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Nossaman LLP

David Graeler

Partner

T 213.612.7836
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Litigation
Eminent Domain

David Graeler serves as Chair of Nossaman’s Litigation Practice Group.  With nearly 20 years of litigation and trial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Mr. Graeler excels at partnering with his clients to identify their goals and to develop and execute winning strategies to effectively resolve complex business disputes both inside and outside the courtroom.  Through the development of his civil trial practice, Mr. Graeler has honed his ability to communicate and connect with judges and juries, as well as with clients, witnesses, and other attorneys. 

Mr. Graeler strives to learn and understand his client's business objectives, key issues and goals in order to develop a tailored strategy and obtain the best possible result.  His track record of success in high stakes litigation in federal and state courts has earned him numerous awards and accolades, including a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (“CLAY”) Award for litigation, recognition as co-lead counsel in securing a jury verdict that ranked among the National Law Journal’s “Top Verdicts,” and securing a spot as lead counsel for the “Top Verdicts in California.”  Mr. Graeler was also recognized by the National Law Journal as one of its “Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers.”

Mr. Graeler focuses his practice on the representation of public and private sector clients principally in the areas of real estate, eminent domain, construction, and commercial disputes. 

Mr. Graeler recently served two terms on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and served as Chair of the Courts Committee, where he liaised with industry leaders from the bench and from various Bar associations.  He also serves on the Judicial Appointments Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which assists the California Governor in evaluating judicial candidates for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  

Representative Work

Public Storage v. Sprint Corporation, et al.  Represented the Sprint and Nextel defendants in a federal court action for breach of contract and unfair business practices.  Public Storage challenged the validity of 11 site lease terminations by Sprint that were tied to its nationwide shutdown of an obsolete iDEN network in favor of a 4G LTE network using CDMA technology.  The case was rendered more complex due to a choice of law provision that triggered the application of California, Washington, Nevada, Texas, and Massachusetts law.  The parties ultimately filed cross motions for summary judgment that addressed the interpretation of a clause that permitted termination when the lessee determined that a premises was no longer appropriate for its operations due to technological reasons.  The District Court sided with the interpretation promoted by the defendants and granted summary judgment in their favor, and awarded significant attorneys’ fees.  Defendant Sprint Corporation was also dismissed from the case under Rule 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as Receiver for IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. v. Van Dellen et al. This case was the first lawsuit filed by the FDIC in connection with the 2008 banking crisis, and followed an 18-month investigation into numerous complex residential acquisition, development, and construction loans that were made by IndyMac Bank, F.S.B.  IndyMac failed in July 2008 and was one of the largest bank failures in U.S. history.  After two and a half years of hotly contested litigation in federal court, pre-trial rulings eliminated all of the defendants’ affirmative defenses including the business judgment rule, mitigation of damages, regulatory conduct and the economy as a superseding cause of loan losses.  Mr. Graeler was one of three lead trial lawyers that took the case through a five-week jury trial.  The nine-person jury returned a unanimous verdict on December 7, 2012 on all claims and awarded damages of nearly $169 million.  The National Law Journal ranked the verdict as number 13 in its annual national “Top Verdicts” list.  The verdict was also recognized by the Daily Journal in 2012 as having the most significant impact of any plaintiff's verdict in California and for being the second largest dollar verdict in the state.

First Federal Bank of California. Mr. Graeler served as lead counsel for the FDIC as Receiver for First Federal Bank of California in an investigation into the failure of First Federal Bank of California.  This investigation resulted in authority to sue several former bank officers and directors in connection with more than $40 million in losses incurred on more than 250 residential Option Adjustable Rate Mortgage loans.  Mr. Graeler successfully negotiated a settlement for the FDIC following several mediation sessions that resolved the dispute without having to file suit.

Affinity Bank.  Mr. Graeler served as lead counsel for the FDIC as Receiver for Affinity Bank in an investigation into the failure of Affinity Bank that resulted in an estimated loss of $310 million to the Deposit Insurance Fund.  This investigation resulted in authority to sue several former bank officers and directors in connection with losses resulting from large commercial loans.  Mr. Graeler negotiated a settlement for the FDIC shortly after filing suit in federal court.

Port of Los Angeles.  Mr. Graeler serves as the litigation team leader for Nossaman’s representation of the Port of Los Angeles in real estate matters.  

The Brun Corporation v. Crown Castle, Sprintcom, Pacific Bell, and The Modesto Rifle Club. Represented a Sprint subsidiary in a real estate dispute relating to subsurface utilities and plaintiffs’ claim for trespass and negligence related to loss of lateral support.  Also represented Sprint in a related cross action to quiet title via an easement by prescription.  

Port of Long Beach.  Represents the Port of Long Beach in analyzing and preparing strategy to respond to construction claims involving a design-build contract for the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, a 1.5-mile bridge to serve one of the world’s largest and busiest container ports.  The project is the first cable-stayed bridge for vehicles ever built in California.  Mr. Graeler also represents the Port of Long Beach in myriad real estate matters.  

Eastern Columbia Homeowners Association v. Coast Prime Properties.  Represented Coast Prime Properties in an action for breach of contract and declaratory relief stemming from a dispute between the tenant of a long-term parking agreement and the owner of the parking garage.  Also represented Coast Prime Properties in a cross complaint for breach of contract, injunction, intentional interference with contract, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations.  Successfully negotiated a structured settlement for Coast that resulted in a cash payment on its cross complaint and an arbitration process to determine market rent for a key rent adjustment.  The arbitration process resulted in a substantial recovery for Coast and a market rent determination that was nearly double the amount offered by Coast early in the litigation.

Seafood Distributor.  Represented a seafood distributor involving a breach of contract for the sale and purchase of custom-peeled, frozen raw shrimp.  Negotiated a favorable resolution for the client pre-litigation after persuading the opposing side that its refusal to accept the goods sold was improper.

Savoy v. Burdette-de Cock Inc. Represented the defendants as lead counsel in an action for breach of contract, breach of employment contract, and negligent misrepresentation relating to a home senior care company.  This case involved an emotionally-charged dispute between two business partners.  Mr. Graeler negotiated a favorable settlement at mediation that resulted in defendants making no out-of-pocket payment.  In addition, the settlement resulted in the defendants’ employment practices liability carrier contributing a substantial amount toward the settlement and legal fees and costs.

Wham-O, Inc. v. Scott Burke, et al.  Represented one of the defendants in an action brought by Wham-O, Inc. for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, intentional interference with prospective economic benefit, unfair competition, and computer fraud.  After 18 months of hotly contested litigation, the case was resolved through a favorable settlement.

C.W. Driver, Inc.  Represented a multi-faceted builder who provides general contracting, construction management, and design/build services to the western United States.  Representation included construction-related litigation and contract negotiation as well as an assortment of breach of contract cases stemming from various construction projects.

Awards & Honors

Named to The National Law Journal's list of "Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers" in 2014

Recipient of 2014 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year ("Clay") Award

2014 CLAY Award Logo

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Business Litigation in 2014-2017 by Los Angeles magazine.

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2010 - 2013 by Los Angeles magazine.

David  Graeler
David  Graeler

Practices

Education

J.D., Loyola Law School, 1998

B.A., University of California, Irvine, 1995, Psychology

B.A., University of California, Irvine, 1995, Criminology, Law and Society

Admissions

California

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

All United States District Courts, California

Professional Affiliations

Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Los Angeles) – Board Liaison to Judicial Advisory Council (2016-2017); Board of Governors (2013-2017); Courts Committee Co-Chair (2014-2016) 

Los Angeles County Bar Association – Judicial Appointments Committee (2015-present)

International Right of Way Association – Chapter 1, President (2012-2013); President-Elect (2011-2012); Treasurer (2010-2011); Secretary (2009); Fall Seminar Chair (2008-2013); Nominations and Awards Committee (2013-Present)

International Association of Privacy Professionals 

American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Committee 

UC Irvine Alumni Association 

Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association 

El Camino College Foundation, Board of Directors, 2004-2008

Awards & Honors

Named to The National Law Journal's list of "Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers" in 2014

Recipient of 2014 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year ("Clay") Award

2014 CLAY Award Logo

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Business Litigation in 2014-2017 by Los Angeles magazine.

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2010 - 2013 by Los Angeles magazine.

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