05
Sep

You just received a summons and complaint filed against your company by an employee, vendor or supplier, client, or customer.   What you do in immediate response may have a profound effect on what follows.  To position your company for the best possible outcome, here are five things to keep in mind in every case. 1.  Do Not Communicate or Reach Out in Your Own Your first instinct may be to try to communicate with the plaintiff—the person who brought the suit.  You ...

22
Apr

“Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” —Winston Churchill, 1942 The inherited wisdom about wage-and-hour class actions is that they settle after certification.  The assumption is that certification in wage-and-hour class actions is the decisive battle in the war; if lost, the only question is how big the price tag is going to be—the sooner it settles the less it costs.  Certification is ...

20
Mar

The Rights of Minority Shareholders in Washington Minority shareholders—those who don’t own a controlling interest in a corporation—frequently do not have a say in corporate financial or management decisions.  And in closely held corporations, such shareholders also may not be able to easily sell their stock.  But the law provides certain protections.  Among other things, Washington law gives minority shareholders the right to inspect certain corporate records.  Minority shareholders also have the right to bring a suit on behalf of the ...

09
Feb

A will that does not reflect the true intent and free will of the person making it (the “testator”) is not valid. One familiar illustration of this basic principle is the requirement that the testator have the requisite mental (“testamentary”) capacity to do so. Another all-too-common concern arises where the testator, often elderly and with reduced mental and physical capacity, is coerced into making or changing a will so as to disproportionately favor the coercer (called “undue influence”). ...

16
Sep

Arbitration’s near-ubiquitous use in commercial contracts makes it appear to be a handy one-size-fits-all alternative to courtroom litigation for business disputes. Unfortunately, as with most things in the world of dispute resolution, looks can be deceiving. Here are several questions to ask when weighing whether arbitration will fit your particular business needs. How important is the case? As a general rule, the more important the case is to your business operations, the less likely you are to be content with ...

08
Aug

Increasingly, companies are including arbitration agreements in their contracts with employees, customers, and each other, with the idea that arbitration will shield them from unwanted cost, delay, publicity, or liability. Among other things, there is a general consensus that arbitration avoids wasteful and expensive discovery, leads to quicker and more predictable outcomes, and sidesteps messy jury trials. But are these popular beliefs accurate? And if so, under what circumstances? Is Arbitration Efficient? What’s the most efficient way of ...

16
Sep

Some Critical Opportunities to Consider When Your Agreement is Made Part Four of Four (read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three) Unlike court rules, none of the ready-made sets of procedural rules for arbitration is set in stone. Agreements to arbitrate—and governing how to arbitrate—are just that: agreements. As a result, almost the whole of the arbitration process can be managed and controlled, if only a party takes the time to craft ...

07
Sep

Discovery and Depositions Vary Greatly Depending on the Rules You Selected Part Three of Four (read Part One, and Part Two) Perhaps the most significant area of difference among the various arbitration rules out there also is one where the differences are most significant: discovery. For example, under the AAA rules, an arbitrator “may” require the parties to exchange documents that they intend to rely on and “may” allow requests for production of “relevant and material” documents.[1] ...

21
Aug

Some Surprises You’ll Find Inside the Most Common Rules Part Two of Four (read Part One here) Some of the ramifications of a provision calling for arbitration with, for example, the AAA or under AAA procedural rules might surprise people. For instance, even when parties only agree to arbitrate under AAA rules, they also agree—by virtue of those rules—that the AAA will administer the arbitration (and charge its standard administration fees, which can be significant).[1] ...

12
Aug

The set you select can affect costs and possibly the results Part One of Four Rules of procedure—the rules that govern the process for resolving a dispute—matter. They can materially impact the ability of a party to litigate its case in the way it would like, the cost of the litigation, and ultimately the result. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for instance, are created by the U.S. Supreme Court following sometimes years of drafting work by judges, practitioners and ...