WHO IS DENNIS BLOCK & ASSOCIATES
Dennis Block and Associates are probably the most well known landlord only attorneys in the Los Angeles area. Their attorneys seem to primarily practice at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Central Los Angeles.
Dennis Block regularly talks at the Apartment Association events and others such as the Los Angeles Convention Center on this upcoming April 19th, 2017. See his twitter post.
One focus of his lectures are limiting landlords exposures to jury trials. The problem with his mantra is that Block & Associates has to love jury trials. According to Block and Associates legal services agreement we have seen they bill your credit card $2500 for preparation for a jury trial if one is demanded. When a jury trial is demanded Block’s attorneys usually will convince you to settle your case.
On other side of Dennis Block and Associates is the firm BASTA Inc.
Basta Inc. is a tenant only firm that demands a jury trial in nearly every eviction. The firm’s founder Danny Bramzon encourages his attorneys to ask the landlord to pay the tenant money to leave of which Basta gets a cut.
Both Dennis Block and Associates and Basta Inc. have a symbiotic relationship. Everytime Danny shoots of jury trial demand Block gets $2500 richer. His own website lists attorney fees for an uncontested eviction at only $125. At such a low rate Block needs Basta in order to generate more revenue.
An investigation by the times found that 1,137 rent controlled units were removed from the market in 2015 which happens to be three times increase since 2013. In total 20,0000 units have left the market that were previously rent controlled from 2001.
What does this data mean to you if you are a landlord or tenant in the Los Angeles area?
Block and Associates provides low upfront fees for uncontested evictions with a HUGE fee if a jury trial is demanded. Basta Inc. provides low bono services to tenants and demands a jury trial. Basta Inc. reports millions of dollars of tax revenue even as a low bono firm.
Block and Associates benefits as well as they perform thousands of evictions in Rent Control Jurisdictions that demand jury trials.
Both firms have one thing in common. They make money and lots of it.
Any attorney needed to handle an eviction jury trial must spend the same amount of time it would require most any other case ready for trial. California has in its constitution a right to a jury trial in an eviction.
There are a lot of landlord tenant attorneys in Southern California and before you make your choice on whom to retain you should consider the 5 following factors.
- Has the attorney you hired litigated a bench and jury trial.
- Will you know the attorney who actually shows up to court to try your case.
- The amount of communication you will have with your trial attorney.
- The previous results of your trial attorney.
- Whether your attorney is looking out for your best interests and practices preventative measures to lower the cost of litigation.
If you are landlord who calls Block and Associates you will often have trouble or not be able to reach the trial attorney that is assigned to your case.
If you are a tenant who hires Basta Inc. you will also probably have trouble reaching your eviction trial attorney.
Being prepared for trial is of utmost importance. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant the process is stressful. In order to achieve the best results communication is key.
Low upfront pricing for eviction cases may seem enticing. Nevertheless there are many attorneys who are willing to spend quality time assessing your case, the possible outcomes, as well as the possible pitfalls.
I encourage you to call our firm and schedule an appointment to assess your case. Problems can often be avoided early on and landlord tenant law is very complicated.
Both Basta Inc. and Dennis Block & Associates may have great stories where they have won at trial after jury. These tails are not to be discounted but generally, in the Los Angeles area, it takes many days if not weeks to get a courtroom for a jury trial, and often settlement is the best way of disposing of a case.
A landlord often must give up or waive the rent owed to them for a fixed move out date, whereas a tenant may not get paid to move and is just given extra time. It has been our experience that amicable settlements with low costs as well as preventative measures to keep eviction costs down are both beneficial to both sides.
If you are engaged in an eviction, prepare to be stressed out. If you want that jury trial you have a right to one. Nevertheless, settlement on reasonable terms is always an option. We are always prepared to litigate, whether the trial is jury or bench.
Both Dennis Block & Associates as well as Basta Inc. have been beaten. Lower your attorney’s fees and let us fight for you. Housing is both a right and a business. Do not let the law firms take away either right. There is always a middle ground, and when there is none in sight, there is fight and we are ready for it.
Feel free to post comments below!