Ben Reznik: lobbyist, litigant & fundraiser

From a David Zahniser story buried on page B9 in today's L.A. Times:

Of the 363 lobbyists who worked the corridors of Los Angeles City Hall last year, no one took the city to court more than Benjamin Reznik.

By his own calculation, the veteran land-use lawyer and lobbyist has filed more than 150 lawsuits against the city's boards, commissions and elected officials over the course of his 32-year career, more than any of his peers.

Yet Reznik, 57, is also a frequent campaign fundraiser for elected officials, the same ones who decide not only whether to approve his clients' development projects, but whether to fight or settle should they wind up in court. One recent beneficiary was City Councilman Jack Weiss, a candidate for city attorney who held a $1,000 per person fundraiser at Reznik's Encino home.


If elected, Weiss would run the office that defends the city in such cases and advises the City Council on how to treat other Reznik clients. Reznik's firm, Jeffer, Mangels, Butler and Marmaro, had 83 City Hall lobbying clients last year.

"Reznik is the most litigious attorney that I have ever encountered in the city," said CRA commissioner Madeline Janis. "Reznik is the kind of lawyer where you are very careful what you say, because he will turn around and sue the city on anything." Ace Smith, speaking on Weiss's behalf, says the contributions would play no part if his candidate becomes city attorney.

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