Professional & Fiduciary Liability

Counsel Trusted by Professionals

Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin frequently represents professional services providers in disagreements with their clients over services rendered, fees owed or other issues related to professional and fiduciary duty.  We apply our extensive knowledge of professional and fiduciary responsibility and ethics to uncover the premise of the dispute.  Given the highly sensitive nature of litigation, we always remain sensitive to confidentiality issues while pursuing justice for our client.

Some of Our Professional & Fiduciary Liability Cases

  • As lead plaintiff attorney, favorably settled multi-million-dollar legal malpractice/architect’s liability/breach of fiduciary duty case involving the sale and development of an historic town square in Provo, Utah.  Successfully briefed and argued the case to the Utah Supreme Court in Cathco, Inc. v. Valentiner, etc., 944 P.2d 365 (Utah 1997).  

  • Prior to complaint being filed, achieved a multi-million dollar settlement for a global health care corporation in a legal malpractice action against its trial counsel.  The trial counsel had represented client in a major product liability case.  

  • Lead trial attorney for major airline in its breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice lawsuit against a prominent Los Angeles law firm. Won plaintiff’s verdict on breach of fiduciary duty and malpractice causes of action against defendants following three-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. Lead appellate attorney on the case which was affirmed on appeal and which resulted in an important legal ethics opinion from the Court of Appeal in American Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, et al., 96 Cal. App. 4th 1017 (2002).

  • 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.

  • During tenure at Bryan Cave, successfully defended the firm against another law firm’s claims of legal malpractice in Bryan Cave’s representation of plaintiffs in a lease dispute with Alpha Beta. Plaintiffs also sought declaratory relief concerning their fee dispute with the firm.  Bryan Cave filed a cross complaint for collection of legal fees not paid. The case settled before trial.

  • Successfully defended the law firm of Fierstein & Sturman against legal malpractice claims brought by Benson Ford, Jr., the great grandson of Henry Ford. Filed a cross-complaint on behalf of client for attorney’s fees. The case settled immediately prior to empaneling the jury.

  • 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.  

  • Successfully prosecuted legal malpractice claims against prominent Honolulu firm regarding a failed condominium project.  Through careful depositions of law firm members, established that the law firm had cancelled all condominium sales contracts without developer client’s authorization; had paid itself, without authorization, from funds in client trust accounts; and, subsequently defended client in high stakes litigation brought by class of dissatisfied condominium purchasers, without advising client of conflict.  Persisted in settlement discussions and mediation until settlement was reached, weeks before trial.

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