November 22, 2010

Maybe We Should Reconsider This


A few weeks ago, Rob, an attorney friend of mine, told me about a terrific settlement he had achieved for a corporate client after 26 months of litigation. At the inception of the case, the plaintiff had demanded $3.8 million. After four months of litigation, Rob had collected enough information to conclude that the value of the case, based on a risk assessment of liability and damages, was approximately $350,000. However, because plaintiff’s demand was outlandish, Rob and his client agreed they should send a message, so Rob’s client offered $25,000. The plaintiff did not respond to the offer. At mediation almost two years later, the parties agreed to settle for $375,000. Rob said his client was thrilled because it had saved more than $3 million even after taking the litigation costs into account. I congratulated Rob and then asked, “How do you know?”

June 12, 2006

Jury Research: Can You Afford Not To Do It?

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (June 2006), by Barbara S. Swain and Farley J. Neuman. Download PDF.

June 12, 2006

California Civil Discovery Practice

Originally published in California Civil Discovery Practice (3d ed. CEB 1998 and 4th ed. CEB 2006), by Martin L. Fineman, Joshua Goodman, and Farley J. Neuman.

For an excerpt from the book, download PDF.

February 01, 2006

Comment on Frame v. PricewaterhouseCoopers

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (February 2006), by Farley J. Neuman.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was hired to audit two limited partnerships, Grafton Partners LP and Allied Capital Partners. Both partnerships were vehicles for investing in loans issued by Pinnfund, USA Inc., a mortgage company. In the course of conducting the audit, PwC noticed irregularities indicating possible fraud. PwC told James Hillman, owner and manager of Peregrine Funding, the general partner of Grafton and Allied, that it could not issue audit reports on Grafton and Allied until the questions were resolved. Hillman then terminated the auditor-client relationship. PwC neither issued an audit report on Grafton and Allied nor reported its suspicion of fraud to anyone other than Hillman.

May 15, 2001

Analyzing Prejudgment Interest Issues in Tort Actions

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (May 2001), by Farley J. Neuman and Paul DeAngelis.  Download PDF

May 15, 1998

Conducting Discovery Beyond the Code

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (May 1998), by Joshua S. Goodman and Farley J. Neuman.

The Code of Civil Procedure sets forth a broad range of discovery tools for gathering relevant information and obtaining admissible evidence, covering everything from expert opinions and medical examinations to document production and face-to-face sworn examinations. Yet, despite the number of statutory discovery tools available, few experienced attorneys limit themselves to the ones specified in the Code. When attorneys do use statutory discovery tools, they frequently modify these procedures by agreement among counsel. This article highlights many of the discovery tools not set forth in the Code (what is usually referred to as “informal discovery”) and some of the stipulations that can make statutory discovery more efficient and more effective.


March 15, 1997

Other People’s Policies: How to Evaluate and Enforce an Additional Insured’s Rights

Originally published in Insurance Litigation Magazine (March 1997), by Joshua S. Goodman.

Most people engaged in commercial activities want as much protection as possible from future lawsuits. Where there is a contractualrelationship between two parties, protection is typically obtained through an indemnity provision: one of the parties agrees to defendand indemnify the other for claims arising out of the contractual relationship. But increasingly, parties that would typically onlyrequest indemnity also want to be named as an additional insured on the other party’s general liability insurance policy.

September 15, 1996

Basic Filing Deadlines for California Employment Discrimination Cases

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (September 1996), by Farley J. Neuman and Charles E. Perkins.


A common provision found in the various federal and California employment discrimination statutes is the requirement that generally one must file a timely and appropriate administrative claim before resorting to the courts. Failure to properly “exhaust” one’s administrative remedies or to comply with administrative filing deadlines can be fatal defects to a subsequent legal claim. This article addresses the deadlines for filing administrative claims, the maze of laws that lead to those deadlines, and the deadlines for filing suit in the courts.

May 15, 1992

A Perspective on Economical Litigation

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter (May 1992), by Farley J. Neuman and Joshua S. Goodman.

Even most lawyers would concede that “economical litigation” ranks high as one of the great oxymorons of our day. Whether lawyers can be entirely blamed for this is somewhat beside the point. Dissatisfied clients are like the father who, on being disappointed by the sex of his new child, says to this wife: “You had it for nine months, what happened?”

Lawyers usually have the litigation for more than nine months, and can greatly influence its cost. For this very reason, we as lawyers should regularly consider methods for making the process more cost-effective.

May 15, 1991

CPA Has No Liability to Third Parties for Review of Financial Statements

Originally published in California Civil Litigation Reporter, by Farley J. Neuman.

In only the third California appellate decision to address accountants’ liability to third parties, the Second District Court of Appeal in Union Bank v Ernst & Whinney (1991) 227 CA3d 1389, 278 CR 490, held that a certified public accountant has no duty to third parties who claim to have relied on a review report of financial statements. The other two cases (Bily v Arthur Young Co. (review granted Oct. 18, 1990, SO17199, former opinion at 222 CA3d 289 (advance reports), 271 CR 470, reported at 12 CEB Civ LR 256 (Sept. 1990)) and International Mortgage Co. v John P. Butler Accountancy Corp. (1986) 177 CA3d 806, 223 CR 218, reported at 8 CEB Civ LR 95 (Apr. 1986)) involved audits of financial statements, not reviews.

Design: HelloARI