COSTA MESA, Calif., July 07, 2009 – Michael Adams, a partner in the Trial Department of Rutan & Tucker, LLP, California’s largest full-service law firm based in Orange County, successfully led his trial team to victory in a case involving domain name conversion despite the firm’s client admitting to having taken Plaintiff’s domain name without consent. Assisting Adams were Rutan attorneys Jeff Fohrer and Hengameh Safaei. Rutan’s client, a website developer and Internet Service Provider, was hired by Plaintiff to build a website. Plaintiff alleged that Rutan’s client, in order to coerce Plaintiff into making unscheduled payments under the website development contract, converted the domain name by accessing Plaintiff’s email box and acquiring the authorization codes that allowed it to change the registrar of the domain name. Plaintiff sought compensatory damages of $2.5 million, consisting largely of alleged lost profits, plus punitive damages. “The case was a tough one because the facts establishing domain name conversion were largely indisputable,” said Adams. Plaintiff refused all settlement offers, advising Adams that they wanted “revenge” against Rutan’s client. The firm mounted a defense that, although its client did take the domain name, Plaintiff had the ability to retake possession through reasonable efforts, but failed to do so. Accordingly, Adams argued that Plaintiff was not entitled to recover its alleged lost profits for loss of use of its domain name. Expert testimony amply demonstrated that the lost profits damage claim was hopelessly speculative, which allowed Adams to argue that the entire litigation was motivated by Plaintiff’s misguided hopes of obtaining a multi-million dollar damage award. “The trial became more about Plaintiff’s over-reaching than our client’s alleged wrongful conduct,” said Adams. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict finding that Plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to retake possession of its property and therefore had not suffered any damage as a result of the claimed conversion. The jury also returned a verdict in favor of Rutan’s client on its cross-complaint for amounts owed under the website development contract.