Some of OUR PRACTICE AREA
General civil litigation

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Business formation & counseling

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business transactions & litigation

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employment law & counseling

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class actions & Complex litigation

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real estate  transactions & litigation

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Corporate governance & litigation

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Serious personal injuries

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Some of our notable cases

fORD DIDN’T FOCUS! 

In 2002, our partner, S. Ron Alikani, along with Mehri & Skalet and other prominent national law firms, filed a class lawsuit action against Ford Motor Company alleging premature wear and tear of the front brake pads and rotors of  2000 and 2001 Ford Focus. The defect caused unsuspecting owners to spend hundreds of dollars in repairs and maintenance on a recurring basis.  During discovery, Mr. Alikani and his co-counsel uncovered evidence that showed Ford’s awareness of the defect. In 2007 the Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for certification. Honorable Victora Chaney, now an appellate  justice  of the California Courts of Appeal,  noted that “plaintiff’s present extensive evidence that the 2000 and 2001 Ford Focus exhibits excessive brake wear”.   
 
Finally In 2008, the Plaintiffs and the defendant reached a settlement which provided for reimbursement for class members who had paid out-of-pocket to have their front brakes pads and rotors  replaced. The settlement provided for a full refund of all labor and material costs for eligible claims with no cap or reduction based on the number of claims made. On Average, each claimant received $350 and some received over $1,200. 
Press Release
Published Federal District Court’s Decision

not on the deed but still the owner 

 A married couple were referred to our partner, S. Ron Alikani,  by another client. They  were denied ownership interest in a property they had purchased with a family member 13 years earlier.  They had purchased one lot containing two houses, and each couple contributed an equal amount of the down payment, but the legal title was held in the family members’ name. The value of the property had substantially increased. The family members refused to acknowledge their ownership interest.  Two years after purchase of the property, a notary public drafted a confirmation of the couple's agreement and both couples signed them. The simple agreement called for payment  half of mortgage, costs and taxes by each party.  For several years, each couple equally split the cost of the mortgage payments, taxes and other expenses. Ultimately, there was friction between the couples which caused the couple (our clients) to move out. After moving out, our clients  did not pay for half of the mortgage or other expenses. The other couple refinanced the property and rented the vacant home to tenants. After thorough investigation and legal research, we agreed to represent the couple.

The defendants’ refused to settle and the case was ultimately tried before Honorable  John S. Wiley, Jr. (now Judge at complex division of Los Angeles Superior Court). The trial court found for the our clients and ordered that their names be added to the record title of the property. Defendant’s appealed. We also represented our clients on the appeal. The appellate court found there was a substantial evidence to support the trial court's findings against defendants, holding that our clients were owners of one-half an undivided interest in the property. Our clients were smart to keep good records of their initial contribution and memorialize parties’ understanding in a simple writing a few years after purchase of the property. Unfortunately, this situation is not isolated and is a common occurrence. If our clients kept no good record and memorialize their understanding, the result could have been different. Lessons from the case: 1) keep a good record, 2) put your agreements in writing, 3) just because your partner’s name is not on the title, it does not make you a 100% owner and 4) do your best to resolve disputes before going to trial!    
Appellate Decision 

start the work with our designer.

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presentation of work to clients.

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SUCCESS!

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