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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/30/2019 at 03:32:50 (UTC).

RAKASH PATEL ET AL VS WILLIAM GWIRE

Case Summary

On 05/11/2015 RAKASH PATEL filed a Contract - Professional Negligence lawsuit against WILLIAM GWIRE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RICHARD E. RICO. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1323

  • Filing Date:

    05/11/2015

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Professional Negligence

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RICHARD E. RICO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

PATEL FAMILY TRUST THE

PATEL RAKASH (RAY)

PATEL RAKASH

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 THROUGH 25

GWIRE WILLIAM

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

MARCIN LAMBIRTH LLP

MARCIN JOHN B. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorney

COLE JONATHAN B. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

1/10/2018: Minute Order

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

7/22/2015: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; ETC.

8/31/2015: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT; ETC.

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

2/8/2016: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

4/12/2016: Minute Order

Minute Order

6/8/2016: Minute Order

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

9/1/2016: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

DECLARATION OF DAVID B. OWEN RE. OSC FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR AT PRIOR CMC.

11/8/2016: DECLARATION OF DAVID B. OWEN RE. OSC FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR AT PRIOR CMC.

DEFENDANT WILLIAM GWIRE'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF

4/20/2017: DEFENDANT WILLIAM GWIRE'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF

DEFENDANT WILLIAM GWIRE'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS FILED IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

4/20/2017: DEFENDANT WILLIAM GWIRE'S SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS FILED IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

PLAINTIFF' SEPARATE STATEMENTS OF DISPUTED AND ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FACTS

6/23/2017: PLAINTIFF' SEPARATE STATEMENTS OF DISPUTED AND ADDITIONAL MATERIAL FACTS

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; ETC.

6/23/2017: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; ETC.

Minute Order

6/23/2017: Minute Order

PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE AND DECLARATIONS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; ETC.

6/23/2017: PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE AND DECLARATIONS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; ETC.

Minute Order

7/6/2017: Minute Order

RULING

7/7/2017: RULING

Minute Order

7/31/2017: Minute Order

Minute Order

12/8/2017: Minute Order

52 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/18/2018
  • NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/10/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17; Unknown Event Type - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/10/2018
  • Minute Order

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/08/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 17; Court Order (Court Order; Matter continued) -

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/08/2017
  • Minute Order

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/30/2017
  • Ntc to Reptr/Mon to Prep Transcrpt; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/30/2017
  • NOTICE TO REPORTER TO PREPARE TRANSCRIPT ON APPEAL (UNLIMITED CIVIL)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/20/2017
  • APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/20/2017
  • Notice of Designation of Record; Filed by RAKASH PATEL (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/13/2017
  • NOTICE OF APPEAL/CROSS-APPEAL (UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE)

    Read MoreRead Less
101 More Docket Entries
  • 08/13/2015
  • Minute Order

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/06/2015
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/06/2015
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/22/2015
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/22/2015
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/22/2015
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/22/2015
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/11/2015
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/11/2015
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/11/2015
  • Complaint; Filed by Patel Family Trust, The (Plaintiff); RAKASH PATEL (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC581323    Hearing Date: October 22, 2020    Dept: 56

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

RAKASH (RAY) PATEL, etc., et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

WILLIAM GWIRE, etc., et al.,

Defendants.

CASE NO.: BC581323

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Date: October 22, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Dept. 56

MOVING PARTY: Defendant William Gwire

RESPONDING PARTIES: Plaintiffs Rakash “Ray” Patel (“Patel”) and the Patel Family Trust (“PFT”)

The Court has considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a complaint arising from alleged negligent legal representation in a fee arbitration, which alleged causes of action against Defendant for: (1) legal malpractice; and (2) breach of contract.

On February 8, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) against Defendant, alleging causes of action for: (1) legal malpractice; and (2) breach of contract. The FAC alleges, in part, that: (1) Patel retained Defendant to represent him in a fee arbitration against the law firm of Wasserman, Comden, Casselman & Esentsen (“Casselman”); (2) the subject of the arbitration was Casselman’s claim for legal fees arising from his representation of Plaintiffs in a lawsuit dealing with Plaintiff’s business, the Golden Key Hotel (the “Hotel”); (3) pursuant to the retainer agreement between Patel and Defendant, Defendant agreed to use his “absolute best effort”; and (4) Defendant failed to use his “best efforts” but also failed to use the skill, prudence, and diligence as members of the attorney profession commonly possess.

Brief Procedural History

On April 20, 2017, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) he did not breach any duty of care owed to Plaintiffs; and (2) he did not cause Plaintiffs to suffer any of their alleged damages. Defendant asserted that Plaintiffs could not prevail on their legal malpractice and breach of contract claims. On July 7, 2017, the Honorable Richard E. Rico granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and the Court took the matter under submission, and on July 31, 2017, the Court entered judgment in favor of Defendant.

On October 13, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal from the Court’s judgment in favor of Defendant, and on July 31, 2019, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment on the ground that the evidence was sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to Plaintiffs’ claims. A remittitur was issued on October 2, 2019.

The Instant Motion

On June 25, 2020, Defendant filed a motion for summary adjudication (the “Motion”), on the grounds that: (1) causation is a required element of Plaintiff’s claims; (2) Plaintiffs have admitted a lack of but-for causation; (3) Plaintiffs cannot prevail on the claim that Defendant should have introduced evidence concerning the sale of the BRE Property[1]; (4) Patel cannot prevail on his claim that Defendant should have retained an ethics expert; and (5) Patel cannot prevail on his arbitrator bias claim.

Defendant moves for summary adjudication as to the following 14 issues: (1) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his failure to prepare witnesses for deposition constitutes legal malpractice; (2) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to prepare witnesses for deposition constitutes a breach of contract; (3) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to introduce additional evidence at the arbitration hearing constitutes legal malpractice; (4) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to introduce additional evidence at the arbitration hearing constitutes a breach of contract; (5) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to call additional witnesses at the arbitration hearing constitutes legal malpractice; (6) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to call additional witnesses at the arbitration hearing constitutes a breach of contract; (7) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to consult with Plaintiffs constitutes legal malpractice; (8) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to consult with Plaintiffs constitutes a breach of contract; (9) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to investigate and act upon alleged arbitrator bias constitutes legal malpractice; (10) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to investigate and act upon alleged arbitrator bias constitutes a breach of contract; (11) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to introduce evidence regarding the sale of the BRE Property constitutes legal malpractice; (12) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to introduce evidence regarding the sale of the BRE Property constitutes a breach of contract; (13) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to retain a legal ethics expert and put on such expert testimony at the arbitration hearing constitutes legal malpractice; and (14) whether the undisputed facts demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to judgment on Plaintiffs’ independent claim that his alleged failure to retain a legal ethics expert and put on such expert testimony at the arbitration hearing constitutes a breach of contract.

Plaintiffs oppose the Motion on the grounds that: (1) the Motion should be denied because it does not dispose of an entire cause of action, affirmative defense, claim for damages, or issue of duty; and (2) even if the Motion were procedurally proper, triable issues of material fact exist which preclude summary adjudication.

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

The Court SUSTAINS Plaintiffs’ evidentiary objections numbers 1-4 to the evidence in support of Defendant’s Motion.

The Court SUSTAINS Defendant’s evidentiary objections numbers 1, 3, and 4 to Plaintiffs’ evidence in opposition to the Motion and the Court OVERRULES Defendant’s evidentiary objections numbers 2, 5, 6, and 7 thereto.

DISCUSSION

California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 437c(f)(1) provides that “[a] party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action . . . if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit . . . A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 437c(t) allows a party to move for summary adjudication “of a legal issue or a claim for damages other than punitive damages that does not completely dispose of a cause of action, affirmative defense, or issue of duty” only if: (1) a joint stipulation is presented to the court stating the issue or issues to be adjudicated; and (2) a declaration is provided from each stipulating party that the motion will further the interest of judicial economy by decreasing trial time or significantly increasing the likelihood of settlement.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(t)(1)(A)(i)-(ii).) “[T]he Legislature wished to narrow summary adjudication from its broad focus on issues . . . to a more limited focus on causes of action, affirmative defenses, claims for punitive damages, and claims that defendants did not owe plaintiffs a duty.” (Regan Roofing Co. v. Superior Court (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 425, 433.) The “general policy behind motions for summary judgment or adjudication . . . [is] to promote and protect the administration of justice, and to expedite litigation by the elimination of need less trials.” (Id.) Courts analyze summary adjudication motions “with a view to whether it promotes the evident legislative purpose of section 437c, subdivision (f), to prevent adjudication of issues which fail to completely dispose of a particular cause of action or defense, even where an issue of duty is involved.” (Id.)

Issue No. 1: Failure to Dispose of an Entire Cause of Action

Initially, the Court finds Defendant’s citation to Lilienthal v. Fowler v. Superior Court (1993) 12 Cal.App.4th 1848 and to Exxon Corp. v. Superior Court (1997) 51 Cal.App.4th 1672 does not support its argument that, for purposes of summary adjudication, “separate wrongful acts and omissions are considered separate claims for damages and their inclusion into a single cause of action is not determinative.” (Motion at 13:26-28.) Both Lilienthal and Exxon were decided prior to the amendment of California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 437c(f)(1), and the current version of the statute does not permit motions for summary adjudication as presented in this Motion

Analysis of the Procedural Non-Compliance of the Motion

The Court has reviewed the FAC and the Court finds that Plaintiffs have alleged other wrongful actions of Defendant in connection with the first and second causes of action, which are not stated as grounds for Defendant’s Motion. Defendant moves for summary adjudication based on the following actions: (1) the failure of Defendant to prepare witnesses for deposition; (2) the failure of Defendant to introduce additional evidence at the arbitration hearing; (3) the failure of Defendant to call additional witnesses at the arbitration hearing; (4) Defendant’s failure to consult with Plaintiffs; (5) Defendant’s failure to investigate and act upon alleged arbitrator bias; (6) Defendant’s failure to introduce evidence with respect to the sale of the BRE Property; and (7) Defendant’s failure to retain a legal ethics expert and put on such expert testimony at the arbitration hearing.

Plaintiffs, however, have alleged the following additional wrongful actions of Defendant in connection with the first and second causes of action in the FAC: (1) Defendant’s failure to conduct a factual investigation in preparation for the fee arbitration; (2) Defendant’s failure to adequately review pertinent documents; (3) Defendant’s failure to obtain an independent appraisal of the Hotel at or around the time it was sold; and (4) Defendant’s failure to research and present arguments with respect to Casselman’s fee agreement with Patel, specifically ethical violations under the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Thus, even if granted, the Motion would not dispose of either the entire first or second cause of action in their entirety. There are still grounds for Defendant to be held liable thereto. Given that the requirements of California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 437c(t) have not been met, the Motion is improper because it does not dispose of an entire cause of action as required by Regan Roofing and California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 437c(f)(1).

Defendant’s Motion is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

In consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Court strongly encourages that appearances on all proceedings, including this one, be made by LACourtConnect if the parties do not submit on the tentative.  If you instead intend to make an appearance in person at Court on this matter, you must send an email by 2 p.m. on the last Court day before the scheduled date of the hearing to SMC_DEPT56@lacourt.org

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMC_DEPT56@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.

Dated this 22nd day of October 2020

Hon. Holly J. Fujie

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] The BRE Property referenced in the Motion is referred to as the Back Room Entertainment property in the FAC.

Case Number: BC581323    Hearing Date: October 07, 2020    Dept: 56

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

RAKASH (“RAY”) PATEL,etc., et al.,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

WILLIAM GWIRE, etc., et al.,

Defendants.

CASE NO.: BC581323

ORDER RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Date: October 7, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m.

Dept. 56

On the Court’s own motion, the Court continues the hearing on the motion for summary adjudication filed by Defendant William Gwire scheduled for 10/07/2020 at 8:30 a.m. at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 56 to 10/22/2020 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 56.

Moving party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Dated this 7th day of October 2020

Hon. Holly J. Fujie

Judge of the Superior Court

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