Winter update 2022 – Litigation and arbitration

| Insight

The last half of 2022 is soon coming to an end. This "Short and Sweet" article provides a summary of key issues within dispute resolution during this period. We would also like to use this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Supreme Court has decided several cases concerning the Civil Procedure Act this autumn. We would like to start by mentioning HR-2022-1503-U, which concerned the difference between an ordinary witness and an expert witness. Two decisions concerning recusal are also noteworthy: HR-2022-1959-A and HR-2022-1799-U. The question in the first case was whether a judge had to recuse himself because his textbook expressed an opinion about the legal issue in the case. The court found that this was not a ground for recusal. The issue in the second case was whether a judge in a case about compensation for personal injury had to recuse herself because she had worked in the insurance industry most of her career. The court concluded that the judge had to recuse herself, the judgement from Gulating Court of appeal was therefore annulled. In this case the appellant was represented by Cecilie Sethil Stuberg.

We would also like to highlight some cases of significant interest. In LB-2022-43798, Borgarting Court of Appeal ruled on whether the breeding of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Bulldog violated Section 25 (2) and (3) of the Animal Welfare Act. The case raises several fundamental legal issues. Anette Fjeld and Eirik Bergsjø argued the case on behalf of the Norwegian Kennel Club, the breed clubs and the breeders.

HR-2022-2222-A is also worth noting. The case concerned remuneration and compensation for trademark infringements on the internet. Senior lawyer Nicholas F. Barbantonis argued the case on behalf of Kystgjerdet. The Supreme Court concluded that the respondent should be awarded «double reasonable» license fee in line with arguments presented by Kystgjerdet, and thus rejected the respondent’s vastly higher compensation claim.

In November 2022, Oslo District Court launched a new guide for court mediation in major cases. The guide has been prepared by Oslo District Court in collaboration with The Norwegian Bar Association and Borgarting Court of Appeal. In short, the guide gives an overview of regular mediation issues in major  cases. The guide provides advice on how to handle these issues, and the mediation process in general.

There are also exciting cases to look forward too next year. In early January, a case about the right to rely on subsequent justifications when canceling a public tender procedure will be argued before the Supreme Court. Fauske Municipality and Sørfold Municipality are represented by Christian Reusch.

In December 2022, the Supreme Court’s Appeals Selection Committee referred the so called «Alarm Customer Case» to an oral hearing in the Supreme Court. The Alarm Customer Association argues that several alarm companies have overcharged customers by billions through illegal price collusion, and demands reimbursement. To achieve this, a class action has been established. This could become the largest class action in Norwegian history. However, the question before the Supreme Court at this stage is if the third-party financing of the class action is in line with Civil Procedure Act. The Alarm Customer Association is represented by Christian Reusch together with Jan Magne Langseth.