Starting in 2002, the three attorneys in the Trevor Law Group - Damian Trevor, 29; Allan Hendrickson, 38; and Shane Chang Han, 32 - filed lawsuits on behalf of a consumer group against mechanical and body repair shops that were listed on the BAR website as having received Notices of Violations (The state has since discontinued the issuance and posting of NOVs).
The State Bar prosecutor called the consumer group on behalf of which the lawsuits were filed a "shell corporation, " alleging it was set up just for the purpose of filing the lawsuits and shared offices with the law firm. The attorneys would file a lawsuit naming hundreds of shops at a time, and then contact the shops to suggest a quick settlement. Many did settle, for as much as $2,500.
"The purpose of this litigation is to make money," State Bar counsel Jane Kim told the Court at the April 17 hearing. "Their interests are all about the money and how much money they can obtain."
"The notion that my clients are doing something wrong with trying to settle is frankly absurd," said Kevin Gerry, counsel for the three lawyers in their hearing before the State Bar Court.
The State Attorney General's office said its criminal investigation into the matter would continue. "We're looking for restitution for their victims and civil penalties," a spokesman told the Los Angeles Daily Journal.