Robert Braun’s practice includes complex civil litigation in the trial and appellate courts, with an emphasis on business torts, breach of contract, corporate, partnership, real estate, title insurance, and bad faith litigation. His experience includes jury and bench trials in both state and federal courts, mediations and arbitrations. Bob has lectured in programs that included presentations to a Conference of California Judges, taught classes for practicing attorneys for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, and made presentations to conferences of in-house counsel.
He has been active in civic affairs, was a member of the Laguna Beach Education Foundation Board of Directors, serving as its President, served on special committees for the Laguna Beach Unified School District analyzing surplus property, served as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Laguna Civic Association and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Laguna Art Museum where he serves on its finance committee.
- Defended a New York Stock Exchange company and related entities in an action filed by a national bank seeking $1.5 billion in damages for breach of contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices on an action arising out of the mortgage lending crises.
- Defended a New York Stock Exchange company and related entities in a class action filed by the Attorney General of the State of California and companion cases filed by private class action counsel asserting violations of California Business and Professions Code section 17200 and related business torts seeking over $500 million against the industry, and over $100 million against Mr. Braun’s clients.
- Represented the owner in defending more than $50 million in claims advanced by a general contractor and subcontractors and asserting an additional $15 million in claims against the architect in connection with the construction of a nationally renowned performing arts center and concert hall.
- Represented a corporation and its owners in federal court litigation involving alleged antitrust violations, misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of the copyright laws.
- Defended a federal court action prosecuted by plaintiffs seeking to enforce a $21 million lien against parcels owned by the FDIC, a savings and loan association, and private developers.
- Represented a corporation asserting a multimillion dollar professional malpractice claim against one of the big four accounting firms.
- Represented the plaintiff where the federal court found in Phase I of a bifurcated trial that the defendant was liable for misappropriating moneys and business opportunities. In a subsequent pre-judgment writ of attachment hearing the court found Mr. Braun had presented a prima facie case that the defendant engaged in a pattern of unlawful conduct that triggered liability under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), justifying an attachment equal to three times the Phase I compensatory damage award.
- Defended the owner of a regional shopping center in actions filed by a general contractor and 24 subcontractors alleging over $11 million in acceleration and extra work claims and prosecuted cross-actions on theories including breach of contract, business torts and RICO violations.
- Defended a public corporation against claims of breach of contract, interference with contract, interference with prospective advantage and related business torts, in litigation claiming the defendant forced the plaintiff corporation out of business.
- Prosecuted claims on behalf of a publicly traded company for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Defended the priority and enforceability of a multi-million dollar deed of trust against allegations of fraudulent inducement and equitable subordination.
- Defended a corporation and its president against alleged acts of breach of contract, interference with prospective advantage, and unfair competition.
- Represented departing members of a law firm in disputes with remaining partners.
- Represented defendants in actions involving corporate and partnership issues, including breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of assets and opportunities, mismanagement, dissolution and accounting.
- Obtained a verdict on behalf of independent contractors suing a corporation and its president for breach of contract and defamation, including millions of dollars in compensatory damages and punitive damages.
- Represented the plaintiff in a dispute seeking approximately $23 million in damages against a corporation and its president for breach of contract, trespass, nuisance and alter ego.
- Represented an international software company against claims of unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Advised insurers, including conducting in-house seminars, regarding their policy obligations and regarding insurance bad faith issues.
- Advised companies in disputes with competitors and former employees re unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secret issues.
Published Appellate Court Decisions
- Saddleback Valley Community Church v. El Toro Materials Co.: Mr. Braun obtained a landmark ruling from the Ninth Circuit holding that the damage limitations in Section 502(b)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code did not apply to his client’s $20 million claim for damages to its leasehold premises under theories of breach of contract, nuisance, waste and trespass. This was the first circuit court opinion on this important issue and the United States Supreme Court denied defendant’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
- Coastal Abstract v. First American Title Insurance Co.: Mr. Braun was retained on appeal and successfully overturned a $5.9 million verdict against his client that was based on alleged violations of the Lanham Act, interference with contract, interference with prospective advantage and defamation. The case is the first reported decision in the Ninth Circuit determining whether “advertising” under the Lanham Act can constitute a publication to one individual or entity.
- Lindemans v. IBEW: Mr. Braun successfully defended a judgment he obtained in the trial court that confirmed the IBEW’s priority of a multimillion dollar deed of trust. The decision was the first reported California case addressing the enforceability of the standard ALTA Subordination Agreement, which is unconditional in circumstances where the seller was induced to subordinate carry-back financing to a new construction loan in reliance on the buyer’s false promises that the loan proceeds would be used solely to benefit the subject property.
- Behan v. Lido Isle Community Assn.: Mr. Braun successfully represented the defendants in an action seeking damages against the Association and its board members. This decision was the first reported California case holding that the “business judgment rule” applies to decisions made by a board of directors of a community association.
- Golden Security v. First American: Mr. Braun successfully defended on appeal a motion for summary judgment he obtained in the trial court. The decision was the first reported California decision defining certain terms in a California Land Title Association (CLTA) title policy.
News & Insights
Awards & Affiliations
Mr. Braun has been active in civic affairs, was a member of the Laguna Beach Education Foundation Board of Directors, serving as its President, served on special committees for the Laguna Beach Unified School District analyzing surplus property, served as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Laguna Civic Association and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Laguna Art Museum where he serves on its finance committee.
Awards & Honors
- Southern California “Super Lawyer”
- Southern California “Super Lawyer” Corporate Counsel Edition
- AV® Preemininent™ rating with LexisNexis/Martindale Hubbell
Memberships & Associations
- Federal Bar Association (Business Litigation Subsection),
- Orange County Bar Association (Business Litigation Subsection Former Member, Judiciary Committee)
- American Business Trial Lawyers Association