Jenner & Block

 
  • U.S. ex rel. Gilliam v. General Dynamics Corp., Civil Action No. 2:01cv3023-12 (U.S.D.C. S.C.), aff’d, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 14261 (4th Cir. July 12, 2004).  Mr. Franch was lead counsel in this False Claims Act ("qui tam") lawsuit which alleged that General Dynamics fraudulently procured the contract for the third Seawolf submarine (the "Jimmy Carter").  The relator claimed damages of $4 billion on behalf of the United States, subject to trebling under the False Claims Act.  On October 15, 2002, after extensive discovery, briefing and argument, the Court granted General Dynamics’ motion for summary judgment, dismissing the case with prejudice.  Mr. Franch argued relator’s appeal from this judgment.  On July 12, 2004, the Fourth Circuit affirmed.
     
  • SPX Corp. v. Franklin Electric Co., AAA Case No. 52 Y 198 00469 01.  Mr. Franch represented SPX Corporation in a recent commercial arbitration.  After the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of SPX in the amount of approximately $11 million, and ruled in favor of it on respondent’s claims for fraud and breach of a patent litigation settlement agreement. 
     
  • Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. v. Petersen, 325 Ill. App. 3d 661, 758 N.E.2d 903 (2001).  Mr. Franch was lead counsel for American Tool Companies, Inc. ("ATC"), an international manufacturer of hand tools (e.g., Vise-Grip® locking pliers), and its subsidiary, Petersen Manufacturing Co., Inc., which were defendants in a complex lawsuit involving a corporate control contest that was filed by Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. ("Newell") in August 1997.  Newell owned approximately 49% of ATC’s stock.  After substantial discovery and motion practice in the trial court, Mr. Franch argued an interlocutory appeal on behalf of all of the defendants which involved issues that were critical to Newell’s claims.  In October 2001, that appeal was decided in defendants’ favor.  Shortly thereafter, the case settled with Newell’s acquisition of the shares of the majority owner of ATC for consideration in excess of $200 million.

  • Vestar Development II, LLC v. General Dynamics Corp., 249 F.3d 958 (9th Cir. 2001).  Mr. Franch represented General Dynamics in an action in which Vestar asserted that General Dynamics breached a letter of intent to convey real estate by allegedly failing to negotiate in good faith.  Vestar claimed $48 million in lost profit damages.  The district court dismissed Vestar’s claim on the ground that the damages it sought were too speculative as a matter of law.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed in a unanimous opinion.

  • Thomson-CSF v. General Dynamics Corp., ICC Case No. 10465/BWD (June 21, 2000).  Mr. Franch represented General Dynamics in this ICC arbitration that took place in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2000.  It involved a contract dispute in which Thomson claimed damages of approximately $100 million.  General Dynamics prevailed and was awarded all of its costs and attorneys’ fees.  A related ICC arbitration took place in New York in December 2000.  In April 2001, the panel rejected General Dynamics’ $15 million claim, and it rejected Thomson’s $110 million counterclaim.  Because General Dynamics prevailed on a major issue, it was awarded a substantial portion of its attorneys’ fees; Thomson was awarded nothing.  General Dynamics Corp. v. Thomson-CSF (now known as Thales), ICC Case No. 9307/BWD.

  • General Dynamics Corp. v. Commissioner, 74 T.C.M. (CCH) 632 (1997), United States Tax Court.  Mr. Franch was lead trial counsel for General Dynamics in a case in which the Commissioner of Internal Revenue challenged General Dynamics’ use of the completed contract method of accounting with respect to a multiyear contract to manufacture 480 F-16 jet fighter planes.  The Commissioner asserted hundreds of millions of dollars in tax deficiencies.  After a trial in the United States Tax Court, the court ruled in General Dynamics’ favor.

  • In Re: Midway Airlines, Inc., 180 B.R. 851 (1995), Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Mr. Franch was lead counsel for Northwest Airlines in an action brought against it in bankruptcy court by the trustee of Midway Airlines.  Midway’s trustee sought damages in excess of $100 million, alleging breach of contract, fraud and other torts.  After a four-month trial, the bankruptcy court, in a 157-page opinion, ruled in Northwest’s favor.

  • In Re: Ivan F. Boesky Securities Litigation, FMC Corporation v. Boesky, 36 F.3d 255 (2d Cir. 1994).  Mr. Franch was one of the principal attorneys who represented FMC Corporation in litigation arising out of the Boesky insider trading scandal.  He has been involved in several other cases involving corporate and securities issues, including corporate control contests.

  • Lachmar v. Trunkline LNG Co., 753 F.2d 8 (2d Cir. 1985); United States v. Panhandle Eastern Corp., 868 F.2d 1363 (3d Cir. 1989).  Mr. Franch represented the Lachmar partnership, which pursued an arbitration claim for approximately $860 million dollars in damages for breach of a long-term contract for the transportation of liquefied natural gas from Algeria to the United States.  In part, the contract was subject to Algerian law (which is based on the Sharia).  After the arbitration hearing was concluded, Lachmar settled its claim for a substantial amount.  Mr. Franch argued the two appeals cited above which related to this arbitration, both of which were decided favorably to Lachmar.

  • Craft v. Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 793 F.2d 140 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 829 (1986).  Mr. Franch has represented plaintiffs and defendants in several discrimination cases.  For example, he was lead counsel for the University of Illinois Medical School in an action brought against it and members of its staff by two African-American students who were not awarded their medical degrees.  The jury found for the defendants and the Seventh Circuit affirmed.

  • General Dynamics Corp. v. AT&T andMCI v. AT&T.  Mr. Franch was co-lead attorney for General Dynamics in antitrust litigation that was brought by General Dynamics and its former telecommunication subsidiaries against the Bell System.  This litigation was settled.  He was a member of MCI’s team in its antitrust litigation against the Bell System.  He has also represented MCI in other telecommunications matters.

  • R.S.E., Inc. v. Pennsy Supply, Inc., 523 F. Supp. 954 (M.D. Pa. 1981).  Mr. Franch was lead defense counsel in a case alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in the road construction business in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Plaintiff sought approximately $8 million in damages (before trebling).  After a 10-month trial, the jury was hung and the trial court granted judgment to the defendants.  Plaintiff appealed to the Third Circuit.  Mr. Franch briefed and argued the appeal for all of the defendants, shortly after which the case settled for a nominal amount.