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800 South Figueroa Street | 12th Floor | Los Angeles, California 90017-2521


OR TOLL FREE AT866.399.8679

Welcome to Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP

Since 1957, we have provided clients throughout California with high quality, responsive, and cost-effective legal service. We offer:

  • Experienced trial lawyers with successful track records;
  • Practical and efficient business and legal problem-solvers; and
  • Tough, but effective, negotiators to help close your deal or settle your case.

We do not charge for an initial consultation.

To schedule a free consultation please call us toll free at (800) 717-4990.

We look forward to the opportunity to represent you.

Thank you for attending our free seminar in Madera, California, on April 11, 2014, about the California High Speed Rail Project

We appreciate your interest in learning more about the rights and remedies of private property and business owners faced with potential eminent domain and relocation issues related to the proposed California High Speed Rail Project.

If you have any questions about the project and/or your rights and remedies, please contact us by telephone or email at:

  • (800) 717-4990 [toll free]
  • or

Examples of Our Work

Eminent Domain – The firm obtained a verdict of $1,318,000 in Madera County Superior Court against Caltrans for the taking of access and septic easements.  The initial offer by Caltrans to our clients was $0.

Eminent Domain- The firm obtained a jury verdict of $3,435,904 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which was $3,300,904 more than the City's appraisal.  The City then decided to abandon the eminent domain action, and paid $1,005,000 in damages and litigation expenses to our client without acquiring any interest in our client's property.

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented a motel owner whose property was being taken by the County for reconstruction of a freeway on-ramp.  The County's appraiser valued the property at $2,800,000.  At trial in San Bernardino County Superior Court, the firm obtained a jury verdict in favor of the property owner in excess of $4,100,000

Eminent Domain:  When the District attempted to condemn apartments owned by one of the firm's clients, it made a "lowball" offer, using several undesirable properties in an airport flight path as comparable sales.  After several attempts to resolve the matter by mediation, the case successfully settled on the eve of trial for $600,000 more than the District's offer before trial, plus the amount of rents lost when the District relocated the client's tenants.

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented one of Santa Barbara's most notable surfboard shapers in eminent domain litigation filed by Caltrans for a freeway on-ramp project.  In addition to obtaining just compensation, the firm was able to keep the client in possession of his surfboard shop by fighting off an aggressive effort for early eviction until the client could arrange for an orderly and reasonable relocation.  In the same project area, the firm represented a windows and door business and was successful in obtaining a loss of goodwill settlement of $315,000.00.  Caltrans initially did not make any offer to this business.

Eminent Domain:  The firm represented a dentist in eminent domain proceedings filed by the City to acquire commercial property on which the dentist also conducted his practice. The firm obtained $1,038,865 more than the City's initial offer.

Eminent Domain:  The Government sought to condemn property owned by a family trust on which the family conducted its business. The firm was able to negotiate a settlement in lieu of condemnation for $714,000 more than the Government offered.

Inverse Condemnation:  Representing a family of property owners, the firm filed suit against a local governmental agency, seeking damages for unreasonable pre-condemnation conduct and delay. The Government had created blight around the owners' property by acquiring and emptying much of the surrounding land. The Government initially appraised the family's property for, and refused to pay the family more than, $1,025,000. After a trial of the main legal issues in the case, the court ruled that the Government had engaged in unreasonable conduct and delay, and scheduled a jury trial on the issue of the amount of the damages. The Government then settled, purchasing the property for $3,205,000.

Probate Litigation:  The firm prevailed in the trial court and on appeal in probate litigation involving a lost will. The appellate court upheld judgment in favor of the firm's client and an award of discovery sanctions against the firm's opponents. Click here to see the full appellate opinion.

Wrongful Termination:  The firm represented an African American employee who had worked for her employer for over ten years. She had good employment ratings and was knowledgeable in several positions in the company. However, she was terminated due to alleged "restructuring" of the department. The termination was devastating and she went into a deep depression. Extensive investigation revealed that her employer had selectively terminated plaintiff due to her race. Indeed, the employer had kept non-African American employees who had been recently hired. The matter settled successfully at a private mediation, on confidential terms. The client recovered from her depression. She has received additional training in a new field and recently was hired by a new employer.

Wrongful Termination:  Our client had a vision problem that affected his ability to produce parts for a manufacturer at the same rate as other employees.  However, he was very knowledgeable and had many attributes that made him an effective worker. The company had a "reduction in force."  To select workers for lay-off, the company used recent performance ratings that unfairly focused on the client's disability.  Under California law, persons with various disabilities are entitled to protection from such adverse employment actions. The case settled on confidential terms at mediation shortly before trial.

These examples are for illustrative purposes only. Every case or legal issue depends on its own facts, law and the unique credibility of the witnesses involved. Results similar to the above are not and cannot be guaranteed.


Firm News

Gary A. Kovacic is once again co-chairing CLE International’s Eminent Domain Institute.  The annual conference will be held on May 15 and 16, 2014 at the Intercontinental Century City Hotel in Los Angeles, California.   Mr. Kovacic was recently recognized in the 2014 Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top Eminent Domain lawyers in Southern California.

Gary A. Kovacic and Charles D. Cummings spoke about eminent domain procedure and special valuation rules on March 26, 2014, at the International Association of Assessing Officers [Los Angeles Chapter] Spring Appraisal Seminar.  They will be featured speakers at the following upcoming seminars about eminent domain law and procedure:

    ●  April 22, 2014 - IRWA Chapter 1 Annual Valuation Seminar (Quiet Cannon Restaurant, Montebello, CA)

     ●  May 15 and 16, 2014 - CLE International Annual Eminent Domain Conference (InterContinental Century City Hotel, Los Angeles, CA) 

Theresa M. Pranata has joined Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP as a partner.  Ms. Pranata chairs the firm's Elder Law and Trust and Estates practice, which includes estate planning, special needs trusts, Medi-Cal planning, conservatorships, trust administration, and probates.  She graduated from Loyola Law School in 2001, and is an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Trust and Estates Section, Pasadena Bar Association Probate, Trust and Estates Section, and San Gabriel Valley Bar Association.

Sullivan, Workman & Dee, LLP
800 South Figueroa Street, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, California, 90017-2521 USA