The firm’s corporate law and business practice is headed by partner Bill Cates.  Bill has extensive experience in every aspect of corporate law, from formation to dissolution and everything in between.  He has assisted clients in creating and maintaining a number of business entities, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and limited partnerships (LPs).

Bill also assists corporations in issues related to administration and management, including employment issues, contract drafting and negotiation, and tax planning.  Many of Bill’s clients come back to him year after year for assistance with their corporate maintenance documents (e.g., minutes of shareholders’ meetings and meetings of the board of directors), to help ensure that their corporations retain their limited liability status.

Bill uses his corporate law experience in conjunction with his estate planning experience to assist families in multi-generational business administration and estate planning.  If you have a family business that you would like to pass down to your children and/or grandchildren, Bill can help you take the necessary steps to make that transition while minimizing estate and gift taxes.

If you need assistance in corporate law matters, please contact us.
Bill Cates heads the firm’s probate and estate planning practice.  Bill has extensive experience in probate, having represented estates of all sizes and with varying degrees of complexity.  His background in tax, business, and estate planning inform his approach and enable him to tackle even the most complicated issues efficiently.  He typically handles cases before the courts in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County, and is readily familiar with the procedures required to shepherd cases through the court system.

Bill has more than twenty-five years’ experience in estate planning.  Clients appreciate Bill’s comprehensive approach and his attention to detail.  On several occasions, Bill has reviewed estate plans prepared by others and discovered flaws in the drafting of the documents or important steps that were missed and which threaten to derail the intended estate plan.  By identifying those issues and correcting them early, Bill has protected his clients’ assets from probate and given his clients the peace of mind of knowing that their plan accurately reflects their wishes.

Bill also uses his corporate law experience in conjunction with his estate planning experience to assist families in multi-generational business administration and estate planning.  If you have a family business that you would like to pass down to your children and/or grandchildren, Bill can help you take the necessary steps to make that transition while minimizing estate and gift taxes.

If you would like to prepare your estate plan, or if you need assistance in probate matters, please contact us.
The firm’s business litigation is headed by partner Mark Peterson.  Mark has a broad litigation background in virtually all aspects of business disputes. He has handled matters relating to insurance, wills and trusts, real estate, financial institutions, mortgage lending, health care, partnerships, fraud, construction, and landlord-tenant liability.

Mark’s clients appreciate that he attempts to resolve their matters by discussion and negotiation first, before involving the courts.  However, if negotiations break down, or if the dispute is incapable of being resolved amicably, Mark doesn’t shy away from the courtroom.

Mark’s focus is on delivering value to clients.  He works smarter, examining each case critically and determining the most efficient way to resolve it, rather than doggedly pursuing the same approach in each case and spending time and resources on strategies that are not likely to lead to resolution.  The high quality of his work combined with the high value of his services keeps clients coming back to the firm to work with him.  Nearly all of Mark’s clients have worked with him before, a testament to his work and their appreciation of it.

If you need assistance in business litigation matters, please contact us.
The firm’s real estate litigation is headed by partner Mark Peterson.

Mark has litigated a host of real estate disputes. He has represented buyers, sellers, lenders, and real estate brokers.  In addition to litigating disputes, he frequently provides pre-dispute advice regarding the risks and benefits of proposed transactions and he helps repair fractured transactions without litigation.

Mark’s clients appreciate that he attempts to resolve their matters by discussion and negotiation first, before involving the courts.  However, if negotiations break down, or if the dispute is incapable of being resolved amicably, Mark doesn’t shy away from the courtroom.

Mark’s focus is on delivering value to clients.  He works smarter, examining each case critically and determining the most efficient way to resolve it, rather than doggedly pursuing the same approach in each case and spending time and resources on strategies that are not likely to lead to resolution.  The high quality of his work combined with the high value of his services keeps clients coming back to the firm to work with him.  Nearly all of Mark’s clients have worked with him before, a testament to his work and their appreciation of it.

Mark’s real estate litigation experience includes cases for specific performance, breach of contract, fraud, adverse possession, quiet title, and negligence.

If you need assistance in matters involving real estate litigation, please contact us.
The insurance practice is headed by partner Mark Peterson who has tremendous experience in helping people assess and resolve their insurance matters.

For more than twenty-five years, Mark has been engaged in hundreds of matters involving insurance law and insurance litigation. He is frequently consulted by other attorneys as an insurance expert. His litigation experience includes lawsuits between insurers and policyholders for “bad faith,” breach of contract, fraud, unfair business practices, reformation, and rescission. He often achieves favorable results, including frequently winning prior to trial with successful motions for summary judgment.

Mark’s insurance experience also includes lawsuits involving insurance agents and brokers. In addition, he has coordinated defense obligations and indemnity participation among multiple insurers in complex construction defect, landlord-tenant, condominium association, and various other liability lawsuits. He also was involved in the conservatorship litigation of the Executive Life Insurance Company and in litigation involving the novel claim that a California-admitted insurer could bring an action against a surplus lines insurer under regulatory provisions of the California Insurance Code.

Mark has litigated insurance issues to the Court of Appeal in numerous cases, several of which have resulted in published opinions:

Compulink Management Center Inc. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, 169 Cal.App.4th 289 (2008);

Infinet Marketing Services, Inc. v. American Motorists Insurance Co., 150 Cal. App. 4th 168 (2007);

Pacific Business Connections, Inc. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Co., 150 Cal. App. 4th 517 (2007);

Daniel E. Dyer v. Northbrook Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 210 Cal. App. 3d 1540 (1989);

Allstate Insurance Company v. Interbank Financial Services, 215 Cal. App. 3d 825 (1989).

Mark served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Task Force, which was established to study and report to the Los Angeles District Attorney on the prevention and prosecution of workers compensation insurance fraud. He has lectured on insurance coverage to law students in pre-trial advocacy classes at the University of Southern California Law Center, to client groups, and to practicing attorneys in various continuing legal education classes.

If you need assistance in matters involving insurance, please contact us.
The firm’s health care litigation is headed by partner Mark Peterson.  Mark has represented virtually every type of participant in the health care system, including HMOs, PPOs, physician groups, hospitals, individual physicians, management companies, laboratories.  He has experience litigating a wide range of business disputes in the health care industry.

Mark’s clients appreciate that he attempts to resolve their matters by discussion and negotiation first, before involving the courts.  However, if negotiations break down, or if the dispute is incapable of being resolved amicably, Mark doesn’t shy away from the courtroom.

Mark’s focus is on delivering value to clients.  He works smarter, examining each case critically and determining the most efficient way to resolve it, rather than doggedly pursuing the same approach in each case and spending time and resources on strategies that are not likely to lead to resolution.  The high quality of his work combined with the high value of his services keeps clients coming back to the firm to work with him.  Nearly all of Mark’s clients have worked with him before, a testament to his work and their appreciation of it.

If you need assistance with health care litigation matter, please contact us.
The firm’s wills, trusts and probate litigation is co-headed by partners Bill Cates and Mark Peterson.  Bill has vast experience in estate planning and probate, and Mark has a wealth of experience in litigation.  Our clients get the best of both skill-sets.  Bill and Mark are extremely adept at collaborating without duplicating efforts.  Their joint efforts have led to many positive results for the firm’s clients.

If you are involved in a dispute involving a will or trust or any issue regarding probate, please contact us.