Downtown Los Angeles, the central commercial and business district of LA, is generally considered to be the area enclosed by the Hollywood, Harbor, and Santa Monica Freeways as well as the Los Angeles River. Beginning in 1999, Downtown Los Angeles has undergone a renaissance. Staples Center opened in October 1999. That year, the City also passed an adaptive reuse ordinance making it easier to renovate the mass of empty space then plaguing downtown and to put it to new uses.
In 2002, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels opened- a 58,000 square foot cathedral with space for 3,000 worshippers. The Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry opened in 2003 and now serves as the new home of the LA Philharmonic.
The firm has drawn, and continues to draw, downtown clients from the sports, financial, real estate, entertainment and other industries. It has arbitrated many cases downtown at the offices of the American Arbitration Association. It represents real estate developers located downtown, and has counseled participants in the sports industry in matters adverse to teams owned and located downtown. The Firm recently has counseled potential purchasers of an NBA franchise as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Firm always has cases pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court of the United States District Court downtown.
The firm has handled cases under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, The Anti-Terror and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Alien Tort Statute, the Lanham Act (trademark) and many other federal statutes that arose in Downtown Los Angeles and/or were filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In addition, the firm has handled many unfair competition and unfair business practices cases that arose or were filed Downtown. Recently, the firm defended a libel case for an investigative reporter/blogger who was sued by the subject of a blog reporting alleged wrongdoing in the foster care industry. The case was dismissed and a payment of attorneys’ fees was negotiated before the hearing on the motion for a fee award.
In one downtown jury verdict, the firm obtained an award of $515,000 for a homeowner in a construction defect case along with $125,000 in attorneys’ fees. A second downtown jury awarded the firm’s lawyer/client $162,000 in fees and found that he had not committed malpractice. In a recent downtown arbitration presided over by a retired judge affiliated with the American Arbitration Association, the firm obtained a complete victory for its client who was being sued for millions upon the dissolution of a business. In another recent AAA arbitration, the firm represented a former employee of a real estate firm. The client was awarded his unpaid commissions as well as attorneys’ fees for the arbitration. The firm also has handled two recent class actions downtown, achieving significant change going forward for California consumers dealing with the industries sued. The first involved a chain of fitness clubs that was violating California law with its membership agreements. The second was a carrier of household goods that violated California law with its pre-printed contract with customers.