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3701 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1135
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2822

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John A. Schlaff

Of Counsel

Mr. Schlaff graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles as a departmental scholar, simultaneously receiving both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English in 1983. Among other areas of specialization, Mr. Schlaff specialized in computer based textual analysis.

In 1987, Mr. Schlaff received his law degree from Harvard Law School where he participated in numerous clinical programs through which he successfully represented indigent clients in both criminal and civil proceedings. Mr. Schlaff also developed systems which automated the litigation of disputes in Boston housing court for the Clinical Legal Services Corporation in Jamaica Plain, where Mr. Schlaff worked as a student attorney in the landlord-tenant division.

In 1988, Mr. Schlaff, together with two partners, was awarded the Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneur of The Year Award for producing the best business plan in the Harvard Community. Among other things, Mr. Schlaff and his partners’ business plan proposed putting the California case reporters on CD-ROM long before CD-ROM’s had been utilized for any such purpose.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Schlaff’s legal practice involved complex business litigation in which he represented institutions, cities and Fortune 500 and other business clients in disputes involving sums up to $200 million. His clients included, among others, Miller Brewing Company, H.F. Ahmanson, Home Savings and Loan, Kaufman & Broad, and the non-settling California cities involved in the Orange County Bankruptcy and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In 1997, Mr. Schlaff left large firm practice to form a solo law practice in which he represented smaller business and individuals in a wide variety of areas. A significant percentage of his clients are lawyers, whom he has represented in disputes ranging from partnership dissolutions to alleged acts of legal malpractice. Mr. Schlaff has also prosecuted numerous professional malpractice cases resulting in multiple millions of dollars in settlements in favor of his clients. In addition, Mr. Schlaff has had particular experience in the areas of class actions, business disputes, financial institution litigation, construction defect, constitutional law and appellate law. In 2005, Mr. Schlaff won a unanimous decision in the Supreme Court reversing a published unanimous decision of the Second Appellate District.

In addition to his legal skills, Mr. Schlaff is a software designer with more than thirty years programming experience who has programmed in COBOL, FORTRAN, LISP, C, C++, FORTH, PL/1, Pascal, Euphoria, Visual Basic, PHP and Python, among many others. Throughout the years of his legal practice, Mr. Schlaff has brought his computer programming background to bear on the task of successfully automating litigation tasks in the matters in which he has been involved, resulting in savings to his clients of hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and enabling him to run his own practice largely without support staff and with extremely low overhead.

Mr. Schlaff, in addition to practicing law, consults with other attorneys as to how they can best utilize computer technology in their own practices.

Mr. Schlaff specializes in complex commercial litigation, including the following kinds of cases:

  • Partnership Disputes
  • Complex Contract Disputes
  • Class-Action Litigation
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Employment Disputes
  • Professional Malpractice Disputes

Bar Admissions

California, 1988

Education

Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, MA, J.D. - 1987

University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. and M.A. in English (Summa Cum Laude) - 1983

Published Opinions

Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
(2007) 40 Cal.4th 894

DeLuca v. State Fish Co., Inc.
(2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 671

McMillan v. Shadow Ridge At Oak Park Homeowner's Association
(2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 960

Kinda v. Carpenter
(2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1268