TYSONS CORNER, VA.—When a government contractor and its sole shareholder were sued by a former shareholder in a contract dispute over a settlement agreement and mutual release, they engaged a Womble Carlyle litigation team led by business litigator Gary Nunes
to resolve the dispute.
Attorney Ryan Berry
, secretaries Ayesha Roashan and Elaine Tomlinson, and practice support technician DeWitt King also contributed to this successful effort.
The Womble Carlyle team earned a complete victory for Open System Sciences of Virginia, Inc.
and David Pierce, the company’s 100 percent shareholder, in a three-day trial in Fairfax Circuit Court. The plaintiff, a former shareholder, sought $4 million plus punitive damages of up to $350,000 for alleged breach of contract and tortious interference with business expectancy.
At the close of the plaintiff’s case, Nunes successfully argued to strike the tortious interferenceclaim. Then, the jury unanimously ruled in favor of Open System Sciences of Virginia and Mr. Pierce on the breach of contract claim.
“As the trial progressed, it became apparent to me that the jury verdict could have easily gone either way; however, your preparation, total knowledge of the issues, command of the volumes of evidence, and professional acumen in front of the judge and jury were, unequivocally, the deciding factors in the judge’s rulings and the jury’s verdict, all in our favor. It was also clear that any less effort may have resulted otherwise,” said company President Don Watkins.
As a result of the victory, OSS and Mr. Pierce, as the prevailing parties, are entitled to recover their legal fees. The court will conduct a hearing in late February to determine the amount of legal fees to be awarded.
Gary Nunes is an experienced trial attorney who has more than 25 years’ experience in complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense matters. In particular, he represents clients in breach of contract, fraud, business torts, shareholder disputes and trademark, patent and copyright infringement matters. Gary’s litigation experience has included the representation of companies and individuals in matters filed in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including the Eastern District of Virginia (“Rocket Docket”). Nunes practices in Womble Carlyle’s Northern Virginia office.
Ryan Berry focuses his practice on risk mitigation, crisis response, investigations, and litigation in support of federal contractors and multi-national corporations. Berry assists clients in mitigating corporate risk by developing and auditing compliance and anti-corruption programs, instructing employees prior to overseas deployments, and providing risk analyses to companies contemplating geographic or business line expansions. He practices in Womble Carlyle’s Northern Virginia office.
This document is intended as an informational reminder and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a particular situation, please contact Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. The purpose of this article is to provide general information about significant legal developments and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances.