Higher Ed | March 26, 2020

    Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard says the lack of a fixed time frame for the completion of Title IX investigations has created uncertainty for colleges and universities during this public health crisis.

    U.S. corporate crisis bailouts may prove bonanza for insider trading, new study warns

    Reuters | March 26, 2020

    Boston co-office managing partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, a partner in the Complex Commercial Disputes group, provides insight on a possible uptick in SEC enforcement activity in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the new federal stimulus package.

    Fed Circuit deals loss to privateer-backed patent holder

    Reuters Legal | March 25, 2020

    This article highlights an appeals court victory for Nanya Technology Corp., represented by Los Angeles Intellectual Property partners Peter Wied and Vincent Yip.

    Dated Mass. courts present risks, opportunities amid crisis

    Law360 | March 25, 2020

    Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, of Boston, and Litigation Department chair Scott O’Connell, of Manchester, discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the near-freeze on Massachusetts court proceedings during social distancing in the commonwealth.

    Nixon Peabody nabs 2 new Chicago partners

    Law360 | March 11, 2020

    This feature story highlights two of the newest arrivals to NP’s Chicago office—Complex Commercial Disputes partner Jon Lively and Intellectual Property partner Dan Schwartz. Both attorneys said their prior experience working with NP lawyers was a major factor in their decision to join the firm.

    People on the Move

    Crain’s Chicago | March 09, 2020

    This roundup of personnel moves in the Chicago area features two of NP’s newest additions, Complex Commercial Disputes partner Jon Lively and Intellectual Property partner Dan Schwartz.

    Lawyers weigh in on importance of specificity in contracts

    Rochester Business Journal | March 06, 2020

    Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Rick McGuirk talks to the RBJ about best practices for businesspeople on the verge of signing contracts, such as reviewing boilerplate language on limiting consequential damages.

    Preparing for a lawsuit vs. your firm always a prudent idea

    Rochester Business Journal | March 06, 2020

    This article highlighting the steps management should take to protect a company’s brand during litigation features Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Carolyn Nussbaum discussing the value of enlisting a public relations consultant to help with messaging.

    Moving up to partner

    Long Island Business News | March 05, 2020

    This roundup of attorneys elevated to partner in the Long Island area highlights the promotion of Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Porzio, who is part of NP’s new partner class for 2020.

    On the move

    World Trademark Review | February 28, 2020

    This roundup of personnel moves in the IP space highlights the arrival of Chicago Intellectual Property partner Daniel Schwartz and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Jonathan Lively to Nixon Peabody.

    People on the Move

    Crain’s Chicago | February 24, 2020

    This roundup of personnel moves in the Chicago business world highlights the promotion of Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Laura Bacon, who is part of NP’s new partner class for 2020.

    Promotions

    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | February 13, 2020

    This roundup of promotions in the Boston legal industry mentions two members of NP’s 2020 new partner class: Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense partner Rob Fisher and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Morgan Nighan.

    On the Move

    Innovate Long Island | February 07, 2020

    This round-up of personnel moves in the legal industry mentions Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Porzio, who officially joined the NP partnership at the start of February.

    FTC steps up actions against VoIP providers to abet scammers

    Rochester Business Journal | January 17, 2020

    In his latest monthly column, Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk analyzes a recent action by the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on VoIP providers who turn a blind eye to their clients’ unlawful telemarketing practices. Washington, DC, Complex Commercial Disputes associate Brian Donnelly and Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Zach Osinski contributed to the article.

    Chancery energizes investor bids to probe corporations

    Law360 | January 17, 2020

    Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner George Skelly and partner-elect Morgan Nighan analyze a recent decision in Delaware Chancery Court that could broaden stockholders’ ability to inspect a corporation’s books and records without evidence of a specific violation by directors.

    To avoid lawsuits, companies should make websites ADA complaint

    Rochester Business Journal | December 20, 2019

    Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk co-wrote this contributed article analyzing the recent wave of lawsuits against companies whose websites and mobile apps are alleged to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The column draws on an NP Alert written by Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt McLaughlin, Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan, and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Marx Calderon.

    Biggest Illinois Decisions of 2019

    Law360 | December 19, 2019

    This article includes quotes and legal insights from Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Seth Horvath and Richard Tilghman discussing some of year’s biggest Illinois decisions.

    Career Tracker

    Reuters Legal | November 12, 2019

    This roundup of personnel moves in the legal industry highlights the promotions of Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns and Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Chris Froeb to co-OMPs of the Boston office.

    Adam Leitman Bailey Firm Sued by Trucking Business for $7M After Ex-Client's Trial Loss

    New York Law Journal | August 28, 2019

    This article is about a trucking businessman who is suing his former lawyers for malpractice related to losing a property dispute against Nixon Peabody client Frank Arnold. The coverage mentions Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Daniel Gibbons for leading the team that secured the trial victory—winning more than $3.8 million.

    CDLB People

    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | August 07, 2019

    This coverage highlights the arrival of Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Michael Summerhill, a corporate and appellate litigator who represents clients across the country in a variety of matters.

    Nixon Peabody picks up litigator from Freeborn & Peters

    Law360 | August 07, 2019

    This coverage highlights the arrival of Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner Michael Summerhill, a corporate and appellate litigator who represents clients across the country in a variety of matters.

    Promotions

    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | July 25, 2019

    This roundup of personnel moves in the area’s legal scene highlights the promotion of Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Stephen LaRose to co-leader of the practice group.

    ‘In pari delicto’ preempted by statute

    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | July 18, 2019

    This story mentions Boston Complex Commercial Disputes counsel Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero for his representation of the Chelsea Housing Authority in a recent victory before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

    Pa. firm to refinance many Morgan properties, become partner, per court filing

    The Daily Record | July 17, 2019

    This story quotes from a court filing by Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Richard McGuirk on behalf of client ESL Federal Credit Union, which is trying to collect nearly $18 million in delinquent loans from a Pennsylvania-based property owner.

    The gender pay gap won’t fix itself

    Crain’s Chicago Business | July 11, 2019

    Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes associate Laura Bacon wrote this contributed article analyzing the US Women’s Soccer team’s battle for equal pay, and highlighting their remarkable record of success on the pitch.

    MCBA President’s Message: MCBA harnesses the power of the collective

    The Daily Record | July 10, 2019

    Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Carolyn Nussbaum, who was sworn in last month as the new president of the Monroe County Bar Association, wrote this contributed article about why she wanted to lead the organization and how attorneys can maximize their impact by working together.

    Massachusetts accountants liable if they miss client fraud

    Law360 | July 09, 2019

    This article mentions Boston Complex Commercial Disputes counsel Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero for his representation of the Chelsea Housing Authority in a complex matter before the Supreme Judicial Court to determine proportional liability for fraud committed by the authority’s former director.

    Appeals court issues split ruling on Whole Foods project

    The Daily Record | July 01, 2019

    This article mentions Buffalo Complex Commercial Disputes counsel Laurie Styka Bloom for her representation of a local neighborhood association in an ongoing dispute over the details of a proposed development in Rochester.

    Movers & Shakers

    The Deal | June 19, 2019

    This roundup of executive news highlights the arrival of Complex Commercial Disputes partner Daniel Schnapp, who will be based in NP’s New York City office.

    Banker Cannava claims victory over SEC in 38 Studios case

    The Bond Buyer | June 12, 2019

    In the following coverage, Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted regarding the favorable district court decision for Nixon Peabody’s client, a Wells Fargo banker cleared of charges related to his role in the bond transaction for 38 Studios. The team on this matter also included partners Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Stephen LaRose and Steven Richard, associate Charles Dell’Anno and paralegal Kanda Faye.

    Judge clears banker in 38 Studios case

    The Providence Journal | June 12, 2019

    In the following coverage, Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted regarding the favorable District Court decision for NP’s client, a Wells Fargo banker cleared of charges related to his role in the bond transaction for 38 Studios. The NP team on this matter also included partners Kathleen Ceglarski Burns, Stephen LaRose and Steven Richard, associate Charles Dell’Anno and paralegal Kanda Faye.

    Challenge to inactive RIBA dues mooted

    Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | June 12, 2019

    This article mentions Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Armando Batastini for his representation of the Rhode Island Bar Association in a hearing before the state Supreme Court on whether inactive attorneys should be required to maintain a dues-paying membership with the state bar. The case has been mooted due to RIBA’s approval of a revised dues structure.

    How I Made Partner: Nixon Peabody’s Kathleen Ceglarski Burns

    Law360 | May 31, 2019

    In this Q&A, Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns discusses her legal career and path to partnership.

    Barclays, law firm force old-debt fight into arbitration

    Law360 | April 30, 2019

    Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Morgan Nighan is mentioned in this story for her co-representation of Barclays Bank Delaware in a successful effort to dismiss a proposed class action involving the collection of time-barred debt from credit customers.

    Litigators of the Week

    Law.com Litigation Daily | April 04, 2019

    Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Scott O’Connell, head of the Litigation Department, is named one of the Litigators of the Week for securing an award of legal fees for his clients, a group of 26 New Hampshire hospitals who sued the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The litigation team also included Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associates Morgan Nighan and Kierstan Schultz.

    Accountants, What Are They Good For? Mass. Top Court Asks

    Law360 | March 05, 2019

    Boston commercial complex disputes counsel Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero is quoted in this article and noted as the attorney representing Chelsea Housing Authority in Massachusetts in an accounting lawsuit.

    CVN's Top 10 most impressive defense verdicts of 2018

    Courtroom View Network | January 11, 2019

    Nixon Peabody’s trial victory on behalf of client Daher-Socata has been selected as one of the 10 most impressive defense verdicts of 2018 by Courtroom View Network. Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego led the NP team.

    Daily Dicta In air crash suit jury sides with Nixon Peabody and Akerman client Daher-Socata

    American Lawyer | November 20, 2018

    This article quotes Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Joe Ortego throughout and provides an in-depth look at the recent three-week jury trial in Broward County, Florida, where Nixon Peabody’s trial team helped secure a defense verdict for client Daher-Socata Aerospace.

    Florida jury clears aircraft maker in personal injury suit

    Law360 | November 18, 2018

    Long Island partner Joe Ortego, San Francisco partner Brian Dalrymple and Buffalo associate Erik Goergen, all of the Complex Commercial Disputes practice group, are mentioned in this story for securing a jury trial victory for Daher-Socata Aerospace in a complex, three-week trial in Florida.

    Del. Justices uphold duty waiver in $43M LLC sale

    Law360 | September 20, 2018

    This article mentions Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Mason as counsel in the Delaware Supreme Court affirmance in Miller v. HCP Trumpet Investments, LLC.

    AngioDynamics says rival must stay in $145M damages row

    Law360 | September 18, 2018

    Albany Complex Commercial Disputes partner Bill Reynolds is mentioned in this story for his representation of AngioDynamics Inc. in an ongoing dispute with Biolitec AG.

    Court orders Pittsford board to approve controversial Westport Crossing

    Democrat & Chronicle | September 13, 2018

    Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Thomas is quoted in this article for his representation of a developer in its efforts to build a luxury apartment complex in Pittsford, NY.

    Del. Justices probe LLC duty waiver in $43M sale appeal

    Law360 | September 12, 2018

    This article describes Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Mason’s appellate argument before all five Delaware Supreme Court justices in Miller v. HCP Trumpet Investments, LLC.

    State AGs at odds over Google privacy pact at high court

    Law360 | September 05, 2018

    This article mentions Complex Commercial Disputes partners Chris Mason, Sarah André, Dan Deane and Seth Horvath as counsel for The New York Bar Foundation and The New York State Bar Association in an amicus brief—filed with the United States Supreme Court—in support of the approval by a California District Court, and the Ninth Circuit, of Google’s settlement involving a “cy pres” remedy in a privacy-related case.

    Post-acquisition dispute resolution challenges

    Financier Worldwide | August 31, 2018

    Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Jon Sablone is quoted in this article for his outlook on the most common disputes in transactions and the easiest way to avoid them.

    According to a recent study/survey … End-of-August 2018 edition

    Modern Restaurant Management | August 29, 2018

    This end-of-month roundup of top restaurant news includes highlights from Nixon Peabody’s Food, Beverage & Agriculture team’s quarterly Crystal Ball outlook report. Boston Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy partner Lee Harrington, Los Angeles Corporate partner Ellie Altshuler, Rochester Corporate partner Tyler Savage, and Buffalo Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tracey Scarpello are quoted.

    Consumer protection – preemption – eyedrops

    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | August 27, 2018

    Litigation Department head Scott O’Connell is mentioned in this case summary for his role as co-counsel for a group of pharmaceutical companies. The companies successfully defended a suit by a class of customers seeking to force changes to the design of the companies’ eyedrops bottles.

    Federal bar lauds adoption of ‘Kelvey’ depo standards

    Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | August 15, 2018

    Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard is quoted in this article about a District Court ruling that affirms the Kelvey rules of conduct for depositions, which are already standard among many attorneys in federal court.

    Mass. top court nixes 911 suit, bars LLC whistleblowers

    Law360 | August 06, 2018

    Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Bill Codinha and Complex Commercial Disputes associate Chris Queenin are mentioned in this story as counsel to telephone provider Paetec Communications Inc. in an ongoing matter regarding emergency dispatch surcharges paid to Massachusetts.

    Senate approves limits on ‘noncompete’ clauses

    The Boston Globe | July 25, 2018

    Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt McLaughlin is quoted in this article for his view on the “garden leave” provision in the Massachusetts Legislature’s proposed bill restricting noncompete clauses.

    Legal implications of 3D printing in construction loom

    Engineering News-Record (ENR) | June 27, 2018

    San Francisco complex commercial disputes associate Aldo Ibarra wrote this contributed article on the legal implications of the increasing use of 3D printers in large-scale construction projects.

    New Hampshire, hospitals strike $1.7 billion reimbursement deal

    Reuters | June 05, 2018

    Litigation Department Chair Scott O’Connell is quoted in this article on a “significant breakthrough” the Nixon Peabody team achieved in its representation of a group of 26 New Hampshire hospitals seeking reimbursement from the state for indigent care costs.

    When a fee becomes a tax: The difference between NH’s two key funding sources

    New Hampshire Business Review | May 10, 2018

    Manchester complex commercial dispute associates Kierstan Schultz and Nate Warecki authored this column discussing how New Hampshire distinguishes the difference between taxes and fees, the government’s two main sources of revenue, under law.

    Contacts

    Stephen M. LaRose

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Complex Commercial Disputes;
    Deputy Leader, Private Fund Disputes

    slarose@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 617-345-1119

    Robert A. Weikert

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Complex Commercial Disputes

    rweikert@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 415-984-8385

    • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
    • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
    • BTI Litigation Outlook 2019: “Most Feared Law Firms”—Honor Roll
    • Chambers USA/Global
    • Legal 500
    • Benchmark: Litigation/Appellate

    Groundbreaking Class Action Returns $110 Million to JUA Policyholders

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