Leonard Gumport has served as lead or co-lead counsel in litigation in state court, federal district court, and bankruptcy court. He has served as chapter 7 trustee, chapter 11 trustee, SIPC trustee, and bankruptcy examiner. He has also represented trustees in litigation and investigations. In addition, he has represented and advised public entities in connection with litigation and internal investigations.
Below are descriptions of several litigation matters, which are not (and are not intended to be) representative of all litigation matters handled by Mr. Gumport during 1979-2018. All matters described were handled by Mr. Gumport before the start of Gumport Law Firm, PC on November 1, 2018.
Following a judicial clerkship, Mr. Gumport’s first trial as a junior associate was serving as second chair defense counsel in a murder prosecution in Los Angeles Superior Court. The jury acquitted the defendant. The jury’s verdict was justified by the law and the evidence and did not result from any lawyering abilities of Mr. Gumport. Subsequently, Mr. Gumport served as lead or co-lead counsel in trials in the California Superior Court, the U.S. District Court, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Mr. Gumport represented the successful bidder for the subsidiary of a multi-national company represented by an investment bank that allegedly committed to sell the subsidiary to a competing bidder. Mr. Gumport represented the successful bidder in defending against tort claims for contract interference and interference with prospective economic advantage. Mr. Gumport also defended on appeal the summary judgment that was granted in favor of the successful bidder. The California Court of Appeal affirmed that judgment.
Mr. Gumport served as special litigation counsel to the bankruptcy trustee of Triad America in asset freeze litigation against a Liechtenstein affiliate of international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. The asset freeze litigation resulted in the attachment of a $20 million asset of the Liechtenstein entity. Subsequently, the litigation was settled with bankruptcy court approval, and the bankruptcy court awarded a bonus to Mr. Gumport’s firm for its services.
Mr. Gumport was bankruptcy trustee and counsel in affiliated bankruptcy cases involving an alleged scheme by the debtor’s principal to rig the sale of bankruptcy estate assets and to divert funds through off-shore accounts. A Ninth Circuit opinion arising out of that case is Gumport v. China International Trust and Investment Corp. (In re Intermagnetics America, Inc.), 926 F.2d 912 (9th Cir. 1991).
Mr. Gumport was bankruptcy counsel to the trustee of the consolidated bankruptcy estates of Bruce P. McNall and various of affiliates. McNall pleaded guilty to defrauding multiple banks of more than $100 million. McNall’s holdings included ownership interests in the L.A. Kings hockey franchise, motion picture production companies (that he co-managed with David Begelman), and sports memorabilia (including a 1910 Honus Wagner baseball card that McNall co-owned with Wayne Gretzky). Representation of the trustee by Mr. Gumport included asset freeze litigation against an offshore entity and the beneficiary of a Swiss bank account. Representation of the trustee by Mr. Gumport also included litigation to set aside an allegedly fraudulent transfer of an interest in the L.A. Kings hockey franchise.
Mr. Gumport was co-lead counsel (with County Counsel) for San Bernardino County in its internal investigation and subsequent civil litigation against former public officials and contractors involved in alleged bribery schemes to influence more than $100 million in public contracts. The litigation followed the resignation and guilty plea of James Hlawek, the County’s former top appointed official. The litigation involved a multi-week trial in the Ventura County Superior Court. The opinion of the Court of Appeal, affirming the judgment in the civil case, is entitled County of San Bernardino v. Walsh, 158 Cal. App. 4th 533 (2008). The opinion addresses California Government Code section 1090, which provides a civil forfeiture remedy when a public official has a prohibited financial interest in a public contract.
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