Other Representative Litigation

As you would expect of experienced trial counsel – practicing in a very sophisticated and litigious society for over two decades – we have handled a wide variety of cases. They include some types of cases which were repeated often enough, or which involved such extensive and hard-fought litigation, that we are very comfortable handling similar cases today.

Examples of these reoccurring cases include class action litigation, professional malpractice litigation involving lawyers and engineers, and certain insurance coverage disputes. Representative cases in these areas are listed below.

Also listed below are other types of cases which have not come up very often for us, but which nevertheless may be more meaningful to your individual legal issues and personal circumstances.

If your case has important similarities to these cases, let’s discuss whether our experience could be helpful to you. Alternatively, let’s discuss whether our best contribution to your case could be a referral to other more specialized counsel.

Cases Involving Professional Malpractice Claims

  • A criminal defense lawyer won a defense jury verdict against a former client seeking $2 million for legal malpractice. The client had been convicted and imprisoned two years for rape, but the conviction was reversed on appeal due to purported “ineffective assistance” by the lawyer.
  • A lawyer and her non-profit agency were dismissed on demurrer from a lawsuit seeking over $1 million for her having allegedly organized an illegal farmworker strike. The dismissal was upheld on appeal.
  • A woman won a jury verdict for $238,000 against the lawyer who did not include her in the settlement of her husband’s medical malpractice lawsuit.
  • A woman injured in a car accident won a bench trial awarding $201,000 against the lawyer who mishandled her case.
  • Three sons who lost a house due to a mistake in their mother’s will won a jury verdict for $181,000 against the lawyer who drafted the will.
  • A civil engineering firm settled out of a major construction defect case after three weeks of trial by paying only $25,000, which was less than the remaining cost of defense. That same firm has been dismissed out of three other similar cases without any payment.
  • A Mexican law firm sued a maquiladora client and its Japanese parent company when the maquiladora was shut down without paying outstanding legal fees of $212,000. The maquiladora cross-claimed for legal malpractice, but that cross-claim was dropped and the law firm recovered its full legal fee in settlement immediately after serving the parent company in Japan with its lawsuit.

Cases Involving Insurance Coverage

  • A ferry boat operator and his bank recovered $900,000 in settlement from an insurance company and insurance agents who denied coverage for an engine room explosion.
  • A bank recovered $725,000 and $500,000 in two different settlements from an insurance company that refused to defend the bank in environmental lawsuits over real estate managed by the bank.
  • A gas station owner won an insurance coverage dispute by forcing his insurers to defend him in a costly water pollution case. The insurers first denied coverage, but later paid all legal fees to defend the pollution case, the settlement of that case, and another $230,000 in damages to the owner.

Cases Involving Plaintiff Class Actions

  • A plaintiff class of about 550,000 homeowners settled with an insurance company for benefits estimated at about $90 million. The insurer had charged for force‑placed insurance protecting the homeowners’ mortgage lenders, even though the homeowners already had other coverage protecting the lenders.
  • A plaintiff class of over 100 investors settled during trial for $1.24 million in liquidated damages paid by 25 co-investors who breached a covenant to pool all investors’ raw land for collective sale to a developer, and instead tried to start their own development.
  • A plaintiff class of hundreds of migrant workers won a jury verdict for $833,000 against an immigration consulting business that overcharged for worthless and fraudulent services supposedly providing for legal immigration.

Cases Involving Service Contract Disputes 

  • A ship owner won a defense jury verdict against two crewmen claiming over $2 million because they were forced off the ship onto a remote island after refusing to do extra work that was not specified in their contract as videographers of the voyage.
  • A broker selling a vintage Porsche race car won a defense judgment in a bench trial against a wealthy buyer who claimed fraud and damages of $450,000 based on the car allegedly being a fake. The broker also won his defamation counter-claim for nominal damages against the buyer.
  • A real estate agent won a jury verdict for $289,000 against the buyers of a motel who fraudulently refused to pay the agent’s commission.

Cases Involving Unusual Construction Contract Disputes

  • Several ranchers joined together to develop a beef packing plant, and they hired a general contractor to build it for $60 million. After severe cost and time overruns, the ranchers refused to pay an extra $9 million billed on the job, and the contractor sued. The ranchers diverted the case into binding arbitration, and won an award in which they paid only $241,000, which they conceded was still owed under the original contract.
  • A nursing home with construction defects recovered $350,000 in settlement from the structural design engineer.

Cases Involving Unusual Product or Premises Liability  

  • A small metal-cutting business damaged in a fire started by a defective band saw recovered $550,000 in settlement from the Japanese saw manufacturer.
  • A health club owner settled a patron’s personal injury lawsuit for only $5,000 after the patron broke his neck, and claimed over $200,000 in medical expenses, due to a defective exercise machine.
  • An apartment building owner settled a tenant’s personal injury case seeking over $100,000 by paying only $7,500, even though the tenant claimed permanent brain damage caused by a leaky gas stove.

Cases Involving Difficult Facts to Defend

  • A motorhome dealer won a bench trial against customers claiming that the dealer had fraudulently misrepresented the condition and history of a $60,000 coach they bought.
  • A truck owner won a defense jury verdict against three seriously injured pedestrians struck by the truck after the owner loaned it to an unlicensed and underage driver.

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