This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/09/2021 at 07:50:54 (UTC).

CENTER WEST, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP VS STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 09/18/2020 CENTER WEST, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against STEPHEN A SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GREGORY W. ALARCON and TERESA A. BEAUDET. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5840

  • Filing Date:

    09/18/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GREGORY W. ALARCON

TERESA A. BEAUDET

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

CENTER WEST A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

CENTER WEST

Defendants

STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

SILVERMAN STEPHEN A.

STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

ZOHAR DANIEL Y.

Defendant Attorneys

SALOMONS GARY

SALOMONS GARY K.

 

Court Documents

Notice - NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF ASSOCIATION OF COUNSEL

3/18/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF ASSOCIATION OF COUNSEL

Order - ORDER RE: DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATIONS MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS; DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMANS MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

3/3/2021: Order - ORDER RE: DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATIONS MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS; DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMANS MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Case Management Order

3/3/2021: Case Management Order

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR STAY OF PROCEEDINGS; HEARING ON MOTION ...)

3/3/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR STAY OF PROCEEDINGS; HEARING ON MOTION ...)

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION AND STEPHEN A. SILVERMANS MOTIONS TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

2/18/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION AND STEPHEN A. SILVERMANS MOTIONS TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

Reply - REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

2/24/2021: Reply - REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

1/13/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

1/13/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Case Management Statement

12/22/2020: Case Management Statement

Answer

12/18/2020: Answer

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

12/17/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Case Management Statement

12/14/2020: Case Management Statement

Notice of Case Management Conference

10/23/2020: Notice of Case Management Conference

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

10/29/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion for Stay of Proceedings

10/30/2020: Motion for Stay of Proceedings

Motion for Stay of Proceedings

10/30/2020: Motion for Stay of Proceedings

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

10/5/2020: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

10/5/2020: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

13 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/25/2022
  • Hearing05/25/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/13/2022
  • Hearing05/13/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/06/2022
  • Hearing05/06/2022 at 4:00 PM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Appearance Case Review

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/24/2022
  • Hearing02/24/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketNotice (of Withdrawal of Association of Counsel); Filed by Stephen A. Silverman Law Corporation (Defendant); Stephen A. Silverman (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/04/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Stay of Proceedings - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Stay of Proceedings - Held - Motion Denied

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/03/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Stay of Proceedings - Held - Motion Denied

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/03/2021
  • DocketCase Management Order; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
15 More Docket Entries
  • 10/23/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/28/2020
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/28/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Reassignment/Vacate Hearings; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Center West (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/18/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STCV35840    Hearing Date: March 03, 2021    Dept: 50

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

CENTER WEST,

Plaintiff,

vs.

STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

20STCV35840

Hearing Date:

March 4, 2021

Hearing Time:

10:00 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN LAW CORPORATION’S MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS;

DEFENDANT STEPHEN A. SILVERMAN’S MOTION TO STAY CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Background

On September 18, 2020, Plaintiff Center West (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendants Stephen A. Silverman Law Corporation (the “Law Firm”) and Stephen A. Silverman (“Silverman”) (jointly, “Defendants”) asserting causes of action for breach of contract. Plaintiff alleges that it leased certain commercial real estate property to Defendants, and that Defendants breached the lease by failing to pay rent due.

Defendants now move for a stay of proceedings until the resolution of a pending criminal action against Silverman in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Plaintiff opposes.

Discussion

Defendants contend that a stay is warranted because Silverman has been indicted in the United States District Court, Northern District of California for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit laundering of monetary instruments, conspiracy to engage in the unlawful wholesale distribution of drugs, aiding and abetting, and criminal forfeiture (the “Criminal Proceeding”). (Spolin Decl., ¶ 2, Ex. A.)

Defendants contend that there is an overlap between the instant civil action and the Criminal Proceeding in that Edvin Ovasapyan is both a co-defendant in the Criminal Proceeding as well as a critical percipient witness and potential cross-defendant in the instant action. Defendants assert that the underlying lease with Plaintiff was amended so that Defendants could sub-lease a portion of the office space to Mr. Ovasapyan. Defendants assert that Mr. Ovasapyan vacated the leased premises in approximately June 2018 on account of damage to his personal property (certain vehicles), causing Defendants to lose rental income. Based on this, Defendants argue that it would be impracticable to conduct discovery about liability and damage issues on the breach of lease claims without violating Silverman’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

In arguing that a stay is appropriate, Defendants primarily rely on Pacers, Inc. v. Superior Court (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 686. In Pacers, civil defendants refused to answer deposition questions in a civil suit by invoking their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination while a criminal case pertaining to the same events remained open. ((Id. at p. 687.) The trial court subsequently entered an order prohibiting defendants from testifying at trial. The Court of Appeal found that the trial court abused its discretion by imposing an order protecting only the plaintiffs’ interests. The Court noted that the trial court “forced petitioners to choose between their silence and a meaningful chance of avoiding the loss through judicial process of a substantial amount of property.” ((Id. at p. 689 [internal quotations omitted].) The Court held that: “Where, as here, a defendant's silence is constitutionally guaranteed, the court should weigh the parties' competing interests with a view toward accommodating the interests of both parties, if possible. An order staying discovery until expiration of the criminal statute of limitations would allow real parties to prepare their lawsuit while alleviating petitioners' difficult choice between defending either the civil or criminal case.” ((Id. at p. 690.) 

The Court in Pacers did not hold that a stay should be granted as a matter of course whenever there are pending criminal charges. The law is clear that there is no entitlement to such a stay. ((Avant! Corp. v. Superior Court (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 876, 882); (People v. Coleman (1975) 13 Cal.3d 867, 885 [“Whatever their response to requests for accommodation of the conflicting constitutional rights of a defendant in concurrent civil and criminal proceedings, courts have consistently refrained from recognizing any constitutional need for such accommodation. Rather, the alleviation of tension between constitutional rights has been treated as within the province of a court's discretion in seeking to assure the sound administration of justice.” (emphasis in original)]); (Keating v. Office of Thrift Supervision (9th Cir. 1995) 45 F.3d 322, 326 [“A defendant has no absolute right not to be forced to choose between testifying in a civil matter and asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege.”].) .)

Defendants argue that Silverman and Mr. Ovasapyan will be called upon to answer questions and to respond to discovery regarding their relationship, their agreement for Silverman to sub-lease a portion of the leased premises to Mr. Ovasapyan, the storage and damage to Mr. Ovasapyan’s vehicles, and Mr. Ovasapyan’s decision to vacate the leased premises. Defendants contend that these are the same areas of inquiry that are likely to occur in the Criminal Proceeding. Nevertheless, as pointed out by Plaintiff, the Criminal Proceeding does not appear to have anything to do with Plaintiff’s claims for breach of a commercial lease (and personal guaranty). There are no allegations in the Complaint concerning Mr. Ovasapyan or a sub-lease. In any event, as noted by Plaintiff, the underlying lease contains a provision prohibiting sub-letting or assignment, so it is unlikely that fact questions regarding the nature of the sub-lease to Mr. Ovasapyan will be relevant in the instant action. Thus, a stay of the action will highly prejudice Plaintiff. The Court also agrees with Plaintiff that a stay of the entire action is not appropriate, and to the extent that Defendants contend that they will be burdened by discovery, it would be more prudent and less prejudicial to all parties if the discovery process were allowed to proceed to determine whether Fifth Amendment issues will arise at all. If a good faith, material dispute arises, the parties may bring their dispute to the attention of the Court. The Court also finds that denial of the stay “promotes the convenience of the court in the management of its cases.” ((Avant! Corp. v. Superior Court, supra, at p. 888.)

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Defendants’ motion for stay is denied.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

DATED: March 3, 2021

________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where CENTER WEST A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer SALOMONS GARY K. ESQ.