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‘I Stand By What I Did’: SF Prosecutors Charge Lawyer With Felony Theft Over ADA Settlements

A prosecutorial effort against serial plaintiffs in Americans with Disabilities Act litigation took on a new angle recently when the San Francisco County District Attorney’s Office announced felony theft charges against a lawyer accused of stealing from small businesses by threatening them with ADA t lawsuits he had no intention of bringing.

It’s a novel move in an already unusual effort that some say is politically motivated.

The indicted lawyer, Beverly Hills-based Kousha Berokim of Berokim & Duel, told Law.com the allegations are false, describing himself as an attorney for 15 years who has represented many people with claims related to their disabilities.

“I stand by what I did on behalf of my clients, including the clients at issue here,” Berokim said.

Read the rest of my story here, and look for an update from me soon on U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria’s actions against serial plaintiff firm Potter Handy LLP in the Northern District of California.

Obscure Civil Trial to Feature Who’s Who of L.A. Legal Community

On the horizon in a low-profile jury trial in a state court branch courthouse in Westminister, California: Testimony from one of the most prominent trial lawyers in the United States.

Brian Panish. Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM

As my new article explains, Brian Panish is expected to be a key witness in a civil trial that will begin testimony June 1, with Michael Avenatti’s ex-co-counsel suing his ex-clients over a $5.4 million attorney fee he never received.

Avenatti won’t be testifying after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. And Judge Walter Schwarm determined Avenatti’s no longer a party to the case after failing to respond to pleadings. But Panish will be a key witness, with Conlan describing how he asked Avenatti to help with the case because “he thought, as he should at the time, that Mr. Avenatti would be honest with his clients.”

Read the rest of my article here.

Credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock.com. Documents about Legal Malpractice in court.

Legal Malpractice Claims Are Soaring: Here Are the Most Vulnerable Practice Areas

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