GAS & OIL DISTRIBUTION
Since its inception, Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret has been a litigation law firm dedicated to servicing the oil and gas marketing industry in the Puerto Rico market. For the past nine and a half years, the Firm has handled and participated in litigation and counseling related to virtually all aspects of the Puerto Rico oil & gas marketing industry.
Mr. Lee R. Sepulvado, Esq., is a household name in the Puerto Rico oil and gas industry. Mr. Sepulvado possesses over fifteen years of experience handling high-profile and large-scale cases related to matters covering topics of antitrust and trade regulation, trademarks, franchising and distribution, real estate, environmental liability, regulation, and taxes, among others. Also, Mr. Sepulvado has been engaged in numerous client-specific and industry-wide lobbying efforts in order to protect and promote the financial stability of its clients and the well-being of an industry that is instrumental to the island’s economic development.
Cases designed and litigated by Mr. Sepulvado are cited by judges and treatises as normative in their respective topics. Some of these cases include Santiago-Sepúlveda v. Esso Standard Oil (Puerto Rico), Inc., 643 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2011), which is cited by legal encyclopedias such as the American Law Reports and specialized collections such as Causes of Action. Another example is Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. v. TC Oil, Corp., 634 F. Supp. 2d 212 (D.P.R. 2009), which is cited by treatises such as Callmann on Unfair Competition, Trademarks and Monopolies, and Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure.
Today, Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret is able to offer its clients in the oil and gas industry the most robust and comprehensive legal advice and litigation representation. We are leaders in this industry and our track record proves it.
CONTRACT & COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
Together with the Firm’s oil and gas practice area, commercial litigation is the foundation of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret. As a boutique commercial litigation law firm, Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret focuses on delivering trial and dispute resolution experience to all types of business controversies. Similarly, the attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret use their skills and knowledge at the negotiation table, where the Firm has successfully achieved successful and cost-effective solutions for its clients.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have experience handling complex commercial disputes, class actions, securities litigation, mass tort and multi-district product liability litigation, antitrust matters, fast-paced injunction proceedings, and various other business-related claims under specific economic legislation. The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret represent its clients before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the First & Second Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, the Southern District of New York, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, and the Puerto Rico Court of First Instance.
Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret has made it its mission to train and develop its younger talent into becoming thorough and respected trial counselors. The senior attorneys and partners of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret lead by example and teach up and coming attorneys the strategic and tactical aspects of trial practice. Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret’s attorneys are passionate and energized, and carry themselves out with a work ethic that is the cornerstone of the Firm’s reputation as accomplished trial advocates.
In keeping with the challenges faced by business today, the Firm’s approach to litigation is dynamic and allows for flexible solutions that will meet its client’s commercial goals. However, as trial advocates, the attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret are always prepared for a case to go to trial.
The Injunctive Relief practice area of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret litigates an injunction proceeding with more regularity than most law firms in Puerto Rico. For the past ten (10) years, the Firm has presented and defended well over sixty (60) cases involving injunction petitions or requests for other extraordinary remedies. This vast experience allows the attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret to design and implement a litigation strategy that works in a matter of days and, sometimes, in a matter of hours.
Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret has been engaged to represent various clients in injunction litigation related to high-profile individuals and issues of high public interest. Similarly, the injunction litigation handled by the Firm covers a wide array of legal problems, including controversies of Constitutional Law, Trademarks, Franchising and Distribution, Intellectual Property, Corporations, Public Health and Safety, Administrative Law, and Antitrust, among others.
Some notable representations include:
Municipio Autónomo de San Juan v. Urban Transit Solutions, Inc., Civil No. SJ2014CV00037 (907) (Ct. First Instance, San Juan, June 10, 2014) (issuing a preliminary injunction in favor of the Municipality of San Juan with regards to the administration of parking meters throughout the Island’s capital).
Municipio de San Juan v. SMG Medical Services And Supply, Inc., Civil No. K PE2013-2688 (904) (Ct. First Instance, San Juan, May 3, 2013) (issuing a temporary restraining order in favor of the Municipality of San Juan ordering the continued operation of public health facilities by a private contractor).
GEVA Engineering Group, Corp. v. Furmanite America, Inc., Civil No. K AC2011-0697 (904) (Ct. First Instance, San Juan, Oct. 11, 2012) (denying a preliminary injunction petition under Law No. 75 and Law No. 21, and upholding the termination of GEVA as Furmanite’s non-exclusive sales representative).
Roberto Cedo Gaudier, et al. v. Elmec Industries, Inc., et als., Civil No. 11-cv-01585-DRD (D.P.R. Dec. 13, 2011) (successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction petition that resulted in the voluntary dismissal of the preliminary relief sought by plaintiffs under Lanham Act).
R. Best Boxing Promotion, Inc. v. Javier Bustillo, et als., Civil No. F PE2010-0814 (401) (Ct. First Instance, Carolina, Aug. 24, 2010) (granting a Motion to Dismiss preliminary injunction that resulted in the Court’s dismissal of the entire complaint).
Santiago-Sepúlveda v. Esso Standard Oil (Puerto Rico), Inc., 582 F. Supp. 2d 154 (D.P.R. 2008); Santiago-Sepúlveda v. Esso Standard Oil Co. (Puerto Rico), Inc., 634 F. Supp. 2d 201 (D.P.R. 2009); Santiago-Sepúlveda v. Esso Standard Oil Co. (Puerto Rico), Inc., 638 F. Supp. 2d 193 (D.P.R. 2009) (denying a preliminary and permanent injunction petition and upholding the validity of the gasoline franchise offers made by the client to former-Esso Standard Oil (Puerto Rico), Inc. franchisees, following this wholesaler’s withdrawal from the Puerto Rico market).
EMPLOYMENT & BENEFITS
The Employment and Benefits practice area at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret strives to provide comprehensive service that allows clients to obtain sound and experienced legal representation in virtually all aspects of human resources management. The employment and benefits attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret aim to understand the nature of its client’s businesses and to jointly devise viable solutions to any employment issue that arises in the process of achieving corporate goals.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have ample experience providing legal services to employers of all kinds and sizes. The Firm has supported human resources management and employment litigation for small entrepreneurs, large multinational corporations, and companies seeking to establish operations in the Island.
The Employment and Benefits practice area at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret is lead by the Firm’s Managing Partner, Mrs. Elaine Maldonado. She is seasoned employment attorney with close to twenty years of experience in the field of labor, employment, and benefits. Mrs. Maldonado has handled nearly every type of employment matter, including claims for discrimination, wrongful termination, worker’s compensation, arbitration, wages and hours, and employee benefits.
Similarly, the Employment and Benefits practice area at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret regularly carries out general labor and employment counseling for its clients. The Firm’s attorneys periodically review and prepare employee policies and regulations, as well as prepare and represent clients in collective bargaining negotiations.
There is no question that businesses in Puerto Rico are competing in a globalized economy. This increased competition also means that trade regulations and antitrust laws continue to change and become more sophisticated. Similarly, governments are enforcing their competition laws with more resolve and resources. These developments require an understanding of the applicable antitrust laws and the specific business aspects of each client confronting these challenges.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have vast experience and proven ability defending and promoting antitrust and unfair business practices litigation. The cases handled by Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret include antitrust issues relating to various industries and various topics within the antitrust legal and regulatory framework.
Some of the topics covered by Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret include unfair business practices, price discrimination, price fixing, predatory pricing and dumping, monopolization, general counseling and strategic planning, regulatory compliance, administrative proceedings, and lobbying and public advocacy.
Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret’s Intellectual Property practice focuses on diversity and creativity. Like our clients, Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret thrives in coming up with big ideas to develop and implement a litigation strategy that will best accommodate a client’s business needs. Mastering trademark, copyright, and trade secrets laws have proven to be a valuable asset for the attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret and all of its clients.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret understand that branding is a vital element in promoting the growth of a product and a business. As such, trademarks are among the most valuable assets for any company. With the impact of globalization in Puerto Rico’s economy, trademarks become essential for global companies seeking to communicate their value and reputation to the Puerto Rico market and for local businesses seeking to promote their activities worldwide.
The Firm’s intellectual property litigation practice expands to matters about trademarks and copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and antitrust issues related to intellectual property topics. Similarly, Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret has played a significant role in various commercial disputes with intellectual property ramifications, such as disputes involving licensing, the transfer of intellectual property rights, or technology-related negotiations.
The Shareholder Litigation practice area at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret provides counsel and litigation representation for shareholders, corporations, directors and officers, partnerships, and limited liability companies involved in lawsuits related to disputes of corporate governance and principles of fiduciary duties.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have successfully represented clients in challenges to mergers and acquisitions, and financing transactions. The Firm’s Shareholder Litigation practice area has developed and sought injunctive and equitable relief in matters related to stock ownership and fundamental stockholder’s rights.
In addition to the preceding, the Shareholder Litigation attorneys at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret provide counseling and planning to individuals, corporations, directors, officers, and shareholders in connection with corporate challenges that arise from time to time to ensure that its clients receive reliable legal advice.
Some of the actions represented by Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret include: actions to enforce stockholder rights to inspect corporate books and records, actions challenging and implementing the results of stockholder elections of directors and other stockholder votes, actions to enforce a removal of a director and officer, and actions to withdraw from a professional practice being performed in through a professional corporation.
The attorneys at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have briefed and argued appeals before the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the First Circuit, and the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals. The appeals our Firm has briefed and argued involve include cases involving a wide range of matters, such as constitutional law, administrative law, antitrust, trademarks, federal jurisdiction, intellectual property, distribution and franchising, insurance law, among others.
Our attorneys regularly apply the appellate briefing approach at the trial level. This allows our attorneys to shape arguments in a way that clients can be adequately defended at an appellate review. Our attorneys have published several articles on topics of constitutional law and international relations. They have been directors and editors for various law reviews in Puerto Rico and come from working as law clerks for Puerto Rico Supreme Court Justices and judges to the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals.
Last year, the Honorable Maite D. Oronoz Rodríguez, a past Income Partner at our firm, was appointed and confirmed Associate Justice to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Justice Oronoz Rodríguez’s appointment and confirmation is a testament to the quality and excellence of the Appellate practice at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret.
The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret understand that clients often require representation and support that extends beyond the court. As such, the Firm firmly believes that to overcome some business challenges, strong government relations can substantially increase the client’s likelihood of success. The attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret have had substantive government relations experience in the field of oil and gas, energy, environmental, taxes, and antitrust.
Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret’s multi-partisan Government Relations practice include resources former elected officials and top aides from Puerto Rico’s political and public policy landscape. This group of proven professionals, together with the attorneys of Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret, works to provide its clients seamless government affairs representation.
Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret’s Private Client practice area represents individuals, families and closely-held businesses in a wide range of matters focused on these client’s particular needs. We offer personalized and reliable solutions that our clients can trust with confidence.
Our attorneys assist our private clients with matters related to personal and family real estate, family law, estate planning, individual civil law actions, controversies related to closely-held corporations, finance and securities, general litigation, and dispute resolution, among others.
The Private Client practice area at Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret enjoys the support of all of our practice areas. Our clients enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that any legal trouble that may arise will be managed by the right group of professionals.