“Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.”
—General George S. Patton—
Hard work is a pillar of zealous advocacy. By itself, however, it cannot transform aspiration into achievement. There are a spectrum of skills material to the litigation process, such as legal writing, factual investigation, discovery management, case strategy, legal research, and empathy, which must be harmoniously weaved into a compelling narrative. We understand that all of those elements, combined with effort, are essential to providing our clients maximum value.
And experience demonstrates that litigation is often a game of inches, in which success hinges upon a single document, signature, or fact that seems innocuous at first glance but ultimately turns into the foundation for a winning strategy. Results will of course vary depending on each unique situation, but the experience highlighted below, which include matters that resulted in confidential settlements, represents how we have obtained positive results for our clients under difficult circumstances, in a variety of legal and factual contexts.
We always look for prompt and efficient resolutions, where possible. However, if you find yourself in difficult circumstances, we will labor tirelessly to construct a winning approach.
Defended declaratory judgment action filed against mortgage servicer seeking a declaration that any claim to enforce the underlying promissory note was time-barred by the six-year statute of limitation. Foreclosure proceedings had been commenced and dismissed due to a default on the loan more than six years before the declaratory judgment action was filed. Plaintiff-debtor alleged that his wife had been in a permanent vegetative state since after the loan documents were executed by her. However, it was discovered that in another case, Plaintiff-debtor had alleged under oath that his wife had been in a permanent vegetative state prior to the time of loan origination. Obtained an expert handwriting analysis on the loan documents and determined that wife’s signature had likely been forged, giving rise to a fraudulent inducement claim for which equitable rescission is a remedy, thereby nullifying the statute of limitation issue with respect to the promissory note and extinguishing the basis for the Plaintiff-debtor’s entire action. Filed counterclaim based on origination fraud and case promptly settled.
Obtained reversal of a default judgment entered in Nevada state court against a national mortgage loan originator. Plaintiff obtained entry of default judgment against loan originator for failure to respond to garnishment interrogatories. Loan originator received notice of default judgment as Plaintiff’s counsel, who also worked part-time as a Deputy Sheriff engaged in executing on judgments in Clark County, was beginning the execution process at a local branch. Determined that default judgment was part of a scheme by the Plaintiff to enrich himself in his role as a Deputy Sheriff by receiving a portion of the funds obtained as a result of the execution process. Immediately obtained temporary restraining order to stop execution process, and then successfully obtained stipulated order granting reversal of default judgment prior to preliminary injunction hearing. Entire case was resolved in less than two weeks and extinguished a potential six-figure liability and the potential of extensive third-party litigation.
Defended breach of contract and tort claims brought by two borrowers, including a granddaughter and her grandmother, against a national bank. Plaintiffs alleged that the bank mishandled their application for a loan modification. The grandmother was represented in the action by her daughter, who was also a notary, under a power of attorney. Discovered that a prior loan modification agreement that had been awarded by the bank included a forgery of the grandmother’s notarized signature, which had been apparently executed and criminally notarized by the daughter. Deposed attorney who drafted power of attorney in Florida and subpoenaed credit card records for cards obtained by daughter in grandmother’s name. Combined with expert testimony, evidence confirmed that power of attorney had been fraudulently altered. Also discovered that daughter had signed discovery responses for grandmother, months after grandmother was deceased, which had extinguished the power of attorney. Promptly thereafter, case settled.
Substituted as counsel for a national bank after case had been pending for three years. Plaintiff alleged that she had a rental contract with an option to purchase with a borrower who obtained a loan from the bank, and then defaulted. Plaintiff sought to quiet title in her favor and extinguish the bank’s lien, arguing there was inquiry notice of her interest in the property. Conducted Plaintiff’s deposition, reviewed court records from Nevada in a related proceeding, and identified grounds for judicial estoppel and lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Filed motion for judgment on the pleadings, and sought forthwith evidentiary hearing on jurisdictional issue under case law typically applied to governmental immunity cases. After three years of litigation by prior counsel, case promptly settled.
Obtained reversal of two default judgments entered in state court and a federal magistrate’s recommendation for entry of default judgment on behalf of same national bank within a two-year period. Each reversal extinguished a six-figure liability. Obtained reversal of one of the judgments by arguing that service of process at the Bank branch was improper on several grounds. Arguments included reference to an earlier court’s decision holding that service of process on that same branch, by the same opposing counsel, was void from inception. After reversal, all three cases promptly settled.
Prosecuted products-liability action on behalf of disabled veteran injured in a propane explosion against propane manufacturer, an international oil company, and local distributor who installed propane tank. Obtained evidence that distributor had been previously investigated and cited for causing a previous propane explosion due to defective installation of propane equipment. Further obtained evidence that propane odorant was defective and that cost-effective alternatives were available but rejected by the manufacturer to increase profits, despite the extreme danger associated with undetectable propane leaks. Case resulted in settlement.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of commercial liability insurer for restaurant, a tenant in a shopping center, against a claim for contribution brought by liability insurer for shopping center, which had settled a premises-liability action brought by a patron who suffered serious injuries after suffering a slip and fall upon exiting the restaurant. Involved unresolved legal question regarding the scope of additional-insured clauses in commercial general liability policies. Trial court adopted decisions from other states in holding that additional-insured provision of restaurant’s policy did not cover patron’s injuries. Summary judgment order affirmed on appeal by the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Obtained reversal of trial court’s entry of summary judgment entered against client, a mortgage servicer, and in favor of an investment company whose employee embezzled nearly $1.5 million dollars and allegedly used portion of the funds to purchase a property subject to servicer’s deed of trust. Trial court held that portion of embezzled funds allegedly used to purchase property were subject to a constructive trust because servicer agreed to a short sale with former employee to cure default on employee’s mortgage loan after learning of employee’s fraud. Court of Appeals reversed, and recognized that servicer, through its predecessor-in-interest, qualified as a bona-fide mortgagee and remanded with directions to enter summary judgment in favor of servicer, thereby creating new law in Colorado.
Defended national bank at trial in case involving the defense of thirteen claims, including as claims for fraud, promissory estoppel, and alleged violations of the CCPA. Plaintiff sought over $350,000.00 in alleged damages, but a defense verdict was obtained on all but one claim, resulting in a total award of only $6,000.00.
Defended husband and wife at trial who sold strip mall against claims of breach of contract and fraud. Plaintiffs sought rescission of purchase contract based on the failure to disclose alleged environmental contamination resulting from presence of former landfill beneath the subject property. Two weeks before trial, located individual responsible for excavating landfill before construction decades earlier, whose testimony confirmed removal of waste several years before construction of the strip mall. After reviewing evidence during Plaintiffs’ case-in-chief, including testimony of competing expert witnesses, Court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss all claims and awarded Defendants their attorneys’ fees and costs from inception of the action.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of mortgage servicer, to reinstate a deed of trust as a first-position lien after it had been fraudulently released by a former senior vice president of servicer and sold through a shell entity to alleged bona-fide third-party purchasers. During deposition of title company’s corporate representative, which had examined the property records for the alleged bona-fide third-party purchasers, confirmed that title company’s internal computer program only reviewed partial copies of recorded documents, thereby missing critical information demonstrating inquiry notice of mortgage servicer’s superior interest in the subject property. Court held that release was a void document, which contained misrepresentations of vice president’s authority, and therefore servicer could not be held vicariously liable under doctrines of apparent authority or respondeat superior for recordation of the fraudulent release. Court further held third-party purchasers were not bona-fide, and reinstated mortgage servicer’s lien, all past due amounts, and servicer’s attorneys’ fees, resulting in a seven-figure judgment.
Obtained dismissal of numerous actions filed against mortgage services, national banks, insurers, and financial institutions, by filing dispositive motions in state and federal courts.
Handled numerous evidentiary hearings, including hearings for temporary restraining order and injunctive relief in state and federal court.
Substantial experience in each phase of the litigation process, including case strategy, drafting pleadings, oral and written discovery, interstate discovery procedures, retention of experts, expert discovery, discovery motions practice, pretrial motions practice, trial preparation, trying cases to the court and to juries in state and federal court, and appeals, including interlocutory appeals, in state and federal court.