Resolving civil disputes in court used to involve a regular series of trips to tall office buildings and courthouses where we all sat close and breathed on one another to take depositions, mediate disputes, appear at hearings and try cases. Now that we are kicked out of the buildings, must the dispute resolution process grind to a halt? No, while the “jury is out” on the the conduct of jury trials, much of what we do other than jury trials can be Zoom-ized.
Here is my report card on resolving civil disputes from one’s living room: “Zoomigation.”
Mediations: A. In nearly all civil business disputes parties are ordered to attend mediation, a half-day or day devoted to settlement. read more
My entire career has been devoted to trying business cases. My firm has been devoted exclusively to business trials. I’ve tried many cases, some before juries, in all court systems and across the country.
Through these cases I’ve seen just about every way a business can find trouble. People build an enterprise without getting core expectations and agreements in writing. The contract omits an important clause. The business does not adequately protect its intellectual property. Investments are solicited without proper disclosures. The business principals are all friends and partners — until they’re not — then everyone “lawyers up.” The family enjoys their wealth while the patriarch lives, then when he passes the heirs draw knives. read more
ProVisors’ Orange County Legal Affinity Group participated in an April 2 lunchtime presentation “New Issues Surrounding Arbitration Clauses: What Every Lawyer Should Know,” delivered by Jay Spillane. Many arbitration clauses currently in use have not been updated for years, Spillane explained. Any lawyers using such clauses in their own or clients’ contracts should take another look at “old-school” clauses similar to this: “Any disputes arising under or related to this agreement will be resolved by binding arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.” Instead, Spillane urged, lawyers should consider a host of other matters that have been litigated since that now outdated language first came into use. read more
“What Business Lawyers Need to Know About Arbitration” was the topic of a December 16, 2014, lunch seminar Jay Spillane delivered to the San Fernando Valley LLP ProVisors affinity group. In the presentation, Jay suggested business lawyers take another look at the “old-school” arbitration clause lawyers have included in contracts for years: “Any disputes arising under or related to this agreement will be resolved by binding arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.” Instead, Jay urged, business lawyers should consider a host of other matters that have been litigated since that now outdated language first came into use. Those issues include the following:
• Scope of matters submitted to arbitration
• Arbitral society to adjudicate claims
• Forum and choice of law
• Single neutral or panel
• Discovery rights
• Timing and conduct of hearing
• Available remedies
• Basis for decision
• Appellate rights
For more information about best practices for business arbitration clauses, see below: read more
Spillane Trial Group PLC announced today that Cathrynne Dale has become an officer in the firm. Dale, who joined the firm more than two years ago, was an integral part of the firm’s record of success during 2014, which included the favorable outcome of copyright case involving an Academy Award-winning movie, a triumphant sweep in multi-state litigation for investment holding companies, and successful motions involving novel issues related to attorney-client privilege. Dale is a creative thinker who fits well into the firm’s guiding principle that developing and articulating a direct and memorable case theme is the most cost effective and beneficial route to protecting the clients’ interests. read more
Spillane Trial Group PLC announced today that Jay Spillane is listed in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Jay was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 21st edition of the publication because of his successful commercial litigation practice, which centers on high-stakes lawsuits.
To select the nation’s best lawyers, the publication conducts peer-review surveys through which thousands of lawyers are evaluated annually. Only lawyers who meet the publication’s stringent requirements make the list. For 2015, 52,488 lawyers representing 137 different practice areas are included.
Best Lawyers is the legal profession’s oldest and most respected peer-review publication. read more
Anti-SLAPP litigation, an overview and recent developments, was the topic of a recent lunch seminar Jay Spillane, along with Akin Gump partner Michael Small, delivered to the Los Angeles LLP ProVisors affinity group in early August. Anti-SLAPP suits are authorized by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16 as a defense to a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP). The anti-SLAPP statute was enacted to counter lawsuits that “chill” the “valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.”
SLAPP and anti-SLAPP motions are maneuvers parties employ in many bet-the-company lawsuits, and the procedures differ from typical civil cases. read more
The Los Angeles Business Journal included Jay Spillane among 27 other prestigious lawyers in its “Most Influential Lawyers: Digital Media and E-Commerce Law” list published July 21, 2014. Among a list of largely large firm lawyers, Jay stands out as a small firm lawyer taking on high-stakes litigation.
“In the area of Internet litigation, he enjoys the reputation of being the lawyer a company must hire if they are being sued for online infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or the Communications Decency Act,” wrote the LABJ.
To read more, follow this link: https://www.cbjonline.com/a2labj/supplements/MostInfluentialLawyers_20140721.pdf read more
Fraud and misappropriation charges are always disruptive to a business, resulting in high-stakes litigation that can destroy a company before it even has its day in court. Spillane Trial Group client Restful Group Entities recently faced down such charges in multi-district, cross-country litigation that not only had the client praising the quality of their representation but also attracted the attention of the National Law Journal, which wrote about the litigation as a case study of how to handle such “bet-the-company” cases.
Legal writer Amanda Bronstad asked Jay Spillane, among other queries, to describe the complex proceedings.
“Including the two bankruptcies, there are seven actions that we’re handling,” said Spillane. read more
LOS ANGELES, September 21, 2013 – Spillane Trial Group PLC achieved an unqualified series of victories on behalf of the Restful Group Entities, and managers Barry Seidman and Steven Pearl, in a cross-country series of cases asserted by disgruntled investors. The rulings from three separate forums – a Los Angeles arbitration, Southern California bankruptcy court actions and a Fairfax County, Virginia Circuit Court proceeding – exonerated the company and its principals of all claims of fraud, mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. Earlier this year, Spillane Trial Group successfully set aside a writ of attachment where one of the investors had attempted to seize the Restful Entities’ assets prior to trial. read more