Attorney at Law Magazine Los Angeles Publisher Sarah Torres sat down with Samira Kermani to discuss her career.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?
Kermani: From an early age, I wanted to teach. Then, the drive to protect and advocate led me to become an attorney. In my law practice, I get to do both. When you’re advocating for your clients you’re also educating the judge or mediator as to the status of the law, persuasively, to make them rule your way. When I walk a client through a complex transaction, I’m partly teaching.
AALM: What do you find particularly rewarding about being an attorney?
Kermani: In the early ’90s, I volunteered at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a prestigious legal aid clinic. I assisted the elderly who became homeless as they lost their entire life savings in the Savings & Loan crisis. It was crushing. I could not wait to litigate and advocate for the “voiceless.” I started out as a litigator. Now, I handle both litigation and real estate purchase and sale transactions. What I find particularly rewarding about being a real estate attorney is that I help families safeguard their most valuable tangible assets, their legacy, their piece of mind and security. If my clients are wealthy, they appreciate the protection. If they are not, they need the protection even more because the high cost of litigation to rectify a wrong may be cost prohibitive. Often, a bar to justice.
I find that an expertly executed purchase/sale, no matter how small the purchase price, is worth its weight in gold if it makes you win future litigation or nip it in the bud with a motion for summary judgment instead of the client forking over cash for protracted litigation because an issue in the purchase/sale file was negligently left unclear.
I enjoy fighting for justice when someone failed to do the right thing and injured my client. Now they get their day in court. Getting to structure a deal correctly is as rewarding as litigating to obtain justice or defend my clients.
AALM: What first drew you to your firm? How would you describe the culture of the firm?
Kermani: What drew me to create a unique firm was a lack of litigators who had also practiced actively as a broker, owned and operated a brokerage, lived in the trenches as a Realtor and knew the unwritten practices and customs. Often, litigators invite me to consult or serve as their expert witness. When Help-U-Sell trained me as a franchisee and later when Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North invited me to join as an associate broker, I learned a great deal about the industry as a whole.
That insider’s knowledge is critical in knowing what questions to ask in a deposition or what documents to request in discovery. Certain key issues, documents and practices are not referenced in law books and I’ve seen attorneys not even ask for them because they simply do not know they exist.
I was drawn to create a one-stop shop for real estate where we litigate and mediate real estate disputes and actually do the deals where we get the opportunity to lay the foundation correctly and structure the deal property while protecting against litigation. My firm’s culture is based on consumer protection.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Kermani: I kickbox and meditate. It seems to satisfy both the warrior and the peacemaker in me.