Estate of Guy Abraham litigation [May 2019]

Gutman Law was appointed as special litigation counsel on behalf of the Successor Administrator of the Estate to prosecute various claims related to approx. $1.4 million in lost profits at Optimox Corporation, the Estate's largest asset. On May 21, 2019, on what was intended to be the second day of trial, the former administrator and the heirs aligned with her (that represented more than 50% of the distributive shares in the Estate), agreed to pay $1.8 million to the Objecting Heirs, who had petitioned for the former administrator's removal.  (The $1.8 million payment represents an approx. $3.7 million benefit to the Estate based on the distributive shares of the Objecting Heirs.) Claims against the former directors of Optimox as well as the former administrator's primary counsel were also resolved. Indeed, all claims were resolved on May 21, 2019 except the claim for fees asserted by the law firm of Greenberg Whitcombe Takeuchi Gibson & Grayver, LLP. 


Greenberg Whitcombe had served as secondary litigation counsel to the former administrator and corporate counsel to Optimox, and claimed that they were entitled to additional extraordinary fees from the Estate in the amount of $142,000, including interest.  During the settlement negotiations on May 21, 2019, the Estate offered to pay Greenberg Whitcombe $120,000, but, remarkably, they refused to accept less than $142,000.  


The trial concerning Greenberg Whitcombe's fees commenced on May 29, 2019. In addition to the $142,000 claimed in extraordinary fees, Greenberg Whitcombe requested $250,000 over and above the $142,000 for fees to recover their fees. 


After several hours of testimony, it was clear from the evidence that Greenberg Whitcombe's fee claim was specious and the Court should order the disgorgement of fees that had been paid on account. With the "writing on the wall," Greenberg Whitcombe agreed to pay back $135,000 to the Estate.  It was truly an astonishing turn of events, that resulted in a savings to the Estate in excess of $500,000. 


Between the claims against the former administrator, former Optimox directors and the law firms, our efforts led to a multi-million dollar benefit to the Estate. 


Gutman Law represented the Successor Administrator of the Estate, and is grateful to have worked with Robert N. Sacks of Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise, LLP, who represented the Objecting Heirs. 

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VICTORY IN COURT OF APPEAL [FEBRUARY 2019]

 

In a published decision issued on February 27, 2019, the California Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed our victory in Cleopatra Records, Inc. vs. Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett LLP.  


We originally prevailed at trial against the producer of the Broadway show "Million Dollar Quartet," Floyd Mutrux,  in 2015, for approx. $1 million. Mutrux then purported to assign his revenues from Million Dollar Quartet to his lawyers at the Gilbert Kelly law firm, however, we argued that our judgment, which we recorded and perfected, had priority over Gilbert Kelly's purported assignment , which had not been recorded.  While the Gilbert Kelly firm argued that its assignment constituted a transfer of Mutrux's interest in the revenues, we established that the assignment created a security interest subject to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") and, therefore, priority to Mutrux's revenues was determined based on perfection of the security interest. 


The trial court agreed with our analysis. The Court of Appeal, in affirming the trial court's decision, wrote "[u]nlike Gilbert Kelly, we cannot pretend the UCC does not exist," holding that Cleopatra Records' judgment lien had priority over Gilbert Kelly's assignment of Floyd Mutrux's revenue in Million Dollar Quartet. 


Gutman Law represented Cleopatra at trial and on the appeal, along with our esteemed colleague, Evan S. Cohen. 

Judgment for Defense in Seretti v. Augustine, Trustee of the Jojazak Irrevocable Trust [Sept 2018]

Following a 13-day trial before the Hon. Victor Chavez, at the Spring Street Courthouse, our motion for judgment was granted after Plaintiff rested his case-in-chief. We represented the court-appointed trustee who inherited the claims against the trust based on Plaintiff's $1.4 million investment in real estate developments in 2006. We offered $800,000 before trial commenced; Plaintiff never made a demand or counter-offer, and then Plaintiff's forensic accounting expert claimed that Plaintiff was entitled to damages of $8.5 million.  Judgment was entered in favor of Defendants on September 6, 2018.

Judgment for Defense in breach of contract case [July 2018]

Gutman Law successfully represented the defendant in a breach of contract case tried before the Hon. Monica Bachner.

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Five Finger Death Punch - Case Settled [October 2017]

 Gutman Law is pleased to report that chart-topping, hard rock superstars Five Finger Death Punch and its label, Prospect Park, have resolved their dispute and differences. The band and label are excited to announce the release of  a greatest hits album with two new songs in December 2017 and the release of a new record next year.

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$2.7 million judgment in Minmetals v. Hanwa [September 2017]

Following an 8-day arbitration before the Hon. John Zebrowski, Justice of the Court of Appeal (Ret.), Gutman Law's client Minmetals, Inc., the US subsidiary of China Minmetals Corporation, obtained a judgment in the amount of $2.7 million against Hanwa American Corp., a subsidiary of Hanwa Co., Ltd. of Japan. 

Victory for Cleopatra Records, Inc. on "Million Dollar Quartet" Judgment [May 2017]

 After having obtained an approx. $1 million judgment against "Million Dollar Quartet" producer Floyd Mutrux and his production company in 2015, Cleopatra Records prevailed (again) against Mutrux's attorneys who claimed that Mutrux had assigned his revenues from that show to the firm to pay outstanding fees and costs.  

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Confidential Settlement in Copyright Infringement Case vs. T-Mobile

Obtained a confidential settlement in connection with a copyright infringement case brought on behalf of Immediate Music, Inc.,  the leading provider of music for motion picture advertising, product advertising, television promos, video game trailers and other media.  

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Confidential Settlement with Pitbull [November 2016]

 Gutman Law represented Pitbull's former management and obtained a confidential settlement prior to trial. 

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Dismissal for Ice Productions on Avril Lavigne claims [Summer 2016]

 Gutman Law obtained summary judgment on all claims brought by Avril Lavigne's touring company in connection with payments for a concert.