Los Angeles Business Journal

Lawyers Make Case to Party On

Duo turned to lawsuit to secure proper permit for annual holiday festivity.

Law: High-profile attorneys to party on after filing lawsuit over street access for their annual holiday shindig.

Courting Trouble?

Sports: Clippers’ marketing promotion leads to fan crying foul over text spam.

Sports: Clippers face net loss as a fan files for a class-action suit over spam texts received after a game promotion.

Channel Flips Game Switch

TV: GSN turns to court to salvage offer for mobile bingo business.

TV: Game Show Network’s pursuit of mobile gaming company Bash ends up in court.

Eight-Attorney Pickup Raises Firm’s Expectations

Employment: L.A. office of Hogan Lovells works to restaff after merger

Since Washington’s Hogan & Hartson merged with London’s Lovells in 2010 to form Hogan Lovells, the firm’s L.A. office has struggled to hold on to attorneys, dropping to about 20 at one point from about 50.

Security Veteran A Quick Study

Zabi Kator launched firm to fill need for guard services on short-term basis.

Security: Zabi Kator launched Guardnow with short-term service as its brief

Regulators Allege Huge Fund Fraud

Investment: SEC charges Velocity, owner in Ponzi scheme.

Investment SEC pursues Velocity Investment Group for alleged Ponzi scheme that could be one of L.A.’s largest.

New Firm Turns Into Active Suitor After Union

LAW: Norton brings in David Ben-Meir to grow IP practice.

When London’s Norton Rose and Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski merged in June to form Norton Rose Fulbright, the new firm’s downtown L.A. office was hit with significant exits. It quickly lost one-fifth of its attorneys, including the heads of its local health care, and labor and employment groups, to rival firms

Suits Make Strong Case With Investors

Law: Litigation funding firms say

Law: Litigation finance firms court investors to fund commercial cases with potentially hefty rates of return.

Developer Money Crosses the Lines?

Real Estate: Projects draw ‘low-income’ maps to tap EB-5.

Critics say developers have mapped out a means to tap a program that was meant to boost low-employment areas.

Maker of Electric Buses Brings Lawyers on Board

Manufacturing: BYD hires Paul Hastings to help with abuse allegations.

Manufacturing: Electric bus maker BYD hires L.A. law firm to handle accusations of workplace abuse.

Fuller Plate Boosts Stock Of Restaurant Operator

DINING: Rise in earnings for Cheesecake Factory defies industry trend.

Cheesecake Factory serves up a surprising rise in earnings as the rest of the sector struggles.

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L.A. Port-Powered Truck Maker Grinds Gears

Automotive: Balqon yet to turn around electric fleet’s fortunes.

Balqon continues to spin its wheels as financial woes mount for the L.A. port-hired maker of electric trucks.

Projects Change Gears With Bikes

Real Estate: New rule lets developers swap out car spaces.

City of L.A.’s new bike-parking requirements let some projects put the brakes on more expensive car spaces.

Car Dealerships See Lots of Suits

AUTOMOTIVE: ‘Piece-rate’ ruling drives technicians to court.

State court ruling on piece-rate work may drive car technicians to battle with dealerships.

Real Estate-Focused Firm Homed In on Work

LAUNCH: Big Law skips trophy space to open virtual Westwood office.

Eli Taban’s new law firm is called Big Law Partners, but if you show up at its Westwood offices, you won’t find any attorneys.

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Herbalife Heir Feels Low About Mountaintop Lot

REAL ESTATE: Fight over unpaid debt may squelch development.

Sale of mammoth, high-end lot by trustees didn’t go down well for Herbalife heir Alex Hughes.

Nurturing Workforce

Laura Nix Gerson launched MomFairs to raise the job prospects for mothers.

Las Vegas’ Sugar Factory to pop open a new shop in Hollywood complete with a room for bachelorette parties.

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Sweepstakes Not Such Safe a Bet?

GAMBLING: Sheriff may pull plug on games at Internet cafés.

Some Internet cafés are betting that their use of promotional sweepstakes will be judged legal.

Bitterness Brewing in Battle Over Coffee Firm

BEVERAGES: Former chief of Marley brand boiling over ouster.

A fight is percolating between co-founders Shane Whittle and Rohan Marley over control of their coffee company.

Brown Returns to California as Partner at Manatt

LAW: Former state treasurer will counsel clients on regulatory issues.

Kathleen Brown moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in 2010 not only to pursue a “tremendous business opportunity” as chairman of investment banking in the Midwest for Goldman Sachs, but also to avoid the potential appearance of a conflict of interest.

Too Many Hands in ‘Pockets’?

REAL ESTATE: Agents squabble over celebrity ‘pocket listings.’

Rival agent alleges Ben Bacal had his hand in too many exclusive “pocket listings” of high-priced homes.

Toyota Acceleration Claims Lead to Job Break

EMPLOYMENT: Work for car company lands lawyer position at Skadden Arps.

When Toyota Motor Corp. was able to put an end to most claims related to unintended accelerations with a settlement valued at up to $1.6 billion last year, it marked a milestone for Toyota lead counsel Lisa Gilford.

Shares of Garment Maker May Soon Be in Fashion

CLOTHING: Analysts back American Apparel despite disappointing quarter.

Rough quarter punishes American Apparel shares but analysts say the stock will wear well.

Blurred Lines

HEALTH CARE: SEC and FDA concerns leave future fuzzy for medical device maker Imaging3 as it leaves bankruptcy.

Medical device maker Imaging3’s prognosis looks hazy with looming SEC and FDA issues.

D.C. Firm Makes Power Play for Midwest Duo

EMPLOYMENT: Buckley picks up Dykema pair for Santa Monica office.

BuckleySandler LLP is only four years old, but the upstart Washington, D.C., firm has landed two heavy hitters in its Santa Monica office with the addition of Richard Gottlieb and Fredrick Levin from Detroit’s Dykema Gossett PLLC.

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South Korea Holds Lawyer Suspected of Fraud

LAW: Immigration attorney drew money from green-card hopefuls.

South Korea arrests L.A. immigration attorney in alleged investment fraud involving green-card program. (Sidebar: Other EB-5 investment projects have collapsed from legal trouble. Page 42.)

Hollywood Didn’t Sign Off

Chamber wins court case to stop German shop from using trademarked icons.

Chamber lowers curtain on German shop looking to trade on trademarked Hollywood imagery.

3-D Technology Company Loses Box-Office Focus

FILM: RealD shares fall after format’s lost luster yields slow ticket sales.

3-D technology company RealD loses investors’ focus after disappointing box-office performance.

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Busted Homes Break Up Beverly Hills Buddies

INVESTMENT: Ray Irani sues friend over megamansion mess.

Ousted oil exec Ray Irani says he’s owed millions for pumping up his friend’s real estate business.

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Bad Math Left Hospital at Loss

HEALTH CARE: Trustee says accountant botched the books.

Downey hospital nursing sale while alleging its problems were caused by faulty accounting.

Rivals’ Appeal Too Much for Downtown L.A. Firm

EMPLOYMENT: Recently merged Norton Rose loses 11 lawyers to competitors.

London’s Norton Rose Fulbright has lost 11 attorneys in its downtown L.A. office to rival firms this month, including the heads of its L.A. labor and employment and health care practices.

Road Blocked

Catalina hotel fights Avalon for more golf carts

Feud over golf cart permits slowly picks up speed as a Catalina hotel takes Avalon’s City Council to court.

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Maguire’s Debt Spurs Takeoff

Aviation: Developer says he has deal to sell airport operation.

Robert Maguire says he has landed a buyer for his debt-wracked Van Nuys Airport business.

Casden Wins Suit Brought by Former Partner

Prominent developer Alan Casden has won a court ruling against a former partner seeking to recoup losses from a real estate venture gone south.

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LAX Hotel Hits Debt Turbulence

REAL ESTATE: Future up in air for property and owner.

New York hotel developer might be taking off from foreclosure-facing property near LAX.

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Flat-Out Dispute

TAXES: Broadreach says previous owners should pay taxes on WeHo ‘wallscape.’

Landlord of office-retail complex wants previous owners to pay property tax on “wallscape” ad space.

Firm Brings in Veteran to Get Jump on Startups

EXPANSION: Latham hire Dan Burnham will focus on early stage companies.

L.A.’s largest firm by revenue is moving further into the growing local startup scene.

Windfall Nurses Hospital Feud

HEALTH CARE: Shareholders fight execs over Avanti’s money.

Investors in Avanti Hospitals accuse executives of doctoring finances to their benefit.

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Firm Appeal

Bruce P. Jeffer’s conservative approach over 30 years has turned his law firm into one of L.A.’s most profitable.

Lawyer Bruce P. Jeffer works to catch magic in a bottle as an avid wine collector.

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Property Deal Splits Partners

Real Estate: Developer’s terms too much for investor.

Partnership is left with little room for comfort when the two parties vacate apartment deal.

Investors Guess-ing That It’s Time for Turnaround

APPAREL: But company’s future still tied to prospects of European recovery.

Investors see Guess may be on the road to a turnaround. But its European market is still a problem.

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Pizza Chain Looks to Pop Soda Deal With Pepsi

DINING: CPK looks to ax longtime relationship as part of cost cutting.

California Pizza Kitchen looks to shake soda deal with Pepsi as part of the chain’s cost-cutting strategy.

Electric Carmaker Led Charge as Markets Soared

SPECIAL REPORT: Wealthiest Angelenos

Soaring stocks made up the lion’s share of surging portfolios.

Firm Brokers Deal for L.A. Insurance Litigators

LAUNCH: Jerry Oshinsky, Linda Kornfeld open Kasowitz Benson office.

New York firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP has poached two of the region’s most renowned insurance recovery litigators to start an L.A. office.

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Workplaces Hit Close to Home

REAL ESTATE: Neighbors knock using condos for business.

Some condo homeowners associations are trying to stop residents from using their units as offices.

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Lawyers Reap Prop. 65’s Rewards

Special Report: Toxic Prop

Proposition 65 attorneys take lion’s share of payouts in some settlements.

Foreclosure Attorney Ineligible to Practice Law

INVESTIGATION: State Bar could take more steps against Gene W. Choe.

Gene W. Choe, founder of what was once one of the city’s largest law firms fighting home foreclosures, has been ruled ineligible to practice law in California pending further disciplinary hearings.

Skin Care Company Lands El Segundo Headquarters

El Segundo skin care company Murad Inc. announced Tuesday that it would move its global headquarters to a larger space within city limits.

Software Upgrade Bad Memory for Installer, Client

TECHNOLOGY: Customer Southwest Traders seeks compensation from DAZ.

Software installer DAZ faces hefty lawsuit from food firm that claims its services weren’t up to code.

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Food Trucks Running Risk

INSURANCE: Operators moving faster than coverage.

Food trucks can face problems with policies that fail to cover their use as mobile kitchens.