Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP's litigation practice encompasses many types of litigation, including corporate and partnership disputes, insurance issues, intellectual property, trade secret, tort, employment, real property, eminent domain, bankruptcy, commercial lease disputes, and other complex commercial litigation for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals.

As a result of our long history, Hill Farrer has many long-term clients who are sometimes plaintiffs and other times defendants. As a result, we have no bias toward or against the prosecution or defense of claims, but focus on prevailing for our clients through cost-effective litigation and trial.

Our highly competent and well regarded trial lawyers regularly try cases in federal and state courts, before administrative tribunals and arbitration panels. Some of these cases are “bet the company” cases. Because of our experience and track record in actually trying cases, we are able to obtain the best possible settlement result when the opportunity arises, and always seeking creative and practical solutions to resolve disputes on behalf of our clients.

Representative Matters

  • Defended national railroad company in a suit brought by a public water agency.  The agency intended to build a canal intertie that crossed tracks owned by the railroad.  The agency contended that its rights to the land were superior and that the railroad was required to either relocate its operations, or pay millions of dollars for the additional cost to tunnel the canal beneath the tracks as opposed to having an open channel canal on the surface of the land.  Obtained a complete defense verdict at trial. 
  • Represented a staffing company in the prosecution of a federal RICO case involving claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, Lanham Act violations, etc.  Defeated an eight-figure counterclaim on summary judgment and obtained a favorable settlement. 
  • Represented plaintiffs in a federal case involving claims for breach of contract in connection with the sale of a bushing manufacturer to a large, publicly-traded company.  Defeated an eight-figure counterclaim on summary judgment and obtained a seven-figure judgment, including attorneys’ fees.  Successfully defended the judgment in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • Prosecuted and defended numerous state and federal cases involving claims for misappropriation of trade secrets by employers against former employees.  These cases often involve seeking or resisting temporary restraining orders and injunctions. 
  • Represented governmental entity in two projects and the acquisition of more than twenty property interests surrounding the projects.  Handled all aspects of the condemnation, from the City Council adoption of the Resolutions of Necessity and attendance at City Council meetings, through the preparation and filing of the many eminent domain actions, successfully opposing demurrers to the eminent domain complaints, obtaining orders for immediate possession that were heavily contested by property owners, and through judgment and final orders of condemnation. 
  • Prosecuted claim for reimbursement of all harbor maintenance taxes imposed on beer manufacturer as unconstitutional. Pabst Brewing Co. v. United States, U.S. Court of International Trade Case No. 96-01-00154 (1999) 
  • Summa Corp. v. California Ex Rel. State Lands Commission, 466 U.S. 198 (1984):  Represented owner of real property in defense of claims by the City of Los Angeles and the State of California to the effect that the property was subject to a public trust easement for navigation, commerce and fisheries. 
  • Trope v. Katz 11 Cal.4th 274, 292 (1995):  Represented the Los Angeles County Bar Association as amicus curiae in a case involving the recoverability of contractual attorneys’ fees by a law firm that represented itself in the litigation. 
  • Dawn Investment Co., Inc. v. Superior Court 30 Cal.3d 695 (1982):  Represented an institutional lender as amicus curiae in a case involving the enforceability of a “due on sale” clause in the wake of Wellenkamp v. Bank of America.


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