Brian's legal career began at the predecessor of DLA Piper as a summer associate in 1990. Brian developed his own dynamic business litigation practice at DLA, achieving partner in 1999. Brian earned a reputation as a tough, aggressive, business litigator and counselor to business owners, executives, and boards. Equally adept at trial and lawsuits, arbitration, mediation, negotiation, investigations, or counseling to avoid litigation,
Brian's emphasis is on helping clients define their goals, developing sound strategies, and efficiently working toward winning results.
Bar And Community
Brian has been a member of the California State Bar and San Diego County Bar Association in good standing since 1991. He is admitted to practice in the state courts and federal courts in California, but has also handled numerous cases in other jurisdictions and abroad.
Brian has been recognized by the bench, bar, peers, and the community. He was a member of the National Institute of Trial Advocates and the Thomas More Legal Society. Brian is an alumnus of the San Diego Chapter of the Louis Welch Inn of Court. Brian was appointed to serve as a volunteer Judge Pro Tem by the San Diego Superior Court, Small Claims Division, where he served nights over portions of six years. The Association of Business Trial Lawyers elected Brian to its Board of Governors for the San Diego Chapter, where he served a three-year term. Brian has been recognized as a "San Diego Super Lawyer" in Business Litigation. He served on the board of directors of San Diego's leading provider of homeless services, Father Joe's Villages, most recently as Chair of the Fundraising and Development Committee. Brian also served on the board of the Notre Dame Club of San Diego.
Education And Early Public Accounting/Legal Experience
Brian grew up in the Midwest, in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University of Notre Dame on a football scholarship from 1981-1985 (earning two letters and playing in 25 games, including two bowl games, as a tight end and special teams player), where he graduated with a double major in accounting and philosophy, on a pre-law path. While at Notre Dame, Brian's highlights included an internship on Capitol Hill.
Although Brian knew he would eventually practice law, he first sought practical business experience. Brian worked with the public accounting firm of Ernst & Young (then Ernst & Whinney) from 1985-1988, first as a staff auditor and eventually an audit senior, auditing clients in manufacturing, banking, and insurance. He achieved his CPA in 1988. This public accounting experience was invaluable in instilling the values of client service, professionalism, and integrity, in addition to the substantive accounting, finance, and business knowledge. Brian has often drawn on this background in cases and investigations involving complex finance, accounting, or internal control issues.
Brian attended law school at American University's Washington College of Law in Washington DC from 1988-1991, graduating magna cum laude in 1991. He served on the Law Review. While in law school, Brian's employment included an internship at the Money Laundering Division of the Justice Department in addition to a civil litigation clerkship at a private DC firm.
Brian resides in the Del Mar Mesa area of San Diego, with his wife Maureen and two sons James (13), and Blake (11). He is a member of the Church of the Nativity Parish in Rancho Santa Fe. His hobbies include coaching school sports with his sons and playing other sports, including tennis and golf, camping, fishing, hiking, music, travel, and spending time with his family and friends. Brian also has an interest in local and national politics, and has supported a number of political candidates over the years, including hosting and attending political fundraisers and policy events.
- Representation of technology company in complex accounting/contract dispute with its Asian representative, prevailing in bench trial
- Obtaining favorable jury verdict on damages in insurance defense case with stipulated liability
- Representation of public wireless company in successful motion to dismiss in $400 million business tort case in New York brought by Cyprus contractor from Russian project
- Representation of Asian manufacturer against Indian manufacturer in dispute over guarantee agreement, prevailing in ICC London arbitration, including award of several million dollars, interest, costs, and attorneys' fees
- Representation of financial partner in real estate development dispute with development partners, prevailing in AAA arbitration
- Representation of technology company in ICC arbitration against Asian manufacturer, resulting in favorable resolution.
- Defense of public computer software developer in finder's fee AAA arbitration in New York arising from financing dispute, resulting in favorable award
- Representation of Asian division of public telecommunications company in international ICC arbitration, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of technology entrepreneur in AAA arbitration in partnership/patent dispute, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of health care company in arbitration with physician group over acquisition, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of selling business founders in arbitration with purchaser over representations and proceeds, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of computer staffing company in fraud/business tort lawsuit against sellers resulting in favorable resolution, and pursuit of criminal investigation
- Representation of promotional products company in obtaining preliminary injunction and permanent injunction in trade secrets/unfair competition case former employees and competitor
- Representation of employer in trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, resulting in preliminary injunction and favorable resolution
- Representation of large publisher in obtaining preliminary injunction and favorable resolution of below cost sales/unfair competition case in Northern California
- Representation of technology company in federal court lawsuit with European distributor, resulting in defeat of TRO and favorable resolution
- Representation of real estate developer in fraud/business tort lawsuit against former partners, resulting in favorable resolution
- Defense of technology defense contractor in stock option dispute with key employee, obtaining summary adjudication and favorable resolution
- Representation of plaintiff employee in stock option lawsuit versus life science company employer, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of public computer software management company in obtaining preliminary injunction and favorable resolution in trade secrets matter
- Representation of technology company and founder in defense of shareholder claims, including setting aside of TRO, leading to favorable resolution
- Representation of founder of private company in defense of breach of fiduciary duty claims and accounting, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of employer in investigation and defense of wrongful termination, fraud, and whistleblower claims in connection with termination of executive's employment
- Representation of internet real estate company in trade libel claims against competitor resulting in favorable resolution, including retraction/apology letters
- Representation of buyer of business in defense of seller claim for remainder of purchase price, resulting in favorable resolution.
- Representation of beverage manufacturer against an industry leader in federal court trademark/unfair competition lawsuit, resulting in favorable resolution, including packaging redesign
- Representation of real estate developer plaintiff in lawsuit and lis pendens versus seller, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of private jet owner in dispute with major aircraft manufacturer, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of plaintiff revenue strategy consultant in breach of contract lawsuit versus robotics company, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of directors in stock option backdating investigation and litigation, resulting in favorable resolution
- Representation of audit committee of public company in internal investigation involving potential financial irregularities
- Representation of special committee of technology company in internal investigation of accounting impropriety
- Representation of special committee in alleged kickback internal investigation.
- Representation of private company in investigation of employee embezzlement, resulting in criminal prosecution and jail term
- Representation of real estate developer in investigation of executive fraud, resulting in termination and favorable resolution
- Representation of audit committee of manufacturer in investigation of inventory irregularities
- Representation of manufacturer (buy side) in acquisition of company