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Large Settlements

$10.4 Million Settlement in Complex Real Estate Dispute

In a confidential settlement agreement, we recovered approximately $10.4 million for a trust whose trustees had made complex, improper transfers of substantial real estate interests from the trust to a partnership. This case depended upon complex issues of land valuation and fiduciary responsibility.

$4.4 Million Settlement in Complex Eminent Domain Litigation

In a complex eminent domain proceeding, we represented a large polypropylene factory located in Alameda County. The Oakland Unified School District condemned the property and made an initial offer of approximately $2.8 million. After a substantial litigation, the condemnor agreed to pay approximately $4.4 million for its taking. Case nameOakland Unified School District v. Cheng (Alameda Cty. Sup. Ct., Case No. 2002-051449).

$3.1 Million Settlement in Cutting-Edge Eminent Domain Litigation

In a complex, novel eminent domain proceeding, which received first-page coverage in The New York Times, we represented the owner of commercial property that the government agency chose to condemn and take so that it could transfer ownership to a private developer. This case was brought after the US Supreme Court ruled in the Kelo case that such takings were permissible upon a proper showing. The condemnor’s original offer was approximately $1.6 million, but under the final settlement agreement the condemnor’s transferee agreed to pay at least $2.6 million in cash or pay $1.9 million and provide assets worth another $1.2 million for a total of $3.1 million in value. Case Name: Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Cruz v. Lau et al. (Sup. Ct. of Cal., Santa Cruz Cty. 2005, Case No. cv-151983).

$2.2 Million Settlement of an Insurer’s Bad-Faith Denial of Insurance Obligations

On behalf of an insured – a prominent sales executive of a Fortune 500 company – we brought suit in federal court against a disability insurer for refusing in bad faith to honor a disability insurance contract. The insurer’s original offer was to pay nothing and waive costs. The final settlement was for approximately $2.2 million. This case was litigated in federal court under the ERISA statutes.

Real Property Settlement in Novel Post-Condemnation Dispute

In a sequel lawsuit to the Lau condemnation, we brought suit on behalf of Mr. Lau after the condemnor’s transferee defaulted on its payment obligations to Mr. Lau (the condemnee), whom we continued to represent.

Accordingly, we sued the condemnor, its transferee, and related parties, alleging that the original taking was unlawful because it was not done for a necessary public purpose or for the reasons set forth in the resolution of necessity, and alleging further that the transferee’s recorded security (given in exchange for the taking) should be treated as an “equitable mortgage” that protected the condemnee from foreclosure by the transferee’s construction lender.

In a confidential settlement, whose terms were subsequently publicly disclosed by the press, our client, Mr. Lau, recovered $530,000 in addition to his part of the original recovery, which was $1.7 million, so that the Lau parties’ total recovery was $2.455 million, as opposed to the condemnor’s original offer of $1.6 million.

The case raised a series of novel challenges concerning the interplay between a public condemnor, a defaulting private transferee, and the transferee’s lender. Case nameLau v. Cirillo et al (N.D. Cal. 2013, Case No. 5:13-cv-03946-LHK).

MR. MARKHAM’S ARTICLES ON ANTITRUST LAW

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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ANTITRUST EXEMPTIONS AND IMMUNITIES (By William Markham, © 2022)

“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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HOW THE CONSUMER-WELFARE STANDARD TRANSFORMED CLASSICAL ANTITRUST LAW (William Markham, © 2021)

“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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UNLAWFUL PRICE DISCRIMINATION (By William Markham, © 2013)

“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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MR. MARKHAM’S ARTICLES ON TRIAL PROCEDURE AND CONTRACT LAW

MAKING SENSE OF THE RULES OF EVIDENCE AND PRESENTING YOUR EVIDENCE AT TRIAL (By William Markham, 2011)

“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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LAW OFFICES OF WILLIAM MARKHAM, P.C.
402 West Broadway, Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel. (619) 221-4400
inquiries@markhamlawfirm.com

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