FROM THE PRICE OF BUSINESS SHOW, MEDIA PARTNER OF THE TIMES USA.
Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business show, interviewed attorney Lee Kaplan of the firm Smyser, Kaplan, and Velselka (SKV) about a recent court decision that visited the limits and strengths of a contract. In this important interview, they look at the assurances a business can give that they will do things outside the terms of the contract for a client (even in email), but will do something quite different in reality. Kaplan explains why they get away with it and provides a sober “buyer beware” story.
According to SKV, “Lee Kaplan has tried dozens of cases in state and federal courts, representing plaintiffs and defendants ranging from Fortune 10 corporations to individuals. In recent years he has had two cases that landed in the top 25 verdicts in Texas for those years. His docket has included oil and gas, construction, securities, antitrust, patent and trademark infringement, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, fraud, theft of trade secrets, shareholder rights, and class actions. He frequently handles “high tech” cases and enjoys mastering complicated business dealings or scientific concepts in order to present them concisely to other lay people (particularly judges and juries). Lee also serves as an arbitrator, often named to panels by prior opposing counsel. Here are some recent examples of his results (omitting confidential arbitrations and settlements):
“In 2017 he won a critical (and rare) ruling that Hyundai discriminated against a franchise dealer in vehicle allocations.
“In 2015 he won a two-week federal jury trial alleging theft of trade secrets, obtaining a $12.2 million verdict and judgment in addition to four stipulated judgments of $28.5 million reached with four defendants prior to trial. Quantlab Technologies Ltd. (BVI) and Quantlab Financial, LLC, vs. Vitaliy Godlevsky, Andriy Kuharsky, Anna Maravina, Ping An, Emmanuel Mamalakis, and SXP Analytics, LLC, Case No. 09-cv-4039 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. The case was one of the top 25 verdicts in Texas in 2015. In 2017 the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment in all respects. In 2018 the District Court awarded attorney’s fees of over $9.6 million, including $3.22 million against each of the two defendants who elected to try the case, and observed that that they “engaged in litigation behavior so acrimonious, vexatious, and indefensible that their bad faith exceeds any that this judge has seen in his nineteen years on the bench.”
LISTEN TO THAT INTERVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE: