company:skadden arps


    Dear Counsel:

    I hope you are well and are enjoying the summer.

    This will serve to discuss various matters dealing with the two above referenced actions. At times, each counsel is addressed individually and at times issues are addressed to all (or the majority of) counsel collectively, as follows:

    1. YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES DAVID ROSENBERG AND DAVID REED — First, as to the part of this communication addressed to Messrs. Michael Fox, Keith Fink and Olaf Muller, please be informed that an upcoming federal action of Levi v. Girardi & Keese will include one cause of action seeking only equitable relief against “Yolo County Superior Court.” Since your clients (Judges David Rosenberg and David Reed) are part of the “Yolo County Superior Court”, I wanted to give you a heads-up of the upcoming action, as well as to inform you that it is unrelated to the topics which were previously the subjects of various agreements.

    Simply put, and as discussed in more detail below as events relate to other parties, there have been serious new developments dealing with: a) Yolo DA / AARP b) Michael Cabral / Yolo and Riverside DA’s offices/ SNR Dentons - Rod Pacheco - James Hsu / Yolo County’s Cache Creek Casino - Chief Marshall Mckay/ Mark Friedman / DLA Piper / Kapor Enterprises.

    As far as (a) — developments involving Yolo DA and AARP, etc, note that last week I learned that AARP — where George Davis (formerly a California Bar BOG member who voted to press false criminal charges against me with Yolo DA, president of AARP-California, and with strong financial ties to CCPF) and Barbara O’Connor (AARP and AARP Foundation Director, Link America Foundation Director - whom I caught in major alleged fraud re Washington DC party to celebrate the “linking” of the two Americas — which in actuality was a Barack Obama inauguration party - and employee of Sacramento-based Donna Lucas’s Public Affairs) — has bestowed an unusual grant of $40,000 on the Yolo County District Attorney (see attached press-release and HERE ) headed by Jeff Reisig and Jonathan Raven.

    As far as (b) — developments involving Yolo / Riverside Assistant District Attorney Michael Cabral — note that during the pendency of the criminal action against me, a very unusual theory was explored by which Cabral had been transferred from Riverside County DA to Yolo County DA for the sole reason of falsely and maliciously criminally prosecuting me in order to intimidate me into silence and otherwise confiscate incriminating evidence through the execution of an invalid search warrant.
    At that time, I looked into those facts and rejected the theory dealing with Cabral (See story HERE). About one month ago, I learned that Cabral is no longer with the Yolo DA, and has returned back home to the Riverside County District Attorney.

    As you may recall and as I stated previously, I agreed to a plea of no contest to a charge of misdemeanor attempted extortion as a stopgap measure since I was under duress on various fronts. As part of the plea bargain I agreed to, among other things, not contact the State Bar of California Board of Governors/Trustees directly, and other overreaching conditions.

    Both as a journalist and as a victim of the above alleged malfeasance, I am obviously interested in informing the State Bar of California Board of Governors/Trustees and the public vis-a-vis press releases, published articles, and by contacting other journalists of those events. However, per conditions imposed on me while under duress as part of the plea bargain in the criminal matter by Judge Reed, I am prohibited from directly contacting BOG members. As such, in addition to suing some of the above named and others in federal court, I plan to ask the same federal court for relief to allow me to freely exercise free speech.

    As such, if the attorneys for Judges Rosenberg and Reed believe that advancing an action against Yolo County Superior Court for equitable relief is not consistent with the spirit or language of our prior agreements, please let me know.

    Note that from my perspective past events are all forgotten history and there is absolutely no desire to rehash old claims against Rosenberg and Reed. In fact, as I mentioned to Rosenberg’s attorney (Mr. Fink) over the phone, I am a huge fan of Rosenberg and was recently disappointed that he was not appointed as a justice to the California Supreme Court given his outstanding judicial qualities, experience, and political background (i.e. former chief of staff to Governor Jerry Brown; Judicial Council member; mayor of Davis, etc).

    2. SERVICE OF BRIEF AND APPENDIX — California Rules of Court Rule 8.124 (e)(1)states that “a party preparing an appendix must: (A) Serve the appendix on each party, unless otherwise agreed by the parties....”

    As far as the service of the appendix, I am hoping that each party will agree to waive formal service and instead agree that the service of a searchable PDF Appendix via electronic mail is sufficient. Note that I will be advising the court of my request and the responses received from counsel, if any.

    Similarly, I am hoping that you will also agree to waive formal service of a hard copy of the appellant’s brief and to instead agree that the service of searchable PDF and/or Microsoft Word version of the brief via electronic mail is sufficient. I will also be letting the court know that I made this request of counsel and the responses received, if any.

    I would like to urge everyone to agree to the above in order to save a tree, costs, and the unnecessary labor of printing, copying, and binding thousands of pages.

    3. SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS — As applied to the two above referenced actions, I would like to remind everyone that the window to engage in settlement discussions has been closed, as was stated previously. As such, due to multitudes of reasons, in connection with the above two referenced actions, please refrain from extending any settlement offers, attempting to engage in settlement negotiations, or offering anything of value. The only exception will be if the undersigned originates a proposal.

    4. DOCKET — As far as the matter pending before the California Third District Court of Appeal, note that the docket maintained by the court contains many inaccuracies and is otherwise lacking. For example, a search for the last name of defendant/respondent “James Brosnahan” yields no result. Ditto defendants Freada Kapor Klein, Michael Cabral, Mark Friedman (only the name of the late distinguished Morton Friedman OBM appears), Fulcrum Property (only “Fulcrum Davis” appears, which I assume is associated with the Friedmans), Mary Cary Zellerbach, Martin Investment Management, Ronald Olson, Jeff Bleich, Chris Young, Kamala Harris, Douglas Winthrop, Holly Fujie, Ophelia Basgal, and others.

    As such, I ask that each of you contact the court of appeal on behalf of your respective clients — similar to the 4th entry of the docket by which the attorney for Darrel Steinberg independently wrote the court to advise that Steinberg is a respondent, see HERE — to inform the court of the problem and ask for it to be rectified.

    Moreover, please ensure that the name of your clients are spelled correctly i.e. “Munger,Tollis” or “Freada, Kapor, Klein” are not the correct spelling, at least based on my understanding.

    The attorney representing Ms. Kamala Harris is requested to inform the court to remove a comment by which the docket states that Ms. Harris was sued in her capacity as the attorney general or forward proof where I allege she was sued in such capacity.

    The attorney from Locke Lord representing defendants Cary Zellerbach and Martin Investment is asked to inform the court to correct the docket which does not mention either yourself, your firm, or your clients. Also with respect to your client that has thus far managed to avoid service, please be advised that the California statute of limitations is tolled and I intend to pursue claims against her either in state or federal court. REDACTED

    5. SKADDEN ARPS — ISSUES RE RAUOL KENNEDY REPRESENTATION OF CALIFORNIA JUDICIARY — Mr. Russell, as you may recall, in reply to my inquiry you wrote: "My colleague Raoul Kennedy does indeed represent Justice Robert Mallano in Mallano v. Chiang et al., LASC Case No. BC533770. As you may know, Judge Elihu Berle granted class certification in Mallano on January 15, 2015. The class members have not yet been identified because notice has not been circulated, nor has the period for opt outs occurred. Nevertheless, regardless of which judges or justices eventually become members of the class, pursuant to section 811.9 of the California Government Code, the “fact that a justice, judge, subordinate judicial officer, court executive officer, court employee, the court, the Judicial Council, or the Administrative Office of the Courts is or was represented or defended by the county counsel, the Attorney General, or other counsel shall not be the sole basis for a judicial determination of disqualification of a justice, judge, subordinate judicial officer, the county counsel, the Attorney General, or other counsel in unrelated actions.” Cal. Gov’t Code § 811.9. As a matter of law, there is no conflict. The statute is attached for your reference."

    As a reply, I wrote in part that the statute applies only to one justice, and in the case at hand Mr. Kennedy represents (as of now and assuming none chose to opt out) the entire qualified panel of justices of the Third District and that, most importantly, per the statute, the representation must be the “sole” basis. Here, the representation of Skadden/ Kennedy is NOT the sole basis. Rather, there is an additional basis for the disqualification — which is the fact that Skadden itself is also a DEFENDANT in the “unrelated action.”

    In any event, this will serve to inform you that I intend to seek to disqualify any and all judicial officers who are clients of your firm. As such, I ask for you to please forward a list identifying the class members and all those who chose to opt-out of the litigation.

    6. MORRISON & FOERSTER: Mr. Besirof, associate Davis indicated that you replaced Mr. Dresser as the attorney in this matter. Please let me know if you have any questions or require certain clarification. Since you are new to the case and since it is summer, if you need extra time to catch up on materials as far as the filing of an appellate respondent brief, I am extending to you (and by extension everyone else) an additional 60 days in which to file your brief.

    7. DEFENDANT MARK FRIEDMAN / COUNSEL - BROTHER PHILIP FRIEDMAN — Mr. Friedman, in connection with events dealing with Michael Cabral / Yolo DA / Chache Creek Casino and SNR Dentons, can you please provide a list of all the partnerships between defendant Mark Friedman and the Rumsey / Yocha Dehe tribe which operates Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County?

    A lawsuit (attached) the tribe/casino filed against your brother and REDACTED lists the following: Government Property Fund,LLC; Government Property Fund II, LLC ; Government Property Fund III, LLC ; Government Property Fund IV, LLC ; 4330 Watt,LLC; Fulcrum Management Group LLC ; Fulcrum Friedman Management Group, LLC ; Illiniois Property Fund, GPF ; and Illinois LLC. Are these partnership still in effect ?

    Also, for purposes of determine potential conflicts of interest in the current pending matter as far as your ability to serve as legal counsel given your role as a potential witness, please inform me whether Paragraph 108 of the lawsuit which states: “The other Vectors partners included REDACTED and Opper, as well as Friedman, Friedman’s father and brother, and John Krasznekewicz (a Friedman friend)” refers to you, Philip Friedman. In essence, what I am asking is are you the Vector partner or is the brother alluded to someone else ? Also, starting in 2006 to the present, were you involved in any other partnership with the tribe and the casino ?

    8. MUNGER TOLLES & OLSON: Mr. Senator, if not a bother, I will appreciate if your firm would forward me the following:

    a - copy of the report prepared by your colleague Bart Williams dealing with alleged misconduct by Joe Dunn, especially in connection to a trip overseas by which Dunn was accompanied by Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese and Tom Layton. As you may be aware, accompanying the Yolo County District Attorney officers during the execution of the search warrant at my home was also Tom Layton — who served as liaison. As such, if said report is in the public domain, I will appreciate if you forward a copy.

    b - your colleague Jeffrey Bleich recently solicited as clients a group of UC Davis APA law students in connection with their bid to admit post-mortum an APA applicant to the State Bar of California. If not a bother, will it be possible for you to please forward to me a copy of the motion and all other pleading submitted to the California Supreme Court.

    9. FREADA AND MITCHELL KAPOR / LEVEL PLAYING FIELD INSTITUTE : Mr. Medina, at your earliest, I will appreciate if you please address the following:

    a. In order to determine your status as potential witness, can you please forward your employment history to date beginning from around 2006 ? Were you ever employed at the DLA Piper office in Sacramento ? If yes, can you please state the dates of your employment.

    b. Are you and your clients in a position to disclose who is paying Kapor and LPFI’s attorney’s fees? If it is DLA Piper who set you up to defend the two or otherwise is paying your attorney’s fees, please let me know. As you may know, DLA Piper managing partner Gilles Attia, daughter Sarah Attia, and partner Steve Churchwell played a huge role in CaliforniaALL / Obama for America. Also, separately and around the same time, there is an allegation that DLA Piper laundered $50,000 to “Obama Victory Fund” through defendant Level Playing Field Institute / Kapor Enterprises vis-a-vis the so called “Kapor Maneuver.”

    c. Recently, I have learned from a YOU-TUBE video featuring Mr. Kapor that he is heavily invested in what he refers to as “Ed-Tech” companies.

    It will be appreciated if you let me know if Mr. Kapor, his wife, or their entities have any business relationships with Steve Poizner or former California Bar Foundation treasurer Lindsay Lee — both of whom are also involved with Ed-Tech.

    d. Yesterday, just as I was about to send you settlement business proposals, much to my chagrin and indignation, I encountered the following article in USA Today. Under the heading of “Kapors pledge $40 million investment in tech diversity” it stated, among other things: “Mitch Kapor and wife Freada Kapor Klein will invest $40 million over three years in a set of initiatives designed to give women and underrepresented minorities a better shot at becoming technology entrepreneurs.” The article further stated that “Kapor Capital will make more than $25 million in investments in technology start-ups working to narrow the achievement gaps. At least half of the companies will have founders from underrepresented groups.” (See story )

    My understanding is that any and all non-profit and for-profits companies operated in the State of California are deemed to be “business establishments” that come within the purview of Civil Code Section 51 known as The Unruh Civil Rights Act.

    Be advised that the plan by the Kapors and Kapor Capital to “make more than $25 million in investments in technology start-ups working to narrow the achievement gaps. At least half of the companies will have founders from underrepresented groups” runs afoul of The Unruh Civil Rights Act which reads: “All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

    In other words, Kapor Capital’s plan to pick and choose “founders from underrepresented groups” (based on the article, women and “underrepresented minorities”) is unlawful. If you or your clients disagree, please forward an explanation. Otherwise, I shall await word from you that there has been a change of plans.

    e. As you may be aware, starting around 2000, the former executive-director of the State Bar of California (Ms. Judy Johnson) secretly served as the president of the “California Consumer Protection Foundation” ("CCPF") an entity which obtained millions of dollars from class-action “cy pres” awards and from fines, settlements and payments the CPUC — during the time Michael Peevey and Geoff Brown served as commissioners — imposed on various utility companies. For example, anytime a merger took place i.e. between various cell-phone companies such as Verizon, millions were paid to CCPF.

    CCPF, in turn, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to entities in South-Central Los Angeles [with very close connection to State Bar of California BOG members Shrimpscam’s Gwen Moore and George Davis], a dubious entity in Venice for “Youth Radio”, an entity headed by Michael Shames, various Asian-American entities with close connections to State Bar officials (Holly Fujie and Madge Watai — Little Tokyo Service Center, etc.) and money to entities headed by associates of Justice Ming Chin.

    Based my estimation, around $3 million cannot be accounted for, and separately I alleged that CCPF submitted false reports to the IRS. Months before the execution of the search warrant, I complained to the IRS against CCPF as well as filed an ethics complaint against Judy Johnson and others with the State Bar of California. Later, as you may recall, the State Bar of California BOG voted to file criminal charges against me, alleging among other things, that the CCPF ethics complaint constituted criminal conduct which served as one basis for the search warrant.

    Based on my recollection, it also appeared that CCPF may have funneled money to entities established by the Kapors. Since all the materials have been confiscated by the Yolo DA and are otherwise inaccessible, at your earliest, I will appreciate the names of those entities and the dates / amounts each of these contribution.

    f. Please consider this a formal request for “Kapor Center for Social Impact” to produce its 3 last 990 forms submitted to the IRS. If you need me to request this information from the entity directly, please let me know.

    Thank you for your attention to these matters. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  • Jason:

    Thank you for the prompt reply.

    1. As far as Mr. Raoul Kennedy’s relationship with Skadden Arps,
    thank you for the information and obviously I stand corrected. My
    recollection was that up until the end of 2014 Mr. Kennedy was a
    “partner” (and not “of counsel”) at Skadden and that is where I was
    looking for his name — under the heading of partners. Incidentally,
    I have also noticed a similar sudden change in the status of Mr. Alec
    Chang from “partner” to that of “of counsel”, which I am sure is also
    the result of Skadden’s good faith business needs.

    2. In order to better analyze the potential conflict — and while
    keeping in mind that it is perfectly OK for judges to assume the role
    of plaintiff and for there to be minimal resulting interruptions to
    the firm which chose to assume the representation as far as conflicts
    of interest and disqualifications — I ask that you send me a copy of
    the complaint and all other pleadings, as well as a list of the
    members of the class and those who chose to opt-out.

    As far as the statute you mentioned, as applied to the facts at hand
    it is not on point. The crux of the statute is that the fact that a
    justice is represented by counsel shall not be the sole basis for a
    judicial determination of disqualification of a justice in unrelated
    actions. In essence, the fact that Justice Vance Raye, for example,
    is represented by Skadden/Kennedy shall not be the SOLE basis for
    request for judicial disqualification in unrelated actions. First,
    this statute does not pass the common sense test because what you are
    advocating is that if Skadden/Kennedy is representing Justice Vance
    Raye in a personal injury matter against a restaurant, for example, I
    will be prohibited from seeking to disqualify Raye in this case —
    that does not make sense. Second, this statute applies only to ONE
    justice, and in the case at hand Mr. Kennedy represents (as of now and
    assuming none chose to opt out) the entire qualified panel of justices
    of the Third District. Third, and most importantly, per the statute,
    the representation must be the “sole” basis. Here, the
    representations of Skadden/ Kennedy is NOT the sole basis. Rather,
    there is an additional basis for the disqualification — which is the
    fact that Skadden itself is also a DEFENDANT in the “unrelated
    action,” and as was previously mentioned, as of February 15, Raoul
    Kennedy himself (as well as Chang, Nolan, and various Skadden clients whom Skadden colluded with Girardi & Keese and who benefited from unlawfully retaliating against me) will be named in the upcoming federal action. For purposes of full disclosure, please note that I did not conduct any further legal research in analyzing the statute and my position is based only on what you forwarded to me as anattachment.

    As such, if there is a case that you want me to read to
    in support of Skadden’s contention, please forward it to me.
    Otherwise, I will seek to disqualify any and all judicial officers who
    are clients of your firm.

    In fact, my position is that under the circumstances your firm and its
    clients — each on its own accord — had a duty to make a disclosure
    of such relationship. I am enclosing for your convenience a “comment” written for the “California Judges Association” which clearly states that there are other consideration other than 811.9 that must be taken into consideration.

    Note also that also as a taxpayer and resident of California I already
    have concerns over this litigation relating mainly to the fact that
    the venue chosen to represent a Second District Court of Appeal
    Justice was his own, and the fact that a determination was made that
    the rule of necessity applies to Judge Elihu Berle whereas the
    Judicial Council could have chosen a judge which was not part of the
    class i.e. a recently appointed judge or a retired judge, such as
    Leslie Nichols who retired prior to 2008.

    3. In connection with Mr. Chang, I have also noticed that he no longer practices out of any of Skadden’s offices in California and is
    otherwise listed as practicing out of New York. At your earliest, I
    will appreciate if you provide me with the date — for purposes of
    SOL/tolling of SOL — that Mr. Chang allegedly left California for New

    4. Please note that hence forth, with the exception of pro-per
    parties (i.e. MoFo, Girardi & Keese, KVN, MTO, Arnold & Porter) any
    and all other attorneys with paying clients (i.e. Zellerbach, Kapor,
    UC, Yolo DA, Friedman), will no longer be ccd on this topic in order
    to prevent the spending of unnecessary legal fees by their clients.

    Thank you,


    RE; THIRD DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL NO. C077192 / Potential Conflict of Interest Re Skadden Arps and Justices of Third District Court of Appeal

    At your earliest, I would appreciate if you forward to me your and
    Skadden Arps’s positions as to potential conflicts dealing with the
    fact that Skadden Arps and partner Raoul Kennedy represent a class of
    more than 3,000 active and retired California state judges/justices
    who were illegally deprived of salary increases in a class-action
    defended by California Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Rich.

    Can you kindly advise if any of the justices (such as, for example,
    Justice Vance Raye) of California’s Third District Court of Appeal are
    members of the class and otherwise are clients of Skadden Arps ? If
    yes, I will appreciate if you let me know as soon as possible.

    Notwithstanding the above, I also noted that Mr. Kennedy’s profile is
    nowhere to be found on Skadden’s web site (See ) whereas the StateBar of California lists him as associated with Skadden. See Is Mr. Kennedystill part of Skadden, and if yes, what is his position?

    Thank you.


    Notice was provided to parties and counsel that Plaintiff is aware of who were served to date by email.

    The only party who has stated it will oppose the application is Morrison & Foerster, whose counsel asked
    Plaintiff to advise the Court that the firm will oppose the ex parte application, however counsel has not to
    date responded to a request that he provide the basis for the objection.

    All the below named defendants have not yet been served primarily because a process-server was unable to
    locate a proper address for which to serve and/or because a process-server is in the process of serving saiddefendants and/or because Plaintiff was unable to locate the address of defendants and/or Plaintiff encounteredmyriad difficulties and obstacles in serving said defendants such as Larissa Parecki, Voice of OC, Erwin Chemerinsky, Skadden Arps, Mary Ann Todd, Munger Tolles, Bradley Phillips, Ron Olson, Edison
    International, Douglas Winthrop, Howard Rice, Holly Fujie, Buchalter Nemer, Raj Chatterjee,Thomas Girardi,
    Richard Tom, Southern California Edison, Wilson Sonsini, Cary Martin Zellerbach AKA Mary Ellen Martin
    Zellerbach, Mark Robinson, Arnold Porter, Mark Friedman - Fulcrum Properties, Mark Parnes, CalifomiaALL,Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Sarah Redfield, Morrison England, Torie Flournoy-England, James Brosnahan,Geoffrey Brown, Ophelia Basgal, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Verizon Communications, Darrell
    Steinberg, Kamala Harris, Michael Peevey, Steve Poizner, Freada Kapor Klein, James Hsu, Jeff Bleich,
    Sonnenschein Nath & RosenthaL.

    Specifically, for example:

    Jeff Bleich — process server who went to his office in San Francisco was informed Mr. Bleich is out of the
    country. Process server recommended to Plaintiff substituted service, and it will be attempted on Becky Bleich
    (his wife) at the home address in order to perfect service.

    Raj Chatterjee — service has been attempted multiple times, both at his office and place of residence. Plaintiff
    anticipates Mr. Chatterjee will soon be served via substitute service.

    James Brosnahan — service has been attempted multiple times, both at his office and place of residence.
    Plaintiff anticipates Mr. Brosnahan will soon be served via substitute service.

    Geoffrey Brown — process server visited the home of Mr. Brown at least twice. Mr. Brown is either not home
    or not responding to the process server’s contact efforts. An envelope containing the Summons, FAC, ADR,
    CMC package was left on the stairs of his residence. The process server has advised that a “stake-out” may be
    necessary to serve Mr. Brown.

    Freada Kapor Klein — process-server visited Freada Kapor’s office in Oakland and was told to leave papers
    with her assistant. As such, at this point Plaintiff is unsure if service has been perfected on Freada Kapor.

    Sarah Redfield — out of state defendant (a resident of Maine). An attempt to serve Redfield pursuant to CCP
    by first-class-mail registered, return receipt has to date been unsuccessful.

    Cary Martin Zellerbach AKA Mary Ellen Martin Zellerbach — Plaintiff served her company, “Martin
    Investment Mangement,” located in Illinois, but to date could not locate Cary Martin Zellerbach’s residence in
    San Francisco to complete service.

    Mark Friedman, Fulcrum Properties — Plaintiff is unsure if service was perfected as of yet.

  • List of Defendants Named in First Amended Complaint Filed on February 24, 2014 in Yolo County Superior Court

    Lea Rosenberg, Yolo Lodge 169 Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Davis Rebekah Lodge; Grand Lodge of California; Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Davis Odd Fellows; Soroptimist International of Davis; Soroptimist International; Soroptimist International of the Americas; David Rosenberg; David Reed; Sheryl Cambron; Barbara Geisler; Virgil Smith; Robert Bockwinkel; Michael Cabral; Peter Martin, Keker & Van Nest, John Keker, Chris Young, Voice of OC, Erwin Chemerinsky, Skadden Arps, Mary Ann Todd , Munger Tolles & Olson, Jeff Bleich, Bradley Phillips, Ron Olson, Edison International, Berkshire Hathaway, Douglas Winthrop, Howard Rice, Holly Fujie, Buchalter Nemer, Raj Chatterjee, Morrison & Foerster, James Brosnahan, Thomas Girardi, Richard Tom , Southern California Edison , Wilson Sonsini,
    Mark Friedman, Fulcrum Properties, Mark Robinson, Geoffrey Brown, Arnold Porter, Mark Parnes, CaliforniaALL, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Larissa Parecki, Morrison England, Torie Flournoy-England, Sarah Redfield, McGeorge School of Law, Cary Martin Zellerbach AKA Mary Ellen Martin Zellerbach, Martin Investment Management, Douglas Scrivner, Accenture, Freada Kapor Klein, Level Playing Field Institute, Ophelia Basgal, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, James Lewis, Verizon Communications, Darrell Steinberg, Kamala Harris, Michael Peevey, Steve Poizner, James Hsu, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Does 1-100

  • HEAR EXPLOSIVE AUDIO: Bill Lockyer, Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack Secretly Own Indian Gaming Outfits in California - Clients of Howard Dickstein


    AUDIO @:

    PART I:

    1. ETHICS COMPLAINT / IN RE GIRARDI — In 2010, the United States Federal Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit issued its final ruling in the disciplinary matter of In Re Girardi by imposing close to $500,000 in sanctions on Walter Lack of Engstrom Lispcomb & Lack and Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese stemming from an attempt to defraud the court and cause injury to Dole Food Company in the underlying litigation. You may have heard of Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi as they are the lawyers who were featured in the movie “Erin Brokovich” involving utility company PG&E.

    The court ruled that Walter Lack (who stipulated to Special Prosecutor Rory Little that his prolonged acts of misconduct were intentional) and Thomas Girardi intentionally and recklessly resorted to the use of known falsehoods for years. The Ninth Circuit ordered Girardi and Lack to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California.

    The State Bar of California disqualified itself from handling the matter since Howard Miller (of Girardi & Keese) served at that time as its president, and had also made the decision to hire then-chief prosecutor, James Towery.

    Mr. Towery, in turn, appointed Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (now Arnold & Porter) as outside “special prosecutor” to determine whether or not to bring charges against Girardi and Lack. (Mr. Falk is a colleague of Douglas Winthrop, and both represented PG&E in its massive bankruptcy proceedings.)

    Mr. Falk, in turn, exercised prosecutorial discretion and concluded that he did not believe Lack acted intentionally and that no charges will be brought against the two attorneys.

    Within days of Mr. Falk’s decision, I filed an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California against Jerome Falk, James Towery, Howard Miller, and Douglas Winthrop (managing partner of Howard Rice and then-elected president of the Foundation), alleging that it was improper for Mr. Towery to appoint Mr. Falk given the close personal relationship between Howard Miller and Douglas Winthrop. Specifically, Howard Miller — in his capacity as president of the State Bar — had appointed Douglas Winthrop as president of the California Bar Foundation, a foundation maintained and controlled by the State Bar. (Much later I also discovered that Jerome Falk is actually the personal attorney of Thomas Girardi, and that Howard Rice and Jerome Falk represented Walter Lack, Thomas Girardi, Engstrom Lispcomb & Lack, and Girardi & Keese in approximately 2007, and for a period of 2 years, in a malpractice action.)

    2. FOGEL V. FARMERS — In the matter of In Re Girardi, Mr. Girardi and his law firm were represented by the firm of Skadden Arps. In reviewing the file of In Re Girardi, I discovered that, beginning in 2003, Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lispcomb & Lack were prosecuting a class action case against Farmers Insurance Company, which was represented by Skadden Arps. This was a nationwide class action with estimated damages of close to $15 billion that had originally been filed by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    I thereafter informed the Los Angeles County Superior Court (Judge William Highberger) of this information, and filed a State Bar ethics complaint against attorneys Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and Thomas Nolan and Raoul Kennedy of Skadden Arps because neither the class of plaintiffs (consisting of 14 million Americans), nor the courts (the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In Re Girardi and the Los Angeles County Superior Court in the matter of Fogel vs. Farmers) had been informed of the concurrent representation by which Skadden Arps represented Girardi & Keese (in the Ninth Circuit matter), while at the same time defending Farmers.

    Shortly after I filed this ethics complaint, Skadden Arps and Dewey Lebeuf (representing Farmers’ parent company, Zurich Financial) moved ex parte (which was unopposed) to amend the settlement agreement in the Fogel matter and the notice to the class of 14 million Americans throughout the country to include a proviso by which members of the class would be prohibited from suing anyone due to the concurrent representation described above. Nevertheless, the State Bar of California decided not to take any action on this ethics complaint.

    3. CaliforniaALL — When researching the relationship of Girardi & Keese and Howard Rice and the appointment of Douglas Winthrop as president of the California Bar Foundation by Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese, I reviewed the California Bar Foundation’s annual reports to familiarize myself with the names of the Foundation’s board of directors. I stumbled upon the fact that the Foundation ended 2008 close to $500,000 in the negative. Specifically, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES in 2007 equaled plus +$373.842.00. However, in 2008, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES equaled minus -$537,712.

    I discovered that the money had been transferred to a newly-created Section 501(c)(3) non-profit entity (headed by Ruthe Catolico Ashley — a friend of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakayue) known as CaliforniaALL, which obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from utility companies PG&E, SCE, AT&T, and Verizon. In turn, CaliforniaALL funneled a large portion of the money to the UCI Foundation, where a friend and former partner of Mark Robinson (of the Judicial Council), State Bar of California Executive Director Joe Dunn, served as trustee in 2008-9 to launch a new entity known as Saturday Law Academy.

    Various factors and evidence caused me to suspect that a significant portion of the funds transferred from the California Bar Foundation ended up financing a newly-created online publication which Joe Dunn had launched with the help of Thomas Girardi and James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster; this online publication is known as “Voice of OC.”

    Those factors include, but are not limited to, the fact that some individuals and entities involved in the creation of CaliforniaALL and the subsequent transfer of $780,000 from the Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL were also involved in assisting Joe Dunn with the creation of “Voice of OC” to wit – Morrison & Foerster’s Susan Mac Cormac as legal counsel for CaliforniaALL; Girardi & Keese’s Howard Miller in his capacity as BOD member of Cal Bar Foundation; and BOG members who voted to endorse CaliforniaALL and consider it to have been a partner of the State Bar of California. Also relevant was that Morrison & Foerster’s James Brosnahan and Girardi & Keese’s Thomas Girardi also assisted Joe Dunn in establishing Voice of OC, the fact that Saturday Law Academy was established many years earlier, and the fact that Ruthe Ashley exited CaliforniaALL in the same month and year Joe Dunn established Voice of OC (September 2009).

    Based on my concerns, I requested that Voice of OC provide me with copies of its IRS 990 forms. Voice of OC did not comply with applicable IRS regulations in that it failed to reply to my request for copies of its 990 forms submitted to the IRS, whereupon I filed a complaint against Voice of OC and Joe Dunn with the IRS.

    Later, after thorough research, I discovered that events surrounding CaliforniaALL, OBAMA FOR AMERICA, and those responsible for the financing of OBAMA FOR AMERICA are highly related, to wit, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, Ron Olson, Brad Phillips (of Munger Tolles & Olson) Ambassador John Roos and Mark Parnes (of Wilson Sonsini) James Brosnahan, DOJ’s Tony West, Chris Young, Annette Carnegie (of Morrison & Foerster) Steven Churchwell (of DLA Piper in Sacramento — where CaliforniaALL resided free of charge) Kamala Harris, as well as Freada Kapor - a California Democratic Party operative who served as a director of CaliforniaALL, and that The Kapor Center generally used to fund-raise on behalf of the many foundations located there, were additionally used to contact potential voters and encourage them to vote for then candidate Barack Obama. Her husband, Mitchell Kapor, was part of a tech team working for the campaigns of Barack Obama and Kamala Harris of CaliforniaALL.

    I invite you to visit the below link for more details:

    4. UC DAVIS QUADRAPLEGIC LAW STUDENT SARA GRANDA / JUDGE MORRISON ENGALND /RACHEL GRUNBERG / LARRY YEE — Also in connection with CaliforniaALL, I advanced a judicial misconduct complaint against Judge Morrison England since State Bar of California Executive Director Judy Johnson, Judge England, his wife (Torie Flournoy-England), and State Bar of California employee Patricia Lee were all members of CaliforniaALL’s board of directors and/or advisory council. The basis for that complaint was these individuals’ failure to inform plaintiff Sara Granda — who had filed an action in federal court naming the State Bar of California as a sole defendant that was heard by Judge Morrison England — of these facts.

    Specifically, without informing plaintiff Granda of his relationship with Judy Johnson (the State Bar’s Executive Director) vis-a-vis CaliforniaALL and either obtaining a waiver from this plaintiff or independently recusing himself, Judge England summarily dismissed Ms. Granda’s complaint against the California State Bar. Fortunately for Ms. Granda, several days later then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger championed her cause and pressured the California Bar to accommodate her needs.

    I invite you to visit the below link to CaliforniaALL’s own publication which shows the relationship I described.

    In connection with the failure to disclose the relationship to plaintiff Sarah Granda, I also filed an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California against its own employees/attorneys which represented the State Bar in the litigation — Rachel Grunberg, Mark Torres Gil, and Larry Yee.

    5. JUSTICE MING CHIN / DEPARTURE FROM CAUSE — While researching CaliforniaALL, I stumbled upon a separate non-profit entity in Southern California which was also absorbing money from utility companies known as CAUSE.

    Since Justice Ming Chin was part of the entity’s board/council, I filed a complaint with the Office of Judicial Performance, and very shortly thereafter I was informed by CAUSE’s legal counsel that Justice Chin quit the entity.

    6. JEANNINE ENGLISH / HOWARD DICKSTEIN — Upon further familiarizing myself with the members of the State Bar Board of Governors, I also filed a complaint with the Board of Governors against Public Member Jeannine English — the wife of Howard Dickstein, an Indian gambling attorney. Weeks later, US Senator John McCain (Arizona) filed a complaint against Howard Dickstein for various acts of misconduct and asked that he be investigated.



    Dear President Hebert, Senator Dunn, Members of the Board of Governors, and to whom it may concern:

    While examining circumstances concerning the California Consumer Protection Foundation ("CCPF"), which was secretly controlled by State Bar Executive Director Emeritus Judy Johnson (and which will be the subject of an upcoming request for investigation), I fortuitously stumbled upon troubling facts and events relating to Board of Governors ("BOG") member Jeannine English.

    As such, and despite its anticipated futility, this correspondence is intended to advise the BOG of these events and officially request an investigation into irregularities, conflicts of interest, self-dealing, breach of fiduciary duties, and lack of disclosures by BOG member Jeannine English. Those irregularities relate to circumstances surrounding the following:

    1. Keker & Van Nest’s representation of Jeannine English’s spouse, Mr. Howard Dickstein, in an action for, among others, fraud, advanced by the Rumsey Tribe and related lack of disclosure on the part of Ms. English and Jon Streeter concerning the existence of a past business relationship.

    2. Misconduct by Howard Dickstein against the tribes, and related involvement by Jeannine English, who was also concurrently representing the tribe in her role as “Lobbyist.” Subsequently, when the tribe advanced a suit against Dickstein claiming he had taken advantage of them by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade, Dickstein referred to the suit as a “pack of lies,” whereupon Keker & Van Nest was summoned to defend the action.

    3. An unusually large cy pres award of $900,000 to the AARP in a class action suit in which Girardi & Keese (specifically, Thomas Girardi and Graham Lippsmith) represented the plaintiff. Jeannine English has strong ties to the AARP and, in fact serves as the president of its California branch.

    4. Lack of disclosures on the part of Girardi & Keese’s Howard Miller and Jeannine English of the existence of the transaction. Aggravating the lack of disclosures are circumstances surrounding misconduct by Girardi & Keese and Howard Miller in the Dole Litigation, the subsequent handing of the matter by the State Bar which assigned the matter to the firm of State Bar of California Foundation president Doug Winthrop, my own involvement, and the involvement Alec Chang.


    The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians ("Rumsey") consists of 40 adult members who reside in Brooks, California, which is situated in Capay Valley — 50 miles northwest of Sacramento and 90 miles northeast of the Bay Area. From a fledgling bingo business to what is now a thriving establishment known as “Cache Creek Casino,” attorney Howard Dickstein, a pioneer in tribal gambling law and the spouse of Jeannine English, helped dig the tribe out of poverty.

    In and about 2007, and in addition to the services offered by Mr. Dickstein, Ms. Jeannine English and her company — Jeannine English & Associates — were also conducting business with Rumsey, by which lobbying and consulting services were purveyed by Ms. English.

    Toward the end of 2007, Rumsey — represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy — filed a suit in Yolo County Superior Court against Howard Dickstein and Jane Zerbi of Dickstein & Zerbi and Arlen Opper, a financial consultant, accusing them of unjustly enriching themselves with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

    In statements to the media, Howard Dickstein referred to the allegations in the suit as a “pack of lies,” while disparaging his client. Dickstein also stated that he plans to fight the suit and “fight hard.” Appearing on behalf of defendant Dickstein was Elliot Peters of Keker & Van Nest.

    The undersigned submits that because of the attorney-client relationship between Rumsey and Dickstein, it was questionable for Ms. English to enter into a business relationship with Rumsey and reckless for Jon Streeter and Jeannine English to conceal the past relationship from the public. If in fact a disclosure was made by any of them in a conspicuous place available for public viewing, please forward it to the undersigned in order for this portion of the complaint to be withdrawn.

    These events lead one to wonder whether, hypothetically speaking, in the upcoming election for State Bar president Jeannine English would vote for Jon Streeter and not Michael Tenanbaum or Linda Davis as consideration for the representation Keker & Van Nest provided to her spouse. At least in part, it also explains to the undersigned the zeal and desire of Ms. English to be a member of the BOG. Clearly it was not to protect and serve the public; rather, it was to protect the interests of her husband (and, by extension, herself) who was accused of defrauding the Rumsey tribe of millions of dollars. In addition, it leads one to question whether the State Bar of California was not as vigorous as it should have been in protecting Rumsey from Dickstein.


    In addition to serving on the State Bar’s BOG, Jeannine English also serves as the President of the AARP’s California branch, and is also involved with the AARP on a national level. Assuming no shenanigans, financial improprieties, or self-dealing with the AARP (which by the way, also operates a for-profit insurance brokerage), Ms. English deserves great credit for her outstanding contribution to the community. However, due to the overall set of circumstances surrounding English as described above, and as it is obvious that she serves on the BOG to serve the interests of her husband (and, by extension, herself), the undersigned is far from impressed.

    Specifically, within the past few years, a plan has been devised by which a cy pres amount of $900,000 will be funneled to the AARP from a class action in which the law offices of Girardi & Keese serves as counsel. (Attridge v. Visa Case No. CGC-04-436920)

    While the sums will not go directly to Ms. English, they will indirectly benefit her vis-a-vis the associated prestige resulting from successful fund raising efforts. The lack of disclosure regarding the proposed cy pres is alarming, especially considering events relating to the State Bar’s handling of attorney misconduct in the Dole matter, my ethics complaint and request for an inquiry of 5 months ago as to James Towery, Jerome Falk, Douglas Winthrop, and Howard Miller as well as the overall circumstances surrounding the State Bar/BOG disinclination to deal with the matter. To date, only myself and, later, David Cameron Carr (a former State Bar prosecutor) have spoken about this grave injustice. Of those who had a moral, legal, and ethical obligation to disclose conflicts, and to otherwise speak, now you know why at least one more such person — namely, Jeannine English — has failed to do so.

    Thank you for time.


    7. On June 17, 2011, shortly after I filed the complaint against Jeannine English, a special meeting of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California took place to introduce amendments to proposed legislation. The proposed amendments , among others, called for a change to the conflict of interest policies. Specifically, public members should not be permitted to serve if they are involved in the legal profession or are the spouses of lawyers.

    8. After I asked the BOG to investigate Ms. English, a confidential source from Southern California informed me that Howard Dickstein and Thomas Girardi are business partners. Out of an abundance of caution, this information was forwarded on June 22, 2011 by me to the Deputy Executive Director of the State Bar of California, Robert Hawley, as follows:

    Mr. Hawley:

    This is to inform the State Bar about information I recently received
    concerning Jeannine English, Howard Dickstein, and Thomas Girardi.

    Based on what was communicated to me, Howard Dickstein and Thomas
    Girardi are involved in some sort of a joint venture; or otherwise are
    business partners in areas relating to Indian gambling.

    Please note that I do not personally vouch for the credibility of the
    source nor the accuracy of the information.

    However, based on the totality of the circumstances, it is a lead
    worth following.


  • Fraudster/Alleged Racketeer Arnold & Porter’s Jerome Falk (aka Jerry Falk; formerly of Howard Rice) Joins JAMS Amid Controversies Surrounding PG&E, Ophelia Basgal, CSCHS, In Re Girardi, Doug Winthrop

    Jerry Falk, a former named partner at now defunct Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, abruptly quit Arnold & Porter.

    Per the Recorder:

    “Jerome Falk Jr.’s new career move has been more than a year in the making.”

    Falk began work at JAMS, concluding four decades of appellate advocacy spent predominantly at San Francisco’s Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin.

    At 72, an age when some lawyers might be looking to retire, Falk said he’s ready for his “second act” at JAMS, where he will work full time as an arbitrator and mediator for a range of commercial, intellectual property, employment, insurance and other disputes.

    Falk, who has experience as an arbitrator, was prepared to make the move a year ago, around the same time the 80-lawyer Howard Rice struck a merger deal with Arnold & Porter. He stuck around to see his partners through the transition.

    “At the end of one year, I was ready to return to Plan A,” Falk said in an interview Wednesday.

    Douglas Winthrop, then managing partner of Howard Rice, said Falk’s support helped smooth the merger with Arnold & Porter, which took effect in January 2012."

    For the complete Recorder’s story, please click HERE.



    At the conclusion of the appeal in a civil case prosecuted by the firms of Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack against Dole Food Company, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued an order to show cause why Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack should not be disbarred, suspended, or sanctioned for the attempt to defraud this Court for the purpose of unjustly collecting a $500 million judgment.

    Representing Thomas Girardi in those disciplinary proceedings before ther Ninth Circuit were Wayne Gretsky of Skadden Arps and ethics expert Diane Karpman.

    Oral arguments ensued, during which one of the judges on the panel stated that the “elephant” in the room is the manner in which the matter would be developed by the State Bar of California.

    Subsequently, the Court found both Girardi and Lack culpable, and imposed close to $500,000.00 in monetary sanctions, reprimanded Girardi, and suspended Lack. Some of the findings included that Lack and Girardi have resorted to employing “the persistent use of known falsehoods” and that “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation.

    The State Bar of California assigned the matter to an outside special prosecutor (Jerome Falk of Howard Rice) since Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese served as President of the State Bar, and had hired the Chief Trial counsel of the State Bar at the time, Mr. James Towery.

    After conducting an interview with Walter Lack, Jerome Falk chose to not file any charges against Lack or Girardi based on his position that any false statements submitted were not “intentional.” This determination was contrary to findings made by the Ninth Circuit.

    Within days of the issuance of Mr. Falk’s decision, YR advanced an ethics complaint against James Towery, Jerome Falk, Howard Miller, and Douglas Winthrop, contending that it had been improper for Mr. Towery to select Jerome Falk (of Howard Rice) to serve as special prosecutor because, among other reasons, Howard Miller (of Girardi & Keese) had appointed Howard Rice’s managing partner (Douglas Winthrop) as president of the California Bar Foundation, a foundation owned, controlled, and maintained by the State Bar of California, as well as because of the close business relationship between Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk and Wayne Gretsky of Skadden Arps.

    Subsequently, and fortuitously, YR also discovered that Lack and Girardi were actually clients of Jerome Falk and Howard Rice. YR had inquired with Mr. Hawley of the State Bar of California whether this fact was known to the Special Master investigating the complaint. The State Bar of California remained mum.

    Subsequently, Jerome Falk wrote to YR:

    I received your November 13 email concerning my participation in the State Bar’s investigation of Walter J. Lack, Thomas V. Girardi and other attorneys. It is filled with disparaging characterizations, all of which seem to stem from your allegations that I or my firm have represented Mr. Lack and Mr. Girardi.

    Your allegations are false.

    I have never represented either person, or their firms. Neither has Douglas Winthrop. Nor has my firm ever represented Mr. Lack or Mr. Girardi.

    From 2006-2008, my firm represented several law firms, including Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack and Girardi & Keese, in a litigation matter. The public records of that litigation show that neither Mr. Winthrop nor I had nothing to do with that representation; in fact, I was unaware of it. The public records also show that my firm represented the law firms, but did not represent Mr. Girardi or Mr. Lack. The attorney responsible for that representation had left Howard Rice and taken the files with him before I was asked to serve as Special Deputy Trial Counsel in the State Bar matter.

    You are on notice that your allegations are false. The falsity of those allegations can be determined from the public records of the litigation in question.

    Jerome B. Falk, Jr.

    Dear Mr. Falk:

    Thank you for replying to my letter of November 13th, 2011 This will serve as a reply.

    In your letter dated December 7, 2011, you attempt again to defraud and mislead in your attempt to avoid responsibility for your repugnant and deceitful actions taken in connection with your actions as a special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California against two of your and your firm’s clients — Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack (and by operation of law, Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack), as part of a scheme to exploit your authority for financial gain.

    By analogy, rather than acknowledging that you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you seek to bamboozle the unwary by stating that it wasn’t actually your hand in the cookie jar but, rather, only your fingers, and in any event it wasn’t a jar but, rather, a plastic container which you contend doesn’t qualify as a jar. Therefore, you devote an entire paragraph proclaiming, “Your allegations are false.” You conclude by placing me on “notice” that my allegations are “false.”

    The contents of your communication are unethical in the extreme, as well as entirely frivolous factually, legally, and by operation of law, to wit:

    You claim, “In fact, I wasn’t aware of it” (referring to the fact that you and your firm had represented Girardi & Keese and ELL). While you acknowledge your firm (Howard Rice) did represent Girardi & Keese and ELL from 2006 to 2008 , you assert that you were not aware of this representation. Simply put, your assertion is false; it is simply implausible that for two entire years you were unaware that your firm represented such celebrity/famous/notorious attorneys such as Thomas Girardi, Walter Lack, and Pierce O’Donnell.

    This is particularly true since you are a member of Howard Rice’s “attorney liability” group, which consists of between 7-9 attorneys (including your colleagues Sean SeLegue, Pamela Phillips, and Steve Mayer), and the subject matter of the litigation was a suit advanced against Girardi & Keese, ELL, and O’Donnell for legal malpractice in connection with alleged attorney misconduct in the litigation involving El Paso Natural Gas/Sempra Energy, a series of cases which received significant publicity.

    I am also hard-pressed to believe that you were unaware of the estimated $250,000 retainer Girardi & Keese and ELL paid to your firm (money which paid your and your colleagues’ salaries), and that no one ever discussed this matter with you for purposes of addressing legal strategy or legal issues in person or during meetings.

    Most importantly, in your letter to Robert Baker you acknowledge that you had interviewed Walter Lack. Again, you ask me to believe that Walter Lack did not mention the fact that Howard Rice represented him and his firm only one year prior to your meeting.

    The fact that Walter Lack did not speak up during the interview with you is just too convenient, and is further circumstantial evidence that you and he both knew of the prior representation, and chose to nevertheless further continue with the conspiracy to obstruct justice for financial gain, to the detriment of the public and the proper administration of justice.

    Please see complete story @:

  • Alphabetical List of Organizations / Individuals That Are of Interest to The Leslie Brodie Report — Year 2013

    For updates, please see @:


    AARP - American Association of Retired Persons;

    Peter Arth of CPUC;


    Robert Adler of Southern California Edison, formerly of Munger Tolles;

    Marty Africa of Lindsey Major & Africa;

    Allen Matkins;

    Ruthe Catolico Ashley (aka Ruthe Ashley);

    Lance Astrella of Astrella & Rice;


    Starr Babcock of State Bar of California;

    Ophelia Basgal, formerly of PG&E;

    Gibor Basri of UC Berkeley Foundation/ CaliforniaALL;

    Jeremy Ben Ami of J. Street;

    Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles;

    Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles & Olson/ Obama for America;

    Richard Blum;

    Geoff Brown of CPUC;

    Frederick Brown of Gibson Dunn;

    Boyd Gaming;

    James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster / Obama for America;

    Ron Burkle of The Yucaipa Companies;

    John Burton of California Democratic Party;



    California Forward;

    California Emerging Technology Fund;

    California Consumer Protection Foundation ("CCPF");

    California Supreme Court Historical Society;

    California Endowment;

    Annette Carnegie of Morrison & Foerster;

    CB Richard Ellis;

    Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE);

    Alec Chang of Skadden Arps;

    Raj Chatterjee of Morrison & Foerster;

    Erwin Chemerinsky of UCI School of Law;

    Ming Chin, Associate Justice of California Supreme Court;

    Steve Churchwell of DLA Piper;


    Richard Claussen of Goddard Claussen;


    Joe Cotchett of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy

    Dick Costolo of Twitter / Posterous;


    Angela Davis of US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles/ Judicial Council

    Howard Dickstein ;

    Jeannine Dickstein (aka Jeannine English);

    Jack Dorsey of Twitter/Posterous;

    DLA Piper;

    Duke Energy;

    Joe Dunn;

    Kinde Durkee;


    Edison International

    Judge Morrison England;

    Torie Flournoy-England;

    Jeannine English (aka Jeannine Dickstein);

    EPIC Church at 543 Howard;

    Martha Escutia;


    Jerome Falk of Arnold & Porter(formerly of Howard Rice);

    Judge Tim Fall of Yolo Couty Superior Court (image:courtesy photo)

    Judge Timothy Fall (aka Tim Fall) of Yolo County Superior Court;

    Nancy Fineman of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy;

    James Brosnahan, Jeff Bleich, Willie Fletcher
    From left James Brosnahan, Unknown, Jeffrey Bleich, and Judge Willie Fletcher (Image: courtesy photo)

    William Fletcher : FOB — Friend of Bill Clinton;Democratic Party Operative; Judge with Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; UC Berkeley;

    For People of Color, Inc. — entity associated with MTO;

    Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Property;

    Holly Fujie;

    Fulcrum Property;


    Ronald George;

    Eric George;

    Girardi & Keese;

    Thomas Girardi;

    Golden Pacific Bank;

    Joilene Wood Grove;

    David Grove ;

    Jasmine Guillory;


    Karina Hamilton of UC Irvine;

    Robert Hamilton of Allen Matkins;

    Leslie Hatamiya;

    Kamala Harris;

    William Hauck of Goddard Claussen;

    Robert Hawley of State Bar of California;

    Tony Haymet of Scripps Institution of Oceanography ;

    James Hsu


    Institute on Aging;


    Judy Johnson;


    Raoul Kennedy of Skadden Arps;

    Freada Klein Kapor;

    Mitchell Kapor;

    Keker & Van Nest;

    John Keker of Keker & Van Nest;

    Brenda Kempster of LINK AMERICAS Foundation

    Pat Fong-Kushida

    Stewart Kwoh


    Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack;

    David Lash;

    Tom Layton of State Bar of California / Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department;

    Patricia Lee

    Richard Lehman of Lehman Levi Pappas & Sadler;

    Larry Lessig;

    Level Playing Field Institute;

    David Lira;

    Little Tokyo Service Center;

    Donna Lucas of Lucas Public Affairs

    Greg Lucas


    Susan Mac Cormac of Morrison & Foerster;

    Nancy McFadden of PG&E / UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy / Jerry Brown’s

    Dennis Mangers;

    Manika Jewelry;

    Patrice McElroy;

    Nancy McFadden of PG&E;

    Sunne McPeak;

    Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese;

    Victor Miramontes of CityView / CaliforniaALL;

    Gwen Moore of GEM Communications / Shrimpscam/ State Bar of California;

    Munger Tolles & Olson;


    Bettina Neuefeind;

    Tom Nolan of Skadden Arps;

    Bill Novelli of AARP/Porter Novelli;


    Barbara O’Connor of AARP, Lucas Public Affairs;

    Pierce O’Donnell

    Ron Olson of Munger Tolles & Olson / Berkshire Hathaway / Southern California Edison


    Pacific Gas & Electric Company;

    Larissa Parecki;

    Mark Parnes of Wilson Sonsini;

    David Pasternak of Pasternak Pasternak & Patton ;

    Bradley Phillips of Munger Tolles & Olson;

    Michael Peevey of CPUC;

    Pegasus Capital;

    Roman Porter;

    Porter Novelli;



    Sarah E. Redfiled of UNH School of Law;

    Jeff Reisig ;

    Reliant Energy;

    JoAnn Remke;

    Mark Robinson of Robinson Calcagnie Robinson/Judicial Council;

    Richard Robinson

    John Roos, formerly CEO of Wilson Sonsini;

    Alan Rothenberg of 1st. Century Bank;

    Fred Rowley of Munger Tolles;

    Dave Rosenberg of Yolo County Superior Court / Judicial Council;

    Bonnie Rubin of 1st. Century Bank / State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund Commission


    Scripps Institution of Oceanography;

    Douglas Scrivner of Accenture

    Thomas Silk;

    Larry Sonsini

    Southern California Edison;

    State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund Commission

    Station Casinos;

    Jon Streeter of Keker & Van Nest;

    Aaron Swartz;


    Mary Ann Todd of Munger Tolles & Olson / California Bar Foundation

    Richard Tom of Southern California Edison / California Bar Foundation


    UC Irvine School of Law;

    UC Irvine Foundation;

    UC Berkeley Foundation;

    UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy

    University of Phoenix;



    Verizon Communications

    Voice of Orange County


    James Wagstaffe of Kerr & Wagstaffe;

    Monica Walsh of Manika Jewelry;

    David Washburn of Voice of OC;

    Madge Watai

    Henry Weissmann of Munger Tolles & Olson

    David Werdegar of Institute on Aging;

    Kathryn Werdegar, Associate-Justice of California Supreme Court;

    Matthew Werdegar of Keker & Van Nest;

    Tony West of United States Department of Justice;

    Steve Westly;

    Anita Westly

    Wilson Sonsini

    Douglas Winthrop of Arnold & Porter(formerly of Howard Rice), California Bar Foundation;



    Christopher Young of Keker & Van Nest
    Christopher Young of Keker & Van Nest (image: courtesy)

    Christopher Young of Keker & Van Nest


    Carry Zellerbach (aka Mary Ellen Zellerbach);

    Daniel Zingale;

    Zurich Financial Services / Zurich Insurance;


    Fogel vs. Farmers Group Settlement — In Letter to Judge William Highberger Objector Assails Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack’s Walter Lack Re Alleged Collision Between Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese; Howard Rice’s Jerry Falk

    Amid allegations of breached ethics rules and conflicts of interest, Los Angeles Superior Court Hon William Highberger was recently asked to consider additional matters relating to the approval of the settlement.

    As a service to the community, we shall publish the communication, below:

    Dear Honorable Judge Highberger:

    This will serve to further address the grave and dire circumstances surrounding the proposed settlement in Fogel v. Farmers Group, Inc. It will also serve to address matters contained in a troubling order entered by this Court on an ex parte basis on April 28, 2011, and to lodge with the Court concerns regarding the credibility of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack in hopes that this Court will reject the settlement or, in the alternative, that the Court will award no attorneys’ fees and will shift the proposed $90 million attorneys’ fee award to the pool available to the class.

    As the Court is aware, the undersigned have previously lodged an equitable objection ("objection") informing the Court of ethical violations and fraud perpetuated on this Court stemming from collusion between the law offices of Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps based on the fact that while the Fogel matter was pending before this Court, Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese entered into a wholly separate agreement by which Skadden Arps agreed to represent Girardi & Keese in the matter of In Re Girardi (9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No.08-80090).

    Neither the Ninth Circuit nor this Court (or for that matter, the class of plaintiffs which Girardi allegedly represents) were timely informed of the concurrent representation. In fact, Skadden Arps (on behalf of itself, its client Farmers, and its client Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi) actively and by omission took action to conceal the matter, by among other things, seeking an order from the Ninth Circuit seeking to remove its name from the Ninth Circuit’s published decision of In Re Girardi. The Ninth Circuit denied this request.

    A review of class counsel’s omnibus brief and accompanying documents and exhibits filed in the instant matter necessitates this communication in order to ask the Court to further address the following issues:

    As this Court is surely aware, the current matter before this court (styled as Fogel v. Farmers Group Inc.) is primarily based on the case originally advanced by the State of Texas and Governor Rick Perry, along with the Texas Department of Insurance, against Farmers Group, Inc. in approximately 2002.

    Within days after the State of Texas filed the case, settlement negotiations commenced, and very shortly thereafter a settlement was announced in the amount of approximately $100 million. Joe K. Longley, an attorney from Austin, Texas (alongside Philip K. Maxwell and Steve McCleery), representing policyholder Jan Lubin, stated that Texas is settling on the “cheap,” and immediately commenced legal proceedings to derail the settlement.

    Farmers’ policyholders Gilberto Villanueva and Michael Paladino both had previous class actions pending in the State of Texas prior to the State action being brought. These Intervenors were represented by State Bar of Texas members Alice Oliver-Parrott, David Burrow, David Jones, and R. Martin Weber.

    At that time, Mr. Longley publicly stated that Farmers was unfairly enriched in an amount 10 times greater than the settlement amount, and presumably Mr. Longley wanted the State of Texas to settle for an amount close to $1 billion. Longley. along with several other lawyers (Phil Maxwell, Mike Gallagher, and Stephen McCleery), who were later joined by David Burrow, Alice Oliver-Parrot, Mike Gallagher and Dan Downey (collectively “Texas Class Counsel” ), immediately commenced legal proceedings to halt the settlement.

    Beginning in December 2002 and continuing thereafter for five months in 2003, the parties engaged in intensive discovery; motion practice; document review; hearing preparation; hearings; and depositions, and extensive lawyer time and effort took place to prepare for, and participate in, the preliminary approval hearing the Texas District Court had set to be heard commencing in May 2003.

    In February 2003, it became apparent to the Lubin’s co-counsel that additional legal assistance was needed. Mike Gallagher and Dan Downey were added at that time to act as co-counsel, with Longley & Maxwell, LLP, in representing Jan Lubin.

    During those proceedings, particularly during the initial phase, Texas Class Counsel obtained and reviewed thousands of documents, and through masterful lawyering, and while opposed by the endless resources of the Attorney General of the State of Texas managed to derail the settlement. This matter became known as the “Lubin Proceedings,” and is still pending in the Texas courts, 261 Judicial District Court of Travis County.

    Recognizing that much of the legal work was already completed by the State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance — which gave rise to a presumption of validity and credibility to the allegations against Farmers — Mr. Longley and some of the Texas Class Counsel saw the enourmous opportunity that had been presented to them and sought to file a nationwide class action against Farmers.

    As such, in 2003, Longley and a few of the Texas Class Counsel flew to Los Angeles to meet with Messrs. Thomas Girardi (of Girardi & Keese) and Walter Lack (of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack); one month later, after the appropriate plaintiff had been selected, the current case was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court styled Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group Inc. (Incidentally, the allegations set forth in Joe Longley’s declaration that they flew to Los Angeles to meet with Girardi and Lack only after reviewing “choice of law” and “venue” provisions because Farmers is headquartered in Los Angeles should be viewed by this Court with extreme skepticism as this suit could have been filed in Eureka, California, Nashville, Tennessee or any other court in the country.)

    In approximately 2010, a settlement was reached in this pending matter allocating $455 million to be shared by the class, and $90 million in attorneys’ fees. Class counsel (both from Texas and California) advanced a motion for attorneys’ fees supported by declarations and exhibits. The declarations from Texas Class Counsel submitted to this Court are based on work performed in BOTH the Lubin and Fogel matters.

    First, the undersigned respectfully asks this Court to consider whether it is fair to ask the Fogel class to finance the Lubin proceedings. Also, the fact that the Lubin matter is still pending and is specifically exempted from the current settlement will allow Texas Class Counsel to again collect fees if there is a future resolution of the litigation in Texas. As such, it is up to this Court to ensure that there will be no double recovery for the Texas Class counsel, and that the Fogel Class does not pay the attorneys’ fees for the Lubin proceedings.

    Second, this Court is under a duty to independently examine the fairness of the settlement, including issues of collusion between class counsel and defendants (and their counsel) to ensure that collusion has not taken place by which defendants offer to settle for a lesser amount while offering incentive to class counsel vis-a-vis a large and disproportionate attorneys’ fee award. Hence, this Court is respectfully asked to inquire of Mr. Longley during the fairness hearing how he can support a settlement worth only $455 million for a NATIONWIDE class composed of 12.5 million Americans, when he has previously stated in his opposition to the Texas settlement that the settlement for ONLY the State of Texas should be closer to the $1 billion, the sum he contended was allegedly unfairly and unlawfully collected by Farmers.

    A third issue relates to the declarations submitted in support of the request for attorney’s fees. In comparing declarations submitted by Texas Class Counsel (who, as stated above, did most of the fundamental work in the initial phase of Lubin and Villanueva), the declaration submitted by Thomas Girardi on behalf of Girardi & Keese — in which he states that his firm spent 6662 hours on the case — appears to be highly excessive, highly implausible, and highly suspicious. This is further magnified when considering that Walter Lack and his law firm submitted a declaration stating that close to 4000 hours were devoted to the case by Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack.

    Usually, the relationship between Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack is based on a business model whereby Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi are responsible for financing the litigation, as well as providing much needed “clout,” very often withing the judicial system of Los Angeles County and the State Bar of California (to wit Thomas Girardi’s friendship with former California Supreme Court Chief Justice George; his friendship with former California State Bar Chief Trial Counsel and former crack addict Mike Nisperos, to whom Girardi serve as a “mentor”; his financing of the political career of the present Executive Director of the State Bar of California, Hon. Senator Joe Dunn; and other questionable “friendships” and relationships, the basis of which are usually political contributions and gifts).

    Walter Lack and his firm, who are more methodical, are responsible for the day-to-day management of the litigation through motion practice, discovery, hearings etc. Once serious settlement negotiations commence, Mr. Girardi himself takes over the discussions, and has the final say on whether and under what terms the case should settle.

    Hence, if Walter Lack and his firm already worked close to 4000 hours on this case, it is difficult to imagine why Girardi & Keese would also need to have spent 6662 hours on the matter.

    In comparison, Joe Longley stated that he worked on BOTH cases only 2740 hours; Philip Maxwell stated that he devoted 2677 hours to both cases. (While this Court treats Longley and Maxwell as two separate law firms, for the majority of the time both presented themselves as one law firm, that of Longley & Maxwell.)

    As such, the undersigned respectfully requests that this Court scrutinize the declaration submitted by Thomas Girardi by seeking a complete and detailed breakdown of all hours spent.

    Additionally, conspicuously lacking is any declaration from Graham LippSmith of Girardi & Keese, even though he allegedly performed most of the work on behalf of Girardi & Keese. This Court should order Graham LippSmith to also submit a sworn affidavit, along with his timesheets, in support of the purported 6662 hours billed by Girardi & Keese.

    Fourth, subsequent to submitting the Objection, and only after reading the omnibus brief submitted by class counsel, the undersigned learned that Zurich Financial Services and Farmers Group, Inc. (represented by Dewey & Lebuef and Skadden Arps) had approached the Court on an ex parte basis in approximately April 2011 in connection with the unsettling attorney-client relationship between Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese.

    It is quite a strange legal phenomenon when defendants move ex parte for an order pertaining to the future relationship between plaintiffs’ counsel and his clients. Indeed, it is almost as though Skadden Arps is still serving as defense counsel for Girardi & Keese, notwithstanding its own concerns that defendants and counsel may be held liable for interfering with the plaintiff class’s contractual relationship with Girardi & Keese or other related collusion.

    It is alleged in the omnibus brief that defendants approached the Court ex parte asking it to analyze a “blog entry” alluding to an ethics complaint filed against Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps with the State Bar of California. Setting aside the absurdity of Zurich Financial Group, Farmers Group, Inc., Dewey & Lebuef, and Skadden Arps (the largest law firm in the world) approaching the Court ex parte asking it to analyze a “blog entry,” as opposed to their own declarations and admissions, the undersigned will concede that, indeed, an ethics complaint was advanced by the undersigned based on the facts subsequently described in the objection filed in this matter.

    This Court should be aware that requests by the undersigned to Skadden Arps, Dewey & Lebeuf, Girardi & Keese, ELL, and Texas Class Counsel for a copy of the ex parte papers went unanswered. In addition, the undersigned asked the same parties to post a copy of the complete sets of the ex parte papers on the official settlement website, a request which was also ignored.

    Additionally, the undersigned communicated with other credible objectors who were also unaware (at least as of August 16 and 17, 2011) of the fact that defendants had moved ex parte to supplement the notice and restrict any future action on the part of the class, and were otherwise clueless about Paragraph 17 or the fact that Girardi & Keese was a client of Skadden Arps.

    As such, this Court must order the parties to post said ex parte application and related papers on the official settlement website so as to provide the class and objectors an opportunity to form objection in an educated fashion by, among other things, requesting a postponement of the upcoming fairness hearing.

    Shockingly, and based on the ex parte papers submitted by Zurich and Farmers which were, presumably (and predictably), unopposed by class counsel (because any opposition would expose their own misconduct), the Court issued an order allowing the modification of a notice to the class by which the members would be informed of the attorney-client relationship between Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese. The order also, shockingly, stated that members of the class would be prohibited in the future from asserting that they were not adequately represented by class counsel due to the Skadden-Girardi relationship.

    Upon reviewing this Court order, it is requested that the Court address inaccuracies in both the order and the notice, along with other issues, to wit;

    A. This Court order and the Notice in Paragraph 17 state that the class was represented by “5 other law firms, which have not had any connections to the Farmers Group’s attorneys.” This statement is in contradiction to verbiage, also in Paragraph 17, which states, “The Court has appointed the following lawyers to represent the class as ’class counsel’: Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith of Girardi & Keese, Walter Lack of ELL, Phillip Maxwell of the Law Offices of Phillip Maxwell and Joe K. Longley of Law offices of Joe K. Longley.”

    As this Court only appointed ELL, Longley and Maxwell, the order and the notice are not accurate when it states that 5 other law firms represented the class as, in actuality, only 3 other law firms reviewed the settlement.

    B. This Court must take into account that the support of Walter Lack and ELL for the settlement (as part of the “5 other law firms”), and their indifference to the attorney-client relationship between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps, is suspect as Walter Lack and his firm were part and parcel of the matter of In Re Girardi.

    Walter Lack knew all along about the concurrent representation between Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese, and was part of the scheme to mislead this Court and the Fogel class by not disclosing the relationship.

    In fact, it was Walter Lack himself, despite repeated warnings even from within his own firm and from a federal district court judge, who executed the plan to defraud the federal judiciary with a fraudulent translation of a foreign judgment which resulted in the proceedings of In re Girardi. While the resultant proceedings were titled “In Re Girardi,” respondents in those proceedings were Girardi & Keese, Thomas Girardi, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, Paul Triana, Sean Topp, and Walter Lack.

    As such, it is highly disingenuous of this Court to authorize a notice to 12.5 million Americans which contains assertions that 5 (or more accuretly, 3) other law firms support the settlement given that one of those law firms (ELL) was part and parcel of the Ninth Circuit proceedings of In Re Girardi.

    The Court should keep in mind that Walter Lack for many years chose to hide the collusion between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps not only from the class, but also from this Court, and that he is the same person who was found by the Ninth Circuit to have resorted to employing “the persistent use of known falsehoods” and that “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation. Similarly, Walter Lack remained quiet when the State Bar of California appointed Jerome Falk of Howard Rice to serve as special persecutor to examine his misconduct before the Ninth Circuit. Despite the fact that Thomas Girardi stipulated to the prosecutor that he was “reckless,” and Walter Lack stipulated that his misconduct was “intentional,” Jerome Falk (on behalf of the People of the State of California) “exonerated” both of these attorneys, stating that he did not believe the misconduct was “intentional.”

    Despite Walter Lack’s (and Thomas Girardi’s) habit of remaining quiet, it was the undersigned who only very recently discovered that, indeed, Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi were actually clients of Jerome Falk and Howard Rice. (See generally Ninth Circuit matter of Copple vs. Astrella ) With this background, Mr. Falk’s refusal to prosecute Lack and Girardi suddenly makes sense.

    Fifth, the omnibus brief is highly offensive, incomplete, misleading, legally unsound, and clearly designed to speed up the collection of $90 million in attorneys’ fees. It is shocking that Girardi & Keese, on behalf of the class, is advancing legal arguments supporting the contention that there were no ethical violations on the part of Skadden Arps and Farmers. This is viewed as an additional fact in support of the collusion between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps; it also calls into question the ability of Girardi & Keese and Benjamin Fogel to adequately represent the class.

    In addition, the undersigned take umbrage over the attitude displayed in the omnibus brief concerning the “conflict of interest.” The Court should note that both the undersigned and, presumably, others utilize the term “conflict of interest” in a generalized fashion (and not just as a term of art involving a legal “conflict of interest” with a client), to otherwise denote violations and breaches of ethics rules.

    For example, in this case, a true conflict of interest on the part of Girardi & Keese would have arisen had Girardi & Keese, while representing Mr. Fogel and the class, filed a separate action against Mr. Fogel concerning a different matter on behalf of another client. Even if no “true” conflict exists, this does not negate the fact that Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps violated other rules of ethics. And, even if no rules of ethics were violated, that does negate the argument that the Court, while independently fulfilling its duty to examine collusion, must take into account the attorney-client relationship between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps in the matter of In Re Girardi to support a finding of collusion which was detrimental to the Fogel class and, as such, reject the settlement.

    Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if the Court needs any further information or clarification of the above-described facts.