A “painstaking” examination into “standing” has begun in seeking to hold Eric George of Browne George & Ross civily liable for the crime of extortion/attempted extortion inflicted on actor Mel Gibson.
Said suit will be civily prosecuted pursuant to holding in the case of Stop Youth Addiction, Inc. v. Lucky Stores, Inc.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE LAW:
California’s unfair competition law prohibits “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising.” (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.) And under this law, a practice can be prohibited as unfair or deceptive even if not unlawful, and vice versa. (Cel-Tech Communications, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cellular Tel. Co., 20 Cal. 4th 163 (1999).) For example, a plaintiff’s allegations that a defendant used incomplete and misleading illustrations to sell universal life insurance policies may be actionable under the unfair competition law absent any claim that such conduct violated any regulation or statute. (Wilner v. Sunset Life Ins. Co., 78 Cal. App. 4th 952 (2000).)
An unlawful business practice can be “anything that can properly be called a business practice and that at the same time is forbidden by law.” (Summit Tech., Inc. v. High-Line Med. Instruments Co., 933 F. Supp. 918 (C.D. Cal. 1966) and Wilner, 78 Cal. App. 4th 952.)
This prong of the unfair competition law allows a plaintiff to enforce a broad array of state and federal statutes, including consumer-protection statutes (Walker v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 98 Cal. App. 4th 1158 (2002) (Cal. Civ. Code § 2954.4); antidiscrimination statutes (Reese v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 73 Cal. App. 4th 1225 (1999), (Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 51-51.4)); criminal statutes (Stop Youth Addiction, Inc. v. Lucky Stores, Inc., 17 Cal. 4th 553 (1998), (Cal. Penal Code § 308); and environmental statutes (Hewlett v. Squaw Valley Ski Corp., 54 Cal. App. 4th 499 (1997), (Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 4511).)
According to the Los Angeles Times, Det. Rodney Wagner of the Sheriff’s Department stated his view that the department’s six-month investigation turned up evidence of “implied threats” against the actor by Oksana Grigorieva and her lawyers.
He wrote that he found support for three separate extortion charges in Grigorieva’s e-mails to Gibson and in a March 2010 meeting in which her lawyers, Eric George and Sonia Y. Lee, talked with Gibson’s representatives about how disclosure of the tapes and photos would “ruin” his career.
“By discussing the potential damage to Mr. Gibson’s career if the ‘evidence’ were to be released to the public … it was my opinion, that constituted an implied threat,” Wagner wrote.
George, who was Grigorieva’s lead attorney in the negotiations, is the son of the state’s former chief justice and a campaign fundraiser for Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley. He hosted a $500-per-person cocktail party at his Beverly Hills home in August for Cooley’s unsuccessful race for attorney general and donated $6,500 to his campaign. He declined to comment.
Grigorieva’s current attorney, Daniel Horowitz, said Wagner had mistaken bare-knuckles legal negotiations for a crime.
“Lawyering is a very tough business,” he said.
Eric George — the son of the controversial former chief justice of California, Ronald George, is presently a defendant in a civil-racketeering action by Marina Del Rey-based community activist Daniel Dydzak. Also named as defendant are Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles and Holly Fujie.
Both Holly Fujie and Eric George were directors of Bet Tzedek, an entity which obtained millions of dollars from the various trusts funds maintained and operated by the State Bar of California, as well as funds from the California Bar Foundation, where Holly Fujie presently serves as the vice-president.
Both the State Bar of California and the California Bar Foundation are under the direct control of the California Supreme Court.
The various legal trust funds maintained by the State Bar of California are overseen by the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission where, coincidentally, Holly Fujie also served as director.
Heading the commission is David Lash of O’Melveny & Myers, another lawyer who is a director of Bet Tzedek, and Bonnie Rubin of 1st Century Bank — a bank owned by former president of the State Bar of California Alan Rothenberg. Coincidentally, Eric George is part owner of 1st Century Bank.
Dydzak alleges in his lawsuits that part of the millions originated from the State Bar of California and its foundation headed to Bet Tzedek were embezzled by the various actors and were siphoned to off shore bank accounts.
Bet Tzedek is headed by CEO Sandor “Sandy” Samuels — former Chief Trial Counsel at embattled Countywide Financial Services — who according to Dydzak was appointed President and CEO of Bet Tzedek largely due to his working knowledge of how to operate an enterprise which engages in myriad financial crimes.
According to confidential sources familiar with the situation, Dydzak filed the suit in Washington DC, because he is extremely concerned that given the caliber of the defendants and the fact that they are in control of the justice system in California, they will seek to injure him in various ways, including in seeking to somehow derail the suit.
According to these sources, Tom Layton, investigator from the State Bar of California who is well connected with Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, in the past paid a visit to Dydzak’s neighborhood, and sought to convince his neighbors to falsely accuse Dydzak of various acts of misconduct, including providing improper and unlawful legal counsel.