Theresa C. Becerra
Complex Business Litigation
Credit Reporting Litigation
University of California
B.A., 1995, History
UCLA School of Law
U.S. District Court – Central, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Construction – Public and Private
Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Ms. Becerra has practiced commercial litigation for almost 17 years. She specializes in complex business litigation, including commercial and residential construction litigation, consumer class action defense, issues arising from claims of unfair competition, unfair business practices, interference with contract and other business torts, breach of fiduciary duty, credit reporting litigation, and operational issues relating to market rate and affordable housing developments.
Ms. Becerra has extensive experience in both state and federal courts throughout the Western United States, including California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. She has dealt with all aspects of litigation from inception through trial.
Prior to joining Pahl & McCay, Ms. Becerra was a partner with Garcia Sullivan & Lopez LLP, and prior to that was a Counsel in the Orange County office of Crowell & Moring LLP (1999-2012).
Ms. Becerra’s wide-ranging litigation and counseling experience includes:
- Defending national and international construction companies, owners, design professionals and subcontractors in connection with complex construction delay and defect claims. She has successfully handled all types of constructions issues including bidding, bid protests, differing site conditions, acceleration, inefficiency, work suspensions, project abandonment claims, termination for convenience or default, change orders, mechanic’s liens, stop notices, subcontractor substitutions, contractor licensing issues, surety and bond issues, prompt pay violations, and prevailing wage disputes. She has handled matters involving both private and public projects. The works of improvement that she has dealt with include multi-unit residential projects, commercial office buildings, airports, pipelines, flood control channels, electricity plants, geothermal plants, public and private schools, college campus projects, parking structures, and restaurants.
- Counseling construction clients in the negotiation and drafting of a wide range of different types of construction contracts.
- Defending a major national telecommunications company in a series of consumer class actions involving claims brought under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and other statutes and legal theories.
- Defending businesses in state and federal wage and hour class actions involving claims alleging, among other things, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, missed meal breaks, late payment of wages, and off-the-clock work.
- Counseling public entities on matters arising under the Brown Act (open meeting laws) and the County Employees Retirement Act.
- Defending credit reporting agencies and retailers in connection with individual and class claims arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and their state counterparts, as well as related claims brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law.
- Representing numerous litigants in connection with various family law matters including dissolutions and annulments, temporary and permanent spousal, child and family support awards, separate and marital property issues, adoption and guardianship proceedings, wage garnishment orders, marital settlement agreements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and temporary and permanent restraining orders.
Honors and Recognition
Ms. Becerra was named a "Southern California Super Lawyer - Rising Star" in Litigation in 2009.
Ms. Becerra was also selected by the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel to be one of only 50 Latina Lawyers nationwide to participate in those groups’ joint inaugural Latina Executive Leadership Program.
Professional Associations and Activities
Ms. Becerra serves on the Legal Advisory Committee to the Associated General Contractors of California.
Ms. Becerra was also a Board Member and then Secretary of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. Ms. Becerra has also served on the Recruiting Committee of the California Minority Counsel Program and as a representative of the Orange County Diversity Council. She is also an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Mexican American Bar Association.
Finally, Ms. Becerra is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Mexican-American Bar Association.
Pro Bono and Community Involvement
Ms. Becerra has worked extensively with the Public Law Center of Orange County. She has represented numerous pro bono clients on family law matters referred from that organization. She has also handled clemency petitions through Washington, D.C.'s Families Against Mandatory Minimums and has served as a volunteer attorney for the Archdiocese Legal Network's Catholic Charities.
Blau v. AT&T Mobility, et al., No. C11-00541-CRB, 2012 WL 10546 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 3, 2012) (granting defendant’s motion to compel arbitration as to plaintiff Tran).
Blau v. AT&T Mobility, et al., Case No. C 11–00541 CRB, 2012 WL 566565 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 21, 2012) (granting defendants’ motion to compel arbitration as to certain plaintiffs).
Hutchison v. AT&T Internet Servs., Inc., No. CV07-3674 SVW (JCx), 2009 WL 1726344 (C.D. Cal. May 5, 2009) (granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment).
Seraphin v. SBC Internet Servs., Inc., No. CV 09-131-S-REB, 2010 WL 1326820 (D. Idaho, Mar. 29, 2010) (defendant’s motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part).
Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 2010) (affirm dismissal of consumer’s common law fraud and unfair competition claims and the denial of declaratory relief with regard to those claims, and reversing dismissal of consumer’s breach of contract claim and denial of declaratory relief with regard to that claim).
Thomas v. Trans Union LLC, 197 F. Supp. 2d 1233 (D. Or. Mar. 26, 2002) (denying plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment).
Speeches and Presentations
"The Ins and Outs of E-discovery," Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 8, 2009). Author: Theresa C. Lopez.
Mechanic’s Liens," Associated General Contractors Fall Conference (October 29-30, 2009). Co-Presenters: Randall L. Erickson, Theresa C. Lopez, and Rosemary K. Carson.
"California Wage and Hour Issues: What You Don’t Know Will Cost You," The Construction Superconference (December 2008). Moderator: Randall L. Erickson; Panelists: Kendra D. Miller, Theresa C. Lopez and Rosemary K. Carson.
"A Look at Recent California Case Law Impacting Contractors' Businesses: Contractors Should Heed Recent Decisions on Liability Issues, Good Faith Agreements, and Prevailing Wage Laws," California Constructor, Vol. 38, No. 3 (March 2008). Co-Authors: Theresa C. Lopez and Rosemary K. Carson.
"E-Discovery: Implications for the Construction Industry," California Constructor, Vol. 36, No. 12 (December 2006). Co-Authors: Randall L. Erickson, Theresa C. Lopez and Julie A. Harris.
"Recent Trends & Developments in Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice," Western Council of Construction Consumers Outlook 2006 Annual Conference - Los Angeles, California (March 2, 2006). Presenter: Theresa C. Lopez.
"There's A Fungus Among Us: The Current Epidemic of Toxic Mold Litigation," Construction Users Roundtable Quarterly Member Meeting, Houston, Texas (September 9, 2003). Presenters: Randall L. Erickson and Theresa C. Lopez.