M. Damien Holcomb, Shareholder at Lurie-Zepeda

M. Damien Holcomb

Shareholder
Phone:(310) 274-8700 ext. 135
Fax:(310) 274-2798
Email:dholcomb@lurie-zepeda.com

Education and Affiliations

Education

  • Southwestern School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2005
    • Articles Editor, Southwestern Law Review
  •  California State University, Fullerton, B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, 2002

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court (Central, Eastern and Southern Districts, CA)

Honors & Awards 

  • Southern California Super Lawyers – Rising Star, 2014

Professional Association

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • ProVisors

M. Damien Holcomb: Professional Profile

Damien Holcomb resolves Complex Business Litigation and Trusts, Estates and Probate Litigation against aggressive opponents, both in and out of the courtroom.  He provides clients with individual attention, patiently investing time to ensure they understand the process at every juncture and how potential outcomes may affect them legally.  Through careful and focused discovery, Mr. Holcomb develops sound, reasonable settlement offers based on logical economics.  When the opposition fails to settle, Mr. Holcomb aggressively pursues the desired result, in trial and on appeal.

Mr. Holcomb’s noteworthy business litigation successes include a jury verdict in client’s favor, after a one-month trial, for a manufacturer of military tactical gear against an employee for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract after the employee stole and used confidential information to open competing manufacturer; dismissal in summary judgment of a professional liability case against an Am Law 100 law firm; and, after lengthy negotiations and without expensive litigation, resolution of a deadlock between two equal-partner business owners lacking a buy-sell agreement or other means to resolve disputes.

In recent Trusts, Estates and Probate matters, Mr. Holcomb obtained a temporary conservatorship in Riverside over a high net worth individual suffering from dementia to prevent him from continuing to give substantial gifts of real and personal property to his predatory caregiver, and from marrying her as planned;  settled a will contest favorably for beneficiary after the estate’s executor claimed she had procured the beneficiary designation by fraud; and, successfully represented one co-trustee in litigation against his sibling and co-trustee for claims of unduly influencing their parent to include her as a joint account holder on bank accounts and subsequently looting the accounts.

Damien Holcomb's Results by Practice Area


Appeals

Following a jury verdict in client’s favor, made a post-trial motion for attorney’s fees for willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA).  After the trial court denied our motion, the Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s decision based on our demonstration that the trial court had applied the wrong burden of proof at trial.

Successfully obtained affirmance on appeal by beneficiary from various orders, including orders (1) denying petition to remove client/trustee following trial, (2) finding client/trustee did not breach fiduciary duty, (3) awarding attorney and trustee fees paid from trust, (4) approving interim accounts over beneficiary’s objections, and (5) awarding a surcharge against beneficiary for objecting to trustees’ account without reasonable cause and in bad faith pursuant to Probate Code § 17211(a).

Business Litigation

Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

Successfully pursued an anti-SLAPP motion for clients in response to a malicious prosecution action brought by a former defendant in a securities fraud action.  The trial court granted the anti-SLAPP motion, denied opposing side’s motion for discovery, dismissed its malicious prosecution action and awarded attorney’s fees to our clients.  Prevailed on appeal, obtaining dismissal in favor of clients.

After one-month jury trial, achieved a verdict in client’s favor for claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against a former employee.  Client manufactures military tactical gear under government contracts, creating complex issues of ownership of goods.  Former employee had stolen confidential information and used it to open a competing manufacturer.  Following the jury’s verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against former employee.

Intellectual Property Disputes

Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

After one-month jury trial, achieved a verdict in client’s favor for claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against a former employee.  Client manufactures military tactical gear under government contracts, creating complex issues of ownership of goods.  Former employee had stolen confidential information and used it to open a competing manufacturer.  Following the jury’s verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against former employee.

Professional & Fiduciary Liability

Successfully defended an Am Law 100 law firm against allegations it had assisted a trustee in the breach of fiduciary duties.  Our client had represented the trustee in litigation brought by the trust’s beneficiaries regarding the development of real property in Rancho Cucamonga.  After an adverse decision against the trustee-developer in trial, a beneficiary, who had been appointed successor trustee, sued our law firm client to disgorge the fees paid to it by the former trustee.  Granted summary judgment on the grounds that the action was barred by the statute of limitations.  

Real Estate Litigation

Successfully settled a lease dispute regarding a winery on behalf of lessee.  Client had leased a winery for five years, without the advice of legal counsel.  After the lease was terminated, the landlord contended that the former tenant had not replenished the wine inventory and had not left the wineries in their original condition.  Our client cross-complained, alleging the landlord had failed to return property and compensate them for the value of tenant improvements.  

Successfully represented three clients in breach of agreement claims against a cemetery corporation regarding an agreement entered in 1924.  After one-month bench trial, during which we thoroughly discredited defendant’s complex financial models as inaccurate and inconsistent, court issued judgment in favor of clients for the full amount of requested damages.  

After convincing the court to conduct a one-day bench trial on the defense of “sham guaranty,” obtained a ruling by the court that the client was not liable to pay on a guaranty of a $24 million loan on a commercial property in Beverly Hills’ “Golden Triangle” because the guaranty was subject to California’s anti-deficiency statutes.  

Successfully represented nationally-chartered bank with respect to fraudulent loan applications submitted by California-borrowers in connection with purchases of investment properties in Florida.  We overcame California’s complex anti-deficiency laws through a strategy whereby deficiency judgments were obtained in Florida and domesticated and enforced in California.  Numerous borrowers filed for bankruptcy protection.  We successfully settled those actions on favorable terms after filing complaints to have the debts deemed non-dischargeable.

Trust, Estate & Probate Litigation

In trust administration litigation between two siblings/co-trustees, successfully represented client/co-trustee in his claim that his co-trustee/sister had unduly influenced their surviving parent to include her as a joint account holder on all bank accounts and subsequently looted the accounts before the death of their parent/trustee.  The Court found that respondent/co-trustee had wrongfully taken $253,930, entering an order holding the respondent liable for twice the value of the property wrongfully taken in bad faith and awarding our client his full attorney’s fees.  

When a will contest was not thoroughly resolved after a bench trial, replaced former counsel in representing respondent to determine whether assets owned by client and his deceased wife were separate or community property.  After an evidentiary hearing, the court confirmed in client’s favor, that the property was separate and ordered that the estate was not entitled to any reimbursement.

Settled a will contest favorably for beneficiary after the estate’s executor claimed client had procured the beneficiary designation by fraud.  Decedent had designated our client as a pay-on-death beneficiary of an account holding $250,000.  Settled favorably for client in mediation.

After the death of a wealthy man, successfully represented his adult children from his first marriage against his second wife-trustee regarding the interpretation of the deceased’s trust. In trial in Riverside Superior Court, Palm Springs Courthouse, the court affirmed our clients’ interpretation of the trust that trustee had not distributed assets as required after her husband’s death. Additionally, the Court disallowed deductions from distributions of over $700,000 in trustee’s personal expenses from trust. Finally, the Court substantially adopted our position on the valuation of a key asset held in trust.

Obtained a temporary conservatorship over a high net worth individual suffering from dementia to prevent him from continuing to give substantial gifts of real and personal property to his predatory caregiver, and from marrying her as planned. Clear and convincing evidence standard for appointment of a conservator and Probate Code specifically provide that a conservatee presumably retains the right to marry. Thus, we successfully pursued special orders limiting the conservatee’s rights beyond those permitted by the Probate Code. Case pending in Riverside Superior Court, Indio.  

Skip to content