Vito A. Costanzo is an attorney in the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight. He has experience in the litigation of software and technology licensing disputes, infringement and misappropriation of intellectual property rights, trade secrets, breach of contract claims, real property rights, partnership disputes, wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and trust and estate litigation. Mr. Costanzo also has extensive experience representing colleges and universities in litigation and internal investigations. Mr. Costanzo was formerly employed as a trial attorney by the Los Angeles County District Attorneys' office. He has conducted numerous jury and non-jury trials, appeals and arbitrations, and has practiced before federal and state courts in California as well as federal courts in various states.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Mr. Costanzo's representation of software companies includes litigation involving programs used in automated red light enforcement systems, digital media distribution and central system alarm systems. He has represented several apparel, food and bottling companies in trademark infringement and counterfeiting litigation. Mr. Costanzo has extensive experience in trade secrets litigation in a broad range of areas, including chemical formulations, software, customer lists and manufacturing processes.
Class Action Litigation
Mr. Costanzo has substantial experience representing colleges and universities in class actions filed by students seeking refunds of tuition and fees as a result of the conversion to remote learning in response to government orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also litigated challenges to university vaccine requirements.
Real Estate Litigation
Mr. Costanzo's real property litigation experience includes commercial lease disputes, contract claims, quiet title disputes and title insurance coverage. He has also litigated cases involving master plan developments and other large scale property development matters.
Mr. Costanzo has achieved numerous trial and motion victories representing employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, trade secret theft and other employment claims. Mr. Costanzo has conducted large internal investigations involving employee malfeasance, such as sexual harassment, embezzlement and misappropriation of company property.
Trust and Estate Litigation
Mr. Costanzo has represented numerous national charitable organizations in trust and will contests in various jurisdictions, including matters involving lack of capacity, undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Defended employer against claims of wrongful termination and interference with prospective employment (ADR Services, San Diego, seven-day arbitration)
- Defended a lawyer against claims of negligence involving representation of clients in a tax court case (Los Angeles Superior Court, five-day jury trial)
- Defended an insurance company against claims of disability and racial discrimination (Los Angeles Superior Court, six-day jury trial)
- Represented a publicly traded beverage company in a claim involving breach of a right of first refusal and valuation of a debt instrument (Los Angeles Superior Court, five-day bench trial)
- Represented real estate purchasers in a claim for specific performance (Los Angeles Superior Court, three-day bench trial)
- Assisted with jury selection in representation of manufacturer of Internet testing equipment against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets (Los Angeles Superior Court, 20-day jury trial)
- Defended a pharmaceutical company against claims that independent contractor drivers were actually employees (San Joaquin Superior Court, five-day bench trial)
- Represented a printer manufacturer in trade secrets action involving chemical formula (Los Angeles Superior Court, jury trial)
- Represented a master plan real estate developer in contract dispute (Placer County Superior Court, jury trial)
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D.
- UCLA, B.A., Economics
- California State Bar, Business Litigation Committee
- Italian American Lawyers Association Los Angeles, Board of Directors
- Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
- St. Anne's Family Services, Board of Directors Chair
- UCLA Alumni Association, Board of Directors; Government Relations Task Force Co-Chair
- UCLA Government Relations Representative
- Client Service All-Star, The BTI Consulting Group, Inc., 2014, 2016, 2017
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
- UCLA Advocate of the Year, 2015