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EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

“Chris, Harrison and I are filling something of a generational gap between the Orange County Bar and the community. Many attorneys wait a decade or more before forming their own firm. We’re young, but we have a lot of experience and energy, and we want to serve clients the way we want and the way they deserve right now,” says Mohammad Abuershaid, one of the three Founding Attorneys of A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC.
A.L.L. Trial Lawyers was founded in September by three highly experienced attorneys trained in the trenches of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. The firm practices in a variety of areas, principally criminal defense and personal injury, with an increasing focus on representing parents having their children taken away from them by the government—or dependency.


Founding Attorney Christopher Lee says, “We felt the time was right to make the move. We never hesitated because we have the tools, we have the relationships, and we have the drive. We decided to strike when the iron was hot.”
The attorneys say that too many believe they can’t run a successful law firm unless he or she has decades of legal experience under their belt. But the law is changing rapidly. Technology is creating incredible challenges and opportunities. And the three founding attorneys are up to speed and are aggressively filling that generational gap niche.
“For example, to represent your client in today’s day and age, you better be ‘in the know’ when it comes to current events and trends. If, during a sexual assault trial, text messages between two millennial witnesses become relevant, who will explain to your jury what terms like lmao, wtf, dtf mean? And even if you do know what they mean, will you be able to explain to them its rightful context?” Co-Founding Attorney Harrison Le says.

BUILDING ON FIRST-GENERATION GAPS

They cite the experiences of their first-generation American parents as major foundations for their careers in the law.
Le says, “I developed my strong work ethic watching my dad (Dung Le) wake up at 5 A.M. every morning for over 20 years, laboring 10 hours a day in a warehouse to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. He never complained once. I learned from my beautiful mom (Thao Le) not to be afraid to take risks and be compassionate along the way.”
Abuershaid says, “I wholeheartedly owe all of my success to my parents, Nazih and Omaia Abuershaid.


They immigrated to the U.S. from Palestine before I was born and left their families and everything they knew to come here and build a better life for our family. I learned the true meaning of resilience and patience growing up seeing my dad work long hours across different jobs to support my family. I learned to appreciate the struggle that he and my mother endured as first-generation citizens.”
Lee says, “I learned there was no substitute for hard work through my parents Kit and Sansan Lee. My father had grown up in a communist country and escaped seeking a better life for himself and his future family. Growing up, I witnessed first-hand the struggles and hard work my parents put into providing an environment for me to thrive and become the person I am today. Without their guidance and tireless efforts to instill in me the importance of hard work, I would not have been able to achieve the level of success in my life.”
The three worked together for roughly four years at the Public Defender’s Office, discovering along the way a mutual interest to fight against wealthy and powerful interests, a strong desire to practice law, and a strong bond of friendship.
The die was soon cast. “Seeing overzealous insurance companies and government agencies going after the vulnerable is not something we enjoy seeing. So, we dedicated our careers to go up against these powerful companies and agencies. We’ve developed the grit and determination to fight aggressively for our clients regardless of the size or resources of the opposition,” Abuershaid says.

UNDERSTANDING THE OVERLAP

The attorneys note that even though criminal cases are different from dependency cases, which usually function like civil cases, there’s a lot of overlap between the two fields. In the criminal context, there are generally two competing interests—the government versus the accused, with standard of proof being ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ In the dependency context, there are much more than two interests represented in court: there is an attorney representing the mother, the father, the child, social services, and so on. Each attorney has a short window to represent to the judge their client’s interest, so every second counts.
Abuershaid says, “In both the criminal and dependency realm, we’ve been able to deliver to our clients very important victories. Through our criminal defense background, we’ve learned the ins and outs of negotiating plea deals and taking cases all the way to trial. We’ve applied the same tenacity and passion to our clients in the dependency system. We have a real edge.”
The firm’s high degree of interest in dependency cases can be traced to a case handled by Abuershaid while in the Public Defender’s Office. His client, who already had children taken away from her due to sexual abuse by her at-the-time boyfriend, was in a serious fight to regain custody of her newborn. Soon after giving birth, the client’s child was taken immediately away from her at the hospital even though she had done thing to put the child in danger. It was the government’s position that the ex-boyfriend might commit the same offenses again.
For months, she participated in and finished every program assigned to her by the courts and social services. Yet the government still refused to return the child and hope was being lost. “I wasn’t going to let them get away with this,” Abuershaid says. Immediately after the court’s ruling, Mohammad put his foot on the gas and never let up. After  several more months of continuous hearings and arguments and motions filed, the client and her child were finally reunited, and the case was closed.
Clients, often facing apparently overwhelming situations, agree. A comment about Le’s work is typical. “If every attorney was like Harrison Le our system wouldn’t be so broken. He actually really cares about the people he represents and goes out of his way to help. He explains things in a way that I can understand and thinks outside the box. He really will do what needs to be done to help you.” Deanna M.

HELPING CLIENTS SURVIVE THE WORST OF TIMES

The firm is helmed by three talented and skilled individuals who work collaboratively on every case. Every case that walks through their door is reviewed by each attorney, which provides each client with a different set of eyes on their case. The clients have the advantage of three perspectives from a team working seamlessly to benefit the client. The process has worked well from day one.


One of the firm’s first clients arrived at their door on “the worst day of his life.” He was facing incredibly serious sexual battery allegations—allegations he vehemently denied from the beginning.
The client graduated from a prestigious university, was a revered employee at the company he worked for and never had been in trouble with the law in his life. Suddenly this model citizen faced the very real possibility of prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Instead of taking a reactive approach to this case, A.L.L. immediately went on a carefully planned and aggressive offensive. Before the case could be submitted to the local District Attorney’s Office, they spoke with detectives and interviewed potential witnesses, visited the scene, and discovered electronic evidence that demonstrated their client’s innocence. Their strong efforts ultimately led to no charges being filed and the client happily went back to enjoying his normal life again.
Le handled a similar potentially life-ruining case involving a young male in his early 20’s on a felony D.U.I. case that involved in a collision where passengers were ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured. The client faced nine years of prison and two GBI strikes. Police found open beer cans in the vehicle, and per the investigating officer, the client exhibited physical signs of having been under the influence of alcohol. Despite the bleak initial state of the evidence, Harrison did not become intimidated by the odds and decided to dig deeper into the case. He conducted his own investigations and shortly discovered there were serious problems with the government’s blood analysis. The case was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor wet and reckless and the client was released immediately from local jail with informal probation.


In another case, Lee represented a young woman who was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon who was unable to post bail to fight her case out of custody. Time was of the essence and her client absolutely could not afford to have a felony on her record. The facts in the police report also did not paint the client in the best light. In spite of these circumstances, Lee studied the case and orchestrated a powerful cross examination of the arresting officers and demonstrated to the judge that his client’s conduct was at worst misdemeanor conduct. The judge agreed. The client, who originally was facing prison time and a felony strike, was released the next day from jail on a misdemeanor charge.
The firm’s aggressive approach to such cases has resulted in referral work from other firms appreciating their unique niche. Approximately 25 percent of their cases come from other attorneys or firms. Abuershaid says, “Our reputation as ‘trial dogs’ during our years as public defenders has carried with us into private practice. We’ve been asked to take on cases many times to handle various hearings, from administrative civil hearings to preliminary hearing and trial.” As one such attorney says, “As a fellow attorney, I have had the pleasure of working with Mo, Chris, and Harrison for several years now. All three are not only outstanding attorneys, but also compassionate individuals that truly care about their clients. Unlike some mill law firms, you can expect personalized attention and care from All Trial Lawyers. Strongly recommended!” Dan D.
Lee says, “Our visceral approach every time we receive a new case is, ‘Let’s take this to trial.’ Resolving a case by way of settlement may be the most reasonable course of action in most cases, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. We’ve found that our ‘trial first’ approach has led to better settlement offers from our adversaries, which often times leads to happier clients.”

GIVING IT THEIR ALL

A.L.L. dedicates a large portion of the practice to pro bono work, specifically in the areas of juvenile delinquency and criminal defense. Coming from the public defender’s office, they state they will forever feel a continued obligation to protect people who lack the means to defend themselves against the government due to financial/social reasons beyond their control.
The firm regularly takes on pro bono cases from clients who are homeless and/or suffering from severe mental health issues, as well as at-risk youth going through the juvenile system.
In addition, A.L.L. also engages with renowned community programs like Underground GRIT  (www.undergroundgrit.org) that provide innovative re-entry services and counseling for severe at-risk youth in Orange County.
“Our firm’s philosophy is simply to give our clients our all. We’ve seen many people get mistreated and taken advantage of in the legal system, and we’ve seen the devastating impact it has on people and their families as a result. Most of these outcomes could have been simply avoided if clients weren’t treated like a number. We truly pride ourselves on fighting against the assembly-line culture and we are not afraid to push the envelope,” Abuershaid says.

Contact:
A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC
(Abuershaid, Lee and Le Trial Lawyers, APC)
333 City Blvd W., Floor 17
Orange, CA 92868-5905
(866) 222-1255
www.alltriallawyers.com
1370 Valley Vista Dr., Suite 200
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

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