Local Counsel: Northern District of Ohio and Northeast Ohio

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Walters & Wasylyna’s lawyers frequently serve as local counsel to represent businesses and persons that have been sued or that need to file lawsuits in the State Courts of Northeast Ohio and the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The local rules, customs, and issues of form are often unknown or confusing to practitioners from other parts of the country, so it is important to retain reliable local counsel.   Walters & Wasylyna practices routinely in the areas of business litigation and intellectual property, including a robust practice of patent prosecution.  Once retained as local counsel, we work closely with primary counsel to help determine the best courses of action, and whether to seek dismissals or jurisdictional transfers. If the case stays in our jurisdiction, we stand ready to work with primary counsel to provide all levels of services throughout the case.  In addition to all Courts in Ohio, our lawyers are admitted to the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as the United States Patent and Trademark...

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Your Business Has Been Sued? What Next?

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Call Your Lawyer or Find A Lawyer The very first call you should make is to a lawyer. He or she will guide you. As a general summary, here is what a lawyer would normally expect you to do: If you don’t have a relationship with a lawyer, there will be some preliminary steps. These can usually be done quickly. The lawyer will have to ensure that he or she does not have a conflict with the other party or parties. So, do not provide details to the lawyer until all conflicts are cleared and you have engaged the lawyer’s services. Once conflicts are cleared and the relationship is established: Forward all court papers to the lawyer by the fastest means; Identify clearly when the lawsuit (complaint) was received (the first deadline is no more than a month away); Gather relevant information internal to your business; Gather the file, including all relevant emails and correspondence; Share all information with the lawyer; Let the lawyer know the earliest time you can discuss the matter in detail; Take affirmative steps to ensure no documents or other information related to the matter are lost or destroyed (ask your lawyer about this). Notify Any Applicable Insurer Without Delay If you’re in doubt, call the insurer and follow your claims requirements carefully. Talk to your lawyer about any applicable insurance. No Communications In general, your business should have a policy of not communicating about legal matters. Once a lawsuit is filed, do not discuss the lawsuit with anyone until you have your lawyer’s guidance. What’s at Risk?  Before you can figure out how to respond to a lawsuit, you need to work with your lawyer to assess your potential exposure: What does the complaint ask for: money? an injunction? What’s the truth of the claims in the complaint? Have you or your agents behaved in a way that might expose you to punitive damages? Are there risks of you having to pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees? (The answer is usually “no,” but there are exceptions.) Which side realistically has the better case? How much will it cost to defend the lawsuit? Develop a Plan Don’t just turn the matter over to an attorney. Stay involved. Do you have counterclaims against the plaintiff? How will money affect your plan of action? What is your bottom line aim for the litigation? Ask for a budget from your lawyer by phases. At a minimum: Phase 1. Responding to the Complaint / Motions to Dismiss. Phase 2. Discovery. Phase 3. Motions for Summary Judgment. Phase 4. Preparation for Trial. Phase 5. Trial. If you’re unfamiliar with litigation, working through a budget will give you a better perspective on the litigation. The lawyer may have to develop the case to give you a reasonably accurate budget for the final phases, but it is usually possible to budget for...

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Walters & Wasylyna deliver $23 Million to their client the Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

KALAMAZOO, MI. — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation will collect $23 million — the largest single gift in its history – as a court settles a long dispute over a fund set up by the founder of The Upjohn Co. The hefty sum is part of the settlement of a special prize fund set up by Dr. William E. Upjohn in his will and implemented five years after his death. The direction of the fund, related to Dr. Upjohn’s wishes, were contested by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. LLC (which is a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.) after the trustee of the fund in 1995 questioned the direction it should take. But the head of the community foundation was pleased with the settlement announced Friday morning. “This is a great settlement, and we appreciate the positive relationships that made this resolution possible,” Carrie Pickett-Erway, president and CEO of the Community Foundation said in a press release. “This decision honors the legacy of W.E. Upjohn, who had a special interest in rewarding the pursuit of excellence while investing locally in both people and place.” The Kalamazoo Community Foundation plans to endow the majority of the assets in a newly-established W.E. Upjohn Fund, an Unrestricted Fund allowing flexibility to meet needs in our community. According to Tom Vance, director of marketing com¬munications for the foundation, the endowment will generate about $810,000 annually to be used to invest in the most pressing needs of our community. Dr. Upjohn made provisions in his will that set aside 2,000 shares of company stock to generate money to allow The Upjohn Co. to reward at least two employees each year for their special accomplishments. Prizes were to be awarded as long as the company was in existence. After that, the money was to benefit the community foundation. And therein lies the rub. The Kalamazoo-based Upjohn Co. merged with Swedish drug maker Pharmacia in 1995 to form Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc.. That business merged in 1999 with Monsanto to form Pharmacia Corp. And in 2003, New York-based Pfizer Inc. acquired Pharmacia and the overall name of the company became Pfizer. The complex matter of names, rights, existence and the fund which had accrued about $44 million by the time of this week’s ruling, was considered in probate court in 2003, where the court found that The Upjohn Co. no longer existed. But the matter was appealed and the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in February of 2010 that it did. On Thursday, the Kalamazoo County Probate Court Judge Donald Halstead ordered a resolution in which the parties agreed to a settlement. The parties were: the Kalamazoo Community Foundation; Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. LLC (formerly The Upjohn Co. and now a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.); PNC Bank; and the Michigan Attorney General. PNC Bank is the trustee of the trust. The Michigan Attorney General oversees...

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