News

June 21st, 2024

LA Times

Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae Named to L.A. Times’ B2B Publishing’s 2024 Entertainment Business Visionaries List
Early Sullivan partners Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae were recently honored by L.A. Times B2B Publishing in its “Entertainment Business Visionaries” list for 2024. The inaugural list highlights some of the most influential lawyers, accountants, lenders, business managers, wealth managers ... read more

June 14th, 2024

Super Lawyers

Brett Moore and Padideh Zargari Named 2024 Southern California “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers
The firm is pleased to announce that Brett Moore and Padideh Zargari have been named by Thomson Reuters as 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars.” The “Rising Stars” distinction honors attorneys that are under the age of 40 in the Southern ... read more

June 12th, 2024

The Hollywood Reporter

Devin McRae Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Prestigious 2024 “Power Lawyers” Issue
The firm is pleased to share that Devin McRae has secured a coveted spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s 18th annual Top 100 “Power Lawyers” list. In this year’s list – described by THR as consisting of A-list attorneys who are ... read more

June 4th, 2024

MarketWatch

Bryan Sullivan Answers “Can A Felon Get A Commerical Real Estate Loan” In MarketWatch
In the wake of former President Donald Trump’s conviction, Bryan Sullivan spoke to MarketWatch’s Joy Wiltermuth about the question of whether or not convicted felons can obtain a commercial real estate loan. Trump’s verdict left many questioning the barriers he ... read more

May 31st, 2024

Early Sullivan Prevails in Summary Judgment Victory on Behalf of Fidelity
An Early Sullivan team led by Diane Myint Luczon and Brett G. Moore recently emerged victorious after they filed a motion for a summary judgment, which was granted in full by the Court, in a case representing an insured home ... read more

May 31st, 2024

Business Insider

Eric Anderson Speaks to Business Insider About Former President Trump’s Historic Conviction
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Business Insider, analyzing the mistakes the defense made in former President Donald Trump’s legal trial, which culminated in his conviction on all 34 counts of falsifying business records yesterday. He explained that although the outcome ... read more

May 30th, 2024

Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, TheWrap

Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Others Cover Early Sullivan Client’s Suit Over Roberto Clemente Biopic Rights
Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, TheWrap, Deadline, and other publications recently covered a lawsuit filed on behalf of Early Sullivan client Inside the Park against baseball star Roberto Clemente’s sons, Luis R. Clemente and Roberto Clemente Jr., over their efforts to ... read more

May 24th, 2024

CNBC

Devin McRae Speaks to CNBC About How to Avoid Termination From Political Discourse
Devin McRae was recently featured in a CNBC article, “Free speech, political protests and work: What employees need to know to not get fired,” examining how employees can protect themselves from being terminated on the basis of political speech on ... read more

May 23rd, 2024

Scripps News

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Scripps News About the Lack of Transparency in the Digital Age of Ticket Purchasing
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke to Scripps News about concert ticket sales transparency in the wake of three states – Colorado, Minnesota, and Maryland – passing bipartisan concert ticket transparency protection laws in order to protect ticket buyers from hidden fees ... read more

May 23rd, 2024

Newsweek

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Newsweek on Trump’s Plans to File a Lawsuit Against New Biopic
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke to Newsweek about former President Donald Trump’s plans to sue the makers of a new biopic about his life. “The Apprentice,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week, depicts a young Donald Trump in ... read more

May 2nd, 2024

Newsweek

Eric Anderson Featured in Variety Article Examining Weinstein’s Overturned Conviction and the Future of Hollywood’s #MeToo Movement
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Variety about Harvey Weinstein’s overturned rape conviction in New York. Drawing upon his own experience as a former prosecutor in domestic violence cases and as a current criminal defense attorney, Eric explains that although the ... read more

April 26th, 2024

Newsweek

Eric Anderson Speaks to Newsweek about Harvey Weinstein’s Overturned Conviction in New York
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Newsweek about the overturning of Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction in New York, examining whether this latest development will lead to the producer’s acquittal. Eric expresses to Newsweek that the trial court had gone too far ... read more

April 22nd, 2024

The Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles Business Journal Names Bryan Sullivan Among its 2024 “Top 100 Lawyers”
The firm is pleased to announce that Bryan Sullivan has been selected to this year’s coveted “Top 100 Lawyers” list by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Each year, the list shines a spotlight on the region’s outstanding legal community by ... read more

April 19th, 2024

Newsweek

Eric Anderson Analyzes Trump’s Upcoming Criminal Trial In Newsweek
Eric Anderson recently spoke at length to Newsweek about the criminal trial of Donald Trump, who is accused of falsifying records to send hush money to adult star Stormy Daniels. As juror selection commenced, Eric lent his insights to an ... read more

April 17th, 2024

Variety

Devin McRae and Bryan Sullivan Named to Variety’s 2024 “Legal Impact Report”
Firm partners Devin McRae and Bryan Sullivan were recently included in Variety‘s 2024 “Legal Impact Report,” honored as some of Hollywood’s top litigators and dealmakers. The coveted annual list highlights the entertainment industry’s attorneys at the forefront of major deals ... read more

April 5th, 2024

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9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling Further Cementing Early Sullivan’s Success Against HOA Title Claims
In another historic ruling, the 9th Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling obtained by Early Sullivan in favor of its client Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company agreeing that the Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. could not assert any valid claims against ... read more

March 27th, 2024

Newsweek

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Newsweek About Possible Appeal Arguments in Former President Donald Trump’s Fraud Case
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke to Newsweek about the arguments former president Donald Trump will likely use to appeal the ruling in the fraud case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James in 2022. James sued Trump, his ... read more

February 27th, 2024

Newsweek

Eric Anderson Speaks to Newsweek About Likelihood of Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis Facing Perjury Charges
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Newsweek about whether Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis could face perjury charges over the revelation of her relationship with prosecutor Nathan Wade. Willis has claimed that the relationship began after former President Trump’s indictment was ... read more

February 22nd, 2024

Newsweek

Eric Anderson Speaks to Newsweek About Audrii Cunningham Murder Case
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Newsweek about the likelihood of a murder conviction in the case of Audrii Cunningham, an 11-year-old girl in Texas who went missing on her way to school and was found dead on Tuesday, February 20, ... read more

February 21st, 2024

Fox News

Eric Anderson Sheds Light on Criminal Trial Over Stolen Eagles Lyrics in Fox News
Eric Anderson recently spoke to Fox News about the criminal case against three men who have been charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree for allegedly attempting to sell manuscripts containing “developmental lyrics to the Eagles song ‘Hotel California.’” The ... read more

February 12th, 2024

Fox News

Eric Anderson Speaks to Fox News About Jussie Smollett’s Decision to Appeal Hate Crime Hoax Conviction
Eric Anderson recently spoke with Fox News about the legal implications of Jussie Smollett appealing his hate crime hoax conviction and what the potential outcome could be. In 2019, the “Empire” actor reported to the Chicago police that he was ... read more

February 8th, 2024

Courthouse News Service

Eric Anderson Successfully Defends Tenants’ Rights Group BASTA in First Amendment Libel Suit
Eric Anderson’s win for successful tenants’ rights group BASTA was covered by Courthouse News Service and The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, among others. One of the biggest landlord-side law firms in Southern California had sued ... read more

February 5th, 2024

Newsweek

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Newsweek About Vital Evidence in Trump v. Stormy Daniels
Bryan Sullivan was recently quoted in Newsweek’s article “Donald Trump’s Upcoming Legal Case Could Be About To Get Worse,” examining the looming legal trial against former President Donald Trump for his alleged hush money payments to adult movie star Stormy ... read more

January 29th, 2024

Fox News

Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae Speak to Fox About Surveillance Video Evidence in Country Music Star Chris Young’s Arrest
In the recent Fox News article “Country Star Chris Young’s Surveillance Video ‘Could Undermine’ Officer’s Version of Events: Expert,” Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae weighed in on the viability of the case after the discovery that a video showing events ... read more

January 25th, 2024

Newsweek

Bryan Sullivan Quoted in Newsweek Article on Likelihood of Third Trump Defamation Suit
Bryan Sullivan spoke with Sean O’Driscoll at Newsweek about degrading comments towards E. Jean Carroll made by former president Donald Trump in a January 17, 2024 press conference, and how they could cost Trump even more than Carrolls’ two previous ... read more

January 11th, 2024

CBS News

CBS News Covers Early Sullivan Client Kevin Morris’ Friendship with Hunter Biden, Includes Statements from Bryan Sullivan
Bryan Sullivan recently shared statements with CBS News relating to Early Sullivan client, Kevin Morris’, financial backing of Hunter Biden. Morris’ and Biden’s relationship was thrust into the spotlight after Morris joined Biden at his congressional contempt hearing on Capitol ... read more

January 10th, 2024

Thomson Reuters

Eight Early Sullivan Attorneys Named 2024 Southern California “Super Lawyers”
The firm is pleased to announce that eight of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in Thomson Reuters’ 2024 Southern California “Super Lawyers” list. The annual “Super Lawyers” distinction is granted to the nation’s most outstanding attorneys, based on ... read more

January 10th, 2024

Thomson Reuters

Eric Early Named Among the “Top 100: 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers”
The firm is pleased to share that Eric Early has been named to Super Lawyers’ annual “Top 100” list for Southern California. Each year Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in the region through a patented selection process involving peer ... read more

January 3rd, 2024

Forbes

Forbes Covers Early Sullivan Client Oliva Munn’s Removal of Deepfake Porn on Etsy and Speaks to Bryan Sullivan
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke to Forbes about the plethora of pornographic deepfaked content depicting actress and client, Olivia Munn, being sold on various Etsy stores. The prevalence of pornographic deepfaked content did not only depict Munn, but many other actresses ... read more

January 2nd, 2024

Newsweek

Bryan Sullivan Quoted in Newsweek Article Examining Trump’s Second Defamation Case
Bryan Sullivan was recently featured in Newsweek’s article “Donald Trump Can Expect Huge Payout in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case,” which investigates potential resolutions to the ongoing defamation lawsuit against the former president. Retired journalist E. Jean Carroll recently won ... read more

December 22nd, 2023

AdAge

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to AdAge on the Rumored Merger of Warner Brothers Discovery and Paramount
Bryan Sullivan spoke to AdAge on the recent rumors of a merger between Warner Brothers Discovery and Paramount and what regulatory hurdles the deal may face. The merger rumors mark a new turn in what has been a regular story ... read more

December 13th, 2023

Early Sullivan Obtains Defense Verdict On $10 Million Bad Faith Claim
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer and Rebecca Claudat obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their client First American Title Insurance Company following a two-week jury trial in Everett, Washington. Early Sullivan ... read more

November 8th, 2023

Fox News Digital

Devin McRae Featured in Fox News Digital Article On Alleged Plaintiff Harassment in Lawsuit Against Robert De Niro
Devin McRae recently spoke to Fox News Digital about an alleged instance of plaintiff harassment in a civil trial where Robert De Niro’s former assistant, Graham Chase Robinson, is suing him for gender discrimination. The harassment came in the form ... read more

November 6th, 2023

Los Angeles Business Journal

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to Los Angeles Business Journal on the Future of Live Nation and Ticketmaster Merger
Bryan Sullivan recently shared his insight on the future of the Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger amidst the continued push for antitrust action. In the Los Angeles Business Journal article entitled, “Will Swifties Cut Live Nation’s Size?,” Bryan explains the ... read more

November 2nd, 2023

Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers® Ranks Early Sullivan as a 2024 “Best Law Firm”
Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae has been ranked once again as a “Best Law Firm” in the 2024 edition by Best Lawyers®. The firm received rankings on the national and Los Angeles lists in the practice areas of: – ... read more

October 13th, 2023

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Early Sullivan Prevails Before Nevada Supreme Court Likely Ending Massive HOA Litigation
An Early Sullivan appellate team of Scott E. Gizer and Sophia S. Lau secured a monumental victory on behalf of the title insurance industry when the Nevada Supreme Court agreed with them that title insurers did not agree ... read more

October 5th, 2023

Benchmark Litigation

Early Sullivan Recognized as a Top Litigation Firm in 2024 Edition of Benchmark Litigation California
Early Sullivan has been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as a leading Entertainment firm in California. The prestigious annual guide recognizes the state’s leading trial firms and attorneys, ranked by their peers and clients. read more

August 17th, 2023

The Best Lawyers in America

Ten Early Sullivan Attorneys Named to “Best Lawyers in America”; Six Named to “Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch”
Early Sullivan attorneys Eric Altoon, Eric Early, David Giannotti, Jeremy Gray, Sophia Lau, Devin McRae, Diane Myint Luczon, Christopher Ritter, Peter Scott, and Bryan Sullivan have been recognized among the top lawyers in the nation in the 2024 edition of ... read more

August 8th, 2023

Sophia Lau to Present at CenterForce’s “Driving Diversity in Law and Leadership Summit: Los Angeles”
Sophia Lau will speak at CenterForce USA’s “Driving Diversity in Law and Leadership Summit” taking place on September 21, 2023, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel’s Gold Ballroom in Los Angeles, California. The annual conference is a part of the organization’s ... read more

July 27th, 2023

The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast Cover Early Sullivan Client Amanda Montell’s Lawsuit Against ‘Sounds Like A Cult’ Podcast Co Host
The Daily Beast recently reported on Early Sullivan client Amanda Montell’s lawsuit against Isabela Medina-Maté, Montell’s Co Host on the popular ‘Sounds Like a Cult’ podcast, claiming Medina-Maté “effectively destroyed the ‘Sounds Like a Cult’ podcast and caused a substantial ... read more

July 27th, 2023

The Hollywood Reporter, Sourcing Journal, The Fashion Law, Bloomberg Law

Several Publications Cover Early Sullivan Client Frost River’s Trademark Suit Against Lucasfilm
The Hollywood Reporter, Sourcing Journal, The Fashion Law, Bloomberg Law, and numerous other national and Minnesota publications recently covered the trademark suit filed by Frost River against Lucasfilm, claiming the latter violated the Lanham Act by using a Frost River ... read more

July 24th, 2023

Scripps News

Bryan Sullivan Discusses the Use of AI in the Entertainment Industry With Scripps News
Bryan Sullivan appeared on-air with Scripps News in a recent segment talking about the use of AI in the entertainment industry. The segment highlights areas in the entertainment industry where studios have been looking to use AI tools to replace ... read more

July 24th, 2023

Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles Business Journal Honors Eric Early in 2023 “Leaders of Influence: Top Litigators & Trial Attorneys” Issue
The firm is pleased to share that founding and managing partner Eric Early has been recognized as one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Leaders of Influence: Top Litigators & Trial Attorneys” for 2023. The prestigious list recognizes litigators as, ... read more

July 17th, 2023

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Early Sullivan Prevails on Behalf of Lenders in Quite Title/Fraud Claim
A trial team of Scott Gizer and Lisa Zepeda prevailed on behalf of its lender clients the Morris Boren Living Trust and Creative Investments, Inc. in an action where Christopher Jordan, the heir to a triplex property in Los Angeles, ... read more

July 5th, 2023

Yahoo Finance

Bryan Sullivan Shares Outlook on $43 Billion Warner Bros. Discovery Merger with Yahoo Finance
Bryan Sullivan was recently featured in the Yahoo Finance article “Warner Bros. Discovery’s stock down 50% since merger – why analysts are still bullish,” which examines the media conglomerate’s plunging stock value post merger, as well as company layoffs and ... read more

June 16th, 2023

Early Sullivan Congratulates Client Rahman Ali Bugg on Tribeca Film Festival Screening
Early Sullivan client Rahman Ali Bugg’s documentary film ‘Exposing Parchman’ was recently screened during the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary examines the inhumane conditions at Mississippi’s oldest maximum security prison, Parchman Prison. Rahman directed the documentary and co-produced it ... read more

June 15th, 2023

NBC Now

Devin McRae Appears on NBC Now to Discuss Ex-Starbucks Manager’s $25M Victory Against the Company In Wrongful Termination Suit
Devin McRae recently appeared on NBC Now in a segment entitled, “Ex-Starbucks manager awarded $25.6 million in wrongful firing suit,” which examined the legal victory of an ex-Starbucks manager who alleged that she was unfairly punished for the arrest of ... read more

June 9th, 2023

TheWrap

Bryan Sullivan Quoted in The Wrap on the Inclusion of “Force Majeure” in Many Hollywood Writers’ Contracts
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke with TheWrap about the inclusion of force majeure in many Hollywood writers’ contracts, including Justin Simien’s, whose Paramount deal was suspended amid the WGA strike. Justin Simien, the creator of “Dear White People,” learned of his ... read more

June 6th, 2023

Thomson Reuters' Southern California Super Lawyers

Padideh Zargari Named 2023 Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers
The firm is pleased to announce that Padideh Zargari has been named by Thomson Reuters as a 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” The “Rising Stars” distinction honors attorneys that are under the age of 40 in the Southern ... read more

May 22nd, 2023

Los Angeles Business Journal

Scott Gizer Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Top 100 Lawyers” List
The firm is pleased to announce that Scott Gizer was recently selected to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s second annual “Top 100 Lawyers” list. The coveted list recognizes the region’s outstanding legal community by profiling Los Angeles’ top 100 lawyers ... read more

May 2nd, 2023

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Eric Early Featured in Los Angeles Business Journal Article Exploring Growth in the Legal Profession
Eric Early was recently featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s article “Time to Grow,” which examines the future trajectory of the legal profession in the aftermath of the COVID-19-influenced hiring spree at many law firms. The article explores how, ... read more

April 19th, 2023

Variety

Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae Named to Variety’s 2023 “Legal Impact Report”
Firm partners Bryan Sullivan and Devin McRae were recently selected for inclusion in Variety‘s 2023 “Legal Impact Report,” which honors Hollywood’s top dealmakers and litigators. Bryan was recognized for his representation of attorney Kevin Morris in various legal matters since ... read more

April 19th, 2023

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Early Sullivan Prevails At Bench Trial Recovering Client’s Stolen Funds
Early Sullivan Senior Associate Brett Moore successfully obtained a judgment in favor of client Plaintiff Cleredene Sheriff in a breach of contract and conversion matter against Defendant Pamela Azmi-Andrew. Ms. Sheriff retained Early Sullivan for the limited purpose of representing ... read more

April 14th, 2023

IndieWire

Bryan Sullivan Speaks to IndieWire About Warner Bros. Discovery’s Strategy for the New ‘Max’ Streaming Service
Bryan Sullivan recently spoke with IndieWire about the announced changes to Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming strategy following their merger. ‘Max’ will be the company’s new leading streaming service, combining the content from HBO Max and Discovery+. The article highlighted the ... read more

April 11th, 2023

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Early Sullivan Client Prevails at Bench Trial Against Adverse Possession Claim
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP trial team of Scott Gizer, Padideh Zargari and Brett Moore successfully defended firm client AVTWO Homes LLC against an adverse possession claim in a bench trial before Judge Hammock in Los Angeles ... read more

April 6th, 2023

Variety

Variety Asks Devin McRae to Weigh In on CNN Contract Provisions Following Don Lemon’s Alleged Misogyny in the Workplace
Devin McRae recently spoke to Variety about television anchor Don Lemon’s contract with CNN, and whether included provisions may give the network the ability to terminate the agreement, following recent public and workplace allegations of misogyny raised against Lemon. The ... read more

March 31st, 2023

Early Sullivan Obtains $4.85 Million Jury Verdict for Client in Wrongful Foreclosure Case
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer, Rebecca Claudat and Zachary Hansen obtained a $4.85 million jury verdict on behalf of their clients Cashera Plaza, LLC and Tony Khodadad regarding a wrongful foreclosure on ... read more

March 1st, 2023

Early Sullivan Successfully Has Summary Judgment Order Reversed on Appeal on behalf of Bankruptcy Trustee
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae appellate team, comprised of Scott Gizer and Brett Moore, successfully had a bankruptcy court order granting summary judgment against bankruptcy trustee, Amy Goldman, reversed on appeal by the U.S. District Court. Ms. Goldman ... read more

March 1st, 2023

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Early Sullivan Prevails on behalf of Clients on Fraudulent Transfer Claim
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer, Ryan Hemar, Jackie Hosey and Valerie Segura prevailed in bench trial on behalf of its clients JP Mobasher and Daphne Huey, who were being sued by Mobasher’s ... read more

March 1st, 2023

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Early Sullivan Prevails in Phase 1 Bench Trial on Contract Interpretation Issues
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer, Chris Ritter, and Grace Lau prevailed in a phase 1 bench trial on behalf of its client Alex Tishelman, where Tishelman was being sued by his former ... read more

Sampling of pending and resolved matters

Early Sullivan Prevails in Summary Judgment Victory on Behalf of Fidelity
An Early Sullivan team led by Diane Myint Luczon and Brett G. Moore recently emerged victorious after they filed a motion for a summary judgment, which was granted in full by the Court, in a case representing an insured home buyer. Fidelity retained Early Sullivan to represent an insured buyer who purchased three homes. The seller’s daughter handled the sale for her mother, claiming she had a Power of Attorney, allowing her to sell the homes on her mother’s behalf. After the client purchased the homes, the seller’s son sued the buyer, claiming that the sister’s Power of Attorney was a fraud. The son alleged claims against Early Sullivan’s client of financial elder abuse, intentional misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, accounting, intentional infliction of emotional distress, quiet title, cancellation of instruments, declaratory relief, and related claims. Following discovery, Diane and Brett filed the successful motion for summary judgment, allowing their innocent client to keep the homes he bought. The Court found that the client’s reliance on the daughter’s Power of Attorney was reasonable and in good faith, and therefore the client was immune from the claims brought against him.

9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling Further Cementing Early Sullivan’s Success Against HOA Title Claims
In another historic ruling, the 9th Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling obtained by Early Sullivan in favor of its client Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company agreeing that the Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. could not assert any valid claims against its title insurer Commonwealth for the denial of a claim resulting from a foreclosure on a HOA superpriority lien.  This (attached) memorandum opinion follows the landmark ruling issued by the Nevada Supreme Court in October 2023 finding that title insurers had no liability for these HOA superpriority lien claims under the basic insuring provisions of the title policy and the ALTA 5/CLTA 115.2 and ALTA 9/CLTA 100 endorsements. Wells Fargo had tried to find an exception to the rule laid down by the Nevada Supreme Court with respect to the ALTA 9/CLTA 100 arguing that the language in these particular CC&Rs had different language entitling them to coverage. Wells Fargo also argued that it had coverage under the CLTA 100.13 endorsement, which was not addressed by the Nevada Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit disagreed with both arguments holding that the language of the CC&Rs in this particular case did not change the outcome and that the CLTA 100.13 did not provide coverage because it only covered liens created by the CC&Rs, not by statute, and the superpriority lien was a purely statutory lien. With this most recent victory, the remaining HOA claims still being maintained by the insured lenders, should now be dismissed, ending this more than one hundred million dollar saga, with the scores of plaintiffs being paid little to nothing from the Firm’s title insurer clients.

Early Sullivan Obtains Defense Verdict On $10 Million Bad Faith Claim
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer and Rebecca Claudat obtained a defense verdict on behalf of their client First American Title Insurance Company following a two-week jury trial in Everett, Washington. Early Sullivan was brought in to serve as lead trial counsel by First American just two months prior to trial The insured Saratoga 18, LLC, owned and controlled by private equity firm, the Resmark Companies, had asserted claims against First American for breach of their title insurance policy, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act. The insured had submitted two claims to First American regarding a piece of vacant property it had acquired in Mulkiteo, Washington for condo development. The Insured came to learn that the property was not properly subdivided and there was an issue as to whether the selling entity had the right to sell. First American accepted the subdivision claim and elected to cure that issue, and denied the second claim as premature as no third party had challenged the conveyance. The insured ultimately sued First American alleging that First American had failed to diligently proceed with curative efforts for the subdivision and improperly denied the other claim. The insured claimed it was entitled to $3 million for the value of the property plus $6 million in treble damages, and over a $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs. First American contended that the insured had failed to cooperative with the curative efforts and that the denial of the other claim was not a true denial, but was First American’s invocation of an industry practice referred to as “watchful waiting”, whereby First American agrees to reconsider the claim if it ever becomes an actual adverse issue. The jury agreed with First American that the claim was handled properly in all respects and denied all relief requested by the insured.

Early Sullivan Prevails Before Nevada Supreme Court Likely Ending Massive HOA Litigation
An Early Sullivan appellate team of Scott E. Gizer and Sophia S. Lau secured a monumental victory on behalf of the title insurance industry when the Nevada Supreme Court agreed with them that title insurers did not agree to insure lenders against the enormous losses they suffered when numerous Homeowner’s Associations foreclosed on their assessment liens wiping out deeds of trust securing hundreds of millions of dollars. In Nevada, HOAs are granted a super priority lien for delinquent assessments that takes priority over earlier recorded deeds of trust under NRS 116.3116. When the Nevada Supreme Court confirmed in the landmark 2014 SFR decision that these HOA foreclosures indeed wiped out a lender’s first position deed of trust, the lenders turned around and tendered thousands of claims to their title insurers claiming coverage under two particular endorsements attached to their title policies (the ALTA 5/CLTA 115 and the ALTA 9/CLTA 100). The title insurers largely denied these claims, explaining that these endorsements did not provide coverage for a variety of reasons, resulting in over 100 lawsuits being filed by the lenders in the State of Nevada. Early Sullivan was retained by the Fidelity National Title Group brand of companies, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, and North American Title Insurance Company to defend against these more than 100 lawsuits seeking total damages in excess of $100,000,000.00. In the case of Deutsche Bank v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, Early Sullivan successfully brought a motion to dismiss before Judge Adriana Escobar, who found that under the plain meaning of these endorsements, there was no coverage for Deutsche Bank’s claimed losses from the HOA’s foreclosure on its super priority lien. Deutsche Bank appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, which decided to hear the matter En Banc in the first instance given the known gravity of the case and its effect on over 100 other cases. In a 6-0 published decision, the Nevada Supreme Court, En Banc, agreed with Early Sullivan’s arguments and interpretations of the various statutes and endorsements at issue, and affirmed that the endorsements at issue did not provide coverage for Deutsche Bank’s losses. This decision should result in the dismissal of all other cases regarding this subject matter, and eliminates enormous potential losses to Early Sullivan’s clients. Needless to say, the title insurance industry is thrilled with the results obtained by Early Sullivan.

Early Sullivan Prevails on Behalf of Lenders in Quite Title/Fraud Claim
A trial team of Scott Gizer and Lisa Zepeda prevailed on behalf of its lender clients the Morris Boren Living Trust and Creative Investments, Inc. in an action where Christopher Jordan, the heir to a triplex property in Los Angeles, sought to invalidate the deeds of trust of Early Sullivan’s clients that totaled approximately $1.25 million. The loans at issue were taken out in 2015 by an individual named Angela Fawn Wallace who represented herself to be the trustee of Mr. Jordan’s grandmother’s trust after the grandmother passed and had prepared the trust documents. Ms. Wallace was concurrently being prosecuted on various criminal charges for taking advantage of her clients. Mr. Jordan did not learn of his rights under the trust until the criminal action against Ms. Wallace was filed in 2019. After a two-day bench trial, the trial court ruled in favor Early Sullivan’s clients finding that Ms. Wallace was the proper trustee or, alternatively, the grandmother was negligent for entrusting Ms. Wallace and failing to inform her grandson of his rights under the trust prior to her death such that Ms. Wallace was able to act as the trustee for years without challenge.

Early Sullivan Prevails At Bench Trial Recovering Client’s Stolen Funds
Early Sullivan Senior Associate Brett Moore successfully obtained a judgment in favor of client Plaintiff Cleredene Sheriff in a breach of contract and conversion matter against Defendant Pamela Azmi-Andrew. Ms. Sheriff retained Early Sullivan for the limited purpose of representing her in a bench trial to recover funds stolen by her late-daughter’s roommate. In 2017, Colleen Mayne, Ms. Sheriff’s daughter and only child was suffering from breast cancer and had a seizure that ultimately left her in a coma. In the weeks and months following Ms. Mayne's seizure, Defendant Azmi-Andrew volunteered to help Colleen manage her expenses. Ms. Mayne gave Ms. Azmi-Andrew her credit cards, owned jointly between Ms. Sheriff and her daughter, for that purpose. Defendant ended up using the credit cards to obtain cash advances for herself and to pay for flights, car rentals (including a Lamborghini), and other items. These charges were made without permission from Ms. Sheriff or Ms. Mayne. When Ms. Azmi-Andrew was confronted about the charges, over text messages, she agreed to repay them. At trial, Defendant contended that the charges were gifts and that Ms. Mayne agreed to loan a large sum of money to Defendant, which she intended to repay. She claimed that she never had possession of Ms. Mayne's credit cards. She further denied having entered into an agreement to repay the amounts she stole. Notwithstanding Defendant’s defenses and stories explaining the charges made on the cards, on cross-examination by Mr. Moore, her defenses and stories completely unraveled. Ultimately, the Judge stated that he found Defendant’s credibility “wholly lacking” and rendered a verdict in favor of our client. Ms. Sheriff will get nearly everything that was stolen from her, plus interest.

Early Sullivan Client Prevails at Bench Trial Against Adverse Possession Claim
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP trial team of Scott Gizer, Padideh Zargari and Brett Moore successfully defended firm client AVTWO Homes LLC against an adverse possession claim in a bench trial before Judge Hammock in Los Angeles Superior Court. Plaintiffs claimed to be the owners of certain real property in Los Angeles County through adverse possession based on a grant deed they received from Fannie Mae purporting to convey fee title to the property. However, Fannie Mae did not own fee title to the property, but only owned a leasehold interest in the land. Fannie Mae had made a loan to AVTWO Homes’ tenant to purchase a leasehold interest in the property and the loan was secured against that leasehold interest. The tenant’s leasehold interest was documented through a recorded 40-year Ground Lease. Fannie Mae ultimately foreclosed on its deed of trust and its borrowers’ leasehold interest, but then sold the property to Plaintiffs as if Fannie Mae owned fee title. The Early Sullivan team presented evidence and argued that due to the recorded Ground Lease, Plaintiffs became tenants under the Ground Lease by operation of law and, thus, were precluded from claiming adverse possession under Code of Civil Procedure section 326. Plaintiffs argued that they could not be deemed tenants unless they had actual knowledge of the Ground Lease and consented to its terms. The trial court ruled in favor of AVTOW Homes finding that Plaintiffs took title subject to the Ground Lease and, thus, were in privity of estate with AVTWO Homes under the Ground Lease. Accordingly, under CCP section 326, Plaintiffs could not assert a claim for adverse possession.

Early Sullivan Obtains $4.85 Million Jury Verdict for Client in Wrongful Foreclosure Case
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer, Rebecca Claudat and Zachary Hansen obtained a $4.85 million jury verdict on behalf of their clients Cashera Plaza, LLC and Tony Khodadad regarding a wrongful foreclosure on vacant land in Hanford, CA. Cashera Plaza had obtained a $1.13 million construction loan from Defendants to build a self-serve car wash and auto repair facility. The Defendants entrusted the construction funds to a fund control agent, but then secretly used those same funds for a gold refining venture without Plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent. When this gold venture failed, Defendants tried to hold Cashera Plaza responsible for the entire $1.13 million despite Cashera only receiving approximately $140,000, asserting that the fund control agent was under Cashera Plaza’s control and then trying to hide evidence of Defendants’ secret gold venture. Liability was found and the critical issue at trial became whether Plaintiffs could establish damages for lost profits since Plaintiffs’ car wash and auto repair facility was never built due to Defendants’ breaches and fraud. The jury unanimously found that Plaintiffs had established lost profits with reasonable certainty and awarded Plaintiffs the entire amount of lost profits claimed as well as emotional distress damages for Defendants’ fraud.

Court Dismisses Trademark Infringement Allegations Against Early Sullivan Clients
Early Sullivan clients Sayam Sotelo and J. Frank Sotelo, represented by Bryan Sullivan and Zachary Hansen, were granted a motion to dismiss in a case brought by church organization Abundant Living Family Church (ALFC) for allegations involving trademark infringement on behalf of their company, Live Design, Inc. (Live Design). The claims surrounded Live Design’s refusal to give up rights to the website domain name “www.alfc.church” to ALFC. ALFC had previously contacted Live Design to inquire about purchasing the domain name, and the entities entered into two contracts (signed by J. Frank Sotelo) whereby ALFC would pay a monthly fee to Live Design in exchange for the domain name. Live Design did not perform under these contracts. Early Sullivan argued in defense of the Sotelos on the ground that their actions were on behalf of Live Design and therefore were protected by the fiduciary shield document. ALFC could not prove their burden that the defendants were the primary participants in the wrongdoing or the direct force of the infringement. The Court ultimately granted the motion to dismiss the Sotelos and deny ALFC’s request for limited jurisdictional discovery. With the Sotelos being dismissed, the case will now continue with ALFC’s claim against Live Design Inc.

Early Sullivan Obtains Complete Defense For Sun West in Wrongful Termination, Disability Discrimination Case
An Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae trial team, comprised of Scott Gizer, Diane Myint Luczon, Padideh Zargari, Cameron Aronson, D’Metria Bolden, and Jackie Hosey obtained a complete defense for its client Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. (“Sun West”) against claims asserted by a former employee for wrong termination, disability discrimination, retaliation and wage and hour violations allegedly in response to the employee’s cancer diagnosis. Specifically, the employee claimed that after he revealed his cancer diagnosis to his supervisor, he was denied leave, forced to work from the hospital, had support staff taken away and his compensation structure changed all in an effort to force him to quit. After a week-long arbitration, involving numerous fact witnesses and hundreds of exhibits, the Early Sullivan team convinced the arbitrator that the former employee was provided with all accommodations requested, that the employee elected not to go on leave so that he could maintain his full salary, that the changes in support staff were based on performance issues within his department, and that his change in compensation, and his ultimate termination, were due solely to financial issues Sun West was experiencing in 2018 and 2019. As a result, the arbitrator held that the former employee was to take nothing on his arbitration complaint, and that Sun West prevailed on all claims, entitling it to its costs.

Early Sullivan Obtains Preliminary Injunction For Its Clients Preventing Neighbors From Blocking Property Access
Early Sullivan obtained a Preliminary Injunction for their clients Carl and Laurie Madsen preventing efforts by their neighbors to bar them from using a roadway to their otherwise landlocked home. The Madsen’s property, purchased with intentions to build a home, was left inaccessible after several neighbors blocked the sole road necessary for entry. The neighbors also allegedly harassed vendors and work crews efforts to enter and exit the property. All homeowners and lenders on the road were listed in the lawsuit brought by Early Sullivan attorneys Diane Myint Luczon and Zachary Hansen. Early Sullivan’s motion for Preliminary Injunction and reply were supported by multiple declarations as were the oppositions that were filed. The detailed Order of the ruling determined that the Madsens have satisfied their burden of showing “the likelihood of suffering irreparable harm unless the conduct attributed to defendants including but not limited to Westlunds, their agents and/or others acting in concert with them, is enjoined.” The Madsens can now enjoy their property and their neighbors are prohibited from obstructing access.

Court Sides With Early Sullivan Client After $1M Loan Scheme
In a major bench trial victory, a Court found in favor of Early Sulivan client Cashera Plaza which, in hopes to build a car wash and auto repair center, entered into a $1.13 million construction loan with defendant lender Bian Liao Living Trust. Corporate Asset and Science was appointed as the lender’s fund control agent in the promissory note, with the loan broker named as the trustee of that entity. After receiving only $140k of the $1.13 million towards entitlement efforts, it was discovered that the fund control agent schemed against Cashera, absconding the rest of the money. The lender then foreclosed without giving proper notice to the client, using an incorrect address and claiming the full loan amount of $1.13 million was due plus interest. Early Sullivan sued the lender, the fund control agent, and others for breach of contract and fraud, moving to set aside the foreclosure and cancel the foreclosure documents. At Early Sullivan’s request, the Court bifurcated the equitable claims and tried them first. Ultimately, the Court found in Cashera’s favor on the equitable claims of set aside and cancellation of instructions, holding that the fund control agent was the agent of the lender and that fund control and the lender both engaged in fraud and acted with malicious intent by sending the foreclosure notices to a known bad address. The Early Sullivan team will now try the fraud claims before a jury, bound by the Court’s findings on agency and that the defendants engaged in fraud and acted with malice, leaving the amount of compensatory and punitive damages as the only issues for the jury to decide. The Early Sullivan team was led by Scott Gizer.

Early Sullivan Prevails in Jury Trial Regarding Restaurant Sale
Scott Gizer obtained a unanimous verdict in favor of Early Sullivan client Dion Rottman following a two-week jury trial in Los Angeles. The lawsuit arose out of the sale of a West Hollywood restaurant by defendant Michael Kesler to Mr. Rottman. It was alleged that Mr. Kesler failed to disclose a restriction that affected the ability to operate a restaurant at the location at issue, resulting in a loss of value for the restaurant. Mr. Kesler denied knowing about the restriction, but Scott was able to convince the jury otherwise, and as a result, Mr. Rottman was awarded full damages for the lost value.

Bryan Sullivan Reps AJ Mendez in ViacomCBS/Women of Wrestling Distribution Deal
ViacomCBS has signed an exclusive multi-year distribution deal with WOW - Women of Wrestling that will provide the women’s wrestling league with distribution opportunities across the U.S. and abroad. ViacomCBS plans to air past seasons of WOW on its CW Seed and Pluto TV platforms beginning in December of 2021, with new episodes launching in weekend syndication later in 2022. As part of the deal, former WWE Champion AJ Mendez, represented by Bryan Sullivan, will provide commentary during each broadcast. She will also serve as an executive producer. Mendez is the author of Crazy Is My Superpower and is best known for her time in WWE under the ring name AJ Lee. Read more about the deal in The Hollywood Reporter.

Early Sullivan Secures Major Victory for Shannen Doherty in Woolsey Fire Case
Early Sullivan scored a major victory for client Shannen Doherty in a lawsuit filed against State Farm insurance company, which refused to pay for repairs, following the 2018 Woolsey fire, under a policy on Ms. Doherty’s Malibu home. After an intense legal battle during which Doherty revealed that she had stage 4 terminal cancer, a federal jury in Los Angeles awarded Doherty $6.3 million to cover damages to her home and personal property, emotional distress, and attorneys’ fees. Lead trial counsel Devin McRae and partners Peter Scott and Lisa Boswell tried the case, with support from associate Cory Ray. After the trial, Devin commented: "We thank the members of the jury for their thoughtful consideration of Shannen's case.” He continued, "We are happy they saw the case the way we do. This should send a message to State Farm and other institutions that they should not forget they are dealing with human beings." Hundreds of outlets covered the victory including The Associated Press, TMZ, and RadarOnline.