John J. McNutt

Principal
John J. McNutt Image
Direct: 202.295.2227

Support Staff

Hermione Williams
Direct: 202.295.2224

John McNutt represents his clients in civil actions in state and federal courts, with a particular emphasis on litigation involving commercial contract disputes, business fraud claims, trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, real estate projects and developer disputes, and franchise systems. He also advises clients on ways to proactively reduce litigation exposure and improve corporate compliance programs. 

Prior to law school, John served as legislative director and appropriations committee staff person for a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.  

Experience

Commercial Contract and Business Fraud Litigation

  • C&N Holdings, LLC v. 840 5th Avenue, LLC: As lead counsel, represented a business owner in a nine week jury trial that resulted in a complete victory for the client. Client was awarded $1.5 million in damages and $1.2 million in legal fees. Client defeated $2 million in fraud and breach of contract claims asserted in the cross-complaint.
  • Genesis Merchant Partners v. Nery’s USA, Inc.: As lead counsel, represented three defendants in an action involving contract and tort claims in excess of $3 million. Week-long federal trial resulted in a favorable judgment for the clients, along with an award of $500,000 in fees.
  • Deutsche Bank v. Swain: As lead counsel, successfully defended Deutsche Bank against a federal Truth in Lending Act claim seeking punitive damages in a two-week trial. Defeated two interlocutory appeals filed by claimant at the court of appeal.

Real Estate Litigation

  • QSB Ventures, Inc. v. Daniels: As lead counsel, represented a developer in a week-long trial resulting in a full damages award for the client, denial of a cross-complaint seeking more than $100,000, and a finding that the defendant’s key witness provided willfully false testimony during cross-examination.
  • Sonnenshein v. Windansea:  Co-counsel in 18-day binding arbitration involving allegations of fraud against a development company. Claims at issue exceeded $4 million. In the final arbitration award, the arbitrator ordered plaintiffs to pay the client’s legal fees.
  • Knoke v. Pearson: As lead counsel, successfully defended in a week-long trial a client's title interest in a multi-million dollar property in La Jolla.
  • Mira Mountain, Ltd. v. Khurana Holdings Corporation: As lead counsel, represented commercial property owner in an action involving contract and equitable claims. Bench trial resulted in a favorable judgment for the client, including equitable relief and an award of damages.
  • Chula Vista Town Center Associates v. Personal Expressions, Inc.: As lead counsel, represented commercial developer in an action involving contract and equitable claims. Bench trial resulted in a favorable judgment for the client, including equitable relief and an award of damages.

Trust Contests

  • In re Siv H. Ljungwe: As co-counsel, represented Doctors Without Borders, US Fund for UNICEF, KPBS/SDSU, and the NPR Foundation in a 17-day trial seeking to void a restated trust that had removed the clients as beneficiaries of a multi-million dollar estate. The court found that the restated trust naming the settlor’s personal attorney as the sole beneficiary was procured by undue influence. The court voided the restated trust, found that the clients were the true beneficiaries, and entered a $6 million judgment against the defendant.
  • In re Flora Kolbeck: As co-counsel, represented beneficiaries of an estate seeking equitable relief and legal damages from a trustee and executrix who self-dealt and diverted substantial estate funds for her personal use. Court awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to clients.
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