Robert S. Mann, Esq.

Profile

Professional Awards

2012 – 2013 – Daily Journal “Top 50 Neutrals”
2012 – 2015 – Superlawyer

ADR Experience

Well known and respected in the ADR profession, Robert Mann has successfully mediated over 2,000 complex real estate, construction and business cases at ADR Services, Inc. and the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Mann has a special expertise in real estate non-disclosure and real estate broker malfeasance/negligence/breach of fiduciary duty cases, having mediated and resolved hundreds of such disputes. He has arbitrated many construction and real estate disputes involving tens of millions of dollars and has served as Umpire on numerous insurance appraisal matters involving water and fire losses.

With a keen and quick comprehension of complex construction, real estate, and business issues earned after decades of litigation and ADR experience, Mr. Mann is particularly adept at resolving high-value, high-stakes, complicated and hotly contested matters.

Representative Matters: Construction

Representative cases include public works (Los Angeles Metro Rail); LAUSD construction disputes; numerous multi-family disputes in California, Nevada and Idaho with settlement value in the tens of millions of dollars; luxury single family home disputes; commercial lease disputes. Mr. Mann has successfully mediated numerous multi-party construction disputes in California and Nevada involving residential, commercial and public works projects.

As an Arbitrator, Mr. Mann has handled cases involving commercial breach of lease, breach of contract, delay, disruption and construction defect in construction of a middle school (25 day arbitration); breach of contract in construction of a single family residence; specific performance of commercial purchase and sale agreement; commercial breach of contract for purchase of real property; construction defect single family residence claims.

Legal Career

  • 1998-Present    President, The Mann Law Firm
  • 1993-1998         Partner, Colton Mann Partnership
  • 1979-1998         Partner, Fierstein & Sturman Law Corp.
  • 1977-1979          Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney

Mr. Mann has thirty years of experience in construction, real estate and business litigation. Nearly 100% of his practice was devoted to construction law matters, including representation of owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, architects, and engineers.

Mr. Mann served as special litigation counsel for bankruptcy Trustee of bankruptcy estate of the original owner/developer of Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica and obtained an award in excess of $90 million (the largest construction defect arbitration award in California history); obtained other multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in various business, construction and real estate matters; defended major institutional clients in complex construction cases having over $35 million in exposure; has two published appellate decisions; served as expert witness in construction disputes; was retained by the Court as Special Master to oversee construction of a single family home to accommodate the needs of a disabled owner who suffered catastrophic injuries.

His experience includes all aspects of construction disputes, including construction defect, delay, disruption, mechanic’s liens, change orders, private and public works, multi-family, multi-party, residential and commercial. He has substantial technical expertise in building, including a thorough understanding of infrastructure (including dry and wet underground utilities), sewer systems, septic systems, soils and geotechnical issues, foundations, framing, fenestration, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, exterior plaster systems, roofing, waterproofing, civil engineering and mold.

He also served as an expert witness regarding the reasonableness of attorney’s fees and standard of care in construction defect disputes, and is an author and lecturer on construction and construction mediation issues. He is the author of an important technical book on construction Defect-Free Buildings published by McGraw Hill in 2007. He has published more than 50 articles on mediation and arbitration.

Education

  • (A.B., 1974) Stanford University
  • (J.D. cum laude, 1977) Santa Clara University School of Law

ADR Training

  • 02/2007      AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration
  • 10/2005       Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding and Writing Awards
  • 11/2003        AAA Commercial Arbitrator II Training
  • 10/2002       AAA Arbitrator I Training-Fundamental of the Arbitration Process
  • 1996, 1997    Mediation Alliance, Basic and Advanced Mediation Training

Areas of Expertise

Complex Construction Defect, Business/Commercial, Real Estate, Failure to Disclose, HOA disputes, Landlord/Tenant, Class Action, Complex Litigation, Entertainment, Environmental, Insurance, Toxic Tort Wrongful Death, Defamation, Government/Public Agency, Unfair Competition, Professional Liability, Design Professionals.

Professional Memberships/Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Forum on Construction Law; Section on Litigation)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Century City Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • International Conference of Building Officials
  • California Association of Community Managers
  • Community Association Institute
  • Contract Specifications Institute
  • Architectural Aluminum Manufacturers Association
  • Southern California Mediation Association

Publications

  • Defect-Free Buildings A Construction Manual for Quality Control and Conflict Resolution 2007, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY
  • “10 Foolproof Ways to Lose Big At Arbitration,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2004
  • “What Happens When You Go To Arbitration?” The Journal of Light Construction, Hanley Wood Publications, October, 2004
  • “What We Learn in Arbitrator School,” Association of Business Trial Lawyers ABTL Report, Vol. XXVI, No.1, Fall 2003
  • Author of numerous appellate briefs with two published decisions
  • Columnist for the Daily Journal on construction issues

Speaking Engagements

“The Architects Responsibility During Construction Administration,” Construction Law Seminar, Construction Specifications Institute/AIA, September 29, 2007; “Effective Case Preparation for Commercial/Construction Mediation,” The Absolute Mediator, Pepperdine University, November 5, 2005; 3rd Annual Avoiding and Resolving Construction Claims, West Coast Casualty (2014, 2015); Insurance Issues in Construction Litigation

Representative Cases

Construction Law

  • Hundreds of cases involving disputes between owners and contractors with respect to breach of contract, construction defects, mechanics’ liens, delay and disruption and incomplete work, including multi-million dollar disputes arising from the construction of residential, commercial and office projects. Total value of claims resolved exceeds $150 million.
  • Public Works cases, including resolution of $29 million dispute between public agency and surety regarding claims by surety for additional work under Modified Total Cost Claim analysis, dispute over claim arising from underground utility tunnel in San Francisco Bay Area, dispute over installation of one mile of high pressure welded steel fire supply line for downtown Los Angeles Metro Rail line, dispute over installation of high capacity pumps in public agency owned storm water retention and pumping facility, dispute over installation of cell towers on public agency owned land, dispute over damage to public utility equipment by private contractor during construction project.
  • Multiple cases involving disputes between private contractors and school districts, including disputes involving breach of contract, claims, discrimination, delay and disruption and construction defects.
  • Multiple cases involving disputes over removal of lateral and subjacent support including major claim arising from construction of commercial office building next to existing restaurant causing damage to restaurant facility.
  • Multiple cases involving multi-party construction defect claims arising from the construction of condominium and multi-family housing in California and Nevada.
  • Commercial construction disputes, including resolution of conflicting multi-million claims of owner and contractor on commercial hotel project and claim involving construction of hospital facility. Dispute involving construction of major downtown entertainment facility involving more than 40 parties.
  • Served as arbiter of quality control and completion issues on projects where parties agree to submit such issues for binding resolution based on my inspection and report.

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Real Estate Disputes

  • Dispute involving termination of lease at Staples Center luxury box.
  • Multiple cases involving commercial breach of lease and return of deposits in both residential and commercial properties.
  • Failure to disclose and other misrepresentation.
  • Multiple disputes arising from zoning and other use restrictions.
  • Multiple neighbor disputes over boundary lines, view sight easements, encroachments, hillside failures, lack of lateral and subjacent support.
  • Multiple cases involving foreclosure issues, including claims of lenders, borrowers, wrongful foreclosure, priority and title issues.
  • Dispute between Homeowner’s Association and Homeowner over filming rights on HOA property.
  • Dispute over maintenance obligations with regard to quarter-mile long retaining wall between two condominium associations including resolution of repair and maintenance responsibilities in the future.
  • Dispute over maintenance and repair of failing hillsides in large planned use community in hillside area adjacent to Mulholland Drive.
  • Dispute over method and cost to repair damaged condominium association property.

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Commercial Disputes

  • Dispute between two branches of family over ownership of family-owned and run restaurant business.
  • Dispute over ownership and valuation of antique Koran.
  • Dispute over ownership of parking rights in downtown office tower project.
  • Dispute involving malfeasance of property manager causing loss of rental income and increased financing charges due to reduction in rental income from property.

Real Estate Broker Malfeasance

  • Over 100 real estate broker malfeasance cases, including:
    Failure to disclose defects and other problems;
    Conspiracy to defraud;
    Inflating values for fraudulent loans;
    Misrepresentation of size and quality;
    Improper advice re escrow transactions;
    Mishandling documents;
    Improper advice re disclosure statements.

Homeowner Association Disputes

  • Scores of Homeowner Association Disputes including:
    Dispute over obligations of “sister” associations to maintain and repair common area;
    Dispute over maintenance and repair of hillside area;
    Disputes over alleged non-compliance with architectural standards;
    Disputes over alleged damage to private property by HOA failure to maintain or repair common areas;
    Disputes over alleged failures to enforce CC&Rs;
    Disputes between HOA and third parties, including vendors and others over non-payment , breach of contract, breach of warranty;
    Disputes over elections of officers and Directors;
    Disputes over approval of construction and other loans by HOA to improve HOA property.

Home Inspection Disputes

  • Many cases involving home inspections by Home Inspectors and Termite Inspectors, including:
    Disputes arising from incomplete or inadequate inspections;
    Claims of fraudulent inspections (inspections not actually performed by signed off) by both buyers and sellers.

Intellectual Property and Entertainment Related Disputes

  • Theft of intellectual property dispute between the two largest manufacturers in U.S. of adult sex products over alleged misappropriation of images used in advertising materials.
  • Multi-million dollar dispute between creators/producers of top 20 network television show over who should be entitled to residuals as “creator” of show upon syndication.
  • Copyright infringement action between internet company selling “touts” (predictions by sports handicappers of up-coming games) for a fee and internet company with “billboard” displaying allegedly copyrighted materials.

Wrongful Death and Personal Injury

  • Toxic Tort wrongful death cases involving alleged death from inhalation of powdered dye and inhalation over time of toxic chemicals in workplace.
  • Personal injury automobile cases.

Employment

  • Wrongful discharge of record company executive seeking $5 million in damages.

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

  • As an adjunct to construction matters, scores of insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits.

Legal Malpractice

  • $2.5 million claim of legal malpractice arising from failure to timely file and record Stop Notice in construction dispute.