LOS ANGELES, CA-- June 5, 2006 -- Continuing its aggressive expansion strategy, Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Los Angeles office has brought another highly respected litigator on board -- Scott Bertzyk. He joins as a shareholder and member of the firm’s burgeoning real estate litigation practice chaired, in the Western region, by Eric Rowen. Former partners at Jones Day, Rowen and Bertzyk make a powerful real estate litigation team, bringing a combined 46 years of experience in delivering successful outcomes for clients in real estate and other disputes. Bertzyk has litigated some of the largest cases in California history for a wide array of clients including Baldwin Builders, Village Properties, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, the State of California, Goodrich Corporation and Bridgestone/Firestone.
“Scott is among the best litigators in the nation. He thinks creatively and brings extensive knowledge, skill and experience to bear in representing clients," notes Rowen. “He will add tremendous depth and breadth to our group, and be an invaluable asset as we move Greenberg Traurig’s Western region real estate litigation practice to a new level. It will be great to work together again developing strategies designed to deliver exceptional results for our clients.”
“Eric and Scott make a formidable litigation team that provides important value to our highly regarded real estate and secured finance practices,” adds Jeff Scott, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Los Angeles office. “Real estate is a critical element of the California economy and their specialized skills in litigating disputes within all sectors of the industry allow us to provide first-rate representation to clients not only within the state but also throughout the U.S. In addition, Scott brings substantial appellate experience to our national appeals group.”
Bertzyk has litigated a wide variety of major real estate-related disputes for both private and public entities including matters involving acquisitions, rights of first refusal, easements and CEQA, as well as ownership and entitlement issues. For example, he obtained a victory for the Orange County Fair against sellers of the Pacific Amphitheatre that reopened the facility and netted his client a substantial settlement. He successfully defended a hospital in Palm Springs against competitors’ CEQA challenges designed to halt the facility’s expansion plans, and won the plaintiffs’ appeal against the judgment. Thereafter, in a separate tort suit against these competitors, Bertzyk obtained the largest jury verdict in Coachella Valley history at that time. He also won the largest FDIC settlement in history for a developer in a suit claiming the FDIC failed to honor the client’s right of first refusal to acquire property surrounding the Westlake reservoir.
On the public entity side, Bertzyk successfully represented a number of counties in a series of class actions seeking increases in retiree pensions. The claims had created more than $10 billion in exposure to the counties. He also represented two local counties in litigation against the State of California, establishing their rights to certain property tax revenues that the State Controller claimed belonged to the State. As a result, Los Angeles County became entitled to a refund of more than $135 million and to receive $18- $20 million per year in annual funding on a go-forward basis, while Ventura County was assured of $30 million in refunds and funding. In another case, Bertzyk represented the State of California in securing a published appellate decision affirming reversal of an arbitration panel’s award of almost $89 million in attorneys’ fees to a consortium of plaintiffs’ lawyers.
His extensive experience and track record in the appellate court make him an invaluable advocate whether he is defending a trial court decision or arguing for a reversal.
Bertzyk graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Texas Law School and summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, with a joint degree in accounting and business administration. He has taught appellate advocacy at Loyola Law School. While in law school, Bertzyk also passed all phases of the Certified Public Accountants’ examination in the first sitting.