This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:42:52 (UTC).

PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. VS. ACCURATE INVESTMENT..

Case Summary

On 02/07/2017 PEREZ CLEANING RESTORATION, INC filed an Other - Declaratory Judgment lawsuit against ACCURATE INVESTMENT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MARK C. KIM. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1025

  • Filing Date:

    02/07/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Declaratory Judgment

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MARK C. KIM

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION INC.

ACCURATE INVESTMENT PARTNERS LLC

Defendants

DOES 1 THROUGH 30

ACCURATE INVESTMENT PARTNERS

PEREZ PEDRO S.

PEREZ RECONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS INC.

TREJO VICTOR M.

PRC RESTORATION & CONSTRUCTION INC.

REVIVE CONTRACTORS GROUP LLC

PEREZ CLEANING AND RESTORATION INC.

RAMOS JUAN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

MICHAEL I. SCHILLER LAW OFFICES OF

W. M. MCLIN LINES LAW OFFICES OF

SCHILLER MICHAEL ISAAC

LINES WILLIAM MCLIN

THOMAS ALLEN

Defendant Attorneys

PEDERSON SIVI GRETCHEN

LINES W.M.

SALISBURY LISA GERARD

FELDMAN MARK ALLEN

 

Court Documents

Order

2/7/2017: Order

Summons

2/7/2017: Summons

Complaint

2/7/2017: Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/7/2017: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

2/7/2017: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Notice of Case Management Conference

2/7/2017: Notice of Case Management Conference

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/27/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Case Management Statement

6/23/2017: Case Management Statement

Answer

6/28/2017: Answer

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/5/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Minute Order

7/7/2017: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

7/12/2017: Notice of Ruling

Association of Attorney

8/9/2017: Association of Attorney

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

8/28/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Case Management Statement

9/8/2017: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

9/13/2017: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

9/18/2017: Minute Order

Case Management Statement

12/4/2017: Case Management Statement

33 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/04/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department S27 at 275 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA 90802; Jury Trial

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  • 04/30/2020
  • Hearingat 20:30 PM in Department S27 at 275 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA 90802; Final Status Conference

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  • 09/05/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department S27 at 275 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA 90802; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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  • 04/22/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 04/18/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 04/11/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/11/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/10/2019
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Revive Contractors Group LLC (Defendant); Victor M. Trejo (Defendant)

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  • 04/03/2019
  • DocketOrder (proposed Order to Continue Trial Date, Etc.); Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/29/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (Joint Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial Date, Etc., and Consolidating Related Cases) - Held - Motion Granted

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65 More Docket Entries
  • 04/27/2017
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by ACCURATE INVESTMENT PARTNERS (Defendant); SALISBURY GROUP INC ( LISA SALISBURY ) (Legacy Party)

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  • 04/24/2017
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 04/24/2017
  • DocketMotion to Quash; Filed by ACCURATE INVESTMENT PARTNERS (Defendant); SALISBURY GROUP INC ( LISA SALISBURY ) (Legacy Party)

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  • 04/13/2017
  • DocketRtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketOrder (To Show Cause Hearing)

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by PEREZ CLEANING & RESTORATION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: NC061025 Hearing Date: September 30, 2021 Dept: S27

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  1. Background\r\nFacts

    These two consolidated actions\r\ninvolve claims between a former commercial tenant and commercial landlord. In NC061025, Perez Cleaning &\r\nRestoration, Inc. (“Perez”) sued its landlord, Accurate Investment Partners (“AIP”)\r\nfor failure to return a security deposit. \r\nIn 19LBCV00067, AIP sued a variety of related Perez entities and persons\r\n(collectively “Perez”) for breach of contract, alleging Perez engaged in\r\nsubstantial construction at the property without permits and in violation of\r\napplicable building codes, such that AIP had to remediate the property with proper\r\npermits.

  2. Motion\r\nto Bifurcate

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  1. Procedural History

    Perez filed this motion on 9/08/21,\r\nsetting it for hearing on 11/04/21. All\r\nparties attended a Case Management Conference on 9/09/21. The Court, at the parties’ request, advanced\r\nthe hearing date to 9/30/21 and ordered any opposition and/or reply to be per\r\nCode. On 9/10/21, Accurate gave notice of\r\nthe Court’s ruling.

  2. Request\r\nfor Relief

    Perez seeks an order bifurcating\r\nthe liability phase of the trial from the damages phase of the trial. Specifically, Perez contends the liability phase\r\nof the trial will turn on contractual construction, which is an issue properly decided\r\nby bench trial. If Accurate prevails on\r\nthe threshold issue of contractual construction and liability, a damages phase\r\nwill be necessary; however, if Accurate does not prevail, no jury need be\r\nempaneled and no evidence of damages will need to be presented.

  3. Law Governing Bifurcation

    Bifurcation is the procedure\r\nwhereby the court may order separate trials of issues of parties joined in a\r\nsingle action. The objective of\r\nbifurcation is to avoid wasting time and money on the trial of damages issues\r\nif the liability issue is resolved against the plaintiff. Also, the procedure is not limited to separate\r\ntrials of liability and damages; nor is it limited to dividing a case into only\r\ntwo parts. A party seeking bifurcation\r\nshould request such relief as soon as the need becomes apparent. Delay may be a factor affecting the court’s\r\nexercise of discretion. Generally, the\r\ncourt has the inherent power to regulate the order of trial and, therefore, can\r\nentertain a motion to bifurcate at any time, even during the trial. However, where bifurcation is sought pursuant\r\nto CCP §598 (e.g., to obtain bifurcation of liability issue), the order must be\r\nmade no later than 30 days before trial. \r\n(I.e., the motion must be heard and order made more than 30 days before\r\ntrial.)

    Pursuant to CCP §1048(b), “The court,\r\nin furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials\r\nwill be conducive to expedition and economy, may order a separate trial of any\r\ncause of action, including a cause of action asserted in a cross-complaint, or\r\nof any separate issue or of any number of causes of action or issues,\r\npreserving the right of trial by jury required by the Constitution or a statute\r\nof the state or of the United States.”

  4. Analysis

    Any opposition to this motion was\r\ndue on or before 9/17/21. The Court has\r\nnot received opposition to the motion. The\r\nCourt therefore assumes all parties agree the requested relief is necessary and\r\nproper.

    Perez argues that, because the\r\nliability issue is properly tried by the Court, while the damages issue is\r\nproperly tried by the jury, bifurcation is in the interest of justice. The Court notes, however, that the case is\r\nscheduled for a purely non-jury trial. This\r\nappears to have been agreed on at the CMC, which was held the day after Perez\r\nfiled the motion. Regardless, the Court\r\nfinds bifurcation is proper. The Court\r\nwill hear evidence and argument concerning liability first. If a damages phase is necessary, it will\r\nproceed immediately after the Court rules on the liability issue.

  5. Final\r\nNote

    The Court notes that the FSC in\r\nthis case is scheduled to be held concurrently with the hearing on this motion\r\nto bifurcate. The Court asks Counsel to\r\nmake arrangements to appear remotely at the FSC.

    The Court also notes that there is\r\na hearing on a motion to quash scheduled for 1/27/22 and a motion to extend discovery\r\ncut-off reserved for 1/04/22. These dates\r\nare well after the scheduled trial date of 10/04/21. The Court wishes to hear from the parties, at\r\nthe FSC, about whether the January hearing dates can be removed from the Court’s\r\ncalendar.

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Case Number: NC061025 Hearing Date: September 9, 2021 Dept: S27

\r\n\r\n

  1. Background\r\nFacts

    These two consolidated actions\r\ninvolve claims between a former commercial tenant and commercial landlord. In NC061025, Perez Cleaning &\r\nRestoration, Inc. (“Perez”) sued its landlord, Accurate Investment Partners (“AIP”)\r\nfor failure to return a security deposit. \r\nIn 19LBCV00067, AIP sued a variety of related Perez entities and persons\r\n(collectively “Perez”) for breach of contract, alleging Perez engaged in\r\nsubstantial construction at the property without permits and in violation of\r\napplicable building codes, such that AIP had to remediate the property with proper\r\npermits.

  2. Motion\r\nto Disqualify Counsel

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  1. Parties’ Positions

    AIP moves to disqualify Richard E.\r\nWilliamson, Ezer Williamson, APC, and Micheal I. Schiller from further\r\nrepresentation of Perez. AIP contends\r\nRichard E. Williamson and Ezer Williamson previously represented Liftech\r\nElevator Services, Inc. in a breach of contract action. AIP contends Liftech is wholly owned and\r\noperated by Daniel Simon and Michael Perkins, who are also the sole owners and\r\noperators of AIP. AIP contends Williamson,\r\nin the course of its representation of Liftech, learned pertinent information about\r\nhow Simon makes litigation decisions in the breach of contract context,\r\nincluding how they determine whether to settle, financial information, and\r\ninformation about how Simon evaluates information relevant to prosecution,\r\nsettlement and accomplishment of litigation goals.

    Perez opposes the motion. It argues Liftech and AIP are separate corporate\r\nentities, such that the successor representation rules do not apply. It argues any information about how Simon\r\nhandled litigation many years ago between Liftech and an unrelated entity bears\r\nno relationship to how Simon will handle the instant litigation. It argues the two actions bear no\r\nrelationship to each other. It argues it\r\nis entitled to counsel of its choice, and it will be prejudiced if the motion\r\nis granted. Lastly, it argues AIP is\r\nengaged in gamesmanship, as it filed this motion at the penultimate moment when\r\ndiscovery responses were due.

    AIP, in reply, contends the case\r\nlaw cited by Perez is not applicable where, as here, the two corporate entities\r\nare closely held corporations. AIP contends\r\nit did not unreasonably delay in filing the motion, and the status of discovery\r\nproceedings is not relevant to the issue of disqualification.

  2. Initial\r\nNote

    AIP’s notice of motion indicates\r\nAIP seeks disqualification per CRPC 1.7(a), 1.9, and 3.7. As Perez correctly notes in opposition to the\r\nmotion, Rules 1.7(a) and 3.7 have nothing to do with this case. Rule 1.7 applies to concurrent representation\r\nof adverse clients. Rule 3.7 applies to\r\nlawyers as witnesses. AIP fails to show\r\nthat either of these rules has any relationship to the facts of this case. The Court asks AIP to bring motions only\r\nbased on applicable rules in the future.

  3. Law\r\nGoverning Successor Representation

    CRPC 1.9(a) provides, “A lawyer who\r\nhas formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another\r\nperson* in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s* interests\r\nare materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former\r\nclient gives informed written consent*.” \r\n

    Rule 1.0.1 defines “person” to have\r\nthe meaning stated in Evidence Code §175. \r\n§175 provides, “”Person’ includes a natural person, firm, association,\r\norganization, partnership, business trust, corporation, limited liability\r\ncompany, or public entity.”

    Thus, the threshold issue before the\r\nCourt is whether AIP is the same “person” as Liftech because it shares the same\r\ntwo officers and directors. If it is\r\nnot, then Rule 1.9 does not apply. AIP\r\ncites only one case to support this position in its moving papers. It cites Black v. Bank of America (1994) 30\r\nCal.App.4th 1, 6. In Black,\r\nthe Court considered application of the agent immunity rule, which makes clear\r\nthat agents and employees of a corporation cannot conspire with the corporation\r\nitself when the agents or employees are acting in their official capacity. Its discussion of corporations as legal\r\nfictions which act through their officers and employees was intended to guide the\r\ndiscussion of the tort of conspiracy, but it is not, on its face, applicable to\r\ndisqualification of counsel.

    Perez, in opposition to the motion,\r\ncites a variety of cases holding that former representation of a corporation\r\ndoes not require disqualification from representing a client with interests adverse\r\nto a related corporation. AIP, in reply,\r\nargues those cases are distinguishable because they do not involve corporations\r\nas closely held as Liftech and AIP. It\r\nis, however, AIP’s burden to provide a closely analogous case and establish\r\ndisqualification is warranted; it is not Perez’s burden to provide a case\r\nexactly on point. Because Perez’s cases\r\nare more on point than AIP’s, the Court finds AIP did not meet its burden to show\r\ndisqualification is appropriate.

  4. Final\r\nNotes

    The Court notes that its decision\r\nto deny this motion is based on other factors as well. AIP argues Williamson, in the course of\r\nrepresenting Liftech, learned about “Simon’s finances.” The Court is not clear on how Simon’s\r\nfinances, as opposed to Liftech’s finances and AIP’s finances, relate to either\r\nlawsuit. Simon was not personally sued\r\nin either lawsuit. Simon was not sued as\r\nan alter ego or otherwise. AIP failed\r\nentirely to show that Williamson, while representing Liftech, somehow learned\r\nabout AIP’s finances. This would be the\r\nrelevant showing.

    The Court also notes that, even if\r\nLiftech and AIP were considered the same “person” to trigger a Rule 1.9\r\nanalysis, the idea that the two lawsuits are “substantially related” is attenuated\r\nat best. AIP relies on the “playbook”\r\ntheory of disqualification, which requires disqualification where an attorney\r\nlearns how its client “plays” litigation, and can use that information in connection\r\nwith adverse litigation. AIP argues this\r\ntheory is in play because Williamson learned, in the Liftech litigation, “knowledge\r\nabout the financial condition of Liftech Elevator, Mr. Simon’s philosophy about\r\nsettling and/or contesting litigation, and how Mr. Simon evaluated information that\r\nwas material to the prosecution, settlement, or accomplishment of the Liftech\r\nElevator litigation.” As noted above,\r\nLiftech’s financial condition is entirely irrelevant to AIP’s financial\r\ncondition. The Court finds any information\r\nabout how Simon settles or evaluates cases is attenuated at best, especially\r\nbecause the Liftech representation was mostly concluded over a decade ago and completely\r\nconcluded by 2013. The Liftech\r\nlitigation was only one case, and ultimately the case resulted in the adverse\r\nparty (Story Building) filing for bankruptcy. \r\nThe factual and procedural posture of the Liftech litigation is so\r\ncompletely different from this case as to render any information gleaned in\r\nconnection with that case virtually useless in connection with the instant case.

  5. Conclusion

    AIP failed to meet its burden to\r\nshow Rule 1.9 applies. Even if Rule 1.9\r\ndoes apply, the Court finds the two cases are not “substantially related” such\r\nthat disqualification is necessary. The Court\r\ndeclines to consider issues relating to the timing of the filing of the motion,\r\nas doing so is not necessary to a resolution of the merits of the matter. The motion is denied.

    AIP is ordered to give notice.

    Parties who intend to submit on\r\nthis tentative must send an email to the court at gdcdepts27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as\r\ndirected by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does\r\nnot receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and\r\nthere are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the\r\nparty’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting\r\non the tentative. If any party does not submit on the tentative, the party\r\nshould make arrangements to appear remotely at the hearing on this matter.

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