In 2017, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas entered Final Judgment in favor of Susman Godfrey client Personalized Media Communications (PMC) in its long-running licensing dispute with TiVo, formerly known as Gemstar-TV Guide International and Rovi Guides. In his ruling, Judge Payne adopted the arbitration order of retired U.S. District Court Judge David Folsom who found a licensing agreement between PMC and Rovi encompassed technology for invoking features from an Interactive Program Guide (IPG), but did not include technology for delivering programming content.
In 2015, after an eight-day arbitration, Susman Godfrey client Ahmed Hussein was awarded $2 million for claims that UBS breached its contractual and fiduciary obligations in connection with its liquidation of 2.3 million shares of Hussein’s stock in Quality Systems, Inc. pursuant to a margin call. Hussein alleges more than $30 million in damages as a result of UBS’s conduct and is seeking to recover the remainder of his losses in a separate action against UBS Bank in the Utah State Court.
In 2014, Susman Godfrey client Wade Johnson signed a favorable confidential settlement ending six years of hard fought litigation against a prominent investment bank. Mr. Johnson had signed a finder’s fee contract entitling him to fees in the event of investment in or acquisition of a start-up financial services company. In a AAA arbitration, Susman Godfrey overcame arguments that Mr. Johnson was an unregistered broker-dealer and that his indirect introduction did not entitle him to fees under the contract’s terms. Following an arbitration award granting Mr. Johnson both a flat fee and a going-forward percentage, Susman Godfrey was forced to engage in extensive litigation regarding the terms of the award in the New York Supreme Court on cross-motions to vacate and confirm the arbitration award. Susman Godfrey prevailed in the trial court, and the case settled shortly after Susman Godfrey argued the case on appeal.
In 2014, Susman Godfrey won an arbitration, Kosmos Energy, Ltd. v. Turner, relating to the termination of and stock award to a former executive. The arbitration panel awarded the client, Kosmos Energy, complete relief by requiring the return of $3.5 million in stock, plus attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $1.1 million. In addition, the panel rejected claims in excess of $5.3 million against Kosmos.
In 2013, Susman Godfrey represented Steven Kumble in an arbitration brought by Lincolnshire for millions of dollars for Kumble’s having violated a non-disparagement agreement. Kumble counterclaimed for millions of dollars that he had not been paid by the claimant. The arbitrator awarded Kumble the full amount he sought and rejected the claim against him.
In 2013, when two Morgan Stanley brokers resigned from the firm to join another bank, Morgan Stanley filed a collection action for more than $5 million in prior bonuses paid to the brokers. Morgan Stanley and other investment banks have filed hundreds of these collection actions over the years, and they typically win. Not this time. In a precedent-setting case, Susman Godfrey filed a plaintiffs’ counterclaim on behalf of the brokers against Morgan Stanley and prevailed, when a panel of FINRA arbitrators unanimously ruled in favor of the brokers. After a three-day arbitration and testimony from several witnesses, the panel rejected Morgan Stanley’s claims in their entirety, and ordered the bank to pay nearly $1.5 million to Susman Godfrey’s clients on account of commissions lost as a result of the bank’s actions.
In 2013 Susman Godfrey won an arbitration in which we represented NASDAQ OMX in defending fraud and breach of contract claims brought by Jefferies & Co. Jefferies sought more than $30 million in damages, and was awarded nothing.
Susman Godfrey represented an attorney in Hartford, Connecticut against his former law firm for breach of the separation agreement he signed when he left the partnership. The arbitrators rejected all of the firm’s defenses and counterclaims and awarded our client millions of dollars in legal fees earned by the firm as well as a percentage of certain fees earned in the future.
Susman Godfrey defended Enterprise Products against Marathon’s claims of breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy concerning the dedication of natural gas processing rights in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico. We persuaded the arbitrator to dismiss nearly all of Marathon’s claims on summary judgment, including Marathon’s $45 million consequential damages claim, and numerous breach of contract and fraud claims. Susman Godfrey settled the case on highly favorable terms within days of receiving the arbitrator’s summary judgment order and filing our motion to strike Marathon’s damages expert.
Susman Godfrey successfully defended ABB Lummus Global, Inc. and its joint venture with Heerema Zwindrecht, which built and delivered a $700 million offshore exploration and development platform, in a multi-million-dollar construction dispute with one of the project’s subcontractors. Susman Godfrey fully prevailed for its client in arbitration pursuant to the UNCITRAL rules.
Susman Godfrey defended a Houston-based oil and gas company in a contract dispute seeking the return of a gas lease worth $600 million and tens of millions in additional damages. We prevailed on all claims.
In an arbitration regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Susman Godfrey defeated claims that our clients infringed copyrights and committed fraud in connection with use of a software program, and instead won an award of more than $2 million in damages and attorneys’ fees. The other side sought $500 million in damages. The Fifth Circuit upheld the award.