Articles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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This case arose out of the recent energy crisis. Appellants alleged that Respondents, in violation of Nevada antitrust laws, conspired with the now-defunct Enron Corporation to drive up the price of natural gas in the Southern Nevada and Southeastern California markets. Appellants asserted (1) Respondents engaged in rapid bursts of purchasing natural gas followed by rapid bursts of selling the same gas, which resulted in considerable profits for Respondents and significantly higher prices for natural gas consumers; and (2) Respondents' plan for manipulating the markets worked because of a secret agreement with Enron that left Respondents with greater profits from the sale of gas as well as ensured that Respondents would always have a sufficient supply of natural gas. The district court ultimately dismissed the case, holding that the claims were barred by principles of federal preemption. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants' claims were barred by federal field preemption. View "State v. Reliant Energy, Inc." on Justia Law

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When Employee left his employment, Employee and Employer entered into a consulting agreement containing restrictive covenants prohibiting Employee from disclosing Employer's confidential information. After Employee purchased another competing company, Employer filed a motion alleging breach of the agreement and seeking a preliminary injunction to enforce the Agreement's covenants. The district court granted Employer's request, concluding that Employee had likely violated several provisions of the agreement and had misappropriated trade secrets in violation of Nevada's Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Employee then filed a motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction upon termination of the agreement, which the district court denied. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the court's order granting preliminary injunctive relief; and (2) reversed the court's order denying Employee's motion to dissolve the injunctive provisions, finding that the court improperly relied on the terminated agreement in declining to dissolve the injunction and failed to make findings as to the continued existence of a trade secret and for what constitutes a "reasonable period of time" for maintaining an injunction under the Act. View "Finkel v. Cashman Prof'l, Inc." on Justia Law

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Southern Wine and Spirits, an importer and wholesaler of certain Bordeaux wines and French champagnes in Nevada, was granted the exclusive Nevada importer of certain Bordeaux wines and French champagnes. Southern Wine filed suit against Appellants, two importers and wholesalers of liquor in Nevada, after Southern Wine discovered Appellants were importing and selling the wines and champagnes in Nevada. Southern Wine sought a permanent injunction, alleging that Appellants' unlawful importation and sales of the wines and champagnes violated its exclusive trade and franchise rights under Nev. Rev. Stat. 369 and 597. The district court permanently enjoined Appellants from further importing and selling the wines and champagnes. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted injunctive relief where (1) Southern Wine complied with the requirements of the statutes, and therefore, Southern Wine established exclusive trade rights to import the wines and champagnes; (2) substantial evidence supported the district court's finding that Appellants infringed on Southern Wine's exclusive trade rights; and (3) Southern Wine was successful in demonstrating the merits of its action for permanent injunctive relief. View "Chateau Vegas Wine v. S. Wine & Spirits" on Justia Law