Since the firm began in 1977, partners have successfully tried major commercial litigation cases resulting in over $1 billion in verdicts, settlements, class action awards and workouts for clients.
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 overhead.
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 mega-clients.
Cappello & Noël pioneered the field of lender liability. Barry Cappello is the author of Lender Liability (Fifth Edition, Juris Publishing), the authoritative treatise on lender misconduct. 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 financial institutions and other large public and private entities. It is known as a fierce competitor when negotiating and at trial.
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. Realizing the foundation’s telephone system was woefully outdated, the firm donated a new, state-of-the-art system. It is a title sponsor for the foundation’s annual Crab Fest. Over the years, the firm has donated more than $100,000 to the foundation as well as made donations to legal, educational and philanthropic organizations including the Boys & Girls Club.
In 2007, Mr. Cappello personally donated $1.25 million to UCLA School of Law Law to rebuild the Courtroom and make scholarships available for students that excel in Trial Advocacy. 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. In 2017, Mr. Cappello personally donated an additional $1 million to the UCLA School of Law to enshrine a new Trial Advocacy Program with added scholarships to recruit law students that have shown an interest and proficiency in trial advocacy. In honor of this donation, the UCLA Law School created the A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy. The Program will include mandatory Mock Trial competitions and selective trial specialty coursework leading to a Certificate in Trial Advocacy given at graduation.
In 2016, Ms. Noël personally donated $250,000 to the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William & Mary, to establish an endowment to provide scholarship support for students attending William & Mary Law School. The memorial scholarship endowment is named for one of Ms. Noël’s classmates from William & Mary Law School, and will provide need-based scholarships with a preference given to African-American students or students of color.
The firm is listed in the 2017 edition of “Best Law Firms,” published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. It received a “Tier 1” ranking in commercial litigation meaning the firm was in the highest percentile of recognized firms.
The Howard-Canfield Building
Built more than a century ago by a lawyer and a judge, the Howard-Canfield Building has housed lawyers and executives for most of its history. Cappello & Noël’s offices encompass the entire second floor of one of Santa Barbara’s most historic structures, located on the corner of State Street and Canon Perdido. The firm’s offices were renovated and restored to their former grandeur by Barry Cappello. Use the button below for more information on the building and Santa Barbara history.