Bird Marella Named One of California's Top Ranked Law Firms by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®

Joel Boxer, one of the founders of the firm, has 40 years of experience as a lawyer representing parties in complex civil trials in the state and federal courts, and in arbitrations.

Mr. Boxer has particular experience and expertise in handling suits involving accounting or other complex issues requiring the presentation of expert opinion testimony. These cases often involve real estate, entertainment industry, contract, probate or trust issues or the representation of lawyers and law firms.

Mr. Boxer has served as judge pro tem in the Los Angeles Municipal Courts, now consolidated with the Superior Court, as an arbitrator and as a neutral referee, and was a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the United States District Court, Central District of California.

Representative Cases

  • Represented successfully at trial and on appeal co-conservators who obtained a probate court order restraining a purported “manager” and a lawyer from claiming the right to act on behalf of the conservatee, Britney Spears. Later, defeated by non-suit motion during a jury trial all of the “manager’s” breach of oral contract claims asserted against Ms. Spears.

  • Defended successfully at trial a national law firm sued for malpractice by a former client it had represented in an earlier partnership breakup trial. On the national law firm’s cross claim for outstanding fees due, the jury awarded the firm more than 100% of its claim for fees.

  • Represented successfully at trial and on multiple appeals the trustee of a very substantial estate who established that a purported written amendment to a trust instrument was invalid and that the heir who advanced the amendment was disinherited because the heir’s conduct violated the trust’s no contest clause.

  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for the owners of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” brand against its former publisher for the publisher’s unauthorized proposed use of the brand’s trademark on unrelated book covers.

  • Obtained for plaintiff in a multiple week retrial of the damages phase of a copyright infringement lawsuit what was, at the time, the largest monetary award for infringement other than piracy.

  • Conducted a multiple-week trial that established that a neighbor in the Malibu hills trespassed on surrounding property by bulldozing the long dirt road over our client’s real property without the approval of the Coastal Commission or our client. We obtained a substantial money judgment for damages, which was upheld on appeal. The neighbor lost ownership of his parcel in the judgment-collection process.

  • Represented the largest builder of commercial property in Central and East Los Angeles in a suit over ownership of a repurposed downtown landmark Los Angeles building. Established at trial, over the objections of a third party, our client’s right to sell it to a specific buyer, not the third party. In another matter for the same client, we established in arbitration the right of the builder to retain as liquidated damages the deposits made by two related buyers who backed out of their building construction and purchase contracts for pretextual reasons.

  • Represented successfully in a Screen Actor’s Guild arbitration a talent agency whose former client, a child actor, claimed his agency agreement was invalid because it was entered into when the client was a minor.

  • Represented an individual, a lawyer, who managed multiple businesses owned jointly with his former wife, also a lawyer; she claimed her ex-husband had breached his post-divorce fiduciary duties to her. At a three-week trial, we established that no further accountings were necessary, no monies were owed by our client and that the former wife was wrongfully in possession of jointly owned real property.

  • Represented the heirs of a successor trustee and worked with an expert forensic accountant to reconstruct 10 years of missing trust accountings. At trial, we established that the estate of the now deceased successor trustee did not owe any money to the beneficiaries of the trust.

Appellate Decisions


Bird Marella Again Ranked in “Best Law Firms” and Best Lawyers in America®

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® has ranked Bird Marella among the 2018 “Best Law Firms” in Los Angeles with a Tier 1 ranking in the practice areas of White Collar Criminal Defense, Commercial Litigation, and Trust & Estates. The firm also achieved a Tier 3 ranking in Environmental Law. The U.S. ...

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12 Bird Marella Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers List

Bird Marella is proud to recognize the attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers list: Terry W. Bird - Criminal Defense: White Collar, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation Sharon Ben-Shahar Mayer - Business Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar Joel E. Boxer ...

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12 Bird Marella Attorneys Selected to 2017 Best Lawyers in America®

12 Bird Marella principals have been recognized and selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition of the Best Lawyers in America.  Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly 5 million votes on the legal abilities of ...

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Bird Marella Wins Appeal Ending 9 Years of Litigation Against Real Estate Partnership

Bird Marella principals Sharon Ben-Shahar Mayer and Joel Boxer’s appellate victory in December 2015 ended 9 years of litigation against a real estate partnership and its general partner. The clients had been accused of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The plaintiff, a limited partner in the real ...

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Bird Marella Obtains Dismissal with Prejudice of Federal Lawsuit Against International Law Firm

Bird Marella attorneys Joel Boxer, Mark Drooks, and Douglas Fretty successfully moved a federal district court to dismiss the complaint filed against an international law firm in a putative class action.  Plaintiffs originally asserted violations of RICO, California Unfair Competition Law, and California False Advertising Law, as well ...

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Dismissal obtained for international law firm in $7M+ securities matter

Joel E. Boxer, Mark T. Drooks and Nicole R. Van Dyk obtained dismissal of a federal action seeking contribution from an international law firm under Section 18(b) of the Securities Act of 1934.

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Other News & Events

Published Cases

  • Co-Author: “Major Pitfalls in Drafting Transactional Documents (A Litigator’s Prospective),” Beverly Hills Bar Association, 1988, 1990 and 1992 Editions.

  • Co-Author: “Copyright Infringement of Audio-Visual Works and Characters,” 52 U.S.C. Law Review 315 (1979)

  • Vu v. California Commerce Club, 58 Cal. App. 4th 229 (1997) (proximate causation in the gaming industry).

  • Seiler v. Lucasfilm, Ltd., 797 F.2d 1504 (9th Cir. 1986) (copyright infringement).

  • Save the Dolphins v. United States Dept. of Commerce, 404 F. Supp. 407 (N.D. Cal. 1975) (Freedom of Information Act).