Meet Sarkis

S.J. Babachanian, Esq.

Birthplace
Hollywood, California

Bar Admissions
1994, California
1995, US District Court, Central District of California

Education
Southwestern Law School
California State University, Los Angeles
Armenian Mesrobian School

Community Service and Appreciation
Temporary Judge (Judge Pro Tem), Los Angeles Superior Court
Attorney Settlement Officer, United States District Court
Attorney Settlement Officer, United States Bankruptcy Court
Mediator, Los Angeles Superior Court
CRASH Settlement Officer, Los Angeles Superior Court
Special Master, State Bar of California
Attorney Coach – Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program at A.W. Clark Magnet High School – 2017
Attorney Coach – Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program at Armenian Sisters Academy – 2014-17
Vice President, Glendale Bar Association – 2017
Director, Glendale Bar Association Board of Directors – 2015-17
Program Coordinator, Glendale Bar Association Law Day Program – 2015-17
Panelist, Glendale Neighborhood Legal Services’ Community Legal Workshop
Certificate of Appreciation, United States District Court – 2009
Certificate of Appreciation, United States Bankruptcy Court – 2009
Certificate of Appreciation, United States District Court – 2008
Certificate of Appreciation, United States Bankruptcy Court – 2008
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (ADR) – 2008
Certificate of Appreciation, United States District Court – 2007
Certificate of Appreciation, United States Bankruptcy Court – 2007
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (ADR) – 2007
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (ADR) – 2006
Certificate of Appreciation, United States Bankruptcy Court – 2006
Certificate of Appreciation, Special Olympics – 2005
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (Judge Pro Tem) – 2005
Certificate of Appreciation, Southwestern Law School – 2004
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (CRASH) – 2004
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (Judge Pro Tem) – 2003
Certificate of Appreciation, Los Angeles Superior Court (Judge Pro Tem) – 2002

Memberships and Affiliations
State Bar of California
Glendale Bar Association (Director, Board of Directors)
Armenian Bar Association
American Civil LIberties Union
Amnesty International
Ararat Home of Los Angeles
Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Armenian Eye Care Project
Armenian Genocide Recognition
The Carter Center
Club Mesrobian
CAALA – Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral – Founding Godfather
Jewish World Watch
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles Mission
Los Angeles Zoo
National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
National Rifle Association
Pyunic Association for the Disabled
The Smile Train
Special Olympics

Glendale attorney Sarkis Jacob Babachanian is a results-oriented trial lawyer with over 20 years of broad and deep criminal defense, civil litigation and dispute resolution experience. He is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court, all California state courts and the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Central District of California.

Mr. Babachanian counsels the seriously injured, people accused of state and federal crimes and those needing to sue or defend in state courts, federal district court and bankruptcy court. He is a consumer attorney, serving artists, doctors, lawyers, retailers and tech concerns, and a small business attorney serving entrepreneurs, import-export concerns, garment houses, jewelers and more. Mr. Babachanian also offers litigants in California and federal courts effective dispute resolution services built on his decades of litigation experience and advanced dispute resolution training.

Mr. Babachanian remains a proud member of the State Bar of California helping clients since 1994 and serves on the Board of Directors of the Glendale Bar Association.

Talk to Mr. Babachanian about how he can help you. Reach him at 818-500-0678 or visit…

Foreign Language Skills

Mr. Babachanian speaks English natively, is fluent in Armenian and can communicate in elementary Spanish (“Spanglish”) and Russian. If necessary, our office can arrange to communicate in virtually any language including Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagolog and Vietnamese. 

Before Law Practice

Just before beginning law school, Mr. Babachanian – Sark – served as Executive Director of the Armenian Relief Society’s Glendale, California-based Earthquake Relief Fund for Armenia, a relief agency created to help victims of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck Armenia on December 7, 1988 killing over 25,000 people and injuring untold others. Sark established and managed the ERFA’s offices, implemented the Executive Council’s policies and directives, coordinated with other charities, researched donation and grant sources, conducted media relations, supervised staff and volunteers and, of course, raised funds. Sark believes serving with the ERFA was a blessing.

As an undergraduate, Sark studied Criminal Justice and Business Administration at the California State University, Los Angeles. After serving as a lobbyist for the Armenian National Committee of America in Washington, DC, he attended evening courses at Southwestern Law School where he participated in Moot Court and served as president of the Armenian Law Students Association.

While at Southwestern, Sark held employment and externships exposing him to a broad spectrum of legal knowledge and experience. He worked full-time as a law clerk in what is said to be “the world’s largest law firm” – the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – specializing in probation violation cases.

While still in law school, Sark joined a specialized judicial research and support team at the Los Angeles County Superior Court Planning and Research Unit. As a PRU Legal Research Assistant, he delved into issues of civil and criminal law and procedure for Los Angeles County judges and others who subscribed to the PRU’s services and publications. Sark conducted short and long-term legal research, prepared legal memoranda for judges and staff attorneys, analyzed new legislation and helped prepare the PRU’s annual Legislative Report for publication. Sark’s time at the PRU made him adept at quickly finding reliable answers to all sorts of legal questions.

Southwestern also gave Sark the opportunity to participate in two Certified Law Clerk clinical externships. The first was with his former employer, the DA’s Office, this time at the Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center in South Central LA right after the 1992 LA Riots. This was a particularly important rotation because it opened his eyes to a world he had never experienced first hand – one of burned-out inner city neighborhoods home to a lot of good people who were being terrorized by hard, sometimes brutal…children. It was Sark’s job to represent the People in numerous arraignments, plea agreements, witness and victim interviews, and the like. He tried 14 cases while under the detached supervision of a prosecutor and won them all, earning the highest possible rating from Kenyon’s supervising Deputy-in-Charge. Still, the experience left Sark with the realization that the juvenile justice system was badly flawed. He also realized he was hooked on being in a courtroom.

Sark’s final law school externship – also as a California Bar Certified Law Clerk – was with the Glendale City Attorney’s Office, the city where he practices law. Sark gained valuable civil litigation experience through drafting pleadings and motions, watching trial and appellate lawyers in action and learning to tread carefully in what Prof. Van Alstyne’s has called the “mine field” of government tort claims law. The high-point of this externship was Sark’s service as a mediator and hearing officer in neighbor dispute and city code cases where he cut his teeth on dispute resolution.

The Babachanian Story

Sark is rather proud of his background and family experience, considering it to be an “American” story with the final chapters as yet unwritten.

Sarkis Jacob Babachanian was born in August of 1964 to Ararat (“Art”) and Anya Babachanian. He likes the fact he was born a Leo in the Year of the Dragon at Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Hollywood, California.

Sark grew up in the LA suburbs of Montebello and Whittier and received his primary education at Armenian Mesrobian School, a parochial school run under the auspices of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He’s a proud member of Mesrobian’s Class of 1982. At Mesrobian, Sark met most of his closest friends and even after 40 years, they remain very close. “I’m Best Man to two of them, Godfather to the children of one, and another is my kids’ Godfather. My own Best Man attended Mesrobian and another of my pals went on to become our Alma Mater’s principal. It’s an understatement to say we’re a tight-knit community,” says Sark.

Sark’s ancestors once lived in historical Armenia – Alashgerd on his father Art’s side and Artvin on his mother Anya’s – but Turkish pogroms and the Armenian Genocide forced them out. Soon after World War II, Art and Anya emigrated to the United States as displaced persons (“DPs”). Like so many before, they sailed into New York Harbor under the gaze of the Statue of Liberty; it’s said Anya actually sang God Bless America as the ship came in. They landed at Ellis Island with a couple of kids and not much else, but the promise of America meant everything to them and after a few years of hard work in Brooklyn, they headed to California. Their stories of tribulations at the hands of Nazi and Bolshevist tyrants helped form Sark’s character as a person who dearly values and is willing to fight for traditional ideals like liberty, justice and fair play. Sark’s being a lawyer is closely tied to the lessons his parents taught.

Like thousands of other WWII Armenian DPs, the Babachanians settled in East LA then Montebello. Art and Anya built a successful plush toy business called Wonder Toys Co., Inc., manufacturing plush toys (teddy bears and such) for the carnival and amusement industries; you might even have won a Wonder toy at an amusement park or carnival!

Art and Anya have since passed, but they live on in many ways – not least in the spirit of Babachanian | Legal Counsel. God Bless America indeed!