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The Many Sides of Arash Homampour

The hugely successful personal injury attorney bares all

Photo by Dustin Snipes

Published in 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers magazine

By Joe Mullich on January 9, 2024

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Once again, opposing counsel was deriding personal injury attorney Arash Homampour’s case.

It was 2003. Homampour was representing the family of a 14-year-old Latina who was struck and killed by a car while walking along the street in Fontana. City officials felt the blame for the accident was clearly on the unlicensed minor driver, who was going 70 mph down the street, rather than the city itself, which provided no sidewalk to separate pedestrians from vehicles.

“The city of Fontana hired these lawyers who basically said this is the dumbest case they’ve ever seen, made fun of us at every deposition, offered us zero dollars, and said if we lost we’d owe them money,” Homampour says. “The insurance adjuster basically said, ‘What do you think a jury is going to give you for a dead Hispanic girl?’”

But Homampour was able to show that city officials had predicted such an event would happen when they filed applications for state and federal money to install sidewalks. He calculated that installing a new sidewalk would have cost $30,000—the same amount the council spent to buy gym equipment for its members. Homampour made the city look callously indifferent to the danger of “kids sharing the roadway with cars,” he says, and the jury found the city 100% liable. It awarded $37.5 million to the family.

“This is a perfect example of a case I love because there’s a set of facts with which the defendant thinks there’s no way I can win,” he says. “But if it’s a righteous case, and I have a path to justice, don’t give me that path.”

The Homampour Law Firm wins so many big-money cases its Facebook page, in summer 2023, reads like a telethon tote board. Next to the photo of Homampour, there is an announcement that more than $70 million was recovered in March and April alone, including a $38 million settlement for wrongful death and a $13.85 million settlement for traumatic brain injury in a vehicle accident. Another post celebrated the $200 million the firm obtained in 2022, including a $60 million verdict for hotel negligence, $36 million for wrongful death in a truck/motorcycle accident, and a $23 million settlement for a dangerous crosswalk. Over the years, the verdicts, settlements and judgments for his clients have added up to more than $1 billion.

“He’s magical,” says Matthew B.F. Biren, a fellow plaintiff’s attorney and founder of the Biren Law Group. “He gets these big verdicts that maybe only one or two other guys get, but he gets them on tough cases. He’s charismatic and can articulate things to a jury in a way they understand. He has a confidence that is unshakeable. He believes in his cases 100%. Maybe 500%.”


Homampour is wearing a short-sleeve shirt that reveals tattoo-covered arms. “Some of them mean something, some of them mean nothing,” he says, his tone indicating he is done with this topic. His 14th-floor office provides a spectacular view of the Sepulveda Pass, but he is not one to be distracted by spectacular views. “Let’s go,” he says, with the terseness of a man who receives hundreds of emails a day and answers them late into the night. He speaks quickly and precisely, occasionally correcting himself by saying “strike that” as if he were taking a deposition.

His intensity tends to soften, though, as he talks about areas outside the law.

During the pandemic, Homampour started his own music label and began producing as well as spinning records at dance clubs under his DJ moniker The Archer. He also co-wrote a movie, Ctrl Alt Del, about a father-daughter relationship with the theme that you can restart your life at any time. It is now in post-production.

“People say ‘Think outside the box,’” he says. “There is no box. It’s literally I am just going to do whatever I want that I think works. Life is about generating the future without the past dictating the limits of what the future should be. And then having the confidence to do that—whether it’s music, or art, or law.”

Homampour was born to a father who came to the U.S. from Iran in the 1960s.

His father came to the United States in the 1960s from Iran, where he was deeply opposed to the Shah regime. He fell in love, got married, had two children. “He was suddenly thrust into being a father and having to earn a living,” Homampour says. “He went from job to job trying to find his way. We grew up in a financially poor but educationally rich household. My father was an agnostic who told us early on that you have to understand religion before you can reject it. He read the Bible, the Quran, and all the different Buddhist texts. He had a very strong moral compass. He was all about hard work and discipline.”

Homampour’s early passion was music. He played guitar, sang, and wrote songs for various bands starting at age 13. He can sound almost zen on the topic. He says music is “an avenue for anyone to channel their energy in a positive direction.” At the same time, he’s practical: “It’s statistically highly unlikely for anyone to become a famous rock star and I wasn’t talented enough to monetize it.”

Age 13 is when he began to work, too. “I had expensive tastes in terms of clothes and socializing,” he says. “I had to make my own money.” He paid his own way through USC, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance in 1989. “When I was in college, I knew I wasn’t ready for the real world, and I wanted to master something where I could make a difference and make a lot of money. It was either going to MBA school or law school. At that time, LA Law was popular and glamorized being a lawyer.”

During his time at Southwestern Law School, he worked as a paralegal for a small law firm that allowed him to do pleadings, depositions and meet with clients. “I was doing the hands-on work and learned how to run a practice.”

Even so, he failed the Bar exam on the first attempt. He feels he didn’t prepare enough. He also wonders if part of it didn’t have to do with his terrible handwriting. In those days, test takers hand-wrote essays, and he believes his penmanship might have been illegible. “But not passing the Bar was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he says. “If you look at people who’ve made a powerful impact, they always had a catastrophic loss. Rather than give up, they learn and grow. The big lesson from the Bar exam is: I cannot wing anything.”

He also figured that joining a large firm as an associate would not work for him—given his go-your-own-way bent—so he started his own firm with a friend. An uncle threw him a bunch of cases, and he hustled to find more.

“I need to make my own rules,” he says. “I wanted to design things the way I wanted them. If you have a large firm and want to implement software, it takes a committee. These large firms have not modernized, not because they don’t want to, but because it takes so much effort. I want to be able to do things instantly without consulting other people.”

Going his own way is a theme Homampour constantly hits on.

  • “I got my first tattoo at 16, which was before everybody else. I just don’t really care what other people think and wanted to do my own thing.”
  • “I took a moot court class and the teacher essentially said I was terrible at litigation and advocacy. But my ego and confidence were so strong that I didn’t really care what she said.”
  • “I don’t like when someone says ‘We’re going to offer you $100,000 because statistically this is what people get for this wrongful death case.’ In my mind, I’m like, ‘I don’t care what other people get because my results aren’t dictated by the past.’”

As a new lawyer, Homampour took on tough cases, applied unusual legal philosophies, and got good results. He represented the family of a man who was killed after three city street workers struck him in the head with a shovel. The city tried to dismiss the man as transient drug user who had no connection to society or even to his own family. “We showed that despite his drug issues and periodic homelessness he was still an amazing father. We won a $36 million judgment for a case they offered very little to settle. We took a case that had complex issues of drug use and homelessness and made it simple and understandable. We made it about being a father.”


At the start of his career, Homampour asked a lawyer to be his mentor, but the lawyer said he was too busy. “I found that to be extraordinarily rude and off-putting, and I made a commitment to make myself available to anyone and everyone.”

As a result, Homampour became a constant presence on an early internet group answering questions for lawyers. “For some reason, I have the ability to answer questions instantly,” he says. “I just have a weird access to a database of law and an ability to understand things and explain them in simple ways. It was a way to help others and part of it was undiagnosed ADHD, which would allow me to take a break from whatever I was doing.”

In 2021, Homampour started a nonprofit called There Is A Light Foundation, which provides micro-grants of $5,000 to $10,000 for individuals seeking educational opportunities—“whether it’s learning how to be a music producer or dental assistant,” he says—and larger grants to organizations. (See sidebar.)

As he became a multihyphenate extraordinaire—DJ, music composer and producer, filmmaker, philanthropist, mentor—the court victories kept piling up. In 2022, he won a $60 million verdict—the second largest personal injury verdict in the state that year. An Orange County woman, Priscilla O’Malley, waiting at a hotel for a birthday celebration with her husband, suffered a cerebral aneurysm rupture. Her husband became concerned when she uncharacteristically did not respond to his texts and calls, and he asked the hotel to send someone to check on her. The hotel had a policy that two well-trained people were sent to a room for “a welfare check.” However, there had recently been a change in ownership and instead one untrained person was sent. After cracking open the door and yelling “Hello,” he reported back that no one was in the room.

During the pandemic, Homampour wrote a screenplay, started his own music label and began spinning records at dance clubs under his DJ moniker The Archer.

The hotel argued that it was not responsible for the seven-hour delay in treatment. “They hired two huge law firms to defend it, and made fun of the case, saying our medical causation theory was stupid,” he says. Homampour simplified the complex medical issues down to a simple theme: Time was of the essence to treat the brain injury, and O’Malley lost time—and suffered a significantly worse injury—because the hotel did not follow its own policies.

Biren, who tried the case with him and attorney John Roberts, thinks such simplicity is the reason for his success. “If I learned one thing from him, it’s to cut out all the peripheral stuff and focus exclusively on the things that are important,” Biren says.

As Homampour tells stories of his successful cases, most involve his opponents telling him his case was foolish. You get the sense he enjoys being derided; it stokes his competitive fire. “I have zero fear as a trial attorney,” he says. “I was born to do this. If someone comes at me intellectually, I come back at them with joy and love, because they have no idea what’s going to happen to them. I love what I do so much and I’m a vessel for justice. If someone lies or tries to play games intellectually, I’ll embarrass them. That’s what I do.”

In the next breath he expresses sympathy for defense attorneys. “In their minds they are living in a world where everything is a fraud. When they meet someone with a legitimate case, their framework is so skewed they can’t recognize the risk. Which is to our benefit. You’re either delusional or illogical if you let us go to trial.” 


There Is A Light

Homampour’s foundation has made recent donations to the following:

Bye Bye Plastic Foundation: led by Vivie-Ann, aka BLOND:ISH, it’s worked to eliminate single-use plastics in music since 2018

Consumer Watchdog: a nonprofit fighting special interests

Victims of Illicit Drugs: educating and raising awareness of the fentanyl crisis

Innoceana: dedicated to preserving the ocean for future generations by empowering and educating coastal communities, leading collaborative research projects, and harnessing cutting-edge technologies

OneKid OneWorld: provides funding for education in impoverished communities throughout Kenya and Central America

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