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Results: Fraud & Breach of Fiduciary Duty

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.

Venture Communications v. Falcon Communications
$26 Million
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
$12 Million
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
$9 Million
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.

Darla L. v. Southland LLC
$2.25 Million
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.

STM Wireless, Inc. v. AmeriData, a Subsidiary of General Electric
$2 Million
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
$1.75 Million
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 a suit on behalf of the client, the competitor’s attorneys referred to the case as 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.

Devore v. Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Company
$1.5 Million
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
$1.5 Million

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.

Doe Corporation v. Roe Law Firm
$1.25 Million

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.

Family Trust Trial Verdict

Klein & Wilson represented two trust beneficiaries in a dispute with the trustee of a family trust. At trial, Klein & Wilson proved the trustee improperly aligned himself with other family members and improperly allocated approximately $1 million of insurance proceeds. We convinced the court the trustee breached his fiduciary duty, and the court awarded the clients all the money they requested. Then, the court disqualified the trustee, refused to accept the trustee’s proposed accountings, and allowed the clients to submit a request for attorneys’ fees, which is now pending.

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 manner favorable to Klein & Wilson‘s client.

Doe v. Roes
Klein & Wilson was hired right before mediation to represent a client in a complicated partnership dispute involving undocumented real estate transactions, accounting shenanigans, dead key witnesses, and missing business records. The client was a minority partner who had little information to document its claims, making its chances at winning trial slim. During the mediation, Klein & Wilson saw an accounting record which proved the managing partner committed fraud. Klein & Wilson presented this evidence to the managing partner who then agreed to settle the dispute for $600,000. The client was thrilled.

Sullivan v. Lone Eagle Enterprises, LLC
Klein & Wilson represented a client in a complex real estate partnership dispute. Within a few weeks of taking over the matter for the client and after taking a single deposition, Klein & Wilson achieved 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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

Ambassador Hotel Co., Ltd. v. Wei-Chuan Investments

Klein & Wilson was retained only after the client suffered a judgment approaching $70 million. Following reversal of the trial court’s ruling, Klein & Wilson was able to have the judgment reduced by tens of millions of dollars.

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 an 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.

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.

Dousette v. Minidis
(Defense Verdict)

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 had stolen 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 judgment was reversed, and the clients hired Klein & Wilson to handle the second trial. At trial, Klein & Wilson proved plaintiffs had 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.

Kessler v. Horan
(Plaintiff Verdict)

In this attorney malpractice action, Klein & Wilson represented an investor who purchased real estate in Newport Beach. The attorney who represented Klein & 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, Klein & Wilson prevailed at trial and recovered all the damages it 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.

Pellizzon v. Fidelity Investments
(Plaintiff Verdict)

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.

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 the 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.

Vera Townhomes Homeowners’ Association v. Chesley Construction, Inc.
(Arbitration Award)

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.

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.