In January of last year, attorney Sanford H. Perliss felt a sudden urge to start telling his old stories again – much to the chagrin of his 15-year-old son.
“Every time I started to tell a story, he would roll his eyes and say, ‘Yeah, I know dad. I heard that one already,’” Perliss said. “But these stories were trying to get out. So I sat down behind a computer and I started typing away.”
Six months of writing and another year of editing resulted in “A Thousand Invisible Cords,” a book Perliss self-published in June – with names, places and other details of his cases changed.
The book, which is for sale on Amazon and at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, documents the unusual career path of Perliss, 54. He started as a prosecutor and criminal defender, then married a Taiwanese woman and began working with Chinese clients. He eventually opened the first foreign law firm in central China during the ’90s, and today his Alhambra solo practice has built a niche in the Chinese immigrant community.
One of his favorite stories in the book recounts defending an alleged gang member. Prosecutors claimed his client’s gang nickname was “Maestro,” while Perliss insisted it referred to his break-dancing skills. So Perliss asked if his client could dance for the jury.
“The judge said to the DA, ‘You raised the issue of his nickname and of course they can rebut it – so step down and dance.’”
To learn about the U.S. political system, Al Khosravi decided to attend a book-signing last month by Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Washington lobbyist and author.
Khosravi, an Iranian-American who is president of graphics shop DigitalColor Beverly Hills, learned that the U.S. government is all about business.
“He talked about how the White House works – everyone wants to get a piece of the pie,” recalled Khosravi, 63. “There are lots of fights and competitors, but they are all trying to do business.”
Abramoff was a lobbyist for American Indian casinos who was convicted of bribery, fraud and tax evasion. He served 43 months in prison before his release in 2010. His book, “Capitol Punishment,” was published in November. The book-signing took place at clothing store Carroll & Co. in Beverly Hills on June 28.
Khosravi didn’t go to the event with a political agenda. Whenever possible, he attends lectures and presentations on religion, politics and other topics that interest him. In this case, he was impressed with how Abramoff has re-invented himself as a political reformer.
“I think he’s making more money now than before by publishing books and speaking,” Khosravi said. “In the White House, they learn to promote their business, including themselves.”
Staff reporters Alfred Lee and Joel Russell contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@ labusinessjournal.com.
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