Niv V. Davidovich, Esq.
An experienced litigator and counselor boasting diverse legal experience, Niv V. Davidovich works as a construction, real estate, and business attorney representing private developers, landowners, property managers, architects, engineers, contractors, and investors. As managing partner at Davidovich Stein Law Group, LLP, he represents clients in trial, arbitration, mediation, and administrative hearings involving complex issues of fact and law, both within the state and federal courts. Niv also holds substantial appellate experience with the California Court of Appeal. Recently, we had the honor of speaking with him to learn more about his background, law firm, and plans for the future.
Let’s begin with a bit about your background. How did you get started in the legal services industry?
My background is unique because I earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Southern California in 2002 before receiving my JD in 2006 from Southwestern Law School. I was inspired to open my own practice by some of the mentors at the firms I’d previously worked for and because I felt it was the next, natural evolution of my career.
Where did you work before opening Davidovich Stein Law Group?
I began my legal career as an associate with an insurance defense firm where I worked for over two years. Then, in 2011, I accepted a position at a larger practice representing pubic agencies, such as the Los Angeles School District and the University of California, as well as numerous national private developers.
How did these positions help to prepare you for managing your own practice?
I saw litigation at the highest level where amounts in dispute were in the tens of millions of dollars. I also had the opportunity to see how high-risk cases are handled and to personally defend brokers, architects, engineers, and other providers in real estate. Learning about the different claims that are made against those people gave me a unique perspective on both sides of the business–defending and making claims.
Tell us about the Davidovich Stein Law Group.
I opened the practice in 2017 and serve as managing partner. Our team consists of five attorneys as well as four additional staff members. The firm’s core is made up of real estate, construction, and landlord/tenant law, but we also recently opened a personal injury department. Although we are not licensed outside of California, we have been admitted in federal courts to represent clients in New York, Texas, and Arizona.
How did you expand into personal injury?
We had a few cases come in, and I saw that personal injury law held a lot of growth potential. As a result, I hired Mark Oknyansky, who comes from both a real estate and personal injury background. So far, we have won some impressive settlements. In December, we negotiated a settlement of $1 million for a construction accident, which was the policy limit for the defendant, as well as a settlement of $300,000 for a slip and fall in a condominium. We also won a $125,000 settlement for a slip and fall on a sidewalk against a municipal defendant, amongst myriad other settlements for a variety of different clients and circumstances. These great results early in our personal injury department’s existence have made me really excited about the great potential and future for our new practice group.
How are you unique in the personal injury aspect?
We have attorneys, not just paralegals or case workers, working on every case from beginning to end where most other personal injury firms don’t even get an attorney actively involved until litigation. We are also very selective to make sure we have sufficient resources for the cases we take on because we want to dedicate ample time to all aspects of each case. Because of the various other types of litigation we practice in the office, our legal team also holds more experience and well-rounded skills, which we apply to the personal injury aspect of the firm.
Does each attorney have a different area of focus?
Everyone works in some area of real estate, but we do have different specialties. For example, my partner, Charlie Stein, is head of the unlawful detainer department while our associate, Mark, is a licensed real estate broker and handles all cases pertaining to disputes involving brokers and agents that occur during real estate transactions. Mark is also in charge of the personal injury department due to his legal background in that area. Also, we’re proud to have Edmund Sherman in our office, who is senior counsel. Ed has a tremendous well of civil litigation experience, but also has deep knowledge in in probate and bankruptcy law, which can frequently bleed into our other areas of practice. Our associate, Stephanie Drell, who also has a very diverse background, assists in the UD, real estate, and PI departments.
What is your personal area of expertise?
I am generally involved in all aspects of the firm’s various practices, but I am more involved in construction matters because my family is in the construction business, and I hold a degree in electrical engineering. I have studied it, grew up with it, and have worked at a firm that focused on construction law for larger developers and public entities.
Is it more helpful to have team members with different specialties in comparison to everyone focusing on the same area?
Having a different area of expertise from each member is great because we can offer more than a single point of legal service, as well as a variety of different viewpoints on the same issue, allowing us to come up with the best solution instead of a repetitive or myopic view of numerous identically experienced attorneys. If you’re a property manager, for example, you don’t have to call different lawyers for different matters. We offer a one stop shop, particularly for real estate matters because we are well equipped to do everything that falls under the real estate umbrella, which includes landlord/tenant and construction issues.
What makes you stand out from other attorneys?
I’m passionate about what I do, but practicality and pragmatism are also top priorities. Clients can be, understandably, emotionally invested in their cases, which can make it difficult to make a hard decision based upon cold reason and rationality alone. Our clients also have a lot of resources at stake. So, what makes me different is that I analyze every case from a business perspective first and the actual probability of winning. I view every case realistically, setting aside my own desires to prosecute or win a case, or how I feel about the opposing side or their attorney. Every case is purely a business decision that targets my client’s best possible business outcome and that how is how I advise my clients. Even personal injury clients are, in the end, looking for compensation for their damages, and this focused view can help them make the best long-term decision for them in a legal environment in which they might not be comfortable operating.
What do you see for future of the practice?
We are planning on expanding the group by targeting more property manager, landlord and developer clients, as well as expanding our roster of attorneys. We also plan to expand the personal injury and eviction areas of the practice.
Niv V. Davidovich, Esq.
Davidovich Stein Law Group, LLP
6442 Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Suite 209
North Hollywood, California 91606