Richard S. Order represents clients in business disputes involving claims such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, antitrust, franchise, false advertising, ERISA, fraud, RICO, business torts, unfair trade practices and competition, breach of employment and non-compete agreements, vexatious litigation, and tortious interference in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country.
Mr. Order has represented clients also in domestic and international arbitrations and mediations before such alternative dispute resolution providers as the American Arbitration Association, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, and the National Association of Securities Dealers Dispute Resolution, now merged into FINRA. Mr. Order serves as a member of the American Arbitration Association's National Roster of Neutrals.
One of Mr. Order's first prominent trials was Petereit v. S.B. Thomas, Inc., 853 F. Supp. 55 (D. Conn. 1993), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 63 F.3d 1169 (2d Cir. 1995), in which he represented plaintiff distributors of Thomas's English Muffins. This case established criteria for determining the elements of a franchise and the concept of constructive termination of a franchise and is cited as a seminal decision under the Connecticut Franchise Act and as persuasive authority in construing other state franchise statutes. After an eight-day trial, Mr. Order obtained a ruling that the distributorships were, in fact, franchises, and the court issued an injunction requiring S.B. Thomas to restore the distributors' territories and delivery routes. After appeal, S.B. Thomas converted to a franchise system and established formal franchises for the distributors.
Other significant cases Mr. Order has handled include:
Ambrogio v. Beaver Road Associates, 267 Conn. 148 (2003): On behalf of an oral surgeon, Mr. Order brought a breach of contract claim against the contractor who built out the surgeon's office, which later suffered constant moisture filtration through the floors. The Superior Court dismissed the surgeon's consequential damages claim for lost profits resulting from the unsanitary conditions, but the Appellate Court and the Supreme Court held that such consequential damages are available remedies in a breach of construction contract claim.
Cahaly v. Benistar Property Exchange Trust Co. (2001-2003): Mr. Order defended property exchange and employer benefits companies and officers in a four-week jury trial in the Business Litigation Session of Superior Court in Boston against breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and unfair trade practices claims.
Cahaly v. Benistar Property Exchange Trust Co., 268 Conn. 264 (2004): One of the plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case described above sued also in Connecticut Superior Court, seeking solely a prejudgment remedy ("PJR") of attachment in anticipation of obtaining a judgment in the Massachusetts case. The Superior Court granted the PJR, and the Appellate Court affirmed. In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed on the grounds that the plaintiff had prematurely commenced an action for enforcement of a foreign judgment before obtaining judgment and that PJRs are not available in Connecticut to secure potential future judgments in foreign courts.
San v. United Magazine Company (1995-1996): Mr. Order defended a periodicals distribution company and its officers in a six-week jury trial in state court in Columbus, Ohio against defamation, promissory estoppel, breach of employment agreement, and fraud claims.
Travelers Ins. Co. v. Allied-Signal (1990-1992): In federal court in Connecticut, Mr. Order represented Northeast Utilities in a rare form of class action (defendants class action) and federal interpleader brought by Travelers against the ten largest investors in its real estate investment account for pension funds. The pension funds obtained a large settlement.
Turbine Controls, Inc. v. Aviall (1992-1993): After an evidentiary hearing before the American Arbitration Association, Mr. Order obtained a mid-six figure arbitration award for an FAA repair shop against an American Airlines affiliate for breach of contract.
Jarrow Formulas v. International Nutrition Company
(2001-2006): Mr. Order defended a Dutch nutritional supplement company and its U.S. attorney against vexatious litigation and antitrust claims stemming from their commencement of a patent and trademark
infringement action. The underlying action had been dismissed because the district court granted comity to a French court's determination that the Dutch company was not the owner of the U.S. patent. Mr. Order's defense was that the prior attorney and the client had probable cause to commence and maintain the infringement action and that the U.S. court should have decided the issue of ownership of the patent instead of yielding to the French court. On the verge of trial, Mr. Order obtained a favorable settlement for the clients.
Benistar Cases (2002-2005), Mr. Order successfully defended the nation's largest third-party administrator of multiple employer welfare benefit plans in a number of cases in Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Michigan alleging fraud, breaches of fiduciary duties and RICO and ERISA violations, and seeking appointment of a receiver for one of the plans. Mr. Order's vigorous defense contributed to the withdrawal of class action allegations from the Chicago federal court action and a settlement with the plaintiffs.
INEOS Fluor v. Honeywell (2006-2007): Mr. Order represented the plaintiff in breach of contract claims in federal court in Delaware for improper price increases in a chemical supply contract and obtained a favorable amendment to the supply contract.
Chemical Company v. Oil Company [identities withheld pursuant to confidentiality agreement] (2006-2009): On behalf of a global chemical company, Mr. Order asserted arbitration claims before the American Arbitration Association based on improper force majeure invocation by a global oil company. Shortly before the evidentiary hearing, the client received a favorable settlement.