Letter: An Offer of Support

Letter to the Editor

I am a licensed California attorney. I am a Malibu resident and have been for over 20 years. I am also a “local boy” to SoCal (grew up in Venice). I’ve owned and operated businesses in both the private and defense sectors. I put myself through college and law school. But one thing I will not tackle is restaurant ownership. My parents owned a restaurant while I was growing up. It is a brutally challenging business. Restaurant owners put their life savings on the line to provide a valuable social service to all of us as well as providing for their families. Their families also make tremendous sacrifices and sometimes the rewards are fleeting, if any. 

Our community’s restaurants, from the private McDonalds franchisee to the hardworking and gracious Wilfredo at Tramonto and Vassil and Yoshi at V’s and their wonderful staff members are suffering. Now, the restrictions by our county and state “leaders” have once again hobbled these local businesses, but especially those who provide us with the opportunity to interrupt the monotony of quarantines and work-a-day life, in general. I fear that this last restriction by the Governor will be a final nail in the coffin of those hard working restauranteurs in our City of Malibu, not to mention their staff. It is my belief that these “lock-downs” and business restrictions are arbitrarily targeting certain businesses and not others. 

We as a culture and people are rapidly approaching the apogee of Orwellian prophecy as 1984 and Animal Farm have now converged to become a frightening reality. It is an overwhelming concept. Restaurant owners are but a single casualty of the COVID Chaos. There are so many others. But, the best way to eat an elephant (tofu of course) is a bite at a time. As such, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is (or may be, as it were). Therefore, I am willing to offer my personal legal counsel to defend any restaurant owner, in Malibu, who will open their establishment for, at the very least, outside dining, while following the requirements for outside dining under which they previously operated and which were previously set out by the City, County, and State, and who is subsequently subjected to punitive action by law enforcement for doing so. I will defend their charges for any such alleged violation on a pro-bono basis. 

I would also recommend that your fine publication encourage our community to organize a private fund for these local owners of restaurants to help them pay court costs, expert witnesses where necessary, and fees which will likely arise as a result of the charges, over and above my pro-bono defense of their matter. Not every case will be the same and some may not meet the criteria, but I will evaluate each with which I may be presented. Also, as you probably know, there is never any guaranty of a result, especially within the judicial system. But that does not mean you don’t go down swinging.

My contacting you, as I explained above and as you may have already inferred, is that I am suggesting that if you agree with the need to go to the mat for these hard-working restaurant owners, you join me by gratuitously publishing my offer to support these community business owners. Maybe it will inspire other attorneys in other communities to do the same and for other industries as well.

Please give me a call to discuss this matter if you are interested in assisting our private restaurant owners in Malibu. If you do decide to publish my offer, I will want to make certain that any such publication accurately communicates what I am willing to do and what will be required of the client should they be accused of some violation of these capricious, draconian, and tyrannical orders.

Nino Posella, Esq.