Business and Commercial Disputes

Business and commercial litigation involves every kind of dispute that arises in a business context, whether it be between businesses, between a company an individual or between individuals in a business setting. This can involve contract disputes, including issues about the terms and interpretation of contracts and breaches of contracts in a wide variety of circumstances. Business disputes can involve problems between owners of a business. It may include matters involving fraud in connection with transactions, as well as fraud in investments, including securities fraud. Business disputes can concern conversion of property or embezzlement. It may involve misappropriation of trade secrets by a former employee or a competitor, a competitors use of unfair business practices, which may involve anti-trust law and restraints of trade, and infringing on trademarks or trade names or libeling a business. Business and commercial disputes may involve violations of non-compete agreements and wrongfully soliciting employees. Business disputes may involve an employee’s, officer’s, director’s or a trusted advisor’s breach of duties of loyalty or fiduciary duties. Business disputes can involve issues of professional malpractice. We have experience with unique and diverse complex statutes such as PACA (Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act), RICO (Racketeer Corrupt Organizations Act), unfair competition statutes, securities law statutes, and the uniform commercial code. Business and commercial disputes involve a wide range of remedies, such as damages, indemnity, injunctions, specific performance, declaratory judgments, accountings, partitions, and constructive trusts.

Representative Matters:

  • Represented former Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame running back in a federal court lawsuit to prevent the auction of and to recover his NFL Championship ring, missing for over 50 years.
  • Defended celebrity poker players, owners of an on-line poker company, in a lawsuit brought by a software development company alleging damages in excess of $36,000,000 for anti-trust and civil RICO claims.
  • Defended celebrity poker players in the defense of a class action lawsuit in federal court seeking $900,000,000 in damages and restitution based on numerous claims arising out of alleged ownership of an on-line poker company that had been closed by the Department of Justice.
  • Represented motion picture studio in litigating in federal court the studio’s claim of ownership to James Dean’s Right to Publicity and to disgorge the profits earned by the heirs of James Dean from their exploitation of his Right of Publicity.
  • Represented former President and Board Member of a specialty food distribution corporation in defense of claims upon the termination of the client’s employment, who after resigning from the Board of Directors, set up a competing business allegedly using the company’s trade secrets. Also represented the client against the plaintiff, venture capital investment firm and its principals, in claims relating to the acquisition and subsequent operation of the company. The case resulted in recovery for the client accused of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Represented foreign businessman in claims of damage to his business and inflicting emotional distress arising out of covert efforts to extradite him in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  • Defended a financial services advisory business and its founder in a federal securities fraud lawsuit arising out of debt restructuring services.
  • Represented former CEO of a charitable trust in an attorney general investigation arising out of highly publicized allegations of financial improprieties and mismanagement.
  • Represented foreign businessman in defense of claims of interference with business relations and defamation, arising out of allegations relating to espionage and accusations of fraud, extortion, bribery, and forging government documents.
  • Represented the FDIC regarding D&O and professional liability claims concerning losses of tens of millions of dollars arising out of a failed bank, including issues concerning banking regulations, lending regulations and standards, negligence and breaches of fiduciary duties.
  • Represented the FDIC/FSLIC as Receiver in prosecuting claims on loan agreements and promissory notes and defending against lender liability claims.
  • Defended one of the world’s largest food production companies in defense of a $40 million damage claim in federal court involving the exportation of beef to Korea and claims of breach of contract, fraud, interference with contract, and Lanham Act violations.
  • Obtained 100% recovery on behalf of private lender and limited liability company member in high-end gyms regarding breach of loan and other agreements.
  • Represented client in prosecuting fraudulent transfer claims involving a record producer’s fraudulent transfer of music publishing rights.
  • Represented cryptocurrency foundation in protection against misappropriation of trade secrets by a former consultant.
  • Successfully defended client in a trial alleging that a former recording artist breached a recording contract, trespassed onto the recording company’s premises, destroyed personal property at the record company, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on an employee of the company.
  • Defended former employees of national facility management company who formed a competing business in claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of duty of loyalty and of non-compete agreements.
  • Obtained dismissal of a Class Action lawsuit filed against a Travel Club under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Defended the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of a publicly held company in a shareholder’s derivative lawsuit alleging claims for stock dilution arising out of a reverse merger.
  • Defended a national university in a federal court lawsuit regarding an on-line master’s degree program sold to the university alleging damages of in excess of $3,000,000, involving claims and counter-claims for breach of contract, interference with contract, disparagement under the Lanham Act, trade libel, copyright infringement, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented a Shareholder, Board Member, and Corporate Secretary of a beauty school company to prosecute claims that the corporation breached an oral sales agreement to sell the school to client, froze-out the client from participation in the Board of Directors and terminated her employment.
  • Represented a seller in a claim against a purchaser for breach of an agreement to purchase a restaurant.
  • Obtained dismissal of RICO claim in a $1,650,000 securities fraud case based on the sale of investments interests in oil wells in Australia.
  • Following a two-week trial, obtained a $600,000 recovery in quantum meruit for the bankruptcy estate of a personal injury attorney who resigned from the Bar with disbarment proceedings pending against him.  The fees, which were assets of the bankruptcy estate, derived from a lawsuit that the former attorney had settled on behalf of approximately 200 plaintiffs in an action that arose from a train wreck that had spilled toxic chemicals onto the property of hundreds of homes in San Bernardino. The recovery of attorneys fees was complicated by the fact that the judge who had ‘tried’ the underlying lawsuit believed that the former attorney had committed legal malpractice and was reluctant to allow any fees at all out of the $2,000,000 for which the underlying lawsuit had settled.
  • Obtained a $500,000 settlement on behalf of a sales representative in a lawsuit alleging that a foreign manufacturer of liquid crystal displays breached a “profit share” clause in the Sales Representation Agreement by refusing to pay profits earned by the company on the sales of OEM product to Motorola and other cell phone manufacturers.  Before the lawsuit was filed the sales representative had offered to accept $60,000 to settle the dispute.
  • Defended an NASD listed environmental inspection company in a lawsuit alleging claims arising out of the purchase and sale of a competitor’s business.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a Canadian airline company in a dispute arising out of its purchase of an airplane.
  • Defended a factoring company in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case seeking disgorgement under the Perishable Agricultural and Commodities Act, resulting in a landmark federal court opinion.
  • Defended a national law firm in lawsuit by an expert witness who was seeking the payment of expert witness fees due to him after the law firm’s client’s insurance carrier was placed into receivership.
  • Defended at trial a major international software developer in an action brought by a former sales representative.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of a major software developer against a former senior employee and his new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of a non-compete agreement.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a life insurance agent dismissing a $1,000,000 damage claim based on alleged misrepresentations made by the life insurance agent, and just after the agent had been indicted for insurance fraud.
  • Represent parties in “business divorce” matters.
  • Represent parties in disputes regarding the sale of goods and services, involving claims for breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties, common counts, the application of the Commercial Code, fraud and deceit, non-conforming goods, failure to perform, and contract interpretation.
  • Prepared and reviewed various transactional documents, such as: deal term sheets, promissory notes, guarantees, security agreements, pledge agreements, deeds, deeds of trust, partnership agreements, corporate formation documents, limited liability operating agreements, agreement for purchase and sale of crypto-currency, media relations agreement, public relations agreement, advisor agreement, software developer agreement, consultant agreements, employment agreements, call center agreement, shareholders agreement, buy-sell agreement, and severance agreements.