James P. Menton, Jr.

310.229.5813

Experience

James Menton’s practice primarily focuses on business litigation, creditor’s rights and remedies, and bankruptcy.  A skilled advisor and litigator, Mr. Menton draws upon his extensive professional network to provide clients with strategic resources and solutions in their cases.  His experience includes matters involving

  • Commercial and contract disputes
  • Director and officer liability
  • Bankruptcy-related litigation
  • Creditor and shareholder rights
  • Fiduciary litigation
  • Fraud and fraudulent transfers
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Lender liability
  • Real estate

His experience includes representing clients in, or involved with, the entertainment, food & beverage, financial, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, and retail industries. 

Director & Officer Liability, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and Investigations

Today’s challenging environment places increased scrutiny on corporate directors and officers, and litigation associated with alleged misconduct has risen significantly. Mr. Menton has played an active role, as early and decisive counsel, in transforming a client’s ability to address and manage this reenergized level of scrutiny of corporate governance practices.

 

Experienced in both prosecuting and defending litigation, Mr. Menton advises and assists clients on matters concerning director and officer liability and fraud-related claims. His services and background include:

  • Director and Officer Liability Matters – Advising on  such issues as  fiduciary duties, the business judgment rule, and accessing director and officer liability insurance in bankruptcy.
  • Litigation Counsel – Acting on civil claims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, fraudulent transfers and other claims on behalf of the prosecuting or defending party.
  • Investigation and Reports – Providing full inquiry and analysis, as requested, concerning director and officer liability, financial transactions and potential claims.

Wealth Disputes – Advice and Litigation

Mr. Menton also has experience in estate planning issues and representing clients, including high net worth individuals and families, closely-held companies, foundations, trustees and fiduciaries, in pre-litigation advice and assessment and in litigation involving matters that include valuation disputes, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, and trust-related commercial disputes.

Pro Bono and Community Service – Serving Those In Need

A former Peace Corp Volunteer in Africa, Mr. Menton is passionate about, and committed to, assisting others in need to change their lives for the better.  He has recently represented and obtained asylum for three Cameroonian women, one of whom subsequently testified before Congress concerning Immigration and Custom Enforcement detention practices. He currently represents a male Eritrean asylum seeker. Human Rights First recognized Mr. Menton’s dedication to pro bono work by awarding him its Pro Bono Star Award (2019).

 
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Included among Mr. Menton’s matters are counseling and representing:

A trustee of a family trust in a matter involving $160 million of secured debt against a franchisor of quick service restaurant brands. Favorable settlement achieved by the strategic use of litigation to implement a sale of the business and restructuring of the capital structure of the company. 

A trustee of a family trust in litigation over $45 million of debt owed by borrower that owned rights at a major private airport, resulting in additional collateral from related companies and guaranties, entry of stipulated judgment and receipt by the trust of proceeds from the sale of airport assets. 

A liquidating trust in obtaining a substantial judgment after trial against former officers and directors of Chapter 11 debtors in a lawsuit based on fraudulent transfer law. 

A liquidating trust in a matter involving alleged breach of fiduciary duty and corporate waste by former officers and directors of a Chapter 11 debtor. Substantial settlement achieved without filing suit. 

A bankruptcy trustee in obtaining a substantial settlement of lawsuits against former directors and officers of a Chapter 7 debtor and an insurer on director and officer liability policy.

A former director of Chapter 11 debtors in director and officer-related litigation. Litigation settled for no payment by former director and dismissal of lawsuit with prejudice. 

A former trustee of non-profit organization as defendant in lawsuit filed by bankruptcy trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and corporate waste. After initial motion to dismiss granted with leave to amend and second motion to dismiss filed, litigation settled for no money paid by former trustee and dismissal of [the- take out] lawsuit with prejudice.

An investment company and foundation as creditors and defendants in a lawsuit filed by Chapter 11 debtor to re-characterize clients’ claims as equity. Litigation settled for no re-characterization of their claims and dismissal of the lawsuit. 
A foundation and its officers as defendants in lawsuit filed by bankruptcy trustee for breach of charitable pledge. Dismissal of lawsuit following successful motion to dismiss.

A bankruptcy trustee for estate of debtor that operated as “fraudulent hedge fund” in lawsuits for fraudulent transfers against family members of debtor’s principal. Favorable settlements achieved, including entry of stipulated judgment and permanent injunction, collateral from family member and spouse, and receipt of cash payments by trustee. 

An ex-spouse as defendant in fraudulent transfer lawsuit filed by bankruptcy trustee involving martial settlement agreement incorporated in dissolution judgment. Litigation settled on favorable terms.

A liquidating trustee in objections to $200 million in claims against foreign entities based on international trade documents. 

Insurance companies in prevailing on summary judgment in litigation over deficiency claims against borrower and guarantor following foreclosure on real property.

Insurance companies in obtaining an injunction against transfer of assets in a case involving alleged fraudulent scheme of an individual to shield assets from creditors.

A lender in defending against fraud and other claims involving a real estate development project and obtaining settlement of a lawsuit for a minimal amount.

A lender in obtaining an $8 million attachment against a corporation based on fraudulent transfer law.

Shareholders and related entities in obtaining settlement of disputes in arbitration proceedings with former shareholder.

 
Super Lawyers 2016
  • Awarded Pro Bono Award by Robins Kaplan LLP (2019)
  • Awarded a Pro Bono Star Award by Human Rights First (2019)
  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America (2019-2020)
  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (2014-2016)
  • Recognized as “Outstanding Newsletter Editor,” Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation (2010-2011)
  • Recognized as “Outstanding Subcommittee Chair,” Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation (2010-2011)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
Education
  • University of California Los Angeles School of Law, J.D. (1991)
  • Northwestern University, B.A. in Political Science (1984)
Professional Associations
  • California State Bar Business Law Section:  Advisor, Executive Committee (2013-2015); Chair (2012-2013); Member (2008-2013); Business Law News, Editor-In-Chief (2007-2009), Member (2004-2009)
  • California State Bar Law Practice Management & Technology Section: Chair (2007-2008), Member (2006-2008)
  • Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter: Member, Board of Directors (2012-2017)
  • American Bar Association Litigation Section:  Bankruptcy and Insolvency Committee, Executive Editor, Newsletter (2010-2011); Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, Co-Chair, Bankruptcy Litigation Subcommittee (2004-2010)
  • American Bar Association General Practice & Small Firm Division:  GP Solo Magazine, Editor (2008-2010)
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Financial Lawyers Conference
  • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
  • California Receivers Forum
     
  • Adelanto: Conditions and Challenges at the “House of Tears”
    LA Human Rights Initiative (October 22, 2019)
  • In Wealth Transfer Strategies We Trust
    54th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii (November 8, 2017)
  • Trusts in the Context of Bankruptcy
    Estate Planning Council of San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena, California (February 27, 2017)
  • Trust Fund Debtors The Intersection Between Bankruptcy and Trusts
    Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, California (November 2, 2016)
  • How to Make Your Estate Plan Survive Bankruptcy
    USC Gould School of Law 2016 Tax Institute, Los Angeles, California (January 27, 2016)
  • So What If They’re In Bankruptcy, The Debtor Has Insurance And We’re Covered (Maybe):  The Treatment Of Liability And D&O Insurance Policies In Bankruptcy 
    Financial Lawyers Conference, Los Angeles, California (February 2007)
     
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