Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Attorney Jeffrey Tidus Gunned Down Outside His Home
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of Los Angeles attorney and former State Bar Board of Governors member Jeffrey A. Tidus, who passed away yesterday morning after being gunned down outside his home in Rolling Hills Estates on Monday night.
Tidus’ death is being investigated as suspicious, but has not yet been ruled a homicide, Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Dave Dolson said.
“There are certain factors about it that indicate it could be a targeted killing,” Dolson said. “We haven’t ruled anything out.”
Dolson would not say if a weapon had been found.
The shooting occurred at the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive at 8:33 p.m. Monday and, according to the Daily Breeze, Tidus was transported to Torrance Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 9:30 a.m. yesterday, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Tidus had gone to retrieve something from his car at around 8:30, after arriving home from work on Monday when his wife, Sheryl Tidus, heard a single gunshot from inside the house, Dolson said. She ran outside and found him collapsed on the driveway behind a blue Toyota Prius.
No arrests have been made.
Tidus was an attorney with the civil law firm Baute & Tidus in downtown Los Angeles, which declined to comment upon his death, and co-owned a chain of toy stores called Child’s Play with his wife, according to KTLA-TV.
He was also an active political contributor, giving $2,700 in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year and $250 to Moveon.org, a liberal political action committee, in 2007.
A graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, Tidus had earned his undergraduate degree in history and economics from UC San Diego. After being admitted to the State Bar in 1979, he began his legal career with Lewis D’Amato Brisbois & Bisgaard.
Over his 30 year career, Tidus also worked with the former international law firm Coudert Brothers and with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips before joining Baute & Tidus.
His law firm profile said that Tidus “handled all types of financial institutions litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith cases, complex business and securities cases, entertainment and trademark matter (principally in the video and computer game field), construction defects, professional malpractice and personal injury cases,” with 100 percent of his practice dedicated to litigation.
He recently represented Jon Gunderson in a suit against former tax lawyer Christopher Gruys for asserted violations of the California Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, obtaining a $2.4 million verdict at trial before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu.
Div. Seven of this district’s Court of Appeal overturned the decision last month in an unpublished decision and remanded the case back for a new trial. That case was Gunderson v. Wall, B204268.
Clients listed on his firm’s website included Hawthorne Savings, Thales Navigation, Isuzu Motors of America, California Federal Savings, Aames Financial, First Alliance Mortgage Company, First Los Angeles Bank, Tokai Bank, and now-defunct subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial.
Three of New Century’s former executives were accused of fraud by federal regulators on Monday.
Tidus also had an active practice as an arbitrator and a mediator, serving as a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Mediation Panel, his firm profile said.
He served on the State Bar Board of Governors as the California Young Lawyers Association representative in 1989 and 1990, and was elected to the board in 1995. He ran for State Bar president, losing to San Francisco lawyer Ray Marshall, in 1998.
Marshall yesterday told the METNEWS that the race was “very collegial” with “no competition, no angst,” and he described Tidus as a “colleague, friend, and a very good guy.”
The two “shared common values and philosophies,” Marshall recalled, and would talk about their children, exercising and running.
Tidus was “very caring and concerned as to the practice, the state of the State Bar and family and friends,” Marshall said. “He was fun.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge Lee S. Edmon said Tidus was “a terrific lawyer and a friend for more than 25 years.”
Edmon said they had worked together on various projects for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers—Tidus was president in 1986-1987—while they were both young lawyers and that she was “shocked” by his death.
“Jeff cared very much about our justice system and the operation of the courts and ensuring access to justice,” Edmon remarked. “He was a lovely person.”
Former State Bar President Alan I. Rothenberg said he and Tidus worked at Manatt Phelps together, served on the Board of Governors together, and had breakfast together a few months ago.
Rothenberg praised Tidus as “a good lawyer, and more important, a real good person” who was a consummate “professional and family man,” remarking that his death was “a horrible, horrible event.”
Laguna Beach attorney John J. Collins, who also served on the board with Tidus, commented that he was a “decent, kind guy.”
Tidus is survived by his wife, daughter Elana, and brother, Irvine attorney Michael Tidus of Jackson DeMarco Tidus.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company