Experience

9-0 U.S. Supreme Court Victory on Constructive Nonrenewal and Termination Claims in a PMPA Franchise Case

Represented Shell Oil and Motiva Enterprises in a lawsuit brought by 62 franchisees in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire alleging breach of contract, violation of UCC pricing provisions, unfair trade practices, and violations of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA). The court selected 10 plaintiffs for the first jury trial, which found for the franchisees on all claims submitted to them. The Court entered judgment for plaintiffs on certain claims, including the two PMPA claims, and for defendants on others. The defendants appealed the jury verdicts on the two PMPA claims, and the First Circuit reversed on one of them. 524 F.3d 33 (1st Cir. 2008). We hired special Supreme Court counsel and both sides filed petitions with the Supreme Court, which granted review on both claims. The Court ruled 9-0 in favor of clients on both issues. __ U.S. __, 130 S. Ct. 1251, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 2203 (Mar. 2, 2010). The parties reached a settlement on the claims of the other franchisees.

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