Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation

VLMG’s experience ranges beyond construction law to include a robust commercial litigation practice. VLMG’s lawyers have assisted clients in drafting, negotiating and administering contracts as well as handling a variety of matters across business, real estate, corporate disputes, intellectual property and other aspects of commercial litigation. VLMG’s lawyers possess extensive experience representing clients in commercial matters in both domestic and international arbitrations as well as all levels of litigation, including both state and federal appeals. VLMG works collaboratively with its clients to develop goal-oriented strategies that are also mindful of costs and risks. When the target objectives cannot be achieved short of litigation, VLMG’s lawyers possess the experience necessary to provide clients with aggressive, innovative and ultimately successful strategies and tactics to achieve the desired results. 

Representative Experience

VLMG attorneys represented one of the largest private administrators of prison health care systems specializing in providing administrative services designed to facilitate the timely and cost-effective delivery of health care to incarcerated persons. The suit involved a California state entity who attempted to refuse contractual payment to the administrator on a variety of grounds while also forcing the administrator to continue to provide future services without compensation. This case traveled through several courts, including state court and the Eastern and Northern Districts of California, largely on jurisdictional grounds, before VLMG attorneys won a key victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the case was remanded to the Northern District of California. Subsequently, VLMG’s attorneys were able to set the groundwork for a settlement favorable to the administrator on the core contract issues. 

A team of VLMG attorneys successfully defended a Fortune 500 engineering firm in a high-stakes dispute involving numerous parties asserting trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference, and unfair business practices claims, among others. Following a lengthy and contentious discovery process, and dozens of coordinated depositions conducted in jurisdictions throughout the United States, VLMG attorneys successfully moved for partial summary adjudication on several critical theories of recovery. After conducting depositions of plaintiffs’ key expert witnesses, the VLMG team moved to dismiss the majority of the plaintiffs’ remaining claims, as well as strike all damages claims.  While these motions were pending, the parties engaged in further mediation resulting in a favorable resolution for the client as to all remaining claims on the eve of trial.

In addition, VLMG’s commercial litigation experience touches upon businesses— large and small — unrelated to construction, engineering, or public contracting. For example, VLMG attorneys represented a corporate client during the purchase and sale of a manufacturing company. VLMG attorneys also represented various competitive local exchange carriers in litigation related to the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Further, VLMG attorneys represented a beauty salon franchise in a contract dispute with a supplier. 

Notably, VLMG attorneys successfully litigated and settled a corporate shareholder dispute concerning breach of fiduciary duties. A corporate officer and shareholder allegedly absconded with more than four million dollars in corporate funds over the course of approximately three years. The representation of the shareholders in a derivative capacity involved preparing for litigation, seeking injunctive relief, and, ultimately, reaching a favorable early settlement.

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