Mrs. Geraci is the managing shareholder in charge of internal operations and chair of the Litigation Department at the Firm. Her practice focuses on litigation matters in representation of lenders, real estate investment firms, hedge funds, individual investors, traditional lending institutions and banks. She has successfully tried, settled and arbitrated cases in California in matters involving foreclosure defense, partnership disputes, shareholder derivative suits, policyholder/title insurer suits, inter-bank litigation in equitable subrogation, and lender/borrower disputes, including but not limited to, violations of TILA, HOEPA, and statutory broker liability.
Mrs. Geraci is dedicated to providing a comfortable and professional experience for all her clients. She recognizes that litigation may be emotional for some people, and strives to become an expert in the legal matters of her clients because she cares and takes great pride in her work product. She feels it is the right of her clients to be well informed about his or her case and strategy to make the litigation process as painless and efficient as possible.
Books currently reading
Rebecca by Daphen du Maurier, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I just finished The Storied Life of AJ Fikery and The Rosie Effect – love them both!
Word that best describes you
Most prized possession
Family / friends, pictures
Dance Hall Crashers, Bad Religion, Madness, Thrill Kill Kult, Love & Rockets, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, TSOL, 7 Seconds, Operation Ivy, Rancid, NIN, Bigod 20, Front 242, Offspring and many more ska punk, gothic and industrial bands you probably have never heard of.
Singing, painting, cooking, swimming, and reading
Pulp Fiction, The Godfather series, Underworld series, and X-Men
When not working
Sleeping and reading, but that hardly ever happens with three small children
“Success is obedience to a structured way of life” Operation Ivy
If you had one wish
To be skinny and eat ice cream every day! Just kidding. I would wish for World Peace.
You’re on Survivor… what one item do you bring with you and why?
I will never tell.
What was it about the legal field that drew your interest?
My original reasons for entering the legal field stem from my passion for International Politics. Unfortunately, my father contracted cancer while working with chemical weapons (specifically Agent Orange) during the Vietnam War; he was in the United States Marine Corp. From a young age I was attracted to the fight for justice and human rights. During undergrad, I was positive I wanted to prosecute war crimes in the International Court of Justice. After law school or possibly during my first year summer internship at a criminal firm, I realized I much preferred civil litigation over criminal law.
What are you most proud of at Geraci?
We are a very unique firm and offer a different approach to the practice of law in that we believe that our job is to provide our client with traditional and non-traditional solutions. We banished the old law firm mentality of prolonged indirect client communication. Instead we are dedicated to constant communication with our clients via email, text, and chat platforms.
What banking law or regulation would you like to see changed?
Where do I start? The myriad of banking laws and regulations make it almost impossible to practice in the field without a specialization. The Consumer Protection laws, while originally created to protect the consumer, only now serve to harm them. Many non-traditional lenders and loan servicers will not make consumer loans or service them due to the consumer protection laws such as the California Home Owner’s Bill of Rights. This severely limits the consumer’s ability to obtain financing for real estate; thus it only serves to help eliminate the American Dream of homeownership. The high penalties non-traditional lenders and loan services face for even the most mundane mistake is just too high to risk for them.
If you could go back and change any aspect of your life, which would it be?
I do not have many regrets, but if I could change one thing it would be to spend more time with my kids. They are growing up so fast and I am regretting not spending more time with them and less time at the office.
What wisdom could you offer aspiring attorneys?
Get into the best law school you can and start to market ‘you’ from day one. Stay honest. Never sacrifice your integrity for anyone, any job, or any cause. Always keep your word. If you make a promise, make sure you follow through with it. Your reputation inside and outside the legal profession is gold; do not tarnish it.
Tell us about one of your favorite clients and why you enjoy working with them?
I have a few clients with whom I love to work, but Socotra Capital is at the top of my list. The fund is run by very hard working guys who are honest and reasonable. They base their decisions on logic and fairness. They are in the business to make honest money and not a fast payout or take advantage of others. I have seen a lot of different lending operations during my tenure and they are one of the cleanest, practical, and equitable lending firms around.
Who has had the most impact on your career?
My children. Without them I would not work as hard or as many hours that I do to ensure their future.
Who is or was the most influential person in your life?
My mother. She sacrificed so much for so many years to support me and my sister on her own. She was a tough single mother who taught me I could do anything and be anything I wanted. She also taught me not to let anything or anyone hold me back. She said, “Believe in your dreams and they will become your reality.”
What’s the toughest business decision you’ve ever made?
I make tough decisions every day. Settling an unfair and unjustified case because it is cheaper for my client to pay off a bogus claim than fight it out in trial happens often, and it is one of the toughest decisions to make. Litigation is expensive. My job is to get my client into a position to pay as little as possible as soon as possible to avoid the cost of protracted litigation. Even when I know my clients is in the right.
What is your proudest achievement?
Geraci Law Firm, my marriage, and my precious children. Together they encompass who I am and I am very proud of them and what they stand for.
What’s it like working at Geraci?
Crazy! We do not call this the “Un-Firm” for nothing. We are a special bunch and work well together. We laugh together, hang out together, and sometimes fight it out together. We are really like a family. We may argue, but we can always depend on each other.
What was it that drew you to open Geraci Law Firm?
I always wanted to work for myself, but I knew I wanted a firm and did not want a solo practice. I felt I could do things different from other traditional firms and make the practice of law fun, enjoyable, and profitable at the same time. Anthony and I have started a unique firm and we have seen it grow from our initial vision into what is today; a multi-faceted full service real estate firm run by passionate, progressive, intelligent people who think outside the box.
What can we learn from the past in our business?
Over regulation and dishonesty kill an economy. Keep our clients honest and prudent and we will always have plenty of business.
- Supreme Court of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- Chapman University School of Law, Orange, California
- California Polytechnic State University Pomona, Pomona, California
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 2000
- Major: Political Science
Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Orange County Bar Association
- California Bar Association
- California Mortgage Association
- California Association of Mortgage Brokers
- William P. Gray Lex Legion Inn of Court
- Hispanic Bar Association
- Italian-American Bar Association
- American Association of Private Lenders, General Counsel
SELECTIVE SHORT SAMPLE OF CASES HANDLED AS CHIEF COUNSEL
- Jae Il Lee v Alliance Capital Funding, et.al.
Representation of client Alliance Capital Funding (“ACF”) a mortgage fund and its manager, Alliance Financial, Inc. and two private investors in an action brought by a purchaser who sued for Specific Performance, Breach of Contract, Intentional Interference with Contract, and $300,000 in actual damages. After a full trail on the merits, my clients were granted a full defense verdict and granted fees and costs of defense against Plaintiff.
- Nicholas Lombardo v Phorm Profile LLC, et. al.
Represented Phorm Profile LLC and shareholders in a suit brought by junior shareholder for profits, Enforcement of Statutory Rights, Fraud, Indemnity, and Negligence. Trial Court finding for defendants after Plaintiff resting his case enabling the parties to enter into a settlement agreement waiving costs and fees; Plaintiff recovered nothing.
- River Forest Financial v Fidelity Title Insurance, Orange LLC, et. al(related)
Orange LLC v Fidelity Title Insurance, et. al.
Representation of lender, River Forest Financial, against borrower, Orange LLC and title insurance carrier for failure to pay claim arising out of original seller’s fraudulent conveyance of property it did not own. After two unsuccessful Demurrers, Fidelity paid the claim in full.
- [Confidential] v. [Confidential] Financial
Suit brought by investors against, our client, a mortgage fund seeking several million dollars due to alleged mismanagement of joint venture investment funds for large storage facility in Northern California; causes of action included breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud, fraud, misrepresentation and negligence. After numerous motions and two years of protracted litigation, Plaintiff’s settle for de minims value.
- [Confidential] v [Confidential] Investments
Borrower brought suit in California State Court against private lender for Violations of TILA, HOEPA, California High Finance laws, FFDCPA, Fraud, Rescission and other statutes. Plaintiff wanted the loan stripped and over $100,000 in statutory money damages. Removed the case to Federal Court where court granted our motion to dismiss all federal causes of action and remanded the case back to state court. Obtained Court Order for a Bond and monthly payments equal to FMV of rent for property at Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction. After successful negotiations the property was sold and my client was made almost whole.
- Krage v Val-Chris Investments
Borrower sued lender for Violations of TILA, HOEPA, California High Finance laws, FFDCPA, Fraud, Rescission, Quiet Title and other statutes claiming excessive actual and statutory damages. Obtained bond equal to the loan amount at the Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which he failed to procure; Court then granted our Motion to Dissolve Preliminary Injunction to move forward with foreclosure. Plaintiff then went on to file two bankruptcies and convey 20% interest in the property to a third party who resides in Florida and was in bankruptcy. Court granted in rem relief on Motion for Relief from Stay. Lender than successfully held a foreclosure sale where the property was purchased by third party. California Court of Appeals upheld state court’s decision.
- Gomez v Castillo
Represented private investor against mortgage broker for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud & Deceit, violation of B&P and other causes of action. Obtained judgment for initial investment, costs and attorney’s fees, and successfully recouped full amount of judgment from DRE Recovery Fund for client.
- Carol Wallis Trust v Tracy Wood et. al.
Successfully obtained a Jury Verdict for Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty after a three week trial in favor of plaintiff for $235,000 in actual/punitive damages and $117,000 in attorney’s fees; plaintiff was an 88 year old lady defrauded by her fiduciary.