Business Litigation Results

Successfully defended one of the nation’s largest airlines in antitrust litigation brought by other airlines in connection with the client’s development and operation of a highly successful computer reservation system.  Participated in virtually every aspect of the case, including the trial in Federal Court.

Defended French pharmaceutical company in litigation wherein plaintiffs sought damages for serious personal injuries allegedly cause by the defendant’s diet drugs.  Case dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction

Successfully developed and implemented a creative and complex settlement of bankruptcy litigation brought by creditor client, a large commercial airline.  Our client received a judgment against the debtors and valuable rights to insurance proceeds.

Represented shareholder of a health care provider that had been placed into conservatorship by the State of California, and then into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Debtor sued the shareholder for, among other things, fraudulent transfers and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duties.  Case settled without out-of-pocket payments by shareholder client and with the right to recover an uncontested and unsecured claim exceeding $282,100 from the bankruptcy estate.     

Successfully obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction to specifically perform the sale of an ABC liquor license for client, a restaurant/bar owner.  Client’s continued financial viability was dependent on the license.

Obtained judgment exceeding $1.0 million in Federal Court for major airline client in dispute with foreign air carrier over equipment leases.  Implemented creative collection strategy that resulted in the client collecting a significant portion of the judgment without extensive or expensive litigation outside the United States.  

Lead attorney in California Supreme Court arguing for physician in a case involving fair hearing issues in hospital peer review hearings. Also represented the physician at the superior court mandamus proceeding and on appeal in the Court of Appeal in El-Attar v. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, 56 Cal.4th 976 (2013). 

Successfully defended his client from over $2.1 million in claims brought by the opposing side following a Los Angeles Superior Court bench trial in early 2014.  In addition, the court ordered the losing side to pay $392,000 in attorney’s fees and costs arising from the litigation to our client.

Successfully represented client in claims against Mercedes-Benz, USA for violation of Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.  Negotiated a settlement whereby Mercedes-Benz, USA repurchased client’s Mercedes-Benz S430V.  

Successfully represented client in claims against Ford Motor Company for violation of Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.  Achieved arbitration award requiring Ford to repurchase client’s Ford Aviator and pay client’s attorney’s fees.  

Prosecuted breach of contract claim for payment for business services rendered, and defended against cross-claims for breach of contract for services.  Created and implemented a successful negotiation strategy in private mediation, resulting in a favorable settlement for client.  

In an adversary proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, preserved real estate owner’s breach of contract claim against a lender and the lender’s assignee, despite defendants’ multiple motions to dismiss.

Successfully defended Deutsche Bank, AG against claims of fraud, negligent representation, and omission regarding investments. Plaintiffs sought $363 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Judge granted Deutsche Bank’s motion to dismiss based on arguments that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for fraud or negligent misrepresentation, and the 12-year old claims had passed the applicable statute of limitations.

Won jury verdict of $3 million, increased to $4.2 million with interest, in breach of contract action for attorney-client for over 20 years’ legal fees due from his former client.  Jury ruled in  attorney-client’s favor for both breach of contract and professional malpractice. Affirmed on appeal in full in Rufus Von Thulen Rhoades v. William M. Lansdale et al.

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.  

Represented McDonnell Douglas Corporation in a four-month jury trial in state court and on appeal for claims of fraud resulting from a 1978 aircraft accident at LAX.  At issue were the designs of the landing gear, tires, brakes, wheels, antiskid systems and slide/rafts.   After Continental prevailed, participated in drafting the appellate briefs.  

Represented McDonnell Douglas Corporation in complex litigation in Federal Court and on appeal for claims of breach of contract, strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty resulting from a 1978 aircraft accident at LAX.  At issue were the designs of the landing gear, tires, brakes, wheels, antiskid systems and slide/rafts.  Summary judgment on the negligence and product liability issues was granted in client’s favor in the federal action.  Participated in drafting appellate briefs prior to matters being affirmed on appeal.  

In the first case ever filed involving a tort in outer space, successfully defended McDonnell Douglas Corporation (“MDC”) against Western Union’s insurers when MDC’s Westar VI satellite failed to reach geosynchronous orbit.  Western Union sued in subrogation for negligence and strict liability and sought damages of $105 million.  Won on summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal in Appalachian Insurance Co., et al. v. McDonnell Douglas Corporation, et al. (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1.  

Represented Flavurence Corporation in its appeal of the Bankruptcy Court’s denial of client’s $2.4 million breach of contract and $2.3 million lost profits claims against Original New York Seltzer’s bankruptcy trustee.  Both claims related to contractual minimum product purchase requirements.  The case settled on terms favorable for client after it was fully briefed and oral argument held, but before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel issued a ruling.  

As partner-in-charge, defended McDonnell Douglas Corporation (“MDC”) in hundreds of lawsuits filed in multiple jurisdictions nationwide arising from the United Airlines DC-10 crash at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 in which 112 of 296 people on-board died.  Counseled MDC at the NTSB hearings and directed the defense and settlement of actions on behalf of MDC involving complicated product liability and negligence issues concerning the design of the DC-10’s hydraulic system; engine design and containment; aircraft maintenance; pilot performance; and, “crashworthiness.”  The litigation presented significant choice of law problems and damages issues.  The consolidated federal actions settled on the first day of trial, immediately before the impanelment of the jury.  In Re:  Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 1989) 128 F.R.D. 131, MDL No. 817, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Chicago); Judge Suzanne B. Conlon.  Published opinions:   In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1990) 133 F.R.D. 515; In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1990) 131 F.R.D. 127; In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1990) 734 F.Supp. 1425; In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1991) 760 F.Supp. 1283; In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1991) 780 F.Supp. 1207; In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa on July 19, 1989 (N.D.Ill. 1991) 781 F.Supp. 1307.  State court actions filed nationwide with most of the non-removable state court actions filed in Cook County, IL; St. Louis, MO.; Baltimore, MD.; Pittsburgh, PA. The actions in Illinois state court were appealed.  In Re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City Iowa on July 19, 1989 (1st Dist. 1994) 259 Ill.App.3d 231, 631 N.E.2d 1302.

Successfully represented debtors on appeal after the Bankruptcy Court denied their motion to hold a lender in contempt for attempting to collect on a debt that client contended had been discharged.  The lender’s defense posited that the parties had entered into a new loan agreement, post-discharge.  The Court of Appeals reversed the Bankruptcy Court’s order and remanded the case the Bankruptcy Court for a trial on the debtors’ contempt claims against the lender.  The matter subsequently settled on very favorable terms for client.

Achieved favorable ruling in trial court and on appeal for Taiwanese client, a specially appearing defendant, in a lawsuit filed by a Cayman Island company for breach of contract and other torts relating to the sale of Razor scooters.   Successful representation of client was based on grounds that the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over the Taiwanese company, and on the grounds that California was an inconvenient forum for this litigation.  The California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing this case to client’s benefit based on a lack of personal jurisdiction.      

After approximately one year of intensive discovery and litigation in California and Texas, achieved a favorable settlement for client in a complex securities fraud case against the acquirer of client’s business.   The case involved alleged violations of federal, California and Texas securities and fraud laws. 

On the eve of trial, negotiated a favorable settlement for the manufacturer of fire extinguishers used in the engine bays of FA-18 E/F fighter jets in breach of contract claims against a government contractor.  By understanding complicated chemical and electrical reactions, successfully demonstrated that the alleged failure of client’s product was caused by unspecified conditions in the aircraft, not by faulty design.

Successfully defended Tasty Fries, Inc., in district court and on appeal, against Silver Leaf, LLC regarding a $100 million master sales and marketing agreement.  Silver Leaf filed the lawsuit to prevent Tasty Fries from terminating the agreement and moved for a preliminary injunction, which was denied by the district court

Defended a lawyer against a Writ of Mandate that arose from client’s cross complaint for equitable indemnity against petitioners.  The court overruled petitioners’ demurrer, and the Court of Appeal granted an alternative writ.  The issue in the appellate court was whether a lawyer who has been sued by a former client for professional negligence can seek equitable indemnity from a lawyer who subsequently represented the client in the same underlying proceeding, but not in the legal malpractice action.   The Court of Appeal, in a matter of first impression, held that public policy barred equitable indemnity under these circumstances. 

After the Superior Court denied client’s motions to quash service of a summons and cross-complaint in a contract dispute due to jurisdictional issues, won on appeal.  Client was awarded attorneys’ fees and costs.  

Successfully handled multiple discovery disputes and argued motions to protect clients’ trade secrets from abusive discovery in defending against claims of breach of contract and fraud.  The disputes related to a software licensing agreement entered into by an entity acquired by our clients.  Drafted successful summary adjudication motion which was granted in part in the same matter.

Advised an aerospace manufacturer on multiple environmental remediation projects. Negotiated multiple environmental, property access and regulatory agreements with property owners and other public and private stakeholders. Represented client before local, state and federal regulators.

Defended an aerospace manufacturer in two complex groundwater contamination cases brought by public entity plaintiff involving numerous sites and defendants. Conducted key depositions of plaintiff’s experts resulting in successful motion for summary judgment.

Represented a large manufacturer in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability (CERCLA) proceedings relating to a chemical recycling facility. Advocated on behalf of client in litigation management committee and group steering committee.

Defended a major construction engineering firm from tort claims relating to San Joaquin Valley Fever. Devised case strategy and motion practice. Oversaw discovery responses and document production.

Defended a major refiner in mass actions filed by its franchisees asserting contract, unfair competition and antitrust claims arising from point-of-sale and back-office accounting system, wholesale gasoline pricing and selection of third-party vendors. Devised case strategy and implemented discovery plan.

Represented a major financial institution in consumer class action and Unfair Competition Law (UCL) litigation. Conducted discovery and drafted dispositive motions.

Defended a major refiner in breach of contract litigation relating to the transfer of a jet fuel pipeline and related infrastructure. Conducted fact and expert discovery, drafted and opposed dispositive motions, and prepared for trial.

Obtained summary judgment on federal Administrative Procedures Act claims.

Defended a major refiner in ongoing federal MDL and California state court proceedings relating to the gasoline additive methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Conducted numerous percipient and expert depositions. Coordinated joint defense group motion practice resulting in multiple successful dispositive motions.

Represented a class of homeless veterans with severe mental illness and/or traumatic brain injury with claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs officials relating to the West Los Angeles VA Campus.

Represented a private equity investor in fraud and breach of contract litigation arising from leveraged buyout transaction. Conducted discovery and drafted successful summary judgment briefing disposing of defendants’ counterclaims. Represented client through trial and post-trial settlement.

Defended Texas resident against allegations, filed in the Northern District of the United States District Court, of false promises to pay for orders of wine without intent to perform.  Successfully obtained court order transferring lawsuit to Texas.   

Prevailed in a jury trial representing subcontractor on the Metro Red Line project, achieving enforcement of an oral settlement agreement with prime contractor-defendant over a contractual dispute. Defendant had reneged on the oral settlement agreement achieved at deposition by counsel. Tried declaratory relief action to a jury after judge was openly dubious that the oral settlement agreement was authorized and enforceable.  At trial, impeached the credibility of defendant’s CEO, who claimed he never authorized the oral settlement agreement, and persuaded jurors to answer every question of lengthy special verdict form in plaintiff’s favor. Also obtained award of 100% of client’s attorney’s fees.

After the sale of a company resulted in a $39 million arbitration award and consequent judgment against its selling shareholders for fraud, successfully defended the company’s former CEO in Los Angeles Superior Court and on appeal against selling shareholder’s claims for equitable indemnity based on alleged complicity in fraud. The plaintiff, a private equity firm, alleged that client had fraudulently manipulated the financials, among other charges. Achieved speedy dismissal of claims against client through demurrers before discovery ensued. Enforced indemnity agreement against former employer ensuring all defense fees were paid and client made whole. Affirmed on appeal in full in Kayne Anderson Private Investors v. Colak, No. B239111, 2013 WL 2099228 (Cal. Ct. App. May 16, 2013).

Successfully defended fortune 500 client and a key employee against claims of breach of contract and fraud related to an alleged perpetual brokerage agreement. Conducted extensive discovery, revealing unfavorable facts about the plaintiff, which allowed clients to achieve settlement at mediation.