Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Commercial Litigation

Our business litigation practice involves all aspects of commercial litigation representing large companies to small businesses and start-ups. This litigation practice includes a wide variety of types of actions that are business to business and consumer actions against business defense in all venues that our clients are involved. We provide representation in the various administrative boards, governmental agencies, domestic dispute tribunals, alternative dispute tribunals, state and local courts as well as the various United States Courts of Appeals and United States Supreme Court where necessary. These matters include:

  • Antitrust Litigation
  • Breach of Contract
  • Business to Business Litigation
  • Class and Collective Actions
  • Construction Claims
  • License and Infringement Claims
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Labor and Employment Issues
  • Lender Liability Claims
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability Litigation
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • Shareholder Actions
  • Startups and Closely Held Companies
  • Trademark and Trade Name Litigation
  • Unfair Competition Claims

Alternate Dispute Resolution

Our trial attorneys not only have experience in alternative dispute resolution, but are trained mediators and arbitrators. This experience provides unique insight in assessing when alternative dispute resolution through arbitration or mediation may be suitable or contractually required. Determining when to bring a matter before a court or seek alternative remedies along with the timing of such decisions is quite often a strategic decision. Having the experience and training provides our attorneys with the ability to work in-depth with the client and in-house counsel in making these decisions.

Arbitration is the process where litigants seek to resolve disputes before an arbitrator or arbitrators without utilizing the court process. In some circumstances, this is a cheaper and more expeditious method of resolution which in some contractual situations, may be compelled. Arbitration can occur in the domestic arena or the international arena.

Mediation is the process where the parties seek to negotiate in a formal setting to resolve a dispute. A neutral person is appointed to act as the mediator assisting the parties in negotiations and resolution. Understanding the entire litigation process, the client’s needs and goals, and experience in all facets of litigation is imperative when representing clients in mediation. Our attorneys not only have the experience, but are goal oriented for the client.

Conciliation is a process widely used in Europe and frequently occurs informally in the United States. This is a process where a neutral acts as a mediator in an informal setting by meeting with the parties independently. This process takes longer than a traditional mediation as the setting is not designed to be in a neutral location with a date certain. Conciliation is a negotiation process that engages the neutral as a go between with the parties in order to facilitate a resolution.

Antitrust Litigation

This type of litigation can range from actions by governmental entities, including criminal investigations, to opt-out group litigation, class actions and disputes between competitors involving price fixing and restraint of trade. This frequently involves business to business and consumer claims of predatory practices and monopolization claims. Antitrust claims quite often include multiple phases of litigation from the criminal investigation to civil litigation, which can frequently involve raids, subpoenas and search warrants. Criminal investigation can often be used as a catapult to bring civil litigation and vice versa.

Antitrust litigation from the client’s perspective also involves others areas of litigation which involve private parties as well as governmental entities. This is a cross over area of our litigation practice which involves claims concerning Unfair Competition and False Advertising and Trademark and Trade Name Litigation.

Appellate Practice

Our appellate practice involves appeals in a broad range of jurisdictions, including local, state, national and administrative agencies. We are involved in every litigation forum including appeals to federal and state appellate courts, governmental agencies, national and international arbitration panels and the United States Supreme Court. Appellate practice is intrinsically involved with our trial practice for cases that are handled on the local and national level. This practice also includes dealing with appeals before the Federal Circuit for Intellectual Property matters.

Bankruptcy

Our Bankruptcy litigation practice involves representing our clients through dealing with Chapter 11 debtor’s situations and litigation involving bankruptcy. We have substantial experience in dealing with “claw-back” litigation where the United States Trustee seeks to obtain payments made to clients as a result of the debtor’s bankruptcy. We have tremendous success in dealing with the “claw-back” litigation and the resolution of such actions as these can come by total surprise to a client. This occurs often after a client has believed that accounts have been properly paid, but suddenly find that payments are now being sought to be returned to the bankruptcy court.

Class Actions

Class action and multidistrict litigation raise a host of complex legal, factual, procedural and strategic issues for clients and these types of cases demand experienced counsel. Whether independently, or in combination with other top law firms, CKR has the lawyers, support staff and capacity to effectively handle prosecuting or defending federal and state class actions throughout the United States. Our trial lawyers also regularly litigate cases transferred and coordinated pursuant to the federal multidistrict litigation statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1407.

Our firm has been involved in various class action cases and multi-district litigation including defective pharmaceutical and medical device claims, consumer fraud claims, securities fraud and shareholder rights claims, tobacco litigation and airline disasters.

The scope of our practice includes:

  • Antitrust. CKR lawyers have broad, in-depth experience handling class actions involving price-fixing, monopolization and other antitrust claims.
  • Consumer Litigation. CKR has represented clients in all types of class action suits brought on behalf of consumers. These cases have involved alleged statutory violations such as unfair trade practices, consumer protection, mortgage lending, false advertising, TCPA, and the Uniform Commercial Code, as well as common law claims.
  • Data Breach Class Actions. CKR has represented clients in class actions involving data breaches and cyber-security issues.
  • Employment/Employee Benefits. CKR lawyers have handled class actions involving claims asserted under Title VII, ERISA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and similar federal and state statutes.
  • Environmental/Toxic Tort. CKR has the experience to handle toxic tort and environmental class actions and multidistrict litigation involving oil pipeline spills, chemical run-off, pollutant release, climate change, personal injury, and Superfund clean-up.
  • Product Liability/Mass Tort. CKR has a dedicated team of trial lawyers experienced in prosecuting product liability and mass tort claims. It has represented or currently represents clients in class actions and multidistrict litigation involving claims related to, among others, asbestos exposure, pharmaceutical products such as Baycol and Actos®, medical devices such as Sulzer, implants such as DePuy Pinnacle®, windows manufactured by MI Windows and Doors, and the Mirena® IUD is manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
  • Securities Litigation. CKR has handled securities class action and multidistrict litigation throughout the United States, on behalf of shareholders, issuers, underwriters, banks and other clients. These cases have involved claims related to initial public offerings, issuance of securities following mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, insurance demutualization, tax shelter investments, secondary market transactions, and other investments and securities.

Bribery, Corruption and FCPA

CKR’s global team of lawyers handle all aspects of bribery, corruption, and fraudulent activities. Our experience includes situations in which a company has been defrauded as well as defending a corporation against attack from government authorities in relation to local bribery and corruption laws, including the FCPA. We have the capability to undertake internal investigations of the business activities of companies operating in countries throughout the world to determine whether the FCPA or other laws may have been violated. Where appropriate we can assist clients with remedial action. Our team has also defended companies and individual executives in numerous investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the UK Serious Fraud Office, and other enforcement authorities across the world.

Our broad practice area capabilities and global platform in industries where bribery and corruption issues are prevalent, including construction, pharmaceuticals, energy (including oil and gas), manufacturing, IT and financial services,
enables CKR to promptly assemble a team of lawyers with a wide range of cultural and legal experience and efficiently and effectively handle even the most complex and internationally far-reaching matters. Our substantial trial experience means that we can resist and contest government allegations where appropriate. 

That same extensive experience combined with our practical knowledge is used in providing clients with compliance counseling to assist on remedial steps a company should put in place to avoid prosecution and future incident.

Employment and Labor

Labor and employment issues arise in every aspect of businesses regardless of size. These issues occur with respect to contractual provisions with employees, directors and officers. There are a host of state and federal laws governing the employment aspects of client’s businesses. Our litigation group has been very successful in defending single action employment claims as well as collective and class actions against employers. We also conduct internal investigations to discover violations and assist in resolutions pre-litigation for clients. These involve:

  • Americans with Disability Act (ADA)
  • Collective and Class Actions
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Claims (EEOC)
  • Employment Compensation Issues
  • Federal Labor Standards Act Claims (FLSA)
  • Federal Medical Leave Claims (FMLA)
  • Internal Investigations

Insurance

We represent all facets of our client’s dealings with their insurance carriers. In addition, we are A.M. Best certified so that we are able to step in and act as counsel when clients have high retentions and have the ability to choose their own insurance defense counsel. In such situations, we solely represent the client and deal with the coverage issues as well as the liability issues. We help and assist the client in pursuit of coverage and reimbursement of insurance claims, including the following:

  • Bad Faith
  • Commercial Property Claims
  • Construction Defects (including pollution issues)
  • Crime and Intentional Acts
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Environmental Claims
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Fiduciary Claims
  • Financial Service Claims
  • General Liability
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance Regulatory
  • Intellectual Property Claims
  • Media, Technology and Cyber Liability
  • Professional Malpractice Claims

Investigation, White Collar and Fraud

Governmental investigations occur not only in civil matters, but what is referred to as quasi-criminal investigations as well as criminal investigations. Civil penalties can be substantial as well as criminal violations. We engage our clients early in an investigation to provide compliance as well as goal oriented resolutions. While we try to advise our clients to avoid civil investigations that could turn into quasi-criminal or criminal, we are goal oriented in dealing with such investigations. These include:

  • Accounting Fraud
  • Antitrust
  • Customs, Exports and Economic Sanctions
  • Due Diligence and Corporate Compliance
  • False Claims and Qui Tam Litigation
  • Financial Services and Financial Institution Fraud
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government Enforcement Actions and Internal Investigations
  • Government Procurement Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud and Abuse
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Internal Investigations
  • Mail and Wire Fraud
  • Market Abuse
  • Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
  • Securities Fraud
  • Whistleblower Actions and False Claims Act Anti-corruption (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act)
  • White Collar Criminal Proceedings

Financial Services Litigation

Financial Services Litigation involves traditional and non-traditional lenders as well as business in in the financial services business. Financial Services businesses are frequently targeted for class actions dealing with consumer debt and financing. These actions involve Consumer Class Actions, Consumer Protection Act, Credit Regulations, Data Breach and Privacy Claims, Dodd-Frank Reform, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, Predatory Lending, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Unfair and Deceptive Practice Statutes as well as global issues involving the Financial Services industry. We regularly represent our clients in disputes with traditional lenders and non-traditional lenders. We also defend our clients in class actions. Our transactional experience provides our litigation team with a wealth of knowledge in dealing with traditional banking disputes, private equity disputes and public financing.

IP Litigation

Intellectual property can be a source of revenue and substantial risk. Having a litigation team that understands the revenue protection, along with intellectual property protection attorneys, provides us with a knowledge base that can assist clients in dealing with a host of issues, including infringement, patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensures and false advertising and unfair competition.

Litigation practice includes all areas of state and federal litigation, including prosecuting and defending claims in the federal circuit as well as administrative courts of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. International Trade Commission. These types of claims include:

  • Data, Privacy and Security
  • False Advertising
  • Import Bans
  • License Infringement Claims
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Patent Infringement Claims
  • Trademark and Trade Name Litigation
  • Unfair Competition Claims

Product Liability

Our representation of our clients includes dealing with product liability claims in a wide variety of industries. We handle the claims from the inception where the client is self-insured or has high retention insurance coverage. We have a thorough working knowledge of state and federal courts where such cases are filed and tried. Where clients have insurance counsel, we act as a liaison with the carrier’s counsel as well as representation of clients where there is an excessive policy claim.

Real Estate and Construction

Our litigation attorneys deal with all aspects of our client’s real estate issues. These include the initial contractual phases of the sale and purchase real estate, dealing with governmental entities, dealing with zoning and ordinances, construction and title issues. We also have a wealth of experience in dealing with eminent domain matters by governmental entities in the taking of properties. We represent developers, contractors, commercial property owners, as well as commercial tenants. Our experience involves numerous large companies and large property owners including major residential developers, Applebee’s franchises, Recall corporation and Saul Holdings, to mention a few. We assist in all matters of litigation and disputes, including:

  • Breach of Contract
  • Construction Arbitration
  • Environmental and Toxic Torts Litigation
  • Fair Business Practices Act compliance (including lending, sales, development and management contracts)
  • Foreclosures (including confirmation trials and appeals)
  • Franchise Property Acquisition
  • Fraud and Misrepresentation
  • Landlord-tenant Disputes (commercial)
  • Commercial Real Estate Developments
  • Litigation against governmental entities for failure to issue permits, etc.
  • Litigation concerning easements, restrictive covenants and other real property rights
  • Litigation over enforcement of contract provisions
  • Loan and Financing Disputes
  • Real Property Receiverships
  • Residential Real Estate Developments
  • Representation in dealing with local governments on code and zoning issues
  • Survey, easement and land title disputes

Securities and Enforcement

A business can easily find itself in a shareholder threat or litigation, regulatory scrutiny and securities related litigation. Our practice involves a host of securities related attorneys which provide support to the litigation attorneys. While we strive to assist our clients in avoiding issues before they begin, securities issues do occur and we are able to represent our clients throughout all aspects of securities issues. These occur from shareholder litigation to local governmental issues as well as Securities Exchange Commission issues. We also deal with our clients in white collar criminal defense, corporate compliance, governance under the Sarbanes-Oxley governmental affairs. This practice area includes:

  • Securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation
  • Securities Regulatory Practice
  • Challenges to mergers and acquisitions and other transactional litigation
  • Investigations and enforcement actions
  • Corporate governance disputes and D&O claims
  • State and Local Government Litigation

Government and Regulatory Litigation

Governmental and regulatory litigation occurs in all areas of business from local state to federal and global jurisdictions. These can range from state attorney general’s seeking to bring actions against business clients as well as the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration and various state and national consumer agencies. There are also local issues that businesses must deal with which can sometimes be more cumbersome than dealing with larger agencies. We engage our clients from the beginning to avoid catastrophic consequences while at the same time keeping in mind that our client’s business needs to continue to operate. These areas include:

  • Government Regulation of Advertising and Consumer Products
  • Government Regulation of Commercial Products
  • Governmental Investigation Compliance Civil and Criminal

Corporate Governance and Shareholder Litigation

Our business litigation attorneys are well diverse in dealing with disputes that arise between partners, officers and shareholders. We have extensive experience in dealing with avoiding and resolution of disputes. When required, we have the expertise to prosecute and defend cases involving corporate governance, shareholder disputes and disputes involving officers, directors and members. Our experience also includes the protecting shareholders and members of corporations and LLCs from actions seeking to challenge the corporate identity seeking personal liability. These disputes include:

  • SEC reporting and compliance
  • Claims arising out of mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and contest for control of private or public companies, including leveraged buyouts
  • Conducting Internal and external investigations
  • Derivative actions by shareholders
  • Director and Officer Liability including fiduciary compliance for public, private and nonprofit corporations
  • Disputes between partners and members of Limited Liability Companies;
  • Disputes concerning the dissolution of businesses
  • Professional liability claims concerning legal or accounting issues

Securities Defense

We have the capabilities to provide our clients with sophisticated securities and financial regulatory defense representation that is founded on substantial experience representing clients in high-stakes, high-profile securities-related investigations and enforcement actions. We understand how disruptive and potentially damaging a regulatory investigation can be to a client’s business and industry reputation. We focus on creating an effective strategy to minimize the chances of an investigation turning into an enforcement action. Our lawyers have represented clients in countless hours of sworn testimony before the SEC, FINRA and other regulatory and governmental agencies. Our approach to representing clients in connection with sworn testimony is simple – prepare our clients properly and thoroughly before testimony to ethically and legally limit and mitigate enforcement exposure. We use the experience garnered through years of representing clients in enforcement actions to anticipate regulatory posture, strategy and tactics to provide our clients with the knowledge – and confidence – to provide truthful on-the-record statements to enforcement authorities that convey maximum defensive positioning.

Selected Securities Defense Services:

  • SEC Audits and Examinations
  • SEC Enforcement Defense (strategy development, subpoena response & case resolution)
  • Sworn testimony preparation and defense
  • FINRA Audits and Examinations
  • Securities litigation
  • State Securities Regulatory Defense
  • Receiverships and Crisis Management

E-Discovery and Information Risk

Electronic Discovery, Information Risk and Data Management are growing and relatively new areas in the litigation arena. This can be overwhelming without guidance and management of the electronic production of information in litigation. Our litigation team has the experience and knowledge to manage electronic discovery without complete disruption of business operations. We work directly with our clients and in-house counsel to effectively comply with discovery requirements while helping the client to maintain its operations.

Information and Risk and Data Management are often the subject of litigation and without effective strategies such can have disastrous results. Proper guidance and systems checks are keys in avoiding such litigation, but breaches do occur both internally and externally within a client’s business. Our litigation team is adept at the changes in technology and understanding of dealing with the constant development in this area of litigation. We immediately assess the details of the causes and devise a plan to deal with claims that result which often come from state and federal agencies as well as consumers.

Global Disputes

A global economy requires a litigation team that is able to draw from resources that crosses borders. We have litigation capabilities not only national-wide, but affiliations globally to assist our client in cross-border disputes. These disputes quite frequently end up before international arbitral bodies. We have extensive experience in dealing with arbitrations and similar organizations such as the AAA and JAMS. Our international affiliations allow us to provide assistance when forms of dispute resolution end up beyond the borders of the United States.

Tax and Tax Controversy

Our tax and tax controversy practice consists of experienced lawyers in dealing with the areas of tax law and tax criminal law. Tax disputes and tax litigation occur in not only the federal level, but the local and state levels as well. We represent businesses with their local tax issues as well as state and federal tax issues. We also represent high net worth individuals with respect to trusts and estates in all aspects of their sophisticated tax matters and litigation and disputes that arise from these matters. We have close cooperation between our international offices and national offices assisting us in compliance and tax related solutions.

Professional Liability Litigation

In the modern business and governmental environment, professional liability is a substantial increase of targeted litigation as well as regulatory and legislative matters. Quite frequently, there is insufficient insurance coverage for professionals and many times carriers seek to avoid and find exclusions for the professionals. This requires the professional to have his own counsel in dealing with litigation, regulatory and matters in dispute.

Our experience and range of services provide representation of professionals in a variety of industries, including accountants, security brokers, insurance agents, real estate agents, financial planners, engineers, architects, state and federal regulation claims, criminal and civil RICO exposure and insurance coverage issues.

False Claims Act/QUI Tam Whistleblower

Qui Tam lawsuits are brought by individuals seeking to recover damages on behalf of the government where the individual receives compensation if the case is won. There is a tremendous incentive for actions to be brought under the False Claims Act as well as various state laws. Such litigation can result in “make or break the company” actions. These include:

  • Claims involving Medicare fraud, pharmaceutical fraud, and defense contractor fraud
  • Claims under the U.S. False Claims Act and various state false claims laws
  • Security and Exchange Commission whistleblower claims for rewards under the Dodd-Frank Act
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission whistleblower claims for rewards under the Dodd-Frank Act
  • Internal Revenue Service whistleblower claims for rewards providing information federal tax fraud

Franchise and Distribution

Franchise vendor relationships along with Franchise and Franchisor relationships are regulated with sometimes contradicting state laws, federal law and antitrust and cross-border arrangements. These business dealings can be complex and create disputes that need proper guidance to avoid business ending litigation. Franchise rights are often intertwined with licensing arrangements and different sets of laws govern each relationship.

Our litigation team has vast experience in dealing with franchise, distribution and licensing disputes and strive to create a goal oriented, creative resolution when disputes arise. Having represented several franchisors and franchisees, including the founder of Applebee’s, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience to assist our clients when dealing with disputes that arise. We are fully prepared to advise and guide the client to resolution of the dispute through full litigation when necessary. This includes dealing with the failure to comply with franchise agreements, both on the side of the franchisor as well as misuse of licenses and distribution issues.

Healthcare

The health care industry is heavily regulated on local, state and federal levels. The industry itself is no longer local and issues can arise beyond the main facilities. We help health care providers in a breadth of their unique business situations, operational disputes and regulatory needs.

Our experience involves health care facilities, physicians, physician organizations, clinics, independent practice associations, nursing and assisted living facilities, retirement centers, physical therapy centers, diagnostic and treatment centers. Regulatory disputes and litigation in this industry requires the ability to handle the local regulatory level, along with state and federal compliance.

Breach of Contract and Business Torts

Business disputes are a part of the business climate whether it is business to business litigation, disputes between partners or shareholders, issues within startup or closely held companies, disputes with officers and directors or dealing with employment restrictive covenants or theft of Trade Secrets. We have a breadth of experience dealing with various industries and wide variety of organizational structure. Our goal with all clients is to engage in problem avoidance through proper guidance and structure organization. With our experience in our transactional based practice, we are able to provide representation in all aspects of business disputes.

Family Law

CKR has extensive trial, settlement, and mediation experience in a wide range of matrimonial and family law matters.

CKR lawyers offer our clients sophisticated services in divorce, child custody, child support, equitable distribution of property, paternity agreements, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, matters involving same sex marriage and litigation of all matrimonial and family law matters.