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Practices - General Litigation

McGuinness & Associates engages in a large variety of general litigation matters throughout California. In addition to its California litigation, our firm manages a national litigation program for a Fortune 500 company. This firm has developed a network of local counsel in each of the program states to successfully operate and manage this litigation. With assistance from these local counsel, our firm actively litigates nationally.

An international, Fortune 200 company retained M&A as its California building systems division counsel. The role expanded to the firm representing the company for all its California litigation and being engaged as its national claims counsel.  Eventually, M&A was appointed as claims counsel for the company’s entire North American business operations.

Our general litigation practice comprises matters ranging from contract litigation to specific practice areas such as construction law, business, banking, finance, products liability, professional liability, trade regulation, anti-trust, unfair competition and transactional law. Our lawyers have litigated the following representative general litigation cases:

  • This firm won a 30 million dollar bid protest trial against the City of Los Angeles ("City") and the County of Los Angeles ("County"). Our client estimated the cumulative business value of the action, to exceed 50 million dollars.

    The Trial Court issued a Writ of Mandate and Judgment directing the City and the County to cancel and vacate a contract which emanated from the contested bid. The Trial Court also awarded our client a full recovery of its litigation costs.

    By promptly conducting an effective discovery plan, this firm obtained an interim injunction against the City and County avoiding efforts by these entities to expedite the completion of illegal transactions. Such efforts included advanced payments for undelivered product and an acceleration of product delivery. Based on evidence we developed and presented at hearing, the Court found that it had been misled by prior County representations and that our client had established the basis for extraordinary relief. The Court, therefore, granted our client's application for the interim injunction.

    This firm then uncovered evidence of pricing formulas which the Court found to be illegal and performance evaluation practices which the Court found to be both "unfair" and a "misuse" of the established evaluation methodology. The Court granted our client's request for a Writ of Mandate, independently, on each of these grounds.


  • This firm won an $8.4 million trial verdict in a construction defects / insurance bad faith action. Initially, a general contractor filed a lawsuit against our client for payment concerning the construction of a Church gymnasium and community center. This firm's fact finding efforts provided our client with both a complete defense to the general contractor's claim and a multi-million dollar counter-claim.

    By engaging industry experts and conducting site examinations, significant latent construction defects and pervasive, dangerous mold growth were discovered. Our firm then pursued claims on behalf of the Church, against the general contractor, its subcontractors and their respective insurers, resulting in a settlement recovery from the insurance carriers and subcontractors of $4,800,000.
    See featured case story


  • Our lawyers won a defense verdict against a multi-million dollar delay and defects claim, involving a life/fire/safety system installation on a 54-story office building project (Private Judge Trial). 
    See featured case story


  • Our lawyers won an unanimous $1.5 million jury verdict in a fraud action, on a case in which our client’s original counsel had tendered a statutory settlement offer of $25,000. Defendant had rejected that $25,000 statutory offer. Significant punitive damages were awarded against the defendant for his wrongful and malicious conduct.
    See featured case story


  • This firm obtained a full settlement recovery of $750,000 from a major California Bank for negligent payment of fraudulent checks which had been wrongfully drafted on the business account of our client. The Bank failed to recognize and respond to classic fraud indicators inherent in these embezzlement transactions. An additional judgment against the employee embezzler for an amount of $499,000 was also obtained.
    See featured case story


  • Favorably resolved an industrial accident case involving the collapse of a scissor lift resulting in severe personal injuries to employees, including debilitating paraplegic injuries to one of the employees. Our client, a major overnight mail and freight shipping company, was the employer of the injured workers and owned, operated and supervised scissor lift activity. Our client obtained a complete liability release, while other case defendants fully paid a settlement sum.
    See featured case story


  • Received a $500,000 settlement payment for a racial discrimination case against a municipality. In addition, our clients remained employed and we obtained an agreement that unfavorable performance reviews pertaining to our clients would be reevaluated by specific supervisors not implicated in the racial discrimination activity. The municipality also agreed to provide elevated positions and job benefits based upon the merit of the amended performance evaluations.
    See featured case story


  • Established a complete defense to liability allegations for the failure of a smoke detector to activate in a student dormitory unit. The student occupant suffered burns throughout his body which penetrated to bone depth. Substantial grafting and reconstructive surgery over the course of several years was required to restore minimal functionality and appearance. Although our client’s smoke detector installed in the room did not activate, this firm proved our client to be without fault.
    See featured case story


  • Prevailed on appeal to overturn a judgment against our client. Prior to our engagement, plaintiffs sought a court order, dispossessing our clients from the Church in which they worshiped. This order was granted and became a judgment. This firm prevailed on appeal to overturn that judgment. Subsequently, a summary judgment in favor of our client was granted. 
    See featured case story


  • Defended the manufacturer of a chemical fire suppression system which serviced a deep fryer appliance. The deep fryer appliance failed resulting in a catastrophic fire which destroyed an entire restaurant building. Although our client’s fire suppression system failed to activate, this firm developed evidence to prove that our client was without fault.
    See featured case story


  • Successfully defended against a lawsuit for alleged damages on a major co-generation installation project. Plaintiff sought multi-million dollar damages based on allegations that promised energy cost savings were unrealized. Our lawyers established that plaintiff had no actual savings deficit, based on operational factors such as the expansion of plaintiff’s structure by several trailer suites which had been connected to the structure’s grid after the savings program commenced. Expert analysis of plaintiff’s bills and a comparison of energy usage over time demonstrated that the promised cost savings were indeed realized.

  • Defended successfully against several separate multi-million dollar lawsuits arising from energy and operational cost savings programs, each of which provided a specific guaranteed savings amount. Our lawyers have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of such programs. We do so by analyzing variables such as structure expansions, tenant population, operational hours, load demand and rate increases, all of which can result in higher energy costs while promised net cost savings are achieved.

  • Established a complete defense to a multi-million dollar toxic mold claim arising from the construction of six separate apartment buildings. Plaintiff alleged that our client provided and installed defective equipment which leaked water throughout the enclosed envelop in all of these buildings. The water leakage was also alleged to have caused toxic mold throughout the apartment complex. The buildings did have severe water damage and were replete with mold. Our client’s product, however, was proven to be intact and a separate water source was found to have caused the plaintiff’s damages. Our client acknowledged responsibility for a few installation defects, unrelated to either the water damage or mold. A dismissal of our client was obtained for a very nominal settlement payment.

  • This firm successfully obtained injunction orders to prevent employees of our client from disgorging confidential company information, including trade secrets, customer lists and proprietary materials. The orders also prevented the former employees from recruiting other of our client’s employees. 

  • Successfully defended against a multi-million dollar defective specification and delay claim. Our lawyers established evidence that design work provided by our client was appropriate. Claimant was persuaded to abandon this claim without litigation and without payment of any kind by our client.

  • Defended successfully against multi-million dollar claims asserted by a major Southern California hospital against our client for the replacement of allegedly defective industrial equipment, lost profits and utility expense impacts. 

  • Our lawyers won a substantial jury trial verdict in a defective roofing case involving leakage and severe water damage to the structure, flooring and property contained within. We represented the owner and demonstrated that the roofing design and installation methods were inadequate.

  • Achieved a successful summary judgment for a client in defense of a “sick building” case involving alleged lung damage and other injuries.

  • Enjoined a municipality and contractors engaged by it from proceeding forward on a construction project. A court issued this order based on evidence that the municipality had failed to comply with competitive bidding statutes. 

  • Successfully defended an international freight shipping company against claims of negligence relating to customer allegations of excessive tariff charges.

  • Defended client against OSHA citations for unsafe construction site conditions. Our client prevailed at the hearing based on the evidence entered before the hearing judge. Significant OSHA evidence was excluded, leading to a defense judgment in favor of our client.

  • Obtained favorable negotiated resolutions for a corporate business client on several Department of Labor Standards Enforcement cases alleging breach of prevailing wage laws.

  • Successfully defended several separate actions for the allegedly defective installation of life/fire/safety system equipment.

  • Defended many major construction defect cases and achieved resolution without any significant payments by our clientele to claimants, either in settlement or through trial.

  • Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar claim by California Franchise Tax Board against a corporation, without any payment by our client.

Additional General Litigation Stories

  • The firm successfully defended an air conditioner manufacturer that provided over 100 air conditioning units for hotel rooms at a major hotel franchise. The hotel became contaminated with mold, and the hotel owner alleged the air conditioning units were the source of the mold. The hotel owner claimed these units allowed water to intrude into the hotel structure causing mold to grow. This firm developed evidence that water intruded into the units because the hotel used decorative covers on the units, rather than the water resistant louvers required by the product literature. The decorative covers directed water into the hotel rooms. Additionally, the owner’s installing contractor admitted during examination by this firm that the units were improperly installed. The units were designed to be installed on an angle, so any minor water intrusion would drain to the building exterior. The contractor, however, installed the units level, and water could not properly drain.

  • A manufacturer of air conditioning systems was sued by a school district when a chiller ceased operating because of leaks in the copper tubing containing the refrigerant. This firm worked with expert witnesses and an European company that manufactured the unit’s tubing to demonstrate that a rupture in that tubing was caused by the introduction of debris in the chiller unit during the school’s routine maintenance work, and was not a result of any manufacturing defect. Our firm developed evidence that the water supply and return system feeding the unit had not been properly flushed prior to system start up. Thus, debris was likely present in the water supply flowing through the unit. Additionally, evidence was developed that strainers required by the manufacturer, to remove debris, had not been installed.

  • This firm successfully defended a major alarm company from claims brought by its customer after a burglary occurred at the customer’s store. The customer alleged claims of fraud and conversion in an effort to avoid enforcement of the security services contract, which contained liability disclaimers and limitations on liability. The customer also alleged licensing violations in an effort to invalidate the contract. This firm succeeded in obtaining a dismissal of the fraud and conversion claims through dispositive motions. The case settled shortly before trial, after plaintiff’s representative provided testimony contradicting a his own prior sworn declaration during videotaped depositions, and with motions in limine pending that may well

  • A national security company was threatened with legal action when the insurer for client’s customer refused to pay a multimillion dollar damage claim resulting from burglary at customer’s commercial property. Insurer contended that customer failed to procure a sufficient security system or to properly engage the system. This firm worked with counsel for the customer to demonstrate that security system was sufficient, was properly engaged, and provided appropriate signals, but that the burglary was completed before a police response could have prevented the loss. The customer received a full recovery from its insurer, and legal action against this firm’s client was entirely avoided.

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