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January 21st, 2011

One California Trial Lawyer to Be Held Accountable, Many More to Go

At least one Los Angeles-area personal injury lawyer will be held accountable for abusing the civil justice system and contributing to California’s well-deserved reputation among the nation’s worst Judicial Hellholes.

As reported by the National Law Journal, a California appeals court has ruled that a bride and groom and a guest at their 2005 wedding can indeed sue the lawyer, Sean Bral, for “malicious prosecution” of a lawsuit he’d previously filed against them on behalf of a client who claimed he was assaulted during the reception.  Bral had been seeking to have the case against him dismissed.

But affirming a lower court, the California 2nd District Court of Appeal has ruled that the bride and groom (and their guest) showed a probability of prevailing on their malicious prosecution action because Bral lacked probable cause to sue them in 2006: “Like the trial court, we find that the record contains sufficient evidence to meet the plaintiffs’ burden of a prima facie showing that the causes of action against them in the underlying action were alleged without probable cause and with malice.”

Bral and his client, Michael Banafsheha, alleged that Banafsheha was attacked by the guest and another man during the reception, and that the newlyweds were responsible under premises liability because they had not hired security guards for the event. Bral also laughably argued that an open bar at the reception, held in an area known for gang activity, contributed to his client’s injuries.  Bral and Banafsheha lost.

So if there’s any justice to be had in Los Angeles, a judge and jury of his peers will now give Bral a heaping helping of his own medicine when he experiences a civil trial from the perspective of the defendant.  And here’s hoping the State Bar of California investigates and makes an example of Bral by taking strong disciplinary action.

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