Litigation Success Stories

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What's in a Name?
Quick Facts

• Obtained favorable jury verdict in high-profile trademark infringement case in New Orleans

Everything, when you’re New Orleans restauranteur Richard J. “Dickie” Brennan, Jr. and your cousins (the owners of Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans) sue you for trademark infringement in federal court over the use of your name in the names of the New Orleans restaurants Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse and Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café.

Eschewing traditional “big firm” representation in the face of his cousins’ use of a large, national intellectual property firm, Dickie entrusted his livelihood (and that of his employees, partners, and companies) to Elkins, P.L.C. The result? Elkins, P.L.C.’s litigation attorneys analyzed the issues, narrowed them for trial through aggressive motion practice and, after over two years of pre-trial maneuvering, obtained a favorable jury verdict for Dickie that allowed him to continue to use his name. Now, thanks to Elkins, P.L.C.’s representation of Dickie, diners in New Orleans can enjoy Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House in addition to Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse and Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café.


Rare, Medium, or Misleading?
  Quick Facts

• Successful jury verdict on liability and favorable damages settlement despite long odds

Two former officers and directors of the parent company of a national steakhouse restaurant operation are forced out of the company and sell their stock. They subsequently learn that the company was entertaining acquisition offers at the time of their departure and stock sale. They turn to Elkins, P.L.C. for representation.

After analyzing the facts and formulating a strategy, Elkins, P.L.C. commenced litigation in federal court on their behalf, asserting, among other claims, claims for violations of the federal securities laws under Rule 10(b)(5). Although Rule 10(b)(5) claims are notoriously susceptible to pre-trial dismissal through motion practice, these survive. One of the cases proceeds to trial, where Elkins, P.L.C. obtains a favorable jury verdict on liability and an extremely favorable damages settlement. Thereafter, the other case settled favorably before trial. Once again, the intelligence, analytical ability, and advocacy of Elkins, P.L.C.’s litigation attorneys prevailed.


Coffee, Tea, or Tax?
  Quick Facts

• Hired by Louisiana Department of Revenue to ensure that airlines pay taxes on supplies
• Successfully represented the state up to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which affirmed the lower court's decisions

Major airlines operate hundreds of flights a day into and out of airports in Louisiana. Nearly all of those flights are from and to another state. Are purchases of jet fuel, food, and other supplies for use on these aircraft taxable? The airlines said “no” and refused to pay, arguing that such taxes were impermissible burdens on interstate commerce.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue turned to the tax and litigation expertise of Elkins, P.L.C. Relying on the Louisiana statutes authorizing the taxes, and federal jurisprudence involving the commerce clause of the United States Constitution, Elkins, P.L.C. convinced first the trial court, then the intermediate appellate court and ultimately the Louisiana Supreme Court of the viability and constitutionality of the taxing statutes at issue. Now, the airlines pay the taxes and the people of Louisiana benefit from the tax revenue.

Read the opinion: Kennedy v. United Airlines, Inc., 797 So. 2d 186 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2001), writ denied, 811 So. 2d 882 (La. 2002).


Read All About It
  Quick Facts

• Successfully represented New Orleans CityBusiness to preserve free market competition in publication of judicial advertisements and legal notices

The publication of judicial advertisements and legal notices is big business. So, when the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (adjoining New Orleans) selected the publication New Orleans CityBusiness over the daily metropolitan New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune to publish his judicial advertisements and legal notices, litigation was sure to ensue.

It did, and for six years Elkins, P.L.C. represented CityBusiness in two parallel state court proceedings. After one trial with a verdict against CityBusiness, one case decided in CityBusiness’s favor on a motion for summary judgment, and numerous trips through the appellate process on issues that arose during the litigation, the dust finally settled. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed Elkins, P.L.C.’s arguments and CityBusiness’s right to publish the judicial advertisements and legal notices of the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish. As a result, free market competition was preserved and those required to publish judicial advertisements and legal notices could take advantage of the lower rates charged by CityBusiness.

Read the opinions: (1) Chaisson v. New Orleans Publ’g Group, Inc., 719 So. 2d 1149 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1998), writ denied, 819 So. 2d 335 (La. 2002); and (2) Times-Picayune Publ’g Corp. v. New Orleans Publ’g Group, Inc., 814 So. 2d 34 (La. App. 4th Cir.), writ denied, 819 So. 2d 335 (La. 2002).


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