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Chris Young, Daniel David Dydzak, Diversity, Howard Rice, John Keker, Keker & Van Nest

Race Discrimination by Keker & Van Nest Prompts Scrutiny — Developing Story

Embattled San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest and named partner John Keker are under scrutiny, yet again.

According to various knowledgeable sources, the controversy surrounding Kekers stems from an announcement by which the firm declared unequivocally its intention to disregard and otherwise violate myriad local, state, and federal laws prohibiting any form of race discrimination, as well as state and local laws prohibiting any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Specifically, earlier this year Keker & Van Nest announced that it was “launching the Keker & Van Nest Diversity Scholarship to benefit diverse law students.” (emphasis added) Source@:

Keker & Van Nest further stated that “Scholarship applicants must be current first-year or second-year law students who are students of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community (emphasis added) Source @:

Matthew Werdegar AKA Matt Werdegar of Keker & Van NestDavid Werdegar
(L) Matt Werdegar of Keker & Van Nest who participated in the scheme to hide Chris Young’s association with his firm from the public. He is the son of California Supreme Court Associate-Justice Kathryn Werdegar and David Werdegar (R), former CEO of of San Francisco-based Institute on Aging. Strangely, while Justice Werdegar recused herself in a suit against the late Richard Goldman due to major contributions by Goldman to Institute on Aging, she did not recuse herself in many other cases involving other major contributors. Once the scheme was exposed on The Leslie Brodie Report, David Werdegar abruptly quit his CEO position. (Image:courtesy photo)

This latest controversy involving Keker & Van Nest comes on the heels of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act suit naming as defendants (among others) Keker & Van Nest and partner Matt Werdegar which was filed in federal court.

 The suit was advanced by community activist Daniel Dydzak of Marina Del Rey alleges that defendants — who allegedly run the San Francisco law firm as a criminal racketeering enterprise — engaged in predicate acts of a pattern of racketeering through and by means of obstruction of justice and myriad acts of fraud. 

The suit further contends that named partner John Keker participated and was well aware of the surreptitious and conspiratorial alliances and unlawful agreements. 

The action seeks monetary and equitable remedies. 

Matt Werdegar is the son of the former CEO of San Francisco-based Institute on Aging David Werdegar who abruptly quit his position earlier this year amid media reports of alleged financial improprieties. 

Subsequent to Werdegar’s departure, the IOA appointed J. Thomas Briody, MHSc as the organization’s new President and CEO. 

In a separate suit, Dydzak’s avers that Califorrnia Supreme Court Justice  Kay Werdegar failed to inform interested parties of the fact that entities such as brokerhouse Charles Schwab and law firm Morrison & Foerster, for example, are major donors to the IOA, totaling tens of thousands of dollars. 

Dydzak further alleges that he sustained legal injury based on his representation of a client against Charles Schwab — specifically, a former paramour of Charles Schwab co-founder Hugo Quackenbush — and subsequent retaliation by various entities that sought to silence him (and his client), including the now-defunct law firm of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, which had previously represented Charles Schwab. 

According to Dydzak, once his allegations of retaliation by Howard Rice and others were presented for adjudication before Justice Werdegar, she had an absolute duty to either obtain a waiver from Dydzak or recuse herself because of Charles Schwab’s financial donations to IOA; he claims that she did neither. 

Dydzak further alleges that Justice Werdegar’s failure to take these steps stemmed from a civil conspiracy entered into by the various parties (and specifically Charles Schwab and David Werdegar), by which Justice Werdegar would rule against Dydzak, ipso facto preventing him from further developing the case against Charles Schwab, because further actions by him would have exposed Charles Schwab’s various alleged unlawful activities; at the same time, ruling against Dydzak enriched her husband, David Werdegar, financially — and, by extension, enriched her as well.



About Leslie Brodie

Leslie Brodie is a reporter, writer, blogger, activist, and a religious leader in the community.



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