WE WANT YOU TO HEAR
OUR CLIENT'S STORIES

Whether solving clients’ problems or preventing them in the first place, Archer Norris attorneys focus on closing deals, securing favorable verdicts and eliminating the risks of litigation. Here are case stories of how we work with clients across California and in other parts of the country too.

 

Appellate

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Sequoia Insurance Co. Inc. Insurance bad faith, breach of contract Defense trial verdict upheld on appeal

Archer Norris defended insurer against bad faith and breach of contract claims made by insureds, who were also lawyers, seeking reimbursement for time assisting in own defense. CA First District Court of Appeal upheld trial court decision for Sequoia.

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Arntz Builders $9M, §910 claim requirement CA First District Court of Appeal reversed decision in client’s favor

Our client sought $9M payment due for building the City of Berkeley library. The City disputed payment, cited client’s failure to file a §910 claim. We won before 1st District Court of Appeal, overturned trial court decision and cleared Arntz to collect payment.

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Real estate appraiser Arbital immunity for appraiser Dismissal of claim, upheld on appeal, CA Supreme Ct rejected review

Represented real estate appraiser involved in fire insurance claim and related allegations of liability to parties involved in arbitration. We dismissed claims at trial with arbital immunity argument. Upheld on appeal and CA Supreme Court rejected review of case.  

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Summit View Contractor liability, Privette/Toland Summary judgment affirmed on appeal

Argued application of Privette/Toland doctrine for our contractor client alleged to have affirmatively contributed to subcontractor injuries. Won summary judgment and appellate court upheld decision in published decision.

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Business

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Peninsula Healthcare District New community hospital Negotiated new hospital deal, prevailed in public protest and appeal

We guided Peninsula Healthcare District through complex negotiations and public hearings leading to construction and operation of a new hospital in Burlingame. We managed a successful multi-front legal attack which included multiple appellate court decisions.

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Marin Healthcare District & General Hospital Community control of hospital Community gained control of Marin General Hospital

Archer Norris attorneys represented the Marin Healthcare District, and then Marin General Hospital, in the successful transfer of the hospital from Sutter Health to local community control.

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National Cooperative Bank Client struggling to recover its security interests after a hardware store declared bankruptcy. Bench trial victory

Plaintiff sued our client, alleging that the client’s security interest in the store’s inventory made them a trespasser on the owner’s property. Our attorneys’ precise and well thought out examination not only led the judge to rule in favor of our client, but also was cost-efficient for our client.

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Compass Product Design Breach of contract and business tort Bet the company threat shut down; Complete client financial victory

Compass Product Design’s client terminated a contract and sought recovery hefty enough to shut it down.  In binding arbitration, we secured  contract payment, incentive bonuses and attorney fees, and eliminated the company-threatening risks.

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High net worth family business Family harmony, $100M Solid waste company sold in $100M deal, family happier and wealthier

Represented owners of a family-held regional solid waste company, acquired by a  publicly traded corporation, in a $100M+ deal.  We managed complex issues of next generation succession planning, financing and valuations while preserving family relationships. 

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NorCal real estate developer Privately held developer gets back Into development after the crash – with leverage Negotiated financial workout, developer started fresh w/ new co.

A  Northern California real estate developer was so saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars of guaranteed debt, his business halted. Archer Norris crafted a financial workout that ultimately allowed the developer to start a new business free of legacy debt. 

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Employment

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Auto part supplier employer Violent employee’s Workers' Comp claim Restraining order and defense trial win for employer

Benign auto accident injuring employee of auto part supplier turned into a Workers' Comp compounded by claims of Labor Code violations and threats of violence by employee. We secured police protection, restraining order and trial victory for employer. 

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Former Jamba Juice CEO Financial security, tax liabilities Obtained favorable severance, vested options, with strapped company

Archer Norris team negotiated separation agreement and amicable departure of former Jamba Juice CEO Paul Clayton. Negotiated with struggling company to resolve tax challenges. Equitable settlement included $525,000 severance and vested stock options and grants.

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Environment & Natural Resources

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Stucco manufacturer Asbestos injury claims Defense verdict obtained, costs contained, future threats shut down

Archer Norris defended a leading stucco manufacturer in injury claims based on exposure to raw asbestos. Our trial experts disproved junk science in popular asbestos theories. We also used proprietary cost-containment technology. Jury delivered a defense verdict.  

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Building owner $100M, Legionnaires’ Disease claims Case dismissed, after hung jury and request for directed verdict

We defended a LA office building owner against claims of injury from Legionella bacteria, mold and 17200 violations. Refuted causation theories, focused on science in six-month trial. Hung jury led to our winning request for directed verdict dismissing case.

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Building owner and management Jury sides with defense experts, rejects mold caused injuries The Archer Norris defense team prevailed and obtained a defense verdict at the three-month trial

Defended building owner/manager in allegations of mold from leaky roof caused plaintiffs' asthma. Presented compelling expert trial testimony debunking mold-illness causation, secured defense verdict. Case nominated for Trial of the Year in Alameda County.

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Insurance

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Sequoia Insurance Company Whether insurer had duty to defend an insured not acting in an insured capacity Judge granted Insurer’s Motion for Nonsuit

Sequoia and the insured agreed that Sequoia would defend and indemnify only its named insured and the company President in a lawsuit.  After doing so, Sequoia was then sued because it did not defend and indemnify the President in his individual—non-insured—capacity.  The court granted Sequoia’s Motion for Non-Suit at the close of Plaintiff’s case.

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SuperShuttle $850K injury claim $2K jury award to plaintiff, Defense awarded costs

Our client, Super Shuttle admitted liability in a fender bender injuring a pregnant passenger. She claimed premature birth among a slew of injuries and demanded $850K.  We whittled down her injury claims pre-trial. Jury awarded her $2K, we won costs for our client.

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Insurance company Breach of contract/ insurance bad faith Engineer expert helps insurer's win

Our client, an insurer, denied a property owner’s claim for damage caused by a fallen brick wall. We tried the case and our engineering experts exposed the poor design of the wall and its weak foundation, which ultimately resulted in a defense verdict.

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Fire Insurance Exchange Insurance company avoids paying stipulated judgment in Rooney elder abuse case Judge ruled insurance company does not have to pay $2.8M stipulated judgment

Fire Insurance Exchange (FIE) sued Rooney’s conservator seeking declaratory judgment that it has no duty to pay any part of the $2.8M stipulated judgment entered against FIE’s insured, Rooney’s stepson Christopher Aber. Judge agreed that FIE has no obligation to indemnify the conservator or the Rooney estate.

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1535 Carla Ridge of Louisiana, LLC Alleged grading and building height violations related to construction of luxury home in Beverly Hills Court denied Plaintiff’s Petition for Writ of Mandate

Plaintiff Rose Cheung claimed that the City of Beverly Hills improperly approved 1535 Carla Ridge of Louisiana, LLC’s construction of a luxury home that obstructed her views, and she sought to have the new home torn down. At trial, the Court denied Plaintiff’s Petition for Writ of Mandate.

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Litigation

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
AECOM Technology Corporation and URS Corporation Design of a water diversion facility dam Santa Clara jury reached unanimous verdict in favor of clients

Plaintiff Monterey County Water Resources Agency alleged that defendants AECOM and URS failed to properly design the downstream erosion protection at the Salinas River Water Diversion Facility resulting in extensive erosion damage. After a day of deliberation the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on Plaintiff’s breach of contract and negligence claims.

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Brother in family estate fight Distribution $1.5M trust, family harmony Tension diffused, house sold fairly, siblings peacefully settled

Client and sister disputed their father’s $1.5m trust. Claims of toward fraud and elder abuse made.  We eased tensions and untangled legal issues, including the sale of a residence, to reach a peace-making settlement on the eve prior to a probate court petition.

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Frontier Hot Oil, LLC Breach of contract sours acquisition Winning verdict in a six day trial in Fort Collins, Colorado

Jury returned a verdict in favor of our client on its breach of contract cause of action awarding more than $195K in damages. Court subsequently awards $750K in fees and costs plus sanctions.

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Marin Healthcare District Breaches of transfer agreement in ownership change Final arbitration award increased to $34 M+

Following its return to community control and protracted arbitration over reserve funds, hospital clears procedural hurdles to receive larger award

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MasterCraft Boat Company Duty to defend, boating accident Court rules indemnity agreement precludes client’s duty to defend

Injuries from boating accident resulted in claims against several defendants including our client, the boat manufacturer. Obtained favorable court ruling that indemnity agreement did not prescribe for duty to defend; implications for Toyota recall cases

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Marin Healthcare District Fiscal fight in ownership change $21.5 M arbitration award restores hospital funds

After getting the hospital back to its local community, we successfully regained lost funds taken during transition.

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National Fraternities CA social host immunity laws First class action dismissed, Greek tradition upheld

Town v. Gown on steroids. Berkeley residents’ drinking and nuisance claims became a first-ever class action lawsuit against a frat. Archer Norris defended group of 25 national fraternities and shut down the large-scale threat to Greek social traditions.

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Lender Lender foreclosure sale, $1M+ Denied borrower motion for preliminary injunction enjoining sale

We opposed a borrower motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining a
lender foreclosure sale. Plaintiffs had borrowed $1M+, said foreclosure improper and obtained a TRO. We argued in federal court, got TRO dissolved and denial of Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

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National general contractor $20.7M verdict, injury claims New trial delivers lower $8M verdict, slashing client's liability

Archer Norris retried a case that previously resulted in a $20+M verdict for an injured decking worker. In our retrial, we emphasized subcontractor’s role and secured a verdict of $8M and dramatically reduced liability for contractor client.

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New food manufacturer $2M, corporate poaching, defamation Defeated Sunkist's $2M demand, secured $1M punitive damages verdict

Clients faced $2M in claims alleging conversion of corporate assets and taking corporate customers from former employer. We defeated Sunkist's $2M demand, counterclaimed and obtained $1M punitive damages verdict, upholding new company’s reputation and future.

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On Call Trial Counsel

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Acevedo Trucking Catastrophic injury claim Unanimous defense verdict

Our client, Acevedo Trucking, was sued for negligence after a motorcyclist lost his leg in a traffic accident. Despite the odds and obtaining the case just before trial began, we were able to turn the case around and the jury unanimously returned a defense verdict, finding client not negligent.

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Heritage Service Corp. Allegations of defective regulators and propane delivery equipment subject to manufacturer’s recall; unfair business practices. Plaintiffs’ claims were rejected and damages were awarded to our client

Plaintiffs Charles and Claudia Wright, owners of a mobile home park, claimed our Client negligently maintained the propane distribution system in the park and supplied defective propane regulators. After a three month trial, the jury delivered a defense verdict.

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Alameda County, Alameda County Flood Control District Property damage Complete defense jury verdict

Property owners brought action against several public entities, alleging their property was damaged as a result of a landslide. Experts demonstrated longstanding geological instability and that the other factors had no effect on slide area. In the face of a $2.5 million settlement offer, the jury returned the defense verdict in just two hours.

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Foster Farms Wrongful death claim Complete defense jury verdict

A contract rancher for Foster Farms was fatally injured when a tractor flipped over on top of her while trying to tow the defense's driver. Plaintiff argued our driver was negligent and submitted a settlement demand for $6 million before the jury verdict for the defense.

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Foster Farms Raw chicken meat eliminated as cause of illness Defense jury verdict

Plaintiff Ruth Rivera claimed that Foster Farms’ raw chicken meat contained Campylobacter, a bacteria that triggered her Guillain-Barré Syndrome, making her partially paralyzed, with permanent significant residuals. After a short deliberation, jury delivered a defense verdict.

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Foster Farms In an admitted liability case, Plaintiff demanded too much money to settle, so the case went to trial. Trial victory for less than the statutory settlement offer(s) makes our client the prevailing party, entitled to recover defense costs.

Plaintiff refused to accept CCP 998 settlement offer(s) in an admitted liability personal injury case.  Trial attorney successfully excluded evidence of future medical expenses and convinced the jury plaintiff was not as badly injured as claimed.  Because the jury award was less than settlement offers, our client is the prevailing party entitled to recover defense costs.

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Bart Murphy and Murphy Investments Tenant harassment and habitability lawsuit Defense verdict in highly contentions, 26-day jury trial

Defended a comprehensive lawsuit seeking treble damages under San Francisco’s punitive Rent Ordinance. The jury dismissed plaintiff’s harassment claim, found no evidence of bad faith, and awarded a defense victory.

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Atkinson Contractors, LP Client sued for negligence in a catastrophic single-vehicle accident. By a 10-2 verdict, jury found in favor of our client.

Our client served as a General Contractor for a part of the California freeway. Plaintiff attributed the catastrophic accident to the water pooling on the freeway. The jury found our client not responsible for the accident and delivered a verdict in our favor.

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Food Processor $3.2M product liability claim involving food-borne illness The jury found our product not defective and the court found Prop. 51 applied to the verdict.

Our client was accused of providing tainted beef to a grinder, causing an eight-year old boy to contract a severe case of food-borne illness. The jury found our client's product was not defective, and their liablility was limited to another minor point in the amount of $71,040.

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Cox Petroleum driver Vehicular death Defense jury verdict

Our client was sued for negligence in an accident that killed a bystander. The jury found our client not negligent by a vote of 9-3, and stated that all 12 felt that the driver's negligence was not a substantial factor in the injury.

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Sponsor, facility owner, project manager, and manufacturer $2.4M in damages and $250K for loss of consortium Actual damages well below pre-trial offer

The plaintiff claimed a stadium slide was defectively designed, manufactured and installed, and that the slide was negligently operated. The jury found that the slide was not defective, but found both parties partially negligent.

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Specialty chemical supplier $5.6M, Attorney fees Defense verdict, fees awarded on appeal

Our client, a specialty chemical supplier, was accused of tainting 20 million cans of fruit, and claimed $5.6M in damages. Jury found for our client on 3 of 4 counts, and no net money owed on the fourth. Reversed trial court denial of attorney fees on appeal.

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Product Liability

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Sears Client sued for negligence in single-vehicle accident Jury found client to be negligent, but that the negligence was not a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s harm.

Our client serviced and changed the tires on plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff lost control of his vehicle, and claimed that our client’s negligence caused the accident. The jury found our client to be negligent, but not responsible for plaintiff’s harm.

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Commercial refrigeration manufacturer Product liability claim eliminated as cause of fire Defense jury verdict

An iconic Nevada building burned to the ground, and fire origin experts concluded the fire started within a freezer manufactured by our client. We discredited expert testimony, resulting in a defense verdict after a 30-minute jury deliberation.

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Real Estate & Land Use

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Brelle West Construction Management Corporation and Restoration Damages for construction defects, rental losses and related business losses. Defense jury verdict

Plaintiff, a developer of commercial properties, sued defendant, a general contractor, for $5 million in damages for construction defects, rental losses and related business losses. After a seven week trial, jury delivered a defense verdict.

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Sheppard Concrete Construction Homeowner’s Claims of Defective Construction Work Defeated Defense jury verdict

Owner of luxury residence in Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles claimed that defective foundation system installed by our client allowed water and vapor into home and required the complete tear down and rebuild of the home.  Plaintiff alleged that their damages exceeded $12 million.  After 67 days of trial and three days of deliberations, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of our client on all counts.

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CA Construction $750K, breach of contract, negligence Total defense jury verdict for client

Owner-builder of custom home sued our client, CA Construction, for construction defect, breach of contract, negligence and contractor licensure issues. Damage demand was $750K.  We obtained a jury verdict in favor of our client on all actions. 

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Residential home developer Kern River 520-acre development Defused opposition, obtained project approval, increased govt. support

Despite approval by the City Council, our developer client found strong opposition to its plan to develop homes, commercial space, parks and trails on a 520-acre Kern River property. We led a strategic team that defused hostility into clearance for development. 

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Publicly-traded residential developer Sale/acquisition of development project Successful sale of project created new client opportunities

 Our client, a publicly-traded residential developer, was selling a 500-lot project and authorized us to inquire if another Archer Norris client, a privately-held developer, was interested.  The developers’ deal closed and underscored our role as trusted advisors.

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Local business and property owners Prevent local airport closure Built coalition and winning arguments to keep airport open

Archer Norris represented local business interests when county officials and competing developers attempted to close a local airport. We worked with U.S. Congress, federal agencies, County Board of Supervisors and citizens' groups to keep airport open.

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Transportation

CLIENT AT ISSUE RESULT
Ford Motor Company Warranty claims, $400K costs Defense verdicts, Vacated sole plaintiff verdict, Zero costs award

In our trial defense for Ford Motor Co. on Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act issues related to its Excursion  model, we obtained a jury verdict on five of six counts, and a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the sixth.

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California Building Industry Assn CaI-OSHA provisions nondelegable duty Court sided with our arguments on principle of delegation

Filed amicus brief in CA Supreme Court on behalf of building industry in case clarifying split on a hirer's breach of a nondelegable statutory or regulatory duty and application of  Privette doctrine. Court sided with our arguments on principle of delegation.

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