[tlt_header important=”2″]Recent CK&E Highlights[/tlt_header]
Conkle, Kremer & Engel has been in practice for more than a quarter century. This summary highlights some of our recent achievements.
Heroes of the Battle
Conkle, Kremer & Engel had the honor of being named “heroes of the battle” by the California Court of Appeal in the unanimous opinion of Presiding Justice Sills, and Justices Moore and O’Leary:
“[T]he Conkle law firm were the heroes of the battle against the accounting firm’s malpractice insurer. It was the Conkle law firm who took an insurance bad faith case previously thought to be a loser and over which the accounting firm itself expressed severe doubts (doubts so severe that its previous law firm felt that it could no longer adequately represent the accounting firm against the insurer) and won the summary adjudication that led to the establishment of the [$1.875 million settlement] fund in the first place. It was the Conkle firm, after all, who managed to precipitate the settlement that removed the $40 million judgment then hanging over the head of the accounting firm (contingent on suing the malpractice insurer) and actually wring some money from the malpractice insurer.”
Other Insurance Matters
Additional recent insurance matters included CK&E’s work advising a major international company saddled with product liability claims from an acquisition. CK&E analyzed an array of multi-state claims and policies and guided the client to a negotiated resolution with the insurer, which led to the insurer accepting liability for a $46 million judgment. In a local matter, CK&E obtained defense and settlement coverage for a sexual harassment claim, which was settled with no expense to CK&E’s client.
An interesting case in CK&E’s anti-diversion practice involved a shipping container of branded products destined for Russia that was mysteriously waylaid in Helsinki. CK&E’s actions closed alternative markets for the product, prevented the products from entering the gray market and succeeded in recovering the wayward goods for the manufacturer.
CK&E often advises manufacturers concerning distributor relations, and frequently develops arbitration terms for distribution agreements. CK&E was able to use such a contract term to compel arbitration when a dispute arose between a foreign consumer products manufacturer and a former U.S. distributor. CK&E was able to defeat the distributor’s repeated efforts to avoid arbitration and to litigate in Florida, all the way to the California Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court requested immediate briefing for emergency review of the distributor’s petition for relief, CK&E worked through the Memorial Day weekend to submit arguments that convinced California’s highest court to dismiss the distributor’s petition.
Intellectual Property Matters
In intellectual property transactions, CK&E represented the buyer in three multimillion dollar acquisitions of intellectual property including trademarks, patents, copyrights and internet domain names. As for disputes over intellectual property, CK&E successfully used ICAAN arbitration procedures to recover an internet domain name from a cybersquatter who had co-opted our client’s trademark for popular consumer products.
In unfair competition, trademark and patent infringement matters, CK&E helped a client design comparative product labels to avoid potential trademark infringement. A competitor who later threatened action could not assert any trademark infringement claims, and CK&E obtained a preferred venue by immediately initiating an action for declaratory relief. CK&E then negotiated dismissals of the competitor’s patent infringement claims and settled false advertising claims for no monetary or injunctive relief.
In defense of a dispute concerning sale of an industrial machine alleged to have been defective and sold by misrepresentations, CK&E obtained a full dismissal of the case prior to commencement of trial, by demonstrating to the trial court that the plaintiff had disposed of critical evidence, preventing a fair trial.
In a complex business contract and fraud dispute, CK&E secured the dismissal of a $100 million claim arising from a failed acquisition of a technology company. CK&E prevailed on a summary judgment motion that exposed fallacies in the plaintiff’s theories of liability and damages, and used timely procedures and Swiss law to prevent the plaintiff’s introduction of testimony crucial to its claims.
CK&E went to battle for a member of a successful restaurant venture, whose partner had convinced him to sign an extremely disadvantageous agreement. CK&E successfully obtained a favorable judicial forum in California, defeating repeated efforts by the opponent to move the dispute to other state and federal courts. CK&E invoked oral and implied agreements to avoid the adverse impact of the written agreement and threatened injunctive relief that forced the matter to a multi million dollar settlement in favor of our client.
CK&E represented an image processing vendor sued by a major motion picture studio, which demanded that the vendor deliver for free millions of photographs from major movies that were stored in the vendor’s digital library. The case involved disputed contract terms and complex copyright issues. After CK&E invoked implied contract terms to defeat the studio’s effort to rely on its written contract, the studio agreed to settle for an amount that recognized the value of the vendor’s expertise and work.
CK&E successfully defended a national construction products manufacturer in a United States District Court trial. A putative purchaser asserted breach of contract and fraud, and claimed damages of more than a million dollars. CK&E assisted as local counsel for the defendant, and supported the out-of-state lead counsel through a week-long trial in federal court in Los Angeles. The trial resulted in a unanimous jury verdict in favor of CK&E’s client.
CK&E obtained dismissal of a medicare provider’s repeated claims against NHIC, first in federal court, then in state court, and on appeal.
This is just a brief recap of some of the more interesting matters in which CK&E was involved recently. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you how our experience may best be put to use to resolve your legal concerns.