Litigation / ADR
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ADVOCACY
Our litigation team serves clients of various sizes on litigation matters of great complexity as well as more modest complexity. Because of our litigation skill and determination, our team levels the playing field for emerging companies, and reduces the cost of expert legal counsel for large corporations. With significant experience in a variety of sectors and litigation contexts, we have but one objective…your business objective.
When asked, I describe our lawyers and myself as various things, such as litigation attorney, trial attorney, contract litigation attorney, securities litigation attorney, real estate litigation attorney, intellectual property litigation attorney and unfair trade practices litigation attorney. What I find to be better than describing us as lawyers is to describe some of the things we can do as lawyers for our clients, and many of those things are listed on this page.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ADVOCACY
The litigators at The Yocca Law Firm are well versed in the various ADR procedures and providers, and they work closely with clients to determine whether ADR may be appropriate for their dispute. They also collaborate with our transactional attorneys to identify appropriate ADR provisions to include in agreements for our corporate clients, in an effort to circumvent potential litigation down the road.
The attorneys at The Yocca Law Firm LLP also provide preventative counseling to clients whose business activities, such as trade association activities, information sharing and licensing issues, bring them together with competitors. We have focused experience in the application of antitrust and unfair competition laws to the healthcare field, such as physicians and hospital groups and joint ventures, and purchasing agreements among healthcare providers. In addition, our intellectual property and life sciences expertise enabled us to develop antitrust counseling and compliance programs tailored to these specific fields.
Our litigators have briefed and argued appeals in federal and state courts and administrative agencies in California and other states across the country. The Yocca Law Firm attorneys have knowledge and experience to defend a favorable verdict or reverse an erroneous one.
Our litigators can help in the identification of issues for appeal and post-verdict motions, the filing of emergency appeals and stay applications, and the preparation of amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in cases with the potential to affect our clients.
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY LITIGATION
When someone has a fiduciary duty, it implies a relationship based on trust. When that trust is broken you may be able to recover damages for your losses. If you suspect that something has occurred that may be a breach of fiduciary duty, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. There is a two-year statute of limitations on a breach of fiduciary duty, and any delays may deprive you of the opportunity to recover your damages. . Sometimes it comes down to a single page amongst thousands, and it takes an experienced eye to know what to look for. At The Yocca Law Firm LLP, our business law attorneys are experienced at pursuing breach of fiduciary duty claims and have successfully represented clients against fiduciaries who have committed an act of misrepresentation or fraud. If you have been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, you may be able to obtain compensation for the recovery of damages. Contact us at The Yocca Law Firm to consult with an experienced lawyer about a potential breach of fiduciary duty. Protect your rights and best interests with responsible legal protection.
Our litigators are proficient at evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the claims and determining whether or when it is in the client’s best interests to seek to resolve the dispute by settlement, motion practice or trial. As a result, The Yocca Law Firm LLP has a proven history of developing and implementing cost-effective litigation strategies to obtain favorable results for businesses at the earliest possible time.
The rules of contract interpretation vary from state to state, but all states have remedies for people and business entities that have been damaged as a result of a breach of contract. If you are involved in a contract dispute, the best way to protect your rights is to contact a lawyer.
Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney may be able to help you seek money damages or specific performance of a contract term. In some cases, you may also be able to recover reasonable costs and attorney’s fees associated with a breach of contract lawsuit.
Although it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of business and commercial contracts, some of the most common types of contract claims involve:
- Construction contracts
- Vendor agreements
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Real estate contracts
- Trade agreements
- Business sales and merger agreements
- Franchise agreements
- Investment and capital agreements
- Supply contracts
- Joint venture agreements
- Lease agreements
- Noncompete agreements
- Parts contracts
- Disputes over fair market value
- Trade secrets disputes
Our business and commercial litigation attorneys have decades of legal experience and are pleased to assist clients involved in a breach of contract dispute. We handle all phases of breach of contract disputes including pre-claim demands, negotiations, mediation, arbitration and trial.
Our firm has been trusted by small and large corporations, both local and national, to effectively resolve business disputes. We have defended some of the most respected corporations, and we have successfully gone toe-to-toe with large corporations, including the Fortune Brands Corporation subsidiary called Acushnet (the maker of Titleist golf balls).
DEBTOR/ CREDITOR LITIGATION
Our team of commercial litigators possesses the experience to assess even the most complex debtor/creditor cases — including those involving commercial insolvency/bankruptcy. We provide our business clients with cost-effective strategies and pragmatic, effective remedies that save time and resources.
Our goal is to diagnose our client’s problems, recommend solutions and develop strategies that enable our clients to weather current problems and avoid future ones. For clients facing financial problems, we counsel on the benefits of workouts, refinancing, liquidations, forbearance agreements and other non-judicial strategies to avoid the need for costly and time-consuming court restructuring. We have advised business clients from a broad range of industries, and understand how to provide cost-effective services to clients of all sizes.
Navigating Creditors through Bankruptcies and Workouts
Many of our clients need advice on a regular basis about how to respond to the business problems of their customers and suppliers. If a client receives notice of a bankruptcy case or merely feels insecure about the financial stability of another business, our attorneys will review all available alternatives. This may include repossession of collateral, reclamation of goods sold, stoppage in transit, obtaining a receiver, foreclosure of real estate, secured party sales, acquisition of the troubled business, filing of liens, or obtaining letters of credit. We also assist our clients in responding to preference claims and other bankruptcy litigation.
Also, our business and litigation lawyer’s work collaboratively to provide creative and effective solutions to protect the interests of secured creditors.
Acquisitions out of bankruptcy
The financial distress of one business is often an opportunity for another business. We have helped buyers acquire financially distressed companies, with or without court proceedings. There are many pitfalls of acquiring assets in distressed situations and our lawyers provide effective strategy and advice.
Litigation in Bankruptcy Court
Should a bankruptcy case or other court proceeding commence, we turn to our litigators to suggest court strategies for achieving our clients’ objectives. Immediate intervention can often prevent assets from disappearing, compel delivery of needed goods to complete a job, restrain parties from taking actions which might seriously damage a client’s business, obtain possession of collateral to maximize recovery, or protect a client from the judicial or non-judicial actions of others.
Areas of Litigation
The firm engages in litigation in all areas of creditor-debtor litigation including:
- Judgment Collection
- Pre-Filing Debtor Asset Investigation
- Pre-Judgment Attachment and Replevin
- Execution and Foreclosure
- Wage Garnishment
- Assignment of Income
- Charging Order
- Fraudulent Transfer, Fraudulent Conveyance, and Fraudulent Conversion
- Civil Conspiracy Between Debtor, Transferees and Planners
- Veil-Piercing, Alter Ego and Reverse Alter Ego Claims
- Successor Corporation Liability
- Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA)
- Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act
Our attorneys are also adept at resolving contract disputes, including those involving non-competition covenants and termination, and advise companies on reductions-in-force, personnel policies and employment agreements, and affirmative action programs so as to minimize lawsuits and bolster the defense against those that do occur.
Our litigators handle diverse and complex issues on behalf of companies in state and federal courts, and before government agencies, and have obtained favorable results for clients in jury verdicts, on motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, and in appellate court rulings.
In defending class and collective actions, we routinely oppose class certification and notice to potential class opt-in participants, and, if appropriate, will seek resolution through settlement of claims.
ESTATE AND TRUST LITIGATION
Disputes can often arise in the administration of a trust or a probate estate, especially when there are substantial amounts of money involved or when family conflict is present. These disputes can arise between beneficiaries, between a trustee or other fiduciary and beneficiaries, or from third parties.
- A trust or trust amendment might be subject to attack as the product of undue influence exerted by a family member, a caregiver, a friend, or a near stranger.
- A trust or trust amendment might be invalid due to lack of capacity on the part of the trustor, meaning the person who created the trust, or allegedly created it.
- Mistake, fraud, menace and/or duress can also be grounds for attacking a trust.
Our firm is ready to handle everything necessary to resolve your trust dispute, often without a costly, bitter lawsuit. When you meet with us, we will prepare you for the entire process and help you see how the courts are likely to interpret unclear or ambiguous language in the estate plan. Many trust disputes arise from accusations of undue influence upon the estate holder. These disputes are most often among family members who are facing emotional turmoil over the death of a parent or grandparent. We will help you get to the core of the dispute, which is often the first — and most important step — in coming to a fair resolution among parties.
If parties in a trust dispute cannot come together to resolve an issue, a probate judge will generally order the lawyers on both sides to seek some form of alternative dispute resolution to attempt to resolve the issue out of court. We assist the client who is acting as trustee, personal representative or beneficiary by preparing for and participating in mediation and/or arbitration of contested probate and trust matters. Although only the most extreme trust litigation cases end up going to trial, if that becomes necessary, we are prepared to fight for you.
There are deadlines to every legal action. Clients are cautioned to consult with an attorney as soon as they think they might need to prosecute or to defend an action regarding the validity of a trust.
Businesses and individuals alike look to The Yocca Law Firm to secure temporary restraining orders (TROs) when faced with urgent matters that require immediate court intervention. The lawyers of The Yocca Law Firm are prepared to respond quickly and decisively to obtain temporary restraining orders and injunctive relief through emergency court proceedings.
If someone is preparing to take actions that will irreparably harm your business interests, contact our law offices to discuss the possibility of obtaining an injunction. We can respond extraordinarily quickly to address pressing concerns.
Securing Temporary Restraining Orders and Injunctions
There are a wide range of circumstances and events that might support an injunction. Injunctive relief may be appropriate when:
- A disgruntled former employee who signed a confidentiality, non-disclosure, or non-compete clause threatens to undermine business operations by taking trade secrets or customer lists to a competitor;
- A newspaper plans to print wholly unsupported allegations;
- An essential business partner has voluntarily elected to stop meeting contractual obligations, under circumstances where this breach of contract will interrupt business operations.
Generally, once a temporary restraining order is entered, parties are prevented from taking the forbidden action for 14 days. During this time, our attorneys work with clients to prepare for litigation or take other appropriate legal action.
In legal matters involving injunctions and restraining orders, as in all of our practice areas, we are committed to preserving and promoting our clients’ interests. We strive to provide innovative but practical solutions, timely responses, sound business guidance, and optimum results.
INSURANCE COVERAGE/BAD FAITH
Our attorneys can handle matters concerning policy interpretation, evaluation of coverage, advice regarding contractual indemnity and insurance provisions, excess and reinsurance matters, and disputes regarding these matters. Our attorneys strive to provide creative negotiated solutions to these problems and, where necessary, we utilize our experience to obtain resolution through litigation and arbitration.
Our attorneys also stress prevention with regard to misconduct or criminal business activities, helping clients develop programs and policies that meet the requirements of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for Organizational Defendants, and are tailored to the criteria considered by the U.S. Department of Justice in deciding whether to bring criminal charges against a corporation. When misconduct is found, we can help companies make use of voluntary disclosure government amnesty programs to minimize or avoid penalties.
LOCAL COUNSEL REPRESENTATION
The Yocca Law Firm has the breadth and experience to litigate the most technically and legally complex patent matters. Our team includes seasoned trial attorneys and our team will consult patent attorneys with in-depth subject matter knowledge of the technologies at issue.
Our experienced patent litigators regularly perform pre-litigation investigations on behalf of clients to develop the best strategy to attain the client’s business objectives, whether it involves pre-suit negotiations, early settlement, obtaining a preliminary injunction or taking the case to trial. In addition, we have significant experience investigating and providing formal written opinions regarding patent invalidity, non-infringement and freedom to operate.
We have litigated in forums around the country, and have particular strength litigating in common patent forums, such as the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California.
We have represented our clients in Section 337 cases before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), either in a single matter or in conjunction with co-pending patent litigation matters. These cases require a unique set of skills, including scientific expertise, knowledge of patent law and familiarity with the rules and procedures employed by the ITC. ITC cases often involve allegations – such as patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets or unfair competition – that call for our global team’s ability to litigate in jurisdictions other than the ITC’s home in Washington, DC.
- Pre-litigation investigations
- Infringement litigation
- Markman hearings
- Licensing disputes
We represent individuals and corporations in connection with government investigations, including Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) inquiries and enforcement proceedings, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) inquiries. We also represent audit committees and special committees of boards of directors regarding internal investigations.
We regularly provide advice and training to our publicly held clients on securities related issues, including insider trading, legal compliance programs, directors and officers insurance, and securities law disclosure obligations.
TRADE SECRETS LITIGATION
The Yocca intellectual property attorneys work closely with clients to identify and protect their trade secret assets through secrecy programs, confidentiality agreements, seminars, and, if necessary, litigation. Our intellectual property and technology attorneys have extensive experience in helping companies protect their trade secrets from loss through misappropriation by employees, piracy or third-party theft, or other causes. Our litigators also apply our experience and knowledge to defending companies accused of misappropriation of trade secrets.
Trademark infringement knows no state or national borders, and neither does our law firm. When you need legal advice on your rights to a Mark, or you need trial court representation to defend your rights against infringement, contact The Yocca Law Firm LLP. Our trademark lawyers have decades of experience in every area of trademark and copyright law.
After acquiring a federal trademark registration, if I discover a competitor using a similar Mark, what can be done?
We would evaluate the use of the potentially infringing trademark. If we determine that there is a likelihood of confusion on the part of the consumer, we will write a Cease and Desist letter to the infringing party. We would also write a Cease and Desist letter if we believe there is a counterfeit situation, a case of dilution, unfair competition, or other infringement of your rights.
We would try and resolve the matter in the most cost-effective way possible by attempting to negotiate a settlement. However, if the infringement continues and if it is clear that the matter cannot be resolved outside of court, we will advise you as to your litigation options, such as an injunction to bar future infringement or the availability of treble damages and reasonable attorney fees.
Under what circumstances would I file a domain name dispute?
You would file a complaint with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) if you have rights in a trademark and a third party (in bad faith) uses your trademark as part of its domain name. You can also bring a complaint against a third party for using a domain name that is confusingly similar to your Mark without legitimate interests in the Mark.
The costs for filing for arbitration in a domain name dispute are substantially less than the costs of taking a case to court. An ICANN arbitration allows you to receive a decision in a short period of time (sometimes as few as 60 days).
UNFAIR COMPETITION LITIGATION
The Yocca Law Firm can represent UCL defendants or plaintiffs in California’s state and federal trial and appellate courts. We can handle all types of UCL disputes.