CDF Successfully Defends Mortgage Lender in Non-Solicitation Lawsuit

Stearns Lending, Inc. comes out on top as verdict is reached in lawsuit brought by competitor Prospect Mortgage, LLC  

IRVINE, Calif., June 27, 2014 – Following a five-week trial that featured nearly two-dozen witnesses and more than 400 exhibits, leading California employment, labor, and immigration law firm Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP (CDF) announces a victory in a recent corporate recruiting case, saving its client Stearns Lending, Inc. (Stearns) from potentially having to pay millions of dollars in damages.

The full defense verdict, reached in less than four hours by a jury in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange brings to a close a lawsuit filed by Stearns’ competitor, Prospect Mortgage, LLC (Prospect), which alleged Stearns’ hiring of 17 employees was an act of unfair competition and economic interference (Case No. 30-2012-00559233, Prospect Mortgage, LLC vs. Jeremy DeRosa and Stearns Lending, Inc.). Additionally, Prospect sued individual former employees, claiming they were in violation of the company’s non-solicitation agreement. 

“Stearns is pleased to have been vindicated in this lawsuit,” said Stearns' CEO, Brian Hale. “It is just unfortunate that so much time and expense had to be expended on a case that clearly had no factual support or legal merit.”

CDF Partner Todd Wulffson and Senior Counsel Lindsay Ayers represented Stearns in the action, providing the California employer with valued counsel and a vehement defense through all stages of the lawsuit and subsequent litigation.

“California has tried hard to limit these types of lawsuits, which can be a large resource drain for businesses and harm employees because they serve as an impediment to hiring," said Wulffson.

“At CDF, we offer guidance and support to help California employers avoid going to trial, but when that is unavoidable, as it was in this case, we have the resources and experience necessary to provide them with a focused and zealous defense in court,” added Ayers.

For more information on the case, contact Todd Wulffson or Lindsay Ayers at (949) 622-1661. 

About Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP

For 20 years, Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor, and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. The firm has five offices throughout California – in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. In 2014, in celebration of its 20 year anniversary, CDF activated a yearlong charitable partnership comprised of community events and services in support of Wounded Warrior Project® at its offices statewide. For more information, visit:

About Stearns Lending, Inc.

Stearns was founded in 1989 by its current Chairman, Glenn Stearns, when he was 25 years old. His commitment to serving customers with integrity and desire to make the American dream of home ownership come true for a greater population provided an ideal foundation for the company's expansion.

With more than 1,500 employees nationwide, Stearns, Inc. is well positioned to thrive in the new regulatory environment. Currently, Stearns is the No. 1 Wholesale Residential Lender and a top 20 Residential Lender ranked by total volume in the United States. Over the past three years, Stearns companies funded over $30 billion, representing 100,000 loans funded.

Media Contacts: Kristina Sarenas/Alicia Caldwell
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