We are off and running in 2019!

As we begin the third workweek of 2019 and gear up for the remainder of the year, our Commercial Litigation Team at Rhoades McKee wants to take a moment to say “THANK YOU” for referring and recommending our team to your clients and contacts. We truly appreciate the trust you place in us.

Looking back at the year that was, our Commercial Litigation Team was honored to be recognized as one of the best by Chambers and PartnersUS News Best Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation. A number of our attorneys were also recognized for their outstanding work, including Paul McCarthyBruce CourtadeStephen Hulst, and Hal Nelson. Our attorneys have a true passion for the work we do, and we like to think these sort of recognitions reflect that passion.

In 2018, we also had the opportunity to obtain some fantastic results for our clients, many of which came through your referrals. Some highlights include:

  • Post-Acquisition Disputes. We assist both sellers and buyers when disputes arise after the sale and purchase of a company.  In one case, representing the sellers, we successfully resolved a claim against one of the company’s advisors and then initiated arbitration against the buyer to pursue the remaining purchase price.  We prevailed at arbitration and then entered into a settlement for the sellers valued at more than $2.25 million. In another situation, we represented a buyer in a dispute with the seller over misrepresentations concerning the financial condition of the business and the violation of a noncompetition agreement. At mediation, we secured a modification of the client’s purchase price, reducing it by more than $100,000.
  • A New Lease on Life. When our client exercised its option to extend its lease by five years, the landlord said that the extension was invalid.  We not only obtained a judgment from the Court that the extension was valid, but were also able to negotiate a settlement lowering the monthly rent, freezing utility costs, and having the landlord pay most of our client’s attorney fees.
  • Expertly Avoiding Shareholder Litigation. Shareholder disputes often erupt when shareholders fail to address succession appropriately, whether by way of governance documents or through personal dialogue.  With expertise in business valuation, we helped two sets of 50/50 shareholders reach agreements for succession, including specific valuation protocols and the terms of the ultimate agreements, and avoided very costly shareholder litigation and the resulting harm to the companies and human relationships.
  • Shareholder Cases. Sometimes litigation cannot be avoided.  We handled, and resolved, a host of shareholder litigation matters in 2018.  We defended majority shareholders in a suit involving over 17 companies and, after months of smash-mouth litigation, resolved it for less than was offered by corporate counsel prior to litigation.  In another case, we represented the plaintiff and resolved the case for more than 100% of value, together with attorneys’ fees, following the first wave of discovery.
  • Noncompete Knowledge. We routinely litigate the enforceability of noncompetition agreements, but we also use that expertise in counseling our clients on hiring and firing decisions. In one case, by specifically tailoring an employee’s job duties, we were able to help our client add a key executive to its leadership team. In another, we were able to carefully draft a non-compete based on how we knew the provisions would be enforced by the local courts, thereby protecting another client from potential damages if a key employee left the company.
  • Preserving A Client’s Reputation. A high-profile client was targeted in a bogus lawsuit seeking to exert leverage in an unrelated dispute by embarrassing the client and damaging its reputation. Rhoades McKee jumped to the client’s defense, filing a motion instead of an answer that resulted in the lawsuit being dismissed and the Court ordering the plaintiff to pay our client’s fees and costs.
  • Discrimination Claim Dismissed. When a male employee was terminated for fabricating expense reports, he sued both the employer and our client, a female supervisor, claiming that he was actually terminated for raising complaints that the supervisor had created a hostile work environment based on his gender. He asserted that comments such as, “I cannot trust you as a guy in the field,” and “you need to work on your communication style and stop being such an aggressive guy,” were evidence of bias. We moved for dismissal on the basis that the alleged comments did not establish a hostile work environment. The Judge agreed and dismissed the employee’s case against both the employer and the supervisor.

Thank you again for the opportunities to assist you and your clients. We look forward to working with you in 2019!

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