person:walter lack

  • Text of First Amended Complaint Against 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

    PART 1 — INTRODUCTION
    1. Plaintiff - an individual residing in Yolo
    County who is an investigative reporter and a Rabbi - has been subject
    to a campaign of systematic harassment ever since he uncovered
    corruption in various matters dealing with the California Public
    Utilities Commission; Democratic Party operatives; and Boyd Gaming
    Director, owner of various casinos, and class-action attorney Thomas
    Girardi ("Girardi") of Girardi & Keese in connection with financial
    corruption, obstruction of justice, and related acts of misconduct.

    2. For example, Plaintiff unearthed the fact that
    subsequent to being disciplined by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
    stemming from an attempt to defraud the court by resorting to the “use
    of known falsehoods”, the State Bar of California appointed as
    “special prosecutor” Girardi’s own private malpractice lawyer (Jerome
    Falk of Howard Rice) to prosecute Girardi on the State Bar’s behalf.
    (When later questioned about this matter, Falk asserted that his firm
    had represented the law firm of Girardi & Keese, but not Girardi
    himself.)
    3. Plaintiff also discovered corruption in a
    national class-action case (Fogel v. Farmers) in which Girardi - who
    represented the class of plaintiffs - never disclosed that the
    attorneys who represented defendant Farmers (Skadden Arps, Thomas
    Nolan, Raoul Kennedy) were concurrently representing Girardi himself
    in a separate legal matter. Very shortly after Plaintiff exposed the
    corruption, attorneys for Farmers approached, sought and obtained from
    the court a supplemental notice to the class of plaintiffs (consisting
    of 14 million Americans) indicating that if they cashed their
    settlement checks, they agreed to not sue Farmers or Girardi because
    of the undisclosed relationship.
    4. Plaintiff also unearthed corruption involving
    Girardi (who has a reputation of “bankrolling” the California
    Democratic party) and individuals associated with the California
    Democratic Party with connections to the California Public Utilities
    Commission/Energy Commission (Michael Peevey, Tim Simon, Geoffrey
    Brown, Peter Arth, Joe Dunn, Martha Escutia, Darrell Steinberg) and
    utility lawyers involved in the “California Energy Crisis” (Ron Olson
    and Jeff Bleich of Munger Tolles; James Brosnahan of Morrison &
    Foerster; John Keker of Keker & Van Nest; Jerry Falk and Douglas
    Winthrop of Howard Rice; Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese; Joe
    Cotchett of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy; Mark Robinson of Robinson
    Calcagnie Robinson; and the law offices of DLA Piper) to launder money
    from utility companies (SCE, PG&E, Verizon, AT&T) to various members
    of California’s Democratic Party (Joe Dunn, Martha Escutia, Kamala
    Harris, Jerry Brown, Kevin Johnson, Darrell Steinberg) and OBAMA FOR
    AMERICA via various non-profits (CaliforniaALL, Level Playing Field
    Institute, California Consumer Protection Foundation).
    5. Also involved in the various financial schemes were
    Cache Creek Casino, Sacramento-based developer Mark Friedman of
    Fulcrum Property, his business partner (gambling attorney Howard
    Dickstein), and Dickstein’s wife, Jeannine English, who was also
    acting on behalf of AARP to position Barack Obama in the White House
    and on behalf of Mark Friedman to position Kevin Johnson as the mayor
    of Sacramento. Additionally involved were Obama for America tech-guru
    Mitch Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor Klein.
    6. In connection with the above discoveries,
    Plaintiff informed various law-enforcement agencies of these facts, as
    well as filed ethics complaints against some of the above named
    attorneys with the State Bar of California.
    7. Plaintiff was repeatedly warned that Girardi is
    “well-connected” and will seek to silence Plaintiff as a result of
    Plaintiff’s discoveries and allegations.
    8. Indeed, very shortly after Plaintiff unearthed
    these events, a posse of eight armed investigators from the Yolo
    County District Attorney’s office executed an invalid search warrant
    at Plaintiff’s place of residence in Yolo County and confiscated all
    documents and computers in his home relating to, inter alia, various
    ethics complaints filed by Plaintiff on the ground that the ethics
    complaints were baseless.
    9. Plaintiff has been informed by credible sources,
    and therefore alleges, that David Rosenberg was one of those
    responsible for pressing criminal charges against him, that he
    “cleared the way” for the search warrant, and that he is otherwise
    friendly with Howard Dickstein, Mark Friedman, Jerry Brown, Mark
    Robinson, and Chief Marshall McKay of Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (all
    actors in CaliforniaALL — a sham non-profit launched for the purpose
    of laundering funds to finance the campaigns of various politicians,
    including President Obama, Kamala Harris, Kevin Johnson of Sacramento,
    and Governor Jerry Brown. )
    10. Venue in this case is proper in Yolo County because the acts and
    omissions of which Plaintiffs complain occurred in Yolo County.
    11. Plaintiff is unaware of the true names and capacities of the
    Defendants sued as Does 1 through 100, inclusive, and therefore sues
    these Defendants by such fictitious names. Plaintiff is informed and
    believes, and therefore alleges, that the Defendants herein designated
    as Does are legally responsible in some manner for the events and
    happenings referred to which caused the injuries to Plaintiff for
    which he now seeks damages. Plaintiff will amend this Complaint to
    allege their true names and capacities when ascertained.
    12. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and therefore alleges, that
    at all times mentioned herein, Defendants were the agents, servants,
    employees and/or joint venturers of the other Defendants and were at
    all times mentioned herein acting within the scope, course and
    authority of this agency, employment and/or joint venture. Plaintiff
    is further informed and believes and, therefore alleges, that each of
    the Defendants consented to, ratified, participated in, or authorized
    the acts of the remaining Defendants.
    PART 2: BACKGROUND OF FACTS UNDERLYING CLAIMS AGAINST LEA ROSENBERG
    AND RELATED INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES FOR VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA’S
    BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE § 17200 — PREDICATED ON 26 U.S. C. §
    6104(d)

    13. Following the execution of the invalid search
    warrant on Plaintiff’s home, described above, Plaintiff began
    conducting research into David Rosenberg’s background and learned that
    he is a judge with the Yolo County Superior Court with a reputation of
    being a “political animal”.
    14. Plaintiff further learned, and thereupon
    alleges, that Judge David Rosenberg and his wife (Lea Rosenberg), as
    well as Judge David Reed and his wife (Sheryl Cambron), are deeply
    involved — as either officers or directors — with a web of
    non-profit entities worth millions of dollars known as Saratoga
    Retirement Community, Meadows of Napa Valley, Davis Odd Fellows, Odd
    Fellows Homes of California, Davis Rebekah Lodge, Soroptimist
    International of Davis, David Odd Fellows Hall, and others. Plaintiff
    is informed and believes and therefore alleges that Lea and David
    Rosenberg are individuals residing in Yolo County.
    15. Later on, Plaintiff also discovered a pattern by
    which Lea Rosenberg and Sheryl Cambron — as the wives of two judges -
    were energetically raising funds from various businesses for an entity
    known as Progress Ranch headed by the foreperson of the Yolo County
    Grand Jury, Barbara Sommer. (For example, Davis Odd Fellows
    repeatedly held events to benefit Progress Ranch known as “Breakfast
    with Santa”; Soroptimist International of Davis held an event to
    benefit Progress Ranch known as “Texas Hold ’Em”; Davis Rebekah Lodge
    held an event to benefit Progress Ranch known as “Crab Feed.”) During
    the time period that Barbara Sommer served as foreperson of the Grand
    Jury of Yolo County, the grand jury was investigating two prominent
    entities — Cache Creek Casino (a casino which is owned and operated
    by Yocha Dehe Wintun nation headed by Marshall Mckay) and “First 5
    Yolo” (headed by Yolo County Board of Supervisors member Don Saylor).
    16. Judge Rosenberg’s judicial campaign treasurer, Victor
    Bucher, is a nationally renowned expert in the area of accounting and
    tax fraud, and also serves as the “treasurer” of a separate non-profit
    entity launched by David Odd Fellows — Davis Odd Fellows Charities,
    Inc. — where David Rosenberg serves as president and Victor Bucher as
    Treasurer.
    17. On April 4, 2013 — consistent with the
    statutory framework put into place by 26 U.S.C. § 6104(d) — Plaintiff
    served a request for Davis Odd Fellows and Davis Rebekah Lodge (which
    Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges are
    tax-exempt organizations) to make available for inspection their IRS
    990 forms.
    18. A tax-exempt organization must make available
    for public inspection its application for tax exemption, three most
    recent 990 annual information returns, and schedules and attachments
    available, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6104(d), which reads, in relevant
    part:
    “Public inspection of certain annual returns, reports, applications
    for exemption, and notices of status
    (1) In general
    In the case of an organization described in subsection (c) or (d) of
    section 501 and exempt from taxation under section 501 (a) or an
    organization exempt from taxation under section 527 (a)—
    (A) a copy of—
    (i) the annual return filed under section 6033 (relating to returns by
    exempt organizations) by such organization,
    (ii) any annual return which is filed under section 6011 by an
    organization described in section 501 (c)(3) and which relates to any
    tax imposed by section 511 (relating to imposition of tax on unrelated
    business income of charitable, etc., organizations),
    (iii) if the organization filed an application for recognition of
    exemption under section 501 or notice of status under section 527 (i),
    the exempt status application materials or any notice materials of
    such organization, and
    (iv) the reports filed under section 527 (j) (relating to required
    disclosure of expenditures and contributions) by such organization,
    shall be made available by such organization for inspection during
    regular business hours by any individual at the principal office of
    such organization and, if such organization regularly maintains 1 or
    more regional or district offices having 3 or more employees, at each
    such regional or district office, and
    (B) upon request of an individual made at such principal office or
    such a regional or district office, a copy of such annual return,
    reports, and exempt status application materials or such notice
    materials shall be provided to such individual without charge other
    than a reasonable fee for any reproduction and mailing costs.
    The request described in subparagraph (B) must be made in person or in
    writing. If such request is made in person, such copy shall be
    provided immediately and, if made in writing, shall be provided within
    30 days.
    (2) 3-year limitation on inspection of returns
    Paragraph (1) shall apply to an annual return filed under section 6011
    or 6033 only during the 3-year period beginning on the last day
    prescribed for filing such return (determined with regard to any
    extension of time for filing).”
    19. Plaintiff delivered the request through Lea
    Rosenberg because she was the common denominator between the various
    “Odd Fellows” entities and Soroptimist, in that she served as an
    officer and/or director of the various “Odd Fellows” entities, and as
    president of Davis Rebekah Lodge.
    20. Specifically, on April 4, 2013 Plaintiff
    delivered to Lea Rosenberg at learose@jps.net the following email
    request:
    “Re: Request for Production of IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A,
    Form 1023 to entities associated with Lea Rosenberg, to wit:
    Soroptimist International of Davis, Davis Rebekah Lodge, Davis Odd
    Fellows

    Dear Mrs. Rosenberg:

    Consistent with U.S. Internal Revenue Service Regulations, please
    consider this communication a formal request to produce their IRS Form
    990, Form 990 Schedule A, as well Form 1023. This request is for all
    documents submitted to the IRS within the past three years, which
    generally means the three most recent returns.

    Said regulations require that these documents be produced within 30
    days. Soroptimist International of Davis , Davis Rebekah Lodge, Davis
    Odd Fellows are entitled to charge reasonable costs for any copying
    and mailing costs incurred in relation to this request. Alternatively,
    you can email the documents to me as PDF attachments. I prefer the
    latter method. However, if for some reason, you prefer to copy and
    mail the documents, please send them to the following address:

    [—address intentionally omitted—]

    I ask that you draw no conclusion or develop any concern from the mere
    fact that this request is being made about you, Soroptimist
    International of Davis , Davis Rebekah Lodge, Davis Odd Fellows or any
    other individual or entity.

    In addition, I ask that you please produce the following:
    1. A detailed and complete list of all other non-profit entities you
    were involved beginning in 2008 to the present.
    2. A detailed and complete list of all sums which were transferred
    amongst any and all organizations you were involved, beginning in 2008
    to the present. For example, if in 2009 Soroptimist International of
    Davis transferred money to Davis Odd Fellows either as donation or
    rent, I ask that such transaction be disclosed.
    3. A detailed and complete list of all direct or indirect transfers of
    funds from Soroptimist International of Davis, Davis Rebekah Lodge,
    Davis Odd Fellows to Progress Ranch and/or any other entity associated
    with Barbara Sommer from 2007 to the present.

    Thank you for your time and anticipated cooperation. If you have any
    questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
    21. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that Lea Rosenberg received Plaintiff’s email dated April 3, 2013.
    22. On April 24, 2013, Plaintiff delivered to Lea
    Rosenberg a notice of change of address.
    23. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that Lea Rosenberg received Plaintiff’s requests for the
    organizations’ IRS 990 forms, and while conspiring with other
    Defendants, chose to breach the duty to comply with 26 U.S.C. §
    6104(d).
    24. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and
    therefore alleges that Defendants have directly performed, or aided,
    abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured, encouraged,
    promoted, instigated, advised, willfully caused, participated in,
    enabled, contributed to, facilitated, directed, controlled, assisted
    in, or conspired in the commission of the above-described acts.
    25. Due to this failure to comply with Plaintiff’s
    request, Plaintiff spent considerable time and resources trying to
    obtain those documents elsewhere, to no avail. Plaintiff asked his
    paid research-clerk to conduct further research on the Internet in
    hope of locating a complete set of the desired documents, also to no
    avail.
    26. Still seeking a complete set of the requested
    documents, on September 24, 2013 Plaintiff sent Lea Rosenberg the
    following email:
    "RE: Davis Odd Fellow Hall; Davis Odd Fellow - Second Request for
    Production of IRS Documents

    Dear Ms. Rosenberg:

    The purpose of this communication is to address the following matters:

    1. Since you appear to have been involved with Davis Rebekah Lodge,
    Davis Odd Fellow, and Sophomoric, I had previously asked you to
    produce the IRS tax-returns for those entities.

    For reasons which I do not understand, rather than complying with this
    simple request (as you are required to do by law given the fact that
    those entities are allowed to operate on a “tax-exempt” status), you
    have failed to respond. I am therefore reiterating my request that you
    comply with the request for these tax returns and produce them to me
    within the next 5 days.

    As you know, I am troubled by events surrounding the almost exclusive
    fundraising to “emancipated foster youth”, Barbara Sommer, Davis Odd
    Fellow members Jonathan Raven and Michael Cabral, Cache Creek Casino,
    Vic Bucher, and Progress Ranch.

    I am also troubled by the fact that Judge Rosenberg (and his Judicial
    Campaign CPA Vic Bucher) lends money to the judicial campaign of other
    judges (i.e. Tim Fall and Dan Maguire). Hence, I would like to get to
    the bottom of things, and need the requested tax forms to do so.

    2. In the previously submitted request, there was no mention of “Davis
    Odd Fellow Hall.” My position and understanding is that Davis Odd
    Fellow Hall is part of Davis Odd Fellow.
    Nevertheless, please consider this communication a formal request to
    also provide copies of the last three tax return forms that “Davis Odd
    Fellow Hall” had submitted to the IRS.

    3. Given that Davis Odd Fellow, David Odd Fellow Hall, and Davis
    Rebekah Lodge are under the exclusive control of you, your husband
    David Rosenberg, as well as David Reed and his wife Cheryl Cambron,
    and given that both David Rosenberg and David Reed are judges of the
    Yolo County Superior Court, I submit that these entities have a duty
    to operate at an even higher level of transparency than mandated by
    the IRS, and must comply with the common law duty of disclosure.

    Thus, in addition to inspecting and copying the documents authorized
    by the IRS, I request copies of detailed financial statements (i.e.
    income, expenditures, names of donors, names of businesses and amount
    of rent Davis Odd Fellow Hall charges its various tenants, identity of
    subcontractors, identity of those who have rented the Hall etc.) For
    example, my understanding is that David Greenwald (publisher of The
    People’s Vanguard of Davis and Vanguard Court Watch) entered into a
    contract with Davis Odd Fellow Hall. Given that Mr. Greenwald’s
    publications purport to report on misconduct and malfeasance in the
    local area, including the courts, it appears to me that there is a
    direct conflict between this stated mission and his decision to rent
    space from an entity whose Board is comprised of you, and two Yolo
    County Superior Court judges.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you and receiving the requested documents."
    27. Later that day, Plaintiff received an email
    response from Lea Rosenberg stating only the following: “so he is at
    it again.”
    FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
    Violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200 Predicated on
    26 U.S.C. § 6104(d)
    (Against Defendants 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; and Does 1 - 100)

    28. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1
    – 27 as though fully set forth herein.
    29. Despite Plaintiff’s repeated requests,
    Defendants failed to comply with 26 U.S.C. § 6104(d). This failure
    constitutes unfair and unlawful acts pursuant to California’s Business
    & Professions Code § 17200.
    30. Plaintiff is informed and believes that
    Defendants have directly performed, or aided, abetted, counseled,
    commanded, induced, procured, encouraged, promoted, instigated,
    advised, willfully caused, participated in, enabled, contributed to,
    facilitated, directed, controlled, assisted in, or conspired in the
    commission of the above-described acts.
    31. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful
    acts of Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in
    fact and has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at
    trial.
    SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
    Negligence Per Se / Torts in Essence
    (Against Defendants 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; and Does 1 - 100)

    32. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1
    – 31 as though fully set forth herein.
    33. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Defendants were all aware of Plaintiff’s repeated
    requests for the above-described entities’ IRS Form 990 forms, as
    described in this Complaint.
    34. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and
    therefore alleges that Defendants were under a duty to ensure
    compliance, yet chose to breach a duty prescribed in 26 U.S.C. §
    6104(d). This failure to comply with the statutory requirements
    constitutes negligence per se. In the alternative, Plaintiff further
    alleges that the failure to comply with the statutory requirements of
    26 U.S.C. § 6104(d) constitutes “torts in essence” as a matter of
    public policy, because the statute at issue was enacted to benefit
    individuals in Plaintiff’s position, and because implied in 26 U.S.C.
    § 6104(d) is a private right of action.
    35. As a proximate result of Defendants’ breach of duty,
    as alleged above, Plaintiff spent considerable time and resources
    trying to obtain those documents elsewhere, to no avail. Plaintiff
    asked his paid research-clerk to conduct further research on the
    Internet in hope of locating a complete set of the desired documents,
    also to no avail. Plaintiff suffered injury in fact and has lost
    money or property in an amount to be proven at trial.
    36. Plaintiff further alleges that Davis Odd Fellows
    owns a Hall ("Davis Lodge Hall"), on a property adjacent to the two
    Lodges, and is the owner (and landlord) of rental property currently
    occupied by Hunan Chinese Restaurant and Coldwell-Banker Doug Arnold
    Real Estate.
    37. The “Hall Board Association” is a California
    corporation, and is the actual owner of the Davis Lodge Hall, the
    adjacent property of the two Lodges, and the rental property currently
    occupied by Hunan Chinese Restaurant and Coldwell-Banker Doug Arnold
    Real Estate.
    38. The “Hall Board Association” is composed of
    President David Rosenberg, Vice President David Reed, Secretary Lea
    Rosenberg, Treasurer Sheryl Cambron, and Barbara Geisler.
    39. The Davis Lodge Hall is available to rent by the
    general public for receptions, fund-raisers, dinners, conferences,
    trade shows, meetings, and other events.
    40. The Davis Lodge Hall is also used by Davis Odd
    Fellows for its own functions, such as Davis Odd Fellows Bingo and
    Master Balls.
    41. In approximately September 2013, and after the
    expenditure of considerable time, resources, and efforts, Plaintiff
    managed to ascertain that the actual legal name of Davis Odd Fellows
    and David Rebekah Lodge is “Yolo Lodge 169 Independent Order of Odd
    Fellows and Davis Rebekah Lodge.” Plaintiff then managed to obtain
    partial copies of tax returns that “Yolo Lodge 169 Independent Order
    of Odd Fellows and Davis Rebekah Lodge” had submitted to the IRS.
    42. Upon reviewing partial copies of the
    above-described IRS 990 forms from 2010 and 2011, Plaintiff noted that
    false information had been submitted to the IRS on two occasions that
    he was able to identify from the incomplete forms. Specifically,
    according to those 990 forms, in 2010 David Reed served as the
    president of Yolo Lodge 169; serving as the Treasurer of Yolo Lodge
    was Sheryl Cambron. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Reed and Cambron are married to each other.
    43. However, this was not the information provided
    to the IRS. The 2010 IRS Form 990 submitted by Yolo Lodge asked, ’Did
    any officer, director, trustee, or key employee have a family
    relationship or a business relationship with any other officer,
    director, trustee, or key employee?’ The form submitted by Yolo Lodge
    states, “NO.” Since two of the officers (Reed and Cambron) were
    actually married to each other, this is a misrepresentation.
    44. In 2011, Yolo Lodge officers submitted false
    information to the IRS again, this time involving a different set of
    actors — Lea and David Rosenberg, who are married to each other.
    Specifically, in 2011 David Rosenberg served as President of Yolo
    Lodge; his wife, Lea Rosenberg, served as “Secretary” of Yolo Lodge,
    and David Reed served as a board member.
    45. The 2011 IRS Form 990 submitted by Yolo Lodge
    asked, ’Did any officer, director, trustee, or key employee have a
    family relationship or a business relationship with any other officer,
    director, trustee, or key employee?’ The form submitted by Yolo Lodge
    states, “NO.” Since two of the officers (David Rosenberg and Lea
    Rosenberg) were actually married to each other, this is a
    misrepresentation.
    46. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Virgil Smith is a CPA, a member of Davis Odd Fellows, and
    a co-conspirator in the submission of these fraudulent tax-returns.
    Plaintiff is further informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    also responsible for submitting these fraudulent tax-returns were
    Davis Odd Fellows officers and directors David Rosenberg, Lea
    Rosenberg, David Reed, Sheryl Cambron, Barbara Geisler, and Robert
    Bockwinkel.
    47. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that the fraudulent tax-returns were submitted because David
    Rosenberg, Lea Rosenberg, David Reed, Sheryl Cambron, Barbara Geisler,
    Virgil Smith and Robert Bockwinkel did not want the IRS and the public
    to become aware that Sheryl Cambron is married to David Reed, and
    because they were concerned that if such relationships (i.e. Lea
    Rosenberg is married to David Rosenberg) would be disclosed, it may
    trigger an IRS audit.
    THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
    Civil Conspiracy to Violate 26 U.S.C. § 6104(d)
    (Against Defendants Lea Rosenberg, David Rosenberg, David Reed, Sheryl
    Cambron, Barbara Geisler, Virgil Smith; Robert Bockwinkel; and Does 1
    – 100)

    48. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1
    – 47 as though fully set forth herein.
    49. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that subsequent to Plaintiff’s request to obtain copies of the
    relevant IRS forms 990 delivered to Lea Rosenberg as described above,
    Defendants Lea Rosenberg, David Rosenberg, David Reed, Sheryl Cambron,
    Robert Bockwinkel, Barbara Geisler, and Virgil Smith willfully and
    knowingly conspired and agreed among themselves to a scheme by which
    they agreed to violate Plaintiff’s legal rights by not complying with
    26 U.S.C. § 6104(d) because they were concerned he would discover the
    tax-fraud perpetrated on the IRS, as described above; that two Yolo
    County judicial officers (Rosenberg and Reed) and an attorney employed
    by Yolo County (Cambron) almost exclusively raised funds to support an
    entity headed by the Foreperson of the Yolo County Grand Jury; and the
    appearance that Davis Odd Fellows has been misused to indirectly curry
    favors with the foreperson of Yolo County Grand Jury.
    50. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that as further overt acts (both lawful and unlawful) by
    which to advance the objective of said conspiracy, committed by one or
    more of the conspirators pursuant to their common design, were: (a) an
    agreement between Defendants to intentionally violate 26 U.S.C. §
    6104(d); (b) an agreement to ignore Plaintiff’s repeated requests for
    information sought pursuant to this statute; (c) a lawful overt act to
    belittle Plaintiff by sending him an email which reads, “so he is at
    it again”’ and (d) an agreement by Defendants to mislead and defraud
    Plaintiff by means of a plan they conceived and executed in which
    David Reed falsely stated in writing “TO MY KNOWLEDGE DAVIS ODD
    FELLOWS HAVE NEVER MADE CONTRIBUTIONS OR PARTICIPATED IN FUND-RAISING
    FOR PROGRESS RANCH”. (emphasis added)
    51. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Defendants have directly performed, or aided, abetted,
    counseled, commanded, induced, procured, encouraged, promoted,
    instigated, advised, willfully caused, participated in, enabled,
    contributed to, facilitated, directed, controlled, assisted in, or
    conspired in the commission of the above-described acts.

    PART 3 — Factual Background Dealing with In Re Girardi, Fogel v.
    Farmers, CaliforniaALL, Voice of OC
    3.1: IN RE GIRARDI
    52. In 2010, the United States Court of Appeals 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. Defending Girardi in the matter of In Re
    Girardi was Skadden Arps.
    53. 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 persistent use of known falsehoods,” and that the “false
    representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly”
    during years of litigation.
    54. The Ninth Circuit suspended Lack, reprimanded Girardi, and
    ordered Girardi and Lack to report their misconduct to the State Bar
    of California.
    55. 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.
    56. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that both
    Joe Dunn (Chief Executive of State Bar of California and a long time
    friend and protégé of Girardi) and Chief Justice Ronald George (father
    of Eric George — at the time co-counsel with Girardi and Lack in
    major class-action cases as part of an ongoing scheme by which Girardi
    was bestowing benefits on George) conspired to appoint as “Special
    Prosecutor” Jerome Falk of Howard Rice, who they knew would
    “exonerate” Girardi and Lack.
    57. Around the same time, renowned criminal defense attorney Doron
    Weinberg opined in the media as follows on the matter of In Re
    Girardi: “Prosecutors can admit the 9th Circuit’s disciplinary order,
    along with the entire record underpinning it”. “The State Bar
    generally respects the findings and conclusions of other
    jurisdictions”.
    58. 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 — despite the fact
    that Lack had previously stipulated in writing that he acted
    “intentionally.”
    59. Within days of Mr. Falk’s decision, Plaintiff 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 California Bar
    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.
    60. State Bar of California Deputy Executive director Robert Hawley
    contacted Plaintiff and informed him that he (Hawley) has been
    appointed as “contact person,” and that the matter will be handled by
    the entire State Bar of California Board of Governors because one of
    the named actors was chief prosecutor James Towery.
    61. Specifically, on 12/27/2010 Robert Hawley wrote to Plaintiff in part:
    “On behalf of the State Bar of California its staff and its Board, I
    acknowledge receipt of your email message below and the one separately
    sent to James Towery, both on December 23, 2010.
    In your email message to Mr. Towery you state that you have sent a
    written letter of complaint to the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel
    (OCTC) Intake Unit. As we have previously advised your colleague
    Leslie Brodie, we provide status reports on pending matters involving
    OCTC only to individuals who provide verifiable identification
    information, including an address. I assume that your written
    complaint provides this information. If not, we will not be able to
    provide you with further status information on the subject of your
    email messages.”
    62. At or about that time, Plaintiff was unaware of the fact that
    several other Board members had business relationships with Girardi or
    other conflicts of interest which they were required to disclose
    pursuant to a statute.
    63. After several months, Mr. Hawley wrote Plaintiff, informing him
    the investigation was closed.
    64. A few weeks later, Plaintiff, while researching a separate topic,
    discovered that Howard Rice (the firm of Jerome Falk) actually
    represented Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack in a
    malpractice action only two years prior (Copple v. Astrella & Rice).
    65. On August 29, 2011 Plaintiff informed Robert Hawley and the
    entire Board of Governors (consisting of, among others, Laura Chick,
    Gwen Moore, Dennis Mangers, Jeannine English, George Davis, Alec Chang
    of Skadden Arps, Gretchen Nelson of Kreindler & Kreindler, Jon
    Streeter of Keker & Van Nest, and Joe Dunn of Voice of OC about the
    recent discovery in order to re-open the investigation. Plaintiff is
    informed and believes and therefore alleges that, pursuant to an
    ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice in the matter of In Re Girardi
    and an ongoing conspiracy to violate Plaintiff’s due process and equal
    protection rights, Hawley never replied to Plaintiff’s inquiries, nor
    did any member of the Board of Governors.
    66. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    said conspiracy was motivated in part by Democratic Party operatives
    such as Joe Dunn and Jeannine English to protect Thomas Girardi
    because of financial contributions to the Democratic Party, because
    Girardi arranged close to one million in cy pres awards to California
    AARP (where Jeannine English served as president), and because several
    BOG member had similar conflicts of interest, such as Alec Chang of
    Skadden Arps.
    67. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that the
    various wrong-doers became extremely concerned of the fact that
    Plaintiff discovered that Falk represented Girardi & Keese and Walter
    Lack, and because of Plaintiff’s whistle-blowing activities and robust
    use of his free-speech rights. As such, on December 7, 2011, out of
    the blue, Falk - Plaintiff alleges in an attempt to mislead Plaintiff
    –- wrote to Plaintiff:
    “I received your November 13 email, sent to me and many others,
    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. Do not make them again.”
    4.2: FOGEL VS. FARMERS:
    68. The day after the Ninth Circuit issued the published decision in
    the matter of In Re Girardi, respondents’ counsel (Skadden Arps and
    Thomas Nolan) moved to redact their names from the decision. The
    court rejected the request, noting that redaction was not merited.
    69. The peculiar nature of the motion to redact the names of
    respondents’ counsel from the published decision of this court
    prompted Plaintiff to look into the matter further. Plaintiff then
    discovered that, beginning in 2003, Girardi & Keese and Engstrom
    Lipscomb & 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.
    70. In March, 2011 Plaintiff submitted an ethics complaint to the
    State Bar of California against Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese for
    various acts of misconduct in connection with Fogel v. Farmers Group,
    Inc. and the matter of In Re Girardi.
    71. The complaint alleged ethical violations stemming from collusion
    between the law offices of Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps based on
    the fact that while the matter of Fogel vs. Farmers Group was pending,
    the law offices of 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 without informing 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) of
    the concurrent representation by which Skadden Arps represented
    Girardi & Keese (in the Ninth Circuit matter), while at the same time
    defending Farmers against Girardi and Keese’s clients (in the Fogel
    vs. Farmers matter).
    72. Shortly after Plaintiff filed this ethics complaint, Skadden Arps
    moved ex parte (which, not surprisingly, 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.
    73. In or around August of 2011, Plaintiff submitted an informal
    objection to the proposed Fogel v. Farmers settlement based on the
    reasoning described above and contemplated filing an appeal (if
    possible) or informally alerting the Court of Appeal of the collusive
    arrangement.
    4.3: CALIFORNIAALL / VOICE OF OC / OBAMA FOR AMERICA / QUADRIPLEGIC
    UC DAVIS LAW STUDENT SARA GRANDA / SEARCH- SEIZURE BY YOLO COUNTY
    DISTRCIT ATTORNEY
    CaliforniaALL — Voice of OC:
    74. While 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,
    Plaintiff reviewed the California Bar Foundation’s annual reports to
    familiarize himself with the names of the Foundation’s board of
    directors. Plaintiff 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.
    75. Plaintiff discovered that the money had been transferred to a
    newly-created Section 501(c)(3) non-profit entity (headed by Ruthe
    Catolico Ashley — close friend and confidant 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.
    76. In addition to Ruthe Catolico Ashley, CaliforniaALL was
    compromised of the following: Larissa Parecki, Morrison England,
    Torie Flournoy-England, Sarah Redfield of McGeorge School of Law,
    Cary Martin Zellerbach AKA Mary Ellen Martin Zellerbach of Martin
    Investment Management, Douglas Scrivner of Accenture, Freada Kapor
    Klein of Level Playing Field Institute, Ophelia Basgal of Pacific Gas
    & Electric Company, James Lewis of Verizon Communications, Darrell
    Steinberg, Kamala Harris, Michael Peevey, Steve Poizner, an James Hsu
    of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal-Dentons.
    77. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    CaliforniaALL funneled some portion of the money to the UCI Foundation
    –- where State Bar of California Executive Director Joe Dunn, Judicial
    Council member Mark Robinson, and Erwin Chemerinsky served as trustees
    for the purpose of launching a new entity known as Saturday Law
    Academy at UCI. ("SALUCI")
    78. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    SALUCI was actually already created in 2005 and was fully operational
    before CaliforniaALL arrived on the scene.
    Plaintiff further alleges that repeated claims by CaliforniaALL,
    including the following, were knowingly false, misleading, and
    fraudulent: “Our first funded pipeline, the Saturday Academy of Law,
    graduated its first class on March 7”; “An inspirational welcome
    given by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky as 200 guests gathered at the Delhi
    Community Center to recognize the first graduating class of the UC
    Irvine Saturday Academy of Law. The six-week program, created by UCI’s
    Center for Educational Partnerships was made possible by a grant from
    CaliforniaALL.”
    FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    Violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200
    (Against defendants 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-Dentons and Does 1-100)

    79. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1
    – 78 as though fully set forth herein.
    80. The knowingly false, misleading and fraudulent
    claims by which executives and directors of CaliforniaALL took credit
    and falsely advertised that CaliforniaALL was instrumental in
    launching SALUCI which “graduated its first class” constitutes
    unfair and unlawful acts pursuant to California’s Business &
    Professions Code § 17200 since SALUCI already came into existence in
    2005.
    81. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Defendants have directly performed, or aided, abetted,
    counseled, commanded, induced, procured, encouraged, promoted,
    instigated, advised, willfully caused, participated in, enabled,
    contributed to, facilitated, directed, controlled, assisted in, or
    conspired in the commission of the above-described acts.
    82. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful
    acts of Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in
    fact and has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at
    trial.
    83. On February 28, 2011, Plaintiff informed the State Bar Board of
    Governors and officially requested an investigation into alleged
    fraudulent transactions, financial irregularities, and unlawful
    conduct in connection with circumstances surrounding CaliforniaALL.
    Later that day, State Bar of California Foundation Director and CPUC
    Commissioner Geoffrey Brown sent Plaintiff the following:
    “I am named in the email with the purpose of tying my tenure at the
    CPUC and the Foundation to some alleged nefarious activity. The author
    of the email is herewith put on notice that I will pursue legal action
    if he persists in a claim that I have anything to do with illegal
    activity. He is further on notice that I am in no way connected with
    the recipient named in the article.”
    84. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that during his tenure as California Bar Foundation Director, Geoffrey
    Brown, as well as Jeff Bleich and Bradley Phillips of Munger Tolles &
    Olson, Douglas Winthrop of Howard Rice-Arnold Porter, Holly Fujie of
    Buchalter Nemer, and Mark Parnes of Wilson Sonsini caused the
    following false and misleading advertisement to appear in the annual
    report: California Bar Foundation supported the launching of
    CaliforniaALL and, as the project filed for incorporation and
    501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, served as CaliforniaALL’s fiscal
    sponsor. A collaboration between the California Public Employment
    Retirement System, the California Public Utilities Commission, the
    California Department of Insurance, and the State Bar of California,
    CaliforniaALL was created in an effort to close the achievement gap
    among California students from preschool to the profession and,
    specifically, to bolster the pipeline of young people of diverse
    backgrounds headed for careers in law, financial services, and
    technology. Once CaliforniaALL obtained its tax-exempt status and was
    able to function as a fully independent nonprofit organization, the
    Foundation granted the balance of funds raised for the project -
    totaling $769,247 - to the new entity. We thank the following
    corporations for their gifts in support of CaliforniaALL: AT & T
    ,Edison International ,PG & E Corporation Foundation , and Verizon.
    85. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that the California Bar Foundation never served as the “fiscal
    sponsor” of CaliforniaALL. Plaintiff is further informed and believes
    and therefore alleges that that AT&T, Edison International, PG & E
    Corporation Foundation, and Verizon never used the California Bar
    Foundation as a “fiscal sponsor”, and any and all funds from AT & T,
    Edison International, PG & E Corporation Foundation, and Verizon went
    directly to CaliforniaALL.
    FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    Violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200
    (Against Defendants Geoffrey Brown, Jeff Bleich , Bradley Phillips,
    Munger Tolles & Olson, Douglas Winthrop, Howard Rice, Arnold Porter,
    Holly Fujie, Buchalter Nemer, Mark Parnes, Wilson Sonsini and Does
    1-100)

    86. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1
    – 85 as though fully set forth herein.
    87. The knowingly false, misleading and fraudulent
    claims by which executives and directors of the California Bar
    Foundation falsely asserted that $769,247 originated from AT&T, Edison
    International, PG & E Corporation Foundation, and Verizon constitute
    unfair and unlawful acts pursuant to California’s Business &
    Professions Code § 17200.
    88. Plaintiff is informed and believes that
    Defendants have directly performed, or aided, abetted, counseled,
    commanded, induced, procured, encouraged, promoted, instigated,
    advised, willfully caused, participated in, enabled, contributed to,
    facilitated, directed, controlled, assisted in, or conspired in the
    commission of the above-described acts.
    89. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful
    acts of Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in
    fact and has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at
    trial.

    90. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that a
    significant portion of the $769,247 from the California Bar Foundation
    to CaliforniaALL ended up financing a newly-created online publication
    which Joe Dunn had launched with the help of Thomas Girardi, James
    Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster (attorney for CaliforniaALL) and
    Erwin Chemerinsky — this online publication is known as "Voice of OC.
    91. Plaintiff requested that Voice of OC provide him with copies of
    its IRS 990 forms. Voice of OC did not comply with applicable IRS
    regulations in that it failed to reply to Plaintiff’s request for
    copies, whereupon Plaintiff filed a complaint against Voice of OC and
    Joe Dunn with the IRS.
    92. The IRS promptly sent Plaintiff notice acknowledging the
    complaint against Voice of OC.
    93. Very shortly after Plaintiff had complained to the IRS, the FBI
    arrested Kinde Durkee — CPA for Voice of OC — on unrelated charges.
    94. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    CaliforniaALL was also misused to finance the election campaigns of
    Kevin Johnson, Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, and Barack Obama,
    specifically by the following actors:
    Morrison & Foerster: James Brosnahan (self-proclaimed “mastermind”
    behind the Democratic Party; member of OBAMA FOR America’s California
    Finance Committee; Legal Counsel for CaliforniaALL ); Tony West (OBAMA
    FOR America’s Chair of California’s Finance Committee); Chris Young —
    later of Keker & Van Nest (OBAMA FOR America’s Northern California
    Deputy Finance Director); Annette Carnegie (former director of the
    California Bar Foundation during the transfer of the approximately
    $780,000 to CaliforniaALL).
    Munger Tolles & Olson: Jeffrey Bleich (president of the State Bar of
    California, director of the California Bar Foundation, and founding
    member and Chair of OBAMA FOR America’s National Finance Committee);
    Brad Phillips (2007- 2008 Director of the California Bar Foundation
    which served as a “financial sponsor” to CaliforniaALL on behalf of
    Verizon Wireless and Southern California Edison, both clients of
    Munger Tolles & Olson); Ron Olson (member of OBAMA FOR AMERICA;
    Berkshire Hathaway and Edison Director).
    Wilson Sonsini: Mark Parnes (2007-2008 director and Secretary of the
    California Bar Foundation); John Roos (former CEO of Wilson Sonsini
    and member of OBAMA FOR America’s National Finance Committee).
    DLA Piper: Steven Churchwell of DLA Piper in Sacramento (Treasurer,
    draft committee of OBAMA FOR AMERICA; firm where CaliforniaALL
    resided free of charge); Gilles Attia.
    Laura Chick (member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors
    and OBAMA FOR AMERICA).
    Kamala Harris (Co-Chair, OBAMA FOR AMERICA and member of
    CaliforniaALL Advisory Council).
    Freada Klein Kapor (member of CaliforniaALL board of directors; OBAMA
    FOR America’s phone bank located at The Kapor Center).
    Chris Young, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properties, and business
    partner Marshall McKay of Cache Creek Casino on behalf of Barack
    Obama.
    Chris Young, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properties on behalf of Kevin Johnson.
    ETHICS COMPLAINT IN RE UC DAVIS LAW STUDENT SARA GRANDA:
    95. In May 2009, U.C. Davis School of Law quadriplegic law student
    Sara Granda graduated from and hoped to sit for the July 2009 bar
    exam.
    96. The California’s Department of Rehabilitation paid the exam fee
    for Granda with a check, and Granda was assured that she was properly
    registered. However, the State Bar of California never processed
    Granda’s application because the Department of Rehabilitation paid the
    fee with a check, rather than a credit card.
    97. Granda filed a suit in federal court seeking an injunction
    directing the State Bar of California to allow her to sit for the bar
    exam. The action was titled Sara Granda v. the State Bar of
    California (Case Number 2:09-cv-02015-MCE). The State Bar of
    California was represented by Mark Torres Gil, Rachel Grunberg, and
    Lawrence Yee. The matter was adjudicated by Judge England of the
    Eastern District of California, who promptly dismissed it.
    98. During the course of presiding over the Granda case, Judge
    England never disclosed to Granda that he and his wife (Torie
    Flournoy-England) are part and parcel of an entity known as
    CaliforniaALL — which had just obtained close to $800,000 from the
    State Bar of California — headed by executive-director Judy Johnson,
    who is also part of CaliforniaALL. Similarly neither did the State
    Bar of California, Judy Johnson, Mark Torres Gil, Rachel Grunberg, or
    Lawrence Yee provide this information to Granda.
    99. On May 31, 2011, Plaintiff advanced an ethics complaint against
    State Bar of California attorneys Lawrence Yee, Mark Torres-Gil,
    Rachel Grunberg, Judy Johnson, and Holly Fujie.
    100. The complaint alleged misconduct due to the failure of the
    above-named attorneys to disclose to Plaintiff Granda the nature of
    the close personal relationship between the State Bar of California,
    CaliforniaALL, Judy Johnson, Judge England and his spouse — Terrie
    Flournoy-England.
    101. Plaintiff alleges the entire complaint filed by him was
    factually accurate, truthful, and was brought in good faith.
    Accompanying the complaint dated May 31 2011 were 11 exhibits in
    support.
    102. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    the State Bar of California received said complaint and rather than
    assign an outside investigator due to the fact it was against their
    own attorneys, summarily dismissed it.
    103. On July 28, 2011, State Bar employee Jill Sperber wrote to
    Plaintiff informing him that:
    “I have determined that your complaint fails to present stuffiest
    facts to substantiate an investigation.”
    "The State Bar had no involvement with CaliforniaALL once it was
    incorporated and operating."
    “Several of the informational items that you list are not factually
    accurate a) CaliforniaALL and State Bar are partners and B) a sub-rosa
    transfer of funds from State Bar to CaliforniaALL took place.”
    104. Sperber never alleged that the complaint filed by Plaintiff was
    frivolous or “without merit.”
    105. Plaintiff submits that the 11 exhibits accompanying his
    complaint showed beyond any doubts that the California Bar and
    CaliforniaALL were partners, and that State Bar executive directors
    (Judy Johnson) and employee Patricia Lee were part of CaliforniaALL.
    As such, Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that
    the claim by Ms. Sperber that “The State Bar had no involvement with
    CaliforniaALL once it was incorporated and operating” is false, that
    the State Bar Board of Governors continued to appoint directors to
    CaliforniaALL, and that CaliforniaALL never acknowledged the
    approximate $780,000 it obtained from the California Bar Foundation,
    demonstrating that the transfer was sub-rosa.
    Search-Seizure of CaliforniaALL Evidence By Investigators From Yolo
    County District Attorney
    106. On February 23, 2012, eight armed investigators from the Yolo
    County District Attorney’s office arrived at Plaintiff’s place of
    residence, searched the premises, and confiscated two computers, flash
    drives, and documents pursuant to an invalid search warrant issued by
    Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall.
    107. The invalid search warrant listed the names of Joe Dunn (of
    Voice of OC) ,Thomas Girardi (of Voice of OC, In Re Girardi) , Judy
    Johnson, Holly Fujie, Alec Chang of Skadden Arps, James Towery,
    Howard Dickstein, Jeannine English, and State Bar attorneys Mark
    Torres Gil, Lawrence Yee, and Rachel Grunberg.
    108. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and therefore alleges that
    accompanying the DA officers was a private citizen named Tom Layton.
    109. Plaintiff was told that by the investigators and Michael Cabral
    that the State Bar Board of Governors was pressing criminal charges
    against Plaintiff for, among other things, violations of B & P
    Section 6043.5 (filing false and malicious ethics complaints) because
    of the ethics complaint Plaintiff submitted in connection with U.C.
    Davis School of Law quadriplegic law student Sara Granda.
    110. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and therefore alleges that,
    in approximately early 2011, once Plaintiff unearthed the various acts
    of misconduct described above — such as In Re Girardi, Fogel v.
    Farmers, Voice of OC, and especially fraud dealing with CaliforniaALL
    (an entity Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges
    was launched, represented, directed, or benefited by extremely
    powerful politicians such as California Attorney General Kamala
    Harris, Jerry Brown, Darrel Steinberg, Kevin Johnson, Joe Dunn, and
    Obama for America; governmental officials such as CPUC’s Michael
    Peevey, Geoffrey Brown; powerful law firms such as DLA Piper, Morrison
    & Foerster, Munger Tolles, Dentons, and Girardi & Keese; major utility
    companies such as PG&E, Verizon, and Southern California Edison; major
    corporations such as Accenture, Fulcrum Property/Mark Friedman, Cache
    Creek Casino/Marshall McKay, LPFI/ Freada Kapor; and members of the
    California Judicial Council (such as Mark Robinson, Tani Cantil), an
    understanding was reached to silence Plaintiff at any cost, to
    retaliate against him because of his speech-related activates, to try
    to intimidate him, and to confiscate all the incriminating evidence he
    had gathered.
    111. Plaintiff is also informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that Jon Streeter of Keker & Van Nest — a “bundler” for Barack Obama
    who served as president of the State Bar of California and was aware
    of Plaintiff’s discovery of CaliforniaALL due to the fact that
    Plaintiff requested documents and sought an investigation —
    immediately informed Keker & Van Nest, John Keker and associate Chris
    Young of Plaintiff’s discoveries.
    112. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    Keker & Van Nest associate Chris Young — who caused the launching of
    CaliforniaALL two years prior while serving as Obama for America
    California Deputy Finance Director, and who later worked with Jeffrey
    Bleich as White House Adviser, and who later worked with Mark
    Friedman on the election campaign of Kevin Johnson — panicked. As
    such, Chris Young’s attorney profile was quickly removed from the
    KVN.COM web-site. This fraud was only discovered by Plaintiff months
    later.
    Specifically, Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that State Actor Streeter, who also served as a Director of the
    California Bar Foundation, conspired with nongovernmental agents of
    CaliforniaALL, original actors Freada Kapor and Mary Ann Todd of
    Munger Tolles (on behalf of Jeff Bleich, Bradley Phillips, Ron Olson,
    Edison International, Berkshire Hathaway), Douglas Winthrop of Howard
    Rice, Holly Fujie of Buchalter Nemer, Raj Chatterjee of Morrison &
    Foerster, and Richard Tom of Southern California Edison to injure
    Plaintiff, to retaliate against him because of his speech-related
    activates, and to confiscate all the incriminating evidence he had
    gathered.
    113. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    Streeter — who served as a “bundler” for Barack Obama’s campaign —
    was also motivated to silence Plaintiff lest information he possessed
    would cause President Obama to lose his re-election bid.
    114. Plaintiff is also informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that Joe Dunn reached an understanding with Erwin Chemerinsky of
    Voice of OC, as well as original Voice of OC directors Thomas Girardi
    and James Brosnahan of Morrison & Forester, to misuse his authority as
    a state actor to silence and retaliate against Plaintiff.
    115. Plaintiff is also informed and believes and therefore alleges
    that James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster and Jon Streeter of Keker
    & Van Nest met with Judicial Council members Tani Cantil, David
    Rosenberg, Angela Davis, and Mark Robinson to discuss potential
    courses of action. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and
    therefore alleges that, during said meeting, an agreement was reached
    by which David Rosenberg — who also serves as a judge with the Yolo
    County Superior Court — would “clear the way” for the issuance of a
    search warrant of Plaintiff’s home lacking in probable cause.
    Moreover, Plaintiff is also informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that due to concerns of leaks by disc rental Judicial Council
    employees expressed by Tani Cantil, Rosenberg agreed to unlawfully
    arrange for the search warrant to also include the names of Joseph
    Dunn and Starr Babcock in order to ascertain Plaintiff’s sources of
    information, if any.
    116. As such, Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that, acting to serve their own financial interest and on
    behalf of CaliforniaALL actors named above and pursuant to a
    widespread conspiracy between private citizens and state actors, and
    while acting under color of state law, the entire State Bar of
    California Board of Governors (including Jon Streeter of Keker & Van
    Nest — acting also pursuant to a separate conspiracy with KVN, John
    Keker, Chris Young, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Property), and California
    Bar Foundation directors Mary Ann Todd , Holly Fujie, Douglas
    Winthrop; Joe Dunn of Voice of OC, Jeannine English and George Davis
    of AARP, Laura Chick of Obama for America, Alec Chang of Skadden Arps
    –- acting on behalf client Tom Girardi, Gretchen Nelson of Kreindler &
    Kreindler) chose to adopt a plan by which they would unlawfully use
    the fact that they are also clothed with the authority of state law to
    knowingly and maliciously press false criminal charges against
    Plaintiff for the alleged violation of California Business &
    Professions 6043.5 which reads:
    (a)Every person who reports to the State Bar or causes a complaint to
    be filed with the State Bar that an attorney has engaged in
    professional misconduct, knowing the report or complaint to be false
    and malicious, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    (b)The State Bar may, in its discretion, notify the appropriate
    district attorney or city attorney that a person has filed what the
    State Bar believes to be a false and malicious report or complaint
    against an attorney and recommend prosecution of the person under
    subdivision (a).
    117. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    the objective of the conspiracy was to knowingly and maliciously
    submit a false criminal complaint to the Yolo County District Attorney
    against Plaintiff, and for a search/seizure to be executed on
    Plaintiff’s home to confiscate all evidence he had gathered in regard
    to the above-described matters, and in order to retaliate and
    intimidate him into silence, especially in matters dealing with In Re
    Girardi, Fogel v. Farmers, Voice of OC, and CaliforniaALL.
    118. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    around February of 2012, as an overt act in furtherance of said
    conspiracy, representatives of the State Bar of California knowingly,
    maliciously, and without probable cause pressed false criminal charges
    against Plaintiff alleging, inter alia, violation of California
    Business & Professions 6043.5
    SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    Violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200
    Predicated on California Penal Codes 148.5 and 182
    (Against Defendants Keker & Van Nest, John Keker, Chris Young, Voice
    of OC, Erwin Chemerinsky, Skadden Arps, Freada Kapor Klein, Mary Ann
    Todd, Munger Tolles, Jeff Bleich, Bradley Phillips, Ron Olson, Edison
    International, Berkshire Hathaway, Douglas Winthrop, Howard Rice,
    Holly Fujie, Buchalter Nemer, Raj Chatterjee, Morrison & Foerster,
    James Brosnahan, Richard Tom, Southern California Edison, Wilson
    Sonsini, Mark Friedman, Fulcrum Properties, Mark Robinson, and Does 1
    – 100)

    119. Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1 - 118
    as though fully set forth herein.
    120. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore
    alleges that Defendants willfully and knowingly conspired and agreed
    among themselves to a scheme by which they agreed to violate
    Plaintiff’s legal rights in violations of California Penal Codes 148.5
    and 182. This constitutes unfair and unlawful acts pursuant to
    California’s Business & Professions Code § 17200.
    121. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendants have directly
    performed, or aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured,
    encouraged, promoted, instigated, advised, willfully caused,
    participated in, enabled, contributed to, facilitated, directed,
    controlled, assisted in, or conspired in the commission of the
    above-described acts.
    122. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful acts
    of Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in fact and
    has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at trial.
    __________________________________

    123. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that on
    February 21, 2012 Chief Investigator of Yolo County District Attorney
    Bruce Naliboff presented to Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy
    Fall an invalid and meaningless “Statement of Probable Cause” in
    support of a search warrant stating, inter alia, that a search of
    Plaintiff’s residence and vehicle may reveal both written and
    electronically recorded information of criminal conduct because
    Plaintiff’s ethics complaint dealing with Sara Granda constituted a
    misdemeanor in violation of B & P Section 6043.5, filing false and
    malicious ethics complaints.
    124. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that in
    seeking to obtain a search warrant in connection with the ethics
    complaint, Naliboff was acting pursuant to false advice and
    information he obtained from Assistant District Attorney Michael
    Cabral, who knew no probable cause existed in support of this claim.
    125. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    Cabral knew that no probable cause existed to seek a search warrant in
    connection with the ethics complaint filed by Plaintiff and, further,
    that he knew that the ethics complaint submitted by Plaintiff were (a)
    valid, truthful, and meritorious; (b) protected by the First
    Amendment; (c) did not constitute a crime warranting the search and
    seizure of Plaintiff’s property; and (d) did not contain any facts
    whatsoever to suggest that they were “false and malicious”.
    126. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    Cabral intentionally misled Naliboff, who in turn, misled Judge Falk
    into believing there had been a WRITTEN criminal complaint originating
    from the State Bar of California against Plaintiff when no such
    WRITTEN complaint existed.
    127. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that,
    nevertheless, Cabral deliberately and maliciously instructed Naliboff
    to seek a search warrant while misleading Naliboff and by giving him
    false legal advice that probable cause existed to support the warrant,
    despite the fact that there was absolutely no corroborating evidence
    in support of probable cause.
    128. Plaintiff is informed and believes and therefore alleges that
    Cabral allowed investigators to bring along a private citizen (Tom
    Layton) during the execution of the warrant on February 23, 2012.
    129. During the search, which lasted approximately three hours,
    Cabral constantly called the deputies executing the warrant with
    questions and instructions. Plaintiff is informed and believes and
    therefore alleges that Cabral also directed, participated, and
    controlled the actual search and seizure.
    130. During the search of Plaintiff’s home, investigator Peter Martin
    stated to Plaintiff that all documents referring to the State Bar of
    California will be confiscated. Despite protests from Plaintiff,
    Martin confiscated documents sent to Plaintiff by the IRS in
    connection with a complaint he had made against Voice of OC and
    CaliforniaALL.
    131. Plaintiff asked Martin why he was taking all those documents,
    and Martin stated that any and all documents referencing or relating
    to the State Bar of California are being confiscated. When Plaintiff
    pointed out to him that the document issued by the IRS mentions
    neither the State Bar of California nor any person listed on the
    warrant, Martin stated that the document would be confiscated
    nevertheless.
    132. During the interaction with Martin, Plaintiff felt intimidated
    and threatened, and retaliated against because Plaintiff exercised his
    First Amendment right to complain against Voice of OC to the IRS.

    SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    BANE ACT, CAL. CIV. CODE § 52.1
    (Against defendants Keker & Van Nest, John Keker, Chris Young, Voice
    of OC, Erwin Chemerinsky, Skadden Arps, Freada Kapor Klein, Mary Ann
    Todd , Munger Tolles, 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, and Does 1 - 100 )

    133. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate here the allegations in
    Paragraphs 1-132 above, as
    though fully set forth.

    134. Defendants’ above-described conduct constitute interference, by
    threats, intimidation, and coercion, with Plaintiffs’ exercise and
    enjoyment of his freedom of expression rights secured by the
    Constitution and laws of the United States and California, in
    violation of California Civil Code § 52.1. Specifically, defendants
    set in motion a course of action with the intent to retaliate,
    intimidate, and suppress Plaintiff exercise of those rights.

    135. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendants have directly
    performed, or aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured,
    encouraged, promoted, instigated, advised, willfully caused,
    participated in, enabled, contributed to, facilitated, directed,
    controlled, assisted in, or conspired in the commission of the
    above-described acts.

    136. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful acts of
    Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in fact and
    has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at trial.
    Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that David
    Rosenberg conspired with Michael Cabral to add the names of Starr
    Babcock and Joseph Dunn to the search warrant in order to also
    intimidate and silencePlaintiff. Plaintiff had never committed any
    alleged crimes against Joseph Dunn or Starr Babcock, and there was no
    probable cause to include the names of Starr Babcock and Joseph Dunn
    in the search warrant.

    137. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that, if
    Judge Falk had not been misled and had been presented with the
    complete truth when the DA’s office was seeking the search warrant for
    Plaintiff’s home, Judge Falk would not have signed the search warrant
    in connection with the ethics complaint or with the names of Starr
    Babcock and Joseph Dunn.

    EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Violation of First Amendment/Free Speech Rights
    (Against Defendants Keker & Van Nest, John Keker, Chris Young, Voice
    of OC, Erwin Chemerinsky, Skadden Arps, Freada Kapor Klein, Mary Ann
    Todd , Munger Tolles, 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, and Does 1 - 100 )

    138 Plaintiff incorporates paragraph by reference paragraphs 1 -
    137 as though fully set forth herein.

    139. Defendants’ above-described conspiracies between state and
    private actors, as well as the misuse of state power, and the attempt
    to silence Plaintiffs constitute interference with his freedom of
    expression rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United
    States and California, in violation of 42 USC 1983. .

    140. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendants have directly
    performed, or aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured,
    encouraged, promoted, instigated, advised, willfully caused,
    participated in, enabled, contributed to, facilitated, directed,
    controlled, assisted in, or conspired in the commission of the
    above-described acts.

    141. As a proximate result of the unfair and unlawful acts of
    Defendants, as alleged above, Plaintiff suffered injury in fact and
    has lost money or property in an amount to be proven at trial.
    Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that David
    Rosenberg conspired with Michael Cabral to add the names of Starr
    Babcock and Joseph Dunn to the search warrant. Plaintiff had never
    committed any alleged crimes against Joseph Dunn or Starr Babcock, and
    there was no probable cause to include the names of Starr Babcock and
    Joseph Dunn in the search warrant.

    142. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that, if
    Judge Falk had not been misled and had been presented with the
    complete truth when the DA’s office was seeking the search warrant for
    Plaintiff’s home, Judge Falk would not have signed the search warrant
    in connection with the ethics complaint or with the names of Starr
    Babcock and Joseph Dunn.

    NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Predicated on Fourth Amendment Rights/Unreasonable
    Search and Seizure
    (Against Defendants Michael Cabral, Peter Martin, David Rosenberg,
    and Does 1-100)

    143 Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate here the allegations in
    Paragraphs 1-142 above, as
    though fully set forth.

    144. Defendants’ above-described conduct has violated and continues
    to violate Plaintiffs’ right to be free from unreasonable searches and
    seizures under the fourth amendment to the US Constitution..
    As a result of Defendant’s actions, Plaintiff has been injured in an
    amount to be proven at trial.

    WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests judgment
    against Defendants as follows:
    1. For general and special damages under all causes of action where
    available by law;
    2. For costs of suit;
    3. For prejudgment interest;
    4. For an injunction directing Defendants to comply with 26 U.S.C. §
    6104(d); and
    5. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
    Plaintiff also demands a jury trial in this matter.
    DATED: February 24, 2014

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

    BELOW MODIFIED VERSION OF COMMUNICATION FROM YR TO THIRD PARTY. AUDIO MODIFIED TO PROTECT IDENTITY OF SOURCE

    AUDIO @:

    http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2013/03/19/explosive-audio-bill-lockyer-thomas-girardi-and-walter-lack-sec

    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:

    http://la.indymedia.org/news/2012/09/255420.php

    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.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/48722718/9-CaliforniaALL-Newsletter-announcing-change-of-address-and-DLA-Piper-Pro-Bo

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/100876445/CalALL-Mar2009Newsletter

    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.

    –-------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6/12/2011

    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 MATTER

    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.

    THE AARP MATTER

    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.

    Thanks

  • 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.

    –----------------

    IN RE GIRARDI; JERRY FALK LACK OF CREDIBILITY

    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 @:

    http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2013/01/06/fraudster-alleged-racketeer-arnold-porter-s-jerome-falk-aka-jer

  • The Leslie Brodie Report Sent Greetings to John Keker as Keker & Van Nest Now Part of Inquiry by TLR/YR/Others Into California Energy Crisis / PG&E Bankruptcy, and Related Financial Shenanigans involving CaliforniaALL and CCPF

    Specifically, in connection with Joe Dunn-Tom Girardi-James Brosnahan-Martha Escutia who served as original BOD members of embattled Voice of OC; Pierce O’Donnell; Lance Astrella; Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (represented PG&E in bankruptcy proceedings, Girardi-Astrella-Lack in a malpractice action by Robert Copple involving the Sempra Energy settlement, secondary representation of PG&E in Erin Brockovich matter while PG&E in bankruptcy — a case prosecuted by Girardi/Lack, really special prosecutor in matter of In Re Girardi, part of litigation Attorney General Bill Lockyer had advanced against parent company of PG&E — a case Jerry Brown had later dismissed under highly questionable circumstances. Sources maintain since the King can do no wrong, Jerry Brown — for all its worth – can have his legacy barring any new developments such as late discovery of new evidence. In addition, Jerome Falk with strong ties to Howard Rice partner Douglas Winthrop who is part and parcel of California Bar Foundation which mysteriously funneled “Hush-Hush” sub-rosa $780,000 to CaliforniaALL ) ; Ex-CPUC Commissioner Geoffrey Brown (ties to CaliforniaALL, Judy Johnson’s CCPF, California Bar Foundation, as well as secondary ties to the “Oral Sex Scandal” involving Donald Steedman/Robert Hawley/Castro Valley-based female attorney); Joe Cotchett; Walter Lack of In Re Girardi/Sempra Litigation; John Keker of Keker & Van Nest (KVN with strong ties to CPUC via Lynch/Cohen; Robert Van Nest/Jon Streeter represented PG&E before FERC in matter of CPUC vs. El Paso; Jon Streeter part of State Bar BOG while YR had submitted request for formal investigation. Streeter presently part of BOG, as well as California Bar Foundation BOD)

    Please see developing story @:

    http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2012/04/11/cpuc-vs-el-paso-corp-federal-energy-regulatory-commission-hon-c

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal Matter of In Re Girardi (Adjudicated by Marsha Berzon, N. Rabdy Smith, William Fletcher)and State Bar of California Special Prosecutor Jerome Falk of Howard Rice — Legal Counsel to Girardi & Keese — Complainant Reply.

    Letter from Jerome Falk to Complainant, please see Here. Complainant relpy, below:

    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.

    Mr. Jerome Falk of Howard Rice, an appellate specialist with a mercurial personality. In 2008, during an interview with a legal publication, Mr. Falk stated while describing some opposing counsel, "I would do anything to squash them. So those cases don’t settle. You just want to rip their throats out.” After visiting Vietnam, Mr. Falk joined East meets West, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in Vietnam. (Photo:courtesy of Vietnam, East meets West)

    Your claim that Ethan Schulman took the file with him when he left Howard Rice is also suspect, as I am confident that records of transactions were and remain on Howard Rice’s computer system, including the computerized conflict check system.

    Moreover, the fact that Mr. Schulman has left the firm is immaterial. Courts have held that even where the attorneys in a firm who had been primarily responsible for the representation of a client had left the law firm, there was a rebuttable presumption that they had shared client confidences with lawyers remaining with the law firm. See generally Elan Transdermal Ltd. v. Cygnus Therapeutic Systems (N.D. Cal. 1992) 809 F.Supp. 1383.

    Similarly, your alleged present recollection is immaterial. See generally Civil Service Com. v. Superior Court (1984) 163 Cal.App.3d 70, 79), particularly given the rule that creates a presumption that lawyers in the same firm will confer on their cases and exchange confidences.

    Even if I were to accept that you and your firm did not represent Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi, and only represented the firms of Girardi & Keese and ELL (which I do not), your absurd argument still fails.

    The findings of grave misconduct by the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In Re Girardi, as well as the sanctions imposed, were directed not just at Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi , but also at their law firms — your and your firm’s clients, Girardi & Keese and ELL. In fact, both Girardi & Keese and ELL were considered to have been “respondents” and were represented by counsel Robert Baker, Diane Karpman, and your MGA and Gennetech confederate — Thomas Nolan of Skadden Arps.

    Since you concede that Girardi & Keese and ELL were clients of your firm, and the Ninth Circuit made findings against Girardi & Keese and ELL, it was improper for you to accept the appointment at issue. This is especially true given fiduciary duties you owe Girardi & Keese and ELL — including the duties of loyalty and confidentiality — as well as the requirement that you obtain a waiver from a client in instances in which you may take a position adverse to them.

    This last prong is a bit unusual when applied to the present facts, as it differs from the usual scenario wherein an attorney has a financial incentive to be adverse to a former client. Here, and as the facts clearly provide, you had a financial incentive to not prosecute, as well as an additional incentive to not prosecute since such would have exposed you to professional discipline.

    Lastly, even though plaintiff Robert Copple only named the firms and not the partners as defendants, Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack are still considered to have been your and Howard Rice’s clients by operation of law. For example If anyone would ask Howard Rice to disclose communications with Girardi & Keese regarding the suit and the representation, Howard Rice would certainly assert the attorney-client privilege.

    Likewise, if Howard Rice were asked to disclose communications between itself and Thomas Girardi relating to the litigation, Howard Rice would, again, assert the attorney-client privilege with respect to Thomas Girardi; similarly, both Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi would do the same. As such, it is disingenuous for you to attempt to argue that these individuals were not clients of you and your firm.

    Thank you for your time. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

    http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/12/13/ninth-circuit-court-of-appeal-matter-of-in-re-thomas-girardi-ad

  • UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT WILL BE ASKED TO DISBAR TOM GIRARDI, WALTER LACK, HOWARD RICE’S JEROME FALK FOR SCHEME TO CIRCUMVENT NINTH CIRCUIT ORDER IN MATTER OF “IN RE GIRARDI”

    <p style="text-align: justify;">Contending that Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk, acting as Special Prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California, repeatedly sought to subvert justice by failing to disclose that those he was suppose to prosecute (Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack) were actually his and his firm’s clients, sources familiar with the situation claim plans are underway to seek the disbarment of Girardi, Lack and Falk.<br /><br />In a letter to Jerome Falk and the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, complainant minced no words in accusing Falk (as well as Girardi and Lack) of egregious misconduct.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;">As a service to the community, we shall publish* the communication, below:</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;">Dear Mr. Falk:<br /> <br /> This will serve as a formal meet and confer attempt regarding various matters, primarily relating to your repugnant and continuous deceitful actions taken in connection with your willingness to serve as a special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California against two of your and your firm’s clients (Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack) as part of a scheme to exploit your authority as special prosecutor for financial gain.<br /> <br /> In addition, this letter will serve to explore potential misconduct in connection with misrepresentations made to an official tribunal (i.e. the RAD Committee of the State Bar of California Board of Governors ("BOG")) that appointed a special master in proceedings I initiated against you.</p>
    <p><img src='https://seenthis.net/http://vietnam.eastmeetswest.org/images/staff&board/jfalk08.jpg" alt="" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em>Mr. Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (Image:courtesy photo)</em><br /> <br /> To illustrate my point, State Bar of California Board of Governors member William Gailey is a man of high honor with a prior distinguished career as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Presently, he operates his own investigation firm (<a href="http://www.gaileyassociates.com/William-Gailey.htm">Gailey Associates, Inc</a>.), which as I understand is one of the best in the country and offers a wide array of services, including industrial espionage and the like.<br /> <br /> Assume, hypothetically speaking only, that Mr. X is an industrialist and a client of Gailey Associates in connection with various business-related transactions. Assume also that Mr. X, while a client of Gailey Associates, was charged by the federal government for participating in a conspiracy to kidnap and murder Mr. Y, the owner of a competing business located in Los Angeles. Mr. X is tried and convicted and sentenced to serve a 30 year sentence in a federal correctional facility. However, after one year he is mysteriously pardoned by the U.S. president.<br /> <br /> Public and media pressure prompt the Los Angeles District Attorney to file an information against Mr. X for violations of State Penal Code provisions, including PC 182 and 187 in connection with the crimes Mr. X committed against Mr. Y. A shortage of qualified detectives prompts the DA to seek volunteer detectives, and Mr. Gailey is deputized, issued a badge, and appointed the role of lead detective in amassing the case against Mr. X on behalf of the People.<br /> <br /> Mr. Gailey shortly thereafter announces the closure of the investigation, and declares that, as far as he is concerned, Mr. X is innocent. As a second hypothetical, assume that with these facts in mind, Mr. Gailey is instead an attorney in private practice who is deputized to act as special prosecutor to try Mr. X, and likewise Mr. Gailey declares Mr. X to be innocent. <br /> <br /> If you don’t see anything wrong with the above two hypothetical examples, please delete this email; otherwise, keep reading because the above hypo is very similar to the scenario that ensued when you agreed to act as special prosecutor against your clients (Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack) on behalf of the People of the State of California to examine the grave and previously adjudicated attorney misconduct Messrs. Girardi and Lack committed against the Ninth Circuit in the litigation against the Dole Food Company.<br /> <br /> The misconduct on the part of Girardi and Lack was investigated by a special master (Senior Judge Hon. Wallace Tashima) appointed by the Ninth Circuit, and his recommendations were adopted by a panel of three Ninth Circuit judges after a full opportunity was afforded to Girardi and Lack to present defenses and bargain with a special prosecutor (Rory Little); these findings were memorialized in the published decision of <a href="http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=in%20fco%2020100713157.xml&docbase=cslwar3-2007-cu Re Girardi</a>. 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.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="margin: 0px;" src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/249/6011249_eb1485d01e_m.jpeg" alt="UC Hastings Prof Rory Little" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em><span style="font-size: 6px;">Rory Little, Ninth Circuit judicial aspirant and professor of law at U.C. Hastings. Professor Little <a href="http://legalpad.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/ninth-circuit-a.html">was appointed</a> special prosecutor in the matter of In Re Girardi by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. Prior to entering academia, Professor Little served as a federal prosecutor for the Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, prosecuting cases of labor racketeering, money-laundering, narcotics and other organized criminal activity. (image:courtesy photo)</span></em></p>
    <p>As you surely recall, the Ninth Circuit also ordered Girardi and Lack to report the findings to the State Bar of California. Because Howard Miller of Girardi &amp; Keese served as President of the State Bar, the Bar disqualified itself and you were appointed as Special Prosecutor by the State Bar to further look into this matter on behalf of the People.<br /> <br /> Despite ample opportunities, you (nor Lack, Girardi, or members of your firm whom I contacted on several occasions in search of information) mentioned that Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack were your and your firm’s clients. <br /> <br /> Shortly thereafter, when you had issued the decision to “exonerate” Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack (as memorialized in a <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/01/31/jerome-falk-s-letter-to-robert-baker-10474846/">"Dear Bob" letter you sent Mr. Robert Baker</a> of Baker Keener &amp; Nahara), I immediately protested by filing both an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California, and asking the BOG to inquire into the matter. Named in the complaint were yourself, Douglas Wintrhrop, Howard Miller, and <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/06/16/d-e-v-e-l-o-p-i-n-g-james-towery-california-bar-embattled-chief-prosecutor-to-resign-11327086/">James Towery</a>.<br /> <br /> At that time, I was unaware that Girardi and Lack were your clients, and the ethics complaint alleged you were biased because of your and your firm’s ongoing business relationship with Skadden Arps and partner Tom Nolan, who served as Girardi’s defense counsel in the matter of In Re Girardi. Also, I argued that since the State Bar of California had disqualified itself, you and your firm should also have been disqualified as the managing partner of your firm (Douglas Wintrhrop) is an officer of the State Bar of California, and was appointed to the position by the BOG headed by Howard Miller of Girardi &amp; Keese.<br /> <br /> Mr. Robert Hawley immediately appointed himself the point of contact, and only several months ago informed me that the complaint was assigned to RAD, which in turn appointed a special master who examined the complaint and found no ethical violations; <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/07/21/rad-committee-of-state-bar-of-california-adopts-finding-of-no-misconduct-by-james-towery-howard-rice-s-jerry-falk-and-doug-winthrop-11520291/">RAD voted to accept this conclusion</a>.</p>
    <p><a title="Mr Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese" href="http://www.blog.co.uk/media/photo/mr_tom_girardi_of_girardi_keese/6013138"> src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/138/6013138_3f41726fe7_m.jpeg" alt="Mr Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese" width="185" height="246" /></a><img src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/469/5853469_a9876fa02a_m.jpeg" alt="State Bar of California’s Robert Hawley " width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em>Mr. Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and State Bar of California <br /> Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Robert A. Hawley.</em><br /> <br /> Subsequently, and fortuitously, I <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/08/25/pamela-phillips-sean-selegue-douglas-winthrop-and-jerome-falk-of-howard-rice-candy-falk-rabkin-under-extreme-scrutiny-as-new-evidence-discovered-11728161/">very recently discovered</a> that Lack and Girardi were clients of your firm. I <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/08/30/howard-rice-canady-falk-rabkin-s-jerome-falk-douglas-winthrop-sean-selegue-and-pamela-phillips-assailed-by-complainant-re-state-bar-of-california-11752294/">inquired with Mr. Hawley</a> whether this fact was known to the RAD and Special Master investigating my complaint. The inquiry to Mr. Hawley was ignored, ipso facto terminating his role as point of contact.<br /> <br /> Mr. Hawley’s lack of response lends credence to my belief that since you knew of the complaint and never informed the Special Master or RAD, you are also liable for defrauding and misrepresenting events to a tribunal. If you have facts to the contrary, please forward them to me ASAP.<br /> <br /> Note that subsequent to the discovery of the attorney-client relationship between you and Lack/Girardi, I again wrote SeLegue and Philips seeking additional clarification, and no response was forthcoming. It had occurred to me that, given that Girardi and Lack are clients of your firm, any insinuation of misconduct I may previously have alleged on the part of SeLegue and Philips were improper; as such, these insinuations are hereby withdrawn as I now understand that SeLegue and Philips were acting in the best interest of their clients — Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack.</p>
    <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: separate; color: #000000; font-family: ’Times New Roman’; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; font-size: medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #020000; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 19px;"> </span></span></p>
    <p>Nevertheless, the serious nature of the offenses and the harm caused by your corrupt activities (as well as the corrupt activities of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack, primarily as a result of their failure to speak up and reject your appointment) leaves me no choice but to, again, seek discipline against you, Walter Lack, and Thomas Girardi. Additional factors surrounding Thomas Girardi and Girardi &amp; Keese have also become relevant, including the recent malpractice suits filed by Gutierez and <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/03/tom-girardi-lashes-out-at-victim-as-girardi-keese-sued-for-legal-malpractice-12110166/">Demeter Energy</a>; the secretive<a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/04/05/ethics-complaint-filed-with-california-state-bar-against-skadde"> attorney-client relationship between Girardi &amp; Keese and Skadden Arps</a> in the Fogel vs. Farmers matter, the identity and nature of the firms defending MGA in the litigation against Mattel; <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/07/21/complainant-reply-to-rad-committee-s-decision-as-was-communicated-to-state-bar-s-robert-hawley-11520925/">Alec Chang’s membership on RAD</a>; the overall corruption within the State Bar of California manifested in its unwillingness to prosecute Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack; Girardi’s unsettling<a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/09/30/muslim-community-of-orange-county-mulls-aiding-ronald-gottschal"> friendship with Ronald George</a> and “mentoring” of former crack-addict Mike Nisperos. These factors, coupled with my impression that the firms of Girardi &amp; Keese, Skadden Arps, and Howard Rice have somehow exempted themselves from complying with the rules, make clear that I must press ahead to ensure that you, Walter Lack, and Thomas Girardi are held fully accountable and otherwise prevented from practicing before any federal or state court.<br /> <br /> As such, in the near future the federal district court, appellate court, and U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to investigate your misconduct (and that of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack), and to otherwise permanently remove your names from the roll of members allowed to practice before each of those courts. <br /> <br /> Particularly, I plan to ask the Ninth Circuit to appoint a Special Master to investigate the matter, and to reopen the matter of In Re Girardi to examine whether Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi fully complied with the order in the matter of In Re Girardi and to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California. It is my position that the order to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California included an implied covenant that any State Bar of California proceedings would be conducted in good faith and in conformity with all rules and duties and principles consistent with the fair administration of justice. By not speaking up when you were appointed, Messrs. Girardi and Lack further aggravated matters and, arguably, violated the order handed down by the Ninth Circuit.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="margin: 0px;" src='https://seenthis.net/http://data6.blog.de/media/317/4844317_33623fac42_m.jpeg" alt="" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <span style="color: #000000;"><em><span style="background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times,serif;"><span style="font-size: 8px;">Mr. Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack. In the matter of In Re Girardi, the Ninth Circuit adjudicated: “with respect to Respondents Lack and Traina, we conclude that the mitigating factors can affect only the length of the suspension we impose. Although Lack’s involvement in the enforcement proceedings was more long-standing than Traina’s, each was specifically responsible for the falsehoods presented to this court. Consequently, each is suspended from the practice of law in this court for six months, effective on the filing date of this order. Fed. R.App. P. 46(c). Respondents Lack and Traina may each file a petition for reinstatement after the period of suspension pursuant to Ninth Circuit Rule 46-2(h). Each shall file the petition using this docket number and include evidence that he is in good standing, with no discipline pending, in all courts and bars to which he is admitted.” (Image:courtesy photo)</span></span></span></em></span><br /><br /> <br /> Similarly, when Walter Lack sought to reinstate himself via a motion advanced to Ninth Circuit Commissioner Shaw, he relied heavily on the fact that the State Bar of California decided not to discipline him. In aggravation and while exponentially compounding his lack of credibility, Mr. Lack conveniently failed to mention that he and you (who represented the State Bar of California) have an attorney-client relationship, and that your decision to not prosecute him was the fruit of an unlawful and highly unethical scheme.<br /> <br /> In addition, please note that I plan to file a writ with the California Supreme Court seeking to invalidate your decision, and asking the Court to order the State Bar of California to commence proceedings consistent with the State Bar Act and the Rules of Professional Conduct against you, Walter Lack, Thomas Girardi, and your respective firms, and to otherwise take action on the original complaint I submitted to the Intake Office which was never processed.<br /> <br /> The writ will be filed prior to the end of this year so as to allow the Court to also address separate matters, and to otherwise maintain jurisdiction over <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/03/09/californiaall-part-7-state-bar-of-california-board-of-governors-asked-to-investigate-foundation-refusal-to-comply-with-irs-rules-and-policies-10792916/">Douglas Winthrop (also of Howard Rice) and Holly Fujie</a> in their capacities as President and Vice President of the California Bar Foundation, and in connection with the overall circumstances, particularly the hush-hush and unlawful transfer of $780,000 from the Foundation to sham charity <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/09/08/orange-county-investigative-news-agency-voice-of-oc-asked-to-produce-all-documents-submitted-to-the-internal-revenue-service-within-the-past-thre-11803606/">CaliforniaALLa>. <br /> <br /> Hence, at your earliest convenience I ask that you provide information, as well as, if you wish, any memorandum containing legal authority explaining why your actions did not constitute professional misconduct. <br /> <br /> Below is a synopsis of the various acts of misconduct I intend to allege. If you believe I am wrong, legally or factually, please so advise as soon as possible:<br /> <br /> Your first act of misconduct took place once the State Bar initially contacted you. Rather than rejecting the appointment, you intentionally, deliberately, and with aforethought accepted the assignment, knowing full well that you were unable to take a position adverse to your clients Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi, and also knowing full well that you would exonerate both of them regardless of the weight of the evidence. In doing so, you hoped to maintain your attorney-client relationship with Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi in order to obtain a future stream of business from them, as well as from Thomas Girardi’s defense lawyer — your confederate, Thomas Nolan of Skadden Arps. By doing so, you have completely breached the duties expected of a prosecutor. Moreover, while temporarily holding public office, you placed your financial interests, as well as the financial interest of your firm, before those of the People, causing injury to the federal judiciary, the Dole Food Company, the State Bar of California, the People of the State of California, the fair administration of justice, myself, and frankly, even your own clients Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack.<br /> <br /> Your second act of misconduct involved the hampering of an investigation, and misleading a tribunal (i.e. the BOG/RAD and the appointed Special Master) by not fully disclosing the attorney-client relationship.<br /> <br /> Thirdly, and in aggravation, even to this date, and after members of your firm were informed of the recent discovery and you had ample opportunity to admit you mistakes, you still have not taken any action to remedy the situation. Instead, you appear to hope that by ignoring the problem, it will somehow disappear. It shall not.<br /> <br /> Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information or clarification of the above-described facts.</p>
    <p>*Links and photos inserted by <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/">The Leslie Brodie Report</a>.</p>

  • UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT WILL BE ASKED TO DISBAR TOM GIRARDI, WALTER LACK, HOWARD RICE’S JEROME FALK FOR SCHEME TO CIRCUMVENT NINTH CIRCUIT ORDER IN MATTER OF “IN RE GIRARDI”

    <p style="text-align: justify;">Contending that Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk, acting as Special Prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California, repeatedly sought to subvert justice by failing to disclose that those he was suppose to prosecute (Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack) were actually his and his firm’s clients, sources familiar with the situation claim plans are underway to seek the disbarment of Girardi, Lack and Falk.<br /><br />In a letter to Jerome Falk and the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, complainant minced no words in accusing Falk (as well as Girardi and Lack) of egregious misconduct.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;">As a service to the community, we shall publish* the communication, below:</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;">Dear Mr. Falk:<br /> <br /> This will serve as a formal meet and confer attempt regarding various matters, primarily relating to your repugnant and continuous deceitful actions taken in connection with your willingness to serve as a special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California against two of your and your firm’s clients (Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack) as part of a scheme to exploit your authority as special prosecutor for financial gain.<br /> <br /> In addition, this letter will serve to explore potential misconduct in connection with misrepresentations made to an official tribunal (i.e. the RAD Committee of the State Bar of California Board of Governors ("BOG")) that appointed a special master in proceedings I initiated against you.</p>
    <p><img src='https://seenthis.net/http://vietnam.eastmeetswest.org/images/staff&board/jfalk08.jpg" alt="" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em>Mr. Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (Image:courtesy photo)</em><br /> <br /> To illustrate my point, State Bar of California Board of Governors member William Gailey is a man of high honor with a prior distinguished career as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Presently, he operates his own investigation firm (<a href="http://www.gaileyassociates.com/William-Gailey.htm">Gailey Associates, Inc</a>.), which as I understand is one of the best in the country and offers a wide array of services, including industrial espionage and the like.<br /> <br /> Assume, hypothetically speaking only, that Mr. X is an industrialist and a client of Gailey Associates in connection with various business-related transactions. Assume also that Mr. X, while a client of Gailey Associates, was charged by the federal government for participating in a conspiracy to kidnap and murder Mr. Y, the owner of a competing business located in Los Angeles. Mr. X is tried and convicted and sentenced to serve a 30 year sentence in a federal correctional facility. However, after one year he is mysteriously pardoned by the U.S. president.<br /> <br /> Public and media pressure prompt the Los Angeles District Attorney to file an information against Mr. X for violations of State Penal Code provisions, including PC 182 and 187 in connection with the crimes Mr. X committed against Mr. Y. A shortage of qualified detectives prompts the DA to seek volunteer detectives, and Mr. Gailey is deputized, issued a badge, and appointed the role of lead detective in amassing the case against Mr. X on behalf of the People.<br /> <br /> Mr. Gailey shortly thereafter announces the closure of the investigation, and declares that, as far as he is concerned, Mr. X is innocent. As a second hypothetical, assume that with these facts in mind, Mr. Gailey is instead an attorney in private practice who is deputized to act as special prosecutor to try Mr. X, and likewise Mr. Gailey declares Mr. X to be innocent. <br /> <br /> If you don’t see anything wrong with the above two hypothetical examples, please delete this email; otherwise, keep reading because the above hypo is very similar to the scenario that ensued when you agreed to act as special prosecutor against your clients (Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack) on behalf of the People of the State of California to examine the grave and previously adjudicated attorney misconduct Messrs. Girardi and Lack committed against the Ninth Circuit in the litigation against the Dole Food Company.<br /> <br /> The misconduct on the part of Girardi and Lack was investigated by a special master (Senior Judge Hon. Wallace Tashima) appointed by the Ninth Circuit, and his recommendations were adopted by a panel of three Ninth Circuit judges after a full opportunity was afforded to Girardi and Lack to present defenses and bargain with a special prosecutor (Rory Little); these findings were memorialized in the published decision of <a href="http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=in%20fco%2020100713157.xml&docbase=cslwar3-2007-cu Re Girardi</a>. 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.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="margin: 0px;" src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/249/6011249_eb1485d01e_m.jpeg" alt="UC Hastings Prof Rory Little" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em><span style="font-size: 6px;">Rory Little, Ninth Circuit judicial aspirant and professor of law at U.C. Hastings. Professor Little <a href="http://legalpad.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/ninth-circuit-a.html">was appointed</a> special prosecutor in the matter of In Re Girardi by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. Prior to entering academia, Professor Little served as a federal prosecutor for the Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, prosecuting cases of labor racketeering, money-laundering, narcotics and other organized criminal activity. (image:courtesy photo)</span></em></p>
    <p>As you surely recall, the Ninth Circuit also ordered Girardi and Lack to report the findings to the State Bar of California. Because Howard Miller of Girardi &amp; Keese served as President of the State Bar, the Bar disqualified itself and you were appointed as Special Prosecutor by the State Bar to further look into this matter on behalf of the People.<br /> <br /> Despite ample opportunities, you (nor Lack, Girardi, or members of your firm whom I contacted on several occasions in search of information) mentioned that Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack were your and your firm’s clients. <br /> <br /> Shortly thereafter, when you had issued the decision to “exonerate” Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack (as memorialized in a <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/01/31/jerome-falk-s-letter-to-robert-baker-10474846/">"Dear Bob" letter you sent Mr. Robert Baker</a> of Baker Keener &amp; Nahara), I immediately protested by filing both an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California, and asking the BOG to inquire into the matter. Named in the complaint were yourself, Douglas Wintrhrop, Howard Miller, and <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/06/16/d-e-v-e-l-o-p-i-n-g-james-towery-california-bar-embattled-chief-prosecutor-to-resign-11327086/">James Towery</a>.<br /> <br /> At that time, I was unaware that Girardi and Lack were your clients, and the ethics complaint alleged you were biased because of your and your firm’s ongoing business relationship with Skadden Arps and partner Tom Nolan, who served as Girardi’s defense counsel in the matter of In Re Girardi. Also, I argued that since the State Bar of California had disqualified itself, you and your firm should also have been disqualified as the managing partner of your firm (Douglas Wintrhrop) is an officer of the State Bar of California, and was appointed to the position by the BOG headed by Howard Miller of Girardi &amp; Keese.<br /> <br /> Mr. Robert Hawley immediately appointed himself the point of contact, and only several months ago informed me that the complaint was assigned to RAD, which in turn appointed a special master who examined the complaint and found no ethical violations; <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/07/21/rad-committee-of-state-bar-of-california-adopts-finding-of-no-misconduct-by-james-towery-howard-rice-s-jerry-falk-and-doug-winthrop-11520291/">RAD voted to accept this conclusion</a>.</p>
    <p><a title="Mr Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese" href="http://www.blog.co.uk/media/photo/mr_tom_girardi_of_girardi_keese/6013138"> src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/138/6013138_3f41726fe7_m.jpeg" alt="Mr Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese" width="185" height="246" /></a><img src='https://seenthis.net/http://data7.blog.de/media/469/5853469_a9876fa02a_m.jpeg" alt="State Bar of California’s Robert Hawley " width="185" height="246" /><br /> <em>Mr. Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and State Bar of California <br /> Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Robert A. Hawley.</em><br /> <br /> Subsequently, and fortuitously, I <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/08/25/pamela-phillips-sean-selegue-douglas-winthrop-and-jerome-falk-of-howard-rice-candy-falk-rabkin-under-extreme-scrutiny-as-new-evidence-discovered-11728161/">very recently discovered</a> that Lack and Girardi were clients of your firm. I <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/08/30/howard-rice-canady-falk-rabkin-s-jerome-falk-douglas-winthrop-sean-selegue-and-pamela-phillips-assailed-by-complainant-re-state-bar-of-california-11752294/">inquired with Mr. Hawley</a> whether this fact was known to the RAD and Special Master investigating my complaint. The inquiry to Mr. Hawley was ignored, ipso facto terminating his role as point of contact.<br /> <br /> Mr. Hawley’s lack of response lends credence to my belief that since you knew of the complaint and never informed the Special Master or RAD, you are also liable for defrauding and misrepresenting events to a tribunal. If you have facts to the contrary, please forward them to me ASAP.<br /> <br /> Note that subsequent to the discovery of the attorney-client relationship between you and Lack/Girardi, I again wrote SeLegue and Philips seeking additional clarification, and no response was forthcoming. It had occurred to me that, given that Girardi and Lack are clients of your firm, any insinuation of misconduct I may previously have alleged on the part of SeLegue and Philips were improper; as such, these insinuations are hereby withdrawn as I now understand that SeLegue and Philips were acting in the best interest of their clients — Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack.</p>
    <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: separate; color: #000000; font-family: ’Times New Roman’; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; font-size: medium;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #020000; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 19px;"> </span></span></p>
    <p>Nevertheless, the serious nature of the offenses and the harm caused by your corrupt activities (as well as the corrupt activities of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack, primarily as a result of their failure to speak up and reject your appointment) leaves me no choice but to, again, seek discipline against you, Walter Lack, and Thomas Girardi. Additional factors surrounding Thomas Girardi and Girardi &amp; Keese have also become relevant, including the recent malpractice suits filed by Gutierez and <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/03/tom-girardi-lashes-out-at-victim-as-girardi-keese-sued-for-legal-malpractice-12110166/">Demeter Energy</a>; the secretive<a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/04/05/ethics-complaint-filed-with-california-state-bar-against-skadde"> attorney-client relationship between Girardi &amp; Keese and Skadden Arps</a> in the Fogel vs. Farmers matter, the identity and nature of the firms defending MGA in the litigation against Mattel; <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/07/21/complainant-reply-to-rad-committee-s-decision-as-was-communicated-to-state-bar-s-robert-hawley-11520925/">Alec Chang’s membership on RAD</a>; the overall corruption within the State Bar of California manifested in its unwillingness to prosecute Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack; Girardi’s unsettling<a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/09/30/muslim-community-of-orange-county-mulls-aiding-ronald-gottschal"> friendship with Ronald George</a> and “mentoring” of former crack-addict Mike Nisperos. These factors, coupled with my impression that the firms of Girardi &amp; Keese, Skadden Arps, and Howard Rice have somehow exempted themselves from complying with the rules, make clear that I must press ahead to ensure that you, Walter Lack, and Thomas Girardi are held fully accountable and otherwise prevented from practicing before any federal or state court.<br /> <br /> As such, in the near future the federal district court, appellate court, and U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to investigate your misconduct (and that of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack), and to otherwise permanently remove your names from the roll of members allowed to practice before each of those courts. <br /> <br /> Particularly, I plan to ask the Ninth Circuit to appoint a Special Master to investigate the matter, and to reopen the matter of In Re Girardi to examine whether Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi fully complied with the order in the matter of In Re Girardi and to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California. It is my position that the order to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California included an implied covenant that any State Bar of California proceedings would be conducted in good faith and in conformity with all rules and duties and principles consistent with the fair administration of justice. By not speaking up when you were appointed, Messrs. Girardi and Lack further aggravated matters and, arguably, violated the order handed down by the Ninth Circuit.</p>
    <p style="text-align: justify;"><img style="margin: 0px;" src='https://seenthis.net/http://data6.blog.de/media/317/4844317_33623fac42_m.jpeg" alt="" width="185" height="246" /><br /> <span style="color: #000000;"><em><span style="background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times,serif;"><span style="font-size: 8px;">Mr. Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack. In the matter of In Re Girardi, the Ninth Circuit adjudicated: “with respect to Respondents Lack and Traina, we conclude that the mitigating factors can affect only the length of the suspension we impose. Although Lack’s involvement in the enforcement proceedings was more long-standing than Traina’s, each was specifically responsible for the falsehoods presented to this court. Consequently, each is suspended from the practice of law in this court for six months, effective on the filing date of this order. Fed. R.App. P. 46(c). Respondents Lack and Traina may each file a petition for reinstatement after the period of suspension pursuant to Ninth Circuit Rule 46-2(h). Each shall file the petition using this docket number and include evidence that he is in good standing, with no discipline pending, in all courts and bars to which he is admitted.” (Image:courtesy photo)</span></span></span></em></span><br /><br /> <br /> Similarly, when Walter Lack sought to reinstate himself via a motion advanced to Ninth Circuit Commissioner Shaw, he relied heavily on the fact that the State Bar of California decided not to discipline him. In aggravation and while exponentially compounding his lack of credibility, Mr. Lack conveniently failed to mention that he and you (who represented the State Bar of California) have an attorney-client relationship, and that your decision to not prosecute him was the fruit of an unlawful and highly unethical scheme.<br /> <br /> In addition, please note that I plan to file a writ with the California Supreme Court seeking to invalidate your decision, and asking the Court to order the State Bar of California to commence proceedings consistent with the State Bar Act and the Rules of Professional Conduct against you, Walter Lack, Thomas Girardi, and your respective firms, and to otherwise take action on the original complaint I submitted to the Intake Office which was never processed.<br /> <br /> The writ will be filed prior to the end of this year so as to allow the Court to also address separate matters, and to otherwise maintain jurisdiction over <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/03/09/californiaall-part-7-state-bar-of-california-board-of-governors-asked-to-investigate-foundation-refusal-to-comply-with-irs-rules-and-policies-10792916/">Douglas Winthrop (also of Howard Rice) and Holly Fujie</a> in their capacities as President and Vice President of the California Bar Foundation, and in connection with the overall circumstances, particularly the hush-hush and unlawful transfer of $780,000 from the Foundation to sham charity <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/09/08/orange-county-investigative-news-agency-voice-of-oc-asked-to-produce-all-documents-submitted-to-the-internal-revenue-service-within-the-past-thre-11803606/">CaliforniaALLa>. <br /> <br /> Hence, at your earliest convenience I ask that you provide information, as well as, if you wish, any memorandum containing legal authority explaining why your actions did not constitute professional misconduct. <br /> <br /> Below is a synopsis of the various acts of misconduct I intend to allege. If you believe I am wrong, legally or factually, please so advise as soon as possible:<br /> <br /> Your first act of misconduct took place once the State Bar initially contacted you. Rather than rejecting the appointment, you intentionally, deliberately, and with aforethought accepted the assignment, knowing full well that you were unable to take a position adverse to your clients Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi, and also knowing full well that you would exonerate both of them regardless of the weight of the evidence. In doing so, you hoped to maintain your attorney-client relationship with Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi in order to obtain a future stream of business from them, as well as from Thomas Girardi’s defense lawyer — your confederate, Thomas Nolan of Skadden Arps. By doing so, you have completely breached the duties expected of a prosecutor. Moreover, while temporarily holding public office, you placed your financial interests, as well as the financial interest of your firm, before those of the People, causing injury to the federal judiciary, the Dole Food Company, the State Bar of California, the People of the State of California, the fair administration of justice, myself, and frankly, even your own clients Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack.<br /> <br /> Your second act of misconduct involved the hampering of an investigation, and misleading a tribunal (i.e. the BOG/RAD and the appointed Special Master) by not fully disclosing the attorney-client relationship.<br /> <br /> Thirdly, and in aggravation, even to this date, and after members of your firm were informed of the recent discovery and you had ample opportunity to admit you mistakes, you still have not taken any action to remedy the situation. Instead, you appear to hope that by ignoring the problem, it will somehow disappear. It shall not.<br /> <br /> Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information or clarification of the above-described facts.</p>
    <p>*Links and photos inserted by <a href="http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/">The Leslie Brodie Report</a>.</p>

  • http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/08/fogel-vs-farmers-group-settlement-in-letter-to-judge-william-hi

    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.

  • Amid Controversy Zurich Financial Services and Farmers Group, Inc. Asked to Post Complete Set of Legal Documents on Fogel v. Farmers Official Settlement Website

    Amid allegations of breached ethics rules and conflicts of interest, Swiss insurance group Zurich Financial Services AG ( ZURN) and its U.S. subsidiary Farmers Group, Inc. were recently asked to post a complete set of the ex parte motions submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court on the official Fogel v. Farmers settlement website.

    The request was made in connection with an ongoing controversy surrounding the concurrent legal representation by Farmers Group, Inc.’s legal counsel (Law Offices of Skadden Arps) of Thomas Girardi and Girardi & Keese in the Ninth Circuit matter of In Re Girardi throughout the entire time the Fogel v. Farmers Group, Inc. matter was being litigated.

    According to an ethics complaint submitted to the State Bar of California, despite their respective roles as plaintiffs’ counsel and defendants’ counsel in Fogel v. Farmers, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps entered into a wholly separate agreement by which Skadden Arps represented Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi before the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In re Girardi ( Ninth Circuit case number 08-80090) following that court’s issuance of an order to show cause why Girardi & Keese, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, Thomas Girardi, and Walter Lack should not be suspended, disbarred, or otherwise sanctioned as a result of the massive fraud which took place in litigation pursued by them against Dole Food Company.

    The Ninth Circuit issued a decision heavily sanctioning both Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi (and their respective firms) almost $500,000; the court also reprimanded Mr. Girardi and suspended Mr. Lack from practicing before the court for a period of 6 months.

    In order to conceal the relationship from class members in the Fogel class action (approximately 12.5 million Americans) , the day after the Ninth Circuit issued its published decision, Skadden Arps (on its behalf as well as on behalf of its clients, Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi) officially asked the court to remove its name from the decision. The court rejected the unusual request, noting that redaction was not merited.

    Additionally, on April 28, 2011, after Zurich Financial Group and Farmers Group, Inc. realized that a complaint had been filed with the State Bar of California alleging ethical violations, attorneys for both Zurich and Farmers approached the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the Fogel matter (Judge William Highberger), seeking and obtaining an ex parte order modifying the settlement agreement, with little or no opposition from the plaintiff class. (Thomas Girardi, Walter Lack, as well as several attorneys form the state of Texas)

    Additionally, per the ex-parte order, the class was notified that once the court approves the settlement, class members will be prohibiting from alleging in the future that they were not adequately represented by their attorneys due to the prior attorney client relationship between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps.

    According to sources familiar with the situation, the request to post a complete set of the ex parte motion on the official Fogel settlement website was made to provide class members notice of all relevant events. “It is only fair that the class and objectors be afforded an opportunity to review those documents in order to formulate replies and state their positions in an educated manner at the upcoming fairness hearing,” the source stated.

    The settlement of Fogel v. Farmers Group, a nationwide class action lawsuit pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court, will resolve all claims dating back to 1999, in a complaint originally filed in August 2003.

    According to Farmers Group, Inc., “under the terms of the settlement a sum of $455 million will be made available to up to 13 million policyholders who may qualify for distributions under the settlement, with any residual amount going to the Exchanges owned by their respective policyholder subscribers. While the allocation plan for payments to class members has not yet been determined, and while actual individual payments may vary considerably, this averages out to a mere estimated $35 per class member or policyholder subscriber. Zurich also will pay attorneys’ fees to class counsel of up to $90 million.

    As part of the settlement, plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss the case and drop all claims against FGI and its parent, Zurich. All terms of the proposed settlement are subject to execution of a formal settlement agreement and court approval.

    Robert Woudstra, Farmers Group Chief Executive, stated that his company settled rather than prolonging the uncertainty and cost of a legal battle that has already lasted seven years. Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is the nation’s third-largest insurer of both personal lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products.”

    *Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be. Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Financial Services Group. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

    For more information about Farmers, visit its website at www.farmers.com.

    For more information about the Fogel settlements, including links to the official settlement web-site, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/fogelvfarmersgroup

  • http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/09/25/united-states-supreme-court-asked-to-review-alleged-corruption-

    Lending significant support to calls for an examination of corruption in the California Supreme Court, a sharply-worded brief was filed with the United States Supreme Court, urging it to grant review.

    In that brief, Marina Del Ray-based legal scholar Dan Dydzak minced no words in accusing former Chief Justice Ronald George and attorneys from the San Francisco-based law firm of Howard Rice of egregious misconduct.

    Specifically, it is alleged that Howard Rice was instrumental in using the State Bar of California/State Bar Court as a vehicle to punish Dydzak for his role in exposing alleged corruption and improprieties at brokerage house Charles Schwab, an established client of Howard Rice.

    Mr. Jerome Falk of Howard Rice, an appellate specialist with a mercurial personality. In 2008, during an interview with a legal publication, Mr. Falk stated while describing some opposing counsel, “I would do anything to squash them. So those cases don’t settle. You just want to rip their throats out.” After visiting Vietnam, Mr. Falk joined East meets West, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in Vietnam. (Photo:courtesy of Vietnam, East meets West)

    Dydzak alleges improprieties on the part of State Bar Court Judge Donald Miles, a former partner at Howard Rice, as well as Sean SeLegue, a current Howard Rice partner, and a cover-up by the California Supreme Court due to the close relationship between Ronald George and Howard Rice.

    Allegations of egregious misconduct, ethical violations, and appearances of impropriety have become commonplace against embattled Howard Rice.

    Recently, California’s First District Court of Appeal ruled that the failure of Howard Rice partner Sean SeLegue to disclose at the time of an arbitration (in which he served as arbitrator) that he generally defended attorneys and law firms in cases involving professional responsibility, along with the fact that he was actively representing a firm in a case before the California Supreme Court in a dispute over legal fees, created sufficient doubt as to SeLegue’s impartiality in his role as an arbitrator.

    Earlier this year, Howard Rice Partner Jerome Falk was accused of wrongdoing as a result of his decision to exonerate a friend of Ronald George – Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese – along with Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack for misconduct the two committed while litigating a case against Dole Food Company before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    During the Ninth Circuit proceedings, and after the case against Dole was dismissed, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued an order to show cause why attorneys Walter Lack, Paul Triana, and Sean Topp of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, as well as Thomas Girardi and Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese, should not be disbarred or suspended from practicing before the Ninth Circuit.

    Subsequently, in late 2010, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Justices William Fletcher , Marsha Berzon, and Randy Smith found that Lack and Girardi had committed grave misconduct which included “the persistent use of known falsehoods,” and that the “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation.

    Despite the Ninth Circuit’s determination, in his capacity as special prosecutor, and after reviewing the Ninth Circuit file, Howard Rice partner Jerome Falk chose to not file any disciplinary accusations against Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack, stating that he believed Lack’s misconduct was not intentional.

    Recently, a shocking discovery was made concerning the fact that Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack were actually clients of Jerome Falk and Howard Rice.

    Separately, partner Douglas Winthrop, as reported earlier, is under extreme scrutiny in matters relating to the now-defunct charity CaliforniaALL.

  • Pamela Phillips, Sean SeLegue, Douglas Winthrop and Jerome Falk of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin Under Extreme Scrutiny as New Evidence of Alleged Conflict of Interest Discovered

    Contending that Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk, acting as Special Prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California, repeatedly sought to subvert justice in examining attorney misconduct in the litigation against Dole Food Company, sources close to the complainant claim a new and recent discovery shows “Smoking Gun” evidence of ethical misconduct.

    Jerome Falk, Douglas Winthrop, Sean SeLegue, and Pamela Phillips of Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin. In 2008, during an interview with a legal publication, Mr. Falk stated while describing some opposing counsel, “I would do anything to squash them. So those cases don’t settle. You just want to rip their throats out.” He recently dominated the news in his representation of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in their quest to rescind a prior settlement with Facebook.

    Earlier this year Jerome falk was accused of grave misconduct as a result of his decision to exonerate Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack for misconduct the two committed while litigating a case against Dole Food Company before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    During the Ninth Circuit proceedings, and after the case against Dole was dismissed, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski issued an order to show cause why attorneys Walter Lack, Paul Triana, and Sean Topp of Engstrom, along with Howard Miller and Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese, should not be disbarred or suspended from practicing before the Ninth Circuit. In addition, Judge Kozinski ordered the appointments of Senior Ninth Circuit Judge Wallace Tashima as special master and Rory Little as prosecutor in those special disciplinary proceedings known as the matter of In Re Girardi.

    Subsequently, in late 2010, a Ninth Circuit panel comprised of Judges William Fletcher , Marsha Berzon, and Randy Smith found that Lack and Girardi had committed grave misconduct, and ordered them to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California. The State Bar of California declared a conflict in the matter because Howard Miller, a partner of Girardi & Keese, served as President of the State Bar; accordingly, the Bar appointed an outside attorney, Jerome Falk of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin, to look into the matter.

    Judge William Fletcher, a member of the Ninth Circuit panel that adjudicated the matter of In re Girardi, 08-80090, rejected the lenient recommendations of Rory Little. He stated: “with any competent lawyer if you’re omitting part of a document, that is not accidental. That is intentional.” The court adjudicated that the grave misconduct by Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi included “the persistent use of known falsehoods,” and that the “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation.

    In his capacity as special prosecutor, and after reviewing the Ninth Circuit file, Falk chose to not file any disciplinary accusations against Walter Lack, stating that he believed Lack’s misconduct was not intentional. See copy of letter from Jerome Falk to Walter Lack http://tinyurl.com/3s2tjxz.

    Once Falk’s decision was made public, a finger was pointed at him, and he was accused of having been influenced by pecuniary considerations due to the fact that Howard Rice and Skadden Arps (specifically, Falk and partner Douglas Winthrop) often litigate cases together as a team, such as in the cases of MGA vs. Mattel, Genentech and others. In addition, allegations were made that it was improper to select the firm of Howard Rice for this appointment because Douglas Winthrop, the firm’s managing partner, served as an officer of the State Bar of California. Specifically, Winthrop serves as President of a foundation maintained by the State Bar of California. See http://tinyurl.com/42t7zkj.

    Additionally, and as part of the inquiry, Sean SeLegue and Pamela Phillips were asked to identify “[a]ny and all other factors or facts that would cause a reasonable person to entertain doubts as to the impartiality of Howard Rice and its members in the proceedings at issue, including the disclosure of relationships between members of the firm and others.” See http://tinyurl.com/3eotzfs.

    The State Bar of California Board of Governors’ RAD Committee conducted its own investigation and retained special counsel to investigate this matter. The special master recommended that the matter be closed because there was no showing that Falk and Winthrop engaged in any misconduct; the RAD Committee adopted this recommendation. See http://tinyurl.com/3s82ac4 and http://tinyurl.com/3rjqm3v.

    According to the sources, the newly discovered "Smoking Gun” evidence relates to the fact that starting in 2005, the law firm of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin represented both Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack in a class action advanced by plaintiff Robert Copple.

    As such, the sources maintain, Jerome Falk and Howard Rice were under a duty to reject the appointment, and to otherwise disclose the fact that Walter Lack, Thomas Girardi, Girardi & Keese, and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack were clients of the firm.

    To view the case of Copple vs. Astrella, please visit : http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=20061271442FSupp2d829_11197.xml&docbase=CSLWAR2-1986-2.

  • As a service to the community, The Leslie Brodie Report publishes below an objection recently submitted to the court in the matter of BENJAMIN FOGEL vs. FARMERS GROUP, INC. CASE NO BC300142

    Dear Judge Highberger:

    This will serve to inform this Court about ethical violations and fraud on this Court stemming from collusion between the law offices of Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps, to equitably object in the interest of justice to the proposed settlement in this matter, to seek a decree from this Court that all sums allocated as attorneys’ fees be shifted to the general fund allocated to compensate the class, and to seek any other relief this Court deems proper (collectively “Objection”).

    The Objection is based on the fact that while the matter of Fogel vs. Farmers Group was pending before this Court, the law offices of 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 (Case No.08-80090), which was pending before the Ninth Circuit. Neither the Ninth Circuit nor this Court (or for that matter, the class of plaintiffs which Girardi allegedly represents) were ever informed of the concurrent representation. In fact, as will be shown, Skadden Arps, and its clients Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi, both actively and by omission took action to conceal the matter.

    FACTUAL BACKGROUND

    In August 2003, plaintiff-Fogel filed a class action lawsuit against Farmers Group, Inc. in Los Angeles County Superior Court, case number BC300142. Walter Lack (of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack) and Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith (of Girardi & Keese) represent plaintiff-Fogel and the class. Skadden Arps and partner Raoul Kennedy represent the defendants, collectively referred to as Farmers Group, Inc.

    Separately, on August 25, 2005, the Ninth Circuit issued an order to show cause why Girardi & Keese, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, Thomas Girardi, and Walter Lack should not be suspended, disbarred, or otherwise sanctioned as a result of the massive fraud which took place in litigation pursued by them against Dole Food Company. This gave rise to the new matter involving the potential disbarment and sanction of counsel, referred to as In re Girardi, Ninth Circuit case number 08-80090.

    Very shortly thereafter, and despite their respective roles as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in Fogel v. Farmers, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps entered into a wholly separate agreement by which Skadden Arps and partner Thomas Nolan would represent Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi before the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In Re Girardi.

    Subsequently, on July 13, 2010, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision heavily sanctioning both Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi (and their respective firms) almost $500,000. The Ninth Circuit reprimanded Mr. Girardi and suspended Mr. Lack for practicing before the court for a period of 6 months. The court adjudicated that the grave misconduct by Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi included “the persistent use of known falsehoods,” and that the “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation.

    On July 14, 2010, the day after the Ninth Circuit issued the published decision, Skadden Arps and Thomas Nolan (on their behalf as well as on behalf of its clients, Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi) moved to redact their names from the decision. The court rejected the request, noting that redaction was not merited.

    Skadden Arps and its clients were in a rush to remove their names from the Ninth Circuit’s published decision in hopes of further hiding from the public and members of the Fogel v. Farmers class the existence of its relationship with Girardi & Keese.

    As discussed above, Thomas Girardi hired Skadden Arps to represent him in the matter of In Re Girardi after Girardi undertook representation of the plaintiffs in Fogel v. Farmers. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Girardi had a choice, and could have selected a different lawyer and a different law firm to represent him other than Skadden Arps and Thomas Nolan. He did not do so. Instead, by his actions, Girardi chose to breach the duties of loyalty, zealousness, and candor he owed to his clients, as well as the duty of candor he owes this Court.

    Alternatively, assuming a claim be made that Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi were entitled to select counsel of their choosing in the matter of In Re Girardi, they were still under a duty to inform this Court as well as the class of plaintiff of the concurrent representation. They did not. Instead, by omission, they defrauded both this Court and the plaintiff-class. The omission was intentional because counsel did not want to run the risk of disqualification.

    By the same token, Skadden Arps (like defendant Farmers) had a duty to inform this Court of the concurrent representation. Skadden Arps, wishing to collect fees from its clients Thomas Girardi and Girardi & Keese, as well as fees from its client Farmers Group, Inc., chose to remain silent. One can safely also entertain the thought that Skadden Arps (and, by extension, Farmers) took advantage of the matter to coerce Girardi & Keese to acquiesce to a less than desirable settlement in the Fogel matter than otherwise would have been reached.

    The ethical responsibilities of both Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese were governed by Rule 3-310 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. By any measure, both firms failed to live up to these responsibilities. Rule 3-310(C)(1) requires an attorney to obtain informed written consent before accepting representation of more than one client in a matter in which the interests of the clients potentially conflict. No showing can be made that Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps ever obtained the WRITTEN consent of their respective clients. By denying their clients the opportunity to consent/object, both firms violated their ethical obligations.

    While the Skadden firm may argue that Skadden partner Thomas Nolan had absolutely no involvement in the Fogel matter, this Court should reject such a proposition.

    As this Court is aware, defending Farmers Group, Inc. is Skadden Arps’s Raoul Kennedy, who is subordinate Thomas Nolan, co-chair of Skadden’s West Coast Litigation practice. In addition, Nolan and Kennedy are close friends and throughout this entire period also, jointly, defended MGA in its litigation against Mattel. Note that in the Mattel vs. MGA case, both Kennedy and Nolan were counsel of record. Incidentally, it was Thomas Girardi who referred MGA and Issac Larian to Skadden Arps after a dispute erupted between MGA and its former counsel (O’Melveny), leading Issac Larian to knock on Girardi’s door.

    As such, any argument that Kennedy and Nolan maintained an ethical wall should and would fail. In any event, California law does not fully recognize the concept of ethical walls. In fact, California law presumes imputed knowledge to all members of a firm. Any determination of the existence of an ethical wall requires an individual determination on case-by-case basis. Here, this Court was never informed of the simultaneous and adverse representations, and was not allow to properly exercise its judgment.

    Simply stated, these lawyers clearly placed their desire for fees above their loyalty to their clients, and deceived the Court in the process.

    At this late stage of the game, and after years of litigation by which this Court and the class of plaintiffs were deceived by their less-than-forthcoming counsel, this Court should be extremely skeptical of any claim that Raoul Kennedy and Thomas Nolan maintained an ethical wall. Any wall constructed was a privacy wall for the purpose of hiding the truth from this Court and the class of plaintiffs. Note that two of the lawyers involved were already found by the Ninth Circuit to make use of “the persistent use of known falsehoods,” and that the “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation.

    Both Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese (and their respective lawyers) engaged in the above-described misconduct for financial gain. Specifically, Skadden Arps wished to receive the fees from Girardi in the matter of In Re Girardi. Conversely, Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi were hoping to obtain a quick cash settlement from Farmers Group, Inc., to the detriment of their clients. In addition, Skadden sought to obtain benefits for its long-time client, Farmers Insurance Group, at the expense of the class of plaintiffs, while causing injury to these plaintiffs, the Court, and the fair administration of justice

    ATTORNEY’S FEES

    Both federal and California courts have held that, when the ethical violation in question is a conflict of interest between the attorney and the client, the appropriate fee for the attorney in question is zero. Despite the admittedly harsh consequences, courts routinely and liberaly employ this remedy. See generally Fair v. Bakhtiari (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1135. As such, and due to the serious nature of the violations described above, it is respctfully requested that no attorney fees be awarded to counsel in this case. Instead, any amount which was origianly designated for that purpuse should be shifted to the pool of money designed to companastate the class.

    INTEREST OF UNDERSIGNED

    This Court should be aware that the undersigned is not a member of the plaintff-class in this matter, and never owned any policy issued by Farmers or any of its subsidieries.

    In January of 2011, undersigned filed an ethics complaint against Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk, who acted as a special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar of California, for his decision to “exonarate” Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack for the grave misconduct the two committed before front of the Ninth Circuit. The basis of the complaint was that Jerome Falk should have declared a conflict due to his ongoing relationship with Skadden Arps’s Thomas Nolan. Not surprsingly, Jerome Falk was also part of the legal team that represented MGA in the litigation between MGA and Mattel.

    While researching this matter, the undersigned learned that Skadden had moved the Ninth Circuit to remove its name from the decison in the matter of In Re Girardi.

    In March 2011, the undersigned advanced a wholly separate ethics complaint concering the conflicts of interest in the case of Fogel vs. Farmers Group, Inc. based on the facts described above. Named in the complaint were Thomas Girardi, Graham LippSmith, Rauol Kennedy, and Thomas Nolan. Because Mr. Girardi has numerous contacts and close acquaintances within the State Bar (i.e. Executive Director Joe Dunn, who Girardi assisted in launching an online newspaper, for example), and because of other factors and externalities, there appears to be a very small likelihood that the State Bar will take any action in response to this complaint.

    As such, it is up to this Court to ensure that 12.5 million consumers recieve fair and honest dispensation of justice. The undersigned also asks the Court to recognize that, without the actions taken by the undersigned, the Court would have remained ignorant of the above-described facts. As such, it will also be up to this Court to determine the manner in which to treat this objection (which was styled as an “equitable objection” given potential issues with standing) and the related informal request to intervene in the interest of justice.

    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.

    http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/08/17/objection-to-class-action-settlement-in-fogel-v-farmers-group-a

    • Hi Leslie, welcome on Seenthis!

      It’s not a good idea do copy an entire article from another webpage on Seenthis (even if you own the copyright):
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