Success Stories

Here are just a few of Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP's legal victories

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP wins case in matter of JFK Jr.’s stolen university files

In Brown University v. Gary Zimet, filed in the USDC Central District, Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP working with Massachusetts-based Smith, Duggan, Buell & Rufo, filed suit against an on-line memorabilia vendor found to be marketing the stolen student file of John F. Kennedy Jr.  The student file was stolen from Brown University in approximately 1994, and used as the basis for an article in the Star magazine.  Its whereabouts were unknown prior to the attempted sale by Defendant. Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP obtained a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a stipulated judgment requiring the return of the original file and all copies to Brown University.

Law Firm Dismissed After Binding Arbitration

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP defended a law firm in a legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged the firm had mishandled a multi-million dollar real estate transaction, and subsequently mishandled litigation over the same transaction. The case proceeded to binding arbitration after the plaintiff made a seven figure settlement demand. After Mr. Lester cross-examined the plaintiff in the binding arbitration, the plaintiff dismissed the entire case without compensation.

Contractor receives 6-figure verdict against City of Rialto

We represented a local contractor after construction of a local park in the City of Rialto. During construction the municipality that owned the park claimed the contractor had failed to adequately complete the work, and that the contractor had caused the project to not be completed timely. At trial, the jury rejected all of the municipality’s claims, and awarded our client a six-figure verdict. Subsequent to the verdict and legal victory, the municipality paid our client in full.

Firm Receives Favorable Settlement in High Stakes Case

We represented a large national law firm accused of allowing public corruption in a city in which it served as the city attorney. The plaintiff municipality claimed it had been harmed in excess of 30 million dollars. After depositions of many of the plaintiff’s key witnesses, the case settled for pennies on the dollar.

Complete Defense Jury Verdict at Trial

We defended a lawyer accused of improperly settling a tax matter for his client. The plaintiffs’ final settlement demand before trial was in excess of $4M. After several weeks of trial, the jury returned its verdict after only a few minutes of deliberation. Our lawyers received a complete defense verdict at trial.

Negotiations Save Business Client Over $7 Million

We were hired to defend a business at trial of a wrongful death claim that arose from an auto accident. Our client had previously hired another law firm to represent him, and had not received acceptable results. A few weeks after we were hired, we were able to negotiate a settlement for our client just over one-half of the amount previously being demanded by the plaintiff. Our work saved our client over $7 million.

Lawsuit Saves Plaintiff almost $2 Million on Parcel

We brought a lawsuit on behalf of a real estate developer after a seller breached an agreement to sell a parcel of commercial real property. After several days of trial, the judge informed the seller that if he did not sell the property to our client, the judge would order the property sold and require the seller to pay all legal fees for the buyer. The trial resulted in our client purchasing the parcel for almost $2M less than its actual value.

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP prevails in matter of Castillo v. Price Pfister, Inc., et al.

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP prevailed in the Second Appellate District on behalf of Defendants Black & Decker and Stanley Black & Decker in Castillo v. Price Pfister, Inc., et al.  The case involved the application of California’s potentially conflicting statutes of limitations as applied to plaintiff’s claimed in vitro toxic exposure at a foundry and plating facility.  After plaintiff appealed from the granting of two summary judgments in Defendants’ favor, the justices of the Second Division unanimously held that plaintiff’s action was barred by California Civil Code Section 340.4.  The court rejected plaintiff’s argument that later-enacted Civil Code Section 340.8 would revive a claim that had previously lapsed according to Section 340.4.  The court held that the outcome of the anticipated decision by the California Supreme Court in Lopez v. Sony Electronics, Inc. would not impact its decision because the Castillo was already “stale” by the time Section 340.8 was adopted.  [The Supreme Court did ultimately find Section 340.8 controlling over Section 340.4.]

Aerospace Contractor Dismissed During Trial

We defended an international aerospace contractor in a dispute concerning significant repairs made to a C-130 aircraft. The plaintiff was a subcontractor to our client and claimed they were owed nearly a million dollars for work performed on the aircraft. On the first day of trial, Mr. Cantrell cross-examined two of plaintiff’s key employees. Immediately after the examination, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the entire case without compensation.

LLC Receives Sizable Settlement After Deposition

We handled a complex dispute between several members of a limited liability company over the construction of a real estate development. The lawsuit involved claims of breach of fiduciary duty and self-dealing. The development was valued at several million dollars. Our client received a sizable settlement just days after the deposition of the main defendant.

Contracting Firm Receives 3/4 Million Settlement

We represented a local construction company in a case in which our client constructed a park in Riverside. The owner of the park (a regional park district) claimed the construction quality was poor and that the project was not completed on time. After taking the deposition of the defense expert prior to trial, we were able to resolve the case for three quarters of a million dollars (nearly our entire demand).

Plaintiff Settles After Pre-Trial Motion

We defended a real estate developer accused of fraud in the sale of a building valued in excess of $10M. After our lawyers won a significant pre-trial motion, the plaintiff dropped its fraud claims and settled the case on terms that were very favorable to our client.

Doctor Recovers Partnership Assets

We were able to negotiate a favorable settlement for a plastic surgeon accused of breach of fiduciary duty by his business partner. The settlement resulted in our client receiving substantially all of the assets of the partnership, including a building.

Judge Throws Out Entire Legal Malpractice Case

Lester, Cantrell & Kraus, LLP was hired to represent a successful family law firm in a case in which the plaintiff claimed she was given faulty advice concerning her family law case. During cross-examination of the plaintiff’s expert at trial, David Cantrell was able to elicit testimony from the expert that resulted in the judge throwing out the entire case against our client.
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