Harvey R. Friedman

Partner

T:
310.201.7491
F:
310.201.2391

Profile

When describing his five decades of courtroom advocacy for business clients in more than 100 trials, Harvey R. Friedman underscores the importance of using simple words that tell a compelling story to obtain favorable jury verdicts.  

Named a leading attorney in bet-the-company and commercial litigation by Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Friedman is a trial lawyer adroit in the differing approaches that jury and bench trials demand. He serves as lead counsel to both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes, sophisticated litigation involving real estate and business disputes.

Trial Counsel in Commercial Disputes
Mr. Friedman has been trial counsel to major real estate developers, financial institutions, and high net worth individuals in federal and state courts and in arbitrations. He has obtained favorable verdicts in nearly every type of complex business dispute including real estate and breach of contract actions.

In one representative trial, he successfully defended a well known Midwest family in a $150 million claim for breach of fiduciary duty and a real estate partnership agreement.  After a three-and-a-half month trial, the court found his client not liable and also entitled to recover attorney's fees incurred in the litigation. In another matter, involving a 50-day trial and cross-claims for breach of a contract between health care preferred provider organizations (PPOS), Mr. Friedman obtained a $12.2 million judgment for his client.  He also obtained a $40 million judgment for the owner of property in a breach of contract suit against a large home builder.


His experience also includes construction defect litigation, and partnership and shareholder dissolutions, including dissolutions of law firms. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in actions involving fraud, unfair competition, securities fraud, shareholder derivative claims, class actions, legal malpractice, insurance bad faith, defamation, lender liability, and lender and borrower disputes with respect to distressed property. 


Since 2008, Mr. Friedman has served as an adjunct professor at USC Law School, where he teaches “Deposition Strategies and Techniques," a practical, hands-on course for third year law students.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Representation of a well known Midwest family in the defense of a $150 million claim for breach of a real estate partnership agreement; after a three-and-a-half month trial, the court determined that the client was not liable and was entitled to recover attorney's fees incurred in the litigation
  • The representation of an owner of property in a $40 million breach of contact claim against a large home builder; after a trial, the client obtained a $40 million judgment
  • A case of first impression with respect to the validity of certain second trust deed liens; the case involved a $25 million claim against the client; the client prevailed at trial
  • Representation of a major real estate developer in an action involving a claim in excess of $20 million by former business associates of the principal of the developer; the action involved complicated partnership accounting and damages issues; the case was settled on the eve of trial by payment of a small fraction of the claim
  • Representation of a Hawaii real estate developer and builder in an action against one of Hawaii’s largest landowning trusts; the action was settled on the eve of trial by a very significant payment to the client of money, property and entitlements
  • Representation of the former accountant for and partner of Michael Milken in an action against Mr. Milken and others for breach of a real estate partnership agreement; the action was settled on very favorable terms for the client
  • Representation of a real estate developer in an action for fraud and breach of contract against J.P. Morgan; the action was settled for approximately $23 million as a jury trial was to begin
  • Successfully defended at trial real estate developers in construction defect cases involving the sale of condominiums and golf course residences
  • Represented several real estate developers and entrepreneurs in bad faith cases against some of the largest insurance companies in the country; these cases were resolved by large seven figure payments from the insurance companies to the clients

Complex Business Litigation

  •  Representation of the City of New York in an action against ExxonMobil for poisoning New York City's groundwater with the gasoline additive MTBE. After a four month trial, the client obtained a $104 million jury verdict
  • Representation of an English reinsurance company in a legal malpractice action; after a month-long jury trial, the client obtained a multi-million dollar verdict
  • A case involving cross-claims for breach of a contract between preferred provider organizations (PPOS) in the health care field; after a 50-day trial, the client obtained a $12.2 million-dollar judgment
  • Representation of a significant number of high net worth individuals who sued a national accounting firm and major law firm for fraud arising from tax advantaged investments; the cases were settled on very favorable terms for the clients
  • Representation of a major mortgage banking firm in an ERISA action involving real estate loans made by a pension trust; the claim asserted against the client totaled $100 million; the case was settled after lengthy discovery without the client having to make any payment

 

Accolades

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation (2006-2018), Bet the Company Litigation (2010-2017), and Real Estate Litigation (2011-current)
  • Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2005-2012, 2015
  • Rated, "AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5," Martindale Hubbell