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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Celebrity chef files breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty suit

Chef Paul Qui, a Texas-based James Beard award recipient and winner of the ninth season of “Top Chef” recently filed suit against his former business partners for allegedly swindling him out of his earnings and sabotaging the progress of his new Miami hotel restaurant.

In his lawsuit, Qui claims his former business partners Bill Stapleton and Filadelfo Tombetta, through their management company New Waterloo Management, LLC, violated contractual obligations and unjustly profited from Qui’s rise to fame.

Trucking company sues Amazon over the use of "Prime" on freight trailers

Prime, Inc. is one of the nation's largest trucking companies. On July 2nd, Prime filed a trademark infringement action against Amazon for using the word "Prime" on its commercial vehicles.

Prime Inc. alleges that Amazon's use of its Amazon Prime logo has caused "irreparable damage to its business, reputation, and goodwill." The trucking company has reportedly used the word "Prime" on its semi-trailers continuously since 1980.

Dismissal of Blue Bell shareholder claim reversed

A stockholder suit against Blue Bell Creameries is getting a second chance at trial, thanks to the Delaware Supreme Court. Originally filed in 2017, the complaint by shareholders alleged mismanagement by executives after the 2015 listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream led to a financial crisis at the company.

Businesses sue San Antonio over paid sick leave ordinance

Last year, San Antonio joined the Austin in passing a law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. Last week, business owners fought back.

A coalition of business groups filed a lawsuit alleging that the city ordinance, which is set to take effect on August 1, violates Texas' minimum wage laws.

ADT awarded $4 million in deceptive trade practices suit

A jury in the Southern District of Florida awarded security firm ADT $4 million in damages in the culmination of its deceptive trade practices lawsuit against Alder Holdings, Inc. ADT's dispute with Alder dates back to around 2012 when ADT first accused Alder of encouraging sales staff to falsely present themselves as ADT employees.

ADT accuses Alder of "bait and switch" sales tactics

Shareholder dispute puts century-old trust in the spotlight

The Texas Pacific Land Trust, a 130-year-old trust holding over 900,000 acres of land in the Texas oil and gas basin, has become the center of a high-profile shareholder fight in recent months.

Unusual governing structure leads to tensions

Lawsuit marks new territory for TCPA

British chemical company Venator Materials PLC (Venator) moved to dismiss a series of federal securities class action claims pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA). Investors allege Venator misled investors about the impact of a fire at one of its plants in Finland. In response, Venator argues that its statements were made according to its right to free speech on matters of public concern.

By doing so, Venator explores previously unexplored territory under the TCPA.

A closer look at Huawei's motion for summary judgment

In our last post, we discussed Huawei's case against the United States government and its allegations that Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") is unconstitutional.

Specifically, Huawei claims the NDAA violates the Bill of Attainder, Due Process, and Vesting Clauses - which prohibit "trials by legislature" and ensure due process and the independent exercise of executive and judicial powers - by naming the company a restricted telecommunications provider.

Huawei seeks to expedite its lawsuit against the U.S.

Recently, Chinese tech company Huawei moved for summary judgment in its lawsuit against the United States. By doing so, Huawei argues there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on its claim concerning the constitutionality of section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Huawei - which operates its American headquarters in Plano, Texas - alleges that a military spending provision preventing government agencies from using the company's telecom equipment is unconstitutional. By moving for summary judgment, Huawei seeks to accelerate the lawsuit it filed against the U.S. government earlier this year.

Hitchcock waterfront property dispute continues

A dispute involving upscale waterfront development properties in Houston-Galveston is headed to court, according to the business owner at the heart of the clash.

Waterfront business owner Paul Leviner says the water in the marina is unsafe for boats due to lack of dredging, and that it is the Flamingo Isles Municipal Utility District's responsibility to fix the problem. Leviner owns the commercial properties at Harborwalk in Hitchcock, which he declared shut down six months ago in light of the water issue - according to the Houston Chronicle.

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