We’ve done it all, or pretty close—from suing rogue insurers, to defending doctors in licensing disputes, to representing C-level employees at public companies in employment fights, to pushing for the last dollar for our personal injury clients.
Here are a few cases to give you an idea of who we are, what we do, and what you can expect . . .
The sort of dogs who never, ever let go of the bone
The floors of our client’s rental property in Fresno collapsed. The loss was covered. But the insurance company didn’t feel like paying. They blamed the owner, saying there had been no collapse, and that the problems were caused by water leaking in from the roof. We got the case through a public adjuster who had reached the end of his rope. We tried to settle the case, but the insurer wouldn’t budge, so we sued. It wasn’t a terribly large loss, so we figured we’d have it wrapped up in a few months. That was five years ago.
After several months of litigation, and no reasonable offer from the insurer, we began trial. We had never been able to locate the folks who’d been renting the house, who could testify that the floors were in good shape but simply collapsed one day due to termite damage. In the middle of jury deliberations, one of the prospective jurors informed the judge that he had been living in the house at the time of the loss. We found our witness. But the judge called off the trial.
A year later, the second trial began. We picked a great jury and we were pretty confident of winning. Then, in the midst of figuring out the jury instructions, the court made a legal ruling that ended the case. (For the lawyers and adjusters out there, the court held that the predominant cause rule did not apply in this case and refused to give the standard jury instruction.) When we interviewed the jurors, guess what? We’d won.
Six months later we filed our appeal, which is where things stand. If we lose in the Court of Appeal, we’ll go to the California Supreme Court. If we win the appeal, we’ll be back in the trial court for a third trial.
Some cases take a month. Some take a decade. We’re in it for the duration. That’s what we mean by a relentless commitment to justice.
Going to the ends of the earth for our clients
Fire takes out a gas station and market. The insurance company stalls, and stalls, and finally we squeezed out policy limits for our client. Then we determined that our client’s broker had been forging insurance applications and that, in our case, the policy limits were way, way too low. So, on the morning of trial against the broker, we squeezed again, and the broker coughed up.
Were we done? I think not.
During reconstruction of the market the civil engineer made a mess of things and our client refused to pay. Lawsuits and counter lawsuits ensued. We cost-effectively litigated through an avalanche of motions by the engineer. Two years later plaintiff still would not go away. So, we did what we do—whether for an injured plaintiff or an unjustly sued defendant—we picked a jury, we pitched our case, and we won.
Except the victory in this case was particularly sweet because the plaintiffs tried to portray our client as a corrupt Arab, and they did so right around the time the U.S. finally tagged Osama Bin Laden. Not a good time to be an Arab defendant. But we won anyway.
Oh, and by the way, post-trial we got attorneys’ fees for our client. Ends of the earth. Seriously.
And some snippets . . .
We settled favorably with a large insurer who refused to pay a wind claim after a huge storm passed over our client’s building, tore up the roof, and inundated the interior with water. The insurer’s defense? There was no storm. We managed to come up with some nice photos of people holding golf-ball size hail on the day of the loss. And a local weather forecaster who said, “Uh, yeah, there was a storm, maybe the biggest of the last ten years.”
In the employment arena, for example, we represented the CEO of a bio-informatics company in a suit for wages and options, arguing that the board of directors had committed fraud. That one settled happily on the eve of trial. We represented a VP of engineering in a suit against his former employer for severance, defamation, and the illegal withholding of options. That one also settled before trial. And we reached a favorable settlement for a SVP of finance accused of Sarbanes Oxley and Dodd-Frank violations.
Some of our PI cases have included a child with a brain injury, a slew of car accidents, and a nutty civil rights case against a rogue city inspector who ran up tens of thousands in nuisance charges against our client because she didn’t like the way his kitchen looked.