Guido I. Piotti, J.D. – Senior Associate

Guido I. Piotti is a senior associate at Zeppos Rautiola LLP.  Guido’s practice involves the representation of high net worth individuals as well as regional, national, and international entities from a wide array of industries in business, corporate, and real estate matters. Guido’s experience includes representing and counseling clients in mergers and acquisitions; divestitures; financing deals; intellectual property licensing; corporate governance and compliance, including corporate clean ups, records maintenance and preparation, and filings; business formations, including the development of real and virtual phantom stock plans; commercial leasing; commercial real estate sales and acquisitions; and the negotiating and drafting of various business, corporate, and commercial agreements, including, but not limited to, partnership, operating, shareholder, stock purchase, stock redemption, buy-sell, joint venture, loan, employment, independent contractor, franchise, central withholding, artist performance, publicity, merchandising, and domestic and international manufacturing, supplier, and distribution agreements to name a few. Practice Areas: Business, Corporate, and Real Estate Transactions Prior Experience: Prior to transitioning to a transactional practice, Guido worked for six federal judges in the United States District Court across three states, and as a former business and commercial litigator.  Having worked on both sides of the judicial bench, Guido is uniquely proficient in navigating his clients through common and nuanced business, corporate, and real estate issues often overlooked thereby enabling Guido to better assess and mitigate risk, and structure transactions in a manner that better suits the needs and expectations of his clients. Education J.D. University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California (2009) B.A. California State University, Long Beach, with honors (2004) Publication Mum’s The Word: Why Saying Too Much May Invalidate A Contract, 27(2) California Litigation 2, 2-8 (2014) (discussing the abridging of the fraud exception to the parole evidence rule) (California State Bar Publication). Memberships Orange County Bar Association (former 2013 and 2014 Co-Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Media, Sports & Entertainment Law Section) Bar Admissions California United States District Court, Central District of California United States District Court, Southern District of California United States District Court, Eastern District of California Contact: Email: Guido I. Piotti,...

Read More

Demosthenis Alex Zeppos, J.D., LL.M. – Partner

In 2004, Demo founded the Zeppos Law Firm, now Zeppos Rautiola LLP.  Prior to his legal career, Demo worked as a business owner, allowing him to understand day-to-day business issues on a first-hand basis. In addition, his years of working at the national Big 4 CPA firms provided a depth of tax, finance and accounting expertise, which he incorporates into his counsel to clients on their business transactions. Practice Areas: Business, Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, Tax & Estate Planning Demo is skilled in assisting companies and owners grow and preserve their business through competent and practical business and tax law counsel. Specifically, his practice concentrates on business transactional law and tax planning, including real estate transactions and finance, choice of business entity planning, and mergers and acquisitions. His services also include estate planning for wealthy families and multi-generational businesses using practical financial and tax planning methodologies. The scope of these services also focuses on helping U.S. companies structure their foreign investments and affiliates, and he assists foreign investors structure their investments within the United States. Prior Experience Prior to founding the Zeppos Law Firm in 2004, Demo managed the tax consulting process at Ernst & Young for Fortune 500 clients and large real estate developers in California. Before moving to California, Demo worked in Chicago at KPMG where he collaborated with other attorneys and tax professionals in reviewing corporate mergers and acquisitions. His work included developing real estate tax minimization strategies for real estate clients and he was honored with KPMG’s “Creative Tax Innovation Award” for his accomplishments. Prior to his tenure at Big 4 accounting firms, Demo served as a tax consultant for Grant Thornton LLP and as an attorney in Philadelphia. His work included general business transactional matters, including drafting opinions and legal agreements for mid-sized banks and Fortune 500 clients for employment, immigration, real estate, and tax law issues. Education LL.M. Taxation Villanova University, School of Law (2001) J.D. Villanova University, School of Law (1998) B.A., High Honors Lehigh University (1995) Visiting Scholar University of Pennsylvania Teaching Demo provides tax and estate planning seminars and instruction to financial planners, certified public accountants and their clients, and corporations. He has lectured to graduate and undergraduate students at Pepperdine University’s School of Business and at Cal State Fullerton on choice of business entity tax planning for start-up and existing businesses. Licenses & Recognition Demo has been admitted to the State Bars of California, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He is also licensed to practice in the United States Tax Court and is a member of the American Bar Association (Member, Special Tax Section, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law) and Orange County Bar Association. He is a...

Read More

Beth K. Rautiola, J.D. – Partner

Beth Rautiola is a Partner at Zeppos Rautiola LLP.  She brings a diverse background of entrepreneurial and corporate experiences to help her clients anticipate business options.  Beth is dedicated to the development of her business and estate planning clients for preservation,  future growth and exit strategies. Beth brings legal skills together with practical business experience for her clients.   She understands that her clients have elected to take certain entrepreneurial risks and her goal is to manage those risks in the best interest of the business and the business owners.  Beth offers sophisticated guidance to help clients maximize resources with entity formation, corporate compliance, annual meetings, tax planning, exit strategies, mergers & acquisitions, buy-sell agreements, insurance planning, asset acquisitions (including real estate) and financing. Practice Areas Business, Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, Tax & Estate Planning Beth  is skilled in assisting companies and their owners grow and preserve their business through competent and practical business and tax law counsel. Specifically, her practice concentrates on business transactional law and tax planning, including real estate transactions and finance, employee matters,  choice of business entity planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Beth uses her estate planning and tax experience to develop the preferred tax-advantaged structure for her client’s transactions. Prior Experience From the onset of her career, Beth focused on estate planning and business transactions in the Sacramento area.  In 2000, Beth seized an opportunity in Silicon Valley as General Counsel to a build a technology company.  She was a founding employee (#4) for NextWeb, Inc., a wireless internet service provider. Beth’s team at NextWeb Inc.,  accomplished many goals from 2000-2005, to the extent that this work was recognized in 2005  Inc. 500 list at #104 overall and #8 in telecom; San Jose Business Journal Fast 50 rank #13 on the list of Silicon Valley Growth companies; and the leadership team was recognized by Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year as a finalist. While in Silicon Valley, Beth was the sole legal counsel to complete five roll up acquisitions and prepared the company for its ultimate sale in 2006 to a publicly-traded telecom carrier.  In the process, Beth completed work with several venture groups and angel investors such as Kaiser Permanent Capital, Sage Venture Group, Monet Capital LLC, and Saints. In September 2005, Beth transitioned her legal work to a premier Orange County law firm focused on business transactions and estate planning.    From 2005 to early 2013, Beth was Senior Counsel working with closely-held businesses throughout Orange County for mergers and acquisitions, buy-sell agreements, tax and insurance planning and funding, corporate compliance and real estate transactions. In May 2013, Beth  strategically joined her long-time colleague, Demo Zeppos, to form Zeppos Rautiola LLP.   Beth’s goal is to...

Read More

John M. Fuleras, J.D – Of Counsel

John Fuleras is Of Counsel to Zeppos Rautiola LLP. He brings his clients sophisticated transactional experience that helps them enjoy high level legal services in a more personal firm setting. Contemporaneously with his legal career, John has also worked in several corporate and consulting environments thereby gaining an appreciation and skill for the ‘business’ side of a transaction. He brings this ability with him into every deal, remembering that the purpose of his clients’ business is to do business, not avoid it. Practice Areas: Real Estate and Corporate Transactions John regularly advises developers, owners, investors, lenders, users and brokers in all their real estate law needs as well as businesses of all sizes with corporate issues and business transactions. His services include purchase/sale agreements, leasing, financing, fund raising, development agreements and most other real estate related transactions. On the corporate side, John’s services include formation, mergers and acquisitions and disposition; and general business transactions and agreements. Prior Experience Prior to joining Zeppos Rautiola LLP, John was a manager at the preeminent real estate consulting firm, Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal. At EYKL, John managed a series of complex real estate engagements, dealing with some of the nation’s most recognizable real estate assets. His experience includes work on an NFL stadium, the Mall of America, several corporate world headquarters, large real estate opportunity funds, and many of the nation’s most prominent health care systems. Prior to moving to Ernst & Young, John was Director of Real Estate for the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), a $2 billion health care system in Southeastern Michigan. At the DMC, he had full responsibility for all of the system’s real estate transactions completely transactions in the hundreds of millions of dollars over his tenure there. Before joining the DMC, he was in private practice in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he regularly advised real estate clients, local municipalities and small to large business clients and was also a pioneer in the wireless industry, representing Sprint PCS and T-Mobile in the build out of their original wireless networks. More recently, John participated as counsel to one of the world’s largest grocery retailers as they executed a fast and expansive retail roll-out of several hundred grocery stores in the U.S. He has also recently been advising several hotel development projects and infrastructure projects located in South America and represented one of Europe’s largest banks in their consideration of a large portfolio of non-performing loans in Greece. Education J.D., cum laude Michigan State University, School of Law (1995) B.A. (Economics) Michigan State University (1990) Licenses and other information John has been admitted to the State Bars of California and Michigan and is fluent in Greek. Contact: Email: John M....

Read More

Charles W. Pratt, J.D. – Of Counsel

Charles Pratt is Of Counsel to Zeppos Rautiola LLP. His diverse legal expertise is very beneficial to clients as a “one-stop shop” in that he can help from business formation to contract negotiations to litigation. Practice Areas: Corporate and Commercial Transactions, Real Estate and Leasing, and Business Litigation Charles provides expertise to his clients in a wide range of transactional and litigation matters. These have included: Corporate and Commercial Transactions: Advising on various business entity formation and operation issues (& tax effects thereof) Advising on securities, stock sales, asset sales, mergers, and reorganization transactions Drafting and negotiating various complex corporate and business agreements Advising boards on corporate governance matters and internal procedures Advising on sales of goods, negotiable instruments, and secured transactions (UCC) Negotiating and drafting industry-specific license, co-development, and other intellectual property agreements, and other Internet, software, data-protection, and other technology agreements Real Estate and Leasing: Negotiating and drafting commercial leases and advising on landlord-tenant matters Structuring and advising on real property acquisitions, dispositions, and joint ventures Advising on various real estate ownership, management, finance, and investor issues Business Litigation: Working knowledge of complex business litigation matters Represented clients in a range of matters, including breach of contract, partnership disputes, employment litigation, and real estate litigation Preparation of motions and other pleadings, and conducting complex discovery Education J.D. Chapman University School of Law (emphasis in taxation) B.A. Chapman University   Licenses and other information Charles has been admitted to the State Bars of California and Texas. He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association. Charles is also a licensed Real Estate Broker through the California Bureau of Real Estate. Charles is a member of the “CHP 11-99 Foundation” which provides emergency benefits to California Highway Patrol employees and their families in times of crisis. Contact: Email: Charles W. Pratt,...

Read More

Cecily M. Ginger, J.D. – Associate

Cecily Ginger is an associate attorney at Zeppos Rautiola LLP. She is a highly motivated and capable attorney who brings a diverse legal and business skillset to our clients. Her combination of experience has equipped Cecily with the ability to quickly identify and address clients’ needs and deliver legal services in a language and manner that is easy to understand. Her goal is to assist clients achieve success in their business and estate planning realms, while avoiding undue legal risk. Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Business and Corporate Transactions Prior Experience: Cecily began her legal career working for a reputable business law and estate planning firm where she gained valuable experience in a range of matters. She has strategized with business owners on business entity formation to maximize asset protection, and to secure favorable tax treatment of the entity. Cecily has experience drafting corporate formation documents including operating agreements, bylaws, corporate meeting minutes, and corporate resolutions.  She also counsels business owners on estate planning and asset protection strategies that dovetail with owners’ business entities and plans.  Cecily also has extensive experience drafting complete suites of estate planning documents for clients, which help to insulate clients’ assets from probate and creditors. Education J.D. University of San Diego School of Law (2013) B.A., Global Studies; B.A., Spanish University of California, Santa Barbara (2008)   Licenses and other information Cecily is admitted to practice law in the State of California. She is a member of the Orange County Bar Association. Volunteer Activities and Personal Life During her years in college, Cecily studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Florence, Italy. She also served as a Congressional Intern in Washington, D.C.  During law school, she worked as a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and a civil litigation firm in Beverly Hills.  From October 2014 to October 2016, Cecily served as the Community Service Chair for the Rotary Club of Laguna Beach, where she was responsible for awarding over $10,000 annually to community organizations, and for organizing and disseminating scholarships to Laguna Beach High School Students and Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD). In her free time, Cecily enjoys hiking, soccer, snowboarding, and cooking. Cecily is also proficient in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish. Contact: Email: Cecily M. Ginger,...

Read More