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Laudatory Litigation – Encore earns successes for its clients

Encore successfully opposes lender’s attempt to dismiss claim on Summary Judgment.

August 19, 2019
Summary Judgment Successful Opposition. Litigation. Lender Liability.

In a complex fraudulent scheme involving a lender, a former lover, an escrow company, and others, Encore’s client has been attempting to recover tens of millions of dollars of lost funds and property. One of the defendants, a financial institution, attempted to evade liability by filing a summary judgment motion to have the claims against it dismissed. Encore attorneys, led by Muhammed Hussain, were successful in persuading the Court to deny the motion. As a result, the lender must either settle or face a jury trial. This was a critical victory because many times large institutions don’t seriously consider resolution until they’ve pulled their heavy guns out to have the case dismissed through summary judgment. The threat of summary judgment on motions filed by large institutions is also often used as a strategy to get the plaintiff to settle cheap for fear of having the case dismissed before trial. Encore successfully evaluated the risk and did not cave into the lender’s tactics. As a result, the client is able to take his case against the lender to trial. This is a big interim victory and the client is thrilled.

Huge victory, Encore (f/k/a Karczag & Associates PC) is part of team of class action lawyers who received settlement against National Financial Institution regarding a Ponzi Scheme.

July 27, 2019
Settlement $130,000,000. Class Action. Lender Liability. Ponzi Scheme.

Encore, along with its co-plaintiffs’ counsel, successfully negotiated a settlement with a national lender regarding its involvement with the principals who ran a Ponzi scheme that sucked in victims across the nation. Most victims were in California and Nevada. The class had been decertified and had moved from federal to state court. To muscle up the victims’ position, Encore filed its own class action on behalf of all victims in Nevada (this was a collaboration with other attorneys who had filed class actions for victims in California and victims in New York, as well as the group action and national action in California, and the receiver). Encore’s joining the litigation with its own action was instrumental in pressuring the defendant to understand that there was no way it could just dismiss one case and escape liability. By joining together with the other plaintiffs’ counsel, the plaintiffs’ counsel team engaged in multi-day mediation, which produced this excellent result. Class members who were victims should receive their settlement payments within the year. In August 20, 2018 update – Court approved the class settlement. As of July 2019 updates – all settlement requirements have been satisfied and settlement checks are being paid to class members.

Hot Off the Press – Successful Resolution for Client Who Faced Losing Everything

July 3, 2019
Settlement over $1,000,000 (value). Litigation. Financial Elder Abuse.

In 2018, Encore received a call from a woman in distress. She was
disabled and her son had coerced her into signing away the family home to her and was about
to sell it to a developer. Encore litigation attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, responded by
bringing their full litigation might to bear. A detailed complaint was filed, a lis pendens was
recorded, and the real estate agent was contacted to halt the sale. Incredibly, the real estate
agent ignored the warning and instead closed escrow immediately, and the client’s son used
the sale proceeds to purchase a new home in a different city. But, because Encore had its
ducks in a row with the detailed complaint and lis pendens, the sale was consummated subject
to constructive notice. Encore attorneys then amended the complaint to add the purchaser
and real estate agents. A year and a half of litigation ensued, during which time Encore was able to ensure
that its client could remain living in her home the entire time. The strong and detailed
complaint pervaded every aspect of the litigation, ensuring that the client’s story was the
controlling narrative in the case.

Throughout the year and a half of its pendency, the litigation was vigorous, with multiple depositions, substantial written discovery, multiple attacks on the pleadings, and even a cross- complaint filed against Encore’s client. Encore effectively addressed every challenge and forged ahead with its litigation strategy, moving successfully under California’s Anti-SLAPP law to have the claim for damages in the cross-complaint against its client stricken and an award of attorneys’ fees issued in its favor. Encore also successfully defeated multiple attempts by the client’s adversaries to get sanctions awarded against Encore, and instead, received sanctions (attorneys’ fees) awards against them multiple times. Ultimately, after a marathon mediation session, and then further discovery, the case settled for a recovery to Encore’s client valued in excess of a million dollars, and, most importantly, she has her family home back (the purchaser’s interest was extinguished completely, and the son had to forfeit the new house he purchased with his ill-gotten gains).

This was a tough case. The client had consulted with “countless” attorneys, who all told her that, although they saw that she was wronged, they could not see a way to victory. Then, she found Encore. It’s not uncommon for Encore attorneys to see litigation differently, and to be creative and effective in finding a path to victory that leaves other attorneys confused, agitated, and consistently caught off-guard. Encore litigators are true litigators and trial attorneys, practicing in a variety of litigation contexts. Financial Elder Abuse is a serious and pervasive issue in California that harms many elderly and disabled persons state-wide. The Legislature has enacted strict laws that allow effective counsel to get redress for victims. Encore attorneys have years of experience litigating elder abuse cases, including in class/mass actions, including cases that have resulted in recoveries of tens of millions of dollars. Here, in this individual case, Encore was pleased and proud to achieve this exceptional recovery for its client, and, more than anything, is happy that the client received the best possible outcome, and her nightmare is over.

Encore Earns Successful $7,500,000 (value) Resolution for Client Who Faced Losing Everything.

June 11, 2019
Settlement Success $7,500,000 (value). Litigation. Lender Liability.

In a highly contentious lender liability action, Encore attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, successfully resolved a multi-million dollar lender liability action against a top five national mortgage servicer, lender and their agents. Encore’s client was a real estate developer whose property became troubled, while it at $10,000,000 borrowed against it. There were failed attempts at a workout with the lender/servicer, which eventually foreclosed on the property. Borrower’s principal was a personal guarantor. Two bankruptcies ensued, a receiver was put in place, multiple lawsuits were filed, and ultimately, as Encore became involved, there was a state court action with borrower as a defendant, plus a federal court action with borrower’s principal as a defendant. Encore came in and took the helm, attempting to force a cross-complaint in the state action, which although ultimately unsuccessful, resulted in a settlement with an adversary that produced a war chest to proceed with an affirmative case against the lender/ servicer, which was promptly filed.

The borrower and guarantor were confronted with over $5,000,000 in liability against them by the lender. The lender liability action was for over $6,000,000 in damages. Depositions occurred across state lines, and multiple summary judgment motions were filed. And there was the typical scorched-earth litigation employed by financial institutions when a borrower or guarantor has the temerity, and is able to retain skilled counsel, to challenge their predatory practices. Encore racked up victory after victory. Of course, there were some losses. Nonetheless, facing the threat of having to go to trial against Encore, in the first of three active litigations, the lender/servicer were convinced at mediation (the fourth session) that settlement was in their best interest. The result was complete exoneration of liability of the borrower plus a recovery of $2,400,000, for a total value of $7,500,000.

Huge Victory for Encore (f/k/a Karczag & Associates PC) and co-counsel that settled class action lawsuit against the largest airline company in the United States for $9,850,000 for its baggage fees charged to consumers.

April 11, 2019
Settlement $10,000,000. Class Action. Consumer. Airlines.

Nine years after initiating a class action against a major airline carrier for its imposition of baggage fees on consumers, Encore, led by Justin Karczag, along with co-counsel, was successful at earning a $9,850,000 settlement. This case posed especially difficult challenges and required the most careful and creative strategizing plus a willingness to go all the way to achieve victory. That is because every other class action against airlines for baggage fees had either failed prior to this one, or failed while this one was pending. It is also because even though the trial court dismissed the action, Justin and his team were determined to take the matter up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Justin briefed, and argued and then filed supplemental briefing, all of which resulted in the Ninth Circuit overturning the trial court’s dismissal and remanding the case back for resolution on the merits. That proved to be the turning point using the leverage of that successful track record and strategy in terms of the legal arguments employed (as well as those that were intentionally not used), Justin convinced the defendant to settle, and finally allowed consumers to get recovery for wrongfully imposed baggage fees.

Encore successfully resolves multi-million dollar action against its client.

May 6, 2019
Settlement defense. Litigation. Business litigation.

Encore provides as vigorous a defense as it does an offense. This time, former vendors of a long-term client of Encore claimed that they were actually partners and accused the client of not paying them royalties per contract, of violating fiduciary duties as partners, and various other claims. The dispute was ugly, and Encore fought hard to get the plaintiffs to understand that trial was risky and that Encore was prepared to make them tp prove their case in court, and make it as hard as possible for them to win. Ultimately, after Encore took depositions of the plaintiffs, they realized that settlement for a tiny fraction (approximately 10%) of their claim looked better than proceeding to trial. The client, glad to have finality, was agreeable.

Encore succeeds in getting attorneys’ fees awarded.

April 2, 2019
Attorneys’ Fees. Anti-SLAPP. Elder Abuse.

Encore racked up another victory. Encore litigation attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, receive an award of attorneys’ fees in favor of its client, after Encore was successful in convincing the Court that the claim for damages in the adversary’s cross-complaint against Encore’s client violated the anti-SLAPP statute. Encore’s client, the victim of financial elder abuse, sued those who participated in the fraudulent transfer of the family estate to a developer. The developer thought that it would bully Encore’s client by filing a cross-complaint that included a claim for damages against Encore’s client. Encore ensured that strategy was flipped, transforming a claim for damages against its client into an order that the developer had to pay Encore. Encore attorneys have a history of engineering such “upsets,” and apply the same skill, talent and experience to every litigation matter. In this case, this series of victories re-set the entire tone of the case and positioned it to become a potential successful settlement in favor of Encore’s client.

Another litigation victory for Encore

December 19, 2018
Elder Abuse; Anti-SLAPP.

Encore attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, representing the Plaintiff in a Financial Elder Abuse case against relatives, real estate agents, brokers, notaries, and commercial developers, achieved an important victory on behalf of its client by winning the most important component of its anti-SLAPP motion. When Encore’s client was tricked into signing away the family estate to her son and then her son sold it to a developer, the client thought that everything was lost. But, Encore stepped in, taking a very aggressive approach to protect her rights, and charting a strategic course to win a victory. In response to Encore’s strong and effective actions, adversaries thought to try to put pressure on Encore by filing a cross-complaint against Encore’s client. Encore responded by fighting back harder, filing an anti-SLAPP motion against the cross- complaint. California’s anti-SLAPP statute allows the victim of a frivolous action—or of frivolous claims in an action—to file a motion to dismiss the action—or claim(s) in it—at the outset of the matter, and to get an award of attorneys’ fees, if successful. The court issued a tentative opinion denying the motion. At the hearing, the court explained that it didn’t see the claims in the cross-complaint as being particularly harmful to Encore’s client. Encore was successful in convincing the Court that there was one claim that, if successful, would require Encore’s client to pay damages, and that claim was wholly improper. As a result of Encore’s persuasive skills at oral argument, the Court changed its opinion and granted the anti-SLAPP on that claim.

Encore (f/k/a Karczag & Associates PC) Receives big trial win valued at over $6,000,000.

November 29, 2017
Trial Success $6,000,000 (value). Business Litigation. Partnership Dispute.

After a grueling two years of litigation that culminated in a trial, Encore attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, received an award in favor of its client valued at $6,000,000. Encore represented its client in a highly contentious partnership dispute, taking the matter over after prior counsel for five years had not received any beneficial result. After winning every law and motion and discovery battle, winning a directed verdict on the cross-complaint against its client, and then receiving an oral statement of complete victory after the trial, the Arbitrator issued his final written award. In this incredible result, Encore’s client received everything he sought and defeated every challenge by his adversary. Encore’s client received an award of over a million dollars in tax relief, received 100% ownership of an entity owning commercial property valued in the seven-figure range, received equitable relief reducing tax liability by nearly a million dollars, defeated a $1.2mil claim against him, received interest, attorneys fees, and costs and expenses in the six-figures, plus further relief. This was a total win at trial and represented the best possible outcome for Encore’s client. Encore is proud that it was able to earn such an exceptional result. The client was elated.

Encore (f/k/a Karczag & Associates) wins arbitration trial.

September 26, 2017.
Trial Success. Business Litigation. Partnership Dispute.

Encore attorneys, led by Justin Karczag, completed their streamlined trial, and were rewarded with an oral ruling by the Arbitrator, that they had succeeded on all issues they presented. A formal written award will be issued with full details. Stay posted.

Karczag & Associates PC (future partner in Encore Law Group LLP, and now referred to as “Encore”) wins directed verdict against adversary.

September 25, 2017
Law & Motion $2,000,000 value. Directed Verdict. Business Litigation. Partnership Dispute.

On the first day of trial in a highly contentious business dispute between two partners who built a real estate empire, Encore attorney Justin Karczag achieved a significant victory for his client, by convincing the Arbitrator to grant directed verdict on the adversary’s multi-million dollar cross-claim against his client. Encore’s client had been in a five-year disputed with his 20-year business partner regarding the fall-out from the partner’s mismanagement of the commercial real estate empire. Those years of litigation included multiple state law actions, bankruptcy actions, adversary actions, and arbitrations, and the client was in a worse position than when he started, as a result of his partner’s ability to delay, confuse and distract, and thus drag out all of the disputes, in an attempt to bleed him dry. Encore developed a unique and streamlined strategy to push what remained of the dispute to a quick resolution that would produce a binding result. Encore got all remaining disputes into an arbitration, seeking millions of dollars in relief (cash, properties, and equitable relief, including, among other things, a million dollars of relief in potential tax liability), and the partner responded by filing a cross-claim. After succeeding in every law and motion battle in the arbitration, Encore prepared a substantial and persuasive pre-trial brief, arguing that the cross- claim was basis and that there should be no trial on it. Today, on the first day of the hearing, the Arbitrator ruled that he agreed with Encore, and dismissed the cross-claim. The Arbitrator further agreed with Encore’s other arguments, finding in favor of Encore’s client on multiple aspects of the case, and streamlining the rest of the matter, so that a resolution could happen. Encore was pleased with its team, which was able to get the case against its client dismissed plus substantial additional benefits, as a direct result of its pre-trial strategy and persuasive and powerful brief writing.