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Musick Peeler PROFESSIONALS INNOVATIVE EXPERIENCED ACCESSIBLE
KENNETH L. PERKINS, JR.
PARTNER

Experience

Kenneth L. Perkins, Jr. is a partner in the firm's Costa Mesa office. Mr. Perkins specializes in business litigation, including real estate, construction and employment litigation.  Mr. Perkins has litigated cases in both state and federal courts at the trial court and appellate levels, as well as before related government agencies. Mr. Perkins has used various methods of alternative dispute resolution to his clients’ advantage, including arbitration, mediation and private judges.

Mr. Perkins' experience encompasses a wide range of business disputes. He has handled both simple and complex business disputes, including matters involving breach of contract, business torts, fraud, non-competition agreements, trade secrets, employee theft, insurance coverage, collections, alter ego claims, shareholder disputes (including involuntary corporate dissolutions), partnership disputes (general and limited), products liability (design and manufacture), and intellectual property disputes (trademark, trade dress and copyright).  His clients have included a variety of businesses, such as manufacturers, distributors, importers, on-line merchants, professional firms (attorneys, accountants, consultants/ experts), hotel operators, service providers, investors, and venture capital funds.

Mr. Perkins also has substantial expertise in real estate and construction matters. This includes mechanic's lien foreclosure actions, construction contract disputes, subcontractor disputes, material supplier claims, defense of construction defect claims (commercial, residential, medical, parking structures, restaurants, custom homes), limited and general partnership disputes, and defense of cases brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Mr. Perkins also has expertise in the insurance coverage issues that may arise in construction cases.  His clients have included general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, community association managers, environmental consultants, investors, and owners. 

Mr. Perkins also represents commercial landlords in landlord-tenant cases, including unlawful detainer and breach of lease cases.  He has litigated and advised clients on matters involving tenant improvements (e.g., fixtures, allocation of renovation costs), assignment/subletting (including issues arising from sale of a tenant's business), water damage, tenant bankruptcies, mechanic’s liens arising from tenant or contractor insolvency/ bankruptcy, environmental issues, and abandoned property. These cases principally involve office buildings, industrial buildings, and commercial centers. His clients have included owners, property managers, and, on occasion, tenants.

 Mr. Perkins also counsels and defends employers in employment disputes. This includes defense of claims for wrongful termination, constructive termination, discrimination (race, age, sex, religion, sexual orientation), harassment, and wage and hour matters, including claims for unpaid overtime and missed meal breaks and rest periods. This includes defense of claims in the courts and before the Labor Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (claims under Labor Code section 132a). He limits his employment practice to employers.

Mr. Perkins has substantial experience in matters involving the printing and graphics arts industries.  In addition to the issues common to any business (e.g., personnel issues, trade contracts), these matters have involved issues specific to the printing industry, such as defective printing/ cutting/ gluing, defective equipment (e.g., poor registration, ghosting), and equipment finance agreements. His clients have included companies involved in printing, lithography, binding, coating, direct mail, fulfillment, large format, newspapers/ periodicals/ magazines, gluing, photocopying, graphic design, business forms, labels, and packaging.

 Mr. Perkins also serves as outside corporate counsel to not-for-profit trade associations and related entities (insurance agency, long-term disability plan, MEWA/ERISA plans, credit union). In addition to typical operations issues (e.g., personnel issues, landlord-tenant issues), this includes advising boards and committees, preparation and revision of bylaws and other documents (e.g., resolutions, committee charters, and policies concerning document retention and "whistleblowers"), and advising on member discipline, board structure and other governance issues.

Though each case is unique, Mr. Perkins is guided by several basic principles:

- Effective litigation management requires a full partnership between lawyer and client. Frequent, in-depth communication with the client is essential. This avoids surprises and insures that litigation is always handled with the client's business objectives foremost in mind.

- Costs and benefits always must be considered together. Deciding how to litigate a case must be a flexible process. Before undertaking any significant step in any case, the cost of that step must be considered against the potential gain. Aggressive (and expensive) litigation tactics are not always appropriate and should be used only when they serve the client's objectives.

- Money spent on lawsuits is better spent elsewhere. Our clients are businesspeople, not professional litigants. We understand that their resources should be invested in their businesses, not legal fees. Our goal is to handle litigation as efficiently and inexpensively as possible while meeting our client's objectives.

- Litigation is not always the better way. Some matters require aggressive litigation to victory.  Others do not.  In appropriate cases, early use of mediation, arbitration, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution can be more beneficial to our client than conventional litigation.

Mr. Perkins received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine and his law degree from the University of Southern California. While in law school at USC, Mr. Perkins was a member and Editor of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program.

Mr. Perkins is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts. He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association (Sections on Insurance and Business Litigation) and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a former member of the Board of Advisors of the USC Institute for Corporate Counsel, and he is approved by the California Department of Real Estate to teach “Ethics for Community Association Managers, which he does several times a year.

Education

  • University of California, Irvine, B.A., 1980
  • University of Southern California School of Law, J.D., 1983

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
Kenneth L. Perkins, Jr.
Office: Orange County
Phone: (714) 668-2441
Fax: (714) 668-2490
Email: Kenneth L. Perkins, Jr.
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