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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