Friendship brought the three together in 2005 to form the Century City-based litigation boutique, which has grown to 12 lawyers and now boasts a clientele list that includes Capital One Bank, Hewlett-Packard and the producers of MTV’s reality television hit “Jersey Shore.” Their goal was to create a trial boutique where rates would be lower than at a big firm and where hours and lifestyle would be more relaxed.
The firm jumped off to a fine start, winning its first trial in 2007 defending USC against a general contractor who alleged he lost a bid due to racial discrimination.
Next up, firm client Clark Parker, who founded one of the oldest nonprofit educational institutions in South Central Los Angeles, turned to the firm for help with an investment gone south. Parker and seven former NBA players, including former Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus, were defaulting on an approximately $10 million loan taken out for the purchase of 30 Pizza Hut franchise outlets in San Diego and another few dozen in Iowa.
Eley negotiated a monetary settlement with one of the defendants in the Superior Court case. The strategy was to win in federal court and leverage that victory into more victories in state court.
Eventually, they followed through with their plan, won a full defense verdict in federal court and negotiated settlements in the state court cases.
Meanwhile, the trial victories helped the firm pitch itself to new clients. A few months later, a British software company called on the firm to represent it in a trade secrets case pending in the Eastern District of Virginia. Eley, who is barred there, won a speedy dismissal.
The work has continued to slowly pay off. Eley received a phone call from a contact at Capital One bank who invited him to pitch the firm in 2007. In the years since then, Capital One has given him a portfolio of more substantive, high-risk cases in five Western states.
Amir meanwhile, has developed a niche in health care law, representing several health care providers in a series of related cases against hospitals for alleged Medicare fraud that are expected to go to trial in 2013.
Doll’s practice has also taken off, having landed as a client 495 Productions, the producers of “Jersey Shore”, whose controversial characters have reportedly attracted a swarm of litigation.
The firm’s goal is to reach 20 -25 lawyers. Earlier this year, it moved into a larger space to accommodate its new growth. With that new growth, the partners say they’ve stayed close.
“The three of us were good friends before we started this, and we’re better friends now,” said Doll.