Cases

Cappello & Noël is recognized as one of the top complex business litigation law firms in the country.

Lender Liability

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AllStar Inns, Inc. vs. Motel 6, Bank of America
Settlement: Litigated and settled a $246 million asset buyout by Motel 6 of the 71-motel chain, AllStar Inns, Inc.

American Aviation Industries v. General Electric Capital Corporation
Verdict: $70.8 million award to an aircraft manufacturer in a complex lender liability dispute.

Jewell v. Bank of America
Verdict: $37.5 million award, which, at the time, was the largest lender liability verdict in the nation.

Contempo Office Furniture v. Union Bank
Verdict: $12.5 million jury award to a furniture maker in a lender liability dispute.

Major Los Angeles Real Estate Investment Company v. Major National Lender
Settlement: $11.5 million settlement in a lender liability matter involving wrongful foreclosure of an office tower.

Waterworld Resorts, Inc. v. Larry Gold, Bear State Mortgage Company
Verdict: $7.6 million lender liability verdict against a mortgage loan broker and its affiliated lender.

Lumbermans v. Union Bank
Verdict:
$7.5 million verdict in which a public company sued its lender over conversion of the borrower’s property.

Developer v. Major Insurance Company Lender
Settlement: $7.5 million lender liability settlement involving a dispute over a hotel foreclosure.

Cut’n Ready v. Bank of California
Verdict: $4.5 million jury verdict on behalf of a food processing company.

Workouts and Settlements: Over $750 million in workouts and settlements involving lender liability actions.

Complex Business Litigation

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Core Wealth Management v. Ronald Heller, et al
Verdict: $41.7 million jury verdict. Core Wealth managed high yield debt instruments for high net worth individuals and institutions. After a seven-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Core Wealth, and found that former employees and others had breached their fiduciary duty, misappropriated trade secrets, breached employee contracts and undertaken other misconduct.

Star Telecom v. PacBell
Verdict: $4.6 million jury verdict in a breach of contract trial.

Deckers Outdoor Corporation and Former Ugg Holdings, Inc. Shareholders
Settlement: $2.6 million settlement between Deckers and former shareholders of Ugg over the amount of money the shareholders should receive after Deckers bought Ugg Holdings.

Nationally Recognized Real Estate Consultant v. Major Accounting Firm
Verdict: $1.5 million jury award in a breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the covenant of good faith and contract breach case.

Homeowners Association v. Land Company
Settlement: Represented 45 families in litigation involving land leases; negotiated a $50 million buyout of oceanfront land for the homeowners from the lessor, at well below market prices.

Large Indio County Farm Operator v. Major Law Firm
Verdict: $3.49 million jury verdict in a legal malpractice case.

Plaintiffs’ Class Actions

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Jones et al. v. Wells Fargo
Discrimination in lending: Multi-million dollar class action verdict in which the jury found the bank had violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The verdict penalized the bank for discrimination and compensated minority borrowers in the class.

In re Airline Travel Agency Commission Antitrust Litigation (co-counsel)
Settlement: $86 million class action settlement involving alleged conspiracy among five major airlines to fix commissions paid to travel agencies.

Barela, et al. v. Ralphs Grocery Company, et al. (co-counsel)
Settlement: $13.8 million class action case involving an alleged agreement among five major grocery chains to fix and maintain retail prices of milk sold in Southern California.

In re AST Research Securities Litigation (co-counsel)
Settlement: $12.5 million settlement in a class action case arising out of the defendants’ alleged securities fraud.

In re Paradise Memorial Park Litigation (co-counsel)
Settlement: $8 million settlement in a consolidated class action case arising out of the mishandling of decedents remains and the recycling of graves at a Los Angeles area cemetery.

In re Advanta National Bank Credit Card Terms Litigation (co-counsel)
Settlement: $7.5 million settlement in a multi-district class action arising out of the defendant’s failure to honor the fixed rate of interest charged on balance transfers.

Milano, et al. v. Circon Corporation, et al. (co-counsel)
Settlement: $4 million class action settlement concerning securities fraud.

O’Connor, et al. v. Blue Cross of California, et al.
Settlement: $3 million agreement in a class action case in which the defendants allegedly failed to extend to their existing policy holders a 20% discount in premiums that was being offered to new customers for the same insurance benefits.

Employment/Labor Litigation

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Nabil Darghous v. Johnson Controls
Verdict: $23.3 million jury verdict in a wrongful and retaliatory employee termination, breach of contract and slander case. The verdict was one of the top 10 verdicts of the year in California.

NLRB v. Santa Barbara News-Press
Defended: Successfully defended Santa Barbara’s regional newspaper against charges brought by the Teamsters Union and the National Labor Relations Board. Case went to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the publishers right to terminate employees engaged in unprotected activity.

Catastrophic Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

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Jose A. Arredondo, et al. v. Richard Rodriguez, et al., Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, County of Santa Barbara
Settlement: $4.8 million to parents of a teenager killed in a wrong-way driver accident. Argued that the inappropriate actions of a Santa Barbara County Sherriff led to the death. Defeated the defendants’ claim of statutory pursuit immunity.

Gottesman v. Cathedral Oaks Tennis, Swim & Athletic Club, Inc., et al.
Verdict: $16.2 million jury verdict to parents of son who drowned in defendants’ swimming pool while attending day camp.

Construction Defect Litigation

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El Escorial Home Owners Association v. Various Contractors
Settlement and Judgment: $15 million settlement to a condominium association because of shoddy workmanship on its Santa Barbara-area complex.

Intellectual Property Litigation

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Russomanno v. Russo, et al.
Settlement: $44 million jury verdict for former school teacher that owned rights to a children’s T.V. series that was taken by others.

Plaintiffs’ Bad Faith Insurance Litigation

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Santa Barbara Villas, LP v. St. Paul Travelers
Settlement: $3 million settlement by St. Paul/Travelers for improperly refusing to defend its insured in a construction defect action.

Strauss v. Sheffield Insurance Corporation, et al.
Settlement: Approximately $1 million for insurer’s bad faith relating to corporation’s officer and director policies.

Lazy Acres Market v. Western Heritage Insurance Company
Settlement: Insurance carrier refused to pay for insured’s counsel of choice to defend a wrongful detention claim brought by an accused shoplifter. Suit sought to recover attorneys fees incurred in defense of underlying action and for bad faith denial of a defense. The suit also included claims under an indemnity agreement with the company that provided security services at the supermarket.

Toxic Tort – Environmental Litigation

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Laurence O’Connor, et al vs. Boeing N.A., Inc. et al.
Confidential Settlement: Represented 175 cancer victims, all ages, for injury and wrongful death. Settled an 8 1/2-year case against Boeing regarding toxic air contamination in the neighborhoods adjacent to Boeing facilities near Simi Valley and in the San Fernando Valley — both suburbs of Los Angeles.

Entertainment

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Courtney Love et. al v. Universal Music Group (UMG) et. al
Settlement: Settlement included UMG waiving all rights to future recordings from Courtney Love and Love granting UMG permission to release new recording packages, including a compilation album with a never-before-released track, from her late husband Kurt Cobain’s band, Nirvana.

Delta Entertainment Corporation v. The Harry Fox Agency
Settlement: Settlement between Delta Entertainment Corporation, an international independent music and video company, and licensing agent The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) in a multi-million-dollar payment dispute.