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Los Angeles attorney and former bar board governor murdered

Jeffrey Tidus
Jeffrey Tidus

Los Angeles attorney and former member of the State Bar Board of Governors Jeffrey Tidus was murdered last month outside his Rolling Hills Estates home. He was shot in the head when he went outside to retrieve a laptop computer from his car. He died at a hospital the next day. No weapon was found at the crime scene.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives interviewed his family and business partners and were scrutinizing his cases to determine if there was a connection between Tidus’ legal work and the murder. Although authorities said they did not rule out a random killing, they said it seemed more likely that Tidus was targeted.

The Los Angeles Times reported that sheriff’s investigators were looking at a 2005 case in which Tidus obtained a restraining order against a litigant who allegedly threatened him.

The 53-year-old partner at Baute & Tidus, an eight-lawyer firm specializing in civil litigation, served on the bar board from 1995-98. Prior to his election as a representative of Los Angeles, he spent a year on the board as the representative of the California Young Lawyers Association. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.

He represented many high-profile corporate clients, including New Century Financial, a now defunct subprime lender. Just hours before Tidus was slain, three former executives were accused of fraud by federal regulators.

According to his law firm’s Web site, Tidus handled all types of financial institutions litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith cases, complex business and securities cases, entertainment and trademark matters (principally in the video and computer game field), construction defects, professional malpractice and personal injury cases. He also was an arbitrator and mediator and a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Mediation Panel.

Clients included Hawthorne Savings, New Century Financial, Thales Navigation, Isuzu Motors of America, California Federal Savings, Aames Financial, First Alliance Mortgage Company and First Los Angeles Bank, according to the Web site.

A graduate of the University of California at San Diego with a joint degree in history and economics, Tidus received his law degree at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall.