Telephone: 415 421 3400 (office), 415 269 7273 (cell)
For more than 35 years Mr. August has counseled and represented individuals and privately held companies in complex business litigation matters with a concentration on fiduciary duty disputes involving corporate governance, shareholders, partnerships, limited liability companies, closely held corporations, private equity and venture capital investors.
Mr. August has also litigated numerous consumer class actions and business fraud mass actions. He has represented real property owners, developers, commercial tenants and title insurance companies in cases involving real estate fraud, environmental, land use, commercial landlord-tenant, real property tax assessment appeals, and construction defects (including class actions). Mr. August has developed a reputation for aggressively litigating financial elder abuse cases and “next generation” disputes between and among families, often siblings, over inheritances.
He has extensive trial experience in both federal and California state courts and arbitration tribunals.
From 1990 to 2013, Mr. August was the co-founder and co-managing partner of Pinnacle Law Group. From 2013 to 2019 he was a partner at Browne George and Ross.
Areas of Expertise Include:
- Fiduciary duty disputes involving officers and directors, shareholders, partnerships, limited liability companies.
- Trust and estate disputes among beneficiaries.
- Unfair competition and class actions.
- Real estate disputes on behalf of property owners, developers and commercial landlords and tenants.
- Defamation actions.
- Consumer class actions.
- University of Colorado (B.A., 1980)
- University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D., 1983)
Admitted to Practice
- California, March, 1984
- American Bar Association (Litigation and Real Property sections)
- California State Bar Association (Litigation and Real Property sections)
- San Francisco Bar Association
- Marin County Bar Association
- All federal and state courts in California.
- Numerous pro hac admissions throughout the United States
- Business Litigation and Civil Appeals
- Class Action Litigation
- Real Property and Construction
- Title Insurance and Escrow
Cases of Interest
- Represented minority shareholder of an international privately held investment management company challenging stockholder transfer restrictions valued at more than $20 million dollars. Obtained full relief sought.
- Represented selling shareholders of selling corporation in earnout dispute with a publicly traded company. Obtained eight figure settlement before filing lawsuit.
- Represented group of 20 elderly investors in state court fraud action against national real estate services company following dismissal of prior federal case brought by prior counsel. Obtained 80% recovery of losses for clients.
- Represented minority shareholder group against majority shareholders of mortgage bank in a derivative and direct actions. Successfully obtained a multimillion- dollar settlement on eve of trial.
- Lead counsel for plaintiff in a federal court defamation action against famous media personality. Obtained settlement very favorable to client.
- Represented national food processing company in a multimillion-dollar commercial lease dispute with the landlord. Unanimous jury verdict after nine weeks of trial.
- Represented frozen out minority partner of family-owned real estate holding company. Case was settled during trial with payment to client of several million dollars.
- Represented national footwear retailer in defense of wrongful termination/discrimination suit by terminated employee. Obtained defense verdict following a three-week trial.
- Represented world recognized fashion shoe designer in a dispute against the company she founded following sale to a private equity group.
- Represented international beverage company in dispute involving contamination of winery property. Obtained jury verdict for 100% of the clean-up costs following 8-week trial.
- Co-lead plaintiff counsel in a class action on behalf of student loan borrowers against multiple lending institutions that were alleged to have aided and abetted the failure of one of the largest proprietary school failures in US history. Obtained settlement that resulted in debt forgiveness in excess of $150 million.
- Co-lead counsel in class action against Uber on behalf of driver class. Obtained contested judgment and settled on appeal.
Publications / Articles
- “Do the Right Thing”, The Recorder, Unfair Competition Supplement, February 2003
- “Environmental Cleanup: Wine World v. Beverage Source”, Cal Law.
- “The Williams Act After RICO: Has The Balance Been Tipped In Favor of Incumbent Management?” (35 Hastings Law Journal 53) with Professor William C. Tyson of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
- Title Insurance Contributor to the Quarterly Report on Current Developments in Real Estate Law, Produced by the ABA section on Real Property, Probate & Trust Law, Committee on Decisions.
Events / Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, California CPA Education Foundation, Litigation Services Conference, Los Angeles, September 2004
- Co-Chair, California CPA Education Foundation, Advanced Business Litigation Institute, Palm Springs, May 2003
- State Bar Education Foundation, Champions of the Courtroom: Masters in Action (Opening Statement), Santa Monica, April 2003
- Mealey’s California Section 17200 Conference, Pasadena, December 2002
- The Class Action Litigation Summit, Washington, D.C., June 2002
- California CPA Education Foundation, Advanced Business Litigation Institute, Monterey, May 2002
- California CPA Education Foundation, Litigation Services Conference: The Good, The Bad, The Opportunity, San Francisco, November 2001
- California CPA Education Foundation, Economic Damages and Business Valuation – Advanced Issues Conference, Palm Springs, May 2001
- California CPA Education Foundation, Advanced Fraud and Economic Damages Conferences, Palm Springs, May 2000
Mr. August is a passionate (albeit lousy) golfer and lives part time in Park City, Utah where he indulges in his passion for skiing (at which he is much better than at golf).