Daniel B. Mestaz
- J.D., New York University, 1996
- B.A., University of Southern California, 1993
- California State Court
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Daniel B. Mestaz is an experienced trial lawyer who represents service industry clients, entertainment companies, retailers, entrepreneurs, and companies of all sizes in both state and federal court, in civil disputes, class action defense, white-collar criminal matters, and internal investigations. Typical matters include breached contracts, business divorces or disputes among LLC members or corporate shareholders, supplier or vendor disputes, unfair business practices, employment contract disputes, bad faith insurance cases, regulatory investigations, and mortgage fraud and other real estate disputes.
Mr. Mestaz also has expertise in electronic discovery. Most relevant documents are electronic, and are stored on servers, on personal computers, on smartphones, or in the cloud. Whether representing a large corporation with multiple servers, or one person with an iPad, Mr. Mestaz and the BWG e-discovery team use the latest technology to efficiently gather, filter and use — to the client’s benefit — the electronic evidence important to the case, without getting bogged down in irrelevant details.
With nearly twenty years experience representing everyone from homeowners, to Fortune 100 companies, to Indian tribes—including as a commercial litigation partner at a global law firm and several years trying serious felonies as a criminal defense attorney—Mr. Mestaz has learned several things that guide his day-to-day practice:
- Clients not “cases.” Each “case” involves a flesh-and-blood client with a unique legal problem that is stressful and possibly life changing. The client deserves a correct diagnosis and a tailored, cost-effective solution. Maybe an insurance policy will cover the litigation expense. And Mr. Mestaz does not drag his clients into a costly trial or other proceedings without considering alternatives, including alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration.
- It’s all about the evidence. Theories are great. Beliefs are fine. But what can you prove? Why should the jury, judge, or mediator believe you and not your opponent? Each case, whether it involves pre-trial mediation or a full blown jury trial will turn on the credibility of the documents and witnesses. Mr. Mestaz excels at getting and organizing the evidence for the fact finder, so that he can tell the client’s story in the most compelling and credible way possible.
- Always ready. Typically, both sides huff and puff about how they will prevail at trial. But because most cases never go to trial, lawyers may not sufficiently prepare for it and may find themselves ill equipped to prevail. Mr. Mestaz prepares for trial from day one. The opponent realizes it. The irony is that Mr. Mestaz’s trial readiness often leads to favorable pre-trial settlements.
Based on these principles, Mr. Mestaz is intensely focused on achieving cost effective solutions for his clients, often by creatively avoiding litigation. Likewise, in criminal matters, he often works with law enforcement, when appropriate, to resolve criminal or regulatory violations and is known for his ability to persuade law enforcement agencies to abandon their investigations of his clients. But when trial is the best option, Mr. Mestaz has the skill and experience to succeed.
Here are some of the representative matters Dan has handled for clients in the past:
- On behalf of large home warranty company, obtained summary judgment on two class actions for damages, one arising from the company’s refusal to replace recalled furnaces, the other arising from alleged misleading advertising.
- Represented homeowners in lawsuit against city, arising from city’s approval of an illegal development adjacent to client’s home.
- Represented homeowners in contract dispute with general contractor.
- Represented homeowners in insurance claim negotiations with fire insurer.
- Defended against State’s condemnation action, resulting in fair market value judgment for client in amount of approximately $20 million for 300+ acres in Mesa, Arizona.
- Represented high technology company in dispute arising from termination of executive team, and through injunction recovered patents from former CEO.
- Obtained pleading stage dismissal of defamation action against television station.
- Obtained judgment on behalf of television station for unpaid advertising.
- Obtained pleading stage dismissal of fraud claim against real estate lender.
- Represented service stations owners in dispute with gasoline supplier, arising from wholesale pricing of gas.
- Represented automotive finance company in various disputes with auto dealers, arising from cars sold out of trust or nonpayment.
- Represented automotive finance company in action against lender for allowing dealer to withdraw funds.
- Represented movie studio against video retailer, arising from breach of video rental sharing agreement.
- Represented large manufacturer of satellite “smart cards” in copyright and patent infringement dispute with satellite service provider.
- Represented members, shareholders, and partners of small business “divorces,” including dissolution.
- Brought claims on behalf of former company officer against company who terminated him, both to recover stock and unpaid employment compensation.
- Thwarted efforts of large insurance company to discover, by subpoena, a client’s proprietary business methods, and recovered attorney fees for client on the grounds that the subpoena was not substantially justified.
- Obtained pleading stage dismissal of civil RICO claims brought by medical franchisor against doctor franchisee.
- Defended fast food franchisees in lawsuit brought by franchisor.
- Prosecuted and defended first-party insurance bad faith lawsuits.
- Represented retailers in commercial lease disputes.
- Persuaded Arizona Attorney General to drop regulatory investigation of retailer client.
- Represented tribal council of large Native American tribe in internal investigation into legal violations by tribal officials arising from contractual relationship with internet service provider.
- Represented provider of national security solutions and communications systems in high profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.
- Represented real estate broker in FDIC investigation arising out of failed loans by insolvent lenders.
- Obtained not guilty jury verdict on all charges arising out of alleged road-rage stabbing incident, based on self-defense theory.
- Obtained not guilty jury verdict on all charges, including Drive By Shooting and Misconduct Involving Weapons, arising out of alleged road-rage shooting incident, based on self-defense theory.
- Represented bail bondsman in federal forfeiture matter arising from government seizure of cash collateral securing mortgage fraud defendant’s bail bond.
- Represented real estate agent in defense of federal mortgage fraud charges arising out of alleged “cash back” scheme.
- Represented condominium owners in zoning violation criminal action brought by City of Phoenix.
- Recovering Lost Profits by Avoiding Limitation of Liability Provisions
- Leading Valley Law Firm Names Daniel Mestaz as Partner
- Building a Mortgage Fraud Defense, Arizona Attorney magazine, January 2011