Bret is a partner in Ferguson Case Orr Paterson’s business department. With more than a decade of experience as a litigator, he represents clients—corporate boards, management, ownership, and individuals—in contract disputes, shareholder-management disputes, partnership disputes, and white-collar and other fiduciary-duty related disputes. Bret also counsels clients about board governance, dispute-resolution alternatives, pre-litigation settlements, and litigation risk management.
In 2011, Bret was recognized by the Pacific Coast Business Times in its annual “40 Under 40” awards. In 2016, he was recognized by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce as a recipient of its inaugural “40 Under 40” award. He was also named to Los Angeles Magazine‘s 2014 Southern California Rising Stars List of Super Lawyers. Bret, who earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005 and a bachelor’s of science degree in finance from Brigham Young University in 2002, adds to his legal experience with involvement in the business community as a board member of the Association for Corporate Growth’s 101 Corridor Chapter.
Bret also became fluent in Spanish during a two-year commitment as a volunteer in Uruguay, preparing him to more effectively represent California’s rapidly evolving business environment. Bret has coached Pee-Wee football, Little League baseball and youth basketball. He enjoys spending time outdoors, coaching baseball and football, and spending any time he can with his wife and three children.
- Defense of corporate executive in multi-defendant white-collar, environmental crime prosecution.
- Representation of home-owner board of directors in connection with breach of fiduciary duty, construction defect, and breach of contract claims.
- Defended grocery chain in breach of contract litigation.
- Represented medical practice against breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by former partner.
- Obtained favorable settlements for corporate clients in defense of harassment, discrimination and other employment related claims.
- Defended corporate client against class action wage and hour claims.
- Represented engineers against claims of improper use of their former employer’s proprietary medical-device technology. Obtained arbitration award in client’s favor on all counts.
- Second-chaired a three week jury trial in Los Angeles involving a corporate officer/director client who was sued by his company’s largest individual investor for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and professional negligence. The jury decided in favor of his client on all counts.
- Represented an officer and director of a bankrupt mortgage company in a class action lawsuit brought by investors alleging breach of fiduciary duty.
- Represented the largest secured creditor in asset purchase negotiations with a corporate debtor and prospective bidders for corporate assets.
- Obtained a judgment that a corporate client’s $1.5 million judgment against a former officer was non-dischargeable in bankruptcy due to fraud and unlawful competition.
- Successfully assisted several corporate clients by negotiating pre-litigation settlements of “preference” and “fraudulent transfer” claims.
- Second-chaired a multiple week trial wherein the lender/client won the right to continue possessing and operating a foreclosed horse-boarding business and ranch.
Published Cases & Articles
- In re Scott, 400 B.R. 257 (Bankr. C.D. Ca. 2009)
- Assisted former director of Pepperdine University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Law in writing “Developments in Corporate Governance: The Duty of Good Faith and Its Impact on Director Conduct.” George Mason Law Review, 2006.