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Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2009 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Michael Richard Amerian

Candidate for
City Attorney; City of Los Angeles

This information is provided by the candidate

Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Michael R. Amerian has devoted his career to fighting on Los Angeles' front lines against gang crimes, domestic violence, and other crimes that threaten our quality of life. Through the successful prosecution of hundreds of cases, he has protected our neighborhoods and won hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages on behalf of crime victims.

Michael believes that safe communities are strong communities. He has obtained convictions for vandalism, theft and other neighborhood nuisances which are widely considered to be the precursors to larger crimes. He has also taken hundreds of unsafe reckless or drunk drivers off our streets. As a Deputy City Attorney, he works in partnership with community residents and business owners to prosecute offenders and clean up our neighborhoods.

Michael has successfully prosecuted gang members on weapons possession and vandalism charges throughout his career. Recently assigned to the Gang Unit in the City Attorney's Office, Michael is now devoting even more of his energy to stemming the tide of gang violence in our communities.

As a result of his trial expertise, Michael mentors attorneys in private practice through the Los Angeles County Bar's Trial Advocacy Program and has assisted with training newly hired Deputy City Attorneys in the Trial Training Program.

Michael works every day to protect women, children, and seniors from violent abusers. In many instances, the domestic violence victims he helps speak little or no English and must overcome communication and cultural barriers in seeking assistance. Because some cultures frown on women pressing charges against their husbands + even when they are violent and abusive + Michael is sometimes the only person standing up for the victims of domestic violence in court.

Fighting domestic violence was a priority for Michael even before he joined the City Attorney's Office. Working on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers Domestic Violence Project during law school, he helped domestic violence victims obtain emergency restraining orders against their abusers. In addition, Michael was a staff member on the Review of Law and Women's Studies at the University of Southern California Law School.

While in law school, Michael also worked as a staff member for the city's Elected Charter Reform Commission, the entity responsible for creating neighborhood councils throughout Los Angeles. During his work on Charter Reform, Michael attended community meetings throughout Los Angeles, gaining an understanding of the numerous issues we face in our city.

Michael served as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Dickran Tevrizian. In this capacity, he worked on cases involving complex constitutional, civil rights, municipal liability, free speech, securities fraud, trademark and patent issues. Michael was also an attorney in private practice, representing individuals and Fortune 100 companies in both state and federal court on various environmental, intellectual property, product liability and general business litigation matters.

In addition to his work as a prosecutor, Michael serves as a Trustee of the George Ignatius Foundation, a charitable trust that has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to support educational, cultural, religious and humanitarian organizations throughout the world. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Film Foundation, a non-profit educational and cultural organization. He is an active member of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, serving on the church's Government Relations & Protocol Committee.

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Michael is the grandson of Armenian immigrants who came to America following the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Michael's late father, Richard Amerian, was the first judge of Armenian descent in Southern California. In addition, at 32 years old, he remains one of the youngest judges ever appointed, serving on the bench for 14 years before retiring from the California Court of Appeal. His mother, Lynn, is also a public servant who has been a key staff member for several elected officials at Los Angeles City Hall for nearly 20 years. Continuing a family tradition, Michael is part-owner and a member of the Board of Directors of the small business that his family built and has operated for 75 years.

Michael's own career in public service began almost 20 years ago, when then-Los Angeles City Councilmember Michael Woo hired him to be a Field Deputy while he was still in high school. Michael also worked for United States Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California Law School, where he established the Justice Richard Amerian Scholarship Endowment for deserving law students.

Michael lives in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: January 20, 2009 04:10
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