John S. Clifford
John S. Clifford is a shareholder at Smith LC with a focus on complex litigation.
Mr. Clifford’s 2015 trial results are illustrative of his 21 year career, including a defense verdict in favor of his clients and against Bank of America in a $90,000,000 trust and community property claim (see article), a verdict in favor of his client resulting in the immediate turnover of an Orange County business after trial (see article), and a defense verdict in favor of an employer accused of sexual harassment in a case highlighted by the Los Angeles County Daily Journal as a top employment verdict.
Some of Mr. Clifford’s trial results in prior years include: A $4.2 million verdict for the wrongful death of a client’s husband killed in the Chatsworth Metrolink train crash. A defense verdict against a multi-million dollar construction claim, and a corresponding counter-claim verdict of over one million dollars. A defense verdict against a multi-million dollar claim for unfair business practices, wherein Mr. Clifford not only successfully maintained the verdict on appeal, but also obtained the first published case in California holding that California’s unfair business practices laws do not apply to securities transactions (Bowen v. Ziasun Technologies, Inc., 116 Cal.App.4th 777). Mr. Clifford has also obtained a non-dischargeable judgment just under one million dollars in an adversarial proceeding in bankruptcy court, a verdict of $685,000 in a business ownership dispute, prevailed in another business ownership dispute while his clients were awarded 100% ownership of an Orange County business valued at over $6 million dollars. Mr. Clifford has also successfully defended a $6 million trademark infringement claim in Federal Court. As a result of his appellate work, Mr. Clifford has successfully argued multiple cases before California appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to his trial practice, Mr. Clifford acts as outside general counsel for several companies employing more than 3,000 employees in California and Utah, including medical groups and doctors serving more than 30,000 patients. Mr. Clifford has also served as general counsel for American Liberty Insurance Company, a Utah based insurer, since 1999.
Mr. Clifford’s focus on corporate, employment, insurance, medical and trust matters, combined with his extraordinary trial results, help his clients limit risk and avoid litigation. Where litigation is unavoidable, Mr. Clifford is a powerful and successful trial advocate.
State Bar of California
State Bar of Utah
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
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