ultimate trial success
The Firm has represented a Fortune 100 technology company for the past 25 years in a variety of matters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The case of GlassHouse Systems, Inc. v. Fortune 500 Technology Company is illustrative of the success we strive for and regularly achieve for our clients.
The GlassHouse case involved a claim by an authorized reseller (referred to as a Business Partner of our client) of high-end mainframe computer systems that our client promised to give GlassHouse exclusive favorable wholesale pricing, induced it to expend substantial resources cultivating a major client, and then ended GlassHouse’s imminent deal with that client by giving the same favorable wholesale pricing to another Business Partner of our client. GlassHouse’s complaint asserted a variety of legal theories including breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, intentional interference with business advantage, unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel and equitable estoppel. The case presented novel issues particularly regarding GlassHouse’s effort to avoid directly suing our client for breach of contract, in order to avoid contractual limitations of liability. Instead of suing for breach of contract, GlassHouse brought a host of non-contract claims, all of them under New York law.
We first moved to dismiss all of GlassHouse’s claims, and succeeded in obtaining the dismissal of all but the two estoppel counts. 607 F. Supp. 2d 709 (E.D. Pa. 2009). After extensive discovery, we moved for summary judgment which resulted in the dismissal of the equitable estoppel count. 750 F. Supp. 2d 516 (E.D. Pa. 2010). The one remaining count for promissory estoppel then went to trial, which lasted five days, at the conclusion of which the Court entered judgment in favor of our client. 2011 WL 2937389 (E.D. Pa. July 20, 2011). The plaintiff did not take an appeal from the trial court’s ruling for our client. In preparing for trial, we were supported by a team of our clients' businesspersons, who helped us understand the complex technology and the business relationships among the parties, and who then provided trial testimony that was critical to the successful outcome.
This case was closely watched by a long-time commentator on our clients' litigation matters. He wrote an extensive article following the trial court’s ruling, in which he commented that “the GlassHouse case was turned into a textbook dispute hinging on promissory estoppel. And unfortunately for GlassHouse, our client's attorney mounted a defense quite worthy of classroom presentation . . . .Well before the three-year battle ended, it became clear that [our Firm] would crush his opponent.”