The Inn's attorneys have successfully handled a variety of cases with excellent results. Here is a summary of our experience and accomplishments.
Antitrust and Unfair Competition
The firm's partners have worked on many cases involving federal or state antitrust claims or claims of unfair competition under California's Unfair Competition Law. The firm's successful defense of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan culminated in the landmark decision of Samura v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1284, which held that the UCL does not extend to issues entrusted to an administrative agency's discretionary governance.
In an era in which many predispute arbitration programs have been struck down by the courts, the Inn has successfully defended Kaiser Permanente's program from various legal challenges. The firm's most important victory in this field is Moore v. Conliffe (1994) 17 Cal.App.4th 1284, wherein the California Supreme Court held (4-3) that the litigation privilege applies to contractual arbitration.
Debtor-Creditor and Bankruptcy
The firm's attorneys have helped creditors to achieve solid results in bankruptcy actions. Our achievements include enforcing health plans' recovery of premiums in several corporate bankruptcies, including the Space Loral bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York and the Northpoint bankruptcy in the Northern District of California. We also have a thriving statewide practice of collecting debts in an efficient and effective manner. Our tactical expertise has been used in several high profile embezzlement cases. One dramatic case required us to coordinate the recovery of stolen assets hidden in bank accounts in the Isles of Mann and Jersey (U.K.) and Sri Lanka.
Real Estate, Land Use and Landlord-Tenant
The Inn has successfully litigated a variety of construction disputes on behalf of both owners and contractors. When PG&E sought to construct an overhead high voltage transmission line over a client’s ranch property in the Pleasanton area, the firm successfully persuaded the California Public Utilities Commission to require PG&E to construct the longest underground line in the United States. We are also mounting a challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act to a large oil firm’s effort to place a pipeline on the client’s ranch land. We have handled a variety of commercial and residential landlord-tenant matters for both landlords and tenants, and are trial counsel for a chain of residential motels in southern Alameda County. We have also achieved favorable outcomes for material suppliers, architects and other project professionals.
Consumer Class Actions
The Inn's attorneys have successfully defended and prosecuted several major class actions brought on behalf of consumer classes. On the defense side, we achieved a favorable settlement of a class action brought on behalf of a class of women who were allegedly denied coverage for in vitro fertilization treatments and eliminated class relief altogether in class actions brought on behalf of HMO members who allegedly were overcharged for copies of medical records and who allegedly were harmed by improper lien collection claims.
On the plaintiff's side, the Inn prosecuted a class action against General Electric that culminated in a settlement that returned millions in illegal late fee charges to a California class of auto lessees. The firm is also credited with having done most of the pretrial work that culminated in the 2004 national class settlement of post-cancellation billing claims against America Online. Our work in that litigation resulted in a major victory for California consumers when the Court of Appeal found that AOL's Virginia-forum-selection clause was unenforceable in small claims cases. America On-Line v. Superior Court (Mendoza) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 1. The state legislature codified this decision by prohibiting companies from requiring consumers to litigate small claims cases in distant forums.
General Commercial Litigation
We have been pleased to represent a wide spectrum of clients in a variety of general commercial disputes. These cases have included partnership / corporate dissolution disputes, disputes between hospitals and a managed care organization, and disputes between banks and commerical account holders.
The Inn's attorneys have often been retained to litigate and advise on insurance coverage disputes. The firm's trial and appellate victories have ranged from issues of health insurance coverage, e.g., Barnett v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (9th Cir. 1994) 32 F.3d 413 (upholding ERISA welfare plan's right to deny medically necessary organ transplant due to limited supply) to specialized issues of coordination of benefits, e.g., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Lifeguard, Inc. (1993) 18 Cal.App.4th 1753 (upholding health plan's right to opt out of COB regulation), and subrogation / third party liability, e.g., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. v. Aguiluz (1996) 47 Cal.App.3d 302 (attorney found liable for conversion for disregarding health plan's right to reimbursement from third party recovery).
Beyond the managed care setting, the Inn has successfully represented insureds whose disability benefits have been cut off by disability insurers. We have also achieved favorable results for property owners in disputes with their casualty insurers or their contractors' general liability carriers.
Labor and Employment
The Inn has represented employers in various wrongful discharge / employment discrimination cases. Among other success, the firm tried a high profile Tameny claim to a defense jury verdict on remand after Pichon v. PG&E (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 488. The Inn's attorneys have also successfully handled employment claims on behalf of individual clients against their former employers.