Representative Matters: Insurance Litigation
The Firm successfully represented an insured lender holding a multi-million dollar deed of trust against the holder of a competing, multi-million deed of trust. Despite the fact that the opposing lender’s deed of trust had a lower recording number than the insured’s, the Firm prevailed on its position that the borrower intended to grant a first priority security interest to the insured, while at the same time intending to defraud the opposing lender who possessed the competing deed of trust. The Firm prevailed at trial, with the Court determining that the insured’s deed of trust held first priority and was senior to the opposing lender’s deed of trust.
The Firm represented an insured in a hard fought dispute between neighbors in an exclusive portion of the Hollywood Hills. The insured was sued for trespass, prescriptive easement, quiet title, fraud and related causes of action, regarding a road that traversed over one of their two properties. The Firm prevailed at trial, obtaining a complete defense verdict.
The Firm represented an insured municipality in the defense of mechanic’s lien foreclosure actions brought by a general contractor and numerous subcontractors. After obtaining a court order dismissing the general contractor’s $2.1 million claim, the Firm successfully negotiated a global settlement of all of the mechanic’s lien actions for an indemnity obligation not to exceed $129,000.
When a title insurer paid a failed condominium developer less than $100,000 on (what the developer considered to be) an insurance claim that the insured believed was worth tens of millions of dollars, arising because of an undisclosed recorded easement running under the length of the developer’s property, the developer brought a bad faith action against the insurer for $30 million. Through its leave-no-stone-unturned litigation tactics, the Firm uncovered favorable evidence from non-party witnesses showing among other things, that contrary to their testimony and their own documents, the developer’s principals were keenly aware of easement prior to their acquisition of the subject property, which ultimately led to a favorable settlement of the action for the title insurer on the eve of trial, at a small fraction of the damages sought.
The Firm was hired to represent an insured lender, whose multi-million dollar deed of trust against commercial real estate had been wrongfully cancelled, just two days before a foreclosure sale that would have permanently extinguished its rights to the property. The Firm successfully obtained a temporary restraining order, barring any transfer or sale of the subject property, and then won a motion for summary adjudication to restore the insured’s security interest in the property.
The Firm represented a Nevada lender sued by an architectural firm for over $2 million in mechanics liens. The Firm’s summary judgment motion was granted in its entirety and the architectural firm’s action dismissed, based on the Firm’s explanation of various intricacies of Nevada mechanics lien law and in particular, how notice of the commencement of work is construed as to lien claimants such as architects.
The Firm represented an insured lender with nearly $6 million in secured loans recorded against commercial real estate in Irvine, California in an action by the borrower to cancel the insured’s deed of trust, based on the borrower’s claim that the loan documents were forged. After the Firm successfully opposed the borrower’s efforts to obtain a preliminary injunction to stop the insured from foreclosing, the borrower sought bankruptcy protection, which automatically stayed any efforts to foreclose on the property. The Firm prevailed in its efforts to have the property discharged from the bankruptcy estate, thus allowing the insured lender to foreclose on the property.