Our business litigation practice embraces the wide variety of commercial disputes facing private and public companies today. Areas of particular expertise include intellectual property, antitrust, securities, employment, professional liability, and construction disputes. Our attorneys are experienced in handling matters involving complex financial instruments and transactions, trade secrets, and professional liability issues, and are regularly called upon to teach and write about these issues.
Most cases can and should be resolved short of trial. Some cannot. Our attorneys are experienced and respected trial lawyers with deep trial experience in state and federal courts. In fact, Greene Espel is often retained shortly before trial to assist or replace existing litigation counsel.
Complex Financial Instruments and Transactions
We regularly litigate disputes concerning complex financial instruments and investment vehicles such as hedge funds, low income tax credits, tax increment financing, venture capital, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and trust indentures. We litigate these cases on behalf of financial institutions, securities professionals, investment firms, and individuals. We make these complex instruments and transactions accessible and understandable to judges and juries.
Class Actions and Multi-Party Cases
We have defended and prosecuted complex class actions involving allegations of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty in the corporate context, and other business torts.
We work closely with financial experts and consultants to refute allegations of market manipulation in mortgage-backed securities, to trace millions of dollars in real estate transactions, to defend securities professionals on issues of due diligence, and to defend the practices of broker-dealers and investment advisors.
Frequently, we are contacted by institutions interested in pursuing potential litigation concerning misconduct that they believe may have occurred. In these cases, we have successfully utilized a quick but thorough pre-litigation investigation to uncover the facts necessary both to bring the case and to resolve it quickly. Our experience has shown that a thorough pre-litigation investigation can save the client time and money where the results of the investigation provide the wrongdoer with little or no defense. For example:
- The chairman of a Minnesota technology firm contacted us about the circumstances of a recent management buyout of an Ohio subsidiary. The subsidiary was purchased by its management after a broker hired by management was unable to present any credible offers to buy the company by an outside suitor. The Chairman believed that the broker and the subsidiary’s management had conspired to suppress credible offers. After a short investigation, including fact development in various states, we learned that an Arizona technology firm had offered to purchase the Ohio subsidiary for two and a half times the amount paid by management. We commenced litigation in federal court against the Ohio company, its management, and the broker for fraud and breach of fiduciary duties, and obtained summary judgment on our client’s behalf before discovery even began.
- We were retained by a financial institution that had received information that a former employee had stolen a critical internal document detailing lending and compliance procedures. After a short investigation, we obtained witness statements and documentation demonstrating that the former employee had not only stolen the information, but had also provided it to the client’s chief competitor. We commenced litigation against the former employee and the competitor. The matter was settled immediately thereafter.
Responding to a Crisis
We are often contacted by clients facing legal and public relations crises. These matters require the immediate mobilization of attorneys, paralegals, and experts to assist the client through the emergency. Recent examples include:
- When a “whistleblower” went public with allegations of widespread misconduct at the Minnesota facility of a national firm, we were retained to interview dozens of employees, review thousands of documents, and respond to regulators, law enforcement authorities, and the media. We mobilized a team of attorneys, paralegals, experts, and others to respond to the emergency, learn the facts, and resolve the matter.
- During litigation on the East coast, a national securities firm was ordered to make dozens of Minnesota employees available for depositions immediately to address allegations of wrongdoing. We were retained to represent the employees, who faced serious allegations relating to a court-ordered settlement. Within days, we mobilized a team of attorneys and paralegals to master the litigation facts and the documents related to each employee. Within weeks, all employees were interviewed and prepared for their depositions.
- A national health care firm learned through an article in a local newspaper of allegations of misconduct at its Minnesota facility. Within days, we assembled a team of attorneys and paralegals to conduct interviews of current and former employees in three states. We prepared a detailed report responding to the allegations. The report convinced regulators and potential private litigants not to pursue the allegations.