James Gilbert is a seasoned trial attorney with extensive experience in real estate, banking and complex business litigation matters. His real estate litigation experience includes disputes concerning (1) partnerships/LLC’s; (2) real estate finance (including non-judicial and judicial foreclosures, receiverships, and claims relating to loan originations and unfair lending practices); (3) the purchase and sale of commercial real property; (4) commercial leases; (5) construction defects, (6) land use/CEQA; (7) boundary disputes; (8) letters of credit and (9) real estate related bankruptcies. In addition, Mr. Gilbert litigates general business disputes including breach of contract, fraud and trade secrets. He has also successfully represented clients in connection with provisional remedies, such as injunctions, receiverships, civil seizures and writs of attachment. Mr. Gilbert maintains a Preeminent “AV” peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for professional excellence and ethical standards. He has been voted as a “Super Lawyer” from 2014-2019, a peer review rating reserved for the top five percent of lawyers in each state.
Mr. Gilbert started his legal career working for two large, multinational law firms, Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Fulbright & Jaworski) and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld where he represented Fortune 500 clients in complex litigation matters.
He represents his clients in a cost-effective manner with an eye towards the bottom line. He is prepared to aggressively represent his clients in contentious litigation or arbitration when necessary. With more than twenty-five years of legal experience, he has taken hundreds of cases to a successful conclusion at trial, arbitration or by way of pretrial motions or settlement.
Mr. Gilbert is a member of the California Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and is authorized to practice before all state and federal courts in the state of California. Mr. Gilbert has also been admitted to litigate matters on a pro hac vice basis in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New York and Kentucky.
- Lead trial counsel in a two-week arbitration relating to a real estate partnership dispute wherein he obtained a seven-figure damages award for his client.
- Lead trial counsel in a three-week jury trial and obtained a substantial damages award for his client, including an award of punitive damages, which was later upheld on appeal.
- Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment in a letter of credit dispute by way of a summary judgment motion.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court against one of the largest banks in the country in a case of first impression, which was later upheld on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
- Following a two week arbitration wherein the owner of a prominent downtown Los Angeles hotel sought to terminate a parking covenant with the owner of a nearby office building, the arbitrator found that the parking covenant was in full force and effect, that other side brought the arbitration in bad faith and breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff sued to rescind the sale of a real estate company. He later prevailed on appeal when the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the appeal following receipt of a motion to dismiss.
- Represented the supreme court of another state and obtained a judgment in excess of $6,000,000, which was upheld on appeal.
Admissions / Memberships / Qualifications
- State Bar of California, 1990
- United States District Court, Central, Southern, Northern & Eastern Districts of California
- United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Los Angeles County Bar Association (Litigation; Real Property)
- Previously admitted pro hac vice in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New York and Kentucky.