He’s the presiding judge of Yolo county. He’s a judicial council member. He sits on the litigation management committee for the judicial council – the judges and justices who sit in an effort to manage the litigation against the branch – like the recent appeal of the Emily Gallup case. He has awards for himself posted on his website before they’re presented….
Presiding Judge Dave Rosenberg Robocall May 2012 apparently to every resident in Yolo County.
Public Utilities Code that applies to this call
PUC 2873. Automatic dialing-announcing devices may be used to place calls over telephone lines only pursuant to a prior agreement between the persons involved, whereby the person called has agreed that he or she consents to receive such calls from the person calling, or as specified in Section 2874.
PUC 2874. (a) Whenever telephone calls are placed through the use of an automatic dialing-announcing device, the device may be operated only after an unrecorded, natural voice announcement has been made to theperson called by the person calling. The announcement shall do all of the following:
(1) State the nature of the call and the name, address, and telephone number of the business or organization being represented, if any.
(2) Inquire as to whether the person called consents to hear the prerecorded message of the person calling.
Canon of Judicial Ethics that applies to this call
A JUDGE OR JUDICIAL CANDIDATE* SHALL REFRAIN FROM INAPPROPRIATE POLITICAL ACTIVITY
Judges are entitled to entertain their personal views on political questions. They are not required to surrender their rights or opinions as citizens. They shall, however, avoid political activity that may create the appearance of political bias or impropriety. Judicial independence and impartiality should dictate the conduct of judges and candidates* for judicial office.
Now if the CJP wasn’t Big Dave’s bitch, do you think they might have something to say about content in light of the coincidence that Clint Parish being prosecuted in State Bar Court for said mailer? What are the odds that sitting on the all-powerful litigation management committee someone might be actually managing litigation and sending a chilling message to attorneys of “don’t take us on – or risk disbarment….”
Acccording to the State Bar of California, “Parish’s campaign materials falsely asserted, among other things, that his opponent was “involved in a sordid case of corporate fraud that involved payment of bribes in Russia.” Parish’s campaign website erroneously claimed that he had been endorsed by the Winters Police Department and his yard signs gave the false impression that he had judicial experience.”
Mr. Robert Hawley, California State Bar Deputy Executive Director and an adjunct ethics professor at McGeorge School of Law, stated to the Sacramento Bee: “This is a serious charge…If the allegations are proved true, Parish could face penalties that range from a reprimand to disbarment.”
According to the Bee, “The State Bar’s disciplinary filing is rare. Just 28 such misconduct cases – including the one against Parish – have been filed by the bar since 2000, say State Bar officials. Of those, 21 cases were closed without an investigation. The Parish case is one of only two since 2000 to proceed to a hearing.”
California Judicial Council members Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (“best friend” of Ruthe Ashley of financial scheme CaliforniaALL), Yolo County Superior Court PJ Dave Rosenberg, UC Irvine Foundation’s Mark Robinson of Robinson Calcagnie & Robinson (confederate of Cal Bar executive director Joe Dunn of UC Irvine Foundation / Voice of OC / CaliforniaALL ), Assistant US Attorney Angela Davis. Subsequent to an allegedly inaccurate mailer sent by Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Clinton Parish , who was running for Yolo Superior Court judge against incumbent Judge Dan Maguire, Judge Dave Rosenberg issued the following veil threat against Parish: “This sort of phlegm tends to backfire. It flies back in the face of the expectorant.” (image:courtesy photos)
State Bar’s spokeswoman Laura Ernde stated to The Davis Enterprise that “the charges arose from a complaint that was filed with the State Bar, but the identity of the complainant is confidential at this point.”
As we mentioned previously, in response to the mailer sent by Parish’s campaign, a highly perturbed Judge Rosenberg launched an unprecedented attack on Parish. This, despite knowing full well that California Canons of Judicial Ethics permit a judicial officers only to “endorse” candidates for judicial office. Specifically, and consistent with his new role, Judge Rosenberg, inappropriately so, resorted to sending a robocall out to many voters “to set the record straight” of what he called, “a nasty political hit piece” which “contains flat out lies and deceptions about a highly respected Judge here in Yolo County, Judge Dan Maguire.” Judge Rosenberg also promised, inappropriately so, to retaliate against Clint Parish and issued a thinly veiled threat against him by stating: “This sort of phlegm tends to backfire. It flies back in the face of the expectorant.”
According to Yolo County-based Rabbi (“YR”), he is “shocked and disappointed” by the prosecution of Clint Parish and surrounding circumstances.
YR stated: “As a resident of Yolo County, I was exposed to the campaign material of both Parish and Judge Dan Maguire — who is by all accounts, a gentleman.”
“The circulated political propaganda made it very clear that Parish is a prosecutor and not a judge, and as such, I was never led to believe that Parish had prior judicial experience, as the State Bar falsely alleges. Any other unfortunate alleged misstatements concerning Judge Maguire were the fault of Parish’s campaign manager, and once those alleged inaccuracies were brought to the attention of Parish, he immidetly disavowed them,” YR continued.
“At the risk of sounding kitschy, everyone needs to remember that we don’t live in an error-free world, and I call on the person who filed the complaint against Clint Parish with the State Bar of California to withdraw it — be it, as I speculate, Judge Dave Rosenberg or our spineless DA Jeff Reisig,” YR concluded.
Related story, please see HERE
For more about :
Judge Dan Maguire, please see HERE
Jeff Reisig, please see HERE
Were Thomas Girardi and Joe Dunn Part of CaliforniaALL Financial Scheme in Judicial Council Capacity? Role of UCI Foundation’s Mark Robinson? Judge Dave Rosenberg as Potential Accessory In Re Sham Search Warrant ? Angela Davis?
MORRISON & FOERSTER TEAM: CHRIS YOUNG , JAMES BROSNAHAN, TONY WEST, ANNETTE CARNEGIE, SUSAN MAC CORMAC, ERIC TATE
” VOICE OF OC” TEAM — Henry Weinstein, Girardi & Keese’s Thomas Girardi , Morrison & Foerster’s James Brosnahan, and Joe Dunn. In September of 2009, Dunn (with the help of Girardi and Brosnahan) launched “The Voice of Orange County” — an online publication. Additionally, Dunn is a trustee with the UCI Foundation — an entity which absorbed most of the grants CaliforniaALL had bestowed.
As mentioned before, in a letter to Joe Dunn, YR wrote “Once Ashley assumed the position, the Foundation of the State Bar of California (which is under the complete control of the BOG) made a quiet and unlawful transfer of approximately $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL. At the time of the transfer, the individuals controlling the Foundation were Holly Fujie, Girardi & Keese’s Howard Miller, Howard Rice’s Douglas Winthrop, Geoffrey Brown, and a few others.
CaliforniaALL never acknowledged receipt of the approximate $780,000 from the Cal Bar Foundation in any of its publications, although it did acknowledge the transfer on its IRS tax returns. Likewise, California Bar Foundation never acknowledged the largest grant it ever bestowed in its newsroom, the California Bar Journal, or similar publications; it did, however, recognize the transfer on its IRS returns, and in a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its annual report.
During its brief existence, CaliforniaALL obtained additional funding of close to $1.5 million from utility companies such as Verizon Wireless, Sempra, PG&E, and others.
As the purpose of CaliforniaALL was to transfer those funds forward, it did so by awarding approximately $300,000 in grants to the UCI Foundation, where you serve as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee. (Please note that this figure may change once I obtain CaliforniaALL’s final tax return.)
Note that from my perspective, the award of this grant is suspect as it appears that CaliforniaALL pre-selected UCI Foundation, making the simulated request for proposal (RFP) by Sarah Redfield that led to the grant a sham process. (Note also that Sarah Redfield later falsely claimed she “launched” SAL-UCI, and falsely stated on her resume that she was part of the “Curriculum Committee”; in reality, you and I know that SAL-UCI was established by Santana Ruiz and Rob Vicario, several years earlier.)
In September 2009, Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL. In the same month and year, you publicly launched your online publication, “The Voice of OC.” Public sources have stated that the Voice of OC was financed by various foundations, unions, and the like.
The fact that some individuals and entities involved in the creation of CaliforniaALL and the subsequent unlawful transfer of $780,000 from the Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL were also involved in assisting you with the creation of “Voice of OC” has caused me to entertain the thought that “Voice of OC” may have been a recipient, at least in part, of the $780,000 misappropriated from the State Bar of California.
This belief is heightened given various events’ proximity in time — as noted above, Ruthe Ashley left CaliforniaALL in the same month you launched “Voice of OC” (as though her mission had been completed). Moreover, the recent abrupt departure of Thomas Girardi and James Brosnahan from ‘Voice of OC” ( as though they were fleeing the scene with guilty consciences), the refusal of SAL-UCI to disclose the amount it receive from CaliforniaALL, the simulated RFP, and CaliforniaALL’s pre-selection of the UCI Foundation as a recipient of funds only reinforce this belief. This is heightened by Mr. Thomas Girardi’s lack of credibility (pursuant to findings made by a panel of federal judges), and the friendship you share with him.”
Mr Tom Girardi of Los Angeles-based Girardi & Keese. Per findings adjudicated by the Ninth Circuit, Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi have resorted to employing “the persistent use of known falsehoods” and “false representations” were made “knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly” during years of litigation. Subsequnet to those findings, the State Bar of California appointed Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk to serve as special prosecutor against Girardi, Lack, and their respective firms. None mentioned that Girardi and Lack are actually clients of Jerome Falk and Howard Rice. See story here. For additional allegations of misconduct leveled against Girardi, please see here, and here , and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. For the latest on Walter Lack, please see here.
Judge Dave Rosenberg as Potential Accessory After the Fact ?
Sara M. Granda v State Bar of California (2009 cv 02015)
In May 2009, Sara Granda graduated from U.C. Davis School of Law and, like most of her peers, hoped to sit for the July 2009 bar exam.
California’s Department of Rehabilitation paid the $600 bar exam fee with a check, and Granda was assured that she was properly registered.
Ms. Sara Granda. It is easy to imagine Sara Granda in a courtroom, questioning witnesses, challenging the opposition, and fighting for justice with the force of her large personality. A ventilator, which she needs to breathe, would hang from the back of her wheelchair. An assistant would help her flip through files, since she cannot move her hands or arms. When she approaches the bench, Ms. Granda would maneuver her chair using her tongue. “So much of what happens in the courtroom is theater,” says Ms. Granda, 29, who has lived out her own drama since she became paralyzed from the neck down at age 17. “I’m not sure how much time I will spend in court as an attorney. But I know I could do it.” (Photo and Narrative Courtesy of www.alldeaf.com)
However, the State Bar of California’s Office of Admission, headed by Ms. Gayle Murphy, never processed Granda’s application because the Department of Rehabilitation paid the $600 fee with a check, rather than a credit card The State Bar of California did not relent, and neither did Granda.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Courtesy CNN)
Local and national media expressed outrage after the situation gained publicity as a result of statements by Governor Schwarzenegger, who publicly stated: “It is outrageous that someone who has overcome so much in life is penalized by a bureaucratic error that prevents her from taking the bar exam. Government should work for the people, not against them and I’m calling on the state bar to allow Sara Granda to take next week’s test. Sara is a fighter and I am with her all the way.”
Mr. Robert A. Hawley, California State Bar Deputy Executive Director and an adjunct ethics professor at McGeorge School of Law, stated to the Sacramento Bee: “It’s a high-tech process, and people need to maneuver it successfully, and we can’t be in the business of helping any one person out with it.” Hawley continued: “That takes us down a path that ends up in a place we don’t want to be. How do you then choose which ones to help and which you don’t?”
“I worked very, very hard for every cent,” Granda stated to the local media. “So for everything to come together in the end and for it to just kind of fall through on such a minor, minor detail.”
True to her spirit, Granda filed an action in federal court seeking an order directing the State Bar of California to allow her to take the fast-approaching bar exam.
Jim Wagstaffe of Kerr & Wagstaffe. In the above, Mr Wagstaffe offers his students legal counsel on how to avoid a traffic ticket. Wagstaffe urged the students to deceive law enforcement personnel. He stated: “Do what I do, put a CHP magazine in your car, so they think you are one of them.”
The case was assigned to the courtroom of Judge Morrison England of CaliforniaALL. Judge England is the husband of California ALL board member Torie Flournoy-England who, together with State Bar Executive Director Judy Johnson and Patricia Lee also served on CaliforniaALL’s advisory council.
After Judge Morrison England quickly filed for summary dissolution in Sacramento County Superior Court, and after Judge England and Torie Flournoy wed, and after Torie Flournoy-England was appointed to serve as a member of CaliforniaALL’s board of directors, and while CaliforniaALL was in existence — a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, in which the State Bar of California was named as the sole defendant. Serving on CaliforniaALL’s board of directors of CaliforniaALL (which was in a partnership relationship with the State Bar of California) was Torie Flournoy-England. State Bar of California Executive Director Judy Johnson, State Bar employee Patricia Lee, Kamala Harris, CPUC’s Michael Peevey, CPUC’s Tim Simon, as well as Judge England were part of CaliforniaALL’s Advisory Council. The above photo, which was published on the cover of a local magazine in Sacramento, notes that the Englands wed in May 2008. (image: courtesy photo)
Making an appearance and vigorously contending that the federal court had no jurisdiction over the State Bar of California were State Bar of California emloyees, Larry Yee, Rachel Grunberg, and Mark Torres-Gil of the State Bar office of General Counsel, the same office that drafted the partnership agreement between CaliforniaALL and the State Bar of California, as well as attorneys from the law offices of Kerr & Wagstaffe.
II. CALIFORNIA BAR JOURNAL’S DISHONEST JOURNALISM
In the midst of a public relations crisis arising from the mistreatment of the Sara Granda by the State Bar of California, an article was published in the California Bar Journal. The article was published on July 27, 2009, and was written by Diane Curtis.
As the reader will soon observe, this article is imbued with inaccurate information and is otherwise dishonest.
Soon after U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England dismissed the federal complaint filed by Granda against the State Bar, a Sacramento attorney, Stewart Katz, volunteered to help Granda, and did so by filing a writ of preemptive mandate against the State Bar of California.
The emergency writ was filed on July 27, 2009 and was served electronically on the State Bar. (See below.)
Richard Zanassi, an attorney employed by the State Bar’s Office of General Counsel, filed an opposition in response to the writ. However, due to the wide media attention focusing on the case, the opposition was styled as a request for guidance by the court.
Thus, the article written by Diane Curtis and published in the California Bar Journal is dishonest as it misleads readers into believing that the State Bar, on its own accord, approached the California Supreme Court of its own volition, as an act of altruism and due to concern for Ms. Granda. Clearly, this was not the case.
In addition, one must wonder why Diane Curtis did not mention the fact that Granda, through Stewart Katz, filed the writ for mandamus.
As is made clear by its order, the Supreme Court decided the matter by granting the writ, and not by granting the State Bar’s purported request for guidance.
III. YR’S ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST LARRY YEE, MARK TORRES-GIL, RACHEL GRUNBERG, JUDY JOHNSON
May 31, 2011
State Bar of California
1149 South Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Attention: INTAKE OFFICE
Re: Complaint for Ethical Violations Against the State Bar of California; Lawrence Yee – #84208; Rachel Grunberg – #197080; Judy Johnson – #71360 ; Mark Torres-Gil – #91597.
In lieu of submitting a complaint form, I submit this letter and enclosed materials as a formal complaint against the above-named attorneys for grave misconduct that took place in handling matters relating to applicant Sara Granda and the case of Granda v. State Bar of California.
As will be shown, the above parties, together and individually, engaged in egregious misconduct by conspiring and failing to disclose to the plaintiff the existence of a close relationship between the State Bar of California, CaliforniaALL, State Bar Executive Director Judy Johnson,Patricia Lee, and the judge who presided over a case (Hon. Morrison C. England) in which the State Bar of California was named as the sole defendant.
Furthermore, misconduct in the form of misrepresentations to the court took place regarding the current state of the law; further misconduct resulted from the discrimination against against the plaintiff based on her disability, and the unwillingness to comply with the ADA by affording the plaintiff reasonable accommodations. In addition, and adding insult to injury, the State Bar of California used the California Bar Journal as a tool to further injure and harass Granda by publishing an incomplete and inaccurate article which asserted that the State Bar had sought the advice of the California Supreme Court in determining how to resolve Granda’s claims. The article failed to mention that, in actuality, Granda had filed an action with the California Supreme Court for a preemptive writ and a writ of mandamus, such that the article misled readers regarding the actual circumstances surrounding Granda’s claims.
The Honorable Judge Morrison C. England is a United States District Court judge for the Eastern District of California who sits in Sacramento. Prior to assuming the role of federal judge, he served as a judge with the Sacramento County Superior Court. Judge England is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law, also located in Sacramento.
In approximately 2005, as part of his community involvement and extra-judicial activities, Judge England became involved in programs initiated by Elizabeth Parker, dean of McGeorge, and Sarah Redfield, a visiting professor from New Hampshire, relating to the promotion of diversity within the legal profession. Ruthe Catolico Ashley, an assistant dean at the career office at McGeorge School of Law who later assumed a position as a Diversity Officer at CalPERS, was also involved in these activities.
The diversity initiatives instigated by McGeorge were both local and national in scope. The local program in Sacramento was entitled “PacificPathways.” The program to promote diversity on a national level became known as “Wingspread,” which evolved into a series, including Wingspread – Blackboard, Bench, and Bar and Wingspread – Delivered and Deliverable, and the like. Torie L. Flournoy, a school principal from Sacramento, was also involved in these programs at the local level.
Because Ruthe Ashley also served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California and Sarah Redfield served on the State Bar’s Council on Fairness and Access, the parties from Sacramento (namely, Parker, Ahley, Flournoy, Redfield and Judge England) became acquainted with individuals from the State Bar of California who were involved in matters relating to diversity, including Executive Director Judy Johnson, State Bar employee Patricia Lee, and Buchalter Nemer’s Holly Fujie.
As such, it was common to observe the same participant names at various diversity-related events taking place around the country. For example, over a 3 day weekend in Monterrey on October 5-7, 2006, part of the Wingspread program ran concurrently with the State Bar of California’s annual convention. Some of the attendees included Judy Johnson, Holly Fujie, Patricia Lee, Ruthe Ashley, Torie L. Flournoy, Hon. Morrison C. England, Dean Elizabeth Parker, and Sarah Redfield. (See attachment titled “Wingspread VI.”) This event, Wingspread — Blackboard Bench and Bar, was organized by Sarah Redfield. Similarly, in June 2007, and also part of the “Wingspread” series, a summit was held in Honolulu, Hawaii at which Dean Elizabeth Parker, Hon. Morrison C. England, Sarah Redfield and Torie L. Flournoy were all in attendance. (See attachment titled “UH Manoh Law School.”)
In approximately 2007, Ruthe Ashley and Munger Tolles & Olson’s Jeffrey Bleich served as Vice President and President of the California State Bar, respectively. During that time frame, an idea was formulated to replicate an existing entity that would also absorb large sums of money from utility companies, and which would be used to allegedly promote diversity.
The original entity, the California Consumer Protection Foundation (CCPF), was secretly controlled for years by State Bar Executive Director Judy Johnson. Fines and settlements from proceedings before the CPUC and other cy pres funds of approximately $30 million dollars were funneled to CCPF, primarily from legal and administrative proceedings. Unlike the funds funneled to CCPF via cy pres funds or fines imposed by the CPUC, the funds flowing to the new entity would come from utility companies’ voluntary donations after they were urged by the CPUC and others to donate in order to further diversity.
As such, Peter Arth (Chief of Staff to then-President of the CPUC, Michael Peevey) invited Ruthe Ashley to a restaurant in San Francisco. As a result of the meeting, a new entity known as CaliforniaALL was formed as a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity that would collect funds to theoretically be used to invest in promoting diversity. CaliforniaALL, which came into existence in 2008 and was abruptly dissolved in 2010, was considered to have been in a partnership relationship with the State Bar of California. (See Attachment titled “Memo from Patricia Lee to BOG.”) In addition, the partnership stipulation between the State Bar and CaliforniaAll provided that the Board of Governors would appoint two of CaliforniaALL’s members to the Board of Directors.
Executive Director of the State Bar of California Judy Johnson, Patricia Lee, and Judge Morrison England were members of CaliforniaALL’s “Advisory Council” (see Attachment titled “CaliforniaALL December 2008 Newsletter”), affording Judy Johnson and Judge England numerous opportunities to meet and collude or, at a minimum, to create such an appearance.
CaliforniaALL obtained donations of almost $2 million, primarily from utility companies such as Sempra, AT&T, PG&E and, of course, Verizon Wireless. In addition, Judy Johnson, Patricia Lee, Buchalter Nemer’s Holly Fujie, and Leslie Hatamiya colluded to transfer $774,247 sub rosa from the State Bar of California Foundation (dba California Bar Foundation) to CaliforniaALL. (See attachment titled “Cal Bar Foundation’s tax return for 2008.”) In 2009, yet another $5,000 was transferred from Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL for purposes of “researching” best practices. Hence, for simplicity’s sake, this complaint rounds the amount at issue to $780,000.
The transfer of $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL was never acknowledged by any of CaliforniaALL’s publications. Similarly, it was never mentioned in the California Bar Journal or the NewsRoom of Cal Bar Foundation, where all other grants were heavily reported.
It is my position that the transfer of funds was never mentioned because it resulted from a conspiracy by Ruthe Ashley, Holly Fujie, Patricia Lee, and Leslie Hatamiya (all, incidentally, Asian-Americans who are very active in the promotion of diversity) to quietly shift the $780,000, some of which would later be misappropriated and used for personal gain and kickbacks. Indeed, once the funds reached CaliforniaALL, some of it was misappropriated. In order to cover-up the misappropriation, false and inaccurate statements were submitted to the IRS by CaliforniaALL and Ruthe Ashley. For example, CaliforniaALL, which was housed pro bono at the Sacramento Office of DLA Piper, falsely claimed in IRS filings that it had paid approximately $16,000 in occupancy fees. Additional financial improprieties also exist which cannot be disclosed due to the fact that the State Bar is the wrongdoer and, ironically, is the entity to which I am required to submit this complaint for processing.
It is worth noting that the California Bar Foundation is part and parcel of the State Bar of California, despite claims to the contrary and the contention that it is only affiliated with the State Bar. The fact of the matter is that the State Bar’s Board of Governors appoints all Foundation board members, including the president, and that the Executive Director of the California Bar Foundation reports directly to the Board of Governors and needs the Board’s approval to change any bylaws, for example.
In the meantime – after Judge England filed for summary dissolution in the Sacramento Superior Court, and after Judge England and Torie L. Flournoy wed, and after Torie Flournoy-England was appointed to serve as a member of CaliforniaALL’s board of directors, and while CaliforniaALL was still in existence – a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, in which the State Bar of California was named as the sole defendant.
The action was filed by plaintiff Sara Granda and was titled Sara Granda v. the State Bar of California (Case Number 2:09-cv-02015- MCE; see attachment titled “Complaint by Plaintiff Sara Granda”). The matter was adjudicated by Judge England, who promptly dismissed it. Neither Judge England, the defendant, Judy Johnson, or defense counsel Lawrence Yee, Mark Torres-Gil, or Rachel Grunberg disclosed to Granda the State Bar’s ongoing relationship with CaliforniaALL, to wit:
1. CaliforniaALL and the defendant (State Bar of California) are business partners.
2. Judge England and the Executive Director of the State Bar of California (Ms. Judy Johnson) are members of CaliforniaALL’s advisory council.
3. Torie Flournoy-England, the spouse of Judge England, is a board member of CaliforniaALL, an entity that is a partner of the State Bar.
4. The unusual sub rosa transfer of $780,000 from defendant to CaliforniaALL.
By failing to make the disclosures mandated by these facts, the above-named attorneys committed misconduct, irrespective of the actual merit of Granda’s case or its outcome. As such, each must be disciplined for his/her wrongful conduct. Those attorneys are Judy Johnson, Lawrence Yee, Mark Torres-Gil, Rachel Grunberg, and Holly Fujie.
Fujie, who participated in all the proceedings concerning CaliforniaALL (including, strangely, causing the ex post facto appointment of Peter Arth to the Council of Access and Fairness to give them a chance to meet and collude), was also a member of the Board of Governors’ Operation Committee and was briefed regarding Granda’s case. In addition, she was aware that Judge England was presiding over the case and that he and his wife were part of CaliforniaALL. In addition, Fujie served as the president of the State Bar of California and as a member of both the Board of Governors and Operations Committee, and was briefed on the matter; in fact, she authorized the expenditure of money to pay as legal fees to oppose the suit before Judge England. In addition Ms. Fujie participated in multiple diversity-related events at which Judge England and his wife Torie Flournoy-England were present; one such even took place on January 27, 2009, when DLA Piper’s Gilles Attia and the Office of Assembly-member Mike Davis co-hosted a reception honoring California ALL at the Tsakopoulos Galleria in Sacramento. Despite of all the above, Fujie –instead of speaking up concerning the obvious conflict regarding Judge England — kept quiet and looked the other way.
Even though the outcome of the Granda matter is irrelevant to a determination of the misconduct described above, the following paragraphs are included to provide further background and to rebut any allegation that the relationship between the Englands and the defendant caused no prejudice to plaintiff Sara Granda, or that the failure to provide fair administration of justice was otherwise harmless.
The fact of the matter is that the plaintiff Granda was severely prejudiced by the misconduct.
Granda, a 2009 graduate of U.C. Davis School of Law, intended to sit for the July 2009 bar exam. The recent graduate, a quadriplegic who can only move her head and fingers, arranged for the California Department of Rehabilitation to pay the examination fee of $600, which it did via check. However, the State Bar stated that it only accepts payments made via credit card, and would not allow Granda to sit for the fast-approaching bar examination. Plaintiff sensed unfairness and, like many recent law school graduates before her who approached federal court, she asked the federal court to award her both monetary and equitable relief in her lawsuit, which claimed that defendant State Bar of California violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The State Bar of California, which was represented by Michael von Loewenfeldt of Kerr & Wagstaffe, as well as Lawrence Yee, Mark Gil-Torres and Rachel Grunberg (State Bar in-house attorneys), asserted that the State Bar was immune pursuant to the 11th Amendment. (See attachment titled “Defendant’s Opposition.”) In its filing and opposition, defendant mostly cited as authority cases adjudicated by district courts around the country, as there is no clear authority addressing the interactions between the ADA and Eleventh Amendment immunity. Cases which held otherwise were not referenced by defendant, including Stoddard v. Florida Board of Bar Examiners and many other cases which held that, in fact, the ADA abrogates Eleventh Amendment immunity.
Misled, at least in part, by the argument advanced by defendant State Bar, Judge England promptly dismissed the case without giving Granda the chance to amend or plead around the issue of Eleventh Amendment immunity by, for example, naming Judy Johnson as a defendant in her individual capacity. In addition, Granda’s claim for monetary relief was completely ignored by the judge, and was never ruled upon.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the above-named attorneys engaged in egregious misconduct. The fact that they are part of the State Bar, an entity that should hold itself as a beacon of high ethical standards, coupled with Ms. Granda’s special circumstances, mandate and call for severe discipline.
IV. REPLY TO COMPLAINT BY JILL SPERBER OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA
Ms. Sarah E. Redfield is a tenured law professor at the UNH School of Law. She is an expert in the area of education, education jurisprudence, and matters relating to diversity in the legal profession.
Between 2004 and 2008, Professor Redfield served as a “visiting” professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. From 2008-2009, she served as interim Executive Director of CaliforniaALL, as well as program director. Professor Redfield was paid $157,763 for her services while she was misclassified as an “independent contractor.”
Events surrounding Redfield, as shown below, appear to be imbued with fraud and deceit, and it appears her role was to create a subterfuge to justify the existence of CaliforniaALL. Since CaliforniaALL’s main achievement was the purported creation of a “Saturday Academy of Law” at UC Irvine (“SALUCI” or “UCISAL”), Ms. Redfield pretended to have engaged in Requests for Proposals (“RFP”), as well as falsely claiming that she “launched” SALUCI. She gave very little, if anything, in return for the $157,763 she was paid. In fact, she took credit for the extremely hard work of others.
As circumstances presented themselves, particularly with the election of former NBA player Kevin Johnson as the mayor of Sacramento, an idea surfaced that McGeorge (and other law schools in their respective communities) would create their own supplies of qualified minority students by actively engaging the community of potential future students as early as junior high school. Activities would include mentoring, speaker series, field trips, on-site visits to the law schools, Saturday law classes, and the like.
Thus, with visiting Professor Redfield, various programs came about, such as Wingspread P20 Consortium. At McGeorge, a local program known as the “Pacific Pathways” was created by Professor Redfield with help from Twin Rivers Unified School District employee, Torie Flournoy.
Also employed at McGeorge as Assistant Dean for Career Services was Vice President of the State Bar of California, Ms. Ruthe Catolico Ashley, as well as State Bar of California Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Robert Hawley. Ashley and Redfield were also involved with diversity-related matters within the State Bar of California as part of its council on access and fairness, and as the head of a working group referred to as “Education Pipeline, State Bar of California.”
Shortly, thereafter, Ashley left McGeorge to work at CalPERS as a “Diversity Officer” for External Affairs. Subsequenty, CPUC General Counsel Peter Arth invited Ashley and Redfield to dinner, whereupon the idea for CaliforniaALL (initially known as Ca AAL) was memorialized on a paper napkin in approximately July 2007.
In mid 2008, CaliforniaALL was ready to rock and roll. It had just obtained Section 501(C)(3) approval, Ruthe Catolico Ashley was hired as a CEO, a sub rosa transfer of $780,000 had been received from the State Bar of California Foundation (AKA Cal Bar Foundation), and close to another million dollars from utility companies, allegedly, poured in.
According to Professor Redfield’s CV, between 2008 and 2009 she “launched” CaliforniaALL, participated in RFP, and “launched” the Saturday Academy of Law at U. C. Irvine.
Similarly, CaliforniaALL’s own publication indicates that with CaliforniaALL’s grant funds, U.C. Irvine developed and implemented the Saturday Academy of Law, and that by 2009 CaliforniaALL’s mission was visibly at work through the program. See below.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, as most transactions involving CaliforniaALL, the California Bar Foundation and the State Bar of California, it is imbued with fraud and egregious acts dishonesty and deception.
Specifically, the Saturday Academy of Law has been in existence for many years, and is part of the University of California Irvine’s Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP), which has many programs to benefit the community, such as “UCI Saturdays with Sciences,” “Saturday Academy in Mathematics,” and the like.
For example, as part of a field trip to law firms, the photo below was taken in 2007 when the UCISAL group visited the law offices of Allen Matkins. (See below.) We have intentionally blurred the photo to maintain the students’ privacy. Seated on the right is Allen Matkins managing partner Robert Hamilton. On the far right is Karina Hamilton, a former Allen Matkins associate, wife of Robert Hamilton, and the former Director of Saturday Academy of Law at U. C. Irvine.
Saturday Academy of Law at U. C. Irvine Director Karina Hamilton
On April 13, 2012 Adam Stock of Allen Matkins’ office in Orange County published the following:
“Allen Matkins joined the Orange County Diversity Task Force, a collaborative effort of professionals from top Orange County law firms and businesses that are committed to achieving cultural diversity in the legal profession. As part of this effort, on April 6, 2010, Allen Matkins hosted an office visit and luncheon for the inaugural class of the University of California — Irvine Saturday Academy of Law program (“SAL”).”
Unfortunately, again, this is not the case. Instead, as most transactions involving CaliforniaALL, the California Bar Foundation and the State Bar of California, it is imbued with fraud and egregious acts dishonesty and deception.
Specifically, the Saturday Academy of Law has been in existence for many years, and is part of the University of California Irvine’s Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP), which has many programs to benefit the community, such as “UCI Saturdays with Sciences,” “Saturday Academy in Mathematics,” and the like.
In fact, metadata from Allen Matkins’ own photos reveals the photos below were taken on January 24, 2007, and not on April 2, 2010 as Allen Matkins (who’s managing partner is Bob Hamilton — husband of UC Irvine’s Karina Hamilton) falsely alleges.
The metadata results were obtained by examining the following links at www.findexif.com :
VI. YR’S VIEW OF EVENTS SURROUNDING CaliforniaALL
(L-R) USDOJ’s Tony West, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, HUD’s Ophelia Basgal, Judy Johnson, Chris Young, Annette Carnegie, James Brosnahan, and Kamala Harris. (Image:courtesy photos)
As matters presently stand, it appears that in 2008 Morrison & Foerster attorneys James Brosnahan (self-proclaimed “mastermind behind the Democratic Party.), Tony West (Barack Obama’s Chair of California Finance Committee), Chris Young (“Obama for America” Northern California Deputy Finance Director) and Annette Carnegie (former director with the California Bar Foundation) in conjunction with Kamala Harris (Co-Chair, Obama for America ; member of CaliforniaALL) , Jeffrey Bleich (president of the State Bar of California, director with the California Bar Foundation, founding member and Chair of Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee) executed a sophisticated financial scheme to misuse all or part of the “hush-hush” $780,000.00 originating from the California Bar Foundation by improperly transferring the money to Barack Obama’s coffers via a separate foundation created ad hoc by Susan Mac Cormac of Morrison & Foerster known as CaliforniaALL.
Other then collecting close to $2 million directly from utility companies (including the “hush-hush” transfer of $774,247, comprised of one installment of $5000 and another contribution of $769,247 from the Foundation which was never mentioned in the Foundation’s “newsroom” or by any other of its publications such as the California Bar Journal or by any of the newsletters and alerts published by CaliforniaALL), CaliforniaALL appears to have been be a sham, phantom entity from its inception in 2008 to the day it began to slowly be dissolved in approximately 2009, subsequent to the election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. Its only alleged achievement was providing some money for the creation of the Saturday Academy of Law at UC Irvine (“SALUCI”) in approximately 2008-2009. Here too vast and intense suspicious circumstances exist as the funds from CaliforniaALL actually went to the UC Irvine Foundation, where the present executive director of the State Bar of California (Senator Joe Dunn) serves as a member of the audit committee, and it turns out that the SALUCI was actually already created in 2005 and was fully operational before CaliforniaALL arrived on the scene. In addition, some records seem to indicate that Verizon Wireless funneled the money directly to SALUCI , while CaliforniaALL took the credit.
Initially, due to circumstances which cannot be viewed as mere coincidence, I was under the impression that funds have been misappropriated from the California Bar Foundation by Voice of OC — specifically, by its founders 1) Joe Dunn and 2) Martha Escutia (both former state senators who were overseeing utility companies and the CPUC and investigating the California energy crisis), and 3) Thomas Girardi and 4) James Brosnahan who were litigating cases involving the California energy crisis on opposite sides, and/or Geoffrey Brown, former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission and 2007 Director of the Foundation during the time of the suspicious transfer of funds to CaliforniaALL (an entity of which CPUC’s Peter Arth was one of the main initiators).
However futile, I asked the State Bar of California to investigate the matter. While the Foundation alleges that the source of the (relatively) large sum of $774,247 which it transferred to CaliforniaALL was from four utility companies (AT&T, PG&E, Edison International, and Verizon Wireless — as reflected in the Foundation’s 2008 Annual Report and tax return showing contributions to CaliforniaALL), there is no corresponding entry in any Foundation tax return (for tax years 2007 or 2008), nor any mention in the Annual Report, showing the initial receipt of those funds.
Nevertheless, I continued with the inquiry as large pieces of the puzzle were missing, and in fact stated so in a letter seeking information about one of the actor’s employment history. However, within the past several weeks, I believe that I finally managed to put all the pieces together.
These facts raised suspicions that money has been misappropriated from the Foundation, and places those individuals who controlled the Foundation (Jeffrey Bleich, Annette Carnegie, Douglas Winthrop, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Geoffrey Brown, and others), who “legally” created CaliforniaALL (James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young, Susan Mac Cormac, and Annette Carnegie of the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster), who controlled the money (Ophelia Basgal of PG&E; Douglas Winthrop, attorney for PG&E; Jeffrey Bleich, attorney for Verizon Wireless; and Edison (client of James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young, and Annette Carnegie), who controlled CaliforniaALL (Ruthe Ashley, Ophelia Basgal), and who controlled the finances for the Obama for America’s 2008 campaign (Jeffrey Bleich, Tony West, and Chris Young) in a very awkward position.
In my opinion, and based on the information I’ve discovered, it appears that funds were misappropriated and/or laundered through the California Bar Foundation by various individuals through the misuse of CaliforniaALL. Although other potential explanations certainly exist, based on these individuals’ involvement in the “Obama for America” 2008 presidential campaign (as discussed below), one likely possibility is that the funds were unlawfully misdirected to that campaign.
VII. STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA’S JOE DUNN AND JON STREETER OF KEKER & VAN NEST PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST YR WITH YOLO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY; PARTIAL COPY OF DECLARATION OF BRUCE NALIBOFF PRESENTED TO JUDGE TIM FALL
March 18, 2013
Dear Members and Others,
The attached articles deal with two subjects that are inexorably intertwined. The first by Courthouse News reporter, Maria Dinzeo, recounts the fact that the Chief Justice has reappointed three current members to the Judicial Council. The second article, by The Recorder’s Cheryl Miller, details a recent legislative hearing that focused on the money-sucking Long Beach Courthouse.
These two issues must be viewed in the larger context of a dysfunctional form of branch governance and the lack of a real system of checks and balances.
Reappointing the same judges/justices who have failed to appropriately oversee the bloated and entrenched bureaucracy is not a recipe for success. Rather, it is history repeating itself. We have not found a single instance when any of these three re-appointed members has voted against an AOC staff recommendation. They have fallen in lock-step with the other appointees who supported the failed CCMS project and repeatedly overlooked wasteful spending on court construction and maintenance. Recently each joined in rejecting the Chief Justice’s Strategic Evaluation Committee’s recommendation to end telecommuting for central office staff.
And that history brings us to the second article concerning the Long Beach Courthouse.
The Alliance has obtained an un-redacted copy of the building and maintenance contract that has left the judiciary on the hook for $2.3 billion over the next 35 years. We looked high and we looked low in an effort to learn who entered into this agreement where the construction/maintenance company bore zero risk. We can tell you that NO local court officials inked this deal. The bureaucrats from the AOC own this debacle from A to Z.
The Legislative Analyst correctly observed that the Long Beach project would go way over budget. That same Legislative Analyst had presciently warned that CCMS had not been properly vetted and was in danger of failing. Again the warnings have been ignored. And who suffers for these blunders? Certainly not those who entered into these contracts from the central office or the Council members who have repeatedly failed to rein them in. Instead the price is paid by every trial court in this state that is forced to layoff critically needed staff, close courtrooms and courthouses, make do with unsafe and overcrowded facilities, and shorten business hours for the public seeking redress.
Last week the Chief Justice addressed both houses of the Legislature. In her remarks she observed: “Structurally” the judicial branch was “reborn a mere 16 years ago.” Later in referring to the branch as “16 years young” she went on to say, “Like any adolescent it needs a check-in.” The Alliance would go one step further in this analogy: What adult in their right mind would give a 16-year-old carte blanche to spend over three billion dollars a year and not expect bad decision making and wasteful spending?
As we did with the CCMS fiasco, the Alliance is asking for the Legislature — which appropriated these monies the AOC and Judicial Council have so badly mismanaged — to direct respected State Auditor Elaine Howle to conduct an audit of the construction and maintenance programs overseen by the AOC. We caution the legislature not to be misled into thinking that the AOC-commissioned Pegasus report is comparable to a real independent audit, any more than were AOC-sponsored reports on CCMS. It is not. What is needed is an independent evaluation, just as was done with CCMS.
Finally, we thank State Senator Loni Hancock for shining the light on the Long Beach Court financing debacle by holding a public meeting. Senator Hancock’s question to AOC staff: “How did you let this happen?” — referencing the apparent belief by branch leaders that the State General Fund would pay for this behemoth — harkens eerily back to the days when our branch leaders and AOC staff attempted to shift responsibility for the concept of CCMS onto past Governors. Nonsense.
Directors, Alliance of California Judges