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News & Current Matters

Firm Motto

“Sometimes, doing your best is not good enough.  Sometimes, you must do what is required.”
— Winston Churchill

Representative Cases
THE RESULTS PORTRAYED IN THE CASES DESCRIBED BELOW WERE DEPENDENT ON THE FACTS OF EACH CASE. THE RESULTS WILL DIFFER IF BASED ON DIFFERENT FACTS.
Every case is different, and prior results do not guarantee future success.

TRIAL AND APPEAL

Wayne v. Byrens – On March 18, 2010, John A. Case, Jr. won a $1.5 Million jury verdict for the plaintiff in Santa Monica Superior Court. The jury found in favor of Mr. Case’s client on claims for fraud and quantum meruit in a case involving the acquisition and development of investment properties in West Hollywood, California. On May 29, 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld the verdict in all respects by reversing an order for new trial, affirming an order denying judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and declaring the judgment reinstated. The case settled during post-judgment enforcement.

Wayne v. Byrens – The California Court of Appeal granted a motion to dismiss the appeal of an order denying the opponent’s special motion to strike under the “anti-SLAPP” statute, Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16, on the ground that the appeal was frivolous and solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. [unpublished order] The motion was granted before the trial court record was completed and before any briefs were filed.

Everest Investors 8 v. McNeil Partners (2007) – The California Court of Appeal affirmed (on all grounds except one minor issue) the trial court judgment entered in a case involving a general partner’s breach of fiduciary duty to the limited partners in a merger transaction. [unpublished decision]

Everest Investors 8 v. McNeil Partners (2005) – $4.5 million judgment entered (including punitive damages of $2.5 million against the controlling individual) after a 3-1/2 week bench trial in a case involving general partner’s breach of fiduciary duty to limited partners in a merger transaction.

Everest Investors 8 v. McNeil Partners, 114 Cal. App. 4th 411 (2003), review denied – The California Court of Appeal reversed summary judgment on the ground that limited partners’ claims against a general partner were individual, not derivative, in nature.

APPEAL COURT

Kenna v. United States District Court, 435 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2006) – In the first federal appeal court decision under the U.S. Crime Victims’ Rights Act, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s denial of a crime victim’s right to speak at the sentencing of a perpetrator of a massive $95 million financial fraud.

Daley v. CK Construction – The California Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying the opponent’s special motion to strike under the “anti-SLAPP” statute, Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16. [unpublished decision] This case involved a dispute between a contractor and a homeowner over the remodel of a luxury home. After numerous depositions, three motions for summary adjudication, seven motions to compel, two motions to quash, and full appeal of the special motion to strike, this case finally settled on the eve of trial.

Carpenter v. Protection One Alarm Monitoring, Inc. – The California Court of Appeal issued a writ of mandate vacating an order compelling arbitration in a dispute between a senior executive and her employer. [unpublished decision] [Case settled.]

Edgington Oil Co. v. Manhole Adjusting Inc. – The California Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying arbitration despite express language in a series of purchase orders. [unpublished decision] [Case settled.]

CIVIL COURT

[case name withheld] – Successfully settled a dispute involving simultaneous litigation and arbitration, arising out of a series of import-export transactions to and from Ukraine. Mr. Case represented the Ukrainian parties.

[case name withheld] – Successfully defended a company in a cease and desist proceeding brought by the California Department of Corporations, which alleged that the company was selling unregistered franchises in the State of California.

[case name withheld] – Successfully represented an individual in removing online defamatory statements posted by a third party on a Google-owned website, even though federal law immunizes website operators from liability for third party defamation.

[case name withheld] – Successfully deterred competitors from stealing user-generated content from a popular website, by asserting copyright infringement based on an innovative theory.

[case name withheld] – Consultations regarding exit strategies for minority interests in real estate limited partnerships.

[case name withheld] – Consultations regarding corporate control and valuations for majority and minority shareholders in closely-held corporations.

ASAP Show, Inc. v. Storch – Successfully obtained a settlement protecting the rights of individuals to compete against a former employer, in the business of introducing foreign manufacturers of apparel and other goods to U.S. and European buyers through trade shows and buying trips.

Castle & Cooke Madera, Inc. v. Mackenzie Patterson Fuller, Inc. – Represented limited partners in an effort to collect the proceeds of a going-private transaction, against a group of companies in the business of making unregistered tender offers for limited partnership interests and inducing limited partners to sign away their rights in illiquid, but valuable, investments. This case involved both U.S. District Court proceedings and an arbitration before a retired judge.

Coffee House Industries, LLC v. Woodard – Representing a Georgia client in an action filed in California court alleging breach of a web services agreement and online terms and conditions.

David v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. – Music rights litigation representing the estate of a famous songwriter from the Golden Age of American song. This case involves litigation against the major U.S. music publishers and a French music publisher, with simultaneous litigation in California and France. The California case was settled successfully, and the songwriter’s estate reacquired U.S. copyrights that had been lost for 40 years.

Double Play Restaurants LLC v. Albert – Successfully obtained a settlement for an area franchisee who sued a California franchisor for breach of contract and fraud concerning the development of an exclusive franchise territory in Texas.

Double W, Inc. v. Spielman – Representing a well-known Southern California restaurateur in litigation against a contractor in a dispute over the construction of leasehold improvements for a new restaurant.

Estate of Fuqua – Music rights litigation representing the estate of a famous songwriter/music producer from the Motown era. Obtained judgment in favor of the estate and recovered future rights from a U.S. music publisher.

In re: eUniverse, Inc. – Successful defense of corporate financial officer in cases alleging securities fraud and misrepresentation in audited financial statements in public SEC filings. Victories included the approval by the U.S. District Court of the eUniverse class action settlement, and dismissals with prejudice by the U.S. District Court and the California Superior Court of various shareholder derivative lawsuits allegedly brought on eUniverse’s behalf.

Fasano v. Porter – Successfully obtained a settlement for the victim of an alleged embezzlement scheme involving more than $325,000 in losses.

Frater v. Teenage Millionaire LLC – Obtained judgment of $814,000, plus injunctive relief and declaratory relief, in favor of the owner and creator of Jesus Is My Homeboy® against former licensee Teenage Millionaire on grounds of copyright infringement, breach of a licensing agreement, inducing breach of contract, and other claims.

Heidke v. Sundae Productions, Inc. – Obtained dismissal of securities fraud action against creator of children’s video productions.

Hillelson v. McNeil – Successfully obtained a settlement for an investor challenging the amount of consideration paid to limited partners in a $600 million merger.

Hill v. Starer – Successfully settled for plaintiff, on the eve of trial, a case involving subsurface tree root invasion under residential property.

Hills Food Company Unlimited v. Benson – Obtained $1.7 million judgment in a fraud lawsuit against the former franchisor of Love’s Barbecue Restaurants.

Ingenito v. Sassover – Successfully settled a case for plaintiff seeking to recover more than $1 million in funds provided to two biotechnology ventures and an affiliated website, alleging breach of contract and fraud.

In re: Johannes – Guiding company through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a key co-owner arising after a heavily contested divorce. Reorganization plan was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Johannes v. Simpson – Obtained a protective order, on behalf of a client not a party to the litigation, quashing subpoenas served on third party vendors seeking private information about the client.

Kenna v. Midland Euro, Inc. – Obtained $6.7 million judgment in a RICO lawsuit against a foreign currency trading firm and its principals.

LolClass LLC v. Gao – Representing founder of an Internet company in litigation against an investor attempting to oust the founder from his ownership interest.

Love’s 1948 Franchise Group LLC v. Malashock – Successfully settled a lawsuit involving the closure of the last remaining Love’s Wood-Pit Barbecue® restaurant in California.  Mr. Case represented the owner of Love’s Barbecue Restaurants.

Love’s 1948 Franchise Group LLC v. Triple H – Successfully settled a lawsuit by the owner of Love’s Barbecue Restaurants against the former co-packer of its barbecue sauces and other proprietary food products.

McCormick v. Reddi Brake Supply Co. – Obtained $1.8 million settlement of shareholder class action, arising from the sale of convertible preferred stock to offshore investors. Mr. Case served as counsel for the plaintiff class members and was hired for the case by a key investor group.

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Cybernet Ventures, Inc. – Successful defense of a website operator in a copyright infringement dispute involving titans of the adult website industry.

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Dranichak – Successful defense of an industry professional in a copyright infringement dispute.

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Full Moon Internet – Successful defense of a company president wrongly accused of a vast conspiracy to hack website passwords.

Pomona Surgery Center cases – Successfully resolved numerous lawsuits and disputes involving a surgery center in Pomona, including multiple proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and California Superior Court, ending a decade-long dispute and collateral litigation, and permitting the sale of overliened real property.

Precision Orthopedic Implants, Inc. v. Limacorporate, S.p.a. (litigation)/Lima USA Inc. (arbitration) – Representing distributor in a dispute with an Italian orthopedic device manufacturer and its U.S. subsidiary in a dispute over wrongful termination of the distributorship agreement.

Rosen v. UACC – Successfully settled, on behalf of autograph dealer, a copyright infringement case brought by photographer who asserted continuing rights over original autographed celebrity photos.

Shaath v. Oudeh – Representing former shareholders in litigation to collect the unpaid portion of a $1,200,000 shareholder buyout transaction, including the foreclosure and sale of mixed collateral (real property and personal property) of two businesses.

In re: Showscan Entertainment Inc. – Bankruptcy court allowed $830,000 claim for post-petition compensation and “change in control” severance payment sought by former executive officer, with substantial portion as an administrative expense.

Swenson v. Duberchin – Arbitration award reduced former attorney’s claim for fees by approximately $400,000.

TC El Segundo LLC v. Crosser – Successfully settled in favor of plaintiff, a restaurant operator, in a case alleging that a shopping center landlord misrepresented the tenant mix and fraudulently induced a long-term commercial lease.

Ticketmaster LLC v. Bonner – Successfully obtained a settlement for numerous parties who had been sued by a major provider of ticket ordering and distribution services, in a dispute involving online ticket orders, computer technology, and the secondary market for ticket resales in the U.S.

Tradenet Enterprise, Inc. v. Optec Displays, Inc. – Successfully settled a vigorously contested litigation between two competitors in the LED sign industry. Mr. Case entered the case one year after filing and used aggressive motion practice and discovery to obtain the settlement, three months before trial.

Topsy Turvy LLC v. Moizel – Successfully obtained a settlement for an independent fashion designer who had been ousted from the company she formed.

Vine Ripe Farmers Market cases – Successfully obtained a global settlement for plaintiffs in consolidated cases involving a multimillion dollar bulk sale of a grocery market in the San Diego area, a related shareholder dispute, unpaid vendor claims of approximately $250,000, multiple defendants representing conflicting interests, and judgments totaling approximately $1,500,000. In a related case, Mr. Case succeeded in obtaining emergency dismissal of a defendant corporation’s improper bankruptcy filing.

Business and Transactions

General counsel  to the owner of the Love’s Wood-Pit Barbecue® trademarks and businesses.

Outside general counsel  to the following representative clients, among others:

A leading restaurant franchisor;

A leading food product distributor and import-export company;

The owner and creator of Jesus Is My Homeboy®;

A wide assortment of Internet website businesses;

An ecologically friendly limousine service;

A developer of destination tourist attractions;

A developer of a specialty food service;

A TV and digital production company;

An independent fashion designer;

A celebrity doctor / author / inventor.

Start-up of new franchise systems in the real estate and restaurant industries.

Start-up of Internet websites covering a variety of different business models, including all aspects of legal protection and compliance for the business.

Protection of intellectual property rights, including preparation and negotiation of assignments and licenses.

Formation, structuring, and financing of corporations, partnerships, and LLCs, including business plans and investor documents.

Buying and selling of businesses and investments.

Representation of doctors and dentists in business and contract matters.

Law firm consulting, including formation of partnerships and law corporations, transactions among lawyers, and dispute resolution.

Dispute Resolution Services

Arbitrator for international franchise dispute – Mr. Case was selected to serve as one of two party-appointed arbitrators on a three-person arbitration panel under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitration involved a franchised business operating in South Korea.