Daniel Mansueto’s practice focuses on environmental and eminent domain litigation. He has tried nine cases to conclusion as lead counsel in jury trials, court trials and arbitrations, winning eight of them.
Before joining Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP, Mr. Mansueto served as Deputy Attorney to the California Department of Transportation, and practiced in the Environmental Group of O’Melveny & Myers. Prior to that, he clerked for the Honorable Laughlin E. Waters in the federal district court for the Central District of California.
- From 2006 to 2013, Mr. Mansueto had primary responsibility for high profile litigation involving claims well in excess of $100 million asserted by the County of San Bernardino Flood Control District against Caltrans, the City of Upland and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG). In that case, the County of San Bernardino Flood Control District sought contribution and indemnity for, among other things, a $102 million settlement that it claimed to have made to settle inverse condemnation claims asserted by a private developer. This highly complex litigation was tenaciously litigated for over five years. According to press reports, the County of San Bernardino expended in excess of $30 million in legal fees and costs while prosecuting the litigation. In 2013, the trial court granted a summary adjudication motion that Mr. Mansueto had filed on behalf of Caltrans and dismissed with prejudice all claims against Caltrans. Shortly thereafter, Caltrans settled the case for a waiver of costs.
- Mr. Mansueto served as lead counsel for eminent domain litigation undertaken in 2013 to acquire multiple properties for Caltrans’ HOV widening project in West Covina. Caltrans sought through six separate lawsuits to acquire parts of shopping mall and office properties. The property owners collectively claimed in excess of $25 million. The litigation included claims for severance damages, loss of business goodwill and pre-condemnation damages, and involved complex procedural and substantive issues concerning appraisal methodology and the definition of the “larger parcel.”
- Mr. Mansueto has handled a variety of types of environmental litigation. He represented the manufacturer of photomasks (a silicon chip component) in a contribution lawsuit in which two major defense contractors sought contribution for the cost of cleaning up, which they estimated at $172 million, pursuant to an EPA consent decree, groundwater contamination in the San Fernando Valley. After a year of litigation, the matter settled favorably to his client.
- In July 2015, Mr. Mansueto was sole trial counsel in a legal issue trial concerning temporary severance damages claimed by a retailer in the West Covina litigation. The trial court ruled for Caltrans, finding that the retailer was not entitled to temporary severance damages. Shortly thereafter the entire case settled.
- Mr. Mansueto had primary responsibility in representing a major property & casualty insurer in multiple high stakes environmental coverage lawsuits in Idaho. The cases were all successfully resolved through settlement.
- Mr. Mansueto was lead appellate counsel for Caltrans in a 2015 appeal involving the issue of temporary severance damages. In that case (The People ex rel. Dept. of Transportation v. Norwalk Steakhouse, Inc.(B258576)), the Court of Appeal affirmed a finding that the property owner had failed to demonstrate a compensable temporary severance damages claim.
- Mr. Mansueto has handled issues relating to the valuation and acquisition of environmentally impaired properties and also issues relating to indemnities for environmental liabilities.
- Mr. Mansueto was lead counsel for a major bank in a lender liability case involving a high rise condominium in the Wilshire corridor. The case resulted in a settlement favorable to his client after two years of litigation.
- Over the course of 10 years Mr. Mansueto represented Caltrans state-wide on numerous insurance coverage matters.
- Mr. Mansueto has served as the lead attorney for property & casualty insurers in over 50 insurance coverage matters. On behalf of insurers, he has litigated coverage concerning construction defect claims, environmental claims and a variety of other types liability claims. He has handled numerous highly complex matters involving mass claims against a single insured.
- Mr. Mansueto served as a major property & casualty insurer’s national coordinating counsel for construction defect claims. In that capacity, Mr. Mansueto assisted his client in ensuring that it took consistent coverage positions on construction defect claims across the nation.
- Mr. Mansueto was lead counsel for Century Indemnity Company in a writ proceeding that Century Indemnity instituted to overturn a trial court ruling concerning the statute of limitations that applies to inter-insurer contribution claims. The resulting opinion, Century Indemnity Company v. Scottsdale Insurance Company((1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1115), establishes that, as Century Indemnity contended, a two year, rather than four year, statute of limitations applies. After the writ petition was decided, the case went to trial at which Century Indemnity obtained a favorable result.
- Mr. Mansueto was lead counsel for a major home builder’s primary insurer in coverage litigation involving multiple multi-million dollar construction defect lawsuits for which coverage was sought under multiple primary policies. After years of litigating, the case was settled consistent with the insurer’s coverage position.
- Mr. Mansueto recently filed and won anti-SLAPP motion in an employment case. After granting the motion, the trial court awarded Mr. Mansueto’s client its attorneys’ fees.
- In a pro bono case, Mr. Mansueto won reversal in the Ninth Circuit of an order denying a Salvadoran’s asylum application.
Professional Honors & Activities
- Member of the UCLA Law Review
- Former member of Los Angeles County Bar Association, Insurance Committee
Representative Publications & Presentations
- Co-Author, with Patrick Del Duca, Indirect Source Controls; An intersection of Air Quality Management and Land Use Regulation, 24 LOYOLA OF LOS ANGELES LAW REVIEW 1129 (1991).
UCLA School of Law
Member, Law Review
University of Chicago
Major: European History