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Times coverage: Authorities investigating shooting death of attorney examine 2005 case

December 18, 2009 |  2:16 pm


Jeffrey Tidus, a 53-year-old white man, was shot and killed Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive in Rolling Hills Estates, authorities said. Coroner's officials said police have placed a security hold on the case, which bars them from giving out any additional information.

The following is an excerpt from Times coverage of the killing: Authorities investigating shooting death of attorney examine 2005 case

Detectives investigating the shooting death of Jeffrey Tidus, a prominent L.A. lawyer, are examining a 2005 case in which the attorney obtained a restraining order against a litigant who allegedly had threatened him, according to sheriff's deputies.

The case is one of several being looked at as detectives pore over Tidus' files seeking clues, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson said. 

He stressed that the investigation is in its early stages and there is no evidence that Tidus' work was tied to his slaying. 

Tidus was killed Monday night outside his home in Rolling Hills Estates.

Dolson said colleagues at Tidus' law firm had alerted investigators to the 2005 case this week. In that case, Tidus' client, Jon M. Gunderson, sued a Los Angeles tax attorney, Christopher Gruys. 

The suit claimed that Gruys had mishandled a tax transaction, costing Gunderson millions of dollars. Tidus eventually won an $11.2-million judgment.

During a pretrial deposition in the case on June 7, 2005, Gruys pulled out a camera and took a photograph of Tidus, then made what the attorney interpreted as a threat, according to sworn declarations that Tidus and a court reporter made in support of Tidus' request for a restraining order against Gruys.

-- Richard Winton

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Photo: Sheriff's deputies stand watch in front of Jeffrey Tidus' home following the shooting death of the attorney on Dec. 8. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times