Ms. Margaret M. Grignon
Grignon Law Firm LLP
6621 E. Pacific Coast Highway
200
Long Beach, CA 90803

Phone    (562) 285-3171
Email      mgrignon@grignonlawfirm.com
Website www.grignonlawfirm.com/

Type of Case: Civil and Criminal
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
5th Circuit, 8th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit, 11th Circuit, Federal
CA

Justice Margaret M. Grignon (Ret.) is a partner in the firm. She is retired from the California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five, where she spent 14 years and authored in excess of 2,230 opinions, more than 160 of which have been published. Her work as an appellate practitioner has produced multiple precedential opinions from the state and federal courts, and resulted in her being named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California for 2010, 2013 and 2015 and rated in Band 1 by Chambers for Appellate Litigation in California. Margaret has considerable expertise in arbitration and mediation, business, employment, financial institutions, government/municipal, health care, insurance, intellectual property, product liability and pharmaceutical, professional responsibility, real estate, tax and tort law.

Margaret is the Immediate Past President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a Board Member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a member of the California Women Lawyers Association and the National Association of Women Judges, and a member and former Board Member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. She has authored numerous articles on tax, business and appellate law, and is a frequent lecturer at education programs for judges and attorneys. Margaret continues to be active in the administration of the judicial system, and regularly serves as a judge of various law school moot court competitions; and is a consultant for continuing legal education publications.

Recognized as an excellent settlement judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court, Margaret continued to settle many cases on the Court of Appeal. After 20 years on the bench, Margaret returned to private practice where in addition to appellate law, she continued to employ her judicial skills as a well-respected mediator and arbitrator in a wide variety of practice areas, including business/commercial, complex litigation, employment, insurance, health care, legal and medical malpractice, and personal injury. As an appellate expert, she has worked to settle cases pending on appeal, acted as an appellate arbitrator, and sat frequently as a mock appellate justice for appellate moot courts.

Degrees:

  • Loyola Law School, 1977 J.D. summa cum laude
  • University of Zurich, International and Swiss Law
  • University of California, Los Angeles, 1972, B.A., cum laude Political Science

Publications:

  • “Just How Mandatory Are Those Statutory Writ Deadlines,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, 08 February 2012
  • “What a Difference a Day Makes,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, 14 March 2011
  • “Can Denial of Summary Judgment Based on Qualified Immunity Be Reviewed,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, 25 February 2011
  • “Saving Face,” San Francisco Daily Journal, 20 May 2008
  • “When Time’s Not on Your Side,” San Francisco Journal, 20 May 2008

Representative Cases:

  • Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter __ Cal.App.5th ___ (Case No. E066267 August 13, 2018). Reversed and ordered grant of anti-SLAPP motion to strike cause of action against attorney for breach of a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement, where the attorney signed the settlement agreement only “approved as to form and content” and did not agree to be bound to the terms of the settlement agreement.
  • Fluidmaster, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. 25 Cal.App.5th 545 (2018). Obtained reversal of order disqualifying law firm based on vicarious disqualification arising from law firm’s hiring of challenged e-discovery attorney following implementation of proper ethical wall.
  • People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Co. 17 Cal.App.5th 51 (2017). Obtained reversal of a judgment that allowed damages to be calculated based on all homes in the jurisdictions built through 1980, and limiting it to homes built pre-1951, a multi-million-dollar reduction.
  • CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court, 11 Cal. App. 5th 1255 (2017). Obtained a published decision in a case of first impression, holding that an employer’s admission of vicarious liability for its employee’s conduct did not bar evidence of the employer’s conduct for purposes of the employer’s punitive damages liability.
  • Veera v. Banana Republic, LLC, 6 Cal. App. 5th 907 (2016). In consumer class action, obtained reversal of summary judgment against plaintiffs. Defendant retailer advertised 40-percent-off purchases when the sale applied only to some items. In reliance on the sale signs, customers were lured into the store, selected items for purchase at the advertised discount, and bought some of the items at full price, after learning at the register that the discount did not apply, suffering injury in fact.
  • Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., 5 Cal. 5th 1 (2016). California Supreme Court affirmed in part trial court’s reduction of punitive damages award in bad faith insurance action, reducing $19 million to $475,000.
  • Vien-Phuong Thi Ho v. Recontrust Co., NA, 840 F. 3d 618 (9th Cir. 2016). Obtained partial affirmance of judgment against Plaintiff homeowner, holding California trustee under a deed of trust was not attempting to collect a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when it gave requisite statutory notice of foreclosure sale.
  • Dalton v. Santander Consumer United States, Inc., 2016-NMSC-035 (2016). New Mexico Supreme Court reversed order denying defendant lender’s request to compel arbitration, holding that carve outs of both parties’ small claims and non-judicial, self-help remedies from the arbitration agreement did not make the agreement unconscionable.
  • ESG Capital Partners, LP v. Stratos, 828 F. 3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2016). Obtained partial reversal of judgment for law firm, holding investors sufficiently alleged attorney made misrepresentations in connection with a fraudulent securities transaction and raised compelling inference of scienter on part of attorney who allegedly knew the true identity of the fraudster, was aware of the fraudulent nature of the scheme, and knew that the putative securities transaction would not occur.
  • Harrington v. EquiTrust Life Ins. Co., 778 F. 3d 1089 (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained affirmance of summary judgment in an action alleging a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act in connection with the sale of deferred indexed annuities. The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiff failed to establish any actionable predicate acts in alleged fraudulent schemes concerning the promise of a premium bonus, the application of the annuity's market value adjustment, or the circumvention of state non-forfeiture laws.
  • In re Marriage of Fajota, 230 Cal. App. 4th (2014). Prevailed in a pro bono appeal of a child custody dispute. The opinion addressed significant and unresolved issues regarding awards of child custody when one parent engages in domestic violence against the other parent. The Court addressed three separate orders (by three separate judges) in which the trial court failed to properly apply a presumption against joint custody when domestic violence is involved.
  • Gregory v. Cott, 59 Cal. 4th 996 (2014). California Supreme Court affirmed a summary judgment for an Alzheimer’s patient and her husband on the ground the injured in-home caregiver had voluntarily assumed the risk of violence by the Alzheimer’s patient and the primary assumption of risk doctrine barred liability.
  • Children's Hosp. Cent. California v. Blue Cross of California, 226 Cal. App. 4th 1260 (2014). Obtained reversal of a $10 million jury verdict against a Medicaid managed care organization based on evidentiary and instructional errors concerning the valuation of hospital services provided when a hospital was “out of network” with the organization.
  • Estate of Sobol, 225 Cal. App. 4th 771 (2014). In appeal arising from a probate proceeding, affirmed order sustaining demurrer of co-executors of estate to petition of objectors seeking to be appointed executors of estate and challenging codicil to decedent’s will, because objectors lacked standing to challenge co-executors’ actions.
  • Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board, 229 Cal. 4th 419 (2014). The Court of Appeal approved an award of private attorney general fees to a taxpayer who successfully argued that a state tax was unconstitutional in violation of the Commerce Clause.
  • Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board, 208 Cal. App. 4th 1247 (2012). The Court of Appeal held a state tax provision providing tax benefits for sale of stocks in a qualified California small business was unconstitutional under dormant Commerce Clause.
  • Perez v. Torres, 206 Cal. App. 4th 418 (2012). Code of Civil Procedure section 998 offer to compromise is invalid where it fails to include a statutorily required acceptance provision.
  • Landeros v. Torres, 206 Cal. App. 4th 398 (2012). Civil Code section 3333.4 does not preclude recovery of noneconomic damages against a drunk driver where plaintiff is an unlicensed permissive user of an insured vehicle.
  • Quarry v. Doe 1, 53 Cal. 4th 945 (2012). Reversed Court of Appeal and held that statute of limitations precluded plaintiffs' claims against defendants.
  • Rose v. Bank of America, 200 Cal.App.4th 1441 (2011). Affirmed dismissal of putative class action for violation of Unfair Competition Law based on alleged failures to adequately disclose changes in account fees.
  • Parmar v. State Board of Equalization, 196 Cal.App.4th 705 (2011). Affirmed order invalidating state tax practice and upholding entitlement to substantial attorney fees under private attorney general statute.
  • Arnall v. Superior Court, 190 Cal.App.4th 360 (2010). Obtained writ ordering trial court to grant former client's summary adjudication motion of attorney's causes of action for fees based on a void contingent fee agreement, leaving only the quantum meruit cause of action to be tried.
  • Whitmire v. Ingersoll-Rand Company, 184 Cal.App.4th 1078 (2010). Obtained affirmance of summary judgment in favor of defendant contractor in mesothelioma action on ground that plaintiff had no substantial evidence that he had been exposed to asbestos attributable to the defendant.
  • Clark v. Superior Court, 50 Cal.4th 605 (2010). Argued on behalf of Amici and obtained unanimous reversal of Court of Appeal judgment. The Supreme Court held that a statute providing for the trebling of penalties as to senior citizens and the disabled could not be used to treble restitution under the Unfair Competition Law.
  • United States Life Ins. v. Superior National Ins. Co., 591 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 2010). Obtained affirmance of judgment confirming a $450 million arbitration award in a dispute over reinsurance coverage for workers' compensation insurance claims.
  • Daghlian v. DeVry University, Inc., 574 F.3d 1212 (9th Cir. 2009). Obtained dismissal on an appeal from a summary judgment in a consumer class action on the ground that repeal of the statutory basis for the action resulted in abatement.
  • Dunn Yeager v. Blue Cross, 175 Cal. App. 4th 1098 (2009). Obtained affirmance in Court of Appeal of summary judgment for health insurer in action alleging that insurer's offer of infertility coverage did not comply with statute.
  • Hernandez v. Vitamin Shoppe Industries Inc., 174 Cal. App. 4th 1441 (2009). Affirming the final approval of a settlement in a wage and hour class action, and further affirming orders barring counsel for plaintiffs in a competing class action from communicating with members of the conditionally certified class and issuing a notice to class members to correct a prior improper communication to class members from that counsel.
  • 321 Henderson Receivables Origination LLC v. Sioteco, et al., 173 Cal. App. 4th 1059 (2009). Reversed consolidated superior court order denying 11 petitions for approval of the transfer of structured settlement payments rights. The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that contractual anti-assignment provisions are generally ineffective in barring transfers of structured settlement payment rights
  • the transfers are not subject to the usury law
  • and the evidence was insufficient to support the superior court's findings that the factoring company systematically violated the independent professional advice requirement of the Structured Settlement Transfer Act.
  • Mintz v. Blue Cross, 172 Cal. App. 4th 1594 (2009). Dismissal of claims for intentional interference with contractual relations, negligent interference with contractual relations, and intentional infliction of emotional distresses arising out of alleged wrongful denial of health insurance benefits.
  • Watkins v. Wachovia Corp., 172 Cal. App. 4th 1576 (2009). In putative class action alleging violation of California wage and hour laws, obtained dismissal, of appeal from order denying class certification on ground that class representative's settlement of individual claims following denial of certification deprived the class representative of standing to pursue the appeal. In same decision, also obtained affirmance of summary judgment as to another class representative on the ground that, upon termination of employment, she signed a release of disputed wage claims in exchange for enhanced severance benefits.
  • 321 Henderson Receivables Origination LLC v. Judith Red Tomahawk, 172 Cal. App. 4th 290 (2009). Reversed order denying petition under the Structured Settlement Transfer Act
  • trial court's failure to dismiss petition without prejudice upon transferee's request for dismissal rendered order denying petition void.
  • 321 Henderson Receivables Origination LLC v. Lisa Ramos, 172 Cal. App. 4th 305 (2009). Reversed order voiding prior transfer of structured settlement payments
  • final court-approved transfers cannot be attacked as void under the Structured Settlement Transfer Act absent direct and affirmative evidence of fraud.
  • Cable Connection, Inc. v. DIRECTV, Inc., 44 Cal. 4th 1334 (2008). California Supreme Court affirmed trial court order vacating an arbitration award. In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court held that parties to an arbitration agreement may agree to expanded judicial review of an award.
  • Jogani v. Superior Court, 165 Cal. App. 4th 901 (2008). Petition for writ of mandate granted
  • trial court committed error per se by denying plaintiff his jury trial right on legal claim for quantum merit.
  • Ball v. FleetBoston Financial Corp., 164 Cal. App. 4th 794 (2008). Affirmance of dismissal following an order denying permission to file an amended complaint in a Consumer Legal Remedies Act action on the ground that extension of credit is not a good or service and unconscionability allegations were encompassed in the CLRA cause of action.
  • Monroy v. City of Los Angeles, 164 Cal. App. 4th 248 (2008). Reversed jury verdict
  • trial court erred in instructing jury on a theory contrary to unambiguous party admissions
  • trial court also abused its discretion in limiting expert witness testimony
  • and trial court erred in excluding deposition testimony where deponent resided more than 150 miles from trial.
  • Trujillo v. First American Registry Inc., 157 Cal. App. 4th 628 (2007). Affirmed summary judgment in consumer credit reporting and unfair competition action. Fitz-Gerald v. Skywest Airlines, Inc., 155 Cal. App. 4th 411 (2007). Affirmed summary judgment in action brought by flight attendants against airline for minimum wages, meal and rest breaks, overtime and penalties.
  • Sea Foods Co., Ltd. v. O.M. Foods Co., Ltd., 150 Cal. App. 4th 769 (2007). Reversed third party liability judgment for foreign corporation and against California sea food importer
  • also reversed personal jurisdiction dismissal of fraud action brought by same sea food importer against same foreign corporation.
  • Camacho v. Automobile Club of Southern California, et al., 142 Cal. App. 4th 1394 (2006). Affirmed judgment on the pleadings for insurer in unfair competition class action brought by uninsured motorist in connection with insurer’s efforts to collect subrogation claim.

Honors and Awards:

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice (2016-2019)
  • Listed in the Daily Journal as one of its Top Women Lawyers (2010, 2013, 2015)
  • Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, "Band 1" (6 bands with 1 being the highest) rating for Appellate Litigation (California) (2009-2017)
  • Listed, California Super Lawyers, Appellate (2007-2019)
  • Listed, California Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Appellate (2010)