Jeff has extensive experience in almost every kind of commercial dispute, with dozens of trials in state and federal court in California, Washington, Oregon, and New York. He emphasizes accounting and corporate/partnership disputes, intellectual property, contract, fraud, securities, class actions, banking, and employment litigation.
From 1970 to 1992, he practiced with the San Francisco law firm Feldman, Waldman & Kline, where he was managing partner and chairman of the litigation department. From 1992 to 2002, he was a partner with the San Francisco office of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro.
Jeff is currently assisting the law firm of Sher Leff LLP in representing the State of New Hampshire in a case against major oil companies for state-wide contamination of groundwater by MTBE.
Professional Accolades and Engagements
- Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004
- Secured $1.5 million judgment (in settlement) enforcing debt obligation defended with usury allegation. (San Francisco County Superior Court.)
- Successfully terminated $4 million testamentary trust (by settlement) where disabled client’s friend had cajoled client’s mother into establishing trust with friend as trustee; successfully challenged no contest clause in the trust.
- Tried corporate dissolution action representing large dairy corporation; avoided dissolution by enforcing disputed buy-sell agreement against the minority shareholder.
- Represented franchisors and franchisees in actions alleging breach of California Franchise Investment Law.
- In major bankruptcy, represented the trustee in numerous preference actions, including trial against more than five hundred defendants on common theory; organized system for cost-effective handling of the parties and data.
- Obtained multi-million dollar recovery for insured on claim for earthquake damage and bad-faith adjusting tactics.
- Represented the dean of major law school in the investigation of alleged financial improprieties, obtaining no action by district attorney and settlement agreement with school.
- Represented gaming consulting company in multiple lawsuits against California Indian tribe for $15 million breach of contract, where primary issue was the tribe’s waiver of its sovereign immunity. (Fresno County Superior Court; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.)
- Won substantial court judgment in partition and breach of contract action over shared home and assets of unmarried couple. (San Diego County Superior Court.)
- Represented the founder of Silicon Valley chip company in corporate control dispute, and obtained his reinstatement after his termination by the board of directors.
- Represented land developer in arbitration of value of unusual parcel of land in proceeding against S.F. Redevelopment Agency.
- Won multi-million dollar award on behalf of Bay Area founder and other employees of several top computer magazines in dispute with publisher over calculation of revenues and profits to determine pay-out under contract.
- Represented limited partners of oil and gas venture in court and jury trial against general partner, obtaining defense verdict against his claim for compensation, and declaratory and injunctive relief that general partner had improperly paid himself, and establishing new accounts of the partnership and rules for accounting and distributions in the future.
- Won multi-million dollar jury verdict against NYSE listed corporation for manipulating accounting practices following the acquisition of subsidiary, in order to depress the earn-out to selling shareholders.
- Successfully settled malpractice action against attorney who misrepresented his fees to the opposing party in litigation, and exposed client to subsequent lawsuit. (Alameda County Superior Court.)
- Won $7.4 million jury verdict in breach of contract action relating to sale and development of mining property, and succeeded in post-judgment collection in face of fraudulent property liens. (Solano County Superior Court; Contra Costa County Superior Court.)
- Successfully settled attorney malpractice action against major national law firm relating to failure to maintain international patents. (San Francisco County Superior Court.)
- Reached substantial settlement after six months of representation of plaintiff in decade-old attorney malpractice action against major California law firm relating to failed trial strategy in environmental contamination case. (San Francisco County Superior Court.)
- Successfully settled malpractice claim against estate planner who facilitated client’s mother’s establishment of trust with $4 million in assets controlled by personal friend and attorney.
- Represented numerous plaintiffs in malpractice actions against lawyers and architects.
- Defended accountants against professional negligence actions.
- Defended real estate brokers against professional negligence and fraud claims.
- Defended bank against statewide class action alleging Unruh Act violations; successfully opposed class certification.
- Defended wholesaler against class alleging overcharges; won court approval of settlement without notice to class.
- Defended class action against restaurant supplier for defrauding customers by shorting quantities.
- Won jury verdict enforcing delivery commitment contract against an agricultural cooperative claiming the excuse of drought.
- Defended state-wide franchisor of business consulting services against claims by two franchisees of fraud and violation of franchise law; won cross-claims asserting misappropriation of proprietary materials.
- Settled 10 coordinated lawsuits involving interlocking ownership factions of four business entities and claims involving breach of fiduciary duty, contract damages, interpretation of partnership agreement, and legal malpractice.
- Represented commercial tenant in suit to enforce late exercise of option by estoppel, and to interpret lease as to determination of rent.
- Defended three attorneys in suit by former client to set aside twenty-year old fee agreement which provided attorneys with percentage interest in the estate which they had won for an adopted child as an heir to one of the great Hawaii trusts, where the fee had become worth several million dollars.
- Defended public corporation against claims of breach of contract and fraud in the acquisition of closely held corporation.
- Defended real estate buyer against rescission action where price was paid on January 2 rather than December 31 as contract provided.
- Won half-million dollar jury verdict for limited partner against general partner for failure to disclose material information in the buy-out of the partnership interest.
- Successfully defended in trial the defaulting purchaser of real property on the ground of impossibility due to unprecedented rise in interest rates.
- Successfully settled employment action against entertainment and sports agency for fraud and wrongful termination. (San Francisco County Superior Court.)
- Defended numerous wrongful termination cases for such clients as major winery, national trucking company, software development company, real estate investment company, and major pharmaceutical corporation.
- Handled numerous race, age, and sex discrimination cases, including several public companies, and tried race and age cases to defense verdicts.