December 10, 2012

Jenner & Block won a complete defense victory on December 10, 2012, following a bench trial in which the firm defended Wolters Kluwer N.V. and several of its U.S. subsidiaries and business executives who were individually named as defendants.  The plaintiffs, Daniel DeSario and National Bar Review LLC, claimed damages of approximately $25 million based on an alleged acquisition of a bar review company and a series of ancillary employment contracts and licensing agreements.  The plaintiffs also pled allegations of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty and trade secret misappropriation, among others.  Many of the plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed under Rule 12 and via summary judgment.  The Jenner & Block trial team then persuaded the District Court during a two-week trial that there was no acquisition agreement and that Mr. DeSario was an at-will employee.  All of the plaintiffs’ claims, which were based on alleged oral promises and agreements, were denied by the District Court.

The Honorable George H. Wu concluded in his detailed 14-page Statement of Decision that Mr. DeSario “failed to establish that there were any contractual benefits to which he was entitled which were not provided to him by Defendants.”  Judge Wu’s written decision has been published at DeSario v. Wolters Kluwer, et al., 2012 WL 6811787 (C.D. Cal).

Wolters Kluwer N.V. is a global information services and publishing company.  It provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal, and regulatory sectors.  The company employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide and maintains operations across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.  Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in the Netherlands.

The Jenner & Block trial team was led by Partners Rick Richmond and Brent Caslin and included Associates Kelly M. Morrison and Kate T. Spelman.  Additional support and assistance was provided by Partners Christopher C. Chiou and Kenneth K. Lee and Associates Jean Marie Doherty and Samuel D. Green from the Los Angeles office.