William Markham’s Trials

Trial Victory: Prevailing Party at Bifurcated Jury Trial/Bench Trial;Prevailing Party on Appeal; and Prevailing Party in Non-Dischargeability Trial in Bankruptcy Court. After a four-day jury trial in a commercial dispute, Mr. Markham obtained four special jury verdicts for his client. Three of the verdicts were against an individual defendant for three kinds of commercial fraud (intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and negligent misrepresentation), and the fourth verdict was against a corporation for breach of a commercial contract. The jury also awarded damages for emotional distress to Mr. Markham’s client, but these damages were disallowed on a technical ground. After a one-day bench trial that was conducted after the jury trial, Mr. Markham obtained a bench verdict that rendered the individual defendant personally liable for his corporation’s liability to Mr. Markham’s client — a ruling that rendered the individual liable to Mr. Markham’s client for attorney’s fees and costs. Before the case proceeded to trial, Mr. Markham was able to obtain the dismissal of the cross-claims that the defendants had made against his client. On appeal, Mr. Markham obtained a reversal of the dismissal of a third defendant, who had been dismissed on the pleadings before trial. Also on appeal, Mr. Markham obtain an affirmance of the judgment in favor of his client against the other two defendants on all grounds despite their use of two appellate proceedings and a substantial request for review by the California Supreme Court. One of the individual defendants then attempted to discharge the judgment against him in bankruptcy proceedings: After a three-day bench trial, Mr. Markham obtained a ruling of non-dischargeability for his client from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. This court merged the state-court judgment into a new federal judgment, which is non-dischargeable. The final amount of this judgment is $639,877.53, which was rendered in addition to the  $185,000 that Mr. Markham had already recovered for his client before the bankruptcy by partial satisfactions. In these related cases, the principal defendant’s strategy was to oppose Mr. Markham’s client so relentlessly that she would ultimately acquiesce in his commercial fraud rather than pursue the matter further. This strategy was unfortunate for everyone concerned, but for Mr. Markham’s client it was a matter of principle to establish that the defendants had defrauded her. She prevailed on all grounds from the start and clearly established that she indeed had been a victim of calculated commercial fraud. Case Name: Collins v. Manufactured Structures International, Inc. (Cal. Superior Ct., S.D. Cty., Case No. GIC 880706; Fourth Appellate District of California, Docket Nos. D056865 and D057757; and United States Bankruptcy Ct., S.D. Cal. Adversary No. 14-90037).

Large Judgment in Securities Fraud Case (Prove-Up Upon Substantial Submission). In a substantial case of securities fraud, Mr. Markham represented fifteen plaintiffs and obtained judgments on their behalf against seven defendants for a total amount of $968,928.00 after the principal defendants defaulted. These defendants vigorously opposed Mr. Markham until it became obvious that they would lose on the merits, after which they defaulted. By these judgments, which were obtained upon a substantial prove-up submission, Mr. Markham’s clients obtained the right to full recovery of all of the money that the defendants had obtained from them by their fraudulent promotion and sale of securities in violation of the California Corporations Code and various common-law doctrines.   The judgments that Mr. Markham obtained constitute an unqualified victory for the firm’s clients in a very complex case of highly sophisticated securities fraud. The principal challenge in this matter was to investigate and uncover the fraud and to untangle a mystifying, confusing set of facts in order to give a clear, convincing explanation of the matter to a skeptical trial court.  In the end, the trial court was fully satisfied and granted 100% of Mr. Markham’s request, issuing the above judgments in order to redress Defendants’ complicated scheme to defraud many victims over a period of several years.  Mr. Markham received helpful assistance in this case from his colleague Antonio Maldonado. The clients have engaged Mr. Markham to enforce these judgments. Case Name:  Ngo et al. v. Nguyen et al. (LA Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. BC418361).

Trial Victory: Successful Enforcement of Commercial Tenant’s Rights in a Bench Trial. Mr. Markham tried this case before the trial judge, who granted judgment to his client on all grounds, deeming them to be the prevailing party in their claims against the Defendant, and deeming them to be the prevailing party in the Defendant’s cross-claims against them. This case concerned various disputes between commercial tenants and a commercial landlord in which Mr Markham represented the commercial tenants. The trial court found that the tenants were entitled to exercise their option to renew their lease for an additional five years, and moreover that they were in compliance with the complicated insurance provisions set forth in the commercial lease. The landlord took the opposite position on these points. The landlord subsequently prevailed on its appeal from one part of the judgment, obtaining an outright reversal of this part of the judgment (Mr. Markham continued to represent his clients during the appeal), but on remand the landlord lost on its principal post-appellate initiative and also failed to recover much of its requested post-appellate relief. This was a closely contested case in which Mr. Markham was opposed by a team of attorneys who included one of San Diego’s most skilled trial lawyers as well as two leading appellate practitioners. Mr. Markham handled all aspects of both cases for his clients, including the consolidated trials and the appeal. Case name: Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. v. Joseph Quin Family Trust (S.D. Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. 37 2007 00062035 CU-BC-EC).

Successful Follow-Up Vindication of Commercial Tenant’s Rights. The commercial landlord in the above case brought another action against the same commercial tenants after losing the above-listed case on all grounds (even so, the landlord was able to obtain substantial relief on appeal from the above case, as is explained above). After five months of arduous litigation, the landlord abruptly dropped the case, doing so one day before its representative had been ordered to answer further deposition questions about its motive for bringing the lawsuit.  Case Name: Joseph Quin Family Trust v. Image 2000 Multimedia, Inc. (S.D. County, Case No. 37 2008 00102257 CU-UD-EC).

Successful Bench Trial for a Judicial Partition. In a judicial partition that proceeded to a final evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted Mr. Markham’s client substantially all of the relief that she had requested, which included (1) a decree of partition and partition sale, (2) the entirety of all contested proceeds, (3) a removal of various liens at the other side’s sole expense; and (4) attorney’s fees and costs. The property was worth approximately $900,000 at the time of the partition sale, and all of the client’s proceeds were recovered from the sale. Case Name: Tamburo v. Lipari (SF. Sup. Ct., Case No. 312202).

Trial Success: Successful Defense in a Bench Trial For Injunctive Relief. In a bench trial in which Mr. Markham represented the defendants, the trial court refused to grant the requested injunctive relief to Plaintiff, a homeowners’ association. This case concerned land use issues within a homeowner’s association. Case name: Sweetwater Lakes Homeowners Association v. Kramer (Case No. GIE 029572).

Trial Success: Successful Defense In Another Bench Trial for Injunctive Relief. In a bench trial in which Mr. Markham represented the defendant, the trial court declined to grant the injunctive relief that the plaintiff sought. This case concerned an action to quiet title and a related claim for injunctive relief.  Case name: Rivet v. Dziensuwski (SD. Sup. Ct., Case No. DV 017311).

Successful Stipulated Judgment at Trial Call.  In a complicated commercial dispute in which Mr. Markham represented a supplier of mailbags against a distributor, the distributor dropped its cross-claims and gave a stipulated judgment to Mr. Markham’s client on the day of the trial call. The stipulated judgment was for approximately $200,000, along with interest. Case Name: Tedcom International, Inc. v. Flamingo Industries, Inc. (Alameda Cty. Sup. Ct., 2000-074279)