Served as Discovery Referee in a significant case between, among others, the City of Oakland and the Oakland Raiders concerning allegations that the City induced the Raiders to relocate from Los Angeles to Oakland and sign a long-term lease with the Oakland Coliseum Complex by misrepresenting the magnitude of season ticket sales. At the court’s suggestion, the parties stipulated to my appointment to review hundreds of documents that Defendants had withheld based on attorney-client and attorney work product privileges. The parties waived any limitation on my ability to review, in camera, documents claimed to be covered by the attorney-client privilege.
Partition and Sale of Family Business:
Served as a Partition Referee, under C.C.P. section 639, in the sale of a well-known family retail business that was formed in the 1940s. The family members were emotional, angry and did not agree to much. The case was further complicated by the discovery of contaminated underground tanks on the property that needed to be removed followed by a remediation plan for contamination of ground water. A geo-technical engineer performed the evaluation and secured the clearance from the city. The property was successfully sold.
Licensing Agreement Dispute:
Served as the arbitrator in this case involving a reseller’s agreement between two entities. Defendant was a licensed reseller of software. Over a period of ten years, Defendant relicensed the software to Plaintiff in a series of contracts that included pricing criteria. When the last relicensing agreement lapsed, the parties continued to do business month-to-month. When Defendant raised the price of the relicensing arrangement, Plaintiff sued, claiming the parties were operating under the previous contract. The dispute required a detailed evaluation of contract terms and a determination of whether the final contract remained in effect or terminated by its terms.
Withdrawal of Joint Ownership:
Served as binding arbitrator in this action wherein a joint owner of an office building announced an intention to engage an appraiser and withdraw from his ownership in the building. The owners’ agreement contained detailed rights and obligations in the event of withdrawal. Plaintiff claimed that the LLC’s rejection of the appraisal and failure to obtain its own appraisal breached the letter and spirit of the agreement and served as a waiver by the non-withdrawing owners.
Commercial Winery Partition:
Mediated this case which involved the partition of a well-known and successful winery in El Dorado County. Two couples owned the winery; the husbands were brothers. For several years, the parties attempted to negotiate various options regarding who would buy/sell the enterprise but had arrived at a complete impasse. The entire family was involved in the business, and all had reached their breaking points. Through successful mediation, the parties crafted a sale whereby one of the brothers purchased the interest of the other.