Hepler Broom, LLC

SCOTUS Charts Path for Forum Selection in Federal Courts

December 10, 2013

In many commercial contexts an agreement includes a provision that selects a forum for future dispute resolution.  Frequently, when conflict arises, a party may try to avoid the selected forum and file the first case on their home turf.  The other party to the contract has to respond, but how? Atlantic Marine Construction Co., a […]

Economic Loss Doctrine? Alive and Well in Missouri

December 10, 2013

Commercial adversaries are often tempted to transform breach of contract or warranty matters into negligence or negligent misrepresentation claims. Or fraud or other intentional tort claims. The lure of a more flexible claim before a jury can be hard to resist. Or the governing contract may have limitation of liability restrictions that make warranty and […]

MISSOURI LEGISLATURE NIXES GOV. NIXON VETO ON TORT REFORM MEASURES

September 20, 2013

Although the battle over state income taxes between Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and the Missouri General Assembly drew national attention to this week’s Veto Session, three lesser known bills will have a more immediate impact on civil tort litigation in Missouri. On September 11, 2013, the legislature overrode the Governor’s veto on three bills that […]

Can Parent Companies be Held Liable for the Acts of Their Subsidiaries? The Theory of Expanded Liability for Parent Companies in Illinois

July 24, 2013

** By HeplerBroom Summer Associate Tiffany B. Wong A. Direct Participant Liability Negligence Theory in Illinois In Illinois, it is a bedrock principle of limited liability deeply ingrained in our economic and legal systems that a parent company is not liable for the acts of its subsidiary.  Liability for negligence arises when one person breaches a […]

Illinois Supreme Court Analyzes Circumstances Where Illinois Courts May Obtain Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporations

May 30, 2013

In Russell v. SNFA, 2013 IL 113909 (Ill. Apr. 18, 2013), the Illinois Supreme Court held that Illinois courts had jurisdiction over a French company despite the fact that the company had no offices, assets, property or employees in Illinois, no license to do business in Illinois, and did not specifically direct product sales in […]

Welcome to Federal Court: U.S. Supreme Court Holds No Stipulating Way Out of CAFA Jurisdiction

April 22, 2013

On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles that class-action plaintiffs cannot circumvent the jurisdictional requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) by stipulating damages under the jurisdictional threshold. CAFA provides federal courts original jurisdiction over class actions where, among other things, the […]

“Pay-for-Delay” Patent Settlements Coming Under Increased Antitrust Scrutiny

April 1, 2013

On January 17, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report revealing an increase in “pay-for-delay” or “reverse-payment” patent settlements between brand-name pharmaceutical companies and their generic counterparts These controversial settlements typically involve a brand-name drug manufacturer who is granted a drug patent which gives the company the exclusive right to sell the drug […]

Corporate Counsel Take Note: Attorney-Client Privilege Scores Major Victory in Illinois Supreme Court

March 23, 2013

The attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest recognized privileges protecting confidential communications between two parties.  While the privilege serves as the cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship, the privilege is waived when confidential communications are disclosed to third parties.  In fact, the “subject-matter waiver” doctrine holds that where a privileged communication concerning a particular subject […]

Illinois Supreme Court Recognizes New Privacy Tort: Intrusion Upon Seclusion

March 10, 2013

Following the lead of multiple Illinois appellate districts, the Illinois Supreme Court recently recognized for the first time an actionable tort for “intrusion upon seclusion.”  Intrusion upon seclusion is one of four torts generally recognized under the umbrella of the “right to privacy” torts along with public disclosure of embarrassing private facts, publicity which places a person […]

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Insured’s Consumer Fraud Act Claim Not Preempted by the Illinois Insurance Code

February 22, 2013

In Burress-Taylor v. American Security Insurance Company, 2012 IL App (1st) 110554 (Cook Co. 5th Div.) (October 26, 2012), an Illinois appellate court recently reversed the dismissal of an insured’s complaint against her insurance company for alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (“Consumer Fraud Act”) (815 ILCS 505/1 et […]