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Commercial Cases

GDG Acquisitions, L.L.C. v. Government of Belize

Siegel's client GDG contracted to lease telephone equipment to the government of Belize and alleged $20 million in overdue payments.  The case gave rise to two separate appeals.  In the first, Siegel persuaded the 11th Circuit to reverse the district court's decision dismissing GDG's case on grounds of forum non conveniens and international comity.  The decision set an important precedent fleshing out the doctrine of international comity and holding foreign governments and companies to their commitments to litigate in the U.S.  See 749 F.3d 1024 (11th Cir. 2014).  GDG's first brief is here.  In the second appeal, the 11th Circuit again agreed with Siegel and affirmed the trial court's decision denying Belize's motion to dismiss the case based on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.  The decision resolved novel questions concerning what country's law governs FSIA cases and is one of very few to base waiver of FSIA immunity on ratification.  See 849 F.3d 1299 (11th Cir. 2017).  GDG's second brief is here.  the case was covered by Bloomberg's U.S. Law Week and Law360, and both decisions are cited in Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law and Wright & Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure.


Westlake Petrochemicals, L.L.C. v.  United Polychem, Inc., et al.

Siegel represented a California corporation, United Polychem, and its owner in appealing a $6.3 million damages award obtained by Westlake arising from an unconsummated $60 million sale of ethylene.   The Fifth Circuit reversed the award and ordered entry of judgment in favor of United Polychem's owner, whom the district court held liable under a personal guaranty.  It also reversed the award against United Polychem and remanded for a retrial on Westlake's damages using legal standards more favorable to United Polychem.  See 688 F.3d 232 (5th Cir. 2012).  Siegel's brief is here.

MWK Recruiting, Inc. v. Jowers

Siegel protected a judgment in excess of $4 million in this appeal brought by a legal recruiter found liable after a bench trial for misappropriating trade secrets and breaching his employment agreement. The Fifth Circuit rejected the appellant's arguments that the trial court misapplied the requirement in Florida law that the information in question not be generally known or readily ascertainable.  The Court also held that the employment agreement's restrictive covenants properly protected the appellee's legitimate business interests under Florida law. See 2024 WL 1374845 (5th Cir. 2024).  Siegel's brief is here.

Lone Star OB/GYN Associates v. Aetna Health Inc.

Siegel was brought in to argue this appeal to the Fifth Circuit after the briefing was completed and the court scheduled oral argument. In a case important to doctors throughout Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, Siegel represented Ob/Gyn specialists who sued under Texas law to obtain timely payment of bills submitted to Aetna for treatment of Aetna health plan members.  Aetna argued that the physicians' claims were preempted by ERISA, the federal law governing certain aspects of health plans.  The court of appeals held in favor Siegel's client, rejecting Aetna's preemption argument and deciding that Texas law protects doctors from delayed payment. See 579 F.3d 525 (5th Cir. 2009).

Gus H. Comiskey, III and TC3, Inc. v. FH Partners L.L.C.

Siegel obtained reversal of a directed verdict in this seven-figure, complex commercial case.  The appellant paid a substantial sum for land in Houston but, as he was about to acquire the property, the lender refused to transfer title based on the unpaid debts of a prior owner and a cross-collateralization clause in loan documents.  Accepting Siegel's argument, the court of appeals held that the trial court should not have precluded the appellant's claims from proceeding to trial against the lender.   See 373 S.W.3d 620 (Tex. App. -- Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, rev. denied).

Setien SA de CV v. Balli Steel, PLC

Setien SA de CV, a Mexican commodities trading firm, alleged that Balli Steel, a London-based steel broker, breached the parties' contract to sell 10,000 coils of cold rolled steel, costing Setien millions in damages when it could not provide the steel to its largest customer.  In the resulting international arbitration, Siegel was asked to draft Setien's statement of claim and other briefs and argue the legal issues, including complex questions of agency, contract law and damages  The Arbitrator awarded over $2 million to Setien.   

Accolade Systems, L.L.C. v. Citrix Systems, Inc.

Siegel represented Accolade in this patent infringement case about technology that permits computers to be operated remotely through websites.  The district court held that Accolade released claims against one defendant based on a settlement agreement executed with another.  After Siegel's brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the parties entered into a favorable settlement resulting in withdrawal of the adverse district court decision.  

Grigsby v. ProTrader Group Management L.L.C.

In this arbitration, Grigsby claimed that the defendants violated securities laws and committed minority shareholder oppression by squeezing him out of the company he co-founded shortly before it was sold for $150 million. As part of the team representing Grigsby, Siegel briefed and argued summary judgment motions and other issues, including ratification, duties owed under the Texas Revised Partnership Act, the statute of limitations for 10b-5 claims under Sarbanes-Oxley, standards for recovery for shareholder oppression, and others. The arbitrators accepted Grigsby’s legal positions and awarded him $43 million in compensation (attorneys’ fees: $12,274,249.79; expenses: $977,466.04.

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