A. Barry Cappello founded the firm now known as Cappello & Noël in 1977 to bring an indomitable business litigation practice to Santa Barbara.
Until then, significant complex business litigation matters were going to Los Angeles firms. “No one
in Santa Barbara was servicing that kind of business, so I decided to build the firm into a litigation
powerhouse,” Mr. Cappello explains. He created a large firm litigation department without the large firm
The firm successfully uses a trial team concept to take on big corporations, banks and insurance
companies on behalf of individuals and small businesses. Its team of partners, associates, of counsel,
contract professionals and paralegals, has defeated some of the county’s largest law firms and their
Cappello & Noël pioneered the field of lender liability. The firm successfully prosecutes lending institution
misconduct and fraud. It also uses its expertise to negotiate workout agreements between borrowers
and lenders. Its record of jury verdicts and settlements exceeds $1 billion. Cappello & Noël has earned
a nationwide reputation as the go-to firm when litigating against banks and other financial institutions. “I
have a reputation for being fierce when negotiating and at trial,” says Mr. Cappello, “but my partner, Leila
Noël, is the one the opposition needs to watch out for.”
Cappello & Noël is very active in supporting community and legal charitable activities. The Legal Aid
Foundation of Santa Barbara is one of its prime financial benefactors. In 2008, realizing the foundation’s
telephone system was woefully outdated, the firm donated a new, state-of-the-art system. Over the
years, the firm has donated more than $75,000 to the foundation as well as made donations to legal,
educational and philanthropic organizations. In 2007, Mr. Cappello personally donated $1.25 million to
UCLA School of Law. In 2009, the school unveiled the A. Barry Cappello Courtroom on the UCLA campus.
It serves as UCLA Law’s primary courtroom where students compete in mock trials, moot courts and
simulated trials and gain experience arguing in a realistic courtroom environment.