Attorneys

Scali Rasmussen's attorneys have been recognized for their accessibility, attention to client needs, and high degree of specialization in auto dealer law. Our team includes veteran lawyers with decades experience in high-stakes litigation, as well as Rising Stars, a distinction reserved for the top 2.5% of California attorneys practicing 10 years or less. Whether you need a simple consultation, or complete outside general counsel services, please contact us to see how we can help resolve your legal matters.

Our team

Christian Scali

Founder and Managing Partner

Christian Scali has a diverse automotive industry practice that includes advice and counsel and complex and high stakes litigation, involving franchise disputes, lender liability, reinsurance and flooring disputes, consumer finance, consumer and wage and hour class actions, high stakes employment litigation, trade secret misappropriation and corporate shareholder and partnership disputes. Mr. Scali is known throughout the state of California for his work on behalf of the retail automotive industry in a series of advertising lawsuits brought against it under California’s Unfair Competition Law. He also regularly assists auto dealers and auto dealer groups with their mergers and acquisitions. In 2018, the Los Angeles Business Journal named him a Top Litigator in Los Angeles.

Halbert (Bert) Rasmussen has extensive experience representing car, truck, bus, and motorcycle dealers in most legal issues they face. Bert represents clients in franchise disputes (including New Motor Vehicle Board Protests) as well as in business transactions, such as dealer buy-sells. Bert also defends clients when they are accused of violating regulatory requirements, and helps them with policies and procedures to achieve regulatory compliance. Bert’s experience also extends to negotiating dealer agreements with manufacturers, realty owners and lenders as well as mergers and acquisitions, and consumer and business litigation.

Robert (“Bob”) Mizar, is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in defending clients in personal injury and property damage claims, as well as defending automobile dealerships in claims based upon the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) and Song-Beverly and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Acts. In addition to automobile dealerships, Mr. Mizar’s clients also include motor carriers and common carriers, automobile and rental agencies.

Melanie is a highly experienced legal and business advisor who focuses her practice primarily in two areas: Korean companies entering the U.S. market and automotive companies and dealers.

John Swenson is a senior litigation and trial attorney with over 14 years experience practicing in both the state and federal courts of California. John has substantial jury and bench trial experience, and has made many successful arguments before the court of appeal.

Jennifer Burns (formerly Jennifer Price) has served as in-house and outside employment counsel for auto dealer groups, which experience provides her with a grounded perspective in handling employment-related compliance matters. As outside counsel, she advised businesses regarding compliance with employment laws and defended businesses in employment litigation, including participating in multiple jury trials for wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuits.

Jack Schaedel has spent more than 20 years assisting clients in labor and employment law matters, including wage-hour and employment litigation and providing advice and counsel to employers in managing their workforces.

Jeffrey Erdman is a senior litigation and trial attorney with nearly 25 years of litigation experience practicing in both the state and federal courts of California. Jeffrey has extensive courtroom and trial experience, both as plaintiff’s counsel and as defense counsel, and successfully argued cases before the California Court of Appeal. Jeffrey’s litigation experience spans many areas of business, including the insurance, manufacturing and service industries, as well as all variety of real estate disputes.

Robert D. Daniels

Senior Counsel

Mr. Daniels’ practice areas for the firm include consumer and commercial litigation, commercial law, secured transactions, bankruptcy law, real estate law, and automotive dealer law. He mentor’s the firm’s associate attorneys and assists Mr. Scali in the firm’s consumer litigation. His substantial trial practice over the years includes both the California Superior Courts and Federal Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Daniels also has wide experience in transactional matters, including real estate loans, buy/sells, personal property secured loans, and commercial contracts.

Bruce Nye

Attorney of Counsel

Bruce Nye is a veteran trial lawyer and mediator. Bruce has practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1977, has managed litigation throughout the United States and has tried cases in all nine Bay Area counties and in courts throughout California. He has tried more than fifty cases to verdict or judgment. His broad career trial experience ranges from representing automobile dealerships and other companies in consumer litigation to representing companies in business litigation, toxic exposure litigation, personal injury, product liability and employment litigation.

Monica J. Baumann

Senior Associate

Monica Baumann is a litigator and adviser with extensive experience in the automotive industry and in consumer environmental litigation, including Proposition 65 issues. She advises dealer clients and litigates all aspects of dealership legal and regulatory compliance. She previously served as Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs with the California New Car Dealers Association, where she developed cutting edge compliance programs for dealerships and focused on emerging legal and regulatory issues impacting the sales, finance and service of vehicles. Monica has extensive experience working with dealers and their staff to find practical business solutions to tough legal issues.

Jade F. Jurdi

Senior Associate

Jade has extensive litigation experience, with a focus on litigating consumer class claims, claims related to consumer product compliance, and auto dealer business and franchise disputes. He has litigated dozens of class cases alleging violations of California and Federal consumer protection statutes and unfair competition laws.

Jeremy H. Herwitt

Senior Associate

Jeremy is an experienced litigator and trial attorney, with an emphasis on employment and commercial litigation. He has successfully litigated a wide array of complex commercial and high-stakes business disputes, and has handled cases alleging violations of California and Federal labor laws, including wage & hour class actions defense, and claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and trade secret theft. He also has extensive experience handling claims of business fraud and violations of California unfair competition laws.

Gus N. Paras

Associate Attorney

Gus N. Paras has a regulatory and transactional practice. He was part of the team at Scali Law that drafted the California New Car Dealers Association’s 2015 Advertising Manual and routinely advises automotive dealerships on advertising compliance, Red Flags compliance and compliance with F&I regulations.

Jasmin B. Bhandari

Associate Attorney

Ms. Bhandari is an associate with The Scali Law Firm’s Employment and Litigation practice groups. She maintains a regulatory and litigation practice primarily focused on labor and employment law. She provides advice and counsel to clients on compliance with state and federal employment laws, including termination and on-boarding issues.

Michael J. DeSantis

Associate Attorney

Mr. DeSantis is an associate with The Scali Law Firm's Litigation practice group. He defends clients against consumer claims—including lawsuits brought under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the Song-Beverly Act—personal injury claims and in contract disputes.

Shayna E. Dickstein

Associate Attorney

Ms. Dickstein is an associate with Scali Rasmussen’s Labor and Employment practice group. She represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour class actions and claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Madeleine K. Lee

Associate Attorney

Madeleine Lee is a litigator in the Labor & Employment Group in Scali Rasmussen’s Los Angeles, California, office. Ms. Lee is experienced in all aspects of litigation, from the development of case strategy, through discovery, motion practice, and trial. She has experience in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court and has extensively briefed and argued appeals. Ms. Lee is dedicated to efficiently delivering quality results to clients, listening to clients’ business needs, and understanding the challenges they face in their industries.