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Born and raised in Orange County, California, Sara Etemadi majored in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and obtained her law degree from Whittier Law School. At Whittier, Ms. Etemadi received the Dean’s Merit Scholarship and was a member of the Iranian Student Bar Association and the Public Interest Law Foundation.
Prior to joining Kushner Carlson, PC, Ms. Etemadi worked at a boutique plaintiffs’ litigation firm and successfully prosecuted many matters relating to premises and common carrier liability. Ms. Etemadi has also worked for various non-profit organizations and governmental agencies prior to joining the firm, such as the Small Business Administration and the Housing Opportunities Collaborative. Ms. Etemadi regularly uses this experience to provide practical and valuable advice to her clients.
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Real Estate Litigation
Asal Alipanah majored in International Relations at the University of San Diego and obtained her law degree from USD’s School of Law. At USD, Ms. Alipanah worked as a research assistant and served as a Comments Editor for Law Review. Ms. Alipanah also interned for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office during her time in law school.
Ms. Alipanah primarily works on homeowners disputes and assists the litigation team with various matters. She brings a strong work ethic and valuable writing skills to the team.
Mr. Janvelian received his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School in 2016 when he graduated summa cum laude in the top 3% of his class. In addition to being a teaching and research assistant for numerous professors, Mr. Janvelian was a Senior Editor of the Whittier Law Review and served on the Solicitations Committee which reviewed articles for publication. For his outstanding academic excellence, Mr. Janvelian received five Cali awards in Contracts, Criminal Law, Advanced Contracts, Uniform Commercial Code, and International Law.
After receiving his Juris Doctorate in 2016, Mr. Janvelian attended the renowned International Business and Economic Law Masters program at Georgetown University Law Center. During the program, Mr. Janvelian externed at the Global Legal Research Department of the Library of Congress, where he prepared publications for the Global Legal Monitor and prepared comparative research reports for all three branches of government. After graduating in May 2017 on the dean’s list and with distinction, Mr. Janvelian worked as a research assistant with the Law Center’s faculty where he provided invaluable assistance in the preparation of the latest edition of a casebook series on the law of business organizations.
In his practice with Kushner Carlson, Mr. Janvelian deals with a wide array of cases which involve complex commercial matters, real estate disputes, and many other business litigation issues. Mr. Janvelian’s relentless approach to jurisprudence is one of the reasons his clients continue to laud him for his tenacious resolve to get to the bottom of the most complex legal matters.
Michael S. Vasin was born and raised in Southern California. He received his undergraduate degree in Journalism, with honors, from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications, and his law degree, also with honors, from the Chapman University School of Law. In addition to serving on Chapman’s Law Review, while attending law school, Mr. Vasin externed for both the Honorable Robert W. Alberts, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge and the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler, United States District Court.
Prior to joining Kushner Carlson, Mr. Vasin was a partner at Sullivan, Ballog & Williams in Orange County, where he represented both large institutional clients and small businesses in all manner of civil litigation, including employment law, federal civil rights, business disputes, and personal injury defense. Mr. Vasin has extensive trial experience in both state and federal courts.
Mr. Vasin is a member of the State Bar of California, the State Bar of Arizona, the United States District Courts of California and Arizona, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute, and the Orange County Bar Association.
James Decker joined Kushner Carlson, PC in December of 2015. A native of Orange County, California, Mr. Decker majored in History at UCLA and attended Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. During law school, Mr. Decker served as Articles Editor of the Chapman Law Review. He also received five CALI Awards, notably in Property Law, Local Government Law, and Land Use Regulation. Mr. Decker’s accomplishments in the classroom ultimately earned him cum laude distinction upon graduation, along with an emphasis certificate for real estate law.
Prior to joining Kushner Carlson, PC, Mr. Decker served as a law clerk for multiple civil litigation firms that specialized in employment litigation. Additionally, Mr. Decker interned with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Michael Zar is an Orange County native who earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from California State University Long Beach. During his undergraduate studies, Michael was a recipient of the prestigious Peccorini Scholarship Award and was one of only a handful of students who earned entry into the Philosophy Department Honors Program. Michael went on to earn his law degree from the University of San Diego.
Michael has extensive experience in a wide variety of legal areas including business litigation, real estate transactions, landlord/tenants disputes, and common interest developments. Michael has successfully represented clients in all pre-trial and post-trial phases of litigation, including mediation and arbitration, and has successfully tried numerous trials.
An adept trial attorney and negotiator, Jonathan Kent joined Kushner Carlson, PC in May of 2014. A native of San Diego, California, Mr. Kent obtained his law degree from the University of San Diego, and he obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. During law school, Mr. Kent was a member of the San Diego Law Review and won numerous advocacy awards, including “Best Overall Advocate” for USD’s National Moot Court Team. As a result, Mr. Kent was inducted into the Order of Barristers, the prestigious national honor society for excellence in legal advocacy.
Mr. Kent has experience in all aspects of business litigation, intellectual property, and real estate, and he has had the privilege of successfully representing many business owners and investors in trial. Indeed, throughout the pendency of his client’s cases, Mr. Kent strives to keep their interests at heart, whether he’s in the midst of trial or negotiating to reach timely and fair resolutions to their cases.
Mr. Kent also has extensive experience in handling transactional matters. In this capacity, Mr. Kent handles a multitude of issues concerning commercial leases, lease assignments, corporate records, operating agreements, employment contracts, and trademarks. For his corporate clients, Mr. Kent is an invaluable asset – he can quickly identify internal issues, analyze and revise relevant documents, and keep corporations compliant.
Mr. Kent’s adaptability and experience allows him to assist his clients in achieving optimal resolutions to their cases.
Jonathan Schmidt joined Kushner Carlson, PC in March of 2015. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Schmidt majored in Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and obtained his law degree from the University of San Diego. During law school, Mr. Schmidt externed for the Honorable Mitchell D. Dembin of the United States District Court. Upon graduation, Mr. Schmidt was inducted into the Order of Barristers, the prestigious national honor society for excellence in legal advocacy.
Mr. Schmidt has extensive experience in, and knowledge of, a wide variety of legal areas including business litigation, real estate, and commercial law. To that end, Mr. Schmidt has published two critically-acclaimed articles on corporate securities and international law in the San Diego and California International Law Journals, respectively. Mr. Schmidt has used this extensive experience to successfully represent many business owners and companies.
Mr. Schmidt also excels at courtroom advocacy. Prior to joining Kushner Carlson, PC, Mr. Schmidt worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. As a Deputy DA, he spent nearly every day in the courtroom, conducting multiple jury trials and successfully arguing hundreds of dispositive motions in courts throughout the county. His experience as a criminal prosecutor allowed him to hone his skills in the courtroom.
Mr. Schmidt’s diligent and well-rounded approach to litigation gives his clients a distinct advantage during the pendency of their cases.
Mr. Carucci was born and raised in San Diego, California. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego where he graduated cum laude from the Honors program with a degree in Business Administration. Mr. Carucci then attended law school at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. During law school, Mr. Carucci interned for the Honorable Frederick H. Bysshe of the Ventura County Superior Court and externed with the Department of Justice in their Fraud Department. At Georgetown, Mr. Carucci was also a Senior Articles Editor on the American Criminal Law Review and a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution team.
Mr. Carucci is licensed to practice law in both Washington and California. After graduating from law school, he practiced in Seattle, Washington for several years, working on complex civil litigation cases for a large firm. After returning to California, Mr. Carucci joined Kushner Carlson, PC as a litigation associate.
Mr. Carucci has experience in all aspects of business and real estate litigation, both in the courtroom and in mediation.
Mr. Kushner was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in his third year and graduated with High Distinction the following year. Mr. Kushner then attended law school at the University of California at Los Angeles. After moving to Orange County, Mr. Kushner honed his skills at two of Orange County’s most respected law firms before striking out on his own.
Mr. Kushner frequently lectures on a variety of topics relating to simple and complex business and corporate matters, as well as trending real estate topics. His lectures are widely attended and lauded as “thought provoking, dynamic, and relevant.”
Mr. Kushner’s efficacy both in court and out have made him a popular and highly regarded attorney with KFI AM 640’s Bill Handel, the host of one of the most listened to and popular morning radio talk shows in America and the founder of Handelonthelaw.com. In fact, not only have hundreds of Bill Handel’s listeners hired Mr. Kushner to represent them when they needed legal advice, but Mr. Handel himself, as well as many of his staff have likewise sought his representation and counsel.
Mr. Kushner’s practice areas include business litigation and transactions, franchise law, corporate governance, complex business transactions, real estate litigation and transactions, and entertainment law.
In the business/corporate arena, Mr. Kushner has substantial experience in structuring and negotiating complex commercial transactions and drafting all manner of business related contracts. Mr. Kushner’s corporate transactional practice includes general representation of large, well-established companies, as well as start-ups and family owned businesses. In recent years, Mr. Kushner expanded his corporate transactional practice to include multi-national businesses located in China, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong.
In addition to his transactional expertise, Mr. Kushner is frequently retained as litigation counsel in significant business and real estate related matters, ranging from all manner of general business torts (e.g. breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, interference with prospective business advantage, unfair business practices, trade secrets, etc.), to more complex commercial disputes involving antitrust and competition law and intellectual property disputes.
From Mr. Kushner’s formidable reputation as a skilled trial lawyer, to his consummate attention to detail and singular client-centered focus, Mr. Kushner’s clients consider him and the firm an indispensable asset to their companies’ growth, success, and security.
Mr. Kushner is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and is a frequent contributor to the Orange County Register’s “Ask the Attorneys” segments.
Real Estate Litigation
Franchising & Distribution
Luke Carlson is knowledgeable across a broad spectrum of real estate and business matters and is adept at strategizing with clients to make the most out of difficult situations. Indeed, Mr. Carlson has represented and consulted with clients regarding various real estate matters (including HOA disputes and various commercial real estate transactions), and a wide variety of business-related matters (including business protection, franchise-related matters, intellectual property, and various commercial disputes). As a meticulous lawyer, Mr. Carlson provides a methodical approach to complex disputes and often crafts innovative strategies for his clients.
From Mr. Carlson’s superlative negotiation skills, to his synergistic partnership with Michael Kushner, the firm stands ready to provide superior litigation and transactional representation to all of its clients.