Mike Kuzmich’s practice includes business and real estate litigation with an emphasis on title insurance and escrow litigation. He has experience prosecuting, defending and resolving all types of general and complex civil disputes in federal and state courts, as well as in private dispute-resolution forums (arbitration and mediation).
My skills at legal writing have helped me to achieve very positive results for clients. When I convey the story of a case my audience is not just the court, it’s the client on the other side who might be hearing the true weaknesses in their case for the first time.
I do general business and real estate litigation with a strong emphasis on title insurance and escrow litigation.
My partner Kelley and I defended a major title insurer against a $1 million bad-faith lawsuit brought by a large bank. We won on summary judgment and appeal, and I argued the case in front of the Ninth Circuit.
Some of my favorite moments are spent sitting in a duck blind in the middle of a howling storm. Some of the best duck hunting in the country is just 45 minutes away from my office.
Continuing Education of the Bar, Real Property Law Practice: 35th Annual Recent Developments, Presenter
Continuing Education of the Bar, Real Property Law Practice: 34th Annual Recent Developments, Presenter
Continuing Education of the Bar, Real Property Law Practice: 33rd Annual Recent Developments, Presenter
Commercial Lease Disputes: Enforcement, Eviction and Alternatives, Sacramento County Bar Association Real Property Section, Co-Presenter
Sophisticated individuals and businesses understand how long and costly litigation can be. It’s become more important than ever to not just evaluate the risks and rewards of litigation with your client, but to also explore business resolutions.
Title Insurance and Escrow Litigation
Represent national title insurance and escrow companies and their insureds in litigation (prosecuting and defending) involving wide range of title and real estate issues, including lien priority disputes, mechanic’s liens, easements, equitable subrogation, prosecution of subrogation claims for claims paid by insurers, fraud and others.
Routinely dispose of cases for and against title insurance companies and insureds via dispositive motions, including demurrers and motions for summary judgment.
Correct defective chains of title and other liens and encumbrances for title insurance clients prior to filing litigation through practical and cost-efficient solutions.
Defend title insurers against claims for bad-faith breach of title insurance policies.
Worked with shareholder Kelley Lincoln to obtain summary judgment for title insurer sued by lender for insurance bad faith arising from denial of $1 million claim based on insured’s voluntary settlement of claim without consent of insurer; drafted appellate brief and argued matter in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Obtained judgment on behalf of plaintiff-lender against owners of $3 million Carmel residence and junior lienholders who claimed lender’s deed of trust was defective because it was not executed by one-half owner of the property; successfully filed motion for summary adjudication against owners and all junior lienholders that established validity of first-priority lien.
Civil, Commercial and Business Litigation
Represent real estate developers, businesses and individuals in wide range of business and property disputes, including partnership disputes, contract disputes, fraud/misrepresentation claims, breach of fiduciary duty and others.
Represent commercial landlords and tenants in lease and contract disputes, including commercial unlawful detainer actions.
Experience representing national lending institutions against mechanic’s lien claims and bonded stop notice claims arising on large developments.
Represented non-profit organization as plaintiff against former officer for breach of fiduciary duty arising from pension-related issues. Case resolved immediately after presentation of plaintiff’s evidence at arbitration.