Case Results: Partnership Disputes
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
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.
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.
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.
Doe Corporation v. Roe Law Firm
A national law firm represented Klein & Wilson‘s client in patent litigation. That law firm failed to live up to the standard of care in accumulating documents and complying with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, rules 11 and 26. The federal magistrate issued an order in the underlying patent case which caused the large law firm to panic and commit to producing a million documents over a weekend. The documents were produced in disarray, and a critical document was omitted from the production, causing the trial judge to conclude the omission was intentional. Successor counsel took over the case and made additional mistakes, which angered the court. Consequently, the court dismissed the case. The original law firm blamed the client and the successor law firm for the dismissal of the case.
Klein & Wilson represented the client, a Fortune 500 company, in its malpractice claim against the first law firm. The law firm cross-complained against the client, seeking approximately $1 million of unpaid fees. Klein & Wilson presented a multimedia summary of its case at mediation to convince the law firm it would lose the trial. After watching the multimedia presentation, the law firm abandoned its claim for fees and paid Klein & Wilson‘s client a settlement of $350,000.
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.
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 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 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.
Youssefzadeh v. 740 South Broadway
Klein & Wilson represented an elderly partner who was cheated by his other partners, some of whom are family members. Klein & Wilson only stepped into the case after the client lost faith in the attorney handling the matter. In a bitterly fought arbitration, Klein & Wilson recovered $533,505 plus attorneys’ fees.
Doe v. Roe Law Firm
Lawyers repeatedly hire Klein & Wilson to represent them in various disputes. Klein & Wilson represented an attorney who had been in a law partnership for approximately 20 years. The last few years of the relationship bordered on abusive. When Klein & Wilson got into this case, the client was willing to give up his capital account and pay a premium for shared assets just to get out of the relationship. Klein & Wilson took over the case and turned it around. By the end of the matter, it was the abusive partner who was begging to end the litigation. Klein & Wilson saved the client approximately $1 million in capital and profits he was willing to sacrifice to end the relationship with his former partner.
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 Klein & Wilson just two weeks before trial. Klein & Wilson persuaded the court to continue the trial. Klein & Wilson then took plaintiff’s deposition by videotape, during which Klein & Wilson impeached plaintiff many times. Subsequently, Klein & Wilson persuaded plaintiff to attend a mediation. At the mediation, Klein & Wilson used a multimedia presentation showing how badly Klein & Wilson impeached the plaintiff. The case settled at mediation for only $60,000.
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 several former large law firm members against their former law partners, claiming the former members had not been paid as promised. The case settled on the first day of trial as the defendants watched Klein & Wilson set up its computerized trial presentation system. The amount of the settlement is confidential.
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.
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.
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.