Major Langer, a well-known senior managing partner of a Long Beach, California law firm was the victim who was gunned down by an angry attorney he was trying to fire, according to The Orange County Register.
Langer, 75, was a prominent attorney with PLBSMH law firm. Langer was the law firm’s senior managing partner. The suspect, John Mendoza, then shot another partner, Ron Beck, who is still alive, before shooting himself. The shootings led to frightening reports of an active shooter at the Long Beach law firm. According to Rick Montanez of NBC LA, the coroner has now ID’d Langer as the victim, and fellow partner Mendoza as the shooter.
The Grunion, a Long Beach publication, reported, through a source, that the shooter was a male attorney at the firm.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Langer, Mendoza & the Second Victim Are All Listed on the Firm’s Masthead
The law firm’s website says that “The attorneys of Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin, Mendoza and Harrison have dedicated their careers to helping all people have the same access to our justice system. Our attorneys have been successful in hundreds of jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings. We serve our clients and their families in serious injury claims, wrongful death cases, employment disputes, workplace injuries, business litigation, construction defect claims landlord tenant issues, immigration and appellate work.”
Langer and Beck, along with the shooter, Mendoza, are listed among the partners on the website. The firm also has multiple associate attorneys. According to the Santa Monica Observer, the firm is tied to a famous legal commercial pitchman. “In the 1990’s, Los Angeles personal injury attorney Larry H Parker became locally famous for his pervasive TV ads with the tag line “I’m Larry H Parker, and I will fight for you!” If he could not settle cases prior to filing suit, he would refer the case to the Perona, Langer firm. Eventually the two firms moved in together,” the newspaper reports.
Langer shares his Facebook page with his wife.
The firm’s Facebook page most recently posted about workplace bias, writing, “How Workplace Bias Undermines Productivity and Harms Workers-A recent study has found that experiencing bias or discrimination at work can be incredibly detrimental to employees’ well-being.” Mendoza was an attorney who specialized in workplace compensation issues. You can learn more about him here:
2. Langer Was Trying to Fire the Suspect When the Shooting Occurred
The shooting, which is being called an act of workplace violence, occurred when Langer, 75, tried to fire the suspect, according to the Orange County Register. Beck, who was also shot, was driven to the hospital by his son and is expected to survive, the newspaper reported.
“The shooting apparently occurred as workers were enjoying an annual holiday party that involved spinning a wheel and winning prizes,” the newspaper reported, adding that police, scouring the building to make sure there was not an active shooter roaming through it, discovered terrified employees still hiding throughout the building.
Police confirmed in a news conference that all three of those shot were male employees of the law firm. The mayor, Robert Garcia, wrote on Twitter, “Have been briefed on shooting in law offices in North Long Beach. Appears to be a workplace homicide. Both the shooter and a victim are dead. One other person was shot but is in hospital in stable condition. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
Long Beach Police Department wrote: “Not an active shooter. This was a workplace violence incident, resulting in a homicide investigation, which remains ongoing.” The police also confirmed, “Earlier active shooting incident in LB is now a murder investigation. Suspect is also believed to be deceased at the scene.”
3. Langer Once Represented the Actress Pamela Anderson
According to the Orange County Register, “Langer was well-known in legal circles, having practiced law for 51 years and tried 75 civil and criminal cases to verdict, the firm’s website said. He handled Weber vs. the city of Rolling Hills, a 14-month trial that is believed to be the longest trial in the history of California, represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and won numerous six- to seven-figure verdicts.”
The Perona website says that “Langer is the senior managing partner of Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin, Mendoza and Harrison. He has tried over 75 civil and criminal cases to verdict. Mr. Langer handled the case of Weber v. The City of Rolling Hills as a result of the Rolling Hills Landslide. This case was believed to be the longest trial in the history of California, lasting 14 months before a successful jury verdict. He has also successfully represented actress Pamela Anderson in a breach of contract lawsuit and has won numerous 6-7 figure verdicts.”
Major Langer “is a member of ABOTA, which is a prestigious National Trial Lawyers organization. He has also received Lawyer of the year ADL Award in 2011,” reported the website.
“Mr. Langer was admitted to the New York bar in 1966 and California bar in 1967. Mr. Langer is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. Mr. Langer is a member of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the American Association for Justice,” it read.
The website says that Langer practiced in the areas of Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Construction Litigation, and Insurance. He attended St. John’s University Law School of New York – L.L.B., the University of North Carolina, and State University of New York at Buffalo – B.A.
4. Langer Was Praised for ‘Touching Countless Lives’ as a Lawyer & Having a ‘Soft Heart’
“I am heartbroken!” wrote Kim Scheffler Smith on Facebook. “Major Langer was not only my boss for 23 years but a faithful friend, a man of integrity with a big bark but a very soft heart. Please pray for his family, and for Ron Beck who was wounded, and everyone who works there. What an awful ordeal to go through. He touched countless lives as an attorney. I just can’t believe it. What is wrong with this world?”
Cherie Haskal wrote, “My heart is Broken and can never be mended. My dearest friend, Major Langer was murdered today.”
“This guy was the most caring, sincere man I probably ever met,” said longtime friend Jim Hall to the Daily Breeze. “He just had a heart of gold and really cared for everybody who works at the firm and considers them members of his family. He certainly didn’t deserve this.”
“OMG, just found out that the shooter in the Long Beach Law Office shooting is my Lawyer,” wrote one man on Facebook. Another woman wrote on Facebook, “…I have cases with this firm! Damn it, when will the violence end!!”
Another man wrote, “This is a shocking story, lot of people doesn’t know who they are but in the community of Workers’ Comp and Personal Injuries are well known, this is people that we see almost in a daily basis walking on the hallways of courts. My condolences and support to their families and employees of this law firm.”
5. The Other Victim, Beck, Is Also a Partner at the Law Firm
The surviving victim, Beck, “has practiced his entire legal career with Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin, Mendoza and Harrison. He was named partner in 1983,” the law firm website says. “Mr. Beck specializes in personal injury, real estate, and business litigation cases, trying numerous successful cases including jury cases, court cases, and binding arbitrations. Mr. Beck is also a managing partner of the firm and manages the day to day activates such as oversee cases, employees, and financial matters.”
Beck “received the American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure in 1976, and was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta fraternity. He was a member of the Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of California. In 2014 and 2015 Ron Beck was named Super Lawyer, a distinction only 5% of Southern California Attorneys are awarded,” says the website, adding that Beck “is admitted to practice law before the California Supreme Court, United States District Court, and United States Court of Appeals.” He graduated from the University of San Diego and Claremont Men’s College.