Fighting fire with fire

by David Nieporent on April 17, 2007

We don’t generally endorse litigation as a solution to problems here at Overlawyered, but here’s one that just might be justified:

A business owner is suing an Anaheim man and his lawyer for filing at least 123 lawsuits that allege disabled-access law violations, saying the practice is “an effort to extort a quick and dirty settlement.”

In a lawsuit filed last week in Orange County Superior Court, Huy Dinh accuses David Gunther and Morse Mehrban of filing “frivolous lawsuits” to extort money from small businesses. Dinh, is suing alleging malicious prosecution, fraud and abuse of process, and seeks punitive damages.

Dinh was sued last year by the pair, who alleged a work station at his business was too high for disabled persons. A jury sided with Dinh, according to the lawsuit.

We’ve covered the exploits of the Gunther/Mehrban racket before: Dec. 1, 2006 and Dec. 7, 2006. And more of Mehrban’s activities: Nov. 2002, Mar. 2004, July 2004.

{ 2 comments }

1 Chris 04.17.07 at 1:26 pm

I have always though that that it is best to fight fire with fire. I just hope that we will see further inroads for attorneys to face frivolous legal malpractice suits to extort them out of insurance money.

2 Pete Smith 04.19.07 at 4:59 pm

I haven’t seen the Complaint but, one can’t sue another if the basis for the cause of action is the defendant’s act of filing a lawsuit (unless it meets the sham exception, defined as being devoid of any basis in fact or law). If memory serves, California has anti-SLAPP legislation in place.
What standing does the business owner have to sue? Abuse of process? Malicious prosecution? Seems like the appropriate remedy is through the attorney discipline system (in the case of the lawyer), `though we know that most all such systems (like Colorado’s Attorney Regulation Counsel, which we have dubbed the ‘Attorney Deregulation Council’) are illusory and ineffective by design.

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