Disputes

  • Business ownership disputes:   partnership disputes; breach of fiduciary duty; minority shareholders’ rights; accounting; corporate control; departing partners/owners and trade secrets
  • Business contests:  antitrust, state and federal securities laws
  • Intellectual property:  television network agreements; internet publication rights; trade secrets on blogs; motion picture and television employment agreements; copyright infringement; Lanham Act; patent licenses and infringement
  • Eminent domain:  runway expansions; freeway expansions and offramps; environmental mitigation areas; airport air rights; roadway rights of way.
  • Public agencies: Bob has represented municipalities, a water company and an airport in planning and land use matters.
  • Trusts and estates:   Will contests, trust management, accounting
  • Environmental:  California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, CERLCA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Act, historic structures, DOGGR, RWQCB and more
  • Real property: Development rights; environmental challenges; government permits; appraisal and valuation; boundaries; title issues (quiet title; cancel instruments)
  • Agricultural: Waste, groundwater, water rights; mineral rights; pipelines and eminent domain
  • Government relations disputes:   Permit Streamlining Act, zoning, development agreements, specific plans, community plans, general plans, property tax; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits
  • Personal injury:  Fires, explosion; mass tort; sexual assault, vehicle rollover; tire failure, chemical leaks; chemical tank collapse.  With small exception, we’ve done defense work only for self-insureds

Tax Controversy

  • Local and state excise
  • Sales, use, and property tax
  • Unusual assessment litigation

Past experience: Challenge to a $300 million defense plant assessment; import/export clause challenge to sales tax on aircraft parts (resulting in published law); Hawaii general excise tax impost on hotel properties; property tax assessment of various airport properties (resulting in published law); IRS litigation involving minimum annual royalties tax shelter; represented the International Air Transport Association on airport tax; two law review articles on tax issues and more.

Procedure

  • jury and bench trials
  • administrative law judges
  • administrative proceedings (obtaining permits and licenses, land use applications)
  • arbitrations (AAA, JAMS, international, private)
  • appearances in the courts of other states (with local support)
  • courts of appeal (state and federal) and state supreme courts (California and Nevada, the latter with local support)
  • criminal: environmental
  • land use permitting

What We Won’t Do

  • We don’t charge a retainer.  We want to handle your case, but in our evaluation period we need to have some comfort that we will be paid regularly.
  • We will not charge you anything until you sign an engagement letter with us.  We may do extensive analysis and counseling before we ask you to sign an engagement letter.  We want to understand your case and we want to make sure you are a good fit for our firm.  Litigation sometimes takes many years, and we need to get along. Make sure you know your statute of limitations risks during this pre-engagement period.  Do not ask to pay us for our time during this period.
  • We will not work for insurance companies or on any matter requiring that we adhere to insurance company guidelines.  We will be glad to sue an insurance company.
  • We will not take on a matter which will look like, before we take it on, that we will have to oppose Latham & Watkins in court.
  • We will not work on matters which come to us solely from this website or from a cold call.  If you want to hire us, you must come in by a referral from (1) existing or former clients, (2) people we know, or (3) referrals from judges or members of the bar.
  • We will not give up on your case if we sign an engagement letter, unless we aren’t getting paid.
  • We won’t charge you for tasks you find objectionable if you complain within thirty days of our invoice.

Our Fees

Our fees vary with the type of case we handle. Our fees will be lower than the big firms from which we came.  We frequently discount our fees and work for free.  We will handle pro bono cases for worthy controversies involving immigrants, education, children’s rights, religious freedom or the environment.

We handle contingency cases, but business cases are usually poor candidates for such.  If you want to pitch us a contingency case, make sure that during our evaluation period you provide us proof of loss.

Disclaimer:   This page does not offer any contractual promises.  Your engagement letter terms may and will vary.