Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani welcomes Audette Paul Morales as partner in the firm's Orange County office. Morales joins the firm's Commercial Litigation practice group. Morales was previously with Keesal, Young & Logan in Irvine, California.
"We are very pleased Audette has joined Gordon & Rees," said Christine D. Barker, co-managing partner of the Orange County office. "Audette brings vast experience handling securities matters. She will be a tremendous asset as we continue to expand this area of law nationally and service the legal needs of our clients both in Southern California and across the country."
Morales focuses her practice primarily on securities, real estate, mortgage banking and business litigation. She regularly defends financial services firms, financial advisors and registered investment advisers, in matters involving claims for unsuitability, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, unauthorized trading, churning, elder abuse, breach of contract, violation of federal and state securities and consumer protection laws, and related claims, before the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA) and in state superior and appellate courts as well as federal court. Ms. Morales also frequently assists clients with regulatory matters, including FINRA and SEC examinations and on-the-record interviews, and consults with clients on regulatory hot topics such as senior investor protection. She also handles Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) record expungements through FINRA on almost a daily basis. Additionally, Morales has performed securities class action work and represented parties in a significant SEC receivership action. She has also spoken on topics related to the securities industry and broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (“RIA”) record retention requirements before professional groups.
Morales also represents corporate and individual clients in landlord-side real estate matters involving both commercial and residential properties. In her practice, she regularly handles tenant disputes as well as lease and contract negotiations. Representative matters include new tenant move-ins, lease amendments, enforcement of lease provisions, collection of CAM, lease termination agreements, temporary relocation agreements, coordinating tenant relocations, handling issues related to tenant claims of uninhabitability, tenant subleases, insurance (property, general liability and professional liability) policy analysis, eviction proceedings and litigation involving the California Coastal Commission. She has also assisted real estate investment clients in all aspects of forming limited liability companies.
Morales’s work also focuses on mortgage banking, where she regularly defends claims involving individual lending transactions, including both origination and servicing claims. Some of the matters in which Ms. Morales serves as counsel include the defense of wrongful foreclosure and fraud claims, claims involving promised or failed loan modifications, unfair business practices, statutory consumer lending violations, HBOR and HAMP-related claims, lien priority disputes, boundary and easement disputes. She also handles matters involving errors in title documents and lending documents, title insurance coverage and force-placed insurance.
Morales is admitted to practice law before all California State courts, United States District Courts for the Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to holding a license to practice law, Morales is a California licensed real estate broker.
Morales earned her J.D. and her M.B.A. from the University of San Diego School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Southern California. In June 2018, Morales was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal in its 2018 Women’s Council & Awards (nominee). In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Morales was recognized by Law & Politics Magazine as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars.”
Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 800 lawyers in 51 offices across the United States. Our lawyers provide full service representation to public and private companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Founded in 1974, Gordon & Rees is recognized among the fastest growing and largest law firms in the country. Additionally, in 2018 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 40 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 45 on its Diversity Scorecard.