• 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.

  • Recent Results (January 2013)

    Posted January 22, 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.

    CONSTRUCTION AND PUBLIC WORKS LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith recently assisted two separate public entity clients avoid writ proceedings in connection with hotly contested bid protests on projects totaling more than $75 million. On the first project, the second low bidder protested the low bid, contending that the low bidder failed to comply with the good faith outreach requirements set forth in the bid documents. On the second project, the low bidder’s bid was deemed non-responsive and rejected, so the notice of award was issued to the second low bidder. Each project had a bid protest procedure in its bid documents that Bergman Dacey Goldsmith had drafted. After both protests went through the bid protest procedure, both protesting bidders dropped their protests. One recognized the purported factual underpinnings of its protest were not accurate. In the second protest, the protesting bidder’s counsel was convinced by Bergman Dacey Goldsmith that they were relying on an erroneous legal basis.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith recently resolved a dispute between a homeowner and general contractor on a multi-million dollar residential remodel in Beverly Hills. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client had fired the contractor for failure to timely perform and then contacted Bergman Dacey Goldsmith for options. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith helped the homeowner secure a completion contractor and the remodeling project re-started. The original contractor recorded a Mechanic’s Lien and sued the homeowner, contending it was owed over six figures for non-payment. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to get the suit dismissed and the Mechanic’s Lien removed after mediating the case and convincing the original contractor it was simply better to walk away from the case as its downside risk was much greater than the homeowner’s downside risk.

    EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW AND LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large national manufacturer of aerospace parts (“Corporation”) in a substantial California Labor Commission matter in which non-employees asserted various wage and hour violations, claiming that the Corporation was a joint employer. The nonemployees alleged that they were not paid wages or vacation time owed, and that the Corporation impermissibly withheld compensation and misclassified certain employees. At the Labor Commission hearing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith presented evidence and argument demonstrating that the employees were not employees of the Corporation, although the Corporation bought and sold products made by the non-employees, and that there was no misclassification of any non-employee. The Labor Commissioner agreed and issued a well-reasoned 15-page Order that the Corporation prevailed on all grounds; the Labor Commissioner dismissed all Labor Code charges. The non-employees, recognizing the strength of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s representation of the Corporation, did not seek to appeal the determinations and have not filed a civil complaint.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California city (“City”) in a substantial Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”) matter in which multiple unions asserted that the City engaged in unfair practices when the City was forced to reduce its workforce for budgetary reasons. Asserting conduct and evidence extending back a decade, the unions argued that the City unilaterally changed its rules and practices set forth in its Civil Service Rules (“CSRs”) and Memoranda of Understanding (“MOUs”) when it laid off multiple employees without reassigning them. At the PERB hearing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith presented evidence and argument demonstrating that the CSRs and MOUs should be interpreted in the City’s favor, that the City engaged in consistent practices over a decade, and that the complaining employees did not prove that there were available, budgeted, open positions for which they were qualified. The PERB Administrative Law Judge agreed with the City and found that the City prevailed on all grounds and dismissed all PERB Charges. The unions did not seek to appeal the determinations to the PERB Board, so the decision is final.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented several locations of a popular fast food restaurant in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged close to a dozen causes of action, including wrongful termination, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to pay minimum wages, failure to pay wages upon employment ending, common counts, reasonable value of labor performed, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of various sections of the California Labor Code. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith conducted thorough discovery and established that plaintiff lacked key evidence to support many of her claims. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith thereafter, through extensive and difficult negotiations, was able to resolve the remaining claims, substantially limiting its client’s liability and resolving the matter within the client’s limited insurance policy.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a large manufacturing company to substitute in as counsel in a pending unfair competition action in San Diego County against a competitor that was selling alleged non-plumbing-code-compliant products for use and installation in our client’s equipment. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately undertook an aggressive discovery plan to obtain the evidence that it needed to obtain the relief that was necessary and meaningful. After all of the evidence and law was heralded, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed a motion for preliminary injunction to enjoin the competitor from, among other things, selling its product on the basis that the sales of those products violated California’s unfair competition law. Following extensive briefing and a hearing of the motion, the Court agreed and issued a Minute Order in which it ruled that the sales, distribution, and installation of the competitor’s product was non-compliant with California law and should be enjoined in California.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a global transportation provider company based in Massachusetts to represent it locally in the Central District of California in a trade secret/unfair competition action in which the client was a counter-defendant. Following the counter-claimant’s filing of a motion for preliminary injunction, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the lead in preparing and filing opposition papers in only one week following the filing of the motion. The opposition papers brought to light several defects with counter-claimant’s action requiring the counter-claimant to seek relief from the Court for leave to amend its counter-claim. That relief was granted and further briefing was solicited by the Court relating to the impact of the amendment on counter-claimant’s motion. Working with the client’s Massachusetts-based counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith heralded the facts and the law and presented further opposition papers to the Court as to why counter-claimant’s motion should be denied. On the Friday before the scheduled hearing for the preliminary injunction, the Court issued an order denying the requested injunctive relief and vacating the hearing date, in favor of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client.

    DISABILITY RIGHTS LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large public school district facing federal and state class action claims of alleged statutory violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act and California’s parallel statutes, including claims that the class was comprised of thousands of similarly-situated individuals. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith first focused on targeted investigation and legal analysis to successfully defeat class certification efforts by the plaintiffs. Following this procedural win, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith used that momentum to achieve a resolution of the matter that not only protected the public fisc from significant exposure, but also effectuated procedural changes that will help safeguard the public entity from similar future claims. In the end, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s efforts protected the client from what could have been significant exposure measuring in millions of dollars in damage claims.

  • Recent Results (November 2010)

    Posted November 18, 2010 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 large school district in an employment litigation brought by one of its police officers under federal and state law. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith removed the case to federal court, where counsel for the plaintiff promptly failed to request a jury, thereby waiving it. With this procedural advantage in hand, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith next pressed for early discovery, including the plaintiff’s deposition, to illuminate the inherent weaknesses in his claims. In fact, the incisive and targeted questioning directed at the plaintiff during his deposition led to an impromptu settlement negotiation at the behest of plaintiff. As a result, a successful settlement was subsequently reached by the parties before plaintiff’s deposition was even completed, thereby disposing of this matter in its entirety for a minimal expenditure of fees by the school district.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully represented a large school district on an appeal taken from post-trial orders denying a former employee’s motions to set aside a summary judgment entered in favor of the school district. Even before appellate briefing began, the Court, with preliminary input from Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, recognized that the orders were not legally appealable, and therefore the employee’s appeals were summarily dismissed. By facilitating this early dismissal, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith completed the appellate process in a fraction of the time an appeal on the merits would have taken, and for only a portion of the cost.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith counseled an employer when one of its former employees abruptly resigned and began sending letters making various monetary demands and threatening litigation over a purported hostile work environment. Recognizing that litigation could become protracted, and evaluating the goals of the employer, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith initiated a negotiation to resolve the matter, responding to the employee’s demands and maintaining a strong front until there was an agreement upon the key terms requested by the employer. Within a short time, this matter was fully resolved between the parties, and litigation was avoided in its entirety.

    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district that was facing allegations of race discrimination and retaliation. Confronting an unorthodox and highly litigious plaintiff’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully defended against a barrage of motions and discovery demands, while also obtaining sanctions awards against opposing counsel on several occasions. Nevertheless, recognizing that the ultimate cost of defending this matter through trial would be extensive, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith counseled the district on potential settlement strategy, and then, by cutting to the core of plaintiff’s demands, deftly negotiated an extremely cost-effective resolution that not only protected the public fisc and achieved finality, but provided plaintiff with a non-monetary resolution that met her goals as well.

    ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district that was sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its decision to close and reuse an elementary school for adult education, among other uses. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully argued that the district’s decision to close the elementary school and the subsequent decisions regarding its reuse were exempt from CEQA. The district was not only successful in the lawsuit, but it was also awarded its litigation costs and received favorable press coverage.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district that was sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its decision to cease offering bussing services in the district. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully settled the matter in a manner that did not require the district to undertake any additional environmental review or to pay any monies as part of the settlement. The district also received favorable press coverage from local news organizations regarding the settlement, as it was a “win” for the district.

    CONSTRUCTION/FACILITIES LITIGATION

    1. In significant litigation involving school district construction, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully negotiated monetary settlements with two of the contractor defendants and performance bond sureties. As a result, the settlement defendants and related federal action against a surety have been dismissed, focusing the continuing litigation on the construction manager and key trade contractors.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith devised a plan for a local school with limited construction funds to provide new administration, classroom and service facilities at a high school campus. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith facilitated bringing in an experienced construction manager and a general contractor using a lease-lease-back delivery method. The process resulted in the final construction contract coming in $3,000,000 under budget (nearly 38% under budget).

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith assisted a local school with limited construction funds to provide temporary utilities, fencing and paving for interim housing at a school campus. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith facilitated bringing in an experienced construction manager and a general contractor using a lease-lease-back delivery method. The process resulted in the final construction contract coming in nearly 48% under budget.

    PUBLIC ENTITY A.D.A. LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a California city in a Federal Americans with Disabilities Act litigation arising out of a resident’s claims that the City had not brought its pedestrian infrastructure into full compliance with applicable law. In light of the City’s fiscal challenges, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith focused on conducting targeted, cost-effective discovery to root out the inherent weaknesses in the claims alleged. The discovery eventually supported a motion for summary judgment that, in combination with critical motions in limine, facilitated the settlement of all of plaintiff’s federal and state claims. The settlement amounted to less than 6% of the plaintiff’s original demand and avoided further costly litigation for the City.

    REAL ESTATE LITIGATION

    1. Shortly after substituting in as counsel of record, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a homeowners association (“HOA”) in defense of a complaint and cross-complaint by two separate homeowners within the association on allegations of property damage. Through successful negotiations with the plaintiff’s and cross-complainant’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to secure a settlement and dismissals from the action without any out-of-pocket contribution from the HOA to the total settlement fund.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district in a lawsuit filed by a former vendor seeking nearly $250,000.00 in real estate broker fees based on the re-negotiation of two leases on surplus properties owned by the school district. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s aggressive discovery and litigation strategy compelled the plaintiff to accept a settlement on the district’s terms on the eve of a hearing on a dispositive motion by the district aimed at dismissing plaintiff’s claims.

    ATTORNEY FEE LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith advised and represented a homeowners association (“HOA”) with respect to claims and fee dispute against the HOA’s former counsel. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully negotiated the total balance of attorney fees owed by the HOA to its former counsel down to zero, without the need for the HOA to incur any costs for litigation against its former counsel.

  • Recent Results (April 2010)

    Posted April 24, 2010 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.

    CONSTRUCTION/FACILITIES

    1. A large county Department of Education had limited funds to build a community school and could not get bids to come in on budget. The county reached out for assistance and advice from Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, who devised a plan for the county, bringing in an experienced construction manager and then selecting a general contractor using a Lease-Leaseback delivery method combined with a competitive bidding component. The process resulted in the final construction contract coming in $2.5 million under budget. The school is now under construction, on schedule, and within budget.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a corporation that specializes in providing construction and acquisition/rehabilitation loans in order to create and improve single and multi-unit residences in affordable neighborhoods, in a lawsuit filed by a general contractor on a private construction project financed by the corporation. Among other claims, the contractor sought to preclude the client from foreclosing on a trust deed. After the client had a temporary restraining order entered against it, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith stepped in to successfully oppose the general contractor’s application for preliminary injunction and persuaded the general contractor to dismiss its lawsuit before any responsive pleading was due.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a large school district to defend against a seven-figure claim by a general contractor. Through a tactful and deliberate litigation approach, and before even filing an answer to the complaint, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a dismissal of all of the general contractor’s causes of action in exchange for a settlement amounting to a fraction of the amounts sought against the school district.

    4. In a suit filed against a school district client, the contractor sought several hundred thousand dollars for alleged unpaid work. The school district contended that the contractor had overstated the amount of work done and performed work after the operative contract had expired. The district nevertheless made a good-faith six figure offer to settle. The contractor rejected the settlement and demanded full payment of his claim. Bergman and Dacey, Inc. filed a demurrer in response to the contractor’s complaint. The court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend and dismissed the contractor’s lawsuit with prejudice. Thus, after the school district made a reasonable offer to settle and was confronted with an overreaching contractor, Bergman and Dacey, Inc. prevailed in court, with the result being that the school district client was extricated from the case without having to pay.

    5. Public entities were disputing jurisdiction over a public works project, with one of the public entities attempting to stop construction by the other public entity. The public entity constructing the project reached out to Bergman Dacey Goldsmith for representation and advice regarding its rights and remedies on the jurisdictional question and the refusal of the other public entity to issue a permit. After Bergman Dacey Goldsmith wrote a cease and desist letter outlining how the other public entity was unjustly interfering with the project, the permit was issued. Construction is now nearing a successful completion.

    6. In a complex construction litigation matter, a renowned construction management firm filed a motion for summary adjudication against Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s public entity client arguing, among other things, that its contract with the public entity owner shielded it from responsibility for the poor work of the project contractors. Through effective written advocacy, followed by lengthy oral argument, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith protected all of its public entity client’s rights and remedies against the construction management firm. The public entity prevailed as the court denied the motion for summary adjudication in its entirety.

    7. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully assisted an Orange County public school district in creating a set of Lease-Leaseback Construction Agreements under California Education Code § 17406, and in having the Agreements validated by the appropriate court under California Code of Civil Procedure § 860 et seq. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has now assisted in the creation and management of 11 such sets of Lease-Leaseback Construction Agreements for Los Angeles and Orange County public school districts and departments of education over the last 18 months.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district in an administrative proceeding it initiated to terminate one of its certificated employees for, among other things, unprofessional conduct. By using state of the art forensic technology, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, was able to produce extensive electronic evidence of the employee’s wrongful acts. This evidence, as well as pressure imposed by Bergman Dacey Goldsmith during a mandated settlement conference, led to the resignation of the employee in exchange for a de minimis settlement payment.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international corporation in its defense of various wage and hour claims brought by a former sales agent. By removing the case to Federal Court, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the case on the offensive and slowly deconstructed each of the plaintiff’s various allegations. By consistently pushing plaintiff on the weaknesses of the case, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to settle the matter for a fraction of the monies originally sought. Furthermore, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith provided guidance to the corporation to revise its business model to clarify its commission practices so that future litigation could be minimized.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully represented on appeal a large school district in a lawsuit involving claims that its police department engaged in racial discrimination and retaliation. Going up against an aggressive and well-known plaintiff’s attorney, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the school district by demonstrating to the trial court via carefully tailored discovery that: (1) the plaintiff had no evidence that any decision-maker had or acted with a discriminatory or retaliatory animus, (2) the school district’s promotional decisions were based on legitimate reasons, and (3) the plaintiff’s efforts to rely on “other” claims of purported racial discrimination failed to support his claim. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith then presented a cogent legal argument on appeal to uphold the summary judgment on all grounds.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. Less than three weeks before trial, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took over the defense of a non-profit housing corporation and several of its affiliates, all of which had signed a written indemnity agreement with a title insurance company. The title company had been sued by a third party for alleged violations of the California Enforcement of Judgments Law and responded by suing our clients on the indemnity agreement. We immediately succeeded in getting the indemnity claim severed from the underlying claim and then assisted the title company in securing a dismissal of the claim against it as a matter of law on the first day of trial. At that point, the title company had no viable claims against our clients and it agreed to a no-money settlement in exchange for a waiver of costs and mutual releases.

  • Recent Results (April 2009)

    Posted April 19, 2009 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.

    Construction Litigation

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a large school district in a lawsuit filed by a general contractor on two public works construction projects. The parties engaged in statutorily required mediation, which did not yield a resolution, and proceeded to arbitration wherein Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully persuaded the arbitrator that every one of the general contractor’s legal and factual contentions were without merit. In the end, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith obtained an award in the District’s favor (liquidated damages), as well as over $110,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a construction management firm in a lawsuit against owners of certain real property in downtown Los Angeles for non-payment of owed sums. Through a deliberate litigation approach, attorneys from Bergman Dacey Goldsmith were able to isolate the defendants and enter into two separate resolution agreements, one through non-assisted attorney negotiation and the other through mediation, all to the benefit of the client, thus saving the client a significant amount of money by avoiding trial.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district in a dispute over the purchase and installation of modular buildings at eleven different school sites. Upon completion of the project, the contractor brought suit against the school district, seeking over one million dollars in damages. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended the school district and asserted counterclaims against the contractor. A global settlement was reached, wherein the contractor reduced its charges to the school district by the sum of $800,000.00. This amount covered all defective construction, all attorneys’ fees incurred by the school district in the action, and left funds available to remedy any latent defects in the construction that might arise in future years.

    4. A large County Department of Education decided to build its first traditional campus-style school and sought Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s assistance and legal advice. The Department had limited funds for construction and had received competitive bids that were extremely over budget. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith assisted the Department with a lease/lease-back process that resulted in a final guaranteed maximum price that was $2.5 million below the Department’s budget. The additional $2.5 million will now be put into the project to enhance the school facilities.

    5. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district in a lawsuit filed by a subcontractor on a public works construction project against the contractor and owner. Through a tactful and deliberate litigation approach, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to negotiate a stipulation, signed by all parties, under which the District was dismissed from the lawsuit and recovered its reasonable attorneys’ fees, thus saving the client a significant amount of money.

    6. One of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s City clients was preparing to award construction on a new senior housing and mixed-use development. Several last-minute contract relationship and construction issues surfaced threatening to jeopardize the project. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to assist the City in resolving all the construction and contractual issues, and the project started successfully and on schedule.

    Employment Litigation

    • In an employment discrimination and harassment matter, alleging national origin and race discrimination, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc. successfully brought and argued a motion for summary judgment that was granted on behalf of all defendants, including the public entity and two individual defendants. It was argued before the court that the plaintiff, a teacher, had not suffered any adverse employment actions when her class was closed and she was re-assigned. The court adopted the arguments made and granted our motion in its entirety.

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc. represented a public entity and an individual defendant in a highly charged and controversial reasonable accommodation and discrimination action. In the suit, the plaintiff, who was disabled and confined to a wheelchair, alleged that the public entity had failed to accommodate her. The plaintiff had requested $2.1 million to resolve the matter. After very targeted discovery was conducted and a motion for summary judgment was granted, in part, the plaintiff agreed to compromise the action to the mutual satisfaction of the parties, for a significantly reduced amount.

    Insurance Litigation

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc. was both litigation counsel and coverage counsel for a California Charter City who sued its insurer and claims and risk managers for reimbursement and/or indemnification of approximately $2 million paid on claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act for alleged racially discriminatory disciplinary proceedings. The case involved a complex insurance issue involving the applicability of Insurance Code Section 533. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc. was able to persuade the court to deny the insurer’s summary adjudication motion brought under Section 533; the insurer’s petition for writ of mandate was also denied. Early in the discovery phase, which was deferred until after the summary adjudication rulings, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc. was successful in obtaining a favorable monetary settlement with all defendants.

  • Recent Results (December 2008)

    Posted December 28, 2008 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.

    CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a municipality in a cutting-edge action brought by a class of plaintiffs under the California Disabled Persons Act. The plaintiffs, who allegedly are confined to wheelchairs, claimed that the public entity failed to provide access to over 100 public sidewalks due to allegedly absent curb ramps. The plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in replicated statutory penalties and injunctive relief. After briefing the threshold legal issues, and prior to extensive discovery being conducted, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the action with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of attorney’s fees and costs, a small fraction of the monetary relief being sought.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented one of the largest counties in the State of California in a class action of first impression in which the class claimed that, because they were common law employees, they were entitled to civil service status as de facto civil servants and were also entitled to pension rights and benefits under the County Employees Retirement Law (CERL.) Based on these theories, the class asserted claims that included violations of equal protection, breaches of statutory duties and contracts, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and fraud. Through the successful development and filing of a series of strategic motions on threshold legal issues, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to undermine the bases of all class claims, and thereby obtain judgment from the trial court in favor of our client. Our firm thereafter assisted the County to defend these rulings before the California Court of Appeal, which recently upheld the judgment in favor of our client.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has been retained by a national data collection company to defend its interests across the nation. The client has been subpoenaed in a myriad of locations involving a multitude of legal issues, including trade secrets and proprietary business information. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has appeared in courtrooms from San Diego to San Jose, Los Angeles to New Jersey, and places in between. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has successfully defended the proprietary business interests of our client and has successfully argued against the production of highly sensitive and proprietary information.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was litigation counsel in an employment matter defending a public entity client against an employee claiming disability discrimination. After a successful motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff employee did not relent. After judgment was entered, plaintiff filed not only a motion to vacate the judgment, which Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was successful in defeating, but also filed two motions in equity, seeking to set aside the judgment and seeking to set aside the court’s order on the motion to vacate. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith prevailed against the former employee on each of the motions in equity. Our firm also successfully argued that the plaintiff was unable to show the public entity had engaged in extrinsic fraud so as to justify equitable relief, and that the court’s previous rulings were both legally and factually sound. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully argued that if the plaintiff was granted equitable relief, the prejudice to the public entity would be significant. The court agreed.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a law firm that sought guidance in connection with an employee termination. During the midst of the termination, the employee informed the firm of a “disability,” and Bergman Dacey Goldsmith carefully and cautiously counseled the firm regarding the rights and obligations of an employer in connection with an employee with a purported disability, including engaging in the interactive process. Through Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s risk counseling and active participation in the communications between the firm and the employee, the firm was able to resolve the matter with the employee, with no adverse risk to itself.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully represented a public school district that was sued on various grounds, including disability discrimination, failing to engage in the interactive process, and CFRA violations. After conducting early narrowly-focused discovery aimed at plaintiff’s allegations, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully moved for summary judgment. The court found that plaintiff, under the articulated standard in the Supreme Court decision, Green v. Superior Court, could not meet her burden of proof that she was qualified to perform the essential functions of her job, with or without accommodations.

    4. In an action filed by a female employee against our public entity client for sexual harassment and failure to take remedial action, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was successful in obtaining, prior to trial, a dismissal of the individual defendant supervisor, summary adjudication on the cause of action for failure to take remedial action, and the grant of a number of in limine orders excluding evidence of the supervisor’s alleged past prior acts and improper character and behavior outside of the work place. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able, through a series of mediations and focused percipient and expert discovery, to convince plaintiff to settle the matter for a sum significantly less than the $1 million+ demanded.

    5. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a public entity client against a litany of employment-related causes of action, including wrongful termination, failure to reasonably accommodate a disability, retaliation, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The matter revolved around a former teacher’s allegations that his purported disability was the impetus for his termination, as well as other actions allegedly taken against him by the public entity and its agents. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith crafted a targeted and precise summary judgment motion to dispose of each cause of action, including an administrative collateral estoppel defense. The court agreed with each of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s arguments and found in favor for our client on all of the causes of action.

    6. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a private institution of higher learning that was considering changes to its pension and benefits program. Our firm fully evaluated the institute’s existing policies and goals, then assisted in navigating the intricate nuances of governing law (including ERISA,) and with amending the plan documents. In so doing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to assist our client in successfully achieving its goals in a way that ensured it also minimized the risk of exposure for potential violations of state and federal law.

    CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was recently retained by a large developer who was sued by a competitor for unfair competition and violation of the Subcontracting Listing Laws. Before the client’s responsive pleading was due, the plaintiff competitor served 25 subpoenas to subcontractors of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith worked closely with in-house counsel to prepare ex parte papers seeking a protective order and motion to quash the third-party subpoenas. As a result of this concentrated effort, only one of the depositions was ordered to proceed.

    2. When one of the largest counties in the state of California undertook to build the first school in the county under a “lease/lease back” construction delivery method, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by the county to assist the Department of Education throughout the process.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained to assist in a dispute between the owners of a multi-million dollar beach front property that was headed toward major litigation. As a result of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s focused negotiation efforts, the matter was amicably resolved before costly litigation moved forward.

    ATTORNEY FEE LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a municipality to assist with the preparation of an opposition to a motion for attorneys’ fees. Within seven days of our firm being retained (which included a holiday weekend), Bergman Dacey Goldsmith in turn hired a renowned expert on attorneys’ fees, who prepared a Declaration in support of the opposition, and then our firm drafted a portion of the opposition addressing quantum-related issues. This matter exemplifies the responsiveness of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith as we were able to immediately identify the client’s needs, use an established working relationship to retain the best possible expert, and complete our written work product on an expedited basis to our client’s complete satisfaction.

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