David M. Trapani is a native Californian, born in San Jose, California on April 6, 1962. He is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California. He attended law school at Santa Clara University, where he also attended undergraduate studies. He received his license to practice law on December 11, 1987. Mr. Trapani has been in practice continuously for nearly 20 years. His practice emphasizes many aspects of real estate, construction, business, partnership, corporate and some personal injury and related areas of practice.
Mr. Trapani has litigated, mediated and/or arbitrated hundreds of cases including a wide variety of real estate fraud and non-disclosure cases (residential and commercial), construction defect cases, covenant, conditions and restrictions disputes, landslide cases, boundary disputes, neighbor disputes, foreclosure cases, construction disputes, mechanics' liens matters, mold cases, collection matters, insurance coverage, legal malpractice and related cases. He also handles a variety of business, commercial lease, partnership and corporate disputes, litigation and contract cases. Personal injury and wrongful death cases include: automobile collisions, dog bites and attacks, products liability, slip and fall / trip and fall, strict liability, roller coaster accidents, ski accidents, fork-lift accidents, garage door accidents, drunk-driving liability, property damage, loss of use or lost profits cases and related matters.
Mr. Trapani was trial counsel in Santa Clara County Superior Court in the case of Nguyen v. Calhoun. In that case he represented foreclosure purchasers in a litigation involving a contest between the foreclosure purchasers and a buyer of the same property through escrow. Each party claimed paramount title to the property. Although the trial court ruled against his client, the 6th District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court, vindicating Mr. Trapani's client, in a published opinion, Nguyen v. Calhoun (2003) 105 Cal. App. 4th 428. (Phil Adleson, Patric Kelly and Martin T. McGuinn were appellate counsel in Nguyen v. Calhoun ). Nguyen vs. Calhoun clarifies that the close of escrow prior to a foreclosure sale does not invalidate a properly conducted (subsequent) foreclosure sale to a third party bidder, unless payoff funds are actually received by the lender before the foreclosure sale.
In 2002-2003, Mr. Trapani was trial counsel in the El Dorado County Superior Court in the case of Bula v. El Dorado Hills Community Services District, the so-called (notorious) "Yellow House" case. In that case, Mr. Trapani and co-counsel represented plaintiffs, Joseph and Melinda Bula and won at trial against the El Dorado Hills Community Service(s) District. The Superior Court awarded the Bula's all of their attorney's fees and costs. The Yellow House case made headlines in the Sacramento Bee , the Village Life , El Dorado Hills Telegraph and the Mountain Democrat . According to the Mountain Democrat, the "Yellow House" case was in the top ten news stories of 2002 and was listed as the "Number 4" most important local news story of 2002. Also, the New York Times and Chicago Tribune ran stories about the case. Television news coverage was shown on Sacramento Channels 10 and/or 40. The Yellow House case was also covered by Matt Lauer on the Today Show .
In 2006, Mr. Trapani was trial counsel in El Dorado County Superior Court in the case of Kehoe v. Passi, Serrano El Dorado Homeowner's Association. In this case, Mr. Trapani defended his client who had installed a lighted "sport court" in the backyard with the approval of the Serrano Homeowner's Association. Plaintiffs (the next-door neighbors) sued in nuisance, and on other grounds, claiming the sports court blocked their view of the fairway and first tee of the Serrano golf course and the clubhouse. After months of protracted litigation and a three day bench trial, the court granted Mr. Trapani's and Serrano's motions for non-suit. The Superior Court awarded Mr. Trapani's client over $70,000.00 in legal fees and costs for successfully defending the case. The Superior Court wrote in its opinion awarding fees: "Mr. Trapani's work is known to the court. His fees are reasonable." The sport court case was covered in the Sacramento Bee , and in the Mountain Democrat , Village Life and El Dorado Hills Telegraph newspapers.
Notable cases and settlements also include:
- A sexual molestation case involving a former Jesuit Brother. The case was widely publicized in the San Jose Mercury News . The case settled for over $700,000.00.
- A construction defect arbitration award for over $600,000.00
- A spine injury case settled for over $400,000.00
- A real estate partnership dispute settled for over $325,000.00
- Judgment in an elder abuse case for over $300,000.00
- A complex product liability case involved a failed seat belt and loss of consortium claims for over $300,000.00
- Personal Injury Auto Judgment over $200,000.00
- Numerous injury cases for over $100,000.00.
- R. W. Silver v Santa Clara Superior Court (business litigation)
- Heldris v. Title Trust Deeds, et al (foreclosure dispute)
- Heldris v. Litton Loan Servicing, Inc. et al. (foreclosure dispute)
- C&G Precision, Inc. v. Sahni (business litigation).
Mr. Trapani volunteers as a Dispute Resolution Conference ("DRC") Judge for the El Dorado County Superior Court. He previously volunteered as an arbitrator for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Mr. Trapani has lectured at the El Dorado County Bar Association's "Street Law" program on topics including construction law.
Mr. Trapani has acted as a “moot court” Judge for Santa Clara University Law School. He also participated as a “Judge” for high school speech and debate trial competition(s). He has also volunteered and participated in elementary school “career days” (speaking on the “lawyer's” career) at Los Gatos Christian School and at Sierramont Middle School. Mr. Trapani also arranged a visit for an entire elementary school class to the Santa Clara County Courthouse, where the children and their teachers were permitted to go up on the Judge's “bench” and spoke with and asked questions of a Superior Court Judge, his bailiff and clerk.
Mr. Trapani is a member (or former member) of the El Dorado County, Santa Clara County and Sacramento County Bar Associations. Mr. Trapani has handled cases or matters in numerous of California's counties, including, but not limited to, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Kings, Merced, Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento, San Benito, San Mateo, Yolo and other counties. He is licensed to practice in several of the Federal Courts.
Mr. Trapani is an active member of the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce and El Dorado Hills Rotary Club. He volunteers to raise funds for charitable causes through the local crab feed, wine at Serrano and other events. He volunteers for the El Dorado County Food Bank's annual food drive providing food to those in need at the Holidays. He is a member of the board of directors of the El Dorado Hills Community Services District (“EDHCSD”), the local governing agency for El Dorado Hills. He was elected by popular vote of the citizens of El Dorado Hills in 2004, defeating a sitting incumbent to the post. He also currently works on the EDHCSD Parks & Planning and Utilities sub-committees. He was instrumental in the approval of a state-of-the-art Little League Baseball field in El Dorado Hills, to be named in the memory of Deputy Jeff Mitchell, a Sacramento Sheriff's Deputy (and El Dorado Hills resident) who was tragically killed in the line of duty. Mr. Trapani was also involved in the process of approving the El Dorado Hills Teen Center and Skate Board Park and the multi-use sports fields at the Promontory subdivision in El Dorado Hills. Mr. Trapani p eriodically writes on legal topics of public interest for local newspapers Village Life , Cameron Park Life and the El Dorado Hills Telegraph .