Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our clients care about results. They also care about what it takes to achieve them, and so do we.

Overview

Disputes and litigation are a significant cause of expense and uncertainty for any business. Given the stakes, we vigorously protect our clients’ interest. But we also work to minimize the disruption that these challenges cause. Be it in state or federal courts, before arbitration bodies or through mediation, clients trust our knowledge and experience, which we’ve gained through years of amassing a winning track record.

One of our greatest strengths is our collaborative approach to serving our clients and our ability to call on other AGG professionals with the expertise needed for a particular matter. Regardless of whether the dispute is rooted in a healthcare issue or trademark misuse, commercial real estate or an employment controversy, we have the right people for the case, and we staff cases to win.

Our national litigation practice helps clients in courts throughout the United States. We’re also internationally known for our alternative dispute resolution (ADR) expertise, which we’ve deployed on behalf of clients both at home and abroad.

We’re also known for our experience with regulatory and agency investigations and prosecutions, and our clients benefit from the strong relationships we’ve built over the years with the regulatory bodies, be it the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

But we’re more than just hired guns that handle disputes and investigations once they arise. Instead, we’re our client’s trusted partners in proactively managing risk and exposure. By helping clients build robust compliance programs, conduct appropriate internal investigations, and educate personnel on the right way to do things, we make sure that potential issues don’t balloon into major litigation.

Our attorneys have been recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers for their leadership in litigation and ADR, as well as Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 100 “Who’s Who?” listings for Law and Accounting and International Business.

Additional Specialties

  • We defend businesses against the out sized risk that class action litigation poses, often nipping the threat in the bud by defeating class certification. Our litigators have achieved success in class actions and putative class actions across the country in suits involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), securities fraud, antitrust violations, and improprieties in the business practices of the payments and insurance industries.
  • We help our clients manage their electronic information so that the cost and business disruption of e-discovery are minimized by using the latest e-discovery technology and staying current on the law. Not to brag, but even other law firms hire us as their e-discovery consultants.

Experience

  • Acted as defense counsel in case where United States District Court entered judgment in favor of a group consisting of more than 20 financial services clients on the plaintiff’s antitrust claims. The case was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Akanthos Capital Management, LLC, et al v. CompuCredit Holdings Corporation, 698 F.3d 1348 (11th Cir. 2012). Subsequently, successfully defended against plaintiff’s attempt to relitigate same claims in a companion action. (11th Cir. 2013).
  • Representing Zurich Services Corporation, the risk services subsidiary of Zurich American Insurance Co., in mass tort litigation arising from one of the worst industrial disasters in Georgia.
  • Represents nonprofit educational and healthcare institutions against claims of tortious interference, racketeering and defamation.
  • Successfully represented biomedical company in connection with a contentious, multi-million dispute arising from an exclusive distribution agreement, which included claims for breach of contract, breach of implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, RICO, misappropriation of trade secrets, libel, tortious interference, and the Georgia deceptive trade practices act.
  • Successfully obtained judgment on behalf of financial institution in data breach litigation involving compromise of credit card data and ensuing credit card network liability.
  • Following the filing of federal lawsuit and motion for injunctive relief, obtained successful settlement for home medical service provider on its claims for federal trademark infringement and various state law violations (including deceptive trade practices, dilution and unfair competition) against a competitor who had misappropriated client’s trademark.
  • Obtained rulings from the North Carolina Court of Appeals and South Carolina Court of Appeals enforcing pre-dispute arbitration agreements entered in connection with nursing home admissions. Westmoreland v. High Point Healthcare Inc., 721 S.E.2d 712 (N.C. App. 2012) (holding that agreement was not unconscionable and enforcing agreement notwithstanding unavailability of AAA to administer arbitration);Johnson v. Heritage Healthcare of Estill, LLC, 2014-UP-318 (S.C. App. Aug. 6, 2014) (unpublished).
  • Won several summary judgments for Certus Bank in suits to enforce promissory notes and guarantees involving several million dollars of debts secured by commercial and residential property and had receiver appointed to manage commercial properties.
  • Won an injunction stopping a Recall Election of the Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. The Court ruled that the Gwinnett Recall Committee did not prove there was probable cause to believe that the Commissioner had committed any acts that adversely affected the citizens of the County and enjoined the Elections Director from proceeding with the Recall Election.
  • Successfully represented leading medical device company by persuading United States District Court for the District of Minnesota to dismiss a declaratory judgment action brought under Section 12(g) of The Exchange Act of 1934 based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Because our client, a publicly-traded corporation, did not have a private right of action to compel the plaintiff to register with the SEC, the court did not have jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment action by the plaintiff seeking a ruling that it had no obligation to register its shares.
  • Successfully represented a major media company in defending against a claim for invasion of privacy based on the use of hidden cameras during investigation of a news story. The  United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted a motion to dismiss the claim and the decision was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Successfully represented musical artist in the defense of a claim for copyright infringement involving a Grammy Award winning song. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted a motion for summary judgment, which was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Successfully represented a private investor in a fraud, negligent misrepresentation and securities action in a two-week trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio that resulted in a jury verdict in excess of $7 million. The verdict later was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Successfully represented a group of shareholders of a professional services company in a breach of contract action involving a contractual obligation to maintain an active shelf registration for their benefit. After obtaining summary judgment on liability as a result of a suspension of the shelf registration, we appealed the damages award to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which certified the case to the Supreme Court of Delaware for a determination of the appropriate measure of damages. After argument in the Supreme Court of Delaware, that Court issued an opinion that resulted in the damages award being reversed and remanded to the District Court.
  • Successfully represented an individual limited partner who was a guarantor of the partnership’s loan from the defendant bank. After obtaining summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim for breach of the guarantee agreement, the case went to trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on our client’s counterclaims and resulted in a jury trial in excess of $3 million. The verdict was affirmed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on a theory of tortious interference in fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully represented a major wireless telecommunications provider in lawsuits against various governmental entities for claims arising under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Lawsuits have resulted in more than 2 dozen federal court orders or settlements requiring that permits be issued for the placement of wireless telecommunications facilities.
  • Defended UHS-Pruitt Corporation in a two week nursing home liability jury trial, obtaining a favorable result on behalf of the client.
  • Successfully defended medical device manufacturer in federal court bench trial against a claim for more than $10 million based on an alleged breach of license. Unlike a typical breach of contract claim, the issues in this case required proving patent non-infringement and tendering expert testimony in a niche area of x-ray technology. Mr. Desai also handled and successfully defeated an appeal of the judgment before the Eleventh Circuit and Florida Supreme Court.
  • Successfully represented national health care provider in dispute with former shareholders involving allegations of usurpation of corporate opportunities, breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud, and denial of employee benefits.
  • Represented a consumer products company in a suit against a competitor for trademark infringement and violations of Georgia’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the federal Anti-cyber squatting Consumer Protection Act.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed an order granting summary judgment to our client.
  • Served as lead counsel for inside officers and directors in connection with breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by bankruptcy trustee, resulting in favorable settlement for clients.
  • Successfully defended a medical device manufacturer in federal court bench trial against claims for breach of a license agreement and assertion of over $10 million in damages. Unlike a typical breach of contract claim, the issues in this case required proving patent non-infringement and tendering expert testimony in a highly niche area of x-ray technology.
  • Successfully obtained a sanctions award and order rejecting a private company’s efforts to curtail shareholder rights by refusing shareholder inspection requests.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for $3.5 million on a conspiracy to defraud client and her children of assets from the estate of her grandfather (the children’s great grandfather). Judgment was affirmed on appeal by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. After the defendant began to hide assets to avoid collection of judgment, filed a RICO suit against defendant and his trust which was settled for more than the original judgment.
  • Successfully obtained Article 37 emergency measures of protection before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, and shortly thereafter, successfully resolved a multi-million dollar controversy between an international manufacturer and an American distributor.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for a consumer products company in its trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit against an international counterfeiter. Conducted an ex parte seizure of counterfeit goods stored at a warehouse with the assistance of U.S. Marshals.
  • Represented investment bank in suit by bankruptcy trustee seeking damages in excess of $500 million based on allegations that fiduciary duty breaches in connection with a private notes offering allegedly deepened the debtor’s insolvency. Obtained a large sanctions award against the trustee and his attorneys and a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Defended investment bank, Merrill Lynch & Co., in connection with allegations that fiduciary breaches in connection with a notes offering allegedly “deepened debtor’s insolvency.” A large sanctions award was entered against the plaintiff and his attorneys and the client ultimately settled on favorable terms. Levine v. Merrill Lynch & Co., et. al. (Superior Court of Fulton County, GA).
  • Successfully served as lead counsel for local school board and certain of its employees in action under Americans with Disabilities Act. A judgment was entered in favor of clients after a bench trial. Ellerbee v. Cobb County Public Schools (N.D. Ga.).
  • Developed plan to bind a group of dispersed individuals, shareholders of a for-profit corporation, that converted to a non-profit corporation, by filing a reverse class action lawsuit (the first in Georgia) whereby the judgment of the court bound all shareholders, whether or not their whereabouts were known.
  • Served as lead counsel and represented insurance carrier in obtaining rescission of lawyer’s professional liability policy based on insured’s prior knowledge of claim. Summary judgment entered in favor of client in an order that clarified the meaning of the Georgia statutes applicable to rescission of insurance policies. Home Indem. Co. v. Toombs, 910 F. Supp. 1569 (N.D. Ga.).
  • Obtained plaintiff’s verdict, after one-week jury trial, in action for quantum meruit damages relating to work performed for the City of Atlanta under its minority business owners program.
  • Represented major metropolitan housing authority defending claims brought by a member of a redevelopment company against the housing authority for alleged breach of contract and various tort claims. Obtained order of dismissal of all claims against client at the pleadings stage of the litigation. The trial court’s dismissal was affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    Recognition

      • 2015 Chambers USA lists litigation partners Glenn Hendrix (healthcare), Ashley Kelly (labor and employment), Henry Perlowski (labor and employment) and Robert Rothman (litigation).

     

    • Robert Rothman is a past Chair of the 65,000-member American Bar Association Section of Litigation and currently serves on the American Bar Association Board of Governors. Glenn Hendrix is a past Chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law

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