The Law Office of Robert L. Risley

Office: 626-397-2745

Illustrative Business Litigation

Case: KVE V. Barclays Bank 1981-1986
Type: Breach of Contract
Issues: The litigation involved breach of a bank Service Contract between KVE and Barclays Bank, wherein KVE provided credit checking and guaranteed repayment of loans in exchange for a portion of the finance charges and up-front payment. The issues involved premature termination, a fraudulent real estate appraisal, and several other complicated banking issues.
Results: The jury awarded our clients $3.7 million. Appealed. Court of Appeals reversed. California Supreme Court granted review.

Our firm tried case for 1 of 3 Plaintiffs, and handled appeal to Supreme Court for all Plaintiffs.
Amounts: $3.7 million.

Case: Rainier Bank 1989-1991
Type: Breach of Contract and Fraud
Issues: The lawsuit involved breach of contract between the bank and its long-time import/export customer. The issues involved 1) letters of credit, 2) foreign exchange, 3) speculative investments.
Results: The case was settled in our client's favor.
Amounts: $3-$4 million net benefit.

Case: Pyramid Optical 1986-1989
Type: Business Litigation -Employment
Issues: The case involved theft by a corporate executive to cover gambling losses. The issues involved violation of trade secrets, confidential business information, and a cross-claim for wrongful discharge.
Results: The case was settled without payment by our client, a small payment was made by the company's insurance carrier.
Amounts: None.

Case: Tellkamp Systems, Inc. v. Franz Aluminum 1988-1990
Type: Breach of Contract
Issues: The lawsuit involved breach of a construction contract by the purchaser of an anodizing system in Newport News, Virginia. The issue was tried in Federal Court. Liens were placed upon the Defendant's property.
Results: Our client obtained all money invested in the contract, plus his expected profit.
Amounts: $700,000 of profit.

Case: United of Omaha 1992-Present
Type: Real Estate
Issues: United of Omaha claimed a deficiency judgment following foreclosure on a Deed of Trust on real estate sold many years earlier. The issues involved suretyship, lender liability and deficiency judgment.
Results: Still pending.
Amounts: None to date.

Case: Edro Engineering v. Becker 1992-1994
Type: Fraud
Issues: This case involves fraud in a real estate sales transaction. The lawsuit seeks rescission and restitution for misrepresentation about soils contamination.
Results: Settled for $350,000
Amounts: $350,000

Case: GTECH Corporation/CSL 1990
Type: Breach of Contract
Issues: Assisted in obtaining major contract, and assisted in resolving performance of contract dispute. There was no litigation.
Results: Favorably resolved.

Case: Defense of Financial Servicing 1981-1992 Company, Insurance Company and Construction Companies
Type: Breach of Contract and Real Estate Cases
Issues: Issues involved home improvement contracts. The Service Company and insurance agents sell paper to a bank. Plaintiff claims the home improvement work was not completed, or performed at a substandard level. The bank, contractor, and servicing company were all sued.
Results: Favorable to our client, the servicing agent, some settlements.
Amounts: Minimal or none.

Case: SROUR 1990
Type: Stockbroker Churning
Issues: Breach of contract and churning by a broker. Resolved by arbitration panel at Pacific Stock Exchange.
Results: Arbitrators awarded in favor of our client
Amounts: $150,000

Case: Mutual of Omaha V. Valentine Silbernagel 1993
Type: Defense of deficiency Judgment - Commercial Property in Arizona
Issues: The issues involved the obligations on a promissory note secured by deed of trust after sale, assignment and assumption. The defenses included lender liability issues.
Results: Resolved after extensive evidentiary hearing in Federal District Court in Phoenix, Arizona.
Amounts: Settled for one-third amount claimed.

Case: City Garment Carriers v. John Brittain - Surplus Lines Broker 1994
Type: Claims against insurance broker for sale of useless offshore insurance.
Issues: The issues involved the liability of a surplus lines broker for the sale of coverage written against worthless carriers. Liability turned on negligence, fraud, and alter ego theories.
Results: Jury verdict and judgment for our client for sums which include general and punitive damages, costs and interest approximating $400,000.
Amounts: $400,000

Case: Jerry Buckingham v. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services 1994-1995
Type: Appeal before the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission for suspension, negative performance rating, and demotion by reassignment.
Issues: This case involved the removal of the Executive Director of the LA County/USC Medical Center following the shooting of several doctors and medical staff in the emergency room in February, 1993. Mr. Buckingham was the scapegoat. The issue was whether there was justification for his removal, negative rating, and suspension.
Results: The Hearing Officer's recommendations are pending, and expected before October 1, 1995.
Amounts: Unspecified. Return of position and back pay.

Case: "VICTOR" Trademark Case 1998-1999
Type: U.S. District Court Trademark Litigation
Issues: Dispute over ownership of the "VICTOR" machine tool trademark was litigated in federal and state court over ten years. Our opponents claimed that our client had perpetuated a fraud and that he and others were engaged in racketeering under the federal RICO statutes. Our client was called "a liar, and a thief," who cheated his family, and others, and took advantage of a corporate opportunity. These charges were false, however, and the jury was not swayed by the rhetoric and hyperbole. The Risley Law Office, on behalf of their clients, overcame eleven adverse "motions in limine," adverse jury instructions, and a biased, and quite determined, judge who sent the jury back three times to reconsider after reaching a unanimous verdict for our client.
Results: Jury verdict in favor of our client, awarding them ownership of the "VICTOR" trademark and dismissing all the claims against our client.
Amounts: The "VICTOR"(tm) was valued at $1,500,000

Case: Horseless Carriage Club of America Case 1999-2000
Type: Power struggle for control of the world’s oldest and largest antique car club.
Issues: Pre-litigation issues involved, election fraud, free speech rights, and the democratic process. The litigation issues included: malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, illegal expulsion of members, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Results: Reinstatement of terminated members, removal of maverick president and board members, recovery of all costs and attorney’s fees incurred by our clients over a protracted period
Amounts: Recovered attorney’s fees of $100,000

Case: Dylex Corporation v.Yomtobian Enterprise 2001
Type: Arbitration before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Issues: Who was entitled to the registered Domain Name "". Dylex owns and operates over 100 retail clothing stores in Canada and claimed prior rights to "", having registered it as a trademark in their country. Mr. Yomtobian is a "cyber-entrepreneur" in the business of developing internet web sites, registering domain names, and providing web advertising for his customers. Our opponent in this case was Baker & MacKenzie, the world’s largest law firm.
Results: The arbitrator declined to accept Dylex’s claims and confirmed the domain name "" to our client
Amounts: Unspecified, but the domain name and the trademark are valued at high six figures.