Ben D. Whitwell

Partner
Whitwell Ben

Ben Whitwell is a seasoned litigator who represents companies, funds, and individuals in complex business litigation. Ben handles intellectual property infringement, trust and estate, defective products, breach of contract, class action, and community property disputes. He has extensive experience defending manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and facilities against claims brought under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop 65). He frequently represents manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and facilities in defending against Prop 65 claims.

Ben has tried numerous cases involving complex business issues for clients in a variety of industries, including venture capital, real estate, advertising and marketing, health and fitness, product delivery, and financial services. As an experienced business litigator, Ben focuses on using litigation to achieve client objectives quickly and efficiently.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Represented former directors of a California investment company in state court, complex division; three-month jury trial in which the former directors were alleged to have breached fiduciary duties regarding investments and executive compensation; obtained complete defense verdict on behalf of the former directors
  • Represented an audio/visual equipment manufacturer in a bench trial regarding responsibility for defective product; decision is pending
  • Represented defendant estate of a famous stunt man against community property claims; obtained a defense judgment following a bench trial
  • Represented defendant direct marketing company against an infomercial director alleging breach of contract; obtained defense decision in arbitration
  • Represented plaintiff investment company and its sole shareholder in a California state court bench trial concerning interpretation of a stock option agreement; obtained judgment in favor of plaintiff, at trial and on appeal
  • Represented a major investor in a high-tech advertising platform in an action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and securities fraud; obtained judgment in favor of plaintiff following a two-week bench trial
  • Represented the founders of an automobile accessories company, in a three-week arbitration arising out of their sale of the company; obtained a decision in favor of the client on fraud claims
  • Represented a national flower delivery company as plaintiff against copyright infringement and breach of software license claims; obtained judgment in favor of plaintiff, following a California state court bench trial
  • Represented an insurance company in six-week arbitration proceedings, in which the client brought fraud claims against the founder of a credit card debt acquisition company; the matter settled on the morning that the parties were to deliver closing arguments
  • Represented two defendant direct marketing companies  against breach of contract claims; following a bench trial, obtained a defense verdict for one defendant; the case settled favorably while on appeal
  • Represented a spa cover equipment manufacturer in a patent trial, against allegations of fraud on the patent office
  • Represented the founder of a grocery receipt advertising company in an arbitration involving the sale of the company
  • Represented a defendant commercial real estate investment company in an arbitration concerning allegations of breach of a broker's agreement for the sale of a large office building
  • Represented a defendant direct marketing company, in federal court bench trial, against copyright infringement and breach of contract claims; an admitted liability case in which the defendant obtained a favorable damages ruling; defended the damages ruling in the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court and received a ruling in favor of the defense
  • Represented the founding partners of an accounting firm, in two-week arbitration against a terminated partner; obtained arbitration decision in favor of the founding partners
  • Represented an insurance company in an administrative law trial, against allegations of excessive insurance rates under Proposition 103
  • Represented a medical device manufacturer in a coordinated tort and class action proceeding concerning contact lens cleaning solution disinfection properties
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in an action regarding the use of Torodal; obtained voluntary dismissal of all claims
  • Represented a venture capital investment partnership in an action filed by a trust beneficiary; trust beneficiary contends that her trust fund was looted by her father, with the assistance of her mother and siblings
  • Represented a major real estate development group in an action for specific performance and damages related to a parcel of commercial property

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. University of Southern California, Gould School of Law 1988
  • Member, University of Southern California Law Review

    Order of the Coif

  • B.A. University of California at Los Angeles 1985

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Recognition
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  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Community
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Pro Bono

  • Provides ongoing legal services to a nonprofit organization that has provided counseling, education, and service coordination to Los Angeles County residents for more than 80 years