Renowned Los Angeles trial lawyer Debra Opri has represented many famous figures of Hollywood as well as the spouses and partners of celebrities. She has also been involved in important legal cases involving everyday people in their family conflicts and battles against the legal system.
Kevin Hart — Divorce And Custody Proceedings
Debra represented comedian Kevin Hart in his divorce from Torrei Hart, which began as a high-conflict battle but ultimately ended in an amicable settlement and joint custody of their two children.
James Brown — Sexual Harassment Trial
Debra Opri represented and successfully defended the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, in a sexual assault/sexual harassment case in Los Angeles. Her effective legal strategies included bringing to the attention of the jury the "differences" of her famous client's persona ... what was the media image and what was the personal side of James Brown, a humble, older performer and southern gentleman who was trying to provide economic assistance to his race. Simultaneous with her client's positive image conveyed throughout this case and in the courtroom, Ms. Opri also challenged the credibility of the woman who accused Brown of sexual improprieties, relying upon witnesses and material evidence, as well as the woman's own testimony, in successfully challenging the allegations of sexual misconduct.
Anna Nicole Smith — Paternity And Custody Proceedings
Debra Opri took on Anna Nicole Smith, and championed the cause of the celebrity's ex-boyfriend and father of Ms. Smith's baby daughter, in what became an international battle in a high-profile paternity action seeking to establish, fight for and protect a father's rights over his child. Opri successfully forced a DNA test in both California and the Bahamas in furtherance of the fathers' rights, as well as to push for custody of the daughter after Anna Nicole Smith died in February, 2007. Several months later, the father and daughter Dannielynn were reunited when they left the Bahamas for the United States, where they reside today.
Katherine And Joe Jackson — Personal Attorney
Opri was retained by Katherine and Joe Jackson, the parents of Michael Jackson, representing their parental interests concerning Michael's criminal case in Santa Barbara County for alleged child molestation. Her clear representation of the facts, the law and constitutional issues successfully addressed and highlighted the media's campaign to convict Michael Jackson before the case even went to a jury. Opri was one of the very few in the media to predict that Michael Jackson would be acquitted of all charges.
David And Pamela Hasselhoff — Divorce And Custody Proceedings
Opri represented Pamela Hasselhoff in her contentious divorce and custody battle against actor David Hasselhoff.
David Caruso — Paternity And Palimony
Debra Opri represented actor David Caruso's ex-girlfriend (and mother of two of his children) in paternity proceedings and a palimony suit.
Other notable clients have included Jermaine Jackson, of the Jackson Five and brother of Michael Jackson, and comedian Christopher Titus, in their divorce cases.
Seth Tobias — Criminal Investigation
Debra Opri took on the case of an ex-personal assistant, Bill Ash, a potential key witness to what many considered the suspicious death of Seth Tobias, a well-known CNBC financial analyst and hedge fund guru. Opri was one of the few to defend this witness' account of how Mr. Tobias died.
In one of her more contentious and ongoing legal battles, Debra Opri battled the legal system in standing up for the rights of a young mother, Lauren Winkler, against an older ex-boyfriend who, as a family law attorney, dragged her through the court system for years in his attempt to take custody of her minor child from her. The battle culminated when the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and entered an order against this ex-boyfriend, and in favor of the biological father, who had earlier declared his paternity via a DNA test, and a Declaration of Paternity, which had been entered as a judgment but ignored by the lower court. The fight continued, as this individual then attempted to seek custody of this minor child as a 'non parent,' which argument was soundly defeated by Opri in the Court of Appeals. This was a big victory for mothers everywhere.
At-Risk Youth And Victims Of Violence
Debra Opri has proven time and again that she does not limit her sense of duty and action on behalf of abused children:
- She took on the case of a 14-year-old student who was sexually assaulted by her teacher in Chicago.
- Opri pursued the wrongful death of two foster care children when their mother threw them over the ninth floor balcony of the Los Angeles Superior Court building [Citing the negligence of the county social worker in not properly overseeing the blatant issues of the mother's own mental instability and of the need to have the children removed from the home, the case focused public attention on the County's inability to properly train and supervise social workers in an overburdened and overwhelmed foster care system.]
- She represented the family in the shooting death of an unarmed young man who was shot to death by police officers.
- Opri took on the largest foster care agency in the State of California, the International Foster Family Agency, representing seven employees who were whistleblowers against a systematic abuse of foster care funds from the state and county, amassing millions of dollars each year in what would become a diversion of those funds for personal use and an obvious and egregious misuse of funds earmarked for foster children and parents.
Debra Opri continues to represent both well-known and everyday clients, choosing the message the case will send to the public and to the legal system. Contact Opri & Associates to arrange a consultation.
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