Complex Commercial Litigation Update

February 13, 2019


The Delaware Superior Court’s Complex Commercial Litigation Division (“CCLD”) was very busy in the last quarter of 2018.  The division handled large trade secret cases, issued decisions in complex contract actions, and continued as a preferred venue for resolving commercial insurance disputes.  Of note was Judge Johnston’s handling of one of the largest CCLD jury trials in the division to date.  Consistent with the CCLD’s guiding principles, Judge Johnston swiftly guided the case from start to finish.  For more information about the CCLD or past issues of this mailing, please visit our website.

Judge Johnston Concludes Multi-Week Trade Secrets Trial
On November 7, 2018, Judge Johnston concluded a multi-week jury trial in Incyte Corporation v. Flexus Biosciences, Inc. et al., C.A. No. N15C-09-055 MMJ CCLD. The trial began on October 22, 2018, and the case was one of the largest cases tried to a verdict in the history of the CCLD.  

Judge Wallace Grants in Part and Denies in Part Cross Motions to Dismiss
In The GWO Litigation Trust v. Sprint Solutions, Inc., C.A. No. N17C-06-356 PRW CCLD, Judge Wallace granted in part and denied in part defendant Sprint Solutions, Inc.’s (“Sprint”) motion to dismiss certain counts of the complaint and plaintiff General Wireless Organization Litigation Trust’s (“GWO Trust”) partial motion to dismiss Sprint’s counterclaims and third party Sprint e-Wireless’s (“e-Wireless”) third-party claim.  

Judge Davis Denies Motion to Dismiss Claims Related to Investment Banking Fee Dispute on Grounds that Plaintiff Pled Sufficient Facts
In Piper Jaffray, Inc. v. Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., C.A. No.: N18C-04-021 EMD CCLD, Judge Davis denied a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff Piper Jaffray Inc. brought suit against Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. for payment of a transaction fee that Piper Jaffray claimed was owed under the terms of a January 7, 2017 engagement letter.   

Judge Davis Denies Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
In SARN Energy LLC v. Tatra Defense Vehicle A.S., C.A. No. N17C-06-355 EMD CCLD (Oct. 31, 2018) (“SARN I”), Judge Davis denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought by plaintiff SARN Energy LLC.  SARN sued Tatra Defence Vehicle a.s. for breach of contract arising out of a Defense Policy Analysis and Advisor Agreement (the “Agreement”). 

Judge Davis Grants Motion to Dismiss and Finds that Alter Ego Liability Theories Belong in the Court of Chancery
In SARN Energy LLC v. Tatra Defense Vehicle A.S., C.A. No. N17C-06-355 EMD CCLD (Nov. 5, 2018) (“SARN II”), Judge Davis considered a motion to dismiss counterclaims raised by Tatra Defence Vehicle a.s.  SARN II arises from the same transaction as SARN I. 

Judge Carpenter Grants Partial Summary Judgment on Defense Costs and Dismisses Almost All Counterclaims
In AR Capital, LLC v. XL Specialty Insurance Co., et al., C.A. No. N16C-04-154 WCC CCLD, Judge Carpenter resolved several case dispositive motions filed as part of contentious litigation between AR Capital, LLC, intervenor VEREIT, Inc., and several insurers. 

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