Civil Litigation & Trials

Epstein Law Firm has a wide variety of experience in representing civil litigants in trials and arbitrations throughout California.

For more than 20 years, Rob Epstein has represented plaintiffs and defendants in hundreds of litigation matters, including will and trust cases (will contests, trust interpretations, etc.); neighbor disputes (involving boundary lines, easements, real estate development, civil restraining orders, and more); employment litigation (including wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment, and public and private employee disciplinary matters); insurance coverage/bad faith; personal injury; wrongful death; medical negligence; legal malpractice; land use writs and appeals; partnership disputes; real estate litigation; claims arising from the purchase and sale of real estate (including nondisclosure claims against sellers and agents and claims against mortgage brokers); business contract disputes; corporate shareholder and director disputes; municipal code enforcement; landslide litigation; nuisance abatement; fiduciary liability; and contested conservatorship proceedings.

Rob has represented clients in numerous court trials and arbitrations, and has conducted jury trials in the counties of Mendocino, Monterey, Orange, Solano, Sonoma, and Marin.

Rob has handled numerous matters that have involved the use of expert witnesses, including engineers, attorneys, psychiatrists, surgeons, radiologists, treating physicians, real estate brokers, and more.

The following are examples of civil cases handled by Epstein Law Firm:

  • After 10 years of litigation including a prior settlement and a later court trial, the firm assisted a homeowner in achieving a settlement agreement with her neighbors and their insurance company to facilitate a substantial landslide repair.
  • The firm prevailed in a bitterly contested court trial between adjoining neighbors, resulting in the firm’s clients quieting title to a permanent landscaping easement.
  • The firm prevailed in a trial on behalf of a blind, indigent, senior citizen who was the defendant in an unlawful detainer action filed by a multinational bank. Following trial, the court ordered the bank to pay a substantial attorneys’ fee award to the firm’s client.
  • In partnership with another local firm, Epstein Law Firm represented plaintiffs in an inverse condemnation action that resulted in a court trial victory on liability and a subsequent $2 million settlement for the firm’s clients.
  • The firm successfully obtained quiet title to various alleys and easements for two adjoining neighbors, which resolved a conflict with several other neighbors.
  • The firm’s clients obtained water for their West Marin home from a well located on their neighbor’s property. A landslide broke the pipe to the well, terminating the clients’ water delivery and requiring the firm to initiate a nuisance abatement action. The case settled shortly before trial with a settlement that included a new easement to facilitate the relocation of the water pipe.
  • Hong Kong residents were sued in Marin County in a clear liability tort action with substantial damages exposure. The firm successfully moved to dismiss the action based on lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Access to a proposed hotel/retail development was unavailable due to a title error made more than 20 years ago. The firm successfully obtained quiet title to the property, enabling the development to proceed.
  • In another quiet title action, the firm successfully assisted a Larkspur couple who required a court judgment in order to proceed with the construction of their new home.
  • Neighbor opposition disrupted a complex residential remodeling project located in the Town of Ross. The firm successfully assisted the homeowners in achieving a peaceful resolution and Town approval so that the project could proceed.
  • A Kent Woodlands homeowner required the firm’s assistance when his neighbors unlawfully demolished a large retaining wall and attempted to begin construction of an unpermitted wall. The County later required that the new construction adhere to design requirements.
  • The firm represented the City of Belvedere in a nuisance abatement action filed against three hoarders who were created a public safety hazard at their residence.
  • The firm represented the City of Petaluma in a personal injury action that resolved at mediation.
  • Rob’s client prevailed at a binding arbitration concerning the wrongful termination of a county employee. The result was a reversal of the employee’s termination and restoration of his back pay and benefits.
The following are examples of Rob’s civil cases:

  • In a lengthy arbitration proceeding conducted in Northern and Southern California, Rob’s client obtained a six figure award against a surgeon in a medical negligence case involving complications following a gastric bypass surgery.
  •  In defense of a claim that a trust was a product of undue influence, Rob represented the trustee in a case that involved more than 30 separate depositions of parties, attorneys, witnesses, and medical experts. The case ultimately was settled on the eve of trial.
  • Rob participated in the defense of a San Francisco law firm that was accused of committing legal malpractice in its handling of the multi-million dollar estate of an elderly widow. Following discovery and summary judgment proceedings, the case was settled.
  • Rob’s client prevailed in a court trial involving liability for a Marin County landslide that occurred on residential property. The court granted a permanent injunction for Rob’s client against defendants.
  • After selling their East Bay apartment building, a mother and her daughter were the subject of a missing persons conservatorship proceeding that led to (1) a contract rescission action being filed against Rob’s clients, the buyers of the building; and (2) a title insurance dispute. After substantial discovery, including a deposition of one of the conservatees in Oregon, the parties reached a settlement agreement.
  • In a nuisance abatement court trial in which Rob represented a city, the court entered a six figure judgment against a homeowner who had been engaged in construction of a residence for more than 15 years.
  • In a court trial conducted in Marin County, Rob’s client successfully defended against the claim that he had procured his mother’s will by exercising undue influence. Rob also later defended a similar case in Marin and received a similar defense judgment after a court trial.
  • In a medical negligence action filed against a Newport Beach radiologist arising from her failure to detect a breast cancer, Rob’s client obtained a plaintiff’s verdict from an Orange County jury.
  • In a court trial conducted in Marin County, Rob’s clients obtained a judgment requiring the re-location of a fence that encroached on their property, and awarding punitive damages against defendant for her conduct in poisoning a tree located on plaintiffs’ property.
  • In an inverse condemnation action filed against a local municipality, Rob’s client was successfully in obtaining the cancellation of a condition that the city had imposed that had prevented development of the client’s residential property.
  • A petition for writ of administrative mandate led to an appeal that Rob argued before the 1st District Court of Appeal. That court affirmed the trial court’s ruling which enabled Rob’s client to proceed with construction of a multi-million dollar residence located in Tiburon.
  • In a binding fee arbitration, Rob’s client was successful in defending against her former attorney’s billings of nearly $300,000 in fees.
  • Rob initiated a medical negligence action arising from the delayed diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Rob’s client obtained a substantial award less than a year prior to her passing.
  • In a separate action against the same medical provider, Rob’s client obtained a substantial award due to the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of thyroid cancer.
  • Rob was appointed as independent (“Cumis”) counsel to defend a personal injury action arising from a fight among teenagers in Southern Marin. The case was settled.
  • Rob served as independent counsel in the defense of a battery action brought by a woman against her former boyfriend. Following a full trial, a Marin County jury rendered a verdict that was approximately one-tenth of the amount requested by the plaintiff.
  • In a malicious prosecution action filed against Rob’s clients by their former trustee and attorney, Rob’s clients were successful in obtaining a dismissal from the Court and an order for reimbursement of all attorney’s fees and costs that they had incurred.
  • A company engaged in the construction of a residence at Stinson Beach was sued for personal injury in connection with a house painter’s improper use of a rotary saw that caused him to sever much of his hand from his arm. Rob defended the case on behalf of the construction company. The case ultimately settled.
  • An insurance company failed to pay policy benefits to Rob’s client. In an action against the carrier for bad faith insurance practices, Rob took depositions of various insurance company employees, including a deposition of the company’s national litigation manager in Houston, Texas. Rob’s client ultimately obtained a six figure settlement from the insurance company.