The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Oakland CA Business & Commercial Law Blog

Metro transit workers threaten strike in contract dispute

Metro transit workers in California may relate to others in the nation who say their jobs get more dangerous all the time. Many drivers have reportedly been assaulted or physically threatened on more than one occasion along their routes. Transit workers in another state say the risk has prompted a contract dispute with their administrators.

A central focus of the current contract dispute between Metro transit drivers and administrative officials involves workers' requests for protective acrylic enclosure shields to be installed on the vehicles they operate on the job. Management, however, is concerned that such shields would wind up posing other safety risks, such as those that could be caused by potential glare or other problems associated with the shields. Workers have threatened to strike if their needs are not met because, they say, too many of them have suffered physical and verbal assaults while working and they feel this is an easy fix to, at least, part of the problem.

Nokia to receive major payout from BlackBerry in contract dispute

California readers who regularly follow headline business news may be aware that smartphone moguls BlackBerry and Nokia have had an acrimonious relationship for quite some time. In a recent contract dispute, BlackBerry apparently got tired of fighting and has agreed to fork out a substantial sum of money to Nokia. The contentious situation unfolded last year when the two companies disagreed about a patent licensing contract.

BlackBerry says it is not happy at all with the International Court of Arbitration's decision in the contract dispute. The company also says, however, that it is throwing in the towel and will abide by the court's ruling. Part of the ruling mandates BlackBerry to pay Nokia $137 million.

Contract dispute may make some Dish subscribers quite unhappy

CBS has been a major television network in California and throughout the nation for a very long time, with the broadcast network dating as far back as 1941. In one eastern city, viewers recently learned that they were at risk for losing their CBS affiliate on the Dish Network. The situation involves a contract dispute between CBS and Dish that has many interested parties on edge.

Dish says it was sincerely hoping to resolve the contract dispute while there was still time. A spokesperson for the company said administrators are mystified as to why CBS would call upon its viewers to become entangled in its negotiations. This comment came after someone started a campaign by posting links that subscribers could access to express their desires to keep CBS on Dish.

Legal challenges arise in major business merger proposal

Things are heating up regarding the proposed contract between communications mogul AT&T and Time Warner. The Justice Department reportedly filed a lawsuit to halt the projected $85.4 billion business merger bid. The Justice Department's lawsuit is apparently focused on trust issues. California business owners may want to pay close attention to this story as it unfolds.

AT&T is already one of the largest telephone and internet providers in existence. In 2015, it acquired DirecTV as well, making it one of the largest television distributors in the nation. Should AT&T and Time Warner enter a business merger, the new company's ability to reach consumers for entertainment and other communication programs would likely be unrivaled.

NFL team owner Jerry Jones involved in contract dispute

The National Football League has had no shortage of medial limelight in the past year. From various controversies involving national anthem protests, repetitive concussion syndrome and individual player situations, it seems that negative news related to the NFL has proliferated, even though millions of fans continue to enjoy watching the games. In a recent publicized battle with which many California fans may be familiar, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has launched a contract dispute regarding NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell's future in the league.

Jones says he became involved in the contract dispute because he believes the commissioner and other league administrators have acted unfairly in certain situations and have been left largely unaccountable for their actions. The long-time Cowboys owner also says he believes all NFL team owners (not just six committee members as it now stands) should fully participate in the major decision-making process of the league, especially where Goodell's actions and contract are concerned. At this time, Goodell's contract is under negotiation and it may be renewed so that he can remain in his current position through 2024.

Opinions split on recent commercial real estate situation

California builders and property owners are typically no strangers to the various obstacles and challenges that can rise when negotiating new contracts or revising existing ones set to expire. When it comes to commercial real estate, any number of things can go wrong that may cause substantial delays or even completely halt a proposed project. That appears to be what has happened in a situation in another state although some of those involved are holding out hope that the tables will eventually turn in their favor.

A proposed commercial real estate deal was set to occur between a land development company and a property owner who was reportedly willing to sell 235 acres to the developers. The purchasing company planned to develop the land, erecting more that 800 new homes in the area. Word has it that not all current residents of the area were happy about the plans.

Business merger rumored between CVS and Aetna Insurance

Mergers and acquisitions in the health care industry have been on the increase in California and nationwide. A recent rumor says that the CVS pharmacy chain is looking to take over health insurer Aetna. As with most contemplated mergers or acquisitions, the parties are looking at major structural benefits to their operations that would impact their respective markets and profits favorably. In this contemplated business merger, CVS is looking at greater influence over the 23 million plan participants who use Aetna as their health insurer.

The benefit would parlay into a greater negotiating position for CVS with drug manufacturers, thus having the net result of lower drug prices. The effect may, however, also reduce the choices available to Aetna customers. Whenever such a transaction becomes an official prospect, the proposed merger must go through various government regulatory reviews and approval processes.

Contract dispute leads to arbitration, results unpleasing to some

A contract between police officers and city administrators in another state reached its expiration date last December. Negotiations began, and continued throughout the following summer, but reached an impasse when a contract dispute arose. The situation ultimately led to arbitration, and although city officials are quite happy with the outcome, the same cannot be said for some others. California employers or other officials currently facing contract problems may relate to this case.

Parties involved on both sides of the contract dispute entered multiple sessions with mediators. In the end, a state arbitrator handed down a ruling that city officials say will help keep the community safer and will also make management easier. Union spokespeople say they are not at all happy with the unprecedented changes the ruling has brought to their contract.

Contract dispute between Viacom and Charter finally over

Unresolved business disagreements can bear significant negative impact on California business owners' bottom lines. Likely, executives at Charter Communications and Viacom understand this, and they are probably very happy their contract dispute has finally ended. Although their new agreement is listed as tentative, those involved seem very hopeful that agreeable terms have been achieved.

Company representatives announced that Charter customers will still have access to Viacom channels leading up to the finalization of the new plan. The contract dispute began when the existing agreement between Charter and Viacom was set to expire on a recent Sunday. Viacom said the company would really like to keep doing business with Charter, but the new terms Charter was offering were not acceptable.

Quick action and negotiation may solve contract dispute, early on

Many people in California enjoy traveling by bicycle. In fact, San Francisco is a prime location for businesses catering to bicyclists, such as Ford GoBike, a bike sharing program that allows travelers to access bicycles inexpensively for personal travel throughout the city. This particular company says it has an exclusive contract with the city; unfortunately, a contract dispute has apparently arisen once word got out that the city's transportation agency is planning to forge a deal with a Ford GoBike competitor. 

In an effort to mitigate the contract dispute before things get out of hand, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has initiated a dispute resolutions process. The MTC bases its actions on the threat of legal action regarding Ford GoBike's allegations that the city is breaching an existing agreement. The MTC said that it has received word that the city plans to enter a contract with another bike share program; therefore, it believes problem solving techniques may help diffuse a potentially acrimonious situation if Ford GoBike decides to take the matter to court.

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