Profile

Education: A.B., Cornell University 1972
(Magna Cum Laude in Economics)
J.D., Harvard Law School 1975

Bar Admissions: State and Federal Courts in Arizona,
California, Colorado and Washington

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Mr. Burke brings 42 years of experience as a business trial lawyer in major national law firms, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a diverse range of business disputes in federal and state courts in 26 states, China and Canada. He helps parties resolve their conflicts in a fair, cost-effective way through creative approaches and relentless follow-up. He uses a mix of facilitative and evaluative approaches depending on the situation and the parties’ desires. He likes to get to know the parties and hear their perspectives. He listens to them carefully and always treats the parties with empathy, respect and civility as he learns their views, motivations, wants and needs. He prepares intensively in advance of each mediation session. As a full-time neutral, he has had significant experience mediating and arbitrating disputes involving individuals and small, midsize and large businesses, including family businesses. He is available to conduct hearings throughout California.

Online Dispute Resolution: Mediate.com has recognized Mr. Burke as a Certified Online Mediator and he is a member of The International Council for Online Dispute Resolution. Mr. Burke is available to handle your matters remotely via Zoom. He has had extensive training and experience in the use of Zoom and uses it successfully. Zoom has been well received by parties and can lead to considerable savings in travel time and expenses.

Mr. Burke has extensive experience in the following areas of the law:

Business Disputes

  • Contract, family business, complex commercial, merger and acquisition, class actions and derivative suits, securities fraud investment, accounting and legal malpractice, antitrust, unfair competition and trade practices, healthcare, cannabis, franchise, debtor-creditor, qui tam and False Claims Act, banking and finance, accounting and taxation disputes.

Real Estate Disputes

  • Real estate purchase and sale, landlord/tenant/lease, COVID-19, partition, environmental, construction defect, boundary line, easement, ADA access disputes

Corporate Governance and Business Dissolution Disputes

  • Business divorce cases, corporate governance, partnership, LLC and corporate dissolution disputes.

Technology and IP Disputes

  • Technology, trade secrets and intellectual property, e-commerce and terms of service, computer software, blockchain, ICO, cryptocurrency, e-discovery and cybersecurity, solar industry, energy and utilities disputes

Employment Disputes

  • Wrongful discharge, sexual harassment, race, age, sex, pregnancy, disability discrimination, wage-hour, whistleblower disputes.

Insurance Disputes

  • Insurance coverage and business interruption, sexual assault, personal and catastrophic injury, automobile, motorcycle, and truck-trailer accident disputes.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • ADR Services, Inc., San Francisco and Silicon Valley (2017-Present)
    Mediator, Arbitrator, Temporary Judge, Special Master, and Discovery Referee
  • Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP, San Francisco and Silicon Valley (2014-2017)
    Business Litigation; Antitrust; Securities Enforcement & Litigation; Government Enforcement & White Collar; Intellectual Property Litigation Groups
  • Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles (2012-2014)
    Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation Department; firmwide practice area leader of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation team; firmwide co-leader of the False Claims and Internal Investigations team
  • Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Phoenix and Los Angeles (1994-2012)
    Firmwide practice group leader; Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice; Phoenix Commercial Litigation practice group; Managing Partner of the Phoenix office
  • Partner, Streich Lang, Phoenix (1985-1993)
    Executive Committee; Compensation Committee; Strategic Planning Committee; Ethics Committee; Co-leader, Writing Skills Program; In-House NITA Trial Program and Deposition Skills Program
  • Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Seattle (1980-1985)
    Member, Economic Crime Enforcement Unit and Liaison to SEC
  • Associate, Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco (1977-1980)
  • Associate, Sherman & Howard, Denver (1975-1977)

MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION TRAINING

  • Mediating Online Training, Mediate.com (2020)
  • Mediation Training, San Francisco Superior Court (2019)
  • Mediation Training, U.S. District Court, ND California (2019)
  • Advanced Mediation, Straus Institute at Pepperdine University (2018)
  • Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution (2017)
  • Annual Conference, Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern CA (2017)
  • American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, Spring Meeting (2017)
  • Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators, AAA (2017)
  • Arbitration Award: Safe Guarding, Deciding and Writing Awards, AAA (2017)
  • Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute at Pepperdine University (2016)
  • Arbitration Case Law-Annual Update, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution (2016)
  • Arbitrator Certificate Training, Bar Association of San Francisco (2016)
  • Mediation of an Employment Case with Represented and Unrepresented Litigants, State Bar of California (2016)

HONORS AND RECOGNITION

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Mediation, Arbitration, and Commercial Litigation
  • California Super Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
  • Mediate.com Certified Online Mediator

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association
  • Association for Conflict Resolution, Northern California Chapter
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • State Bar of California
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Co-Chair, Section of Real Property and Business Law
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court, ADR Committee
  • The International Council for Online Dispute Resolution

Representative Cases

Accounting & Legal Malpractice

  • Mediated matter where an inventor sued her prior patent counsel for patent malpractice relating to attempts to patent certain molecules and formulas in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences area, alleging that certain patents were abandoned during a critical time period when research funding may have been available.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a tax client and a tax preparer based on alleged negligence in filing offers in compromise to federal and state tax authorities leading to penalties imposed against the client.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice action allegedly arising from negligent drafting of claim language in a cybersecurity patent, allegedly leading to loss of royalties from private cloud providers.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice action where plaintiff auto dealer inventory flooring lender sued its former legal counsel for legal malpractice in pursuing litigation on a promissory note and guaranty arising from a default relating to a failed audit of the inventory and repossession of the remaining vehicles, which resulted in defense finding in a bench trial.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice action arising from representation in a dispute over adjacent property rights and failure to enforce settlement agreement.
  • Handled a matter involving a $100 million accounting malpractice action against a national accounting firm filed by the bankruptcy trustee of a NASDAQ-listed national distributor of personal care products, alleging improper auditing and application of revenue recognition criteria and errors in the installation of a major ERP system impacting financial statements, customer relationship management, and supply chain management.
  • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and two of its partners in a $15 million lawsuit arising out of the failure of a Scottsdale life insurance company and an associated insurance service agency. The plaintiff alleged accountant malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and interference with contractual relations, claiming that there were audit failures and accounting errors. There were significant corporate governance issues regarding whether the plaintiff shareholder and officer could bring the claims or whether they were corporate claims requiring a derivative suit and pre-suit demand.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and one of its partners in a $15 million action for accountant malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and racketeering, involving tax planning and financial statement work for two British Virgin Islands corporations that invested in U.S. real estate. There were issues regarding the membership of the Board of Directors, whether a pre-litigation demand was made on the Board, and the status of the claims given a revocation of the corporations’ operating status.
  • Handled a class action and other related actions involving an AmLaw 100 firm brought by investors who purchased real estate investment products, alleging legal malpractice, securities fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation. Investors losses exceeded $900 million.
  • Handled related matters arising from the settlements of a derivative claim for no consideration on the eve of a savings bank holding company bankruptcy arising from junk bond losses and failed consumer loan portfolios, causing over $100 million in damages, leading to litigation against former officers and directors, attorneys and derivative plaintiffs. There were two separate legal malpractice claims made against the company’s legal adviser and its litigation counsel in the derivative action. The matters were resolved through settlements totaling $55 million
  • Handled related matters involving two broker-dealers, officers and directors, investors and a law firm arising from asset-backed promissory notes related to pools of ATMs that were to have been placed in bankruptcy proof special purpose entities, generating streams of income from swipe fees to pay the debt, which were eventually looted causing $30 million in losses. One of the claims was a legal malpractice claim against a law firm for failure to finalize the security agreements covering the ATMs.
  • Handled a legal malpractice matter involving a law firm that was handling and overseeing construction progress advance and escrow accounts funded by a lender for multiple builders and construction companies, where one of the partners was embezzling funds from the accounts.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice matter also alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and elder abuse and defendant cross claimed for unpaid legal fees. The underlying lawsuit arose out of a commercial finance and joint venture transaction which lead to successful underlying claims of breach of fiduciary duty and elder abuse against the legal malpractice plaintiff.
  • Mediated a malicious prosecution action brought by former spouse against former spouse based on underlying lawsuit alleging that plaintiff infected her with a sexually transmitted disease, which had resulted in an adverse jury verdict after 22 minutes of deliberation.

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Accounting & Taxation

  • Mediated matter where tax accountant sued former client for allegedly unpaid fees and former client alleged irregularities in the billing statements including the method of billing and application of payments to bills.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a tax client and a tax preparer based on alleged negligence in filing offers in compromise to federal and state tax authorities leading to penalties imposed against the client.
  • Mediated property tax assessment by municipality against a homeowner which sold the home and sought to carry the assessment to a subsequent home purchase.
  • Handled a matter involving a complex investment fraud and fraudulent tax shelter Ponzi scheme, involving securities and and tax fraud claims involving commodities and limited partnerships investments.
  • Handled an income tax evasion case involving unreported kickback income received by a purchasing agent for a shipping company.
  • Handled a matter involving a $100 million accounting malpractice action against a national accounting firm filed by the bankruptcy trustee of a NASDAQ-listed national distributor of personal care products, alleging improper auditing and application of revenue recognition criteria and errors in the installation of a major ERP system impacting financial statements, customer relationship management, and supply chain management.
  • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and two of its partners in a $15 million lawsuit arising out of the failure of a Scottsdale life insurance company and an associated insurance service agency. The plaintiff alleged accountant malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and interference with contractual relations, claiming that there were audit failures and accounting errors. There were significant corporate governance issues regarding whether the plaintiff shareholder and officer could bring the claims or whether they were corporate claims requiring a derivative suit and pre-suit demand.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and one of its partners in a $15 million action for accountant malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and racketeering, involving tax planning and financial statement work for two British Virgin Islands corporations that invested in U.S. real estate. There were issues regarding the membership of the Board of Directors, whether a pre-litigation demand was made on the Board, and the status of the claims given a revocation of the corporations’ operating status.

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ADA Compliance

  • Mediated ADA access cases based on inadequate handicap parking spaces and other access barriers within retail establishment.

Antitrust, Unfair Competition, Trade Practices

  • Handled a matter between U.S. and Chinese medical device manufacturers, relating to competing $100 million patent infringement, international sales contract and antitrust claims.
  • Handled an antitrust matter relating to bid-rigging conspiracy among electrical contractors on power plants.
  • Handled an antitrust price fixing class action alleging agreements between online travel companies and hotels regarding the retail prices for online hotel room reservations.
  • Handled a matter involving patent infringement claims and antitrust counterclaims between two developers of software solutions that enhance the performance and capabilities of IBM Cognos business intelligence software.
  • Handled an antitrust matter relating to alleged violations of the Clayton Act, Section 7, arising from a tender offer by a Canadian firm to the stockholders of a U.S. firm involving the cement and gypsum wallboard markets.
  • Handled a matter involving multiple antitrust class actions alleging national price fixing of a commodity food product.
  • Handled a matter relating to antitrust allegations regarding a joint venture between a Japanese firm and a United States firm in the computer products industry.
  • Handled a matter where insurance companies were alleged to have participated in a price-fixing conspiracy and group boycott directed at auto body repair shops.
  • Handled an antitrust class action matter where metal fabricating firms were alleged to have engaged in price fixing in California and Nevada.
  • Handled a matter involving allegations of price fixing in the corn products industry.
  • Handled an antitrust matter where a trans-ocean shipping carrier was alleged to have conspired with a union to boycott a non-union intra-coastal carrier.
  • Handled an antitrust class action matter alleging price fixing by paper manufacturer.
  • Handled an antitrust matter involving a merger of two poultry producers.
  • Handled a antitrust matter where a lift truck repair firm brought an action against distributors, alleging a group boycott and division of markets.
  • Handled many matters involving antitrust advice regarding product distribution arrangements, and various real estate transactions involving developers and financial institutions.

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Arbitration

  • Arbitrated claims concerning fees owed on a software licensing agreement in a clickwrap license including terms of service in a web application involving referrals of borrowers to lenders.
  • Arbitrated advertising technology dispute between on an online search company and a customer regarding a change of terms and conditions of use and service leading to advertisements being blocked from the platform.
  • Arbitrated two separate payment disputes between solar project development companies and builder/operator solar companies that sell electricity to the local electric utility. These disputes arose from completion and pricing issues in Membership Interest Purchase Agreements in which the builder/operators acquire the solar projects after interconnection agreements have been finalized with the local electric utility.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a customer who alleged that the employees of a communications company allowed hackers to change passwords on a mobile phone and thereafter stole significant assets from a separate cryptocurrency account.
  • Arbitrated an intra-corporate dispute among the officers and directors of a technology company, with allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, diversion of profits, excess compensation leading to the loss of valuable technology customers.
  • Arbitrated a dispute alleging theft and misuse of trade secrets and confidential information relating to a significant technology customer relationship.
  • Arbitrated two separate intra-corporate LLC disputes involving departing members and investment firms challenging restrictive non-compete and non-solicitation covenants and confidentiality clauses in the operating agreements under California Business and Professions Code § 16600.
  • Arbitrated a landlord-tenant commercial lease dispute regarding a cannabis dispensary, where the lease commenced at a time where only medical cannabis use was lawful, and lengthy expensive building improvements were made by the tenant. Eventually adult recreational use was approved by Prop 64 and embodied in a state statute and regulations. When the dispensary was ready to open, the tenant sought mandatory landlord consent to allow sales of adult recreational use cannabis, which was refused. The tenant brought claims for breach of lease, lost profits and damages relating to building improvements it claimed were the responsibility of the landlord, and the landlord brought claims for breach of lease for failing to pay rent during the pandemic and other claims.
  • Arbitrated injunctive claims by a franchisor against a former franchisee for criticizing, denigrating, disparaging and making derogatory and negative comments about the franchisor arising from disparaging podcasts, tweets, Facebook posts and other online media.
  • Arbitrated a matter between a veterinary services customer and communications services provider based on alleged faulty installation of a fiber optic phone and Internet system and failure to resolve subsequent Internet failures and pay off Claimant’s existing phone system lease as agreed.
  • Arbitrated action between the buyer and the seller of a dental products provider arising from an Asset Purchase Agreement against the seller based on misrepresentations, breaches of contract, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices arising from alleged inaccuracies in the seller’s disclosures and financials, and omissions of cash payments to employees for wages, overtime, benefits and commissions as well as wage increases, leading to overstatements of income and discretionary cash flow. There was a counterclaim by the seller for the unpaid balance of the purchase price and conversion of past due receivables which had not been purchased.
  • Arbitrated two separate disputes between attorneys and their clients based on non-payment of attorneys’ fees and costs arising from prior litigation matters.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a tax client and a tax preparer based on alleged negligence in filing offers in compromise to federal and state tax authorities leading to penalties imposed against the client.
  • Arbitrated claims brought by a gold and silver investor against an alleged financial advisor for breach of contract and fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation, false advertising and investment adviser fraud.
  • Arbitrated claims between an online product seller and an online selling platform for breach of the terms of service agreement and a counterclaim for fraud.
  • Arbitrated two separate matters involving breach of contract claims by personal injury law firms against a firm offering online advertising services and generation of prospective client leads.
  • Arbitrated claims between an online retailer and an online payment processor and a credit card company for allegedly improperly terminating the claimant under the terms of service agreement for alleged improper activity, with a counterclaim for alleged damages caused by the allegedly improper activity.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a Dealer and a Supplier concerning a channel partner agreement whereby the Dealer would generate solar installation contracts in a defined territory and provide them to the Supplier for installation, in exchange for a commission. The dispute focused on alleged violation of exclusive dealing and non-solicitation agreements by the Dealer leading to the Supplier withholding commissions payable to the Dealer.
  • Arbitrated claims between a franchisor and a franchisee arising from the sale and transfer of its franchises to a transferee, disputes over the amounts owed to the franchisor concerning unpaid royalties and payments for materials, and possible offsets and damages owed to the franchisee resulting from payment calculations and operations issues.
  • Arbitrated claims between a franchisee and a franchisor concerning alleged default and termination and effort by the franchisor to assume the franchisee’s leases and tenant improvements and a forced sale of furniture, fixtures and equipment, and a challenge by the franchisee to non-compete covenants.
  • Arbitrated a claim by members of an LLC against its managing member for alleged breach of the operating agreement, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment relating to improper payment of personal expenses and failure to pay rent on two store locations, requiring the members to make the LLC rent payments.
  • Arbitrated an action brought by a minority corporate shareholder against the two majority shareholders/directors/executives and the company for alleged breach of contract, accounting and fraud arising from alleged discrepancies in inventory and payments and failing to provide financial statements quarterly as required by a shareholder agreement.
  • Arbitrated an action brought by a minority ownership member of an LLC against the majority ownership managing member for alleged breach of the operating agreement and breach of fiduciary duty relating to alleged financial irregularities and an upcoming sale of the operations.
  • Arbitrated six personal injury, contract and construction arbitrations in a mandatory referral program in the Superior Courts.
  • Handled a matter where the buyer asserted $30 million claims for fraud, conversion and securities fraud in an arbitration where the buyer had acquired a data entry company through a stock purchase agreement for cash, a holdback payment and an earnout payment. The sellers remained in control of the company during the holdback and earnout periods. Seller made false financial entries, overbilled state and local government customers, and improperly diverted expenses.
  • Handled a matter involving an $8 million claim regarding a merger and acquisition transaction involving the sale of a computer software applications services business with a deferred purchase price agreement. The buyer sought rescission of the sale agreement in an arbitration based upon violation of the material adverse change and material adverse effects clauses in the asset purchase agreement and alleged misrepresentations involving projections and damages for alleged breach of non-solicitation agreements contained in the asset purchase agreement and related employment agreements. The seller sought enforcement of the asset purchase agreement and the payment of deferred consideration.
  • Handled a $5 million matter relating to a purchase of an information services company using a stock purchase agreement with a cash-down payment and deferred purchase price earnout provision conditioned on achieving certain EBIT targets. During an arbitration, the company established that the seller had created false invoices, engaged in fictitious transactions, made false entries in the company books and records, and made misrepresentations and omissions of material fact, thereby receiving fraudulently inflated overpayments.
  • Handled a matter involving a business process outsourcing company in a $5 million arbitration claim against a computer reseller arising from a disputed clawback amount in a stock purchase agreement. The dispute related to the meaning and interpretation of a clause relating to two-year revenue and gross profit projections, as well as whether various projections were objectively and subjectively reasonable.

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Banking & Finance

  • Mediated matter where plaintiff home borrower sued mortgage loan servicer for wrongful foreclosure and violation of homeowner bill of rights statute. Plaintiff application for a loan modification was still pending when the loan was foreclosed and sold at a trustee sale. Plaintiff sought damages for loss of equity in the home, lost wages and emotional distress.
  • Mediated matter where an owner of an insolvent bus company borrowed funds from defendant on a business line of credit secured by a third position deed of trust on his home. When a senior lender asserted a default, defendant asserted a default to protect its interest, whereupon owner filed for an injunction based on alleged wrongful foreclosure. The parties agreed to a workout extending a grace period and setting forth a repayment plan.
  • Mediated a wrongful foreclosure action where former homeowner alleged fraud, negligence, violation of foreclosure statute, unfair business practices, quiet title and cancellation of recorded instrument against loan servicing company.
  • Mediated action by homeowner against second position lender for failure to make payments on the loan, with borrower alleging lender failed to send monthly statements and default notices.
  • Handled a matter involving an SEC receiver and eight foreign banks and the cash custodian for a private equity fund which raised over $1 billion through a series of debt offerings through offshore special purpose entities, then looted the funds through multiple means. The matter was resolved with a high eight figure settlement.
  • Handled a matter involving 11 broker-dealers in a national class action seeking to compel the payment of interest on free credit balances and to enjoin account transfer practices that have been approved by the SEC, alleging that class damages exceeded $1 billion.
  • Handled a matter arising from the operation of a commercial loan underwriting, servicing and funding company involved in a Ponzi scheme fraud in the magnitude of hundreds of millions of dollars, related to piercing a sham trust and recover million in damages from several co-conspirators involved in real estate projects, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion and conspiracy.
  • Handled a matter involving a customer of a securities broker that was involved in a $50 million charitable gift annuity fraud scheme. A promoter transferred donated stocks and bonds into a brokerage account to liquidate them and rapidly transfer the funds out to other financial institutions. The promoter told the victims that the broker was managing their money, when it was not.
  • Handled related matters involving two broker-dealers, officers and directors, investors and a law firm arising from asset-backed promissory notes related to pools of ATMs that were to have been placed in bankruptcy proof special purpose entities, generating streams of income from swipe fees to pay the debt, which were eventually looted causing $30 million in losses.
  • Handled a matter where a mezzanine lender brought a real estate finance enforcement action against a real estate land developer and its managing members for breach of contract on loans and guaranties, as well as tort claims, and the developers counterclaimed alleging lender liability and oral agreements extending and modifying the loans.
  • Handled related matters in which a money transmitter was alleged to have engaged in aiding and abetting money laundering relating to cross border money transfers between persons in the U.S. and persons in several states in northern Mexico.
  • Handled a matter involving a large investor alleging securities fraud and negligent misrepresentation by a Los Angeles Koreatown bank and its officers and directors relating to alleged misleading financial statements and financial disclosures.
  • Handled a matter where national brokerage firm serving as a clearing broker brought an action against the founders of a failed local brokerage and one of its customers, alleging that the local firm had breached its contractual responsibilities and that its officers and directors had been negligent in failing to conduct financial due diligence on a margin account customer.
  • Handled a matter where investors alleged fraud and racketeering against a savings and loan association relating to alleged loan origination fraud involving securitized mobile home loans.
  • Handled a matter involving a securities broker which had promoted an Irish pharmaceutical company to its customers which suffered a major drop in stock price when several clinical trials produced unfavorable results.
  • Handled a matter between a brokerage house and a customer and her financial adviser involving trading by the financial adviser in stock index options with the customer alleging churning and unsuitable investments and seeking $5 million in damages.
  • Handled a matter related to a securities fraud and bank fraud scheme perpetrated by the chief executive of a federally-insured credit union.

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Breach of Contract

  • Arbitrated a matter between a veterinary services customer and communications services provider based on alleged faulty installation of a fiber optic phone and Internet system and failure to resolve subsequent Internet failures and pay off Claimant’s existing phone system lease as agreed.
  • Mediated matter where plaintiff sued for breach of contract for failure to pay licensing fees on encryption key software on a crypto-securities exchange platform. Defendant alleges that the program was buggy and never worked properly and would not load onto iPhones or Android phones.
  • Mediated contract action by equipment rental company for unpaid rental amounts against the officers and directors of a bankrupt construction company, based on alleged guaranties. One former officer-director sought indemnification from the others arising from the sale of his interests.
  • Mediated dispute between a buyer and seller over purchase agreement for business assets that was signed on 11/1/19 and ended when a bank denied an SBA loan application in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic . The parties disputed what caused the delays in the loan application process pushing it deeper into the pandemic downturnn. The parties were disputing who should receive the escrow funds that were subject to a liquidated damages clause.
  • Mediated action where a purchaser of a home asserts claims against seller arising from disclosures in purchase and sale agreement for fraud and breach of contract based on failure to disclose that a large 100 square foot detached garage was built without a permit and within a setback area from next door property. The town required the buyer to demolish the building and buyers plan to rebuild it outside of the setback, seeking recovery of demolition and construction costs.
  • Mediated a series of collection claims by a printing company against 5 related newspapers for unpaid printing invoices. The defendants cross claimed for breach of contract, fraud and concealment.
  • Mediated contract action by a contractor seeking final payment on construction work from owner-operators on a limited liability company on an alter ego theory of liability.
  • Mediated matter where two engineers formed an oral partnership to design and build blade server accessory parts for a computer company. After several years they tentatively agreed to part ways and terminate the partnership but disagreed on dissolution terms and also filed claims against each other for breach of contract and fiduciary duty.
  • Mediated contract action by plumbing contractor for unpaid amounts on plumbing work. General contractor alleged that plumber agreed to do the plumbing work for a fixed price and billed for a substantially larger amount and did not complete the plumbing work, for which homeowner hired a replacement contractor to finish the work and required the general contractor to pay for it.
  • Mediated matter where produce wholesaler sued two restaurants and their owner for failure to pay bills, resulting in breach of contract and account stated claim
  • Mediated action where employer sued office bookkeeper for embezzlement and failure to pay off a loan from her employer on a company automobile she purchased.
  • Mediated action arising from a purchase and sale agreement involving two adjacent office buildings with varying ownership wherein one of the owners allegedly represented that she had power of attorney for her husband who lived overseas. The purchaser made a substantial escrow deposit and thereafter the husband objected to the sale, leading to a litigation for specific performance and seeking damages for breach of contract, intentional misrepresentations and fraudulent inducement.
  • Mediated a wedding event cancellation after full payment of the event fees that was postponed several times during the COVID 19 pandemic, after which the wedding celebration took place at another venue, and the bride and groom sought a full refund.
  • Mediated a residential real estate purchase and sale agreement non-disclosure matter where several areas of construction without permits were not disclosed. The buyers contended that the value of the real estate received was less than the purchase price. The sellers contended that there were 30 offers on the property lead to any increase in price and that buyers mitigated when they sold the property with disclosures at a price at the top of the market.
  • Arbitrated two separate disputes between attorneys and their clients based on non-payment of attorneys’ fees and costs arising from prior litigation matters.
  • Mediated matter where plaintiff vehicle owner filed under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act for continuous problems relating to HVAC, exterior, electrical system and interior issues relating to leak problems in the panoramic sunroof.
  • Mediated a dispute arising from a real estate purchase and sale agreement for a commercial land parcel. The buyers tried to cancel, but the buyers made the first of two deposits and then failed to make the second deposit or complete the transaction. The buyers requested an open-ended extension while they closed another sale, but the buyers declined.
  • Mediated construction contract litigation in which a subcontractor walked off a multi-unit apartment complex renovation when general contractor fell behind in payments. Subcontractor sought payment for work performed while general sought damages for replacement subcontractor work and delay damages.
  • Mediated breach of contract claim brought by sports coach based on deductions from termination without cause payment sum due to new employment, allegedly violating prior representations.
  • Mediated family business and corporate governance dispute among various family members over management of freight delivery and broker businesses as well as breach of contract concerning sale of shares by father.
  • Mediated a Marvin type contract claim by a longtime girlfriend of a married man who allegedly made promises that he intended to convey to her certain residential real estate.
  • Mediated contract dispute arising from alleged oral contract to purchase auto insurance on a vintage auto, never placed nor confirmed, after the auto was destroyed in a fire sixteen months later.
  • Mediated breach of contract, bailment, negligence claims arising from fire damage to plumbing truck, causing business interruption, damage to plumbing tools, and loss of use of the vehicle damages.
  • Mediated breach of contract and concealment claim arising from purchase of a manufacturing facility in San Jose with alleged non-disclosure and concealment of status of certain large Asian customers and failure to disclose prior conviction of the seller.
  • Mediated contract dispute between creative advertising and social media company retail food company relating to retainer payments for marketing campaign, unreimbursed production costs and travel expenses.
  • Mediated breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims arising from terminated sale of restaurant business causing detrimental reliance damages to purchaser.
  • Mediated breach of contract and money paid claims by auto floor financing lender against auto dealers on auto loans and loan for rent.
  • Mediated breach of contract arising from plaintiffs’ loan to defendant of approximately $300,000 to fund two investment opportunities which were unsuccessful and caused the loan to go into default with principal and interest due.
  • Mediated contract action by vendor against property manager and office building owner. The owner disputed whether it had consented to the services as allegedly required by the property management agreement. The defendants also disputed whether the vendor could sue the principal and the agent at the same time.
  • Mediated implied contract and ejectment claim by one domestic partner against another seeking 50% ownership of residential property based on financial contribution to the purchase, when title to the property was in the names of the other partner and his parent.
  • Mediated breach of contract and fraud claim arising when plaintiff’s Dodge Viper race car developed clutch problems and was damaged after defendant replaced the engine. Plaintiff sought damages for loss of use over 425 days.
  • Mediated contract dispute where plaintiff sued defendants for malicious prosecution arising from previously dismissed prior contract and negligence action; defendant cross complained for negligent delay in producing architect and engineering plans for reconstruction of building damaged by fire, and elder abuse.
  • Mediated consignment dispute involving an artist who had consigned several pieces of art to a gallery for sale. Two pieces were damaged and claimant sought the fair market value of the pieces, while the gallery offered the agreed upon commission to the artist.
  • Handled a breach of contract and fraud matter between a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese solar panel manufacturer and an infrastructure lender relating to the development, construction and sale of two solar power plants for $18 million, with the dispute focused on the validity and meaning of a post purchase price adjustment formula tied to Libor.
  • Handled a breach of contract matter between a cardiologist and a manufacturer of a CT scanner that was not producing images of sufficient quality to be used for diagnostic purposes, with competing claims of product defect and improper usage and training of the operators, with $3 million in damages.
  • Handled a breach of contract matter between an inventor of new direct emulsion plate technology and a startup technology company concerning breach and rescission of an Intellectual Property Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  • Handled a matter involving an oil refiner charged with breach of contract, fraud, racketeering, negligent misrepresentation and improper procurement of information relating to a bid to design and construct a facility to recover hydrogen sulfide from a refinery.
  • Handled a matter involving the sale of mineral processing equipment, involving competing claims of breach of contract and fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of warranty.
  • Mediated an investment dispute arising from an oral joint venture to develop a retail meat market, which failed to lack of sufficient funding, leading to claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion and fraud.
  • Mediated a business divorce case arising from a failed restaurant venture leading to competing claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, embezzlement and theft.
  • Mediated a dispute between two partners regarding a breach of contract and accounting for costs and distribution of profits arising from residential purchase, renovation and sale.
  • Mediated an investment dispute where plaintiff alleged that defendants were the agents of a promoter, convicted later, who breached contracts and defrauded plaintiffs into making loans to him, allegedly secured by automobile titles, when in fact they were not and the funds were thereafter stolen.

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Cannabis Disputes

  • Mediated landlord-tenant commercial lease dispute regarding a warehouse to be used for cannabis growing and dispensary, where a short term oral lease and contemplated investment by landlord were terminated, leading to landlord claims for loss of rent and damages to premises and tenant claims for fraud and breach of contract, claiming millions in lost profits and out of pocket losses.
  • Mediated a dispute arising from a common interest association of a commercial use condominium and two owners operating cannabis grow and dispensary facilities, allegedly in violation of rules set forth in CC&Rs and local, state and federal laws, and also constituting a nuisance.
  • Arbitrated a landlord-tenant commercial lease dispute regarding a cannabis dispensary, where the lease commenced at a time where only medical cannabis use was lawful, and lengthy expensive building improvements were made by the tenant. Eventually adult recreational use was approved by Prop 64 and embodied in a state statute and regulations. When the dispensary was ready to open, the tenant sought mandatory landlord consent to allow sales of adult recreational use cannabis, which was refused. The tenant brought claims for breach of lease, lost profits and damages relating to building improvements it claimed were the responsibility of the landlord, and the landlord brought claims for breach of lease for failing to pay rent during the pandemic and other claims.

Class Actions & Derivative Suits

  • Handled a matter involving an SEC receiver and eight foreign banks and the cash custodian for a private equity fund which raised over $1 billion through a series of debt offerings through offshore special purpose entities, then looted the funds through multiple means. The matter was resolved with a high eight figure settlement.
  • Handled a matter involving 11 broker-dealers in a national class action seeking to compel the payment of interest on free credit balances and to enjoin account transfer practices that have been approved by the SEC, alleging that class damages exceeded $1 billion.
  • Mediated corporate governance and stockholder action against lender advancing employee wages involving inspection of books and records, derivative claims for truth in lending violations and financial irregularities, redemption of stock and damages related to unallocated stock options.
  • Handled a matter arising from the operation of a commercial loan underwriting, servicing and funding company involved in a Ponzi scheme fraud in the magnitude of hundreds of millions of dollars, related to piercing a sham trust and recover million in damages from several co-conspirators involved in real estate projects, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion and conspiracy.
  • Handled a class action, SEC Receiver and individual investor matter involving a customer of a securities broker that was involved in a $50 million charitable gift annuity fraud scheme. The customer/promoter transferred donated stocks and bonds into a brokerage account to liquidate them and rapidly transfer the funds out to other financial institutions. The promoter told the victims that the broker was managing their money, when it was not.
  • Handled a matter involving a large investor alleging securities fraud and negligent misrepresentation by a Los Angeles Koreatown bank and its officers and directors relating to alleged misleading financial statements and financial disclosures.
  • Mediated a derivative claim dispute among the owners, officers and directors of a closely held corporation, resulting in competing breach of fiduciary and derivative claims seeking removal of directors and damages arising from alleged usurpation of corporate business opportunities, and alleged wrongful salaries, bonuses, and extravagant expenses.
  • Handled related matters involving two broker-dealers, officers and directors, investors and a law firm arising from asset-backed promissory notes related to pools of ATMs that were to have been placed in bankruptcy proof special purpose entities, generating streams of income from swipe fees to pay the debt, which were eventually looted causing $30 million in losses.
  • Handled a matter where a mezzanine lender brought a real estate finance enforcement action against a real estate land developer and its managing members for breach of contract on loans and guaranties, as well as tort claims, and the developers counterclaimed alleging lender liability and oral agreements extending and modifying the loans.
  • Mediated a minority shareholder action against controlling shareholder in an Indian Ocean resort, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related claims based on disappointing financial results, which the controlling shareholder argued were based on external factors.
  • Handled related matters in which a money transmitter was alleged to have engaged in aiding and abetting money laundering relating to cross border money transfers between persons in the U.S. and persons in several states in northern Mexico.
  • Handled a matter where investors alleged fraud and racketeering against a savings and loan association relating to alleged loan origination fraud involving securitized mobile home loans.
  • Handled a matter involving a securities broker which had promoted an Irish pharmaceutical company to its customers which suffered a major drop in stock price when several clinical trials produced unfavorable results.
  • Mediated investment related breach of contract and concealment claim arising from purchase of a manufacturing facility in San Jose with alleged non-disclosure and concealment of status of certain large Asian customers and failure to disclose prior conviction of the seller.
  • Handled a matter between a brokerage house and a customer and her financial adviser involving trading by the financial adviser in stock index options with the customer alleging churning and unsuitable investments and seeking $5 million in damages.
  • Handled a class action and other related actions involving an AmLaw 100 firm brought by investors who purchased real estate investment products from a real estate developer and promoter, alleging legal malpractice, securities fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation. Total investors losses exceeded $900 million.
  • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
  • Handled a bondholder class action securities matter involving an electric utility and the indenture trustee of certain first mortgage bonds arising out of the redemption of certain bonds at par value which the bondholders claimed should have been redeemed at a premium.
  • Handled several related claims in a $70 million matter involving a surplus lines insurance carrier which issued financial guarantee bonds related to the financing of real estate limited partnerships, leading to fraud and racketeering claims by investors, debt enforcement actions, securities claims, and litigation with bond lenders, reinsurers, and professionals.
  • Mediated internal corporate dispute among the owners, officers and directors of a closely held corporation, resulting in competing breach of fiduciary and derivative claims seeking removal of directors and damages arising from alleged usurpation of corporate business opportunities, and alleged wrongful salaries, bonuses, and extravagant expenses.
  • Mediated corporate governance and stockholder action involving inspection of books and records, derivative claims for truth in lending violations and financial irregularities, redemption of stock and damages related to unallocated stock options.
  • Mediated derivative lawsuit against a religious non-profit corporation regarding various corporate governance procedures including board membership and elections, accounting controls and other internal controls.
  • Handled a matter involving 11 broker-dealers in a national class action seeking to compel the payment of interest on free credit balances and to enjoin account transfer practices that have been approved by the SEC, alleging that class damages exceeded $1 billion.
  • Handled a class action and other related actions involving an AmLaw 100 firm brought by investors who purchased real estate investment products, alleging legal malpractice, securities fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation. Total investors losses exceeded $900 million.
  • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
  • Handled an antitrust price fixing class action alleging agreements between online travel companies and hotels regarding the retail prices for online hotel room reservations.
  • Handled a derivative claim matter involving an ocean marine service company arising from a settlement with the U.S. government of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Claim.
  • Handled a bondholder class action securities matter involving an electric utility and the indenture trustee of certain first mortgage bonds arising out of the redemption of certain bonds at par value which the bondholders claimed should have been redeemed at a premium.
  • Handled a matter involving multiple antitrust class actions alleging national price fixing of a commodity food product.
  • Handled an antitrust class action matter where metal fabricating firms were alleged to have engaged in price fixing in California and Nevada.
  • Handled an antitrust class action matter alleging price fixing by a paper manufacturer.

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Communications

  • Mediated defamation actions between two Vietnamese socialites in San Jose arising from newspaper quotes, social media posts and oral statements.
  • Mediated defamation, libel per se and malicious prosecution claims arising from alleged false statements made by defendant to plaintiff’s employer and the FBI which allegedly caused plaintiff to be terminated and face unsuccessful criminal prosecution.
  • Mediated a malicious prosecution action brought by former spouse against former spouse based on underlying lawsuit alleging that plaintiff infected her with a sexually transmitted disease, which had resulted in an adverse jury verdict after 22 minutes of deliberation.

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Mediated a minority shareholder action against controlling shareholder in an Indian Ocean resort, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related claims based on disappointing financial results, which the controlling shareholder argued were based on external factors.
  • Mediated a trade secret theft and breach of fiduciary case arising from diversion of customers, corporate opportunities, accounts receivable, inventory and equipment with cross complaint for trade libel.
  • Mediated an injunctive and declaratory relief action to void a loan and deed of trust provided to defendant by plaintiffs’ wife arising from a fraud and Ponzi scheme in which defendant was a victim.
  • Mediated CA Lemon Law action under Song Beverly Act involving purchase of a Dodge Durango involving allegedly defective Totally Integrated Power Module.
  • Mediated investment related breach of contract and concealment claim arising from purchase of a manufacturing facility in San Jose with alleged non-disclosure and concealment of status of certain large Asian customers and failure to disclose prior conviction of the seller.
  • Handled a matter arising from the operation of a commercial loan underwriting, servicing and funding company involved in a Ponzi scheme fraud in the magnitude of hundreds of millions of dollars, related to piercing a sham trust and recover million in damages from several co-conspirators involved in real estate projects, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion and conspiracy.
  • Handled several related claims in a $70 million matter involving a surplus lines insurance carrier which issued financial guarantee bonds related to the financing of real estate limited partnerships, leading to fraud and racketeering claims, debt enforcement actions, securities claims, and litigation with bond lenders, reinsurers, and professionals.
  • Handled a complex adversary proceeding, arising in a bankruptcy of an international construction company, between secured and unsecured creditors and surety companies, involving issues relating to the priority of a DIP loan, equitable subordination, accountings, restitution, breach of trust, constructive trust and equitable lien claims.
  • Handled a matter where a secured creditor was attempting to recover $60 million of mortgage-backed securities owned by a bankruptcy debtor, a real estate investment trust.
  • Handled an action brought by a Commissioner of Insurance against a title insurance company in a $30 million action alleging a beach of escrow, fraud and racketeering arising out of a failed recapitalization of a property and casualty insurer.
  • Handled a matter where a mezzanine lender brought a real estate finance enforcement action against a real estate land developer and its managing members for breach of contract on loans and guaranties, as well as tort claims, and the developers counterclaimed alleging lender liability and oral agreements extending and modifying the loans.
  • Handled a matter involving an alleged violation of a U.S. export license involving the sale of military technology to a foreign government.
  • Handled a matter involving the sale of engineering services from a U.S. manufacturer to an Iranian customer in connection with oil field valves, in violation of the Iran boycott.
  • Handled a matter where a national brokerage firm serving as a clearing broker brought an action against the founders of a failed local brokerage and one of its customers, alleging that the local firm had breached its contractual responsibilities and that its officers and directors had been negligent in failing to conduct financial due diligence on a margin account customer.
  • Handled related matters in which a money transmitter was alleged to have engaged in aiding and abetting money laundering relating to cross border money transfers between persons in the U.S. and persons in several states in northern Mexico.
  • Handled related matters in which health care reimbursement firms alleged that several medical practices engaged in systematic overcharging.
  • Handled a multimillion dollar cost recovery action, based on a breach of contract, product liability and CERCLA claims, to recover the costs of cleanup of hazardous wastes and costs of defense of state and federal proceedings.
  • Handled a matter involving conspiracy, fraud, securities fraud and misapplication of funds by officers of an interstate motor carrier.
  • Handled multiple related cases involving kickbacks by silicone foam subcontractors to employees of an electrical contractor; kickback and embezzlement scheme perpetrated by officers of a fire protection system contractor; and gratuities provided to a power company deputy business manager by an electrical contractor and one of its officers.
  • Handled a matter relating to food stamp trafficking by retail grocery stores.
  • Handled a matter involving an arson and extortion scheme.
  • Mediated an investment dispute where plaintiff alleges that defendants were the agents of a promoter, convicted later, who breached contracts and defrauded plaintiffs into making loans to him, allegedly secured by automobile titles, when in fact they were not and the funds were thereafter stolen.
  • Mediated corporate claims brought by representatives on behalf of a bankrupt corporation against defendants for breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, conversion, fraudulent transfers and Civil RICO arising from approximately $3 million of transfers from the corporation.

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Computer Software Disputes

  • Mediated a software licensing dispute regarding encryption software for a new proposed crypto-securities exchange that would operate in part on iOS and Android mobile phones.
  • Mediated a cryptocurrency and Blockchain dispute involving competing claims between former employees and startup developer of Blockchain software and infrastructure arising from alleged failure of the developer to pay compensation and allocate tokens from an Initial Coin Offering.
  • Arbitrated claims between an online product seller and an online selling platform for breach of the terms of service agreement and a counterclaim for fraud.
  • Arbitrated claims between an online retailer and an online payment processor and a credit card company for allegedly improperly terminating the claimant under the terms of service agreement for alleged improper activity.
  • Arbitrated claims concerning fees owed on a software licensing agreement in a clickwrap license in a web application involving referrals of borrowers to lenders.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice action allegedly arising from negligent drafting of claim language in a cybersecurity patent, allegedly leading to loss of royalties from private cloud providers.
  • Handled a matter between U.S. and Chinese medical device manufacturers, relating to competing $100 million patent infringement involving a software algorithm, international sales contract and antitrust claims, including extensive patent, antitrust and contract damages analysis.
  • Handled a matter involving patent infringement claims and antitrust counterclaims, including patent and antitrust damages analysis, between two developers of software solutions that enhance the performance and capabilities of IBM Cognos business intelligence software.
  • Handled an antitrust price fixing class action alleging agreements between online travel companies and hotels regarding the retail prices for online hotel room reservations.
  • Handled a matter involving a $100 million accounting malpractice action against a national accounting firm including errors in the installation of a major Oracle ERP system impacting financial statements, customer relationship management, and supply chain management.
  • Handled a matter involving an $8 million claim regarding a merger and acquisition transaction involving the sale of an Oracle ERP computer software applications services business with a deferred purchase price agreement.
  • Handled a matter relating to antitrust allegations regarding a joint venture between a Japanese firm and a United States firm in the computer products industry.

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Construction, Construction Defect

  • Mediated matter where woodwork subcontractor walked off a multi-unit apartment complex renovation when general contractor fell behind in payments. Subcontractor sought payment for work performed. General compactor sought damages for replacement contractor work and delay damages.
  • Mediated matter involving landscaping contractor dispute with homeowner over whether the landscaper terminated the contract on the eve of performance, triggering termination clause in the contract, requiring the hiring of a substitute contractor at a much higher price, leading to damage claim.
  • Mediated contract action by plumbing contractor for unpaid amounts on plumbing work. General contractor alleged that plumber agreed to do the plumbing work for a fixed price and billed for a substantially larger amount and did not complete the plumbing work, for work homeowner hired a replacement contractor two finish the work and required the general contractor to pay for it.
  • Mediated matter where on the advice of a neighbor, plaintiff homeowner hired a handyman to do interior and exterior renovation work. When the handyman suggested that some projects required a licensed contractor and permit, the homeowner told the handyman to proceed with the work. The handyman purchased all materials for cash and was paid on the basis of receipts provided. When the work was complete, the homeowner claimed that all material and labor costs had to be refunded because the handyman did not have a contractor license.
  • Mediated construction contract litigation in which a subcontractor walked off a multi-unit apartment complex renovation when general contractor fell behind in payments. Subcontractor sought payment for work performed while general sought damages for replacement subcontractor work and delay damages.
  • Mediated a construction litigation dispute resulting from a front-loaded contract, and abandonment by contractor, requiring replacement subcontractors and defective work.
  • Mediated construction defect case involving custom wood flooring throughout home which developed cracking and buckling after allegedly defective installation.
  • Mediated construction defect and consumer fraud case involving demolition and reconstruction of residence, with claims that work was performed by an unlicensed contractor, violations of Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Business and Professions Code §17200.
  • Mediated construction defect case where general contractor ordered concrete for retaining wall with a specification of 4000 PSI which failed the specification when delivered, and the wall had to be extensively repaired.
  • Mediated breach of contract, bad faith and punitive damages claim brought by homeowners against their insurance company arising from alleged underpayment for repairs, replacement of clothing and furniture and alternative living expenses arising from water damage.
  • Mediated construction defect case involving a 137 unit condo complex in Milpitas; the driving issue was related to excessive humidity inside the units, allegedly caused by re-flashed windows, an elastomeric paint applied to exterior stucco, and window product failures, and the necessity for repairs and replacement work in excess of $10,000,000.
  • Mediated construction defect claim arising from alleged breach of contract and negligence in the installation of a home electronic automation and control system in a large estate.
  • Mediated breach of contract claim on retail business renovation, forcing work to be re-done and causing losses due to missed opening while rent was accruing.

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Corporate Governance Disputes

  • Arbitrated two separate intra-corporate LLC disputes involving departing members and investment firms challenging restrictive non-compete and non-solicitation covenants and confidentiality clauses in the operating agreements under California Business and Professions Code § 16600.
  • Arbitrated an intra-corporate dispute among the officers and directors of a technology company, with allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, diversion of profits, excess compensation leading to the loss of valuable technology customers.
  • Mediated matter where Vice President of Business Development and Director of a startup company sued the CEO, also a Director, for failure to pay wages to Plaintiff, who asserted alter ego liability. The Defendant had advanced hundreds of thousands of personal funds to keep the company afloat but it eventually became insolvent.
  • Mediated dispute between a limited liability manufacturing company member and member managers over corporate strategy, marketing and growth and also compensation payments.
  • Mediated a dispute among four member-managers of two related limited liability companies, one of which owned a building, the other of which operated a business and leased the building. Disputes arose concerning the calculation and payment of rent and offsets, which allegedly lead to overpayment of rent. Two of the member managers sued the others for repayment of overpayment and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Mediated a minority shareholder action against controlling shareholder in an Indian Ocean resort, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related claims based on disappointing financial results, which the controlling shareholder argued were based on external factors.
  • Mediated a corporate governance dispute among the board members of a nonprofit religious corporation, concerning disputed bylaws, disputes concerning the removal of certain board members, accounting for donations, and transparency measures regarding advisory committees.
  • Mediated internal corporate dispute among the owners, officers and directors of a closely held corporation, resulting in competing breach of fiduciary and derivative claims seeking removal of directors and damages arising from alleged usurpation of corporate business opportunities, and alleged wrongful salaries, bonuses, and extravagant expenses.
  • Mediated family business and corporate governance dispute among various family members over management of freight delivery and broker businesses as well as breach of contract concerning sale of shares by father.
  • Mediated corporate governance and stockholder action involving inspection of books and records, derivative claims for truth in lending violations and financial irregularities, redemption of stock and damages related to unallocated stock options.
  • Mediated derivative lawsuit against a religious non-profit corporation regarding various corporate governance procedures including board membership and elections, accounting conrols and other internal controls.
  • Handled related matters arising from the settlements of a derivative claim for no consideration on the eve of a savings bank holding company bankruptcy arising from junk bond losses and failed consumer loan portfolios, causing over $100 million in damages, leading to litigation against former officers and directors, attorneys and derivative plaintiffs. There were two separate legal malpractice claims made against the company’s legal advisor and its litigation counsel in the derivative action. The matters were resolved through settlements totaling $55 million.
  • Handled a derivative claim matter involving an ocean marine service company arising from a settlement with the U.S. government of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Claim.
  • Handled a matter involving a mismanagement claim by a minority shareholder against the corporate directors which had been filed without a prior shareholder demand on the board.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and one of its partners in a $15 million action for accountant malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and racketeering, involving tax planning and financial statement work for two British Virgin Islands corporations that invested in U.S. real estate. There were issues regarding the membership of the Board of Directors, whether a pre-litigation demand was made on the Board, and the status of the claims given a revocation of the corporations’ operating status.
  • Handled a matter involving a national accounting firm and two of its partners in a $15 million lawsuit arising out of the failure of a Scottsdale life insurance company and an associated insurance service agency. The plaintiff alleged accountant malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and interference with contractual relations, claiming that there were audit failures and accounting errors. There were significant corporate governance issues regarding whether the plaintiff shareholder and officer could bring the claims or whether they were corporate claims requiring a derivative suit and pre-suit demand.
  • Handled several matters which included advice to directors, controlling shareholders, venture capital firms and investment bankers concerning their fiduciary duties in a sale of the business or a merger and acquisition transaction.
  • Mediated a Board of Directors dispute over conduct of single director of an association, leading to notice of expulsion of membership and threatened litigation for corporate code statutory violations and breach of fiduciary duty.

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Cybersecurity and Data Breach Issues

  • Handled a matter involving misappropriation of trade secrets and business torts relating to employee raiding in the computer network security industry, resulting from a computer intrusion.
  • Mediated a legal malpractice action allegedly arising from negligent drafting of claim language in a cybersecurity patent, allegedly leading to loss of royalties from private cloud providers.
  • Counseled many clients on response activity after data breaches.
  • Made presentations to many clients on protecting critical IP against data intrusion into computer networks and the cloud.
  • Mediated a software licensing dispute regarding encryption software for a new proposed crypto-securities exchange that would operate in part on iOS and Android mobile phones.
  • Mediated a cryptocurrency and Blockchain dispute involving competing claims between former employees and startup developer of Blockchain software and infrastructure arising from alleged failure of the developer to pay compensation and allocate tokens from an Initial Coin Offering.
  • Arbitrated claims between an online product seller and an online selling platform for breach of the terms of service agreement and a counterclaim for fraud.
  • Moderating and Presenting a CLE program “Practical Tips on Privacy Law and Cybersecurity” on September 29, 2021.
  • Presented 2019 CLE program “The Ethics of Lawyering in a Cyberspace World” with extensive discussion of cybersecurity issues.
  • Co-Author, “Cybersecurity in the Pharma, Biotech and Medical Devices Industries: Protecting Your IP and Confidential Information in Cyberspace”, Foley & Lardner Guidebook, Business of Personalized Medicine Summit, 2017
  • Co-Author, “Cyber Security and Cyber Risk Issues for Boards of Directors”, ABA CLE 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Protecting Corporate Trade Secrets in a Digital Network Environment,” 1 Privacy & Data Security Law Journal 56 (December 2005).

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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Disputes

  • Mediated matter where plaintiff sued for breach of contract for failure to pay licensing fees on encryption key software on a crypto-securities exchange platform. Defendant alleges that the program was buggy and never worked properly and would not load onto iPhones or Android phones.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a customer who alleged that the employees of a communications company allowed hackers to change passwords on a mobile phone and thereafter stole significant assets from a separate cryptocurrency account.
  • Mediated cryptocurrency and Blockchain dispute involving competing claims between former employees and startup developer of Blockchain software and infrastructure arising from alleged failure of the developer to pay compensation and allocate tokens from an Initial Coin Offering. The parties had competing claims for copyright infringement of a software program, promissory estoppel, conversion, theft and unlawful computer intrusion.

Debtor-Creditor Disputes

  • Mediated a series of collection claims by a printing company against 5 related newspapers for unpaid printing invoices. The defendants cross claimed for breach of contract, fraud and concealment.
  • Mediated contract action by a contractor seeking final payment on construction work from owner-operators on a limited liability company on an alter ego theory of liability.
  • Mediated commercial lessor claim against Director and owner of a commercial lessee for unpaid back rent prior to unlawful detainer action and voluntary termination of premises, and for balance of rent over the term of the lease, on an alter ego theory because the corporate tenant had entered bankruptcy.
  • Mediated matter where tax accountant sued former client for allegedly unpaid fees and former client alleged irregularities in the billing statements including the method of billing and application of payments to bills.
  • Mediated matter where produce wholesaler sued two restaurants and their owner for failure to pay bills, resulting in breach of contract and account stated claim.
  • Mediated a matter where employer sued office bookkeeper for embezzlement and failure to pay off a loan from her employer on a company automobile she purchased.
  • Mediated a debtor-creditor action for breach of contract and written guaranty on repayment of a master revolving note plus default interest and attorney’s fees.
  • Mediated a debtor-creditor collection action by attorney for unpaid fees in a preliminary injunction proceeding.
  • Mediated creditor claims by a brother for damages and a judgment lien against a revocable trust and the estate of his sister based on failure to pay balloon payment on sale of real estate.
  • Mediated collection action based on payment agreement by employee who had embezzled $175,000.
  • Mediated breach of contract arising from plaintiffs’ loan to defendant of approximately $300,000 to fund two investment opportunities which were unsuccessful and caused the loan to go into default with principal and interest due.
  • Mediated breach of contract and guaranty claims by a trade vendor against guarantor arising from publishing services.
  • Mediated a breach of contract vendor claim involving drone optical device components, prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees.
  • Mediated negligent misrepresentation claim by contractor/owner against a subcontractor for specialized stucco work at a fixed price. Subcontractor abandoned the project forcing the plaintiff to retain a third party to install inferior stucco at a higher price.
  • Handled a matter where a mezzanine lender brought a real estate finance enforcement action against a real estate land developer and its managing members for breach of contract on loans and guaranties, as well as tort claims, and the developers counterclaimed alleging lender liability and oral agreements extending and modifying the loans.
  • Handled a complex adversary proceeding, arising in a bankruptcy of an international construction company, between secured and unsecured creditors and surety companies, involving issues relating to the priority of a DIP loan, equitable subordination, accountings, restitution, breach of trust, constructive trust and equitable lien claims.
  • Handled a matter where a secured creditor was attempting to recover $60 million of mortgage-backed securities owned by a bankruptcy debtor, a real estate investment trust.
  • Mediated an investment dispute where plaintiff alleges that Defendants were the agents of a promoter, convicted later, who breached contracts and defrauded plaintiffs into making loans to him, allegedly secured by automobile titles, when in fact they were not and the funds were thereafter stolen.
  • Mediated a creditor's action against a subchapter S corporation to hold it liable for judgment against sole stockholder.

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Employment

  • Mediated matter where chief technology officer whistleblower alleged that he was terminated by defendant after raising issues and concerns about allegedly improper billing practices. He sought back and front pay, emotional distress damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • Mediated alleged violation of a non-solicitation agreement by a client which terminated a servicing agreement and later hired employees of the service provider which had approached the client seeking employment.
  • Mediated matter where a sports coach at a junior college sued for disability discrimination, failure to engage in. Interactive process, and failure to accommodate based on herniated disk injured at work. The college required that he drive the team bus, often over long distances. He was eventually terminated due to damage to an athletic field by his team.
  • Mediated a DFEH claim for national origin discrimination brought by a night shift janitor who was terminated for spending time in security monitoring room instead of performing his responsibilities.
  • Mediated appeal from award to worker by the State Labor Commissioner against HVAC construction contractor for failure to provide mandatory rest breaks, leading to rest break premium pay, interest and waiting time penalties.
  • Mediated whistleblower and disability discrimination claims brought by a doctor against a county hospital. Her conditional privileges were extended from one year to two years. Subsequently she injured her leg and alleged that her employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations, resulting in constructive discharge.
  • Mediated employment breach of contract and patient safety whistleblower claims brought by terminated pediatric physician specializing in child abuse cases against a county hospital.
  • Mediated a wrongful termination dispute brought by a female Global HR Director against a US based multinational company. Plaintiff alleged, Equal Pay Act substantive and retaliation claims, gender discrimination, whistleblower and public policy Tameny claims.
  • Mediated a wrongful termination dispute brought by long term manager who sued for wrongful termination based on alleged retaliation in violation of the California Family Rights Act.
  • Mediated an employment dispute alleging disability discrimination, retaliatory termination after a complaint to HR, and fraudulent inducement of employment.
  • Mediated breach of contract claim brought by college sports coach based on deductions from termination without cause payment sum due to new employment, allegedly violating prior representations.
  • Mediated alleged patient safety whistleblower claims by a doctor against county medical center for wrongful termination and failure to provide reasonable accommodations post injury.
  • Mediated action by office manager against firm which terminated her and its owner, alleging discrimination based on sex and race hostile work environment, quid pro quo sexual harassment and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Mediated cryptocurrency and Blockchain dispute involving competing claims between former employees and startup developer of Blockchain software and infrastructure arising from alleged failure of the developer to pay compensation and allocate tokens from an Initial Coin Offering. The parties had competing claims for copyright infringement of a software program, promissory estoppel, wage claims, conversion, theft and unlawful computer intrusion.
  • Mediated post-verdict in wrongful termination whistleblower lawsuit by child psychiatrist at a county medical center which resulted in a $1.5 million verdict.
  • Mediated employment action by county financial executive alleging whistleblower retaliation, discrimination, and harassment.
  • Mediated wage hour claims on appeal from Labor Commissioner ruling concerning unpaid overtime, minimum wage violations, meal and rest break violations, inaccurate itemized wage statement, sick leave violation.
  • Mediated battery claim filed by one employee of a retail establishment against husband of co-owner. There was a dispute whether release in a prior Labor Code action against the establishment and spouse covered this matter.
  • Mediated claims by a former employee against chiropractor for sexual assault, battery, harassment and constructive wrongful discharge.
  • Mediated a negligence claim against national youth soccer association for failure to conduct background check concerning a coach who sexually abused a minor female soccer player over a 10 month period, alleging that the background check would have revealed a disqualifying domestic violence conviction.
  • Mediated whistleblower retaliation alleged wrongful termination lawsuit by child psychiatrist at a regional medical center, with the defendants alleging that he was terminated for valid independent cause reasons.
  • Mediated a wage-hour class action and PAGA action by commissioned traveling salespersons alleging damages for under-reimbursement of travel expenses through incorrect method, wage stub violations and failure to provide properly completed commission agreements, plus Labor Code and PAGA penalties.
  • Mediated a sexual harassment, constructive discharge and retaliation claim brought by male business development manager against female business owner.
  • Mediated employment action involving disputed sales commissions allegedly owed to an EU citizen arising from international sales of computer services in China and Europe. Plaintiff alleged that defendant had fraudulently changed commission schedules and wrongfully terminated him to avoid paying the commissions.
  • Mediated wage hour claims against a retail business for failure to pay for overtime, meal breaks and rest breaks, failure to provide pay stubs.
  • Mediated conversion claim by business owner against his office manager for embezzlement of funds and cross complaint for sexual harassment based on unwanted sexual advances.
  • Handled multiple matters involving claims of employee violations of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and alleged theft of trade secrets.
  • Handled a matter involving a roofing contractor alleged to have made systematic underpayments to the state workers’ compensation insurance fund.
  • Handled a matter involving a federal qui tam false claims and state law retaliation claims action by a whistleblower alleging $22 million in damages and penalties against a defense subcontractor, involving alleged irregularities in time entries and accounting relating to a large U.S. Department of Homeland Security project.
  • Mediated a former employee claim for underpayment of wages based on improper rounding down of hours over three years by floral nursery and interruption of meal times twice per week during the same period, plus penalties.
  • Mediated a former employee claim alleging that her former restaurant employer unlawfully terminated her due to her pregnancy, failed to pay overtime, provide meal and rest breaks, provide proper wage statements, and was liable for waiting time penalties, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees.
  • Mediated former office manager employee claims against professional firm for disability discrimination, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to pay overtime premiums, waiting time penalties, and failure to provide accurate earnings statements.
  • Mediated former restaurant employees claims in a trial de novo on appeal from Labor Commissioner award concerning unpaid overtime, minimum wage, meal breaks, rest breaks, pay stub violations, waiting time payments, liquidated damages, and prejudgment interest.

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Energy and Utilities

  • Arbitrated two separate payment disputes between solar project development companies and builder/operator solar companies that sell electricity to the local electric utility. These disputes arose from completion and pricing issues in Membership Interest Purchase Agreements in which the builder/operators acquire the solar projects after interconnection agreements have been finalized with the local electric utility.
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a Dealer and a Supplier concerning a channel partner agreement whereby the Dealer would generate solar installation contracts in a defined territory and provide them to the Supplier for installation, in exchange for a commission. The dispute focused on alleged violation of exclusive dealing and non-solicitation agreements by the Dealer leading to the Supplier withholding commissions payable to the Dealer.
  • Handled a breach of contract and fraud matter between a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese solar panel manufacturer and an infrastructure lender relating to the development, construction and sale of two solar power plants for $18 million, with the dispute focused on the validity and meaning of a post purchase price adjustment formula tied to Libor.
  • Handled several breach of contract claims involving several solar panel manufacturers relating to solar power plant projects around the United States that had been terminated or otherwise not completed for a variety of reasons, with competing claims.
  • Handled a matter concerning to the final contract price of a solar power project transaction, with allegations regarding various product defects in the solar panels.
  • Handled a matter involving improper payments by silicone foam subcontractors to employees of an electrical contractor during nuclear power plant construction.
  • Handled a matter involving improper payments by subcontractors to officers of a fire protection system contractor during nuclear power plant construction.
  • Handled a matter involving improper payments provided to a power company deputy business manager by an electrical contractor and one of its officers during nuclear power plant construction.
  • Handled a Sherman § 1 antitrust matter relating to a bid-rigging conspiracy among electrical contractors on multiple nuclear power plants during construction.
  • Handled a bondholder class action securities matter involving an electric utility and the indenture trustee of first mortgage bonds on a nuclear power plant complex arising out of the redemption of the bonds at par value which the bondholders claimed should have been redeemed at a premium.
  • Handled a coal supply contract dispute between the four co-owners of a coal fired electric power plant and a coal company concerning includable costs in a coal supply agreement arising from a large coal mine.

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Environmental

  • Handled a multimillion dollar cost recovery action, based on a breach of contract, product liability and CERCLA claims, to recover the costs of cleanup of hazardous wastes and costs of defense of state and federal proceedings.
  • Handled a matter relating to an airbag manufacturer relating to the alleged storage, transportation and disposal of 1,500 tanker trucks of hazardous wastes.
  • Handled a matter relating to an airbag concerning an industrial accident that led to the death of one worker and severe injuries to another.
  • Handled a matter involving a metals recycling company and its environmental managers related to Clean Air Act violations.
  • Handled a matter involving a regional cement manufacturer relating to storage and disposal of hazardous wastes.

    Family Business Disputes, Business Divorce Cases

    • Mediated a multi-generational family partnership dispute concerning commercial real estate on a long-term lease to a commercial retail tenant. Some partners desired a dissolution or buyout while others preferred the income from the long-term lease with a sale at the end of the lease term.
    • Mediated family business dispute involving a mobile home park in San Jose, where one group owned the land and improvements while the other group owned the rental business and had mobile home leases based on a 50% tenancy in common. The land-owning group sued for a portion of the rental proceeds for on various real property law grounds.
    • Mediated family business and corporate governance dispute among various family members over management of freight delivery and broker businesses as well as breach of contract concerning sale of shares by father.
    • Mediated family business dispute between a brother and a sister and her two daughters arising from a loan that was used as a capital contribution to a third party, later repaid with the proceeds purchasing a home that was ultimately transferred to the daughters, alleged to be a fraudulent transfer.
    • Mediated creditor claims by a brother for damages and judgment lien against a revocable trust and the estate of his sister based on failure to pay balloon payment on sale of real estate.
    • Mediated family business dispute between a brother and a sister and her two daughters arising from a loan that was used as a capital contribution to a third party, later repaid with the proceeds purchasing a home that was ultimately transferred to the daughters, alleged to be a fraudulent transfer.
    • Mediated business divorce case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, accounting and partition among siblings involving a family business established by their deceased father, in a trust soon to expire which would establish them as tenants in common.
    • Mediated business divorce between two sisters who co-owned a multi-family rental real estate as reflected in deeds. They dispute the percentage ownership of the property, the disposition of proceeds from a refinancing of the property, the receipt of rent and payment of expenses over an 18 year period. The claims were for fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and resulting and constructive trust.
    • Mediated business divorce dispute concerning a family owned retail business, alleging dissolution, accounting, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
    • Mediated family business dispute arising from an alleged working capital loan and note which defendant claimed was a sham only requiring interest payments but no repayment of principal.
    • Mediated family business dispute involving partition claim by two sisters against their sister on a family business rental property and cross complaint for quiet title, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Mediated a business divorce case alleging fraud and breach of contract arising from incomplete investment in a retail business, with the investor taking over the operations but failing to complete the purchase and close escrow. The business was taken back and resold. Both parties brought claims seeking return of funds.
    • Mediated a business divorce dispute concerning a family owned retail business, alleging dissolution, accounting, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
    • Mediated a business divorce based on breach of contract and unfair business practices relating to aborted investment in a retail business, and a breached termination agreement.
    • Mediated a business divorce case arising from a failed restaurant venture leading to competing claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, embezzlement and theft.

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    Franchise

    • Arbitrated claims between a franchisor and a franchisee arising from the sale and transfer of its franchises to a transferee, disputes over the amounts owed to the franchisor concerning unpaid royalties and payments for materials, and possible offsets and damages owed to the franchisee resulting from payment calculations and operations issues.
    • Arbitrated claims between a franchisee and a franchisor concerning alleged default and termination and effort by the franchisor to assume the franchisee’s leases and tenant improvements and a forced sale of furniture, fixtures and equipment, and a challenge by the franchisee to non-compete covenants.
    • Arbitrated injunctive claims by a franchisor against a former franchisee for criticizing, denigrating, disparaging and making derogatory and negative comments about the franchisor arising from disparaging podcasts, tweets, Facebook posts and other online media.
    • Handled franchising dispute involving retail food restaurants alleging violations of the Lanham Act, trademark and service mark infringement and breaches of franchising agreements.

    Healthcare

    • Mediated a medical billing dispute between a health care provider hospital and a county health plan involving disputed claims reflecting lack of authorization, emergency room and patient stabilization charges, duplicate billing of bundled charges and disputes over disallowed charges by a hospital bill audit firm.
    • Mediated a health care dispute arising from billing for skilled nursing facilities for which the parties did not have a written agreement.
    • Mediated medical malpractice case arising from a Whipple surgical procedure on decedent’s pancreas which resulted in excessive bleeding and death.
    • Mediated product liability wrongful death case based on defective design, manufacturing and failure to warn, and medical malpractice claim arising from hospital surgery using a robotic device which lead to stomach injury and death.
    • Mediated product liability wrongful death case based on defective design, manufacturing and failure to warn, and medical malpractice claim arising from hospital surgery using a robotic device which lead to stomach injury and death.
    • Mediated medical malpractice action arising from endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery using ultrasound imaging, resulting in severing of the median nerve.
    • Mediated post-verdict in wrongful termination whistleblower lawsuit by child psychiatrist at a county medical center which resulted in a $1.5 million verdict.
    • Mediated alleged patient safety whistleblower claims by a doctor against county medical center for wrongful termination and failure to provide reasonable accommodations post injury.
    • Handled related matters in which healthcare reimbursement firms alleged that several medical practices engaged in systematic overcharging.
    • Handled a matter in which four states alleged that a generic drug manufacturer committed state false claims act violations through an average wholesale pricing scheme.
    • Handled a matter among three doctors where one alleged that the others committed fraud and breach of fiduciary concerning his sale to them of his one third interest in a surgery center by concealing it regulatory status and right to reimbursements from Medicare and Blue Cross.
    • Handled a breach of contract matter between a cardiologist and a manufacturer of a CT scanner that was not producing images of sufficient quality to be used for diagnostic purposes, with competing claims of product defect and improper usage and training of the operators, with $3 million in damages.

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    Insurance Coverage

    • Mediated equitable indemnity and contribution claims brought by transportation company against its customer, a medical equipment provider, relating to an $8 million settlement paid to a pedestrian injured by a delivery truck operating under a contract with the transportation company, transporting medical equipment to one of the customers of the medical equipment company.
    • Mediated matter where homeowner suffered water damage and contacted water damage remediation firm to work on home. In the process personal items were collected and put into storage pending the remediation work. Homeowner contests the amounts charged for storage and claims damage to property. The restoration company has sued the homeowner for unpaid storage fees and the homeowner has also sued its insurance carrier for insufficient claims payments.
    • Mediated contract dispute arising from alleged oral contract to purchase auto insurance on a vintage auto, never placed nor confirmed, after the auto was destroyed in a fire sixteen months later.
    • Mediated breach of contract, bailment, negligence claims arising from fire damage to plumbing truck, causing business interruption, damage to plumbing tools, and loss of use of the vehicle damages.
    • Mediated breach of contract, bad faith and punitive damages claim brought by homeowners against their insurance company arising from alleged underpayment for repairs, replacement of clothing and furniture and alternative living expenses arising from water damage.
    • Handled multiple matters involving conduct of officers, directors, employees, law firms and accounting firms where insurance coverage was in issue and the insurer was initially proceeding under a reservation of rights.

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    Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets, Technology

    • Arbitrated a dispute alleging theft and misuse of trade secrets and confidential information relating to a significant technology customer relationship.
    • Mediated patent royalty dispute arising from a Master License Agreement related to a patented virtual reality viewer and input mechanism. The parties disputed whether the royalties were based on invoices, purchases or imports, bundled or unbundled products, and whether licensee violated the forum selection clause, and what damages resulted.
    • Mediated matter where an inventor sued her prior patent counsel for patent malpractice relating to attempts to patent certain molecules and formulas in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences area, alleging that certain patents were abandoned during a critical time period when research funding may have been available.
    • Mediated matter where photographic syndication company that licenses wildlife photographs created by professional photographers to publications and media businesses sued website company for copyright infringement placing unauthorized screen capture images of copyrighted photographs on multiple websites it owns and operates.
    • Mediated a legal malpractice action allegedly arising from negligent drafting of claim language in a cybersecurity patent, allegedly leading to loss of royalties from private cloud providers.
    • Mediated a trade secret theft and breach of fiduciary case arising from diversion of customers, corporate opportunities, accounts receivable, inventory and equipment with cross complaint for trade libel.
    • Mediated cryptocurrency and Blockchain dispute involving competing claims between former employees and startup developer of Blockchain software and infrastructure arising from alleged failure of the developer to pay compensation and allocate tokens from an Initial Coin Offering. The parties had competing claims for copyright infringement of a software program, promissory estoppel, wage claims, conversion, theft and unlawful computer intrusion.
    • Handled a matter between U.S. and Chinese medical device manufacturers, relating to competing $100 million patent infringement, international sales contract and antitrust claims.
    • Handled a matter involving patent infringement claims and antitrust counterclaims between two developers of software solutions that enhance the performance and capabilities of IBM Cognos business intelligence software.
    • Handled a matter between an inventor of new direct emulsion plate technology and a startup technology company concerning breach and rescission of an Intellectual Property Purchase and Sale Agreement.
    • Handled a matter involving trade secret theft, unfair competition, interference with contract and other business torts arising from the movement of a manager from one company to another in the car stereo accessory products industry.
    • Handled a matter involving misappropriation of trade secrets and business torts relating to employee raiding in the computer network security industry.
    • Handled a trade secret matter between electronic discovery vendors involving breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Handled franchising dispute involving retail food restaurants alleging violations of the Lanham Act, trademark and service mark infringement and breaches of franchising agreements.

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    Landlord, Tenant, Leases

    • Mediated commercial landlord tenant dispute between related family limited liability companies, one of which owns wine vineyard land and the other of which owns the winery business. The vineyard business undertook a large expansion project without county construction permits and faced a substantial fine and shutdown order, leading to an inability to pay rent. Landlord was seeking back rent and payment for portions of the construction and fines.
    • Mediated commercial landlord tenant dispute concerning a multi-year lease on a full floor of an office building. The tenant alleged that faulty elevators continuously broke down and dropped several floors making the tenant employees afraid to ride the elevators. In addition, distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic lead to lengthy elevator wait times. Tenant alleged that the combination of these factors lead to a constructive eviction allowing the tenant to withhold rent which it placed into an escrow account. Landlord alleged that tenant’s cloud based business was not impacted by the elevators or COVID since its employees could work from home while accessing the servers remotely.
    • Mediated commercial lessor claim against Director and owner of a commercial lessee for unpaid back rent prior to unlawful detainer action and voluntary termination of premises, and for balance of rent over the term of the lease, on an alter ego theory because the corporate tenant had entered bankruptcy.
    • Mediated commercial landlord tenant dispute involving a nightclub specializing in weekend events which was subjected to COVID lockdowns followed by severe capacity restrictions making it impossible to pay rent, with both the landlord and tenant seeking to terminate the lease with lack of agreement on the amount of the termination payment.
    • Mediated a commercial lease dispute involving a fully executed lease assignment except for the effective date which the assignee intended to be contingent on the purchase of a restaurant business which failed to close due to denial of an SBA loan during the pandemic with the lender continuing to seek full rent payments and payments on guarantees from both sellers and buyers.
    • Mediated commercial sublease dispute between tenant and sublessee regarding the exact space which was rented, walls constructed to demise the space, and payment off utility bills, leading to tenant move-out, and competing claims for unpaid rent and utilities and damages for wrongful eviction.
    • Mediated commercial lease landlord tenant action concerning whether landlord waived its notice to quit by accepting rent, where non-waiver clause in the lease was found to be limited to lease defaults and not acceptance of rent.
    • Mediated matter where landlord asserted claims against tenant for fraud, concealment and emotional distress arising from defendant’s offer to assist on repair work on several rental properties at no charge, then fabricating claims in defense of her small claims case arising from breach of lease, threatening harm if she did not drop the case.
    • Mediated real estate litigation where tenant on a 12 year written lease on a 5 acre parcel with residence alleged that there was an oral agreement that the landlord would convey the property to him fo no additional consideration at the end of the lease term. Landlord cross claimed for breach of lease and waste.
    • Mediated a landlord tenant case alleging retaliatory eviction based on complaints of rodent infestation, with improper notice to quit and failure to provide relocation assistance.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute involving a fast food franchise operating in a downtown San Jose building arising from a dispute over the meaning of market rate rent in a lease extension.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute between a hotel owner and a lobby tenant regarding whether a notice to vacate was valid.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute for breach of lease for failing to pay rent, operating an unpermitted tire recycling business, failing to pay insurance and property tax increases.
    • Mediated wrongful eviction residential lease matter based on improper notice, proceeding with eviction on default judgment after it was set aside, failure to pay statutory relocation allowance.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute involving maintenance repairs by landlord which commercial tenant refused to pay on the basis that the work should have been done before and charged to the prior tenant.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute arising from breach of settlement agreement for failure to make payments under a payment plan.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute between shopping center landlord and a grocery store owner concerning disputed rent term and closure of store while lessee operated nearby store, resolved by termination of lease and rent concessions for construction improvements on another store.
    • Mediated commercial landlord tenant and restitution dispute based on renovations to church hall regarding theatre seating and unexpected termination or tenancy.
    • Mediated contract action by vendor against property manager and office building owner. The owner disputed whether it had consented to the services as allegedly required by the property management agreement. The defendants also disputed whether the vendor could sue the principal and the agent at the same time.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute involving a retail business, with allegations of wrongful eviction and breach of lease and a lease option.
    • Mediated commercial lease dispute involving sewage damage to a retail business and landlord alleged damages due to unpaid rent and unlawful detainer action.
    • Handled a lease dispute between a savings and loan and another savings and loan concerning the occupancy of an office building.
    • Mediated seventy-five different residential landlord tenant eviction matters, alleging breach of lease, unpaid rent, or nuisance with defenses including habitability issues, landlord harassment and rent control violations. Several were resolved with tenant buyouts.
    • Mediated landlord-tenant commercial lease dispute involving terminated long term lease, oral agreement re month to month continuing lease in smaller downsized quarters at a lower rate, which lead to tenant departure and competing claims for lost profits by tenant and lost rent by landlord.
    • Mediated landlord-tenant commercial lease dispute regarding a warehouse to be used for cannibus growing and dispensary, where a short term oral lease and contemplated investment by landlord were terminated, leading to landlord claims for loss of rent and damages to premises and tenant claims for fraud and breach of contract, claiming millions in lost profits and out of pocket losses.
    • Mediated landlord-tenant damages dispute involving claimed damages to the premises by the tenant and failure to return security deposit by the landlord.

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    Mergers & Acquisitions Disputes

    • Arbitrated action between the buyer and the seller of a dental products provider arising from an Asset Purchase Agreement against the seller based on misrepresentations, breaches of contract, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices arising from alleged inaccuracies in the seller’s disclosures and financials, and omissions of cash payments to employees for wages, overtime, benefits and commissions as well as wage increases, leading to overstatements of income and discretionary cash flow. There was a counterclaim by the seller for the unpaid balance of the purchase price and conversion of past due receivables which had not been purchased.
    • Mediated action between the buyer and seller of a licensed outpatient mental health agency pursuant to a Stock Purchase Agreement. The buyer alleged several misrepresentations concerning the sale and sought rescission, return of all payments, restitution and consequential damages. The seller counterclaimed for breach of contract and sought full payment under the Stock Purchase Agreement.
    • Mediated alleged breach of merger and acquisition agreement relating to alleged failure by the buyer to provide certain in-kind services at discounted prices.
    • Mediated alleged breach of letter of intent in connection with merger and acquisition transaction.
    • Handled a matter involving a $350 million securities fraud lawsuit arising out of a $1 billion stock purchase agreement between two Fortune 100 companies of an aerospace business. The suit alleged that there were misrepresentations in financial statements. The matter was resolved with a high eight figure settlement.
    • Handled a matter involving an asset purchase agreement of an aerospace business, relating to indemnification and earnout claims totaling $45 million.
    • Handled a matter where the buyer asserted $30 million claims for fraud, conversion and securities fraud in an arbitration where the buyer had acquired a data entry company through a stock purchase agreement for cash, a holdback payment and an earnout payment. The sellers remained in control of the company during the holdback and earnout periods. Seller made false financial entries, overbilled state and local government customers, and improperly diverted expenses.
    • Handled a breach of contract and fraud matter between a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese solar panel manufacturer and an infrastructure lender relating to the development, construction and sale of two solar power plants for $18 million, with the dispute focused on the validity and meaning of a post purchase price adjustment formula tied to Libor.
    • Handled a matter involving an $8 million claim regarding a merger and acquisition transaction involving the sale of a computer software applications services business with a deferred purchase price agreement. The buyer sought rescission of the sale agreement in an arbitration based upon violation of the material adverse change and material adverse effects clauses in the asset purchase agreement and alleged misrepresentations involving projections and damages for alleged breach of non-solicitation agreements contained in the asset purchase agreement and related employment agreements. The seller sought enforcement of the asset purchase agreement and the payment of deferred consideration.
    • Handled a $5 million matter relating to a purchase of an information services company using a stock purchase agreement with a cash-down payment and deferred purchase price earnout provision conditioned on achieving certain EBIT targets. During arbitration, the company established that the seller had created false invoices, engaged in fictitious transactions, made false entries in the company books and records, and made misrepresentations and omissions of material fact, thereby receiving fraudulently inflated overpayments.
    • Handled a matter involving a business process outsourcing company in a $5 million arbitration claim against a computer reseller arising from a disputed clawback amount in a stock purchase agreement. The dispute related to the meaning and interpretation of a clause relating to two-year revenue and gross profit projections, as well as whether various projections were objectively and subjectively reasonable.
    • Handled a matter involving an aborted asset purchase agreement and associated patent purchase agreement and employment agreement by a foreign manufacturer of a printed circuit board manufacturer based on alleged violation of conditions of sale with competing claims of specific performance, damages and declaratory judgment.

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    Online Terms of Service, Terms of Use Disputes

    • Arbitrated claims between an online product seller and an online selling platform for breach of the terms of service agreement and a counterclaim for fraud.
    • Arbitrated claims between an online retailer and an online payment processor and a credit card company for allegedly improperly terminating the claimant under the terms of service agreement for alleged improper activity, with a counterclaim for alleged damages caused by the allegedly improper activity.
    • Arbitrated claims concerning fees owed on a software licensing agreement in a clickwrap license including terms of service in a web application involving referrals of borrowers to lenders.
    • Arbitrated advertising technology dispute between on an online search company and a customer regarding a change of terms and conditions of use and service leading to advertisements being blocked from the platform.
    • Mediated Terms of Service dispute between an IT provider and a surgery center, focused on whether there was assent to the terns of service, length of any agreement and a liquidated damages clause, with counterclaim alleging fraud and overbilling.
    • Arbitrated two separate matters involving breach of terms of service contract claims by personal injury law firms against a firm offering online advertising services and generation of prospective client leads.

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    Partnership Dissolution

    • Mediated matter where two engineers formed an oral partnership to design and build blade server accessory parts for a computer company. After several years they tentatively agreed to part ways and terminate the partnership but disagreed on dissolution terms and also filed claims against each other for breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Mediated a multi-generational family partnership dispute concerning commercial real estate on a long-term lease to a commercial retail tenant. Some partners desired a dissolution or buyout while others preferred the income from the long-term lease with a sale at the end of the lease term.
    • Mediated a dispute where the parties entered into a partnership agreement to purchase with a bank loan a single-family residence which was leased to the daughter of one of the parties. Later the partnership agreement was modified to change the parties’ status and plaintiff executed a grant deed to the defendants. Plaintiff claims that the grant deed was a sham and he remained a co-owner of the property, and seeks partition and sale of the property, and to quiet title.
    • Mediated business dispute among three members of two LLC’s, owning and operating a horse ranching business in Gilroy, CA each seeking dissolution and partition sale or division of the real estate and businesses, breach of contract and damages for breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Mediated partnership dissolution, accounting and fiduciary damages claims arising from the breakup of a partnership involving a ready-mix company.
    • Mediated partnership dissolution, accounting and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising from dissolution of oral partnership concerning the operation of a water and fore restoration business and a reconstruction company.
    • Mediated dissolution of two-person law firm, leading to a Partnership Dissolution and Settlement Agreement and a Limited Scope Co-Counsel Agreement re: future handling of worker compensation claims.
    • Mediated business divorce dispute concerning a family owned retail business, alleging dissolution, accounting, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion.
    • Handled many matters involving single and multiple partner departures and spinoffs, business partnership dissolutions, and creditors’ remedies against partnerships that dissolved, entered winding up or went into bankruptcy.
    • Handled related matters brought by over 100 investors in oil and gas limited partnerships sponsored by the same general partner, alleging $20 million in damages, based on securities racketeering and common law claims based on alleged misstatements in prospectuses.

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    Personal Injury

    • Mediated equitable indemnity and contribution claims brought by transportation company against its customer, a medical equipment provider, relating to an $8 million settlement paid to a pedestrian injured by a delivery truck operating under a contract with the transportation company, transporting medical equipment to one of the customers of the medical equipment company.
    • Mediated vehicle collision matter leading to property damage which exceeded defendant’s policy limits, leading to personal contribution.
    • Mediated a matter regarding sexual abuse of a minor and negligence against a coach and local, regional and national athletic associations, focused on failures to provide adequate sexual abuse prevention training to athletes and their parents.
    • Mediated an automobile-motorcycle collision as automobile exited parking lot and motorcycle was traveling in the right lane of the street. Motorcyclist was thrown a considerable distance and suffered devastating disabling traumatic brain injury with considerable loss in employment and income.
    • Mediated a dispute where plaintiff alleged injuries after exposure to sewage and toxic chemicals while cleaning the bathroom after a sewage overflow in a retail coffee shop. Defendants claim plaintiff suffered no injuries and all medical expenses and recovery days off were covered by workers’ compensation.
    • Mediated a rear end automobile collision resulting in personal injury to plaintiff.
    • Mediated a automobile traffic light accident resulting in personal injuries to the plaintiff.
    • Mediated a dog bite case involving a German shepherd that allegedly leaned out an automobile window and bit the owner of an adjoining automobile in a supermarket parking lot.
    • Mediated a matter where plaintiff entered a retail restaurant to order lunch, and while doing so, a hatch to the basement was opened behind him. When he turned, he fell headfirst into the hole, severely injuring his shoulder and tearing his rotator cuff.
    • Mediated a matter regarding high speed collision on Interstate 680, totaling Plaintiff’s automobile and causing significant head, neck and upper back injuries.
    • Mediated a negligence claim against national youth soccer association for failure to conduct background check concerning a coach who sexually abused a minor female soccer player over a 10 month period, alleging that the background check would have revealed a disqualifying domestic violence conviction.
    • Mediated negligence and punitive damages claim arising when a fully loaded 18 wheel tractor trailer rig traveling at over 50 miles per hour drove into a line of cars at a stop light on SR-152 near Gilroy, CA, killing one driver and severely injuring the drivers and passengers in two other cars. The truck driver suffered from uncontrolled diabetes.
    • Mediated product liability wrongful death case based on defective design, manufacturing and failure to warn, and medical malpractice claim arising from surgery using a robotic device which lead to stomach injury and death.
    • Mediated wrongful death action arising from a large tandem fully loaded dump truck running over a teenager riding his bicycle to high school. Defendants included the trucking companies and general contractor.
    • Mediated medical malpractice case arising from a Whipple surgical procedure on decedent’s pancreas which resulted in excessive bleeding and death.
    • Mediated medical malpractice action arising from endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery using ultrasound imaging, resulting in severing of the median nerve.
    • Mediated elder care abuse and reckless neglect case brought against a nursing home due to falls suffered by plaintiff.
    • Mediated a matter where plaintiff slipped and fell in defendants’ shopping establishment, suffering substantial pain in lower back and neck areas, eventually undergoing fusion surgery on three disks. Liability, causation and damages were contested.
    • Mediated a claim for negligence and inadequate security by hotel customers against the hotel owners and its private security contractor arising from a serious physical altercation between the plaintiffs and another customer leading to significant physical injury to the plaintiffs.
    • Mediated rear end automobile intersection collision with conflicting accounts of the movement of the vehicles prior to the accident.
    • Mediated intersection collision in Santa Clara CA between an SUV driven by plaintiffs and a large commercial truck driven by defendant, causing significant injuries to driver and passenger of the SUV.
    • Mediated vehicle accident on Highway 101 involving a sideswipe between a passenger car and a commercial tractor-trailer rig leading to personal injuries and property damage.
    • Mediated slip and fall involving a customer who slipped on a wet spot in a restaurant within a large department store, causing complex regional pain syndrome.
    • Mediated vicious dog bite attack by pit bull against a man walking his dog who lost part of his finger.
    • Mediated automobile accident at Shoreline Drive in Mountain View at HW 101, leading neck, back and head injuries, causing plaintiff, a computer consultant, to lose sales.
    • Mediated negligence action arising from a two-car accident in which a catering truck backed into a minivan, with significant dispute over level of injuries.
    • Mediated negligence action arising from automobile left turn striking pedestrian in a cross walk, causing her to hit the pavement face down, leading to extensive damage to her teeth, leading to multiple oral surgeries and the need for lifetime care.
    • Mediated battery claim filed by one employee of a retail establishment against husband of co-owner. There was a dispute whether release in a prior Labor Code action against the establishment and spouse covered this matter.
    • Mediated claims occurring when plaintiff restaurant owner suffered slip and fall in wholesale food store, due to a significant crack and hole in the floor which caused her to fall, suffering significant neck injury from a herniated disk, resulting in cervical fusion surgery and long term debilitating neck, shoulder, arm and hand pain.
    • Mediated dog bite case by prospective housekeeper who was interviewing for a position and was bitten in the chest area by Rottweiler owned by defendants, leaving permanent scarring.
    • Mediated three-vehicle accident involving three services trucks in which one truck turned left in heavy traffic on a busy San Jose Street, colliding with a second truck and pushing it into the side of a third truck resulting in a serious back injury to a third driver, requiring surgery and rendering him unable to take care of his disabled wife.
    • Mediated slip and near fall by customer in a shower/tub of a bed and breakfast near Yosemite, CA which allegedly aggravated degenerative back condition, causing failed surgery and lingering pain.
    • Mediated side-swipe accident on Highway 101 between automobile and a tour bus, resulting in muscle and joint pain injuries.
    • Mediated rear end collision between two automobiles on US 101 off ramp towards SR 237resulting in low back injury.
    • Mediated rear end automobile collision with pickup truck owned by City of Sunnyvale, driven by a City of Sunnyvale employee.
    • Mediated personal injury claim by a bus passenger suffering back injury when transit bus hydroplaned, spinning and colliding with center median on a major San Jose street.
    • Mediated negligence claim arising from slip and fall arising from malfunctioning produce sprinkler in supermarket.
    • Mediated negligence claim arising from personal injury/premises accident when plaintiff slipped and fell and suffered a compound fracture of her tibia on black ice on a concrete walkway on residential property owned by defendant and rented to plaintiff’s daughter.
    • Mediated negligence claim based on a slip and fall where plaintiff sued landlord and tenant after a fall on a single step down to a fountain in the center atrium of an office building in Morgan Hill.
    • Handled a matter relating to an airbag manufacturer concerning an industrial accident that lead to the death of one worker and severe injuries to another.
    • Mediated comparative negligence action arising from motorcycle accident involving a used motorcycle refurbished by defendant, leading to excessive vibration and a crash, leading to extensive physical injuries.
    • Mediated negligence claims arising from a collision between an automobile and a motorcycle in San Jose. Liability admitted by defendant.
    • Mediated negligence claim arising from a collision between a motorcycle and an automobile on a hilly, curving road west of I-280, with significant injuries to the motorcyclist.
    • Mediated negligence claim arising from rear end accident in San Jose. Plaintiff suffered from chronic back, wrist and hip pain, having sought extensive medical treatment.
    • Mediated indemnity claim filed by one motorist against another involving damages paid to the passenger in one of the vehicles. The accident involved comparative negligence involving a left turning vehicle where both drivers claimed they had a green light.
    • Mediated rear end collision on SR-152. Minor damage to vehicle with soft tissue damage to plaintiff.
    • Mediated rear end collision in San Jose. Minor auto body damage and soft tissue damage to plaintiff.
    • Mediated negligence action where defendant made left turn into oncoming traffic and hit defendant’s vehicle head on, totaling both vehicles. Plaintiff developed severe headaches, lasting 5 years at time of conference, diagnosed at Kaiser with occipital neuralgia, treated with nortriptyline at triple the adult dose.
    • Mediated automobile parking lot collision case causing neck and back injuries to the plaintiff.
    • Mediated negligence claim arising from a vehicular accident between a bicycle and a van as defendant was turning into a parking lot in San Jose.
    • Mediated a slip and fall case in a produce section of a supermarket, leading to muscle strain and disk protrusion.
    • Mediated a wrongful death action brought by estate of deceased and serving parents against a tavern and its owners arising from death of their son who was punched by bouncer and hit his head on sidewalk and died within several hours.
    • Mediated an automobile-motorcycle collision case in which the auto swerved rapidly into a car pool lane in front of the motorcycle which could not avoid a collision, with the motorcyclist suffering herniated disk injuries in the collision.

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    Qui Tam & False Claims Act

    • Handled a matter involving a federal qui tam false claims and state law retaliation claims action by a whistleblower alleging $22 million in damages and penalties against a defense subcontractor, involving alleged irregularities in time entries and accounting relating to a large U.S. Department of Homeland Security project.
    • Handled a matter in which four states alleged that a generic drug manufacturer committed state false claims act violations through an average wholesale pricing scheme.
    • Handled a matter in which state and local governments alleged that a national retail chain committed false claims act violations through pricing irregularities.
    • Mediated a False Claims Act matter where the relator alleged a double invoicing scheme involving U.S. Customs forms whereby imported products were allegedly labeled as one product at a lower value for customs purposes, then allegedly re-labeled as a different product at a higher value for shipment to customers. The relator also alleged that the defendant falsely stated that a foreign exporter and the U.S. importer were unrelated when in fact they were parent and subsidiary.

    Real Estate

    • Mediated neighboring property owner dispute involving an easement provided for perpetual non-exclusive use for landscaping and gardening to adjacent landowner. The adjacent property was sloping and the original landowner built a three tier sloping garden supported by wooden retaining walls. The current owner demolished and rebuilt the home and removed much of the garden soil and built concrete retaining walls into the easement area and was sued for trespass and other claims.
    • Mediated a dispute between two condominium owners in a duplex, regarding compliance with Homeowners Association rules, usage of common areas, noise, cooperation regarding tandem parking, and replacement of jointly owned outdoor furniture.
    • Mediated dispute among five neighbors over right of way easement over private road leading to local arterial road as well an easement across one property leading to a local walking and bicycle trail. The latter property had been the subject of a County approved subdivision map which did not show the easement and the property had been conveyed to the current owner without disclosure of the easement. Title insurance had been purchased on the latter parcel without exclusion for the easement and there were flaws in the actual location of the road vis a vis the easement. Several claims and cross claims ensued.
    • Mediated matter where buyer purchased a home and submitted option agreement for purchase of vacant lot next door, which was signed and agreed to by seller and its real estate broker. The seller had indicated that the lot was available for purchase as part of the transaction. The seller contended that the lot had been conveyed to a relative. When the buyer attempted to exercise the option, the owner refused to enter into a sale because too much time had passed. A variety of quiet title, contract and tort claims ensued.
    • Mediated commercial landlord tenant dispute between related family limited liability companies, one of which owns wine vineyard land and the other of which owns the winery business. The vineyard business undertook a large expansion project without county construction permits and faced a substantial fine and shutdown order, leading to an inability to pay rent. Landlord was seeking back rent and payment for portions of the construction and fines.
    • Mediated dispute between a restaurant buyer and seller over purchase agreement for business assets that was signed on 11/1/19 and ended when a bank denied an SBA loan application in July 2020 during the COVID pandemic. The parties disputed what caused the delays in the loan application process pushing it deeper into the pandemic downturn. The parties were disputing who should receive the escrow funds that were subject to a liquidated damages clause.
    • Mediated matter where owners of landlocked rural property in mountainous region filed claims against neighbors to establish prescriptive or equitable easement. Those neighbors allege that a different forest road built by plaintiffs’ predecessor should serve as the access road.
    • Mediated matter where a purchaser of a home asserts claims against seller arising from disclosures in purchase and sale agreement for fraud and breach of contract based on failure to disclose that a large 100 square foot detached garage was built without a permit and within a setback area from next door property. The town required the buyer to demolish the building and buyers plan to rebuild it outside of the setback, seeking recovery of demolition and construction costs.
    • Mediated boundary line dispute between adjacent landowners with dispute re property line, location of easement and right of way to connect two roads, support for subdivision map, necessity for getting consents from nearby homeowners, and eventual lot line adjustment.
    • Mediated matter where homeowner suffered water damage and contacted water damage remediation firm to work on home. In the process personal items were collected and put into storage pending the remediation work. Homeowner contests the amounts charged for storage and claims damage to property. The restoration company has sued the homeowner for unpaid storage fees and the homeowner has also sued its insurance carrier for insufficient claims payments.
    • Mediated matter where vacant land purchaser seeks damages due to inability to complete transaction when title company discovered inaccuracies in lot description and also return of rents on adjacent parcel due to habitability issues.
    • Mediated dispute between owners of four adjoining parcels of land each with a manufacturing facility, concerning usage of a private road easement through the properties enabling access to a public road. The easement declaration prohibits parking and loading vehicles on the easement, and the parties were litigating whether parking and loading zones could be allowed and also whether prescriptive easements had been created through use.
    • Mediated action arising from a purchase and sale agreement involving two adjacent office buildings with varying ownership wherein one of the owners allegedly represented that she had power of attorney for her husband who lived overseas. The purchaser made a substantial escrow deposit and thereafter the husband objected to the sale, leading to a litigation for specific performance and seeking damages for breach of contract, intentional misrepresentations, and fraudulent inducement.
    • Mediated a residential real estate purchase and sale agreement non-disclosure matter where several areas of construction without permits were not disclosed. The buyers contended that the value of the real estate received was less than the purchase price. The sellers contended that there were 30 offers on the property lead to any increase in price and that buyers mitigated when they sold the property with disclosures at a price at the top of the market.
    • Mediated a multi-generational family partnership dispute concerning commercial real estate on a long-term lease to a commercial retail tenant. Some partners desired a dissolution or buyout while others preferred the income from the long-term lease with a sale at the end of the lease term.
    • Mediated a matter where the parties entered into a real estate purchase and sale agreement for a commercial land parcel. The buyers tried to cancel, but the buyers made the first of two deposits and then failed to make the second deposit or complete the transaction. The buyers requested an open-ended extension while they closed another sale, but the buyers declined.
    • Mediated a real estate litigation matter where tenant on a 12-year written lease on a 5-acre parcel with residence alleges that there was an oral agreement that the landlord would convey the property to him for no additional consideration at the end of the lease term. Landlord cross claimed for breach of lease and waste.
    • Mediated a dispute arising from a common interest association of a commercial use condominium and two owners operating Cannabis grow and dispensary facilities, allegedly in violation of rules set forth in CC&Rs and local, state and federal laws, and also constituting a nuisance.
    • Mediated a boundary line dispute regarding an accessory structure with competing surveys, and cross complaint for assault and nuisance based on surveillance cameras.
    • Mediated a boundary line dispute involving small encroachment or a portion of a garage, eaves and downspout, leading to quiet title, trespass and nuisance claims.
    • Mediated an easement dispute between adjoining homeowners concerning parking rights in shared driveway where street parking is unavailable.
    • Mediated corporate dispute among three members of two LLC’s, owning and operating a horse ranching business in Gilroy, CA each seeking dissolution and partition sale or division of the real estate and businesses, breach of contract and damages for breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Mediated family business dispute involving a mobile home park in San Jose, where one group owned the land and improvements while the other group owned the rental business and had mobile home leases based on a 50% tenancy in common. The land-owning group sued for a portion of the rental proceeds for on various real property law grounds.
    • Mediated real estate dispute arising from purchase of duplex as tenancy in common with a plan to enter into a TIC Agreement and Condo Conversion which never materialized leading to potential claims between the parties.
    • Mediated battery and premises liability claim by an attorney attending a reception at client’s home who was attacked and thrown to the floor, suffering two torn retinas. He claimed that his client was the perpetrator.
    • Mediated a Marvin type contract claim dispute by a longtime girlfriend of a married man who allegedly made promises that he intended to convey to her certain residential real estate.
    • Mediated partition actions between a husband, his wife’s estate and their two daughters to resolve ownership in two residential properties, distribute the proceeds of sales of one of them and determine the ongoing ownership of the second.
    • Mediated real estate purchase contract dispute in which buyer failed to close escrow but seeks return of initial deposit despite waiver of all contingencies.
    • Mediated negligence action by owner of cliffside seafront home in Santa Cruz against pool cleaner who allegedly left hose running which caused significant damage when cliff collapsed.
    • Mediated a claim for negligence and inadequate security by hotel customers against the hotel owners and its private security contractor arising from a serious physical altercation between the plaintiffs and another customer leading to significant physical injury to the plaintiffs.
    • Mediated real property dispute concerning residential properties in San Jose and Pebble Beach, involving quiet title action, conversion, embezzlement, fraud and restitution.
    • Mediated indemnification claim brought by foreclosure trustee against lender and deed of trust holder, which alleged excessive fees expended instead of filing a a declaration of nonmonetary status.
    • Mediated tort claim brought by adjacent tenant in a rural area against adjacent landlord, seeking damages caused by a tree which fell on two vehicles during unusual high wind storm.
    • Mediated quiet title action between owners of two adjacent commercial properties concerning an ingress and egress easement between the properties and a large wooden fence built by one landowner on the edge of the easement which was five feet onto the adjacent landowners’ property.
    • Mediated conversion, trespass to chattel and abuse of process claims arising from remodel of residential property by new owner after a foreclosure sale.
    • Mediated business divorce case alleging breach of fiduciary duty, accounting and partition among siblings involving a family business established by their deceased father, in a trust soon to expire which would establish them as tenants in common.
    • Mediated business divorce between two sisters who co-owned a multi-family rental real estate as reflected in deeds. They dispute the percentage ownership of the property, the disposition of proceeds from a refinancing of the property, the receipt of rent and payment of expenses over an 18 year period. The claims were for fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and resulting and constructive trust.
    • Mediated investment claim where plaintiff was defrauded by a licensed real estate salesman on trust deed investments which were never validly recorded and the investor suffered $1,600,000 in losses. He claimed that the State Department of Real Estate negligently failed to investigate and audit the salesman in a timely manner despite having received a formal complaint, which gave the salesman time to perpetrate an additional fraud and also time to flee the country.
    • Mediated implied contract and ejectment claim by one domestic partner against another seeking 50% ownership of residential property based on financial contribution to the purchase, when title to the property was in the names of the other partner and his parent.
    • Mediated action for trespass, theft of personal property and infliction of emotional distress arising from collection attempts by defendant on a prior contract judgment. There were at least two other related actions among the same parties, the attorneys who are parties and third parties.
    • Mediated quiet title complaint and cross complaint alleging mutual mistake of deed, prescriptive easement and agreed boundaries arising from a subdivision where the fences and placement of the houses by the homebuilder in the 1950s did not match up with the property descriptions in the deed and subdivision documents, leading to potential substantial movement of the fences and impacting setback requirements for the homes.
    • Mediated quiet title, adverse possession, prescriptive easement and trespass dispute arising from the placement of a masonry fence, constructed 30 years earlier by plaintiff's father, and whether it was on plaintiff’s property or intruded by several inches onto defendants' property. After losing a small claims case on the issue, defendants used self help to dismantle the fence, causing emotional distress to plaintiff.
    • Mediated HOA dispute with homeowner re: failure to keep home painted and changing roof color and materials without permission of the HOA.
    • Mediated claims for fraud, conversion and unjust enrichment based on $350,000 in loans received by defendant secured by plaintiff’s home without his consent, used for unsuccessful renovations to another property owned by defendant.
    • Mediated family business dispute involving partition claim by two sisters against their sister on a family business rental property and cross complaint for quiet title, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Mediated a matter where surviving spouse asserts claims for cancellation of a joint tenancy deed and financial elder abuse where her three stepchildren persuaded their elderly father to sever a joint tenancy and deed one half of a co-owned home to them allegedly to cover medical expenses.
    • Handled a class action and other related actions involving an AmLaw 100 firm brought by investors who purchased real estate investment products, alleging legal malpractice, securities fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation. Total investor losses exceeded $900 million.
    • Handled a matter arising from the operation of a commercial loan underwriting, servicing and funding company involved in a Ponzi scheme fraud in the magnitude of hundreds of millions of dollars, related to piercing a sham trust and recover million in damages from several co-conspirators involved in real estate projects, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion and conspiracy.
    • Handled several related claims in a $70 million matter involving a surplus lines insurance carrier which issued financial guarantee bonds related to the financing of real estate limited partnerships, leading to fraud and racketeering claims, debt enforcement actions, securities claims, and litigation with bond lenders, reinsurers, and professionals.
    • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
    • Handled a matter where a mezzanine lender brought a real estate finance enforcement action against a real estate land developer and its managing members for breach of contract on loans and guaranties, as well as tort claims, and the developers counterclaimed alleging lender liability and oral agreements extending and modifying the loans.
    • Handled related matters brought by over 100 investors in oil and gas limited partnerships sponsored by the same general partner, alleging $20 million in damages, based on securities racketeering and common law claims based on alleged misstatements in prospectuses.
    • Mediated dispute between two partners re breach of contract and accounting for costs and distribution of profits arising from residential purchase, renovation and sale.
    • Mediated real estate partition action where co-tenant brother brought partition action against co-tenant sister and co-tenant sister brought cross claims for breach of contract, fraud and declaratory relief.
    • Mediated claims by former husband for cancellation of deed and damages for fraud and undue influence and a quiet title action arising from the transfer of his joint tenancy interest to his wife, who then sold it to third parties.

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    Restrictive Covenants, Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, Exclusive Dealing

    • Arbitrated two separate intra-corporate LLC disputes involving departing member and an investment firm challenging restrictive non-compete and non-solicitation covenants and confidentiality clauses in the operating agreements under California Business and Professions Code § 16600.
    • Mediated alleged violation of a non-solicitation agreement by a technology client which terminated a staffing servicing agreement and later hired employees of the service provider which had approached the technology client seeking employment.
    • Arbitrated a dispute between a Dealer and a Supplier concerning a channel partner agreement whereby the Dealer would generate solar installation contracts in a defined territory and provide them to the Supplier for installation, in exchange for a commission. The dispute focused on alleged violation of exclusive dealing and non-solicitation agreements by the Dealer leading to the Supplier withholding commissions payable to the Dealer.

    Securities Fraud Investment Disputes

    • Arbitrated significant securities fraud claims arising from a private placement to be invested in regarding a significant technology program which did not materialize.
    • Mediated matter where elderly woman attended an investment seminar and was introduced to an insurance agent who met with her and her son where they discussed a structured cash flow investment as well as an annuity, after which she invested $150,000 in each. She died the following year. The structured cash flow investment paid out approximately $60,000 before the promoter ran out of funds, and her son as executor cashed out the annuity. Her son brought suit for elder abuse and other torts, and also for sale of unregistered securities by an insurance salesman with no securities or investment advisor license.
    • Mediated a matter where plaintiff brought breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and accounting claims arising from investment in a restaurant allegedly in order to obtain an investor visa, with defendant claiming she was not an investor, but had loaned funds to others who had invested.
    • Mediated a statutory claim against unlicensed investment advisory and unregistered broker dealer activity by defendant, who engaged in speculative trading creating large losses.
    • Handled a matter involving a $350 million securities fraud lawsuit arising out of a $1 billion stock purchase agreement between two Fortune 100 companies of an aerospace business. The suit alleged that there were misrepresentations in financial statements. The matter was resolved with a high eight figure settlement.
    • Handled a matter involving an SEC receiver and eight foreign banks and the cash custodian for a private equity fund which raised over $1 billion through a series of debt offerings through offshore special purpose entities, then looted the funds through multiple means. The matter was resolved with a high eight figure settlement.
    • Handled a class action and other related actions involving an AmLaw 100 firm brought by investors who purchased real estate investment products, alleging legal malpractice, securities fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation. Total investor losses exceeded $900 million.
    • Handled a matter between a class of investors and a national accounting firm arising from the bankruptcy of a major homebuilder, alleging errors in accounting for net realizable value write-offs and deferred tax asset estimates among other issues. Plaintiffs sought $95 million in damages.
    • Handled several related claims in a $70 million matter involving a surplus lines insurance carrier which issued financial guarantee bonds related to the financing of real estate limited partnerships, leading to fraud and racketeering claims, debt enforcement actions, securities claims, and litigation with bond lenders, reinsurers, and professionals.
    • Handled a matter involving a customer of a securities broker that was involved in a $50 million charitable gift annuity fraud scheme. A promoter transferred donated stocks and bonds into a brokerage account to liquidate them and rapidly transfer the funds out to other financial institutions. The promoter told the victims that the broker was managing their money, when it was not.
    • Handled related matters involving two broker-dealers, officers and directors, investors and a law firm arising from asset-backed promissory notes related to pools of ATMs that were to have been placed in bankruptcy proof special purpose entities, generating streams of income from swipe fees to pay the debt, which were eventually looted causing $30 million in losses.
    • Handled related matters brought by over 100 investors in oil and gas limited partnerships sponsored by the same general partner, alleging $20 million in damages, based on securities racketeering and common law claims based on alleged misstatements in prospectuses.
    • Handled a bondholder class action securities matter involving an electric utility and the indenture trustee of certain first mortgage bonds arising out of the redemption of certain bonds at par value which the bondholders claimed should have been redeemed at a premium.
    • Handled a matter involving a large investor alleging securities fraud and negligent misrepresentation by a Los Angeles Koreatown bank and its officers and directors relating to alleged misleading financial statements and financial disclosures.
    • Handled a matter among three doctors where one alleged that the others committed fraud and breach of fiduciary concerning his sale to them of his one third interest in a surgery center by concealing it regulatory status and right to reimbursements from Medicare and Blue Cross.
    • Handled a matter involving a securities broker which had promoted an Irish pharmaceutical company to its customers which suffered a major drop in stock price when several clinical trials produced unfavorable results.
    • Handled a matter between a brokerage house and a customer and her financial adviser involving trading by the financial adviser in stock index options with the customer alleging churning and unsuitable investments and seeking $5 million in damages.
    • Handled a matter involving a complex investment fraud and fraudulent tax shelter Ponzi scheme, involving securities and and tax fraud claims involving commodities and limited partnerships investments.
    • Handled a matter involving conspiracy, fraud, securities fraud and misapplication of funds by officers of an interstate motor carrier.
    • Handled a matter related to a securities fraud and bank fraud scheme perpetrated by the chief executive of a federally-insured credit union.
    • Handled a matter concerning an investment fraud scheme involving waste products fuel processes.
    • Handled a matter concerning a securities fraud scheme involving investments in a cattle-breeding operation.
    • Handled a matter where investors alleged fraud and racketeering against a savings and loan association relating to alleged loan origination fraud involving securitized mobile home loans.

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    Solar Industry Disputes

    • Arbitrated two separate disputes between solar project development companies and builder/operator solar companies that sell electricity to the grid. These disputes arose from completion and pricing issues in Membership Interest Purchase Agreements in which the builder/operators acquire the solar projects after interconnection agreements have been finalized with local utilities.
    • Arbitrated a dispute between a Dealer and a Supplier concerning a channel partner agreement whereby the Dealer would generate solar installation contracts in a defined territory and provide them to the Supplier for installation, in exchange for a commission. The dispute focused on alleged violation of exclusive dealing and non-solicitation agreements by the Dealer leading to the Supplier withholding commissions payable to the Dealer.
    • Handled a breach of contract and fraud matter between a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese solar panel manufacturer and an infrastructure lender relating to the development, construction and sale of two solar power plants for $18 million, with the dispute focused on the validity and meaning of a post purchase price adjustment formula tied to Libor.
    • Handled several breach of contract claims involving several solar panel manufacturers relating to solar power plant projects around the United States that had been terminated or otherwise not completed for a variety of reasons, with competing claims.
    • Handled a matter concerning to the final contract price of a solar power project transaction, with allegations regarding various product defects in the solar panels.