Case Results

Case Results

Attorney Fredman Wins Appeal for False Accusations of Embezzlement & Financial Elder Abuse


On April 20, 2018, the California Court of Appeal (2d Appellate Dist.) affirmed a ruling in favor of Joel D. Kettler, a client of FLP's Howard Fredman, who had sued Leslie and Susan Gould, the son and daughter-in-law of elderly clients, for falsely accusing Kettler of embezzlement and financial elder abuse. Those accusations were made by the Goulds to the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (the "CFP Board") and to Kettler's employer. In a published decision, the Court of Appeal made two significant rulings under California's anti-SLAPP statute. The Court held the statute did not apply to claims made to the CFP Board because that was not an official proceeding authorized by law, and because the alleged conduct was not a matter of public interest but only affected those directly involved. The Court also held that making defamatory accusations to Mr. Kettler's employer 11 months before suing the employer was not protected by the Litigation Privilege or the SLAPP statute because nothing suggested that the Goulds were contemplating bringing a lawsuit against the employer when they made their accusations and because nothing the Goulds said was in furtherance of the objects of the litigation brought 11 months later. The published opinion appears at 2018 WL 1887345.

FLP’s Alan Forsley Obtains a $798,443.84 Writ of Attachment Against a Lease Guarantor.


FLP’s landlord client leased his commercial premises to a retail business tenant, with the lease personally guaranteed by the principal of the tenant. When the business failed, landlord sued under the lease to recover $798,443.84, plus attorneys’ fees, costs and interest from the guarantor. Fearing the guarantor would abscond with her assets while the lawsuit was pending, FLP, on behalf of the landlord, obtained a court order for a $798,443.84 writ of attachment, permitting the seizure of guarantor’s financial accounts pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

FLP’s Alan Forsley Settles a Personal Guaranty Lawsuit on Favorable Terms


FLP’s clients guaranteed a business line of credit. When the business defaulted, the lender sued our clients to recover the loan balance, attorneys’ fees, costs and interest. After defeating lender’s motion for summary judgment, FLP settled the case for a reduction in the principal owed, no payment of attorneys’ fees, costs or interest, with the settlement amount to be paid over 48 months with no interest.

FLP’s Bankruptcy Specialists Marc Lieberman and Alan Forsley win $9,936,396.14 of non-dischargeability judgments.


FLP clients were doctors who had invested their retirement savings with a developer to fund multiple commercial and residential projects. The doctors sued the developer in separate state court lawsuits for improperly using their invested funds in other projects and to support his lifestyle, rather than for the purpose for which the investments were solicited. Before the state court trial in one case and during the appeal of the other case, the developer filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

FLP sued the developer in the bankruptcy court to prevent him from discharging the doctors’ claims. Working closely with state court and appellate counsel, FLP crafted bankruptcy-specific findings tracking the bankruptcy code’s non-dischargeabilty requirements. FLP’s clients then prevailed on separate summary judgment motions, based on developer’s fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. FLP’s work with state court and appellate counsel allowed its clients to prevail cost-effectively by avoiding the expense of duplicative discovery and the delay and uncertainty of additional litigation, including a trial in the bankruptcy court.

FLP’s residential home builder client prevails in bankruptcy trial, discharging $20 million of unsecured debt


A subcontractor sued FLP’s client, an individual home builder, for fraud and misrepresentation in state court which caused the home builder to file bankruptcy. The subcontractor then filed an adversary action in the bankruptcy court to deny the home builder’s discharge based on alleged false and misleading statements made in connection with the bankruptcy. FLP’s Alan Forsley defended the home builder in the ensuing bankruptcy court trial. After 11 years of litigation in the state court and bankruptcy court, the bankruptcy court entered judgment in favor of the home builder.

FLP’s actions allow receiver to recover $1.1 million after appeal to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals


Representing the receiver in a shareholder dispute, the receiver recovered $1.1 million after prevailing on appeal to the 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and obtaining dismissal of appellant’s subsequent appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In re MBE Digital, 9th Cir. BAP Case No. CC-16-1121 and 9th Cir. Court of Appeals Case No. 16-60093.

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