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Practice Areas

Commercial and Class-Action Litigation, Business, Real Estate and Finance, Unclaimed Property Law and Litigation, Insurance Insolvency


Commercial and Class-Action Litigation
It is a fact of life that disputes sometimes arise among parties to transactions. When such disputes arise, the firm advocates the interests of its clients throughout the dispute resolution process. In addition, through extensive and detailed knowledge of the inner workings of government, the firm is able to represented ordinary citizens against injustice perpetrated against them by overzealous officials.

We have tried many state and federal cases for clients of all sizes before juries, courts, arbitrators and administrative hearing officers - in California and throughout the nation, including before the United States Supreme Court. We conduct litigation planning, all forms of pre-trial motion and discovery practice, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution, trials and appeals at all levels. We have represented clients in a variety of disputes, including antitrust, bankruptcy, breach of contract, fraud, intellectual property, securities issues, energy/mining, unfair competition, franchises, constitutional claims, and many others.

Business, Real Estate and Finance
We specialize in providing sophisticated legal expertise to individual and small businesses who need an edge in a competitive marketplace. We provide a full range of business services, from formation and structuring of legal entities, to business plan development, to business transactions and contracts, to mergers and acquisitions of all magnitudes, to clients in California, nationwide, and internationally. We offer a full range of real estate expertise, including purchases and sales, land use, leasing and financing. We add value by thoroughly understanding our clients' objectives, anticipating areas of risk and/or conflict before they arise, and offering creative solutions to present and future problems.

Unclaimed Property Law and Litigation
Mr. Palmer does a significant amount of work involving the Unclaimed Property Law and has significant lawsuits pending against California Controller Steve Westly involving the mishandling of public and private funds. See, for example, Mr. Palmer's published decisions in: Suever v. Westly, 439 F. 3d 1142 (March 14 2006); Taylor v. Westly 402 F.3d 924 (9th Cir. 2005) (Kleinfeld, J.), reh'g denied, reh'g en banc denied ___ F.3d ___ (May 13, 2005) (The Ninth Circuit denied the Controller's petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc with the added comment that the panel circulated the petition to all the 58-judges of the Ninth Circuit and "not a single judge" wished to rehear the case); Harris, et. al. v. Westly (2004) 116 Cal. App. 4th 214; and see Fong v. Westly (2004) 117 Cal. App. 4th 841.

On May 15, 2006, Mr. Palmer prevailed on a motion for summary adjudication of issues and obtained four injunctions against the California Controller in Trust Realty Partners v. Westly, Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 04AS02522. The injunctions prohibit the Controller from further violations of law and require the State Official to (1) provide Constitutional Notice and Due Process to property owners before their property is sold or otherwise destroyed; (2) promulgate proper regulations under the Administrative Procedures Act (or "APA"), Government Code §§11340 et seq.; (3) prohibit the Controller from retroactively applying reductions in interest rates, and requiring the Controller to restore the wrongfully-stripped interest by retroactive application of the law to all private accounts; and (4) return property to Mr. Palmer's client TRP.

Complex Securities Cases
Mr. Palmer has significant experience dealing with complex securities cases. See, for example, Mr. Palmer's recent successful appearances in Tucker v. Intel Corporation, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 03-17079 (SLUSA Preemption); Harris v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 02-56335 , United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 84 Fed. App. 958; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 26502, November 4, 2003 (9th Cir. 2003)(Mr. Palmer associated into the case on appeal, wrote the appellate briefs in the class action brought on behalf of Verizon minority shareholders and overturned a lower court ruling based on ERISA preemption); see also, Allen v. Lloyd's of London, 94 F.3d 923 (4th Cir. 1996) (Held: The policies of the United States securities laws did not override the parties' choice of forum and law for resolving disputes; thus, the contractual provisions selecting the law of and a forum in the United Kingdom were enforced).

Insurance Insolvency
Mr. Palmer was lead counsel for the restructuring of Golden Eagle Insurance Company that, at $1.2 billion, was one of the largest insurance insolvencies (bankruptcies) in the last decade. Mr. Palmer successfully preserved the current business within a "New" Golden Eagle Insurance Company that was purchased for $1.2 billion by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, while creating a massive liquidating trust. The Golden Eagle insolvency is now used as a model for the efficient handling and resuscitation of an insurance company.

Additional work performed in complex insurance insolvencies may be found in published and unpublished decisions in which Mr. Palmer appeared as counsel, for example, see Quackenbush v. Mission Ins. Co. (1998) 62 Cal. App. 4th 797 (Held: Liquidation plan submitted by California Insurance Commissioner was approved even though objections were made that the plan required estimated payments prior to claims being established when plan provided for process to establish claims).