1270 Avenue of the Americas, Twenty-Fifth Floor
New York City, New York 10020
Mr. Boyle is Chair of the New York Commercial Litigation Practice Group, and heads the firm’s Class Action Defense Group. He represents clients in the financial services, consumer products, retail sales and entertainment industries, as well as nonprofit organizations. His practice focuses on litigating disputes among parties to complex investment, financing and other business transactions and defending class actions, particularly in the advertising and marketing, privacy and consumer protection areas. Mr. Boyle also advises clients with respect to issues involving employment, corporate governance, securities and regulatory matters.
Mr. Boyle brings to his client relationships a varied background in law that includes a federal judicial clerkship, seven years as a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, two years teaching law school as an adjunct professor, several years of practice with a sophisticated commercial and employment litigation boutique and service as a court-appointed mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He has extensive experience litigating in federal and state courts, in New York and elsewhere in the United States. He has also handled numerous arbitrations and mediations. Mr. Boyle has served as an expert on New York and U.S. law issues in connection with proceedings outside the United States.
On behalf of a major investment bank and its affiliates, Mr. Boyle sued a hedge fund and related entities in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, concerning rights to tens of millions of dollars in distributions from a liquidating trust. The hedge fund entities counterclaimed, and interposed an interpleader defense. On July 19, 2013, prior to the conduct of any discovery, the Court dismissed the interpleader, granted Mr. Boyle’s motion for partial summary judgment on his clients’ breach of contract claims and entered judgment for Mr. Boyle’s client in an amount exceeding $30 million. Litigation of the hedge fund entities’ counterclaims is proceeding to discovery.
Mr. Boyle recently won a motion to dismiss a $60 million lawsuit in Delaware Superior Court by a limited partnership and its general partner against three of the limited partners and their ultimate corporate parent. Plaintiffs had claimed that the limited partners breached the limited partnership agreement by cancelling their future funding commitments. Plaintiffs also claimed that the parent, a major bank holding company, had tortiously interfered with the limited partnership agreement and with the partnership’s prospective relations with potential investors in the partnership. Immediately following Mr. Boyle’s oral argument of the motion to dismiss, the Court dismissed the case from the bench. The Court ruled that the limited partners were contractually entitled to cancel their funding commitments. The Court also ruled that the corporate parent had a qualified privilege to encourage its subsidiaries to terminate agreements, and that plaintiffs had failed to allege any facts showing bad faith conduct to overcome the privilege. The Court also found that Plaintiffs had failed to allege facts indicating that the corporate parent had taken any action to discourage third parties from investing in the limited partnership.
Mr. Boyle currently represents a global hotel management company in litigation against the owner of an iconic hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, claiming that the owner breached the hotel’s management agreement by removing our client as manager of the hotel before the contract term expired. The hotel seeks lost profits damages to compensate for 42 years of unpaid management fees. The owner has also asserted claims against the management company for breach of contract and various business torts. The case is pending in the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division.
Mr. Boyle recently represented a major investment bank in litigation against a hedge fund arising from the warehouse financing of a collateralized loan obligation (CLO) transaction, pending in the New York State Supreme Court Commercial Division. The hedge fund had agreed to share in up to $24 million of the bank’s financing risk in connection with forming the CLO; after the CLO was cancelled due to economic factors, the hedge fund sued to recover the amounts it had paid to date. In return, the bank claimed to recover the amounts remaining due under the agreement. In January 2009, Mr. Boyle successfully moved to dismiss claims of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, declaratory judgment and money had and received against the bank. The hedge fund appealed the dismissal of the negligent misrepresentation claims, arguing that the bank's alleged superior knowledge and access relating to global CLO markets created a special relationship with the hedge fund. In December 2009, the dismissal of the negligent misrepresentation claims was affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department, which held that no special relationship existed. Following the completion of fact and expert discovery, the case settled in private mediation, on favorable terms
Mr. Boyle won an appeal in New York State's Appellate Division, affirming the grant of summary judgment in favor of a reinsurance broker, dismissing claims that he breached restrictive employment covenants and misappropriated confidential information belonging to his prior employer.
Mr. Boyle won a motion for summary judgment dismissing copyright infringement claims against an athletic footwear company and its advertising agency. The Second Circuit recently affirmed the grant of summary judgment on appeal.
Mr. Boyle defended an advertising agency against invasion of privacy claims by Yogi Berra, based on the use of Mr. Berra's name in an advertising campaign.
Mr. Boyle won an arbitration award for an accounting firm in a contract dispute with several of its former partners.
Mr. Boyle has conducted internal investigations for financial services clients on a variety of issues involving federal and state laws.
Mr. Boyle advises the NFL Alumni Association regarding a wide range of issues arising from the organization's work for the benefit of retired professional football players.
Class Action Defense
Mr. Boyle recently won a motion to dismiss a privacy class action against an Internet advertiser, in an MDL proceeding pending in the District of Delaware. Plaintiffs had asserted that Mr. Boyle’s client and several others had violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Wiretapping Act, and Electronic Stored Communications Act by placing third-party "cookies" on plaintiffs’ computers and devices, despite the settlings on plaintiffs’ Apple Safari browsing software. Mr. Boyle and other defendants moved to dismiss all claims, primarily on the ground that the complaint failed to allege any cognizable injury. On October 9, 2013, the district court granted the motion to dismiss and dismissed all claims. See In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litig., MDL Civ. No. 12-2358-SLR, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145727 (D. Del. October 9, 2013).
Mr. Boyle is defending a major producer of poultry products in putative consumer class action lawsuits pending in the District of New Jersey and the Middle District of Florida, claiming that “humanely raised” labels on the chicken packages are deceptive in violation of state statute and common law. Mr. Boyle is also defending a national supermarket chain in a similar putative class action lawsuit in the Central District of California. There, plaintiffs claim that “humane environment” and “cage free” labels on our client’s house brand chicken products are deceptive, in violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law and common law. Plaintiffs in all three actions are being supported by animal-rights advocacy organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, which has appeared as plaintiffs’ counsel in the New Jersey and Florida actions. We have moved to dismiss all three actions on the basis of federal preemption.
Mr. Boyle defended a foreign consumer products company (as well as its corporate parent and its two founders) in 16 putative class actions that were filed around the country. The lawsuits challenged the accuracy of our client’s marketing claims concerning the efficacy and ingredients of its weight-loss products. The complaints sought class-wide damages which, in the aggregate, would exceed $200 million. On our motion to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the 16 cases were consolidated and transferred to the District of Massachusetts, streamlining the litigation and saving the client substantial legal fees. Venable then moved to dismiss the complaints. These motions led to the dismissal of the corporate parent on personal jurisdiction grounds, and the elimination of several substantive claims against the remaining defendants. After some discovery, the parties conducted settlement negotiations that culminated in an extremely favorable court-approved settlement for the client – including nationwide consumer releases covering all the client’s weight-loss products, total settlement payments to class members of less than $50,000, no cy pres award, and a relatively small payment for plaintiffs' attorney’s fees and expenses.
Mr. Boyle obtained final court approval of a settlement of a putative class action in the Northern District of California against a major national footwear company, alleging the company’s text messaging program with its customers violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The settlement featured non-cash compensation to class members.
On behalf of the nation's largest nonprofit credit counseling company, Mr. Boyle succeeded in defeating class certification in an action alleging violation of a Georgia consumer protection statute. The District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held that both plaintiffs were inadequate to represent the putative class, and also that claims for damages under the statute's strict liability provisions were inappropriate for class action treatment.
On behalf of a major retail clothing store chain, Mr. Boyle negotiated what was effectively a “walk away” settlement of putative class action claims alleging violations of New York State consumer protection statutes. Plaintiff agreed to settle their claims shortly after Mr. Boyle served counsel with a motion to dismiss all claims in the action.
Member, Alternate Dispute Resolution Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2011-present
Fundraising Chairman, Vanderbilt Law School Class
Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School, 2000-2002.
|Areas of Practice||1) Class Action Defense, 2) Commercial Litigation, 3) Litigation, 4) Advertising and Marketing Litigation, 5) Advertising and Marketing Class Action Defense, 6) Privacy Class Action Defense, 7) Securities Class Action Defense, 8) Antitrust and 9) Antitrust Investigations|
|Law School||Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 1993)|
|Education||Duke University (B.A., 1989)|
|Bar Member / Association||New York State Bar Association|
|Most recent firm||Venable LLP|
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