Alicia N. Vaz

Partner

Overview

Alicia is highly skilled and very experienced at litigation and dispute resolution in high stake business and real estate conflicts. She has been hailed by clients for her effective, efficient, and creative approach to resolving disputes with solutions that align with the client's litigation goals and business needs. Her skillful and thorough case preparation often develops crucial evidence which leads to early and decisive settlement. Alicia understands her client's goals of achieving success in a cost-effective manner. As a result, Alicia engages the assistance of junior attorneys, paralegals, or law clerks if the matter can most efficiently be handled by someone else with her oversight.

Experienced Trial And Appellate Attorney

Alicia is Vice-Chair of the firm's Litigation Team. She has significant trial experience, having spent well over 100 days in trial or arbitration. Alicia has also appeared and argued before the California appellate courts and successfully appealed or defended decisions in various matters.

Alicia is the past President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Trial Practice Inn of Court, where she regularly interacted with judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Experience With Complex Business Matters

Adept at representing businesses and high-net worth individuals, Alicia has a breadth of experience handling cases ranging from contractual disputes, including breach of contract, specific performance, partnership, member and shareholder disputes, and insurance coverage disputes, to fraud and lender liability, as well as trade secret misappropriation. She is considered a problem solver, marshaling and organizing the facts in a cost-effective manner, evaluating and advising her clients of their options, and executing a plan for early resolution or success at trial.

Knowledgeable About Real Estate Matters

Alicia has represented property owners, market rate and affordable housing developers, contractors, landlords, property managers, lenders, and REITs, and has gained extensive knowledge about all facets of the real estate business. She has litigated landlord-tenant disputes; valuation claims; environmental claims; easement and neighbor disputes; Interstate Land Sales Act (ILSA), Subdivided Lands Act (SLA) and Mello-Roos Act claims; and construction defect and delay claims. Given the firm's extensive real estate background, Alicia has direct access to some of the leading real estate lawyers in California, whose experience she draws upon to resolve her clients' disputes.

Representative
Matters

Unfair Competition And Business Litigation

Obtained a unanimous jury defense verdict in case by licensee of Johnson & Johnson alleging over $80 million dollars in damages for the purported misappropriation of trade secrets by a Canadian medical device company

Settled on favorable terms claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty brought by a hotel operator against a high profile bar operator following favorable rulings during the bench trial phase and following commencement of jury phase of trial.

Obtained a judgment in favor of a developer defendant following demurrer to claim seeking to invalidate a purchase and sale agreement on the grounds that the developer purportedly violated "unfair competition" statutes.

Represented an employer in obtaining a temporary restraining order against a former employee for misappropriation of proprietary company information.

Obtained favorable decision following a bench trial on behalf of the managing member in an action brought by a minority member claiming he was not bound by the terms of an operating agreement he did not sign and had no capital contribution obligation in the limited liability company.

Real Estate And Construction Litigation

Defended a developer in case brought by buyers of property who refused to consummate the sale and sought to recover the deposit which was retained as liquidated damages under the express terms of the agreement.

Defended a developer in claim brought by buyers of property for fraudulent misrepresentations in connection with the sale for failure to complete construction of an amenity center by its projected opening date.

Obtained settlement for developer in lawsuit for rescission brought by a purchaser of a unit in a high-end condominium complex asserting that the developer had not complied with the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) or the Subdivided Lands Act because it had failed to provide purchasers with a state-mandated public report.

Represented a developer of residential project in claim against seller of property for breach of purchase and sale agreement for failing to properly remediate the property as required by the agreement.

Obtained a favorable jury verdict for a REIT landlord against a biochemical research company tenant who had failed to decommission a radioactive materials license issued by the Department of Health Services. Also obtained prejudgment writ of attachment.

Represented through arbitration a country club operator in arbitration of ground lease dispute involving percentage rents between country club and Native American landowners, applying federal and state laws governing tribal land.

Represented a commercial landlord in dispute with large retail shopping center tenant over rent adjustments based on co-tenancy provision in lease and successfully negotiated a settlement before commencing litigation.

Represented a hotel owner in construction defect litigation against general contractor and subcontractors involving electrical and other defects.

Defended contractor in lawsuit brought by high-end homeowner for breach of guaranteed maximum construction contract and construction defects.

Obtained a favorable settlement for an owner of a multi-million dollar home in litigation against the builder for failure to maintain a contractor's license and against the builder and the numerous subcontractors in a complex construction defect action.

Financial/Lender Liability Litigation

Represented a contractor in an action to stop foreclosure and determine priority of liens among various lenders and mechanic's lienholders.

Successfully settled a dispute on behalf of a bank in a lender liability claim brought by borrower.

Represented buyer of distressed hotel property in contract and deed reformation dispute against lender seller, involving failure to transfer adjacent parking parcel as represented. Lis pendens was recorded at commencement of action.

Represented guarantors in suit brought by lenders for breach of guaranty.

Insurance Litigation

Defended an insurance carrier in contribution and indemnity action brought by another carrier alleging that monies were owed for payments made in an underlying personal injury action.

Settled action brought by an insurance company against insurance agent for binding policies of insurance without the insurance company's knowledge and otherwise violating his obligations to the carrier.

Successfully litigated numerous rescission claims based on the insureds' alleged failure to disclose material information in the application process.

Achieved an early resolution of an action brought by an insurance company against insurance agent for binding policies of insurance without the insurance company's knowledge and otherwise violating his obligations to the carrier.

Obtained favorable settlement for purchaser of two homes in Riverside in declaratory relief action brought by insurance company that refused to defend or indemnify the purchaser as the result of a fraudulent transfer of the property by a seller that did not actually have title to the property.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Appellate Decisions

King v. Bighorn Golf Club (2018) (unpublished)

Barsegian v. Kessler & Kessler, 215 Cal. App. 4th 446 (2013)

Tenzera v. Osterman (2010) (unpublished)

Gilbert Street Developers, LLC v. La Quinta Homes, LLC, 174 Cal. App. 4th 1185 (2009)

Affordable Shelters v. AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. (2008) (unpublished)

Greenbriar Homes v. Superior Court, 117 Cal. App. 4th 337 (2004)

Recent Speaking Engagements

Recent Developments In Summary Judgment, LACBA Trial Practice Inn of Court, February 2013

Evidence Objection! The Game: When To Object, What To Object, How To Object, LACBA Trial Practice Inn of Court, April 2012

The Lawsuit Is About Boilerplate Important Considerations Of Typical Contract Provisions, 2009

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007-2016
  • Selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys In Southern California by Super Lawyers, 2013

Professional Affiliations

  • California Bar Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Trial Practice Inn of Court, Los Angeles County, President, 2013; Executive Committee, 2009-2012; Member, 2004-2009
  • State Bar of California, Litigation Section
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Property Section, Real Property Reporter
  • Editor-in-Chief, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 2000-2001

Community Affiliations

  • LifeSteps Partnership for HOPE
  • KIND Pro Bono Attorney

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 2001
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1997, cum laude