Meet the Team

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; United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, 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.

Oliver B. Dreger is a partner in the Litigation and Trial Practice Group. He focuses his practice on complex business and employment matters, with experience representing clients of all sizes in a host of industries in California, across the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Dreger has successfully practiced in large and small law firms, including the largest employment law firm in the world, and he has earned a reputation of providing aggressive and innovative legal solutions, as well as skilled courtroom advocacy on behalf of his clients.

Mr. Dreger handles civil litigation matters in all stages, from pre-litigation to trial, writs, and appeals, over a wide array of legal subject matters. He has years of experience advocating in state and federal trial courts, in addition to numerous appearances arguing before the California Court of Appeals and the 9th Federal Circuit. His appellate work has resulted in a favorable opinion by the California Court of Appeals that was published to establish legal precedent, while his trial experience has resulted in favorable verdicts for his clients in each of his cases to date. Mr. Dreger has also obtained numerous early victories for his clients in litigation, including summary judgments, adjudications, or other dismissals, several of which involved matters where his clients had been exposed to multi-million-dollar legal risks.

Mr. Dreger’s experience includes serving as lead counsel in a variety of alternative resolution settings, from arbitration to mediation. Additionally, he has advised large businesses on legal issues critical to their operations, in a variety of industries, with an emphasis on labor and employment law advice and counseling. Mr. Dreger also represents individual clients in litigation pursuing legal redress in matters as diverse as fraud, employment disputes, wrongful termination, and civil rights claims.

Mr. Dreger is from Chicago, IL and he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of Illinois. Before entering private practice, he served as a consultant with a Fortune 500 business and spent a decade on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, deploying repeatedly as an intelligence officer assigned to a Marine infantry battalion conducting combat operations in Iraq.

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 Courts in California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.

Attorney Richard K. Angel

Richard K. Angel
Attorney at Law
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

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Richard K. Angel is a member of the Firm’s Litigation and Trial practice group. Before his time at Godes & Preis, Mr. Angel worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, spending every day in court as he prosecuted local crime. Mr. Angel handled thousands of assorted misdemeanor and felony cases, including DUI, domestic violence, drug sales, theft, gang-related crime, and sexual assault.

Mr. Angel graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine School of Law, focusing his studies on criminal and business law. Mr. Angel also practiced immigration law in the school’s Appellate Litigation Clinic, winning a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals while still in law school. Mr. Angel has a bachelor’s degree in English, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University.

Attorney Dana Castruita

Dana Castruita
Attorney at Law
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

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Dana I. Castruita is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Trial practice group. She graduated from law school Cum Laude in December 2016, was a Law Review Editor, and was a regular member of the Dean’s List. During law school, she clerked for the San Diego Public Defender’s Office in the adult criminal division, as well as the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where she participated in preliminary hearings and trial readiness hearings, voire dire, and trial. Ms. Castruita’s practice is focused on business litigation and employment litigation. Prior to joining Godes & Preis, she practiced in the general civil litigation arena. Ms. Castruita earned her B.S. in International Business from California State University, Long Beach. She is admitted to practice before all California state courts and all U.S. District Courts in California.

Attorney Benjamin G. Reynolds

Benjamin G. Reynolds
Senior Counsel
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

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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.

Social Media Director Haylee Bernard

Haylee Bernard
Social Media Director
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator Danielle Frederick

Danielle Frederick
Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator Sarah McNicoll

Sarah McNicoll
Legal Assistant/Client Care Coordinator
949.468.0051 TEL
949.872.2281 FAX
[email protected]

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    Orange County Office
    300 Spectrum Center Drive
    Suite 1420
    Irvine, California 92618
    Main 949.468.0051
    Fax 949.872.2281
    [email protected]

    San Diego Office
    12220 El Camino Real,
    Suite 300
    San Diego, California 92130
    Main 858.350.4913
    Fax 858.755.3387
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