Litigation

Led by founding partner, Mark Flewelling, our litigators handle matters for our clients both domestically and internationally, with particular focus in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.     

Bankers, business executives, and general counsel from both public and private companies consistently turn to us for representation in lender liability cases, partnership disputes, breach of contract and business tort claims, water rights cases, title disputes, employment matters, negotiable instruments cases, international disputes and arbitrations, insurance matters, patent/copyright/trademark matters, and products liability issues. Corporate Counsel recently named us #4 of the top “Law Firms That Represent America’s Biggest Companies.”

Examples of recent cases include:

Lender Liability

We have handled several thousand cases for our lender and servicer clients in state and federal courts throughout the West Coast.  Ranging from loan origination disputes that often involve broker fraud and TILA claims to servicing cases that include RESPA and wrongful foreclosure claims,  we have secured dismissals in the vast majority of cases.  Of those that survived motion practice, most settled favorably for our clients.  Of the cases that have been tried,  trial teams led by Robert Bailey have prevailed in every case.

Partnership Disputes

In a dispute involving a Pasadena office building, the Los Angeles Superior Court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment. After our client turned to us again when the plaintiff appealed, the Second District Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal, putting to rest years of litigation among the parties.

Local Government Code Violations and Assessment Liens

In a case of first impression in California state courts, the Riverside Superior Court granted our client’s motion for summary adjudication, holding that the City and County of Riverside had no right to add code violation penalties to the secured property tax rolls.  Then the Court granted our client’s motion for attorney’s fees under California’s “Private Attorney General” statute. 

Employment Litigation

We regularly defend public and private companies in wrongful termination actions, employment arbitrations, and OSHA hearings. In addition to defending employment and discrimination matters brought by individual claimants, our attorneys have represented public companies in wage and hour class actions and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions. In fact, Todd Sorrell is one of only a small group of lawyers to have ever tried a FLSA collective action case to jury verdict in the United States. We also regularly advise clients on employment matters.

Negotiable Instruments

We have handled hundreds of cases ranging from counterfeit checks to fraudulent wire transfers.  In a recent forged endorsement case, our client received a full recovery after prevailing in its summary judgment motion. That victory was followed by a fee award our client received against one of the defendants.

Class Actions

We have secured dismissals of several putative class actions, including:

  • A putative class action filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in which plaintiffs claimed a lender improperly influenced a regional costs of funds index.  We substituted in late in the case, conducted much of the remaining discovery, and successfully moved for summary judgment.  A threatened fee motion convinced the representative plaintiff not to appeal the dismissal.

  • A putative class action filed in the San Francisco Superior Court, in which plaintiffs alleged a lender made improper changes to a proprietary cost of savings index. After we secured a dismissal of the case by motion, the court granted our client’s fee motion against the representative plaintiff. 

  • A putative class action over the handling of loan escrow accounts. After one round of pleadings motions, the District Court granted the lender’s motion to dismiss the case with prejudice. The case settled with our client’s fee motion pending.

  • The defeat of class certification, and then a successful defense of follow-on litigation, in matters relating to unlawful advertisement, product liability, and breach of warranty lawsuits.

Fraudulent Conveyance Cases

We recently obtained a multi-million dollar recovery on our client’s behalf in a case involving complex transfers of foreign assets to avoid creditors. Our reliance on the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act, coupled with related provisional relief, led to a successful resolution of the case for our client.

International Disputes

Our lawyers have significant experience in handling international matters, including international arbitrations. One of our lawyers recently obtained and collected a multi-million dollar award, plus seven figures in attorneys’ fees, after an international arbitration hearing in a matter stemming from the improper termination of a distribution contract. To demonstrate our billing flexibility, we also favorably resolved a contingency matter with both foreign and domestic proceedings on behalf of a plaintiff involving real estate and contractual disputes.

Title Disputes

We have vast experience litigating real estate and title issues, including boundary disputes, lien priority cases, condominium association liens, building and development restrictions, access issues, condemnation proceedings, and forgery claims.