Attorney, Lawrence H. Jacobson received his Bachelor's degree in political science in 1964 from U.C.L.A and his Juris Doctorate in 1967 from the U.C.L.A. School of Law. While at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, Mr. Jacobson was a senior editor of the U.C.L.A. Law Review and graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif. Mr. Jacobson is the former Vice-President of Legal Affairs for the California Association of Realtors, legal counsel to several Boards of Realtors, California Counsel to an international real estate brokerage firm, and legal counsel to numerous mortgage brokerage firms and related real estate service providers. He is also a Past President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He has served as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Municipal Court Systems as well as having been an adjunct professor of law in the area of real estate secured transactions and administrative law, earning a lifetime Community College Instructor Credential in the area of Law.
Legal Practice - In his 50 years of practice, Mr. Jacobson has counseled and represented both private and publically held clients in the following:
Selection of Business Entities
Formation and Restructure of Corporations
Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
Purchase and Sale of Business
General Advice on Finance, Employment, Intellectual Property, Taxation, Antitrust, and Securities Laws
Lawrence Jacobson has written and lectured extensively on business, real estate and ethics related matters including having taught for the U.S.C. Broker Development Program and Graduate Realtors Institute of the California Association of Realtors, as well as having lectured for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, and is the recipient of the California Continuing Education of the Bar's 2011 "Spirit of CEB" Award.
The tenancy-in-common (TIC) has survived into modern times as a method of concurrent ownership of real property. In a TIC, each owner is referred to as a tenant-in-common, and each owns a fractional interest of real property under a separate distinct title.1 TIC's are common where the co-owners are not married or have contributed different amounts to the acquisition of a property.2 Insofar as each tenant-in-common owns an undivided interest in the entire property, each is entitled to an undivided interest in the revenues from the property, subject to the rights of the other co-tenants.
A lawyer who is also an expert witness should be mindful that although he or she may not always be wearing his or her "lawyer hat," it is never far away. Although the California Rules of Professional Conduct do not place specific restrictions on practitioners who act as both lawyers and expert witnesses, the rules governing lawyers' conduct generally place constraints on lawyers' activities in other businesses and professions. See California State Bar Ethics Opinion No. 1995-14. Of particular importance are the rules relating to advertising, lawyer-client confidences, competence, fee arbitration, and conflicts of interest.
Although many articles have been written about the use of the expert witness in litigation, almost all are written by lawyers and rarely by an expert witness who is also a lawyer. Having practiced law since 1968 in the area of real estate and business transactions with a real estate broker's license since 1978, I have testified frequently as an expert witness in litigation involving the interpretation of real estate documents, the standard of care of real estate brokers, in legal malpractice actions involving real estate and business transactions and in legal fee disputes. As such, I thought it would be helpful to litigators handling real estate litigation matters to have the perspective of an expert witness on issues affecting the choice, usage and cross-examination of an expert witness in such litigation.
Grant D. Stiefel, Esq. is a nationally-recognized, full time attorney fee consultant, testifying expert and the principal of Litigation Limited, a boutique legal fee consulting firm
Mr. Stiefel has testified in over 45 lawsuits, including matters in federal district courts, California trial courts, JAMS/AAA arbitrations, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, State Bar courts, and attorney-client fee arbitrations
He has qualified to testify and has testified live at trials and arbitrations as a designated attorney fee expert
Mr. Stiefel’s methodology for reviewing, auditing and evaluating legal invoices has been cited, approved and adopted by California state and federal courts
He has been retained as a testifying attorney fee expert by the world’s largest law firms, including Reed Smith; McDermott Will and Emery; Jones Day; Sheppard Mullin; Sidely Austin; Dykema Gossett; Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe; and Littler Mendelson, among many others
Mr. Stiefel is a member of the California State Bar and is unique among fee experts in that he practiced law for many years at two of the world’s largest law firms (Akin Gump and K&L Gates)
Mr. Stiefel has managed a multi-billion dollar litigation portfolio and has audited hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees from law firms nationwide since 2008
He has developed and implemented outside counsel billing and case management guidelines for Fortune 500 corporations
He is a California State Bar-approved continuing legal education instructor on attorneys’ fees who has trained hundreds of executives and in-house counsel from a host of Fortune 500 corporations
Mr. Stiefel is qualified as an attorney-client fee dispute arbitrator with the California State Bar’s Mandatory Fee Arbitration program and as a judge pro tem with the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles
Grant Stiefel was the testifying fee expert on a series of fee applications by class counsel in Jones v. Wells Fargo, on behalf of aggrieved California consumers in the first consumer class action brought under the Unruh Act. Relying upon Mr. Stiefel's testimony regarding the reasonableness of hourly rates and overall work performed, the trial court awarded more than $25 million in attorneys' fees to class counsel
The district court for the Central District of California adopted and approved Mr. Stiefel's methodology for identifying and quantifying block-billed, vague and redacted billing entries in cutting Plaintiff's fee request by more than sixty percent in CNS v. Planet, from $4.8 million to $1.9 million
In Vides v. ABM Janitorial Services, the trial court reduced Plaintiff's fee request in a FEHA action by over $1 million based upon Grant Stiefel's expert testimony. Plaintiff moved for an award of $1,578,232.50 in attorneys' fees, which the trial court reduced to $544,183.12. Mr. Stiefel's testimony showed that the hourly rates claimed by Plaintiff's counsel were unreasonable under the circumstances, that excessive time was spent on inter-office communications, and that the matter was overstaffed
California Office: 357 Avenida Castilla Unit C Laguna Woods, CA 92637 (424) 223-8252
"Grant Stiefel draws on his experience as a big firm trial lawyer to help companies save on outside legal fees." -- NALFA (National Association of Legal Fee Analysis)
“Mr. Stiefel’s qualifications [as a testifying fee expert] cannot seriously be in dispute.” Hon. Michael Paul Lindfield, Los Angeles County Superior Court (Trial Proceedings, February 14, 2014)
Mark I. Harrison, Esq. has been a civil and appellate litigator for over 50 years in Tort, Antitrust, and Commercial Cases. He has extensive experience consulting on cases involving Legal Malpractice, Legal Ethics, and Judicial Ethics. Mr. Harrison has been featured in Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Ethics & Professional Responsibility Law, Legal Malpractice, Appellate Law, and Commercial Litigation. Mr. Harrison regularly advises lawyers, law firms, and in-house law departments on ethical obligations, risk management, and other issues that arise in the practice of law. His specialized knowledge is available to judges and lawyers who have questions about judicial ethics or judicial disqualification issues.
Mr. Harrison has received the ABA Mike Franck Award for Professional Responsibility, the Judge Learned Hand Award, and the ABA's Burnham "Hod" Greeley Award presented to individuals and organizations for making a significant, positive impact on public understanding of the role of the judiciary. He is also the author of numerous articles dealing with legal and judicial ethics.
Consultation and Representation in the Following Areas:
Lawyers Seeking Admission to the State Bar of Arizona
Lawyers Accused of Professional Misconduct
Judges Alleged to have Violated the Code of Judicial Ethics and Who May Be Subject to Disqualification
Licensed Professionals Needing Advice Before a Licensing Agency (psychologists, social workers, therapists)
Associations and Memberships:
Former President of the State Bar of Arizona, National Conference of Bar Presidents
Member and Past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and American Academy of Appellate Lawyers