Association class

KBK Lawyers Invite Armenian Bar Association to Investigate AXA’s Armenian Genocide Insurance Litigation

Editor’s Note: Below is a statement issued by Brian S. Kabateck in response to the LA Times article “Blood Money Betrayal: How Corruption Spoiled Reparations for Armenian Genocide Victims.” The opinions and statements expressed herein are those of the author.

LOS ANGELES — Brian S. Kabateck, the group’s attorney in the Armenian Genocide insurance litigation, today extended an open invitation to the Armenian Bar Association to conduct a thorough investigation into Kabateck LLP’s handling of the historic rules of AXA.

Mr. Kabateck sent a letter to the Armenian Bar Association that discusses the March 23, 2022 Los Angeles Times article: A Betrayal of Blood Money: How Corruption Spoiled Reparations for Genocide Victims Armenian, an article that recycles decade-old, baseless articles and previously dismissed conspiracy theories.

“I have always been troubled and saddened by the deplorable actions of the criminals who conspired to steal money from the Armenian community and the rightful heirs of those who perished during the genocide,” Kabateck wrote. “That’s why I worked so hard to uncover the crimes committed by Vartkes Yeghiayan, who died while being prosecuted by the state bar; Rita Mahdessian, a felon convicted of multiple suspensions of her license to practice law; and Berj Boyajian, who was prosecuted for his actions that I helped bring to light.

The letter details the absence of new revelations in the Los Angeles Times. The “investigation” the journalists claim to have conducted involved talking to associates of Mr Yeghiayan, who are seeking revenge for his rightly tarnished reputation. This story was made public and buried nearly a decade ago. The allegations have been investigated and repeatedly dismissed by the United States District Court, the California State Bar, and various prosecuting authorities.

The article also says class attorneys actively denied the claims. It was only the obligation of a Settlement Claims Committee. Mr. Kabateck had no involvement in the decision-making process. The claims committee made the recommendations, which were later approved by United States District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder. Although it is well documented that Mr. Kabateck was never involved in any aspect of any part of the claims process, the LA Times ignored the evidence and implied that he was part of the decision to deny claims.

Prior to the story’s publication, The Times submitted more than 60 questions to Kabateck, LLP. The attorneys spent over 100 hours researching the allegations and innuendo before providing a 24-page response, which debunked all of the allegations. Not only did the Times not publish those responses, but it also failed to reveal that the conspiracy theories peddled by Mr. Yeghiayan’s surrogates turned out to be nonsense.

KBK has offered – unconditionally – to allow an accountant hired by The Times to examine the personal finances of the company and Mr. Kabateck in order to dispel any insinuation that he derived any benefit from the criminal conspiracy of Yeghiayan. The Times declined the offer and failed to disclose our offer and their refusal.

The firm also offered to share the cost of having a law firm selected by The Times to investigate these insinuations and determine whether there had been legal or ethical misconduct on the firm’s part. Again, the LA Times declined the offer and did not disclose its refusal.

Mr. Kabateck adds in the letter that he suggests investigating the motives of the LA Times by writing a clearly erroneous article. It is sad that this disinformation campaign deliberately aimed at fomenting division among the largest Armenian diaspora community in the world is being broadcast just weeks before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

Brian S. Kabateck is the founder and managing partner of Kabateck LLP and a preeminent leader in the fight to ensure access to the justice system. Mr. Kabateck is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Loyola Law School and a Trustee of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). He is the past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) and a recent past president of the Century City Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).

Open letter to legislators:

Link to the letter:

Link to Q&A with the Los Angeles Times:

Link to court documents: