He is the author of Lender Liability (800 pages, Juris Publishers), the first and leading treatise on the subject.
Mr. Cappello has successfully tried jury trials with total verdicts in excess of $300 million and negotiated over $1 billion in settlements and workouts for his clients. These include a favourable $246 million asset buyout of AllStar Inns, Inc. by Motel 6; a $70.8 million verdict for an aircraft manufacturer against General Electric Capital Corporation; a $54 million jury verdict for his client in an intellectual property case involving a children's book author and a television producer; a $44 million verdict for a family of apple farmers against Bank of American; a $44 million verdict against employees of a local hedge fund after they attempted to seize the business; and a $12.5 million verdict for a furniture manufacturer against Union Bank. Mr. Cappello successfully represented singer/actress Courtney Love in a contract/royalty case against her recording company UMG Recordings.
Mr. Cappello has been the lead attorney in class action cases within the firm that have resulted in millions of dollars in compensation to class members. In 2005, Mr. Cappello was instrumental in settling a long-standing dispute against Boeing regarding toxic air contamination in neighbourhoods adjacent to Boeing facilities near Simi Valley and in the San Fernando Valley - both suburbs of Los Angeles. The 8 1/2-year case involved 175 victims of cancer caused by pollution from the Boeing facility and resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement. Mr. Cappello also represented plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury cases including the wrongful death of a 4 1/2 year-old boy who drowned at an exclusive athletic club. The jury returned a $16.2 million verdict, the largest in the City of Santa Barbara's history for a case of its type.
He recently co-tried a lending discrimination class action with law partner Leila Noël against Wells Fargo Bank. In March 2011, a jury found that the bank violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, returning a multi-million-dollar verdict penalizing the bank for discrimination and compensating minority borrowers in the class.
Mr. Cappello has contributed numerous articles on complex business litigation, lender liability and advanced trial techniques to business, legal, accounting and trade publications. Publications include Trial, the Daily Journal, the National Law Journal, Cashflow, California Real Estate Journal and the Commercial Real Estate Journal, He has appeared on national radio and television programs including "20/20 and on CNN. Mr. Cappello frequently speaks to legal and business audiences around the country including the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. In 2006, he was selected as the featured speaker at the 8th Annual Irving H. Green Memorial Lecture at UCLA School of Law.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Cappello served a seven-year tenure as City Attorney of Santa Barbara. During that period, he was the chief litigator against Union Oil, Mobil, Gulf and Texaco for the massive 1969 Santa Barbara Channel oil spill. The disaster and the ensuing litigation awakened the nation's consciousness to the dangers to our environment and the tragic consequences if not protected. The case was settled in 1974 shortly before trial for $9.45 million.
Prior to being appointed City Attorney of Santa Barbara, Mr. Cappello prosecuted numerous murder, business crime and major felony cases. He was Assistant District Attorney and Chief Trial Deputy in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office. Mr. Cappello also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California assigned to the special Trials and Investigations Division.
In 2007, Mr. Cappello was selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He has been named a "Southern California Super Lawyer" since 2007. Listed in "Best Lawyers in America" since 1992 and in "Who's Who in America."
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