Representative Cases


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The following is a list of representative cases only; it does not include every case in which I have filed briefs. I have omitted a number of cases where the issue was straightforward or the opinion simply followed established law. I have also not included a large number of criminal appeals, as I no longer do such appeals. Please note that, in some of the cases listed, I "ghost-wrote" the briefs and thus do not appear as counsel of record. In addition, I have not included a number of writ proceedings, which are usually unreported. If you would like to see any of the briefs in any of the listed cases, please contact me.


Published Opinions

Sagonowsky v. Kekoa, 6 Cal.App.5th 1142 (2016).  I wrote all the briefs and argued this appeal, which involved my client’s challenge to an order imposing more than $767,000 in sanctions against my client pursuant to Family Code section 271.  The court of appeal found that the trial court exceeded its authority in imposing the majority of sanctions and reduced the amount my client owed by more than $680,000, leaving her with a sanction of approximately $87,000. 

Bay Guardian v. New Times, LLC, 187 Cal.App.4th 438 (2010).  I was co-author of the briefs in this appeal of a verdict exceeding $15 million in favor of my client, the Bay Guardian newspaper, on a claim that a competitor had engaged in predatory pricing.  The court determined that federal standards for showing predatory pricing were not applicable to claims under California’s predatory-pricing prohibition and that the jury was properly instructed on the burdens of proof.  This case involved a number of novel issues of law that had not previously been settled in California.  The court affirmed the multimillion dollar verdict in favor of my client in every respect.  I also wrote the opposition when the losing defendant unsuccessfully requested further review by the California Supreme Court. 

George v. Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 577 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2009).  I represented San Francisco’s BART transit system in this appeal concerning BART’s obligations to make its stations accessible to the disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The district court determined that BART had failed to make its stations accessible; the Ninth Circuit reversed the judgment against my client and held that BART had no obligation to go beyond the regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation for ADA compliance.  I also represented BART in an earlier appeal (George v. BART, 175 Fed.Appx. 809 (9th Cir. 2006)), where the Ninth Circuit had remanded the same case to the district court to determine unresolved jurisdictional issues). 

Smock v. State of California, 138 Cal.App.4th 883 (2006). I represented a former colleague in an appeal brought by the State of California after my colleague had won a jury verdict against the State for its failure to maintain a highway, resulting in an accident in which my client was injured.  The appeal concerned application of the “collateral source rule,” which generally prevents a wrongdoer from deducting from damages payments made by the injured party’s employer or personal insurance.  The novel issue in this case was whether the rule applied to payments made by the employer solely as a gesture of good will, rather than pursuant to an employment contract. The Court of Appeal determined that such payments fall within the collateral source rule, meaning that my client was entitled to receive the full amount of damages awarded by the jury. 

Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Corp., 378 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 2004). I was co-author of all briefs in this trademark dispute (I also argued part of the case at oral argument).  The appeal involved numerous novel questions concerning the scope of the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) as applied to Internet domain names.  The Ninth Circuit reversed a summary judgment that my client had diluted Nissan Motor’s trademark through operation of a website at www.nissan.com.  After the case returned to the district court, I helped to represent the client at a trial, which resulted in a judgment in the client’s favor on the claim for trademark dilution. 

Navellier v. Sletten, 29 Cal.4th 82 (2002). I was co-author of all briefs in this matter, which involved the scope of California’s anti-SLAPP statute.  The anti-SLAPP statute (the acronym stands for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”) gives parties who have been sued as the result of activities that were protected by the First Amendment the opportunity to have the lawsuit dismissed at an early stage of the proceeding. The California Supreme Court in this case reversed a finding by the trial court and the California Court of Appeal that my client’s filing of a lawsuit was not protected conduct under the First Amendment.  The Supreme Court found that the earlier lawsuit was protected expression under the First Amendment and that my client had a right to have the current lawsuit considered under the anti-SLAPP statute.  I also co-authored the briefs when the case returned to the California Court of Appeal, which eventually ruled that the lawsuit against my client was an attempt to silence his exercise of his free speech rights.  (Navellier v. Sletten, 106 Cal.App.4th 763 (2003).)  The court eventually awarded my client all attorneys’ fees incurred in his successful defense.

San Francisco Baykeeper v. Cargill Salt Div., 263 F.3d 963 (9th Cir. 2001). I co­authored all the briefs in this Clean Water Act appeal, involving pollution of a pond in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in South San Francisco Bay.  I represented several environmental groups.  The Ninth Circuit reversed a summary judgment on behalf of my clients on the basis of a new decision from the Supreme Court that was issued shortly before oral argument.  The case returned to the District Court, where my clients once again received judgment in their favor.  On a second appeal, the Ninth Circuit applied the new Supreme Court decision to find that my clients could not recover.

 Shade Foods, Inc. v. Innovative Products Sales & Marketing, Inc., 78 Cal.App.4th 847 (2000). I wrote all briefs and argued this complex appeal (involving four separate sets of appealing parties and two separate appeals) regarding interpretation of CGL (commercial general liability) insurance policies. I was also co-counsel for one of the insureds in the trial.  The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment that my client was entitled to insurance coverage for its losses and that the insurance companies had acted in bad faith, resulting in an award of over $3 million to my client.  This is one of the most frequently-cited cases in California on insurance bad faith issues. 

Hall v. Butte Home Health, Inc., 60 Cal.App.4th 308 (1997). I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, which involved a judgment that my client, a group home for disabled elderly persons, was in violation of restrictive covenants for the suburban development in which it was located. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment against my client, holding that California’s civil rights statutes bar enforcement of restrictive covenants that have the effect of discriminating against group homes for the disabled.  I also handled the proceedings on remand, leading to a substantial settlement payment to my clients for attorneys’ fees incurred in the original trial and on appeal. 

Society of California Pioneers v. Baker, 43 Cal.App.4th 774 (1996). I wrote all the briefs and argued this appeal, which involved a judgment against the Society of California Pioneers in an action for recovery of an antique gold cane head stolen from its museum.  The trial court had held, after a trial, that the Society’s conversion action against a person who had acquired the cane head without knowledge that it had been stolen was barred by the statute of limitations, meaning that my client could not recover the cane head from its new owner.  On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment and directed entry of judgment in my client’s favor; the cane head has now been returned to my client, its rightful owner. 

Wolfe v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 46 Cal.App.4th 554 (1996).  I was the primary author of one of three principal briefs for the respondents, the 17 largest homeowners’ insurers in California, in this appeal concerning those insurers’ practices in refusing to write new homeowners’ policies following the losses incurred in the Northridge earthquake.  The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of my client (California State Automobile Assn. Inter-Insurance Bureau) and the other insurer defendants, finding that their underwriting criteria did not constitute “unfair business practices” pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 17200.  (I also handled the summary judgment proceedings in this matter in the trial court.) 

Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318 (1994). I was co-author of the petition for certiorari and the briefs in this appeal of a death penalty.  The United States Supreme Court reversed the California Supreme Court’s determination that the defendant was not “in custody” under Miranda v. Arizona during a police interrogation. According to newspaper accounts, this was the first reversal of a judgment of the California Supreme Court affirming the guilt phase of a death penalty case in more than 25 years. I also co-authored the briefs in the same case when it was first before the California Supreme Court (People v. Stansbury, 4 Cal.4th 1017 (1992)) and after remand from the United States Supreme Court (People v. Stansbury, 9 Cal.4th 824, 38 Cal.Rptr.2d 394 (1994)).

Tagliente v. Himmer, 949 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1993). I had primary responsibility for briefing this appeal of a summary judgment in favor of the client.  The First Circuit affirmed the judgment in favor of my client, which disposed of claims for fraud and unfair business practices in the sale of real property. 

Flood v. Southland Corporation, 33 Mass.App.Ct. 287, 601 N.E.2d 23 (1992). I wrote the briefs in this premises liability case, in which the Massachusetts Appeals Court granted a new trial to my client after a judgment of more than $1,000,000 had been entered against it arising out of injuries inflicted during a fight at a convenience store between juveniles who were “hanging out” in the parking lot.  This result was subsequently reaffirmed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Flood v. Southland Corporation, 416 Mass. 62, 601 N.E.2d 23 (1993)). 

Clark v. Greenhalge, 411 Mass. 410, 582 N.E.2d 949 (1991). I wrote the briefs in this appeal concerning the interpretation of the doctrine of “incorporation by reference” of documents extrinsic to a will. The question was whether a handwritten list of gifts had been properly incorporated in a will. After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that the handwritten list was part of the will, my client received possession of a painting that the deceased had intended she should receive.  I also handled further proceedings in the trial court, where I obtained an award of nearly $100,000 in attorneys’ fees for my client from the executor of the estate.

 United States v. Armstrong, 909 F.2d 1238 (9th Cir. 1990). I wrote the briefs in this criminal appeal involving a defendant convicted of making false entries on federal firearms transaction records. The issues on appeal included questions regarding the scope of “aiding and abetting” another’s crime, distinctions between “aiding and abetting” and “causing” a crime, and juror misconduct. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the conviction. 

State Compensation Insurance Fund v. Selma Trailer, 210 Cal.App.3d 740 (1989). I had primary responsibility for briefing this appeal, in which the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a product liability claim against the client on the ground of dilatory prosecution, thus ending the litigation with a judgment in my client’s favor. 

The Northern Trust Company v. Community Bank, 873 F.2d 227 (9th Cir. 1989). I wrote the briefs in this civil appeal, which presented a question of first impression regarding the liability of a “confirming bank” in a letter of credit transaction.  The Ninth Circuit’s resolution of this question resulted in the client’s recovery of the entire amount of a dishonored letter of credit.

 


Unpublished Opinions

Agee v. Oakdale Irrigation District, 2016 WL 6135484 (Cal.App. 2016).  I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, where the Oakdale Irrigation District alleged that the trial court should have granted it attorney’s fees pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1038 (which permits public entities to recover fees for frivolous filings) for OID’s defense of a lawsuit brought by my clients.  The court of appeal determined that the trial court properly found that my clients had brought the proceeding in good faith and with reasonable cause, denying OID its requested attorneys’ fees.

Tetravue, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2013 WL 3786865 (Cal.App. 2013).  I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, where the trial court had determined that my client was not entitled to coverage under a general liability policy for claims made by a former employer, asserting that the client had violated confidentiality agreements.  The trial court had entered a summary judgment against my client, ruling that there was no possibility of coverage under the insurance policy.  The Court of Appeal reversed the summary judgment and directed entry of judgment in my client’s favor, holding that the claims against my client were possibly covered under the “advertising injury” clause of the liability policy.  This ruling enabled my client to obtain over $2.5 million from his insurer for attorneys’ fees the client had incurred in the underlying lawsuit.

DeJohn v. Wheeler, 2016 WL 270033 (Cal.App. 2016).  I represented a professional accounting corporation which had been held liable for purported acts of malpractice by its principal.  The court of appeal determined that the principal of the professional corporation did not breach any duties to the plaintiffs, meaning that both the principal and his professional corporation were found not liable for the plaintiff’s losses.

Bernato v. Peasley, 2016 WL 1104882 (Cal.App. 2016) I represented some of the heirs of a decedent, Betty Peasley, in a will contest.  In this action, the court of appeal affirmed a judgment in favor of my clients, holding that an action for elder abuse and related claims brought against them by a disappointed heir was subject to California’s anti-SLAPP statute, and that the trial court properly disposed of the disappointed heir’s claims under that statute.  In a second appeal involving the same parties, Dagodag v. Dagodag, 2016 WL 5372805 (Cal.App. 2016), the court of appeal determined that the trial court had properly dismissed complaints brought by the disappointed heirs against my clients, although it permitted the disappointed heirs to pursue their claims in a different lawsuit.

Galligan & Biscay v. Galligan, 2014 WL 40171635 (Cal.App. 2014).  In this appeal, I represented one of several siblings in a dispute over the assets of a law firm operated by their father.  I obtained a reversal of an award of attorneys’ fees of over $100,000 against my client.

Lewis v. Hollis General Partners, 2013 WL 586773 (Cal.App. 2013).  I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal.  The trial court had ruled that my client could not pursue a commercial real estate broker for misrepresentations concerning a commercial space the client leased for a gym.  In addition, the trial court overruled a jury verdict in favor of my client against the lessor of the gym space.  The Court of Appeal reinstated the jury verdict in my client’s favor and also ruled that my client was entitled to pursue a misrepresentation claim against the real estate broker.  This meant that my client recovered the full amount of the jury verdict and all attorneys’ fees, and was permitted to reinstate his claim for misrepresentation against the broker.

Bedi v. Dhaliwal, 2014 WL 280498 (Cal.App. 2014).  I wrote the briefs and argued this appeal, which challenged a judgment against my client based on a claim by a “silent partner” in the client’s business.  The appeal involved the question whether the silent partner’s claim was individual or belonged to the corporation.  The Court of Appeal determined that the silent partner was entitled to recover notwithstanding that the damages had been suffered by the corporation.

Elworthy v. Spiva, 2013 WL 5934650 (Cal.App. 2013).  I wrote the briefs and argued this appeal, which challenged as insufficient an award of damages in my client’s favor concerning misrepresentations in connection with purchase of a home.  The case concerned whether my clients could rescind the home purchase notwithstanding that the home had been lost to foreclosure.  The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in my clients’ favor, but ruled that rescission was not an available remedy.

Halpern v. Shukla, 2014 WL 3615986 (Cal.App. 2014).  I wrote the briefs and argued this appeal, which challenged the dismissal of my client’s lawsuit after the trial court determined that he had willfully failed to appear for a deposition.  The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment.

Portside Master Owners’ Association v. Portside Investments, LLC 2012 WL 1060078 (Cal.App. 2012).  I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, where the trial court had determined that my client, a homeowners’ association, had failed to bring a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period in a dispute concerning title to certain common areas of the development.  The court of appeal reversed the judgment against my client, holding that the statute of limitations did not begin to run until a dispute as to title had arisen.

McKee v. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 2012 WL 1114250 (Cal.App. 2012).  I wrote all the briefs in this appeal from a judgment in favor of San Francisco’s BART transit district.  The plaintiffs had alleged that BART violated California’s Open Meetings Act (also known as the Brown Act).  The court of appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of my client. 

Sofpool LLC v. Intex Corp., 328 Fed.Appx. 654 (Fed. Cir. 2009).  I wrote all the briefs in this design patent appeal.  The jury had rendered a judgment against my client.  The Federal Circuit determined that the jury had been improperly instructed on the “point of novelty” issue and reversed the judgment against my client.

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District v. Spencer, 358 Fed.Appx. 793 (9th Cir. 2009).  I wrote all the briefs in this appeal, in which San Francisco’s BART transit system appealed from a judgment against it in a complicated contract dispute involving accusations of fraud and RICO violations by the defendants.  The Ninth Circuit determined that the district court properly found that, notwithstanding the defendants had committed fraud, BART could not prove damage resulting from that fraud.

K-Swiss Inc. v. GTFM, Inc., 278 Fed.Appx. 772 (9th Cir. 2009).  I wrote the briefs in this appeal of a judgment against my client, K-Swiss shoes.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the judgment against my client and ruled that my client should be permitted discovery concerning the district court’s personal jurisdiction over the defendant, an out-of-state corporation.

Hill v. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 2009 WL 2415479 (Cal.App. 2009).  I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, in which San Francisco’s BART system appealed from a $1.2 million judgment against it on a claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.  The Court of Appeal resolved a novel question of law concerning whether “failure to prevent” retaliation claims can be based on incidents that took place more than 4 years previous to the filing of the complaint.  The Court decided this issue in favor of my client and reversed more than 50% of the damage judgment against BART.

Robinson v. Cannondale Corp., 81 Fed.Appx. 725 (Fed. Cir. 2003). I co-authored the briefs in this patent appeal, which concerned construction of a patent for a front suspension system for bicycles.  The Federal Circuit reversed a summary judgment of non-infringement against my client, the patent holder, meaning that the client could go to trial on his claim that Cannondale Corp. had infringed his patent.

Scholle Corp. v. Packaging Systems, Inc., 71 Fed. Appx. 847 (Fed. Cir. 2003). I co-authored the briefs in this patent appeal, which concerned construction of a patent for a device that sealed “bag in box” packages, such as those used for soft drink syrup.  The Federal Circuit affirmed a judgment of non-infringement on behalf of my client, meaning that my client could continue to use the technology it had devised.

Bruntjen v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 86 Fed.Appx. 242 (9th Cir. 2003). I co-authored all the briefs in this appeal, in which investors in a failed energy project in China sued a law firm for securities fraud, RICO violations and common-law fraud.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment in my client’s favor.  I also represented the law firm in the trial court and helped secure the summary judgment from which the appeal arose.

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Dist. v. Fair Employment and Housing Commission, 2009 WL 132013 (Cal.App. 2009).  I represented BART in this appeal challenging an administrative decision that BART had denied an employee “reasonable accommodation” for a disability.  The court determined that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing had acted within its discretion in finding that BART had failed to provide the requested accommodation.

Arin v. Applequist, 2011 WL 3684810 (Cal.App. 2011).  I represented a client challenging a jury verdict requiring her to pay for allegedly defrauding a relative.  The issue on appeal concerned the application of the statute of limitations to prevent my client from collecting under a contract with the same relative.  The court of appeal determined that the attorney representing the client in the trial court had failed to preserve the issue for appeal.  The court also affirmed the portion of the judgment in my client’s favor on the relative’s cross-appeal.

Pajaro Dunes Rental Agency, Inc. v. Pajaro Dunes Ass’n., 73 Fed.Appx. 953 (9th Cir. 2003). I co-wrote the briefs in this dispute over the terms of a use/rental agreement for a homeowners’ beach association. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a jury verdict against my client.

Porteous v. Porteous, 2006 WL 3308430 (2006). I wrote all briefs and argued this case, in which my client challenged an arbitration award concerning dental partnerships he had once operated with his brother.  The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment against my client and directed the trial court to revise its judgment, resulting in a gain of over $150,000 to my client.

Kammerer v. Millennium/WDG Retail Partners, 2002 WL 1453601 (Cal.App. 2002). I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal, which involved an exceedingly complicated business dispute over ownership and control of a large development in downtown San Francisco. The Court of Appeal reversed a series of summary judgments against my clients and remanded for a trial on their claims against the joint venturers in the development. 

In re Estate of Singer, 2002 WL 1752826 (Cal.App. 2002). I co-authored the briefs in this appeal from a decree invalidating a purported will.  My client, the daughter of the deceased, had been disinherited in the purported will; when that will was invalidated, she became eligible to inherit part of her father’s estate.  The appeal involved complex questions concerning application of the rules for when a lost original will is presumed to have been destroyed by the testator. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, leaving my client eligible for a portion of the estate.

Epicurean Esthetics, Inc. v. Harford (3d App. Dist. No. C030514) (1999). I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal of a jury verdict against my client, a specialty fruit broker accused of violating trade secrets of her former employer.  The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment against my client in its entirety, and directed entry of judgment in her favor on the claim for misappropriation of trade secrets.

Meier v. United States, 310 Fed.Appx. 976 (9th Cir. 2009).  I represented a wounded Vietnam veteran who was suing the Veteran’s Administration for its failure to disclose disciplinary action against a doctor who treated him.  The Ninth Circuit determined that the VA did not have a duty to disclose a physician’s professional medical history.  I also represented the client on an unsuccessful petition for certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court.

Bishop v. Hanes, 2011 WL 5118770 (Cal.App. 2011).  I represented homeowners who had been ordered to remove trees around their home under Oakland’s view ordinance.  The appeal involved novel questions of law concerning how the doctrine of res judicata applied, where the defendants had previously won a lawsuit but the statute had changed in the interim.  The court determined that res judicata did not apply to bar the lawsuit where the dispute involved a continuing nuisance.

Formation Inv. Holding, LLC v. Formation Enterprises, LP, 2011 WL 1017683 (Cal.App. 2011).  I represented a creditor holding a junior lien on a business, challenging actions of the senior lien holder which resulted in a receiver’s sale of the business.  The Court of Appeal determined that the receiver had acted within his discretion in conducting the sale.

Rasmussen v. RingCentral, Inc., 2005 WL 1460660 (Cal.App. 2005). I wrote the briefs and argued this appeal under California’s anti-SLAPP statute.  The trial court had determined that my client’s actions in filing a judicial foreclosure on assets pledged to secure a loan was not an exercise of free speech rights protected by the anti-SLAPP statute. The Court of Appeal agreed and affirmed the judgment.

 Boucher v. Wisniewski, 2008 WL 77585 (Cal.App. 2008). This appeal concerned interpretation of a settlement agreement in a property dispute.  The trial court had found that my client had agreed to an implied easement across her property in the agreement. On appeal, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, finding that the settlement agreement created an implied equitable servitude.

River Rock Development v. Paik, 2007 WL 1057054 (Cal.App. 2007). I acted as appellate advisor in this appeal (meaning that I edited the briefs and offered advice, but was not the primary author of the briefs) concerning interpretation of a series of contracts relating to sale of property. My client contended that it was the assignee of a contract to purchase property; the defendants claimed that no assignment had taken place. The trial court entered summary judgment against my client and the Court of Appeal affirmed.

Medeiros v. Johnson, 2006 WL 2513036 (Cal.App. 2007). I acted as appellate advisor in this appeal (meaning that I edited the briefs and offered advice, but was not the primary author of the briefs) concerning a judgment that a prominent law firm had not committed malpractice in a real estate transaction.  The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment against my clients, the buyers in the transaction, but determined that the law firm (which had filed a cross-appeal) was not entitled to attorneys fees.

Franklin v. Faulkner, Sheehan & Wunsch, et al. (1st App. Dist. No. A079524) (1998). I wrote all briefs and argued this appeal of a judgment in favor of my client, a law firm. The plaintiffs had claimed a 1/3 share of a large contingency fee recovered by the law firm pursuant to an alleged oral agreement. The Court of Appeal found no admissible evidence of the existence of the alleged agreement.  The Court of Appeal’s opinion brought a final end to more than 13 years of litigation over this claim.  (I also handled the summary judgment proceedings for my client in the trial court that resulted in the judgment affirmed on appeal).

Salvio Pacheco Square, LLC v. Secure Computing Corp., 2006 WL 895722 (2006). I was co-author of the briefs in this appeal, concerning interpretation of a lease.  The Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment against my clients, holding that the lease agreement did not permit my client to vacate a commercial property before the lease had expired.

Northern Trust of California v. Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., (9th Cir. No. 93-16870) (1995). I wrote the briefs in this civil appeal of a judgment dismissing a client’s RICO and securities fraud claims for failure to state a claim arising out of complex transactions involving wire transactions through the Federal Reserve Bank.  Although the court affirmed the judgment, it reversed Rule 11 sanctions imposed upon trial counsel in connection with the filing of the underlying complaint.

Northern Trust of California v. Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., 1st App. Dist. No. A060283) (1994). I wrote the briefs and argued this appeal of an order dismissing the client’s cross-complaints against two co-defendants after those co-defendants settled with the plaintiff. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order.

Dunn v. California State Automobile Assn. (Cal. Ct. App., 1st App. Dist No. A062792) (1994). I wrote the briefs in this appeal of a summary judgment in favor of my client, an insurer, on a claim for breach of contract and bad faith insurance practices. The Court of Appeal affirmed the summary judgment in favor of my client.  (I also wrote the summary judgment papers n the trial court that resulted in the summary judgment affirmed on appeal).

Bock v. Bock, 34 Mass.App.Ct. 1117, 613 N.E.2d 141 (1993).  I wrote the briefs in this appeal of a judgment of contempt of court in favor of the client against her former husband in a divorce dispute. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the judgment in my client’s favor and awarded double costs of appeal as a sanction against the other party.

Fleming v. Fleming, 34 Mass.App.Ct. 913, 608 N.E.2d 1064 (1993).  I wrote the briefs in this appeal of a judgment decreeing specific performance of a marital separation agreement. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of my client.

Hamaty v. Supermarkets General, Inc., 32 Mass.App.Ct.115, 593 N.E.2d 1325 (1993).  I wrote the briefs in this appeal involving a defense verdict in a premises liability action. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the verdict in favor of the client.

Lee v. Floyd, 30 Mass.App.Ct. 1104, 566 N.E.2d 155 (1991).  I had primary responsibility for briefing this appeal, in which the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the client in a malicious prosecution action.

Johnson v. Chas. Kurz & Co., Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., 1st App. Dist. No. A045449) (1989).  I wrote the briefs in this appeal of a summary judgment in favor of the client on a personal injury claim in admiralty. The Court of Appeal affirmed the summary judgment in the client’s favor.


Other Appellate Cases

Bay Guardian Co., Inc. v. San Francisco Superior Court, Cal. Ct. Appeal No. A128262.  I represented the Bay Guardian newspaper in this writ proceeding, seeking to lift a stay imposed by the trial court on Bay Guardian’s attempts to collect a multi-million dollar judgment during the pendency of an appeal.  The Court of Appeal lifted the stay and ordered that my client be permitted to pursue collection against the defendants and related entities, where the Bay Guardian was attempting to “pierce the corporate veil” in order to collect its judgment from entities that had not been defendants in the trial court.

Vandenberg v. Superior Court, 21 Cal.4th 815 (1999). I wrote an amicus curiae brief for this case, involving the question whether comprehensive general liability insurance policies cover claims for breach of contract.  The California Supreme Court adopted the analysis of the issue stated in my amicus brief and, in fact, paraphrased portions of that brief in its opinion.

Moore v. Conliffe, 7 Cal.4th 634, 29 Cal.Rptr.2d 152 (1994).  I wrote a brief and argued before the California Supreme Court as amicus curiae in this case concerning the scope of immunity for misconduct occurring during arbitration proceedings.

Local 144 Nursing Home Pension Fund v. Demisay, 508 U.S. 581 (1993). I wrote an amicus curiae brief in support of a pension fund in this case involving the interpretation of the fiduciary responsibilities of ERISA trustees.  After remand to the Second Circuit, I wrote another amicus brief in support of the pension fund. The appeal was dismissed prior to any further hearing.

Lee v. Interinsurance Exchange, 50 Cal.App.4th 694 (1996). I co-wrote an amicus curiae brief in this action, which involved a challenge to the corporate governance of inter-insurance exchanges on behalf of the Northern California branch of AAA, which operates an inter-insurance exchange.

 


Trials

Shade Foods, Inc. v. IPS, et al. (San Francisco Sup. Ct. No. 970035)
I was co-counsel in this trial, in which my client, a food processor, sought insurance coverage for liability incurred as a result of its accidental contamination of another company’s food product. After a 2-month trial in 1996 and 1997, the jury found that the two insurer defendants had acted in bad faith in denying coverage and awarded my client approximately $3.2 million in compensatory damages and $11 million in punitive damages.

Southern Pacific v. State of California (Santa Barbara Sup. Ct. No. 215020)
I represented the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) railroad in this action, in which the railroad sought compensation for damages incurred as a result of two washouts of its track in Santa Barbara County following heavy rains in 1995. In May, 1998, the jury found that the washouts were the result of inadequate maintenance of drainage structures appurtenant to Highway 101, and awarded my client more than $848,000, representing all damages my client had sought. The State of California paid the entire the judgment (which included more than $100,000 in additional pre-judgment interest) in October, 1998. 

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