We understand the importance of focusing on our clients’ business when confronted with, or pursuing, litigation. Our first priority is the successful and efficient handling of client-critical business issues when the need for litigation assistance occurs. Our deep bench of trial attorneys includes an exceptional array of trial, arbitration and mediation experience involving high stakes litigation with a track record of achieving effective results.
Business litigation issues involve a large spectrum of problems and/or claims including:
- Breach of contract
- Trade secret violations
- Fraud; Breach of fiduciary duties
- Professional liability
- Tortious interference with contracts and/or relationships
- Supply chain disputes and data privacy and cybersecurity breaches
Our lawyers have tried and won virtually every manner of business litigation disputes. With our bench strength and by employing technology in the courtroom, we have consistently and successfully delivered excellent, cost-effective results for our clients.
Manufacturing and Automotive Litigation
The heart of our business litigation practice group is our ability to understand and effectively solve our clients’ manufacturing and supply chain issues. With our footprint squarely in the Midwest and Southeast, McDonald Hopkins represents many manufacturing companies in the general manufacturing, automotive and aerospace industries. We are proud of our extensive knowledge of manufacturing and supply chain, including a deep understanding of commercial law and the nuances associated with the multitude of contract forms utilized in these industries. Many of our litigation attorneys have served as outside general counsel to large automotive suppliers. This inside knowledge offers us a unique insight and understanding of the manufacturing industry. While providing legal advice is our primary function, we recognize that it is equally important to understand the business realities in difficult supply relationships and to work closely with clients to solve such disputes, often before litigation is initiated. This is particularly true when dealing with today’s lean manufacturing environment.
When litigation is unavoidable, our teams of attorneys are prepared to act quickly and effectively when the supply chain is a risk. We have been involved in litigating hundreds of supply chain disputes, distributor agreements and accommodation agreements. Given the just-in-time supply requirements in many manufacturing industries, strategy and sound advice on the front end, and during each step of the litigation process, is essential. Our lawyers deal with these issues every day and have a proven track record of obtaining favorable results for our clients.
Our attorneys also handle disputes related to the quality of goods and recall litigation, tooling disputes and virtually every other aspect of litigation in the manufacturing sector. The following is a summary of some representative matters handled by our attorneys:
- Successfully represented a brake manufacturer in a multi-million dollar supply dispute related to defendant suppliers’ effort to terminate contract due to higher commodity pricing for friction materials.
- Obtained aninjunction requiring defendant supplier to continue to ship fasteners at agreed pricing despite dramatic increase in steel prices.
- Successfully enforced contractual terms requiring defendant supplier to timely ship automotive interior components to avoid shutdown of an OEM assembly operations.
- Successfully defeated a claim for injunctive relief brought against Tier II plastics supplier client by demonstrating that purchase order was not a requirements contract and, therefore, client had no further supply obligations.
- Defended multi-million dollar warranty recall claim against a supplier by an OEM related to recalled hub and wheel bearings.
- Successfully defended defective product claim seeking recall costs related to drive-by-wire sensors utilized on heavy trucks.
Business Torts and Fraud Claims
McDonald Hopkins has a long history of assisting clients with claims of fraud and tortious interference relating to contracts, mergers, acquisitions, earn-outs, breaches of representations and warranties, as well as restrictive covenant and non-compete agreements. We offer counseling to clients on the front end to develop solutions and safeguards against such claims. However, when litigation becomes necessary, we have litigated business torts and fraud claims on a local, regional and national level.
Our business litigators have a wealth of experience in assisting privately held companies in the defense of shareholder suits involving claims of breach of fiduciary obligations, fraudulent conveyances and shareholder oppression. We have successfully defended the corporate entities as well as their officers, directors and shareholders. Defending privately-held companies and/or majority shareholders against breach of fiduciary duty claims, shareholder oppression claims and corporate mismanagement claims is a hallmark of our practice.
Directors and Officers Litigation
Our firm has extensive experience representing directors and officers in a wide range of industries -- both for-profit and not-for-profit. Directors and officers serve in complex and challenging roles in which they often oversee large sums of money. Thus, questions arise related to misconduct, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, antitrust, and employment issues. Our attorneys understand that allegations of this kind can have a substantial impact. Therefore, we focus on the development of a practical, thoughtful and cost-effective plan for your defense.
Our litigation team frequently works with liability insurers in the defense of such claims. When disputes arise, we strive to avoid litigation by facilitating a resolution to the issues. In cases where litigation is unavoidable, our litigation attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve an optimal result.
Our attorneys are well rounded in the related legal areas of class action defense, securities, commercial, banking and financial services, corporate, healthcare, and additional business law specialties. This comprehensive background enables our attorneys to provide insightful trial and settlement strategies.
Examples of our board and corporate officer representations include:
A publicly traded company in federal securities litigation, resulting in dismissal of the amended complaint
State anti-trust proceedings, resulting in summary judgment for our clients
Representation of board and corporate officers in managed care organizations in breach of fiduciary duty claims, breach of contract claims, and anti-trust claims in state and federal courts, resulting in numerous dismissals and favorable settlements
Middle market, Fortune 500, and not-for-profit organizations in numerous employment cases throughout state and federal courts, resulting in summary dismissals and favorable resolutions
A third-party administrator in federal ERISA litigation involving alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims
A failed Medicaid HMO in a breach of fiduciary duty case, resulting in a favorable settlement
Professional Liability Litigation
McDonald Hopkins attorneys are skilled in the area of professional liability defense with substantial experience in defending professionals in the legal, accounting, real estate and insurance fields. Our attorneys work closely with insurers throughout the country in providing a reliable defense to insureds covered under errors and omissions policies and professional liability policies. In defending legal or accounting malpractice claims, our attorneys call upon the expertise and experience of our full-service law firm rather than “reinventing the wheel”. Many of our attorneys are also certified public accountants and understand the issues that can arise in such cases. In legal malpractice cases, our attorneys consult with other attorneys in the firm who specialize in specific legal practice areas which may make extensive research and the employment of outside consultants unnecessary.
Banking and Lender Liability Litigation
McDonald Hopkins has represented a number of national and regional banks and lending institutions over the last several decades. We have pursued claims on behalf of banks, as well as, defended them against claims seeking lender liability or potential exposure arising from allegations of breach of fiduciary obligations, misrepresentation, fraud or statutory violations. We have experienced great success and have achieved remarkable results for our clients including:
Defending counter-claims and achieving summary judgment against a borrower/guarantor who asserted fraudulent behavior by the loan officer and others in the lending department, and in addition received a multi-million dollar judgment on the banks primary claims against the borrower and individual guarantors.
Successfully defended a national bank against claims brought in Federal court that it had improperly sold a large commercial building in downtown Detroit while acting as a Qualified Professional Asset Manager for the Operating Engineers Pension Fund.
Developed and lead an $8.5 million lender liability defense involving issues related to treasury management, document retention and the Uniform Commercial Code – Articles 3 and 4. Eight-day jury trial resulting in a unanimous verdict in favor of the bank.
Assisted national bank in obtaining a Receiver over commercial property being improperly managed by Borrower, and was able to execute a pay back of funds withheld by Borrower and position property for sale to a more secure owner.
Defending claims of Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices and tortious interference related to a bank’s alleged participation in a “lift out” of a private banking group.
Defense of a major national bank in a class action lawsuit involving data and identity theft; a motion to dismiss the class action was granted by the United States District Court.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
With personal and financial information stored on computers, the internet, and other media, and with the rise of identity theft, individuals are more concerned than ever about protecting their personal information. Increasingly, companies have become targets of individuals, both internally and externally, misappropriating this information for improper purposes. McDonald Hopkins is on the cutting edge of this developing area and is one of very few firms who have regional and national litigation experience in handling data breach lawsuits.
For a more full description of McDonald Hopkins’ capabilities and representative matters in this area, click here.