Representative Criminal Matters
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Metro Courthouse. In a two-defendant case, the clients were each charged with battery and theft. Both defendants were high-end professionals in the entertainment industry, and the case involved an injury sustained by a paparazzi. A jury trial took place and Mr. Wallach was able to highlight inconsistencies between the multiple versions of events as reported by the paparazzi, and convey the paparazzi's ultimate motive -- groundwork for a civil claim. The jury quickly returned a verdict of Not Guilty on all counts.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. The client was charged with Driving Under the Influence. A jury trial took place and Mr. Wallach was able to show inconsistencies between the DUI incident report submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles and that submitted to the prosecutor for filing (the Officer testified they would be identical). The Officer – unsuccessfully – attempted to explain the mistake as a clerical error.
Result: Hung Jury – 8 to 4 in Favor of Not Guilty; Mistrial Declared; Prosecutor’s Request to Retry Denied; Case Dismissed.
- FELDMAN & WALLACH LAW DEALS STUNNING BLOW AGAINST U.S. GOVERNMENT IN FORMER PRISON INMATE VALLEY FEVER CASE. U. S. District Central California Court Allows Case to Proceed, Trial Set for January, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif - In what was an unexpected surprise to many, the Honorable Gary Allen Feess, a U.S. District Central California judge, found in the Plaintiff's favor today when Feldman & Wallach defeated the U. S. Government's motion to dismiss as well as a motion for summary judgment in regard to their client's case: Arjang Panah vs. United States of America.
Panah was a former inmate at the Taft Correctional Institution in Kern County, California who contacted an incurable and potentially fatal disease. This recent ruling allows for the case against the U.S. Government to move forward, a case that alleges the government was negligent when prison officials knowingly exposed Panah to Coccidiodomycosis ("Valley Fever") which he contracted shortly after his transfer to and arrival at the Taft prison in March of 2005.
According to a declaration filed by attorney Ian Wallach, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) was asked to evaluate and make recommendations for the treatment of 88 inmates who had been diagnosed with Valley Fever in 2003 and 2004 at the Taft prison. However, no prison officials disclosed that information to Panah nor did they advise him of measures he could take to avoid getting the disease. Panah acquired the illness shortly after being transferred into Taft from a different prison facility, and remains ill to this day.
Panah was released in 2008. Wallach stated, "Our client served his time. He should have been given the opportunity to get on with his life, without suffering from an illness that could have been avoided. During his incarceration, and also since his release, he has continued to suffer debilitating symptoms." Wallach went on to say, "We intend to seek justice in this case and are grateful that the court has ruled that our case will go to trial." He went on to add, "In some measure, justice was served today when the judge denied the U.S. Government's request to dismiss the case by asserting sovereign immunity."
Wallach says that his legal team will continue on with its discovery process in order to prepare for the trial which is set to begin in January, 2012. "Though the U.S. Government dug in its heels and seemed to indicate it had a strong argument for getting the case dismissed, our client prevailed. Mr. Panah will now have his day in court."
Based in Venice, California, Feldman & Wallach is a boutique civil litigation and criminal defense law firm serving individuals and businesses throughout Southern California.
Result: A copy of the ruling is available upon request.
Please contact Cherie Kerr, KerrPR, for interview opportunities with Mr. Wallach or Mr. Feldman.
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The client was charged with a misdemeanor offense for violating Municipal code section L41.03 for acting as a lookout for an illegal gambling operation. The client rejected offers from the People to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and Mr. Feldman pushed the case towards trial.
Result: Day of trial the prosecution agreed to a reduction to an infraction with a suspended $50 fine
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Charges: 2nd Degree Robbery. After successfully suppressing much of the Peoples evidence, the Court granted Mr. Feldmans motion to dismiss based upon the insufficiency of evidence following the Preliminary Hearing in case in which the defendant was accused of being the driver in a series of robberies.
Result: Not Held to Answer, Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Charges: Brandishing, Criminal Threats, and others (exposure in excess of 30 years). Mr. Wallach was privately retained after the accused was held to answer at the Preliminary Hearing. Working with the client to perform additional investigation, Mr. Wallach prepared evidence establishing flawed credibility and ulterior motives of the complaining witness -- which Mr. Wallach and the client jointly presented to the Investigating Officer. Shortly thereafter, the matter was dismissed completely.
Result: Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Long Beach Courthouse. The client was on felony probation for the sale of a controlled substance. He was charged with a new misdemeanor offense for the solicitation of a prostitute. The Court ordered the probation violation hearing to occur prior to trial on the new matter and threatened the client with 16 months prison if found in violation. Mr. Feldman argued that although the client discussed sex with the undercover officer posing as a prostitute, no deal exchanging money for sex was reached.
Result: Found Not in Violation of Probation; Misdemeanor case subsequently dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: P.C. § 422 (criminal threats) and multiple counts of P.C. § 166 (violating a Court Order). The prosecution alleged the client violated a restraining order by stalking the home of his former spouse and then threatening her and others on a separate occasion. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, presented alibi witnesses for both occasions and successfully argued that the complaining witness the clients former spouse fabricated the charges out of jealousy because her husband had moved on.
Result: Not Guilty on All Counts
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charges: Two Counts of Assault on an Officer; Two Counts of Simple Assault; One Count of Interfering with a Police Officers Duties; and One Count of providing false information to an officer while detained. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach met the client during arraignment. The client had been badly beaten during his arrest and Mr. Wallach obtained video footage of the injury. Mr. Wallach appointed a Police Practices expert, who determined that the forced used was excessive, and also helped show the jury that interfering with an Officers Duties was a charge occasionally brought to shield the officer and department from Civil Liability in matters where the arrested individual suffered extreme injuries.
- Providing False Information: Dismissed mid-trial
- Two Counts of Assault on an Officer: Not Guilty
- Two Counts of Simple Assault: Not Guilty
- Interfering with a Police Officers Duties: Hung Jury (11 1 in favor of acquittal). No Re-file. Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: P.C. § 422 (criminal threats) and P.C. § 243(e)(1) (Domestic Violence). The prosecution argued that the client, upon learning his ex-wife was seeking child support, committed an act of domestic violence and made threats against her life. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, elicited that the complaining witness was jealous after seeing the client with another woman.
Result: Not Guilty on All Counts
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: P.C. § 148. The prosecution alleged that the officers lawfully searched the car in which the client was a passenger, and then detained the client, who, after some time, refused to leave the squad car. Mr. Wallach, while a Deputy Public Defender, explained to the Court and Jury that the client was detained without any lawful reason, and then harassed, and politely agreed to leave the squad car if he received some proof that he had been detained. Rather than provide such proof, the officers arrested him for interference with their duties. At the close of the prosecutions case, the Judge determined that the Police Officers were not acting lawfully and dismissed the case mid-trial.
Result: Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: P.C. §§ 242/243(a) (Domestic Violence); 245 (Assault With Intent To Cause Great Bodily Injury); 422 (Criminal Threats); and V.C. § 23194 (Reckless Driving). The prosecution asserted that the client battered his girlfriend, threatened her, and attempted to run her over before fleeing the scene. Mr. Wallach, while a Deputy Public Defender, argued that the complaining witness was a troubled woman who fabricated the clients involvement in her injuries.
- P.C. §§ 242/243(A) (Domestic Violence): Hung Jury (8 4 In Favor Of Not Guilty), Mistrial Declared, Matter Dismissed
- Remaining Counts: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Metro Courthouse. Charges: Two counts of V.C. § 20020A (Hit and Run); 4 Counts of P.C. § 273a(a) (Child Endangerment); 4 Counts of P.C. § 273a(b) (Child Abuse); One Count of V.C. § 12500 (No Valid Drivers License); and One Count of V.C. § 12028 (No Valid Insurance). The prosecution alleged that the client got in a car accident and fled, ultimately hitting another car, and the clients passengers were minors who had not been properly cared for. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, explained that the client was an elderly gentleman who had dedicated his post-military service life to raising foster children, including those with special needs. He, his wife, and their foster children were returning from a family trip to the mountains when an accident occurred. The client stopped, but the driver of the other vehicle became so enraged that the client needed to flee to protect the children. The other driver chased him recklessly, leading to the accident. The officers at the scene had no familiarity at all with special needs children, and, unfortunately, leapt to the improper conclusion that the children were neglected.
Result: Not Guilty Or Dismissal On All 12 Counts
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charge: P.C. § 273.5(a) (Domestic Violence). The prosecution asserted that the client battered his former spouse after she demanded he repaid debts. Mr. Wallach, while a Deputy Public Defender, argued that the former spouse had fabricated the battery because she was jealous since the client had a new wife.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: Possession of a loaded firearm and Possession of a concealed firearm. The prosecution argued that they approached a party and saw the client holding a gun, run upon being seen, and hide the gun in a trashcan. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, successfully argued that the officers found the gun, but werent sure who put it in the trash can. The jury came hung (9 3 in favor of Not Guilty). The Judge declared a mistrial and then dismissed the matter.
Result: Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charge: P.C. §148 (Interfering With A Police Officers Duties). The prosecution argued that the officers responded to a call at a residence and saw the client, who the officers said was intoxicated, and a fight ensued between the client and the officers with both suffering injuries. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, argued that the officers detained the wrong suspect (who was off to perform his military service in a few days), injured him, and were being untruthful to protect each other. The Court dismissed the matter mid-trial as the prosecution failed to establish the elements of the offense.
Result: Matter Dismissed Mid-Trial
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charge: P.C. § 12020(a)(4) (carrying a concealed weapon). The prosecution argued that the client was concealing a sheathed knife under his shirt for protection. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, argued that his client was openly wearing a sheathed knife, which is lawful under P.C. § 12020(d) which expressly addresses sheathed knives.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charge: DUI. The client was witnessed swerving across a road by an off-duty officer. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach procured the clients doctors testimony that the client experienced a rare syndrome that could slow down the bodys processing of proscribed pain medication. Mr. Wallach argued that the intoxication was involuntary an affirmative defense for which the defense bears the burden of proof.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charges: DUI + Refusal. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach represented the client who by his own admission was abrupt and not fond of authority. Mr. Wallach argued that its not a crime to be impolite, and that the initial breathalyzer was inoperative (the prosecution argued the client had given a fake blow), and, contrary to the officers testimony, the second breath test (the Datamaster) was never given. Mr. Wallach argued that the officer submitted the case for filing because the client failed the attitude test, but that was not a reason for a conviction.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charges: Reckless Driving and Evading Arrest. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach represented a client accused of driving his motorcycle in a reckless fashion and evading arrest. The officers maintained that three motorcyclists were riding together, one of which was travelling at speeds in excess of 170 mph. The client maintained that he was speeding, with one friend (and not two), and didnt know the third rider, and that the Officer had threatened to charge him with evading arrest unless he gave the name of the third rider (a threat the officer disputed). During trial, the prosecution turned over recordings made between the officers during the period of the clients arrest, and there was evidence of the threat by the officer. Mr. Wallach argued that the client may have been speeding, but that wasnt the charge and that the charges that were filed were only brought because the officers thought the client was lying and were bitter about it.
- Evading Arrest: Dismissed
- Reckless Driving: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charges: DUI. The Client was pulled over for a suspected DUI, and the blood test offered by the prosecution showed a blood alcohol content in excess of .09. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach saw that the sampling of blood normally reserved for the defendant to test had apparently not been preserved (and was instead used to search for additional incriminating evidence). The Court allowed the jury to consider the prosecutions bloodtest, but also the fact that a sampling for the defendant was not preserved. Mr. Wallach argued that without a chance to examine that test the burden of proof could not be met. The jury hung and the Judge declared a mistrial. Following argument, the Court did not allow the prosecutor to retry the matter.
Result: Matter Dismissed
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charge: Assault. As a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach advised his client to waive jury trial, believing that the case was substantially flawed and the Judge would see that. The Complaining Witness claimed that her roommates sister beat her brutally. Mr. Wallach successfully argued that the actual assailant was the boyfriend of the Complaining Witness, and she was blaming the accused to protect him.
Result: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Metro Courthouse, Charges: P.C. § 594 (Vandalism); V.C. § 10852 (vehicle tampering). The prosecution asserted that the client threw an object at the complaining witnesses vehicle. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, argued that if the incident occurred, it did not involve the client.
Result: Not Guilty on Both Counts
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Charges: P.C. §§ 273.6 (Disobeying A Court Order); 422 (Criminal Threats); and P.C. § 417.4 (Brandishing a Weapon). The prosecution asserted that the client violated a restraining order, threatened the complaining witness, and brandished a firearm toward him on a separate occasion. Mr. Wallach, then a Deputy Public Defender, argued that the Court Order did not apply, and that as to the remaining allegations the Complaining Witness was fabricating the allegations as he had incurred debts for parking tickets on the clients car and didnt want to pay for them.
- P.C. §273.6 (Disobeying A Court Order) (New Trial Granted)
- Remaining Counts: Not Guilty
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Inglewood Courthouse. Charges: DUI x 2. The defendant was observed swerving while driving, alternating between accelerating and braking abruptly and signaling a turn and then changing lanes in the other direction. The defendant reportedly failed all of the field sobriety tests and the blood test offered by the prosecution showed a blood alcohol content in excess of .08. After attacking the Peoples evidence and calling a forensic expert to testify about the absorption of alcohol, Mr. Feldman was able to disprove that the defendant was .08 or greater at the time of driving. The jury found the People had proven that the defendant was otherwise under the influence at the time of driving.
Result: Guilty, Count I, DUI; Not Guilty, Count II, DUI
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Airport Courthouse. Charges: (3) counts of First Degree Burglary, one (1) count of Kidnapping to Commit Robbery, two (2) counts of First Degree Residential Robbery, three (3) counts of False Imprisonment by Violence, two (2) counts of Attempted First Degree Residential Robbery, and three (3) counts of Kidnapping in addition to multiple special allegations relating to the personal use of weapons (Total exposure, Life plus 56 years).
Result: After a two-week jury trial, the jury acquitted the defendant of the most serious offenses relating to this home invasion robbery involving a gun with a silencer, a samurai sword and roughly twelve eye-witness victims. The jury convicted the defendants of eight (8) of the thirteen (13) counts before them. The jury was hung 11-1 in favor of Not Guilty as to Count 1, First Degree Burglary which was later dismissed. The jury returned verdicts of Not Guilty as to each of four (4) charges involving kidnapping, including one verdict of Not Guilty for the charge of Kidnap to Commit Robbery, and instead returned four (4) verdicts of Guilty for the lesser included offenses of False Imprisonment. Further, the jury returned a verdict of True as to only one (1) of the five (5) enhancements involving the personal use of a firearm charged against the defendant. Mr. Feldman was retained by the client to argue the appeal of this matter based upon irregularities at trial and prosecutorial misconduct to the Second Appellate District of California, the Supreme Court of California and the United States District Court for the Central District Court of California.
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Compton Courthouse. Charges: Possession of a loaded weapon and Possession of a concealed loaded weapon. While a Deputy Public Defender, Mr. Wallach represented a client accused of being seen with a gun, being seen dropping a gun, and hopping a fence. The gun was recovered and the client was arrested on the other side of the fence. Another individual was detained with another gun. Mr. Wallach successfully argued that the officers were either being untruthful, in hopes of securing a conviction, or confused.
Result: Not Guilty On Both Counts
Representative Civil Matters
- Entertainment Litigation. Currently representing actress and model Ola Ray in a dispute against the Estate of Michael Jackson for past due royalties and percentage of profits.
- Personal Injury, Federal Tort Claims Act. Feldman & Wallach is currently representing an individual who became ill after being transferred to a federal detention facility during a known outbreak of a potentially-fatal illness. The matter has been brought against the United States of America and the Bureau of Prisons.
- Business Litigation. Complaint alleging five (5) causes of action for Breach of Contract; Common Count x 3. Feldman & Wallach filed a demurrer attacking the pleadings. The court sustained the demurrer requiring the plaintiff to file an amended complaint. Feldman & Wallach filed a demurrer to the First amended Complaint.
Result: Demurrer sustained, plaintiff required to file a Second Amended Complaint
- Intellectual Property. Mr. Feldman filed a trademark for a fashion business client. The trademark was refused by the United States Patent and Trademark Office due to a conflict with another companys mark. The other company wanted a large amount of money to transfer their mark so Mr. Feldman filed a challenge to the refusal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Result: Trademark accepted
- Intellectual Property (Copyright Law, Right To Privacy Claims). While an associate at Luce, Forward, Hamilton, and Scripps, LLP, Mr. Wallach successfully defended the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The MIT Press in a high-profile copyright/privacy action where a photographer, and the model in his photograph, sued a famous artist for incorporating the photograph into a piece of her own artwork (even though the photo was in the public domain when incorporated). The Court also held that the model in the photograph did not have a valid right-to-privacy cause of action. Hoepker v. Kruger, 200 F. Supp. 2d 340 (S.D.N.Y. 2002)).
- Employment Law Litigation. Complaint alleging nine (9) causes of action for Sex/Gender Discrimination; Sex/Gender Harassment; Wrongful Termination; Retaliation for Complaints of Sex/Gender Discrimination; Common Count; Negligent Hiring; Employer Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; Un fair Competition. Mr. Feldman persuaded opposing counsel to dismiss one cause of action outright and filed a demurrer attacking the rest of the causes of action.
Result: Demurrer sustained, plaintiff required to file an Amended Complaint.
- Human Rights. Successfully commenced representation against the United States of America and executive officers, of three individuals wrongfully imprisoned at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba, in separate habeas matters pending before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (See Abu Ghanem et al. v. Bush, et al., No. 05 1638 (D.C. Cir.); Albkri et al. v. Bush et al.,No. 05 1639 (D.C. Cir.); Ali Ahmed et al. v. Bush et al., No. 05 1678 (D.C. Cir.)). During his representation, Mr. Wallach was able to successfully obtain Factual Returns (information providing the evidentiary basis for the detention) that the Department of Justice was repeatedly refusing to turn over. See Yost, Pete, Judge Orders Release of Detainee Data, Associated Press, April 3, 2006 (on line at http://old.cageprisoners.com/articles.php?id=12624). Mr. Wallach also contributed to the Amici Cuiriae brief to the United States Supreme Court submitted on behalf of more than 300 similarly-detained individuals in Hamdan v. Rumsfield, et. al., Case No. 05-184.
- Subrogation. While an associate with Luce, Forward, Hamilton, and Scripps, LLP, Mr. Wallach successfully drafted a motion for summary judgment seeking over two million dollars in restitution for claims paid by the client that should have been paid by a health care fund. See The Union Labor Life Insurance Co. v. Olsten Corporation Health And Welfare Benefit Plan, et al., Case No. 01-CV-6259, Report and Recommendation (Pollack, Magistrate), Docket Entry 39 (01/03/2005).
- Family Law. While an associate at Coblence & Warner, and with Ken E. Warner, Mr. Wallach drafted a brief in a high-stakes divorce action arguing that the trial court correctly enjoined the husband from diverting assets, even though they were the property of an LLC in which the husband was a member, and not his personal property. Ricatto v. Ricatto, 4 A.D.3d 514 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep't 2004).
- Entertainment/Intellectual Property Litigation. Mr. Feldman, while associated with the Law Offices of John S. Mumford, represented an association of Mexican movie producers against a local Los Angeles television station who aired pirated classic Mexican motion pictures. The case was litigated in federal court and involved complicated issues of intellectual property ownership including the Uruguay Round Agreement Act and the restoration of copyrights. A favorable result was reached after years of litigation and several rounds of summary judgment.