Civil Procedure

Procedural issues create many traps for the unwary: Irregularities in trial court proceedings or ambiguous verdicts may require a new trial; failing to raise an objection in the trial court can foreclose appellate review of an issue; a settlement that purports to preserve the right to appeal can moot the appeal. The list goes on and on. GMSR is experienced in spotting procedural defects and navigating nuances that can be dispositive on appeal. For that reason, trial counsel and clients often consult with GMSR’s appellate lawyers as a case progresses, in order to maximize their chances of success in an eventual appeal. GMSR’s appellate lawyers have also gotten appeals dismissed, revived litigation that should not have been dismissed, and successfully developed arguments for affirmance or reversal, all based on procedural issues.

GMSR’s client faced loss of her home on account of an unauthorized home equity loan from which she received nothing. Judgment for the lender reversed.

The issue on appeal was whether evidence of the homeowner’s execution of a written agreement with a third party ratified the third party’s previously unauthorized execution of a trust deed on her home.  Since a trust deed must be in writing, under the “equal dignities

FOROUGH ETELAEI, as Trustee, et al., v. FIRST GENERAL BANK (Cal. Ct. App., June 18, 2019, No. B287186) 2019 WL 2511405

The issue on appeal was whether evidence of the homeowner’s execution of a written agreement with a third party ratified the third party’s previously unauthorized execution of a trust deed on her home.  Since a trust deed must be in writing, under the “equal dignities

Court of Appeal affirms $3.9 million judgment on commercial guaranty, holding that federal law bars guarantor’s assertion of “sham guaranty” defense

Court of Appeal affirms $3.9 million judgment on commercial guaranty, holding that federal law bars guarantor’s assertion of “sham guaranty” defense.

Ninth Circuit grants GMSR’s motion to dismiss interlocutory appeal from discovery ruling

GMSR, representing the defendant seeking to take the deposition, moved to dismiss the appeal. The motion argued that Ninth Circuit case law precludes a party from appealing an interlocutory discovery ruling, and that the same rationale should apply to non-party IMS because its objections were identical to Valley’s.

Branca v. El-Amin (Cal.Ct.App., May 16, 2019, No. B282375) 2019 WL 2136114

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company. The Court of

Court of Appeal rejects claim that Michael Jackson gave away 15% of his business at a middle-of-the-night meeting

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company.

Himelsein Mandel Fund Management, LLC et al. v. Fortress Investment Group, LLC et al. (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 28, 2019, No. B281210) 2019 WL 1395963.

GMSR’s clients sued their lender for destroying their business by reneging on a promise to provide additional funding.  The lender cross-complained for an alleged $113 million deficiency following foreclosure on the security for its loans.  The trial court rejected the clients’ demand for a jury. 

Court of Appeal reverses denial of jury trial, refusing to apply New York law

GMSR’s clients sued their lender for destroying their business by reneging on a promise to provide additional funding.  The lender cross-complained for an alleged $113 million deficiency following foreclosure on the security for its loans.  The trial court rejected the clients’ demand for a jury. 

Pacific Western Bank v. Audio-Visual Entertainment, Inc. et al., No. B278122, and Pacific Western Bank v. Far Out Productions Inc., et al., No. B278076

GMSR’s client, a bank, sued borrowers and a guarantor to collect on long-outstanding loans. The borrowers and guarantor attempted to avoid liability by challenging the admissibility of the bank’s evidence of the loans, chain of title, and outstanding balance.  The trial court granted summary judgment

Court of Appeal affirms summary judgment entitling bank to collect on defaulted loans

GMSR’s client, a bank, sued borrowers and a guarantor to collect on long-outstanding loans. The borrowers and guarantor attempted to avoid liability by challenging the admissibility of the bank’s evidence of the loans, chain of title, and outstanding balance.  The trial court granted summary judgment

Who We Serve

PUBLIC ENTITIES

Whether on appeal, assisting trial counsel, or advising government officials contemplating legislative action, GMSR provides unique insight into the complex laws that impact public entities.

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INSURERS

Where coverage may exist, GMSR represents insureds on appeal effectively and efficiently. Where it does not, the firm protects insurers’ right to deny claims.

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BUSINESSES

GMSR offers corporate clients objective assessments on appeal, based on a deep understanding of the limitations and opportunities of appellate review.

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TRIAL COUNSEL

The firm’s lawyers are team players, collaborating with trial counsel at any level from legal strategy to writing or editing trial court motions and appellate briefs.

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INDIVIDUALS

GMSR vigorously advocates the rights of individual plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal appellate courts.

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