Representative Cases

  • We represented the plaintiff in an insider-trading case in which our client recovered $123,367,000—the most ever recovered in an insider trading case.
  • In a federal court jury trial, we successfully defended a maquiladora that was sued by a cell phone manufacturer for $560,000,000 in damages allegedly cause by defective batteries provided by our client, which plaintiff claimed lead to the plaintiff's loss of its contract with one of the major cell phone service providers.
  • We have sued many prominent hotel management companies, including Marriott, Hilton, Doubletree and Wyndham, on behalf of the owners of full-service hotels for damages and/or rescission of management or franchise agreements. One case resulted in a settlement valued at $70 million. Another ended in a settlement worth $50 million. Others resulted in termination of management contracts or franchise agreements.
  • We have obtained judgments on behalf of lenders from borrowers and/or guarantors for as much as $27 million.
  • We have successfully defended borrowers in suits by lenders to recover as much as $40 million in damages for breach of guarantees. Most recently, we not only obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client in a suit on his personal guarantee, the jury awarded our client $3.5 million on his cross-complaint against the lender for wrongful foreclosure and fraud.
  • We have successfully prosecuted or defended dozens of actions brought by the owners of businesses against one another, ranging from a real estate development company with 30 commercial and industrial properties throughout Southern California, to high-tech companies, to closely held family corporations.
  • We obtained a defense verdict in a law suit for fraud filed against a local bank, its General Counsel, and the head of its Trust Department.
  • We obtained a defense verdict on behalf of the 4 th largest brewing company in the U.S. which was sued when one of its route salesmen ran head-on into another vehicle after getting drunk on the job.


  • We have successfully sued The City of San Diego, The County of San Diego, The San Diego Port District, The City of Chula Vista and The City of Oceanside, some on multiple occasions, to recover predevelopment expenses on behalf of real estate developers alleging the governmental entities breached Exclusive Negotiating Agreements. In these cases our clients have made recoveries of $5 million, $2.2 million, $1.5 million, $800,000, $300,000.
  • We represented Citizens Advocating Redevelopment Excellence ("C.A.R.E.") in the CEQA challenge to the EIR for PetCo Park which resulted in, among other things, the preservation of the historic "Candy Factory" building, which became the largest brick building ever relocated.
  • We obtained a Judgment after a Court trial against the California Coastal Commission which not only denied the Coastal Commission's appeal of a City of San Diego' permit for a 9,500 square foot "remodel" on the coast in La Jolla, but also found that the Chair of the Coastal Commission lied about the date the Commission's appeal was filed.
  • We obtained the dismissal of 28 misdemeanor counts filed by the City of San Diego against the owner of a golf course who made improvements on environmentally sensitive open space without authority. The City also demanded our client remove the improvements. In response, we filed a $20,000,000 claim against the City for damage the City caused to our client's property. The City ultimately allowed the improvements to our client's golf course to remain.
  • We successfully sued the City of Chula Vista for the wrongful termination of its City Attorney.
  • We successfully sued the Sweetwater Union High School District for the wrongful termination of its Superintendent.
  • We successfully sued the City of San Diego to halt the water recycling program known as "Toilet to Tap."
  • On behalf of a neighborhood coalition, we enjoined the relocation of the San Diego Adult Mission into a residential neighborhood until conditions were placed on the relocation which were acceptable to the community.
  • We represented San Diegans for Sensible Land Use ("SDSLU"), a group consisting of 200 real estate professionals, in litigation against the California Coastal Commission involving the Local Coastal Plan for La Jolla.
  • We represented Horizon Christian Fellowship Church in a dispute with the San Diego City School District and a Charter School over the lease of City owned property on which the Church's 800 student campus operated. Our successfully negotiated 11 th hour resolution came just 2 weeks before the school would have had to close.
  • We have represented and continue to represent the Bonita Valley Christian Church in connection with its construction of a $9 million sanctuary and other out buildings on the Church's property.
  • We recovered over $1.8 million for the City of National City and The Redevelopment Agency of the City of National City in a negligence action against the land use consultant it hired to assist it with its redevelopment efforts.
  • We successfully blocked development of 2 high-rise buildings just north of PetCo Park on behalf of the developer of a condominium project whose views into the ball park would have been blocked by the development.


  • We have sued management companies for damages on behalf of full service hotel owners resulting in settlements valued at $70 million in one case and $50 million in another.
  • We have represented several hotel owners who successfully terminated long-term management agreements or franchise agreements with major "branded" management companies. In one case, we found over 100 different ways that the management company either was over-charging for its services, or using the owner's property without compensation. In every case, we've found numerous improprieties by the management companies.
  • We have sued successfully to terminate franchise agreements because frequent quest programs imposed unfair and disproportionate charges on our client's properties.
  • We prevented a lender from calling a $100 million loan secured by a hotel tower when a second, adjacent, tower was built. We successfully argued that the provision in the loan documents that allowed the bank to call the loan in the event a second tower was built violated Business & Professions Code section 16600, which invalidates any contract which restricts an individual's right to practice his trade or profession.
  • We have successfully asserted territorial restrictions on behalf of both limited service and full-service hotels.
  • We have defended restaurant and bar owners in actions by the City of San Diego and The Alcohol, Beverage Control Board alleging violations of live music ordinances and other restrictions.
  • We recently recovered a $2.8 million judgment on a cross-complaint we filed on behalf of a restaurant owner who was sued by its landlord who sought $2,000,000 in damages against our client for breach of the lease.


  1. Mr. Mazzarella defended the Mormon Church in a will contest filed by a man who claimed to have been promised the gift of a large apartment complex in return for his management and maintenance of the complex without charge during the lifetime of a woman who left over $33 million to the Church.
  2. In a jury trial we successfully defended the head of the Trust Department and the General Counsel of a bank who allegedly asked a bank customer to commit tax fraud to avoid the consequences of an alleged bank error. The jury returned a defense verdict in just 40 minutes.
  3. The firm represented a charitable family foundation, the assets of which included a large company with manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and 220 acres of largely developable land in Rancho Santa Fe, California, with regard to potential litigation within the family and against the Foundation, and regarding the sale and/or development of the Foundation's real property.
  4. We have represented many of the largest banks and other institutional trustees, with both pre-litigation counseling and in litigation.


  • In a jury trial the firm obtained a $3,000,000 verdict in favor of the firm's real estate developer client for wrongful foreclosure against a Canadian Real Estate Trust, while successfully defending a cross-complaint for breach of fiduciary duty by the Canadian Trust in which the Canadian Trust sought to recover damages in excess of $10,000,000 from the firm's client.
  • Several years later the same Canadian Real Estate Trust retained the firm to represent it in a law suit against a different real estate developer, in which the firm recovered $1.8 million dollars for the Canadian Trust.
  • In a jury trial of another case foreclosure case, the firm obtained a defense verdict on the lender's complaint which sought to recover $2.5 million from the firm's real estate developer's client on his guarantee, an won a $3.5 million verdict in favor of its client against the lender for fraud and wrongful foreclosure.
  • In a dispute between a tenant which held a lease from the Port of San Diego for Bayfront property in Point Loma, and the firm's developer client who sought to build condos on the leasehold, in a jury trial the firm received a defense verdict on the opposing party's multi-million dollar claim, and a verdict in excess of $1 million in favor of the firm's client on his claim.
  • The firm represented the head of an Orange County based real estate development firm in a suit filed against him by his partner who sought to recover 8-figure damages in connection with the disposition of the firm's 30 office, commercial and industrial properties. After a long trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the our client on the Plaintiff's complaint, while awarding in excess of $500,000 to our client on his cross-complaint for unpaid capital contributions by the Plaintiff.
  • The firm recovered a judgment of $2.8 million on behalf of the owner of a bar/restaurant in the Gaslamp against its landlord for breach of the lease and fraud. The jury rendered a verdict in our client's favor on the landlord's $2 million claim for unpaid rent and other damages.
  • We obtained a judgment after trial of $27 million in favor of our client, a large national bank which sued the developer of golf course in Colorado on his personal guarantee.
  • We have sued internationally branded hotel management companies on behalf of the owners of full service hotel owners which resulted in settlements for the firm's clients valued at $70 million and $50 million.
  • In a jury trial, the firm obtained a $7.8 million verdict against one of the world's largest engineering firms on behalf of a venture capital firm that sought approval of a $375 million expansion of the Brown Field Airport into a large commercial cargo airport, after the City of San Diego terminated our client's Exclusive Negotiating Agreement due to numerous mistakes made by the consulting firm. Before trial, the firm obtained a $1.5 million settlement from the City.
  • In addition to the $1.5 million in damages recovered from the City of San Diego in the Brown Field case, the firm has recovered damages on behalf of our developer clients of $5,000,000, $2.2 million, $800,000 and $300,000 in separate actions for the breach of Exclusive Negotiating Agreements by The San Diego Unified Port District, The City of Oceanside, The City of Chula Vista and The County of San Diego.
  • In two separate trials, including a high profile trial on behalf of a former San Diego City Attorney, we obtained title to real property based on adverse possession. In other trials, we have established easements "by prescription" and "by necessity."