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Recent Successes

Our firm has had success representing clients across California. Some of our more recent results include:

Six-Figure Award In A Dispute Between A Landlord And Their Tenant

In a high-stakes landlord-tenant dispute, obtained a defense arbitration decision that the tenant client was constructively evicted and entitled to a six-figure attorneys’ fees award against an aggressive landlord plaintiff who sued for unpaid rent after tenant client vacated.

$1 Million Judgment

Six-figure judgment after trial in favor of owner/developer client against a contractor arising out of the defective construction of a high-end, luxury residential project in Orange County. Contractor appealed judgment; successfully defeated appeal and thereafter obtained a settlement from contractor just shy of $1 million, inclusive of attorneys’ fees.

$37 Million In Punitive Damages

Obtained full defense verdict for a landlord in a four-week-long bench trial regarding an environmental alleged failure to disclose case where a tenant sought rescission of an eight-year lease and $37 million in punitive damages

$800,000 For An Unlawful Detainer Dispute

Awarded Summary Judgment for Possession and $800,000 in damages in an Unlawful Detainer Dispute against a national chain restaurant/entertainment venue tenant.

Breach Of Lease Six-Figure Settlement

Obtained high six-figure settlement on a breach of lease from a top 10 tech company. Prior to filing suit, the general counsel for the tech company adamantly refused any liability, however, after due diligence from obtained evidence that the assets of the tenant were purchased by the tech company.

One-Day Settlement Of Six Figures

Represented Landlord against a national law firm in a breach of lease lawsuit. Obtained mid-six-figure settlement, within one day of filing lawsuit, based on our filing of an ex-parte writ of attachment and temporary protective order to levy accounts receivable of the law firm. Multiple other landlords failed to obtain any monetary amounts from the national law firm.

Six-Figure Summary Judgment For Past-Due Rent Case

Awarded Summary Judgment for Possession and six-figure judgment in past-due rent in a highly contested Unlawful Detainer Dispute, where tenant was alleging that the business was also a residence, and that Landlord had to abide by the Ellis Act.

Breach Of Lease Against Regional Restaurant Chain

Represented Landlord in a breach of lease against a regional restaurant chain, only creditor to collect on judgment, prior to regional restaurant chain filing bankruptcy.

One Of Two Creditors To Obtain Award After Bankruptcy

Represented Landlord in a national Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of a consumer electronics and home appliance store, one of only two creditors (out of thousands) to obtain administrative rent for period after bankruptcy.

Collection On Judgment Against Medical Marijuana Grower

Represented Landlord against a medical marijuana grower, who had defaulted on a warehouse lease in Nevada. As the Tenant did not have any bank accounts, our firm sought to levy stock/assets in the company. The Tenant retained the national law firm in a highly contested matter. Our firm collected on judgment, after judge set hearing for transfer of company shares to the Landlord.

Judgment By Dismissal After Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Defended a prominent development company in a complex litigation matter alleging conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting. Obtained a judgment by dismissal for defendant; only private company to be dismissed on demurrer.

Dismissal Of Case For Home Buyers

Successfully obtained a grant of demurrer without leave to amend, thereby dismissing the entire case, in home buyers’ defense of claims raised against them by a real estate broker.

$6.3 Million Mortgage Loan Closure

Closed $6.3 million mortgage loan in the purchase of a large commercial project, including favorable negotiation of loan and title documents for the client.

$500,000 Settlement In Contested Partnership Dispute

Confidential settlement of $500,000 paid to clients in a contested partnership dispute matter.

Defeated Appeal Of Order

Successfully defeated appeal of order denying motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that the appellant waived the right to compel arbitration in an unpublished California Court of Appeal decision.

Case Results

Goodkin APC Prevails On Appeal In Backyard Boundary Dispute

Shoen v. Zacarias (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 16:
The firm represented Plaintiff and Appellant Lilli Shoen. After a trial court ruled against Ms. Shoen, the firm appealed the case to the California Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal held that defendant/appellee Zacarias had no right to an equitable easement over the property of her neighbor, plaintiff/appellant Shoen, regardless of how desirable the property was to Zacarias and regardless of the lack of use by Shoen.

The Shoen matter concerned two abutting residential properties in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles. In 2011, after acquiring the subject property, Shoen requested that Zacarias remove her personal property and stop trespassing on this portion of Shoen’s land. Zacarias refused, and the parties eventually ended up at trial with competing claims. Zacarias also claimed, as an affirmative defense to the trespass claim, that she held an equitable easement over the land. The trial court granted Zacarias “an exclusive 15-year equitable easement over the patch of land contingent upon paying $5,000 to Shoen.” Shoen v. Zacarias, 237 Cal.App.4th 16, 18-19. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision.

The Court in Shoen clarified the existing standard, enunciated in cases like Christensen v. Tucker and Hirshfield v. Schwartz by evaluating the competing claims and holding that “a trespasser’s hardship in having to remove her portable patio furniture does not qualify” as a “greatly disproportionate hardship.” Shoen v. Zacarias, 237 Cal.App.4th 16, 18. See also Christensen v. Tucker (1952) 114 Cal.App.2d 554,562-563, Hirshfield v. Schwartz (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 749, 759-760; Tashakori v. Lakis (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1003, 1009; Field-Escandon v. DeMann (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 228, 237.

The Court in Shoen ultimately compared the hardship of Shoen (losing exclusive use of her own property) to the alleged hardship of Zacarias (losing the extra back yard space) and found that the hardship of Zacarias was not “greatly disproportionate” to that of Zacarias. The Court explained “at most, Zacarias loses the benefit of her use of the patch of land but deprivation of a substantial benefit falls short of the imposition of a substantial hardship.” Shoen v. Zacarias, 237 Cal.App.4th 16, 21.

Goodkin APC Secures Favorable Verdict In ADA Compliance Lawsuit

In a complex jury trial focused on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Dan Goodkin won a favorable verdict in Los Angeles Superior Court regarding alleged noncompliance issues at the high-profile Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, home of the Academy Awards. The jury verdict awarded compensation to the client, an important real estate owner/developer, for errors in the original construction of the theatre by a nationally recognized general contractor. In addition, Goodkin APC obtained a favorable settlement of attorneys’ fees.

Built in 2001 by a separate development entity, the Kodak Theatre was acquired by the client in 2004 and quickly came under fire from various advocacy groups for the disabled, citing insufficient accessibility for wheelchairs. The issues in question concerned defective concrete surfaces that presented a barrier for wheelchair access in certain areas, as well as the facility’s lack of adequate wheelchair locations, making additional platforms necessary. Eight years of multiparty litigation followed, with the goal of determining which parties were responsible for remedying the original construction errors.

Goodkin APC Wins 12-0 Jury Decision Re Letter Of Intent Defendant

In a case involving a letter of intent, Goodkin APC successfully represented a defendant/seller against claims involving a letter of intent for the sale of its 80 percent interest in an engine-testing laboratory to the plaintiff/buyer for three million dollars. During the negotiations, the plaintiff-buyer attempted to obtain a loan, rather than equity, to consummate the sale, leading to complications in closing the sale. Additionally, during the negotiations, the original lender threatened to sue the client if the sale was completed without its consent.

Ultimately, the client seller transferred its interest in the laboratory to the original lender in exchange for a release of all rights under its loan documents. When the original lender did not complete the sale to the buyer, the plaintiff-buyer filed suit against G&L’s client. G&L defended the client against claims of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and intentional misrepresentation/fraud, for which plaintiff-buyer sought recovery of lost profits and punitive damages in excess of two million dollars.

Goodkin APC Gains Summary Judgment, Dismissal In Lease Case

In a complex lease interpretation case, G&L represented the owner of a large medical building against a tenant physician who attempted to enforce an alleged option to renew included in the tenant’s lease. G&L argued on behalf of the landlord that the option was unenforceable due to lack of certainty and lack of essential terms necessary to make it enforceable. G&L filed a motion for summary judgment to contravene multiple delaying tactics on the part of the tenant’s counsel and avoid a lengthy and costly trial. At the hearing, the Court agreed with G&L and ruled in favor of the landlord, granting summary judgment in its favor and awarding possession and daily damages to the client. G&L also obtained a dismissal of the tenant’s claims in a related action for breach of contract, unfair competition, declaratory relief and injunctive relief, and collected attorneys’ fees incurred by the landlord in prosecuting the action against the tenant.

Goodkin APC Wins Appeal Concerning The Enforceability Of Arbitration Provisions In CC & Rs

In a lawsuit involving the enforceability of an arbitration provision in the CC & Rs for a large mixed use residential project in downtown Los Angeles, G & L represented the developer against homeowners who attempted to defeat the arbitration requirement. When the homeowners refused to voluntarily submit their claims to arbitration, G & L petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court to enforce the arbitration provision. The trial court found in favor of the homeowners, and G & L appealed to the California Court of Appeal. The issue presented on appeal was whether the arbitration provision in the CC & Rs was procedurally and substantively unconscionable. Following oral argument, G & L obtained a unanimous opinion from the Second Appellate District in favor of the developer overturning the trial court’s determination that the arbitration provision was unenforceable.