Appellate

View alphabetical listings of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek attorneys practicing in Appellate below:

Michael G. Nardi Shareholder

Mr. Nardi is a shareholder of the firm and his practice emphasizes business, commercial, employment and appellate litigation.

Education

Mr. Nardi received his B.S., magna cum laude, from Towson State University in 1981. He earned his law degree, with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1986, where he was named Order of the Coif. He was the recipient of the W. Calvin Chesnut Prize; Bridgewater M. Arnold Prize; and the American Jurisprudence Award for Property, Criminal Procedure, Commercial Paper and Conflict of Law. Mr. Nardi was a member of the Maryland Law Review from 1984-1985 and the Notes and Comments Editor from 1985-1986.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Mr. Nardi clerked for the Honorable Norman P. Ramsey, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland from 1986-1987.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Neal P. Panish Shareholder

Mr. Panish, Esq. is a trial attorney, serving as lead counsel for a wide variety of institutional and entrepreneurial clients in State and Federal Court trials and arbitrations. He is a member of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, a Top Lawyer by San Diego Magazine and one of San Diego’s top ten real estate and construction litigation attorneys by his peers.

Education

Mr. Panish received his B.A. in economics, with provost honors, from the University of California, San Diego in 1983. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from Loyola Law School in 1987, where he was a staff member and Note and Comment Editor of the International and Comparative Law Journal.

Representative Matters

General Practice

  • Representation of institutional and entrepreneurial clients in commercial litigation
  • Representation of businesses, financial institutions, banks, real estate entrepreneurs, developers and owners, contractors, subcontractors and individuals in a wide array of finance, real estate and construction-related litigation
  • Representation of publicly traded REIT in commercial litigation, real estate litigation, commercial lease disputes, condemnation proceedings and CEQA litigation
  • Representation of technology, services and other companies in alleged trade secret/proprietary misappropriation, unfair business practices and employment litigation
  • Defense and prosecution of real property title insurance and escrow claims/disputes on behalf of title insurance companies and their insureds, escrow companies and property owners
  • Representation of real property owners, hoteliers, restaurant owners and business owners in tax controversies, property tax assessment appeals and valuation hearings
  • Defense of public officials in Political Reform Act litigation

Specific Representative Matters

  • Representation of reinsurance intermediary in complex litigation filed by insurance agent/producer alleging damages in excess of $10 million for breach of producer’s agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets and fraud. The case involved complex surety bond underwriting, claims handling, reinsurance and proprietary information issues, as well as the investigation of numerous, underlying surety bond claims. After approximately one week of hearings on motions in limine and voire dire of 200-plus potential jurors for anticipated 6-month trial, the case settled favorably during jury selection
  • Defense of German bank/secured creditor in adversary proceeding filed by general contractor asserting damage claims in excess of $22 million on theories of equitable subordination, fraud and conspiracy in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California. Successfully resolved complex adversary proceeding during trial, freeing up in excess of $40 million in secured sales proceeds
  • Defense of German bank in complex, consolidated San Diego Superior Court proceedings involving 40-plus civil cases brought by materialmen, suppliers, subcontractors and design professionals seeking priority over German bank’s deed of trust. Successfully obtained dismissals, defense judgments and settlement of all cases
  • Prosecution of trade secret claims by information technology company against former employees and competitor, resulting in recovery of substantial monies through settlement
  • Representation of institutional real property owner in complex real estate litigation and condemnation proceedings arising from various public projects, including California State Route 56, widening of Interstate 5 and the Carmel Valley Restoration and Enhancement Project (CVREP)
  • Prosecution of specific performance action for real estate developers after 30-day trial. Obtained specific performance judgment acquiring approximately 80-acres of undeveloped land in northern San Diego County and attorney fee awards exceeding $800,000
  • Representation of automobile conglomerate in approximately 30-day arbitration over 6-month period of time in alleged wrongful termination/breach of contract claims by former employee
  • Representation of automobile conglomerate in approximately 14-day arbitration over 3-month period in defense of commercial contract claims asserted by individual dealer/broker and counterclaim for breach of an alleged oral contract. Complete defense verdict and substantial award on counterclaim and attorney fees
  • Defense of CPA firm in multi-party, real estate-related, malpractice/securities litigation
  • Defense of national real estate developer in class action case and arbitration asserting unfair business practices and violations of Business & Professions Code §§ 7000 – 7191 (contractors licensing law)
  • Defense of national title insurance company in insurer bad faith litigation case in San Diego Superior Court arising from the purchase and later foreclosure on 100-plus room motel. Defense judgment obtained on motion for summary judgment and successfully upheld on appeal
  • Defense of national title insurance company in insurer bad faith litigation filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of California by insured arising out of land use constraints and violations on insured’s improved real property
  • Defense of national retail tenant in commercial lease dispute with landlord/property owner. Defense verdict obtained after trial
  • Prosecution of breach of commercial lease case by landlord/property owner against national retailer enforcing liquidated damages provision to judgment and successfully upheld on appeal
  • Defense of purchaser/developer of large, retail real estate project in approximately 28-day jury trial, post-trial motions and appeal involving alleged real estate fraud
  • Representation of public officials in defense of Political Reform Act cases alleging official misconduct and violations of campaign or election law
  • Defense of regional supermarket company in breach of lease/covenant of continuing operations case resulting in defense judgment, upheld on appeal
  • Representation of majority co-owners in defense of partition action involving 100-plus room motel in Mission Valley area of San Diego, California
  • Representation of trustees/co-owners in successful prosecution of partition action to require sale of approximately 13-acres of undeveloped land neighboring California State University, San Marcos
  • Defense of former employees and start-up life science company defeating claims asserted by publicly-traded life science company on alleged theft of trade secrets, breaches of covenants not to compete, breaches of fiduciary duty and related claims. Settlement after summary judgment hearing and successful writ to court of appeal
  • Defense of reinsurance intermediary in complex trade secret case brought by health care insurance producer against health care insurer and reinsurance intermediary arising from California’s then-largest health care insurance program with hospitals, physicians groups and medical professionals
  • Defense of real estate developer/purchase of real property for retail development project for claims of fraud, breach of contract arising from purchase of land for retail development project
  • Prosecution of complex bad faith action by commercial property owner against insurance companies arising from 5-alarm fire in China Basin Landing area of San Francisco resulting in substantial settlement
  • Representation of co-tenants in real estate partition action compelling sale via public auction of 12.70 acres of raw land in San Marcos, California
  • Defense of real estate developer in real estate fraud action by purchasers of condominiums. Defense summary judgment granted by trial court, affirmed on appeal
  • Defense of real estate developers on Mills Act claims asserted by purchasers of condominiums. Defense summary judgment affirmed on appeal
  • Representation of creditors in trial in United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District regarding determining value of assets of debtor’s estate including substantial real property, hotel/motel properties, apartments and other residential properties
  • Representation of commercial property owner in prosecution of business interruption claim arising from fire losses suffered by owner of 900,000 square foot office building
  • Representation of restaurant group in real property tax assessment controversies and successful assessment appeal
  • Representation of hotel group in successful assessment appeals in various, multi-day hearings on real property assessment appeals of unlawful taxation of intangible assets, providing total refund recovery in excess of seven figures

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California 1987
  • District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego Trial Lawyers Association

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • “Chile Under Allende: The Decline of the Judiciary and the Rise of a State of Necessity,” published in the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Journal
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics in California” seminar (December 2000; Lorman Education Services)

Published Opinions

  • El Centro Mall, LLC v. Payless Shoesource, Inc., 174 Cal.App.4th 58; 94 Cal.Rptr.3d 43 (2009)
  • In Re Perry Arden v. Motel Partners, 176 F.3d 1226 (9th Cir. 1999)

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Named a 2013, 2014 and 2015 Super Lawyer in real estate/business litigation by San Diego Super Lawyers Magazine; San Diego Super Lawyers Supplement to The New York Times, Riviera San Diego Magazine and Super Lawyers Business Edition
  • Named a 2014 Top Lawyer in Administrative, Land Use & Environmental by San Diego Magazine
  • Named by peers as one of San Diego’s “Top Ten Real Estate and Construction Litigation Attorneys,” San Diego Daily Transcript (2006)

 

J. Scott Scheper Shareholder

Mr. Scheper is a shareholder in the Litigation Department of the firm. He applies a deeply strategic and aggressive yet intelligent approach to maximize success in litigation. He works closely with his clients to tailor a case-specific representation that harmonizes client needs and goals to the situations presented.

Mr. Scheper puts his personal approach to work in a broad range of practice areas. Most of his representation involves business and contract-related litigation, with emphasis in construction, real property, and employment matters. He tries cases and represents clients in civil litigation matters in state and federal trial courts, in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy courts and in appellate proceedings. Mr. Scheper represents real property owners, developers and contractors in various stages of development and construction; those efforts encompass consultation on ever-changing legislation, pre-execution contract review and negotiation, informal dispute resolution and litigation. He provides a spectrum of employment-related representation that includes litigation, consultation regarding trade secret and non-compete restrictions, guidance in ERISA matters, conducting wage and hour assessments and providing work place conduct seminars.  In addition, Mr. Scheper has provided sports-related representation in a number of matters, representing professional sports franchises, individual owners, and clients with sports-related intellectual property issues. In all matters, he brings a fierce dedication and commitment to helping his clients when they need him.

Education

Mr. Scheper received his B.A., summa cum laude, in 1988 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Case Western Reserve University, where he played varsity football. He earned his law degree, cum laude, in 1991 from Harvard Law School, at which time he also was a member and President of the Harvard Boxing Club and trained for and competed in Golden Gloves.

Representative Matters

  • Represented design construction manager in multi-party construction claims litigation and related matters arising out of a nearly $200 million public works project
  • Represented developer in construction contract review and negotiation for development of high-end resort property and represents local developers in various matters involving litigation over property and development rights, contract disputes, construction defect claims and insurance matters
  • Represented multiple homeowner plaintiffs in construction litigation leading to settlements collectively worth in excess of $20 million
  • Tried month-long adversary proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court involving issues of construction lending and funding, accounting and fiduciary partnership obligations stemming from multi-million dollar investment in multiple-unit residential real estate developments
  • Represented owner to resolve claims with general contractor of hospital construction project
  • Represented local health care organization in litigation by public entity to void long-term lease of local hospital and its assets in proceedings before the California Superior Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court
  • Represented federally-recognized Indian Tribe in diverse matters implicating issues of sovereign immunity and the rights, control and governance over Tribal lands; also represented members of several sovereign Indian Tribes, as board members of a multi-Tribal entity operating a health care facility in litigation implicating Tribal sovereign immunity with respect to a transaction that would facilitate development of a Tribal gaming operation
  • Represented national defense industry contractor in litigation related to military equipment contracts for the federal government
  • Represented provider of heavy manufacturing products, technology, and services in contract disputes and litigation involving coordinated efforts in North America, Europe and Asia
  • Represented local recreational and motor vehicle businesses in litigation, regulatory compliance and licensing, and employee training and contracting matters
  • Represented commercial airline operating domestic, international and transoceanic flights, in employment litigation involving maintenance and operational flight safety issues
  • Represented employee benefit plan of luxury hotel in ERISA litigation
  • Represented publicly-traded internet sports-memorabilia company in securities and employment litigation involving promotional relationships with several high-profile former Major League Baseball players
  • Represented securities brokerage and brokers in NASD arbitration asserting tortious interference claims and involving complex claims of trade secret misappropriation
  • Represented regional specialty and health food store chain in trademark litigation in federal district and appellate courts
  • Represented public telecommunications company in dispute regarding rights and obligations of Olympic-sponsorship affiliation and sponsorship of professional sports franchises and sports facilities
  • Represented minority owner of professional sports franchise in transactional negotiations involving ownership rights and interests
  • Represented professional sports franchise in protecting its creditor interests in bankruptcy proceedings

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego Inns of Court
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter
  • American Business Trial Lawyers
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Central Districts of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern and Central Districts of California

Community Affiliations

  • RedCoat Committee Member,  San Diego Bowl Game Association (Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl)
  • San Diego County Coastal Tritons Youth Football Head Coach/Board Member (Special Liaison)
  • Former Member and Board of Directors, San Diego Alumni Chapter, Case Western Reserve University

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Author, “States Rights,” Tunnels and Tunneling, December – January 2015 issue
  • Panelist, Construction Day, San Diego Daily Transcript (2014)
  • Speaker, Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), “What to Expect from an Expert Witness” (2012)
  • Speaker, Forensic Consultants Association (FCA), “Bridging the Gap – Working with Lawyers for Effective Experts” (2012)
  • Presenter, Forensic Consultants Accounting, “What to Expect From an Expert Witness” (2012)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Civil Litigation Practice: Annual Recent Developments” (2004-2007)
  • Author, “Home Security Issues,” Today’s Changing Times, SCMV Newsletter (2001)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Discovery Planning:  Strategies, Tools and Tactics” (2001)
  • Periodic On-Air Legal Analyst for Fox 6 Morning News (2000-2001)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Strategic Tips for Successfully Propounding and Opposing Written Discovery” (2000)
  • Panelist and Moderator, Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Expert Witnesses” (2000)
  • Speaker and Contributing Author, “Legal Ethics in California” seminar, Lorman Education Services (2000)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Discovery Strategies and Tactics for Success” (1999)
  • Discrimination in Employment

Professional Awards & Honors

  • AV-Peer Review Rating (5.0 out of 5.0) on Martindale™
  • San Diego (and Southern California) Super Lawyers™  (2012 – 2015, Business Litigation)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law (The American Lawyer, 2012; Fortune Magazine, 2014)
  • Top Lawyers in San Diego (San Diego Magazine, 2013 – 2015) and Top Lawyers of Southern California (Los Angeles Magazine, 2013 – 2015)
  • Top Attorney (San Diego Daily Transcript, 2015)

Robert M. Traylor Shareholder

Mr. Traylor is a shareholder of the firm working in the Litigation Department. His practice emphasizes general civil litigation.

Education

Mr. Traylor earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1998 where he was named to the Order of the Coif. He attended Princeton University, receiving an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1989. Mr. Traylor graduated from La Jolla’s Bishop’s School in 1985.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Mr. Traylor served as a law clerk for the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Hon. E. Grady Jolly (1999-2000). He also clerked for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, for the Hon. Rudi M. Brewster (1998-1999). Prior to law school, Mr. Traylor spent nearly six years on Capitol Hill, serving as legislative director for Rep. Glenn M. Anderson and Rep. Stephen Horn. His legislative experience focused on transportation, environmental and health care issues.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Professional Awards & Honors

  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2015 (Litigation)