Firm Files Class Action Against Attorneys and Claim Administrator To Recover $2.6 million in Settlement Proceeds

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee Tran & Liang, APLC today filed a class action in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of former ZipRealty agents against their attorneys and claim administrator to recover $2.6 million in settlement proceeds lost due to the defendants’ misconduct. The defendants are attorneys Sandeep Baweja and Ernest J. Franchesi, Jr. and The Garden City Group, Inc. The defendants were charged with safe-keeping and distributing to their clients, about 600 former ZipRealty real estate agents, $2.6 millions obtained via a court settlement with ZipRealty for unpaid commissions. However, one of the defendants admitted in court pleadings last week that the settlement money was instead transferred to an online brokerage account to buy or sell stocks, and that most of that money has been lost. Today’s class action asserts claims for professional negligence, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and fraud. The class plaintiff also seeks compensatory and punitive damages against the defendants.

“We intend to aggressively prosecute this class action against those responsible for this incredible failure to safeguard the settlement funds,” stated class counsel James Lee. Class representative and named plaintiff Hoven Garoyan agreed and added “I hope that my fellow agents and I will finally get justice after what happened.”

Firm partner Luan Tran voted as one of America’s “Best Lawyers Under 40” by NAPABA–the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee & Tran proudly announces that the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association ( has selected co-founding partner K. Luan Tran as one of America’s “Best Lawyers Under 40”.

With over 40,000 members, NAPABA is the nation’s largest association of Asian-Pacific American judges, in-house counsel, and attorneys in private practice and public service. According to the selection committee, Mr. Tran’s “inclusion in this esteemed list is testament to [his] significant accomplishments both in the legal arena and the Asian-Pacific American community.” The award will be officially given to Mr. Tran at NAPABA’s Annual Convention in Hawaii in November 2003. Partner James M. Lee stated: “It’s a great honor for Luan Tran. I know no one who works harder for his clients and his community. His experience and intellect help him get the very best possible results. He is a tireless advocate for those he represents.”

Firm Selected as Outside Litigation Counsel for Hana Financial, Inc

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

LTL is pleased to announce the addition of Hana Financial, Inc. to its roster of leading clients in the financial services industry. Hana Financial was established in 1994, primarily servicing the garment and textile industries in Southern California. Over the past several years, Hana Financial’s revenues have steadily increased and recently reached over $1.2 billion in factored volume, making it one of the top 10 factors in the country.

LTL is currently representing Hana Financial in several litigation matters, including a trademark appeal before the Ninth Circuit (originally handled by a national law firm), a multi-party seven-figure breach of guaranty lawsuit, and several employment-related matters.

Partner K. Luan Tran stated: “LTL is honored that Hana Financial has chosen us to handle several highly sophisticated litigation matters. We look forward to developing a long term relationship with this market leader.”

Firm relocates offices to the Wells Fargo Towers

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee & Tran is pleased to announce the relocation of its offices to the Wells Fargo Tower, 333 South Grand Avenue, 42nd Floor, Los Angeles, California 90071. All telephone and fax numbers as well as e-mail addresses will remain unchanged.

Lee & Tran’s new offices provide a technologically advanced and highly efficient base of operations for the Firm’s growth and expansion for years to come. The new offices include state-of the-art telecommunications, spacious conference rooms, an electronic library, and an advanced document scanning and digital filing system that will enable us to share documents with our clients online.

Partner K. Luan Tran stated: “Our new offices are located in the heart of Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles, next to the new Disney Concert Hall. I am also pleased to note that our offices are conveniently located within walking distance to the state and federal courthouses which will increase the economic value for our clients.”

Firm Obtains $900,000 Settlement on Behalf of leading Hollywood talent agency

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee & Tran obtained a $900,000 worth of settlement on behalf of a leading Hollywood talent agency. The settlement was achieved just a few days before trial. The case arises out of a massive flood in a high-rise building occupied by the Firm’s client. The defendant is one of the most well known commercial landlords in Southern California. The case was heavily litigated, with over 40 depositions taken over the course of three years.

Firm Attorneys Obtain Dismissal of Counterclaims on Anti-SLAPP Motion

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee & Tran obtained dismissal of counterclaims (consisting of a dozen of causes of action such as defamation, business interference and other torts) against its clients after filing an anti-SLAPP motion. The United States and California constitutions grant every person the right to participate in government and civic affairs, speak freely on public issues, and petition government officials for redress of grievances. Yet, individuals and community groups are being sued for exercising these constitutional rights such as as circulating a petition, writing a letter to the editor, testifying at a public hearing, reporting violations of the law, filing an official complaint or lawsuit, lobbying for legislation, or otherwise communicating their views. These suits, retaliatory in nature, are known as “SLAPPs,” or “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”

Essentially, this statute allows the Court to decide at the beginning of the suit whether the SLAPP has a “probability” of winning. If the Court determines that it does not, the SLAPP must be dismissed, and the SLAPP target wins his or her legal defense costs and attorneys’ fees. In the case at hand, after extensive briefing and arguments from both parties, Lee & Tran was able to convince the Court to dismiss the counterclaims filed by the opposing party and to award the Firm’s clients its legal fees.

Firm Wins Shareholder Dispute Trial In Orange County Superior Court

Santa Ana, Orange County — January 2010

Santa Ana, Orange County
Continuing its trial success, the Firm recently won a high-profile partnership dispute in Orange County Superior Court.
The Firm represented a well known entertainer in a dispute over the ownership of a Vietnamese-language satellite television channel broadcasted on DirecTV. The opposing party was represented by an international law firm and its lead trial counsel was the former head of a U.S. Attorneys Office.

After a grueling two-year litigation and an equally contentious trial, the Firm’s client was awarded monetary damages, as well as stock in the television channel valued at over $1.8 million.

Firm Partner Selected As “Top 20 Under 40” in California by Daily Journal

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

K. Luan Tran has been selected by Daily Journal Extra, a leading legal publication serving both Northern and Southern California, as one of the state’s top 20 lawyers under the age of 40. Fifty thousand lawyers under the age of 40 in California were rated by their book of business, practice area, key victories and other noteworthy successes.

Mr. Tran was chosen for his legal victories in 2004, the recognitions he received from other organizations, and his extensive pro bono activities with the growing Vietnamese-American community.

“Luan is a wonderful litigator and we take great pride in the fact that he has been recognized for his skills,” said James M. Lee, co-founder of Lee & Tran. “We are also very proud that Luan has donated so much time, via his pro bono work, to further the interests of the Vietnamese-American community,” added Mr. Lee.

In addition to this prestigious selection by the Daily Journal, Mr. Tran was recently named among the “Best Lawyers Under 40” in America by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and “Rising Stars” in Southern California legal profession (along with Mr. Lee) by the Los Angeles Magazine.

Firm Obtains $1.4 Million in Real Estate Fraud Litigation

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee & Tran recently recovered $1.4 million for clients who were defrauded in a real estate transaction. After being retained less than two months before trial, Lee & Tran aggressively conducted discovery and engaged in extensive motion practice to adequately prepare for trial. The Firm prevailed on every single one of the nearly dozen of motions filed by the parties with the trial judge. On the eve of trial, the defendants agreed to pay all the losses suffered by the Firm clients plus a substantial amount of attorney’s fees.

Firm Wins $1.6 Million In Stock Purchase Dispute

Los Angeles, CA — January 2010

Lee Tran & Liang APLC has prevailed in a 4 day arbitration hearing involving a series of stock purchases and repurchases spanning nearly a decade. The arbitrator awarded the full value of the stock repurchases, pre-judgment interest, and attorney’s fees and costs. In addition to the testimony of the parties, the hearing involved the presentation and analysis of complex financial and accounting data and the examination of several expert witnesses. After obtaining the award, the opposing party settled the matter on confidential terms. The matter was tried by James Lee and the opposing party was represented by a very experienced securities counsel. The firm’s co-founding partner K. Luan Tran stated: “This latest victory is yet another example of our trial abilities and delivering fantastic results for our clients.”