George Terterian - Attorney
George Terterian immigrated to the US at the age of 3. Born in Beirut, Lebanon to Armenian parents from Syria, he was raised in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham and attended Wayne State University in Detroit where he majored in history. After graduating Wayne State Law School, he moved to Los Angeles and worked in a small civil litigation firm in Encino. After 3 years of personal injury litigation, George started his own practice specializing in representing low income tenants in slum housing habitability claims. His practice sued dozens of slumlords in and around Los Angeles over the next 15 years, winning 6 and 7 figure judgments and settlements through the years, but more importantly, empowering a largely immigrant client base that was often marginalized.
George's solo practice in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo neighborhood routinely punched out of their weight class, often representing anywhere from 50 to 150 plaintiffs in mass plaintiff habitability litigation, always against multiple firms and several lawyers assigned to each case. He always tried his own cases and fought tirelessly to empower the powerless, comfort the afflicted and occasionally afflict the comfortable. He has been at the cutting edge of tenants rights litigation for years, including a class action trial for illegal rent increases, a published case clarifying damages in habitability cases, many retaliatory eviction cases and many personal injury cases arising out of habitability claims.
In 2013, George decided close his solo practice in Los Angeles, in order to move to the California Central Coast and establish a life in San Luis Obispo County. He worked for the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County in their Santa Maria office, once again practicing his lifelong passion: poverty law. He worked with many farm workers on the Central Coast representing them in eviction defense, foreclosure defense, elder abuse and any other matter they needed counsel but could not afford private counsel. He got to know the Central Coast in his community outreach initiatives and grew to love the serene, bucolic rolling hills and vineyards.
When the opportunity presented itself, George decided to join Joe Barrett at Affeld Grivakes LLP in 2017, George knew it was meant to be. George had clerked for Joe many years ago and they had remained close friends and colleagues. He still resides and works out of Arroyo Grande in San Luis Obispo County as well as regular treks to Los Angeles, where he lived and worked for 20 years.
George's passions are economic and social justice causes and he finds time to support several non-profit organizations. He speaks fluent Armenian and is functional in Spanish and Portuguese. He is a lifelong Detroit sports fan and after 25 years in California, still roots for his Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and Michigan State Spartans.