We Are Now Hall Huguenin LLP!
The Firm is excited to announce that, effective August 1, 2017, we have changed our name from Green & Hall to Hall Huguenin LLP.
Our new name reflects a commitment to solidify our presence throughout the State of California, and it signifies the unity of our team in the Northern and Southern California offices. The new Hall Huguenin LLP name also emphasizes our recent expansions into the Arizona and Texas legal markets, as well as our planned expansions into other states. We as a firm are energized and optimistic about our future growth, and we are thrilled to share this news with you.
While you may have come to know us as Green & Hall, we look forward to working with you as the new Hall Huguenin LLP. The firm remains committed to providing top-notch legal advice and service. You can expect the same intelligent and efficient handling of your matters, and the same optimal outcomes we have become known for. We will continue to serve a broad range of clients in a wide variety of practice areas, including real estate and construction, financial services and complex litigation.
As we enter our 23rd year as a firm, Hall Huguenin LLP is well positioned for our next chapter. We look forward to building our future together with you.
John Cone Joins the Firm as Of Counsel
The Firm is pleased to announce that John A. Cone, Jr. has joined the Firm as Of Counsel in the Santa Ana, California office. Mr. Cone brings 35 years of labor and employment experience to the Firm, including litigation, trial work and counseling. Mr. Cone will be a lead for the Labor & Employment Practice Group, and his expertise in this area will provide the Firm a strong and stable platform to effectively serve employers facing litigation challenges. More information on Mr. Cone can be found here.
Partner Valerie J. Schratz Presentation on Mortgage Litigation and Fraud
Partner Valerie J. Schratz will be speaking at the California MBA Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference on December 4, 2017, in Costa Mesa, California. Her presentation will focus on litigation updates and new frauds being committed in real estate mortgages, including a multi-state fraud currently causing losses estimated to exceed $50,000 per month. Ms. Schratz will discuss Hall Huguenin LLP’s efforts working with the FBI and in the courts to try to stop and remedy the already devastating effects of this new large-scale fraud. Ms. Schratz will also identify tactics to identify and avoid fraud in mortgage servicing.
$6.1 Million Judgment in Huge Land Dispute Trial
In June 2017, Edward Huguenin, James Bothwell and Robert Kahn received a Final Statement of Decision in connection with a three week trial in San Diego County, awarding the Firm’s client over $6.1M in damages. Messrs. Huguenin, Bothwell and Kahn represented one of the Firm’s largest clients, Meritage Homes, as a plaintiff in a complex land dispute venued in San Diego County. Meritage had purchased property from a private developer in 2013, and was forced to sue when the seller refused to satisfy certain conditions of approval that would have allowed Meritage to proceed with development on its property. The firm obtained a judgment in the amount of $6.1M, and with a right to seek its fees and costs as the prevailing party.
Defense Awards Obtained in Multiple Home by Home Construction Defect Arbitrations
In December 2016, the Firm's Northern California Office, led by Partners Edward Huguenin and Robert Kahn, began a series of arbitrations against a well known plaintiffs' firm. The cases started as a single, complex construction defect matter that the Firm successfully compelled to home-by-home arbitration with AAA, and with separate arbitrators presiding over each of the cases. The cases concerned a variety of asserted SB 800 violations with primary focus on the Builder's alleged failure to provide adequate protection against corrosion of the post-tensioned foundation cable ends, anchorage and hardware. The dollar value for the asserted damages ranged from $40,000 all the way to $75,000 per home. Each 2-4 day arbitration was tried over the course of 6 consecutive months (many occurring on a weekly basis), from December through May, 2017. Robert Kahn and Edward Huguenin served as lead trial counsel in the arbitrations, with James Bothwell, Jordan Maurer, Michael Laidlaw and Emily Wieser lending support as 2nd and 3rd chair. In each of the following exemplar cases, the Firm defensed the Claimants' single largest dollar item and their main geotechnical and PT corrosion claims.
Several of the Awards are summarized below:
- Complete defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder (award in the amount of $0 against asserted damages in the amount of $58,226). Further, the Firm obtained an award of costs in favor of the Builder in the sum of $43,203.13. Guzman v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder in the amount of the defense cost to repair ($278.00) (asserted damages in the amount of $41,511) . Ejanda v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder with respect to the post-tensioned cable corrosion/geotechnical claim, while also beating the defense's C.C.P. § 998 offer as to all issues (award in the amount of $5,578 against asserted damages of $42,547). Rose v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder with regard to the post-tensioned cable corrosion and all geotechnical claims while also beating the defense's C.C.P. § 998 offer as to all issues (award for statutory violations in the amount of $7,173 against asserted damages by Claimants in the amount of $68,000). Scott v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder with regard to the post-tensioned cable corrosion/geotechnical claims while also beating the defense's C.C.P. § 998 offer as to all issues (award in the amount of $6,188 against asserted damages of $52,132). Likewise, obtained a cost award on behalf of the Builder against claimants. Maalouli v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder with respect to the post-tensioned cable corrosion/geotechnical claims while also beating the defense's C.C.P. § 998 offer as to all issues (award in the amount of $8,848 against asserted damages of $54,756). King v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
- Defense verdict/award on behalf of the Builder with respect to the post-tensioned cable corrosion/geotechnical claims while also beating the defense's C.C.P. § 998 offer as to all issues (award in the amount of $2,582 against asserted damages of $50,739). Vixon v. Cal Atlantic Homes.
The Firm Names Three New Partners
The Firm is pleased to announce that James L. Bothwell, Jered T. Ede and Valerie J. Schratz have been named as partners of the firm. Mr. Bothwell is based in the firm’s Roseville office, while Mr. Ede and Ms. Schratz are based in the Santa Ana office.
The Firm Announces New Partner Robert J. Kahn
Santa Ana/Roseville – The Firm is pleased to announce that Robert J. Kahn, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has joined the firm as a partner in its Northern California office. With a practice that spans the entire State and beyond, Mr. Kahn brings to the firm over 35 years of trial and appellate experience, specializing in litigation strategy and comprehensive client protection.
The American College of Trial Lawyers inducted Mr. Kahn into its ranks in 2012. This prestigious organization is an invitation-only premier national legal association in which membership cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Mr. Kahn has handled a wide array of complex claims on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He has also served as the primary outside litigation counsel for a major statewide geotechnical and environmental engineering firm for the past 25 years, and was also one of the few solo practitioners to be approved as panel counsel for a major national carrier. Mr. Kahn has represented a wide range of clients, including contractors and design professionals, in diverse matters including multi-unit residential construction projects, litigation involving industrial freezers, private improvements at the Port of Oakland, and multi-million dollar construction and design deficiency claims brought by a major Indian casino.
With his extraordinary experience, talent and skill, the Firm is excited to have Mr. Kahn join its team of top-tier trial lawyers. The Firm’s clients will benefit greatly from his professionalism, his innovative problem-solving and, when necessary, his aggressive and effective trial expertise.
"Builders for Babies" 2016 Diaper Drive - Another Great Success
California Mortgage Bankers Association Magazine Features Article by Jered T. Ede
Jered T. Ede’s article on compliance with California’s Single Points of Contact rules was featured in California Mortgage Bankers Association’s Finance News Magazine. Mr. Ede's article explains the complex rules for being a Single Point of Contact under California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights.
Mr. Ede is a member of the firm’s Mortgage Banking & Finance litigation group headed by Howard D. Hall and is based in Hall Huguenin’s Santa Ana office.
The Firm Wins Complete Defense Verdict
The Firm won a complete defense verdict after a five-day bench trial against a plaintiff who sought to enforce an alleged loan modification agreement. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed to have entered into an agreement with a homeowner that would have given him 50% equity in the home if he helped the homeowner negotiate a loan modification. Under this purported deal, the plaintiff would use his financial information on the HAMP application to help the homeowner qualify for the modification. The defendant allegedly assured the plaintiff that if he submitted his information as a co-borrower on the HAMP application, he would be added as a co-borrower on the underlying note. The trial court ruled that the alleged agreement was unenforceable, finding that the defendant did not make any such representations. The court also ruled that even had the defendant made such representations, the plaintiff could not have justifiably relied on them, at least in part because of his experience as a former attorney.
The Firm Disposes of Lending Fraud Case Through Summary Judgment
In a coordinated action encompassing more than a dozen cases from counties across California, the Firm succeeded on a motion for summary judgment in favor of its mortgage lender client, confirming the client’s superior loan position on a multimillion-dollar residential property located in Northern California. The property had been the subject of numerous conspirators’ fraudulent scheme to obtain loan proceeds by securing multiple first position loans by falsifying records. The property’s record title was complicated by dozens of both fraudulent and legitimate transactions. By examining the local county recorder’s actual grantor-grantee indices, and securing critical admissions of the other lenders, Hall Huguenin was able to show that its mortgage lender client was in true first position. The Court agreed, and granted the motion for summary judgment in full, including an award of costs. The Court's judgment paved the way for the client to subsequently recover the outstanding balance of its loan—more than one million dollars.
The Firm Wins Unanimous Defense Verdict
The Firm and attorney Jonathan Slipp overwhelmingly defeated a negligent supervision lawsuit against a pre-school and its director after a two-week jury trial. In the lawsuit, plaintiff alleged that her three-year-old daughter had been repeatedly physically and sexually molested by other students while at the school. The child was diagnosed as having suffered post traumatic stress disorder and received extensive psychological therapy for nearly four years. At trial plaintiff presented the expert testimony of a school supervision expert that the school staff were negligent for failing to observe and protect the child from violent attacks by the other students. Plaintiff also presented the testimony of the treating psychologist and an expert witness psychologist to detail the continuing emotional and mental damages arising from the child’s post traumatic stress disorder. The jury handed down a defense verdict, voting 12-0 in favor of the school and director.