Defended Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. against $250 million "lender liability" damage claims by failed auto dealer group and prevailed with $40 million judgment against the dealer.
San Francisco Superior Court. Jury returned a complete defense verdict for national mortgage loan servicing company after multi-week trial. Plaintiffs sought $3.5 million dollars in damages for negligent misrepresentation and concealment.
Prevailed on motion for summary adjudication in defense of client-bank, resulting in dismissal of claim brought pursuant to the Unlawful Fraudulent Transfer Act and involving allegations seeking to void real estate transaction involving property valued in excess of $1,500,000.
Obtained a private arbitration award in favor of a national bank. Plaintiffs filed a complaint for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty based on the claim that the bank had failed to provide necessary investment advice. Plaintiffs sought $4.6 million in damages. After transferring the case to arbitration, Mark Lonergan and Mark Wraight successfully convinced the arbitrator to dispose of the breach of fiduciary duty claims. And after a hearing on the remaining negligence claim, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the bank and against the claimant.
United States District Court, Northern District of California. Partial summary judgment granted for national bank in "faithless bookkeeper" case where plaintiff sought $5 million on claims for breach of contract and aiding and abetting embezzlement by plaintiff’s Chief Financial Officer. The Court significantly reduced that amount of plaintiff's claim by applying the relevant one-year statute of limitations for forged checks and the one-year preclusion rule under the Commercial Code for checks bearing unauthorized signatures.
Settled a nationwide class action brought against a national bank in federal court. Plaintiffs had alleged that home equity lines of credit were improperly reduced or restricted.
Shasta County Superior Court. Summary adjudication granted for national bank on plaintiffs' claims for breach of contract, slander of credit, libel, negligence, wrongful dishonor, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs alleged that the bank damaged them by placing an extended hold on a deposited item in violation of Reg CC.
Settled a multidistrict class action litigation brought against a national bank in federal court. Plaintiffs had challenged the assessment and collection of overdraft fees.
Handled all aspects of trial level litigation in elder abuse and predatory lending action against client-bank (Das v. Bank of America, N.A. (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 727) resulting in successful demurrers leading to dismissal and assisted with drafting of appellate brief in successful opposition to corresponding appeal.
Defense of a national bank in a nationwide class action alleging that “captive” reinsurance of private mortgage insurance violates RESPA.
Represented national mortgage lender in unfair business practice class action contesting lender’s right to charge more than actual cost for loan fees and services. Successful defense by summary judgment.
Representing major financial institution in multi-district litigation regarding checking account overdraft fees.
Santa Clara County Superior Court. Jury returned a complete defense verdict for national mortgage loan servicing company on plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to claims of wrongful foreclosure and improper credit reporting. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to furnish accurate information about her mortgage account. She sought $5 million in damages.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiffs sued national bank for Commercial Code violations, fraud, breach of contract, and civil conspiracy arising from the handling of a jointly payable check. Plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages. After a six-week trial, jury returned a complete defense verdict as to one plaintiff, and a defense verdict on five of six claims as to the second plaintiff.
Representation of nation's largest mortgage banker in massive multi-district litigation involving fraudulent origination of second mortgage pools serviced by the client.
Obtained court order dismissing client-financial institution from lawsuit and interpleading funds in excess of $1,500,000.
Won a defense verdict for a national bank in a jury trial in San Benito County. Mark D. Lonergan and Mark I. Wraight, assisted by Michael J. Steiner and Joshua E. Whitehair, obtained a judgment in favor of the bank after the close of Plaintiff’s case. Plaintiff was challenging the bank’s right to foreclose and sought millions of dollars in damages.
Served as national counsel to a consumer credit reporting agency reporting on consumer deposit account experience and defended numerous lawsuits brought pursuant to FCRA and state law corollaries.
Private Arbitration. Obtained complete defense award in favor of private bank division of national bank on claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty arising from a commercial real estate investment gone wrong. Claimant sought $4.6 million dollars alleging private bank had failed to provide necessary investment advice and mishandled cashier's checks in connection with his bid to acquire a hotel property.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national bank. Plaintiff sued the bank for common law negligence and violations of the Commercial Code based on allegations that the bank allowed unauthorized withdrawals from a deposit account.
Represented GSE lender in providing and documenting multi-billion dollar lines of credit to moneycenter banks secured by mortgage loans and bonds secured by mortgage loans.
Alameda County Superior Court. Jury returned a complete defense verdict for national bank on plaintiff's claims for fraud, gross negligence, and wrongful dishonor under the Commercial Code. Plaintiff claimed the bank’s alleged misconduct destroyed his textile-import business and sought $34 million in damages.
Alameda County Superior Court. Summary Judgment granted for national mortgage servicing company, investor, and trustee. Plaintiffs sued for wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, unfair business practices, and quiet title based on claims that the servicing company had breached forbearance and modification agreements.
Successfully opposed a California Department of Corporations' application for an asset freeze order against an international energy company.
Settled a contract and fraud action brought against directors and investors of a private corporation. Plaintiff had alleged that defendants failed to pay him certain proceeds from a merger transaction.
United States District Court, Central District of California. Summary Judgment granted for mortgage servicing company on plaintiff's claims relating to wrongful foreclosure.
Alameda County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national bank and two former employees of the bank’s private banking division. Plaintiff sued bank for financial elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence based on the claim that the bank failed to give proper advice about changes to testamentary documents. Plaintiff sought over $500,000 in compensatory damages.
Represented and obtained summary judgment for a major financial institution in a matter of first impression regarding interpretation of its deposit agreement provisions.
Represented national wholesale lender in loan fee disclosure class action. Successful defense of multiple class certification attempts leading to favorable settlement terms.
Represented major loan servicer in unfair business practices class action involving late reconveyance fees. Successful defense by summary judgment.
Represented national mortgage lender in nationwide class action involving the collection of various loans fees. Obtained dismissal of Consumer Legal Remedies Act and other claims at inception by demurer.
Current representation of major residential lender in facilitating settlements of real property partition, condemnation and civil forfeiture actions.
Represented automobile manufacturer in drafting contracts for relations with parts distributors and compliance with related UCC rights of sellers of goods.
Representation of financial institution in connection with documenting, negotiating and closing commercial real estate loan secured by property subject to IRC § 1031 tax-deferred exchange.
Represented lender in litigation and settlement of failed real estate construction development project financed by Mello-Roos bonds, including claims of bondholders, municipality, contractors and developer.
Participation in asset purchase and sale transaction representing seller.
Represented national mortgage lender in a heavily litigated elder abuse and predatory lending action involving multiple major lenders and loan servicers.
Represented a finance company in pursuit of $60,000,000.00 deficiency judgment and defense of cross-complaint by dealership group seeking over a hundred million in damages
Obtained summary Judgment victories in favor of a financial institution in wide ranging cases including in defense of a banker alleged to have participated in a ponzi scheme and in favor of a bank against a fidelity insurer on the doctrine of superior equities.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice at the pleadings stage of $900,000 commercial dispute regarding fraudulent withdrawals from corporate accounts.
Current representation of two major automotive lenders in documenting, negotiating and closing numerous construction loan transactions to Northern and Southern California automotive dealers.
Represented borrower in $400,000,000 mortgage loan secured by 126 properties located in seven different States.
Represented developer in securing California Public Utilities Commission approval of new public grade crossing of Peninsula Corridor tracks to serve major redevelopment project in San Francisco.
Represented flood control district in connection with relocation of railroad facilities required to implement flood control project.
Represented a major automobile manufacturer in the sale of its multiple building Southern California campus.
Represented lender in sale of defaulted commercial real estate loan to distressed asset investor.
Obtained summary judgment for lender in elder abuse action brought by family trustee.
Representing major financial institution in a series of UCC disputes regarding fraudulent banking transactions.
Successfully opposed a Writ of Mandate on venue and forum non conveniens issues in a highly contested fraud action while representing a major mortgage lender against a Texas mortgage broker.
Obtained favorable trial verdict in a highly contested real property and purported investment management fraud action.
Represented mortgage brokers in establishing employment and operating protocols and guidelines to maintain regulatory compliance.
Represented distressed asset investors in establishing and validating large distressed junior loan pool portfolios.
Defense of financial sector companies in state and federal RICO, securities fraud and unfair trade practices litigation based upon civil enforcement provisions in those statutes.
Litigation and resolution of extremely large and complex legal malpractice action involving numerous real estate financed transactions over a period of ten years.
Litigation of disputes involving D & O Insurance, and fidelity bond claims.
Prosecution, for a major mortgage banking firm, of a large fraudulent origination scheme involving officers of the company; related Director's and Officer's insurance claims and wrongful termination litigation.
Represented GSE lender to banks subject to FDIC receivership.
Represented automobile manufacturer in obtaining and documenting private label financing facilities from independent bank.
Represented automobile manufactorer in disputes with dealers under Sales and Service Agreements including termination of dealer agreements.
Represented mortgage warehouse lender in all aspects of preparing and documenting credit facilities secured by real estate secured loans.
Represented mortgage warehouse lender in all aspects of enforcing rights after default by mortgage bankers and liquidation of mortgage loan portfolios.
Represented borrower in luxury goods retail business workout loan defaults with lender and negotiate credit facility with new lender.
Represented shareholders in acquisition of company through Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.
Successfully mediated action involving claims of negligence and negligent misrepresentation against appraiser of residential property.
Secured dismissal in defense of consumer finance company in matter brought pursuant to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California’s Rosenthal Act.
Represented client in successful mediation of class action litigation involving wage and hour claims.
Defended auto manufacturer and lender in dispute arising under the Song-Beverly Act.
Defended small business-client in discrimination suit arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Fair Credit Reporting Act “Firm Offer of Credit” Litigation. Defense of consumer lenders in national and state class actions brought in Federal Courts in California and Illinois.
Successfully tried equitable issues of alter ego against corporate mortgage broker which resulted in very favorable settlement on behalf of lender.
Represented warehouse lender in pursuing title claims resulting from multi-million dollar real property flipping scheme on part of mortgage broker.
Obtained summary judgment in state court for lender on borrower claims of breach of oral contract not to foreclose, fraud and negligence.
Current representation of several major automotive lenders in facilitating commercial real estate secured loan transactions to Northern and Southern California automotive dealers.
Participation in several conduit loan transactions representing borrower acquiring major commercial office buildings and shopping centers, including formation of California and Delaware special purpose entities.
Representation of landlords of small office and retail developments in San Francisco and the Peninsula, including lease negotiation and review and advice regarding tenant relations.
Participation in planned development projects, including formation of homeowner associations and DRE approval.
Participation in project establishing parameters and loan documents for lender offering fractionalized loans to owners of tenancy in common interests.
Participation in securitized loan defeasance and loan assumption transactions representing sellers of commercial office buildings.
Representation of mortgage banking companies in a series of interrelated class actions involving pay off and reconveyance practices, including reconveyance fees, payoff statement fees and statutory lien releases penalties.
Represented a major automobile manufacturer in employment litigation.
Represented lender in litigation to recover amounts under defaulted loans, and defend claims of misrepresentation and slander.
Currently representing a national bank in a multidistrict class action litigation based on claims challenging the assessment and collection of overdraft fees.
Successfully defended directors and officers of a private corporation in a shareholder litigation based on allegations that common shareholders were “frozen out” by directors, management, and venture investors. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice.
Successfully defended directors and officers of a publicly traded technology company in a shareholder derivative action based on alleged stock option backdating. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice.
Represented an investment adviser at trial in a California Department of Corporations enforcement action.
Represented securities registered representative and securities broker-dealer in FINRA inquiry of alleged self-dealing resulting in no disciplinary action.
Represented an intermodal freight broker in a California Labor Commission independent contractor/employee misclassification action.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Summary Judgment granted for national bank on plaintiff's claims that the bank wrongfully converted (under the common law and Uniform Commercial Code) a large cashier’s check.
Santa Clara County Superior Court. Summary Judgment granted for national bank on plaintiff's claim that bank failed to comply with attachment order.
United States District Court, Northern District of California. Summary judgment granted for national mortgage servicing entity on plaintiffs' claims for intentional and negligent misrepresentation and promissory estoppel relating to allegations that defendant mishandled the loan modification and foreclosure forbearance processes.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national bank on plaintiff's claims for breach of contract and fraud arising from allegations that the bank improperly debited plaintiff's account to offset amounts owed.
Orange County Superior Court. Jury returned a complete defense verdict for individual defendant on claims of breach of contract, fraud, and negligence arising from alleged failure to disclose defects in a residential property transaction.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Motion for nonsuit granted in favor of national bank. Plaintiff was seeking $500,000 for property she claimed was wrongfully removed from her safe deposit box.
Alameda County Superior Court. Judgment entered for national bank on complaint and cross-complaint after a bench trial on a breach of warranty claim under Article 4 of the Commercial Code relating to a large check that had been altered by a fraudster.
San Benito County Superior Court. Obtained defense verdict for national bank after close of plaintiff's case during a jury trial. Plaintiff sought millions of dollars for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and financial elder abuse arising from alleged wrongful foreclosure.
Private Arbitraton. Obtained award in favor of national bank on claims relating to NSF and overdraft fees.
Stanislaus County Superior Court. Plaintiff sued national bank for negligence relating to former employee's alleged embezzlement of more than $500,000 from the corporate bank account. Mid-way through cross-examination of plaintiff's Chief Executive Officer the case settled.
Private Arbitration. Arbitrator entered award in favor of national bank. Claimant sought damages arising from alleged mishandling of deposit transaction.
Eastern District of California: Obtained favorable summary judgment order on issue of alleged fraud and unfair business practices arising from corporate assignment of deed of trust recorded after closing of securitized trust containing promissory note.
Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. A federal jury in San Francisco handed down a significant defense victory in a large multi-year patent lawsuit. The jury found that no patent infringement had taken place and declared that all patents in suit were invalid. Severson & Werson served as local counsel for the defendant, a prominent electronics company, lending their specialized local knowledge of the Northern District of California's busy patent docket to help achieve a major win for the client.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Obtained favorable appellate decision for defendant bank on res judicata grounds. Appellate court also agreed with defendant's position that it would be futile to grant further leave to amend plaintiff's complaint. Vaughn v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
California Court of Appeal, First District (San Francisco). Obtained favorable appellate decision for defendant bank on res judicata grounds. Appellate court agreed with defendant's position that California Civil Code 473 permitted trial court to grant relief from entry of default on its own motion. Tah v. US Bank, N.A.
California Court of Appeal, Second District (Los Angeles). Following briefing and oral argument, obtained favorable appellate decision for defendant bank in a contract action involving alleged breach of oral contract to modify plaintiff's mortgage loan. Appellate court endorsed defendant's position that alleged oral promise was unenforceable due to lack of consideration, and that plaintiff failed to state claim for promissory estoppel due to lack of detrimental reliance. Anderson v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
California Court of Appeal, First District (San Francisco). Following briefing and oral argument, obtained favorable appellate decision for defendant bank. Appellate court rejected plaintiffs' argument that defendant violated state foreclosure laws by failing to record a new notice of default after the bankruptcy court granted mortgage lender relief from the automatic stay. Monzo v. US Bank, N.A.
United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Summary judgment granted for national lending institution. Plaintiff sued lender based upon allegations of intercepted and misdirected notices regarding subject loan.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national bank. Plaintiff sued the bank for common law negligence and violations of the Commercial Code based on allegations that the bank allowed unauthorized withdrawals from a deposit account.
Won verdict in Alameda County Superior Court for a depository financial institution against allegation that consumer had never received funds on deposit in dormant Certificate of Deposit account.
Prevailed in bench trial in Contra Costa County Superior Court defending mortgage loan servicer against borrower's allegation that the servicer lacked standing and authority to conduct non-judicial foreclosure sale.
Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court for Eastern California for mortgage loan originator against borrower's allegation that originator violated TILA, RESPA, and state law by altering loan terms after loan was approved but prior to closing.
Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court for Northern California for mortgage loan originator against borrower's allegation that originator violated TILA where the disclosures provided at closing were flawed but later corrected.
Developed novel settlement to resolve case where mortgage lender's defective lien encumbering unimproved parcels conflicted with other liens. Pursuant to settlement agreement, lienholders worked together to foreclose, market, and successfully sell security for substantial mutual benefit.
Severson obtains unanimous LA jury verdict for PNC Bank in commercial finance trial. This was a complex case arising out of a failed low-income housing project and involving sophisticated tax credit syndication issues. In voir dire, several jurors in this Central Los Angeles Superior Court admitted mixed feelings (at best) about banks. Yet, after two weeks of trial and less than an hour of deliberation, a unanimous jury concluded that the Developer had failed to keep its commitments. They also soundly rejected claims that PNC Bank had waived its rights by tolerating past failures or by signaling the project’s failure before performance deadlines. Post-trial interviews showed the jurors to have a remarkably sophisticated grasp of the issues. The final Judgment was for in excess of $4.1 million, including 100% of the attorney fees requested by Severson.
Represented (and continues to represent) banks and finance company in over a dozen nationwide TCPA class actions, including the resolution of a $17.1 million settlement resolving claims of 5.7 million class members.
In a ruling of broad importance to class action practitioners, Mr. Troutman secured an order dismissing class claims where the named Plaintiff’s TCPA claims was mooted by a settlement offer. Overcoming the Fifth Circuit’s “relation back” rule using arguments from the Supreme Court’s recent Genesis decision, he successfully argued that the federal court lacked Article III standing to consider the claims of purported class members once the Plaintiff’s claims were mooted. The ruling represents the first time Genesis has been used outside of the FLSA context to secure the dismissal of a Rule 23 class.
Defended automobile finance company against $250 million "leaderliability" damage claims by failed auto dealer group and prevailed with $40 million judgment against dealer and guarantors.
Featured in the Daily Journal's Verdicts and Settlements for Motion for Summary Judgment victory for client involving Wrongful Foreclosure/Truth-in-Lending Act claims: Yaron Shaham, John B. Sullivan and Mary Kate Sullivan represented Nationstar Mortgage LLC and Aurora Bank FSB, based on an alleged wrongful foreclosure proceeding.
Represented MERS, Inc./Deutsche Bank National Trust Company Eminent Domain Court Trial Settled eve of trial. April 2014
San Diego Superior Court. After a two week trial, the jury rejected the multi-million dollar fraud and financial elder abuse claims of an elderly widower against a national mortgage loan servicing company. Instead of millions, the jury pointedly awarded Plaintiff only $523.14 - a statement of complete adoption, to the penny, of Severson's trial presentation.
Butte County Superior Court. Summary adjudication granted on plaintiff’s claims for wrongful foreclosure and quiet title. Plaintiff alleged numerous defects in the non-judicial foreclosure process, including improper securitization and recordation of title documents.
Sutter County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national mortgage loan servicer and investor on plaintiffs’ claims for promissory estoppel, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair business practices. Plaintiff-borrowers alleged that defendants failed to properly review them for a loan modification under HAMP guidelines, and breached the terms of a “trial payment plan” by not offering them a permanent modification.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Summary judgment granted for national bank on plaintiff’s claims that the bank improperly accepted nearly $1 million worth of jointly payable checks for deposit. Plaintiff brought claims for negligence, negligence per se, breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiffs sued national bank for allowing former bookkeeper to misappropriate nearly $2.3 million worth of checks over a 7 year period. The court granted defendant’s motion for summary adjudication – reducing potential damages to less than $200k.
Private Arbitration. Obtained award in favor of national bank on claims relating to NSF and overdraft fees.
Eric Troutman earned the nation’s first post-Genesis dismissal of a Rule 23 class based upon the mootness of a named representative’s claims.
The Court dismissed a suit in favor of Mr. Troutman’s client finding that the contours of “express consent” were broad enough to encompass instances where a customer received a text message after providing a cellular number as part of an online registration process.
Mr. Troutman and a team of Severson attorneys defeated a TCPA certification motion demonstrating that individualized inquiries swarmed common issues because “putative class members could have given consent by providing the cell phone number at the time of application, via a phone conversation with a customer service agent, via an email, via interface with the website, or during an in person field call by a skip trace agent.”
Mr. Troutman earned a stay of proceedings in favor of Wells Fargo in a class action based upon the FCC’s primary jurisdiction to determine the meaning of the phrase “called party” for purposes of the TCPA’s express consent exemption. Mr. Troutman subsequently travelled to Washington D.C. to personally meet with the FCC’s staff regarding the issue and to advocate for common sense clarifications that would help assure a uniform rule of law across the country.
In what may be the largest auto dealer finance case ever tried to jury verdict, Severson & Werson defended Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. against $250 million in “lender liability” damage claims by a failed auto dealer group and prevailed with a $40 million judgment against the dealer after 5 weeks of trial. Nissan reports that this is the largest judgment it has ever obtained. The trial team included Duane Geck, Mark Kenney, Eric Troutman and Drew Elliott.
Obtained summary judgment for national bank and its branch manager on plaintiff's claim for malicious prosecution. Although an earlier opinion from the California Court of Appeal found potential issues of fact, the trial court granted summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff was collaterally estopped from re-litigating probable cause.
Acted as first chair trial counsel representing a major loan servicer in a three-week jury trial of claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentation in San Francisco County Superior Court in 2013. Mr. Guzzetta obtained a unanimous jury verdict of not liable on both causes of action for the client, and obtained significant award of attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of the client. Mr. Guzzetta also obtained dismissal of the plaintiffs’ appeal of the attorneys’ fee award.
Acted as first chair trial counsel representing a major national bank in a jury trial of a claim for fraud in Sacramento County Superior Court in 2013. The jury returned a complete defense verdict, and Mr. Guzzetta obtained an award of attorneys’ fees and costs on the client’s behalf.
Acted as first chair trial counsel representing a major loan servicer in a court trial involving claims for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law in San Mateo County Superior Court in 2014. Mr. Guzzetta obtained a complete victory for the client when the Court granted his motion for non-suit.
Mr. Guzzetta obtained complete summary judgment of claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law on behalf of a major loan servicer in Sacramento County Superior Court in 2014.
Mr. Guzzetta has repeatedly obtained settlements in 2014 of cases brought against major financial institutions that involved dismissal with prejudice of the claims against the client in exchange for no payment by the client.