By Jaime Bochet
Of the Legal Staff
Welcome to your daily round-up of stories in today's edition of The Legal Intelligencer. Click the links below to access stories directly, or head to The Legal homepage. (Some stories may require registration or a paid subscription.)
Just as Tuesdays always include our Pennsylvania Law Weekly section, Wednesday is the unofficial "Day of Delaware," when we roll out the fresh ink from our First State to the south. That includes the Delaware Law Weekly, available online at www.delawarelawweekly.com, as well as our newest product, the Delaware Business Court Insider, an online newsletter that definitely warrants a look.
But more about Delaware in a bit … let's get to today's Legal.
The Marcellus Shale play receives top billing in today's paper. Zack Needles reports that environmental lawyers across Pennsylvania commended the 137-page report issued Friday by Gov. Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, but said the document is merely a jumping-off point for what is likely to become a very complicated set of statewide issues.
Below the fold, Gina Passarella has a law firm story of note: Cozen O'Connor has brought suit against its landlord in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court in an effort to be released from the five-year lease obligation it began this year with 1900 Market GP because the landlord has failed to properly maintain the Class A building and refused to arbitrate the firm's complaints, according to the court filing.
Our Page 3 Regional News story is by Shannon P. Duffy, who writes that a court battle over alleged industrial espionage and corporate raiding between two major defense contractors has turned especially ugly, with allegations of evidence destruction that was so rampant, according to the plaintiff, that the only proper punishment is to enter a default judgment against the defendants.
First up in our contributed columns today is the "GC Mid-Atlantic" page, which features an article from our affiliate, Corporate Counsel. James F. Haggerty wonders, was the pie-throwing attack on Rupert Murdoch a setup? Was it all just a publicity stunt designed to draw attention away from his testimony before the British parliamentary committee investigating the News of the World phone-hacking scandal? Of course not. But it certainly had that effect.
Next up is our "Intellectual Property" column by Anthony S. Volpe and Robert D. Leonard of Volpe & Koenig, who write that patent law is changing -- and staying the same.
As we move south in our weekly coverage to Delaware, we'll stop first at the Delaware Law Weekly, where reporter Jeff Mordock has the top stories. Please note: all of our Delaware coverage is for paid subscribers, but you can register for a free 30-day trial by clicking here.
Jeff first writes that Maryland-based Offit Kurman is expanding its commercial litigation and bankruptcy practice by opening a Wilmington office and has tapped former Gibbons P.C. litigator William R. Firth III to lead it.
In on the law school front, a Widener University Law School panel has cleared law professor Larry Connell of charges that he made racist, sexist and violent comments in his law course, according to his lawyer. However, he was found to have violated the university's code against retaliation.
And finally, attorneys for convicted ax-murderer Robert W. Jackson III will take their two-pronged defense before the Delaware Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court today in an effort to prevent his scheduled execution on July 29.
Finally, we'd like you to meet (if you haven't already) the Delaware Business Court Insider. As the name suggests, this is a national product covering the latest news, analysis and cases from the Delaware Chancery Court, Bankruptcy Court and Supreme Court. The accompanying website is www.delbizcourt.com, where you can go to subscribe to this newsletter weekly. You can also follow us on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/delbizcourt.
Top stories there include:
- The News of the World phone hacking scandal has spawned a second derivative suit against its parent company, News Corp., in the Court of Chancery by a shareholder alleging the paper's misdeeds have negatively impacted the company's value;
- The Delaware Supreme Court clarified the rules regarding the preservation of electronic discovery and opined that the Court of Chancery did not abuse its discretion when it held a defendant in contempt for spoiling material;
- The Court of Chancery has ruled that clear language in an agreement between a company and one of its directors regarding the interim review of attorney fees when the director is sued as a result of their corporate role can trump the standard procedure for reviewing fees established by the court in its 2008 case, Duthie v. CorSolutions Medical Inc.; and
- Private equity firms often own or control portfolio companies today. As part of efforts to maximize the value of its portfolio, a PE firm may well exercise certain control over a subsidiary portfolio company to reduce unnecessary costs and increase profit margin. Cost-cutting measures could include a reduction in workforce in certain segments of a business.
Have questions or comments about any of today's stories, or our coverage as a whole? E-mail me or any of the reporters directly. We hope you'll enjoy today's Legal!