The New York Times “Small Business” section looks at how Garden Grove, Calif. liquor store owner Vinod Kapoor fought back when targeted by attorney Harpreet Brar, famed for his lawsuits demanding legal fees from small businesses over alleged regulatory infractions (see Aug. 20, 2002, Jul. 22, 2003, Nov. 1, 2004). Included are some updates:
In February, Judge Polos [Peter J. Polos of Orange County Superior Court] sent Mr. Brar to jail for two weeks for violating his order [not to name multiple businesses in one suit], calling him “an extortionist.”
Mr. Brar said his experience in jail was a “nightmare,” which he said included watching several inmates be beaten by guards. Mr. Brar said he planned to represent several of them.
On April 16, Mr. Brar was suspended from practicing law for 30 days and placed on probation for two years for filing a frivolous motion and appeal against the attorney general and for using the courts as a delaying tactic, according to Kristin Ritsema, one of several supervising trial counsels at the state bar.
“I think he is a huge threat to the public,” Ms. Ritsema said.
Another local liquor store owner, Herve Domange, who is from Paris, said: “You couldn’t do this in France. In France, these lawsuits would not be possible. But I don’t want to say too much. I’m afraid I might get sued.” (Regan Morris, “Picking the Wrong Mom and Pop to Sue”, New York Times, Jun. 1).