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Jerry Falk

This tag is associated with 36 posts

Communication Dispatched to Ninth Circuit’s Alex Kozinski Re Jerome Falk/In Re Girardi, CaliforniaALL, Voice of OC’ Joe Dunn, Sara Granda, Michael Cabral, Jeff Reisig

Developing story….. Details soon…..

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Addendum to James Towery, Jeff Reisig, Mike Cabral in State Bar Cover-Up of In Re Girardi — Complainant Discovery Special Prosecutor — Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk — Actually Defense Lawyer of Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack

REVEALED: Copy of Ethics Complaint Against James Towery Re State Bar Cover-Up of Ninth Circuit Matter of In Re Girardi — Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig and Mike Cabral Allege May Be Criminal

Search warrant re James Towery, below:

 

Complaint against James Towery dated 12/23/2010, below:

Dear President Hebert and Members of the Board of Governors:

Please consider this to be a formal request that the Board of
Governors implement a Task Force/Committee to investigate misconduct
and improprieties by employees and executives of the State Bar of
California relating to their handling of the investigation of
misconduct committed by attorneys from the law offices of Girardi &
Keese in the Dole litigation.

Such investigation should include an examination of the relationship
between Thomas Girardi and Mr. Mike Nisperos, the former chief trial
counsel.  It should also encompass the reasons Mr. Nisperos stated on
his resume immediately after he departed from the State Bar that
Thomas Girardi is his “Mentor Emeritus.”

However, the more serious matter that should be investigated is the
recent appointment of Jerome Falk of the Howard, Rice firm by James
Towery to act as special prosecutor in investigating attorney
misconduct in the Dole case.  The attorneys who
participated in the misconduct are Thomas Girardi, Howard Miller, and
Walter Lack.

Simply stated, Mr. Falk should not have served as special prosecutor
because of an obvious conflict of interest.  As you know, the managing
partner of Howard, Rice is Douglas Winthrop, President-elect of the
Foundation of the State Bar of California. This in and of itself
should have disqualified Mr. Falk from serving in that capacity.

However, and in addition, Mr.  Howard Miller — the ex-president of
the State Bar and one of the attorneys who participated in the scheme
to defraud the judiciary and injure Dole in order to enrich himself
financially — also serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors
alongside Douglas Winthrop, who is a business partner of Jerome Falk.

As such, in addition to our request for the immediate implementation
of a Task Force, we also ask that the Board of Governors ensure that
any findings by Jerome Falk are annulled and that a new, disinterested
outside counsel be appointed to determine ab initio if Thomas Girardi,
Howard Miller, and Walter Lack should be subject to any disciplinary
proceedings.

Lastly, I sincerely and whole-heartedly believe that the law offices
of Girardi & Keese and associated individuals have a determinable
effect on the State Bar of California in general, and the
administration of justice in particular.  I also believe that it is
unfortunate that such criticism and the above discoveries had to come
from me rather than the State Bar itself.  For these reasons, and in
the interest of justice, I request that you implement the measures
described above.

Thank you for your time.

Erin Baldwin Demand for “Full Retraction” Served on The Leslie Brodie Report Rejected; TLR to Offer Limited Explanation

In TLR previosly published article”The World According to Erin Baldwin, Part 2″   See @:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2012/02/20/revealed-holly-fujie-and-judge-doll…

 

Among others, the article contains the following paragraph:

“The latest allegations came as racial minorities in position of trust are routinely accused of intentional misrepresentation by failing to fulfill their duties to avoid any and all appearance of, let alone real, improprieties, and usually involving entities which are on the receiving end of money from large corporations, and usually utility companies. Most notable of which are “Shakedown Artist” Gwen Moore, Judy Johnson, Leslie Hatamiya, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Maria Lucy Armendariz-Antonio Villaraigosa, Justice Ming Chin, Alec Chang, Lawrence Yee, former crack-addict Mike Nisperos. Pat McElroy, and U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England. “

 

TLR’s readers should note that while the above paragraph was part of a story concering Erin Baldwin, it was not wriitten by Ms Baldwin, and otherwise should not be attributed to her.

 

Marcy Tiffany of Tiffany Law Group Asked to Opine on Role of Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk as Special Prosecutor Against His Former Clients In The Matter of In Re Girardi

Amid continuing controversy over the appointment of Jerome Falk to serve as “special prosecutor” on behalf of the State Bar of California to examine attorney misconduct in connection with the Ninth Circuit matter of In Re Girardi;  as part of a journalistic inquiryThe Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Ms Marcy Tiffany to opine on recent developments.

Specifically, Jerome Falk’s alleged failure to disclose that those he was suppose to prosecute on behalf of the State Bar of California (Thomas Girardi, Girardi & Keese, Walter Lack, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack) were actually his and his firm’s clients.  This 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.

Early last 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.

 

Jerome Falk Robert Baker.

 

 


Mr Tom Girardi of Los Angeles-based Girardi & Keese. Per findings 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.  (Image: courtesy photo)

Please observe that, rather than contacting Ms Marcy Tiffany directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

Any opinion or observation can be sent to lesliebrodie@gmx.com

Pierce O’Donnell Hereby Asked to Disclose All Non-Confidential Information Relating to Litigation Over Royalties Re Fictional Charachter — Winnie the Pooh

As part of a journalistic inquiry, The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Pierce O’Donnell to disclose all non-confidential information relating to Girardi & Keese, Thomas Girardi, Eric George, Howard Rice, Jerome Falk, and in connection with litigation over royalties re fictional charachter — Winnie the Pooh.

Please observe that, rather than contacting POD directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

Any information or observation can be sent to lesliebrodie@gmx.com

Gretchen Nelson of Kreindler & Kreindler Hereby Asked to Opine on Matters Involving Susan Friery /Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack’s Walter Lack/ In Re Girardi

As part of a journalistic inquiry, The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Kreindler & Kreindler’s Gretchen Nelson to opine on matters relating to former partner Susan Friery, and in connection with Kreindler & Kreindler 20 year failure to detect the fraud.

Ms Gretchen Nelson, won a State Bar of California Board of Governors seat in August of 2010. She is a former president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, received the Breakfast Club endorsement for the county Seat 1 position. A partner with Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, she has been a trial lawyer for more than 25 years with experience at small- and medium-sized law firms as well as solo practice. A graduate of Smith College and Georgetown University Law Center, Nelson serves on the board of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and chairs the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s judicial election evaluation committee. (photo and nerrative courtesy of Cal Bar Journal)

Was Kreindler & Kreindler’s failure to detect the fraud part of an scheme? Or, in the alternative, was it a result of mere recklesness?

For background information, background visit @:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2012/02/13/susan-friery-aka-susan-mowbray-biog…

 

Additionaly, The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Kreindler & Kreindler’s Gretchen Nelson to opine on matters relating to Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack.

For background information, , please see @:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/15/united-states-court-of-appeals-for-…

 

Please observe that, rather than contacting you directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

Any opinion or observation can be sent to lesliebrodie@gmx.com

Gretchen Nelson of Kreindler & Kreindler Hereby Asked to Opine on Matters Involving Susan Friery /Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack’s Walter Lack/ In Re Girardi

As part of a journalistic inquiry, The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Kreindler & Kreindler’s Gretchen Nelson to opine on matters relating to former partner Susan Friery, and in connection with Kreindler & Kreindler 20 year failure to detect the fraud.

Was Kreindler & Kreindler’s failure to detect the fraud part of an scheme? Or, in the alternative, was it a result of mere recklesness?

For background information, background visit @:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2012/02/13/susan-friery-aka-susan-mowbray-biog…

 

Additionaly, The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks Kreindler & Kreindler’s Gretchen Nelson to opine on matters relating to Walter Lack of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack.

For background information, , please see @:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/15/united-states-court-of-appeals-for-…

 

Please observe that, rather than contacting you directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

Any opinion or observation can be sent to lesliebrodie@gmx.com

Hon. A. Wallace Tashima — U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — Hereby Asked to Opine on Events Sorrounding State Bar of California’s Jerome Falk of Arnold & Porter Handling of Matter of In Re Girardi

Amid continuing controversy over the appointment of Jerome Falk to serve as “special prosecutor” on behalf of the State Bar of California to examine attorney misconduct in connection with the Ninth Circuit matter of In Re Girardi,  The Leslie Brodie Report hereby asks the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima — U.S. Circuit Judge and special master in matter of In Re Girardi —  to opine on recent developments.

Specifically, Jerome Falk’s alleged failure 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.  This 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.

 

Honorable A. Wallace Tashima, U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  During the Ninth Circuit proceedings, and after the case against Dole Food Comany 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. 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. (photo: courtesy of Wikipedia)

Early last 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.

 

Jerome Falk Robert Baker.

 

 


Mr Tom Girardi of Los Angeles-based Girardi & Keese. Per findings 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.  (Image: courtesy photo)

 

Please observe that, rather than contacting Hon. Judge Tashima directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

Any opinion or observation can be sent to lesliebrodie@gmx.com

DLA Piper’s Shirli Fabbri Weiss Avers Arnold & Porter’s Jerome Falk (Formerly of Howard Rice) is a Man of “Impeccable Integrity” (TLR Note: 1-Propoganda by DLA Piper Which Housed CaliforniaALL 2-Weiss Ignores Falk’s Actions Re In Re Girardi)

Ms Shirli Fabbri Weiss

PROMINENT TRIAL LAWYER TERANCE MIX ASSAILS TOM GIRARDI OF GIRARDI & KEESE

Following on the heels of a $3.2 million jury verdict for professional malpractice against Girardi & Keese, a declaration of mistrial, as well as absurd remarks by Tom Girardi (“This is the most stupid case in the history of America”), prominent trial lawyer Terance Mix minced no words in accusing Girardi & Keese of profesional negligence, and for failing to accept responsibility for the catastrophic consequences befalling Girardi & Keese’s former client, Richard Salerno.

As a service to the community, TLR shall publish Terance Mix’s comment, below:

“Tom Girardi’s comment reflects not only his ignorance about the actual facts of a case that sat in his office largely ignored for over two years, but from a lawyer unwilling to own up to the failings of his firm and accept responsibility for the catastrophic consequences befalling his client when Girardi & Keese bailed on the case only 42 days before trial.


Mr Terance Mix of Santa Barbara, California. Mix is the former president of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and spent 12 years on the Board of Governors of California Trial Lawyers Association. He is a legal author and lecturer on trial techniques and strategies, including the trial of drug product cases, which was his specialty for over 30 years. (image: courtesy photo)

What Mr. Girardi fails to acknowledge in his rant about the “most stupid case in the history of America” is that the only independent and impartial witness to the impact between Richard Salerno’s motorcycle and the Volvo, being driven next to one another in the same direction, testified that as he passed the two vehicles, while traveling in the opposite direction, Mr. Salerno appeared to be “talking” to the Volvo driver as he passed them, and never saw Salerno remove his hands from the handlebars at any time before the impact.

This evidence is totally contradictory to Mr. Girardi’s assertion that Mr. Salerno was in a “rage” and “beating on the car with his fists and shouting expletives,” as stated in the Metro News article. Indeed, the evidence produced during the trial overwhelmingly demonstrated that the Volvo driver swerved into the motorcycle, as a means of intimidation, knocking Mr. Salerno to the ground and then driving over him with the left rear tire of the car.


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.

What Mr. Girardi also failed to mention, as was likewise brought out during the trial, was that the firm’s real reason for wanting out of the lawsuit was simply because they thought it was a lousy case and Mr. Salerno refused to accept a $20,000 offer for a client with a fractured skull, brain damage, multiple other injuries, and medical expenses in excess of $1,000,000. And that the lawyer in his firm that was assigned to the case contrived an allegation that Mr. Salerno intended to lie at the trial, only after the client refused to sign a substitution of attorney form about 50 days before the scheduled trial of the case.

Perhaps if Mr. Girardi had been present throughout the trial, rather than making just a couple of shorts visits, he might have seen how the underlying case could have been developed by his firm during the two years of representation and successfully resolved with the original defendant, thus avoiding last months trial for professional negligence.”

Barack Obama condemned for rewriting online gambling rules – and announcing it at Christmas so no one notices | Mail Online (TLR Note: Similar to Jerome B. Falk in His Role as Prosecutor/Defense Counsel to Walter Lack– Link Included)

Rabbi Stan Levy — Bet Tzedek co-founder and Partner at Manatt Phelps & Phillips — Condems Injustice

Media_httpwwwjewishjo_oyfhg

Stan Levy, a lawyer with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, sat down with a journalist at the firm’s offices in West Los Angeles on a Monday afternoon earlier this month. At one point during the conversation, Levy threw out a few favorite quotations, one of which concerned the difference between the law and justice.

The quote came from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s 1962 book, “The Prophets.”

“ ‘An act of injustice is condemned not because the law is broken,’ ” Levy said, “ ‘but because a person has been hurt.’ ”

Stan Levy, a lawyer with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, sat down with a journalist at the firm’s offices in West Los Angeles on a Monday afternoon earlier this month. At one point during the conversation, Levy threw out a few favorite quotations, one of which concerned the difference between the law and justice.

The quote came from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s 1962 book, “The Prophets.”

“ ‘An act of injustice is condemned not because the law is broken,’ ” Levy said, “ ‘but because a person has been hurt.’ ”

TLR Note #2:
Care to opine on the Eric George-Thomas Girardi-In re Girardi-Jerome Falk Connection? 60 Days Suspension Scandal? Mistreatment of Christian Phil Kay, Rabbi?

Arnold & Porter’s Prospective Partner Jerome Falk Assailed for Alleged Misconduct Subsequent to Ruling by Ninth Circuit judges Marsha Berzon, N. Rabdy Smith and William Fletcher

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.

ABC’s Cynthia McFadden Loses Credibility in Expose of “Erin Brockovich Still Fighting for Neighbors Over Contaminated Drinking Water

Media_httpaabcnewscom_rckqc

In the movie, the victims in the celebrated lawsuit won big. In reality, many are wondering where the money went — and they’re mad at their lawyers. See Salon article @: http://www.salon.com/2000/04/14/sharp/

Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese was found recently to have engaged in grave misconduct by a federal court.. Some of the findings included that 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. Girardi is highly unethical and efforts are underway to seek his disbarment. See
http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/15/united-states-court-of-appeals-for-…

See ABC’s coverage @:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/erin-brockovich-fighting-neighbors-toxic-drinking-wa…

Jerome B. Falk of Howard Rice — State Bar of California Special Prosecutor in Ninth Circuit Matter of In Re Girardi (adjudicated by N. Randy Smith, Marsha Berzon, William Fletcher) Lashes Out – Claims Girardi & Keese Client of Howard Rice – Not His


Source

In the interest of ethical journalism, and as public service to the community, The Leslie Brodie Report publishes* communication from Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk to Complainant, below: (end hair-splitting, see above)

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.

————————————————————————————————————–
Letter from Jerome Falk to Walter Lack, Below:

Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin’s Jerome Falk (allegedly) Offers Explanation as to Allegation of Misconduct in Matter of In Re Girardi (TLR Note: Split Hairs — Oy Vey)

More Merger Madness: Arnold & Porter Ties up With Howard Rice

    • Leslie Brodie has his facts wrong. I have never represented Thomas Girardi, Walter Lack or their firms. As for my law firm, it has never represented Mr. Girardi or Walter Lack. I therefore did not fail to disclose to the State Bar anything that should have been disclosed.

      Jerome B. Falk, Jr.

  • State Bar of California Laura Chick Scandal Part 3: Craig Holden — from MGA to Lewis Brisbois ; Endorsement by Breakfast Club ; Use and Abuse of OCTC- Default Judgement

    The Leslie Brodie Report (TLR) is carefully following a major developing story out of California relating to State Bar of California Board of Governor member Laura Chick.

    Sources with knowledge of the probe, speaking on condition of anonymity, maintain the multi-prong probe is rapidly expanding and encompasses broader inquiries than had been acknowledged up to now.

    In addition, a red flag continue to fly over Sheldon Sloan, Ronald George, Laura Chick, and Robert Chick — CEO of a Burbank-based legal malpractice insurance carrier known as Lawyer’s Mutual Insurance Company.


    MGA Team — Counsels Who Represented Defendant MGA (“Bratz Dolls”.) From Left: Skadden Arps’ Raoul Kennedy and Thomas Nolan ; Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk And Douglas Winthrop; Keker & Van Nest’s John Keker and Former MGA’S In-House Counsel and Present Partner with Lewis Brisbois, Mr. Craig Holden.

    These sources maintain that the inquiry involves personnel at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, the State Bar of California, as well as a close examination of the relationship between Laura Chick and Edith Matthai of Robie & Matthai.

    A source maintains that one aspect of the inquiry involves 3 sub-parts concerning the alleged:

    1) Circumstances surrounding events relating to the State Bar of California/California Supreme Court and its enmeshment with Lawyer’s Mutual Insurance Company vis-à-vis Laura Chick, Sheldon Sloan, Ronald George, and operative Beth Jay.

    2) circumstances surrounding the removal of Craig Holden from MGA (a client of Girardi & Keese) to Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, as well as the subsequent positioning of Holden as member of the BOG, and thanks to an endorsement by the Breakfast Club — A Los Angeles-based entity which the recruiting of candidates for the State Bar of California Board of Governors is its primary function.

    3) Circumstances surrounding actions taken (or, most likely, lack thereof) by the State Bar of California against clients of the Lawyer’s Mutual Insurance Company.

    3) Circumstances surrounding actions taken by the OCTC/State Bar Court/California Supreme Court in “fixing” cases against errant clients of Lawyer’s Mutual (at times via State Bar Court “Default Judgement”), as to allow Lawyer’s Mutual an opportunity to potentially argue the misconduct was “intentional”, and hence to reject coverage. Here, particular attention is given to the examining transactions surrounding Sheldon Sloan, Ronald George, Judith Epstein, Ronald Stovitz, and former-crack-addict Mike Nisperos.

    TLR is closely monitoring the situation, and will continue to keep readers apprised of any developments as they become available.

    Meet Ninth Circuit Judge Kim Wardlaw (Wife of Bill Wardlaw — the Very Able Treasurer of Dianne Feinstein’s Campaign)

    United States Senate Judiciary Committee Members (TLR Note-Sources: Members to Be Notified RE 1- Aspirant Rory Little 2-Aspirant Jon Streeter 3- In Re Girardi 4-Jerome Falk of Howard Rice 5- CaliforniaALL 6 – Prior 2007 Actions by Kinde Durkee and Suit by

    Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vermont

    LeahyThumbPatrick J. Leahy (D) of Vermont was elected to the Senate in 1974.  Leahy is the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position he has held since January 2007.  He also served as Chairman from June 2001 through January 2003.  A graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Colchester (1961), he received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center (1964).  He served for eight years as State’s Attorney in Chittenden County, Vermont.  He gained a national reputation for his law enforcement activities and was selected as one of three outstanding prosecutors in the United States (1974).  Leahy has been a longtime advocate for government transparency, and he has authored and advocated a wide range of anti-crime and anti-drug initiatives.  Leahy is also a senior member of the Agriculture Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Committee on Rules and Administration.

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    Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

    GrassleyThumbChuck Grassley (R) of Iowa was elected to the Senate in 1980.  He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (B.A., 1955; M.A. 1956) and has been a longtime farmer in Iowa.  Since coming to the Senate in 1980, Grassley has worked to bring oversight to government spending, and has championed whistleblowers in government and in the private sector.  He has also been an advocate for protecting consumers.  Grassley is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.  He also serves on the Finance Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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    Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin

    KohlThumbHerb Kohl (D) of Wisconsin was elected to the Senate in 1988.  Kohl earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1956) and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University (1958).  He is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.  Kohl has been recognized as a strong advocate for children’s issues, and has focused on anti-crime legislation, especially crimes related to kids.  He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Budget Committee, and chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

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    Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah

    HatchThumbOrrin G. Hatch (R) of Utah was elected to the Senate in 1976.  He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, and of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.  He practiced law in Pittsburgh for several years before moving to Utah.  Since his election to the Senate, Hatch has worked to provide tools for the military to combat terrorism, advocated for resources to protect our children, and championed intellectual property protections and enforcement.  He serves as the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, and is also a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

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    Dianne Feinstein, D-California

    FeinsteinThumbDianne Feinstein (D) of California was elected to the Senate in 1992.  She is a former two-time mayor of San Francisco.  During her years in the Senate, Feinstein has worked to help strengthen national security, combat crime and violence, battle cancer and protect natural resources across the country.  Feinstein is the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

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    Jon Kyl, R-Arizona

    KylThumbJon Kyl of Arizona was elected to the Senate in 1994.  He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Kyl is the second-ranking member of the Senate Republican leadership.  He is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he received both his bachelor’s and law degrees.  His work in the Senate includes efforts related to immigration enforcement, protecting the environment, and legislative initiatives to protect crime victims’ rights.  Kyl is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.  He is also a member of the Finance Committee.

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    Chuck Schumer, D-New York

    SchumerThumbChuck Schumer (D) of New York was elected to the Senate in 1998.  A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he first served in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate.  Schumer chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.  He has a long legislative record in combating crime and advocating for women’s rights.  Schumer is the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration.  He also serves on the Finance Committee and the Banking Committee.

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    Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama

    SessionsThumbJeff Sessions (R) of Alabama was elected to the Senate in 1996.  He is a graduate of Huntingdon College (1969) and received his law degree from the University of Alabama (1973).  Sessions served in the Army Reserve for 13 years, and was a United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama for 12 years.  In the Senate, Sessions has focused on maintaining a strong military and working to improve and stimulate the nation’s economy.  Sessions is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.  He is the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee, and is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.

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    Dick Durbin, D-Illinois

    DurbinThumbDick Durbin of Illinois was elected to the Senate in 1996.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University (1966) and Georgetown University Law Center (1969).  Prior to his election to the Senate, Durbin served in the House of Representatives for 14 years.  Durbin has championed many issues, including gun safety, improving health care, protecting consumers, fighting for farmers, and working for a fair tax code.  Durbin chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.  He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and Committee on Rules and Administration.  Durbin is the second-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership.

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    Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina

    GrahamThumbLindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina was elected to the Senate in 2002.  He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  He served for six and one half years of service on active duty as an Air Force lawyer.  He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994.  Since his election to Congress, Graham has worked to adequately fund and prepare the military, and has been active in education policy.  Graham is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.  He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Select Committee on Aging, and the Budget Committee.

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    Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island

    WhitehouseThumbSheldon Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island was elected to the Senate in 2006.  Whitehouse chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.  He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law.  He is a former United States Attorney for Rhode Island.  Whitehouse has been an advocate for environmental protection, health and conservation throughout his career.  Whitehouse is the Chairman of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee.  He also serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Special Committee on Aging, and the Budget Committee.

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    John Cornyn, R-Texas

    CornynThumbJohn Cornyn (R) of Texas was elected to the Senate in 2002.  He is a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary’s School of Law, both in San Antonio.  He also earned a Masters of Law from the University of Virginia Law School (1995).  Since his election to the Senate, Cornyn has worked on issues related to border security, accessible health care, and improving educational opportunities.  Cornyn is a member of the Senate Republican leadership.  He is the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.  He is also a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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    Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota

    KlobucharThumbAmy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota was elected to the Senate in 2006.  She is the first woman elected to the Senate from Minnesota.  She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1982 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.  In the Senate, Klobuchar has worked to protect consumers, strengthen veterans’ health and education benefits, create a strong safety net for farmers, and invest in the energy technologies that will create new jobs.  Before her election to the Senate, Klobuchar served as a partner on two of Minnesota’s leading law firms, and led Minnesota’s largest prosecutor’s office for eight years.  Klobuchar is the chair of the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.  She is also a member of the Agriculture Committee, the Commerce Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee.

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    Michael S. Lee, R-Utah

    LeeThumbMichael S. Lee (R) of Utah was elected to the Senate in 2010.  Lee graduated from Bringham Young University, and earned a law degree from BYU’s Law School in 1997.  He clerked for Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and for then-Judge Samuel Alito on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  He worked in private practice and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.  He also served as Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s General Counsel.  Lee is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.  Lee also serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. 

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    Al Franken, D-Minnesota

    FrankenThumbAl Franken of Minnesota was elected to the Senate in 2008.  He graduated from Harvard in 1973.  Before running for the Senate, Franken spent 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host, and participated in seven USO tours, visiting troops overseas in German, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Uzbekistan, as well as visiting Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait four times.  Since his election to the Senate, Franken has advocated for affordable, accessible health care and affordable education.  He is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.  Franken is also a member of the Energy Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Indian Affairs Committee.

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    Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma

    CoburnThumbTom Coburn (R) or Oklahoma was elected to the Senate in 2004.  He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (1970) and the University of Oklahoma Medical School (1983).  Coburn was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, where he served until his election to the Senate.  He has been an advocate for balancing the federal budget and improving health care access and affordability.  Coburn is the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.  He is also a member of the Finance Committee and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

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    Christopher A. Coons, D-Delaware

    CoonsThumbChristopher A. Coons (D) of Delaware was elected to the Senate in 2010.  He graduated from Amherst College in 1985, and received his Juris Doctor from Yale University Law School in 1992.  He also received a Master’s degree in Ethics from Yale Divinity School in 1992.  He has worked in the non-profit sector and as an attorney.  From 2001-2004, Coons served as the President of the New Castle County Council, and from 2005-2010, he served as the County Executive of New Castle County.  Coons also serves on the Energy Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Budget Committee.

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    Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut

    BlumenthalThumbRichard Blumenthal (D) of Connecticut was elected to the Senate in 2010.  Blumenthal graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School.  He is a former five-term state Attorney General in Connecticut.  he served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984-1987, and in the Connecticut Senate from 1987-1990.  He is also a former U.S. Attorney for Connecticut.  Blumenthal also serves on the Armed Services Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging.

     

    Barack Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkey

    Voice of OC’s Henry Weinstein — Professor at UC Irvine School of Law — Subject of Ethics Complaint

    Utter and complete indifference to the law of the land, and despite the clear mandate by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has led to a complaint being filed against Henry Weinstein — a UC Irvine School of Law professor and member of Voice of OC’s Board of Directlors. Also names were Joe Dunn, John Cruz, and Jess Araujo.

    The ethics complaint — filed with the State Bar of California — alleges Orange County’s Nonprofit Investigative News Agency (DBA “Voice of OC) failed to comply with a September 1, 2011 request for production of IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A, and Form 1023.


    Professor Henry Weinstein, a former prize-winning legal affairs reporter with the Los Angeles Times, is now a professor at UCI law school teaching legal writing and developing clinical programs. As a journalist, Weinstein was known for his work on death penalty cases – freeing one man after 24 years in prison – as well as investigations into consumer fraud and white-collar crime. (photo:courtesy of literaryorange.org ; nerrative from Voice of OC)

    Specifically, the request to produce Voice of OC’s tax returns has been ignored, despite the clear mandate by the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service to fully comply with such requests within 30 days. As such, the failure of respondents (who all serve on Voice of OC’s Board of Directlors) to comply with the law, as well as the utter and complete indifference to the law of the land, mandates that discipline be imposed.

    The fact that Senator Dunn is the Executive Director of the State Bar of California should only serve as a factor for enhanced discipline, as his conduct should be beyond reproach and he should fully comply with all laws and regulations. This is particularly true because those documents were sought as part of an inquiry into circumstances involving a charity known as CaliforniaALL, in the context of events surrounding Voice of OC.

    The State Bar of California, which controls and operates the California Bar Foundation, quietly transferred $780,000 to CaliforniaALL, a charitable entity created by former BOG member Ruthe Catolico Ashley. 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, the Foundation never acknowledged this transfer to CaliforniaALL — the largest grant it ever bestowed — via publications issued by 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. (My suspicion, thus far unconfirmed, is that Girardi, Dunn, and Brosnahan became closer with each other while involved in proceedings relating to a class action against Sempra, as well as proceedings involving Enron and El Paso.)

    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 Senator Dunn serves as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee.

    In September 2009, Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL. That month, Senator Dunn publicly launched his online publication, ” Voice of OC.” Public sources have stated that the Voice of OC was financed by various foundations, unions, and the like.

    Events surrounding the State Bar of California, California Bar Foundation, CPUC, Geoffrey Brown, CaliforniaALL, Voice of OC, and UCI Foundation, as well as the fact that those who were involved (directly or indirectly, such as by arranging to funnel money ) with CaliforniaALL (i.e. Morrison & Foerster’s Susan Mac Cormac and Girardi & Keese’s Howard Miller in his capacity as BOD member of Cal Bar Foundation, as well as BOG members who voted to endorse CaliforniaALL and consider it to have been a partner of the State Bar of California) were also involved with the creation of Voice of OC (Morrison &Foerster’s James Brosnahan and Girardi & Keese’s Thomas Girardi ) created the appearance of suspicious activities that funds were misappropriated by Voice of OC, vis-a-vis CaliforniaALL.

    The appearance of suspicious activities is heightened given the proximity in time of various events. As noted above, Ruthe Catolico Ashley abruptly left CaliforniaALL in the same month Senator Dunn (aided by Brosnahan and Girardi) 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) and CaliforniaALL’s pre-selection of the UCI Foundation as a recipient of funds only reinforces this belief.

    This is heightened by Mr. Thomas Girardi’s utter lack of credibility (per findings by the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In Re Girardi), as well as the scheme to appoint as special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar an attorney from a law firm of which Girardi & Keese is a client. (Jerome falk of Howard Rice)

    As such, the State Bar of California was urged to investigate this matter to determine whether any of the attorneys from Voice of OC who ignored the request to produce said tax returns violated California Rules of Professional Conduct and/or the State Bar Act.

    Leslie Brodie’s article syndicated — UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT………

    Ming Chin — California Supreme Court Associate Justice — Abruptly Quits Controversial Entity Amid Probe by California Commission on Judicial Performance

    Supreme Court of California Associate Justice Ming W. Chin abruptly quit his position with the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment. The resignation took place amidst an ongoing investigation by the California Commission on Judicial Performance.


    Hon. Ming W. Chin

    A formal ethics complaint filed with the California Commission on Judicial Performance alleged that Chin’s involvement with CAUSE is prohibitive due to CAUSE’s invidious discrimination against those who are non Asian-American. The complaint further alleged that the associate justice must be disciplined due to CAUSE involvement in the political-process, conduct that Chin is otherwise prohibited in engaging in pursuant to Canon 5.

    In Addition, Justice Chin’s clandestine nature and undisclosed involvement was particularly troubling based on facts as they relate to Mr. James Hsu — CAUSE’s treasurer as well as a board member of a (now defunct) sham charitable entity known as CaliforniaALL — as matters relating to sham charity CaliforniaALL would soon be considered by the California Supreme Court.

    According to the complaint, records were sought pertaining to CaliforniaALL from the California Bar Foundation as well as from the State Bar of California to no avail. As such, and based on the blatant refusal to produce these records, a petition for relief will shortly be filed with the California Supreme Court seeking an order to compel the State Bar and its Foundation to make these public records available.

    The complaint further alleges that without the “fortuitous discovery ” by the Petitioner, he would not have known that Justice Chin and Hsu are involved with CAUSE as to seek the recusal of Justice Chin in matters relating to CaliforniaALL.

    Similarly, the complaint alludes to a State Bar of California petition in the matter of Sander vs. State Bar of California which is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. In that case, the State Bar seeks review of a decision that established a common law right of access to data concerning minorities which the State Bar possesses.

    Hence, the complaint alleged, there is an impression that Justice Chin may exercise his power in such a way which would benefit minorities, much like his involvement with CAUSE conclusively establishes that he stands united with APIA and otherwise wishes self-improvement for APIA more so than he does for the population as a whole.

    Subsequent to the filing of the complaint, CAUSE quickly removed Justice Chin’s name from its rolls for 2011 and 2010, retroactively. See CAUSE 2010 roll. In contrast, see TLR’s own records, which clearly show that Justice Chin was a member of CAUSE’s Advisory Council in 2010.

    CAUSE’s legal counsel, Mr. Victor King, has confirmed the resignation, which went into effect shortly after the complaint was filed. See below.

    CAUSE'S VICTOR KING RE JUSTICE MING CHIN

    This latest development comes in the aftermath of revelations of numerous scandals involving the California Supreme Court and the State Bar of California. Most notable among these is the forced departure of Executive Director Judy Johnson and her secret control of CCPF ; the bribery of Judge Patrice McElroy; the “friendship” between Ronald George and Thomas Girardi; Judge Lucy Armendariz/Antonio Villaraigosa Connection; as well as State Bar cover-up of Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk deceitful actions as special prosecutor on behalf of the State Bar against two of his and his firm’s clients (Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack) as part of a scheme to exploit his authority as special prosecutor for financial gain.

    State Bar of Texas to be notified over alleged conflict of interest concerns raised about Bandera County attorney John Payne

    John Payne’s dual roles as private litigator and Bandera County attorney have raised a new conflict of interest complaint. Sheriff’s investigators complained to District Attorney Bruce Curry over Payne’s actions in a sex assault case involving a juvenile suspect whose father Payne represents in private practice in a child custody dispute. Curry concluded that an ethics complaint to the state bar may be appropriate, but not criminal charges. Related story: http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/11/15/united-states-court-of-appeals-for-…

    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”

    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.

    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.

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

    Dear Mr. Falk:

    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.

    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.


    Mr. Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (Image:courtesy photo)

    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 (Gailey Associates, Inc.), 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 In Re Girardi. 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.

    UC Hastings Prof Rory Little
    Rory Little, Ninth Circuit judicial aspirant and professor of law at U.C. Hastings. Professor Little was appointed 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)

    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 & 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.

    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.

    Shortly thereafter, when you had issued the decision to “exonerate” Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack (as memorialized in a “Dear Bob” letter you sent Mr. Robert Baker of Baker Keener & 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 James Towery.

    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 & Keese.

    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; RAD voted to accept this conclusion.

    Mr Tom Girardi of Girardi & KeeseState Bar of California's Robert Hawley
    Mr. Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese and State Bar of California
    Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Robert A. Hawley.

    Subsequently, and fortuitously, I very recently discovered that Lack and Girardi were clients of your firm. I inquired with Mr. Hawley 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 & Keese have also become relevant, including the recent malpractice suits filed by Gutierez and Demeter Energy; the secretive attorney-client relationship between Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps in the Fogel vs. Farmers matter, the identity and nature of the firms defending MGA in the litigation against Mattel; Alec Chang’s membership on RAD; the overall corruption within the State Bar of California manifested in its unwillingness to prosecute Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack; Girardi’s unsettling friendship with Ronald George and “mentoring” of former crack-addict Mike Nisperos. These factors, coupled with my impression that the firms of Girardi & 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.

    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.

    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.


    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)

    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.

    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.

    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 Douglas Winthrop (also of Howard Rice) and Holly Fujie 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 CaliforniaALL.

    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.

    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:

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    *Links and photos inserted by The Leslie Brodie Report.

    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 F. Highberger was recently asked to consider additional matters relating to the approval of the settlement in the case of Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group.

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


    Hon. William F. Highberger, who presides over the case of Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group.  Judge Highberger is part of the Los Angeles Superior Court Complex Civil Litigation Program in the CCW Courthouse.

    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.


    Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, noted that “Farmers Insurance represent nearly twenty percent of the homeowners’ insurance market in Texas.”  Governor Perry further noted that “the investigations are still ongoing, but the findings reflect that at least on company, Farmers Insurance, has engaged in unfair, discriminatory prices to charge consume excessive and unjustified rates.” In the above photo, Governor Perry is seen before a hunting trip near Merrill, Iowa. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

    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.

    Nisperos - Copy
    A substantial factor leading to the State Bar of California’s ethical and moral collapse allowing Thomas Girardi and others to operate with impunity was provided courtesy of individuals who fall into two categories: minorities and/or close political allies from the Democratic party.  Shown above is former California State Bar of California chief prosecutor and former crack-addict Mike Nisperos, to whom Girardi serve as a “mentor.”  Nisperos spent 28 days at an in-patient psychiatric facility in Oakland after he, delusional, had open fire at an imaginary intruder (See Nisperos vs. Buck 720 F. Supp. 1424, 1427.) Subsequent to his employment with the California Bar, Nisperos was arrested and criminally prosecuted for an attempt to board an airplane carrying a dangerous weapon. (image: courtesy photo)

    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.)

    Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese
    From left,  Messrs. Raoul Kennedy and Thomas Nolan of Skadden Arps and Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith of Girardi & Keese. While Skadden Arps was representing defendant Farmers Group and Girardi & Keese representing the class of plaintiffs in Fogel vs. Farmers; the two firms entered into a seperate agreement by which Skadden Arps would represent Girardi & Keese in the matter of In Re Girardi (Photo:courtesy)

    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.

    Thomas Girardi of Girardi & KeeseLack Walter - Copy
    Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack who participated in the scheme to defraud the judiciary and injure Dole Food Company in order to enrich themselves financially. (photo:courtesy)

    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.

    *Links and photos inserted by The Leslie Brodie Report.

    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 F. Highberger was recently asked to consider additional matters relating to the approval of the settlement in the case of Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group.

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


    Hon. William F. Highberger, who presides over the case of Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group.  Judge Highberger is part of the Los Angeles Superior Court Complex Civil Litigation Program in the CCW Courthouse.

    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.


    Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, noted that “Farmers Insurance represent nearly twenty percent of the homeowners’ insurance market in Texas.”  Governor Perry further noted that “the investigations are still ongoing, but the findings reflect that at least on company, Farmers Insurance, has engaged in unfair, discriminatory prices to charge consume excessive and unjustified rates.” In the above photo, Governor Perry is seen before a hunting trip near Merrill, Iowa. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

    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.)

    Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese
    From left,  Messrs. Raoul Kennedy and Thomas Nolan of Skadden Arps and Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith of Girardi & Keese. While Skadden Arps was representing defendant Farmers Group and Girardi & Keese representing the class of plaintiffs in Fogel vs. Farmers; the two firms entered into a seperate agreement by which Skadden Arps would represent Girardi & Keese in the matter of In Re Girardi (Photo:courtesy)

    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.

    Thomas Girardi of Girardi & KeeseLack Walter - Copy
    Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack who participated in the scheme to defraud the judiciary and injure Dole Food Company in order to enrich themselves financially. (photo:courtesy)

    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.

    *Links and photos inserted by The Leslie Brodie Report.

    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.

    Muslim Community of Orange County Mulls Aiding Ronald Gottschalk

    Representatives of the Muslim community of Orange County, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and the Christian right, along with various civil rights activists, are in discussions to establish a plan of action to aid Orange County resident Ronald Norton Gottschalk, The Leslie Brodie Report has learned.

    During a meeting held in Arcadia yesterday, luminaries set the stage for the creation of a platform that will be used in aiding Gottschalk’s whistleblowing activities and his quest for justice.

    Gottschalk, an accomplished attorney with a stellar record, has been the victim of grave injustices and systemic abuses from various local and state entities ever since his relationship with Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese soured.


    Singer Paul Anka serenades Former California Chief Justice Ronald George courtesy of Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese. (Image: courtesy of LA Lawyers Phil. )

    Knowledgeable sources maintain that representative of the Orange County Jewish Federation and related entities were intentionally excluded from these discussions so as to avoid conflicts of interest and future complications. In addition, there were concerns that information may leak to the Los Angeles Jewish Federation and Bet Tzedek – both entities with strong ties to Girardi & Keese partner Howard Miller, as well as Ronald George – the former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, respectively.

    Eric George (Ronald George’s son) is an active board member of Bet Tzedek. Previously, the State Bar of California – one of the entities engaging in the systemic abuse of Gottschalk – declined a request to disclose the amount of money it transferred to Bet Tzedek, as well as the amount of contributions it obtained from its members and related law firms. Unlike its foundation – the California Bar Foundation, which discloses financial transactions on a regular basis – the State Bar of California itself only discloses the names of the entities upon which it bestows money, and does not enumerate the dollar figures involved.

    According to the California Bar Journal, during the State Bar’s annual meeting in Monterey last September, Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi had an orchestra, along with singer-songwriter Paul Anka, flown in to perform at a special reception for retiring Chief Justice Ronald George.

    The enmeshment between Thomas Girardi and the State Bar of California and others has been the subject of extensive coverage on TLR in connection with former crack addict Mike Nisperos ; BOG public member Jeannine English; State Bar of California Investigator Tom Layton; State Bar of California Executive Director Joe Dunn; allegations of preferential treatment leveled by ethics specialist David Cameron Carr; the attorney-client relationship between Howard Rice and Girardi & Keese; matters relating to the MGA/ Mattel litigation; as well as allegations involving conflicts of interest involving the case of Fogel v. Farmers.

    Separately, TLR has learned that an examination is underway relating to the relationships, if any, between Ronald George and former State Bar of California president and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 1st Century Bank Alan Rothenberg, as well as the relationship between Eric George and the San Francisco based law firm of Howard Rice Nemerovsky Canday Falk and Rabkin in matters relating to multimillion dollar litigation against the Walt Disney Company regarding unpaid royalties involving fictional character Winnie the Pooh.

    United States Supreme Court Asked to Review Alleged Corruption Within California Supreme Court

    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.

    Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin’s Jerome Falk, Douglas Winthrop, Sean Selegue, and Pamela Phillips Assailed by Complainant Re State Bar of California Handling of “In Re Thomas Girardi” Ninth Circuit Matter

    For prior coverage and background information, please visit the following links: http://tinyurl.com/3s2tjxz , http://tinyurl.com/42t7zkj , http://tinyurl.com/3eotzfs , http://tinyurl.com/3s82ac4 , http://tinyurl.com/3rjqm3v

    Dear Mr Hawley:

    This will serve to formally update you regarding newly-discovered
    evidence pertaining to the scheme executed by your office, Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin, and others relating to the decisions which resulted in Jerome Falk of Howard Rice acting as a special deputy trial counsel to examine attorney misconduct in the litigation against Dole.

    Within the past few days, I learned that Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin actually REPRESENTED the law offices of Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack.

    In plain English, Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack were (and very likely are) clients of Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin.

    The case at issue is entitled Copple v. Estrella & Rice (case number 3:2005 cv03961 JSW) 442 F.Supp.2d 829 (2006). It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on September 29, 2005 by Robert Copple (represented by Lindley & Wood).

    As the rules of professional conduct make very clear that an attorney can never represent another party in an action adverse to a current or former client, it was improper for Howard Rice and Jerome Falk to accept the invitation to act as special deputy trial counsel.

    Similarly, it was improper for the State Bar to make such a
    designation. It was improper for everyone involved to maintain secrecy over the relationship, particularly the law offices of Skadden Arps, and partners Thomas Nolan and Alec Chang.

    In addition to filing the ethics complaint with BOG/RAD and the Intake Office, I also communicated my concerns to Douglas Winthrop, Sean SeLegue, and Pamela Phillips of Howard Rice, and also invited them to disclose all other cases which potentially give rise to a conflict of interest. None of these individuals ever responded.

    In fact, Howard Rice, Girardi & Keese as well as Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack , actively and by omission, took actions to conceal the matter.

    This unfair and unlawful conduct caused injury to the people of the State of California, Dole Food Company, the federal judiciary, the fair administration of justice, as well as to yours truly.

    In my view, the fact that Howard Rice and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack had an attorney-client relationship is by far the most compelling and credible evidence I have submitted to date concerning this matter. As such, and however futile, I must renew my request that the OCTC and RAD take the appropriate actions.

    Thank you for your time.

    To view the case of Copple vs. Astrella, please visit : http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=20061271442FSupp2d829_11197.xml&a…

    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=CSLWAR2-1986-2006.

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

    Contending that Howard Rice’s Jerome Falk, acting as Special Deputy Trial Counsel on behalf of the State Bar of California, repeatedly sought to subvert justice in examining attorney misconduct in the litigation against Dole, sources close to complainant claims a new and recent discovery shows “smoking gun” evidence of ethical misconduct.

    Falk – who recently dominated the news as the lawyer who represented Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in their quest to rescind a prior settlement with Facebook – was accused of grave misconduct earlier this year 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 and Howard Miller, as well as Thomas Girardi and Howard Miller 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 consisting 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 conflict in the matter because a partner of Girardi & Keese (Mr. Howard Miller) served as President of the State Bar; accordingly, Bar appointed an outside attorney, Jerry Falk of Howard Rice, to look into the matter.

    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.

    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 which the State Bar of California maintains.

    According to the sources, the newly discovered “Smoking Gun” evidence relate to the fact that starting in 2005 the law offices of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin represented the law offices of Girardi & Keese and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack in a suit advanced by Robert Copple.

    As such, the sources maintain, Jerome Falk was under a duty to reject the appointment and otherwise disclose  the fact that Walter Lack and Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack were a client of the firm.

     

     

     

    Supreme Court of California Uphold Court of Appeal Decision Casting Doubt on on Ability of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin’s Sean SeLegue to Be Impartial Based on His Failure to Disclose the Nature of his Legal Practice.

    *TLR urges the readers to exercise caution and not jump to conclusions regarding misconduct by Sean SeLegue. The Court of Appeal decision is predicated on how circumstances “appear” rather than real and actual bias on the part of Howard Rice’s Sean SeLegue.

    A unanimous California Supreme Court declined to review a California First District Court of Appeal ruling that threw out an attorney fee arbitration award, according to an article appearing in today’s Metropolitan News Enterprise. See http://www.metnews.com/articles/2011/conf081811.htm

    At issue was whether Sean SeLegue of Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin — acting as an arbitrator – should have disclosed that he practices in the field of attorney-client fee disputes.

    As was previously reported by The Leslie Brodie Report, ( http://tinyurl.com/doubtsoverseanselegue ), the California’s First District Court of Appeal ruled that the failure of 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, and 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.

    In a decision issued on October 12, 2010 in Benjamin, Weill & Mazer v. Kors (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 126, Presiding Justice Anthony Kline expressed concern that the lack of full disclosure on the part of SeLegue, coupled with his business relationships with large law firms, might create unease regarding the possibility that SeLegue’s impartiality may be compromised by economic considerations in wishing to maintain a stream of “steady customers” – a reference to the law firms SeLegue normally represents in fee disputes.


    Mr Sean SeLegue, director of Howard Rice’s litigation department and the firm’s Attorney Liability and Appellate Practice Groups. According to SeLegue’s profile, “Attorneys who face charges of misconduct – whether in a civil case for malpractice or malicious prosecution, in a disciplinary investigation by the State Bar or in a motion to disqualify – often turn to Mr. SeLegue and his colleagues in the Attorney Liability Group.” Recently, SeLegue as well as Jerome Falk, Shaudy Danaye-Elmi, and Noah Rosenthal represented Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in their bid to rescind a prior settlement agreement the Winklevosses had entered into with Facebook. (Photo: Courtesy of Facebook)

    Specifically, after a fee dispute erupted between Benjamin, Weill & Mazer and Dr. Kors, a firm client, the matter was referred to the Bar Association of San Francisco for mandatory arbitration. The arbitration panel, which included Sean SeLegue, issued a ruling in favor of the firm and against Dr. Kors.

    A Superior Court judge adopted the ruling and issued a judgment against Kors, who promptly appealed.

    In a written opinion, Kline found that SeLegue failure to inform the parties that he regularly represents law firms in fee disputes against clients and SeLegue’s involvement in such a case created “a doubt that the arbitrator would be able to be impartial.”

    Specifically, the Court wrote:

    “Kors is not seeking disclosure of all matters that might make her prefer a different arbitrator or asking us to depart from the standard of an objective person. Her contention is simply that an objective person could reasonably question the impartiality of an arbitrator in a dispute over legal fees who, at the time of the arbitration, was engaged generally in the defense of attorneys and law firms in cases involving professional responsibility and was actively representing a law firm in a case before the California Supreme Court involving a dispute over legal fees.”

    “For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that upon his appointment SeLegue had a duty to timely disclose to the parties the nature of his legal practice, including the fact that he was then representing a law firm engaged in a fee dispute with a former client.”

    According to SeLegue, “The reason people agree to binding arbitration in the first place is it’s cheaper, quicker, and more private. It’s only fair to enforce it,” he stated to the Civil Justice Blog.

    The appellate court decision made no mention of the fact that Sean SeLegue and Noah Rosenthal of Howard Rice, as well as Diane Karpman and JoAnne Earls Robbins of Karpman & Associates, are all members of the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel.

    According to the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel’s website, SeLegue practice area include: State Bar Defense, Ethics Advice, Expert Testimony, Civil Litigation Defense, Disqualification Motions, Appeals. JoAnne Earls Robbins’s practice area include: State Bar Discipline and Ethics Consultations. Click here to view a copy of the decision:
    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A125732.PDF

    For earlier stories involving Howard Rice Candy Falk & Rabkin, please visit:

    http://tinyurl.com/doubtsoverjeromefalk

    http://tinyurl.com/doubtsoverdougwinthrop

    http://tinyurl.com/doubtsoverdougwinthrop1

    http://tinyurl.com/doubtsoverdougwinthrop2

    OBJECTION TO CLASS-ACTION SETTLEMENT IN FOGEL V. FARMERS GROUP ALLEGES FRAUD ON THE COURT BY GIRARDI & KEESE AND SKADDEN ARPS DUE TO UNDISCLOSED CONCURRENT REPRESENTATION

    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.

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