Complex Commercial Litigation



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

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.

    NY seeks to take on UK for high-stakes commercial cases

    New York Law Journal | July 21, 2017

    This column is about New York’s Commercial Division Advisory Council’s proposal to keep more complex cases in New York as opposed to the London Commercial Court.  Rochester commercial litigation partner David Tennant is quoted and mentioned as one of the principal members of the subcommittee that drafted the proposal.

    DOI Seeks To Pare Challenge Of Approval Of Mass. Tribe Trust

    Law360 | April 20, 2016

    Rochester partner David Tennant and Boston associate Matthew Frankel are noted as counsel representing Massachusetts residents in a case involving land the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has put into a trust for a $500 million casino project.

    Q&A with Nixon Peabody's Kate Martinez

    Law360 | April 18, 2016

    Rochester associate Kate Martinez is featured in this Q&A about international arbitration.

    Q&A with Nixon Peabody's Craig Tractenberg

    Law360 | April 06, 2016

    New York City partner Craig Tractenberg is featured in a special Q&A discussing his experiences with international arbitration.

    Better 'Prompt' Than Never: Calif. Subcontractor Payments

    Law360 | April 01, 2016

    San Francisco commercial litigation partner Matt Richards and San Francisco commercial litigation associate Stacy Boven authored this column discussing California’s “prompt payment” statutes which provide for contractors and subcontractors to be paid for their work on a timely basis.

    Wearable Fitness Tracking Devices: The Resolution of Claims

    Product Liability Law & Strategy | April 01, 2016

    The first installment of a two-part column authored by New York City partners Chris Mason and Kristin Jamberdino deals with the timely issue of resolving claims centered upon fitness trackers and other personal monitoring devices.

    3 Spoliation Cases You Should Know

    Law360 | March 11, 2016

    Partner and co-leader of the commercial litigation practice Jon Sablone is quoted in this feature article discussing three high-profile spoliation disputes featuring lost, destroyed or hidden electronic data and what these cases mean moving forward.

    Omnicare Raises Bar on Exec Opinion Suits in 2nd Circ.

    Law360 | March 07, 2016

    Boston Commercial Litigation partner Matt McLaughlin provides commentary in this piece discussing a Second Circuit decision on securities lawsuits over rosy corporate projections that fail to pan out in light of the Supreme Court’s landmark Omnicare ruling.

    Kinder Morgan: Federal regulations preempt state rules on proposed pipeline

    Union Leader | March 02, 2016

    Partner and leader of the firm’s litigation department Scott O’Connell is quoted in this article about the Federal Energy Regulation Commission and New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee’s conflicting requirements for Kinder Morgan’s proposed interstate transmission pipeline.

    Contenzioso commerciale negli Stati Uniti d'America – Italia. Rifiuto di testimoniare

    Il Bollettino dell'Associazione Internazionale Giuristi di Lingua Italiana | March 01, 2016

    Partners Charles Bernardini and Kevin Shea co-authored this article discussing the refusal to testify by an Italian witness in U.S.-Italian cross-border commercial litigation. Click here to read the full article.

    Enact Security Policy to Avoid Legal Woes after a Breach

    Rochester Business Journal | January 22, 2016

    Rochester Commercial Litigation associate Kate Martinez is quoted in this story about cybersecurity. Her commentary focuses on the evolving laws around data privacy and their increasing complexity.

    Lawyers Weigh in on High Court's Class Action Ruling

    Law360 | January 20, 2016

    Litigation department co-chair and leader of the Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation practice Scott O’Connell reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez that a settlement with individual plaintiffs does not foreclose on class claims against a defendant.

    Shaq Must Defend Lawsuit After Posting Insulting Tweet

    Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report | January 20, 2016

    Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard is quoted in this article about how the right of publicity affects social media use.

    What Banks Should Fear In 2016

    Legal Bisnow (DC) | January 08, 2016

    This piece, which describes the need for financial institutions to prepare for heightened regulatory scrutiny of their cyber preparedness, features commentary from Susan.

    Private Fund Regulation in 2015—SEC Levels Up

    Law360 | December 18, 2015

    Boston partner and deputy chairman of the Private Investment Fund Disputes team Stephen LaRose and Boston associate Kathleen Ceglarski Burns co-authored this article. The piece discusses how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s focus on private fund advisers has shifted from learning and information gathering to examination and enforcement activity.

    Ascertaining Potential Plaintiffs

    Product Liability Law & Strategy | December 01, 2015

    Buffalo Commercial Litigation partner Vivian Quinn and Buffalo Commercial Litigation associate Tracey Scarpello authored this column “ascertainability” developments to watch as the issue in all likelihood winds its way to the United States Supreme Court.

    Connecticut hospitals move near possible lawsuit over tax

    Associated Press | November 30, 2015

    This article notes efforts by Connecticut hospitals to fight a tax that the medical centers claim is unconstitutional and is harming hospitals financially. Litigation & Dispute Resolution partner Gordon MacDonald, who is advising the Connecticut Hospital Association, is quoted in the piece.

    Safe Data Starts at Top

    Providence Business News | November 02, 2015

    Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard, a member of our Data Privacy & Cybersecurity team, authored this column discussing how data security poses a paramount strategic concern and why proactive leadership at the highest organizational levels is required.

    Cayman Eviscerates Liquidation Option for Fund Investors

    Law360 | October 06, 2015

    Partner and co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice Jon Sablone and New York City Commercial Litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin authored this column discussing how the insertion of boilerplate language can now obviate an important and powerful tool of the Cayman Islands Companies Law and invest even more power in offshore funds.

    5 Lessons from Clorox Antitrust Case

    Law360 | March 12, 2015

    San Francisco Commercial Litigation partner John Foote and associate Blaire Stokes authored this column discussing the impact of the first court decision to allow a claim under the Robinson-Patman Act for discriminating between customers with respect to package size.

    New Era of Uncertainty for Calif. Public Works Contracting

    Law360 | March 05, 2015

    San Francisco Commercial Litigation partner Matt Richards and associate Matt Struhar coauthored this column discussing a California court decision recognizing intentional interference claims for second place bidders in public works contracts.

    Domestic Transaction Test Applied to Private Action under CEA

    ABA Pretrial Practice & Discovery | March 02, 2015

    Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard discusses the Second Circuit decision leaving open the door for governmental enforcement of the Commodities Exchange Act’s antifraud provisions.

    If Budget-Writers Sweep Dedicated Funds, Is It Legal?

    New Hampshire Public Radio | January 12, 2015

    Manchester Commercial Litigation partner Gordon MacDonald discusses the potential use of dedicated funds by lawmakers to balance the budget.

    Mixed Year for Madoff Recovery, Clarity for Private Funds

    Law360 | January 02, 2015

    Boston partner and co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice Jon Sablone and Boston Commercial Litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin authored this column discussing the 2014 year in Madoff-related rulings.

    Second Circuit Rules That Certain Offshore SIPA Claim Transfers Are Subject to Approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Courts

    Journal of Bankruptcy Law | January 01, 2015

    Boston partner & co-leader of the Commercial Litigation practice Jon Sablone and Boston Commercial Litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin authored this column discussing a Second Circuit panel ruling with potential implications for offshore feeder funds currently in liquidation and are seeking to sell their SIPA claims against the bankruptcy estate of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

    Why the Rise of Ascertainability Signals the Fall of 'All Natural' Consumer Class Actions

    Product Liability Law & Strategy | January 01, 2015

    Buffalo Commercial Litigation partner Viv Quinn and Manchester Commercial Litigation associate Anthony Galdieri authored this column discussing consumer class actions have challenged the labeling of food and beverage products as "All Natural," "100% Natural" or some variant.

    Mitigating the Risk of Contractor Ethics and Compliance Violations

    Contract Management | November 14, 2014

    Washington, DC, Commercial Litigation and Government Contracts partner Vince Napoleon authored this article discussing consequences government contractors could face for failing to meet compliance and ethics obligations.

    Attorneys of the Year 2014

    The Daily Record (Rochester, NY) | November 06, 2014

    Immediate past New York State Bar Association president Dave Schraver and Commercial Litigation partner Sheldon Smith are featured within this special section honoring the 2014 attorneys of the year.

    Five Questions With...

    Buffalo Law Journal | November 06, 2014

    This Q&A is conducted with partner Sheldon Smith. The profile notes Sheldon's practice and his community involvement including his Catholic Health System Board of Directors position. Sheldon also addresses the need to understand a client’s business, the importance of corporate diversity, and how attorneys can prepare clients for the future.

    Wife Substituted Wrong Defendant

    Virginia Lawyers Weekly | October 28, 2014

    This coverage notes a Court of Appeals ruling nullifying a woman’s appeal of a trial court award under a prenuptial agreement in Loewinger v. Estate of Stephen Jay Loewinger. Washington, DC, Commercial Litigation partner Vernon Johnson is noted as counsel for the appellee.

    Contacts

    Joseph J. Ortego

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Commercial Litigation
    Chair, NP Trial®
    Chair, Aviation Practice

    jortego@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 212-940-3045

    Jonathan Sablone

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Commercial Litigation
    Chair, eDiscovery & Digital Evidence
    Chair, Private Fund Disputes

    jsablone@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 617-345-1342

    Robert A. Weikert

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Commercial Litigation

    rweikert@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 415-984-8385

    Ethan E. Trull

    Partner
    Practice Group Co-Leader, Commercial Litigation

    etrull@nixonpeabody.com

    Phone: 312-977-4447

    • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2017 ranked as National Tier One in Commercial Litigation, Litigation—First Amendment, Litigation—Labor & Employment and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants. Received Tier One Metropolitan Honors in various cities throughout the U.S. in Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Litigation—Banking & Finance, Litigation—Bankruptcy, Litigation—First Amendment, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Mergers & Acquisitions, Litigation—Securities, Litigation—Tax, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation—Defendants
    • BTI Litigation Outlook 2013
      • “Most Feared Law Firms”—Honor Roll
      • Strong Performance—IP Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation
    • Chambers USA/Global
    • Legal 500
    • Benchmark: Litigation/Appellate

    Groundbreaking Class Action Returns $110 Million to JUA Policyholders

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