In re Livne Trust

Mr. Horwitz represented the court appointed trustee of this trust. The remainder beneficiary had sued the trustee on ten separate counts, including breach of fiduciary duties, mismanagement of the trust and favoring the income beneficiary. The remained beneficiary asked the court to remove the trustee, to disallow his fees, to disgorge fees previously pay and to surcharge him for money allegedly improperly spent. Following a trial on the merits, Mr. Horwitz obtained a complete victory for the trustee, defeating all ten of the charges against his client, and obtaining court approval of the trust's accounting. The remainder beneficiary filed an appeal of the trial court ruling, but dismissed her appeal before Mr. Horwitz's opposition was due. The trial court approved the trustee's petition to sell the Trust's sole asset: a single family residence in Los Angeles, to pay trust expenses incurred as a result of the litigation.

Amini v Asia

Mr. Horwitz represented a family of three involved in a significant head-on motor vehicle accident. The daughter, sitting in the right rear seat, had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair significant facial injuries and head trauma. Following a hearing, the judge entered judgment in favor of Mr. Horwitz's clients in the amount of $4,777,233.50

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP v Michael Berguin

Mr. Horwitz represented Michael Berguin in a lawsuit filed by Quinn Emanuel based on breach of personal guaranty. Quinn Emanuel claimed that Mr. Berguin owed it just under $1,500,000 in legal fees and about $500,000 in interest on those legal fees. Quinn Emanuel had defended Renaissance Stone, Inc., in a federal court litigation, and, when Renaissance Stone could not keep up with the legal fees, Mr. Berguin signed a personal guaranty of those fees. Quinn Emanuel continued to represent Renaissance Stone through trial, where, despite the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion of around $2m in damages, the jury awarded the plaintiff over $15m.

Quinn Emanuel claims to have ceased representing Renaissance Stone in November 2007, and, therefore, its late February 2011 lawsuit was timely. Mr. Horwitz argued that the statute of limitations started in early February 2007 when Quinn Emanuel filed a Motion for Leave to Withdraw as Renaissance Stone’s counsel. The motion was denied.

Mr. Horwitz also presented the position that Quinn Emanuel had agreed to release Mr. Berguin from his guaranty in exchange for the payment of $441,980.20 and having Renaissance Stone enter into a new engagement agreement. Quinn Emanuel argued that, in order to be released, Mr. Berguin also had to provide a pretrial retainer of $250,000 60 days before trial, and ensure that all monthly invoices were timely paid. Quinn Emanuel had documented the position asserted by Mr. Horwitz, but had not documented its additional conditions anywhere.

Quinn Emanuel further claimed that, if it did release Mr. Berguin, the release was fraudulently induced. Quinn Emanuel’s position was that Richard Schirtzer, head of Quinn Emanuel’s complex litigation committee, whose clients include IBM, Charles Schwab, General Motors and Toyota, who boasted of a billion dollar settlement in one of his cases, who supervises the Quinn Emanuel accounting department, handles higher level banking issues, approves company bonuses, reviews company financials before they are sent to the partners, is comfortable reviewing complex financial statements for public companies, and has done financial litigation for 25 years, was duped by Michael Berguin, a concrete contractor from Arizona, into believing that Mr. Berguin would remain responsible for Renaissance Stone’s legal fees even after Mr. Schirtzer released him from his guaranty.

Quinn Emanuel represented Samsung against Apple, where Samsung received an adverse billion dollar jury award. Quinn Emanuel represented Mattel against Bratz, where Mattel received an adverse $88 million dollar award. Quinn Emanuel represented Renaissance Stone against El Dorado Stone, where Renaissance Stone received an adverse $15m jury verdict. When Quinn Emanuel’s own money was at stake due to a reciprocal attorney’s fee clause in the underlying agreement, it dismissed its case against Michael Berguin for a waiver of costs.

Judith Welles Waltman v Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Mr. Horwitz represented Mrs. Welles Waltman in an interpleader action filed by Transamerica. At stake was a $500,000 life insurance policy. Also claiming an interest in the policy proceeds were Mrs. Welles Waltman’s two step sons. Her step sons filed a cross-complaint alleging elder abuse. They claimed that she forced her husband, their father, to change the policy beneficiary designation shortly before his passing to make her the 100% beneficiary. The step sons wanted the earlier beneficiary designation to be upheld. That designation provided each son with 25% of the proceeds, and 50% to Mrs. Welles Waltman. In filing the elder abuse claim, the step sons wanted to have Mrs. Welles Waltman declared to have predeceased her late husband, and, therefore not eligible to take any of the life policy proceeds.

Mr. Horwitz settled with one step son, giving him just over 10% of the policy, and was able to have terminating sanctions entered against the other step son, resulting in that step son’s cross complaint being dismissed, his answer to the interpleader action struck, and his default entered. Thereafter, the policy proceeds were distributed to Mr. Horwitz’s client.

Corlin v MacInnis

Mr. Horwitz represented Carl MacInnis (“Carl”) and his daughter, Rosalie MacInnis Corlin (“Rosalie”) in an action filed against them by Rosalie’s soon-to-be ex-spouse, Adam Corlin (“Adam”).

Rosalie’s mother, Irene MacInnis, owned and resided in a small single-family bungalow with a small guest house (the Steiner property). Upon Irene’s death, the property passed to Carl. Rosalie is Carl’s only living child. In late 2002 or early 2003 Carl is alleged to have made an oral gift of the Steiner home to Rosalie and her then husband, Adam. The couple moved in and spent more than $164,000 improving the residence and grounds. In 2002, Adam demanded that Carl convey title to the property and was refused. Between 2002 and 2005, Adam and Rosalie continued to discuss the transfer of title. Carl refused to transfer title.

In April 2008, due to a marital dispute, Adam was locked out of the property. At that time the marriage effectively ended, and Adam and Rosalie dissolved their marriage. According to a spreadsheet submitted by Adam, he spent a total of $164,171.71 on improvements to the Steiner property between 2002 and 2007. He filed suit against Rosalie and Carl seeking relief based on (1) imposition of equitable lien and constructive trust, (2) unjust enrichment, (3) common count for money due and owing, (4) common count for quantum meruit, (5) declaratory relief, and (6) partition.

Mr. Horwitz filed a successful Motion for Summary Adjudication on the equitable lien, constructive trust, declaratory relief and partition causes of action. After a bench trial, Mr. Horwitz obtained a defense verdict in favor of Rosalie, and had the $164,171.71 claim reduced to an award of $52,416.

Granados v Velvet

Mr. Horwitz represented a internationally recognized fashion company as defense counsel in a wage and hour class action case involving over 400 plaintiffs. The class claimed that they did not get two ten minute breaks every four hours worked. The class was given one twenty minute break in the morning. The twenty minute break was at their request, so that they could enjoy a longer breakfast together. At Mr. Horwitz’s direction, the company obtained Pickup Stix releases from a vast majority of the class. The matter settled for a small fraction of the potential exposure.

Step-Sons v Step-Mother

Step-mother owned a minority interest in a company run by step-sons. After her husband, and their father, passed away, the step-sons tried to steal the company away from their step-mother. Mr. Horwitz reviewed the company operating agreement and enforced a clause permitting the offeree to switch places and become the offeror, on identical terms and conditions as offered to the offeree. After extended negotiations, during which the step-sons accused their step-mother of trying to cheat them with such a low-ball offer, the step-sons agreed to purchase the step-mother’s minority interest for seven figures.

Sheipe v Bander

Mr. Horwitz defended an attorney accused of infliction of emotional distress on the opposing party. His client was less than kind to a deponent during a contentious deposition, and the defendant deponent filed an action against the attorney. As a courtesy to his client, and knowing there was a strong likelihood of prevailing on an anti-SLAPP motion, which has an attorney fee award to the prevailing defendant, Mr. Horwitz agreed to accept payment from the attorney fee award. The anti-SLAPP motion was granted by the trial court, and upheld by the Court of Appeal. As predicted, attorneys fee were awarded by the trial court for the work performed at both the trial and appellate levels.

The plaintiff, now a judgment debtor, made significant efforts to hide his assets, and hinder collection at every turn. Mr. Horwitz had to amend the judgment four times as new aliases were discovered. Additional attorney’s fees were awarded with each new judgment. During this time, Mr. Horwitz’ client filed for bankruptcy protection. Mr. Horwitz negotiated an agreement with the bankruptcy trustee over his superior right to the judgment, and was engaged by the bankruptcy trustee to collect the judgment. When sufficient assets were discovered to satisfy the judgment, Mr. Horwitz filed the necessary paperwork which brought the judgment debtor to the table. A small discount was given in order to secure immediate payment on the fee awards.

Katzir's Floor and Home Design, Inc., v. & Peter Sommer, (2004 9th Circuit) 394 F.3d 1143

Mr. Horwitz represented his client, as the purchaser of woodworking equipment, against the brokerage company, M-MLS, Inc., a Canadian company, that secured the equipment on behalf of Mr. Horwitz's client. The equipment manufacturer went out of business shortly after the suit was filed.

M-MLS's president, Peter Sommer, calculated that the expense associated with defending the company outweighed the risk associated with entry of judgment against a defunct company. So, in furtherance of his scheme to defraud Mr. Horwitz's client, M-MLS borrowed $50,000 from its accountant, and gave all of the company assets as security. Within three months, Sommer formed a "new" company, calling it M-MLS.COM, which would conduct the same type of business as his "old" company, M-MLS.

At the time Mr. Horwitz was having default entered against the old company, its accountant issued a demand for payment on the note. All of the company assets were sold, in a private, un-advertised sale, to a company owned by Sommer's wife. Sommer, himself, signed the Bill of Sale in favor of his wife's company. They thereafter transferred all of those assets to the "new" company, which then continued with business as usual, albeit under M-MLS.COM instead of M-MLS, and, without the weight of the judgment.

Mr. Horwitz, using theories of alter ego and successor liability, successfully pierced the corporate veil at the District Court level, adding Peter Sommer, individually, and his "new" company, M-MLS.COM, to the $1,600,000 judgment held against the "old" company, M-MLS, Inc. The Court of Appeal, in a published opinion, overturned the District Court's ruling on due process concerns.

Epstein v. Abrams, (1997, 2nd Dist., Div. 4) 57 Cal.App.4th 1159; 67 Cal.Rptr.2d 555,

Mr. Horwitz sought review of an order from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, which granted approval of a settlement and defeated his client's attorney's lien in a breach of a noncompetition agreement action between appellee veterinarians and appellant's former clients. Mr. Horwitz's client, a lawyer, represented a former client and client's business in an action for breach of a noncompetition agreement brought by appellee veterinarian. Appellant secured a summary judgment for the former client, and was awarded attorney's fees. After appellant filed and served his contractual attorney's lien, appellee and the former client, on behalf of his business, entered into a settlement agreement, which included the former client's agreement to execute a satisfaction of judgment for his attorney's fees and cost.

The trial court granted approval of the settlement, and appellant sought review. The court reversed. The validity of the attorney's lien was not before the court. Appellant properly brought a separate action to establish the existence, amount, and execution of the lien. The trial court exceeded its jurisdiction by approving the settlement pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 708.440 and it could not have had jurisdiction to approve the settlement under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 491.440(b). Reversal of the trial court's order merely entitled appellant to pursue his independent action on his attorney's lien.

The court, holding that the validity of the attorney's lien was not before the court and that appellant properly brought a separate action to establish the existence, amount, and execution of the lien, that the trial court had no jurisdiction under the judgment lien or attachment lien statutes to approve the settlement, and that the reversal of the trial court's order entitled appellant to pursue his separate action on his attorney's lien.

Hadi "Max" Falahati & Sharon Gilmour Falahati, v. John J. Savay & Janet S. Young

Mr. Horwitz represented the defendants Savay and Young in this jury trial. The parties were previously business partners. They had a falling out and were involved in an unrelated dispute. That dispute settled. Since the settlement of their underlying litigation, the Falahatis brought claims against Savay/Young based on slander, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium. The slander was based, in part, on a statement Mr. Savay allegedly made while in court on the underlying matter. The intentional infliction of emotional distress and the loss of consortium claims were based on the alleged slander and libel. Mrs. Falahati specifically alleges in her complaint that she had "an active sexual relationship" prior to the alleged slander and libel. She claims that the distress caused by the alleged slander and libel have caused her to stop having sex with Mr. Falahati. Mr. Horwitz was able to secure a defense verdict on behalf of his clients. A polling of the jury showed a verdict in the defendants' favor by 12-0 on all causes of action.

Blair v. Jo Jo's Limousine Service

Mr. Horwitz represented a pedestrian who was struck by a limousine at the departure level of the Los Angeles International airport. The pedestrian was knocked backwards and to the ground. He suffered nerve impingement which prevented him from participating in his daily activities, including running and working out. The case was submitted to binding arbitration before the Hon. Margaret Gringon, (ret) at the Alternate Resolution Center. An award in favor of Mr. Horwitz's client was issued in the amount of $95,000.

Heidi Hutchinson Apple v. Jeffrey Apple & Emergent Media

Mr. Horwitz represented Jeffrey Apple in 4 lawsuits involving Heidi Apple, Jeff's ex-wife. In the first case, Heidi, named as guardian ad litem of their minor child, sued Jeff, claiming that he misallocated money from an injury settlement awarded to their minor child. That case did not get out of the pleading stage and was dismissed in Jeff's favor. Heidi appealed, and, after the matter had been fully briefed, and oral argument made, the Court of Appeal upheld the trial court's decision in favor of Jeffrey. [Los Angeles Superior Court case number BP 060630 In Re: Dylan Apple Trust Dated September 10, 1999. Second District Court of Appeal Case Number B164076]

In the next case, Heidi, acting as her own attorney, sued Jeffrey on a "Marvin v Marvin" type claim based on pre-marital promises. She pled causes of action for breach of contract, constructive trust, fraud, deceit, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conversion. Mr. Horwitz was successful in getting that case dismissed at the pleading stage. Heidi did not appeal. [Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC 297845 Heidi Apple v. Jeffrey Apple, and Does I through X, inclusive,]

Heidi's third action with Jeffrey was for dissolution of marriage. Mr. Horwitz does not practice family law, so that case was handled by a different attorney.

In the fourth action, Heidi was the plaintiff in a suit against Jeffrey, both of his parents, two of his limited liability companies, and an attorney who formed the companies, base on claims of negligence, professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, constructive trust, accounting and fraud. Mr. Horwitz represented Jeffrey and his parents. He was again successful in getting that case dismissed at the pleading stage. Costs of suit were awarded to Mr. Horwitz's client. [Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC 305769 entitled Heidi Apple v. Jeffrey Apple; Emergent Media, LLC; Apple-Emergent Media, LLC; Standard Blender & Schwarz, LLP; Gary N. Schwarz; Arthur Apple; Dorothy Apple, and Does 1 Through 100, Inclusive,]

In the fifth action with her estranged husband, Heidi, claiming a 50% interest in Apple Entertainment, used the corporate vehicle as the plaintiff in an action against Jeffrey alleging breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The gist of the claims were that Jeff wrongfully transferred assets out of the company. That case was also dismissed in the pleading stage, with costs awarded to Jeffrey. Heidi, acting as her own attorney, filed a Notice of Appeal but the appeal was dismissed under Rule 17(a)(1) when she failed to file the required documents. [Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC327103 entitled Apple Entertainment, LLC v. Jeffrey Apple, an Individual; Emergent Media, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company; Apple-Emergent Media, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company; and Does 1 Through 100, Inclusive.; Second District Court of Appeal Case Number B188628.]

Doe Company v. Roe Manufacturer

Mr. Horwitz represented the purchaser of highly specialized filtration equipment. When the ultra violet light bulbs failed, the filtration equipment became useless. There was no warning that the bulbs had failed, and they failed multiple thousand hours sooner than their warranted life span. The case settled for $225,000.

Doe Pedestrian v. Roe Building Owner

Mr. Horwitz represented a pedestrian who slipped and fell on a wet marble entryway to an office building. Mr. Horwitz's client was diagnosed with a comminuted, depressed fracture of his left lateral tibial plateau. He underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery to repair his tibia. A Synthes 6-hole lateral tibial plateau plate with allograft bone were implanted into his left leg. Despite there being a significant issue with regard to liability, the case settled for $200,000.

Doe Passenger v. Roe Driver

Mr. Horwitz represented the front seat passenger in a single vehicle accident. The defendant driver was driving too fast for conditions, and when her Cadillac Escalade hit an icy patch upon exiting a turn in the road, the Escalade rolled onto its side, and careened into a tree. The force of the impact crushed the roof line down into the passenger compartment. The driver was unbelted, and fell into the passenger's lap. The roof crushed into the driver. Due to the remoteness of the accident location, the driver and passenger waited for over 4 hours before help arrived. The driver expired from crush injuries while on the passenger's lap. The passenger settled his case against the driver's insurance company for $195,000.

Doe v. Roe Delivery Corporation

Following an accident caused by a package delivery company driver who ran a red light and "t" boned a taxi-cab, killing the taxi-cab driver, Mr. Horwitz filed suit on behalf of the decedent's family. The defendant driver was terminated three days after the accident based on his failure to pass a mandatory drug screen. After a mediation where Mr. Horwitz provided evidence that the delivery company failed to follow its internal hiring procedures, failed to test its drivers, failed to screen its new hires, failed to maintain the proper licenses and permits, failed to supervise its drivers and failed to follow post-accident reporting procedures as mandated by the FTSB, the delivery company offered Mr. Horwitz's clients $1 million. On Mr. Horwitz's advice, his clients turned down the offer of $l million. Two days later they were offered and accepted $1,500,000. The decedent was in his late 50's, earning less than $40,000 per year.

Schneider v. Katzir Floor and Home Design, Inc.

In 1997, Mr. Horwitz represented the defendant corporation against the plaintiff's claims of negligence and strict liability and claims of loss of consortium brought by the plaintiff's wife. The plaintiff fell off scaffolding at a job site and was impaled on a wrought iron fence below. The court denied Mr. Horwitz's Motion for Summary Judgment, but reversed itself after entertaining Mr. Horwitz's Motion for Reconsideration. The plaintiffs appealed, but the Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's grant of Summary Judgment in favor of Mr. Horwitz's client, effectively dismissing the plaintiffs' complaint. A cross-complaint brought by the scaffolding company against Mr. Horwitz's client was similarly dismissed.

Devore v. Massachusetts Casualty

In this case, Mr. Horwitz acted as second chair for defense counsel against a dentist who claimed that he could no longer practice dentistry because he suffered from chronic daily migraine headaches. The disability carrier refused to pay insurance proceeds on the ground the dentist had made misrepresentations in his application and because it challenged the extent of the dentist's disability. Recognizing the potential exposure, the disability carrier settled for $1.5 million during jury deliberations.

Plastic Dress Up Company v. Gerber

In a suit based on breach of contract, a Motion for Summary Judgment was granted against Mr. Horwitz's client, dismissing its claims. Mr. Horwitz brought a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied. On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the lower court, ruling in favor of Mr. Horwitz's client. The case settled thereafter for the full amount requested.

Wagstaff v. Farmers Insurance

In 1999, Mr. Horwitz represented a pedestrian who was hit by a speeding vehicle. The defendant driver paid its minimum policy limits to Mr. Horwitz's client. Mr. Horwitz then made a claim for underinsured motorist benefits under his client's policy. The insurance company offered $2,500 in full and final settlement of the claims by its insured. Mr. Horwitz successfully negotiated a total settlement package of $271,000 from his client's insurance company.

In a related case, Mr. Horwitz represented the pedestrian's wife and minor child for claims of loss of consortium and a Dillon v Legg type emotional distress claim. Based on Mr. Horwitz's advise, his clients turned down an offer of $11,500 to settle both claims. Later, at a mediation, Farmers reduced its offer to $1,500. A binding arbitration award was entered in favor of Mr. Horwitz's client in the amount of $25,000 to the minor child, and $50,000 to the pedestrian's wife.

Doe Claimant v. Roe Bank

In 2000, Mr. Horwitz filed suit against Roe Bank for invasion of privacy and breach of contract. Roe Bank sent Mr. Horwitz's client's bank statements to a third party without consent. After examining these statements, the third party broke off its previously lucrative relationship with Mr. Horwitz's client. After a mediation, Mr. Horwitz's client settled its claims against the bank for $225,000.

Doe Claimant v. Corporation

In 2000, Mr. Horwitz represented a products distributor against a nationally recognized "dot corn" company for breach of an exclusive distribution agreement. Mr. Horwitz's client claimed it had fulfilled its significant obligations under the agreement, when, for no reason, the company refused to use its services and failed to make the contractually agreed payments. Mr. Horwitz settled the case for $175,000. Three weeks after receiving the settlement funds, the company closed down.

ASPC v. Marshall

In 2001, Mr. Horwitz represented the plaintiff on causes of action for breach of contract and for monies owed based on professional services rendered. After mediating the matter Mr. Horwitz's client settled its claims for $137,000.

Jane Doe v. Keystone

Mr. Horwitz represented a female who walked off a step in a child's playground, suffering a broken leg. Keystone defended the case on the basis that it was not liable for the injuries, that the step was open and obvious, that the play structure was built to code and that one step was not inherently dangerous. Mr. Horwitz presented evidence that the original architect had walked off the job citing safety concerns during the building of the playground structure. Mr. Horwitz also produced the original architectural plans which called for a level surface at the site of the step down, with proposed testimony from the engineer that a concern for heightened safety at the child's play area lead him to design the playground without a step down. The case settled after a second day of mediation for $135,000.

Logudice v. Continental C. Express

In 1997, Mr. Horwitz won a jury verdict in an auto versus 18 wheel truck accident. Mr. Horwitz's client, who managed a car wash, claimed neck and back injuries as a result of the accident. The defendants disputed liability and damages. Defendants had two sub-rosa video tapes of the plaintiff washing cars after the accident. Mr. Horwitz was successful in withholding the more damaging video tape from the jury. Mr. Horwitz's client received a verdict of $126,000. This verdict was upheld after oral argument before the Court of Appeals.

Doe Family Trust v. Roe Securities Company

In 2001, Mr. Horwitz settled a case by way of mediation against a securities firm for his client's family trust. The broker had, contrary to written instructions, placed the retired clients into unsuitable mutual funds. Mr. Horwitz also presented claims based on churning/excessive trading and a violation of the "know your client" rules. The case settled for $120,000.

Plastic Dress-Up Company v. Applied Membrane Technology

Mr. Horwitz represented the plaintiff in a breach of warranty action based on the purchase of large manufacturing equipment. The binding arbitration resulted in an award slightly in excess of $100,000 to Mr. Horwitz's client.

Prudential Property & Casualty Co. v. Barragan

In 1998, Mr. Horwitz represented C&C Adjusting Co., as a cross-defendant on causes of action for breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation and as a cross-complainant on causes of action for breach of contract and money owed. After a 6 day trial, Mr. Horwitz's client was granted a defense verdict on the cross-complaint filed against it, and was awarded the full amount requested on its cross-complaint. An appeal by the defendant / cross-complainants was dismissed and Mr. Horwitz's client was paid in full.

Soll v. Simon

In 1995, Mr. Horwitz brought an action for breach of contract on behalf of his client. He also defended a cross-complaint arising out of the same transaction against his client. After a 5 day trial, Mr. Horwitz's client was awarded the full amount sought on its complaint, and was awarded a defense verdict on the cross-complaint.

Pastor v. ERI International

In 1997, Mr. Horwitz represented several defendants against claims brought in the United States District Court, Southern District. The plaintiff filed claims seeking relief for: a permanent injunction and claims based on the Sherman Act, 5 U.S.C. §1-7 (Conspiracy), 1996 Espionage Act 18 U.S.C. §1832 (Stealing secrets), and malicious destruction of business (Business and Professions Code §17045-17048). Mr. Horwitz successfully convinced the Court to dismiss the plaintiffs case as to all defendants on a motion made under Federal Rule 12(b)(6).

Like Us on Facebook
Join Us on Linkedin
View Mobile Friendy Site

Copyright © 2018 Martin L. Horwitz, P.C. | DISCLAIMER

Website created by Edward Boot.