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Trial Successes in Complex Commercial Litigation

Three Trial Victories in Related Cases for Commercial Fraud

In a long-running judicial saga, Mr. Markham obtained the following redress for his client, who was the victim of an elaborate commercial fraud and then the victim of oppressive litigation tactics: (1) jury verdicts against an individual defendant for three counts of common-law fraud, issued after a four-day jury trial in San Diego Superior Court; (2) jury verdicts against a corporation for breach of a commercial contract and restitution, issued after the same trial; (3) a bench verdict, issued after a bifurcated bench trial, that established the individual’s alter-ego liability for the judgment against the corporation; (3) affirmance on appeal of the jury verdicts and bench verdict; (4) reversal on appeal of the trial court’s dismissal of claims against a second individual defendant; (5) a partial enforcement of the original judgment against the corporation; (6) a partial settlement; (7) a new, superseding bankruptcy judgment, issued after a three-day bench trial (adversary proceeding), which established the nondischargeability of the first individual defendant’s liability to Mr. Markham’s client and also confirmed the amount of this liability after the partial enforcement and partial settlement; and (8) leave from the bankruptcy court to record an abstract of the new federal judgment against the first individual’s property. In this matter, Mr. Markham obtained a final, nondischargeable bankruptcy judgment for $639,877.53 against the principal individual wrongdoer in addition to having collected approximately $186,000. After collecting these funds and obtaining the nondischargeable judgment, the parties concluded and performed a confidential settlement agreement.

Regrettably, the principal defendant’s apparent strategy was to oppose Mr. Markham’s client so relentlessly that she would cease to seek relief and acquiesce in his commercial fraud, but Mr. Markham’s client became resolved not to permit this strategy to succeed. The defendant’s preferred strategy was unfortunate for everyone concerned, and it did not succeed. Mr. Markham’s client prevailed in each of the above proceedings. Case NameCollins v. Defendant’s Name Redacted  (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).

Obtained Prove-Up Judgment After Defendants Defaulted Before Trial

Prove-Up Judgments Granted Upon Substantial Submission and Comprehensive Showing. 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 shortly before trial. By then, Mr. Markham had conclusively established and explained their complicated fraud, so that it was clear that they would lose on the merits.

Mr. Markham obtained these judgments by making a substantial prove-up submission to an initially skeptical judge, who at first indicated her inclination to grant a much lower judgment. By this judgment, Mr. Markham’s clients obtained the right to a full recovery of all 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.

These constituted 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 very helpful assistance in this case from his former partner and colleague Antonio Maldonado. Case Name: Ngo et al. v. Nguyen et al. (LA Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. BC418361).

Trial Win for Commercial Tenants After Their Landlord Refused to Renew Their Commercial Lease

William A. Markham
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Mr. Markham tried this case before the trial judge, who granted judgment to his clients on all grounds, deeming them to be the prevailing party in their claims against the defendant, and deeming them to be the prevailing parties 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).

Defeat of Commercial Landlord’s Sequel Lawsuit Against Commercial Tenants

After losing at trial in the first case (see above), a commercial landlord brought a new case against Mr. Markham’s clients, who were commercial tenants that operated a substantial business at the property in question. After five months of arduous litigation, the landlord dropped the case day before its representative was ordered to answer further deposition questions concerning the landlord’s 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 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 $200,000, along with interest. Case Name: Tedcom International, Inc. v. Flamingo Industries, Inc. (Alameda Cty. Sup. Ct., 2000-074279)


AN OVERVIEW OF ANTITRUST LAW (By William Markham, © 2000)

“Antitrust law is the law of competition and is perhaps the least understood law of all. This article provides an overview and explanation of the essential principles of antitrust law.”
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“Over the years, Congress and the federal courts have established various immunities from federal antitrust law, removing from its reach specified commercial activities and even entire lines of commerce.”
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“Since the late 1970s, antitrust law in the United States has been transformed out of recognition and rendered largely toothless by consumer-welfare jurisprudence….,”
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ANTITRUST AND FREE MARKETS (BY William Markham, © 2022)

“Some critics of antitrust law treat it as mere governmental overreach and an unwelcome infringement upon the ordinary operations of our free markets. (….) That criticism betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the very term ‘free markets,’ which refers to markets that are free of any undue restraint, whether public or private.”
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“In this article I take up the obscure, problematic doctrine of illegal price discrimination, which was codified by the Robinson-Patman Act during the Great Depression, and which the modern, conservative Supreme Court has severely limited.”
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WHY ANTITRUST LAWS MATTER (By William Markham, © 2006)

“The antitrust laws are supposed to promote and protect competition, or, if you will, competitive processes in distinct ‘lines of commerce’ or ‘relevant markets.’ This alone is their proper purpose.

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“I try in this article simply to set forth a list of simple rules to explain the key points of the law of evidence. I also offer several pointers on organizing evidence in order to present it competently at trial.”
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ANATOMY OF A LAWSUIT (By William Markham, © 2007)

“This article is written for non-lawyers, young litigators, and non-litigator attorneys who wish to understand how a lawsuit works in practice from start to finish.”
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AN OVERVIEW OF CONTRACT LAW (By William Markham, 2002)

“Contract law lies at the heart of our system of laws and serves as the foundation of our entire society. This is not an exaggeration. (….) Our society depends upon free exchange in the marketplace at every level.
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