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Sahni Acts to Bar Law Firm Opposing His Suit

August 28, 1987|JAMES S. GRANELLI

Ranbir S. Sahni, former chairman and majority owner of American Diversified Savings Bank, has asked an Orange County judge to disqualify a law firm from representing the savings institution and two other defendants in a lawsuit he filed last month.

Sahni, who was ousted from the Costa Mesa savings institution in February, 1985, when regulators declared it insolvent and seized control, claims that the law firm of Pettit & Martin has a conflict of interest in the case.

He contends that the San Francisco firm continued to represent one of the defendants, American Diversified Partners, after the takeover even though Sahni remained a limited partner in American Diversified.

In papers filed Aug. 25 in Orange County Superior Court, Sahni claims that Pettit & Martin cannot take sides in a dispute among partners when the firm previously represented the entire partnership. A court hearing on his motion is scheduled for Sept. 21.

Calling Sahni's request "without merit," Thomas Haupert, the institution's president, said the savings bank will oppose the request.

Sahni's suit seeks $270 million in damages based on claims that the savings bank, the partnership and an American Diversified subsidiary purposely failed to pay him income due from four dozen real estate investment syndicates he formed and merged into the savings bank.

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