Los Angeles Business Journal

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Jeans Maker Sowed Fate

APPAREL: Litigious Guess co-founder fights bankruptcy.

Failure to button up his litigious behavior might cost Guess Jeans co-founder Georges Marciano much of his fortune.

L.A. Outpost Teaming Up for International Reach

EXPANSION: Dentons sees latest merger as way to grow specialties.

The downtown L.A. office of Chicago’s Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal saw its attorney count fall to 30 from more than 70 in a 12-month period ended in spring 2009, due to a combination of departures and layoffs.

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Foreclosure Boom Busts Attorney

LAW: Bankrupt Gene W. Choe also faces possible loss of license.

State Bar homes in on attorney whose firm boomed then busted handling foreclosure cases.

Hanmi Names Chief Financial Officer

Koreatown’s Hanmi Financial Corp., the holding company for Hanmi Bank, announced Thursday that Shick “Mark” Yoon has been appointed chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Silicon Valley Firm Comes on Line in Los Angeles

EXPANSION: New oupost lets Wilson Sonsini also land patent law attorney.

Silicon Valley’s largest and most storied law firm is opening an office in Los Angeles this week and it’s doing so with a splash: by poaching one of the area’s most highly regarded patent litigators.

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Malibu Mulls Chains Break

Real Estate: Developers rip proposed retailer limits.

Developers aren’t buying a new Malibu proposal to restrict large chain retailers.

Naming Names

REAL ESTATE: Four Seasons condo project accuses Four Seasons hotel of obstruction.

Four Seasons hotel seems reluctant to make room for a similarly branded condo project across the road.

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Making Cases

Ex-partners of Johnnie Cochran spar over name, legacy

Former partners fight to use attorney Johnnie Cochran’s name to court clients.

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Russell Goldsmith: Taking Image Into Account

Russell Goldsmith oversees the growth of City National Bank; now he’s focused on L.A.’s infrastructure

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Modest Practice, Flashy Growth

LAW: Low-key Lewis Brisbois becomes largest firm in L.A.

A focus on insurance defense has helped ensure Lewis Brisbois’ growth into L.A.’s biggest firm by attorney count. (Sidebar: Lower rates lead to job growth. Page 43.)

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New Jersey Raises Gaming Stakes

Gambling: Local businesses hope to split state’s online pot.

New Jersey’s approval of online gaming has strengthened the hands of several local businesses.

Environmental Attorneys Change Surroundings

EMPLOYMENT: Pair from Bingham open Edgcomb outpost in Burbank.

Nancy Wilms and Tiffany Hedgpeth both spent at least 15 years in the downtown L.A. office of Boston’s Bingham McCutchen LLP, representing major clients such as Chevron Corp. and pharmaceutical giant McKesson Corp. as partners in the firm’s environmental litigation group.

Business Groups Favor Court Discrimination Ruling

LEGAL: Employers hope for decrease in damage claims by workers.

Business groups hope a state court discrimination ruling will work to curb employee lawsuits.

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Seizure Leaves Vendor at Loss

Legal: XYZ still feels pain from 2010 sheriff’s sting.

Seller of secondhand items still feels locked up by Sheriff’s Department seizure of goods.

Aviation Mogul Hopes Pitch for Partner Takes Off

Robert Maguire looks to land a partner for his airport terminal business as he seeks to pay down big debt.

Santa Monica Paces Market, L.A. County With Top Asking Rents

Reports - Asking rents in the Westside office market rose to their highest level in three years in the fourth quarter, driven by continued demand from tech, media and entertainment businesses.

Project Stalls In Parking Lot

Real Estate: Saks moves to protect precious spaces.

Fear of losing parking spaces drives Saks to try to put brakes on sale of lot across the street.

Intellectual Property Firm Thinks It’s Time to Grow

EMPLOYMENT: Partners at Novak Druce hope to double up on headcount.

Wilmington, Del., intellectual property firm Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz looked like a firm in trouble to some industry insiders last fall.

Activist Lawyer Stalls Approvals

Development: Target is latest project to be held up.

Target’s Hollywood project is the latest to draw fire from an attorney and activist neighborhood group.

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High Time

Luxury condo sales on rise as economy picks up

Rebounding economy helped homebuyers make their move into luxury condos last year.

Koreatown Bank Feels Squeeze in Tighter Market

LENDING: Hanmi seeks sale or merger after falling behind giant BBCN.

Sale-pursuing Hanmi is the latest bank to feel the squeeze in Koreatown’s high-pressure market.

Eight Over 80: Richard Riordan

Richard Riordan isn’t just still going strong at 82, he’s jumping headlong into brawls that others won’t go near.

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Well-Off Oil Family Deepens Fight Over Company

ENERGY: Brother slights siblings as he takes fight to sell shares to court.

Brother looking to split from family business further divides siblings over future of World Oil.

Healthy Investment

Husband-and-wife team hopes to make splash with alkaline water.

Spouses Howard and Debbie Nodelman hope to make waves with their alkaline water product.

THQ Faces Opposition to Bankruptcy Sale

Agoura Hills video game publisher THQ Inc. is facing opposition to its accelerated bankruptcy sale from creditors and the U.S. Trustee, according to a news report.

L.A. Attorneys Appointed Superior Court Judges

Several Los Angeles area attorneys were among a group of new judges appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.

Bank Sees Brokerage as Good Buy As Rivals Pare Back Trading Services

BANKING: B. Riley grows investment offerings with acquisition of Caris.

B. Riley invests more money in trading services with pickup of stock brokerage Caris.

Port’s Cruising In for Bruising

tourism: Disney Wonder latest ship to sail out of L.A.

L.A. port’s cruise business sinks further as Disney ship sets sail for Miami.

Boston Firm Turns to Hire Power to Grow in L.A.

EXPANSION: Gary Urwin latest recruit for Edwards Wildman’s local office.

The recent hiring of commercial litigator Gary Urwin as a partner in Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s Beverly Hills office is a signal of the Boston firm’s aggressive new growth plans for the L.A. area.

Redondo Beach Not Sold On Loss of Mall Tenant

REAL ESTATE: City files suit that could halt move of Nordstrom to Torrance.

Redondo Beach makes waves with lawsuit to block Nordstrom relocation to Del Amo mall.

Fax Firm Sends Internet Message

COMMUNICATIONS: Old technology gives new life to J2.

Fax firm J2 sends stock climbing with Internet moves and diversification steps.

Atlanta Firm Still Building Case in Downtown L.A.

EMPLOYMENT: Latest hire brings Alston’s local attorney tally to 85.

The addition of James R. Evans Jr. to the downtown L.A. office of Alston & Bird LLP marks another sign of the Atlanta firm’s aggressive growth plans here.

Document Firm In Paper Chase

LAW: LegalZoom lawyers up as rivals move into market.

Online document provider LegalZoom gets on its rival’s case.

Skechers Regains Footing After Trip Over Fitness Line

Skechers steps up its comeback as fallout ebbs from its controversial toning shoes.

Investors Don’t Like Sound of Audio Firm’s Loss

ELECTRONICS: Shares of DTS fall while company pursues growth strategy.

Stock value falls as audio technology company DTS sounds out expansion strategy.

Two More Firms Court Clients in South Korea

EXPANSION: O’Melveny and Paul Hastings latest to open outposts in Seoul.

Two more major L.A. firms launched offices this month in South Korea, which has opened its borders to U.S. firms after the recent passage of a free-trade agreement.

Friends Tell Him They’re Amazed He Was Hired

Firms: Real estate law veteran Volpert, 77, starts work with Glaser Weil.

At 77 years old, real estate attorney Dick Volpert is past the age when most law firms would be expected to jockey for his services.

Casden Loses HQ Building

REAL ESTATE: Developer hit with three foreclosures.

Developer Alan Casden has lost three office buildings to foreclosure – including his headquarters.

Down to Earth

When George Pla joined the board of the California Science Center 15 years ago, he never envisioned that it would one day lead to him walking in front of the space shuttle Endeavour along Crenshaw Boulevard.

Legal Addition May Hint at Firm’s Public Plan

OpenX hires incubator veteran with IPO expertise.

Pasadena’s OpenX Technologies Inc. has added Douglas McPherson as its chief legal officer, another big step for a rapidly growing company that might be heading toward an initial public offering.

Balance Shift In Debit Cards

American Express’ addition to the prepaid debit card business subtracts from Green Dot’s share value.

Eatery Hungers For New Funds

Hospitality: Slump has Giggles N’ Hugs frowning.

Lack of funding has starved growth plans for high-end kids eatery Giggles N’ Hugs.

Trial Run

Plaintiff’s attorney Michael Alder’s combative style yielded

Plaintiff’s attorney Michael Alder’s combative style has earned him groupies and millions of dollars in verdicts.

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Passed Due

City of L.A. sues to pin site cleanup on ex-owners

Former owners of steel distributorship hope to iron out clean-up responsibility with city of Los Angeles.

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3-D Image Firm Gets Flattened

BIOTECH: FDA snub pushes Imaging3 into bankruptcy.

Imaging3 files for bankruptcy as its 3-D imaging system has yet to take shape.

Burbank Imaging Firm Files for Chapter 11

Burbank medical device company Imaging3 Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced.

Best-Seller Hit, Miss for Maker

VIDEO GAMES: ‘Darksiders’ casts pall over THQ’s future.

Analysts are talking apocalypse after THQ’s Four Horsemen title fails to score.

Food Trucks Serve Up Fight

REGULATION: Industry group driving against city laws

Food truck group rolls into court to challenge city restrictions on service.

Liking Sound Of New Digs

Business speaker series picks Gensler’s designer space to host talks.

Business speaker series has designs on Gensler’s stylish new downtown L.A. office.

Food Truck Vendors Fight Back on Restrictions

Two years ago, food trucks famously clashed with restaurants and local politicians over where they could park on the Miracle Mile. Today, that seems like a grammar school food fight.