Mr. Sievers’ diverse practice focuses on helping clients find practical and cost-effective solutions to complicated business disputes and transactions. His practice also extends to representations before the Federal and State Appellate Courts. Mr. Sievers brings to bear nearly twenty-five years of litigation, appellate and transactional experience gleaned in diverse settings, but he specializes in representing and counseling insurance policy holders, parties in commercial litigation and transactions, and real estate owners, lenders and lessees in both transactional and litigation representations. He has developed considerable experience in the coverages available under all types of insurance policies, real estate title issues, including title insurance, appellate practice, and lending secured by both real and personal property.
Mr. Sievers works with a diverse spectrum of clients, both large and small, in industries ranging from real estate development to real estate finance to e-commerce. His clients have included non-conventional (hard money) lenders, landlords, developers, bankruptcy trustees, building tradesmen, financial brokers, directors and officers of corporations, and manufacturers and distributors of goods.
Mr. Sievers is a former Chairman of the Insurance Law Section of the Orange County Bar. He has spoken at continuing legal education programs on insurance, insolvency, ethics and various litigation topics.
2005 trip to Italy
Books currently reading
The Bible, High Output Management by Andrew Grove, and Reeling Through Russia by Fen Montaigne
Word that best describes you
Most prized possession
Santoku Kitchen Knife
Beatles, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Dire Straits
The Rainmaker, Groundhog Day, The Martian
Relax when not working
Cooking, reading and mountain bike riding
What was it about the legal field that drew your interest?
Getting paid to read, learn and argue.
What are you most proud of at Geraci?
The audacious, and almost arrogant, disregard of conformity.
What banking law or regulation would you like to see changed?
If you could go back and change any aspect of your life, which would it be?
I wish I had focused more on appellate work earlier in my career.
What wisdom could you offer aspiring attorneys?
Never say in three pages what you can say in one.
Tell us about one of your favorite clients and why you enjoy working with them?
My oldest client puts principal before cost. When he’s sure he’s right, he would rather pay me to defend him than pay a single cent in settlement of an unrighteous claim.
Who has had the most impact on your career?
My former partner at Rutan & Tucker, Duke Wahlquist.
What’s the toughest business decision you’ve ever made?
Whether to recommend settlement or trial in a righteous, but very close, case.
What is your proudest achievement?
Cross-examination (dismemberment) at trial of defendant’s forensic accountant in policy-holder’s fraud case against the world’s then-largest insurance company.
- Juris Doctor, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California, Order of the Coif, Cum Laude in 1991.
- Masters in Public Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.
- Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Irvine, California
- Consulted with counsel for plaintiffs on insurance coverage issues in countless cases ranging from sexual molestation, products liability and construction defects.
- Represented real estate developer in obtaining policy benefits for hillside collapse. Succeeded in obtaining over $12 million toward settlement of homeowners’ claims.
- Represented officer of bankrupt corporation against claims of malfeasance by creditors. Succeeded in settling claims with debtor’s policy benefits at no cost to client.
- Represented manufacturer in action against insurer for policy benefits owing as a result of environmental contamination. Succeeded in obtaining complete funding for clean-up.
- Represented officer and shareholder of dissolved corporation against claim by large multi-national lender on pre-dissolution debt. Obtained dismissal of action and payment of all fees. Judgment and fee award upheld on appeal.
- Represented intellectual property law firm in enforcing unperfected lien for fees in bankruptcy against debtor’s intellectual property. Obtained substantial payment as secured creditor.
- Represented commercial lessor in bankruptcy. Successfully terminated tenancy, prevented assignment to third party, and obtained sanctions against debtor’s counsel and litigation consultant.
- Represented tenant on long-term ground lease in action brought by lessor to adjust rent. Succeeded in obtaining complete judgment for client and award of fees. Judgment and fee award upheld on appeal.
- Represented public corporation and its officers against claims for malfeasance by former director and controlling shareholder. After bankruptcy of claimant, succeeded in converting claimant’s proceeding to chapter 7 and then settling the claims with the bankruptcy trustee with clients’ policy benefits at no cost to client. Settlement upheld on appeal in Ninth Circuit.
- Represented homeowners in claim against insurer for water-related subsidence damages. Obtained complete settlement for clients in excess of policy limits.
- Represented certified financial planner against claims of malfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty by former client in conjunction with tax-free exchange. Obtained dismissal in conjunction with nuisance-value settlement.
- Represented joint tenant against quiet title and partition action brought by co-tenant. Obtained judgment of dismissal for client.
- Represented large multi-family developer in claim against title insurer for breach of contract and bad faith in denial of claim for Mello-Roos fees incurred as a result of undisclosed community facilities district. Obtained payment of the majority of the claimed damages.
- Represented insurance broker in action for fraud and breach of contract. Obtained dismissal of claims.
- The Price of Stupidity – or How to Really Screw Up Servicing a Loan
- Private construction lending – avoiding pitfalls to reach that higher yield
- Title Insurance Problematic for Cannabis Businesses
- Hemp Legalization – Huge Boon With Manageable Risks
- The Housing Slowdown Portends a Less Than Happy New Year For Lenders
- The Smell of Money Burning – Official Figure on Insured Losses Reaches $9 Billion and Lenders Have Not Even Started Counting.
- Federal Appeals Court Rights First American Title Company’s Wrong
- Third Circuit Rules Title Companies Need Only Defend Covered Claims
- Tennessee Couple Busts Title Insurance Myth
- Ninth Circuit Ruling a Warning to Those Doing Business with Cannabis Industry
- Bank Requests Court To Reconsider Contested FCA Deal
- The SCOTUS Rejects Review of Midland Securitization Case
- RMBS Suit Against Morgan Stanley Gets Resurrected On Appeal
- JPMorgan’s $22M Swiss Franc Settlement Granted Initial Go-Ahead
- Buying Notes from Banks and Think You’re Okay From Usury? Think Again.
- CFPB Asks Court to Deny Ocwen from Expediting Constitutionality Ruling
- Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Cities Suing Predatory Lenders
- Being Proactive with Your Funding will Result in Less Defaults
- California Bankruptcy Court Slaps BofA with a $45 Million Penalty
- Understanding How Title Insurance Protects California Lenders
- FINRA fines Oppenheimer & Co. for failing to file documents, along with other violations
- Auditors have an obligation to provide reasonable assurances that their client’s statements are free of misstatements