Boutin Jones INC., Attorneys at Law

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Practices

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Litigation

Our litigation lawyers offer creative, strategic and practical advice to help our clients resolve legal disputes that invariably arise in today’s business world. We understand business. As business litigators, we understand the unique problems and obstacles that different businesses face. We always tailor our litigation services towards strengthening and protecting our clients’ businesses in the most efficient manner possible. We have a record of successful results in resolving disputes favorably for our clients before litigation is ever filed, through strategic discovery or pretrial motions once litigation is initiated, and in the courtroom and arbitration hearing room should the dispute proceed to trial. In today’s litigation world where many law firms rarely try cases anymore, we are an exception. Each year we try cases to decision before juries, judges and arbitrators.

Our track record includes successful litigation in a wide variety of industries including healthcare, real estate, telecommunications, banking and financial services, semiconductors, agribusiness, manufacturing, retail, software, securities, insurance and non-profits. We have defended clients against claims of $250 million and claims of $250,000. For the larger cases we have a deep bench of experienced litigators and can bring the necessary resources to successfully defend or prosecute the largest of cases for our clients. We are also adept at handling the smaller disputes that many businesses face. We know how to effectively and efficiently handle those lawsuits in a manner that will achieve our clients’ goals. We have experience before state trial and appellate courts throughout California, the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Central Federal District Courts of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, FINRA and the American Arbitration Association, among other venues.

I tell new lawyers, ‘Make sure the work you are doing is about the client and never about you.’ Too much litigation becomes about the lawyers and how they feel in the heat of battle; the client and its interest get lost. Professionalism and exceptional litigation skills are not mutually exclusive. — Bob Swanson

Class Action Defense

Boutin Jones Inc. helps companies who have been sued by plaintiffs bringing class actions, including actions brought under federal and California consumer protection statutes, privacy statues and regulations, and employment laws. The firm has experience with claims ranging from those brought under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), California’s Song-Beverly Federal Credit Card Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, California’s Private Attorney General Act, and the California Labor Code.

Title Insurance and Escrow

We represent some of the nation’s largest title insurance and escrow companies, and their insureds, in a variety of litigation and non-litigation contexts. Specifically, we provide counseling and litigation support to our title insurance and escrow clients in conjunction with every aspect of their industries, including underwriting, coverage, claims analysis, claims handling, escrows (function, duties, and liabilities), and insurance bad faith. We also represent our clients’ insureds, which include individual homeowners, national lending institutions and everything in between, to resolve all types of real estate and title issues, both simple and complex, that are too numerous and unique to list. While our representation often includes pre-litigation efforts designed to efficiently resolve a dispute as soon as possible, we also routinely represent our clients in litigation, as both plaintiffs and defendants, through trial and appeal in federal and state courts.  Shareholders Michael “Tod” Fogarty, Michael Kuzmich and Kelley Lincoln serve as lead counsel in these matters, many of which have resulted in reported decisions that have nationwide import.

Real Estate

Our litigation attorneys have significant experience representing developers and builders in a wide array of matters, including developer liability claims, landlord-tenant claims, fraud claims, construction related claims, and claims by or against financial institutions. We have represented our real estate clients in all facets of litigation, including trial and arbitration.

Representative Experience

Boutin Jones Inc. served as counsel to the seller of an apartment complex sued for fraud and breach of contract on the $18 million transaction. The firm’s trial team eliminated the fraud claims through a motion for summary adjudication. The case proceeded to trial on the remaining claims. After a four-week jury trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for the seller on all remaining claims. Upon entry of judgment, the court granted the seller’s request for an attorneys’ fee award in excess of $350,000, which the client thereafter collected.  Shareholders Bob Swanson and Mike Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as trial counsel to a real estate broker who had acted as a dual agent in the sale of a parcel of undeveloped agricultural land in Yolo County. The buyer sued the seller to rescind the transaction over a purported violation of the Subdivision Map Act. The seller then cross-complained against the broker on various negligence theories seeking over $600,000.00 in damages. Following a bench trial on the cross-complaint, the firm’s trial team secured a defense judgment in favor of the broker completely absolving him from all liability related to the seller’s claims. Shareholder Dan Stouder and associate Kevin Davis were the primary attorneys on this matter.

We served as counsel for a commercial tenant (a medical clinic) in a dispute with its landlord over the landlord’s desire to relocate the tenant to less desirable space. The firm prevailed in court in the landlord’s lawsuit against the clinic, and obtained from the court an award against the landlord for reimbursement of the attorney’s fees incurred by the clinic. Shareholders Steve Boutin and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as counsel for a commercial landlord in a dispute with the anchor tenant in a shopping center. After a three-week trial, the firm’s trial team succeeded in defending against the tenant’s claims that it was defrauded into entering into the lease because the shopping center did not comply with applicable zoning regulations, and prevailed on the landlord’s claims for breach of the lease and a personal guaranty. The firm helped the landlord obtain a judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent, as well as an award of attorneys’ fees, exceeding $4 million. Shareholders Bob Swanson and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

We served as counsel to commercial property owners against claims brought by the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Sacramento concerning development of the K Street Mall in Downtown Sacramento. Through successful strategic pre-trial litigation, including prevailing on a motion to expunge a lis pendens recorded against the clients’ properties by the Redevelopment Agency, Boutin Jones’ litigation team achieved a favorable settlement for the property owners in excess of $18 million. Shareholder Bob Swanson was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Insurance Coverage

We have represented companies and individuals from a wide array of industries in securing defense and/or recovering losses under business insurance policies, including D&O, E&O, EPL and general liability policies. We assist companies in the making of their claims to their carriers and have significant experience in prosecuting coverage and bad faith claims on behalf of our clients where claims have been wrongfully denied.

Intellectual Property

We represent business and individuals in disputes over ownership, infringement and misappropriation of the complete array of intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, trade secrets and other confidential information. We have successfully represented litigants involved in matters involving software copyrights, manufacturing processes, media device patents, and product packaging. Our experience includes both trials and appeals, including in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Employment

The litigators in Boutin Jones Employment Law Group are widely respected for their strong advocacy of our employer clients. Our attorneys have experience in complex litigation, including class action defense. Our litigators routinely:

Respond to and defend against claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the U. S. Department of Labor, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, the Public Employment Relations Board, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Defend employers against individual employment claims in state and federal court, and in mediation/private arbitration proceedings, regarding discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, defamation, invasion of privacy, wage and hour violations, and breach of contract.

Prosecute and defend against claims of unfair competition, trade secrets, and intellectual property rights.

Represent employers in state and federal court in public accommodation civil rights suits.

Representative Experience

Boutin Jones Inc. served as trial counsel for a regional employee leasing company against wrongful termination/whistleblower claims made by a terminated employee. After a two-week trial, the firm’s trial team succeeded in defending against the employee’s claims in their entirety and judgment was entered for the employer. Shareholder Bob Swanson was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Director and Officer Liability

We have experience defending officers and directors against claims made by companies, shareholders and investors concerning the director’s and officer’s performance of their duties to the corporation, including defending eleven (11) officers and directors against breach of fiduciary duty and related claims in the amount of $250 million.

Representative Experience

Boutin Jones Inc. served as litigation counsel for eleven former officers and employees of a software start-up against $250 million damage claims for alleged breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Following successful dispositive motions on plaintiff’s claims and motions in limine, the firm’s trial team was able to secure a favorable settlement for its clients at the start of the anticipated four month jury trial, settling the case during the three days of jury selection for $2.5 million, just 1% of the amount sought at trial. Shareholder Bob Swanson was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Civil, Commercial and Business

We represent a wide variety of business and individual interests in litigation, including health care providers, financial institutions, manufacturers, Indian Tribes, developers and retail chains. Our extensive experience includes matters litigated in court, arbitration and mediation. Our practice spans a wide variety of venues, including state and federal courts, administrative proceedings and arbitration and mediation services.

Representative Experience

We served as counsel for an Indian Tribe and Tribal corporations in a dispute with California’s Employment Development Department. The firm succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction in federal court, enjoining state officials from collecting over $19 million in alleged unemployment reimbursement contributions on grounds of tribal sovereign immunity, requiring the officials to release liens on tribal property, withdraw levies on tribal accounts and deposit with the court over $500,000 collected from levies to that point. Shareholders Bob Rubin, Bruce Timm and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones litigators on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. successfully prosecuted a claim for recovery of significant losses incurred by a banking institution when it discovered that the mortgaged property was encumbered by a senior lien. The firm obtained a favorable ruling on insurance coverage for the losses from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2011, facilitating a settlement. Shareholders Doug Hodell, Bob Swanson and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

We served as counsel for a large retail grocery store chain sued by an individual for allegedly infringing his civil rights. The firm succeeded in having the federal court action dismissed, persuading the court that the store did not violate the First Amendment in prohibiting the individual from setting up a table outside the store in a putative effort to register voters. Shareholders Steve Boutin and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as counsel for a medical group in a dispute with an insurance company over the rates the group was entitled to be paid for cutting-edge medical services provided to the insured patients. The firm’s trial team prevailed by obtaining an arbitration award establishing the rate for services at the rate sought by the medical group. Shareholders Steve Boutin and Michael Chase were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

We served as counsel for a medical group in a dispute with a capitated health plan over the method of computing the capitated payments owed to the group under the parties’ agreement. The dispute arose after the passage of the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the subsequent publication by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of Outpatient Prospective Payment System Relative Value Units (OPPS RVUs). The firm achieved a favorable settlement during the arbitration hearing which resulted in higher compensation to the group on a going-forward basis. Shareholders Michael Chase and Bob Swanson were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as litigation counsel for an international semiconductor consortium in federal court involving claims of attempted monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act and unfair competition under California’s unfair competition law. After over 2 years of litigation, the case was favorably settled for the firm’s client upon the literal eve of trial. Shareholders Steve Boutin and Bob Swanson were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

We served as trial counsel for members of the board of directors of a large non-profit corporation seeking access to information controlled by the corporation. After a three-day bench trial, the firm’s trial team succeeded in securing a judgment granting access to the requested information. Shareholder Bob Swanson was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as counsel for a medical group in a dispute with a capitated health plan over breaches of the group’s exclusivity rights. The firm’s trial team prevailed in arbitration proving that the parties’ contract entitled the group to add services which constituted “technical advances,” and recovered in excess of $250,000 in damages and attorney’s fees for the medical group. Shareholder Steve Boutin was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Banking and Financial Institution

Our litigation attorneys are experienced in representing banks and other financial institutions in litigation arising from borrower claims, consumer claims, claims by participant banks, and foreclosure and related litigation. We have experience representing publicly-traded national banks, as well as regional and community banks and some of the state’s largest credit unions.

Representative Experience

Boutin Jones Inc. served as litigation counsel for a publicly-traded regional bank against claims made by a participating community bank for breach of contract on a participation loan. Boutin Jones’ attorneys were able to effectuate an early, favorable resolution of the dispute. Shareholder Bob Swanson was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

Appellate

We represent litigants in state and federal court appeals, including in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Circuit, and the California Supreme Court and various Courts of Appeal. We have successfully overturned judgments and injunctions entered against parties represented by other counsel in the trial court, as well as preserved trial court successes. We also have extensive experience pursuing mid-litigation appellate writs and stays.

Representative Experience

Boutin Jones Inc. served as appellate counsel for a temporary staffing company and one of its employees in a trade secret dispute. The clients were represented by other counsel in the trial court action, which resulted in a jury verdict in their favor and an award of attorney’s fees exceeding $700,000. The firm’s appeal team succeeded in achieving affirmance of the judgment entered on the jury’s verdict, successfully advancing both procedural and substantive arguments to preserve the jury verdict. Shareholder Michael Chase was the primary Boutin Jones attorney on this matter.

We served as appellate counsel for the seller of a media duplication device, and two of its employees, in a patent infringement dispute. The clients were represented by other counsel in the trial court action, which resulted in a judgment against them exceeding $1.3 million. The firm’s appeal team succeeded in vacating the judgment and obtaining for the clients a new trial on damages and on the individuals’ personal liability. Shareholder Michael Chase and attorney Chris Gibson were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Boutin Jones Inc. served as appellate counsel for a home study course materials provider in a franchise dispute. The firm’s appeal team succeeded in vacating a judgment against the provider exceeding $1.5 million. Shareholders Michael Chase and Bob Swanson were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

We served as appellate counsel for a manufacturing company arising out of a trade secret dispute with a competitor. The client was represented by other counsel in the trial court action, which resulted in entry of an injunction against the client. The firm’s appeal team succeeded in vacating the injunction. Shareholders Michael Chase and Bob Swanson were the primary Boutin Jones attorneys on this matter.

Antitrust

We represent companies against civil antitrust and related restraint of trade as well as federal and state claims of unfair business. We have defended companies against such claims in federal and state court, including defending an international semiconductor company against claims under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.