Robert J Parks
Robert J Parks

Robert J. Parks


Robert J. Parks brings 35 years of complex civil litigation experience in a broad range of practice areas including agriculture, automobile dealership, banking, bankruptcy, business, construction, commercial, consumer, debtor/creditor, FDA, environmental, high net worth family, manufacturing, distributor and retail industries including food and beverage and pet food, pharmaceutical, products liability, Proposition 65, real estate, and water and mineral law. Bob provides keen and measured insight to all aspects of the civil litigation process, including mediation, arbitration, trial and appellate proceedings. Bob has also represented municipalities and businesses with government contracts including defending public records act requests.

Bob has represented clients on a local and nationwide basis, including appearing and trying cases in courts outside of California. He has represented clients at the state and federal trial and appellate court levels.

Bob has a number of reported cases, including the landmark Marriage of Duncan case on business valuations in California matrimonial cases. Reported cases include In Re Marriage of Jensen (2004) 114 Cal. App. 4th 587; In Re Marriage of Duncan (2001) 90 Cal. App. 4th 617, review denied; Calvert v. Huckins 109 F.3rd 636 (9th Cir. 1997); In Re Guaranty Chevrolet, 35 B.R. 381 (S.D. Cal. 1983). Bob has also successfully represented clients in various state and federal tax appeal matters. Bob has significant experience in arbitration proceedings, including numerous proceedings before the American Arbitration Association, and has handled countless mediation proceedings to successful conclusion.

Bob has a proven track record of success in a broad range of legal practice areas. Rather than list the over 1,000 matters Bob has handled to successful conclusion during his career, a representative sample of some of the cases by category handled by Bob is below:

Bankruptcy / Debtor / Creditor

In the area of bankruptcy and debtor/creditor work, Bob has successfully obtained confirmation of plans of reorganization of various companies in Chapter 11 cases including real estate, manufacturing, auto dealership and trucking companies. Bob has also successfully obtained relief from stay in favor of secured creditors, and he has successfully opposed various debtor’s efforts to assume executory contracts and leases in bankruptcy cases. At the start of his career, Bob was one of the lead attorneys in the Valley Lane Farms bankruptcy case for C. Arnholt Smith, known as Mr. San Diego. Bob was also one of the lead lawyers in the first constitutional challenge to the Article III status of Bankruptcy Judges in the Southern District of California after the implementation of the Bankruptcy Code, which lead to a reported decision. Bob has successfully prosecuted and defended preference, fraudulent conveyance and turnover adversary proceedings through summary judgment and trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Bob has successfully negotiated, documented, and filed proceedings to approve the purchase and sale of business assets in bankruptcy proceedings in California and other jurisdictions. Asset sale transactions free and clear of liens have included vehicle dealerships, SRO buildings, real estate projects, manufacturing companies, and water and mineral interests. Bob has represented debtors, creditors and Trustees in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases. Bob has also handled receivership cases in the state courts including foreclosure and asset sale transactions. In sale transactions outside of the bankruptcy or receivership context, Bob has handled numerous significant purchase and sale transactions, including the acquisition of nearly 1.4 million acres of land held along the Interstate 80 corridor, the purchase and lease of thousands of acres of farmland, and the sale of manufacturing plants, trucking companies, and vehicle dealerships including the assignment of franchise agreements.

Business Litigation / Commercial Law

Bob just finished a substantial arbitration in New York City before the American Arbitration Association and recovered a seven figure result for his pet food manufacturer client and a complete defense of the distributor’s claims.

Bob recently handled a case where the client claimed a substantial multimillion dollar interest in various stock and brokerage accounts and significant stock options. The case involved complicated tracing issues through numerous accounts over a period of ten years. The case required a substantial and detailed knowledge of finance, brokerage account, executive compensation, taxation and tracing issues. Through the use of experts and forensic accounting techniques, Bob was able to present the case to the Court in a concise and effective fashion. As a result, on the first day of trial, Bob was able to settle the case for a multimillion dollar recovery for the client.

One of Bob’s clients, a company specializing in the finance and construction of elementary and high schools, was sued by one of the largest public insurance companies in the United States. The insurance company alleged breach of fiduciary duty and the corporate opportunity doctrine and sought to take over the client’s company and obtain millions in damages. Bob prosecuted a cross action against the insurance company, which was represented by a large New York law firm. After over a year of litigation, the case was settled at mediation. The complaint was dismissed and the client kept the company and obtained a significant monetary recovery against the insurance company.

Bob recently handled a large multimillion dollar case in Imperial County, California involving auto dealership businesses with numerous franchises and significant commercial real estate development projects held by various limited liability companies. The client claimed significant property interests in those businesses. During the pre-trial litigation process, Bob pursued discovery and was able to uncover various improper transfers and nondisclosures by the adverse party. Bob then filed further proceedings in the case including requests for return of the assets and sanctions. As a result of these efforts, a favorable stipulated judgment was obtained for client on the first day of trial. Bob then successfully defended the adverse party’s post-trial motions to set aside the judgment, which is now final.

Bob has also handled contract, licensing and royalty disputes for numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry.

Consumer / Class Action

Bob has substantial experience in class action and consumer law defense work. He has handled the defense of numerous food and beverage companies in consumer law class action labeling cases including MDL cases and FDA and state law compliance issues. Bob has handled a multitude of cases involving federal preemption issues, FDA standards, and temporary marketing permits. Bob also has experience in business defense work in class-action anti-trust cases including MDL litigation.

Bob recently obtained dismissal of a federal district court multimillion dollar class action filed against a client for alleged violations of the California False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Bob has handled defense work in numerous consumer law matters including the Truth in Lending Act, the Song-Beverly Act, the Tanner Consumer Protection Act, the Automobile Sales Finance Act, including Regulation Z, the Vehicle Leasing Act, the False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Proposition 65. In a recent case, Bob was able to successfully defend class certification in an automobile dealership putative class action case. The case then settled prior to trial.

Copyright / Trademark

Bob has handled a number of infringement cases including in the food and beverage and clothing industries. Bob recently obtained a favorable settlement result representing a large clothing importer on a copyright lawsuit. Bob also successfully defended an importer client for health products in several infringement lawsuits filed by and against a celebrity figure in Brazil, Florida and California.

Creditors’ Rights

Bob has handled dozens of cases for creditors, including banks, lessors, and judgment creditors. Bob has obtained relief from stay in bankruptcy cases, successfully sued to foreclosure in state court including the appointment of receivers, and conducted debtor examinations and pursued post judgment remedies on behalf of creditors in countless cases.

Environmental Law / Land Use / Water Law / Agriculture

In a natural resources matter, Bob was lead trial counsel in a multi-million dollar minerals and water litigation between public companies concerning the Yuba Goldfields in Northern California. The client’s opponent was one of the largest public company developers in the country. The case involved state superior court, federal district court and federal bankruptcy court proceedings. Bob successfully defensed the case and obtained a very favorable post-trial result for the client where over $30 million in damages was avoided and significant valuable water rights were adjudicated in favor of the client.

In the energy field, Bob recently successfully completed a case involving the client’s claim to an interest in a power plant facility in Southern California. This lawsuit involved claims of breach of fiduciary duty and the corporate opportunity doctrine. After significant discovery proceedings, the client was able to retain his interest in the income from one plant and obtained a large monetary recovery on a second plant at mediation just prior to commencement of trial.

Bob has represented private and governmental entities in various water rights matters including disputes on water rights sale transactions, pre-1914 water rights, surface and percolating groundwater rights, fee interest and power of termination rights, and well rights.

Bob recently concluded a substantial water rights case for the County of San Diego where he obtained water rights in favor of the County for irrigation of its park properties.

A number of recent representations have also involved issues pertaining to CEQA, California Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on various water and environmental issues.

Bob also has represented farmers in agricultural matters including farming leases and litigation concerning breach of contract for citrus operations throughout Southern California. Bob was lead counsel in defending a farming client with respect to a substantial farming lease dispute concerning over 1,000 acres of farmland in Santa Barbara County, California. The case involved claims of farm mismanagement including planting, irrigation, fertilization, pesticide, harvesting, Department of Fish & Game, and landslide issues with damages requested in the millions of dollars. Bob was able to successfully defend all of the claims for the farming client.

Family Law

In the area of family law, Bob was lead trial counsel in one of the largest and most hotly-contested marital dissolution cases to proceed to trial in recent San Diego history. In the case, Bob represented a spouse who had established one of the country’s leading management firms in the investment advisory services industry. The case involved issues concerning the timing of when a business is valued, the method to value a business in litigation, tracing practices to establish separate and community interests in a business, reimbursement issues, equalization payment terms including collateralization, child and spousal support, and attorneys’ fees. The case required four separate trials over a three-year period with economic issues in excess of $150 million. At the conclusion of the trials, Bob had persuaded the Court to value the business at a date very favorable to his client, provide his client with substantial reimbursements, award favorable equalization payment terms, and deny any recovery of attorneys’ fees requested by the opposing party. The client saved tens of millions of dollars as a result of Bob’s trial efforts. On appeal, Bob won at the Fourth District and then successfully opposed a petition for review to the California Supreme Court. The case established new law in California.

Bob was lead trial counsel in the dissolution case of one of the founders of Metabolife, a successful dietary vitamin supplement company founded in San Diego. At mediation, Bob was able to obtain a very favorable pre-trial settlement for the client, the terms of which are confidential and remain under seal.

Bob was lead trial counsel in another large case involving issues pertaining to interpretation of prenuptial agreements relating to numerous real estate and vessel businesses owned through a myriad of business entities and issues pertaining to support and significant life insurance contract obligations. At trial, Bob was able to recover the client’s interests provided in the contracts including millions in real estate, a seven figure support award and the valuable life insurance policy interests, as well as an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

In another significant matter, Bob was lead counsel in an extremely large and complex developer case involving over thirty corporate, partnership and limited liability company entities with commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential building projects. The case was heavily litigated over a two-year period and involved significant real estate and business transactions for numerous projects from the raw land and entitlement stage to the finished or retail stage. Substantial finance, accounting, tracing, valuation, construction defect, product liability, and tax issues were involved. The case required numerous expert witnesses due to the nature and extreme complexity of the transactions. After substantial discovery proceedings had been completed and the case was set for trial, Bob obtained a multimillion dollar settlement for the client at the mandatory pre-trial settlement conference. The precise terms of the settlement remain subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Bob was lead counsel in a multimillion dollar real estate developer case involving one of the largest developers in Imperial County, California. This case was extremely complex and involved numerous significant residential real estate projects in various stages of development, owned and managed by multiple business entities. The case involved complex tracing issues and valuation questions, as well as banking, finance and taxation issues. Bob pursued the case through discovery and pre-trial motions. The case settled at trial with a recovery of the claimed valuable property interests including multi-use real property entitlements in favor of the client.
Bob has also handled a number of large family law cases involving business in the automobile industry. Bob was able to bring his civil litigation, bankruptcy and receivership experience in the automobile industry to achieve very favorable results for his clients on business valuation, apportionment and equalization payments for business interests due to his unique knowledge of the industry.

Proposition 65

Bob has substantial experience in defending businesses in Proposition 65 enforcement cases in a wide range of industries including manufacturers of durable goods and food products ranging from baked goods to seafood products. Bob provides special counsel to numerous businesses for labeling and compliance issues including compliance with the new BPA product labeling requirements effective December 2017 and the revised Proposition 65 regulatory scheme to become effective August 2018.

Real Estate / Construction Defect

A number of Bob’s real estate matters have involved shopping center representation, including work associated with development and construction disputes and matters related to business operations including insurance defense claims and tenant improvement and leasehold issues. A number of these matters have involved construction and mechanics lien disputes pertaining to tenant improvements, unlawful detainer actions, and matters pertaining to recovery of leaseholds from tenant bankruptcy cases.

Bob was lead litigation counsel in a complex lawsuit involving over $100 million in real estate interests in the entitlement and developmental stages held by numerous multi-tiered partnership entities. The case involved several high-profile individuals including a former state Senator. Bob’s client sued for interests in the partnerships and after substantial discovery and law and motion proceedings obtained a favorable pre-trial settlement for receipt of the desired partnership interests. The case remains under seal pursuant to Court Order.

Bob was sole trial counsel for one of the more extensive arbitrations in San Diego County, lasting 60 days, involving construction defect litigation. The client prevailed before a three-judge panel and recovered all damages requested for breach of contract and negligent and defective work on two construction projects. In post-trial fee proceedings, Bob obtained an award for all of the client’s attorneys’ and experts’ fees. Bob then filed a second suit against insurance companies and recovered the damages a second time for the client.
In a recent large case involving various corporate, partnership and limited liability companies engaged in real estate, automobile dealership and medical practice businesses, Bob was retained to identify and obtain the client’s interests in the business entities including income and profits. Through diligent investigation and discovery efforts, Bob was able to uncover a scheme of undisclosed conveyances, which broke the case open. Bob ultimately obtained a judgment for the client for a monetary and property award for the value of all of the business interests previously transferred.

Bob recently completed a six-week trial for the owner of a shopping center concerning a 10-year anchor space leasehold. Bob was lead trial counsel and completely defensed the tenant’s claims for millions in damages and obtained a $3.3 million judgment plus attorneys’ fees for the firm’s client.

A number of Bob’s representations have also included matters relating to standard of care issues for professional architects, engineers, and contractors on residential, commercial and industrial construction projects and numerous matters pertaining to business and real estate breach of contract claims precipitated by the various recessions over the past three decades.


J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1981, with honors
B.S., Northern Illinois University, Finance and Business Management, 1977


State Bar of California
State Bar of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit