Joseph C. Gjonola practices in the areas of general business litigation, complex commercial litigation and intellectual property. His record reflects his versatility in legal substance and procedure, from advocating for individuals in mediation to confronting large corporations in federal courts of appeals.
Mr. Gjonola seeks to protect businesses from insurance companies who breach their contracts or act in bad faith, which can increase costs and drain profits. He has successfully litigated suits for breach of contract and business torts ranging from conversion to unfair business practices.
Mr. Gjonola also fights to secure his clients' intellectual property rights and their right to compensation for the movies, television shows and books they have created. This includes copyright, trade mark and “idea theft” litigation.
Prior to joining RPNA, Mr. Gjonola was an Associate at Girardi Keese, where he represented individuals against some of the most powerful industries in the country. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Gjonola gained valuable insight into the insurance industry as a California Licensed Insurance Agent. Mr. Gjonola was also Director of Operations for a franchise company, making him personally familiar with the many challenges facing business owners.
Honors and Affiliations:
Delegate and Designated Resolution Advocate, American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2007 Annual Meeting.
Transactions or Matters:
Secured Writ of Mandate, vacating a trial court's order compelling arbitration, DMS Services, Inc. v. Superior Court, 205 Cal. App. 4th 1346 (2012). Successfully appealed the dismissal of his client's “idea theft” case. An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit found that federal copyright law did not preempt a California implied contract claim, Montz v. Pilgrim Films & Television, Inc., 649 F.3d 975 (9th Cir. 2011). Won a breach of a contract case with multiple tort causes of action during the pleading stage.
Prevented a defendant's attempt to remove a case to federal court via a loophole surrounding the timing of service, and secured a dismissal of the defendant's appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Defeated an attempt to “attach” a client's real property in satisfaction of a judgment and successfully litigated the case to settlement.
Litigated and assisted in the successful appeal of a district court's refusal to remand for lack of complete diversity, confronting the “fraudulent misjoinder” doctrine - a matter of first impression in the Eighth Circuit, In re Prempro Products Liability Litigation, 591 F. 3d 613 (8th Cir., 2010). Participated in the successful litigation, arbitration and settlement of cases on behalf of employers in disputes with their workers' compensation carriers.
Litigated and assisted in resolving various cases of idea submission/idea theft, copyright, trade mark and patents.
Defended a trade secret lawsuit to a zero-dollar settlement.
Resolved an employer's dispute with the California EDD and secured a refund.