Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

John P. Godsil, Partner

John P. Godsil is a member of the firm's Executive Management Committee.  Mr. Godsil possesses over twenty years of experience litigating complex business, real estate and insurance disputes. During that time he has handled all aspects of litigation, including pleadings, discovery, law and motion, settlement conferences, mediations, arbitrations and trials. The subject matter of those cases include real estate disputes, contract disputes, partnership disputes, bad faith matters, title matters, receiverships, commercial lease disputes together with matters involving claims of lender liability, trade secret misappropriation and business torts.

Mr. Godsil has tried or arbitrated over a dozen cases as lead trial counsel, and participated in multiple additional trials and arbitrations as part of a larger team.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Red Cross Rio Hondo Chapter | Past Member of Board of Directors
  • Newcomb Academy Foundation | Member Board of Directors

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Following a 10-day JAMS arbitration, defeated a $32,000,000 claim brought against a client, secured a monetary award of nearly $800,000, and confirmed the client's ownership interest in an entity (which interest the opposing parties valued at $3,000,000, and sought to strip from the client in the arbitration). The award was subsequently confirmed in full by the Superior Court. With the assistance of partner Todd Lander, the judgment was affirmed in full on appeal, with the California Supreme Court ultimately denying the opposing parties’ attempt to seek further review.
  • Tried and defeated claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory relief brought by plaintiffs who sought to both obtain control of the clients' intellectual property rights and secure a large monetary award.
  • Obtained recovery of over $450,000 plus all attorneys' fees incurred on behalf of a real estate investment firm that was defrauded during the purchase of a commercial property.
  • Obtained recovery of over $1,000,000 on behalf of an ice cream manufacturer in a breach of contract action arising from a dispute involving a distribution agreement.
  • Defeated the most critical prong of a class certification motion which sought to certify a large group of salespersons in an action brought against a national furniture company.
  • Secured a judgment of dismissal following a motion for terminating sanctions in a fraud action brought against a real estate agent and broker.
  • Successful representation of a wine distributor in a series of lawsuits initiated in San Francisco and Napa that asserted claims of breach of contract, violation of the Lanham Act, unfair competition and fraud.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a savings and loan in an action brought by former borrowers who asserted a series of lender liability and fraud claims.
  • Successful representation of a private equity group, which, after acquiring a champagne house in France, was sued in California for breach of an alleged nationwide exclusive distribution agreement.