D. Scott Abernethy

D. Scott Abernethy

Senior Trial Attorney
Santa Ana, California
888-284-0809 (Toll Free)

D. Scott Abernethy is a senior attorney at Callahan & Blaine with over 20 years experience.  He has a wide ranging background in both litigation and transactional matters involving: banking, real estate, business, employment, and asset protection/estate planning.

A sampling of Scott’s accomplishments include:

  • Represented the general partner and limited partnership in litigation brought by a disgruntled limited partner stemming from the sale of a multi-million dollar commercial property in the San Fernando Valley.  Unreasonable limited partner and attorney resulted in yearlong litigation.  Ultimately settled the matter for approximately the amount we claimed the limited partner was due from the sale.
  • Represented a government controlled financial institution in litigation with a borrower involving environmentally toxic property in the Santa Barbara area. Creatively negotiated settlement of the matter, resulting in the institution recovering cash and shedding toxic property without the need to incur clean-up expense.
  • Represented property owner in litigation with U.S. Postal Service regarding a commercial ground lease with U.S. Postal Service entered into in 1961.  Negotiated settlement that involved restructuring the terms of the ground lease, resulting in significant increase in annual ground rent to the client and, ultimately, free and clear ownership of the postal facility.
  • Represented building owners in negotiating and documenting commercial ground lease buyout from major Southern California company with significant Orange County land holdings.
  • Counseled two business partners in buying out third partner, negotiated and drafted buyout agreement; then formed an LLC to own the business, and prepared a private placement memorandum and supporting documentation to sell membership interests in the LLC to fund expansion to second location.
  • For a pre-existing business client, formed a new corporation to purchase a commercial building, assisted with lender issues and documentation, prepared the  lease between the business and the owner corporation, established trusts for owner’s grandchildren, and strategically gifted corporate stock to grandchildren to fund future education expenses.
  • For a pre-existing business client, formed a new corporation, negotiated and documented the acquisition of a supplier business by the new corporation, and assisted with lease negotiations for the acquired business’s new location.
  • Completed the transfer of approximately 20 different securities from an individual client to her family trust where the client had possessed the actual stock certificates for as long as 30 years, and insisted on having actual certificates reissued in the name of the trust.
  • Formulated a family trust for California unmarried couple, each with children from a previous marriage, who owned real property together.  Then later amended the trust to buy out one grantor, but to continue to provide for all children even though the couple split up.
  • Tailored several Nevada Spendthrift Trusts to work with estate plans to provide asset protection to high net worth clients while still maintaining flexibility in the distribution of assets through an underlying trust at death.

Prior to joining Callahan & Blaine, Scott was most recently a Senior Attorney in the Professional Liability and Financial Crimes Section of the FDIC’s West Coast Temporary Satellite Office in Irvine, California, from 2009 through 2011, overseeing professional liability investigations for nine failed banks in California, Arizona, and Nevada.  During the last banking crisis, Scott was also a Staff Attorney in the Resolution Trust Corporation’s California Office located in Newport Beach, California from October, 1992 until the agency’s sunset at the end of 1995, handling a variety of duties including both in-house litigation and litigation oversight in connection with numerous failed savings and loan institutions.  In between service to the RTC and FDIC, Scott was the managing partner of Hagendorf & Abernethy, managing the firm’s West Coast offices in Century City (Los Angeles) and Huntington Beach, California.  Later, he was the principal in the Law Offices of D. Scott Abernethy in Newport Beach, California.

Scott obtained Bachelor’s Degrees in both Political Science and Communications, a Master’s Degree in Communication Management, and a Juris Doctor Degree, all from the University of Southern California.

Scott is originally from suburban Chicago, but has been in Orange County since 1982.  Outside of the practice of law, Scott is a hot rod and collector car buff, an aficionado of early rock ‘n roll, a lifelong college basketball fan, and a 25 year USC football season ticket holder.

Areas of Practice

  • Banking Regulatory, Professional Liability, Gross Negligence, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Administrative Claims, Loan Servicer Issues
  • Real Estate - Commercial and Residential Purchase and Sale, Commercial and Residential Leasing, Construction Defect, Commercial Ground Leases, Mechanic's Lien/Stop Notice matters, Commercial and Residential Unlawful Detainer matters, Failure to Disclose
  • Business - Breach of Contract, Choice of Entity and Formation, Governance, Corporate Policies, Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Employment - Employment Agreements, Independent Contractor Agreements, Labor Board Claims
  • Asset Protection/Estate Planning - Trusts, Wills, Healthcare Powers of Attorney, Spendthrift Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 1990
    • Honors: Hale Moot Court Honors Program
  • University of Southern California - Annenberg School of Communications
    • M.A., Master of Arts - 1990
    • Major: Communication Management
  • University of Southern California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1987
    • Major: Political Science, Communications
    • Minor: Philosophy/Ethics
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