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People

Michael J. Kuzmich

Michael J. Kuzmich / Shareholder

The Basics

I am a real estate and business litigator with an emphasis on title insurance and escrow litigation.

Delivering for Clients

My partner, Kelley Lincoln, and I defended a major title insurer against a $1 million bad-faith lawsuit brought by a large bank. We disposed of the case by filing a motion for summary judgment. When the bank appealed I argued the case in front of the Ninth Circuit and we prevailed.

When I’m not lawyering I enjoy watching our daughters play soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, sampling local craft breweries, Namaste-ing at yoga, and fishing and hunting. During duck season I can hit our duck blind at first light and still be at my desk by 9:30.

  • Practices
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Education
  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 2000
  • Saint Mary’s College, B.A., Philosophy, 1997
  • Honors
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer
  • Law School: Order of the Coif
  • Undergraduate: cum laude
  • Bar Admissions
  • California
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Former Member, Boutin Jones Inc., Board of Directors
  • Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Sacramento Class of 2015

Articles and Presentations

(2012 to present)

Presenter at three annual Continuing Education of the Bar, Real Property Law Practice: Annual Recent Developments

Commercial Lease Disputes: Enforcement, Eviction and Alternatives, Sacramento County Bar Association Real Property Section, Co-Presenter

My skills at legal writing help me to get positive results for my clients. When I tell the story of a case my audience is not just the court – it’s the client on the other side who is often learning for the first time about the weaknesses in their case.

Representative Experience

Real Estate and Business Litigation

Represent real estate developers, lenders, for-profit businesses, non-profit land trusts, and individuals in a wide range of disputes arising from purchase-and-sale, development, and land-use agreements, leases, CC&Rs, boundary and survey issues, easements, conservation easements, and other claims for breach of contract, specific performance, rescission, fraud, misrepresentation, nondisclosure, breach of fiduciary and, others.

Represent commercial landlords and tenants in lease and contract disputes, including commercial unlawful detainer actions.

Experience representing national lending institutions on large construction projects against mechanic’s liens and bonded stop notice claims.

Title Insurance and Escrow Litigation

Represent national title insurance and escrow companies and their insureds in prosecuting and defending litigation involving a 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.

Assist industry clients with emergency situations involving time- and/or business-sensitive claims, coverage issues, escrows, and litigation.

Correct defective chains of title and other liens and encumbrances through practical and cost-efficient solutions prior to filing litigation.

Routinely dispose of cases for and against title insurance companies and insureds via dispositive motions, including demurrers and motions for summary judgment.

Defend title insurers against claims for bad-faith breach of title insurance policies.

Prosecute and defend appeals arising from our own cases and from cases handled by others at the trial court level.

 

Detailed Practice Description

Mike Kuzmich practices real estate and business 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 trial and appellate courts, as well as in private dispute-resolution forums (mediation, arbitration, and judicial reference).

A litigator shouldn’t focus on wins and losses. My clients are constantly assessing risks to make smart business decisions. My job is to candidly advise them about their case and then execute our plan through advocacy and negotiation.