This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/01/2019 at 01:05:33 (UTC).

VEHANOOSH GRIGORIAN VS. ALEX MEGEREDCHIAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/05/2018 VEHANOOSH GRIGORIAN filed a Contract - Professional Negligence lawsuit against ALEX MEGEREDCHIAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Glendale Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RALPH C. HOFER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8370

  • Filing Date:

    04/05/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Professional Negligence

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Glendale Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RALPH C. HOFER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

GRIGORIAN VEHANOOSH AN INDIVIDUAL

GRIGORIAN VEHANOOSH

Defendants

MEGEREDCHIAN LAW

LAW OFFICES OF ALEX MEGEREDCHIAN

MEGEREDCHIAN ALEX AN INDIVIDUAL

LAW MEGEREDCHIAN

MEGEREDCHIAN ALEX

Not Classified By Court

TER-OGANESYAN ROBERT

BANDARY MEGHEDY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

LAW OFFICES OF KASRA TORABI

EISENBERG MARK STEVEN

Defendant Attorneys

KVETON KYLE

ROBIE & MATTHAI

Not Classified By Court Attorneys

AGEMIAN ANAHID

SIEVERS ROBERT PAUL

 

Court Documents

Notice

4/5/2018: Notice

Legacy Document

5/24/2018: Legacy Document

Minute Order

6/19/2018: Minute Order

Notice of Related Case

7/5/2018: Notice of Related Case

Legacy Document

10/4/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

10/4/2018: Legacy Document

Proof of Personal Service

11/9/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Declaration

11/9/2018: Declaration

Proof of Personal Service

11/9/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Motion for Order

11/9/2018: Motion for Order

Declaration

11/9/2018: Declaration

Opposition

12/4/2018: Opposition

Substitution of Attorney

12/5/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Stipulation and Order

12/5/2018: Stipulation and Order

Ex Parte Application

12/5/2018: Ex Parte Application

Declaration

12/5/2018: Declaration

Declaration

12/6/2018: Declaration

Minute Order

6/7/2019: Minute Order

23 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion for Order (1) To Compel Compliance with Subpoena for Attendance/Testimony; 2) Of Contempt for Failure to Comply with Subpoena; 3) A "Notice to Appear" subject to Warrant of Arrest; 4) Of Imprisonment for up to 5 Days; 5) Fines, etc. Against Meghedy Bandary) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Responses to Request for Production of Documents and for Sanctions filed on behalf of Defendants Alex Megeredchian, et al.) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Order to Show Cause Re: (Sanctions pursuant to Section 177.5 CCP against both parties for their failure to appear on 12/21/18) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Status Conference (reMotions and Status of Settlement in LC106885) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion for Order (1) To Compel Compliance with Subpoena for Attendance/Testimony; 2) Of Contempt for Failure to Comply with Subpoenas; 3) For a "Notice to Appear" subject to Warrant of Arrest; 4) Of Imprisonment for up to 5 Days; 5) Fines, etc. Against Robert Ter-Oganesyan) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Answers to Specially Prepared Interrogs and for Sanctions filed on behalf of Defendants Alex Megeredchian, et al.) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference; II) Hearing on Motion for Order 1...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by VEHANOOSH, GRIGORIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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38 More Docket Entries
  • 05/18/2018
  • Request for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 05/18/2018
  • Request for Entry of Default (THE ORIGINAL PROOF OF SERVICE AS NOT BEEN FILED. (CCP SECTION 417.30). ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Complaint filed-Summons Issued

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Summons Filed

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Notice (of order to show cause RE failure to comply with trial court delay reduction act)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Summons; Filed by null

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Complaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by null

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC068370    Hearing Date: September 25, 2020    Dept: NCD

TENTATIVE RULING

Calendar: 11

Date: 9/25/2020

Case No: EC 068370 Trial Date: None Set

Case Name: Grigorian v. Megeredchian, et al.

DISCOVERY MOTIONS (2 Motions)

Moving Party: Defendants Alex Megeredchian, Megeredchian Law, and Law Offices of Alex Megeredchian (Compel Responses Interrogs)

Plaintiff Vehanoosh Grigorian (Compel Compliance Deposition Subpoenas)

Responding Party: Plaintiff Vehanoosh Grigorian (Compel ResponsesInterrogs)

Third party Meghedy Bandary

Third party Robert Ter-Oganesyan (Compel Compliance Deposition Subpoenas) (No Opposition)

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Responses to Specially Prepared Interrogatories, Set No. One from plaintiff

Order Compelling Compliance with Subpoena for Attendance and Testimony by Robert Ter-Oganesyan

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND:

Plaintiff Vehanoosh Grigorian brings this legal malpractice action against her former attorneys, defendants Alex Megeredchian and his law practice entities, alleging that during their representation of plaintiff and other partners in a real estate investment joint venture transaction, defendants failed to appropriately advise the parties, and continued representation despite conflicts of interests arising between the partners, ultimately resulting in plaintiff funding the entire real estate purchase, with no written contract to protect plaintiff from the circumstance that two of the other partners’ names remained as purchasers in whom title would vest at closing, and could fail to pay their share of the funding after closing. The partners failed to pay, and the complaint also alleges that although the partners agreed to execute and executed a notarized Reconveyance Grant Deed to plaintiff to facilitate a potential sale of the property, defendant falsely claimed that the deed had been forged, and sent a false letter making such allegations to escrow, and other involved parties, clouding title and derailing plaintiff’s efforts to sell the property and mitigate her damages.

Plaintiff also alleges that in breach of their duties and ethical obligations to plaintiff, their client, and plaintiff’s spouse, also their client, defendants have filed a civil suit against plaintiff and her spouse on behalf of the other two partners, seeking to quiet title to the property in favor of the other partners according to their purported 50% interest. Plaintiff also alleges that in the course of that lawsuit, defendants are improperly using confidential information derived from plaintiff in the course of defendants’ representation of plaintiff.

The file shows that on December 5, 2018, the parties filed, and the court signed a Stipulation and Order Staying Action, staying this matter for all purposes pending resolution of the other action between the partners, which is pending in Van Nuys.

On October 25, 2019, the court heard a motion brought by defendants Alex Megeredchian, Megeredchian Law, and Law Offices of Alex Megeredchian to lift the stay in this matter, arguing that the Van Nuys motion had been unsatisfactorily delayed. The motion was denied, the court finding that defendants had not shown good cause to lift the stay.

Specifically, the Stipulation and Order Staying Action states:

“The stay may be removed at any time upon a showing of good cause including, by way of example: to obtain injunctive and/or other extraordinary relief; to take the deposition of a witness who is terminally ill or is of such advanced age that removing the stay is necessary in order to preserve the sworn testimony of the witness.”

It also appears that the other action will likely resolve or narrow some of the issues involved in this matter, including issues of damages in this legal malpractice action and damages, which would impact the scope of discovery to be permitted in this matter and consequently consideration of any motions to compel discovery, such as the motions now before the court. The court will hear from the parties concerning the status of the Van Nuys action, and will reset the motions for a further status conference and re-setting of the motions, or for hearings on the merits. The court notes that in reviewing the docket on the other matter, Case No. LC 106885, it appears the matter is in active litigation, with a motion for summary adjudication having been pursued, a Mandatory Settlement Conference scheduled for October 5, 2020, and a Trial Setting Conference Scheduled for December 9, 2020.

The Stipulation and Order Staying Action, staying this matter for all purposes pending resolution of the Van Nuys action, has not been lifted and remains in place and effective for all purposes.

RULING:

Matter is STAYED.

Motion to Compel Answers to Specially Prepared Interrogatories is STAYED.

Matter is reset for hearing/rescheduling to January 13, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

Plaintiff’s Motion for an OSC Re Order to Compel Compliance with Subpoena for Attendance and Testimony Against Robert Ter-Oganesyan is STAYED.

Matter is reset for hearing/rescheduling to January 13, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

GIVEN THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, AND TO PROMOTE APPROPRIATE SOCIAL DISTANCING, UNTIL FURTHER ORDERED, DEPARTMENT D IS ENCOURAGING AUDIO OR VIDEO APPEARANCES

Please make arrangements in advance if you wish to appear via LACourtConnect by visiting www.lacourt.org, and scheduling a remote appearance. Please note that LACourtConnect offers an audio-only appearance option at a current cost of $15.00 and a video appearance option at a cost of $23.00. Counsel and parties (including self-represented litigants) are encouraged not to personally appear, unless they have obtained advance permission of the Court. Anyone who appears in person for the hearing will be required to comply with strict social distancing measures, including, but not limited to, assigned seating, capacity limitations in the courtroom, designated waiting areas, and strictly enforced spacing in line to communicate with court staff. If no appearance is set up through LACourtConnect, or otherwise, then the Court will assume the parties are submitting on the tentative.

Case Number: EC068370    Hearing Date: October 25, 2019    Dept: NCD

TENTATIVE RULING

Calendar: 15

Date: 10/25/19

Case No. EC 068370 Trial Date: None Set

Case Name: Grigorian v. Megeredchian, et al.

MOTION TO LIFT STAY

Moving Party: Defendants Alex Megeredchian, Megeredchian Law,

Law Offices of Alex Mederedchian

Responding Party: Plaintiff Vehanoosh Grigorian

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Order lifting stay of this action

RULING:

Motion to Lift Stay is DENIED.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Plaintiff Vehanoosh Grigorian brings this legal malpractice action against her former attorneys, defendants Alex Megeredchian and his law practice entities, alleging that during their representation of plaintiff and other partners in a real estate investment joint venture transaction, defendants failed to appropriately advise the parties, and continued representation despite conflicts of interests arising between the partners, ultimately resulting in plaintiff funding the entire real estate purchase, with no written contract to protect plaintiff from the circumstance that two of the other partners’ names remained as purchasers in whom title would vest at closing,and could fail to pay their share of the funding after closing. The partners failed to pay, and the complaint also alleges that although the partners agreed to execute and executed a notarized Reconveyance Grant Deed to plaintiff to facilitate a potential sale of the property, defendant falsely claimed that the deed had been forged, and sent a false letter making such allegations to escrow, and other involved parties, clouding title and derailing plaintiff’s efforts to sell the property and mitigate her damages.

Plaintiff also alleges that in breach of their duties and ethical obligations to plaintiff, their client, and plaintiff’s spouse, also their client, defendants have filed a civil suit against plaintiff and her spouse on behalf of the other two partners, seeking to quiet title to the property in favor of the other partners according to their purported 50% interest. Plaintiff also alleges that in the course of that lawsuit, defendants are improperly using confidential information derived from plaintiff in the course of defendants’ representation of plaintiff.

The file shows that on December 5, 2018, the parties filed, and the court signed a Stipulation and Order Staying Action, staying this matter for all purposes pending resolution of the other action between the partners, which is apparently pending in Van Nuys.

ANALYSIS:

Defendants bring this motion to lift the stay in this matter, based on the language of the Stipulation and Order Staying Action, which states:

“The stay may be removed at any time upon a showing of good cause including, by way of example: to obtain injunctive and/or other extraordinary relief; to take the deposition of a witness who is terminally ill or is of such advanced age that removing the stay is necessary in order to preserve the sworn testimony of the witness.”

Defendants argue that good cause exists to lift the stay in this matter, because the original reason for defendants stipulating to the stay was that the resolution of the Van Nuys litigation was expected to proceed in a timely fashion and could narrow or even eliminate the claims to be addressed in this litigation, but those rationales are no longer applicable. Defendants argue that the prompt resolution of the Van Nuys litigation has not been realized, but there have been a significant number of discovery disputes, and discovery is proceeding only in fits and starts. The motion also indicates that the matter is set for trial on February 3, 2020. The argument then seems to be that if this trial schedule is maintained, there is little chance of conflicting rulings, because the Van Nuys case will be resolved before this case has proceeded to trial. It is not explained how circumstances have changed so that the other action is not expected to narrow or eliminate claims in this matter.

Defendants also argue that the allegations of wrongdoing in this legal malpractice action are hanging over defendants every day that this matter remains unresolved, besmirching their practice, and potentially impacts their ability to recruit and maintain client, requires continuing disclosures and impacts their legal malpractice insurance.

The motion does not cite to any legal authority.

Plaintiff in opposition argues that the fallout from the legal malpractice and unethical conduct alleged in this matter has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages to plaintiff and the alleged breach of the joint venture agreement is the subject of the Van Nuys action, which must be resolved before this action can proceed. That case involves not only the issues of plaintiff’s damages, but the partners’ breach of contract, and the legitimacy of the signature on the grant deed.

To establish a claim for professional negligence, a plaintiff must prove the following elements:

1) the duty of the professional to use such skill, prudence and dilgence as other members of the profession commonly possess and exercise;

2) a breach of that duty;

3) a proximate causal connection between the negligent conduct and the resulting injury;

4) actual loss or damage resulting from the professional's negligence.

Budd v. Nixen (1971) 6 Cal.3d 195, 200.

Plaintiff argues that trial courts have inherent authority to stay malpractice suits, holding them in abeyance pending resolution of underlying litigation, in reliance on the California Supreme Court decision Adams v. Paul (1995) 11 Cal.4th 583, in which the Court addressed the issue of when a legal malpractice cause of action accrues for purposes of the applicable statute of limitations. The specific issue was when actual injury is sustained by a client where an attorney fails to file a client’s claim within the time required by the statute of limitations, and the Court found the trial court had erred in dismissing an action based on the statute of limitations and remanded for resolution of the issue as a matter of fact.

In addressing the practical consequences of its holding concerning the accrual of the claim in that matter, and the possibility that legal malpractice claims would have to be filed before the complete resolution of an underlying action in which the malpractice purportedly occurred, the Court noted:

“As to concerns for the premature filing of legal malpractice claims and the risk of inconsistent pleadings or judgments, they can be readily overcome under existing law. Statutory provisions permit consolidation or coordination of the actions. Alternatively, trial courts have an inherent authority to stay malpractice suits, holding them in abeyance pending resolution of underlying litigation. Moreover, a party may plead in the alternative and may make inconsistent allegations.”

Adams, at 592-593. (Citations omitted).

It is clear that in this matter involving alleged malpractice, plaintiff will be unable to ascertain or thoroughly prove the element of her damages resulting from that alleged malpractice until the other action determines what those damages would be in connection with the issues in that action.

The other cases cited in the moving papers include Rosenthal v. Wilner (1988) 197 Cal.App. 3d 1327, cited by the Court in Adams, in which the Second District reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice action pursuant to CCP § 583.340 for failure to bring the action to trial within five years. The issue in that case was when the five-year statute began to run again after a stay had been issued. The opinion describes the procedural posture of that case, in connection with a pending appeal of the litigation in which the defendant appellate attorneys, the Laschers, were alleged to have failed to exercise reasonable care in representing plaintiff, Rosenthal:

“On October 15, 1983, the superior court denied the Laschers' motion for summary judgment and alternative motion to stay this action pending determination of the Day appeal. The Laschers petitioned this court for a writ of mandate to compel the superior court to stay all proceedings and on November 29, 1983, this division issued a temporary stay order, and an alternative writ of mandate. (Wilner v. Superior Court.) In its opinion issued on March 15, 1984, this court directed the superior court to vacate its denial of the motion for a stay and make a new and different order granting the stay "pending resolution of the Samet v. Day appeal." 4 The court reasoned, "Proximate causation and damages cannot be ascertained until the resolution of the Samet v. Day appeal." ". . . [Irrespective] of whether Rosenthal can establish that the Laschers negligently represented him, he cannot successfully prove that their negligence was the proximate cause of the damages he allegedly sustained until the merits of the Samet v. Day appeal have been resolved. [para. ] Although Rosenthal asserts that the Laschers' negligence has delayed his ultimate vindication, Rosenthal cannot prove this unless and until the Samet v. Day appeal has been decided in his favor. However, if Samet v. Day is affirmed on appeal, Rosenthal will be collaterally estopped from protesting his innocence and damages from the judgment will be viewed as being proximately caused by his own wrongdoing. ( Weiner v. Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp (1980) 114 Cal.App.3d 39, 48 [170 Cal.Rptr. 533].)"

Rosenthal, at 1331.

The opposition also relies on Jordache Enterprises v. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison (1998) 18 Cal.4th 739, which was decided after Adams, and in which the California Supreme Court again addressed a statute of limitations issue and found that actual injury occurred in the unique circumstances of that case when the client was first forced to defend itself in an action on claims the attorney had wrongfully failed to submit to the client’s insurer. The Court discussed an argument made by the plaintiff in that case that interpreting the legal malpractice statute of limitations in a way that does not prolong the period raises policy concerns, “that attorney-client relationships and privileges for confidential matters would be disrupted if clients had to sue their attorneys while pursuing related litigation.” Jordache, at 758. The Court noted that the express tolling provision for continuous representation in the statute “addresses some of these concerns,” and also stated:

“Moreover, as Adams observed, existing law provides the means for courts to deal with potential problems that may arise from the filing of a legal malpractice action when related litigation is pending. (Adams, supra, 11 Cal. 4th at pp. 592-593 (lead opn. of Arabian, J.).) The case management tools available to trial courts, including the inherent authority to stay an action when appropriate and the ability to issue protective orders when necessary, can overcome problems of simultaneous litigation if they do occur. (Ibid.).”

Jordache, at 758.

The moving papers do not address this authority, and it does appear from Rosenthal that the Second District is willing to reverse an order denying a stay where the underlying litigation is the litigation in which the malpractice is alleged to have occurred, and to reject any argument that a delay from issuing such a stay is alone sufficient to justify a trial court in denying a stay request. Although this is a transactional case, and the other litigation is not that in which the malpractice is alleged to have occurred, the other litigation is certainly a case in which any damages from the alleged malpractice will be determined, and potentially issues relating to causation.

The arguments here appear to be primarily based on a prejudice from delay argument, which is the same argument rejected by the Second District in Rosenthal. Moreover, it appears that the moving papers are a bit inconsistent, on the one hand arguing that the other action is being unsatisfactorily delayed, and on the other hand arguing that it is set for trial in February, so will be determined before this case would be ready for trial. A further delay until February does not appear unreasonable here, and it would make little sense to lift the stay and permit the parties to begin complicated discovery on issues which may be rendered moot by determinations in the other action, such as if the other case quiets title to the property in plaintiff.

The defendants’ impatience with the pace of the other action is the type of “good cause” which was contemplated by the stipulation to stay this matter, which references as examples of good cause matters which, if not promptly addressed, could result in permanent prejudice, such as the loss of essential witness testimony.

The stay is appropriately maintained here, and the defendants have not shown good cause to lift it. The motion accordingly is denied.