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Opening Children’s Court Is a Good Move in Los Angeles

Judge Michael Nash

Judge Michael Nash

Let’s give Presiding Judge Michael Nash a big round of applause and a standing ovation for having the courage and strength to open the courts to the media. For many years children’s court has been closed to everyone and everything…secretive comes to mind. This secrecy has encouraged INCOMPETENCE to breed and to go unnoticed except to those who sit in judgment..the judges and of course “the silent ones.” What has this “secret” society bred, INCOMPETENCE, and this judge and others are very much aware of this problem. Sure there is no John J. Nazarian with his note pad and Montblanc pen observing the goings on and writing as fast as possible…never ever interested in the children. What I am interested in is the INCOMPETENCE and silliness that I see very often in and around the court house on any given day.

What can one report on, let’s see, a L.A.County Sheriff Security guard aka “clown” or Minors Counsel making fools of themselves or the ever present group of fools known as “Monitors.” John J. Nazarian will listen and observe and report all for the world to read. I have been told that my presence in some courtrooms can make some uncomfortable as to what is “he” (me) going to write…this is just at the Stanley Mosk.

This new openness, if I am understanding this correctly, is what Judge Nash wants, he and other bench officers are seeing things that I think judges are finding disturbing and what is it that is disturbing? INCOMPETENCE of those involved in dealing with children and related issues in the Juvenile Court. INCOMPETENCE being shown by who, Hmmm lets see social workers? Lawyers representing children? and others! This is a little uncomfortable for a whole bunch of people,

“openness is profoundly unsettling in a courthouse accustomed to doing its work in private,“

as reported in the Los Angeles Times (2.12.12).

All I can say is that I am going to be showing up real soon and all I can hope for is that at least one INCOMPETENT player at the Children’s Court makes their presence known and I will make you and your INCOMPETENCE famous. And for all of you who try and get me thrown out of the courtroom…that makes you “subject matter” forever…I promise, and I do have a “Press Pass.”

©Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, private investigator, security consultant, reporter
February 13, 2012
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of this site.

Not much holiday cheer at the Mosk

Stacy Phillips "bag"

I have to wonder every time I visit the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and listen to what takes place in the DIVORCE court departments. Not everything is peachy at all times in all the departments…trust me! Things were not “peachy” for one lawyer and the story follows!

Lisa Helfend Meyer had an interesting encounter with Commissioner James Endman who “nests” comfortably in Dept.84. What became obvious was when Commissioner Endman became annoyed as to what appeared to me was his inability to understand the facts as they were presented to him (it was an international issue), he was done! Commissioner Endman would leave the bench in what could only be described as a “huff” and as he exited his courtroom for his chambers he did very much resemble “Grumpy,” one of the 7 Dwarfs!

All these years as a commissioner and having to deal with the same stuff as all the other judges and commissioners have to deal with I am sure it takes its toll. It takes its toll on me and I am only an observer. I am here to tell you Judge Endman and Lisa Helfend Meyer won’t be making “latkes” any time soon!

Talking about grumps, on the morning of December 15, 2011 I was in the courtroom of Judge Christine Byrd, dept. 65 and who do I see! Sticey Flips aka Stacy Phillips and on the other side is lawyer Laurence R. Goldman representing Freid and Goldsman, he is a partner! Once again I have to wonder where do “high dollar” lawyers buy their clothes? Mr. Goldman was explaining to the court that Manley Freid was flat on his back with Bell’s Palsy (this is a paralysis of the face due to inflammation or trauma of the facial nerve. Certainly it is not caused by laughing too much!) Mr. Goldman explained that Mr. Fried was unable to speak clearly and was partially paralyzed on the left side of his face. All of this bantering was for Judge Byrd to order a continuance due to Mr. Fried’s illness. I am sure that you don’t get this disease by laughing and being warm and friendly.

This could have very well been a meeting of the “worst dressed,” Sticey Flips was wearing an attractive all black outfit and looked pretty good! I could not understand however the several bright neon ‘sticky notes’ stuck on Ms. Flips black handbag? Nice, ever heard of a nice note book or binder? Again, having those bright colors on your black handbag will certainly remind you. I was also confused as to why she was wearing such an odd looking hat while in court? Does she not know better? Then I realized that it was not a hat at all but just her hair, and please forgive me my eyes are not as good as they once were and quite frankly other issues too are not working as well as they once did. May I suggest Jose Eber, and he too wears a hat!

Further down the hall I see Mr. Kolodny looking as good as ever and again a more entertaining and delightful fellow to speak with cannot be found. A great story teller and always great to speak with.

PS: For all of you who may or may not have been ticketed by “The Monster,” if you are lucky enough to drive a Sheriff’s white service car you can park in the red zone and not worry about being ticketed…as I have always said we are not created equal.

©Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
December 24, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Judges Gordon M Scott and Thomas Trent Lewis movin’ up!

Judge Scott Gordon

It is always a pleasure to report that a change is coming to the Los Angeles Superior Court, family law divisions aka DIVORCE court. Judge Scott M. Gordon has been chosen to take over for Judge Majorie Steinberg as the supervising judge of the family law departments at the end of the year. And if that was not great news in itself, Judge Thomas Trent Lewis will be the assistant supervising judge, can it get any better? This writer does not think so.

There is no secret that both of these bench officers are two of my personal favorites and that of our site We were big supporters that Commissioner Gordon be appointed judge of the superior court, and he was. It was obvious many people felt that it was time for this appointment and as history is proving it certainly was the time. Judge Gordon’s background goes from street cop to prosecutor and at one time serving at the Hague with the international Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1997. The decision to choose these two is brilliant and we at are applauding this decision.

Judge Thomas Trent Lewis

Judge Lewis

The other wonderful news is Judge Thomas Trent Lewis, this guy like Gordon knows the game and the games that people like to play in DIVORCE court and was destined for this job as a judge, he is “Judge Lewis.” Sitting in either of these courts is better than any court TV show I have ever watched. Seldom do I ever exit either of these courts not amused after having listened to the lawyers and their clients try and play word games with these two judges (most of the times it does not end well.) It seems only natural that Judge Lewis be chosen as the assistant, Judge Lewis was one of the first attorneys to be certified by the State Bar as a family law specialist in 1997. Judge Lewis is a graduate of UCLA and University of La Verne San Fernando Valley College of Law. Judge Lewis was appointed to the bench in 2006, prior to being appointed Lewis was a partner at Rehwald, Rameson, Lewis & Glasner…nice! The courts in California are in a very serious state of flux and it does not look like it is going to get much better anytime soon. For any jurisdiction to have the dedication and attention to duty that these two bench officers have is better than money in the bank. Judges Scott Gordon and Thomas Trent Lewis are the best examples today of “The Buck Stops Here.”

And again I warn all of you going before either of these two, get your Sh*# together and keep it straight, for if you don’t you will leave these courts feeling as though your life is about to change for the worse, and you will be right! Tell these two judges the truth and you will be treated fairly, my opinion.

©Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
October 16, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Judge Willet settles in at Stanley Mosk

Judge Robert E. WillettGo to Central Casting and tell them, “I need someone who looks like a judge, and he needs to look elderly.” Guess what? the guy you are looking for is in Dept. 43 down at the “Stanley.” Over the last few weeks I have heard different opinions on the “new” judge that took Judge Rafael Ongkeko’s place. Being perfectly honest here folks, Judge Ongkeko was not the most popular judge among the city’s divorce lawyers. Many — not all — would pass on having Ongkeko hear a case. Judge Ongkeko had a personality that was a little tough to understand, I have had that very same problem over the years. Should I say that maybe criminal courts in Van Nuys might be more fertile ground for his style and warm personality…just a suggestion (this was the judge that Mel Gibson’s legal team got booted from his case. Under California law, lawyers have 10 days from the filing date to apply for a different judge).

Back to Judge Robert E. Willett, a former litigator for over thirty years with the firm of O’Melveney. Pretty much right out of Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law (1974) he went to work with O’Melveney and remained there up until his appointment by former Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010 to the Superior Court bench. Now I am just guessing that this had to be a BIG pay cut for Judge Willett. For any lawyer to become a judge it is almost a crowning point, the icing on the cake and again, Judge Willett was not making minimum wage as a 30 year litigatior with a firm like O’Melveney (sounds like a good name for a cookie). So let’s not do any fund-raising for the good judge, now some judges who had other positions and not with big firms or founding partners, them maybe.

I spoke to several lawyers prior to visiting Dept. 43 and having a seat. Some that I spoke to had a wait-and-see attitude except for Patrick DeCarolis of Trope and Decarolis. Patrick told me that he got a sense of “quiet power“ and furthermore to make his point even more clearly, “I like him.” Well I sat in the front row as I often do and watched and listened as a group of four lawyers attempted to practice law. I immediately saw what Mr. DeCarolis had mentioned, “quiet power,” Judge Willett is not going to wring his hands and I don’t see him sitting on his hands and rocking either, he has been around and in far more difficult positions as a litigator than he will be in the position he holds now. My point is that I think we have a new judge who once he gets his footing is going to be one of our favorites at

Sure he has that smile and glint in his eye, more likely he has that even when he is pissed, you know what I mean? And it is going to be the job of any lawyer in front of Judge Willett to figure out — is he smiling because I am doing a good job or is he thinking, “moron”! To me that is the best part of Judge Robert E. Willett.

Welcome Judge Willett to the “Stanley” from all of us at

©John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator and Security Consultant
June 24, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

A Murder Investigation Runs into “The Armenian Factor”

Yepremyan Family PortraitLately I have been flooded with “Where is John’s response to the arrest of those responsible for the murder of Mike Yepremyan?” Well it is coming and coming real soon, I am holding off for awhile, but here is a sample, “The Armenian Factor.” What is that you ask? It will be a piece based on my experience and from my perspective of a group known for being liars, cheats and thieves. Got your attention well standby. Here is another truth, I have spoken to well over a dozen American Armenians, get 10 Armenians in a room, 8.25 of them will be ‘bad news’, the other 1.75 will be like the Yepremyans. You know, hard-working people who have real family ties and values…unlike those responsible for the COLD-BLOODED murder of their only son. It is “The Armenian Factor” that so hindered this investigation, that closed ranks to protect killer scum in their midst even though they were responsible for the senseless murder of a “fellow” Armenian.

Zareh Manjikian’s release by that moron in Puerto Rico is an insult to every real judge that ever sat on the bench. Zareh Manjikian was arrested in May in San Juan, Puerto Rico as a suspect involved in the San Fernando Valley murder in 2009 of Hombert “Mike” Yepremyan. Judge Gloria Maynard Salgado of the Research Division for the Puerto Rico Judicial Branch Court ignored an extradition request and a no bail order and allowed for Manjikian to be bailed out on a $50,000 bond on the condition he return to Court. Curiously enough, the Court listed the case as a civil case of miscellaneous criminal matters. Manjikian never returned to Court. For me I would have been happier if Manjikian had been arrested in Mexico…they love catching American killers and holding them, it is like a trophy for our friends in Mexico.

Hello Puerto Rico, THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS ISLAND NEEDS TO IMPEACH THIS MORON, I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO USE THE WORD, ju*&e, YOU KNOW? No one should ever address this idiot of all idiots as such! None of us could have ever predicted that Manjikian would have gotten away in such a manner. I went public in wondering if there was a pay-off…what else could explain behavior like this? I am still wondering, and you? Can anyone tell me if Her Honor is still taking the bus to work? Or is she now driving a nice shiny new Maserati convertible or perhaps a SL550…let’s all watch!

Well luck has not been too good for Vahagn Jurian, 22 years old, he was arrested for murder by the Federal Bureau of Investigation aka F.B.I. There will be more on this story and his arrest in the weeks to come. When Jurian gets our of prison, BMWs will have wings, we hope. The family has hired a criminal defense lawyer to assist in his defense, (what, “I was not there, I did not run, I did not help the shooter escape and I did not flee the U.S.”?), I am thinking $30,000 which will go fast, real fast.

Our predictions are as follows: it is a new and fresh world since the arrest of Khatun Vardanian, who was arrested for murder and soon after released when the judge decided that the evidence was not “strong enough.” My opinion, that will not be an issue anymore in all future arrests and there will be more to come…I hope that everyone has saved a lot of money for bail and lawyers. For sure the Yepremyans will never be as they were, a wonderful and happy family with great dreams. Those dreams were shattered when their son had to deal with the “The Armenian Factor.”

I have been active in this investigation for a very long time and I have seen it all and heard it all. You know, the LAPD did this or that…folks, the LAPD and Detective Townsend did the best, the very best and were there mistakes? You could call it that if you want to, but let me say this, Detective Thomas Townsend and his team are fast studies and have mastered “The Armenian Factor“ and in doing so will be sending someone or two or ????? to the gray bar motel aka state prison to pay for the murder of Mike “Gombert” Yepremyan.

©John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator and Security Consultant
June 12, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Want to stop the divorce insanity? File for bankruptcy!

After meeting with one of my clients this morning, I thought that I would take a stroll around the “Stanley.” I love strolling the “Stan,” it is a place of wonderment. There were Neal Hersh, Joe Mannis (as always looking like a million bucks, there is a reason for that look I assure you). Adam Lipsic, working on the look and when you talk to Adam you realize fast that he dam near knows everyone in town. Steven Knowles, was looking upbeat and ready for his next big divorce, Steven and his partner Michael Collum have mastered the “Persian Two Step.” What I was really looking for was some coffee…that would come and soon.

Sitting on one of the benches outside Judge Trent Lewis’s courtroom, who I do I see but Lisa Helfend Meyer looking like she has just discovered that her new Chanel suit is a phoney (Lisa was without question the best dressed lawyer at the Stan this morning). Upon further investigation, she was there trying to fix a major problem that someone in her office had lost control of. Lisa was accompanied by Erica A. Swensen, lawyer — one of her firms more brilliant associates, and one that should have a window (unlike one in particular). The major problem was a case that had generated some good fees was sinking and fast, all thanks to Elyse Margolin, lawyer. As Ms. Meyer was sitting and listening, her trunk of gold doubloons were turning to wet buffalo chips. Meanwhile Elyse asked if I wanted some coffee…the answer was “of course” and off we went Starbucks! Thanks Elyse! Elyse and I both laughed as we both thought we had seen the ghost of W.C.Fields…ahhh just an imposter…it was Marvin M. Mitchelson, looking for a retainer.

BankruptRepresenting the other side, as I have indicated, was Elyse Margolin, always a fighter and not one to be kept quiet. Elyse was well rested and ready for battle, I could tell she had that bounce to her step. Along with Elyse was an attorney whose specialty was bankruptcy, aka making doubloons disappear and ladies and gents, when you want it all to stop in a nasty divorce, file for the BK. Elyse appeared thrilled that her clients hemorrhage of cash was going to stop and stop fast, as in first thing in the morning. Folks, don’t feel bad for either of these little titans of divorce, they are both very wealthy and will be wealthy for many years to come. And besides, sometimes it is nice to have a big box of buffalo chips, when used correctly it will make the grass look nice!

What big time divorce lawyer is being schlepped around Century City by that car service with the old Town Cars? Sometimes they smoke like they are running on smelly cow pies. Standby for one of our segments coming up, divorce lawyers with the coolest cars, there are two who are close for first place, amazing rides.

Charlie Sheen’s day in court

charlie_sheen_brookem.jpgThis morning at the Stanley Mosk was a little like Little Big Horn, as in “The battle of.” On one side you have Ron Rale, lawyer and Lori Howe, lawyer…and on the other side, Mark Gross, lawyer and Marie A. LaMolinara, lawyer from the biggest divorce firm in the Valley, Brot & Gross. These guys are heavy hitters and will flex their legal ability as we were all hoping to see this morning in department 82. Ms. Howe wanted the court cleared for obvious reasons, it was a media storm, all anxiously waiting to find out why Brooke aka “mommy” was in an Inglewood pawn shop, and why “mommy” did not want to take a test either? Where and Why?

Well, let me tell you this, looking at Ms. Howe sitting with Ron Rale outside the courtroom, Howe is looking like the captain of the Titanic looking for a pair of ice tongs. Ms. Howe looked very concerned as she sat at the far end of the hallway away from the hub bub of noise and commotion. Ron Rale is present, for sure, to try and fix a real mess. You can be assured that when Ron Rale shows up something needs to be adjusted or FIXED. And to get this case back on track after Ms. Mueller’s derailment last week. “I dont wanna test.” Remember you heard it here first when I stated that whoever was “handling” Brooke Mueller should be fired. A qualified person would never have let her go roaming around on her own, or at least would have questioned her judgment.

This is a tough economy for sure, it is tough to make it on 50 grand a month, and if you can’t? Do what everyone else does, go to a pawn shop and get rid of few items. Hello!!!! pawn shops have videos going 24 hours a day, like a bank, almost. So who is watching Ms. Mueller as she charges forward like a bull in a china shop? For sure not us! Well there on National TV is Ms. Mueller cutting a deal or shopping at the pawn shop in Inglewood, or at least it would appear that way…$50,000 a month, where does that fit into taking care of two kids? Refusing to test? Where does that fit in raising two kids? There are some very nice pawn shops closer to her home.

Well, today we have Mark Gross and he is in full attack mode, he knows he has Mueller right where he wants her. Gross is like a handmade, finally tuned revolver, when he fires off his mouth you know it is going to be a little painful. This is also why I believe that Ron Rale was brought in, another tough cookie. Ms. Howe is the firm’s expert on child custody (not over Mr. Trope however), and I would guess that she will have her hands full in trying to pull her client out of a very deep ditch. Mueller was not doing well this morning in court as she walked in. Sure, she had her cheering squad but she needed something else, maybe some sound sleep? She was real rough around the edges, jagged edges. Judge Hank Goldberg threw everyone out of his court “for the sake of the children,” so says he. LMAO, it is for the sake of Brooke Mueller so as to keep her lifestyle from leaking further into the public media. It is too bad actually for all of us that I could not hear the defense of Mueller, what defense, another “mommy” who does not get it. Life is tough for Ms. Mueller and the court will try to keep it all quiet and private. Here is my thought, doing all of this for Ms. Mueller? A little like bringing a lighter to a forest fire.

Charlie showed up looking great, fresh and rested. He too had a cheering section, and both sides’ cheering sections ended up in the hallway. In the end the judge left everything the “same.” One has to wonder what goes through a bench officers mind to leave it all the “same.” Now we dont know what other stipulations are in place, more monitoring, more testing (if she will participate), and more likely more Ron Rale! It was very obvious to all present that it was Rale’s job to try and fix this mess.

Mr. Gross knew he had Mueller’s legal team right where he wanted them, and knowing Mr. Gross he will be circling from above like an eagle watching and waiting for his “bunny” to go hip hopping back to Inglewood! Or…another fascinating location someplace in La La land, give her time and of course enough rope.

When Brooke left the courthouse she went in the opposite direction of her car and driver and the media just did the media crush. So sad, it must have been her driver’s first time at the Stanley. Sad, but again funny, who is handling her? Brooke next time send your mother out to find the car and when she finds it she can wave at you in hopes of you seeing your car and your driver. Not Charlie, he rolled out of the courthouse smooth and uninterrupted, like he was “winning.”

Mark Gross, Lawyer, Brot & Gross, LLP 15260 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1500, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 818-594-0800

Lori Howe, Lawyer and Ron Rale, Lawyer, Partner at Trope & Trope, 12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 801, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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