Los Angeles litigation partner Dan Woods led a small Musick Peeler team (partner Alex Aharonian and paralegal Darleen Dunnet) to a win in a jury trial in San Diego Superior Court for client Wells Fargo Bank.
The case involved claims that the bank failed to return a three-story building in National City to its landlord, Dexter Street Limited Partnership, in the condition required by the parties’ 18-year lease. In a case pending since 2011, Dexter sought approximately $8 million in damages. As the case progressed through rulings on motions in limine and a Phase 1 court trial, Mr. Woods succeeded in eliminating some of the claims. He then conducted a five-day jury trial on Dexter’s four remaining claims, in which it sought $5.5 million. The jury found 12-0 in favor of the bank on three of the claims. It found that the bank breached the lease on the one remaining claim but awarded Dexter only nominal damages of $1.
Wells Fargo Vice-President Arthur Barbour, who observed the trial, told the Musick Peeler team “You have all done a wonderful job!” Another Wells Fargo Vice-President, Barbara Reeve-Bailey, told Mr. Woods: “An incredible job. Especially in these difficult times.” An in-house lawyer for Wells Fargo stated this win represents the first jury trial Wells Fargo has won in at least 4 1/2 years anywhere in the country.