Skip to the content

Commercial Litigation Law

When the parties to a commercial transaction litigate, practical experience, sound thought, preparation and the best brief generally carry the day

Commercial litigation encompasses a wide array of disciplines that require an in-depth knowledge of dispute resolution and trial experience. We represent clients in traditional contract disputes and in the more complex areas of unfair trade practices, RICO, fraud, franchise, ERISA, false advertising and tor- tious interference claims. We utilize our extensive litigation knowledge and, when required, supplement that knowledge with assistance from other practice groups.

We represent clients in all areas of litigation in various states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Our Cases Include:

We instituted a RICO/securities fraud action in federal court in Hartford on behalf of a client who had lost substantial invest- ment in a closely held company, and successfully resolved the case.

We defended a national medical testing laboratory in a RICO case and related class actions brought by 37 of the largest insur- ance companies in the country. The cases, which were consoli- dated in federal court in Hartford by the Multidistrict Litigation Panel, involved allegations that the lab had over- charged for human blood and tissue testing and had performed tests not ordered by physicians. After our Motions to Dismiss the RICO claims and the amended RICO claims were granted, the plaintiffs settled on terms favorable to our client.

We represented a large utility company’s retirement plan in defense of a class action suit brought by the sponsor of a real estate investment vehicle for retirement plans. Acting as representatives of their respective plan investors, the utility compa- ny’s plan and other defendants brought class action counter- claims against the sponsor for mismanagement of the account in violation of ERISA. We ultimately succeeded in achieving liquidation of our client’smulti-million dollar investment in the account and payment by the sponsor of our legal fees.

We acted as the lead trial and appellate counsel for the fran- chisees in Petereit v. S.B. Thomas, Inc., 853 F. Supp. 55 (D. Conn. 1993), aff ’d in part, rev’d in part, 63 F.3d 1162 (2d Cir. 1995), which made new law under the Connecticut Franchise Act and established a claim for constructive termination of a franchise.

We have advised and represented in litigation many other franchisees in various businesses and industries such as donut shops, truck engine construction and maintenance, payroll services, truck stops, home improvements, and pipe valves and fittings. We have also successfully defended a large manufac- turer of Hispanic coffee against charges that a distributor was a franchisee.

We represent clients in antitrust cases. We successfully negoti- ated with the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. after it had made a preliminary decision to bring a civil action against our client, an individual practice association of 750 physicians, for boycotting a health maintenance organization. After months of negotiations with various levels within the Justice Department all the way up to the Chief of the Antitrust Division, we obtained a consent decree that a commentator in the industry later described as “a slap on the wrist.” Similarly, we successfully represented a terminal for home heating oil storage in New Haven harbor against civil monopoly claims brought by an oil broker and later by the Connecticut and Massachusetts Attorneys General. Of course, your case will be decided on its own facts and merit, and we can not imply that our previous successes will result in winning your case.

We also represent lawyers, doctors and dentists in disputes aris- ing out of the purchase or sale of their practices or with their professional partners. We often call upon the Firm's Business Law Practice Group for its expertise and insights into such pro- fessional practices.