Trials

The Firm’s strength is that although it is committed to resolving matters through alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation, so that disputes come to an early and cost-effective conclusion, yet, the Frim’s attorneys, Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel, are seasoned trial attorneys, who have tried dozens of matters before the California Trial Courts. Below, you can find some examples of our some of recent trials.

Firestone v GAI
Los Angeles Superior Court
Usury

    Attorneys Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel represented a lender in a 6 day jury Trial in Santa Monica Courthouse, Honorable Judge Cho. Borrower claimed that the underlying note was usurious, and sought to recover all paid interest and treble damages. Lender claimed that the note exempt from usury because it arranged by a licensed broker. The jury was tasked to examine the broker’s involvement and performance to decide whether the broker had properly arranged the loan. Among other issues before the court, were to what extent a broker may delegate duties to licensed sales person.

Galvan v. Desai
Los Angeles Superior Court
Civil Battery
Five Day Jury Trial
Verdict–$485,000

    Attorneys Kousha Berokim and Gregory B. Byberg represented Plaintiff Galvan in the five day jury trial at the Santa Monica Court House before Honorable Judge Jacquelyn A. Connor (Ret.). Defendant’s pretrial offer was $15,000, which was later reduced to $5,000. The jury awarded Plaintiff $485,000 in damages.
    The case arose out of an incident in April 2005, where both Plaintiff Galvan and Defendant Desai had just attended an AA meeting in West Los Angeles . Plaintiff claimed that Defendant verbally berated him for arriving at the meeting drunk, then cut him on the hands with a knife, resulting in laceration of tendons and digital nerves. After two corrective surgeries, he still suffers from limited movement in his left hand.
    Defendant claimed Plaintiff who appeared drunk and belligerent, attacked him first, making it necessary for Defendant to protect himself with a knife in self defense.
    Defendant’s self defense claim was rejected by a rather sophisticated Los Angeles jury which included a PHD/MD medical doctor, a retired college professor, an attorney, a paralegal, a bio-engineer, and a chemistry PHD, among others.
    Besides the substantial verdict, the case drew attention due to the unusual circumstances of the eye witnesses who were all members of the subject AA meeting, and testified in court despite AA’s policy of anonymity. Further, the verdict was one of the largest (if not the largest) jury awards in California for a case involving personal injury where no expert medical testimony was given.

Elite Imports v Bellagio Motors
Orange County Superior Court
Business Transactions

    Kousha Berokim represented Elite Motors in the Trial at the Santa Ana Court House before Honorable Judge Glenda Sanders.  Elite and Bellagio were in the business of selling and trading high end luxury used cars.  In 2010, Elite had sold 27 luxury vehicles to Bellagio for the total of approximately Two Million Dollars.  Elite claimed that, through accounting schemes and banking fraud, Bellagio had failed to pay Elite hundreds of thousands dollars for the vehicles.  The Court granted judgment in favor of Elite, holding that Bellagio had converted Elite’s funds. Bellagio and its bond company did not appeal the ruling, and were forced to pay the judgment in full.

Claren Inc v JB Century
Los Angeles Superior Court
Corporate Duty Violations-Usurpation of Corporate Opportunity

    Kousha Berokim represented Claren Inc, and its majority shareholders in the Trial at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse before Honorable Judge Victor Chavez. Claren Pacific Inc and its majority shareholders had sued minority shareholder JB Century in this derivate action for violations numerous Corporate Laws, including business judgment rule, breach of fiduciary duty, and usurpation of corporate opportunity. Claren Pacific Inc claimed that minority shareholder JB Century who had been managing the corporate assets, had made favorable loans to itself from the Claren Pacifics Inc’s assets, had failed to disclose them, and had mismanaged the corporate affairs. Forensic accountants were used by both sides as experts to testify in Trial. The Court granted judgment in favor of Claren Pacific, awarding it its damages, and removing JB Century from managing the corporation.

Freeman v. Cohen
Los Angeles Superior Court
Defamation-Anti SLAPP (Free Speech)

    Kousha Berokim successfully opposed Cross Defendant Freeman’s anti-SLAPP motion before the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Hart Cole of Beverly Hills. Cohen, a political candidate for City Counsel, and a public figure had sued Freeman, a political consulting firm, for defamation. The court held that Cohen’s claims did not arise out of ‘protected speech’, as Freeman’s actions were malicious in nature. The court further sanctioned Freeman, and granted Cohen full attorney fees in successfully opposing the anti-SLAPP motion. The matter gained publicity, both in city media and legal circles, as it not only involved the always evolving Beverly Hills city politics, but that it was a rather rare outcome involving free speech/constitutional law issues, where a public figure was able to litigate her defamation claims, despite constitutional protections for free speech.

Aboo v Ederi

    Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel represented the Plaintiff in Trial before Honorable Rafael A. Ongkeko, Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2005, Defendant had purchased a Los Angeles property from Plaintiff’s partners. Plaintiff had paid certain funds to Defendant around the time of the purchase, but the only title holder to the property was Defendant. Plaintiff claimed that at the time of the purchase, Plaintiff and Defendant had agreed to be co-owners, but for title to be obtained only in Defendant’s name. The Court found in favor of Plaintiff, ruling that Plaintiff may recover his funds.

Wachs v Hong et al
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Quiet Title, Collateral Estoppel

    Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel represented a property owner Plaintiff in 5 day Trial, before Honorable Lisa Hart-Cole, Santa Monica Courthouse, Los Angeles Superior Court. Plaintiff’s residence was sold to a purchaser without the Plaintiff’s knowledge or consent, using a fraudulent power of attorney. The purchase funds were converted by the same individual who forged and created the fraudulent power of attorney form.  Prior to Trial, a criminal conviction for felony forgery was secured against the primary proprietor.  In the civil trial, Berokim & Duel PC argued on behalf of Plaintiff that title should be reverted back to Plaintiff from the Defendant purchasers. Defendant purchasers argued that they were bona fide buyers who were innocent and did not know that the deed of trust was forged.

To learn more about Berokim & Duel, P.C., please call (310) 846-8553 or Contact Us