• Some of the numerous excellent results by the Senkfor Law Office are set forth below.  Most of the matters were difficult.  Prominent law firms were often opposing counsel.  For each case, the principal analysis, research, strategy, preparation, and legal writing was by Burt Senkfor; certain cases had limited involvement by co-counsel.
  • Marital dissolution involving numerous separate lawsuits (skilled family law counsel handled dissolution portion).  Main separate lawsuit primarily pertained to diverting, siphoning, transferring, transforming, and concealing community property assets, through transactions and maneuvers involving multiple entities and accounts, willing associates, forged documents, fraudulent conveyances, misappropriations, false expenses and payments, and other fraudulent and deceptive acts and practices.  Litigations (including division of community property) were settled for approximately $17 million in favor of Senkfor Law Office’s client, including a cash transfer of more than $9.5 million at the closing in the Senkfor Law Office conference room.
  • Massive lender liability lawsuit filed by Senkfor Law Office on behalf of a farmer (in bankruptcy proceedings)  against major bank, regarding improper cutoff of bank financing for annual crop year.  Bank claimed it was not obligated to loan funds crucial to survival of farming business, notwithstanding obtaining deeds of trust on thousands of acres of farmer’s land in return for financing agreements. Bank took farmer’s deposition for 25 days over five years.  Case settled just before trial, with a settlement value of approximately $9 million, allowing farmer to exit bankruptcy and resume successful farming business.
  • Lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty against a large multi-state law firm and a Brazilian computer company pertaining to an attempt to usurp control of a startup technology corporation from its 44% shareholder by misuse of a voting proxy.  The Brazilian company was dismissed from the lawsuit in exchange for production of otherwise privileged documents involving the law firm.  The only settlement proposal by the law firm prior to trial was a $50,000 “nuisance value” offer just before trial began.  At trial, the jury’s verdict was for $4,023,000 ($3,100,000 actual damages, and $923,000 in punitive damages against the law firm and one of its partners) in favor of Senkfor Law Office’s client.  The lawsuit settled during appeal for multiple millions of dollars.
  • While a marital dissolution proceeding was pending, wife filed a separate civil lawsuit against husband’s elderly father and the family business entity, claiming that they had more than $3,000,000 of community property funds which had been loaned by husband, and that the sale by husband of the community property interest in the family business entity to his father for $600,000 was a sham.  Wife’s complaint had numerous causes of action, including fraudulent conveyance, breach of fiduciary duty, and accounting.  Senkfor Law Office filed demurrers to complaint on multiple theories, including exclusive jurisdiction of the family law court.  The Court agreed and sustained the demurrers.  Wife then dismissed the entire civil lawsuit, and did not thereafter pursue the father or the family business entity in any proceeding.
  • Dispute regarding a large real estate investment which failed, with issues relating to existence of liability, whether certain investors were general partners, and the amount of damages.  After a trial of approximately three months, the jury’s verdict was for $3,188,602 ($2,438,602 actual damages, and $750,000 in punitive damages against one financially prominent partner) in favor of Senkfor Law Office’s clients.  Certain partners settled for a total of $1,845,000, and receipt of approximately another $500,000 is anticipated relating to an ongoing Bankruptcy Court proceeding of another partner.
  • Disputes relating to stock in a prominent, privately-held, internet-related company, with issues pertaining to the validity and terms of a stock option plan, valuation of stock, and amount of company shares outstanding.  Two proposed lawsuits were prepared by Senkfor Law Office on behalf of a venture capitalist shareholder (including a shareholders’ derivative suit), which led to a stock repurchase at a substantial premium for multiple millions of dollars.
  • Litigation pertaining to an arson fire at a mansion on highly exclusive street in Bel Air, which was in escrow to be sold.  Insurance company claimed arson was arranged by homeowner, that the pending sale was a sham, and that homeowner’s claim was fraudulent.  Insurance company filed lawsuit against homeowner asserting he committed arson, seeking $598,000 it paid to mortgagee.  Homeowner filed cross-complaint for policy proceeds and bad faith.  Only settlement offer by insurance company prior to trial was for $0 to each side. Judge granted homeowner’s motion for nonsuit on insurance company’s lawsuit, and jury’s verdict was for $1,500,000 in favor of homeowner.  Prominent trial judge stated the homeowner’s case was the best-presented plaintiff’s case he had seen.
  • Litigation with multiple lawsuits in two counties regarding disputes between two 50% shareholder groups of two corporations, involving dissolution and Corporations Code Section 2000 buyout proceedings, corporate control battles, and major corporate derivative lawsuit against politically prominent shareholder faction and prominent corporate counsel.  Numerous appeals, all won by plaintiffs represented by Burt Senkfor, including published opinion regarding corporate control (133 Cal.App.3d 95) which led to plaintiffs’ control of corporation.  Retired judge (nominated by defendants) was appointed by Court to determine corporation’s position in derivative suit, and he determined corporation should support plaintiffs’ position.  Litigation settled for value of approximately $1 million.
  • Class action filed against securities broker/dealer, based upon asserted wrongdoing by one of its registered representatives represented by Senkfor Law Office.  Litigation discussed and Burt Senkfor quoted in long featured article on page 2 of the Wall Street Journal.  Registered representative asserted claims had no merit, but broker/dealer wanted to settle litigation quickly.  As part of settlement, registered representative paid zero and was indemnified from any possible liability by broker/dealer, and all his attorneys’ fees were paid by broker/dealer.
  • Major shopping center owner obtained a default judgment against a contractor and its principal for indemnity for $790,584, which defendants were financially capable of paying.  Defendants clearly had potential liability in the action, which related to a person injured by a fall when a ladder broke, who had obtained a judgment for his injuries against the shopping center.  Plaintiff waited for sufficient time to pass so that the default judgment could not readily be set aside, and then commenced collection litigation.  Senkfor Law Office then began representing defendants regarding this matter, and filed a complaint to set aside the judgment on various grounds, including that the judgment was invalid because defendants had been fraudulently induced to allow the taking of their default, and that in any event the amount of any judgment could not exceed $0 because of the particular procedural circumstances of the case.  After major pre-trial victories for defendants, all litigation settled with no payment to either side and mutual releases.
  • Senkfor Law Office represented a woman who entered into a surrogacy agreement to have a child through artificial insemination.  After the child was born, the wealthy father gave the mother $700,000 for purchase of a home. Unfortunately, the child had severe medical problems, including autism, and the father thereafter refused to provide support for the child, and sued the mother for $5 million on 18 causes of action for breach of contract and other theories (including seeking repayment of the $700,000 given for the home purchase, which was claimed to be a loan).  The Senkfor Law Office won demurrers and had the case dismissed in its entirety.  Defendant was also awarded $8,500 in sanctions against plaintiff’s prominent attorney personally for discovery abuse.  Plaintiff’s attorney appealed, and the Court of Appeal affirmed and awarded defendant a further $23,343.75 in attorneys’ fees for plaintiff’s attorney’s filing of a frivolous appeal (which the Court of Appeal characterized as a “tour de farce”).
  • Investors represented by Senkfor Law Office obtained loans from a national bank to fund their investment in a tax-advantaged limited partnership, but funds never reached the limited partnership, and the investors refused to repay the loans to the bank.  Bank filed lawsuit in New York and sought about $600,000 from these investors for principal, interest, and legal fees.  Bank also filed lawsuits in New York against numerous other similarly-situated investors and won every case. Senkfor Law Firm developed unique theories and discovered evidence not presented on behalf on any other investors, and defeated bank’s summary judgment motion and then won case at trial (through New York counsel directed by Burt Senkfor).  Court found bank was not a holder in due course of the investors’ promissory notes because of knowledge it had, investors were defrauded, and investors’ waivers were not valid.  Court explained difference in outcome from similar cases was because of extensive difference of evidence presented (808 F.Supp. 289, 302).
  • Dispute regarding the proceeds of an $800,000 life insurance policy. Attempts were made to change the beneficiaries on the policy, but because of alleged mistakes by the insurance company, the wrong persons signed the change of beneficiary forms. After the insured’s death, the person who should have signed the forms denied he had intended to change beneficiaries, and the insurance company asserted the original beneficiaries were still the sole beneficiaries. Senkfor Law Office represented the persons named as beneficiaries on the incorrectly signed change of beneficiary forms (the “asserted beneficiaries”). The case first partially settled to divide the insurance policy proceeds, with the asserted beneficiaries receiving $510,000 (plus accrued interest on the full $800,000), and the original beneficiaries (claimed by the insurance company to still be the sole beneficiaries) receiving $290,000. After that partial settlement, the trial court dismissed the remainder of the asserted beneficiaries’ claims, against the insurance company, which sought the $290,000 received by the original beneficiaries in settlement, plus attorneys’ fees. An appeal was filed, and Senkfor Law Office obtained a reversal from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the dismissal by the trial court. After the reversal, the remainder of the case settled very favorably to the asserted beneficiaries.
  • Litigation regarding landslide on hillside owned by homeowner next to her residence.  Hillside collapsed during torrential rains.  Homeowner asserted landslide was caused by construction of massive planter box by neighbor on top of hillside and planting of trees in planter box by successor neighbor, without homeowner’s knowledge or consent, and Senkfor Law Office sued on her behalf for injury to real property and trespass.  Defendants claimed rain rather than their actions was the cause of the damages, and that homeowner was negligent. Successor neighbor settled for $70,000 prior to trial.  Jury verdict for $460,000 (with a finding that homeowner was 10% responsible for the loss); case then settled for a further $400,000 during post-trial motions.
  • Multiple litigations founded upon a scaffolding accident in which one employee was killed and another was seriously injured.  Employer represented by Senkfor Law Office claimed its workers’ compensation insurer conspired with the attorney who had been appointed by insurer to represent employer.  The conspiracy was to dispute employer’s insurance coverage and to assist accident victims in obtaining tort lawsuit remedy (for which employer would be liable, with no insurance coverage or limits on damages) instead of workers’ compensation remedy (for which insurer and not employer would be liable).  Employer also claimed its appointed attorney had an undisclosed conflict of interest.  Trial court dismissed attorney as a defendant in employer’s lawsuit, but was reversed by the Court of Appeal, establishing the “law of the case” on key issues.  Lawsuit against attorney then settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Employer also won summary adjudication that insurer had duty to defend employer in litigations by accident victims, but insurer thereafter became insolvent.  Successor insurer then accepted defense of employer in those litigations.
  • Client, before being represented by Senkfor Law Office, sued its former attorneys for breach of fiduciary duty and malpractice relating to lease transactions and a prior lawsuit against its landlord.  In the lawsuit against the attorneys, client was awarded less than $100,000 at trial, after the trial court granted nonsuits eliminating most of the client’s claimed damages.  Senkfor Law Office then was retained to write the appeal briefs, and the case settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars after the briefs were filed but before the appeal hearing.
  • Beverly Hills beauty parlor tenant was repeatedly overcharged and otherwise defrauded by her landlord, who also damaged her business, breached the lease, and (with his wife) caused her significant emotional distress.  Tenant only decided to sue when landlord did final indignity of fraudulently keeping her approximately $6,500 damage deposit after lease ended, and Senkfor Law Office then filed suit on her behalf.  Landlord filed cross-complaint asserting that tenant misrepresented the use of the premises, caused damages to the premises, and breached the lease.  Landlord made no non-trivial settlement offers prior to trial. Jury awarded tenant $209,680 in first phase of trial and found that conduct of landlord and his wife supported punitive damages in second phase of trial, and found against landlord on all his claims; while jury waited to start punitive damages phase of trial, parties stipulated to a $400,000 fraud judgment, provided that landlord could instead pay $260,000 cash promptly to resolve judgment, which occurred.  Prominent trial judge stated in open court after trial that Burt Senkfor was an excellent attorney.
  • A married couple experienced in renovating houses entered into a partnership with a family member to purchase and renovate a particular house. The couple had found the house to renovate, handled the purchase, and did much of the renovation work.  The family member primarily financed the purchase and renovation, and title to the house was put in her name alone to obtain better financing.  The final renovation work was done by the family member’s father. When the renovation was complete, the family member secretly sold the house through a “pocket listing”, and claimed all the profits for herself and her father. Senkfor Law Office filed a lawsuit on behalf of the couple, and after a major pre­trial victory, obtained a $152,000 settlement in mediation.

The Senkfor Law Office serves clients and handles matters throughout Southern California, including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale, Pasadena, Long Beach, Torrance, San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County, as well as San Diego, San Francisco, and Fresno, relating to Corporate, Shareholder, and Partnership Disputes, Investments, Securities, and Broker-Dealer Disputes, Lawsuits Against Attorneys, Insurance and Annuities, Contracts, and Other Business Litigation.

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8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 660, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
| Phone: 310-274-4100

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