Neal Salisian is a founder and Co-Managing Partner of Salisian | Lee LLP. He focuses his practice on complex litigation and serves as business formation and development counsel for a cross-section of entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses throughout California.
Mr. Salisian has represented the legal and business interests of clients in both state and federal courts, as well as in complex business negotiations and arbitration proceedings. He is particularly adept at managing legal issues related to contracts, leases, fraud, tortious business practices, insurance recovery claims on behalf of policyholders, real estate disputes, class actions, bankruptcy litigation, and technology and internet-based matters.
Mr. Salisian co-founded Salisian | Lee with a view to harness the experience, training, and legal knowledge he acquired from years on the front lines of “big firm” litigation, and offer it to emerging businesses and entrepreneurial individuals. Joining forces with former colleague and co-founder Richard Lee, the two partners established Salisian | Lee to cater specifically clients who want the experience and knowledge gleaned from a larger firm, but with the attention and efficiency only a smaller firm can provide.
Since launching the firm in 2010, Mr. Salisian has handled prominent cases throughout the region, including the defense position in a highly-publicized series of cases against some of the largest real estate developers in Southern California and successfully taking on far larger and global firms in representing a web-based marketing company in a hotly contested “bet-the-company” legal battle with its competitor over ownership rights.
Prior to forming Salisian | Lee LLP, Mr. Salisian was a litigator in the Los Angeles offices of the international law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where he focused on litigating cases on behalf of prominent regional and national business clients. While there, Mr. Salisian provided counsel on many highly complex, multi-faceted cases, leading depositions, arguing motions in court, advising businesses, and serving as an integral member of trial and arbitration teams.
Before joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Salisian served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Ellen Carroll in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California and clerked for the legal defense fund Public Counsel.
Mr. Salisian is an active member of several legal organizations including the American Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association and he serves on the Advisory Board for the Western Center of Law and Poverty. Dedicated to his Armenian heritage, he also serves as an active member of the Armenian Bar Association and the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce.
Born and raised in California, Mr. Salisian earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where he was a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors team and president of the Corporate Law Society. Mr. Salisian completed his undergraduate education at the University of Notre Dame, graduating magna cum laude with a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A. in Computer Applications. Mr. Salisian was a two-time Monogram recipient for the NCAA Division I Fencing program at Notre Dame.
Mr. Salisian is admitted to practice in California and before the United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- First-Chaired a two-week jury trial in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of a Plaintiff in a dispute over the development of two major retail outlets in Los Angeles. The jury verdict resulted in a breach of contract and business fraud victory, including a finding of punitive damages. Ultimate judgment obtained was nearly 10 times the face value of the original contract in dispute.
- First-Chaired a week-long jury trial in the Orange County Superior Court on the defense-side that resulted in a very favorable settlement during the middle of trial.
- Secured an early victory in a “bet the company” litigation for an aerospace company through extensive motion practice to preserve its rights to use critical machinery. This was obtained through the bankruptcy court system in the face of competitors attempting a hostile take-over of that company’s defense contract relationships.
- Successfully resolved major, headline-grabbing social media case in favor of client. The case related to the responsibility social media networks had over independent affiliates, and could have resulted in complete collapse of client’s company. Opponent was originally seeking over $1 billion against client – in an attempt to put them out of business. After a lengthy arbitration, client’s business was saved, and only paid out a nominal amount to the client’s relief and the opponent’s extreme disappointment. Client is now a thriving and growing business.
- Successfully litigated to victory and collected on a judgment worth over $3 million based on a promissory note and personal guarantee on behalf of a real estate developer client. Successfully collected on another judgment of over $2 million on behalf of a title company client.
- Successfully represented web-based company offering celebrity greetings in a hotly contested legal battle with competitor represented by a large, global law firm and which was the focus of much media attention.
- Represented the Chief Financial Officer in the sale of a company with EBITA in excess of $25 million/year, which included a favorable share buy-out and severance package.
- Successfully brought dozens of breach of contract collection cases on behalf of multiple local businesses, from initiation to dispositive motion practice or trial by jury.
- Handled groundbreaking litigation that resulted in setting precedential law in the Fifth Circuit. Represented plaintiff in an insurance recovery dispute in trial court and on appeal with a resulting recovery of over $4 million in insurance claims for policyholder client.
- Directed statewide foreclosure litigation defending a nationwide mortgage registration company in the wake of the real estate market collapse. Plaintiffs were challenging client’s authority to foreclose on properties across the country. The deed and contract interpretation cases were resolved in favor of client such that they retained their legal authority to proceed with foreclosure actions in California.
- Managed a statewide set of product liability actions against a major supplier of construction materials.
- Obtained summary judgment and a successful motion to dismiss respectively in two cases as part of a large statewide class action against a well-known printer company, averting a potential $10+ million loss to the company.
- Managed nationwide litigation for prominent investment bank involving lease disputes in over a dozen cases across five districts/jurisdictions.
- Litigated a major insurance recovery case with over $5 million obtained for the client against their insurance company for bad faith denial of right to defend underlying antitrust litigation. Exposed unclean hands at insurance company which helped increase ultimate settlement amount.
- Oversaw all Southern California tort litigation for a major shipping corporation. Involvement included extensive onsite response to accidents and coordination of logistics for subsequent investigation.
- Defended large statewide sales tax class action for two of the largest pharmacy and drug store chains in the United States.
- Handled three distinct arbitrations related to health insurance providers and achieved favorable settlements in each case, twice as counsel for respondents and once on behalf of a petitioner.
- Recovered approximately $2 million in insurance proceeds in an insurance recovery claim for bad faith denial to defend/indemnify client in a contract dispute.
- Defended entrepreneurs in litigation that could have resulted in a complete loss of all assets for the company. Secured dismissal of case even though Plaintiff was seeking over $70 million in a dispute over rights to purchase the company.
- Represented plaintiff business in an Internet dispute involving the reclamation of a domain name from a cybersquatter.
- Defended major oil company in California sales tax-related class action. Was able to reach nominal and very favorable settlement with no damages being paid out to Plaintiff class members.
- Successfully handled all company-wide commercial lease disputes for large clothing retailer. Was able to renegotiate leases for far more favorable terms than when executed and successfully canceled.
- Over 10 contested disputes won on behalf of a prominent Southern California real estate developer. Clients therefore avoided over $25 million in contract, business fraud, and guarantor liability.
- Successfully defended dozens of preference and fraudulent transfer adversary matters in the Bankruptcy courts throughout California.
- Operated as Outside General Counsel for a number of emerging Southern California-based businesses.
- Negotiated separations between multiple sets of business partners in industries ranging from manufacturing to medical and professional services.
- Successfully defended numerous lawsuits based on the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), and its California equivalent, on behalf of a wide variety of Southern California-based businesses.
September 7, 2017 – “Justices to Weigh Complex M&A Safe Harbors” – co-authored with Associate Stephanie Chau.
July 13, 2015 – “4 Ways Dewey Changed BigLaw Forever” – quoted in article.
Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles, CA
July/August 2015 – “New Consumer Data Protections Increase Liability Risk” – co-authored with Associate Katharine Miner.
February 3, 2015 – “Rolling the Dice on iGaming” – co-authored with Associate H. Han Pai.
October 2014 – “Bridging the Gap to Turn the Economic Corner” – co-authored with Associate H. Han Pai.
Los Angeles Daily Journal, Los Angeles, CA
May 6, 2014 – “Potential High Court Headaches for Architects” – co-authored with Associate Katharine Miner.
Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles, CA
2012, 2013, 2014 – Selected as a Southern California SuperLawyer “Rising Star”.
Pasadena Magazine, Pasadena, CA
2010, 2012, 2013 – Recognized as a Top Attorney in Business Law/Litigation in the San Gabriel Valley.
July 24, 2013 – “Courthouse Budget Cuts Spell Headaches for LA Attorneys” – co-authored article with Associate Han Pai.
July 2, 2013 – “Associates Can Live Like Top Dogs In Texas Cities” – quoted in news article.
April 26, 2013 – “Five Tips for Leveraging Associates” – quoted in news article.
KTLA Channel 5
March 26, 2012 – KTLA 5 Evening News – interviewed by Manny Medrano as a legal source on restraining orders.
Armenian Bar Association, Los Angeles, CA
December 1, 2010 – “Asset Protection: Its Use and Its Pitfalls,” ArmenBar CLE panel speaker.