Busby Zappala & Sanchez LLP
Civil Litigation Law Firm

Our Team

 
John Busby

Partner

John W. Busby II

John is the managing partner and senior member of the firm.  He has been practicing law in the Bay Area since November 1978.  He has an extensive background in litigation with an emphasis in commercial, construction, real estate, and government contract litigation.  John has provided representation to plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of matters including breach of contract, fraud, unfair business practices, construction defects, construction claims, public entity litigation, complex litigation and personal injury.  John has also arbitrated many cases on behalf of clients (binding and non-binding), and he has represented clients at mediations for the past 20 years.  John has also received formal alternative dispute resolution training and certification from Pepperdine University.

John’s construction experience has involved the representation of owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.  He has tried cases in federal and state courts, and has successfully represented contractors in public agency claims litigation involving public works of improvement against numerous governmental entities including: State of California (CalTrans), East Bay Municipal Utility District, City and County of San Francisco, City of Oakland, Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency (LAVWMA), Dublin San Ramon Services District, Santa Clara Valley Water District, City of San Jose, City of Palo Alto, City of Milpitas, Union Sanitary District, Alameda County Water District, City of Galt, City of Stockton, Central Coast Water District, Santa Clara County, City of Brentwood, City of Concord, City of Dublin, County of Sacramento and others.

John has two adult daughters and lives in the Oakland Hills.

Bar Admissions:

California State Bar, 1978

Court Admissions:

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1978
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1979
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1984
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1984
U.S. Tax Court, 1986
U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1991
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1992
U.S. District Court, Colorado, 2004
 

Education:

B.A, University of Colorado, 1975
J.D., University of Denver School of Law, 1978
 

 
Ralph Zappala

Partner

Ralph A. Zappala

Ralph A. Zappala is senior trial counsel at Busby Zappala & Sanchez LLP. Ralph has represented commercial clients in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1981. He has tried over 35 cases in Federal and State Court. His practice involves trial, arbitration and mediation of construction claims, wrongful termination, real property rights, business disengagements, funding agreements, enforcement of judgments, worksite injury claims, unfair competition, trade secrets, cyber liability and data breach, and business torts. Ralph advises companies involved in trucking, after-market automotive, real estate, construction, cranes, hoists, component manufacturing, petrochemical manufacturing and distribution, accounting, insurance, and internet commerce. He is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and has presented and published for that organization on various aspects of trial practice including cross-examination of witnesses, technology in the courtroom, and jurisdiction and venue. Ralph has chaired and co-chaired the Technology and E-Commerce Sections of FDCC and serves on the Trial Masters Program Committee. He is a member of the Robert G. McGrath Inn of Court and a ProVisors member. Prior to forming his current law practice, he was the chair of commercial litigation for an AMLAW 100 law firm.  Ralph has also received formal mediation and conflict resolution training and certification from UC Berkeley Extension. 

Ralph has two adult daughters and lives in Moraga with his wife, Linda.

 

Partial List of Completed Arbitrations, Mediations, and Trials:

-Confidential Arbitration:  Physician v. Medical Group, JAMS, September, 2016.  Petitioner demanded $2.4 million, awarded $107k.
-Confidential Mediation:  Company v. Individual, Private Mediator, May, 2016.  Individual demanded $300k, $45k settlement for individual.
-Cambridge Medical Funding Group II, LLC v. One Stop Multi-Specialty Medical Group, Inc., American Arbitration Association, January, 2016.  Award and judgment in favor of client in excess of $1 million.
-Confidential Mediation, 2016.  Enforcement of lease provisions for property improvements.
-Confidential Mediation:  Physician v. Hospital, Private Mediator, August, 2015.  $180,000 settlement for physician.
-Eugene Rocha, et al v. Asbestos Corporation Limited, et al., San Francisco Superior Court, November, 2013. -Obtained highly favorable verdict for client in environmental exposure case. 
-Federal v. Cameron, United States District Court, Central District, July, 2009. Judgment in favor of client in $24 million dispute involving an acquisition of a factory for military grade measuring devices.
-SRC Holding Company, Inc. v John M. McKenzie, et al., Alameda County Superior Court, February, 2006.  -Multi-million dollar judgment in favor of client in an M&A dispute. 
-Gregg Campodonico, et al. v. RTE Corp., et al., United States District Court, Northern District of California, July, 2001. Judgment in favor of client defendants involving failure of a power distribution transformer.

 

Education and Court Admissions:

B.A., San Francisco State University, Political Science
J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
 
Admitted to the State Bar of California, 1981; admitted to all Federal District Courts in California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court

 

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities:

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court
Board of Directors, Oakland Builders Alliance
ProVisors
Northern California Super Lawyers, (2014 - present)
AV-Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell

 
 
Erin Sheffield Sanchez

Partner

Erin S. Sanchez

Erin represents clients in a wide range of litigation matters, focusing her practice on the representation of contractors in a wide array of construction-related cases including contract disputes, defective construction, complex construction claims litigation, public entity litigation, landslides, and design deficiencies ranging from single family homes to large multi-unit complexes and residential and commercial building developments. In addition to construction litigation, Erin also handles HOA and real property disputes. She has prosecuted claims and defended clients in disputes with state and local entities and neighboring property owners in courts throughout California and Nevada, and she has extensive experience in trials, arbitrations, administrative hearings, and mediations.

Erin lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Nicholas, and three young children.

Bar Admissions:

California State Bar, 2005
Nevada State Bar, 2010

Court Admissions:

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Education:

B.A., University of California Los Angeles, 2002
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 2005
 

 
Laura Swanson

ASSOCIATE

Laura K. Swanson

Laura is an attorney practicing in civil litigation. 

She focuses her practice on the representation of contractors in a wide array of construction-related cases including contract, disputes, defective construction, complex construction claims litigation, and public entity litigation.  In addition to construction defect litigation, Laura also handles personal injury claims.

Laura lives in San Francisco. 

BAR Admissions:

California State Bar, 2013

Court Admissions:

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Education:

B.S., Fordham University, 2009
J.D., Loyola Law School, 2012
 

 

Our Support Staff

 From Left to Right: Sheila McNeill, Jackie Dahlgard, and Elissa Foote

From Left to Right: Sheila McNeill, Jackie Dahlgard, and Elissa Foote