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SACRAMENTO — A State Bar judge Wednesday suspended three plaintiffs attorneys accused of abusing California’s unfair competition statute, saying they pose a danger to the public. The decision by Bar Judge Richard Honn is a victory for prosecutors who are trying to disbar Damian Trevor, Shane Han and Allan Hendrickson of the Trevor Law Group in Beverly Hills. The judge’s ruling, which takes effect this weekend, means the lawyers will not be able to practice while their case is litigated in Bar Court. The Trevor lawyers can appeal Honn’s ruling to a Bar review panel. After that, it would go to the state Supreme Court. The firm’s attorney, Beverly Hills solo Kevin Gerry, could not be reached for comment. The Bar has accused the lawyers of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act by committing repeated acts of moral turpitude, fraud and malicious prosecution. The Bar investigation — the largest in the history of the organization — began at the end of last year. At about that same time, Sacramento legislators got wind of the alleged practices, and the Trevor lawyers became the centerpiece of a push to modify the unfair competition statute, Business & Professions Code � 17200. That push culminated in a two-bill package currently moving through the Senate and Assembly. In his 126-page decision, Honn said the Bar laid out a “voluminous and compelling” case showing a “pattern” of misconduct. “In a day of severe economic challenges to our court systems,” Honn added, “respondents have clogged the courts with � what appear to be frivolous lawsuits.” The Trevor attorneys are accused of creating a shell corporation called Consumer Enforcement Watch Corp. that served as plaintiff in suits they filed against thousands of small businesses, mostly auto repair shops and restaurants in Southern California. The suits relied on alleged regulatory infringements to establish violations of 17200. The Bar says the attorneys threatened and lied to defendants in order to leverage settlements, in many cases before the matters even got to court. But Gerry has defended the firm’s practices and said the lawyers are victims of the political fight in Sacramento. He said Trevor’s lawsuits are a legitimate use of 17200. Although the Bar sometimes takes over the practices of suspended attorneys, Bar chief trial counsel Mike Nisperos Jr. said that wasn’t necessary at Trevor because there is no legitimate client to protect. The Bar is also investigating at least two other firms in connection with alleged abuses of 17200: Brar & Gamulin of Long Beach and Callahan, McCune and Willis of Tustin. Those inquiries should be finished by the end of July, Nisperos said. Besides prosecution by the Bar, the Trevor lawyers are under attack from other authorities. They are being investigated by a federal grand jury, and state Attorney General Bill Lockyer has sued them in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Bar case numbers are 02-TE-13107, 02-TE-13108 and 02-TE-13416.

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