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Prominent attorney fatally shot on lawn of his Rolling Hills Estates home

December 8, 2009 | 12:34 pm

Lanow.tidus Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives today are trying to sort out a mystery in upscale Rolling Hills Estates after a prominent attorney was fatally shot on the lawn of his home.

Neighbors identified the man as Jeffrey Tidus, an attorney with Baute & Tidus, a boutique civil law firm in downtown Los Angeles. Tidus was an active political contributor and a former board member of the California State Bar. He was known for his pro bono work for clients in need.

One neighbor told The Times that Tidus had returned from a social event Monday evening. He went inside his home, then went back out to his car to get a laptop computer. The witness, who asked that his name not be used, said some neighbors thought Tidus had fallen outside his home and only learned that he was shot after paramedics arrived.

James T. Fox, who lives near Tidus, said he didn't hear any shots last night and was shocked to hear that the attorney had been fatally wounded.

Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the shooting occurred at 8:33 p.m. at a home in the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive. The street is home to several large, $1-million-plus ranch-style houses.

Whitmore said he could not provide details about the shooting other than to say the victim was taken to a hospital, where he died at about 9:30 a.m. today.

According to his law firm's website, Tidus "has been active practice as an arbitrator and mediator over a wide-range of civil disputes. He is a graduate of the Straus Institute for Mediation's Basic and Advanced Mediation training program. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Mediation Panel.

"He also has testified as an expert witness on matters involving legal ethics and billing practices. He is also the author of the CEB Action Guide on Discovery and Discovery Motions. Mr. Tidus' present and former clients include Hawthorne Savings, New Century Financial, Thales Navigation, Isuzu Motors of America, California Federal Savings, Aames Financial, First Alliance Mortgage Company, First Los Angeles Bank and Tokai Bank."

The firm declined to comment on the matter.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: A photograph of Jeffrey Tidus on his firm's website. The firm is Baute & Tidus. Credit: bautelaw.com/

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