Recent Appellate Decisions
Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank
2000 Daily Journal D.A.R. 6289 (81 Cal.App.4th 616)
In this case, Klein & Wilson represented a shopping center attempting to evict a bank tenant based upon expiration of the bank's lease. Both sides agreed the lease had not yet expired, but the bank had executed an estoppel certificate indicating an erroneous lease expiration date. The question presented at trial was whether the bank was bound by its estoppel certificate or whether the actual lease expiration date should be enforced. In a case of first impression, the trial court concluded the bank was not bound by the estoppel certificate. Klein & Wilson appealed and the appellate court reversed, finding the estoppel certificate enforceable and directing the court to enter judgment in favor of Klein & Wilson's client. The case was a published decision and was one of the ten most important appellate decisions involving real estate during 2000.
Gutierrez v. Gutierrez
2004 WL 1894772 (Cal.App. 5 Dist.)
Klein & Wilson represented defendant Ruben Gutierrez in an action filed by Ruben's brother Ignacio. Ignacio was represented by Downey Brand, Sacramento's largest law firm. Ruben and Ignacio had a successful ice cream manufacturing business. In order to meet customers' demands, Ruben and Ignacio decided to purchase a building in which to conduct their manufacturing operation. The bank required a partnership agreement before it would lend money to purchase the building. Accordingly, the brothers signed a partnership agreement which contained a ten-year covenant not to compete which was triggered if one of the brothers voluntarily withdrew from the partnership. Approximately two weeks after the brothers signed the partnership agreement, they decided to terminate their partnership over differences which had been festering for years. The brothers then signed a dissolution agreement which did not contain a covenant not to compete but did contain an integration clause stating the dissolution agreement contained all the terms of the brothers' final agreement. Ignacio paid Ruben $1 million for the business. After Ruben started a new business which threatened Ignacio's success, Ignacio sued Ruben for damages and an injunction, alleging that Ruben withdrew from the partnership and was therefore bound by the covenant not to compete. Klein & Wilson filed several motions to end the lawsuit on the grounds the dissolution agreement was integrated and the parol evidence rule barred a jury from considering the covenant not to compete in the partnership agreement. The trial court denied the motions and the case proceeded to trial. The jury awarded Ignacio significant damages, and the trial court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Ruben from manufacturing and selling ice cream in California. Klein & Wilson appealed the judgment, and the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed. The Court of Appeal agreed with Klein & Wilson's analysis of the parol evidence rule and ordered the trial court to enter judgment for Ruben and vacate the injunction.
CD Listening Bar, Inc. v. Doe Major Accounting Firm
2001 WL 1660049 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Klein & Wilson's client claimed it was owed substantial amounts of money from an accounting firm that had breached a contract to install computer software. The accounting firm convinced the trial court to compel arbitration in Fargo, North Dakota, which would have effectively ended the case. Klein & Wilson sought a writ of mandate, even though fewer than five percent of writ petitions succeed. Despite the small odds, Klein & Wilson's writ petition was successful and the matter was returned to the trial court.
Affinitec Corporation v. Siemens Business Communication Systems, Inc.
2002 WL 453626 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Following Klein & Wilson's successful $5 million trial verdict against the German conglomerate Siemens, Siemens hired appellate specialists to handle the appeal. Klein & Wilson represented the winning party at trial and also defended the judgment on appeal. The entire judgment was affirmed, with the exception of interest, which the trial court was required to recalculate. Siemens settled upon remand to the trial court.
Brutocao, et al. v. The Hunt Club
2008 WL 542843 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Klein & Wilson successfully defended its trial judgment on appeal, winning all issues presented on appeal.
Business Center Drive Partners, L.P. v. BioGentec Corporation, et al.
2005 WL 1684072 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Despite litigating with Klein & Wilson's client, BioGentec contended it was entitled to arbitration under the terms of the lease. Klein & Wilson convinced the court the request for arbitration was untimely, and the writ petition was denied.
Bovee v. Kodnegah
2009 WL 4023742 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)
Klein & Wilson represented a landlord in an action against a tenant who failed to maintain the landlord's property, resulting in thousands of dollars of repair costs. In response to the complaint, the tenant filed a cross-complaint alleging the landlord caused the tenant to suffer millions of dollars when the landlord evicted him. Klein & Wilson filed an anti-SLAPP motion, alleging the cross-complaint was barred because it related to litigation. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the cross-complaint. The tenant appealed, and the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order.