Often times when people call our office they have spoken to various attorneys in the Long Beach, CA area. Sometimes I answer the phone potential clients have questions answered by people who are not familiar with the Los Angeles court system or eviction laws. If our schedule is too busy to handle your eviction I will often refer the case out to another lawyer that I believe is competent and that I know from being in court.
If I refer your case out I want to make sure you get aggressive representation. I believe my office is the most aggressive when pursuing any real property claim, nevertheless, sometimes we are not available or engaged in a trial.
Kimball Tirey & St. John LLP
KTS is the common name for Kimball Tirey. Their firm’s clients are generally large companies such as The Irvine Company which owns a fortune of property. Their attorneys are very thorough for trial but you will rarely get whoever signed the actual eviction lawsuit to show up for your trial.
KTS is a large firm that often delegates various tasks such as client intake, discovery, trial, and enforcement of the judgment to various people.
Due to the size of the firm and the delegation of duties to different attorneys or staff members, some mom and pop landlords do not feel that they can get in touch with their attorney’s quick enough. Since KTS has other wealthy clients it may seem that you are not getting the service you deserve. Still, they are a major player among eviction firms and have a strong collection arm regarding judgments.
Dennis P. Block & Associates
Dennis Block has been doing landlord evictions for around 40 years. His firm caters to both wealthy clients such as KTS as well as mom & pop landlords.
It is doubtful you will ever see Mr. Block in the courtroom and oddly this is surprising to a lot of his clients. With the sheer number of evictions Block handles it would be nearly impossible for him to do a trial. He manages his firm.
For further discussion of Dennis P. Block & Associates and Basta Inc. please click here and read my article on the symbiotic relationship both firms have. Block and Basta generally spar out in jury trials.
Block represents landlords only, Basta only represents tenants
Basta is non-profit firm that calls itself a tenant’s rights firm. Their very name usually makes landlords and their attorneys scared because they often times send out large amounts of discovery and nearly ALWAYS demand a jury trial.
A jury trial, even in an eviction case, is a constitutional right under the California Constitution as long as all the rules for demanding one are met.
Jury trials were fairly uncommon for tenants until Basta’s founder Daniel Bramzon started pursuing them aggressively.
The benefits of a jury trial for tenants are large. Since most of the state is made up of tenants they might be more likely to sympathize with a tenants claim that they were not served or that their landlord is retaliating against them. Also, if the tenant’s attorney wins and there is a statute or contract that says they get “reasonable attorney’s fees” the tenant’s attorney can ask for every hour spent on the case. This means a loss against Basta could have the landlord incurring a judgment against them in the form of attorney’s fees.
This rule is generally reciprocal if the attorney’s fee award is based on a contract but in practice, it is highly unlikely that a tenant has $20,000 or more if they cannot even afford to pay their rent.
Generally, I advise landlord client’s to remove attorney’s fees provisions in their leases or in the alternative to cap the amount at something reasonable like $1000. Doing so generally prevents Basta from asking for huge settlement amounts.
For the record, as attorney of record for Landlord’s I have represented, we have never paid Basta any settlement in the form of money and our clients have always been deemed the prevailing party in litigation with Basta according to our records. Nevertheless, their attorneys are highly talented, come from top law schools, and have a wealth of trial experience. Past results are not a guarantee of future outcomes.
Alatorre & Associates
Andres Alatorre is a former Basta attorney who has gone into private practice. His time at Basta gave him a wealth of experience in litigating cases for tenants. He knows his way around the Los Angeles court system but also ventures into Orange County as well.
As of yet, Mr. Allatorre is one of the few attorney’s that can handle volumes of cases from tenants. Every case I have seen him on he has demanded a jury as well. He has represented tenants in the Orange County area successfully and is a force to be reckoned due to his knowledge and experience.
There are other attorneys and firms that handle evictions that I will add to the list above as time goes on. If you have any comments please feel free to leave them below.