Published in “In the News” on Friday, 27 March 2020
William A. Nebeker, founding partner, and John M. Sticht, an associate in our Phoenix office, successfully briefed the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona as counsel on behalf of an Amicus Curiae client on an issue of tribal law with statewide importance and national implications.
The issue concerned whether a state court can exercise jurisdiction over tribal business entities that commit tortuous acts off of Indian tribal lands. In its opinion dated February 25, 2020, the Court unanimously agreed with our firm’s position that the tribal business entity at issue was subject to jurisdiction because it was not a “subordinate economic organization” entitled to share the tribe’s sovereign immunity, based on the record before the Court. The firm’s advocacy helped to shape the factors that the Supreme Court ruled courts in Arizona must now examine to determine whether a tribal entity serves in such a capacity. Obtaining such a precedential ruling has helped to solidify the client’s position in the overall ongoing litigation related to the alleged tortious conduct at issue.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 20 September 2019
KNCH is proud to sponsor the upcoming IACP 2019 Annual Conference held on September 22nd to the 15th in Laguna Niguel in Dana Point.
Congratulations to IACP on celebrating 50 years!
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that partner David W. Kash has once again been chosen by his peers for inclusion within the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America for Arizona. Based upon his representation of both national and international businesses, Mr. Kash has been recognized in the practice area of Commercial Litigation in consecutive years beginning in 2013.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 23 August 2019
Tracy Hughes, a Partner in the Irvine office, obtained a favorable ruling granting her client’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a case where plaintiff sustained a significant injury to his dominant, right hand while operating a cardboard folding machine. Plaintiff alleged that the client negligently maintained the machine, causing its guard to malfunction, allowing plaintiff’s hand to become caught in its rollers. The court agreed that plaintiff, who was a temporary employee, was limited to the exclusive remedy of workers’ compensation under the special employee doctrine. In addition, the court sustained the objections to plaintiff’s expert, Brad Avrit’s declaration attempting to characterize the subject machine as a power press, creating an exception to exclusive remedy. As a result of the ruling, the case was dismissed, in its entirety, and the client is entitled to recover its costs.
Congratulations to Tracy.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Bill Haluck and Greg Koeller of our Irvine office successfully defended the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at the trial of an action brought by Tustin Police Office Mark Black when a bottle bomb in a security trashcan located in the Intake and Release Center of the Orange County jail exploded. Officer Black was standing next to the trashcan while waiting for his booking paperwork for an arrestee he brought into the IRC.
Mr. Black contended that the explosion caused him to suffer a vestibular injury that prevented him from continuing in his chosen career. He claimed he now suffers from dizziness every day, vertigo and suffered a nerve related hearing loss.
The trial was bifurcated with Plaintiff winning the liability phase. The second phase (damages) resulted in a verdict for defendant on causation. Plaintiff’s counsel had requested the jury to award between $1.75- $3.75 million in damages.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 16 April 2019
On April 10, 2019, Bill Haluck and Zachary Schwartz, Partners in the Irvine Office, obtained an 8-0 unanimous defense verdict for their client in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Plaintiff, a Protective Custody inmate housed in the Orange County Jail, sued the County of Orange and one of its employees, a Correctional Services Assistant (CSA) working in the jail, after the CSA opened the Plaintiff’s cell door and inadvertently allowed two high security inmates to access and assault the Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged violations of his Fourteenth Amendment rights for failure to protect and denial of medical care and associated Monell claims against the County of Orange. Plaintiff also alleged a number of state law claims and was seeking punitive damages against the County employee.
Mr. Schwartz filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and obtained summary judgment for the County of Orange while also getting all but two claims against the employee dismissed —violation of the Fourteenth Amendment for failure to protect and negligence. The case proceeded to trial as against the employee on the two remaining claims and Plaintiff continued to seek punitive damages. Mr. Haluck and Mr. Schwartz co-tried the case. The jury deliberated for just 30 minutes before giving their unanimous verdict for the defense.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 05 November 2018
KNCH is pleased to announce that partner, Sharon Huerta, and associate, Scott Davis, of our San Diego office obtained summary adjudication on behalf of KNCH’s client, Travelers Commercial Insurance, in a contribution action against State Farm regarding its refusal to defend their mutual insured. The underlying action, in which KNCH also served as defense counsel for the insured, was an acrimonious neighbor dispute that was resolved just before trial. At the heart of the neighbors’ dispute was an historic Torrey Pine tree that was allegedly damaging the neighboring property. The case was resolved through a creative settlement agreement crafted by the attorneys.
In the subsequent contribution action between the carriers, the Superior Court granted summary adjudication for KNCH’s client, Travelers, agreeing that the other carrier’s refusal to contribute to Travelers’ defense of the insured homeowner was improper and inconsistent with its obligations, in light of the differing areas of damage asserted and the differing timing as to the manifestation of those damages caused by the Torrey Pine. The Superior Court also denied State Farm’s cross-motion for summary judgment in its entirety. The action is currently awaiting trial solely on the issue of damages to be awarded to Travelers which, as a result of the Court’s ruling, are presumed reasonable and necessary.
Congratulations to attorneys Huerta and Davis on a hard fought victory.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 17 September 2018
The Partners of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP are pleased to announce the opening of its second regional office in the State of Florida, having recently opened an office in Miami. Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck’s newest office will be located downtown in the historic Security Building, located at 117 Northeast 1st Avenue.
Since 1986, KNCH has been a leader in handling complex litigation throughout the southwestern region of the United States. The firm has continued as an industry leader in Florida since opening its Orlando, Florida office in 2013.
Under the leadership of partners, Chad Dunigan and Ian Gillan, the Miami office will allow for continued representation of the firm’s clients throughout southern Florida. The office will maintain what has been our firm-wide emphasis of representing our clients in complex civil litigation matters, including construction and environmental claims, insurance coverage disputes and general liability defense.
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is immediately available to service its clients’ needs throughout the state of Florida.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 11 June 2018
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that Irvine Partners Tracy Hughes and Doug Koeller have been selected by Super Lawyers to the 2018 Southern California Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. The distinction is limited to only 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California.
The selections for this esteemed list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff and a peer review of candidates by practice area.
Tracy has been named as a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2010 and this is the second consecutive year that Doug has been named as a Southern California Rising Star. Congratulations Tracy and Doug! The distinction is well-deserved.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 19 March 2018
On March 9, 2018, Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association (TIDA) in the case J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. v. Gerardo Ortega, et al. The authoring and filing of the Amicus Curiae brief was a collaborative effort between KNCH’s Irvine, Sacramento, and Phoenix offices and attorneys David W. Kash, Zachary M. Schwartz, LaKeysia R. Beene, and Eric Brumfield. To view the Amicus Brief, see below.
Recognizing KNCH’s excellence in its commercial transportation defense and representation experience, especially in California and Arizona, TIDA requested KNCH prepare and file the brief on its behalf because of the important and vast implications of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on the trucking industry.
The Ninth Circuit holding in J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. v. Gerardo Ortega, et al. allows California to impose mandatory meal-and-rest-break laws on the trucking industry in contravention of the preemption provided by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA). The FAAAA prohibits states from enacting or enforcing rules having the force and effect of law relating to price, route, or service of motor carriers. The Ninth Circuit, along with the Eleventh Circuit, have skirted pre-emption and Supreme Court precedent by creating and applying their own standard to impose the mandatory meal-and-rest-break laws on motor carriers and truck drivers. The Ninth Circuit decision ignores the significant impact that a patchwork of state meal-and-rest-break laws will have on motor carriers’ prices, routes, and services. The case is being closely watched by many entities, groups, and industries across the Country because of its wide-spread impact.
The preparation and filing of the Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of TIDA is a great opportunity to showcase KNCH’s services, experience, and cooperation on the national stage.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 15 February 2018
Plaintiff allegedly injured himself falling into a hole on property owned by a multistate homebuilder in Castle Rock, Colorado. The court recently dismissed the homebuilder, concluding that since Plaintiff received workers’ compensation benefits, that was his exclusive remedy and thus he could not recover against the homebuilder. The court also awarded the homebuilder costs related to depositions and other items.
Phoenix partners Bill Nebeker and Troy Allen, both licensed to practice in Colorado and other states, obtained the victory.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 16 January 2018
The partnership is pleased to announce that the following three persons have been elevated to partners in the firm. Please join us in congratulating them.
JASON ROSE graduated in 2005 from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He is a member of the California, Nevada, and Texas State bars as well as the United States District Courts for the Districts of California (Eastern and Central), Colorado, Nevada, and Texas (Northern, Eastern, Western, and Southern) and the United States Tax Court. Mr. Rose was selected by Super Lawyers to the 2016 & 2017 Northern California Rising Stars list. In addition, Jason was a UC Davis professor, teaching paralegal students the fundamentals of civil procedure. Prior to obtaining his undergraduate and law degrees, Jason worked as a construction manager for AT&T. Since joining KNCH in 2013, Mr. Rose’s practice focuses on construction defect, employment, personal injury, product liability, public entity defense, lemon law defense, and litigation brought against automobile dealers and manufacturers. As a seasoned litigator, Jason has successfully represented his clients throughout California, Nevada, and Texas.
LARA Z. MORIARTY graduated in 2000 from New England School of Law in Massachusetts. Lara is a member of both the California and New Mexico State bars as well as admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of New Mexico and the Eastern District of California, and the Ninth and Tenth Circuits Courts of Appeal. Lara has significant jury trial experience, having prepared for and tried numerous state and federal trials in multiple jurisdictions. Lara began her career defending public entities and law enforcement agencies in Section 1983 actions, but, early in her career, shifted to general liability and personal injury defense in Fresno and, ultimately, Sacramento. Before joining KNCH, Lara practiced in-house with one of the largest national liability insurance companies. Since joining KNCH in 2015, Lara’s practice has focused on defense of complex and major casualty cases involving serious personal injury and wrongful death claims. Lara freely shares her trial and litigation experience and talents mentoring new and less experienced attorneys. Lara’s excellent client relations and efficient and effective service, as well as her extensive litigation experience, will serve KNCH well as the firm continues to grow and gain in prominence.
ZACHARY SCHWARTZ received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 2008. After a stint in sales, Mr. Schwartz attended Chapman University School of Law and received his Juris Doctorate in 2012. He was a summer associate for KNCH in 2011 when he received an offer of employment and has been with the firm ever since. Mr. Schwartz’s practice focuses primarily on government liability and defending the County of Orange in civil rights lawsuits, but he is a willing contributor to the firm’s construction defect practice. With his writing skills, Mr. Schwartz has prevailed on many dispositive motions and several appeals, including in the Ninth Circuit. His deep understanding of complex legal issues allows for creative and strong legal arguments for his clients. Mr. Schwartz believes in developing strong relationships with his clients and strives to deliver first class legal services in every case.Mr. Schwartz’s incredible focus in his research and clarity and persuasiveness in his writing has resulted in repeated success in Motions For Summary Judgment and similar motions in difficult and complex matters as well as resounding success in handling appeals at both the State and Federal level. He is a valuable addition to our partnership and we will count on his continued growth over the years to come.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 05 September 2017
KNCH is proud to announce that the verdict our San Diego partners Bob Carlson, Sharon Huerta and Sarah Long obtained against American Safety Indemnity Company has been upheld by the California Court of Appeal. The Court found that American Safety’s interpretation of its Additional Insured Endorsement was without foundation and that its many refusals to defend Pulte and other builders were made in bad faith and warranting the imposition of punitive damages. The opinion sheds considerable light on the interpretation of AIEs that contain an “ongoing operations” limitation. The published decision goes into exhaustive detail on the proper interpretation of those endorsements and the high barrier that a carrier must overcome if it is to deny a defense to an additional insured developer in good faith.
Congratulations to Bob, Sharon, and Sarah for clarifying this complex area of the law.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that Irvine Partners Tracy Hughes and Doug Koeller have been selected by Super Lawyers to the 2017 Southern California Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. The distinction is limited to only 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California.
The selections for this esteemed list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff and a peer review of candidates by practice area.
Tracy has been named as a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2010. Congratulations Tracy and Doug! The distinction is well-deserved.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 17 May 2017
A slip and fall case with a twist – the plaintiff was not the individual that fell, but rather, the realtor that tried to break her fall. The realtor sued Pulte for injuries she claimed to have suffered while attempting to cushion her client’s fall after the client tripped over a concrete curb during a visit to one of Pulte’s model home centers. Plaintiff argued that the curb should have been marked in some fashion. In a victory for common sense and support for the maxim that you should always be aware of your surroundings, Clark Country District Court Judge Eric Johnson ruled the Pulte did not breach its duty owed to Plaintiff by failing to mark the curb. KNCH presented a clear and convincing motion that carried the day. A well-timed statutory offer to compromise was made and we now await the Court’s ruling on recovery of fees.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 09 May 2017
The Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck Las Vegas Office attorneys and staff attended the opening ceremony for the newly constructed Nevada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Courthouse. The KNCH Nevada Office is located just steps from this new legal resource for the citizens of Nevada. The Las Vegas Office was a proud sponsor of the ceremony and participants toured the new building and its facilities. The tour concluded with a visit to the courtroom where attorneys and staff took a few moments to impersonate their favorite judges!
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 02 February 2017
RYAN ANTES received his Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Cal State University Long Beach in 2006 and graduated from Loyola Law School in 2009. Prior to obtaining his undergraduate and law degrees, Ryan served as a Ranger in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment of the US Army from 1999- 2004, with multiple combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Antes’ practice has focused primarily in the area of construction litigation, as well as personal injury and casualty defense. He has primary case handling responsibility for multiple complex construction matters in both southern and northern California. He brings to the table his knowledge and practical experience regarding insurance related issues. This background and skill set have allowed Ryan to work successfully in litigating and resolving numerous multiparty cases involving the integration of the underlying facts and findings and conclusions of expert witnesses with potentially available insurance coverage and non-insurance sources of contribution. Mr. Antes’ creative and cooperative approach to providing outstanding service in defending and resolving complex matters makes him an ideal representative of KNCH and its clients. We are proud to include Ryan Antes in the membership of this firm.
MICHAEL ROSSITER graduated in 2008 from Chapman University School of Law. He is a member of both the California and Utah State bars as well as the Central and Southern Districts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Rossiter holds a position as an adjunct professor of civil procedure at Chapman Law School. Since joining KNCH in 2008, Mr. Rossiter’s practice has focused on general civil litigation with most of his cases involving employment and civil rights actions against governmental entities. He has second-chaired two trials and was the lead attorney on a two-plaintiff, 9-day jury trial where he obtained outstanding results for the client. His creative solutions and problem-solving has led to much success, including having numerous cases dismissed on summary judgment. As a partner, Mr. Rossiter’s excellent client service and outstanding results will serve KNCH well as the firm continues to grow and gain in prominence.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that partner David W. Kash has again been chosen by his peers for inclusion within the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America for Arizona. Based upon his representation of both national and international businesses, Mr. Kash has been recognized in the practice area of Commercial Litigation.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 04 November 2016
Plaintiff claimed that Defendants entered her storage unit and misappropriated her extensive and valuable professional photography materials, including photography equipment and thousands of invaluable photographic negatives. She sought damages in excess of $6 million as well as punitive damages. Defendants denied that any of the claimed items were within the storage unit or that they discarded any of the items. Rather, Defendants argued that Plaintiff staged the disappearance of the items after being scorned by Defendants’ rental increase of the storage unit. Following a two-week bench trial, esteemed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a 36-page written decision finding in favor of Defendants on all causes of action. The ruling established the application of the doctrine of judicial estoppel on Plaintiff’s damages claims due to her failure to disclose these substantial assets in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The court also concluded the plaintiff’s testimony lacked credibility. As a result, Judge Beckloff determined that Defendants were entitled to judgment, on the merits, as Plaintiff failed to establish her burden of proof. Because Plaintiff failed to accept Defendants’ pretrial statutory 998 offer, Defendants are entitled to, and will pursue, their costs, inclusive of considerable expert fees.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 04 October 2016
The Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck partnership is pleased to announce that Julia Bergstrom has joined the partnership with residence in the San Diego office.
Prior to joining KNCH, Julia was a founder and partner in the firm of Palumbo Bergstrom with offices in San Diego and Orange County. At KNCH, Julia will continue her practice of representing many of the world’s largest companies and public institutions in a litigation defense practice. Julia has been licensed in California for more than 30 years and is also licensed in Colorado and Arizona.
Julia’s practice focuses on construction, real estate, financing litigation, insurance coverage, medical, liability and insurance casualty cases. She is outside counsel for some of the largest home builders and insurance companies in California, Colorado and Arizona, and has represented her clients in commercial and residential housing claims, architectural and soil cases, water intrusion, mold, pipe failures and toxic gas emissions claims, including class action claims.
Julia has been a lecturer at industry conferences on the representation of builders and developers on issues involving insurance, real estate and construction litigation. Julia received her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law in 1983, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Loma Linda University and is a State of California Registered Nurse. Julia lives in North San Diego County with her husband and two children.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 02 September 2016
Megan K. Dorsey, managing partner of Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck LLP who also heads up the firm’s Las Vegas office, won summary judgment for a major nationwide developer, in a potentially multi-million dollar personal injury claim. The case stemmed from a widely-publicized pedestrian motor vehicle accident in which the driver of a car failed to stop at a crosswalk, striking several children who were crossing the street. One child died and another suffered life-altering injuries. Plaintiff’s counsel’s theory of the tragedy was that the driver’s view of the children in the crosswalk was impeded by the developer’s sign in the median which was behind the driver by 90 feet. Ms. Dorsey and her team used the deposition of the driver, and data collected by the North Las Vegas Police Department, to show there was no evidence pointing to the sign as a factor in the accident. This case marked the second time Ms. Dorsey won summary judgment in a case relating to this accident, as she had previously successfully defended the client in an earlier case brought by different Plaintiffs. The facts were tragic but the client had no liability for the occurrence.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 03 August 2016
John Haluck has been named as one of Sacramento’s top business litigators for 2016 by Sacramento Magazine. Selected by survey open to all licensed attorneys in Sacramento, attorneys were asked whom they would recommend, other than themselves, among 56 specialties in the Sacramento area. Each attorney was allowed to nominate up to three colleagues in each specialty. Each nominee was then carefully vetted and evaluated based on their survey results, and current standing with the State Bar of California. Only the attorneys who received the highest number of votes in each specialty made the list.
Congratulations to John Haluck for the recognition of his peers for his experience and expertise after more than 35 years in practice.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that Irvine Partner William L. Haluck has been selected for a Lifetime Achievement Award among America’s Top 100 Attorneys for Southern California. This is an elite group as only 100 Attorneys in each state will receive this honor and be selected as a Lifetime Achievement recipient. Moreover, selection is not achieved based on a single accomplishment or a single great year of success, but rather on a lifetime of hard work, ethical standards and community enriching accomplishments.
Mr. Haluck’s long term success and professionalism have been a strong hallmark of the firm and have added immensely to the firm’s 30 year history. Congratulations to our partner, Bill Haluck, on a great career achievement.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 14 July 2016
A team of several Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck employees (Jason Rose, Mary Coombe, Wesley Udell, Eric Brumfield, Sharon Gong and Tanner Puryear) competed in the annual Niello BMW Corporate 5k race held in downtown Sacramento on May 26th and proudly placed first in the legal industry! The event was held after business hours in an atmosphere that allowed local companies and industries to network and compete against each other. 75 Sacramento area companies entered the competition and Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck placed fourth overall and was crowned the legal industry champion.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 14 April 2016
After a November 2015 San Diego Superior Court trial resulted in a resounding victory for their developer client, Robert C. Carlson and Sharon A. Huerta of the San Diego office of KNCH recently completed the damage phase of trial. In the first phase of trial the court found that American Safety’s additional insured endorsements provided completed operations coverage to its additional insured, Pulte Home Corporation, such that a defense obligation was due and owing. (See December 15, 2015 Decision)
Carlson and Huerta obtained recovery of virtually all defense fees and costs incurred for the underlying actions, prejudgment interest on those fees and costs, Brandt fees (fees and costs incurred to obtain the outstanding defense fees), and a significant punitive damage award in the amount of $500,000.00. (See Decision and Amended Decision on Attorneys' Fees as well as April 7, 2016 Judgment.)
A nearly $1.5 Million Dollar Judgment has been entered in favor of Pulte, which includes express findings that “the harm was the result of intentional malice, trickery or deceit” and included a pattern and practice of misrepresentations in the carrier’s correspondence. This decision will likely be appealed, but the significance in the Construction Defect industry cannot be underestimated. Well done and congratulations to our San Diego Office partners – they have helped the CD defense world and truly represented our client well.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 11 February 2016
In a stunning victory, Bob Carlson and Andrew Green of the KNCH Las Vegas office, received a defense verdict from a Federal Jury in the long running case of Copper Sands HOA v Cannon Management.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 29 January 2016
Zachary Schwartz of our Irvine office prepared and successfully argued a Motion for Summary Judgment in a Federal action seeking damages under the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act brought by a Deputy County Counsel against the Orange County Counsel’s office, his employer. The tentative ruling was partially successful but after oral argument Zach was able to persuade Judge Guilford in the United States District Court for The Central District of California that no reasonable jury could find liability.
The motion was granted in its’ entirety and the case dismissed. Great Job, Zach!
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 11 January 2016
Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that William Nebeker has been selected to the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance Construction Defect Advisory Board. The Construction Defect Board is an assembly of some of the top construction defect professionals in the country. The Board will be developing significant resources that the CLM can provide the construction industry as well as the agenda and topics for this year's first joint CLM and MC Consultants National Construction Defect Conference to be held on September 28-30, 2016 in San Diego, CA.
The Claims and Litigation Management Alliance is an inclusive, collaborative organization that promotes and furthers the highest standards of claims and litigation management and brings together the thought leaders in both industries. CLM's Members and Fellows include risk and litigation managers, insurance and claims professionals, corporate counsel, outside counsel and third party vendors. The CLM sponsors educational programs, provides resources and fosters communication among all in the industry.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 08 January 2016
The partners of KNCH are pleased to announce that after another successful year of hard work and to commence our 30th Anniversary, we have elevated 6 individuals from Associate to Partner. Please join us in congratulating :
Michael P. Zech of our San Diego Office
Sarah P. Long also of our San Diego office
Alicia A. Young of our Las Vegas Office
Andre C. Robin of our San Diego office
Richard D. Young of our Las Vegas Office and
Douglas C. Koeller of our Irvine office
For more information as to our newest partners please read on.
Michael Zech is a 2004 graduate of the USD School of Law. Since joining KNCH in 2007, Mr. Zech’s practice has been focused on defending developer clients in construction defect litigation, including SB800 claims and arbitrations. Prior to joining KNCH, Mr. Zech had experience representing insurance companies, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators in the defense of state workers' compensation and federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act claims. As a partner, Michael brings his reliable and steadfast approach to case management and strong legal skills to match.
Sarah Long is a 2007 graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego. She practiced in the firm’s Nevada office for her first 7 years of her legal career focusing on insurance coverage issues, predominantly Additional Insured risk transfer, and general civil litigation. She returned to her home state in 2014 and now brings her coverage and litigation experience to the San Diego office. Sarah’s clarity, speed and excellence in presenting legal issues are true assets and will serve KNCH well going forward.
Alicia Young is a 2007 graduate of UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. She has been a part of the firm’s Nevada office since August 2007. Alicia’s attention to detail has been a large component of the success she has achieved on complex CD Litigation. Alicia continues to be a valuable asset to the firm and its developer clients, particularly in the areas of complex product defect litigation. Alicia also lends her skills and tenacious work ethic to the firm’s insurance and government practice areas.
Andre Robin is a 2008 graduate of California Western School of Law. He began his legal career with the firm as a law clerk and steadily rose through the ranks with hard work and a willingness to take on each challenge with enthusiasm and passion. Andre has been instrumental in the successful defense of the San Diego office's developer clients including Bosa, Pulte and Pardee. We look forward to Andre’s dynamic personality and impact as a KNCH partner.
Richard Young is a 2008 Pepperdine Law School graduate. He clerked in our Irvine office before bringing his keen legal mind and skills to the Nevada office. His leadership and mentoring of young talent have been integral to our Nevada clients’ success. Richard is an accomplished case handler, effectually managing everything from complex CD actions with nearly 1,000 homes to a construction site slip and fall claim. Regardless of the size, Richard treats each case with uncompromising thoroughness and attention. Richard practices in the firm’s construction defect and general liability practice areas.
Douglas Koeller is a 2008 graduate of California Western School of Law. He has achieved outstanding results for some of the firm's most valued clients, including Beazer, Pulte and McCarthy. His hard work, attention to detail and successful negotiation skills have earned him the respect of both our clients and his peers. Doug strives to be a leader for the next generation of the firm his father founded almost 30 years ago.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 21 December 2015
The partners of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck are pleased to announce what can only be described as a stunning trial court victory on behalf of Pulte Home Corporation and against American Safety Indemnity Company. Pulte was forced to sue American Safety over its repeated refusals to provide a defense in construction defect cases. American Safety issued numerous Additional Insured Endorsements that it claimed limited its obligations to defend to the insured’s “ongoing operations.” Pulte contended that the language of the endorsement provided for completed operations coverage and that, even if limited to the ongoing operations of the subcontractor, Pulte also satisfied that requirement. After a 9 day court trial in San Diego, the court agreed with Pulte and awarded it all of the fees and costs incurred in order to obtain the outstanding defense fees (Brandt fees) and punitive damages. The court, in its written decision, found American Safety’s conduct to be despicable and in conscious disregard of Pulte’s rights as an additional insured. The case was tried by Bob Carlson and Sharon Huerta of the San Diego office of KNCH.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 21 December 2015
Bill Haluck of our Irvine office successfully defended two separate hostile work environment/harassment cases against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Four employees of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Inmate Services Division filed lawsuits alleging they were discriminated against, harassed and retaliated against in their employment. The cases were consolidated for purposes of trial. After a successful Motion for Summary Judgment, only two of the plaintiffs remained for trial and only a single cause of action for harassment survived. After an eight (8) day jury trial in Orange County Superior Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on one of the plaintiff's' claims and the other plaintiff received a small fraction of their lowest pre-trial demand.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 20 November 2015
On November 19, 2015, PulteGroup recognized Troy Allen, Partner in the KNCH Phoenix office, as a Litigation MVP for its 2015 year. Mr. Allen has represented Pulte and its subsidiary Del Webb for the past 10 years. Pulte bestowed this honor at its annual Law Summit attended by law firms from all areas of the country. Mr. Allen's honor comes in addition to the distinction that KNCH has also won the Law Firm of the Year award two times in the past several years.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 05 October 2015
Mr. William Nebeker, Partner, Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP will be speaking on, “Construction and Sweeping Changes to Right to Repair: Big Improvement or Big Mess? ” This event will take place in Atlanta, GA on November 5-6.
Mr. Nebeker is a recognized national speaker on construction litigation issues and has successfully represented developers and general contractors in all phases of litigation for the past 30 years in both Arizona and California.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 18 June 2015
Zachary Schwartz from the Irvine office prevailed on a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The Plaintiff brought an assortment of state and federal civil rights claims against the Sheriff’s Department arising from her arrest and the decision to tow her van, which allegedly contained valuable property for Plaintiff’s business. Plaintiff claims that she never recovered the property from her van and that she lost property upon being booked into jail. Plaintiff claimed that her arrest was without probable cause and without a valid warrant, deputies used excessive force, the arrest was motivated by her middle-eastern descent, and that the towing of her van was an unreasonable seizure.
Zachary Schwartz brought the motion for summary judgment, arguing, among other things, that Plaintiff had waived her state law claims, deputies arrested Plaintiff pursuant to a valid bench warrant issued the morning of her arrest, and that the seizure of the van was justified under the community caretaking doctrine.
Following a lengthy oral argument, the Court agreed that the arrest and decision to tow the van was lawful, and that under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, the Sheriff’s Department is not vicariously liable for violations of its agents and as a matter of law no policy, custom, or practice of the Sheriff’s Department could have been the moving force behind any actions of the towing company in disposing of property in the van. Summary judgment was granted dismissing the action against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 10 March 2015
William Nebeker of the Phoenix office will be a panelist discussing Arizona House Bill 2255 (the Right to Repair Statute) at the upcoming Arizona Construction Defect Litigation Seminar sponsored by MC Consultants. The seminar will be held at the Embassy Suites Biltmore in Phoenix on April 23, 2015 beginning at 3:30pm. Please see the attached brochure for additional details.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 25 February 2015
The Partners of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP are pleased to announce their expansion into the state of Texas. Since 1986, KNCH has been a leader in handling complex litigation throughout the southwestern region of the United States and now takes its dedication and expertise to the Lone Star State.
Under the leadership of Partner John Donovan, formerly of our Orange County Office, 2015 will see the opening of Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP in the Austin, Texas area. The firm will continue its focus on complex civil litigation, including the areas of construction and environmental litigation, insurance coverage law, business and employment law, and general insurance defense.
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is immediately available to service its clients’ needs in Texas with the same skill and expertise offered by all of our offices for over twenty-nine years. Our office address in Austin is 901 South Mopac Expressway, Building #1, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78746.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 28 January 2015
On January 21st, partners Bill Nebeker, Zahnie Soe Myint and Karl Gruse addressed the Arizona Chapter of the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters at their monthly meeting. The topic of their presentation was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its anticipated effect on property and casualty insurers. During their address, Mr. Nebeker, Mr. Soe Myint, and Mr. Gruse provided the Chapter with the most recent information on the Act and provided insight regarding the societal trends that the Act is likely to cause, as well as the impact that those trends could have upon the future of property and casualty insurance.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 27 January 2015
KNCH is pleased to announce the addition of Peter W. Dye to its partnership.
Peter Dye is a resident in the firm’s Sacramento office. He attended UCLA as an undergraduate and George Washington University Law School. He has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1999. Peter specializes in insurance coverage litigation and construction law. His trial experience includes trial victory in a declaratory relief action against a primary carrier and an apartment complex owner that was upheld on appeal. He has applied that solid expertise by providing ongoing coverage advice for the firm’s insurer clients and defending the firm’s developer and subcontractor clients in complex construction defect and personal injury cases.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 30 September 2014
KNCH is pleased to announce the addition of both Fort Zackary and Richard Somes to its partnership.
Fort Zackary is a resident in the firm’s San Diego office. Prior to joining KNCH in 2002 , he served on active duty in the United States Navy as a carrier pilot, attaining the rank of Commander and earning Meritorious Service Medals as Commanding Officer of VRC-30 and Air Boss on U.S.S. Independence. His work in the defense of the firm’s developer and subcontractor clients in complex construction defect cases has been steadfast and accomplished.
Richard Somes works in the firm’s Irvine office. Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Mr. Somes practiced in the area of medical malpractice, toxic and mass torts, construction law, personal injury accident lawsuits, and employment litigation. Mr. Somes worked for the Marriott Corporation in their loss prevention department before embarking on a legal career. At KNCH his practice has been predominately in the areas of general liability and construction law.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 22 September 2014
Following a six week jury trial, Jerry Satran and Stephanie Young of the Sacramento office successfully obtained a complete defense jury verdict. KNCH was retained to defend a local General Contractor who builds and remodels luxury single-family custom homes in Northern California’s Bay Area. Our client performed work across a multi acre estate in the wine country of California including a build out of an intricately paneled library described as “A Work of Art.”
The homeowners refused to pay our client for a substantial portion of the work performed, and responded to our client’s demand for payment with causes of action for Breach of Contract, Negligence, Trespass, Fraud and Licensing Claims. The total claimed damages exceeded $2 million.
After deliberating for only one day following the lengthy trial, the jury returned a defense verdict finding unanimously in favor of the General Contractor and denying the homeowners any recovery.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 05 June 2014
The partners of KNCH are proud to announce that Sarah Long, Esq. of the firm has been selected as one of Nevada's Elite Attorneys by the Nevada Business Press. Each year, Nevada Business Magazine publishes Legal Elite: Nevada's Top Attorneys. This publication highlights Nevada's top attorneys as chosen by their peers. Sarah Long, associate in the firm's Las Vegas office, recently relocated to our San Diego office, made the 2014 Legal Elite list.
The voting is strictly based on nominations from attorneys in the community with over 6,000 nominations this year. According to Nevada Business Magazine and the Nevada Bar Association's annual report, there are 8,599 active members of the Nevada Bar and the Legal Elite list features approximately 200 attorneys from Southern Nevada and 100 attorneys from Northern Nevada. It is an honor to have our associate, Sarah Long, make the list and be recognized by her peers as one of the top attorneys in the legal community.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 08 January 2014
KNCH is pleased to announce the addition of Karl J. Gruse to its partnership.
Karl J. Gruse has practiced law in Arizona since 2000 and has been with Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP since 2003. Mr. Gruse has broad based litigation experience, having represented clients in large scale construction defect matters, wrongful death claims, traumatic brain injury claims, spinal cord injury claims, and other personal injury and premises liability matters. Mr. Gruse takes pride in providing the firm's clients with highly competent representation and was recently honored to receive an AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Mr. Newcomb, Partner in our Irvine office of KNCH, was selected as a member of the Executive Editorial Board for the Journal of American Law. This is a tremendous honor and the entire firm congratulates Mr. Newcomb on his selection to this prestigious Editorial Board.
Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) has launched the Journal of American Law. The journal will be the first national, peer-reviewed law journal in the country (similar to the Journal of the American Medical Association). The Journal is being led by legal experts with over 1,000 years of experience. The Journal of American Law will be published quarterly and will feature original papers on a whole host of topics. The Executive Editorial Board will be working with Specialty Editorial Boards to select and edit the articles and work with the authors through publication of the Journal. Submissions are currently being accepted through the CLM website.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 30 August 2013
KNCH Partner, John Haluck, and the KNCH Sacramento office are proud to announce the formation and deployment of its commercial trucking Emergency Response Team (“ERT”). The ERT is designed to provide commercial trucking clients with the best defense to trucking accidents in central and northern California, and southern Oregon. The ERT’s purpose is to provide rapid response to an accident location, collect and preserve evidence and timely investigate the accident in anticipation of litigation. The ERT is comprised of 24/7 on-call attorneys, including Gregory Warner and Jennifer Weiner, along with regional independent adjusters/investigators from Koning & Associates, legal experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, commercial vehicle mechanics and electronic control module (ECM) download, forensic engineering and imaging, trucking operations, biomechanics, human factors, highway safety engineering, railroad-trucking accidents, and a criminal defense attorney. John Haluck, the ERT leader, is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), and has represented commercial truckers throughout California including self-insured Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC, Gordon Trucking, Inc. (GTI), and the insured trucking operations of Northland and Travelers insurance companies. KNCH Sacramento and its ERT are prepared to provide top quality legal representation from the moment an accident occurs until a final resolution. For more information about the services that KNCH Sacramento and its ERT can provide to you, please contact John Haluck at 916-724-5700.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 08 May 2013
In a recent seven day jury trial, Bill Haluck of our Irvine office successfully defended the County of Orange in a case involving allegations of racial discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment by an employee of the Orange County Social Services Agency. Over the past 32 years, Bill Haluck has represented the County of Orange in a variety of cases involving Civil Rights violations, Employment related matters, Excessive Force, Wrongful Arrest and False Imprisonment, Dangerous Conditions of public property, Flood Control, USERRA violation, Property Tax Assessment issues, and most recently Social Services Wrongful Detention and Parental Alienation allegations.
In the recent case, the plaintiff claimed that she had been overlooked for promotion due to her race, was demoted once she had been promoted in retaliation for having filed sequential complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing; and finally was subjected to harassing conduct constituting a hostile work environment after her demotion in an effort to drive her out of the agency. The jury deliberated only 30 minutes before returning unanimous 12-0 defense verdicts in favor of the County of Orange.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 26 March 2013
KNCH is pleased to announce three additions to its partnership out of the Las Vegas office for 2013.
Mark F. Roach has been practicing law for 11 years. Having lived in Las Vegas since 1978, his roots to the community are deep and he has had a front-row seat to the explosive growth of the city over the last several decades. Mr. Roach’s practice is centered in the defense of General Contractors and Developers in construction defect claims. He also defends general liability claims for a variety of corporate clients.
Megan Mahoney, a civil engineer, worked in the heavy highway construction industry for several years prior to transitioning into a career in the law. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, she was involved with some notable construction projects that continue to remain part of Boston’s attractions, including Copley Square Park and the Rose Kennedy Garden. Ms. Mahoney’s practice has generally concentrated upon construction and commercial law, including contract negotiations, claim disputes, and complex construction defect matters. She is a member in good standing of the Massachusetts, New York, and Nevada state bars.
Andrew Green is a litigation and trial attorney who practices in all state and federal district courts in Nevada, as well as the Supreme Court of Nevada. Mr. Green has successfully litigated a wide variety of general liability, personal injury, and business matters. His practice experience includes litigation of complex issues pertaining to contracts, transactions, mechanics liens, product liability, indemnity, subrogation, premises liability, strict liability, class actions and construction defects.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 30 January 2013
On January 25, 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court issued “Orders Granting Petition” in two cases involving the ability of a homeowners association to pursue project wide construction defect actions in a representative capacity: D.R. Horton v. The Eighth Judicial District Court [High Noon at Arlington Ranch HOA] and Environment for Living, Inc. and Time for Living, Inc. v. The Eighth Judicial District Court [Serenity HOA]. KNCH worked on the drafting of the Petitions for Writ of Mandamus in both cases and Robert C. Carlson, Esq. presented oral argument for the Defense in the High Noon at Arlington Ranch HOA case.
In High Noon at Arlington Ranch, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the District Court abused its discretion by not performing “a full and thorough NRCP 23 analysis of the claims involving the building envelope.” Citing to First Light II, the Court found, “[b]ecause the building envelopes are individually owned, any claims that High Noon wishes to bring related to the building envelopes are in a representative capacity and must survive an NRCP 23 analysis.”
In Serenity, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the District Court failed to conduct a sufficient NRCP 23 analysis of the homeowners association’s claims concerning the “building envelope.” The Court focused on the “predominance” element of NRCP 23 in conjunction with the specific facts of the case and the Court’s Decision in Shuette v. Beazer Homes Holdings Corp., 121 Nev. 837 (2005). In determining the “predominance” element was not met, the Court noted, “[n]ot all of the residences have been inspected, and the variances in the defects in the inspected residences do not support extrapolating the findings to the residences that have not been inspection.”
These two Orders appear to be great results for developers and subcontractors alike in regards to the defense of representative-type, construction defect lawsuits brought by homeowners associations.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, just 90 miles from Florida and was a popular American tourist destination prior to the embargo. Since the United States placed the embargo against Cuba in the late 1950s-early 1960s, travel to Cuba by Americans has been severely restricted, if not altogether nonexistent. Recently, travel to Cuba has been opened for specific purposes, including professional journalists on assignment in Cuba, and full-time professionals conducting academic research or attending professional conferences. The Nevada Bar Association offered such a trip to lawyers interested in researching the Cuban Legal System. Jennifer Salem and I signed up for the trip, along with the Nevada State Bar President, eleven attorneys and a judge, and we went on a truly unique trip to Havana, Cuba in October.
It was an amazing experience. We got to meet people that we would never have had the opportunity to meet and see a country that is not accessible to most people. It is a very different way of life; for example, not all buildings have running water and even where there is running water, you cannot drink it. The cars were very , very cool. The only disappointment was that we did not get to actually visit the law school or courts. In hind sight, I guess that makes sense, but we were looking forward to it. The people were fantastic. Everyone we encountered was genuinely excited for us to be there to learn from them. They took time from their busy lives to talk with us.
Our flight arrived 3 hours late so we only had time to check into our hotel then go to dinner. Dinner was in Old Havana at El Patio Restaurant in Cathedral Square. This area was built in the 1700s and has spectacular architecture.
We met at the Union of Cuban Jurists, which is equivalent to the Nevada Bar Association. It was founded 35 years ago and has approximately 16,000 members consisting of law professionals, not just attorneys. It has volunteer membership with its main purpose being the study and education of law.
All of our meetings were held at the offices of the Union of Cuban Jurists. The speakers were different each day, but were all attorneys and law professors. They had a passion for the law and seemed very devoted to furthering education of the law as well as updating Cuban laws.
The first topic was a general introduction to the Union of Cuban Jurists and an overview of the historical and current economic situation in Cuba. An interesting issue Cuba has to deal with is their dual currency. They have two types of currency in the Country: the Cuban Peso and Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). The CUC was introduced to remove the US Dollar from circulation. The CUC is basically the tourist currency while the Cuban Peso is generally used by the locals.
We then went to lunch at Casa de la Amistad. The afternoon session was a meeting with the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples where they gave a presentation about the Cuban 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Five), which was interesting but very politically charged.
In the afternoon, we went on a long walking tour of Old Havana and ended the night with dinner at El Template. There is architecture in Old Havana dating back to the 1500s.
On the way to our morning session, our guide took us to a couple of tourist spots: Revolution Square and John Lennon Park (yes, the Beatles – Fun Fact #1: the statue originally had Lennon’s signature round-lens glasses, but they have been stolen several times so now there is an old security guard sitting next to the bench that places the glasses on the statue). Revolution Square is notable as being where many political rallies take place and Fidel Castro and other political figures address Cubans; it is surrounded by government buildings and the José Martí Memorial.
Our morning meeting topic was family law. In family law, Cuba focuses on the same issue as we do here: best interest of the child. Then we went to lunch at El Ajibe, which was by far our favorite meal. The afternoon meeting was civil law. Cuban law is based on and still follows the 1898 Spanish Civil Code. Cuba does not follow stare decisis/precedence; although, in practice, the attorneys utilize it.
Dinner was on our own and I asked our guide for her recommendation on a good place to get an authentic Cuban sandwich. It turns out, Cuban sandwiches are a Cuban-American creation, not an authentic Cuban creation.
Before our morning session, we were introduced to a senior citizen group that meets every Wednesday at the same location as our meetings. They were very excited to meet us and show off their crafts. The morning session was the teaching of law in Cuba. It is quite different than in the U.S. In Cuba, law is essentially just another choice of a major in college. They have 3 programs: day course, night course, and self-study. School is free, including room, food, and all supplies. There is no bar exam. After graduation, each student is placed into a 2-3 year government internship/apprenticeship then can choose to stay in the position or not. They do not have the same idea of private practice that we do in the U.S. One of our speakers made the comment that “there are no rich lawyers in Cuba,” but lawyers tender to make a higher salary compared to the rest of the population. Lunch was at the 1830 Restaurant. The afternoon session was on penal and constitutional law. Cuban Law is Unitarian – one set of laws. In 1976, the Cuban Constitution was drafted, which contains a modified Freedom of Speech provision. The theory of the Cuban criminal system is similar to the U.S.: each citizen has a right to an attorney which will be appointed by the government; and the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Cuba has the death penalty, but has an unofficial moratorium as it has not been used since 2002.
Dinner was at Havana Café where we had dinner and watched a show – singers, dancers, showgirls. It was a lot of fun. We even got up on stage for a conga line with the dancers. (Fun Fact #2: The conga line was first developed in Cuba and became popular in the United States in the 1930s and 1950s.)
In the morning, we visited a Legal Services Bureau (aka law office) where the attorneys explained the structure and functioning of the law offices. Needless to say, the law offices were very different than any in the U.S. It was very basic and utilitarian and, like many of the buildings, did not have proper running water or bathrooms. We had a farewell lunch at the Unions of Cuban Jurists then had time for our “individual research pursuits” in the afternoon. We chose to research the Santa Maria Beach about half an hour outside of Havana. It was gorgeous. Our final dinner was at the El Café del Orient in Old Havana.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 17 January 2013
In an Appellate Opinion that will have far reaching application to public employers faced with the decision of what to do with a disabled employee that filed for and was denied disability retirement benefits, the Court in Mooney specifically defined the key terms in each of the statutes involved in finding that the County of Orange neither dismissed nor separated Ms. Mooney from her position in the Orange County Probation Department. Implicit in the finding was that the County had no duty to either place her back to work or file and/or appeal on her behalf the disability application/determination, as spelled out in each of these statutes. This decision has already been touted as significant in the Labor & Employment Case Law Alert of the State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 17 January 2013
In Soria v. County of Orange (OCSC), Deborah Soria filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate to address allegations that her employer, the County of Orange Probation Department, violated the Public Safety Officer Procedural Bill of Rights Act (Govt. Code section 3300 et seq.), in the investigation into, and the ultimate discipline imposed for, violation of department policy in her role as a Supervising Probation Counselor. She alleged 23 separate violations of the Act, which provides, in addition to compensatory damages, a civil penalty of $25,000 per violation. After fully briefing the issues and trial of the Petition, the Court found no violations of the Act, no basis for recovery, and entered judgment in favor of Respondents County of Orange , et al.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 14 November 2012
After nearly two years of litigation, KNCH was retained by an insurance carrier on behalf of a local general contractor who builds luxury single-family custom homes in San Diego. Partner Robert Carlson and associate Dylan Taylor of our San Diego office were faced with defending against breach of contract, negligence, and contractor licensing claims at a late point in litigation with limited discovery.
Our client built a beautiful 8,400 square foot luxury home in Encinitas, California, for the homeowner Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs refused to pay our client a substantial bill for the appliances and fixtures installed in their home, and responded to the general contractor’s demand for payment with an action for breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and contractor licensing claims. Specifically, Plaintiffs sought roughly $700,000 for alleged construction defects and claims for disgorgement of profits under licensing statutes that apply to general contractors. These claims were brought against our client as an individual as well as against his corporation, and several of these claims were not covered under the insurance policy.
After completion of trial, the Court awarded a defense verdict for the corporate entity, and a defense verdict as to the negligence and licensing disgorgement claims against our client as an individual. The Court awarded $7,080 against our client in his individual capacity in contract, however, this amount was less than the statutory offer made on behalf of our client. As such, the law allows for a net judgment in our clients’ favor for up to $50,000 in costs and expert fees from Plaintiffs. Those costs are currently being pursued. Congratulations on a fantastic result.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 26 October 2012
KNCH successfully prevailed on a Petition for Writ of Mandate challenging a ballot measure designed to extend term limits for members of the County Board of Education and Board of Supervisors.
Chad Dunigan and Joseph Speaker of our Roseville office represented a former member of the California State Assembly, Board of Equalization and Franchise Tax Board, in a successful challenge against Measure D (a measure to extend existing term limits) claiming that the proposed ballot language appeared to create term limits, when in fact a two-term limit was already in place. Following extensive oral argument, Superior Court Judge Michael Coughlan ruled that the proposed ballot language was misleading and would have to be amended before the measure could be put before the voters. Mr. Dunigan and Mr. Speaker were asked to prepare the revised ballot language, advising the voting public of the existence of the current term limits. The new language was accepted by the Court and placed on the ballot for the November 2012 election.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 24 August 2012
The partners of Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP announce that Attorney Sarah Long of its Las Vegas office has been selected to participate in an international exchange with Cuba.
Ms. Long will be joining other Nevada attorneys as they accompany the State Bar of Nevada President on a week-long academic exchange with Cuban courts, lawyers and legal groups. This rare visit to Cuba is allowing legal professionals to observe the Cuban courts and learn about the country's legal system, including the teaching of law, criminal justice and judicial systems, civil and family code, business and commercial rights, and resolving domestic and international commercial conflicts. The partners of Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP are proud that our associate Ms. Long can be part of this historic and unique opportunity. Buen Viaje Abogada Long!
For those of you interested, please check back with the Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP website in mid-October after Ms. Long’s return to view her impressions and experiences of this unique trip.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 24 May 2012
After seven years of litigation and a ten-day trial in Flagstaff, Arizona, Bill Nebeker and Judy Downs, partners within the Phoenix office of KNCH, obtained a defense verdict for their General Contractor client against one of Phoenix’s largest law firms representing an apartment complex owner.
In 2004, Plaintiff purchased a 240-unit apartment complex in Coconino County and received an assignment of the original owner’s contractual rights as part of the purchase. In 2005, Plaintiff initiated a suit against the General Contractor asserting a cost to repair (in conjunction with a claim for future lost revenues during the repair process) of over $4 million. Allegations included inadequate flashing in eighteen breezeways, inadequate installation of vents, and a failure to put building paper under Masonite siding throughout the 240-unit apartment complex.
In less than one day, the jury returned a defense verdict finding that the General Contractor did not breach the express warranty within its contract and did not breach the implied warranty of workmanship. Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant General Contractor were deemed meritless and Plaintiff was subsequently denied any recovery.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 17 February 2012
In a sensitive and closely watched action brought by a current Group Counselor at Orangewood Children's Home, Bill Haluck of our Irvine office successfully defended the County of Orange, Orangewood Children's Home and 4 management employees against allegations of religious discrimination and procedural due process violation. After 7 days of trial the jury was out less than 3 hours before returning their special verdicts in favor of the defendants.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 09 February 2012
KNCH is pleased to announce two additions to its partnership out of the Sacramento office for 2012.
John R. Haluck is an attorney with more than 30 years of trial experience focused primarily on insurance defense and business litigation. Mr. Haluck’s practice emphasizes defense of owners and operators in trucking liability claims and he handles a wide variety of high exposure insurance defense matters for some of the largest insurance companies in the United States. Mr. Haluck also has extensive experience handling business lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, employment law and defense of ADA claims, as well as defense of general liability and wrongful death claims.
Stephanie L. Young joined the Sacramento office of KNCH in 2006 and is a member of both the California and Nevada state bars. As a Northern California native who grew up in a third generation construction household, Ms. Young naturally navigated her career towards construction law. Ms. Young has primarily focused her practice on defending the interests of General Contractors and Developers in residential and commercial construction matters, including contract disputes and construction defect claims.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 12 January 2012
In California and Arizona, several KNCH attorneys have been selected as Super Lawyers.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 05 October 2011
After a little over two and one half hours of deliberation an Orange County Superior Court jury returned a unanimous verdict on all three causes of action brought by a disabled Deputy Juvenile Correction Officer against her employer, the Orange County Probation Department.
The plaintiff complained that the Probation Department discriminated against her because of her disability, failed to accommodate her disability and failed to engage in the interactive process to find her alternative employment that could accommodate her condition. After 8 trial days, the jury ruled in the County's favor on all key issues of the special verdicts before them.
This trial was a test case of sorts for the County, who had changed the way they dealt with injured employees that could no longer perform the essential functions of their position.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 06 July 2011
In a favorable legal development for homebuilders, the Arizona Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the statute of repose period (A.R.S. ß 12-552) provides a date certain for construction defect exposure to homebuilders and cannot be tolled. This means that homeowners must bring their construction-related claims within eight years of the date of final home inspection or else the claims are barred, except in the limited circumstance of discovery within the eighth year.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 21 April 2011
William Nebeker, managing partner of the Phoenix office of Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP, has been selected as Arizona State Chairman of the Council on Litigation Management (CLM) for the 2011-2012 term. CLM is the largest fully inclusive defense organization, comprised of thousands of insurance companies, corporations, corporate counsel, risk managers, insurance professionals, claims adjusters and attorneys. Through education and collaboration, its goals are to promote and further the highest standards of litigation management in pursuit of client defense. The Council sponsors educational programs, provides resources, fosters communication, and recognizes lawyers who meet high standards.
William A. Nebeker practices in the area of insurance litigation defense with an emphasis on personal injury and construction defect litigation. Mr. Nebeker received his B.S. degree in political science from Arizona State University and his J.D. degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. After admission to both the California Bar in 1976 and the Arizona Bar in 1977, Mr. Nebeker became one of the first lawyers certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization for personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Mr. Nebeker has tried to conclusion over 75 civil jury trials and is AV peer rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Nebeker was elected an Advocate Level Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2008, selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers (2010 and 2011) and nominated for Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 31 March 2011
John Donovan and Ashley Coleman of our Irvine office successfully defended the County of Orange and an Orange County Animal Control Officer who were sued for both federal and state law claims in Federal District Court.
Plaintiffs, a son and father, were arrested for animal cruelty under California Penal Code ß597 and accessory, respectively. The animal control officer responded to a call from plaintiffs that an opossum was fighting with plaintiffs' dogs. When the officer arrived on scene she found several dead baby opossums in plaintiffs' driveway and a badly injured mother opossum across the street. A neighbor told the animal control officer that he had seen plaintiff (the son) beat the opossum with a shovel three times. As a result of this information combined with additional information gathered at the scene, the animal control officer called the police to further investigate the suspected animal cruelty. Police arrived shortly thereafter, conducted an investigation, and arrested the father and son.
The charges were dropped against plaintiffs and plaintiffs sued the County, the animal control officer, the City, and the police officers in Federal Court for: (1) 42 U.S.C. ß1983 (unlawful seizure); (2) violation of California Civil Code section 52.1; (3) false arrest; and (4) negligence.
Donovan and Coleman brought a motion for summary judgment on the ground that the animal control officer's act of reporting the suspected criminal behavior to the police was privileged. Following oral arguments by both parties, the Court granted the motion, dismissing all of plaintiffs' claims against both the animal control officer and the County. The Court held that the animal control officer was entitled to qualified immunity for plaintiffs' federal cause of action and was entitled to California Civil Code ß47(b) privilege for plaintiffs' State law claims.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 31 March 2011
On January 25, 2011, John Donovan and Ashley Coleman of our Irvine office prevailed in Federal Court, obtaining a dismissal for the Orange County Sheriffs' Department.
In 2007, Orange County Sheriffs arrested plaintiff for belligerent behavior while she was allegedly conducting business at an Orange County Court. In April 2009, plaintiff filed a complaint against the Sheriff's Department and several Deputies alleging several causes of action including: false arrest, excessive force, false imprisonment, sexual assault, interference with constitutional rights and various civil code violations.
Despite being given several continuances, plaintiff repeatedly failed to respond to the Sheriff's Department's discovery requests. As a result, Donovan and Coleman successfully moved to compel the discovery responses and were awarded sanctions against plaintiff. When she again failed to respond to the discovery and to pay the sanctions, Donovan and Coleman moved for a dismissal of the case. The Court granted the motion, dismissing the case in its entirety based on plaintiff's failure to prosecute and her failure to comply with Court orders.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 26 January 2011
On September 13, 2010 in the United States District Court Ashley Coleman and Bill Haluck of our Irvine Office successfully defended Assessment Appeals Board No. 3 and Orange County County Counsel's Office against constitutional challenges to Government Code section 31000.7 (facial) and County Counsel's Office (as applied) arising out of an assessment appeal filed by a local landowner/attorney. In his Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law dated January 24,2011, David O. Carter, United States District Court Judge specifically found that the safeguards utilized by County Counsel in this unique dual representation situation prevented deprivation of plaintiffs rights under the United States Constitution, entering Judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, with costs.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 21 January 2011
We are pleased to announce that Keith D. Koeller was named as a Southern California Super Lawyer for both 2010 and 2011. Only 5% of the attorneys in Southern California are named to this prominent list of attorneys.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 19 January 2011
KNCH was founded in November of 1986. We are thankful for all of our clients and team members who have made the last 25 years a wonderful journey that has included the expansion of the firm to five offices and 75 attorneys to better serve our clients in California, Nevada and Arizona.
A huge "thank you" to everyone involved in the firm's success."
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 09 November 2010
A 6 week jury trial in Riverside Superior Court was over after only 45 minutes of jury deliberation when all 4 clients defended by Orange County Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck Partners, Gary Hoffman and Tracy Hughes, were each granted 12-0 defense verdicts.
The case arose from a motorcycle accident on July 17, 2005 on a paved detour road outside the City of Temecula in Riverside County, California. The detour road had been built to redirect traffic around a huge Metropolitan Water District (MWD) project involving placement of new water lines to service Northern San Diego County. Plaintiff, 43 year old Laron Daffin, lost control of his Harley Davidson motorcycle on the detour road. His legs and arm were torn up, resulting in multiple surgeries, orthopedic hardware, multiple skin grafts, and medical specials totaling around $575,000.00. He suffered an MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infection at the hospital, and alleged future life care plan totaling around $370,000.00. His legs were permanently disfigured in the accident and he claimed further surgery was needed. Doctors had been considering amputation of one of his legs.
The only solid pretrial demand was $4.3 Million which did not include loss of earnings. Plaintiff claimed that the defendants were liable due to the waviness of the asphalt detour road and that there was inadequate signage on the road. Plaintiff's liability argument focused on disagreements between the defendants over asphalt thickness and need for aggregate sub-base. There had been allegations as to the adequacy of the compaction of the soil underneath the paved detour road. Plaintiff also tried to highlight the builder's alleged reticence to expend funds for a separate detour road rather than utilizing existing roads for that purpose.
The defense emphasized that there had been no other incidents during the 5 month lifespan of this temporary road. Defense expert testimony was presented that Plaintiff was traveling at 39 mph in the posted 25 mph detour zone when he laid his bike down. KNCH Partners Gary Hoffman & Tracy Hughes represented all defendants, JF Shea Construction the general contractor of the project, Diamond Paving the asphalt paving subcontractor, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the County of Riverside. Two previous motions for summary judgment had been presented but the defendants were not vindicated until the jury presented their 12-0 defense verdict.
Congratulations on a job well done to our Orange County Partners, Gary Hoffman and Tracy Hughes.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 08 November 2010
John Donovan of our Irvine office successfully defended the County of Orange, County of Orange Probation Department, and a Deputy Probation Officer, who were sued for allegedly violating plaintiff's civil rights.
Plaintiff alleged that he was falsely imprisoned for violating the terms of his parole. Donovan challenged plaintiff's claims with a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff's incarceration was a direct result of his own admission that he violated the terms of his parole. Following oral arguments by both parties, the Court dismissed plaintiff's complaint in its entirety as to each of the named defendants.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 29 September 2010
On September 20, 2010 the Nevada KNCH office was able to provide The Camping Companies, Inc., its second successful defense decision within a month. At the conclusion of a 2-day bench trial, Megan K. Dorsey, the firm's Managing Partner and from our Las Vegas office obtained a decision in favor of Camping, an asset repossession company. Plaintiff alleged he was injured during a vehicle repossession in October 2007 and asserted causes of action for Negligence and Negligence Per Se against Camping. Plaintiff claimed medical damages in excess of $63,000.00 and requested $240,000.00 for pain and suffering. In a classic case of he-said/he-said, Ms. Dorsey effectively used surveillance video taken during the subject incident to cross examine, challenge, and ultimately discredit the testimony of the Plaintiff and all of Plaintiff's eyewitnesses. The Court found The Camping Companies free of any responsibility and denied Plaintiff any recovery.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that William Haluck of the Irvine office has been nominated for Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA).
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 02 August 2010
Tracy L. Hughes has been named by Super Lawyers' Southern California Rising Stars as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state for 2010. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Bill Haluck and Steve Ubl of our Irvine office recently successfully defended one of our Builder clients, in binding arbitration, on a claim that a homeowner had suffered a severe electrical shock injury due to an allegedly defective electrical outlet in her home.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 08 July 2010
William A. Nebeker, a founding member and managing partner of the firm's Phoenix office, was among a prestigious group selected to be recognized in 2010 Southwest Super Lawyers.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 08 July 2010
Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that William A. Nebeker of the Phoenix office has been nominated for Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA).
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 14 May 2010
Bill Haluck and Steve Ubl of our Irvine office successfully defended the Orange County Sheriff's Department and two deputies sued for excessive force, battery and negligence by an 88 year old man.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 01 January 2010
Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP has announced three attorneys from the Irvine, California office, one attorney from the Phoenix, Arizona office and one attorney from the Sacramento, California office who have been added to the Partnership in 2010.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 01 July 2009
Congratulations to Chad N. Dunigan, a partner in our Sacramento office, who was recently selected as a panelist within The Sacramento Lawyer ‚Äì the magazine of the Sacramento County Bar Association ‚Äì to provide the ‚Äúdeveloper‚Äôs perspective‚Äù on recent legal developments effecting construction defect litigation.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 18 May 2009
Congratulations to Keith D. Koeller for being awarded the 2009 Jerrold S. Oliver Award of Excellence at this year's 16th Anniversary of the West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar. This award, affectionately termed the "Ollie", was inspired by the legacy of Retired Judge Jerrold S. Oliver who is considered by most to be a "founding father" in the alternate resolution process in construction defect claims and litigation.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 01 April 2009
On March 6, 2009, Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP hosted its 1st Annual Golfing for a Cure Tournament at The Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Lincoln, California. We are pleased to announce the tournament was a tremendous success, having raised approximately $50,000 for the benefit of tournament charity, the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics. On the inaugural year of this event, there were 100 golfers and over 150 guests for the reception.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 13 February 2009
Congratulations to Martha J. Dorsey, Managing Partner of our San Diego office, for the favorable February 6th verdict after a weeklong jury trial in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of a property owner in connection with a negligence action arising from another defendant's unprovoked knife attack that happened on the property. Ms. Dorsey's defense emphasized the lack of foreseeability of the attack.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Congratulations to Bill Nebeker of our Phoenix office on being elected to the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona's 2009 Board of Directors.The HBACA is a trade association for the residential construction and development industry. The Association is a forum wherein businesses work together to remain informed regarding new and proposed policies advanced by the local, state and federal governments that affect the housing industry.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 01 January 2009
Koeller Nebeker Carlson & Haluck, LLP has announced two attorneys from the Las Vegas, Nevada office have been added to the partnership. Ian P. Gillan joined the firm in 2004 and concentrates his practice on construction litigation, general legal defense and insurance bad faith. Mr. Gillan received his law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2003 and is admitted to practice in Nevada, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 01 January 2009
With more than 1 million attorneys nationwide, it is often difficult to stand out from the crowd. Not so, for partners Keith D. Koeller, Robert C. Carlson and William H. Haluck. The firm is pleased to announce that Keith D. Koeller and Robert C. Carlson have both been selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Southern California Super Lawyers and William H. Haluck will be included in this year's Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, a nationwide list of attorneys selected by those named to the Super Lawyers list in business related practice areas. This year is the fourth time in five years that Bill Haluck has been named a Super Lawyer.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 13 November 2008
On November 13, 2008, at its Annual Legal Summit attended by law firms from all areas of the country, Pulte Homes recognized Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck with its annual law firm of the year award. This was the second such award received by the firm in three years. The firm consistently achieved success this year on all of its Pulte and Del Webb related matters.
Published in “In the News” on Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, LLP is pleased to announce that two of its partners, Robert C. Carlson and Megan K. Dorsey, obtained a victory after a seven month trial on behalf of The Communities of Del Webb. On September 10, 2008, a Clark County Nevada District Court jury presented what arguably could be the most lopsided defense verdict in construction defect history.
Published in “In the News” on Thursday, 01 May 2008
Congratulations to William A. Nebeker of our Phoenix office on his appointment as the Council on Litigation Management Co-Chair for the State of Arizona. In this position Mr. Nebeker will continue to assist with the development and growth of the Council as well as foster communications locally.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 01 January 2008
Congratulations to William Nebeker of our Phoenix office on his election to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), where he joins fellow partners Robert Carlson and William Haluck. This invitation-only organization focuses on the preservation of the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and its 6,300 members embody the virtues of civility, integrity, and professionalism. ABOTA will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
Published in “In the News” on Saturday, 01 December 2007
Congratulations to our San Diego and Las Vegas partner, Robert Carlson on his admission to the American Board of Trail Advocates (ABOTA). The American Board of Trial Advocates is a prestigious professional organization dedicated to defending the American civil justice system. With a membership of 6,300 experienced attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases, ABOTA is uniquely qualified to speak for the value of the constitutionally-mandated jury system as the protector of the rights of persons and property. Each member shall have at least five years of active experience as a trial lawyer and shall have tried a minimum of twenty civil jury trials to a verdict in a court of general jurisdiction or a federal court.
Published in “In the News” on Friday, 01 June 2007
Bill Haluck (Irvine) and Robert Carlson (San Diego) have both been named 2007 Southern California Super Lawyers by Law & Politics. Only 5% of all attorneys are so named and are selected by a blue ribbon panel review, peer balloting and independent research.
Published in “In the News” on Tuesday, 01 May 2007
Congratulations to Keith Koeller for being nominated for the Jerrold S. Oliver Award of Excellence. The award, affectionately referred to as the "Ollie," is presented each year at West Coast Casualty's Annual Construction Defect Seminar to someone who has invoked a spirit of commitment, loyalty and trust for the betterment of the entire construction defect community. The award has been named after the late Judge Jerrold S.Oliver.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 05 February 2007
Congratulations to our Irvine Partner Bill Haluck for his recent unanimous defense verdict in a closely watched and highly publicized race discrimination action filed against the Orange County Assessor as a result of his promotion of an African American over a more experienced Caucasian. The jury concluded that the Assessor, Webster Guillory, Orange County's highest ranking African American office holder, did not show racial favoritism when he promoted the less experienced candidate. The jury returned its verdict on Feb. 5, 2007.
Published in “In the News” on Monday, 02 October 2006
The Council on Ethical Billing (CEB) is a nonpartisan alliance committed to furthering the highest levels of ethical standards and practice for legal representation within the insurance industry. The Council sponsors educational programs, provides oversight, and certifies lawyers and law firms who meet high standards of excellence.