Green & Hall Participates in the Lennar Diaper Drive
Once again, Green & Hall participated in the Lennar Diaper Drive on May 10, 2013 to benefit HomeAid Orange County's "Essentials for Young Lives" annual donation drive. HomeAid Orange County provides temporary shelter for homeless people in Orange County. Its "Essentials for Young Lives" annual donation drive is a community-wide effort to collect much needed items for homeless infants and toddlers. Last year the Lennar Diaper Drive received donations of more than 107,000 diapers. This year the drive raised over 305,000 diapers for HomeAid Orange County, well above Lennar's goal of 200,000 diapers. Green & Hall is honored to have been part of this fun, amazing, and worthwhile event sponsored by Lennar Corporation. Thanks to its partners and employees, Green & Hall donated thousands of diapers to the drive. The firm looks forward to participating again in 2014!
Green & Hall Partners Recognized as Super Lawyers
Robert Green, Howard Hall and Sam Danskin were again selected for inclusion on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers for 2013. We congratulate them on their receipt of this prestigious honor.
Green & Hall Obtains $1.7M for Apartment Owner
Sam Danskin recently negotiated settlements totaling $1.7 million on behalf of the owner of an apartment project in Santa Clara County. The settlements arose out of two lawsuits involving vinyl retrofit windows and an overlay roofing system installed at the project.
Plaintiffs brought suit against Standard Pacific Homes after their son was killed in an automobile accident. They argued that the roadway where the accident occurred - which Standard Pacific designed and constructed - did not contain adequate warnings of the approaching lane merge, was too widely tapered for the posted speed limit, and failed to contain guardrails around the adjacent street hazards. Prior to trial, Plaintiffs made a settlement demand of $5,000,000 to Standard Pacific, which Standard Pacific rejected. After a five-day trial including highly technical testimony by engineering and accident reconstruction experts, Robert Green won a directed verdict in favor of Standard Pacific and secured a ruling that entitled Standard Pacific to recover its litigation costs against Plaintiffs.
September 2012 – Dennis Luckman and Saul Wolf successfully moved for summary adjudication barring a plaintiff from asserting any claims for common area defects against the converter of a condominium project. Utilizing recently enacted subdivision (s) of Code of Civil Procedure Section 437c, Green & Hall's motion for summary adjudication (“MSA”) requested that the court resolve the following key issues: (1) whether the defect claims asserted in the plaintiff’s operative complaint constitute common area claims as defined by the CC&R’s, Condo Plan, and Civil Code; and (2) whether a prior settlement between plaintiff and the converter released the defect claims, thereby barring plaintiff from asserting such claims in this action.
The court granted the MSA, finding that plaintiff’s claims included common area defect claims which were released by the prior settlement and therefore barred in the instant action. This ruling is a great result for Green & Hall’s client as it drastically reduces plaintiff’s claims, while upholding the terms of the prior settlement agreement.
July 2012 – Robert Green obtained a $17 million judgment in a breach of contract claim against the developers and sellers of a large in-process residential construction project. Within months of closing escrow, a myriad of problems began to surface with the ongoing construction. The infrastructure for the entire project had come to a halt and the client subsequently learned that the seller defendant was in default on its acquisition and construction loans. As a result, the project could not be completed timely and in compliance with the representations and warranties contained within the purchase agreements. While the client did its best to mitigate its damages, the project was a total loss.
Following a bench trial, the court found in favor of our client and against the defendant LLC. We also pursued the individual members of the LLC on the grounds that they personally committed fraud against our client and should be deemed the alter egos of the LLC for their failure to observe corporate formalities. The Court agreed, and judgment in the amount of $17,841,651.92 was entered against the LLC and its members, jointly and severally.
July 2012 – In a longstanding dispute between plaintiffs and their loan broker, Green & Hall secured summary judgment for its lender clients, overcoming allegations that the clients had “aided and abetted” a violation of fiduciary duty by plaintiffs’ loan broker. After six rounds of pleading in the action, venued in Orange County Superior Court, only one of plaintiffs’ claims against the lender clients was allowed to proceed. Green & Hall successfully argued that plaintiffs’ claim – with its unique “aiding and abetting” theory of liability – was time-barred, and that plaintiffs had failed to establish any damages as a result of the lender clients’ alleged conduct. (This matter was handled by Howard Hall, Michael Lisko and Amar Moon.)
May 2012 – In a third-generation action brought by a determined plaintiff seeking to delay eviction following a non-judicial foreclosure sale, Green & Hall successfully defeated the plaintiff’s repeated requests for injunctive relief. In the action, Lara v. Aurora Loan Services et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67967 (S.D. Cal. May 15, 2012), Green & Hall demonstrated that the plaintiff was not entitled to a temporary restraining order. District Judge Larry Alan Burns was also persuaded that plaintiff’s subsequent request for a preliminary injunction should be denied. See Lara v. Aurora Loan Services et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78007 (S.D. Cal. Jun. 5, 2012). (This matter was handled by Howard Hall and Michael Lisko.)
August 2011 – In an action centering upon sensational allegations of fraud, Green & Hall procured dismissal for its clients after two rounds of unsuccessful pleading by plaintiffs. In the action, Kennedy v. Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB et al., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88784 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2011), plaintiffs attacked the origination and securitization of their loan, as well as non-judicial foreclosure proceedings involving their property. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino granted the clients’ Rule 12(b)(6) motions and dismissed plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. (This matter was handled by Howard Hall, Markus Self and Michael Lisko.)
May 2011 – Green & Hall obtained a quick and decisive victory for its Virginia-based client in an action that alleged, among other things, violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). In an unpublished opinion, District Judge James V. Selna of the Central District of California granted the client’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion and dismissed plaintiffs’ RESPA and FDCPA claims without prejudice. Plaintiffs abandoned their claims shortly thereafter and the entire action was dismissed for lack of prosecution, less than four months after it had been filed. (This matter was handled by Howard Hall and Michael Lisko.)
Green & Hall has named Suzanne M. Launi and John G. Roussas as partners in the firm effective January 1, 2011.
Ms. Launi joined Green & Hall's Orange County office in 2007 and has focused her practice on the representation of builders and general contractors in construction-related litigation. Her practice also includes the representation of real estate brokers and title companies in a broad range of disputes.
Mr. Roussas joined the firm's Roseville office in 2006. His practice focuses on construction-related litigation with an emphasis on construction defect and catastrophic workplace personal injuries. He also advises owners and lenders regarding the foreclosure and receiver process.
January 2011 - Howard Hall and Markus Self successfully defended the California Land Title Association (“CLTA”) in a unique lawsuit pending in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Plaintiff sued his title insurer and CLTA after the title insurer denied Plaintiff's title claim relating to an undisclosed underground easement. Although Plaintiff had not entered into any contract with CLTA, he argued unique theories for liability. He alleged that CLTA advertised on its website misleading and false representations about title insurance and title insurers' duties to reimburse insureds for covered losses. Plaintiff further alleged that CLTA is a trade organization for the entire title industry and, hence, effectively conspired with his title insurer to wrongfully deny Plaintiff's title claim. Plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages against CLTA for allegedly violating the Cartwright Act, disseminating false advertising and engaging in unfair competition.
CLTA's Demurrer to this complaint argued that each of Plaintiff's claims failed as a matter of law: (i) CLTA could not be liable under an insurance policy to which CLTA was not a party; (ii) Plaintiff could not establish an unlawful conspiracy or that CLTA's advertising was false or misleading; and (iii) CLTA could not be required to disclose the easement because it was not recorded. Judge Dodie Harman adopted these arguments and sustained CLTA's Demurrer and denied Plaintiff the right to amend his complaint. This victory is an important step in the continued efforts to insulate the title industry (and, in this case, CLTA) from baseless lawsuits.
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