Alexander S. Polsky, FCIArb

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710
Business/Commercial
Mr. Polsky's practice includes mediation and arbitration of complex business disputes, partnership workouts, and appraisals. These disputes have included pension claims, breach of contract claims, bond claims, termination benefits, corporate loss of revenue, franchise infringement claims, automotive dealer and fast food franchisee claims involving placement of new stores, unfair business practice claims, class actions filed against governmental entities, and termination benefits.

Representative Matters

  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Allegations of excessive fees and poor results in connection with representation of client in a federal lawsuit brought by a pension fund alleging other funds were related entities bound by collective bargaining agreements.
  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Errors and omissions in connection with $100 mm health care acquisition.
  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Excessive fees alleged in bankruptcy workout of commercial real estate brokerage/property manager.
  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Excessive fees alleged in domestic relations matter.
  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Excessive fees alleged in financial planner litigation.
  • Attorney Fee Disputes: Excessive fees alleged in real estate transaction.
  • Business: Breach of contract claim in connection with fire alarm system at municipal project (city hall). Fixed price contract tendered with contractor (plaintiff) assuming the prime contractor and municipality would approve a subsequently delivered specification, which involved a product change. Municipality withheld approval mid-project and prime contractor terminated the subcontractor. Municipality withheld charge-backs approaching $5 mm on total project with about $250 k apportioned to the alarm system. (Settlement with partial release of charge-backs allocated between prime and sub contractors)
  • Business: Breach of contract/fraud claims by CEO of residential mortgage lender asserting inducement to sell business was a sham to obtain business assets and trade secrets, and force CEO out.
  • Business: Breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment in connection with commercial lease. Landlord was a major landholder in Little Saigon. Allegations that he permitted anti communist rally staging area in and about tenant’s property after tenant displayed communist objects. (Settled for lease buy out)
  • Business: Claim against telephone company telephone book division for improper placement of display advertisement. Claim for lost profits and business interruption. (Settlement $25 k)
  • Business: Claim by massage therapist of overt sexual conduct by producer, director, and performance artists during filming of major motion picture.
  • Business: Claim by operator of group home against Regional Center for over regulation, discrimination, and violation of the Lanerman Act. Asserts a policy disfavoring placement in small group homes for developmentally disabled. (Action plan implemented to relocate home to another administrative zone, payment of $950 k.)
  • Business: Claim involving shortfall of approximately $600 k after a fire destroyed a manufacturing plant. Suit filed against broker for failing to secure adequate coverage for content and business interruption. Defense alleged it relied on the information provided by claimant. (Arbitration)
  • Business: Commercial business interruption claim for monetary damages for lost profits secondary to site improvements resulting in loss of signage and parking during extended construction. (Settled for lease modifications and attorney fees, plus special signage.)
  • Business: Commercial, acquisition, and franchise claims.
  • Business: Construction company sues unified school district for breach of contract, work and labor costs and delay damages in connection with three reconstruction projects. Contract amount at issues exceeded $3.5 mm. (Settlement of $500,000 plus agreement not to deem contractor unreliable and unresponsive as that term relates to government contraction.)
  • Business: Defamation by owner of competing taxi business asserting that competitor did not possess proper licensing and had issued fraudulent insurance certificates. Actions in an effort to win a contract for transport services at a regional airport. Representations made by competitor and by his insurance agent. Significant loss of revenue claims in addition to punitive damages. (Settled at mediation)
  • Business: Disputed claims for payment and change orders by prime contractor on shopping center build out of key retail store. Store sold immediately following build out. (Arbitration)
  • Business: Disputed ownership interest claimed by ousted CEO following turnaround of manufacturing company. Valuation of claimed shareholding approximated $2.5 mm plus interest. (Settled)
  • Business: Federal lawsuit brought by a pension fund alleging other funds were related entities bound by collective bargaining agreements. Potential exposure to trusts exceeded $1 mm. (Settlement $580 k over 10 years)
  • Business: Foreclosure of mechanics lien and enforcement of stop notice in connection with commercial real estate development following bankruptcy filing by lead tenant. Cross allegation for breach of sub contract. (Contract price $400 k) (Settled)
  • Business: Jet fuel spill at airport during refueling of 747. Spill caused by clamp failure followed by operator who did not secure a safety valve to cut off the flow. Dispute over cost and responsibility for clean up which was paid in full by the airline. (Settlement involved extending refueling contractor’s contract at a reduced rate to compensate airline for expenses.)
  • Business: Rights and royalty claims in connection with distribution of recorded assets.
  • Business: Securities related cases include pension claims, breach of contract claims, bond claims, termination benefits, and corporate loss of revenue disputes.
  • Business: Software licensing disputes.
  • Business: Subrogation claim by insurer after paying property damage, lost profits and loss of use on behalf of insured secondary to water damage from improperly applied roof. Related insurers argued coverage issues negated obligation to indemnify. (Settled in low seven figures)
  • Business: Suit to recover unpaid balance on hotel construction contract as assignee of bondholder having foreclosed on a security interest and creating a cloud on title. Cross allegations of offsetting back-charges. (Amount in dispute approx. $1 mm - settled)
  • Business: Theft of computer data and alteration of checks by employee of nationally recognized securities firm. Employee denied theft and asserted breach of written employment agreements. Mediation occurred during SEC, district attorney and bank investigations. (Settlement formally terminated relationship between employee and firm.)
  • Business: UCC section 2300 claim in connection with sale of pumping engines to fire department. (Settled based upon joint sale of fire trucks and guarantee of reimbursement of $450k from proceeds)
  • Business: Unfair competition and theft of trade secrets in connection with Internet lender.
  • Class Action: Alleging fraudulent inducement to purchase travel membership that conveyed no value to the subscriber. (Settled based on reimbursement of fee plus attorney fees)
  • Class Action: Class action involving 28,000 individual African American farmers' claims of discriminatory lending practices. Participated in the implementation of global adjudication process following settlement of the case.
  • Class Action: Class action type settlement(s) of insurance bad faith claims secondary to insurer handling of California earthquake claims. Handled under Code of Civil Procedure 17200. Multiple cases involving approximately 200 homes and three different insurers.
  • Class Action: Numerous cases in connection with practice of retailer in requiring personal information data to accompany credit card purchases. Classes identified, method of notice determined, settlement structure identified, and court approvals obtained. (Civ. Code section 1747.8 issues)
  • Commercial: Attorney E&O in connection with $100 mm health care acquisition. (Served as arbitrator in Louisiana of this case filed in Federal Court. Award was in favor of plaintiff following 17 day hearing)
  • Commercial: Breach of commercial lease one-year into ten-year term following SEC induced management change at lessee. Leasehold value exceeded $12 mm. Property rehabilitation exceeded $2 mm.
  • Commercial: Breach of commercial lease secondary to Chapter 11 filing of lessor corporation.
  • Commercial: Over 75 unfair business practice claims per Civ. Code section 17200 and in Federal Court.
  • Commercial: Termination benefits and corporate loss of revenue disputes
  • Entertainment: Claim by massage therapist of overt sexual conduct by producer, director, and performance artists during filming of major motion picture. (Settled)
  • Entertainment: Disputes concerning ascertainment and distribution of profits, breach of employment contracts, and issues regarding distribution expenses.
  • Entertainment: Real estate sales agreement wherein plaintiff would acquire two parcels near Disneyland. If the parcels were developed into a large-scale hotel, seller would be entitled to lease 6,000 sf for a restaurant. Issue became whether development constituted a “large-scale” hotel. (Settled $400 k)
  • Franchise: Automotive dealer and fast food franchisee claims
  • Franchise: Duty of franchiser regarding 40 fast food franchisees and losses of revenue allegedly due to predatory store placement/advertising. Secondary mediation to create formulae for distribution of settlement proceeds and stock between franchisees.
  • Franchise: Franchise dispute between vendors of baked goods for nationwide manufacturer. Dispute concerned compromise of territory.
  • Franchise: Franchise infringement claims.
  • Franchise: Multiple disputes between automobile dealers and automobile companies regarding territories and placement of new dealerships. These are generally managed under the manufacturers dispute resolution programs.
  • Franchise: Rights of specialty automobile dealer under manufacturer-dealer agreement after manufacturer's trademark and distribution rights are sold to a "big three" entity.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2018
  • Recognized as a SuperLawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, SuperLawyers, 2006-2016
  • Recognized as a Top Master, Daily Journal
  • Recognized with AV Preeminent Status as a Top Rated Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006-2010, 2012
  • Speaker, "What Real Estate Attorneys Can Learn From Mediators—And Vice Versa," Tokyo Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, 2014
  • Panelist, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Mediation Panel
  • Successfully completed "Accelerated Route to Fellowship International Arbitration Program with Award Writing Examination, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, 2014
  • Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Southern California School of Law and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Lecturer (partial list): California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Association of Southern and Northern California Defense Counsel; Consumer Attorneys of California, Los Angeles and Orange County; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco Bar Associations; Pepperdine University Law School; Building Industry Association
  • Past Director: Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association, Southern California Adjuster's Association
  • Past Chairperson, Orange County Bar Association Committee on ADR
  • Delegate, State Bar of California, Conference of Delegates
  • National Institute of Forensic Studies, Professional Advisory Board
  • Publications on ADR and Attorney Fee Disputes for State and Local Bar Associations, firms, trade associations, and newspapers. Author: "A System for Cost Effective Management of Construction Defect and Complex Litigation." Author: "ADR, Why Does it Work?" Author: "Use of the Special Master in Complex Litigation." Author: "Use of Risk Based Facilitative Dispute Resolution."
  • Mr. Polsky is a sought after negotiation skills trainer and has lectured throughout the United States. He is an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, where he teaches a course he designed on ADR and negotiation, and at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, where he teaches courses in the LLM program. He is available to provide training in negotiation and mediation skill development to corporations and professional organizations.
  • Pro bono activities include Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) Board of Directors; Los Angeles/Long Beach Legal Aid Grand Cru Board of Directors; Public Law Center of Orange County Board of Directors; Los Angeles County Bar Association volunteer mediation program volunteer

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