Business Disputes

Is your Orange County or Los Angeles business facing a legal claim or do you have one of your own?

Our Southern California business lawyers can help your company handle any legal dispute.

At Hochfelsen & Kani, we are dedicated to helping businesses find favorable outcomes for their most challenging legal issues.

Our business lawyers have focused on commercial litigation for more than three decades, with a winning track record to show for it. We are experienced trial lawyers and negotiators who have a long history of helping Southern California companies reach positive settlements and, when that fails earning favorable jury verdicts that meet their business goals.

Our lawyers are experienced in a wide range of business disputes, including:

  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Warranty
  • Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
  • Fraud and Business Torts
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Trade Secrets Litigation
  • Unfair Competition
  • Construction Disputes
  • Labor and Employment
  • Insurance Bad Faith Litigation
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Clashes involving the Media
  • Sexual Harassment

If your company is facing one of these issues, our firm can help. Contact our Newport Beach office today for a confidential case evaluation.

Business Torts

Has a competitor engaged in illegal behavior that has threatened your California business?

Business torts, also known as economic torts, are harmful acts committed by or against a company, usually in an effort for the perpetrator to further their own business. The business targeted by the tort may suffer financial harm, damage to reputation or damage to future economic opportunities. Many business torts involve financial or business fraud, though there are a wide variety of them, including:

  • Deceptive business practices
  • False advertising
  • Bribery
  • Financial statement fraud
  • Defamation
  • Conspiracy
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Payoffs and kickbacks
  • Unfair competition

Two of the most common business torts are breach of contract and breach of warranty. When the people you do business with fail to fulfil their contracted promises; when a competitor interferes with your contracts with third parties; or when the goods and services you purchase fail to do what the seller said they would, you have legal remedies.

Our business litigators can assist with all business disputes.

Trade Secrets

If your company relies on proprietary tools, secret recipes, chemical formulas, manufacturing methods, customer lists or any other confidential business information, it can be extremely damaging if any of it falls into the hands of competitors.

These are your trade secrets, and they are some of the most valuable business assets.

Trade secrets are intellectual property, but unlike copyrights and patents, they cannot be registered.

Businesses must make ongoing efforts to maintain the confidentiality of their trade secrets in order for them to be protected under the law. If you are involved in a legal dispute related to trade secrets, whether you are a corporation whose information has been compromised or an employee who has been accused of trade secret misappropriation,

Hochfelsen & Kani can help you develop the strongest possible case.

Partnership and Shareholder Disputes

Conflict among shareholders can quickly turn into a contentious battle that may endanger your entire business. Disputes can upend your financial structure or harm your reputation if word gets out.

Our Newport Beach business lawyers represent executives, business owners, officers and third parties in shareholder disputes, with the goal of finding a solution as quickly and painlessly as possible. If your company is experiencing:

  • Buy-sell disputes;
  • Company spending disputes;
  • Conflict over mergers and acquisitions;
  • Conflict of interest or competing business interests;
  • Freeze-out actions;
  • Disagreements over shareholder voting, compensation or dividends;
  • Insider trading; or
  • Arguments between majority and minority shareholders,

Our experienced attorneys can help you find the solution that’s best for your business. Though we always attempt to negotiate a resolution without litigation, we are experienced and aggressive litigators who will represent your business aggressively at trial.

Real Estate Disputes

Real estate projects are incredibly complex, often involving high-stakes agreements between dozens of parties.

Buyers, sellers, developers, lenders and investors may all have different goals and expectations, and when they aren’t met, it may lead to difficult disagreements.

Our California real estate dispute lawyers have handled:

  • Mortgage disputes
  • Zoning disputes
  • Breach of real estate contract or fiduciary duty cases
  • Adverse possession claims
  • Construction and design defects
  • Construction bidding disputes
  • Escrow disagreements
  • License agreements and leases

Oftentimes, our firm is able to resolve these disputes through settlement negotiations, mediation or arbitration. If you and other parties are unable to reach an acceptable resolution through these methods, our lawyers will carefully determine the best course of action and will vigorously represent you in any real estate civil litigation in courts throughout California.

Construction Disputes

The nature of construction means that virtually all projects involve challenges before, during or after the build.

Whether it’s due to conflict between contractors and developers or circumstances that are out of your control, it’s crucial that you have an experienced construction lawyer on your side to protect your interests, resolve disputes and minimize delays and additional costs.

Our firm has represented developers, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects and owners in a wide variety of construction issues, including:

  • Construction defects
  • Construction breach of contract
  • Breach of warranty
  • Scope of work and extra work disputes
  • Delay, acceleration and disruption claims
  • Construction insurance coverage issues
  • Payment disputes
  • Partnership and joint venture disputes

Labor & Employment

California labor laws are notorious for being some of the most employee-friendly in the country, and with constantly changing state and federal regulations, it’s no wonder that half of CA companies are accused of labor and employment violations at some point.

If your business has been hit with this type of claim, whether due to an honest compliance mistake or due to a bad faith claim by an employee, Hochfelsen & Kani can help.

Allegations of labor and employment violations under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Equal Pay Act, Title IV, the Americans with Disabilities Act or CA state laws can threaten to destroy a company. Common labor and employment claims include:

  • FMLA violations (sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, caregiving)
  • Discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or another protected status
  • Wage and hour violations (overtime, minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, misclassification)
  • Whistleblower and retaliation claims

If your business is experiencing one of these or another labor and employment claim, contact our Newport Beach office today. Our experienced lawyers can help you minimize the damage and find a positive resolution.

Insurance Bad Faith Litigation

Although your business’ insurers should promptly pay all valid insurance claims, unfortunately, that’s not always what happens. Insurance carriers may take advantage of claimants’ vulnerability and act in bad faith in an effort to save money.

Common ways an insurance company may act in bad faith include:

  • Failing to pay a valid claim
  • Refusing to explain a coverage denial
  • Misrepresenting coverage available
  • Delaying payment
  • Lowballing settlements
  • Cancelling your policy for no reason

Luckily, California’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act prohibits insurance companies from engaging in bad faith, and it provides for remedies for policyholders who have been taken advantage of. If your insurance company is treating you and your business unfairly, our insurance bad faith lawyers can help your recover damages and get your claim fully paid. 

Financial Services Litigation

More so than almost any other industry, financial services companies face strict government regulation and massive consumer lawsuits. Banks, lenders, investment services, credit card companies and other financial institutions regularly deal with:

  • Consumer class actions;
  • Employment and labor claims;
  • Government investigations;
  • Fraud accusations;
  • Shareholder derivative actions; and
  • Other general business litigation matters

With extensive business litigation experience and a client roster than includes financial institutions across Southern California, Hochfelsen & Kani is uniquely qualified to assist financial services companies with their most pressing legal challenges. Contact our office to learn more.

Media Law

Media businesses, including radio and TV stations, newspapers, blogs and online publications, have their own unique legal risks and challenges. These challenges often involve far-reaching issues related to free speech, censorship and intellectual property. Media companies also frequently face strict federal and state regulation.

Our firm has experience assisting California businesses with:

  • First Amendment issues
  • Defamation and slander
  • Anti-SLAPP
  • Freedom of information
  • Shield law

In addition to these issues, our lawyers assist media businesses with all related claims involving labor and employment issues, business torts, contract disputes, insurance bad faith and other business disputes. Hochfelsen & Kani understands the media law issues that affect these types of companies, as well as the underlying impact on their day-to-day business.

Mediation and Arbitration

Our lawyers work with every client to determine the best possible outcome and the right course of action to achieve it. In many cases, that means using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like mediation and arbitration. These methods often reduce the time and money spent on legal disputes, and they may be used even while a settlement is being negotiated. There are two main forms of ADR:

  • Mediation means that the parties mutually come to an agreement with the help of a certified mediator (usually a lawyer). Mediation can be used for any type of conflict, even before legal issues come into play.
  • Arbitration is a more formal process that is often overseen by a judge. Both parties present evidence, provide testimony and may be questioned by attorneys. At the end of the process, the arbitrator renders a legally binding decision.

Regardless of the route you choose to take, our lawyers always prepare for every case as if it will go to trial. Our advance trial preparation techniques, our investigative skills and our relationships with experts makes us skilled trial lawyers as well as advocates during the mediation or arbitration process.


Our skilled lawyers assist businesses with lawsuits and legal disputes at all levels, including appeals in California Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit. Whether your company received an adverse ruling that you would like to challenge, or you would like to uphold a favorable decision on appeal, Hochfelsen & Kani can assist you.

Our lawyers will ensure that:

  • The notice of appeal is filed within the proper time limit
  • The proper records and documentation are preserved
  • You have a strong argument to present to the court

Whatever your business dispute or challenge in California, an experienced Hochfelsen & Kani lawyer will explain your rights and options for the best possible business outcome.

Call Today for a no-cost consultation with an experienced Orange County or Los Angeles business lawyer. Your opposition may well be a step ahead so act quickly to preserve your rights.

David Kani & Steve Hochfelsen are represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for America's best attorneys.