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Michael T. Taurek


Mike’s practice focuses on real estate and general business litigation, as well as the defense of medical malpractice claims and bodily injury claims including premises liability, construction site accidents, vehicular injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and products liability.  He has over 25 years of experience regularly appearing on behalf of and successfully defending his clients at trial, arbitration, and other dispute resolution forums.  Mike also counsels employers to ensure that their company practices comply with all applicable State and Federal regulations and laws, and defends claims involving wage and hour issues, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and unfair business practices.  Mike’s attention to detail and extensive knowledge of the subject matter of his practice areas have earned him the loyalty and admiration of his clients and peers.


  • J.D., 1994, Pepperdine University School of Law
    • Member of Law Review
  • B.A., 1990, University of California, Santa Barbara
    • With honors

Melanie S. Woodfin


Melanie’s practice focuses on construction, products liability, class action, real estate, and professional liability litigation.  Melanie has extensive experience representing industry leading real estate developers, home builders, general contractors, and subcontractors in breach of contract actions, claims arising out of the Right to Repair Act, and all aspects of complex construction defect litigation in both California and Arizona.  She also defends real estate agents and brokers, as well as escrow companies, in connection with contract, title and escrow, and disclosure disputes.

Prior to joining Plante Lebovic LLP, Melanie represented one of the big-three automobile manufacturers in high exposure products liability and employment litigation.  Her litigation experience also includes representing businesses in State and Federal False Claim Act cases, defending employers in employment discrimination and wage and hour cases, and counseling homeowners in land use disputes.  Melanie is also well versed in trademark and copyright law, compliance with U.S. and international guidelines regarding product labeling, and drafting employment contracts, licensing agreements, and exclusivity agreements.


  • J.D., 2004, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    • Cum Laude
    • Executive Board Member, Moot Court Society
    • American Jurisprudence Award – International Law
    • CALI Excellence Award – Constitutional Law
    • Dean’s List
  • B.A., 2000, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A.
    • Cum Laude
    • Medallion Scholarship Program
  • Bar Admissions
    • California
    • Arizona
  • Court Admissions
    • US District Court for the Central District of California
    • US District Court for the Southern District of California
    • US District Court for the District of Arizona

Brian C. Plante


Brian is one of the founding members and the Managing Partner of Plante Lebovic LLP.  He specializes in the representation of real estate developers, home builders, general contractors, real estate professionals and other businesses in complex construction, real estate, and business litigation.  Brian has tried and arbitrated dozens of high exposure lawsuits to conclusion, and has been successful in obtaining victories for his clients in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and judicial reference proceedings.  His extensive knowledge of real estate and construction law, thoughtful risk management approach, and creative litigation strategies have earned him a reputation as one of the most well respected trial attorneys in Orange County.  Brian is a regular continuing legal education provider and speaker at industry functions, has testified as an expert witness, and has numerous reported appellate court decisions.  Most notably, Brian was lead trial and appellate counsel for the home builder in the seminal case of Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc., wherein the California Supreme Court redefined existing indemnity law between general contractors and their subcontractors.


  • J.D., 1994, Pepperdine University School of Law
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Editor, Pepperdine Law Review
    • Law Clerk, Office of the General Counsel
  • B.S., 1991, Finance, University of Rhode Island
    • Academic Dean’s List
    • Chi Phi Fraternity

Ira D. Lebovic


Ira represents real estate developers, apartment and hospitality property owners, home builders, contractors, their financial partners, and related entities.  He serves his clients in the areas of risk transfer, insurance placement, insurance coverage, construction and warranty risk management, and litigation management.  Ira brings to these practice areas twelve years of experience in real estate litigation, including construction defect defense, and seven years serving as general counsel for Capital Pacific Holdings, Inc., formerly known as J.M. Peters Company, Inc.  This work history, coupled with his training as a mediator, has enabled him to resolve for his clients over 400 construction defect and insurance coverage matters, including many high profile, media-intensive cases in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas.

Ira also assists his clients and their brokers in placing insurance coverage for high-end attached and detached residential, hotel, apartment, commercial, and office properties.  He regularly negotiates the terms and conditions of wrap-up insurance policies for all types of residential and commercial construction.  With an integrated approach to risk management, Ira ensures that insurance policies appropriately cover the risks faced by the insured, then drafts operational contracts which include indemnity and insurance provisions that transfer risk to the responsible parties.  In the event of a claim, he ensures that carriers and retained counsel resolve matters in the best interest of the insured through enforcement of insurance policies, contractual rights, and other applicable legal principles.  Ira has written and lectured on such topics as risk transfer, insurance coverage, mold claims, mechanic’s liens, home purchase contracts, new home warranty practices, sales disclosures, indemnity agreements, and right-to-repair statutes. Ira serves on the Board of Directors of the Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.


  • J.D., Duke University School of Law
  • B.A., Duke University



Suzanne’s practice primarily consists of construction and real estate litigation, with an emphasis in defending real estate developers, home builders, and contractors in a wide range of matters.  She is responsible for managing the Firm’s construction defect practice, and oversees the attorneys and paralegals in all litigation matters.  Suzanne has significant experience handling a wide variety of real estate and business litigation, including contract disputes and title claims.  She also has appellate experience arguing before the California Court of Appeal.


  • J.D., 2001, Loyola Law School
    • Editor, International and Comparative Law Review
  • B.A., 1998, University of California, San Diego


18100 Von Karman Ave., Suite 700
Irvine, CA 92612

 (949) 271-8700

50 California Street, Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94111

 (415) 439-5286

2375 E. Camelback Road, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85016

 (602) 387-4041

8345 W. Sunset Road, Suite 160
Las Vegas, NV 89113

 (702) 793-4364

Experience. Knowledge. Trust.