Author: pmalaw

US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico Dismisses Adversary Proceeding

Litigation Partner Jorge I. Peirats and Associate Giselle López Soler recently obtained a judgment from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico dismissing with prejudice an adversary proceeding filed by debtor Life Flight of Puerto Rico, Inc. against Humana Health Plan of Puerto Rico, Inc. The Hon. Brian K. Tester, Bankruptcy Judge, agreed with defendant in that qualitative distinctions between air ambulance providers do not require payment of different rates under applicable law and regulations. Life Flight of Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Humana Health Plan of Puerto Rico, Inc., Case No. 08-08870 (BKT), Adversary No.09-00057.

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Partner Néstor Méndez Plays Key Organizing Role in Events Hosting Hon. Sonia Sotomayor’s First Visit

Partner Nestor M. Mendez was part of the committee that organized the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor’s first visit to Puerto Rico after being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the first Latin American and third woman in our highest court. This visit was co-hosted by the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association (FFBA) and its Fellows Program, of which Néstor is a director and Life Fellow and by the Historical Society of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (HSSCPR).

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Favorable Ruling Obtained in Preliminary Injunction Proceeding for Trademark Infringement

Litigation Partner Jorge I. Peirats and Associate María Dolores Trelles recently obtained a preliminary injunction barring defendants from infringing client Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters LLC’s Café Yaucono and Café Rico trademarks in the United States. The preliminary injunction was issued by the Honorable Gustavo A. Gelpí, United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico in the case Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters, LLC et al v. Coffee Partners International Corp., Civil No.09-2243 (GAG).

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PMA Represents University of Puerto Rico in Preliminary Injunction Hearing

Litigation Partner Oreste R. Ramos and Associate Maritere Colon recently represented the University of Puerto Rico and its President in a preliminary injunction proceeding brought by two students claiming that the University’s decision to declare a five day recess constituted an unconstitutional prior restraint of speech. After an evidentiary hearing held the day after the case was filed, the Court denied the preliminary injunction and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.

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Donald Hull inducted as Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys

Partner Donald E. Hull was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA). ACMA, founded in 1974, is comprised of a select group of attorneys in the United States and Canada who are experienced in lending transactions secured by real estate. ACMA’s Fellows include private practitioners, in-house counsel, government attorneys and members of the academic community. Fellowship in ACMA is by nomination only.

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PMA Receives Top Rankings by Chambers

We are proud to announce that in its second edition and for a second year in a row, PMA received a top Band 1 ranking in the Corporate Commercial, Dispute Resolution (Litigation), and Real Estate practice areas by Chambers and Partners’ Latin America 2010. The publication referred to the Firm’s Corporate/Commercial practice group as “consistent across the board and with good overall strength with a range of transactional work and experience in M&A, MBOs, and financing and securities.” The litigation practice group is “renowned for a range of expertise that encompasses bankruptcy and securities litigation, constitutional law and antitrust work.” The Real Estate group was described as “a step above the rest.”

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PMA Successfully Defends Enforceability of Forum Selection Clause in Medical Malpractice Context

In the case of Florentino Rivera v. Centro Médico del Turabo, Inc. ____F.3d ____, 2009 WL 2343132 (1st Cir. 2009), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently affirmed Chief Judge Fusté’s dismissal of a patient’s medical malpractice claims on the basis that the patient signed a mandatory forum selection clause by virtue of which he agreed to submit any claims as a result of the medical proceeding to the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance. In what is surely a ground-breaking decision, PMA Attorneys Heidi Rodriguez and Giselle López Soler, representing the defendant hospital, argued that the case law applicable to forum selection clauses is equally applicable in the health care industry and that the forum selection clause was valid and enforceable. The First Circuit upheld the District Court’s decision, holding that, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, when a patient and a health care provider agree on a forum selection clause the same is binding and enforceable. The appellate court also affirmed the dismissal of the claims by the patient’s wife (a non-signatory party) since her claims were contingent on the patient\’s and grounded on the same nucleus of facts. In an interesting twist of events, while the case was pending, the Patients’ Advocate adopted a regulation prohibiting forum selection clauses in this context contrary to a similar regulation adopted by the Puerto Rico Health Department. PMA Attorneys are also handling the regulatory challenge.

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