A BANNER YEAR FOR OUR CLIENTS AND OUR FIRM

image of Dickerman & Associate's logo and gavel If I were a CEO reporting to a board of directors, I’d have to characterize 2015 as the most successful year yet for Dickerman & Associates, which has been providing legal services since 1990. Allow me to share just a few of the highlights of the year, both legal-success-wise and personal-satisfaction-wise.

We started out by settling, just weeks before a lengthy jury trial, a lawsuit in which we represented a family whose homeowners’ association had violated its contractual and other duties to provide and maintain certain crucial common areas. The violations painfully discriminated against one of the children in the family, who was denied adequate access to his home and the street below. The high-six-figure settlement allowed the family to relocate from a third-floor condo to a spacious single-family home. This very happy ending kept us on a high for quite some time.

Another very satisfying result, for our physician client, was obtaining a quarter-million judgment against a corporation that had blatantly breached a settlement agreement by which it had narrowly avoided an arbitration hearing that it would have lost to my client. When the company failed to pay the settlement amount, we persuaded the court to award not only that fund, but also the substantial attorney fees spent on both the preceding arbitration and on the suit to enforce the settlement.

An interesting challenge was presented the defendant/debtor in a case we’d brought to trial several years ago. Soon after we won a verdict for over $800,000, he filed for bankruptcy, and we fought for years to prevent him from avoiding his debt, which was secured by property. Our aggressiveness has paid off, as we have recovered a significant amount, and we will soon force the sale of the properties to finance much or all of the remaining debt.

Other cases that were resolved by settlement included the suit we had filed against a school district, at whose track meet our client was viciously bloodied by a pit bull. We couldn’t believe that the defendant would want a jury to hear the awful facts of its negligence. . . and we were right. Our client, fortunately not permanently injured, was most gratified with the result. We also settled, on excellent terms, a case against our flooring-business client, in which it was wrongly sued for mismatching floorboards in a Westside mansion. Once we got the mediator to see our meritorious side, he persuaded the plaintiff to relent.

We also had the opportunity to advise and counsel a wide variety of clients in non-litigation matters. For instance, tenants in an apartment in a large complex were at their wits’ end having to deal with an unappetizing cockroach infestation. We advised them of their considerable rights, after which their nightmare quickly receded. Another client, who enjoys representing herself in lawsuits, aimed to handle the defense of a case in which the adjacent landowner wrongly asserted an easement on her land. After consulting at length with us, she was able to stand up to her unpleasant neighbors. In another instance, we counseled a young man whose ex-girlfriend was demanding huge payouts following their separation. We were able to put him at ease by demonstrating what was reasonable and what was not, and what he could do to rid himself of the demands and resulting stress and anxiety.

The whirlwind year came to an end right after we filed a new and intriguing action for our client who had partnered with a major religious institution that had then unceremoniously breached the agreement. Our client has suffered severely from the sudden, unwarranted (and unexplained) deprivation of his substantial income. The case should come to trial within the year. We look forward to fighting as hard as necessary for our deserving client to be vindicated. . . and paid.

We enjoy the variety of matters that we are privileged to handle for our clients. And we take most seriously the trust and faith our clients place in us. We aim to deliver more than is expected of us. We look forward to the exciting legal challenges of the year Happy New Year!