James N. Godes is a partner in the Litigation Practice group of Godes & Preis, LLP. He focuses his practice on complex employment and business litigation and represents international, national and local clients of all sizes in a variety of industries, including health care, aviation, retail and sports. Prior to co-founding Godes & Preis, LLP, Mr. Godes was with the commercial litigation practice group of Pepper Hamilton, LLP. With over 20 years’ experience at large firms, including five years as Litigation Office Chair for the San Diego offices of Foley and Lardner, LLP, Mr. Godes has been responsible for all phases of litigation matters, up to and including trials, writs and appeals. His work also includes cases involving non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, theft and misuse of trade secrets and other proprietary information, executive compensation arrangements and defamation. In addition, he counsels clients on employment matters and serves as outside general counsel for companies of all sizes. Mr. Godes was recognized as a top attorney for litigation in 2012 by the San Diego Daily Transcript.

Mr. Godes has been a frequent media commentator on sports-related legal issues for national and local media outlets, including USA Today, Sporting News Radio, Sports Business Daily, the San Diego Union-Tribune, XX Sports Radio and XTRA Sports Radio. He has spoken and has written many articles on sports, health, long-term care, employment and litigation-related subjects for the San Diego Union-Tribune, California Law Business, the San Diego Daily Transcript and the San Diego Business Journal.

Active in the community, Mr. Godes was a member of the board of directors of the Junior Seau Foundation, which focuses on improving the lives of San Diego’s children, for over 10 years. He is an active supporter of and outside general counsel for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, which provides reconstructive plastic surgery and related services to children and young adults with physical deformities. Mr. Godes served as chairperson of the American Diabetes Association’s "Step Out to Fight Diabetes" walk in San Diego in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and served as the Community Leadership board chairperson for the Greater San Diego Chapter of the American Diabetes Association for over two years thereafter. The State Bar of California has honored him for his pro bono work.

Mr. Godes graduated with a B.A., cum laude, from the University of the Pacific in 1984, and he received his law degree from the University of Southern California Law Center in 1987. Before entering private practice, Mr. Godes was a staff investigator for and testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health and Long-Term Care, and he has since testified before the California Legislature on issues relating to long-term care.




Joseph M. Preis is a partner in the Litigation and Trial Practice Group of Godes & Preis, LLP, and the firm’s managing partner. He is a former Marine and entrepreneur who brings a proactive and results oriented approach to litigation. Prior to co-founding Godes & Preis, LLP, he was with the commercial litigation practice group of Pepper Hamilton, LLP.

Mr. Preis focuses his practice on high stakes / complex business litigation, business divorce (breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, bad faith, shareholder derivative actions and unfair business practices), employment litigation, and intellectual property litigation. His clients include aerospace companies, hospitals, engineering firms, advertising companies, software companies, venture capital firms, transportation companies, food service companies, medical equipment distribution companies and alternative energy production and research firms. He also represented (pro bono) through acquittal the first former Marine to ever be prosecuted by a Federal Civilian Court for an alleged Law of Armed Conflict Violation. (U.S.A. v. Jose L. Nazario, Jr., U.S.D.C. Central District of California, Case No. ED CR 07-127 SGL). He has been quoted in numerous National periodicals concerning the (mis)use of Civilian courts to prosecute Marines for actions in combat.

Active in the community, Mr. Preis has served on numerous charitable boards, and is the co-founder and president of the Soldiers of the Sea, Band of Brothers, Inc., an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between Southern California’s business and military communities. He is a trustee of the November 10th Association in Newport Beach, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the Military Order of the Carabao in Washington, D.C. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1990 through 1994, and again from 2002 to 2005, including service in Desert Storm and Somalia.

In addition to the California bar, Mr. Preis is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits; United States District Court for the Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California; the Navy and Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals; and the United States Court of Military Appeals.

The following engagements are recent representative examples of matters he has handled:

  • Represented through verdict supervisor accused of sexual harassment. Jury returned 12-0 verdict in favor of the supervisor. Also obtained court-ordered dismissals on behalf of two other defendants prior to trial.
  • Represented through verdict aviation business affiliates in wide-ranging bet the company litigation against an air charter company that had spared no expense in attempting to obstruct business deals involving a County of San Diego airfield. After successfully preventing the obstructions, prevailed at trial in a subsequent unlawful detainer action, resulting in the eviction of the air charter company from the airfield. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented through judgment investor in a high profile entertainment venue against more than a dozen of the opposing party’s shell entities which were used to transfer and hide assets including our client’s investment. Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment against the opposing party and several of his entities, jointly and severally, under contract and fraud theories.
  • Obtained early pre-trial anti-SLAPP dismissal and judgment awarding fees as a result of the plaintiff’s filing of the frivolous civil suit.
  • Represented through acquittal as a member of the “Marine Dream Team” Marine Sgt. Jose L. Nazario, Jr., in our Nation’s first ever civilian prosecution of a Marine for actions in combat.
  • Resolved a high-profile employment case early in the litigation process through summary judgment for a large institutional client. When the opposing side appealed, the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the judgment, noting that “[I]t is rare that application of the well settled rules governing the review of summary judgment orders so clearly compels an affirmance of a trial court’s order granting summary judgment.”
  • Resolved a Federal Cybersquatting Act accusation against a client by filing a declaratory relief action in federal court in response to a demand letter sent by an out of state entity that sought to “strong arm” the client into relinquishing a long-held Internet domain asset. Upon being served with the unexpected lawsuit, the offending entity immediately agreed to a stipulated judgment and released all threatened claims.
  • Resolved numerous Federal Anti-Piracy cases throughout Southern California as part of a client’s effort to curb the unlicensed showing of major pay-per-view boxing events in commercial establishments.
  • Represented through jury verdict a corporate client’s principal in a breach of warranty action against luxury car manufacturer. Obtained new car, damages and all legal fees expended. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Resolved secured party client issues of debtor’s non-payment by obtaining a writ of possession that facilitated the pre-judgment possession of all applicable collateral in response to a debtor’s default on a multi-million dollar loan.
  • Resolved multi-million dollar dispute on behalf of a Spanish National client concerning real property located in Spain through mediation.
  • Resolved class action lawsuit against multi-unit dwelling landlord client being prosecuted pro bono by a large national firm through mediation.



Colleen B. Dougherty

Colleen B. Dougherty
Attorney
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872-2281 FAX
cdougherty@gaplegal.com

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Colleen B. Dougherty is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Trial practice group. She is an aggressive litigator who applies a common-sense approach to obtaining positive results for her clients. Prior to joining Godes & Preis, Ms. Dougherty litigated matters involving business disputes, product liability, commercial general liability, and construction defect representing general contractors, national builders, subcontractors, and manufacturers. She also worked with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office through the TAP program and had the opportunity to conduct numerous preliminary hearings involving a variety of criminal charges and worked as a co-mediator with a nationally recognized alternate dispute resolution platform.

A graduate of Santa Clara University and the Willamette University School of Law, Ms. Dougherty earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, Doctorate of Jurisprudence, and an ABA Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is admitted to practice in all state courts and the Southern and Central Districts in California.

Ms. Dougherty is an active volunteer in therapy dog work with Alzheimer’s patients, children, and others throughout Southern California.




Joshua Mino is a member of the Litigation, Trial and Appellate practice group of Godes & Preis. Mr. Mino has over a decade of experience as an aggressive litigator, having participated in arbitrations, trials and appeals throughout California in both Federal and State Court. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Mino was a senior litigator for a national law firm representing nation-wide business ventures. Mr. Mino’s legal career was rooted in civil litigation and interned for two Superior Court Judges in Santa Clara County. He attended the University of California, Berkley, graduating with a double major in political science and rhetoric. Mr. Mino received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Diego, where he received the Pro Bono Service Recognition Award.

Mr. Mino focuses his practice on business and employer-related litigation, as well as a variety of other related civil disputes. His clients have ranged from national banks, mortgage lenders, loan servicers, trustees, hospitals and other health care services, land procurers and development companies, general contractors, subcontractor, engineering and architectural firms, public entities, trustees, insurance companies, churches and schools, shareholders in various companies, to individuals needing assistant to prosecute and defend various business, employment and other related disputes.

Mr. Mino prides himself on creating and providing innovative strategies to accomplish client goals and objectives. Mr. Mino has been published multiple times in nationwide trade publications providing his analysis of the law and strategies to deal with developments in case law as well changes in the industry. Mr. Mino is admitted to practice in all Federal District and State Court’s in California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.



Kari L. Probst

Kari L. Probst
Attorney
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
kprobst@gaplegal.com

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Kari L. Probst is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Trial practice group with over twenty years of experience as a civil defense litigator in both state and federal courts. She has handled all phases of litigation including pre-lawsuit through trial and appeal. Her experience includes defending public and private entities and individuals in civil rights, employment, real estate, constitutional law, wrongful death, premises liability, dangerous condition and construction matters. She graduated from the University of California Irvine, School of Social Ecology receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society, and from Southwestern School of Law’s SCALE Program, an ABA approved accelerated program. Ms. Probst is admitted to California’s state and federal courts including the United States Central, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to becoming an attorney she worked in the legal field for ten years.



Benjamin G. Reynolds

Benjamin G. Reynolds
Attorney
949.468.5316 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
breynolds@gaplegal.com

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Benjamin G. Reynolds is a member of the Firm’s Litigation and Trial practice group. He graduated Cum Laude from California Western School of Law in December 2017, where he was an editor for the Law Review and frequent member of the Dean’s List. During law school he interned with the Firm, and was hired as a law clerk awaiting bar, before joining the firm as an attorney in May 2018 after passing the February 2018 California Bar Exam (27.3 percent pass rate).

Mr. Reynolds served as an infantry Marine with 2nd Battalion 4th Marines Echo Company from 2004 to 2008, earning a Purple Heart in 2007 for wounds that he sustained in Ar-Rutbah, Iraq. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Mr. Reynolds earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, regulated federally chartered banks as a Bank Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and regulated credit unions as a Credit Union Examiner with the National Credit Union Administration, before attending law school.



Haylee Bernard

Haylee Bernard
Social Media Director
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
hbernard@gaplegal.com



Danielle Frederick

Danielle Frederick
Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
dfrederick@gaplegal.com



Carlie Peisley

Carlie Peisley
Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
cpeisley@gaplegal.com


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