Partner

Steve Seto’s practice focuses on real estate and title-related litigation and is primarily oriented toward representation of business entities, financial institutions and escrow companies in both state and federal court. Mr. Seto also advises clients on various types of real estate disputes including boundary and easement disputes, landlord-tenant and construction litigation. He also has extensive experience representing creditors and trustees in bankruptcy court.

REAL PROPERTY & CREDITORS’ RIGHTS LITIGATION

Mr. Seto has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial litigation with special expertise in real property disputes and creditors’ rights.

  • Represented developers, landlords, title companies, escrow companies, insureds and contractors in real property litigation and arbitration including title insurance and escrow claims, class action litigation, construction defect actions, commercial landlord-tenant disputes, lien priority determinations, quiet title actions, purchase and sale disputes, adverse possession claims and boundary disputes.
  • Represented construction companies, principals and commercial lenders in contract and business disputes, partnership dissolution actions, secured transactions, loan workouts, mechanics lien and wrongful foreclosure actions, receiverships and bankruptcies.

REPRESENTATIVE WORK

  • Successfully defended commercial developers in construction defect dispute in multi-day trial
  • Obtained $1.7 million attachment lien for commercial landlord
  • Defended construction supply company in $200 million false claims action brought by California Attorney General, resulting in favorable settlement for client
  • Defended manufacturer in two-week jury trial
  • Represented general contractor in lien priority dispute, resulting in $600,000 payment to client
  • Successfully defended investor in judgment on appeal to Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel
  • Obtained judgment for lender in $350,000 quiet title action
  • Successfully defended insured commercial lenders in subordination action in two-day trial
  • Successfully appealed judgment against attorney to California Court of Appeal
  • Successfully defended debtor in nondischargeability action in trial in U.S. Bankruptcy Court

PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

  • “Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law and Procedure,” Program Co-Chair, National Business Institute
  • “Landlord Claims in Bankruptcy,” Program Co-Chair, Contra Costa County Bar CLE
  • “Landlords Beware: Security Deposits in Bankruptcy,” BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) International Magazine
  • “Solvent Tenant Used Bankruptcy Primarily to Reduce Landlord’s Damage Claim,” San Francisco Daily Journal
  • “Bailor, Consignor and Trustee Rights under California Uniform Commercial Code Ā§ 2326,” California Bankruptcy JournalĀ 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Bergquist, Wood & Seto, LLP (2012-present) (Partner)
  • Shapiro Buchman Provine LLP, Walnut Creek, CA (2005-2012) (Partner 2010-2012)
  • Miller Starr & Regalia, Walnut Creek, CA (2000-2005) (Associate)
  • Sulmeyer, Kupetz, Baumann & Rothman, Los Angeles, CA (1995-2000) (Associate)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Santa Ana, CA (1994-1995) (Law Clerk to the Honorable John E. Ryan)