Bradford G. HughesBradford Hughes Clark Hill
Bradford G. Hughes
Bradford Hughes is a Member in Clark Hill’s Los Angeles office where he represents clients in Commercial Litigation and Trucking and Transportation matters. He is considered an industry leader in defending motor carriers in catastrophic injury litigation at trial and on appeal. Bradford also represents Fortune 500 businesses, closely-held companies, motor carriers, financial institutions, and individuals in litigated and transactional matters, including as outside general counsel.
Business Litigation & Transactions
Bradford represents businesses of every size in litigated and transactional matters. Having handled the prosecution and defense of cases for businesses around the United States, Bradford brings a unique and effective approach to complex disputes. He works closely with his clients to achieve the most cost-effective and profit maximizing results, which includes the thoughtful management of client time, resources, and human capital. Bradford defends cases involving breach of contract, proprietary trade secrets, non-solicitation/non-compete agreements, alter ego claims, and commercial lease agreements. He advises clients on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts, California’s SAFE Act, Truth in Lending Act, Finance Lenders Law, and Sister State Money-Judgments Act. He serves as outside general counsel to businesses across California where he works with executives, boards of directors, and shareholders to achieve their goals. A member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, Bradford frequently represents financial institutions in a variety of proceedings initiated under Chapters 7, 11 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Trucking & Transportation
Bradford brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the litigation of catastrophic injury lawsuits arising out of trucking accidents and has extensive knowledge of both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) Program. He defends interstate, intrastate, and local "last-mile" carriers in litigation, including catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, subrogation, and cargo matters. Regularly called upon to speak to industry and trade groups regarding the litigation of trucking cases and emerging trends in state and federal law, Bradford serves as the Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee (CTLC), Vice-Chair of the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee’s Trucking Primer, and is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), DRI Trucking Steering Committee, Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA), Transportation and Logistics Council, and California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA).
Bradford has presented at the American Moving & Storage Association Annual Conference, DRI Trucking Primer, DRI Annual Meeting, British Columbia Trucking Association, TIDA Webinar, ABA Webinar, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and at local transportation conferences. He has been published in several industry and trade periodicals on issues pertaining to CSA compliance, employer obligations when hiring new drivers, best practices for catastrophic injury accident response teams, proper driver classification under state and federal law, compliance with DOT regulations for drug and alcohol testing, and using social media in litigation. Bradford manages the 24-Hour Accident Investigation Emergency Response Team for California and Nevada.
Honors, Awards & Certifications
Bradford is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell, indicating that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. He has been selected as a Southern California Rising Star continuously since 2014. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in California are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Further, Bradford was identified as one of the Top 100 Up-and-Coming lawyers under the age of 40 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Bradford is a Certified Legal Management Professional after successfully completing the Claims & Litigation Management's (CLM) Litigation Management Institute Program in 2015. The Litigation Management Institute (LMI) is the first certification program specifically designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the business of litigation management. The rigorous program is designed to bridge the gap between legal theory and litigation strategy, and the business aspects of litigation management.
Wells Fargo v. Baker (2012) 204 Cal.App.4th 1063
A national bank sued California residents in Iowa and served them via substitute service with the Iowa Secretary of State as allowed by Iowa's long-arm statute. The national bank obtained a default judgment against the California residents in Iowa and registered that judgment in California pursuant to California's Sister State and Foreign Money-Judgments Act. The California residents filed a Motion to Vacate the judgment on the grounds that the national bank improperly availed itself of Iowa's long-arm statute as the bank was not a "resident of Iowa" and thus could not utilize the long-arm statute for service of process. The superior court granted the motion and vacated the Iowa judgment.
The Court of Appeal reversed and remanded, holding that the requirement that foreign corporations hold a certificate of authority to qualify as a "resident of Iowa," as it pertained to national banks, was preempted by the National Bank Act because it infringed upon the power of a national bank to sue as fully as natural persons. The Court further held that the Iowa statute, as interpreted by the lower court, would impermissibly discriminate against national banks in favor of local banks, again in violation of the National Bank Act. The California Court of Appeals reversed the superior court and ordered that Judgment be entered in favor of Wells Fargo for $998,111.15.
- "Avoiding Wage and Hour Claims: A Guide for the Rest of Us," TIDA, August 10, 2016
- "Effective Use of Social Media In Discovery and Trial: How to Find it and How to Use it," Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, November 19, 2015
- "YOUR WORST DAY: Leadership and Preparation for Catastrophic Claims," Direction Magazine: Publication of the American Moving & Storage Association, July 2015
- "Assembling and Disassembling the Deposition of a Vocationsal Rehabilitation Expert," DRI In Transit Newsletter, June 29, 2015
- "CSA: 2010: The Good, The Bad, The Unknown," ALFA International Transportation Update, Spring 2010, March 1, 2010