Reicker Pfau congratulates Partner Robert Forouzandeh and Associate Cory Baker and its longtime client St. George & Associates (“SGA”) and Edward St. George after they prevailed at trial in the class action case Tran v. St. George & Associates before the Santa Barbara Superior Court. The case arose from a claim brought by one of SGA’s former tenants, on behalf of himself and as a class representative on behalf of all SGA tenants from 2011-2019, alleging various statutory violations of California Civil Code Section 1950.5 with respect to the return of security deposits by SGA to its tenants.
The SGA trial team was led by Reicker Pfau Partner Robert Forouzandeh and Hager & Dowling Partner Lora Hemphill. Cory Baker of Reicker Pfau and Christine Renshaw of Hager & Dowling also assisted in the trial.
The class size was in excess of 3,400 tenancies which included over 10,000 tenants. The case was heard by the Honorable Judge Pauline Maxwell, who after the Plaintiff rested his case in chief, granted SGA’s Motion for Nonsuit and entered judgment on all counts in favor of SGA. The trial culminated a nearly five year litigation process where at all times SGA has asserted that the Plaintiff’s claims were frivolous and lacked any factual or legal basis and had been driven exclusively by Plaintiff’s lawyer Ron Bochner who for the past five years has been a serial filer of similar cases against other large student landlords in the Santa Barbara area alleging the same claims as those that were brought against SGA. Judge Maxwell’s entry of judgment by a Motion for Nonsuit demonstrated the lack of any evidentiary or legal basis to support Plaintiff’s claims and should serve as a blueprint for other large landlords in defending against similar suits brought by Mr. Bochner that are currently pending or which he may bring in the future.