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Appellate Decisions

Below is a list of some of the cases the firm has handled, not a complete list, and is not a guarantee of future results.

ReadyLink, Inc. v. Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Inc.
2021 WL 506567 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)

Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
(Defense Verdict; Successful Appeal; $2,329,213 in Damages, Costs, Fee Recovery, and Interest)

Klein & Wilson represented a staffing agency that provides nurses to hospitals. A patient sued one of the hospitals, with whom the client did business, for medical malpractice. The hospital settled the medical malpractice case for approximately one-half million dollars and then sued the client for indemnity, claiming the client’s nurse caused the damage. The client refused to indemnify the hospital because its nurse did nothing wrong. In retaliation, the hospital continued ordering nurses from the client without any intention of paying the bills. By the time the client figured out the hospital’s scheme, the client had provided approximately $300,000 of services.

The hospital won the race to the courthouse and sued the client for breach of the indemnity agreement. The client counter-sued for fraud and breach of contract. During discovery, Klein & Wilson learned the client signed various contracts with the hospital and its sister companies in the name of entities that did not exist. The client amended its complaint to request reformation of the contracts at issue, or it would recover nothing.

After a trial that lasted several weeks, the trial court granted reformation of the contracts so the client could proceed with its efforts to recover the money the hospital owed. The case then proceeded to a jury trial where the jury concluded the client’s nurse did not commit malpractice. The jury also found the hospital and its related sister entities committed fraud and awarded every penny the client demanded in damages. Following trial, the trial court awarded all of Klein & Wilson’s legal fees.

The hospital and its sister companies appealed the verdict, but the appellate court affirmed the verdict. Following the appeal, the court awarded all of Klein & Wilson’s appellate legal fees. This was a big win for the client ending approximately eight years of bitter litigation. The total award of damages, fees, and costs (including interest) Klein & Wilson recovered was $2,329,213.19.

State Compensation Insurance Fund v. ReadyLink HealthCare
2020 Daily Journal D.A.R. 5734 (50 Cal.App.5th 422)

The client came to Klein & Wilson after a series of calamities in its case against State Compensation Insurance Fund (“SCIF”). The client had a unique employee compensation program which had been approved by the Internal Revenue Service but was challenged by SCIF. In separate administrative proceedings, which branched out to judicial proceedings, the client challenged SCIF’s calculation of premiums. After the client lost at the administrative level, the state court level, and in federal court, the client came to Klein & Wilson to see if the case could be salvaged. Klein & Wilson contended the client never had its day in court regarding the amount of premiums owed to SCIF, even if other issues were decided against the client. Klein & Wilson further contended it was entitled to take discovery on undecided issues. The trial court disagreed, and incorrectly determined all issues in the case were decided by an administrative hearing and related court cases. On appeal, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s finding and concluded Klein & Wilson’s position correct. The appellate court remanded the case to the trial court with an order allowing the client to take whatever discovery it wanted and challenge the alleged premiums owed.

HUB Int’l Ins. Servs. v. Morales
2018 WL 2978262 (Cal. App. 4th Dist.)

Five years after selling an insurance brokerage firm, our client left plaintiff, a massive, multi-national insurance brokerage firm, for a better opportunity with another brokerage firm. The brokerage firm sued, alleging our client breached the covenant not to compete in his buy/sell agreement and that all our clients conspired to misappropriate plaintiff’s trade secrets. Although our clients did nothing wrong, plaintiff aggressively pursued its claims. It did not go well for plaintiff. After we defeated plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction, we moved this case into binding arbitration. After a three-day evidentiary hearing, the arbitrator ruled in favor of our clients. We then won a motion for over $200,000 in attorneys’ fees. Klein & Wilson defeated plaintiff’s motion to vacate the arbitration award. We converted the arbitration award into a final judgment and won a second motion for attorneys’ fees. Finally, Klein & Wilson defeated plaintiff’s appeal, and the appellate court awarded appellate costs to our clients.

Doe Client v. Roe Law Firm
(Case Confidential)

Klein & Wilson represented a client in a legal malpractice case. During the discovery phase of the action, the law firm sought discovery on an issue unrelated to the underlying case in an effort to force the client to settle the malpractice case. Klein & Wilson filed a motion for a protective order (to prevent the law firm from conducting discovery on the privileged issue), which the trial court granted. The law firm filed a writ petition fully exposing the very issue Klein & Wilson sought to keep secret. Klein & Wilson filed a motion to seal the appellate record, which the appellate court granted. After considering Klein & Wilson‘s opposition to the law firm’s writ petition, the appellate court denied the law firm’s writ petition. As a consequence, the law firm was precluded from introducing the evidence at trial.

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.

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, defendant contended it was entitled to arbitration under the terms of the lease. Klein & Wilson convinced the trial court the request for arbitration was untimely, and the appellete court denied defendant’s writ petition.

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.

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.

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.

Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank
2000 Daily Journal D.A.R. 6289 (81 Cal.App.4th 616)

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 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 controlled. 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. The appellate court ordered the trial 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.