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THE STORY OF OUR SUCCESS
READS MORE LIKE AN EPIC NOVEL

Each of our case studies is a chapter that tells how our team has leveraged our collaborative process to help create success for our clients. We’d love for you to check them out and see for yourself.

INTERNATIONAL CASES
CONSTRUCTION CASES
COMMERCIAL CASES
ENERGY CASES
ENVIRONMENTAL CASES
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CASES
CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LTD. VS. OIL INSURANCE LTS.

Overview:
Canadian Natural Resources’ dispute with Oil Insurance Ltd. involved the repair of a failed underwater brace on a North Sea oil rig. The crack in the brace was 40 meters underwater which required extraordinary efforts and cost to repair.

Challenge:
CNR needed to prove that the crack started within a weld which made the failure a manufacturing defect and therefore should be covered by insurance.

Solution:
Z-Axis was hired to create an interactive 3D animated model of the oil platform, the underwater brace, and a detailed close-up view of the cracked area to help the arbitrators understand the structure, scale, and location of the platform and the cracked brace. The animation also included a timeline with photos of the crack taken over time which helped prove that the crack in the brace material was not wear and tear but a defect.

Outcome:
The arbitration took place in London. It settled in favor of our client.

REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI VS. MR. ABDOURAHMAN HOHAMED MAHMOULD BOREH

Overview:
This was a bribery suit against Mr. Boreh for fraud (abusing his position of trust to his own benefit). This case revolved round the upgrade of the port in Djibouti, most of the investment coming from various companies, owned by Boreh, in Dubai. The law firm of Gibson Dunn represents Republic of Djibouti, Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority, and Port Autonome International de Djibouti. The government launched numerous legal actions against the Dubai-based Mr. Boreh in recent years and obtained a global freezing order on his assets. The government has alleged that he misused his government position to gain personal advantage.

Challenge:
Our team faced two significant challenges: one, because the trial team could not speak about the case, the Z-Axis team had little information and had to rely on their own research to get up to speed and locate appropriate photos and maps of the country. And, two, the existing presentation slides that were available were substandard, unprofessional, and ineffectual for what the case called for.

Solution:
Z-Axis was hired after the trial had begun to make the client’s slides look not only professional but also to have the power to effectively illustrate their case in front of the judge. Z-Axis’ solution was to develop an interactive presentation, showing maps, money flow in the oil terminal, the 12-15 different companies, the 15-20 different banks accounts, and the three main projects consisting of the oil terminal, the container area and the dry port.

GREENBERG TRAURIG AND THEIR CLIENT, MGM RESORTS

Overview:
The case stemmed from the construction of CityCenter, MGM Resorts International’s 67-acre development on the southwest corner of the Strip and West Harmon Avenue. Perini Building Co. and MGM entered into an agreement for construction of CityCenter in 2005. Perini then entered into agreements with hundreds of subcontractors to complete the project. Work stopped after construction defects were found in 2008.

Solution:
This case had more than 3 million digitally stored pieces of evidence. Z-Axis worked closely with MGM Resorts, Greenberg Traurig and Weidlinger Associates in preparation for trial. The process of organizing the data and transforming the massive amount of evidence into animated tutorials, interactive timelines, virtual forensic models, and scores of exhibits helped the team summarize this compelling story and make the arguments about this defective project come to life.

Outcome:
A structural engineer hired by MGM Resorts determined the building was unsafe. The case involved more than $400 million in damage claims. Construction on the planned 47-story tower was stopped at 26 floors. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but demolition of the Harmon Hotel is underway and should be completed by summer.

UTAH DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION VS. FLATIRON CONSTRUCTORS, INC.

Overview:
In this case, the Utah Department of Transportation is suing a group of construction contractors and their insurers for poor quality, and delays and cost over-runs in the rebuilding of a six-mile section of highway south of Salt Lake City. The project was supposed to result in a roadway that would provide quality and efficient transportation to Utah taxpayers for many decades.

Challenge:
Our client needed to visually show the large number of defects and the delays in completing the construction of the six-mile stretch of highway southwest of Salt Lake City.

Solution:
The presentation centered around an aerial map view of the construction site. This map was the foundation for a number of graphic exhibits. The user could zoom into different sections of the road as well as into different types of defects at specific points of time during the project.

Z-Axis customized their mapping program to suit the needs of this case and to house all the data points, supporting materials, and the construction error photos in an easy-to-navigate interface. Within this one base graphic one could turn on and off different types of failures, zooming in to a specific point in time to display the supporting photos or documents. There were supporting materials for each type of failure and in some cases, multiple examples.

In addition, underneath the map we embedded a timeline that illustrated when the project began to run behind schedule.

By clicking a menu button a summary graphic was displayed at the bottom of the screen. It showed the defendant’s poor work performance by contrasting the number and types of non-conforming work reports (“NCRs”) generated by UDOT and the defendant’s third party quality inspection contractor. The number of NCR’s was then compared with the number of NCR’s generated by UDOT and the third party quality inspection contractors on the other projects in the county. This one base exhibit made it was easy to see the extensive number of defects in the construction and delays which resulted in cost over-runs.

Outcome:
Settlement was reached in our client’s favor.

AMAZON - HEARING TO THE COPYRIGHT ROYALTY BOARD

Overview:
Section 115 of the Copyright Act, title 17 of the United States Code, requires a copyright owner of a nondramatic musical work to grant a license (also known as the ‘‘mechanical’’ compulsory license) to any person who wants to make and distribute phonorecords of that work, provided that the copyright owner has allowed phonorecords of the work to be produced and distributed, and that the licensee complies with the statute and regulations. In addition to the production or distribution of physical phonorecords (compact discs, vinyl, cassette tapes, and the like), section 115 applies to digital transmissions of phonorecords, including permanent digital downloads and ringtones.

The Judges in the case received petitions to participate in the current proceeding from Amazon Digital Services, Inc.; Apple, Inc.; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); Church Music Publishers Association; David Powell; Deezer S.A.; Digital Media Association (DiMA); Gear Publishing Co; GEO Music Group; Google, Inc.; Music Reports, Inc.; Nashville Songwriters Association International; National Music Publishers Association; Harry Fox Agency; Omnifone Group Limited; Pandora Media, Inc.; Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA); Rhapsody International, Inc.; Songwriters of North America; Sony Music Entertainment; SoundCloud Limited; Spotify USA Inc.; Universal Music Group (UMG); and Warner Music Group (WMG).

Challenge:
The Copyright royalty judges publish for comment proposed regulations that set rates and terms applicable during the period beginning January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2022.
This is a three-month negotiation period that take place every five years. Due to the rapid change in the industry it has become important to negotiate current royalty rates.

Solution:
Z-Axis supported five companies that provide streaming services. Other participants were the professional unions for artists and artist agencies.The Z-Axis team worked on location beside the teams providing personal attention to each legal team.

To address the different royalty rates and their different valuations, Z-Axis developed a custom interactive algorithm visual that allowed the trial team to calculate various royalty formulas in an open-ended platform without any constraints. This was most significant in presenting their financial arguments. Using this tool, the team could be more flexible in presenting their arguments.

Outcome:
The outcome has not been determined.

GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE VS. GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA

Overview:
This case was a treaty arbitration between Malaysia and Singapore. It was heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The Singapore government wished to get land back from Malaysia and repurpose it for recreation and other services to its population. The two countries established a treaty in which Singapore would swap some prime properties in the country’s growing business districts in exchange for the railroad land. After the exchange was completed, Singapore slapped Malaysia with a $1.1 billion development charge (essentially a tax) on the transaction. This had not been contemplated by the treaty and had never been discussed by the parties.

Challenge:
Since the arbitrators were not from Singapore, we had to visually introduce them to the layout of the country and the location of the railroad. In addition, we needed to provide a simplified description of the impact of the development charge on both countries.

Solution:
Z-Axis created an interactive map.and railway tutorial which incorporated an accelerated video of the entire railway along with a map. The video could be played from beginning to end or areas on the map could be clicked in order to show that specific section of the video.

The final piece was a simple pie chart showing the financial impact of the original treaty. The chart was also animated to show the financial impact if Singapore’s development charge was held to be valid.

Outcome:
Our client, Malaysia, won the arbitration and the development charge was nullified.

TRANSOCEAN'S DEEPWATER HORIZON

Overview:
On April 20, 2010 Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP exploded in a chain of events that lead to the largest oil spill in U.S. history and ultimately the largest and most extensive trial of the decade.

Solution:
Z-Axis, LLC worked with the trial team at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, LLP and Munger Tolles & Olson to create innovative graphics and animations to support Transocean’s contention that the root cause of the blowout was short cuts and mismanagement on the part of BP.

Z-Axis developed virtual computer models to educate the trial team, verify the facts, understand the timetable, and isolate the oil production and safety equipment involved in the case. The models were invaluable in helping the teams prepare their arguments that involved being able to visually demonstrate to the judge the parts and the issues surrounding the cause of the blowout.

Z-Axis developed proprietary image display software to meet the unprecedented needs of the case. The new software provided easy access to a massive library of 24,000 images and allowed for interactive control of 3D points of view.

Outcome:
The judge ruled that Transocean was negligent and not grossly negligent.

STATOIL OIL & GAS LP VS. NORTH AMERICAN INTERPIPE, INC.

Overview:
A pipe supplier (North American Interpipe, Inc.) and a drilling company (Statoil Oil & Gas LP) had a dispute over a batch of steel supplied to Statoil. After operating hundreds of wells without incident for years, there were explosions in six wells over a three-month span. Statoil spent a considerable amount remediating the issue and undertaking an internal investigation of the incident. Their findings showed the steel they’d received from North American Interpipe was faulty and was the cause of the explosion. Statoil sued to recover costs associated with the remediation and investigation. There was also a concern over the damage to their reputation, which had been spotless since their inception as a company.

Challenge:
We needed to show Statoil’s proficiency in operating wells, as the other side was asserting “user-error” on the part of our client. Z-Axis had extensive data relating to pipe measurements and well-depth that were critical in explaining the defects in the steel.

Solution:
Z-Axis created an interactive graphic detailing Statoil’s successful well operations, both before the bad steel and after, that clearly showed they knew how to operate competently. Over a nine-year period, the only problems occurred during the three-month period in which they used the bad steel from North American Interpipe. We also were able to condense multiple-page graphs and charts into easy-to-read digital displays.

Outcome:
The case settled on the eve of trial.

BROWN GROUP RETAIL VS. CENTURY INDEMNITY CAN

Overview:
A Z-Axis partner had a client that had insurance policies covering a rifle manufacturing plant during the time of a contamination. Z-Axis worked with several teams to identify costs of clean up, property damage, insurance policy coverage dates, Statute of Limitations, and bad faith policies. Z-Axis also worked with an expert who was charged with demonstrating that the contaminants were emanating from another site, adjacent to our client.

Solution:
Developed a Vapor Degreaser tutorial to show the attempted containment process and the contaminant transportation by incorporating a 3D simulated cross-section of the plume, and the flow through affected areas. An interactive timeline of events and existing safeguards that had been built to trap and protect potentially affected geographical areas added additional perspective. Historical aerial photographs, property boundaries, and well locations were integrated into an additional series of tutorials and graphical explanations to show that the contaminants actually began offsite, at another property, and moved through the client’s property.

Outcome:
The case settled before trial.

SIEMENS V SEAGATE ET AL

Overview:
Seagate admitted infringement of two patents owned by Siemens involving microscopic read heads used in modern computer disc drives. The operation of these heads is based on the physical phenomenon of Giant Magneto-Resistance. Seagate’s sole defense was to prove the patents invalid.

Challenge:
The science behind this technology was extraordinarily complex and occurred in physical dimensions that are unimaginably small and at speeds that are completely incomprehensible (billions of operations per second). The challenge was teaching the details of the science and, at the same time, summarizing the teachings in a way that was meaningful and memorable to the jury in order to overcome the higher burden of proof to invalidate the patents.

Solution:
We created a combination of PowerPoint presentations, detailed animations and simple physical models. The PowerPoint presentations explained the basics of patent law. The animations taught the details of the technology and established a color scheme to represent the principle structures in the read head. The physical models simplified the teachings in the animation and utilized a corresponding color scheme to depict the basic structural components.

Outcome:
The jury returned with the verdict that the Siemens patent was invalid and awarded no damages to the plaintiff.

KING PHARMACEUTICALS INC. ET AL VS. INTELLIJECT INC.

Overview:
King Pharmaceuticals Inc. and a subsidiary were suing Intelliject Inc. for filing a new drug application that they say breached a patent covering their EpiPen products for allergic reactions. In a complaint lodged in the U.S. District Court for District of Delaware, King and subsidiary Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. claimed the approval of Intelliject's NDA to make and sell an epinephrine auto-injector before the 2025 expiration of the patent would substantially harm the companies.

Solution:
It was important that the differences between Intelliject’s device and King Pharmaceuticals’ device were clearly understood. Z-Axis created numerous two-dimensional animated comparisons of the two devices based on the patent drawings and the claim language. By illustrating how the two devices worked it became clear that they not only looked different but that they also functioned differently.

Outcome:
The case settled on the eve of trial, and ultimately King Pharmaceuticals acquired Intelliject, ending in a favorable outcome for all.