Our Lawyers

DIANA L. COURTEAU, Managing Partner.

Ms. Courteau has over 25 years of civil litigation experience in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. Her litigation defense experience focuses on labor and employment litigation, professional liability, including legal malpractice defense, defense against insurance brokers and agents, defense against realtors (commercial and residential), appraisers, accountants, miscellaneous professionals, business litigation and business disputes on behalf of companies, insurers, businesses and individuals.
 

General Areas of Practice

 

Employment Practices Litigation

 
Ms. Courteau handles employment practices litigation and has represented many employers in civil cases, including federal and state courts as well as administrative claims, and involving alleged wrongful termination, retaliation, whistle blower, illegal discrimination including racial discrimination, gender, age, familial, medical disability and pregnancy discrimination under both State and federal Statutes, wage-hour disputes, class actions, labor violations, and workplace harassment including sexual harassment. Ms. Courteau handled a medical/disability discrimination case before a Los Angeles Jury and successfully defensed (see Verdicts and Settlements). Successful resolution short of trial including multiple arbitrations and mediations. The Firm has represented a wide cross section of industries and businesses including national companies as well as smaller and medium size companies (see Employment page).
 

Professional Liability

 
Ms. Courteau handles professional liability claims against all nonmedical professionals. Ms. Courteau has handled professional liability defense since coming out of USC Law School in 1982. The Firm has a strong team of experienced lawyers from top law schools working together to defeat these claims. The Firm has had excellent results for both domestic and foreign insurers since the 1980s. The Firm has obtained numerous defense verdicts from juries at trial including Los Angeles Juries. The Firm has also obtained multiple cost awards on behalf of Insurers and private clients on prevailing. Successful results have been obtained for insurance companies and private clients resulting in ongoing return and referral by both.

 

Business Litigation

 
Ms. Courteau specializes in professional liability defense and employment defense. The Firm has been involved in numerous areas of business disputes and business litigation. The Firm has successfully prevailed and defeated a vast variety of business litigation claims including claims of misrepresentation, deceit, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret, copyright, and defamation claims. In the course of business litigation the Firm has been successful in recovery of attorneys fees and costs including successfully negotiating resolution for companies with products and contract amounts owed, both domestically and internationally (Asia and Europe).
 

Appellate Practice

 
The firm has had some excellent results in the area of Appeals, both State and Federal, including in Business Litigation. Recently, the firm successfully defeated an Appeal on behalf of a large foreign business based in England. The successful Appeal occurred in Federal Court, March 31, 2014, which resulted in broad interpretation for District Court Judges to use Federal Rule 60 in order to correct judgments, often times in the interest of equity. (See full copy of Published Opinion.) The firm also successfully appealed in State Court against a large lending institution on the issue of Arbitration. (See Brown v Wells Fargo)
 

Insurance Litigation

 
Ms. Courteau has extensive experience representing insurance carriers and policyholders, in lawsuits arising out of business and commercial coverage. The Firm has represented business owners, officers, real property owners and multiple businesses. Courteau & Associates has represented attorneys, insurance agents and brokers, accountants, and real estate agents in numerous malpractice actions, both pursuant to policy coverage and pursuant to the Cumis statute in California.
 

Administrative Employer Claims

 
The Firm has successfully defeated all types of administrative claims before all administrative agencies in employment including Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), State Labor Board, and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Multiple mediations have resulted in no penalties, no monetary settlement, and either complete dismissals or only agreement to educate.


 

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY DEFENSE

 

Legal Malpractice

 
Ms. Courteau has handled all lines of professional liability with trials resulting only in defense verdicts since 1984, including Legal Malpractice with multiple good results on behalf of small, medium, and national law firms. Ms. Courteau has handled claims for both insurers and lawyers. The Firm has handled claims arising out of Attorney-Client Privilege, Privacy Privilege, and computer issues. Good results include: multiple dismissals on demurrer and motion for summary judgment. Further success including: eight separate claims dismissed for one law firm (underlying business litigation), dismissal of five claims against Beverly Hills Law Firm and National Law Firm (underlying product liability) praising our results by managing partner (see Professional Liability page for a wide cross section of underlying claims).
 

Insurance Broker & Agent Defense

 
Ms. Courteau has handled multiple insurance E&O claims. These claims have included fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, misrepresentation, and other causes of action. Ms. Courteau has been appointed by both the insurer and private client. The Firm has obtained verdicts including a defense verdict for fraud against an agent where the claims were based on alleged verbal statements. The Firm has also had multiple successes in insurance E&O related to demurrer, motions for summary judgment, and successful discovery motions. Insurance E&O have included claims associated with earthquakes, riots, entertainment policies, interruption of business, and denials of all lines of insurance. Ms. Courteau successfully defensed at jury trial on claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence against authorized agent related to alleged promise to procure employment practices with CGL Policy (see Verdicts and Settlements).
 

Real Estate E&O Including Realtors and Appraisers

 
Ms. Courteau has handled all aspects of Real Estate E&O including commercial and residential. Commercial claims have included claims of fraudulent net income, false statements regarding the fair market value, and both commercial and residential have included claims for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and various claims of nondisclosure. Ms. Courteau has successfully handled appraisers as well related to claims of inflated values and multiple other claims. Ms. Courteau has successfully defensed real estate claims at trial including claims of real estate fraud (See letter from The Travelers praising trial results).
 

Miscellaneous E&O Lines

 
In addition to the main lines of professional liability, Ms. Courteau has handled miscellaneous lines including services related to health, medical, real estate, computer and technology areas.
 

Admitted

California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

 

Education

J.D., University of Southern California, 1982
B.A., University of Southern California, 1979

 

Professional Memberships

Los Angeles County Bar Association
Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, Vice Chair
Professional Liability Underwriting Society since late 80’s