Smart Resolutions

Successful businesses find practical solutions to complicated problems. They are nimble enough to anticipate and address the challenges of an evolving marketplace, delivering exceptional goods and services to their clients and customers. They tackle disputes head on.

Carr McClellan’s business litigators do the same. For 70 years, we have partnered with our clients to resolve their most important and complex disputes, in industries central to California’s economy. From cutting-edge technologies in software, hardware, and telecommunications, to traditional sectors such as finance, manufacturing, real estate, construction and food and beverage, our clients have come to expect the unparalleled responsiveness and superior value that we consistently provide. We reach a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses, technologies, partnerships, and personnel in order to develop the most appropriate litigation strategy.

But each strategy is only as good as its implementation, so our attorneys have demonstrated practice expertise in the areas that matter most to our clients. We help our clients protect their intellectual property, enforce their contractual rights, defend their employment practices, mitigate their risks, and make their competitors play fair.

Our careful preparation of each case positions our clients for early and favorable resolution with minimal disruption to their businesses, but we’re also always ready to try our clients’ cases before a judge, arbitrator, or jury. Whether in pre-suit negotiations, during litigation, at trial, or on appeal, we focus on delivering the best overall result for our clients, with litigation strategies that further our clients’ business objectives.

Representative Matters

Business Disputes Carr McClellan’s litigators have the expertise to handle the diverse range of business disputes our clients encounter.  We have an exemplary record of success litigating and resolving matters involving breach of commercial agreements, business torts, unfair competition, shareholder and partnership disputes, insurance coverage, creditor/debtor rights, product liability, transportation, mortgages, and consumer investment products. Representative business disputes include:
  • Successfully defended the parent of a global project management company in a $100 million claim involving complex alter ego and conspiracy theories. Case settled on very favorable terms after filing motion for summary judgment.
  • Successfully defended a client from a $21 million fraud claim, obtaining a summary judgment dismissing the client from the case before trial.
  • Successfully tried to judgment a fraud/breach of fiduciary duty action arising out of a failed investment that resulted in multi-million dollar judgment in our client’s favor, including punitive damages and a non-dischargeability determination in bankruptcy.
  • Secured recovery of over $4 million in marine bio-diesel as security for a $9 million breach of contract claim on behalf of a cruise line operator.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of defendants accused of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud arising from multi-million dollar data center development
  • Represent multiple families in complex litigation arising from the September 2010 PG&E-San Bruno fire.
  • Successfully tried to jury verdict lease dispute on behalf of government agency that was the culmination of a four-year dispute that included four different lawsuits, including one for $800 million, and three bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Successfully arbitrated and then mediated dispute over 51% ownership interests in businesses with over $75 million revenue.  The dispute involved multiple lawsuits and we successfully obtained majority interest on behalf of our client.
  • Successfully resolved a multi-district dispute against a major New York publisher over a buy-out contract with a result in excess of $47 million without filing a lawsuit.
  • Successfully defended a business owner from ERISA pension fund claims in excess of $1 million.  The owner was not required to pay anything on the claim.
Intellectual Property Our trial attorneys represent both established and emerging technology companies in the software, semiconductor, e-commerce, and high technology industries in the protection and enforcement of their key intellectual property. We work closely with our clients to develop the creative strategies and tactics needed both to try and to resolve IP claims that go to the core of a company’s enterprise. Representative matters include:
  • Represented a major Silicon Valley company in three complex and connected trade secret cases involving its leading edge technology, resulting in a favorable resolution.
  • Lead counsel in a multi-million dollar, cross-jurisdictional trade secret and unfair business practices claim involving a leading national industrial and commercial services company.
  • Litigated and favorably resolved claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and unfair business practices involving the design of a state-of-the-art VoIP system.
  • Obtained large pre-litigation settlement of claims for wrongful hacking of a computer database and misappropriation of trade secrets for a software developer.
  • Defended a consumer luxury-products company against trademark infringement action by industry leader, resulting in stipulated right in client to perpetual, world-wide, royalty-free license to use the disputed mark.
  • Obtained favorable resolution for an ad platform provider in a copyright infringement claim against offshore software developer.
  • Successfully defended a departed executive and successor employer in a theft of trade secret and unfair business practices action.
  • Lead trial counsel in a bet-the-company arbitration defending a leading-edge telecom software company against claims for breach of software licenses (matter referred after liability had been determined against client). Award limited to less than 4% of the claimant’s demand.
  • Represented tax preparation business in federal trade secret and trademark infringement lawsuit. Secured return of trade secret information and all rights to disputed trademark through settlement before trial.
  • Represented fabless semiconductor design house in trade secret dispute with chip foundry and negotiated favorable resolution without filing suit.
  • Prosecuted trade name infringement, dilution, and false advertising action on behalf of hotel owner, securing permanent injunction preventing defendant from using client’s name and compensation for defendants’ wrongful use.
Employment Our trial attorneys regularly represent clients in employment claims in federal and state courts, arbitration forums, and before federal and state regulatory agencies. We have an impressive record of success in claims involving discrimination, wrongful termination, disability, employee mobility (trade secrets, non-competition, confidentiality, and non-disclosure), and wage and hour issues. Representative matters include:
  • Successfully defended a key executive and the successor employer who hired the executive from misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair business practices claims with our clients paying nothing.
  • Obtained settlement for more than $300,000 and return of misappropriated trade secrets from a departed employee and the successor employer.
  • Successfully resolved an ERISA funds’ claim for more than $500,000 in contributions with our client paying nothing.
  • Obtained a favorable resolution for financial institution client of Department of Labor wage and hour action arising from alleged misclassification of loan underwriters.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a race discrimination lawsuit after filing summary judgment motion.
  • Defended a multi-national airport services company in a sexual harassment and retaliation suit against a managing agent, resulting in nominal settlement payment for nuisance value.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court on behalf a national temporary staffing company against claims for age and race discrimination.
  • Defended major foreign-based technology company from wrongful termination whistle-blower and gender discrimination claims; the matter settled favorably before trial.
Real Estate Real estate has been a core part of Carr McClellan’s practice since the firm’s founding.  Our litigators and attorneys resolve disputes and try cases for developers, commercial and residential property owners, and commercial landlords and tenants, both public and private, throughout California and the United States. Representative matters includes:
  • Recovered $4.3 million for real estate investors stolen from a §1031 exchange account.
  • Won a defense verdict in a complex groundwater contamination case.
  • Successfully defended a real estate partnership in action for dissolution brought by minority partners.
  • As appellate counsel for the sellers, obtained the reversal of a judgment ordering specific performance and awarding substantial damages in the sale of a mobile home park.
  • Successfully defended the Town of Hillsborough in a writ of mandate proceeding involving the adequacy of its General Plan and approvals granted for a new gymnasium and classroom building at a private school.
  • Represented the owner of a historic building to obtain CEQA and municipal approvals for renovations and expansion.
  • Obtained a Court of Appeal decision reversing a judgment against our client for a breach of real estate sales contract.
  • Successfully resolved failure to disclose claims involving a multimillion dollar residence with our clients paying nuisance value.
  • Successfully defended development owner through trial of claims for wrongful eviction.
Bankruptcy Our bankruptcy attorneys regularly represent the interests of creditors and debtors in complex, high-stakes bankruptcy matters. Representative matters include:
  • Represented a financial institution in a Chapter 11 Reorganization who was secured by a deed of trust on the debtor's real property. Successfully prosecuted a motion for relief from stay and obtained an order authorizing the creditor to foreclose on an approximate $1.0 million lien.
  • Obtained summary judgment in the United States Bankruptcy Court for a mortgage-backed security trust in a multi-million dollar claim alleging wrongful foreclosure, TILA and RESPA violations, fraud, and quiet title.
  • Successfully represented numerous landlords in large Chapter 11 Reorganization cases to ensure that the leases were either properly assumed by the debtors in possession and amounts due to the landlord were paid or that the premises were promptly returned to the landlords.
  • Successfully represented a creditor in a preference action bought by a bankruptcy trustee and obtained dismissal of the action.
  • Successfully represented an electrical component distributor as a “stalking horse bidder” in a Chapter 11 Section 363 sale and obtained Bankruptcy Court confirmation of the sale to the client.
  • Represented a bankruptcy trustee in a Ponzi scheme case and recovered in excess of a million dollars for creditors.
  • Successfully represented a municipality as a creditor and landlord in numerous bankruptcy matters.
Construction Carr McClellan’s construction litigators draw on their own extensive experience as well as the skills of our real estate attorneys to bring focus and success to complex construction claims.  We represent owners, developers, construction managers, general contractors, and subcontractors on projects as diverse as hydrogen plants, large municipal projects, multi-unit residential developments, hotels, high-end residences, and commercial structures.  Carr McClellan’s litigators have expertise in claims involving contract performance, delay, construction defect, insurance, bonding and mechanic’s liens. Representative matters include:
  • Successfully prosecuted substantial inverse condemnation actions on behalf of private property owners against municipalities resulting in major remedial repairs of failed improvements, damage awards and attorneys’ fees.
  • Obtained $4 million judgment for a contractor and subcontractor based on delay and disruption claims.
  • Obtained defense verdict for a general contractor on project abandonment claim and sizeable award against owner on cross-complaint for wrongful termination.
  • Successfully defended a material supplier on industrial project against claims of product design deficiencies.
  • Successfully prosecuted a general contractor’s claims against sub-tier contractor for delay and abandonment of a commercial development project to a judgment in excess of $1 million.
  • Represented a general contractor in its defense of multi-million dollar liquidated damages and False Claims Act claims on public works project and secured sizeable payment for general contractor on counter claims for delays and inefficiencies resulting from undisclosed subsurface conditions.
  • Obtained a significant judgment for a major national construction contractor in a two month trial against a subcontractor involving a comprehensive hotel renovation project.
  • Represented major international hotel owner/operator in a claim against its contractors for defective construction of approximately 40% of the hotel’s bathrooms; case resolved very favorably before trial.


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