When a potential litigation client meets with us, we first evaluate the dispute at three levels: the law, the facts, and the personalities. Can the transaction somehow be saved? Are there means of communication not yet explored? Or does the situation call for swift and decisive legal action? We take our clients through all of the reasonable alternatives, explaining the pros and cons. Sometimes we find a way to reach a rapid negotiated resolution. Other times, we fight for our clients all the way through trial and any appeals. We tailor our approach to fit the situation, and the client’s personal and business objectives.
- After several years of extracting the benefit of our clients’ hard work, a business owner reneged on his promise to provide our clients with their own franchises. We quickly sized up the business owner: unwilling to admit he had changed his mind, or to offer our clients some alternative reward, he tried to rewrite history, finding fault in our clients wherever he could. We swiftly filed a lawsuit, and in discovery dug up a mother lode of evidence showing that the owner’s shift from praise to blame coincided with his reneging on his promise. The business owner’s credibility was damaged. After a court trial, we recovered a substantial money judgment for both of our clients.
- Our client, a minority shareholder, found himself at odds with the other two shareholders. The company was making lots of money, but very little was finding its way to our client. We had to persuade the judge that this successful business should be dissolved, or that our client should be bought out at full value. The turning point was when the two other shareholders called our client’s own relative to testify (the relative had no connection with the company). The relative’s testimony put our client in a bad light. Our response was not to try to rebut the testimony, but to hammer on the fact that our opponents would go so far as to intrude on our client’s family relationships to try to make him look bad. This proved to be their undoing. The court held that internal dissension was such that the corporation must be dissolved. We negotiated a favorable buyout at a figure that dwarfed our client’s investment.
- Our client, a major player in the local transportation industry, was faced with a competitor who systematically cut corners on labor and safety regulations to unlawfully reduce its operating costs and thereby gain an undue competitive advantage. Using these same outlaw tactics, this competitor stonewalled discovery, and shifted its operations to a new location under a new name. To defeat an adversary with such contempt for the rules required unswerving tenacity on our part. Ultimately, we obtained a very large judgment against the competitor, and then pursued it through the bankruptcy process. Out of that bankruptcy came a large settlement in favor of our client.
- We represented a plaintiff in a state court action charging breach of a settlement agreement, in which the defendant refused to participate in good faith in the discovery process. We obtained substantial monetary discovery sanctions, and ultimately got terminating sanctions, followed by a large default judgment against the defendant. Undeterred by the defendant/judgment debtor’s subsequent filing of a Chapter 7 petition, we pursued him into bankruptcy court, where the matter remains pending.
- Our client was an LLC member who became the duly appointed manager of the LLC’s real property. Another LLC member launched a campaign to usurp our client’s authority, charging our client with various misappropriations of LLC funds. We painstakingly demonstrated that the dissident LLC member’s assertions were completely unfounded, through a thorough examination of the LLC’s governance and financial documents, and through grudgingly-elicited discovery responses from the dissident LLC member herself. After a very intense, two-day mediation, we were able to resolve the case on terms favorable to our client.
- Our clients, two LLCs in the business of buying and selling real property, were sued by one of their investors, a wealthy, sophisticated and litigious individual who became disenchanted after properties he was secured on lost value (as a result of the 2008 economic downturn). He claimed that he had an oral loan agreement with our clients that compelled them to pay back all of his advances on demand, plus a high, fixed rate of return. We were able to demonstrate, after thoroughly delving into relevant documentation and the parties’ customary course of dealings – and by applying various real property legal doctrines — that the investor’s only true legal recourse was to foreclose under the deeds of trust he had received from our clients. In the process, we also shot down his claims for fraud, elder abuse and alter ego. The case settled in mediation for a small fraction of the face amount of the investor’s promissory notes.