Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

    Mr. Pu's main area of practice is handling complex business litigation-- called "commercial litigation"-- involving at least several hundred thousand dollars.  The heart of such litigation usually involves a claim for breach of contract.  A contract is a set of mutual promises where each promissor gives the promisee something of value.

    But in addition, commercial litigation may involve what are called business torts:

1. negligence, where the defendant has failed to show due care;

2. breach of fiduciary duty, where there is a close and confidential relationship, such as that between a lawyer and his or her client;

3. fraud, where a false statement was made with intent to deceive and the person hearing it reasonably relied on the statement to his detriment;

4. conversion, where the defendant exercised unauthorized dominion over the plaintiff's property;

5. tortious interference with contract, where someone who is not a party to a contract causes one of the contracting parties to breach the contract, and

6. civil racketeering, a complicated cause of action provided by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO").

    The kinds of business dealings that give rise to commercial litigation are almost unlimited.  Mr. Pu has litigated many law suits involving trade between the U.S. and other nations, especially trade between the U.S. and China.  In addition, he has litigated partnership disputes, such as disputes between companies involved in joint ventures.  In addition, Mr. Pu has represented franchisees in litigation with their franchisers.  For many years, Mr. Pu represented owners of Dunkin' Donuts shops over oppressive conduct by Dunkin' Donuts.

    For instance, Mr. Pu has litigated many law suits where an American importer buys goods from a supplier in China.  The goods come late or with defects, and the importer sues both to avoid making payment as well as to collect damages, such as lost revenues when the importers own customers (often department stores) cancel their orders.  

    In another instance, the New York Post reported on a case where Mr. Pu represented a young woman who was raped and impregnated by her brother.  It was too late to sue over the rape, but the young woman's husband had her brother sign a contract agreeing to pay her over $750,000.  The main issue there was whether the contract was voided by duress-- i.e., threats that, unless the brother signed, the woman's husband would do things to him.

    In another instance, Mr. Pu litigated for more than seventeen years over the breach of a joint venture between his client in India and other people from India based on Long Island. Mr. Pu's clients alleged that their co-venturers on Long Island stole the customers of Mr. Pu's clients in violation of the joint venture agreement.


Legal Malpractice


    More recently, Mr. Pu has developed expertise in suing lawyers for legal malpractice.  At its heart, a claim of legal malpractice is a negligence action-- where the client has to show that his or her lawyer failed “to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession".  But a claim for legal malpractice claim may be accompanied by related claims, such as breach of fiduciary duty or fraud, so long as those latter claims don't merely duplicate the claim for legal malpractice.
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