August 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

August 2016 ArchivesParties maneuver for support in typical construction dispute On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Monday, August 29, 2016. It is likely fair to say that larger construction contracts in California and elsewhere often contain conflicts between some or all of the various participants. Arguments or disagreements arise over contract specifications, quality of work, deadlines for performance, payment schedules, work approval and a myriad of other potential issues that could at any point erupt into a construction dispute or even litigation. The smooth completion of a multi-million-dollar construction contract is a relatively rare occurrence in the construction industry. Continue reading Parties maneuver for support in typical construction dispute... Tags: Construction Litigation Some say patients may suffer if contract dispute is not resolved On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Within the medical industry in California and other states, relationships between unionized hospital workers and management are often fragile. The functioning and success of a business often suffers immediate negative impact if a contract dispute arises. Skilled negotiation and assertive representation are typically key factors toward swift and amicable solutions to such problems. An ongoing disagreement in another state involves a group of union members who are registered nurses. Continue reading Some say patients may suffer if contract dispute is not resolved... Tags: Contract Disputes Business litigation lawyer must master client communications On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Monday, August 15, 2016. Attorneys in California are required to keep their clients informed on the details and status of their cases. Business litigators have an even greater challenge in

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Business litigation lawyer must master client communications | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Business litigation lawyer must master client communications On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Monday, August 15, 2016. Attorneys in California are required to keep their clients informed on the details and status of their cases. Business litigators have an even greater challenge in some respects due to the complexity of some areas of business law and business litigation. One issue that sometimes requires a delicate balancing act is in deciding precisely how much information to give the client.In some cases, too much information at the wrong time in the case may cause excessive confusion for the client. A fine line between too little and too much information must therefore be found. The key is to find the best way to adequately communicate with the client to maximize the client's understanding of the status of the matter. Giving the right amount of information involves taking into account what a client will be able to understand, depending on whether the client has a limited or more expanded knowledge of the legal system. Besides just explaining the bare facts of a situation, the attorney must become adept in educating clients on the actual real-life impact of the case information being imparted. Keeping the information provided attuned to the client's goals is also an art form that experienced attorneys usually master.After all, a business client is usually mostly concerned with bottom-line practical results and how those results may be achieving the company's goals or not. Experienced business attorneys find that excessive analysis of fine legal points is a good way to drive the client into a state of confusion where lack of confidence in the attorney's services may be nourished. The dynamics of such communications inhabit a complex framework of legal

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Oracle liable for $3 billion to HP on breach of contract | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Oracle liable for $3 billion to HP on breach of contract On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Contract disputes can be for a few dollars over a small agreement between friends; conversely, they can range into the billions of dollars when two giant technology companies are fighting over a contract that went astray. The latter category is applicable to the contract fight between Oracle Corp. and Hewlett Packard over the Itanium chip. The dispute came to a major climax recently when a California state court jury awarded Hewlett Packard $3 billion in damages after finding that Oracle was in breach of contract by failing to provide promised software for the chip.  The legal issue in the case appears to be fairly straightforward. The jury decided that Oracle breached the agreement to provide support to the Itanium and that the breach cost HP considerable revenue. With deliberations taking only five hours, it appears that the jury found the breach by Oracle to be clear-cut. Oracle has already announced an intent to appeal the largest verdict recorded in the United States this year. Oracle decided in March 2011 to stop future software development for the Itanium. In 2012, a judge ruled that Oracle had to keep providing software for the Itanium. Apparently, the company did not live up to the court order.Another jury in California disbelieved Oracle's defense in a dispute with Google about a month ago. The jury entered a $9 billion verdict against Oracle by illegally interfering in Google's Android phone business. Oracle will survive these breach of contract bumps because it has $56 billion cash in hand. Whether it can take more public relations debacles like these two without incurring major negative

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Intellectual property review centers on patent-granting process | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Intellectual property review centers on patent-granting process On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Friday, July 29, 2016. There are controversial issues about the quality of the patents that are being issued these days by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A report commissioned by the U.S. Congress and conducted by the Government Accountability Office places considerable doubt on recent patent quality due to the fast pace of completing applications that the Patent Office has demanded of its employees. One of the results of hasty patent issuance is an increase in intellectual property litigation nationwide and in California as companies are taking their competitors to court more quickly and more often.One of the problems is the reported lack of narrow standards that patent office employees can follow to assure some consistency and definition in the process. The increased flurry of litigation carries also an increased fear by companies that they may be sued. The problem, according to the report, is that the mere threat of litigation may deter some inventors from developing products. An unclear or overly broad patent description increases litigation due to the wide parameters of the patent. The GAO says that the patent office does not have a consistent definition of patent quality that is clearly articulated. There also appears to be a critical lack of accountability between supervisors and patent agents. This includes a weakness in the area of quality assurance.The political system is now engaged in a lengthy process of trying to pinpoint the problems. The step after that is to develop legislation and procedural protocols to correct the weaknesses in the system. Public forums are being held where a wide variety of public input will be received and digested into the evaluation

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July 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

July 2016 ArchivesIntellectual property review centers on patent-granting process On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Friday, July 29, 2016. There are controversial issues about the quality of the patents that are being issued these days by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A report commissioned by the U.S. Congress and conducted by the Government Accountability Office places considerable doubt on recent patent quality due to the fast pace of completing applications that the Patent Office has demanded of its employees. One of the results of hasty patent issuance is an increase in intellectual property litigation nationwide and in California as companies are taking their competitors to court more quickly and more often. Continue reading Intellectual property review centers on patent-granting process... Tags: Intellectual Property Design-build may stop construction defects, delays and overruns On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Friday, July 22, 2016. Judging from what appears to be an incredible amount of disputes and litigation that arises in construction projects in California and elsewhere, anything that can cut down on the number of disputes would be welcomed in the industry. One upcoming method, appreciated particularly by those owners who are developing the biggest and most complex projects, is called design-build. The process brings builders into the design process from the start and cuts down on the critical disconnect that later on creates so many differences between the design and the construction of that design. The design-build format cuts down considerably on construction defects and anomalies. Continue reading Design-build may stop construction defects, delays and overruns... Tags: Construction Litigation Construction dispute on runway paving job ends up in court On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein

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Design-build may stop construction defects, delays and overruns | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Design-build may stop construction defects, delays and overruns On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Friday, July 22, 2016. Judging from what appears to be an incredible amount of disputes and litigation that arises in construction projects in California and elsewhere, anything that can cut down on the number of disputes would be welcomed in the industry. One upcoming method, appreciated particularly by those owners who are developing the biggest and most complex projects, is called design-build. The process brings builders into the design process from the start and cuts down on the critical disconnect that later on creates so many differences between the design and the construction of that design. The design-build format cuts down considerably on construction defects and anomalies. Contractors generally don't participate in the architectural design of a project. Thus, with no involvement or expertise in the design factors used by the architect, the builder is layers removed from the design process. The result is that the construction can go off course as the building proceeds when the complexities and intricacies of design are misunderstood by the builder. The design-build method has succeeded generally in reducing the cost of projects and in delivering them 33.5 percent faster than traditional general contracting procedure. Essentially, one entity takes single-source responsibility for the design and construction of the project. This system, which combines experts from both arms of a construction project in the very beginning stages of design, has shown that it can eliminate cost overruns, which in the traditional method seems to be an omnipresent event. Design-build is gaining recognition in California and throughout the country. It's ability to reduce construction defects, cost overruns, and construction disputes of many different kinds indicates a growing future for

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Construction dispute on runway paving job ends up in court | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Construction dispute on runway paving job ends up in court On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Monday, July 11, 2016. It often happens in California and elsewhere that large construction contracts are not performed precisely as the specifications that are part of the agreement would dictate. When deviations occur, it is often the subject for a construction dispute between the parties. When the purchaser of the construction project is not happy with the final results, it may resort to withholding that part of the payment that has not yet been made.That tactic may lead to a reasonably quick settlement between the parties or it could require court litigation to unravel each party's responsibility in the matter. One such dispute is now transpiring between a regional airport commission and a construction company that is seeking the final payment of $601,201. The airport commission paid all invoices except that last one, according to a lawsuit filed by Diamond B Construction Co. in a state court recently. The work allegedly was performed in 2013. The contractor claims to have totally refurbished the airport's main runway for a $6.15 million contract price. The runway is being used by the airport. The airport officials reportedly withheld the last payment due to a post-project inspection in which "pop outs" were allegedly found.These are small holes in the asphalt's surface. Diamond B claims in the suit that it completed repairs in Feb. 2015 on the pop outs using the specified procedures and specifications agreed upon with the airport commission. The airport claims that a July 2015 inspection showed more pop outs and the need for more repair work.Diamond B claims it has received no proof from any experts for the airport that establish the

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Supreme Court adopts new intellectual property doctrine | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Supreme Court adopts new intellectual property doctrine On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Friday, June 24, 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided two cases that support the potential of higher damages in patent infringement cases. One of the cases involves a California company, Halo Electronics, Inc., in an intellectual property dispute against Pulse Electronics Inc. Halo complained that Pulse had willfully infringed on Halo's patent for a circuit board component that is marketed to Cisco Systems.A jury verdict below had gone in favor of Halo with a finding that Pulse in fact infringed intentionally on Halo's patent. Despite the verdict, the trial judge applied a legal concept that makes it difficult for triple damages to be proved. The verdict had been for $1.5 million in actual damages against Pulse, but the effect of the court's rulings denied the company the triple damages that the jury's verdict indicated was warranted. The difficulty of patent infringement litigation has been exacerbated by the rule that tends to eliminate the triple damages provision of federal law. When the return is not enough to justify the effort, the seeking of patent protection and damages in the courts tends to be a fruitless endeavor. However, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision overruled the lower court denial of triple damages. With Chief Justice Roberts authoring the opinion, it indicates that the Court is not afraid to take what it believes to be a crusty ruling and reshape it to modern-day needs.The Court sent the case back to the Federal Circuit for consideration of a triple damages award. A second case, based on infringement of a medical device, was similarly sent back for consideration of a triple damages award. The new intellectual property

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Litigation over endorsement agreement pits Nike against runner | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Litigation over endorsement agreement pits Nike against runner On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, June 10, 2016. California courts get their fair share of contract disputes dealing with endorsement agreements. An endorsement agreement gives a company the use of a celebrity's name, likeness and reputation for the promotion of the company's product. One of the most popular and lucrative kinds of endorsement agreements is the endorsement by athletes of the various athletic products that consumers buy. These contracts, however, can lead to litigation dealing with a wide range of legal issues.Nike is one of the biggest purchasers of endorsements by sports celebrities. The company recently sued Boris Berian, a top contender for the U.S. Olympic team in the 800 meter run. Nike alleges in the federal court lawsuit that Berian breached the endorsement contract between the two by signing recently to endorse Nike's competitor, New Balance footwear and apparel. Berian has used Twitter to make a public denial of the claim, saying that his contract with Nike was up in December. However, Nike says that it had a right to meet any offer after the expiration of the contract. Nike says that it did match the New Balance offer to Berian, and that Berian was legally bound to take Nike's offer. While this issue plays out in the court, Nike is asking for a restraining order against Berian to prevent him from wearing any New Balance products in the Olympic trials and while the case is working its way through the court.Generally, in order to get an injunction or restraining order, the plaintiff must allege that it would suffer irreparable damage if the defendant is allowed to take certain actions. Such relief is only granted where monetary relief

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June 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

June 2016 ArchivesContract dispute can escalate into complex litigation maneuvers On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, June 30, 2016. In California and elsewhere, land that is owned by a government entity may become the subject of a development contract in which the government agrees to allow a private developer to construct housing units on the land. This is the case in another state where a private housing developer has become embroiled in extended litigation with the county, city and school district governments. The fight is over a housing development project that was supposed to produce 262 homes on the subdivided lots. Continue reading Contract dispute can escalate into complex litigation maneuvers... Tags: Contract Disputes Supreme Court adopts new intellectual property doctrine On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Friday, June 24, 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided two cases that support the potential of higher damages in patent infringement cases. One of the cases involves a California company, Halo Electronics, Inc., in an intellectual property dispute against Pulse Electronics Inc. Halo complained that Pulse had willfully infringed on Halo's patent for a circuit board component that is marketed to Cisco Systems. Continue reading Supreme Court adopts new intellectual property doctrine... Tags: Intellectual Property Contractors do better when they check a subcontractor thoroughly On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Big contractors in California and other states now engage in a process of pre-screening their subcontractors in order to maximize the chances that there will not be complaints or holdups during performance of the contract. They prequalify the

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