William Stoner’s extensive experience and expertise in complex business litigation and trials includes many complicated business lawsuits over the course of the last three decades. Mr. Stoner has been a vigorous champion for consumers, business owners and investors victimized by fraudulent and deceptive business practices, including copyright infringement. He also has defended businesses and individuals accused of misconduct or unfair practices.
Frederic Grannis brings clients a broad range of personal injury and product liability, expertise that reaches across many industries and types of catastrophic injuries. Frederic is experienced in both plaintiffs and defense representation spanning the full array of personal injury and product liability cases.
Given their wide experience handling very large, complex and high-stakes cases, William and Frederic are extremely capable of handling mid-sized cases with “big firm” expertise and judgment, while achieving his clients’ objectives much more efficiently and economically than “big firm” litigation departments.
A partial listing of previous cases in which Mr. Stoner or Mr. Grannis have played significant roles are set forth below:
- § Oaktree Capital Principal Opportunities Fund, L.P, TCW Opportunities Fund, and Pacholder Value Opportunity Fund, LP v. CIBC World Markets Corp.: William Stoner was part of a trial team that represented various investment funds against CIBC asserting claims for misrepresentation and intentional nondisclosure as well as violations of securities laws. CIBC was the underwriter on approximately $200 million of high-yield promissory notes issued by Renaissance Cosmetics, Inc. with the sale conducted under SEC Rule 144A. Mr. Stoner prepared and filed the complaint. The $52 million jury verdict was upheld on appeal and prejudgment interest awarded. (OCM Principal Opportunities Fund v. CIBC World Markets Corp., 157 Cal App 4th 835 (2007)
- § Bell Holdings v. Trigg Laboratories, Inc.: Bell Holdings, Inc. was sued by Trigg Laboratories to invalidate a promise to transfer 10% of the Company’s stock and pay Bell Holdings, Inc. for consulting services over a period of years. Prior counsel had filed and then dismissed a cross-complaint. Mr. Stoner took over the “defense”, filed a new cross-complaint, obtained relief from the court to conduct discovery while the Anti-SLAPP Motion was pending, and after demolishing Trigg’s case during the deposition of its CEO, Mr. Stoner obtained a substantial high six figure recovery for Bell Holdings on the cross-complaint to compensate Robert Bell for the dramatic increase in value of Trigg during his tenure.
- § In re KPMG Accounting Malpractice Litigation: William Stoner negotiated a $6.3 million settlement from KPMG for the deficient audit of erroneous financial statements. The client was a major California bank that relied on the faulty financial statements in extending credit to an entity that collapsed when the fraudulent nature of the enterprise came to light. The terms of the settlement and identity of the bank client are confidential.
- § In re Deloitte & Touche LLP Auditor Malpractice Litigation: William Stoner filed the lawsuit and then negotiated and secured an $8.9 million settlement from Deloitte & Touche LLP for its failure to disclose inventory and other problems in financial statements it audited. The specific terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
- § City of Bell v. Best Best & Krieger LLP: William Stoner filed an action on behalf of the City of Bell against the City Attorney, Edward Lee, and his law firm Best Best & Krieger as the Robert Rizzo fraud and salary scandal came to light. The complaint also sought $39 million in damages for a bond issue that was allegedly mishandled by Best Best & Krieger during the Rizzo regime that left the city of Bell impoverished and on the verge of default.
- § City of Huntington Park Public Finance Authority v. Best Best & Krieger LLP: William Stoner filed a legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty case against Best Best & Krieger arising from the issuance of tax-advantaged 2004 revenue bonds by Huntington Park. The law firm’s alleged mishandling of the bond issuance resulted in an unforeseen tax liability to Huntington Park about which BBK failed to plan for or warn against. Mr. Stoner recovered from the law firm for damages caused by the failure to advise Huntington Park concerning the adverse tax consequences of the particularly complex bond structure involved in the case.
- § In re Jeanius Corporation: The firm represented the landlord in a breach of lease and breach of lease guaranty dispute securing full recovery for the trust owning the property.
- § Systems Technical Group, Inc. v. HNT Technology Inc.: This was a breach of contract, breach of joint venture agreement, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, conversion and fraud case against HNT Technology, Inc. involving multi-million dollar purchase orders for high tech products. STGI (as an independent contractor) was supposed to receive the transfer of a ten percent interest in HNT in exchange for highly sophisticated engineering services. Once the technology was transferred HNT reneged on its commitments and terminated STGI. Mr. Stoner aggressively pursued HNT and STGI virtually the only creditor that recovered during the bankruptcy proceeding. STGI’s ultimate recovery, net of attorneys’ fees and costs, was several times its pre-litigation demand.
- § GreatMeals USA, Inc. v. Greenburg Traurig LLP, George Foreman, et. al.: Mr. Stoner represented GreatMeals USA, Inc. in a true David v. Goliath battle against the national law firm Greenburg Traurig and former heavy weight champion George Foreman. Claims for intentional misrepresentation, deceit, intentional interference with prospective business advantage and breach of contract were pursued against the defendants and the case settled after years of scorched earth litigation. Mr. Stoner deposed Mr. Foreman at length but never asked who Mohammad Ali was referring to in his “rope a dope” strategy.
- § Feyko v. Yuhe: Although most of Mr. Stoner’s accounting malpractice cases have been representing businesses and investors victimized by shoddy accounting practices, in this case he represented a United States accounting firm accused of auditing deficiencies in the audits of a massive Chinese chicken farming conglomerate. The international class action settled with the accounting making a very modest contribution that was well under anticipated defense costs.
- § Biedenstein v. Oralingua: William Stoner represented the principal at Oralingua School for the Hearing Impaired who was wrongfully terminated after less than 90 days. The principal had been induced to relocate to California from Missouri with the promise of a long term employment contract that was never forthcoming. We succeeded in securing approximately two years worth of compensation for our client which facilitated her move back to Missouri and an equitable transition. The case presented a myriad of insurance and coverage issues that were ultimately resolved in mediation.
- § President v. Entertainment Company Division: William Stoner represented the President of an entertainment company in a breach of employment contract case involving the company’s failure to pay six figure commissions and early termination of the contract. Mr. Stoner pursued causes of action for violations of Labor Code §203 and §218.5 and breach of the terms of the employment contract. Settlement terms, and the existence of the settlement itself, are strictly confidential.
- § Paul Kaduk v. Allianz Global Risks US: William Stoner represented a senior executive who was terminated without cause, asserting causes of action for violation of Labor Code §203 and §218.5 and breach of employment contract. Favorable settlement terms are confidential.
- § Levine v. Center Bank: Mr. Stoner represented a whistle blower who was terminated for disclosing money laundering revelations that triggered criminal and regulatory investigations involving Homeland Security and the FBI. Issues of hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and constructive termination were resolved through confidential mediation. The issues in the case were particularly complicated since some of the allegations of wrongful conduct had been leveled by in-house counsel who was terminated for the whistle blowing.
- § Stella v. Bodycoat Thermal Processing: Mr. Stoner represented a whistle blower who was retaliated against for complaints concerning safety problems at the facility. The case also presented issues of age discrimination. A big break in the case came when Mr. Stoner’s investigation revealed that the high ranking executive at Bodycoat responsible for the termination decision had been arrested for killing women and disposing of their bodies using a wood chipper. Needless to say, Mr. Stoner was confident that Bodycoat would not call their senior executive at trial to explain the basis for his termination decision or the unusual ways he spent his weekends in Connecticut.
- § Tonini v. Irvine Company: Mr. Stoner represented a senior executive who was constructively terminated in an age discrimination situation. The case was settled in confidential mediation.
- § Moskowitz v. CAPG Trade Ass’n: Stoner | Grannis LLP represented a constructively terminated employee whose job was effectively eliminated while she was on medical leave. The claim was settled swiftly without litigation on confidential terms.
- § Ed McMahon v. Cedars-Sinai, DePuy Spine, Robert Day, etc. al.: William Stoner represented Ed McMahon against the premises owner where his tragic fall occurred and against the medical providers who performed the subsequent surgeries on his broken neck that were not successful. Elder abuse issues were also pursued against the providers. The case settled on confidential terms shortly before Mr. McMahon passed away.
- § Eric Parker v. Crazy Gideon Studios, Inc.: Mr. Stoner represented a plaintiff who suffered a shattered ankle and leg when a ladder on the side of a building being used for a location shooting for a television show had been cut by the building owner to prevent transients from accessing the roof. When the union electrician attempted to descend the ladder, he fell after reaching the gap in the ladder and his leg was broken in numerous places and seriously injured. Mr. Stoner successfully asserted claims for premises liability, negligence, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith against the property owner and the television production company involved. The plaintiff obtained a confidential settlement in excess of $5.0 million for the leg and back injuries.
- § Carolyn Miller v. Harvey Mindess: Mr. Stoner represented victims in a premises liability case involving poor lighting and problematic stairs. The injured plaintiff was the primary caretaker for her disabled husband who also recovered as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit when she was no longer able to care for him.
- § In Re Victoria Oberdiear: Represented the mother in a wrongful death case involving her daughter, who was killed in a plane crash. Recovered the full insurance policy limits.
- § Minor v. Private School: Represented a minor child who was abused at a private school, asserting claims of negligence and breach of contract regarding the school’s failure to supervise which created an environment in which the alleged misconduct occurred. Achieved confidential settlement payment.
Notable Real Estate Case Work in Los Angeles
- § In re Anaheim Hills landslide litigation: Mr. Stoner and a team of attorneys represented homeowners in over 200 individual lawsuits against the City of Anaheim and other defendants resulting in a $19.3 million recovery for our clients. As part of the settlement, the City of Anaheim was required to establish the first ever Geologic Hazard Abatement District to protect against future landslides in Anaheim Hills,
- § In re Tondelea Development: William Stoner represented homeowners in a construction defect case exposing misrepresentations by developers and breach of express and implied warranties. The settlement terms from the mediated settlement are confidential.
- § In re American Communities Home Builders, Inc.: The firm represented the developer in a case involving a UCC Financing Statement, security agreements and issues arising from dispute with Access Business Finance LLC and subcontractors.
- § In re Agajanian Development v. Hospitality Management: Represented the landlord in a breach of lease dispute and injunction case resulting in the tenant vacating the premises.
Intellectual Property Case Work in Los Angeles
- § In Re Powers Acquisition Corp.: A website company posted erroneous information regarding qualifications and certifications of various plastic surgeons. Mr. Stoner maneuvered for an expedited trial that resulted in a verdict for the firm’s plastic surgery clients exceeding $1.7 million and injunctive relief barring future references to these surgeons on the website.
- § In Re Ross Stores: Copyright infringement case against Ross Stores and suppliers including claims for unfair competition and unjust enrichment. In a confidential settlement the infringing fabric and patterns were removed from the product line and the Firm’s client recovered substantial damages.
- § In re MMP, Inc. v. YASB Apparel Inc: Defense of an alleged copyright infringement. Although the Firm attorneys have typically represented Plaintiffs in copyright actions, this was a rare instance where they were retained to defend copyright infringement allegations. Mr. Stoner was able to extricate our client for a nominal payment.