• Honors & Publications
  • Notable

Samuel A. Chuck

San Jose, California

Distinguished as a named partner and elected firm president by age 35, Sam's trademark work ethic and exceptional problem-solving are indicative of his success. Sam has been repeatedly honored as a top real estate and business trial lawyer by San Jose Magazine, as well as inducted into the Million Advocates Forum. He has also received the distinction of Northern California "Super Lawyer" from San Francisco Magazine each year from 2004 to the present.

Although based in Santa Clara County, Sam's practice extends throughout the state, where he has negotiated the sale of a multi-million dollar agricultural business in San Benito County and represented a state court-appointed receiver in the dissolution of a wine business in San Francisco County. In 2013, he successfully represented a plaintiff seeking a multi-million dollar award in a multi-week jury trial in Monterey, California.

Furthermore, in California at large, Sam has defended a professional NFL quarterback in San Diego Superior Court, resolved a multi-million-dollar partnership dispute in Malibu, and counseled clients regarding the acquisition and development of properties in the greater Palm Springs area.

Notable Litigation

One South Market, San Jose

Sam represented the property owner during the entitlement and sale of the property whereupon it was transformed from a 2-story aging structure into a 23-story downtown mixed-use residential tower. Sam was also involved in representing the construction manager on the 225,000-square-tower project.

Silvery Towers, San Jose

Sam represented the developer in the acquisition, entitlement, and sale of Silvery Towers, which transformed vacant land and a former night club into two 20+ story towers of mixed-use residential development.

Morgan Hill Residential Development

Sam represented a local farming family during its entitlement, subdivision, and sale of approximately 120 acres in Morgan Hill, California. This 200+ unit project is currently under construction.

101 and 152 Interchange Development - Gilroy

Sam represented the property owner during the entitlement, subdivision, and development of the Costco and Super Walmart properties located in Gilroy, California at the 101 and 152 Interchange Development.

Fancher Monterey v. Avila Design (Monterey County Superior Court Case #M88951).

Sam served as lead counsel in a suit brought on behalf of approximately 11 plaintiffs suing for property damage resulting from a five-alarm fire in downtown Monterey, California. Sam's clients sought damages of approximately $12,000,000. At the conclusion of the first three weeks of the trial (Phase I), the jury found in favor of Sam's clients, holding a national franchisor liable for the damages. Prior to the commencement of the second phase of the trial, the national franchisor settled the case for a confidential sum.

James H. Baron, as Receiver v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court Case #103CV817085; Court of Appeal, Sixth District, Case #H029830).

Sam successfully represented a Court-ordered Receiver in a case against a major insurer for its failure to pay complete coverage on a fire insurance policy. The insurance company's adjuster had referred the Receiver to a contractor allegedly on its approved contractor's list. The Receiver hired the contractor to perform the fire damage repairs; however, the contractor walked off the job, absconding with a portion of the insurance benefits which had been paid. The carrier then refused to pay further policy benefits and denied further coverage, refusing to pay even the policy benefits it had agreed were owed, hence forcing the Receiver to hire a new contractor funded by Receiver certificates. After a two-week jury trial, the jury awarded damages plus $1.5 million in punitive damages. After the Receiver then successfully moved for an award of attorney's fees, a total judgment of $2.1 million was entered against the insurance company. The award was successfully affirmed on appeal in a published decision.

Mavin Income Fund v. Chang (Sacramento County Superior Court #96-AS05978; California Court of Appeal Case #C0314184).

Sam represented a lender against a apartment owner who allowed property (which served as loan security) to deteriorate, resulting in a judgment in excess of $2.1 million, affirmed on appeal.

Cordova v. Garcia (San Diego County Superior Court Case #C09236).

Parties entered into an option agreement permitting the plaintiff to purchase a single-family house in a new, high-end residential development in San Diego area. When the plaintiffs lacked sufficient financing to acquire the home, they filed suit alleging that they were entitled to a return of their option consideration of $125,000. Sam successfully defended the property owner, establishing that the option consideration was earned upon receipt and could be retained by the property owner. After a three-day bench trial in San Diego County Superior Court, the Court issued a detailed decision confirming that Sam's clients had performed all terms and conditions of the contract and were entitled to retain the option consideration. The decision was affirmed on appeal by the District Court of Appeal.

Areas of Practice

  • Real Estate

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1991


  • University of Southern California Law Center, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 1991
    • Honors: Chair, Hale Moot Court Honors Program, 1990-1991
    • Honors: Moot Court Honors Program, 1990
    • Honors: Finalist: Moot Court Competition, marking him as Top 4 in his class
  • California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1988
    • Honors: Wall Street Journal Outstanding Achievement Award
    • Honors: Mortar Board Senior Honors, reserved for top 15-20 seniors

Published Works

  • Real Estate Questions, San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal Q&A Column
  • Bay Area Lawyer Magazine, contributing author
  • California Association of Realtors Newsletter, contributing author

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rating from Martindale & Hubbell (peer review establishing Sam as having the highest ethical standards and legal ability)
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, San Francisco Magazine, 2004 - 2020
  • Top Real Estate and Business Trial Lawyer, San Jose Magazine
  • Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, Lifetime Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • San Jose Police Emerald Society- Board of Directors
  • Presentation High School Board of Regents
  • American-Slavonian Men's Club- Past President
  • Housing Industry Foundation - Former Board Member
  • Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative - former Executive Board Member
  • Santa Clara County Tax Assessor's Appeals Board Hearing Officer
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court- Judge Pro Tem