litigation

Trials

A trial team who knows how to win

When it’s time to go to trial, clients need a legal team who’s battle-tested, prepared, and simultaneously strategic and tactical. Most of all, they need a team who knows how to win.

Our trial lawyers have represented clients in court and arbitration or administrative proceedings for decades. We’ve built a reputation for achieving favorable outcomes. And we’ve done so in state, federal and international jurisdictions, setting precedents and raising issues of first impression along the way.

The Dechert team is further distinguished by the caliber of its individual members: It includes two former U.S. Attorneys and 12 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys; five fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers; and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Experience
  • A global postal and logistics company, in several different matters.
    • In 2015, 32 plaintiffs sued DHL for breach of contract in New York Supreme Court, claiming that DHL destroyed their businesses when it allegedly breached a reseller agreement. The plaintiffs claimed that they were third-party beneficiaries of the reseller agreement and that DHL had breached by withdrawing domestic shipping services.Following a four-week trial, the jury unanimously rejected the plaintiffs’ contention that they were third-party beneficiaries. The court then denied plaintiffs’ motion for a directed verdict, entered judgment for DHL and awarded costs to DHL.
    • In 2013, 121 franchisees of a company with which our client did business sued them in the District of Utah for breach of contract, and we counterclaimed for non-payment of invoices issued. Following trial in 2016, the jury’s verdict provided relief to both sides, each of which then appealed to the Tenth Circuit. In March 2017, the parties reached a confidential settlement through the Tenth Circuit’s mediator that resolved all claims and counterclaims.
  • A major chemical manufacturer in more than 40 asbestos products liability trials across the U.S. since 2011. On average, we try six–10 cases per year for Union Carbide.
    • Billok v. Georgia Pacific: Lead trial counsel for Union Carbide in a one month trial in Saratoga Springs, New York. Kimberlee Billok, a 42-year-old preschool teacher and mother of three young children, passed away from mesothelioma. Plaintiffs claimed that Mrs. Billok's mesothelioma was caused by exposure to a Georgia Pacific joint compound that allegedly contained Union Carbide's asbestos. The jury returned a complete defense verdict.
    • Bartolone v. Union Carbide Corporation: Lead counsel for Union Carbide in a six-week products liability jury trial in New York City. The jury returned a full defense verdict.
    • Nelson v. Union Carbide Corporation: Lead trial counsel for Union Carbide in a two month jury trial in Oakland, California. The plaintiffs sought in excess of US$100 million, claiming that the alleged exposure to Union Carbide's asbestos caused Mr. Nelson's pericardial mesothelioma. The jury returned a full defense verdict
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals, a generics and specialty branded pharmaceutical company, in actions regarding OPANA® ER tablets, Endo’s second highest-selling product.
    • In August 2015, Endo prevailed in a five-week bench patent trial in the Southern District of New York against seven manufacturers of generic drugs. Dechert won injunctions against all seven and, in the process, protected more than US$2 billion in sales of OPANA® ER tablets. The cases are currently on appeal to the Federal Circuit, after which there will be a proceeding to determine the damages owed by defendant Actavis for its infringement.
    • After a three-day trial in July 2016, we won a complete victory in the District of Delaware against the same seven defendants for infringement of an additional patent that Endo has exclusively licensed from Mallinckrodt. The defendants will be enjoined from selling their generic products for an additional five years.
  • General American Holdings in a dispute with Intertrust GCN over the method of dissolution for Interstate General Media Holdings (IGM). IGM is the sole owner of Philadelphia Media Networks, the entity that owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com.
    • In early October 2013, the Inquirer’s publisher fired its editor. This triggered contentious litigation among three of IGM’s members including General American which turned to Dechert because of our deep experience with Pennsylvania’s state courts and judges.
    • Following continued disputes both sides decided that they could no longer work together and filed to dissolve IGM. But they couldn’t agree on a method of auction, and went to trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery. In April 2014, the court ruled that IGM should be dissolved and the auction conducted pursuant to General American’s proposed method. The matter was resolved by the auction, in which Katz our client obtained a favorable return on its investment.
  • Rubin Schron, a New York real estate investor, in his successful defense before a federal bankruptcy court and district court in Florida, as well as several Florida appellate courts.
    • In the Florida litigation, the estates of several nursing-home residents sued our client and others on the ground that they engineered a 2006 “bust out” transaction to remove an alleged US$2 billion in liabilities from an insolvent corporation and spun off its valuable assets. In March 2014, we won dismissal of all claims in federal bankruptcy court in the Middle District of Florida, in an adversary case arising out of the involuntary bankruptcy of an unrelated third-party company. 
    • The bankruptcy court dismissed the claims with prejudice in June 2014, making him the only defendant entirely dismissed from the litigation.The bankruptcy court dismissal followed appellate victories against the same set of plaintiffs in Florida state court. The plaintiffs had obtained massive default judgments in several state-court cases and sought to collect the judgments from third parties. In February 2014, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal vacated an order adding to a US$200 million judgment in a proceeding supplementary. Days later, the same appellate court reversed a post-trial ruling that purported to add and the 15 other parties to a US$1.1 billion judgment.
    • In December 2015, the bankruptcy court entered final judgment and granted a permanent injunction to Mr. Schron, following the resolution of all remaining claims against other parties. The plaintiffs appealed the final judgment, the permanent injunction and two other bankruptcy court rulings in favor of Mr. Schron to the Middle District of Florida, where Dechert prevailed on three separate appeals. Plaintiffs then appealed the district court decisions in Mr. Schron’s favor to the Eleventh Circuit. One appeal was decided for Mr. Schron in February 2017, and two others are pending.
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