Case Studies

Aggressive Television Network Litigation for Time Warner Cable

Kegler Brown represented Time Warner Cable in a re-transmission consent dispute related to the cable system’s carriage of a Columbus network television station and a statewide cable news station owned by the same company. The representation included aggressive, expedited litigation as part of an overall strategy that included a simultaneous large-scale media blitz focused upon winning customer and public support for the company’s position. Through this representation, we helped the client achieve all of their objectives regarding the outcome of this dispute.

Preventing Class Certification and Forcing Arbitration

Kegler Brown represented a national seller of extended automobile warranties in preventing class certification and forcing arbitration of the central claims in the case. The customers purchasing the warranties completed short-form applications in connection with their purchases and the subsequently received warranty document included an arbitration provision. Following two interlocutory appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, we were successful in forcing arbitration and driving the case to a successful resolution for our client. We simultaneously resolved an Ohio Attorney General’s Office investigation focused on the same practices favorably for the client.

Design + Construction Defect Litigation

We represented the Montgomery County (Ohio) Board of County Commissioners in connection with a large-scale park and outdoor entertainment development in a metropolitan area. Various aspects of the development were not completed as represented and we initiated litigation against a number of parties, including an international landscape architecture firm, as well as other contractors and product suppliers. After two weeks of jury trial, the matter was resolved through our client’s receipt of an amount in excess of all repair and remediation costs, as well as its seven-figure legal fees and related costs.

National Franchisee Putative Class Action Litigation

Kegler Brown defended a nationally known franchisor in putative class action litigation alleging RICO, Fraud and Antitrust Claims pertaining to various aspects of the franchise system. The lawsuit included claims related to product and service supplier arrangements, as well as marketing fees paid to the franchisor by product manufacturers and suppliers. We successfully prevented class certification, obtained the dismissal of most of the claims, and resolved the remaining litigation with a nuisance value settlement.

Bid-Rigging Litigation

Our attorneys represented an international dairy product supplier and several of its subsidiaries in federal grand jury investigations and civil litigation initiated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on behalf of hundreds of Ohio school districts. The civil litigation and simultaneous criminal investigations spanned several years. Our client prevailed in a court-ordered summary jury trial of the civil litigation that lasted for several weeks, following which all related litigation and investigations were favorably concluded for our client.

Fast and Efficient Settlement of a Hotly Contested Business Dispute

Ginise v. White Oak Partners, LLC. 2015. Franklin County Ohio Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 15 CV004034
In January 2015, Russell Ginise resigned as president of White Oak Partners, LLC, a closely held company engaged in the acquisition, ownership and operation of multi-family investment properties. At the time of his resignation, Mr. Ginise was one of the owners of White Oak Partners, and his resignation triggered buyout provisions at fair market value. A dispute arose as to the fair market value of his units and the parties were far apart in their respective assessments of the fair market value of Mr. Ginise’s units. In May 2015, Mr. Hill filed suit on behalf of Mr. Ginise in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The matter was hotly contested at the outset, but by November 2015, before any substantial discovery had been undertaken (and with the cooperation of able opposing counsel), the parties reached a settlement on terms that eliminated any risk as to the outcome, eliminated the anticipated substantial costs of litigation for both parties, and that Mr. Ginise found very satisfactory. Mr. Ginise’s thoughts about the case and its outcome can be seen under Endorsements.

A Battle Fought to the Finish Results in an $18 Million Judgment

Stuckey v. Online Resources Corporation. United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Case No. 2:08-CV-1188.
In 1999, several young tech-savvy entrepreneurs came together to build a new business that provided specialized electronic payment services to the accounts receivable management and utilities industries. By 2006, that business, Internet Transaction Solutions, Inc. (“ITS”), had become an award-winning industry leader and the owners decided to sell. The buyer was a publicly traded corporation called Online Resources Corporation, Inc. (ORC). ORC breached the purchase contract by not timely registering ORC stock that it issued as part of the purchase price to the ITS shareholders and Kent Stuckey, the president of ITS, sued ORC on behalf of ITS shareholders in federal court in Columbus.

ORC, represented by international law firm Greenberg Traurig, fought every step of the way. ORC filed two motions to dismiss the lawsuit, both of which were overruled. ORC also moved for summary judgment, which was also overruled. The case was ultimately tried in federal court throughout approximately two weeks to United States District Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Following extensive post-trial briefs, Judge Marbley found for Stuckey, awarding $18.1 million in damages- ORC appealed. While the appeal was pending, Stuckey (on behalf of himself and the ITS shareholders) settled for $17.9 million. Mr. Stuckey’s thoughts about the case and its outcome can be seen under Endorsements.

A Fight Over the Multi-Million-Dollar Fee Awards in the Tobacco Settlement

Lorillard Tobacco Company et al v. Chester Willcox & Saxbe, LLP, et al, Case No. 2:04-CV-715.
The 1997 nationwide settlement of the renowned “tobacco fee” litigation resulted in an award of $3.4 billion dollars in legal fees to the law firms that represented the State of Florida in its claims against the defendant tobacco companies. Those fees were to be paid out over 25 years, without interest, and their payment was unsecured. A number of the Florida law firms chose to sell their portion of that fee award for a discounted up-front payment of cash. After they did so, a dispute arose between the purchasers of those fee awards and the Florida firms over exactly what fees had been sold. That dispute resulted in an interpleader action filed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, in August 2004. Mr. Hill and his partner, Chris Weber, represented the purchaser of the fee awards and the bank that served as the indenture trustee of the fee awards as they were paid. The case was vigorously contested between the Florida law firms (on one side) and the purchaser of the fee awards and the indenture trustee (on the other side).

The contracts through which the Florida law firms sold their fee awards to the purchasers were extraordinarily voluminous and complex. Discovery was extensive, involving the production and review of hundreds of thousands of documents and multiple depositions. Multiple motions were filed, thoroughly briefed, and ruled upon. Florida counsel appealed two of the district court’s rulings against them to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and, after seven long years of litigation, the case was finally settled.

Lester J. (“Ruff”) Fant was the representative of the purchasers of the Florida fee awards with whom Mr. Hill and Mr. Weber worked closely for those seven years. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Fant was formerly a partner and executive committee member at Sidley Austin LLP, while also serving as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center for seventeen years. Mr. Fant’s thoughts about that litigation and its outcome can also be seen under Endorsements.