• BDG Recent Results (September 2013)

    Posted September 17, 2013 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    COMPLEX COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a leading multi-brand California company listed on the NASDAQ to defend it and one of its corporate divisions in pending litigation brought against the corporate defendants under California tort and contract theories. After a 10-day court trial, the trial judge awarded the plaintiff monetary damages of only one percent (1%) of plaintiffs’ pretrial demand; the awarded damages comprised only a small fraction of the defendants’ statutory Offer of Compromise. Highly-skilled drafting, legal analysis and research, oral argument, witness preparation, and trial execution resulted in the trial judge: (1) granting key defense motions in limine to exclude anticipated expert opinions and punitive damages; (2) finding the defense percipient and expert witnesses and corporate financial data to be credible; and (3) granting the defendants’ motion for judgment, which dramatically reduced the scope of plaintiff’s tort claims and potential monetary recovery. “Real-time” adjustments during the trial and a committed trial team, both inside and outside of the courtroom, made such a favorable result possible.

    2. In a case recently resolved, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith leveraged a sweeping victory on a motion for a preliminary injunction in an unfair competition case into a favorable settlement by which the defendant competitors essentially ceased doing business. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented the manufacturer of a plumbing product used throughout the world. Before retaining Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, the manufacturer had sued the manufacturer-distributor and inventor of a competing product that did not comply with State and local codes and was being marketed with false or misleading advertising. Immediately upon taking over the case, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith initiated broad-ranging discovery to gather the evidence that would support a motion for a preliminary injunction against the defendants’ unfair marketing activities. The motion was filed within 60 days and was granted. The manufacturing defendant responded by seeking bankruptcy protection before the injunction order could be signed. After relief from the bankruptcy stay was obtained, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith obtained the injunction order and then defeated the defendant’s motion for reconsideration. At that point, with the defendants’ ability to compete severely compromised, our client was able to negotiate a settlement by which, in exchange for a modest payment, the defendants agreed to a stipulated order barring them from ever selling the competing product anywhere in North America and granting our client a right to monitor its operations to ensure compliance with the settlement.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a publicly traded company in a lawsuit where the client was the defendant. The plaintiff claimed intellectual property violations. Through aggressive actions at the pleading stage, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to have the complaint dismissed with prejudice at the very early stages of litigation.

    REAL ESTATE/PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a community college district in a dispute with a contractor over substandard work performed by the contractor. After prolonged settlement negotiations failed to resolve the matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed a lawsuit against the contractor on behalf of the community college district. Rather than incurring substantial litigation costs, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith suggested to legal counsel for the contractor that the parties agree to mediation prior to substantial costs being incurred by the parties. The parties went to mediation and were able to resolve the dispute.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith recently represented one of the largest county departments of education in the purchase of real estate to build a school. The transaction involved environmental issues as well as working with the city to ensure a smooth working relationship for all parties involved. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith will also assist the district in its contracts with the architect, contractor, and constructionmanager to help with the completion of the project.

    PUBLIC LITIGATION, WRITS, AND APPEALS

    1. In a matter where one of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s municipal clients was not being paid for certain parking space rentals that it had been providing to a neighboring property, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys quickly and efficiently demanded from and negotiated payment with a receiver (who had been appointed by the court to manage the subject property). After several discussions with the receiver, the receiver agreed to pay our client a substantial sum of money for the parking space rentals. Our client accepted the settlement and recovered those sums without having to incur litigation expenses.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a city in successfully opposing a petition for writ of mandate regarding the dismissal of a police officer. The officer had contested his dismissal at an administrative hearing before the Civil Service Board, which sustained charges against the officer relating to him visiting massage parlors, and then in the Superior Court after the city council terminated the officer. Before the Superior Court, the officer claimed multiple procedural irregularities in the administrative appeal, as well as that the findings were not supported by the evidence and that his termination constituted an abuse of discretion. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully countered each of the officer’s legal and factual points with strong briefing and persuasive oral argument at the trial of the petition. As a result, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith convinced the Superior Court that the termination should be upheld; accordingly, judgment was entered in favor of our client, the city. So strong were the points raised by Bergman Dacey Goldsmith that the officer did not seek any further appellate review of his termination.

    3. In an ongoing civil litigation matter wherein Bergman Dacey Goldsmith is prosecuting causes of action sounding in breach of contract, accounting, conversion, and fiduciary duty to recover millions of dollars in dispute on behalf of one of its municipal clients, the primary defendant in the lawsuit and its former counsel (on his own behalf) sought interlocutory appellate relief from the California Court of Appeal with regard to several rulings issued by the trial court. After preparing and filing a respondent’s brief establishing all of the reasons why appellate relief should be denied, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith appeared before the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, and argued to the Justices of the Court of Appeal that the trial court did not err in issuing any of the orders that were the subject of the appeal. All of the Justices agreed and issued an opinion affirming all of said rulings.

    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a public entity in a class action where the representative Plaintiff claimed that the government had overcharged tens of thousands of individuals millions of dollars for certain late fees associated with public services. Through expert negotiations, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to negotiate an early settlement of the matter representing less than 5% of the public entity’s liability.

    TEACHER DISMISSAL HEARINGS

    1. In a 9-day teacher termination appeal hearing, with Bergman Dacey Goldsmith representing one of the largest public school districts in the country (“district”), the Commission on Professional Competence upheld a teacher’s termination from the district. The district terminated the teacher, a permanent certificated employee, for having inappropriate physical contact with students, making inappropriate remarks on multiple occasions during his class, posting pictures of scantily clad women, and allowing students to access inappropriate images on the internet. The teacher was also terminated for violating the district’s acceptable use policy for accessing inappropriate images on his district-issued laptop. The Commission on Professional Competence upheld the teacher’s termination under Education Code sections 44932 and 44939 for 1) immoral conduct, 2) unprofessional conduct, 3) evident unfitness for service and 4) persistent violation of or refusal to obey the school laws of the State or reasonable regulations prescribed for the government of the public schools by the State Board of Education.

    2. In a 5-day teacher termination appeal hearing, with Bergman Dacey Goldsmith representing the district, the Commission on Professional Competence upheld a teacher’s termination from the district. The district terminated the teacher, a permanent certificated employee, for having solicited an undercover police officer in Elysian Park. The Commission on Professional Competence upheld the teacher’s termination under Education Code sections 44932 and 44939 for 1) immoral conduct, 2) unprofessional conduct, and 3) evident unfitness for service.

  • Brian J. Bergman has become a shareholder

    Posted January 2, 2013 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    It is with great pleasure that Bergman Dacey Goldsmith announces that as of January 1, 2013, Brian J. Bergman has become a shareholder. Brian’s practice focuses primarily on environmental, land use, construction, and business litigation. Brian has a broad range of experience in environmental and land use litigation, including matters under CEQA, CERCLA, CWA, OPA, and CAA, eminent domain actions, and nuisance/trespass actions. He has represented clients on matters before the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control. He is a co-author of California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s 2009 Environmental Mitigation Handbook and has published several articles and given multiple presentations on environmental and land use topics. Brian regularly represents public and private entities in multi-million dollar construction disputes. He has specific expertise in the prosecution and defense of construction claims involving delay, disruption, acceleration, stop notices, performance bonds, and claims under the California Public Contract Code.

    Brian was recognized as a 2010, 2011, and 2012 Southern California Rising Star in environmental and construction litigation and was accepted by the Litigation Counsel of America as an Associate Member. He is a co-founder of the LCA’s International Institute of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law. He is member of several bar associations.

    Brian was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. While in law school, he was the Chair of the U.S.C. Hale Moot Court Honors Program and was an extern for the Central District Federal District Magistrate Stephen Hillman.

  • Recent Results (August 2012)

    Posted August 8, 2012 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a successful California corporation with multiple franchises against both federal and state claims of statutory violations stemming from prohibitions on facsimile solicitations. Upon evaluating the very limited potential damages that could be claimed, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith aggressively began settlement negotiations and took all necessary steps to avoid litigation being filed against the corporate client. In a period of days, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a very modest resolution before the claimant ever filed his lawsuit, thereby ensuring the corporation could focus on its business and not be distracted by a costly legal action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented this same client against a similar claim in which Bergman Dacey Goldsmith again negotiated a de minimis settlement before having to file a single document with the court.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international corporation in its defense of various business tort and breach of contract claims brought by an equipment buyer who purchased allegedly defective equipment from a former sales agent for the corporation (the equipment was actually from another co-defendant). When early investigation revealed that the sales agent was no longer affiliated with the corporation at the time of the purchase, but that the corporation had not cut all administrative ties thereby exposing itself to potential liability, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith opened settlement negotiations with the equipment buyer and through diligent efforts was able to resolve the matter for a fraction of the monies originally sought by the equipment buyers and before incurring significant litigation expense. Furthermore, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith ensured that the Court approved the good faith settlement pursuant to statute to avoid any future claim for contribution from the other co-defendant who did not settle out of the case, thereby achieving finality for the corporation. Finally, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith provided guidance to the corporate client to revise its business model to clarify its documentation practices so that future litigation could be minimized.
    3. Following a successful result in Los Angeles County wherein Bergman Dacey Goldsmith obtained temporary restraining order relief for its client, a worldwide financial services firm, against a former branch manager who was accused of having misappropriated confidential and trade secret information, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was again retained by the same firm to obtain similar relief against a financial analyst who was accused of stealing proprietary/trade secret information in Northern California in favor of a competitor. Within less than 48 hours after being retained, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys marshaled the evidence, interviewed the key witnesses, drafted and filed the necessary pleading, and obtained a hearing date to present its application for a temporary restraining order and order to show cause re preliminary injunction. After presenting the application and the evidence to the court, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys were successful yet again in obtaining a victory in Northern California as the court decided in our client’s favor and issued a temporary restraining order against the former employee, enjoining the former employee from using or exploiting the client’s confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information at his new place of employment and directing and compelling the former employee to return all documents containing any confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information that he took with him to his new place of employment.
    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a company that provides services to commercial and residential real estate industries nationally in obtaining immediate injunctive relief against a former officer of that company. The former officer was accused of misappropriating company confidential and proprietary information in favor of himself and a new company that he formed, through which he was providing consulting and expert witness services for litigation purposes. As the allegations read, in providing those expert and consulting services to his clients, the former officer was providing confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client to not only his clients but also the court and other parties in the lawsuit. In just a few days, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys prepared and filed a complaint and an ex parte application seeking temporary restraining order (“TRO”) relief to enjoin the former officer’s conduct. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith convinced the court to grant its request for a TRO and, later, to also issue a preliminary injunction in favor of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client. Finally, through tactful negotiation sessions with counsel for the former officer, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to secure a favorable settlement for its client, through which a stipulated settlement order was entered by the court and by which the defendants became bound to abide by the terms of a stipulated permanent injunction order favoring its client.

    TRANSACTIONAL MATTERS

    In a non-litigation matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith advised the seller of a major metal fabrication company on how to structure and avoid environmental liabilities associated with the sale of the company. Also, when a non-profit corporation that specializes in real estate loans for public interest projects discovered that the borrower was diverting funds away from the project, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was brought in to determine how best to protect the rights of the non-profit corporation. After intense negotiations, the borrower realized that it was best to execute a deed in lieu of foreclosure in favor of the lender.

    CONSTRUCTION AND PUBLIC WORKS LITIGATION

    1. A private client retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to provide her with legal counsel for a high-end construction/remodeling project that had left the client’s project in shambles. The general contractor filed suit against Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client for breach of contract and foreclosure of its mechanic’s lien for alleged unpaid invoices it claimed were due and owing pursuant to its work on the project. With an experienced construction consultant on Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s side, our attorneys performed an in-depth analysis of the as-built conditions, the project’s contract, and the plans/specification documents. It was clear the general contractor had performed deficient and unacceptable work. Therefore, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took an aggressive stance and formulated a demand as to work that needed to be corrected and back-charged against the general contractor. Heated litigation ensued. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s seasoned construction attorneys negotiated a favorable “walk away” settlement after a full-day mediation, saving substantial litigation expense.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a Southern California school district in litigation involving an engineering firm’s claims against the district for unpaid invoices pursuant to multiple public works contracts. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys, along with the district’s representatives, engaged in a comprehensive forensic analysis of the engineering firm’s claims and concluded that unsubstantiated invoices were submitted to the district for payment for multiple projects dating back many years. The engineering firm was seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the district. These claims, along with the district’s claims for damages, were addressed during informal settlement meetings and mediation proceedings. A favorable settlement was achieved for the district at a fraction of the engineering firm’s original claims.

    TORT LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed and litigated an action on behalf of a retired professional golfer related to injuries he sustained in an accident. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly gathered all the pertinent documents to support the damages suffered by its client and presented them in a compelling manner to the other side. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s direct and open approach illustrated to the other side the strength of its claims and its commitment to take this matter to trial. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith resolved the matter for the insurance policy limit months before trial was scheduled to commence.

    LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an established family run restaurant and its owners in a lawsuit by a former employee who alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Immediately after taking on the case, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly interviewed all the relevant witnesses and presented the other side with a summary of future witness testimony that rebutted all the allegations set forth in the complaint. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith thereafter evaluated the merit of the claims, the potential expense of litigation, and the potential disruption to the restaurant’s business and was able to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was 30% of the former employee’s original demand.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international technology company before the California Labor Commission when a former employee claimed unpaid commissions. At the hearing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to present documentary and live testimony to refute the facts claimed. Based on our firm’s superior knowledge of the Labor Code and its application, the Labor Commissioner decided in our client’s favor, and awarded nothing to the claimant.
    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City and one of its employees in an action brought by another current employee alleging wrongful denial of a promotion, retaliation, discrimination, and sexual harassment. With the consent of the defendants, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented both the City and the defendant employee in the action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith conducted a thorough investigation into the employee’s claims, including an extensive document review and numerous witness interviews. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s preparation proved invaluable at mediation and allowed Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was not only a fraction of the initial demand but also allowed both employees to remain employed by the City.
  • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith Proudly Announces 2012 Rising Stars

    Posted June 21, 2012 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith is pleased to announce that attorneys Brian J. Bergman, Mitchell C. Frederick, and Arash Beral have been selected as 2012 Southern California Rising Stars by Super Lawyers Magazine. Rising Stars are considered the best attorneys who are under 40 years old or have been practicing less than ten years. These attorneys are selected through a nomination and research process where they are ranked on a point scale. No more than 2.5 % of the lawyers in the state are named to the list.

    Mr. Bergman is a Senior Associate at our firm. His practice focuses on construction, environmental, and land use law and litigation.

    Mr. Frederick is also a Senior Associate at our firm. His practice focuses primarily on defending corporations and public entities in state and federal employment litigation matters.

    Senior Associate Arash Beral’s practice focuses on complex business, construction, general litigation, and appellate matters. He has significant experience on matters involving temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief.

    The announcement is attached for your review. To learn more about how Bergman Dacey Goldsmith can apply our proven strategies for litigation excellence on your behalf and about our award-winning attorneys, visit our website at www.bdgfirm.com.

      Rising Stars 2012

  • Recent Results (April 2012)

    Posted March 29, 2012 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a retired Finance Officer alleging a single claim of whistleblower retaliation pursuant to Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code. Recognizing that the vast majority of the retiree’s claims did not constitute violations of state or federal law—the necessary predicate under Section 1102.5—and that many of his other claims of retaliation failed to constitute adverse employment actions as a matter of law, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the former employee’s deposition and drafted a comprehensive motion for summary judgment, which was subsequently granted by the Court. By employing our expertise in employment law, and specifically in whistleblower retaliation claims, not only did Bergman Dacey Goldsmith terminate the former employee’s case, but we were able to recoup an award of incurred costs to offset some of the City’s costs in defending this matter to a successful end. In the end, the entire cost of disposing of this case constituted less than 10% of the damages claimed, with the employee owing costs to the City.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a terminated police officer alleging various Constitutional claims and discrete violations of the California Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act in conjunction with his termination. After investigating the claims and confirming that California law strongly protects public entities against claims brought on the facts particular to this matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith – before even incurring the expense of filing a responsive pleading – negotiated an early resolution so that the City could avoid incurring any significant litigation fees or costs. The combined effect of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s expertise of the applicable law, combined with deft negotiation skills, resulted in a resolution of the matter for a de minimis sum compared to the anticipated damage claim. Such sum constituted a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred by the City had this matter proceeded to litigation and trial.
    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a fast food restaurant and its owner in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged eleven causes of action, including wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, fraudulent concealment, unfair business practices, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly obtained all relevant documents related to the claims, evaluated the merit of the claims, and was able to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was 30% of the former employee’s original demand. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s efficient handling also significantly reduced the legal expenses incurred by the client.

    FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district (“District”) in an enforcement of a stop notice action related to a multi-million dollar school modernization project filed against it by a subcontractor. Due to circumstances not within the control of the District, the subcontractor alleged that it was not paid by the general contractor and sought to enforce a stop notice against the District. At minimal litigation expense to the District, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to negotiate and procure the dismissal of the District from the subcontractor’s lawsuit without the District having to expend any funds to settle the matter.

    TEACHER DISMISSAL

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represents a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. When the teacher attempted to modify his pled affirmative defenses merely days before the discovery cutoff, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed a motion to continue the hearing for good cause to conduct discovery on the newly pled defenses. When the tribunal denied the motion, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately drafted and filed ex parte papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court to stay the dismissal matter, and then commenced a writ proceeding to obtain an order from the Superior Court compelling the underlying tribunal to provide the school district with more time to conduct discovery. The Superior Court issued a writ of mandate providing the school district with all of its requested relief. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness preserved the status quo in the lower tribunal, while safeguarding the school district’s procedural rights, ultimately assisting the school district with its preparation for the dismissal hearing itself.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. The teacher was accused of unprofessional conduct and other related charges. Because the district’s case was built around circumstantial evidence, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately began interviewing key witnesses and assembling as strong an evidentiary position to bring into a settlement conference with the accused teacher. Once presented with this evidence, the teacher conceded her case and agreed to resign in exchange for a modest settlement payment as consideration. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness and litigation planning kept the district far ahead of the teacher and her counsel as the dismissal hearing approached, and ensured that the ultimate goal—the teacher’s separation—was achieved at modest expense.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. A worldwide financial firm retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith on the Friday before the 3-day Christmas weekend to file a lawsuit and obtain a temporary restraining order against one of its former branch managers, who had recently resigned without notice and gone to work for a competitor. The former branch manager was accused of having misappropriated confidential and trade secret information by e-mailing it to his home computer, and then using that information to solicit the client’s customers and employees. Working through the holiday weekend, the lawyers at Bergman Dacey Goldsmith interviewed the key witnesses and marshaled the available evidence, drafted the necessary complaint, researched the applicable law, prepared an application for a TRO and Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction together with supporting documents to present the relevant evidence and the controlling legal authorities, and–within 5 days of being retained—went to court to present the TRO application to a judge. Upon considering the TRO application and the supporting papers, the court issued an immediate restraining order by which the former branch manager was prohibited from initiating contact with the client’s customers or employees and was directed to make all of his electronic devices capable of storing information available for inspection and cleansing within a week. The former branch manager was also ordered to return to the client, within a week, all confidential or trade secret information he had taken.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a private defendant in a collection matter. This matter involved thousands of dollars, as well as the collector’s persistent efforts to recover the interest and penalties associated with the alleged amount owed. After months of intense negotiations with the collector, the matter was settled for an amount that did not include penalties and/or interest on the amount owed, both costs the client could have owed if the matter proceeded to trial.

    CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a Southern California City in a class action lawsuit where the Plaintiff alleged that the City had failed to provide the proper amount of time to contest parking citations for years, thereby causing numerous individuals to be improperly charged late fees on parking citations. The City’s potential exposure was in the millions of dollars. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith attorneys aggressively litigated the mater to set up favorable settlement negotiations. Through Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s litigation and negotiation efforts the City settled the matter for approximately 1% of its potential liability exposure. Further, after settlement was achieved, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to cost effectively manage the terms of the class action settlement, including all required class action notice and payment procedures.

  • Recent Results (November 2011)

    Posted November 2, 2011 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a community college district in a multi-million dollar construction defect action related to the District’s new learning resource center (“LRC”). The District claimed that the prime glazing contractor and its subcontractors had constructed a building that suffered from numerous defects, including that the building was not weather-tight. In turn, the prime contractor alleged that the District owed the contractor over one million dollars for unpaid extra work claims. After aggressively pursuing the case in court, and engaging in multiple mediation sessions, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully settled the action with all the defendants before trial. The District recovered 100% of its costs to repair the LRC, as well as a substantial portion of its attorneys’ fees. Further, the glazing contractor received nothing by way of its cross-claim.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s school district client contracted to build gymnasiums at four of its middle schools. The gyms were constructed with vinyl sports flooring laid over a concrete slab. Soon after the gyms opened, the floors failed, as a result of moisture intrusion, and several repair efforts were unsuccessful. The school district hired attorneys who filed suit against the construction manager, the concrete contractor, the flooring contractor and its subs, and the manufacturer of materials used to seal the concrete slab. After two years of litigation and mediation produced no satisfactory settlement proposals, the school district discharged its attorneys and retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to take over the case. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith developed and carried out a strategy to fully prepare the case for trial while simultaneously engaging in mediation with the construction manager, the responsible trade contractors, and the manufacturer of materials used to seal the concrete. After years of litigation and more than a dozen mediation sessions, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a series of cash settlements with the responsible parties. These settlements, when added to earlier settlements with contractors responsible for other problems in the gyms, enabled the district to achieve a total recovery of more than four million dollars. This amount will enable the district to fix the flooring problems and recoup a significant portion of the attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation.
    • In consolidated actions by several contractors arising from a construction project where a defaulting owner and its construction lender failed to pay the contractors for work performed (including Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s clients – the prime contractor and general contractor on the project), Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the “lead” on the cases and convinced the presiding judge to bifurcate the actions to try certain legal issues first. This approach limited litigation costs and, among other things, through persuasive motion work, was able to convince the construction lender to settle all of the claims, not only as to Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s clients, but also as to all of the other claimants on the project, resulting in a successful resolution of the actions with controlled litigation fees and costs.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district in related actions brought against two firms contracted to provide architectural services and project management services for a public works modernization and relocation project under a bond construction program. The project’s general contractor brought an action against the District that resulted in a monetary judgment against the District. The dispute between the firms and the District related to the parties’ respective responsibilities for the losses suffered by the District in the underlying action. The District sought to recover its losses from both firms under indemnity and other legal theories. Through mediation with the firms and their respective insurance carriers, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a substantial monetary recovery with both firms and non-monetary items from the architectural firm. This resolution resulted in significant savings by avoiding the expense of trial preparation and two trials.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California city in an action involving a subcontractor which alleged breach of contract and payment bond claims against a prime contractor involving a California public works construction project. After a thorough analysis of the claims alleged against the client, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a favorable settlement, which ultimately resulted in a dismissal of the entire action, with prejudice, as to all parties and causes of action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s expertise and litigation strategy employed in this matter resulted in the client being dismissed without having to contribute any monetary amount to the settlement of the case.
    • Promptly following the filing of a direct and forceful pleading against the responsible parties that damaged our public entity client’s property, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately initiated negotiations with the party defendants and was able to secure a favorable settlement for our client, prior to any party defendant needing to file any responsive pleading to our client’s action. As a result of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc’s strong and disciplined negotiation strategy, our client recovered monetary damages without incurring any significant litigation expenses.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California city in an action brought by a local business alleging various Constitutional and tort claims as a result of purported business-related damages arising out of a public works project to replace and resurface a major thoroughfare adjacent to this business. After investigating the claims and confirming that California law strongly protects public entities against suits of this nature, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a discovery moratorium so that the parties could attend mediation before incurring additional litigation fees and costs. The combined effect of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc’s expertise of the applicable law, combined with the mediator’s strong push on the business to settle, resulted in a resolution of the matter for under five percent of the business’ original damages claim, a number constituting a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred by the City had this matter proceeded to trial.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a former majority shareholder and CEO of an IT staffing company in a majority shareholder breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant had received excessive compensation from the company without making necessary disclosures to all shareholders. By alleging crossclaims against other individuals so that other parties would bear the burden of any settlement and by showing the weakness of plaintiff’s case through the discovery process, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to settle the action for three percent of the plaintiff’s initial demand against our client.

    LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a City in a lawsuit arising out of the City’s Council’s decision to separate a City police officer from employment after it was found that the officer violated various provisions of the City’s General Orders governing officer conduct. The officer filed a petition for writ of mandate arguing that: (1) the City Council lacked jurisdiction to review the conclusions, findings, and recommendations of the City’s Civil Service Board of Review (“Board”); (2) the City Council improperly raised and decided a new charge of dishonesty in determining to separate the officer’s employment; and (3) the evidence did not support the finding of dishonesty against the officer. Through persuasive and cost-effective briefing and argument, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully refuted each of these challenges and obtained a decision by the trial court upholding all of the City Council’s determinations, including the ultimate separation of the officer’s employment. In so doing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully defended the significant legal right of the City Council to review and control the conduct of the personnel who will comprise its police force and serve the public interests in its community.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a luxury transportation company in two separate lawsuits filed by former employees in an attempt to collect allegedly unpaid commissions. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly obtained all relevant documents related to the claims, evaluated the merit of the claims, and was able to negotiate independent settlements for a fraction of the original claims, without the client incurring any significant legal expense.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a limited liability company in litigation brought by an employee who claimed his internal recruiter position was wrongfully eliminated when the company outsourced its recruiting. The employee’s complaint alleged race discrimination and failure to prevent race discrimination under FEHA, retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and intentional infliction of emotion distress. By way of a motion for summary judgment, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith knocked out the two race discrimination causes of action. This matter was successfully resolved prior to trial at mediation for an amount approximately forty percent of the plaintiff’s settlement demand that was funded completely by our client’s insurance carrier.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large manufacturer in litigation brought by an employee who claimed he was terminated because of his disability and in retaliation for his taking leave under the Family Medical Care Leave Act. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully deposed plaintiff and conducted written discovery to obtain all the necessary facts to prepare a motion for summary judgment. Based on the facts and arguments it was including in its motion, Bergman & Dacey, Inc. negotiated a settlement for less than fifteen percent of the demand plaintiff made at mediation.
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