DIVERSE AREAS OF EXPERIENCE AND PRACTICE:
Bastian & Dini represent both individuals and businesses in both civil and criminal matters.
Throughout their practice, which began in 1994, Robert L. Bastian, Jr. and Marina R. Dini, have prominently litigated cases concerning police misconduct, jailhouse abuse and unlawful discrimination.
Additionally, Bastian and Dini have litigated matters including employment wrongful termination, negligent hiring and retention of security guards, wrongful termination of franchise relationships based on ethnic background and nursing home abuse.
Business litigation: Bastian & Dini have represented a wide variety of small businesses in negotiations and litigation regarding contract, fraud, franchise disputes and licensing matters. Further, Bastian & Dini provide ongoing legal advice to business owners and strategies to minimize legal exposure.
Family Law: Bastian & Dini are experienced in preparing petitions for dissolution of marriage; handling modifications and orders to show cause regarding child support and custody, spousal support and paternity actions; and all phases of hearings related to domestic violence and civil harassment restraining orders. Ms. Dini has provided legal services since 2001 at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law representing, among others, victims of domestic violence.
Police Misconduct: The police misconduct cases that Bastian & Dini have litigated include house thrashings (illegal raids), numerous false arrest/false imprisonments, malicious prosecutions and uses of excessive force, including improper shootings and beatings.
Jail and Prison Issues: Bastian & Dini's jailhouse abuse cases include wrongful shootings, wrongful beatings, guard on inmate rapes, preventable inmate on inmate rapes, preventable suicide and failure to provide adequate medical care.
Discrimination: The discrimination cases litigated by Bastian & Dini include discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation and HIV+ status.
Civil Litigation: Bastian & Dini handles garden variety personal injury actions such as auto accidents, as well as more complicated matters, such as nursing home negligence and abuse.
Employee/employer disputes: Bastian & Dini is experienced both in successfully representing employees whose rights were interfered with and small businesses wrongfully accused of violating employee rights.
Bastian & Dini have litigated these matters in both state and federal courts, including the United States District Courts, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Georgia and the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Appellate Practice: Additionally, Bastian & Dini has practiced before the Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals as well as the Second, Fourth and Fifth Appellate Districts of the California Courts of Appeal. Both are admitted to the United States Tax Court, Washington, D.C.
Arbitration and Mediation: Ms. Dini is experienced as an arbitrator handling attorney/client fee disputes. Mr. Bastian has extensive experience as a mediator in civil matters.
Real Estate: Ms. Dini is a real estate broker licensed in California with experience representing buyers and sellers in both residential and commercial transactions. Further, Bastian & Dini handles related negotiation and litigation, including association and condominium disputes.
Both Dini and Bastian have been profiled twice in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: in the Verdicts & Settlements section on January 22, 1999, and in the "Civil Rights and Constitutional Law" feature, August 27, 1999.
Constitutional Torts and Civil Rights:
• police abuse (false arrest, excessive force, unreasonable search and seizure, interference with rights to free speech), interference with property rights, condemnation.
• discrimination (based upon race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, HIV+ status, national origin, disability).
• prisoner rights (conditions of confinement, sexual assault, beatings by staff or other inmates, failure to provide timely and adequate medical care, unlawful holdovers).
• personal injury, wrongful death
• false arrest, assault and
battery, intentional torts
• intentional and/or negligent
destruction of property.
• elder abuse
• employment disputes
• insurance Bad Faith
• dissolutions & paternity
• child custody, modifications,
orders to show cause
• child & spousal support
• domestic violence & civil harassment restraining orders
• felony and misdemeanor defense
in state court
• DMV & OAH
• contract negotiation and litigation
• franchise disputes, discrimination
• business torts, breach and interference
with contracts, fraud
• licensing matters
Bastian & Dini have experience practicing before the Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals as well as the Second and Fifth Appellate Districts of the California Courts of Appeal.
Bastian & Dini reported decisions include:
• Ernst & Haas Management Company, Inc., v. Hiscox, Inc., 23 F.4th 1195 (9th Cir. 2022)[ruling reversing district court's dismissal of an insured business's claim for loss where an employee was defrauded into wiring money into a fraudulent account; the appellate court ruled the applicable commercial crime insurance policy provided coverage under both its "computer fraud" and "funds transfer fraud" clauses, and clauses requiring "direct" causation]
• Lolli v. County of Orange, et al. 351 F.3d 410 (9th Cir. 2003)[ruling in favor of plaintiff/appellant, reversing summary judgment granted to jail deputies accused of beating and denying food to diabetic inmate]
• Hinduja, et al., v. ARCO Prod., et al., 102 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 1996) [ruling in favor of plaintiffs/appellants, reversing district court's reference of the matter to bankruptcy court]
Arbitration and Mediation:
• Ms. Dini continues to serve as an arbitrator in attorney/client fee disputes.
• Mr. Bastian has served extensively as a mediator in numerous civil disputes.
• Ms. Dini is a licensed real estate broker in the State of California.
• representation of buyers and sellers in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
• Review of agreements and litigation of disputes.
• negotiation and litigation regarding
association and condominium disputes.
Special appearances, depositions and litigation support:
● We also provide special appearance services, including depositions, litigation support, and research and writing motions, writs and appellate briefs.
Prominent cases which Bastian & Dini have handled include the following:
● Mancha v. City of Ontario S.B.S.C. Case No. SCV 12184
($5 million dollar verdict awarded to parents in the wrongful death of their only son against Ontario police department for breach of a promise of confidentiality to a citizen informant and failure to warn the family that confidentiality had been breached.)
After promising confidentiality to the young man in return for information related to the burglary of his mother's home, a detective bluffed gang member suspects during an interrogation with the false implication that the young man had fingered them. Thereafter, the gang members retaliated against the young man for "throwing rat" by murdering him. The Ontario Police denied responsibility, but a jury disagreed. An appellate court upheld the finding of liability, but returned the matter for retrial on the issues of apportionment and damages. Thereafter, the case settled.
● Dillard v. Decker, et al. CV-F-94-5048-AWI-SMS
(Plaintiff deliberately placed by guards in cell with recidivist rapist twice his size resulting in multiple rapes over three days.)
This case has been reported on the front pages of both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and on CBS's 60 Minutes. California Department of Corrections prison guards placed a first time offender, Dillard, in the cell of a known cell rapist twice his size as punishment for allegedly kicking a female guard in the shins. A declaration prepared by Bastian demonstrating official acquiescence and toleration of prison rape has appeared in the appendix to the Human Rights Watch Report on Prison Rape. Both Dini and Bastian are the recipients of the Stephen Donaldson Award, "For Helping Raise Public Awareness To Halt The Sexual Torture of Men, Women & Children in U.S. Correctional Institutions," presented by StopPrisoner Rape. Bastian has drafted and presented proposed legislation to strengthen prison oversight of the problem and provide both statutory incentives and deterrents. An editorial by Bastian criticizing the CDC's prior position in this case appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 5, 2001.
● Collins v. 24 Hour Fitness, et al. 65603-23
(Plaintiff, a top producing salesperson nationwide in 24 Hour Fitness transferred and demoted because district manager "would never let a n-gg-r run one of his clubs".)
24 Hour Fitness vigorously denied that its district manager was a racist and, further, that the actions of its human resources department insulated a decision to demote Collins from the perceived racism of the district manager. In a binding arbitration, the court received the testimony of 20 witnesses, contained in 12 volumes, 2323 pages of testimony and 108 marked exhibits, then returned a verdict in favor of Collins of, including attorney fees and interest, $950,000.
● Tulumis v. State of California, et al. U.S.D.C. Case No. CV-F-94-5302 OWW, Ninth Circuit Appeals Case No. 94-17199, Kings County Case No. 96C1370,
(plaintiff rendered a quadriplegic from gunshot by prison guard in violation of the Eighth Amendment; prison guard conspiracy at Corcoran prison to set up fights between prisoners, then shoot prisoners to break up the fights)
Similar to Dillard, this case was reported, inter alia, in the Los Angeles Times and on CBS's 60 Minutes. Correctional officers at Corcoran State Prison, CA, staged fights, then used deadly force to break them up. Ultimately, the CDC changed its shooting policy. An editorial by Bastian criticizing the CDC's prior shooting policy appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 27, 1998. The case settled for $2.2 million, one of the largest settlements by the State of California of a case brought by an inmate.