Attorney Odjaghian Loses Claim of "Significant Role" in California's Record Worker's Compensation Settlement
VAN NUYS, Calif., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Woodland Hills attorney Tina Odjaghian has lost an "anti-SLAPP" motion brought by former law partner Christopher Asvar in response to Odjaghian's lawsuit. Ms. Odjaghian's suit attempted to silence Mr. Asvar's rightful public commentary on Odjaghian's efforts to falsely claim credit for a groundbreaking worker's compensation case.
Mr. Asvar settled the Enriquez matter in January of this year for $8.9 million as the highest worker's compensation claim in California history. The record settlement was of great interest to the worker's compensation community and the insurance industry.
Mr. Asvar, now at Asvar Law, APC, was the sole handling attorney on the case for nearly 2.5 years. During that time, he was a partner at Asvar, Odjaghian & Associates and the case settled as the partnership was winding down. Although Mr. Asvar never denied his partner the substantial proceeds from that settlement, he did protest when Ms. Odjaghian began claiming to trade magazines and professionals in the field that she had "jointly" handled the matter and that she had a "significant role" in the case – false claims apparently important to Odjaghian in promoting her law practice.
When Mr. Asvar did not accede to Ms. Odjaghian's demands that he go along with her claims, she retained a team of attorneys and inexplicably filed suit against him. Mr. Asvar retained Michel & Associates, P.C. (MAPC) to defend the lawsuit. In response to MAPC's efforts to informally resolve the matter, Odjaghian amended her complaint by inserting claims about speculative future fee disputes on un-related matters, but did not remove the impermissible speech claims. On Tuesday, July 10th, Superior Court Judge Russell S. Kussman struck down those speech claims and granted the anti-SLAPP motion. The ruling entitles Mr. Asvar to attorney's fees incurred in defending the suit.
The client's father and guardian supported Mr. Asvar in defense of the suit, indicating they never even met Ms. Odjaghian until after the case was settled. "Mr. Asvar is a true credit to the plaintiff's bar," stated MAPC's lead counsel on the case, Joshua Dale. "Not only did he successfully gameplan and achieve a groundbreaking settlement on behalf of his client, but he was personally invested in his client's outcome at every step of the process." Dale added, "Attorneys like Mr. Asvar need to be encouraged within our profession. There is every indication that Mr. Asvar had departed the partnership with the best of intentions toward the former partner. It was only when Odjaghian attempted to shamefully use the courts to quell Mr. Asvar's lawful speech defending his own hard work on the Enriquez matter, that our services became necessary. We were honored to represent him."
SOURCE Asvar Law, APC
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