3125 Old Conejo Road

Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

(805) 230-2525

Case Results

The cases shown here represent just a few of the hundreds of similar cases and transactional matters we have handled over the years.

 

Real Property

Click each Case Study title for more information.

 

Drain Pipe Easement, Slope Failure

Represented homeowner whose property was damaged by a slope failure caused by a broken drain pipe from adjacent uphill subdivision. Successfully defended our client against a motion for summary judgment and later, just before trial, obtained a full settlement against the adjacent HOA and the City sufficient to cover all damages, costs of repair, and attorney fees

Specific Performance on Real Estate Contract

Represented buyer of real property who was ready to close escrow but the seller, an REO department of a bank, attempted to cancel the escrow without justification. Shortly after filing a lawsuit for breach of contract and specific performance, we negotiated a settlement: Bank to transfer title to our client and pay of all of our client’s damages and attorney fees.

Quiet Title

Represented buyer of real property with title clouded by several fraudulent deeds of trust and quit claim deeds. Filed suit for Quiet Title and obtained default judgment quieting title in favor of our client at minimal cost and time.

Trespass, Waste To Real Property

Represented investor who purchased residential property at foreclosure Trustees Sale. The borrowers remained in the property after the sale and refused to vacate, and when they finally did vacate, they had stripped the home of built-in appliances and lighting fixtures. We sued the previous owners for trespass, waste and the value of their unlawful occupancy. After trial, the court awarded damages to our client for the missing appliances and the rental value of the property.

Right of First Refusal to Purchase Real Property

Represented owner of commercial building where the lease included a Right of First Refusal for tenant to purchase the building if the owner decided to sell. The owner gave the tenant notice of the proposed sale, and tenant passed on exercising its rights.  Later, during escrow, the tenant changed its mind and demanded to exercise the right. The owner refused, having already sold the property. Tenant sued for breach of contract damages. After trial, the court entered judgment for defense in favor of our client, with an award of attorney fees, the tenant filed an appeal and lost; The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court judgment.

Prescriptive Easement to Access Water Well

Represented property owner whose home water was obtained from a well located on adjacent land. The neighbor prevented our client from accessing the well by threats of gun violence, and destroyed the underground pipes leading from the well. After obtaining ex parte restraining orders, and filing suit for prescriptive easement and nuisance, we successfully mediated the dispute and obtained for our client an express recorded easement for access, use and maintenance of the water well.

Cancellation of Deed Obtained by Undue Influence

We represented wife who signed a quit claim deed to husband under duress. We sued for fraud and cancellation of the deed. At trial, the court found that the deed was the product of undue influence and a breach of the husband’s fiduciary duty to not take unfair advantage of our client. Result: The quitclaim deed was set aside and our client obtained clear title.

Defense of Foreclosing Lender After Trustee Sale

Represented investor who foreclosed on borrower by duly conducted Trustee Sale. Borrower sued investor alleging fraud, breach of contract etc. We filed a demurrer – asserting that the complaint had no legal merit. After the court sustained our demurrer to the complaint, plaintiff’s counsel took deposition of our client. Before the deposition was finished, plaintiff’s counsel announced he could not see any factual basis for the complaint and dismissed the complaint.

Broker Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Recovery From Bureau of Real Estate Under the Recovery Fund

Represented seller whose real estate broker manipulated loan documents and escrow instructions to obtain $50,000 of seller’s proceeds at the close of escrow. After obtaining a court judgment for our client, the broker filed bankruptcy. Since the judgment was uncollectable because of the bankruptcy, we successfully applied to the Bureau of Real Estate (DRE) for restitution under the Recovery Fund and obtained payment to our client.

Removing Cloud on Title Caused by Bankruptcy Filing

We represented an investor who purchased real property at a foreclosure Trustee Sale on the same day that the property owner filed for Bankruptcy, without notice of the bankruptcy filing, which was not recorded. A few days later, our client recorded the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale thereby perfecting title back to 8:00 a.m., the day of the sale.

Three months after the sale, the foreclosing lender first learned of the bankruptcy filing and recorded a Notice of Rescission of the Trustee’s Deed.  We filed suit to quiet title and brought a motion in Bankruptcy Court for orders that the automatic stay was void from the beginning – the order was granted.  With the Bankruptcy orders removing any threat of violation of the automatic stay, the foreclosing lender reissued a new Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale to our client, which cleared title so that our client could sell the property.

 

Business

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Breach of Employment Contract and Corporate Fraud

Represented partner in manufacturing company, a minority shareholder who was squeezed out of the corporation by his partner, the majority shareholder, and wrongfully terminated. After extensive discovery and depositions, just before trial, mediation resulted in a satisfactory settlement sufficient to cover our client’s lost salary and buy out his stock.

Joint Venture Real Property Dispute

Represented developer of custom estate homes in dispute with his joint venture partner as to how the sale proceeds were to be split and how the developmental costs were to be allocated. Written agreements contained a number of ambiguities. After filing suit for declaratory relief, we mediated the dispute and obtained a satisfactory settlement.

Trademark Disputes and Filings

Represented local manufacturer who created a mark that was misappropriated by a distributor. We filed objections with the USPTO and then successfully negotiated an assignment of the mark to our client. We also represent many companies and individuals in applying for and obtaining trademarks.

Misappropriation Trade Secrets – Unfair Competition

We represented a nonprofit sports league whose proprietary customer list was misappropriated by disgruntled executives. The executives left our client to form a competing league using our client’s customer list.  After filing a lawsuit and obtaining court orders for return of the email addresses contained in the list, we were able to settle the balance of the case with the defendants’ return of the full customer list and an agreement not to compete.

 

 

 

Personal Torts

 

Trusts, Wills, Probate

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Trust Dispute

Represented the Trustee of a Family Trust in structuring a sale of a trust asset, a commercial building occupied by the Trustee’s brother, who was hostile to the Trustee and not paying fair rent to the Trust for many years. We negotiated a full settlement that involved the Trust selling the commercial building to the brother with the Trust making an advance gift of brother’s inheritance for his down payment and carrying a note and deed of trust as part of the financing package.

Defense of Petition to Surcharge Trustee

We represented a client who was successor trustee of a family trust.  Her siblings filed a petition alleging that she breached her duty as Trustee and asked the Court to surcharge her to the full extent of her inheritance under the trust.  After a bench trial, our client was ordered to reimburse the trust for the value of here private use of the trust property, but she did not forfeit her entire inheritance.

 

Family Fraud

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Cancellation of Deed Obtained by Undue Influence

Represented wife who signed a quit claim deed to husband under duress. We sued for fraud and cancellation of the deed. At trial, the court found that the deed was the product of undue influence and a breach of the husband’s fiduciary duty to not take unfair advantage of our client.

Marital Property Asset and Income Disputes

Represented a wife whose husband owned several companies where the true profits and assets were obfuscated and hidden. We employed a forensic accountant CPA and conducted extensive discovery to uncover the true income and assets, which lead to a negotiated settlement. We also represented a husband who owns a business where all financial records are meticulously kept and all revenue is accounted for. Despite the transparency and full disclosure of financials, wife alleged husband’s income was five times higher than actual. We successfully defended our client by employing a forensic accountant CPA to audit the financial records and testify to the court as to the true cash flow available to husband.