W. Gary Kurtz-Principal
W. Gary Kurtz has been practicing law since 1973 and has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer-reviewed rating (AV) attesting to his legal skills, abilities and ethics and his firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. He specializes in complex civil litigation in both the public and private sectors but also has an extensive practice involving general business law and business litigation services, intellectual property, entertainment law and real estate.
Gary began his career as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, representing the Secretary of the Business & Transportation Agency and the Departments of Real Estate, Corporations, Banking, Savings & Loan and Insurance in their respective civil enforcement actions. His representation included protracted international securities fraud litigation (including negotiations with foreign governments to recover the proceeds of a securities fraud) and extensive litigation that eventually ended before the United States Supreme Court concerning preemption by the United States Government of state consumer protection laws restricting mortgage foreclosures.
Building on his experience as a Deputy Attorney General, Gary entered private practice in 1979 but was quickly drawn back into the public sector when the State of California engaged him as special outside counsel to continue the preemption fight with the federal government.
During the next three decades, Gary also handled a broad range of private matters in both state and federal court. Additionally, Gary obtained significant experience in commercial transactions and real estate development. For example, he represented a major Japanese trading company both in drafting its commercial agreements and in disputes involving such transactions; assisted the developers of a large hotel in obtaining planning approval, development permits and construction financing; obtained approval from the Department of Real Estate for a real estate developer to sell residential subdivision lots located out of state to California residents; prosecuted unfair competition and trademark infringement actions; partnership dissolutions; and copyright infringement actions brought on behalf of a record production company against a competitor.
Commencing in 1985, Gary began to focus on complex litigation matters and gained management experience as the partner responsible for training and supervision of up to eight associates. Additionally, he
Was Co-Team Leader of ten attorneys and twelve paralegals in a high-profile billion dollar fidelity bond claim arising out of the misconduct of the officers and directors of a major savings and loan association. He established a control system for analyzing literally millions of documents maintained in the files of the savings and loan association and the retrieval of pertinent documents when required during the discovery process—no small feat in the computer stone-age of the 1980s.
Represented banks, savings and loan associations and other lenders in disputes with borrowers in commercial real estate transactions. Negotiated work-out agreements, obtained the appointment of receivers and represented secured creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.
Represented Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustees in disputes with debtors and/or creditors related to operation of various businesses, including hotels, money order company, and commercial real estate developers.
Represented receivers in numerous cases related to the operation and/or winding up of businesses placed in receivership, including law firms, residential subdivision developers and automobile dealerships.
More recently, Gary’s emphasis has been on the protection of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks and trade names, litigation of film distribution agreements, and real estate disputes. Specific examples of work include:
Litigation counsel for a motion picture studio in contractual and copyright infringement dispute with distributor of its films;
Representation of international film distribution company in connection with disputes with producers of motion pictures;
Representation of software developer in negotiation of license agreements for software used in military drones;
Counsel for seller of software firm to a multi-billion dollar corporation and litigation regarding said firm’s failure to pay royalties;
Representation of beneficiaries of trust in multi-million dollar dispute with former step-mother over embezzlement of funds;
Representation of music producers in piracy claims against on-line music distributors.
Attorney for successor trustees of family trust, including the prosecution of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims;
General counsel for garment manufacturer with responsibility for negotiating and documenting factoring agreements, purchase contracts, and other commercial agreements;
Representation of homeowners in bad faith actions against insurance companies arising out of earthquake damage claims;
Representations of second trust deed lenders in judicial foreclosure actions and actions on promissory notes following foreclosure by senior lenders; and
General counsel for industrial real estate investor and developer with responsibility for negotiating and documenting acquisition agreements and tenant leases.
Representation of real estate licensees and mortgage loan licensees in disputes with regulators.
Representation of homeowner in multi-million dollar dispute concerning priority of liens.
Member, California State Bar (1973 to present)
Member of the Bars for the United States Supreme Court; Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California
California Real Estate Broker (Bureau of Real Estate License No. 01790647)
California Property and Casualty Insurance Broker-Agent (Dept. of Insurance License No. 0K12580)
Santa Clara University, School of Law (1970-1973)
Degree earned: Juris Doctor
Honors: Associate Editor, Santa Clara Law Review
Publication: “Preserving Open Space Land,” Santa Clara Law Review (1973)
University of California, Santa Barbara (1966-1970)
Degree earned: Bachelor of Arts (Major: Political Science)