Complex Business Litigation

Many of the region’s leading companies trust their most significant litigation to Downey Brand—with good reason. We have some of the most knowledgeable and resourceful trial and appellate lawyers in Northern California, with extensive experience in state, federal and administrative tribunals throughout California and Nevada.

Our attorneys have a proven record of successfully handling a wide variety of complex high-stakes commercial and business cases. Our experience covers the waterfront for both plaintiffs and defendants in business, employment, qui tam, class action, securities, antitrust, shareholder and partnership disputes, probate, healthcare, intellectual property, federal and state investigations, construction, wildland fire, real estate, and environmental matters.

Recognizing that litigation can be a costly distraction, we work closely with our clients to pursue creative, efficient and practical solutions to a wide array of contentious disputes. However, if pre-trial resolution is impossible—or where a more aggressive posture is warranted—we never hesitate to call upon our substantial experience and skill to aggressively pursue and defend our clients’ interests through trial and appeal.

Downey Brand has the region’s largest litigation department, with over 40 lawyers who handle diverse matters in civil, appellate and regulatory forums.  Our litigation attorneys have the confidence and legal acumen to efficiently and effectively obtain results for our clients.


Selected Experience

  • Downey Brand represented Sierra Pacific Industries in litigation stemming from the Moonlight Fire, one of this country’s largest ever wildland fire cost recovery actions. The Moonlight Fire matters were tried in both federal and state court, and initially resulted in a federal settlement with the United States Forest Service for pennies on the dollar. Downey Brand’s client was recently completely vindicated in Plumas County Superior Court when, three days before trial was set to commence, the court dismissed all six separate cases filed against it and entered judgments in favor of Sierra Pacific Industries.
  • Downey Brand handled contentious and protracted litigation on behalf of real estate holding company Park Cattle Co. in litigation against Bill Yung and his Tropicana gaming and holding companies for enforcement of a ground lease for the Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe. A two month jury trial resolved two days before Downey Brand’s closing argument when Yung and Tropicana agreed to dismiss their complaints against Park Cattle, return the Horizon property, and pay $165 million in damages, plus interest, to Park Cattle.
  • Downey Brand represented large California school district in litigation over approximately $70 million in new school construction. After overbilling the district millions of dollars, the general contractor abandoned the projects. Downey Brand successfully mediated all 13 of the subcontractor claims brought against the district as a result of the general contractor’s conduct, and brought claims against the general contractor, its principals, an assistant superintendent of the district, and the general contractor’s accountants. The California Attorney General issued numerous criminal indictments against the general contractor’s management team and a school district assistant superintendent based on the ground work laid by the Downey Brand litigation team.
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  • Downey Brand represented Sierra Pacific Industries in litigation stemming from the Moonlight Fire, one of this country’s largest ever wildland fire cost recovery actions. The Moonlight Fire matters were tried in both federal and state court, and initially resulted in a federal settlement with the United States Forest Service for pennies on the dollar. Downey Brand’s client was recently completely vindicated in Plumas County Superior Court when, three days before trial was set to commence, the court dismissed all six separate cases filed against it and entered judgments in favor of Sierra Pacific Industries.
  • Downey Brand handled contentious and protracted litigation on behalf of real estate holding company Park Cattle Co. in litigation against Bill Yung and his Tropicana gaming and holding companies for enforcement of a ground lease for the Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe. A two month jury trial resolved two days before Downey Brand’s closing argument when Yung and Tropicana agreed to dismiss their complaints against Park Cattle, return the Horizon property, and pay $165 million in damages, plus interest, to Park Cattle.
  • Downey Brand represented large California school district in litigation over approximately $70 million in new school construction. After overbilling the district millions of dollars, the general contractor abandoned the projects. Downey Brand successfully mediated all 13 of the subcontractor claims brought against the district as a result of the general contractor’s conduct, and brought claims against the general contractor, its principals, an assistant superintendent of the district, and the general contractor’s accountants. The California Attorney General issued numerous criminal indictments against the general contractor’s management team and a school district assistant superintendent based on the ground work laid by the Downey Brand litigation team.
  • In a bet-the-company suit against its client’s direct competitor for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation of proprietary source code, Downey Brand represented AtPac, Inc., a leading supplier of database software used by Clerk-Recorder offices throughout California. When AtPac filed suit against its much larger competitor and a governmental entity, they hired intellectual property specialists from Los Angelis to handle their defense. Through tenacious discovery efforts, Downey Brand’s litigation team uncovered irrefutable evidence of defendants’ malfeasance, and demonstrated that defendants had failed to comply with their discovery obligations and had destroyed evidence of their wrongdoing. Downey Brand obtained substantial monetary sanctions against the defendants and their counsel, and a critical order requiring that the jury would be instructed on the adverse inference arising from defendants’ destruction of evidence. With the benefit of these hard fought rulings, Downey Brand secured a $1.9 million settlement for AtPac, Inc. on the eve of trial.
  • At the conclusion of a three week jury trial in Sacramento County Superior Court, jury returned a complete defense verdict for Downey Brand’s clients, real estate developers Charles Somers and Ron Alvarado, who were sued by AKT Development Corporation for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty regarding an alleged joint venture to purchase significant development property near Sacramento.

Annie S. Amaral

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5243 direct

Meghan M. Baker

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5510 direct

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5254 direct

Kelly M. Breen

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5485 direct

Bradley C. Carroll

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5299 direct

Anthony S. Chavez

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5436 direct

Andrew L. Collier

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5244 direct

My Tien T. Doan

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5730 direct

J. Patrick Doust

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5484 direct

Jamie P. Dreher

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5478 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

Jay-Allen Eisen

Outside Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5290 direct

Cassandra M. Ferrannini

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5387 direct

Sean J. Filippini

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5430 direct

Janlynn R. Fleener

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5227 direct

David M. Fox

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5219 direct

Giuliana M. Gabriel

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5344 direct

Jeffrey S. Galvin

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5242 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

Daria A. Gossett

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5383 direct

Daniella G. Green

Associate

Stockton 209.472.3960 direct

Tyler J. Horn

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5378 direct

Sherry Hartel Haus

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5490 direct

Tyson E. Hubbard

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5216 direct

Christopher Miles Kolkey

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5320 direct

Alexandra K. LaFountain

Senior Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5245 direct

Michael J. Laino

Associate

Saacramento 916.520.5360 direct

Joseph K. Little

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5203 direct

Thomas E. Marrs

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5210 direct

John C. McCarron

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5450 direct

Daniel J. McVeigh

Of Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5438 direct

Bret F. Meich

Partner

Reno 775.997.7418 direct

Stephen J. Meyer

Counsel

Sacramento 916.520.5437 direct

Michael C. Minahan

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5339 direct

James M. Morris

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3910 direct

Kelly L. Pope

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5362 direct

Elizabeth B. Stallard

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5238 direct

Reno 775.329.5900 direct

M. Max Steinheimer

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3926 direct

Sacramento 916.444.1000 direct

Michael J. Thomas

Partner

Sacramento 916.520.5310 direct

Anthony L. Vignolo

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3920 direct

William R. Warne

Partner / Chairman

Sacramento 916.520.5217 direct

Matthew J. Weber

Partner

Stockton 209.472.3922 direct

Sacramento 916.444.1000 direct

Jennifer L. Williams

Counsel

Stockton 209.472.3918 direct

Sacramento 916.444.1000 direct

Wiemond Wu

Associate

Sacramento 916.520.5380 direct

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