Our two major practice areas are Commercial and Probate and Trusts. Each encompasses a number of litigation and transactional specialties.
Please click a specialty area for further details.
We advise clients as to legal intricacies of forming and maintaining business entities (e.g., corporations, limited partnership, joint ventures, LLCs, LLPs, etc.), and as to varied business transactions including mergers and acquisitions, distribution, licensing and franchising, and restructurings and dissolutions.
Our business litigation practice is as diverse as the range of our clients’ businesses; manufacturers, retailers, financial and professional services companies, construction, alternate energy, and so on. Indeed, our charitable non-profit corporation clients normally would not be viewed as businesses, but yet, having employees, trademarks, and so forth, have the needs of businesses in those areas.
- Contract claims
- Business torts
- Corporate and Partnership disputes
- Employer-employee disputes
- Creditors’ Rights and Remedies
In Chauffeurs, Sales Drivers, Warehousemen & Helpers Union Local 572 v. Weslock Corp., 66 F.3d 241 (9th. Cir. 1995), we represented a foreclosing secured creditor who was sued for allegedly violating the WARN Act when the manufacturing plant that was part of the secured collateral was closed. We were successful in obtaining summary judgment in the U.S. District Court and having that summary judgment affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
We prosecute and defend claims arising from private and public works involving breach of contract, third party rights (mechanic’s liens, stop notices, payment bonds under California law and the Miller Act), extra work, delay and impact claims, and construction defects.
Our extensive experience in construction litigation includes many interesting cases. In D’Orsay International Partners v. Superior Court (Stone), 123 Cal.App.4th 836, 20 Cal. Rptr. 3d 399 (2004), we successfully defended the owner against an attempt by a design-build contractor to assert mechanic’s lien rights for pre-construction services when actual construction did not go forward. We then successfully defended the owner in a following arbitration against the contractor’s multi-million dollar lost profits claim by proving the defense of impossibility in obtaining financing for the subject hotel project because of the effect of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
While we pride ourselves on our ability to litigate construction cases, we are proactive in advising clients who are entering into construction agreements or who are encountering issues during a project so they may minimize their risk of litigation and maximize their chance of success should litigation be necessary.
Real Property Law
We represent transaction parties and lenders in the negotiation and documentation of agreements and in civil litigation and bankruptcy disputes arising from real property sales, leases and secured loans.
We also represent building owners, developers and property managers on a wide range of issues, particularly claims relating to operating expense recovery, maintenance and repair obligations, rent collection, unlawful detainer, broker commissions, and personal injury and property damage disputes.
Investigative & Credit Reporting Agencies
We defend credit and investigative reporting agencies in civil litigation, including class actions, brought under the Federal Credit Reporting Act and California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act and Investigative Consumer Reporting Agency Act, and related federal and state statutes.
We have represented one of the leading developers of alternative energy projects in the United States for more than 20 years. We have also represented non-regulated utility subsidiaries in connection with cogeneration and other alternative energy projects they have developed. Our representation has involved all phases of the alternative energy business, including the structuring and documenting of real property and lease rights, energy sales, regulatory issues and financing.
Probate and Trust Litigation
We represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all aspects of probate and trust litigation.
Estate of Thomas, 124 Cal. App. 4th 711, 21 Cal. Rptr. 3d 741 (2004) is a reported decision in which we represented at trial and on appeal an income beneficiary under testamentary trust, obtaining an $1.2 million judgment which was affirmed.
Probate & Trust Creation and Administration
We prepare wills and trusts, and represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all aspects of probate and trust administration.
We advise clients as to all areas of estate planning, including wills, trusts, other non-probate transfers, and the tax consequences thereto.