Representative Cases

Flowers v. Office of the Governor, 167 A.3d 530 (Del. Super. Ct. 2017)

In one of the first appeals of an Attorney General’s Opinion under an amended provision of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), on an issue of first impression, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor did not violate FOIA when it withheld legislatively exempt and privileged communications from a FOIA requestor.   The Office of the Governor was represented on appeal by Connolly Gallagher attorneys Max B. Walton and Kyle Evans Gay.

Town of Cheswold v. Central Delaware Business Park, — A.2d –, 2018 WL 2748372 (Del. June 9, 2018) (en banc)

Connolly Gallagher attorneys Max B. Walton and Kyle Evans Gay obtained reversal of a Superior Court decision holding that a land owner had acquired, via a pair of 2005 Stipulations and Orders, perpetual vested rights to develop property under prior land use ordinances.  In an en banc unanimous opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court held that neither the prior stipulated orders nor the doctrine of vested rights precludes the Town from enacting police power regulations concerning the business park.

DV Realty Advisors, LLC v. Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, Illinois, C.A. No. 7204-VCS (Del. Ch.), No. 464, 2016 (Del.)

Successfully represented successor general partner of Delaware limited partnership in suit regarding validity of removal of the original general partner and determination of the general partner’s post-removal status and economic interest with respect to the partnership.  On 3/10/17, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s determination of the nature and extent of the original general partner’s post-removal legal and economic status.

Opal Condominium Assoc., Inc. v. Opal Dewey Beach LLC et al, C.A. No. S16C-05-010 (ESB) (Del. Super Ct. Sept. 9, 2016).

In a seven count suit brought by a condominium association against the former condominium developers and three individuals, Connolly Gallagher attorneys Max B. Walton and N. Christopher Griffiths moved to dismiss all counts on statute of limitations and other procedural grounds. Following oral argument on September 2, 2016, the Honorable Judge Bradley dismissed all claims with prejudice from the bench.

Nichols v. City of Rehoboth Beach, — F.3d –, 2016 WL 4651383 (3d Cir. Sept. 7, 2016).

Connolly Gallagher attorneys Max B. Walton, Mathew F. Boyer and Arthur (“Chip”) G. Connolly III successfully defended the City of Rehoboth Beach in a challenge to a voting provision authorizing a 52.5 million dollar bond referendum. In the District Court litigation, the case was dismissed on standing grounds. On appeal, the City argued that the doctrine of municipal taxpayer standing did not provide the plaintiff a right to challenge the referendum voting provisions authorized by the City’s charter. The Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of the case and the standing determination of the District Court.

Covington v. The City of Rehoboth Beach, C.A. No. 11512 (VCG) (filed September 17, 2015; dismissed October 2, 2015).

Connolly Gallagher attorney Max B. Walton, representing the City, defeated a request for a temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin a statute establishing a six month ownership requirement for non-resident voting on a theory that that the ownership statute is unconstitutional.  Following denial of the temporary restraining order request, the voting rights claims were dismissed with prejudice by the parties and all claims in the case were dismissed on October 2, 2015.

Traders Alley LLC v. City of Newark Board of Adjustment, 2015 WL 4722978, at * 1 (Del. Ch. Aug. 7, 2015).

Connolly Gallagher attorney Max B. Walton, on behalf of the City of Newark, successfully obtained denial of a request for a temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin proceedings before the City’s Board of Adjustment.  Holding that Traders Alley failed to meet is burden under either the temporary restraining order standard or the motion to expedite standard, the Court held that Plaintiff: (1) failed to establish a due process violation; and (2) “offered no persuasive reason for circumventing the exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine.”

In re the New Maurice J. Moyer Academy, Inc., 108 A.3d 294 (Del. Ch. 2015)

Serving as co-counsel to the Department of Justice, successfully defended the State Board of Education, the Department of Education, and the Delaware Secretary of Education against a motion for preliminary injunction in an expedited litigation in the Court of Chancery.  Following briefing on a motion for preliminary injunction and a motion to dismiss, the Court of Chancery held that (1) a Delaware charter school does not have a constitutionally protected property interest in its school charter and (2) students do not have a protected property interest in graduating from a charter school where they are enrolled.

Comcast IP Holdings I, LLC v. Sprint Communications Company L.P., Sprint Spectrum L.P., and Nextel Operations, Inc., C.A. No. 12-205-RGA (D. Del. Oct. 15, 2014)

Connolly Gallagher attorneys served as Delaware counsel for Comcast IP Holdings I, LLC, in a patent infringement litigation against Sprint Communications Company L.P., Sprint Spectrum L.P., and Nextel Operations, Inc.  Following a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Comcast finding that Sprint infringed three Comcast patents through Sprint Mobile Integration, Google Voice on Sprint, and Airave 2 small cell services.  The jury awarded Comcast $7.5 million in damages.  Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as lead counsel.

Hoffman et al. v. City of Newark et al., 14-BA-3

City of Newark Board of Adjustment – April 30, 2014

Successful defense of a high profile zoning verification decision by the City of Newark’s Planning Director regarding a proposed data center use at the University of Delaware’s STAR campus.

In re Appeal from a Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Order Granting an Application by the Delaware City Refining Company LLC, CA-2013-01

Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board – August 13, 2013

Acting as special counsel for DNREC, obtained a unanimous dismissal of a Coastal Zone Act challenge to an order of the Secretary on standing grounds. The case is currently on appeal.

Successfully represented the Town of Bethany Beach in 2013 and 2014 in developing a new Commercial Lodging District, obtaining PLUS approval of the proposed zoning and comprehensive plan revisions, and represented the Town in the controversial rezoning of the Bethany Arms Motel property without legal challenge.

New Castle County v. Pike Creek Recreational Services LLC, 82 A.3d 731 (Del. Ch. 2013).

In the longstanding dispute over the meaning of restrictions on the Pike Creek Golf Course, Connolly Gallagher obtained a declaratory judgment that a minimum of 130 acres of the golf course must be preserved for an 18-hole golf course use. The Court also rejected the developer’s numerous claims that the restrictions on the golf course should not apply to a proposed housing development, and held that the developer must follow the County’s restriction change and obtain County Council approval if the developer seeks to build in contravention of the applicable restrictions.

Otto v. Gore, 45 A.3d 120 (Del. 2012)

The Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed the result of two Delaware Court of Chancery decisions, including the significant holding that a signed trust document establishing an apparently funded trust had not, in fact, actually created a trust because the grantors hadn’t intended it to do so. Connolly Gallagher attorneys served as part of the team that mounted the successful defense on appeal.

Staffieri v. Black, et al., C.A. No. 7439-VCL (Del. Ch.)

Obtained a judgment after trial that established clients’ easement rights in a commercial property and their ability to maintain and use those rights free from interference; also obtained an award of attorneys’ fees and costs against the defendants.

American International Group Inc. Consolidated Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 769

Connolly Gallagher attorneys served as Delaware counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in stockholder litigation arising from financial irregularities at AIG. The Court of Chancery dismissed the claims against PwC. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that decision. Those opinions can be found at 965 A.2d 763 (Del. Ch. 2009) and 11 A.3d 228 (Del. 2011), respectively.

Acierno v. Haggerty, 2005 WL 3134060 (D. Del.).

Connolly Gallagher attorneys defeated, on a motion to dismiss, numerous constitutional claims relating to Plaintiffs’ numerous losses in prior cases – virtually all of which were defended by attorneys at our firm.

In re: DiaKim Enterprises

Successfully defended a liquor license application against a public protest before the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

In re: Teti

Successfully dismissed a complaint against client from the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

Partners v. Beck, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 13252

Prevailed in obtaining dismissal, affirmed on appeal, of a derivative suit against Boston Chicken, Inc. and its directors, arising out of the company’s initial public offering (opinion reported at 682 A.2d 160).

Barker Capital v. Rebus, Del. Super.

Prevailed in complex contract case; court awarded attorneys’ fees, noting “extremely complex nature of the litigation” and “high quality of the specialized legal services provided” (opinion reported at 2006 WL 246572).

FleetBoston Financial Corporation v. Advanta

Connolly Gallagher served as Delaware counsel in the representation of a bank holding company and its affiliates concerning alleged breaches of contract and business torts arising in connection with the transfer of a $12 billion credit card portfolio.

Frank v. Arnelle, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 15642

Successfully defended WMX Technologies and its board of directors in stockholder suit arising from Dutch auction self-tender offer for publicly traded stock (opinion reported at 1998 WL 668649; affirmed on appeal).

In re: Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., Del. Ch., C.A. No. 2776-CC

Connolly Gallagher attorneys successfully defended a director and board chairman of Transkaryotic Therapies (“TKT”) for alleged breach of fiduciary duty in connection with TKT’s acquisition by Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc. The Court of Chancery’s opinion granting summary judgment can be found at 954 A.2d 346 (Del. Ch. 2008).

Jacobs v. Yang

Connolly Gallagher served as Delaware counsel in successful defense of derivative action against directors and officers of Yahoo!.

Reagan v. Randell, Del. Ch.

Successful prosecution of suit for control of board of directors of Federal News Service, Inc. (opinion reported at 2002 WL 1402233).

Rohm and Haas Co. v. Dow Chemical, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 4309-CC

Connolly Gallagher attorneys served as Delaware counsel for Rohm and Haas Company in an expedited litigation in the Court of Chancery. In 2009, Rohm and Haas brought suit against Dow seeking specific performance of Dow’s agreement to acquire Rohm and Haas in a $15 billion transaction. The acquisition was completed based on a settlement reached on the first day of trial.

Seagraves v. Urstadt Prop. Co., Del. Ch.

Successfully represented investor in appraisal action arising from “going-private” merger involving publicly traded REIT (opinion reported at 1996 WL 159626).

Stephanis v. Yiannatsis

Connolly Gallagher successfully obtained the imposition of a constructive trust in this action regarding the breach by majority shareholders of the duty of loyalty.

Crossan v. Anthony, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 3195-CC

Connolly Gallagher attorneys fought to uphold their client’s right to have mortgages on properties she inherited from her late husband paid off by her husband’s trust, resulting in a favorable settlement for their client.

Dickinson v. Wilmington Trust Co., 734 A.2d 642 (Del. 1999)

The Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed the Delaware Court of Chancery ruling that a trust beneficiary held a general power of appointment over a trust. Connolly Gallagher attorney Greg Weinig primarily authored the appellee’s successful brief.

Fike v. Ruger, 752 A.2d 112 (Del. 2000)

The Supreme Court of Delaware affirmed the Court of Chancery’s granting of summary judgment to majority owners of a partnership on the basis of laches. Connolly Gallagher attorney Greg Weinig primarily authored the appellees’ successful brief.

Fike v. Ruger, 754 A.2d 254 (Del. Ch. 1999)

Connolly Gallagher attorney Greg Weinig helped defend majority owners in a partnership against various minority owner claims. The Delaware Court of Chancery granted summary judgment to the majority owners on grounds of both statutes of limitation and laches.

Fischer v. Fischer, 864 A.2d 98 (Del. Ch. 2005)

In a domestic dispute that ripened into an estate litigation because one party died before the divorce became final, Connolly Gallagher attorneys successfully blocked the spouse whose resources had acquired the marital home from receiving all proceeds of the sale in contravention of the prenuptial agreement. A similar result was reached regarding the stock portfolio.

Humes v. Charles H. West Farms, Inc., 950 A.2d 661 (Del. Super. Ct. 2007)

In a real estate title dispute over a large farm property that wound its way through a maze of old deeds, wills, trusts, estates, and court petitions — running the gamut of legal doctrines concerning all of these topics — Connolly Gallagher attorneys helped save the client’s title to the property, accomplishing this on a motion for summary judgment in the Delaware Superior Court.

In re Will & Trust of Moor, 2005 Del. Ch. LEXIS 88

In a Delaware case applying Florida law, Connolly Gallagher attorneys secured a decision on summary judgment that a woman had the right to change her trust, where the document did not specifically authorize amendment.

In re Will of Puwalski, 1996 Del. Ch. Lexis 14

Connolly Gallagher attorneys secured a decision on summary judgment against a claim of a contract to make a Will, successfully arguing that there was no consideration for the purported contract.

In the Matter of the Estate of John P. Lubach, Deceased, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 2309-VCS

When an individual trustee feigned ignorance of the trust’s assets and pretended that the trust lacked sufficient resources to pay a large bequest to his father’s elderly wife, Connolly Gallagher attorneys swiftly brought expedited proceedings in the Delaware Court of Chancery, shortly achieving the full payment of the bequest to the client.

Parrott v. Sasaki, Del. Ch., C.A. No. 7227-VCL

A Delaware Asset Protection Trust was attacked by creditors of the grantor. Connolly Gallagher attorneys protected the interests of the institutional trustee, including shepherding the client through the electronic discovery process, while securing full payment of the client’s fees.

Peterson v. Hall, 421 A.2d 1350 (Del. 1980)

Connolly Gallagher attorneys successfully argued in the Supreme Court of Delaware for enforcement of a collective bargaining agreement that required certain government employees to be members of a union.

Scrivens v. VanSant, 1980 WL 324485 (Del. Super.), aff

In a civil service case that reached the Delaware Supreme Court, Connolly Gallagher attorneys argued that the State Personnel Commission’s written decision supersedes an inconsistent oral decision at the close of a hearing, even if the written decision was issued after the statutory deadline.

Medtronic Inc. v. Boston Scientific, et al.

Connolly Gallagher served as Delaware counsel in a declaratory judgment action on behalf of Medtronic, obtaining a ruling for Medtronic that it did not infringe two valid implantable cardiac defibrillator patents.

Telstra Corporation v. Dynegy, Inc

Connolly Gallagher served as Delaware counsel for Telstra Corporation, an Australian communications company in a dispute with Dynegy concerning a limited partnership agreement relating to a telecommunications venture.

TriStrata Technology, Inc. v. Mary Kay Inc.

Connolly Gallagher served as Delaware counsel for TriStrata, assisting lead counsel in obtaining a multi-million dollar judgment in a patent infringement litigation against Mary Kay Inc. relating to alpha-hydroxy acid anti-aging skin technology. The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed final judgment of over $43 million.

Donnelly v. City of Dover, 2011 WL 2086160 (Del. Super. Ct. April 20, 2011)

Connolly Gallagher attorneys, representing the owners of the Maple Dale Country Club, successfully defended against numerous challenges to the approval of a controversial land use project by the City of Dover, including claims that the approval violated the City’s comprehensive development plan and zoning code.

State of New Jersey v. State of Delaware, 552 U.S. 597 (2008).

Successfully defended the State of Delaware in an original jurisdiction action before the United States Supreme Court wherein New Jersey claimed the riparian right to regulate a proposed LNG facility that stretched into Delaware territory in the Delaware River.

Warren v. New Castle County, 2008 WL 2566947 (D. Del. June 26, 2008).

Our attorneys defeated, on a motion to dismiss, a multi-million dollar constitutional and anti-trust challenge to the County’s decision to not provide sewer service to several proposed developments. The District Court held that virtually all constitutional and anti-trust claims were not ripe for review, the provision of sewer service is not a constitutionally protected right, and that the equal protection and substantive due process claims failed to state a claim as a matter of law.

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