On behalf of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Attorney Anthony Osborn will be speaking at multiple law schools, including the University of Iowa College of Law, over the next few months. The presentations are designed to educate law students regarding the opportunities available through the ABA, and encourage them to get involved in the ABA’s Construction Forum. Anthony’s practice focuses on business litigation and construction law, and he has taken on an active role within the Construction Forum and within local construction-related groups, including the Homebuilders Association of Iowa.
Trial Law Review
When a company files a lawsuit in another state, its regular attorneys are frequently not licensed to practice law in the other state. As a result, the company must retain a local, out-of-state law firm to serve as "local counsel" in the case.
The company's regular lawyer frequently appears as co-counsel along with the local law firm. All too frequently, the local attorneys take an inactive role in the lawsuit, letting the company's out-of-state lawyers drive the ship. A recent decision from a Delaware state court reminds attorneys that if/when they serve as local counsel, they must be actively involved in the case. In James v. National Financial LLC, Delaware's Court of Chancery provides a stern reminder regarding local counsel's duties, ultimately holding a local law firm liable for monetary and other sanctions due to improper actions by the out-of-state attorneys and their client. According to the court, the local attorneys should have been more involved in the case and, if they had been, the misconduct might have been prevented. Courts and ethics opinions in other states have reached similar conclusions. The old "rubber stamping" days of local counsel are seemingly over. It appears all counsel, including local counsel, are created equal.
The Iowa Supreme Court has approved new rules intended to simplify civil lawsuits involving no more than $75,000.
"Oh my gosh, I've been sued. What should I do now?" For businesses and individuals fortunate enough to have never asked this question, the answer is fairly simple.
As a trial attorney, I have negotiated countless settlements. The negotiations typically center around cash - how much money the defendant is going to pay the plaintiff. The most common mistake lawyers make during settlement discussions: they neglect to discuss whether their client's settlement offer or demand is contingent upon the execution of a release and settlement agreement or - much more frequently - they fail to address the specific terms they expect to include in the settlement agreement. Indeed, while cash is perhaps king, the other terms of a release and settlement agreement can be pivotal components of the settlement equation. In some instances, those other terms can be equally or more important than the monetary component of a settlement.
Our law firm has had several lawsuits over the past couple of years involving challenges to personal jurisdiction. There are three things your business needs to know about modern personal jurisdiction law, which dictates where your business can file a lawsuit and, on a related note, where your business can be sued:
Our law firm recently submitted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Bertrand v. Mullin case. If you are looking for a free sample, click HERE. I might be biased, since I drafted the Petition, but it will provide a nice template if you ever find yourself needing a sample.
Two months ago, I blogged about a federal court lawsuit filed against the NCAA to challenge the NCAA’s rules which severely limit the compensation/benefits available to college football and men's basketball athletes. (Read my previous blog post) The judge has ruled against the NCAA (in a 99-page ruling which can be found here). In particular, the judge determined that restrictions on the money which college athletes can receive for the use of their names, images and likenesses violate antitrust law. However, the judge did indicate that the NCAA can cap payments to football and men’s basketball players so long as the cap is not less than $5,000/year. The NCAA is expected to appeal the ruling, so the story isn’t over just yet.
Announcement from the Iowa Supreme Court:
Today, the Iowa Supreme Court approved new court rules intended to reduce the cost and time needed to resolve many civil lawsuits.
Goosmann Law Firm proudly won a $231,000 jury verdict for Rick Bertrand against the Iowa Democratic Party and Rick Mullin. The Woodbury County jury awarded Rick Bertrand $231,000 in damages after finding that Bertrand’s opponent and the Democratic Party committed libel and slander in a television ad in their 2010 race for an Iowa Senate seat.