Thomas G. Mouzes’ law practice focuses on bankruptcy and commercial law, with emphasis on creditor’s rights and remedies, representing lenders and bankruptcy trustees in a wide variety of cases, including those involving agricultural issues. Thomas has represented financial institutions, such as commercial banks and Farm Credit System lenders, in creditor’s rights litigation cases brought in both state and federal courts, including commercial and agri-business loans, inventory financing, real estate and construction financing, bankruptcy and reorganization, lender liability, water law, guarantees, and provisional remedies. His experience also includes representing banks and lenders in Chapter 11, 12 and 13 bankruptcy proceedings, as well as municipalities in Chapter 9 proceedings. His trial experience also extends to individual plaintiff matters, and he has achieved successful outcomes for clients in complex medical malpractice, professional liability, personal injury and civil rights lawsuits.
People that refer work to me know that if they hand me a matter, I will look at every angle in order to be successful. It’s that simple.
I represent financial institutions in creditors’ rights work and bankruptcy, and I also do business litigation where I help businesses and companies with disputes.
I generally have cases that are very complicated, tend to be time-consuming and involve difficult legal issues. One of the most interesting cases I’ve handled was when I successfully worked to dismiss one of the Orange County bankruptcy proceedings. No one thought we could do it, but we took on a hard legal issue that nobody else would take, and we pressed it through, convincing the judge we chose the correct path.
I enjoy weightlifting, which I do about three days a week, alternated with running. I have goals I try to reach and specific weight amounts I am trying to lift. My routine helps me to be healthier and stronger.
“What Has Anna Nicole Smith Done For You Lately? What Every Attorney Should Know About Stern v. Marshall,” Women Lawyers of Sacramento June Lunch Meeting, Co-Presenter
The way I practice law has not changed much over the years, but I have become even more in tune to what clients want. Clients don’t like to be surprised, and they want you to be cost effective.
Insolvency and Creditors’ Rights
Successfully represented a grower in a complex almond processer Chapter 11 case including by asserting producer lien claims, and representing the client in state court tort claims against a third party.
Successfully resolved an action for violation of California’s one action rule by confirming the client’s lien and priority position in its real property collateral and obtaining payment of the settlement from the client’s prior law firm.
Successfully litigated for a bank client a complex multi-loan judicial foreclosure action of real property involving substantive cross-claims for actual and punitive damages.
In the context of a complex adversary proceeding in a Chapter 11 proceeding, successfully represented the holder of a first deed of trust in an action involving an issue of first impression: whether adjudicated groundwater rights in California were real property or personal property. After a determination in favor of the client that the water rights were real property, the client was paid seven figures and the matter resolved.
In a Chapter 9 proceeding of national importance, successfully represented a public entity and obtained the dismissal of one of the Chapter 9 proceedings. See In re County of Orange, 183 B.R. 594 (Bankr.C.D.Cal. 1995). Ultimately, the client received the disbursement of its monies held by the remaining debtor (seven figures) and payment for its loss.
Successfully represented a bank client in a complex state court action for judicial foreclosure of real property and personal property collateral, including deposit accounts and cattle. The litigation encompassed a myriad of real property and personal property collateral disposition issues and lender liability claims made against the bank.
In a state court proceeding involving a novel issue of first impression, successfully represented a bank in an action to set aside a mistaken reconveyance of a deed of trust and obtained the dismissal of a cross-complaint seeking to enforce a California agricultural producer’s lien against significant proceeds of agricultural product paid to the bank.
Successfully defended an insurance company in a contested matter and adversary proceeding brought by a Chapter 7 trustee asserting claims of breach of contract and insurance bad faith. The bankruptcy trustee sought to enforce a written agreement with the client that was partially performed by the parties but had not yet been approved by the Bankruptcy Court. In an issue of first impression, the Bankruptcy Court determined that the written agreement was void and unenforceable and dismissed all claims of the Chapter 7 trustee for relief asserted thereunder.
Successfully represented an insurance company in a complex Chapter 11 case by trapping liability claims of thousands of third parties in a liquidating plan and exonerating the liability of the carrier.
Successfully represented clients in a wrongful death and medical malpractice case resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement.
Substituting into the case after confirmation of a Chapter 12 plan, successfully represented a bank client in defeating the modification of a confirmed Chapter 12 plan and thereafter obtained an award of post-dismissal sanctions against the borrowers in excess of $100,000 given the misconduct in the bankruptcy proceeding. See In re Davenport, 175 B.R.355 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 1994). In addition, obtained the dismissal of lender liability claims made against the bank by the borrowers in various state court proceedings.