Case Results

The success of any lawsuit or settlement depends on the unique circumstances of each case. We cannot guarantee future results based on past successes we have achieved.

Appellate

In Meyers v. Board of Administration for the Federated City Employees Retirement Fund (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 250, we won a published reversal for the plaintiff, a public employee who was injured on the job and subsequently denied disability retirement benefits, first by the City of San Jose, and then by the trial court in his administrative mandate petition. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the trial court’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence.

In Tichinin v. City of Morgan Hill (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 1049, we won a news-grabbing published reversal of the trial court’s order granting the City of Morgan Hill’s anti-SLAPP motion. In connection with a local attorney’s constitutionally-protected activities, the City of Morgan Hill adopted a resolution condemning his protected activities and requesting his resignation from the City’s Urban Limit Line Subcommittee. The Court of Appeal’s reversal reinstated the plaintiff attorney’s civil rights lawsuit.

In Cabral v. Martins (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 471, our attorneys successfully represented attorneys after a former wife brought an action against her former husband and the attorneys who represented him in another action, alleging that they attempted to evade a child support judgment against the former husband through the modification of an estate plan. Our attorneys, on behalf of the former husband’s attorneys, filed a special motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court granted the motions and awarded attorneys’ fees. In affirming the trial court’s order, the Court of Appeal held that the attorney’s actions in lodging a will with the probate court, defending the husband in litigation, and the will revision itself were protected activity for the purposes of the anti-SLAPP motion.

In Swift v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 878, our attorneys won a published reversal of the trial court’s order striking the tenant plaintiffs’ peremptory disqualification of the judge as untimely. The Court of Appeal held that the tenants’ disqualification of the trial judge was timely, even though that judge had presided over earlier discovery motions, since such motions do not involve the determination of fact issues as to the merits of the case.

In Murray’s Iron Works, Inc. v. Boyce (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1279, our attorneys won a published reversal of the trial court’s order granting a contractor statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees. The Court of Appeal held that Civil Code §3260.1, which applies to construction contracts involving “progress” payments, does not apply to construction contracts where the only payments are either down payments or payments upon completion.

In Huong Que, Inc. v. Luu (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 400, Josh Borger represented on appeal a Vietnamese calendar distribution corporation and its owner in their lawsuit against previous corporate owners who had agreed to be the managing agents, alleging that they stopped performing management duties and misappropriated the corporation’s customer list and used it to solicit business for a competing business. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction, and determined that it was likely that the corporation and its owner would prevail on the claim that the previous owners breached the duty of loyalty and interfered with prospective economic advantages.

In Cabesuela v. Browning-Ferris (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 101, our attorneys, representing the plaintiff, won a published reversal of the trial court’s dismissal of the employee’s claims of wrongful termination in violation of public policy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court of Appeal held that a claim of retaliation for an employee’s complaints of job-related safety does not require proof of actual unsafe conditions, but merely that the employee’s complaints were reasonable and made in good faith.

In Gonzales v. Police Department, City of San Jose, California (9th Cir. 1990) 901 F.2d 758, our attorneys, representing the employee, won a published reversal of the district court’s denial of an employee’s discrimination claims. The employee, a Hispanic, claimed he was skipped over for promotion because of his race. He pointed to the fact that every time he was denied promotion, his employer failed to follow its affirmative action program designed to encourage the promotion of minorities. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the City of San Jose’s failure to follow its own affirmative action program constituted significant evidence in a Title VII suit against it. The Court also called into doubt the relevance of the City’s post-lawsuit promotion of other minority employees, finding that “curative measures simply do not tend to prove that a prior violation did not occur.”

In Pecoraro v. GBR Magic Sands MHP LLC (2016, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H040008), our attorneys were part of a team which won affirmance of a judgment following a bench trial cancelling a 98-year ground lease entered into in 1963. Like the trial court, the Court of Appeal rejected all of the respondents’ defenses including statute of limitations, res judicata, and contractual estoppel. The Court also rejected the respondents’ attacks on the remedy of lease cancellation as opposed to damages.

In Wang v. The TDS Group, Inc. (2014, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H038786), our attorneys won affirmance of the trial court’s order granting the defendant’s post-trial motion for new trial following a multi-million dollar plaintiff’s verdict. The Court of Appeal agreed that the erroneous jury verdict form gave rise to irreconcilably inconsistent jury answers, and thus was “against the law.”

In Tamayo v. CordeValle Golf Club, LLC (2013, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H037983), our attorneys, representing the employee, won affirmance of the trial court’s order denying the employer’s motion to compel arbitration of the employee’s retaliation claims. The Court of Appeal adopted our trial court arguments that the arbitration provision embedded in the employer’s handbook failed to constitute an enforceable contract where the handbook’s cover page stated that it is not “intended to confer any rights or privileges,” nor “does it constitute a contract of employment,” and that the handbook is “presented as a matter of information only.”

In Rad v. Golpour (2012, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H036035), our attorneys, representing some of the defendants in this corporate dispute, won a stunning reversal of the trial court’s million dollar judgment against all of the defendants. The Court of Appeal agreed with our arguments that, as a derivative shareholder suit, the plaintiff, a mere shareholder, could not recover when suing on behalf of the company. The Court of Appeal further held that the trial court erred in finding various defendants liable under theories of conspiracy, aiding and abetting, or lack of fiduciary duty, all for lack of substantial evidence.

In Williams v. Sun Microsystems, Inc. (2007, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H029828), our attorneys won a reversal of the trial court’s grant of summary adjudication of the employee’s claim of sexual orientation discrimination. In reversing, the Court of Appeal applied the rule that a senior manager’s discriminatory animus may be imputed to her subordinate decision-makers, thus allowing a jury to find that the adverse employment action was motivated by such illegal animus.

In David v. D & D Apparel, Inc. (2007, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H029839), we won affirmance of the trial court’s order in a business dispute granting the defendant relief from default. In affirming, the Court of Appeal found no abuse of discretion where the defendant’s prior counsel’s default was based upon that attorney’s terminal illness.

In Crediford v. Oliver (2000, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H021709), we staved off a petition for coram vobis relief, collaterally attacking a nearly half-million dollar judgment in favor of a pair of residential tenants who won the largest known retaliatory eviction verdict in Santa Clara County.

 

Business Litigation and Counseling

Won a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a fraud dispute representing a designer-builder against an owner accused of reneging on a promise to hire the builder after he obtained a PUD permit for a single family mansion in a permit-restricted hillside community. In addition to millions of dollars in lost profits, the jury also found an entitlement to punitive damages. The case settled for significantly more than the verdict just prior to the punitive damages phase of trial.

Represented principals of a corporation sued by an investor for fraud and other sundry claims. We achieved dismissal of some of the claims at the pleading stage and, as for the rest, we obtained summary judgment for the clients.

Represented a limited liability company sued by a co-joint venturer for fraud, breach of contract, and other claims. After successfully petitioning the court to compel binding arbitration and winning prevailing party attorney’s fees on that petition, the matter ultimately settled for a mere nuisance payment to end the dispute.

Hired by a corporate defendant following a multi-million dollar jury verdict having just been entered against it. After reviewing the entire record, we filed post-trial motions for a new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Both motions were granted, and the jury verdict was completely eliminated.

 

Employment

Obtained one of the largest settlements of its kind for a female high-tech executive in a glass-ceiling discrimination case.

Represented many employers in wage and hour, EDD benefits, and wrongful terminations claims. Our attorneys successfully appealed grant of unemployment benefits in a case where an employee was fired for misconduct.

Represented a retired fireman against the local municipality in a lawsuit related to a broad denial of his retirement benefits, including sick pay cash out, medical premium reimbursements, CalPERS benefits, and more. In the end, the municipality settled, providing the fireman all of the above and more, including significant tort damages.

Assumed representation of a disability discrimination plaintiff’s case against a well-known employer. Previous counsel withdrew from the case when the client thought a $15k settlement was too low. After vigorous litigation, including fighting back the employer’s summary judgment motion and more, we obtained a $400k settlement for our client.

Represented a C-level executive working for a foreign privately-held corporation in a reverse discrimination and retaliation wrongful termination lawsuit. The matter was decided in binding arbitration in favor of the plaintiff, awarding client significant damages and an entitlement to prevailing party attorneys’ fees.

Represented an employee suing for retaliation based upon her offering deposition testimony favorable to a discrimination lawsuit plaintiff in an unrelated matter. We successfully opposed employer’s attempts to compel the dispute to binding arbitration, leading to settlement.

Represented an employee in a wrongful termination lawsuit based upon breach of an implied employment contract. The employee turned away a $20k severance offer in favor of filing suit and won a settlement almost ten times that amount.

 

Intellectual Property

Successfully represented a calendar distribution corporation and its owner in the appeal of a preliminary injunction against the defendants (managing agents), who misappropriated the corporation's customer list and used it to solicit business for a competing business. The case was handled by one of our attorneys in a prior position.

Successfully represented individuals alleged to have misappropriated a company’s trade secrets after the company purchased their prior employer. The case was handled by one of our attorneys in a prior position.

 

Landlord / Tenant

Represented a class of more than 1,000 tenants in a large privately-held apartment complex for claims of fraud and nuisance based upon the large-scale in-fill construction at the property. Class certification was granted, and after a number of failed writ petitions by the landlord, including in the State Supreme Court, the matter settled, providing an average award of $2,500 per apartment unit.

Represented one of the landlords in a multi-acre 98-year ground lease entered into in the 1960’s in an action to cancel the ground lease. After a complex trial, the ground lease was ordered canceled.

Represented many residential tenants in eviction lawsuits, and on multiple occasions, won jury defense verdicts based upon the defense of retaliatory eviction.

Represented two tenants in a vigorously-contested retaliation lawsuit. After a jury trial, we won for our clients the largest retaliatory eviction verdict in Santa Clara County, totaling nearly a half million dollars after prevailing party attorneys’ fees and costs.

In Swift v. Superior Court (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 878, we won a published reversal of the trial court’s order striking the tenant plaintiffs’ peremptory disqualification of the judge as untimely. The Court of Appeal held that the tenants’ disqualification of the trial judge was timely, even though that judge had presided over earlier discovery motions, since such motions do not involve the determination of fact issues as to the merits of the case.

Represented a lessee of a very valuable long term ground lease in an eviction case, which was tried before a jury. Before the matter went to verdict, we obtained a result in favor of our client based upon renewed motions for judgment.

In Prometheus Real Estate Group, Inc. et al. v. Superior Court (Upadhyay) (2012, Sixth District Court of Appeal, Case No. H037888), we successfully fought back a challenge to the trial court’s order granting certification in a class action lawsuit against a large privately-held landlord, who was sued for fraud and other claims arising out of a massive in-fill construction project in an existing and fully-occupied apartment complex.

 

Proposition 65

Represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of mercury-containing dental amalgam, alleging that the manufacturer failed to provide clear and reasonable warnings for the amalgam under Proposition 65. This case was handled by one of our attorneys when he was in a prior position.

Successfully represented various tool manufacturers against claims, including lawsuits, for alleged violations of Proposition 65.

 

Real Estate

Successfully represented one of the partners in a real estate partnership throughout the course of vigorously-contested partnership dissolution proceedings.

Defended the seller of commercial condominiums against a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled purchaser, ultimately securing a complete dismissal of the lawsuit at the time of trial.

Obtained a verdict after trial for the plaintiff in a dispute over the title to a single family home. Even though the plaintiff had previously signed a deed purporting to grant the defendant an ownership interest in the property, the court found in favor of our client and awarded her full title to the house.

Represented the buyer in multi-million dollar buy-sell transaction in which, before the close of escrow, the seller tendered notice of cancellation of sale. Within just seven days, we filed and served a lawsuit for specific performance, recorded a lis pendens, obtained a temporary restraining order preventing sale of property, and settled the matter with seller, enforcing the buy-sell agreement and receiving reimbursement for the buyer for every cent of attorneys’ fees and costs incurred.

Represented a residential buyer in non-disclosure claim against seller in binding arbitration arising out of failure to disclose problems with the property’s expansive soil. The buyer won an arbitral award.

Represented a defendant in intra-familial dispute over title and ownership to residential dwelling. After leveraging our client’s position with a pending summary judgment motion, and before final adjudication, the matter settled with agreed-upon sale of the home and a significant portion of the sale proceeds going to our client.

Represented the plaintiff, an owner, in intra-familial dispute over title and ownership of the client’s family residence. The matter proceeded to trial with judgment entered in favor of the client, awarding full title and ownership of the home.

Represented the owner of commercial property in a dispute with a neighbor over easements. The matter settled after discovery, with our client retaining a significant portion of the use of the property.

Represented the owner of foreclosed home sued by the holder of a second mortgage. We obtained dismissal of the action against the bank, based upon California’s anti-deficiency statutes.

Represented the defendant builder and seller of a custom home against the buyer — a lawyer — who claimed fraud and other wrongs in connection with the sale. In a jury trial, we defended against the fraud claims and neutralized the remaining claims by succeeding in client’s cross-claims against the buyer for fraud. The buyer received nothing.

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