Case Results: Business Litigation
Below is a list of some of the cases the firm has handled, not a complete list, and is not a guaranty of future results.
Doe v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson‘s client was embroiled in probate litigation that had been pending for more than five years against the State of California and one of the largest trust companies in the world. With no end in sight, the client retained Klein & Wilson to see if it could settle the case or try it, if necessary. Klein & Wilson prepared an analysis of the complex issues the client faced, determined the client needed a new team of professionals, and plotted a plan to settle the highly contentious case. Klein & Wilson interviewed and hired new probate and tax counsel and guided them (and the client’s existing professionals) to a historic $97 million settlement.
Venture Communications v. Falcon Communications
In 1992, Mr. Klein represented a limited partner in a cable franchise, alleging a variety of causes of action, including breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Mr. Klein prevailed at trial and, after a court awarded judgment in favor of Mr. Klein’s client, Mr. Klein’s client received $26 million by way of settlement.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a staffing company seeking a $6 million of damages from a hospital. As a result of discovery efforts, Klein & Wilson was able to prove breach of contract and also developed substantial evidence of fraud. After the court initially denied Klein & Wilson‘s request for a writ of attachment, Klein & Wilson presented newly discovered evidence and convinced the court to reverse its ruling and issue a writ of attachment. Immediately before trial, the hospital offered to pay Klein & Wilson‘s client approximately $6 million. The client rejected that offer given the strength of the fraud case Klein & Wilson developed. Klein & Wilson resolved the case on the first day of trial with the client recovering $6 million of damages, reimbursement of all the client’s attorneys’ fees, and the hospital was required to award the client a new contract valued at an additional $6 million.
ReadyLink HealthCare v. Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
The defendant law firm charged its client almost $5 million in legal fees while handling four sophisticated trade secrets and business cases. None of the four cases went well for the client, despite the fact the client paid millions of dollars of attorneys’ fees. The client hired Klein & Wilson to handle the malpractice case against former counsel, one of the largest law firms in the United States. After a two month long jury trial, the jury awarded Klein & Wilson‘s client every penny it requested on its breach of contract and malpractice claims and awarded the defendant law firm nothing on its cross-claims. The case drew significant attention from the California legal community, and the Los Angeles Daily Journal ran a front-page story about this case. Lewis Brisbois Ordered to Pay Millions for Overbilling.
Affinitec v. Siemens
In May 1999, Klein & Wilson won a verdict of approximately $5 million on behalf of its software client against Siemens Business Communications, Inc., one of the largest companies in the world. Affinitec prevailed on all of its breach of contract claims and recovered 99 percent of all the damages it requested from the jury. Siemens filed a cross-complaint against Klein & Wilson‘s client but recovered nothing.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a securities brokerage firm victimized by a raid. Klein & Wilson proved that departing brokers plotted with their new firm to steal a confidential database that was indispensable to launching their new firm. Klein & Wilson also proved the departing brokers and their new firm engaged in a conspiracy to destroy evidence.
A special master held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether it should enter terminating sanctions against defendants based on destruction of evidence. It was obvious to everyone after the first three days of testimony the brokers were going to lose. So, several of the brokers settled the case for a seven-figure sum before there was a court award against them. The three primary wrongdoers proceeded to the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing. As expected, the special master recommended terminating sanctions. After receiving the special master’s report, the trial judge engaged in a comprehensive review of the hearing and an independent analysis of the evidence. He agreed with the referee and entered judgment against the remaining brokers. The client’s total recovery was $4,158,102.
Doe Company v. Roe Insurance Company
Klein & Wilson represented a printing and direct mailing company against a large insurance company regarding the insurance company’s decision not to provide promised work to the printing company. Klein & Wilson‘s client claimed it had a contractual right to perform all mailings for any plan owned by the insurance company. The insurance company contended the contract was not exclusive and could give work to other contractors if it chose to do so. Following the most critical depositions in the case, Klein & Wilson successfully obtained a $3.5 million settlement for the client. The insurance company was represented by one of the largest law firms in the state where the arbitration was to take place, and included a former chief justice of the Supreme Court on the trial team.
Does Corporation v. Roes
Klein & Wilson represented a company which hired design professionals and a general contractor to construct a sales facility in Central California. The designers and contractors made a number of errors, resulting in construction defects. Because of insurance coverage issues, the defendants’ insurance carriers refused to settle until Klein & Wilson took approximately 50 depositions and proved that each defendant had serious exposure. After several mediations, Klein & Wilson recovered $3 million for its client – enough money for the client to make the necessary repairs to its facility.
Doe v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a client who was victimized by an unscrupulous partner in liquidating a loan portfolio. Following a bench trial, the court awarded $2.7 million to Klein & Wilson‘s client.
Darla L. v. Southland LLC
In April 2000, Klein & Wilson won a verdict of $2.25 million in a premises liability action stemming from a sexual assault of a tenant of a residential apartment complex. This was one of the largest verdicts of its kind in California.
Golf Course v. City
$2.2 Million plus water rights
Klein & Wilson represented a prominent golf club in a dispute with the city and state water agency over water rights. Klein & Wilson proved to the trial court that the golf club’s water rights were superior to those of the city and the state agency. After the trial court’s ruling in Klein & Wilson‘s favor, the defendants agreed to pay the golf course $2.2 million and signed an agreement securing the golf club’s water rights for many years.
CD Listening Bar, Inc. v. Doe Major Accounting Firm
Klein & Wilson‘s client was one of the largest distributors of compact disc products in the United States. As the result of rapid growth, the client needed to replace its existing accounting software program with a higher end program while remaining in operation. The client retained a major accounting firm to perform the work. The accounting firm botched the project and Klein & Wilson‘s client was severely damaged. The case ultimately settled for $2 million .
STM Wireless, Inc. v. AmeriData, a Subsidiary of General Electric
Klein & Wilson represented a public company in a complicated breach of contract action against a much larger corporation. Two weeks before trial, Klein & Wilson shared its mock trial results with the opposing side, and convinced the defendant to pay more than $2 million to settle.
STM Wireless, Inc. v. Gilat
Klein & Wilson represented a public satellite communications company in a dispute with a competitor over a contract in Peru. The client won the contract, but alleged the competitor had stolen the contract using improper influence with Peruvian government ministers. When Klein & Wilson filed suit on behalf of the client, the competitor’s attorneys said the case was frivolous. As a result of Klein & Wilson‘s efforts, even the United States Congress became interested in the case and began its own inquiry. Ultimately, the competitor settled the case for $1.75 million.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporations
Klein & Wilson’s client was entangled in prolonged litigation that was not being handled well. Even though the client had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, the client did not have an analysis of the case, no theme was developed, and there was no plan to win. Frustrated with current counsel, the client retained Klein & Wilson. Within 30 days, Klein & Wilson evaluated the case and settled it for $1.7 million, representing 100 percent of the value Klein & Wilson placed on the case.
Devore v. Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Company
Klein & Wilson represented a dentist who could no longer practice dentistry because he suffered from chronic daily migraine headaches. The disability carrier refused to pay insurance proceeds on the grounds the dentist made misrepresentations in his application and the dentist was not disabled. After Klein & Wilson won the jury trial, the case settled for $1.5 million .
Doe City v. Roe City Attorney
Klein & Wilson represented a City against its former City Attorney for legal malpractice arising out of the City Attorney’s failure to identify and resolve a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest sparked negative media attention, a public audit, and a criminal prosecution. Ultimately, the City was forced to reimburse funds spent on a public project. When Klein & Wilson substituted into the case, the former City Attorney refused to offer a penny to resolve the case. After Klein & Wilson evaluated the case and presented the former City Attorney with facts showing it had substantial exposure at trial, Klein & Wilson was successful in resolving the case for $1.5 million without taking a single deposition.
Next Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Stauber Performance Ingredients, Inc.
Klein & Wilson represented a nutritional supplements firm who sold $750,000 of product to defendant. Defendant alleged the product was defective and refused to pay. After Klein & Wilson filed a complaint, defendant filed a cross-complaint, alleging a variety of wrongful conduct against Klein & Wilson‘s client. After Klein & Wilson worked up the case and presented a multimedia presentation at mediation, defendant agreed to settle the case for $1.5 million.
Vera Townhomes Homeowners’ Association v. Vera Townhomes
Klein & Wilson represented a homeowners’ association in a construction defect case. The developers and contractors denied there were construction defects and refused to pay anything. After conducting a “show-and-tell” presentation of the defects and inviting all the defendants to destructive testing, the defendants recognized they would be found liable and paid Klein & Wilson‘s client approximately $1.5 million .
Guild, Inc. v. J.C. Penney
In 2004, Klein & Wilson won a verdict of $1.4 million in a breach of implied contract and copyright infringement case against one of the largest retailers in the United States. The jury awarded every penny Klein & Wilson requested. The Court commented that Klein & Wilson‘s multimedia trial presentation was the best it had ever seen.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Law Firm
Klein & Wilson brought a legal malpractice action against one of the largest and most prominent law firms in California for its mishandling of a “bet-the-company” trade secrets case and its failure to recognize serious conflicts of interest. At the time Klein & Wilson accepted the case, the law firm was demanding approximately $500,000 from the client. Klein & Wilson settled the case on the eve of trial for $725,000 with the law firm agreeing to write-off its entire bill of almost $500,000.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a client defrauded by a family member. After Klein & Wilson won key motions to compel and uncovered a scheme to secretly discharge the debt in bankruptcy proceedings, the defendants agreed to pay the client over $1 million.
Project FasTags, Inc. v. Fascenelli
Klein & Wilson represented a partner in the breakup of a lucrative partnership. In addition to various breach of fiduciary duty claims, Klein & Wilson represented the client in claims of copyright and trademark violation. Klein & Wilson was able to achieve a settlement resulting in a payment to its client of just over $1 million . In addition, the client retained control of the business.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson‘s client hired Texas counsel to try a breach of contract case. In the middle of trial, the attorney-client relationship deteriorated. In an unusual set of circumstances, the parties’ attorneys signed a letter of intent regarding settlement terms, but the case was dismissed before the parties signed a formal settlement agreement. When the defendant refused to honor the settlement terms, the client hired new Texas counsel who tried to get the case reinstated. After eight months of being in limbo, the client asked Klein & Wilson to see what it could do. Klein & Wilson resolved the case with the defendant paying Klein & Wilson‘s client $1 million .
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a company which sold its medical billing assets in exchange for cash and a promissory note. When the buyer defaulted on the promissory note, Klein & Wilson filed an action against the buyer. The buyer filed a cross-complaint alleging 17 causes of action, pursued an aggressive discovery campaign, and designated multiple experts to try and prove the seller engaged in an international tax fraud conspiracy, which would somehow relieve the buyer from making payments on the promissory note.
The buyer demanded $2.4 million to settle the cross-complaint against Klein & Wilson‘s client. Before trial, the parties filed multiple motions in limine. Klein & Wilson won every substantive motion and persuaded the court to exclude defendants’ experts. The court held a separate trial on the equitable issues the case presented, and Klein & Wilson prevailed. Klein & Wilson then persuaded the court to force defendants to present an offer of proof on the cross-complaint. After the court dismissed the first seven causes of action, the case settled in a favorable manner to Klein & Wilson‘s client.
Doe Client v. Shari Sullivant
Klein & Wilson represented a client who entered into a promissory note with defendant, which provided for a substantial penalty if payments were not made timely. The client claimed defendant owed $665,000, plus interest. Defendant failed to make timely payments and alleged she was excused from doing so, because the note was usurious. Klein & Wilson persuaded defendant that the note was not usurious and negotiated a stipulated judgment. Defendant failed to comply with the stipulation; accordingly, Klein & Wilson obtained a judgment against defendant for approximately $827,000 .
Doe v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson filed an action arising out of partnership dispute. Klein & Wilson‘s client and defendants worked together for almost two years on a business. While they did not have a written agreement, Klein & Wilson argued the parties’ conduct showed they were acting as joint venture partners. Right before the parties were about to sign their partnership agreement, defendants ousted Klein & Wilson‘s client and formed the partnership without him. Klein & Wilson defeated defendants’: (a) motion to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction; (b) demurrer; (c) motion to apply law of another state; (d) motion for summary judgment; and (e) motion for judgment on the pleadings. After four days of trial, the case settled with defendants agreeing to pay Klein & Wilson‘s client $825,000 .
Doe Corporation v. Roe Insurance Corporation
Klein & Wilson recovered $715,000 for a client whose insurers refused to defend it for a covered claim, requiring the client to defend itself. This settlement represented 95 percent of the client’s claim for unpaid defense costs.
Paritcher Khadem-Missagh v. Haroonian
In 2000, Klein & Wilson represented a client who lent money to carpet salesmen in Beverly Hills. The carpet salesmen refused to pay the money back. Klein & Wilson obtained summary judgment as to two of the defendants and judgment on the pleadings as to the remaining defendants, resulting in judgments totaling $700,000.
Does v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented tenants who subleased their space to a corporation. Former counsel structured the deal in such a way that Klein & Wilson‘s clients made no money on the sublease, but remained liable to the landlord should the subtenant fail to make lease payments. Klein & Wilson filed an action against the subtenant, seeking a declaration of how to interpret the lease. At the same time, Klein & Wilson indicated there was a possibility its clients would evict the subtenants, under a provision which gave the clients a unilateral right to re-occupy the property. The case settled when the subtenant agreed to pay Klein & Wilson‘s clients $645,000 in exchange for their waiver of their right to re-occupy the property. Accordingly, Klein & Wilson turned an unprofitable transaction into a windfall.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a client whose accountant made an error causing the client to suffer significant damages. Before filing suit, Klein & Wilson negotiated a settlement where the accountant paid the client $596,500, representing all of the client’s damages.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporations
In 2004 through 2006, Klein & Wilson settled a number of related copyright infringement cases against major garment manufacturers and some of the largest retailers in the world for $535,000 . All these cases stemmed from infringement of Klein & Wilson‘s client’s copyrighted fabric designs.
Youssefzadeh v. 740 South Broadway
Klein & Wilson represented a partner who was cheated by his other partners, some of whom are family members. In a bitterly fought arbitration, Klein & Wilson recovered $533,505 plus attorneys’ fees.
Brutocao v. The Hunt Club Community Association
Klein & Wilson‘s client was forced to sue his homeowners’ association, which refused to allow him to build on plans it had previously approved. Klein & Wilson attempted to settle the case early through mediation, but the homeowners’ association stubbornly refused to budge an inch. At trial, the court found in favor of Klein & Wilson‘s client and awarded not only substantial damages, but also the majority of the client’s legal fees, finding that the quality of representation had been superior.
Doe v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented the former chief executive officer of a major corporation. The major corporation failed to live up to numerous provisions of a post-employment agreement. After three days of arbitration, the defendant agreed to pay all the money Klein & Wilson‘s client requested, totaling over $500,000.
Sullivan v. Lone Eagle Enterprises, LLC
Klein & Wilson represented a client in a complex real estate partnership dispute. Within a few weeks of being retained, Klein & Wilson recovered a $500,000 settlement for its client.
Wesley v. Kifton
In this construction defect case, Klein & Wilson sued some of the largest developers in California, including Jack Nicklaus (the golfer) and Watt Industries. Klein & Wilson‘s clients purchased a large residential lot on a Jack Nicklaus golf course and, soon after the purchase, the lot was destroyed by a flood. All the defendants denied liability, and Mr. Nicklaus even threatened Klein & Wilson with a malicious prosecution action. After Klein & Wilson presented compelling evidence that the lot was defective, the defendants settled by paying approximately $500,000.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson‘s client hired a structural engineering firm to design several commercial buildings. Years after the buildings were constructed, a piece of concrete broke off one of the concrete panels. Investigation revealed the structural engineer made calculation errors, resulting in inadequate chord connections. At mediation, Klein & Wilson recovered all of the client’s damages, including attorneys’ fees and prejudgment interest.
Client v. Major U.S. Corporation
Klein & Wilson was hired approximately two weeks before binding arbitration was set to start. The client sought damages for defendant’s failure to pay for software programming, and defendant sought approximately $200,000 in damages against the client for alleged failure to perform a contract. At the arbitration, Klein & Wilson proved that the client performed all the terms of the contract and was also entitled to additional fees for change orders defendant agreed to pay. After a two day arbitration, the arbitrator awarded Klein & Wilson‘s client $320,357 which represented all the money the client sought on the contract and all of the change orders defendant agreed to pay. The arbitrator rejected defendant’s counterclaim.
Business Center Drive Partners v. BioGentec Corporation
BioGentec was a landlord’s worst nightmare. The company was habitually late on rent and repeatedly made commitments it did not keep. The landlord, Klein & Wilson‘s client, refused to renew the lease and, at that point, the landlord’s nightmare got worse. BioGentec held over and took advantage of every procedural opportunity to delay eviction. As a result of Klein & Wilson‘s aggressive litigation tactics, Klein & Wilson successfully evicted BioGentec and then won a substantial monetary judgment against BioGentec for back rent and attorneys’ fees. Klein & Wilson convinced the court to find the principal of BioGentec in contempt of court for failing to turn over assets. Klein & Wilson recovered almost all of the outstanding judgment when the judge threatened to throw the principal in jail.
Breton v. Midland TME
Mr. Klein represented a construction company for collection of its fees and foreclosure of a mechanic’s lien. The defendants alleged construction defects and a variety of other defenses, including some issues never before considered by a California court. Mr. Klein recovered over $250,000 for the construction company and won the right to foreclose on the lien.
Does v. Roe Law Firm
Klein & Wilson recovered $250,000 in a legal malpractice case where the attorneys did a poor job preparing an underlying personal injury and civil rights case. Despite serious issues of causation, Klein & Wilson convinced the defendant’s insurance carrier a jury would overlook those issues because of the attorneys’ misconduct.
John Doe v. AMMCO Holdings, LLC
$250,000 (Binding Arbitration)
AMMCO hired Klein & Wilson‘s client to be its president and gave him the impossible task of turning the company around in short order, even though the company’s accounting department was incompetent and years of sloppy corporate culture permeated every department. Klein & Wilson‘s client made great strides in improving quality control and repairing damaged customer relationships. Nevertheless, AMMCO’s board abruptly terminated the client for “cause” after a disgruntled employee complained about his management style. Consequently, AMMCO refused to pay the severance set forth in the employment agreement and other wages, on the ground that the “for cause” termination justified its decision.
Klein & Wilson persuaded AMMCO to submit the case to binding arbitration which saved Klein & Wilson‘s client thousands of dollars in fees and costs. At the binding arbitration, Klein & Wilson proved its client met AMMCO’s stated objectives and there was no “cause” justifying the client’s termination. The arbitrator awarded Klein & Wilson‘s client the entire severance payment requested, plus vacation pay, penalties, expert witness fees, interest, costs, and all of Klein & Wilson‘s attorneys’ fees.
MacPherson v. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation
In 1987, Mr. Klein sued Wall Street securities firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation (“DLJ”) on behalf of an investor whose account was wrongfully liquidated by the securities company. DLJ countersued the investor for over $1 million, alleging securities fraud and a variety of other causes of action. Mr. Klein received summary judgment on most of the security company’s causes of action and, at trial, received a defense verdict on DLJ’s remaining causes of action. The jury awarded the investor approximately $200,000, representing the value of the wrongfully liquidated account.
Masonry Mechanics v. Breton Construction
Mr. Wilson represented Breton Construction in this construction defect and breach of contract action. Masonry Mechanics sued Breton Construction for several hundred thousand dollars for nonpayment of its work. Mr. Wilson proved that Breton Construction refused to pay for the work because it was defective. Moreover, Mr. Wilson proved that Masonry Mechanics caused Breton Construction to suffer approximately $200,000 in delay damages. At arbitration, the court awarded Masonry Mechanics nothing and awarded Mr. Wilson’s client approximately $200,000.
Doe v. John Roe
One of the largest law firms in the United States sought $747,181.79 from its client in a fee dispute. Klein & Wilson cast doubt on the law firm’s bills by comparing the work product with the amount of time the attorneys billed. The case settled for $165,000 before the fee arbitration. Accordingly, Klein & Wilson saved the client over $500,000.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
(Defeats $16 Million Claim)
A DIY Network celebrity accused Klein & Wilson‘s client of violating Civil Code section 3344 by using his image without authorization to sell products. The celebrity’s expert opined that the celebrity’s damages were not less than $16 million, representing all the sales Klein & Wilson‘s client made during the period at issue. Klein & Wilson filed a motion (which the court heard right before picking a jury) asking the court to exclude the expert because his testimony was based on inaccurate assumptions instead of reliable data. The court granted the motion, gutting plaintiff’s case. Recognizing an adverse jury verdict was inevitable, plaintiff dismissed the case just as the court was calling prospective jurors to the courtroom.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
(Defense Verdict and Successful Appeal)
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.
Following 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 that the hospital and its related sister-entities committed fraud and awarded every penny the client demanded. 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. This was a big win for the client ending approximately eight years of bitter litigation.
Doe v. Roe Limited Liability Company
Klein & Wilson represented an airport fixed-based operator in a lawsuit against a disgruntled member of the limited liability company that owned the operation. The unhappy member, represented by a prominent law firm, made specious accusations against the company and its members. After Klein & Wilson filed a motion to dismiss the case, the member surrendered and dismissed the case voluntarily. Klein & Wilson recovered its fees on the client’s client.
Doe v. Roe and Roe Corporation
In the firm’s first post-COVID jury trial, Klein & Wilson obtained a unanimous defense verdict in favor of its clients, a successful contracting business, and its sole owner. Klein & Wilson’s client was sued by his ex-girlfriend, a big firm lawyer representing herself, who alleged she was verbally promised a partnership interest in the clients’ business. After Klein & Wilson successfully disposed of most of the claims through pretrial motions, the issue that went to trial was the ex-girlfriend’s claim she was entitled to payment for services rendered for the business during the relationship. After the three-day trial, the jury unanimously agreed the ex-girlfriend was not entitled to anything from Klein & Wilson’s clients. It was a great outcome for a great client.
Doe v. Roe Company
After building the business from the ground up, our client wanted to retire, so he attempted to sell his stock to the minority shareholder. Unwilling to pay a fair price, the minority shareholder sued our client to seize control of the corporation. We defeated the minority shareholder’s application for a preliminary injunction. Then we deposed the minority shareholder, exposing multiple lies supporting the complaint. We filed a motion seeking substantial sanctions based on the false allegations in the complaint. The minority shareholder capitulated and agreed to purchase the company for more than he would have paid prior to filing his lawsuit.
Doe Corporation v. Roes
Klein & Wilson represented the former president and sales manager of a company who attempted to buy the stock of their former employer in a management buyout. The employer terminated Klein & Wilson‘s clients and simultaneously brought an action against the clients for violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and a breach of fiduciary duty as to one of the clients. The clients were originally represented by a prominent law firm, but the prior law firm was unable to prevent the imposition of an injunction in a case where no injunction should have been issued had the matter been handled appropriately.
After Klein & Wilson took aggressive depositions of the principals of the former employer, the case settled. Pursuant to the agreement, the case against Klein & Wilson‘s clients was dismissed, the injunction dissolved, and Klein & Wilson‘s clients received a $100,000 cash settlement for back vacation pay and attorneys’ fees.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a distributor who unknowingly distributed a counterfeit wire which was incorporated into civil and military aircraft. The wire failed during testing, requiring the buyer to remove and replace the wire. The buyer sued Klein & Wilson‘s client and legitimately demanded $7 million in damages.
Based on the terms of the buyer’s purchase order, Klein & Wilson‘s client had no defenses. Klein & Wilson tendered the defense of the case to the client’s insurance company which accepted the tender but then refused to contribute a penny toward settlement. Klein & Wilson threatened to sue the insurance company and, at the same time, persuaded the plaintiff that the client would file a bankruptcy petition if the case did not settle for pennies on the dollar. At mediation, Klein & Wilson achieved a settlement that resulted in the insurance company funding a settlement and keeping the client in business.
Doe v. Roe
Klein & Wilson‘s client formed a corporation with another person and owned half of the shares. The client ran the day-to-day operations of the business and the other shareholder did nothing other than cash distribution checks. The non-working shareholder concocted claims that Klein & Wilson’s client was not running the business honestly and alleged numerous business torts against her. Recognizing these people could not amicably operate a business together, Klein & Wilson settled the case by having the non-working shareholder purchase Klein & Wilson‘s client’s shares for more than their fair market value.
Doe v. Roe
Klein & Wilson represented a seller of a business where the buyer agreed to pay commissions over time but stopped making payments shortly after the sale. Under cross-examination at trial, the defendants admitted they committed forgery and fraud. The case settled at trial for a confidential amount.
HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc. v. MTDS, Inc.
One of the largest financial institutions in the world sued Klein & Wilson‘s client for $1 million. As a result of bookkeeping errors, Klein & Wilson‘s client admittedly lost $1 million of plaintiff’s money. Klein & Wilson was able to convince the plaintiff to take less than 15 cents on the dollar, and Klein & Wilson also convinced the client’s insurance carrier to pay the balance owed, except for the client’s deductible of $15,000. Accordingly, on a loss of over $1 million, the client paid only $15,000.
American Reprographics Company v. Brazo
American Reprographics Company v. Crisp Enterprises, Inc.
Klein & Wilson‘s client was accused of raiding plaintiff’s business and hiring away approximately 50 employees, as well as soliciting dozens of customers who had formerly used plaintiff as a reprographics service. This case could have destroyed Klein & Wilson‘s client, which had grown dramatically until the lawsuit. Klein & Wilson was able to find insurance coverage for the client and was instrumental in achieving a settlement that saved the company and helped it move forward on its tremendous growth.
Cisco Sales Corporation v. Price Point Mail Order, Ltd.
Klein & Wilson represented a corporation and an executive in a claim by plaintiff that the executive had stolen trade secrets and used them for his new employer. After Klein & Wilson completed the deposition of the plaintiff’s chief executive officer, the plaintiff decided to settle the case on terms that were extremely favorable for Klein & Wilson‘s client.
Cohen-Nazar v. Friendly Adult Day Healthcare Center, Inc.
Klein & Wilson‘s client purchased commercial property and soon thereafter, a lis pendens was recorded against it by claimants who alleged they had an interest in the property based on a dispute they had with the previous owner. Klein & Wilson filed a complaint-in-intervention and then won a motion to expunge the lis pendens, clearing title to the property.
Doe v. Roe Corporation
Mr. Wilson represented a corporation sued by a plaintiff claiming the corporation owed plaintiff a 30 percent interest in the company as well as employment for five years at $100,000 per year. Plaintiff’s settlement demand was $5 million. The corporation hired Mr. Wilson just two weeks before trial. Mr. Wilson persuaded the court to continue the trial. Mr. Wilson then took plaintiff’s deposition by videotape, during which Mr. Wilson impeached plaintiff many times. Subsequently, Mr. Wilson persuaded plaintiff to attend a mediation. At the mediation, Mr. Wilson used a multimedia presentation showing how badly Klein & Wilson impeached the plaintiff. The case settled at mediation for only $60,000.
Doe v. Roe Law Firm
Klein & Wilson‘s client hired a law firm to represent her in a divorce case. The attorney did a poor job preparing her case for trial and relied too heavily upon an expert who did not know what she was doing. When the client complained that the expert’s report was filled with mathematical mistakes, the lawyer panicked, made inappropriate physical contact with the client, and forcefully told the client she had to settle. Klein & Wilson‘s client decided she could not trust the attorney and was also afraid of him because of his physical aggression. She terminated his services and asked the court for a trial continuance, but the court refused to continue the trial. The trial ended in a predictable disaster. The defense contended the client’s wounds were “self-inflicted” and that it was her discharge of the attorney which led to the disastrous trial result. Klein & Wilson was able to achieve a favorable confidential settlement for its client, allowing her to get back on track with her life and not be distracted by further litigation.
Doe Corporation v. Doe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented a credit report reseller (“Client”) against a competitor which claimed the Client misappropriated trade secrets, interfered with customer contracts, unfairly competed, and caused the competitor to lose approximately $8 million in profits. The competitor contended the Client obtained the competitor’s secrets from the competitor’s attorney and former employees, who left the competitor’s employment to work for the Client. After the competitor proved it lost hundreds of customers to the Client, Klein & Wilson obtained testimony from the competitor’s former sales agents, proving the competitor employed unfair business practices to persuade hundreds of the Client’s customers to move over to the competitor. The competitor’s “unclean hands” was so significant, that it reduced its demand to only $200,000. At the same time, Klein & Wilson pursued the Client’s insurance carriers for bad faith and ultimately settled the case in a manner which cost the Client nothing. Klein & Wilson was also successful in having the majority of the Client’s fees and costs reimbursed.
Doe Corporations v. Roe Corporation
Klein & Wilson represented some of the largest companies in the world in an action against a toxic polluter to fund a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The toxic polluter said it could not pay what it owed because it was out of business and had no assets. Klein & Wilson uncovered evidence showing that defendant’s president used the company like a personal piggy bank. Therefore, Klein & Wilson pursued the president under an alter ego theory. These tactics resulted in a substantial settlement for Klein & Wilson‘s clients. Accordingly, in a case where the target defendant had no money, Klein & Wilson still recovered almost every penny owed.
Doe v. Roe
Klein & Wilson represented the “money partner” in a $25 million real estate development project. The promoter promised to entitle the property within two years. He failed to do so and was removed as the managing partner. Klein & Wilson’s client then did everything possible to entitle the property, but also was unsuccessful. Inexplicably, the promoter sued Klein & Wilson’s client seeking damages. Klein & Wilson prevailed at trial on all issues, but the court of appeal reversed as to one narrow issue for a retrial. Through discovery and early law and motion, Klein & Wilson was able to gut the case to the point where the promoter voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit for a waiver of costs after claiming millions of dollars in damages.
Doe v. Roe
Complete Victory for Defendant Client
Klein & Wilson represented a client who was accused of conspiring with a public official and the police to silence plaintiff’s public opinions. Klein & Wilson filed an anti-SLAPP motion and won. With the threat of an attorneys’ fees motion over his head, plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice.
Does v. Roe LLC
After Klein & Wilson obtained an arbitration award of $825,000 for its client, the defendant tried to escape payment by creating new business entities. Klein & Wilson filed an action for fraudulent conveyance and related claims, causing the defendant to settle.
Does v. Roes
Klein & Wilson represented Pakistani clients who alleged they formed a joint venture with a German corporation to bring mobile banking to Pakistan. This case had jurisdictional and choice of law issues; nevertheless, Klein & Wilson was successful in keeping the case venued in the United States. After Klein & Wilson prevailed on a substantive motion and showed the defendants the case had huge exposure, the case settled.
Dousette v. Minidis
Klein & Wilson‘s clients entered into a business relationship with plaintiffs to create a chain of restaurant franchises. Plaintiffs invested $320,000 in the business and committed to contribute $1 million or more. As a result of various setbacks in the start up, the operation needed more money, but plaintiffs refused to invest more than the $320,000 already invested. Years after the operation failed, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit claiming Klein & Wilson‘s clients stole their investment. Before the clients hired Klein & Wilson, another law firm handled this case and lost at trial, where the clients were saddled with a $6 million fraud judgment. The appellate court judgment reversed the judgment, and the clients hired Klein & Wilson to handle the second trial. At trial, Klein & Wilson proved plaintiffs bribed a critical witness for his testimony during the first trial and that plaintiffs’ contention they did not know what had happened to their money was demonstrably false. After a one month trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Klein & Wilson‘s clients in just one and one half hours.
Greenfield Monterey Park, LLC v. The Ezralow Company, LLC
Greenfield Monterey Park, LLC v. The City of Monterey Park
Klein & Wilson represented several defendants in related State Court cases involving the proposed development of one of the largest Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Superfund sites in the United States. Plaintiffs sought tens of millions of dollars in damages from Klein & Wilson‘s clients and various public entities. The parties and the EPA Superfund site were subject to a convoluted Federal consent decree; accordingly, Klein & Wilson successfully stayed the State Court cases, requiring plaintiffs to seek redress from the EPA. After the parties completed the Federal dispute resolution process, the State Court cases resumed, and Klein & Wilson settled the claims against its clients for only $700,000, with $275,000 of that amount being paid by the clients’ insurers. Klein & Wilson obtained orders finding the settlement to be in good faith, prompting other parties to file writs to challenge the trial court’s orders. Klein & Wilson responded with motions for summary judgment against the challenging parties. The parties withdrew their writs, finally ending these cases after more than five years of litigation.
Gutierrez v. Gutierrez
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 containing a 10-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.
JAG Industries v. Brutoco Development
In this case, Mr. Klein represented a land developer accused of breaching an option to buy property. Mr. Klein moved for a defense verdict at the conclusion of plaintiff’s presentation of evidence. The motion was granted, resulting in a judgment for the client.
Kessler v. Horan
In this attorney malpractice action, Mr. Wilson represented an investor who purchased real estate in Newport Beach. The attorney who represented Mr. Wilson’s client in the transaction botched the transaction so badly, the client’s title to the property was unclear, which resulted in several other lawsuits being filed. The attorney denied all liability and the case went to trial. The attorney was represented by one of Orange County’s most experienced trial attorneys. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilson prevailed at trial and recovered all the damages requested.
Krogh v. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation
Mr. Klein represented two investors who sued their securities broker for wrongful liquidation of their accounts. After completion of discovery, Mr. Klein received a substantial settlement on behalf of his clients.
LDM v. Unisys Corporation
Mr. Klein negotiated a settlement for his client with Unisys Corporation. At the time, this was the largest settlement ever paid by Unisys Corporation in a non-securities case.
Overton, Lyman & Prince v. John Doe
Overton, Lyman & Prince, a prominent law firm, sued a former client for fees. Mr. Klein represented the client. At trial, the court determined the Overton firm had not proved its case. The court granted a defense verdict in favor of Mr. Klein’s client.
Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Peña
Klein & Wilson represented the former employee of a large ice cream company which alleged that Klein & Wilson‘s client took the employer’s customer list and formed a competing company. By the time the employee retained Klein & Wilson, the court had already entered a preliminary injunction against the employee, preventing him from soliciting business from over 700 customers in California. Klein & Wilson immediately filed and won a motion to disqualify the employer’s counsel because it had previously represented the employee in another case, creating a conflict of interest. Klein & Wilson then conducted discovery which persuaded the employer’s new attorney the case had no merit. Subsequently, Klein & Wilson negotiated a settlement whereby his client paid nothing, the employer dismissed the case with prejudice, and the injunction was dissolved.
Pellizzon v. Fidelity Investments
Mr. Klein represented a securities investor whose orders were not executed properly. Mr. Klein prevailed in arbitration and the client was awarded all the money he requested.
Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank
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.
Price Pfister, Inc. v. Metaldyne Corporation
Price Pfister, Inc. (“Price Pfister”), a subsidiary of Black & Decker Corporation, sued Klein & Wilson‘s clients alleging they were responsible to defend all asbestos lawsuits filed against Price Pfister. Price Pfister sought reimbursement of $1 million it incurred defending asbestos cases to date and an order requiring Klein & Wilson‘s clients to pay all of Price Pfister’s future legal bills. Klein & Wilson tried the case against Edward Hugo of Brydon, Hugo & Parker who claims to be one of the most successful trial attorneys in Northern California. Klein & Wilson proved that Price Pfister’s claims had no merit and obtained a defense judgment. Price Pfister appealed the judgment, and the appellate court partially reversed the judgment. The appellate court remanded the case back to the trial court to determine whether, pursuant to Civil Code section 2778(4), Klein & Wilson‘s clients were obligated to pay the defense costs Price Pfister sought. Klein & Wilson prevailed again on the new trial and recovered a second defense judgment against Price Pfister.
Roanja Planning, d.b.a. Westside Door & Moulding v. Farzad Halavi, d.b.a. Halco Construction, et al.
Klein & Wilson‘s client was sued for fraud, restraint of trade, and unfair business practices arising out of a failed construction project. Klein & Wilson filed a demurrer challenging plaintiffs’ claims. Right before the hearing, plaintiffs dismissed Klein & Wilson‘s client from the case with prejudice.
Saad v. Gilchrist
Mr. Klein represented the former president of a software company on a breach of guarantee case. At the conclusion of plaintiff’s case, Mr. Klein moved for a defense verdict. The court entered judgment for Mr. Klein’s client.
Siegel v. Dyer
Plaintiff sued Klein & Wilson‘s client, alleging she failed to disclose fungus when she sold her property to plaintiff. The case was troubling because the parties signed an agreement in which the client specifically disclosed the fungus, plaintiff agreed to take responsibility for it, and plaintiff received a credit for the condition. Due to this fact, Klein & Wilson filed a cross-complaint alleging plaintiff was breaching the contract. On the eve of the hearing on a motion for summary judgment Klein & Wilson filed, plaintiff agreed to pay Klein & Wilson‘s client $60,000 for having to defend a frivolous lawsuit.
Singh v. Royal Maccabees Insurance Company
Klein & Wilson‘s client was a prominent anesthesiologist. Following a traffic accident, he suffered carpal tunnel syndrome, for which the insurance company paid partial disability benefits. However, after releasing the insurance company from any claim for partial disability, the client found he was still not improving. The insurance company refused to pay any further benefits, and Klein & Wilson sued on behalf of the client. After getting the case ready for trial, the insurance company settled for a confidential amount.
Sjostrom v. Pepper Hamilton, LLP
Klein & Wilson‘s client purchased a business and expected to have a covenant not to compete in the sales agreement, which would have prevented the owners of the assets from competing against him. The client discovered that his lawyers did not properly draft the covenant not to compete. The client sued his former counsel, one of the largest law firms in the country. Klein & Wilson worked cooperatively with opposing counsel to resolve this case satisfactorily for all sides, without a large expenditure of legal fees.
State of California v. Diess, et al. (El Morro Village Mobile Home Park)
Klein & Wilson represented most of the residents of the El Morro Village Mobile Home Park in their effort to avoid eviction by the State of California. The matter was an extremely high profile case involving some of the leading citizens of Orange County, the California legislature, and the Governor of California. The residents of El Morro Village lived at the mobile home park for many years and the site had been a mobile home park for approximately 75 years. The State of California and very powerful forces within the State wanted the mobile home park closed and took every step possible to force the residents to leave. Klein & Wilson sought to delay eviction as long as possible to allow the residents’ lobbyist to seek a lease extension. Klein & Wilson was successful at avoiding immediate eviction of the residents. When the legislative option failed, Klein & Wilson was able to negotiate a deal with the State allowing hundreds of residents to remain for 14 months and leave their mobile homes in place without paying for the costs of removal. Klein & Wilson understands it ultimately cost the State millions of dollars in lost revenue and removal costs to return the site to its original condition. While Klein & Wilson was unable to stop the inevitable eviction, Klein & Wilson received a standing ovation from residents who came to hear a losing motion for a preliminary injunction against the State. Klein & Wilson received thank you notes from many of the residents, who are cherished to this day.
STM Wireless, Inc. v. Aljaff
Klein & Wilson represented a technology company that believed its former employee stole trade secrets. The employee contended he had been treated unfairly while employed at the technology company. Klein & Wilson achieved a favorable settlement for the client, by resolving all employment and trade secret issues.
Tropicale Foods, Inc. (d.b.a. Helados Mexico) v. Helados La Mexicana, Inc.
Klein & Wilson filed an action for trademark infringement and unfair competition to protect its client’s trademark “Helados Mexico.” Klein & Wilson settled the case by persuading the defendant to stop selling products with the name “Helados La Mexicana” on them and to change its corporate name.
Vera Townhomes Homeowners’ Association v. Chesley Construction, Inc.
A general contractor threatened to sue Klein & Wilson‘s client, a homeowners’ association, for unpaid construction fees. The homeowners’ association sued first. At the binding arbitration, the association argued it actually overpaid the contractor. Before the arbitration, the association offered to settle the case for a “walk-away,” with both sides surrendering their competing claims against each other. The contractor refused and insisted on pressing its cross-complaint. The case proceeded to arbitration. Using a multimedia presentation, Klein & Wilson convinced the arbitrator that the association was owed every penny it requested, and the arbitrator awarded the contractor nothing. The arbitrator later told the local bar association Klein & Wilson‘s multimedia presentation was the most effective trial presentation he had ever seen.
Vera Townhomes Homeowners’ Association v. State Farm
Klein & Wilson filed a first party claim against State Farm Insurance. The insurance company rejected the claim, and Klein & Wilson filed an action for bad faith against the insurance company. Before any depositions were taken, State Farm settled by paying the association’s entire claim.
Wells Fargo Bank v. Cahill
Descendants of President Ulysses S. Grant filed a malpractice action against their legal advisor and Klein & Wilson‘s client, a real estate advisor, claiming professional malpractice. Klein & Wilson was able to achieve a settlement for less than 10 percent (10%) of what it would have cost the client to go to trial.
Doe Entity v. Roe Entity
Klein & Wilson represented one of the largest herb growers in the world. In a dispute with a vendor who claimed the client was a successor in interest to another entity, the vendor claimed it was owed approximately $1 million in receivables. Klein & Wilson was able to prove that under the terms of the contract the plaintiff had with the alleged predecessor, the contract expired under its own terms and the firm received a defense judgment for the client.