Major Case Experience
2013 – SUCCESSFUL DEFENSE OF PONZI CHARGES
Steve Young and Solange Ritchie successfully defended and obtained dismissal of a five-year long lawsuit charging an honest business man of running a $50,000,000 ponzi scheme. Mr. Young and Ms. Ritchie obtained a zero dollar mutual dismissal settlement after six days of jury trial.
2012 – THAILAND SEXPLOITATION CREATES HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Several employees of a large public agency delighted in talking about junkets to Thailand for sex with children. When the agency’s Human Resources department refused to enforce its zero tolerance policies, the victim brought in Steve Young and Solange Ritchie to try the case. Young charged that the talk and jokes created a sexually hostile work environment, and that other employees retaliated against her when the victim complained. After four days, the agency settled with the victim, paying a high six figure settlement.
2012 – THEY STOLE $4,600,000 FROM CHILDREN
In the first successful prosecution of a hedge fund in the United States, Mr. Young obtained a $4,600,000 verdict against a hedge fund who induced a trust to invest with gross misrepresentations that municipal bond arbitrage derivatives were a low-risk, high-yield secure investment. The trusts invested $6,000,000 and within four months had lost $4,600,000. At the end of the 30-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of $4.600,000.
2011- DEFENSE $10,000,000 BUSINESS CASE
A business owner found himself in the litigation gun sights after an international business venture unwound. The owner hired the Law Offices of Steven R. Young to defend him at trial. At the end of the twelve-day trial, Young obtained judgment exonerating his client and recovering substantial damages on a cross complaint.
July 2010 -- Victory on 1,312 Plaintiff Class Action Trial
Redlands Community Hospital created a pay program that, for a period of six years, cheated the Plaintiffs out of overtime wages mandated by law. Mr. Young entered the case one week before trial and, after a month and a half in trial, obtained a unanimous jury verdict that the pay plan was an artifice and subterfuge to evade California's overtime laws. Total damages will be assessed at a later time.
June 2010 -- $2,098,200.00 verdict
CBS sued its top credit card processing sales specialist to collect a series of promissory notes the sales person signed. Mr. Young reviewed the case, and filed a cross complaint alleging the illegality of the transactions and seeking damages. CBS dismissed its complaint one month before trial and the case proceeded to trial on the cross complaint. After one and a half months in trial, the jury returned a verdict of $2,098,200.00. Before the matter proceeded to the punitive damages phase, CBS settled the case by paying $2,250,000.00.
Mr. Young represented a client in a fraudulent conveyance suit seeking to enforce several judgments Mr. Young obtained. The verdicts totaled $33,000,000.00. The Defendants were a group of doctors who had fraudulently transferred 18 different parcels of real estate and stocks in four different enterprises among a series of entities to avoid collection. The suit settled with Defendants transferring all parcels of real estate to Mr. Young’s client.
Plaintiffs hired Mr. Young one week before a five-week legal malpractice trial commenced. Despite the complexity of the case, Mr. Young presented the case in an understandable, compelling fashion. Mr. Young asked the jury for $5,000,000.00. The jury responded with an award for $21,432,000.00 for compensatory damages. After the jury returned the verdict, Plaintiffs waived the right to proceed with a request for punitive damages.
Plaintiff hired Mr. Young three months before a six week trial of a complicated wrongful termination suit in which all parties, including the plaintiff, believed Plaintiff was an independent contractor and not entitled to protection as an employee under California Labor Code. The jury awarded Plaintiff $10,000,000.00 against the employer for wrongful termination in violation of public policy and fraud, and awarded Plaintiff $5,000,000.00 against the company owner for retaliation.
Plaintiff was subjected to 21 separate lawsuits either filed or financially supported by a conspiracy to ruin him. After the conspirators seized control of Plaintiff’s company, they put the company in bankruptcy and generated false financial statements that showed Plaintiff owed the company substantial sums. The conspirators then purchased through bankruptcy, the "assets" comprised of nonexistent claims. At trial, a unanimous jury verdict agreed and assessed damages plus punitive damages of more than $1 million against the two Defendants that disputed the claims. The trial court then entered default judgments against the other conspirators. The judgment awarded in excess of $9,500,000.00 to Plaintiff.
Defense of Fraud in Sale of Business - ($8,000,000.00 at issue)
Defendant hired Mr. Young shortly before trial to defend a “hopeless” case with the goal of “keeping down the damage award.” Plaintiff was a member of the Resnick family and was represented by a well known Los Angeles trial attorney. Mr. Young obtained a unanimous jury verdict absolving the Defendant of liability.
Plaintiff hired Mr. Young three weeks before a nine week trial on behalf of a terminated employee facing a trade secrets suit with a cross complaint for wrongful termination. Mr. Young obtained a non-suit on the trade secret case, then won a $4,000,000.00 verdict, proving that a commission salesman who believed he was an independent contractor was actually an employee and had been wrongfully terminated in violation of public policy. The verdict included more than $1,000,000.00 in emotional distress damages.
6 month trial – (confidential 8 figure settlement)
Mr. Young tried, for the Plaintiff, a six-month jury trial that settled after nine weeks of evidence. The case involved charges of fraud in the sale of a 10-acre commercial park developed with ten R&D buildings. Two major law firms, one of them a nationwide firm, represented the Defendants. It was a complex trial with more than 100 scheduled witnesses and more than 8,500 exhibits.
5 month trial – $2,000,000.00 settlement after first phase
Mr. Young represented 33 Plaintiffs in a prevailing wage claim concerning eight LAUSD renovation projects. The jury returned a verdict of $566,000.00 and a finding of “clear and convincing” entitling Plaintiffs to proceed with a second phase for punitive damages. The parties settled, agreeing Defendants would pay a cumulative $2,000,000.00 in exchange for Plaintiffs’ waiver of the right to proceed with further phases of trial.
Alter Ego/Derivative claim - $1,365,000.00
Mr. Young represented a 30% shareholder of a company in a suit against the other shareholders and officers in a derivative suit. The Defendants set up a parallel company to siphon off profits that should have been used to retire start up costs Plaintiff loaned to the company. The case was a complex fraud and accounting case that lasted three weeks.
2 month trial – $750,000.00 (unanimous verdict against Farmer’s Insurance)
Farmers wrongfully terminated an agent’s contract and paid “contract value” of $42,000 to the agent. Farmers sued to recover files and manuals from Plaintiff. Prior counsel counter sued, then accepted a $25,000.00 settlement offer without Plaintiff’s permission. The trial court “fast tracked” the case for trial, after Mr. Young convinced the court to set aside the settlement. Two weeks later, Mr. Young started trial, that lasted two months. The jury returned a unanimous verdict against Farmers Insurance.
Mr. Young’s first jury trial - $450,000.00 on $15 in specials
Mr. Young’s first jury trial was in 1983. He represented a hispanic mother against a complaint by Southern California Gas company to foreclose a lien for installing a solar water heating system. Mr. Young cross complained for slander of title, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. At trial, the court dismissed the complaint and Mr. Young prosecuted the cross complaint. The jury awarded $450,000.00 including punitive damages despite the total special damages being only $15.00.
6 month real estate fraud trial (confidential settlement – high six figures)
Mr. Young spent six months in trial prosecuting a real estate fraud involving alleged nondisclosure of toxic waste on property in Westminister near a super fund site.
5 week bad faith trial - ($350,000.00)
Mr. Young was hired four days before trial on an insurance bad faith case that the carrier had already paid policy limits on. After trial, Mr. Young learned the defense attorney had promised the carrier a “defense verdict.” After six weeks in trial, the jury returned a $350,000.00 verdict on $3,000.00 in damages.
Real Estate Fraud Defense
A real estate broker employed Mr. Young a week before trial to represent her in a nondisclosure case involving a slope failure in the bluff areas of Newport Beach. The trial lasted three weeks. The jury found for Mr. Young’s client while finding a co-defendant liable for $365,000.00. This verdict was particularly satisfying since the attorney that hired Mr. Young to try the case believed it was indefensible.
Cross Complaint for fraud - (confidential settlement 6 figures)
Mr. Young was hired last minute to defend against a large magazine’s suit for arrearage on advertising contracts. The trial lasted two weeks. The jury ruled against the Plaintiff, and unanimously in favor of Mr. Young’s client. The case settled before the punitive damage phase for a confidential six figure amount.
2 month breach of contract / patent infringement trial
Defendants / Cross Complainants hired Mr. Young to handle retrial of a complex business dispute they had lost during the first trial. Mr. Young successfully defended the clients, who prevailed on the action against them. Mr. Young had appealed the errors that resulted in the jury failing to award damages on the cross complaint.
1 month medical malpractice trial - (confidential settlement 6 figures)
Two months before trial, Mr. Young stepped in to represent the plaintiff on a medical malpractice case against a chief of staff at a prominent hospital. After winning the trial against the chief trial counsel with a firm specializing in medical malpractice defense, who boasted to not losing a trial in 15 years, Mr. Young settled the case for a confidential six figure amount.