Meet Our Team
September 22, 2022
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Read More About Larson
555 South Flower Street, Suite 4400 Los Angeles, CA 90071 Phone: 213.436.4888 Fax: 213.623.2000
Koren (“Kori”) Bell is a bilingual Spanish-speaking lawyer who litigates high-stakes trials and appeals in courtrooms across the country.
Praised for her advocacy—described by courts as “superb,” “topnotch,” and among “the best I’ve seen”—Kori has handled some of our nation’s most complex trials and appeals, including as Counsel of Record in a case she advanced to and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. She has earned national recognition as a powerhouse litigator, including from Benchmark Litigation as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” for appellate litigation, complex civil litigation, and white collar defense work, among other top rankings.
A creative and tenacious litigator, and former supervising federal public defender, Kori represents clients in high-profile white collar defense matters. She also represents prominent individuals and companies in a broad array of complex civil litigation, including high-stakes commercial disputes and widely publicized civil rights suits, and in sensitive investigations.
Kori delivers results for her clients at every stage of litigation. She has prevailed at trial, before trial, and in post-trial proceedings in a variety of areas—from business disputes to products liability, defamation to trade secrets, and all manner of white collar crime. Her clients include high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, public figures, and companies from a range of industries, including entertainment, technology, health care, transportation, construction, real estate, and sports.
Kori’s current representations include the widely publicized “Varsity Blues” college admissions case, in which she co-leads the defense of the decorated former USC water polo coach against federal fraud conspiracy charges. In addition to securing severance of our client’s trial, Kori and the defense team prevailed on a motion to dismiss the government’s property fraud allegations, obtained the government’s dismissal of its lead RICO charge, and ultimately won a motion for a new trial after extensive litigation following a multi-week trial.
In another high profile matter, Kori represents the former president of Outcome Health in parallel SEC and federal criminal proceedings pending in Chicago which allege a $1 billion fraud scheme targeting the prominent startup’s pharmaceutical clients and investors. In an early victory, Kori and the defense team defeated the government’s motion to stay the SEC proceedings.
Kori’s other recent results involve three of the most significant public corruption cases in California history.
In 2020, Kori and co-counsel secured a $65 million settlement from the County of San Bernardino in a pair of novel civil rights lawsuits brought on behalf of developer Colonies Partners, L.P., and its co-managing partner, following our client’s full acquittal at trial on public corruption charges.
In the long-pending, high-profile public corruption case involving the former Los Angeles County Assessor, Kori and co-counsel obtained the dismissal before the California Court of Appeal of two cases charging our client with dozens of counts, and a final dismissal of the tax case when it was recharged on remand. The case, which dates back to 2012, garnered national attention after then-Los Angeles County District Attorney Cooley called it one of the most important in decades.
And in another highly publicized public corruption case involving the former mayor of Palmdale, Kori and co-counsel obtained a no-custody, no-restitution tax-count disposition and the dismissal of all other charges alleging that our client, an aerospace expert, embezzled millions in NASA funds. Following a multiweek preliminary hearing—which the Court deemed “among the most complicated, if not the most complicated case I’ve ever heard in 37 years”—the Court praised the “topnotch” and “superb lawyering by Ms. Bell and Mr. Larson,” calling the result “a testament to their abilities.”
Prior to joining Larson, Kori was a member of the trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict in McNair v. NCAA, a defamation case arising from the Reggie Bush scandal, following a month-long trial that was covered extensively in the media. After the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claims, the Court called the advocacy in the case—which included Kori’s spearheading of legal strategy and examination of key trial witnesses—“the best I’ve seen since I’ve been a judge.”
Before entering private practice, Kori spent nearly a decade at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles. As a supervising trial deputy in the largest office in the federal defender system, she helped oversee trial litigation, devise management improvements, and develop district-wide challenges to prosecutions.
During her tenure, Kori defended clients in some of the Office’s most difficult federal criminal trial matters and appeals—including cases involving alleged cross-border criminal activity, each of the federal fraud statutes, public corruption, and capital murder.
Among these matters was Shaw v. U.S., a case involving the construction of the federal fraud statutes, which Kori tried, appealed, and ultimately argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a victory for Kori’s client, Shaw invalidated the Ninth Circuit’s model fraud jury instruction and that of a number of other circuits.
Following Shaw, Kori spearheaded strategy in U.S. v. Miller, in which the Ninth Circuit confirmed that its precedent and that of five other circuits upholding the model fraud charge “are no longer tenable in light of the Supreme Court’s intervening ruling in Shaw v. U.S.” “In light of Shaw,” the Court held, “we therefore overrule our prior cases on this question[.]”
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