Daniel F. Lula

Partner

Costa Mesa
T +1.714.966.8890
F +1.714.754.6611

“Daniel Lula prepared for our case with thorough and exacting precision in anticipation of it being tried...The meticulousness of his trial preparation culminated in dispute resolution that was both efficient and in our favor.”

— BakerHostetler client 2022

Overview

In his 22 years as a litigator, Daniel Lula has successfully represented a diversity of businesses and nonprofits -- from military contractors and financial services companies, manufacturers and property management companies to adoption agencies and treatment centers -- in a wide variety of cases in state and federal courts and arbitration tribunals. He also has extensive experience advising and representing nonprofit entities, including religious and community organizations, in corporate governance and employment matters.

Daniel has spent his career immersed in the art and science of trial advocacy, and now brings that expertise to large- and medium-sized companies in their commercial and employment cases. His approach to legal services begins with listening to each client, thoroughly learning their business, internalizing their concerns and making their challenges his own. Daniel’s personal philosophy is to litigate every case as if it will go to trial, incur no legal expense before its time and always remember that success is resolving the dispute in the client’s favor in the most efficient way – not merely “scoring points” or litigating for its own sake.

Daniel's clients appreciate his calm, nonanxious presence, sober and clear advice and professional but aggressive approach that keeps adversaries off-balance and out-gunned. He concentrates on contract, corporate governance, trade secret and unfair competition disputes, as well as on defending businesses against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Daniel is the Costa Mesa Labor and Employment Leader.

Select Experience

  • Litigated dueling lawsuits between two online sellers of luxury athletic footwear and streetwear, obtaining a prejudgment attachment of the adversary’s bank account and diverting the entire dispute to arbitration. Through diligent preparation and aggressive litigation, the adversary surrendered two nights before the arbitration was due to begin, agreeing to a stipulated arbitration award and judgment. (2021)
  • Won summary judgment in favor of a United Methodist district against a local congregation which attempted to leave the denomination and take the parish property with it, despite the fact that the property was subject to an express trust in favor of the United Methodist Church. (2021)
  • Won the dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of a federal lawsuit against a military contractor for race and age discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The dismissal was with prejudice and without leave to amend as to all but one theory, and the plaintiffs did not re-file. (2020)
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Experience

  • Litigated dueling lawsuits between two online sellers of luxury athletic footwear and streetwear, obtaining a prejudgment attachment of the adversary’s bank account and diverting the entire dispute to arbitration. Through diligent preparation and aggressive litigation, the adversary surrendered two nights before the arbitration was due to begin, agreeing to a stipulated arbitration award and judgment. (2021)
  • Won summary judgment in favor of a United Methodist district against a local congregation which attempted to leave the denomination and take the parish property with it, despite the fact that the property was subject to an express trust in favor of the United Methodist Church. (2021)
  • Won the dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of a federal lawsuit against a military contractor for race and age discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The dismissal was with prejudice and without leave to amend as to all but one theory, and the plaintiffs did not re-file. (2020)
  • Obtained the dismissal of a federal whistleblower case (and ancillary state claims) against a military contractor under Rule 12(b)(6) and aggressively pursued and obtained an award of costs against the individual plaintiffs, which they appealed. Defended the award before the Tenth Circuit, which (in a unanimous opinion) affirmed. Consistent with his philosophy of exhausting every avenue to “balance the scales” for corporate defendants (who have little recourse against employment-law plaintiffs), through aggressive collection action, the individual plaintiffs paid the entire cost award to the client. (2019-2020)
  • Piloted a corporate client through a “shakedown” by an attorney for an allegedly-disabled employee whom the company had repeatedly accommodated with leave. Through a proactive approach of investigating the employee’s online activity, demonstrated that the employee was likely not disabled and probably engaging in other employment. Both employee and her attorney abandoned their demands. (2019)
  • Tried a multiplaintiff employment lawsuit to a federal jury, resulting in a defense verdict as to one plaintiff, and awards to the remaining plaintiffs well below the lowest end of their alleged damages. (2018)

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2021)
    • California: Commercial Litigation
  • Southern California Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2004 to 2008, 2011 to 2016)

Memberships

  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Federalist Society

Community

  • St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary: Board of Directors (2015 to present)

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • California
  • Massachusetts

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2000
  • B.A., Yale University, 1997, magna cum laude

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Law Spotlight
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Abrogates Employers' Sole Defense to Automatic Treble Damages Liability for Late Final Wage Payments
By Amy E. Beverlin, Matthew C. Kane, Daniel F. Lula
April 6, 2022
On April 4, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed employees there yet another victory in Reuter v. City of Methuen, holding that they are automatically entitled to triple damages for any late payment of final wages even where the...
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