Commercial Litigation


CPM has decades of experience and a proven track record of success in commercial litigation. CPM understands the need to litigate cases in a cost-effective manner. Years of experience, well thought out strategies and strong execution of those strategies allow CPM to achieve excellent results for its clients without excessive costs.

If you would like to discuss your potential or pending commercial litigation case, please follow up with Mark Molumphy, Nancy Nishimura, Anne Marie Murphy or Brian Danitz.

Noteworthy Cases

Noteworthy Cases

MIGSIF, et al. v. Mameesh et. al.

San Mateo County Superior Court

CPM represented a real estate entrepreneur and fund manager in litigation against his former joint venture partner. The case involved millions of dollars’ worth of San Francisco real estate. CPM’s clients claimed that their long-time business partners overpaid themselves out of joint venture properties. In a jury trial, CPM prevailed on its clients’ claims and also defeated the defendants’ countersuit, which claimed entitlement to half of the real estate fund’s profits.

Miele v. Franklin Resources, Inc. et al.

USDC, Northern District of California

CPM successfully defended one of the world’s largest investment management firms and its former CEO, who allegedly failed to safeguard shares of Franklin stock purchased in 1973 to be held in trust for the plaintiff and valued at almost $200 million 40 years later. The district court granted Franklin’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the case, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment on appeal. 

John’s Grill v. Hartford Financial Services Group, et al.

San Francisco County Superior Court

CPM represents iconic San Francisco restaurant, John’s Grill, and other businesses, in a series of cases alleging bad faith refusal to provide insurance coverage for business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related Civil Authority shutdown orders. 

JD Brothers LLC et al. v. Liberty Asset Management Corporation et al.

USDC, Northern District of California

CPM successfully prosecuted claims by investors in a real estate venture that they were defrauded in a series of complex transactions. The case settled after jury selection and the district court entered stipulated judgments totaling $10 million in favor of the plaintiffs.

Koo, et al. v. Happe, et al.

Sacramento County Superior Court

CPM represents investors alleging they were defrauded in a Ponzi-scheme involving the purchase of distressed mortgage notes. 

Morning Star Fisheries, et al. v. San Mateo County Harbor District

San Mateo County Superior Court; JAMS Arbitration

CPM successfully represented San Mateo County Harbor District in a series of commercial disputes with fisheries located at Johnson Pier in El Granada, California.  After an eleven day hearing, the Arbitrator ruled in favor of the District on all claims and ordered the fisheries to pay the District over $500,000 in attorney fees and costs for defending the lawsuits.

In re: LIBOR-based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation

USDC, Southern District of New York; MDL Proceeding

CPM represents more than a dozen California cities, counties, and public entities, including East Bay Municipal Utilities District, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County, San Mateo County, City of Richmond, and the UC Regents against major financial institutions including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Deutsche Bank, alleging they manipulated the global benchmark interest rate known as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). CPM’s individual cases are consolidated with dozens of nationwide class actions in New York.

Boyd v. Boyd

San Mateo County Superior Court

CPM successfully defended against a claim that CPM’s client owed the defendant for alleged oral loan agreements made over several decades. After the close of evidence in the jury trial, the court directed judgment for CPM’s client. CPM successfully defended the trial court result on appeal. In a related case brought by the same plaintiff against the defendant’s epicurean food business, CPM obtained an immediate dismissal of the case (Boyd v. Epicure).

Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation

USDC, Southern District of New York; MDL Proceeding

CPM represented more than 24 cities, counties, utilities, and educational institutions including the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, San Mateo County, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and the UC Regents against major banks and insurance companies, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan, alleging they rigged the bidding process for investing millions in municipal bond funds. 

Ambac Bond Insurance Litigation

San Francisco County Superior Court

CPM represented 26 cities, counties, educational institutions and non-profits, including the UC Regents, City of San Jose, City of Riverside, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District against bond insurers and credit rating agencies, including Ambac, MBIA, and Standard & Poor’s, alleging the defendants conspired to suppress the plaintiffs’ credit ratings to compel them to purchase costly insurance to enhance the ratings of their bond issuances.  

Phelps v. Van Dyk Mortgage Corporation

Santa Clara County Superior Court

CPM represented investors who were victims of a misappropriation scheme. After the court issued its ruling on summary judgment, the case settled on favorable terms.

Universal Paragon Corporation v. Ingersoll-Rand Company

USDC, Northern District of California

CPM represented a property developer in litigation relating to a decades-long dispute over DNAPL (Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid) contamination caused by solvents from a lock factory owned by the Schlage Lock Company, before it was acquired  by Ingersoll-Rand. The Visitacion Valley property, which was the subject of the litigation, is some of the most valuable and underdeveloped property in the Bay Area but the contamination and litigation prevented any serious effort to develop this property. CPM’s aggressive litigation strategy resulted in a successful resolution of the litigation, creating an opportunity to develop Visitacion Valley into a commercial center in the Bay Area. The California Court of Appeal described CPM as an “experienced litigation firm that obtained a ‘stupendous’ result for the [client].”

Siller v. Siller Brothers, Inc.

Sutter County Superior Court

The firm successfully represented a minority shareholder in a dissolution proceeding and trial establishing a value for his corporate interest at more than double that of the court-appointed appraisers.

Tax Shelter Cases

CPM successfully represented a number of taxpayers who were induced into investing in different tax strategies based upon representations by tax professionals like BDO Seidman, KPMG and Ernst & Young that the investments were legitimate. In fact, the investments were illegal tax shelters and the taxpayers had to pay back-taxes, penalties and interest. 

Olympus v. Taisei Construction

Santa Clara County Superior Court

The firm successfully represented the owner of the prestigious Calistoga Ranch Resort in an action for fraudulent overbilling against Taisei Construction.

Montana Power

CPM successfully represented individuals in a bankruptcy against Goldman Sachs and Millbank Tweed arising out of the collapse of Montana Power Company. Millions of dollars were returned to the clients.



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