We Are Trial Lawyers

Commercial Litigation

Our attorneys bring creativity to the practice of law. They think outside the box to strategically position cases. They are result-oriented and cost-effective; and care about the clients. This mindset is necessary where the stakes are high and the problems and challenges are significant. Examples of the practice areas and industries served include:

  • Real Estate
  • Finance
  • Entertainment/Media
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Sports
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Policy Holder Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith
  • Government/Regulatory
  • Securities
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Lender Liability
  • Appellate
  • Employment
  • Partnership/Business Disputes
  • Family Disputes
  • Class Action
  • Copyright
  • Trademark
  • Trade Secret
Real Estate

Real estate litigation is a major part of our practice.  During the recession, we obtained an injunction precluding the foreclosure of an 82-unit condominium project in Long Beach based upon impossibility of performance and frustration of contract, where the developer could not sell units because of the economic downturn.  Using a quote in our brief from former Fed chief Alan Greenspan—“we’re in the midst of a once-in-a-century credit tsunami”—the Judge enjoined the lender from foreclosing.  [Read the article]

When the largest land developer in California needs litigation representation, it comes to us. We handled a series of bet-the-company cases for this client, including filing suit in federal court arising from the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy wherein our client sought to equitably subordinate over $2 billion in Lehman mortgage liens to the claims of unsecured creditors. We also filed suit in state court against (non-debtor) Lehman entities, conducted extensive discovery in both courts and filed a motion for summary judgment. The cases settled on favorable terms. [Read the article]

The firm won a $5 million jury verdict for the same client on a breach of contract claim over the sale of land in Riverside County [Read the article]; and we litigated and favorably resolved a case in federal court regarding development of the Alameda Naval Air Base adjacent to San Francisco Bay. Our firm represented one of the state’s biggest homebuilders in a complex, multi-million dollar partnership dispute. We are currently representing an apartment owner/developer in a $100 million insurance dispute.

The firm’s deep experience in real estate disputes has enabled this practice area to grow. Our clients range from developers and homebuilders to lenders and real estate private equity and investment firms.

Financial Institutions

The firm has a robust practice representing financial institutions including private equity, venture capital, investment banks, commercial banks and other financial institutions. The firm has handled matters recently for the Gores Group, a leading private equity firm.  Invariably, these cases involve high stakes and millions of dollars; all were concluded favorably.

Our firm has tried and won cases for commercial banks. We currently represent five publicly-traded, multi-billion dollar (assets) banks based in California. This representation has included defending lender liability, fraud and class action suits. Notable among them was a defense jury verdict in a lender liability trial representing East West Bank against a borrower seeking in excess of $50 million; and the bank being awarded $2 million in legal fees. [Read the article]

The firm also represented Cathay Bank and obtained summary judgment against a borrower seeking in excess of $20 million on a lender liability claim. [Read the article] The firm recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of East West Bank on a lender liability claim wherein the borrower was seeking in excess of $50 million. [Read the article] And we obtained a summary judgment on behalf of Opus Bank establishing coverage against an insurance carrier.

Our attorneys represented investors who purchased a billion dollars of preferred stock in Internet incubator Idealab; the case resolved after suit was filed for dissolution and wind-up of the company. We recently won a significant decision in a FINRA arbitration for an investment bank. We also have defended mutual funds and money managers against breach of fiduciary and trade secret claims; and defeated motions for preliminary injunction therein.

Entertainment

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world — a place where disputes arise involving celebrities as well as the people who represent them and manage their careers. This creates a demand for a level of sophistication necessary in all aspects of the entertainment industry.

Our attorneys have represented movie and television studios, record companies, musicians, actors, songwriters, managers, promoters, studio executives and media personalities. A partial list includes: Rod Stewart, Elton John, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles), Lionel Richie, Sean Connery, Larry King, Motley Crüe, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Tupac Shakur’s Estate, Stone Temple Pilots and others.

We have a multitude of war stories. Years ago, one of our attorneys helped Rod Stewart recover millions of dollars from a former manager who tried to enforce a management contract after pilfering funds from the artist. Since then, we have won multiple cases for Rod, including victories in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal.

Don Felder was a key member of the Eagles and wrote the music for the band’s biggest hit, Hotel California. After he left the band, we litigated his claims and ultimately obtained a settlement for the singer/songwriter. We also helped rock band  Mötley Crüe re-group following a challenge to its management; with its manager in place, the band subsequently released a comeback album and embarked on a global tour, generating critical acclaim and financial success.

Our attorneys have represented a European concert promoter against Michael Jackson for failing to perform two concerts over the Millennium—one in Sydney and the other in Honolulu —and won a multi-million dollar jury verdict [Read the article].  Our attorneys have also obtained summary judgment for Universal Music Group in a trademark infringement action [Read the article]; obtained summary judgment for Bob Dylan in a contract dispute; won the dismissal of a contractual interference claim for entertainer/media executive Byron Allen and his Entertainment Studios involving the film rights to the life of Sammy Davis Jr. [Read the article]; won summary judgment for  Mötley Crüe in a copyright infringement action [Read the article]; favorably represented an heir of the Spencer Tracy Estate in a breach of fiduciary duty action; and our attorneys have handled matters for MGM, Paramount, Lions Gate, Sony, Miramax and EMI/Capitol Records.

Whether on the studio, talent or management side, Miller Barondess is experienced and able to handle any dispute in the entertainment business.

Appellate Practice

We have broad experience representing clients in appeals in California’s appellate courts and the federal courts of appeals.

Our firm has handled appeals in nearly every area of civil litigation. Some of our notable victories include reversing a jury verdict in favor of a Los Angeles County employee who sued the County under the California Family Medical Leave Act; this was the first published decision in the area. [Read the article] Our attorneys prevailed on appeal in a case against Patron Tequila wherein our client was seeking $45 million for breach of contract and fraud. After the lower court granted summary judgment against our client, the Court of Appeal reversed, and the case proceeded to trial and settled before closing arguments. [Read the article] Our firm obtained summary judgment on behalf of the County of Los Angeles and its Board of Supervisors in a Brown Act/waste/tax case. That victory was upheld on appeal in a published decision that helps to clarify the counters of the Brown Act and the scope of delegation powers for municipal governmental agencies throughout California. We have also successfully resolved numerous appeals brought under California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

The firm’s appellate department often assists our litigation teams with complex issues in the trial court.  We step in to assist trial counsel with complicated post-trial briefing and high-stakes law and motion matters long before a case ends up in the appellate court. Our depth helps us ensure that our clients’ interests are protected on appeal.

Tough Cases

Clients trust us with their controversial, high-profile cases. In the 1990’s, Skip Miller defended the City of Los Angeles in the civil rights lawsuit brought by Rodney King. He also represented the City in connection with lawsuits involving the Special Investigation Section (SIS) of the LAPD, an elite unit charged with apprehending the City’s most dangerous criminals. The policies and practices of the SIS were upheld in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Skip represented the City of Riverside in an emotionally charged action filed by the family of Tyisha Miller, who was shot and killed by the Riverside Police Department; famed civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran represented the plaintiff. Skip represented the City of Beverly Hills and won a lawsuit alleging racial profiling by the BHPD.

We also have experience with cases involving sexual harassment, environmental claims/toxic torts, racial discrimination, insurance coverage, and inverse condemnation. Our attorneys have represented the County of Los Angeles and various cities including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Carson, Anaheim, Riverside and Monterey Park.

In addition, we have tried and won cases for Asian companies and investors including a $46 million jury verdict for a Chinese electronics manufacturer in Los Angeles Superior Court (Burbank). [Read the article] We are currently handling high-stakes, multi-million dollar real estate/commercial cases in California for a prominent Hong Kong based investor.

Pro Bono

Years ago, our attorneys undertook a pro bono project. Prominent politician Zev Yaroslavsky was lobbying against drilling for oil in Santa Monica Bay and was up against a major oil company. We helped keep the anti-drilling ads on the air, and the campaign was successful. To this day, there are no oil derricks and no oil drilling in Santa Monica Bay.

The firm maintains an active pro bono practice and encourages its attorneys to handle such matters; and thereby give back to the community.

Our attorneys bring creativity and
innovation to the practice of law.