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Kelley M. Lincoln

Kelley M. Lincoln / Shareholder

The Basics

I am a trial lawyer, and have tried a wide variety of cases—from feuding business partners, partnership dissolutions and real property disputes to insurance bad faith. I enjoy the challenge of discovering facts, understanding the law and helping my clients find a solution that works for their business.

Delivering for Clients

In my career as a litigator, I’ve been successful getting a number of cases completely knocked out through summary judgments. This saved a lot of time and money for my clients. I also have a significant amount of trial experience—something that is often not the case with litigators. I have tried several jury and bench trials all throughout California.

I recently traveled to Spain for a yoga retreat. The experience reinforced in me the importance of mindfulness and balance in everyday life. It’s a work in progress, with the help of meditation and yoga.

  • Practices
  • Litigation
  • Education
  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 2002, Certificate in Governmental Affairs, 2002
  • California State University, Chico, B.A., International Relations and Latin American Studies, 1999
  • Bar Admissions
  • California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Honors
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2018
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Executive Chair of Operation Protect and Defend, a program of the Anthony M. Kennedy Learning and Library Center Foundation
  • Board Member, Sacramento Federal Judicial Library and Learning Center Foundation
  • President, Sacramento Network of Chico State Alumni
  • Member at Large, Chico State Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Graduate of Leadership Sacramento, a program of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Class of 2008

Representative Experience

Civil, Commercial and Business Litigation

Represented a real estate broker against a $700,000 claim for breach of contract and fraud related to the sale of a medical office building in Southern California. Obtained a complete defense verdict for her client after a week-long jury trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Successfully defended the owner of a car dealership in a jury trial involving a $200,000 breach of contract claim in San Joaquin County Superior Court. Trial court verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Title Insurance and Escrow Litigation

Represented a title company that was sued for over $1 million in a multi-party action venued in San Mateo County Superior Court’s complex litigation division. Obtained a judgment of non-suit at the close of Plaintiff’s case.

Represented a title insurance company that was sued in Federal Court by a bank on a claim exceeding $1 million arising from an alleged bad faith breach of the insurance contract. Along with shareholder Michael Kuzmich, defeated the claim through a motion for summary judgment that upheld the title insurance company’s right to rely on a No Voluntary Payment clause in the policy as a basis to deny title insurance coverage to the bank.

Represented  title insurance companies seeking to establish priority lien positions on behalf of their insured institutional lenders as against lenders holding trust deeds secured by home equity lines of credit and other obligations. Have settled many of these cases, often resulting in a full release and reconveyance of the adverse trust deed.

Real Estate Litigation

Represented a national trust company in an action to secure possession of commercial real property against a previous owner that did not vacate the property after foreclosure. Obtained a judgment against the entity in possession after trial in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Represented an individual in an easement dispute involving multiple adjacent land owners in Sacramento County. Succeeded in affirming the individual’s rights in the easement after a two-week bench trial in Sacramento County Superior Court.


Detailed Practice Description

Kelley has extensive state and federal trial experience, often serving as lead trial counsel. She specializes in business and real estate litigation. For many years, Kelley assisted title insurance companies in resolving a plethora of covered claims. She litigated cases involving easements, secured real property liens, foreclosures, real estate fraud, insurance bad faith, escrow liability and agency. Kelley knows her way around a courtroom, and her success at handling business disputes has made her a sought-after litigator for cases that go well beyond the niche of title and escrow law.

I thrive when I’m in trial, and I am never afraid to take a case to trial.  That said, my goal is always to try to resolve litigation disputes before trial becomes inevitable.