High Profile Cases

(Civil & Criminal Law)

Mt. Diablo Center for the Arts / Name Withheld for Privacy

(Civil Lawsuit for Real Estate Fraud plus Criminal Tax Case)

A typical white collar case where no good deed went unpunished.

After 40 years of success in business, [Name Withheld for Privacy] joined a project which created the largest children’s theater in the San Francisco Bay Area. He used his own money to fund the project and invested hundreds of hours of his time. Unfortunately, his attorney and partner in this project had less than altruistic ideas. The project became embroiled in litigation until it was deemed the most complex case in Contra Costa County. The State Attorney General’s office became involved. Lawyer was brought into the case by one of the leading real estate firms in the country.

Lawyer changed tactics in the case and filed countersuits. For the first time, the people who were suing were now also being sued. In about a year, before trial, the case settled on terms favorable to [Name Withheld for Privacy]. Criminal charges against [Name Withheld for Privacy] were also favorably resolved. The attorney was not so fortunate. He was convicted of a felony. In one of the great tragedies that underscores the cruelties of life, the stress of litigation contributed to the death of this fine man. His kindness and generosity were cruelly used by others.

Michael Savage v. Council on American Islamic Relations

(First Amendment, Copyright Infringement, Rico Civil Case)

Not a “white collar” case, still, the right to speech extends to everyone, including Michael Savage.

This ongoing saga pits the nation’s most powerful radio talk show host, Michael Savage against the Hamas front group, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR parades as a civil rights group but hides its origins as part of the Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood movement in America. As the group lures normal people to its side, it twists their good intentions towards its ultimate goal, the establishment of an Hamas’ based agenda in the United States. CAIR has led a nationwide attack on Michael Savage, just as it attacked many other public figures. Unlike the others, Savage chose to stand and fight. Lawyer is representing Michael Savage in his battle against CAIR. For more details go to Michael Savage’s webpage at www.MichaelSavage.com.

United States v. Pavel Lazarenko

(Money Laundering, Extortion, Criminal Case)

A classic white collar case where political considerations led to a misguided prosecution for financial crimes. 

Pavel Lazarenko is the man responsible for the outbreak of freedom that Ukraine enjoys today. He and Julia Tymoshenko, were part of the movement that opposed the dictator of Ukraine in the post Soviet era. As Prime Minister, Lazarenko brought people of many ethnic groups into his economic team. He hired women, minorities and people of divergent views. His political opponents were Soviet installed leaders who survived the breakup of the Soviet Union and took power in Ukraine. Unfortunately, these same leaders controlled the countries nuclear weapons. In a series of backdoor dealings with the U.S. government, Lazarenko was first driven from Ukraine and then arrested by the U.S. Lazarenko was prosecuted for a series of alleged crimes that took place not in the U.S. but in Ukraine. In reality, these so-called crimes were part of the political opposition to the dictator. The case culminated in a massive trial in the United States District Court in San Francisco, California. Most of the charges were dismissed by the judge (Martin Jenkins). There were several counts of conviction.

Terry McMillan v. Jonathan Plummer

(First Amendment, Civil Case – Celebrity Privacy)

Terry McMillan is the one of the nation’s best loved authors. Her runaway hit, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” was a best selling novel and movie. Unfortunately, her husband, Jonathan Plummer decided to inform her that he was attracted only to men and wanted a divorce and a substantial marital settlement. Terry McMillan refused to pay. The case then ended up in the media with brutal attacks against Terry McMillan as she was falsely portrayed as being insensitive to her husband’s “coming out”. In truth, gay or straight, it is unfair to marry someone if your love and sexual interest is not with them. To make this point, Terry McMillan sued Plummer asserting that the media campaign was intended to inflict emotional distress and to extort more money from the divorce than he would otherwise have been entitled to. With the recent high profile cases of Britney Spears, Paul McCartney and Christie Brinkley (and perhaps Madonna) in the news, the importance of celebrity privacy during divorce is an important topic. The McMillan case pits these privacy rights against Plummer’s rights to First Amendment speech. Where the courts will draw the line is uncertain. In this case, lawyer is teamed with the nation’s leading First Amendment attorney, Martin Garbus (Garbus is the attorney who represents Don Imus). This case will be precedent setting and you can be certain that celebrities throughout the country are watching it closely. Lawyer view on this matter is simple. Divorce is a tragedy whether the people involved are famous or not famous. It is a private matter and should not be the subject of television gossip.

Nina [Last Name Withheld] v. City of Oakland Police Department

(Civil Rights lawsuit – Rape by Police Officer)

When Officer Bernard Riley raped her, Nina [Last Name Withheld] complained to the Oakland Police Department. They investigated and cleared Riley. He remained on the force. Daniel Horowitz and Steven Mendelson took the case all the way to trial in the United States District Court. They won and then and only then was Riley terminated from the department.

Oakland Housing Authority Case

(Civil Rights lawsuit – Police Crimes against Citizens)

Featured on the 60 Minutes segment titled “Bad Cops”, Horowitz worked with the District Attorney’s office of Alameda County to investigate this 28 person police department that served the Oakland Housing Authority. Many (not all) of the officers in that department were outright criminals. People were robbed, beaten and falsely arrested as these officers terrorized the residents of the housing projects. Ultimately four officers were arrested and two were convicted of serious felonies. Horowitz obtained large settlements for their innocent victims.

U.S. v. Dutkel

(Habeas Petition to the Ninth Circuit on Jury Misconduct)

In this precedent setting case, lawyer reversed the federal conviction of Michael Dutkel after it was discovered that his co-defendant rigged the jury. This successful habeas petition established the standards for appellate review of jury tampering cases (in the Ninth Circuit).

U.S. v. East Trade

(Criminal Case – Smuggling)

Jokingly, Horowitz calls this the largest smuggling case in history. In fact, on pound by pound basis it might be. What was smuggled was not drugs but GARLIC ! The government alleged that the defendant smuggled millions of pounds of Chinese garlic falsely labeled as Taiwanese garlic. This avoided millions of dollars in tariffs. Horowitz went to Hong Kong and took depositions of several key witnesses. When this was over, the government agreed that the case could not be proven at trial and all charges were dismissed.

People v. [Name Withheld]

(Criminal Case – Factual Finding of Innocence)

One of the most prominent professionals in the San Francisco Bay area was arrested on various charges relating to over billing. Charges were dismissed but the fact of the arrest haunted the career of this professional. Lawyer took the case and after a seven day hearing the court ruled that there was never any basis whatsoever to arrest him. In fact, the person was more than “not guilty” he was “innocent”. An order was entered stating this. The order is called a “factual finding of innocence”. The records are now sealed and he is legally entitled to state that he has never been arrested.

UTICO v. Lazarenko

(Civil Case – U.S. District Court Demand for over 100 Million Dollars)

Successfully defended Pavel Lazarenko against a corporation called UTICO. UTICO falsely claimed to have the proxy of the country of Ukraine to sue Lazarenko for a variety of alleged matters. The defense showed that this alleged proxy was invalid. Had the case gone to trial, Lazarenko would have undoubtedly prevailed but the victory before trial saved the client countless hours in a courtroom fighting politically motivated charges.

People v. Chiropractor Name Withheld

Chiropractor arrested and charged with various counts of billing fraud. Charges dismissed pretrial on motion by lawyer.

Charges never refiled.

In re the matter of Optometrist [Name Withheld]

Optometrist investigated for billing fraud. Charges never filed.