The Legal Page


Geoffrey L. Bryan works with companies marketing products in the legal sector, and in that role interacts with corporate counsel at a number of Fortune 500 companies. Previously he was a partner in the downtown Los Angeles law firm of Akre, Bryan & Malin, LLP. A 1980 graduate of Stanford Law School, Mr. Bryan served as Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and was admitted to the Order of the Coif (top 10% of the class) upon graduation.

Following graduation, Mr. Bryan served as a law clerk to the Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then joined Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles, where he practiced in a range of transactional and business areas, specializing in government contracts work.

In 1988, Mr. Bryan helped establish a litigation department in the newly opened Los Angeles office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, and practiced there for five years with specialties in lender liability defense, securities fraud defense, and wrongful employment practices defense.

In 1993, Mr. Bryan joined with several other lawyers to form Akre, Bryan & Chang, later known as Akre, Bryan & Malin, LLP. The firm had a general downtown business practice, with emphasis on business litigation, real estate, corporate and securities matters, secured financing, intellectual property, and employment law (on the management side).

Earthquake Insurance

In 1995, a major victory for California homeowners came in an appellate court decision entitled Ziello v. Superior Court (First Federal Bank), which recognized the right of homeowners to control the use of earthquake insurance proceeds where the homeowner had purchased the insurance voluntarily and the loan documents did not contain any language specifically granting rights in such insurance proceeds to the lender. The Ziello lawsuit was filed and argued by Mr. Bryan. In late October, 1995, the California Supreme Court let stand the Ziello ruling.

Full text of the Ziello decision is available for viewing.

Also available is the text of a Los Angeles Times article on the decision, which appeared on the front page on July 6, 1995.

Other Legal Publications

Note: These articles address California law as it existed at the time of publication. The law in other jurisdictions is likely to be different. These articles are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constiute legal advice. They have not been updated since original publication, and there can be no assurance that the principles discussed in them have not changed due to more recent cases or statutes. Do not rely on these articles: Obtain advice from a qualified attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction.

Section 473 and Mandatory Relief from Defaults: An Ethical Minefield

This article, published in the ABTL Report, discusses the difficulties that arise when a lawyer is faced with the decision whether to seek discretionary versus mandatory relief from default under Section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Section 998 Offers to Compromise: The Procedural Minefield

This article, published in the ABTL Report, discusses the difficulties that arise when a client considers making, or has received, an offer to compromise under Section 998 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Harnessing the Court's Contempt Power to Punish Disobedience of Court Orders

This article, published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, discusses the many procedural complexities associated with "indirect" contempt proceedings in civil litigation, stemming from the status of such proceedings as quasi-criminal in nature.

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Geoffrey L. Bryan