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Co-counsel in a published opinion of the California Court of Appeals.

ESTATE OF Frank P. DITO, Deceased. Barbara Merritt et al., Petitioners and Appellants, v. Elenice S. Dito, Objector and Respondent.

No. A128921.

Decided: July 29, 2011

Barulich Dugoni Law Group, Inc, Randall B. Schmidt, Kevin M. Rodriguez, for Petitioners and Appellants. Ramin Mozaffar, Mark Adrien Gullotta, for Objector and Respondent.





Portions of a newspaper article covering a high profile case in which Mr. Mozaffar represented a County employee.

During the first day of his preliminary hearing, defense attorney Ramin Mozaffar filed a motion to close the proceedings and the subsequent transcript from the public, citing the case’s “significant effect on state and county agencies” and the possibility that the “enormous amount of press coverage” generated by the case would hurt the defendant’s chances of receiving a fair trial.

However, Judge Gerry Buchwald rejected the motion on the grounds that a couple of newspaper articles did not equate to “an enormous amount of press” and that the “fairly balanced coverage” did not parallel the “inflammatory” coverage of, say, Michael Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial.

“In light of the limited number of articles here, we could certainly pick a jury,” Buchwald said. “This is not a system where somebody is jailed, tried and convicted in darkness.”

Throughout the hearing, Mozaffar attempted to suppress the evidence provided by police by arguing that police did not properly advise the 15-year-old girl of her rights prior to questioning her.