Pettit Kohn Attorneys Secure Appellate Victory in Arizona Business Dispute

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin attorneys Grant Waterkotte, Tristan Mullis, and Rachel Albert successfully defended their client in a recent Court of Appeals decision in Arizona, affirming a trial victory from 2018.

Pettit Kohn’s client, an Arizona Homeowner’s Association, sued its former board president for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract, and a handful of other claims.  The former board president countersued and claimed tens of millions of dollars in damages.  The trial court ruled in the Association’s favor, finding against the former board president on his counterclaims.  Pettit Kohn’s client was awarded damages and was entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs under Arizona law.

The former board president appealed, disputing the amount of nearly half a million dollars in damages.  Following briefing and oral argument, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the trial victory and award but remanded the case back to the trial court to recalculate the damages to reflect the amount of the Association’s legal fees incurred.  The Judge followed the mandate of the Court of Appeals and issued a second revised order making it completely clear that all legal fees were accounted for and no further deduction of legal expenses was necessary. 

The former board president appealed a second time, arguing that the trial court improperly deviated from the appellate court’s mandate and again disputing the amount of attorney’s fees and damages.  On May 12, 2022, the Arizona Court of Appeals Division One issued its memorandum decision affirming the trial court’s judgment, awarding Pettit Kohn’s client approximately $1 million in damages and attorneys’ fees.

Grant D. Waterkotte, Esq. is a founding shareholder at Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin and is licensed in Arizona and California.  A highly accomplished trial attorney, Grant has tried over 30 cases to verdict in Maricopa, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Kern Counties.  The vast majority of these trials were before a jury, where Grant has a 90% record of success.  Grant’s jury trial experience and exceptional results led to his induction into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in October of 2010, only nine years into his career.  Mr. Waterkotte was included in the 2010-2015 Rising Stars list by Southern California Super Lawyers and most recently recognized among the Southern California Super Lawyers in 2021 and 2022.

Tristan A. Mullis, Esq. is a shareholder and leader in Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin PC’s Los Angeles office and a leader in the employment and labor group.  He represents California employers in the defense of claims involving issues of workplace discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour violations.  He has secured successful outcomes for clients at trial, mediation, and through dispositive motions and works with employers to implement policies and practices to maximize personnel while reducing the risk of future claims. Tristan speaks regularly to various groups on a wide range of employment law topics including COVID-19. 

Rachel E. Albert, Esq. is an associate in Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin PC’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on employment and labor counseling and litigation. She represents a diverse spectrum of California employers, helping them manage the day-to-day issues arising in the employment context, craft and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance, and navigate the litigation process.  Rachel earned her J.D. degree at the Pepperdine University School of Law, graduating cum laude. She is also a graduate of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law – Mediating the Litigated Case™ program. She is licensed to practice before all courts in the State of California.

About Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin PC is a leading AV-rated, full-service trial firm with expertise in litigating and resolving civil matters in both state and federal courts.  The firm represents clients in the areas of Appellate, Business Litigation, Community Association Litigation, Employment & Labor, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Real Estate Litigation, Restaurant & Hospitality, Retail, Transactional & Business Services, Transportation, and Trial & Civil Litigation.  Clients include large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions, and individuals.  Pettit Kohn is located in California and Arizona with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tucson.  Learn more about the firm at