As part of our firm’s commitment to the community, we have supported Homeboy Industries as volunteers for events there and by providing financial support.  If inspired to do so, we would welcome you to join our firm in support of this worthy organization.  Homeboy began as a grassroots movement started by Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, Executive Director, in the Dolores Mission Parish, and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, a Community Based Organization (CBO).  Father Boyle began Homeboy to answer the need for employment and educational opportunities among underserved youth in Los Angeles.  Located in downtown Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries provides hope and job training for formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated people so they can redirect their lives and become contributing members of society.  Please check out their website at homeboyindustries.org.

 

Lawyers need to be prepared for the State Bar’s audit of Client Trust Accounts without prior notice or prior consent.

To enhance disciplinary investigations, the California State Bar Trustees are asking the legislature to enhance reporting from banks and authorizing audits of trust accounts based on risk assessments and random selection. Per Business and Professions Code 6091, the State Bar has had this statuory authority but now is seeking to further enhance its authority.  What can lawyers do in response to this ?  Always make sure that all client trust funds are properly identified by client, and that the lawyer records the receipt of client funds twice (in the client ledger and the trust account journal).   There must be a monthly reconciliation of the client ledgers, account journals and bank statement.     Reconciliation means checking the three records lawyers are required to keep-bank statements, the client ledgers and the trust account journal, against each other so that you can find and correct any mistakes.   If a lawyer does not feel that he/she has the skills to perform the reconcilitation, a bookkeeper should be hired or the use of a computerized system such as Quickbooks, Quicken or a similar program can assist with the reconciliation process.    The records must be maintained for a minimum of five years.

 

The answer is yes! We at McGonigle Law, received the #1 arbitration award in California in 2021 as recognized by topverdict.com. McGonigle Law recently recovered $3,461,030.05 on behalf of a client at an arbitration conducted entirely via Zoom.  Click here to see Top Verdict Award.

 

Our firm represented the Plaintiff in a misrepresentation and wrongful termination case against Plaintiff’s former company, PeerNova, Inc. and Naveed Sherwani.  The case was arbitrated to conclusion by Martin H. Dodd, Esq. under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association.

 

The Plaintiff was a successful cryptocurrency entrepreneur and blockchain industry innovator who had founded one of the industry’s most innovative and successful Bitcoin cloudmining companies before agreeing to merge his company to form PeerNova, Inc. Thereafter, Plaintiff was wrongfully fired from his position in the resulting company. The Plaintiff was represented by Timothy McGonigle, Esq. and Thomas Foote, Esq.

 

Plaintiff’s Claims

 

On July 17th, 2017, we filed the case in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, seeking damages for negligent misrepresentation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy, among other claims. The dispute was largely centered around two events:  (1) various promises made by Defendant Naveed Sherwani, which convinced the Plaintiff and others to merge their company with Sherwani’s company to form PeerNova, Inc., and (2) the unfair termination of Plaintiff from his position as Vice President at PeerNova.

 

We argued that Sherwani had made certain promises leading up to the merger – promises which were not kept, and that the termination was a breach of the Plaintiff’s employment contract with PeerNova. McGonigle Law further argued that their client was terminated as retaliation for using his shareholder’s voting rights to vote two directors off PeerNova’s board of directors due to differences of opinion about business strategy.

 

The Results of the Arbitration

 

After a lengthy arbitration process (conducted entirely via Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic), we were able to produce a stellar result for our client.  The firm recovered $3,023,807 for the Plaintiff in monetary damages, lost earnings, emotional distress, punitive damages, and interest. In addition, an additional $485,000 was received via a pre-arbitration settlement with a co-defendant, which made the total recovery $3,508,807 for Plaintiff.  The Final Arbitration Award was issued on June 15, 2021 and following a post-arbitration hearing, the full amount awarded was paid in late 2021.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is relatively common for power struggles and conflict to occur in new blockchain startups as the industry is very new, dynamic, and volatile. In this particular case, one of the leaders of a promising cryptocurrency company was duped into voting his shares in favor of a merger, and then unfairly fired from the resulting company because of his effort to influence who sat on the company’s board – a right which he was entitled to exercise, without penalty under California and Delaware law because of his shareholdings and voting power.

 

We were able to overcome summary judgment and ultimately prove at arbitration that the key claims made by the Plaintiff were well founded, a years-long effort which demanded substantial legal skill and expertise.  We were all thrilled with this hard fought victory and that the Plaintiff would be fairly compensated for the financial losses and emotional distress that he sustained following his unfair termination from the company.

 

If you have clients that you believe could benefit from our services, please get in touch with us at McGonigleLaw.com.