archives

Pala Band of Mission Indians

This tag is associated with 59 posts

BREAKING NEWS: Ross Fubini Exists Kapor Capital, Joins Canaan Partners

ross fubini

Ross Fubini, formerly of Kapor Capital, has joined Canaan Partners as a venture partner.

At Kapor, Fubini led investments in Piazza, CitrusLane, GingerIO, KarmaLoop, and others. His resume also includes positions at a number of startups that went on to do big things, including Netscape, Tellme, and Plumtree. He co-founded social software startup CubeTree, which was acquired by SuccessFactors in 2010 — after the acquisition, Fubini served as vice president. And he’s an advisor to Palantir Technologies and Causes. (In the press release, Palantir’s Shyam Sankar says Fubini helped Palantir “scale to what it is today.”)

By moving to Canaan, Fubini is shifting his focus from seed investing to Series A and later. At the same time, he told me via email that his seed experience should help him in his new role, as should his experience as a technologist. He added that he plans to invest in companies that tap into the consumerization of enterprise trend, where enterprise products start to look more and more like consumer apps. He added:

As an aside, the consumerization of IT isn’t really the right story. The right story is how consumers are now able to act like and get the resources previously only available to companies. You can acquire leads (UrbanSitter, Odesk, Uber); you can diverse your assets (WealthFront, LendingClub, FinancialEngines); you can choose the tools to do your jobs instead of a distant IT head (Optimizely, MailChip, Clearslide). Please continue @: http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/13/ross-fubini-canaan-partners/

For more about Kapor Capital, please visit: http://www.kaporcapital.com/team/

 

Advertisements

Richard Blum, Station Casinos, Colony Capital, and UC Regent — An explosive report from investigative reporter Peter Byrne (TLR Note: Richard Blum / Howard Dickstein – Jeannine English connection)

LAST WEEK, we talked about how U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, is a controlling stockholder in Perini Corp. Blum’s company enjoys $2.5 billion in war contracts in the Middle East, thanks, in part, to his wife’s hawkish votes on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee for military construction.

This week, we’ll chat about how Massachusetts-based Perini is a charter member of the military-industrial-gambling complex (MIG). The powerful engineering firm books a billion dollars a year building casino resorts for Las Vegas gambling concerns and Indian tribes. And just as Feinstein’s war votes have helped Perini overseas, her recent actions regarding Indian casinos in California appear to have benefited her husband’s company here at home, at least indirectly.

In Southern California, Perini has constructed casinos for the Pechanga and Pala bands of Luiseno Indians; the Santa Ynez band of Chumash Indians; and the Morongo and San Manual bands of Mission Indians.

In the north state, Perini built the Las Vegas-style Thunder Valley Casino for the United Auburn Indian Community in Placer County, not far from Sacramento.

The project was financed with $215 million from Station Casinos, a Nevada-based gambling corporation that develops Indian casinos and manages them for 25 percent of the take. Thunder Valley was the second casino that Perini constructed for Station Casinos. When it opened two years ago, the Northern California gambling market–with 23 working Indian casinos and 14 more proposed–was saturated.

As Las Vegas-controlled casinos proliferate in the North Bay, it is important to understand the hidden rules that govern where casinos do and do not get built. Enter Feinstein, a longtime proponent of Indian gambling, Indian sovereignty and tribal exemption from civil regulation–except when it suits her purpose to challenge Indian sovereignty and the exemption from environmental law that it bestows.

“I have grown deeply concerned about the proliferation of off-reservation gaming and the trend toward reservation Œshopping’ funded by out-of-state gaming interests,” Feinstein pronounced last year. In January she introduced a Senate bill to specifically squash the Lytton band of Pomo Indian’s urban casino project in San Pablo, in the East Bay.

The move against the San Pablo casino marks the second time that Feinstein has used the power of the Senate to shape the gambling market in Northern California. In 2003 she introduced a bill to specifically force the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria in Sonoma County to comply with environmental laws. The Gratons, and their Las Vegas backer, Station Casinos, treated the threatening legislation as an opportunity to get out of a politically awkward land deal. They moved their proposed gambling resort away from a federally funded wetland area near San Francisco Bay to a politically unprotected–but no less wet–wetland just outside the city of Rohnert Park. Mission accomplished, Feinstein dropped the bill.

For successful tribes, the trick is to partner up with Las Vegas money and install a hundred million dollar gambling operation, no matter what the locals think about it, under the rubric of tribal sovereignty. But the concept of tribal sovereignty is a creation of Congress, and what Congress giveth, it can also taketh away. Feinstein’s selective interference in the development of casino sites reveals who holds the best hand in the Indian casino game (rich white people, as usual).

Why does Feinstein object to casino-reservation shopping by the Lytton band in San Pablo, while not objecting to the Graton Rancheria’s shopping expedition in Rohnert Park? The residents of both areas are largely opposed to the casino projects. If the developers were not fronted by sovereign tribes, the projects would probably founder on environmental issues alone. And yet the senator favors one tribal project over another, Graton over Lytton.

And why does she object to “out-of-state gaming interests” developing casinos in certain counties, but not in Placer County, where, coincidentally, her husband’s firm was able to build a casino for the company that now stands to benefit from two interventions by Feinstein?

Feinstein’s machinations are partially about curbing market forces. Rural casinos depend upon attracting customers from Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland. Erecting casinos in the cities will kill rural casinos. Why drive 50 miles to Rohnert Park, when you can take BART to San Pablo?

But Feinstein is not an equal opportunity casino broker. A thriving casino in Rohnert Park, for example, would attract customers away from Indian casinos to the north in Hopland and Geyserville. But Feinstein has shown little interest in protecting those tribes from competition–perhaps because they are not partnered with Station Casinos, which has a history of contracting Perini, which would probably love the Rohnert Park job.

Please continue @: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/02.09.05/byrne-0506.html

Station Casinos Wikipedia Profile

Station Casinos Inc. is a gaming company based in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin, Nevada, founded by Frank Fertitta Jr.[1][2]

Station Casinos along with Boyd Gaming, Cannery Casino Resorts, American Casino & Entertainment Properties, and Herbst Gaming, dominate the Locals market in Las Vegas.

The company purchased several sites that were gaming-entitled, meaning that major casinos can be built at that location without additional approvals. There are only a limited number of such sites available in the Las Vegas area.

Station has also branched out into managing casinos that they do not own.

Contents

History

The company started out as a locals casino operator in 1976 opening the Bingo Palace. This establishment was later renamed Palace Station. The company went public with an IPO in 1993.

On December 4, 2006, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Colony Capital LLC, operating as Fertitta Colony Partners, made a highly leveraged offer to purchase all existing shares at $82 per share and take the company private.[3] The Fertitta brothers, their sister Delise Sartini, and Blake Sartini, her husband, with a combined investment of $870.1 million, purchased a 25% stake in Fertitta Colony Partners. Colony Capital contributed $2.6 billion for a 75% share.[4] As of November 7, 2007, the company’s stock (old symbol STN) was no longer listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2008, both Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta were listed as billionaires in Forbe’s annual list of the world’s billionaires, but the purchase loaded the company with billions in debt. As of May 2011, Frank was ranked 1057th on the list of world’s billionaires, Lorenzo was ranked at 1140th. Both were tied for these rankings with several others.

On July 28, 2009 Station Casinos filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Station Casinos’ filing listed $5.7 billion in assets against $6.5 billion in debt. The filing said the company has 510 holders of unsecured and subordinate debt totaling $4.4 billion.[5] On August 21, 2009, Frank Fertitta Jr., the founder of Station Casinos and father of the Fertitta brothers, died from complications of a heart condition.

Station Casinos finally exited bankruptcy in June 2011 with $4 billion less in debt, and with creditors putting the company’s 18 casinos back in the hands of the Fertitta family. The Fertitta brothers agreed to put nearly $200 million in the reassembled company, and now own 45 percent of its outstanding shares. The other new equity owners include the company’s main secured lenders, Deutsche Bank AG, which now holds 25 percent, JPMorgan Chase with a 15 percent stake, and former unsecured bondholders hold an additional 15 percent, according to lawyers on the deal.[6]

Officers

  • Station Casinos
    • Frank Fertitta III, Chairman & CEO
    • Tom Friel, CFO
    • Scott Nielson, CDO
    • Kevin Kelley, COO
    • Rich Haskins, General Counsel

Casinos owned

Station Casinos

Brand Name Casino Gaming area Opened or acquired open/acq. 50%
Station Casinos Boulder Station 89,443 sq ft (8,309.5 m2) August 23, 1994 open
Station Casinos Green Valley Ranch 133,659 sq ft (12,417.3 m2) December 18, 2001 open Yes
Station Casinos Palace Station 84,000 sq ft (7,800 m2) July 1, 1976 open
Station Casinos Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino 119,309 sq ft (11,084.2 m2) April 18, 2006 open
Station Casinos Santa Fe Station 156,401 sq ft (14,530.1 m2) October 2, 2000 acq.
Station Casinos Sunset Station 133,409 sq ft (12,394.1 m2) June 10, 1997 open
Station Casinos Texas Station 123,045 sq ft (11,431.3 m2) July 12, 1995 open
Fiesta Casinos Fiesta Henderson 73,450 sq ft (6,824 m2) January 4, 2001 acq.
Fiesta Casinos Fiesta Rancho 59,951 sq ft (5,569.6 m2) January 4, 2001 acq.
Wildfire Gaming Wildfire Casino 6,800 sq ft (630 m2) January 27, 2003 acq. Yes
Wildfire Gaming Wildfire Lanes 6,750 sq ft (627 m2) June 26, 2008 acq.
Wildfire Gaming Wildfire Boulder 6,700 sq ft (620 m2) August 2, 2004 acq.
Wildfire Gaming Barley’s 5,190 sq ft (482 m2) January 18, 1996 open Yes
Wildfire Gaming Wildfire Sunset 4,700 sq ft (440 m2) August 2, 2004 acq.
Wildfire Gaming Lake Mead Lounge 3,500 sq ft (330 m2) acq.
Wildfire Gaming The Greens Cafe 1,088 sq ft (101.1 m2) open Yes
Wildfire Gaming Wild Wild West 11,250 sq ft (1,045 m2) July 6, 1998 acq. Yes
  • 50% joint ownership is with Greenspun Corporation
  • Although not branded separately, Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Casino are in a distinctly different upscale market niche from the other five station casinos
  • Wildfire Boulder was formerly Magic Star Casino
  • Wildfire Lanes was formerly Renata’s Bowling
  • Wildfire Sunset was formerly Gold Rush casino

Casinos

Development sites

All the Nevada sites below are gaming-entitled, unless otherwise noted. Gaming-entitled means that a casino can be built on that location without special approvals.

  • Las Vegas area
    • Flamingo Road-At Clark County 215 and Town Center Drive, Summerlin
    • A site located near Cactus Road on the South Las Vegas Blvd.
    • Durango Station On South Durango Drive at Clark County 215 near the Rhodes Ranch planned community. Announced plans for a bowling alley and movie theater at this location. The design is shown to be similar to the of Red Rock Station.
    • Siena-Across from the Siena age-restricted community on Town Center Drive, Summerlin.
    • Station Casinos continues to own the land that the former Castaways (Boulder Highway location) used to stand on.
    • The Wild Wild West hotel on West Tropicana. Due to the special proximity of this site to the Las Vegas Strip, Station intends to build a tourist oriented megaresort on this site.
  • Reno area
    • Convention Center- Across from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. An 8-acre (3.2 ha) site acquired in 2005.
    • Geiger Grade-At the intersection of Geiger Grade Road and South Virginia Street. A 96-acre (39 ha) site acquired in 2005.
    • Mt. Rose-At the intersection of Mt. Rose Highway and US 395. A 50-acre (20 ha) site acquired in 2005. Not gaming entitled.

References

  1. ^ Interactive Map Viewer.” City of Las Vegas. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  2. ^ Map.” Station Casinos. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  3. ^ “Founders Lead Station Casinos Bid”. Forbes. December 4, 2006.
  4. ^ Knightly, Arnold. “GOING PRIVATE: Fertittas will cash, take stake”. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
  5. ^ “Station Casinos files for Chapter 11”.
  6. ^ http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2011/06/stationcasinosexit.html

External links

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Station_Casinos

Sonya Molodetskaya and Boyfriend Willie Brown Attend 7th annual Museum of African Diaspora Gala ; BASF President Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein’s Kelly Dermody Asked to Opine on Trustee of Cal Bar George Davis

Former Mayor Willie Brown with girlfriend Sonya Molodetskaya. Photo: Drew Altizer Photography, Drew Altizer / SF

Former Mayor Willie Brown with girlfriend Sonya Molodetskaya. Photo: Drew Altizer Photography, Drew Altizer / SF

San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora, the only one of its kind in the nation, hosted its seventh annual gala fundraiser at the Palace Hotel Oct. 26. Themed “Global Reflections, Global Connections,” the event was hosted by TV anchorwoman Dana King and attended by 400 guests.

Please see complete story@: http://www.sfgate.com/parties/slideshow/7th-annual-Museum-of-African-Diaspora…

—————————————-

President of the Bar Association of San Francisco — Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein’s Kelly Dermody — is hereby asked to opine on expired mandate of State Bar of California Board of Trustees members George Davis and Jeannine English.

Specifically, despite the fact that Davis and English exited the BOG in October of 2012 (see resolution below), executive and directors of State Bar of California seek to create a false appearance that Davis and English are presently still member of the BOG. 

See below  or  @: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/AboutUs/BoardofTrustees/Roster.aspx

 

 

Officers

 

President

Patrick M. Kelly (formerly District 7)Patrick Kelly
Wilson Elser et al LLP
555 South Flower Street, #2900
Los Angeles, CA  90071
Phone: 213-443-5100

 

Vice President

Luis J. Rodriguez  (formerly District 7 )Luis Rodriguez
Division Chief
Office of the Public Defender
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: 213-974-2992
Fax: 213-626-3519

Treasurer

Gretchen M. Nelson (formerly District 7)Gretchen Nelson
Kreindler & Kreindler LLP
707 Wilshire Boulevard #4100
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-622-6469
Fax: 213-622-6019

 

Members

Alec Y. Chang (formerly District 3)
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
525 University Avenue, Suite 1100
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650-470-4684
Fax: 650-798-6500
Michael G. Colantuono (Assembly Appt.)
Colantuono & Levin, PC
11364 Pleasant Valley Road
Penn Valley, CA 95946
Phone: 530-432-7357
Fax: 530-432-7356
George Davis (Public Member)
Davis Broadband Group, Inc.
6245 Bristol Parkway, Suite 297
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: 310-877-0925
Jeannine English (Public Member)
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-538-2170
Nancy Fineman (formerly District 4)
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP
840 Malcolm Road #200
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone: 650-697-6000
Fax: 650-697-0577
Karen M. Goodman (formerly District 2)Craig Holden
Goodman & Associates
3840 Watt Avenue, Building A
Sacramento, CA 95821
Phone: 916-643-0600
Fax: 916-643-0605
Craig Holden (formerly District 7) Craig Holden
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-538-2170
Loren Kieve (formerly District 4)
Kieve Law Offices
The Presidio of San Francisco
5A Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94129
Phone: 415-364-0060
Dennis Mangers (Public Member)Dennis Mangers
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 916-425-8167
Pearl Mann (formerly District 8)Pearl Mann
Law Office of Pearl Gondrella Mann
2501 E. Chapman Ave. #225
Fullerton, CA 92831
Phone: 714-992-4045
Gwen Moore (Public Member)Gwen Moore
4201 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 615
Los Angeles, CA  90010
Phone: 323-954-3777
David J. Pasternak (Supreme Court Appt.) David Pasternak
Pasternak Pasternak et al
1875 Century Park E #2200
Los Angeles, CA 90067-2523
Phone: 310-553-1500
Fax: 310-553-1540
Heather Linn Rosing (formerly District 9)
Klinedinst PC
501 W. Broadway #600
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-8131
Mark ShemMark Shem (District 6)
Borton Petrini LLP
95 S. Market St. #400
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: 408-535-0870
Christopher W. Todd (District 4)Christopher Todd
Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP
600 W. Broadway 7th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232-8151
Fax: 619-232-4665
David A. Torres (District 5)
Attorney-at-Law
1318 K St.
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: 661-326-0857
Fax: 661-326-093

 

 

Payments to Eligible Class Members Being Mailed in Collusive Litigation Fogel v. Farmers Group Involving Raoul Kennedy / Thomas Nolan / Alec Chang of Skadden Arps and Skadden’s Clients Tom Girardi / Walter Lack of In Re Girardi

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger  granted final approval to the Settlement on December 21, 2011. 

Certain appeals were filed, but they are no longer pending, and the Court’s decision is final.  Payments to eligible class members will be mailed during the week ending Friday November 2, 2012.

Source: https://fogelsettlement.com/Home.aspx

BACKGROUND:

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 case was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court styled Benjamin Fogel v Farmers Group Inc.

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.

 

GIRARDI AND 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.

 

YR’S ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST SKADDEN GIRARDI LACK

According to sources familiar with the situation, ethical breaches took place as a result of Skadden Arps’ representation of Girardi & Keese in the matter of In Re Girardi because, at the same time, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps were on opposing sides in the case of Fogel v. Farmers Group, Inc.

According to the sources, the parties named in the complaint were Raoul Kennedy, Thomas Nolan, and Richard Zurmoski of Skadden Arps as well as Graham LippSmith and Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese.

Fogel v. Farmers, Skadden Arps, Girardi & Keese,

The complaint alleged that in August 2003, Walter Lack (of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack) and Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith (of Girardi & Keese) filed a class action suit on behalf of plaintiffs Benjamin Fogel against Farmers Group, Inc. in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit — which is still pending and is anticipated to settle in September 2011 — was defended by attorneys from Skadden Arps (Raoul Kennedy and Richard Zurmoski).

Despite their respective roles as plaintiffs’ counsel and defendants’ counsel in Fogel v. Farmers, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps entered into an 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 following the Ninth Circuit’s issuance of an order to show cause why Girardi & Keese, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, Thomas Girardi, and Walter Lack should not be suspended, disbarred, or otherwise sanctioned as a result of the massive fraud which took place in litigation pursued by them against Dole Food Company.

On July 13, 2010, the Ninth Circuit issued an order suspending Walter Lack for a period of six months and reprimanding Girardi; the order also imposed almost $500,000 in monetary sanctions against the two attorneys.

In Re Girardi

Skadden Arps Thomas Nolan

On July 14 2010, in an attempt to conceal their attorney-client relationship, Skadden Arps and Thomas Nolan filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit asking for their names to be redacted from the published opinion.

 

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  the existence of its relationship with Girardi & Keese, see above.  Below is yet another sample of a  letter/objection alluding to the improper relationhip between Skadden Arps and Girardi & Keese.

 

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

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

 


A substantial factor leading to the State Bar of California’s ethical and moral collapse allowing Thomas Girardi, Skadden Arps, and others to operate with impunity was provided courtesy of individuals who fall into two categories: minorities and/or close political allies from

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.

CRIMINAL CONCPIRACY TO INJURE AND SILENCE YR

In a shocking turn of events, YR was earlier this year served with a search warrant while at home. Six investigators from the Yolo County District Attorney’s office (some of them armed) arrived at on February 23, 2012, searched the premises, and confiscated two computers and documents relating to, among others, Thomas Girardi, Alec Chang of Skadden Arps, including all materials involving Fogel vs. Farmers.

State Bar of California Board of Governors (presumably, State Bar of California Executive Director Joe Dunn of Voice of OC, Alec Chang of Skadden Arps, and others  have presented claims to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Jeff Reisig and Michael Cabral to file criminal charges against YR, for among other things, alleged violations of Business and Professions Code section 6043.5, on the purported basis that the ethics complaint against Raoul Kennedy, Tom Nolan, Thomas Girardi, and Walter Lack were unfounded and constituted criminal conduct.  (See ethics complaint concerning the Fogel v. Farmers Group HERE.

 

Members of Pala Band of Mission Indians Unite to Oppose Howard Dickstein

Howard Dickstein, a widely-known but controversial figure within California’s Tribal Gambling industry, is against at the center of controversy stemming from recent events involving San Diego-based Pala Band of Mission Indians.

Specifically, the recent arrest of Pala Vice Chairman Leroy Miranda — a proxy and yes man of the Dickstein machinery — prompted members to complain again about the lack of independent, quality leadership.

Miranda, no stranger to the penal system, was convicted in 2010 for soliciting sex while at a book store in Moreno Valley.

Tensions ran high also during the October nomination of Executive Committee candidates when members complain of the abuse, greed, divisive tactics, and financial atrocities Howard Dickstein has been inflicting on the tribe.

The Pala is governed by an Executive Committee composed of six members elected by the General Council. Elections are held every 2 years during the month of November.

One Dremel Mcpherson stated: Fire Howard Dickstein, and hire a law firm that is honest and for the people. Not a greedy…..

In recent years, in addition to Pala, also hard hit were the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which operates the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County and the United Auburn Indian Community which operates the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Esq. — Is Hereby Asked to Opine on Financial Atrocities Against Native Americans by “J Street PAC” Board Member Howard Dickstein; Spouse Jeannine English — Member of State Bar of California Board of Governors/Trustees


The Elliott Building, 1530 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814. The building is owned by Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properly Group.  Currently, the Elliott Building is occupied on separate floors by the offices of Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Fulcrum Property’s Mark Friedman, Arlen Opper, Doug Elmets, Paula Lorenzo of Cache Creek Casino, and The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA).
Dickstein, Friedman, and Opper were all named defendants in the matter of Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians / Cache Creek Casino v. Howard Dickstein. The penthouse unit is the official residence of California’s first couple — Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr.  and his wife. (Image: courtesy photo)

The abuse and financial atrocities by attorney Howard Dickstein (on behalf of himself, as well as others) against his clients — Native Americans who are members of various Indian tribes operating casinos in the State of California — are well documented.

Hard hit were the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which operates the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians which operates the Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County, and the United Auburn Indian Community which operates the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

One such incident resulted in the emotionally distressing injustice inflicted on the bona fide founder of Thunder Valley Casino, the ex-chair of the tribe, Jessica Tavares.

Jessica is a proud visionary who was the force behind the economic and cultural revival of the tribe — as well as the revival of surrounding communities.  Sadly, Jessica was ultimately betrayed by a fellow member of the tribe and placed on the proverbial iceberg because she chose honor, integrity, and dignity for herself and for the tribe over the greed and divisiveness promoted by Howard Dickstein in his quest to obtained millions for himself and by extension for his wife,  Jeannine English.

Since 2006, Jeannine English has served as a “public member” of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, an otherwise governmental entity primarily responsible to disciplining errant lawyers.  Despite allegations that Dickstein has committed countless acts of grave misconduct and ethical breaches, Dickstein has never been disciplined by the State Bar of California.  English’s appointment as a public member was courtesy of her California Democratic Party confederates who control California’s legislative branch.

Unfortunately, the two U.S. Senators from California refuse to become involved in these issues despite the fact that  tribal matters fall primarily within federal oversight. Dickstein, in his role as counsel for the tribes, has overseen the tribes’ contributions of millions of dollars to the coffers of the Democratic Party.

Fortunately, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain recently stepped in and called for an investigation of Howard Dickstein.  Similarly, a few months prior to Senator McCain’s announcement, a Yolo County-based rabbi asked the State Bar of California Board of Governors to investigate English and Dickstein.

The J Street Gang of Greed

In approximately 2004, as part of an effort to revitalize its downtown area, the city of Sacramento poured three million dollars into subsidies for the renovation of the “Elliott Building” located at 1530 J Street in Sacramento.  The project was initiated by Mark Friedman of Sacramento-based Fulcrum Property Group and a few of his business partners.

Howard Dicstein, Jerry Brown, Mark Friedman, Doug Elmets
(L-R) California Governor Jerry Brown, Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Property and Doug Elmets (Image:courtesy photos)

Friedman, a man of despicable character, may be a stranger to readers, but he is no stranger to The Leslie Brodie Report given that he was one of the  named defendants in the case of Rumsey vs. Dickstein, which deals primarily with allegations of years of fraud and deceit by Dickstein against his client, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

One example of such a scheme allegedly perpetrated by Dickstein and Friedman against the tribe deals with a parcel of land situated in West-Sacramento  known as “The Triangle,” an otherwise prime location facing the Sacramento River.

The tribe was urged by defendants Dickstein and its financial advisor Arlen Opper to enter into yet another business relationship with Friedman, through which a parcel of land in “The Triangle” was purchased.  The tribe would own 50% and Friedman and his extended would own 50% of the property.

At one point, Mark Friedman asked the tribe for a favor (or as he put it, an “accommodation”), by which the tribe would sell and Friedman would purchase the tribe’s 50% share in “The Triangle.”

Friedman’s excuse  for seeking the “accommodation” was very simple — he wanted to reduce the amount of money he would  owe the Internal Revenue Service.  Friedman had just sold a different piece of real estate, and  needed to quickly invest the money in real estate (or as he referred to it, to “park” the money ) in a separate property for a period of several years as is allowed by IRS rules; at the period, the tribe would be allowed to buy the property back for the same price for which it was sold to Friedman per a “buy back option.”

Dickstein and Opper recommended that the tribe “accommodate” Friedman, and Friedman consequently purchased the property from the tribe.

Per their written agreement, the tribe was given the option to buy back the property within one year.  However, the tribe did not buy back the property within one as  a result of a failure by Arlen Opper and Howard Dickstein — the attorney for the tribe who was in possession of the written agreement — to inform the tribe when the time period expired so that the tribe could buy back the property.  Notably, the property had increased in value “exponentially” during this period.

Later,  after the “buy back option” had expired, the tribe realized that it had missed the deadline to buy back its 50% share of the property, and sought to do so at that time.  However, Mark Friedman refused to sell it back, claiming that the tribe had missed its deadline.

Separately, and as was reported earlier, Howard Dickstein, a widely-known but controversial figure within California’s Tribal Gambling industry, has been named a defendant in a suit seeking unspecified monetary damages. Also named as defendant is Dickstein’s wife, Sacramento-based lobbyist Jeannine English.

The lawsuit alleges that Dickstein and English executed a scheme that caused injury to the Plaintiff, a Southern California resident who claims his privacy and constitutional rights were “egregiously violated.”

Specifically, the suit alleges that in order to camouflage a scheme and make it appear as though it is purely a mundane action by a governmental agency and was not designed to conceal Dickstein’s and English’s own acts of malfeasance, greed, and betrayal, defendants resorted to abusing their considerable “political and legal clout.”

This clout was presumably obtained as a result of the funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars from myriad Tribal Casinos to various state and local governmental agencies/officials, as well as from English’s position as a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, and the fact that the president of the State Bar of California, Jon Streeter, and his firm of Keker & Van Nest, represent Howard Dickstein. This , the plaintiff alleges, shows “malice and oppression” on the part of defendants sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages.

Dickstein , who is no stranger to litigation, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.

In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.

In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.

According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”

Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”

Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.

Please observe that rather than contacting Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Esq. directly, the query is being delivered publicly, here and now.

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

 

J Street’s Colette Avital, A Victim of Sexual Assault / Adulterer For 14 Years, Hereby Asked To Opine On J Street PAC BOD Member — Controversial Gambling Attorney Howard Dickstein’s Denials Re Sexual Assault at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, CA

Howard Dickstein on Sexual Assaults in Casino

Howard Dickstein on Sexual Assaults in Casino 2Howard Dickstein on Sexual Assaults at Thunder Valley Casino

 

———————————————-

avital mk 298 AJ

Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski [file]

Labor Party presidential candidate Colette Avital revealed in an interview with Channel 2 on Thursday that one of her bosses when she worked in the Foreign Ministry tried to attack her sexually.

“It happened many years ago and I defended myself,” Avital said. “We women are not defenseless if you know how to object and push people away.”

Avital considered (Shimon) Peres her mentor, but in the Channel 2 interview she denied rumors of an affair with Peres when she was Israel’s consul-general in New York. “There never was an affair, just like Peres never had an Arab mother,” Avital said, dismissing another well-known rumor about the vice premier.

Please continue @:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=51697

 

Admission by Colette Avital to a 14 year extramarital affair with a married man, please see @:

http://lesliebrodie.posterous.com/orly-taitz-american-patriot-former-resident-o

 

——————————————————————————————————-

 

Howard Dickstein, a widely-known but controversial figure within California’s Tribal Gambling industry, has been named a defendant in a suit seeking unspecified monetary damages. Also named as defendant is Dickstein’s wife, Sacramento-based lobbyist Jeannine English.

The lawsuit alleges that Dickstein and English executed a scheme that caused injury to the Plaintiff, a Southern California resident who claims his privacy and constitutional rights were “egregiously violated.”

Specifically, the suit alleges that in order to camouflage a scheme and make it appear as though it is purely a mundane action by a governmental agency and was not designed to conceal Dickstein’s and English’s own acts of malfeasance, greed, and betrayal, defendants resorted to abusing their considerable “political and legal clout.”

This clout was presumably obtained as a result of the funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars from myriad Tribal Casinos to various state and local governmental agencies/officials, as well as from English’s position as a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, and the fact that the president of the State Bar of California, Jon Streeter, and his firm of Keker & Van Nest, represent Howard Dickstein. This , the plaintiff alleges, shows “malice and oppression” on the part of defendants sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages.

Dickstein , who is no stranger to litigation, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.

In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.

In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.

According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”

Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”

Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.

 

 


The Elliott Building, 1530 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814. The building is owned by Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properly Group.  Currently, the Elliott Building is occupied on separate floors by the offices of Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Fulcrum Property’s Mark Friedman, Arlen Opper, Doug Elmets, Paula Lorenzo of Cache Creek Casino, and The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA).
Dickstein, Friedman, and Opper were all named defendants in the matter of Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians / Cache Creek Casino v. Howard Dickstein. The penthouse unit is the official residence of California’s first couple — Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr.  and his wife. (Image: courtesy photo)

The abuse and financial atrocities by attorney Howard Dickstein (on behalf of himself, as well as others) against his clients — Native Americans who are members of various Indian tribes operating casinos in the State of California — is well documented.

Hard hit were the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which operates the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians which operates the Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County, and the United Auburn Indian Community which operates the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

One such incident resulted in the emotionally distressing injustice inflicted on the bona fide founder of Thunder Valley Casino, the ex-chair of the tribe, Jessica Tavares.

Jessica is a proud visionary who was the force behind the economic and cultural revival of the tribe — as well as the revival of surrounding communities.  Sadly, Jessica was ultimately betrayed by a fellow member of the tribe and placed on the proverbial iceberg because she chose honor, integrity, and dignity for herself and for the tribe over the greed and divisiveness promoted by Howard Dickstein in his quest to obtained millions for himself and by extension for his wife,  Jeannine English.

Since 2006, Jeannine English has served as a “public member” of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, an otherwise governmental entity primarily responsible to disciplining errant lawyers.  Despite allegations that Dickstein has committed countless acts of grave misconduct and ethical breaches, Dickstein has never been disciplined by the State Bar of California.  English’s appointment as a public member was courtesy of her California Democratic Party confederates who control California’s legislative branch.

Unfortunately, the two U.S. Senators from California refuse to become involved in these issues despite the fact that  tribal matters fall primarily within federal oversight. Dickstein, in his role as counsel for the tribes, has overseen the tribes’ contributions of millions of dollars to the coffers of the Democratic Party.

Fortunately, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain recently stepped in and called for an investigation of Howard Dickstein.  Similarly, a few months prior to Senator McCain’s announcement, a Yolo County-based rabbi asked the State Bar of California Board of Governors to investigate English and Dickstein.

The J Street Gang of Greed

In approximately 2004, as part of an effort to revitalize its downtown area, the city of Sacramento poured three million dollars into subsidies for the renovation of the “Elliott Building” located at 1530 J Street in Sacramento.  The project was initiated by Mark Friedman of Sacramento-based Fulcrum Property Group and a few of his business partners.

Howard Dicstein, Jerry Brown, Mark Friedman, Doug Elmets
(L-R) California Governor Jerry Brown, Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Property and Doug Elmets (Image:courtesy photos)

Friedman, a man of despicable character, may be a stranger to readers, but he is no stranger to The Leslie Brodie Report given that he was one of the  named defendants in the case of Rumsey vs. Dickstein, which deals primarily with allegations of years of fraud and deceit by Dickstein against his client, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

One example of such a scheme allegedly perpetrated by Dickstein and Friedman against the tribe deals with a parcel of land situated in West-Sacramento  known as “The Triangle,” an otherwise prime location facing the Sacramento River.

The tribe was urged by defendants Dickstein and its financial advisor Arlen Opper to enter into yet another business relationship with Friedman, through which a parcel of land in “The Triangle” was purchased.  The tribe would own 50% and Friedman and his extended would own 50% of the property.

At one point, Mark Friedman asked the tribe for a favor (or as he put it, an “accommodation”), by which the tribe would sell and Friedman would purchase the tribe’s 50% share in “The Triangle.”

Friedman’s excuse  for seeking the “accommodation” was very simple — he wanted to reduce the amount of money he would  owe the Internal Revenue Service.  Friedman had just sold a different piece of real estate, and  needed to quickly invest the money in real estate (or as he referred to it, to “park” the money ) in a separate property for a period of several years as is allowed by IRS rules; at the period, the tribe would be allowed to buy the property back for the same price for which it was sold to Friedman per a “buy back option.”

Dickstein and Opper recommended that the tribe “accommodate” Friedman, and Friedman consequently purchased the property from the tribe.

Per their written agreement, the tribe was given the option to buy back the property within one year.  However, the tribe did not buy back the property within one as  a result of a failure by Arlen Opper and Howard Dickstein — the attorney for the tribe who was in possession of the written agreement — to inform the tribe when the time period expired so that the tribe could buy back the property.  Notably, the property had increased in value “exponentially” during this period.

Later,  after the “buy back option” had expired, the tribe realized that it had missed the deadline to buy back its 50% share of the property, and sought to do so at that time.  However, Mark Friedman refused to sell it back, claiming that the tribe had missed its deadline.

 

The Emotionally Distressing Story of Injustice Inflicted On Jessica Tavares — Ex-Chairman Of United Auburn Indian Community As Reputation of Thunder Valley Casino At Stake – Part 1

The Elliott Building , 1540 J St. Sacramento
The Elliott Building, 1530 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814. The building is owned by Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Properly Group.  Currently, the Elliott Building is occupied on separate floors by the offices of Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Fulcrum Property’s Mark Friedman, Arlen Opper, Doug Elmets, Paula Lorenzo of Cache Creek Casino, and The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA).
Dickstein, Friedman, and Opper were all named defendants in the matter of Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians / Cache Creek Casino v. Howard Dickstein. The penthouse unit is the official residence of California’s first couple — Governor Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr.  and his wife. (Image: courtesy photo)

The abuse and financial atrocities by attorney Howard Dickstein (on behalf of himself, as well as others) against his clients — Native Americans who are members of various Indian tribes operating casinos in the State of California — is well documented.

Hit hard were the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation which operates the Cache Creek Casino in Yolo County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians which operates the Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County, and the United Auburn Indian Community which operates the Thunder Valley Casino in Placer County.

One such incident resulted in the emotionally distressing injustice inflicted on the bona fide founder of Thunder Valley Casino, the ex-chair of the tribe, Jessica Tavares.

Jessica is a proud visionary who was the force behind the economic and cultural revival of the tribe — as well as the revival of surrounding communities.  Sadly, Jessica was ultimately betrayed by a fellow member of the tribe and placed on the proverbial iceberg because she chose honor, integrity, and dignity for herself and for the tribe over the greed and divisiveness promoted by Howard Dickstein in his quest to obtained millions for himself and by extension for his wife,  Jeannine English.

Since 2006, Jeannine English has served as a “public member” of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, an otherwise governmental entity primarily responsible to disciplining errant lawyers.  Despite allegations that Dickstein has committed countless acts of grave misconduct and ethical breaches, Dickstein has never been disciplined by the State Bar of California.  English’s appointment as a public member was courtesy of her California Democratic Party confederates who control California’s legislative branch.

Unfortunately, the two U.S. Senators from California refuse to become involved in these issues despite the fact that  tribal matters fall primarily within federal oversight. Dickstein, in his role as counsel for the tribes, has overseen the tribes’ contributions of millions of dollars to the coffers of the Democratic Party.

Fortunately, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain recently stepped in and called for an investigation of Howard Dickstein.  Similarly, a few months prior to Senator McCain’s announcement, a Yolo County-based rabbi asked the State Bar of California Board of Governors to investigate English and Dickstein.

The J Street Gang of Greed

In approximately 2004, as part of an effort to revitalize its downtown area, the city of Sacramento poured three million dollars into subsidies for the renovation of the “Elliott Building” located at 1530 J Street in Sacramento.  The project was initiated by Mark Friedman of Sacramento-based Fulcrum Property Group and a few of his business partners.

Howard Dicstein, Jerry Brown, Mark Friedman, Doug Elmets
(L-R) California Governor Jerry Brown, Howard Dickstein of Dickstein & Zerbi, Mark Friedman of Fulcrum Property and Doug Elmets (Image:courtesy photos)

Friedman, a man of despicable character, may be a stranger to readers, but he is no stranger to The Leslie Brodie Report given that he was one of the  named defendants in the case of Rumsey vs. Dickstein, which deals primarily with allegations of years of fraud and deceit by Dickstein against his client, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

One example of such a scheme allegedly perpetrated by Dickstein and Friedman against the tribe deals with a parcel of land situated in West-Sacramento  known as “The Triangle,” an otherwise prime location facing the Sacramento River.

The tribe was urged by defendants Dickstein and its financial advisor Arlen Opper to enter into yet another business relationship with Friedman, through which a parcel of land in “The Triangle” was purchased.  The tribe would own 50% and Friedman and his extended would own 50% of the property.

At one point, Mark Friedman asked the tribe for a favor (or as he put it, an “accommodation”), by which the tribe would sell and Friedman would purchase the tribe’s 50% share in “The Triangle.”

Friedman’s excuse  for seeking the “accommodation” was very simple — he wanted to reduce the amount of money he would  owe the Internal Revenue Service.  Friedman had just sold a different piece of real estate, and  needed to quickly invest the money in real estate (or as he referred to it, to “park” the money ) in a separate property for a period of several years as is allowed by IRS rules; at the period, the tribe would be allowed to buy the property back for the same price for which it was sold to Friedman per a “buy back option.”

Dickstein and Opper recommended that the tribe “accommodate” Friedman, and Friedman consequently purchased the property from the tribe.

Per their written agreement, the tribe was given the option to buy back the property within one year.  However, the tribe did not buy back the property within one as  a result of a failure by Arlen Opper and Howard Dickstein — the attorney for the tribe who was in possession of the written agreement — to inform the tribe when the time period expired so that the tribe could buy back the property.  Notably, the property had increased in value “exponentially” during this period.

Later,  after the “buy back option” had expired, the tribe realized that it had missed the deadline to buy back its 50% share of the property, and sought to do so at that time.  However, Mark Friedman refused to sell it back, claiming that the tribe had missed its deadline.

Howard Dickstein Veiled Threat of “Take Away Citizenship” from Paula Lorenzo, Ex-Chair of Yocha Dehe/Cache Creek Casino (Note: Dickstein’s Modi Operandi / Scare Tactics of Divide and Control i.e. Pala Band of Mission Indians; Suspension of Jessica Tavares

Dickstein Veil Threat Against Lorenzo Re Revoking Citizenship

Howard Dickstein Veiled Threat of “Take Away Citizenship” Against Paula Lorenzo, Ex Chairman of Yocha Dehe / Cache Creek Casino (Note: Dickstein’s Modi Operandi / Scare Tactics of Divide and Control i.e. Pala Band of Mission Indians; Suspension of Jessi

Dickstein Veil Threat Against Lorenzo Re Revoking Citizenship

PALA TRIBAL CHAIR ROBERT SMITH ENDORSES CONTERVERSIAL BONNIE DUMANIS FOR MAYOR OF SAN DIEGO

Robert H. Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, announced today he is endorsing Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor of San Diego, citing Dumanis’ leadership and history of reaching out to the county’s 18 Tribal nations during her nine years as District Attorney.

“Right from the beginning, Bonnie brought San Diego’s Tribal nations to the table, looking for ways to improve public safety. She assigned a special prosecutor and a liaison to work with us to improve communication.  Bonnie was the first District Attorney to schedule regular meetings with tribal leaders to address the unique law enforcement issues faced by sovereign Tribal nations,” Smith said. “I know that she will bring that same innovative, inclusive approach to City Hall as Mayor.”

Chairman Smith successfully negotiated the first Tribal-State compact in California with Gov. Pete Wilson in 1996, and subsequently supervised the opening of Pala Casino, creating thousands of jobs for Tribal members and area residents. Besides bringing valuable health, scholarship and home-loan programs to Tribal members, Chairman Smith worked with UCSD to provide high-speed Internet access for the Pala Learning Center where older and younger generations take computer education classes.

Please continue @:

http://bonnieforsandiego.com/newsdetails.asp?artId=5D5F5759

 

Jerry Brown – The Company He Keeps: Profile of California Tribal Business Alliance (TLR Note: 1- 1530 J St. Similar to Jerry Brown, Howard Dickstein, Mark Friedman, Arlen Opper, Doug Elmets 2- Lorenzo Controled by Dickstein 3- Thanks to Ex-Pala for Data)

California Tribal Business Alliance
Employer Identification Number (EIN) 113726102
Name of Organization California Tribal Business Alliance
In Care of Name Paula Lorenzo
Address 1530 J St Ste 400, Sacramento, CA 95814-2055
Subsection Board of Trade
Ruling Date 03/2007
Deductibility Contributions are not deductible
Foundation All organizations except 501(c)(3)
Organization Corporation
Exempt Organization Status Unconditional Exemption
Tax Period 12/2010
Assets $500,000 to $999,999
Income $1,000,000 to $4,999,999
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Asset Amount $882,547
Amount of Income $1,002,726
Form 990 Revenue Amount $1,002,726
National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) Community Improvement, Capacity Building: Promotion of Business

Amount of income in 2010: $1,002,726

California Tribal Business Alliance:   $1,002,726
Other organizations performing similar types of work:   $84,673

 

Assets in 2010: $882,547

California Tribal Business Alliance:   $882,547

Source:

http://www.faqs.org/tax-exempt/CA/California-Tribal-Business-Alliance.html

 

 

In Message to The Leslie Brodie Report Disenrolled Member of San Diego-based Pala Band of Mission Indians Assails Usurper Howard Dickstein

I’m a member of a tribe in Southern California who was disenrolled almost one year ago.  Our tribe is deeply intertwined with Howard Dickstein and I was happy to see that there is a real possibility that he may finally be held accountable for his actions, but he is a slippery snake. 

My tribe is the Pala Band of Mission Indians and Howard has been the gaming attorney for Pala since 1998. We, the people, don’t even know what he is paid and I believe that the disenrollment is due to the fact that my Uncle, a former tribal chairman, had been questioning the odd activities/finances of the tribeand they wanted to hide the illegal actions of our Tribal Chairman, Robert Smith, and Howard Dickstein.  It is rumored that Dickstein has a very lucrative agreement, and receives as much as 5% of the net monthly profits of our casino.  Our attempts to get help from any government agency is basically ignored, they cite “tribal sovereignty”  and we have to fight this on our own.  It hasn’t been easy.

We know that Howard Dickstein is the enemy and I would like nothing more than to see him pay for his crimes against native peoples.

You can see more of our story at the blog: OriginalPechanga.com

A video our our story can be seen at:  http://www.originalpechanga.com/2012/05/kcbs-2-reports-on-pechanga-and-pala.h…

*message slighly edited

Washington, DC-based investigative journalist Susan Bradford’s article about Howard Dickstein / Thunder Valley Casino contains false and inaccurate Information

Susan Bradford is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author, and columnist. During her four-year investigation of the Abramoff scandal, Bradford interviewed over 400 sources who participated or were otherwise privy to the key events at hand, including lobbyists, attorneys, tribal leaders and dissidents, agency and elected officials, reporters, Committee members, activists, corporate executives, among many others.

She also acquired substantial corroborating paperwork from Indian tribes and other former clients and associates of superlobbyist Jack Abramoff. At the invitation of tribal members, Bradford lived on Indian reservations and attended tribal gatherings. In 2007, Bradford became the first journalist to uncover that the Abramoff scandal had been manufactured by tribal dissidents and their lobbyist allies, including Scott Reed. She has been breaking new ground on the Abramoff investigation ever since.

Unfortunately, in a recent article about a complaint filed by John McCain with the National Indian Gaming Commission against controversial gambling attorney Howard Dickstein, Susan Bradford falsely reported (false information underlined) :

“Reminiscent of a pattern established during the Abramoff investigation, McCain’s letter to the NIGC followed a scuffle within the Tribal Council in which disgruntled dissidents running for office were accused of leaking false information to the public in order to challenge their rivals and lay the foundation for a corruption probe.

The Auburn dissidents distributed a mailer alleging that the tribe was “bamboozled by an attorney more interested in filing his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a Tribal Council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”

The Tribal Council reportedly countered that the mailer incorporated false information which “makes it appear the tribe is legitimizing this type of gutter politics and giving the allegations credibility.”

The mailer accused the Tribal Council of closing the tribe’s privately funded middle and high school classrooms while paying a lawyer $25 million.

Despite having made these claims, the Auburn dissidents reportedly served on Tribal Council when Dickstein’s percentage fee was established and revoked. If the fees were improper, why didn’t they blow the whistle then?

Dickstein has since been fired, and the California Tribal Business Alliance, whose leadership consists of representatives from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California, the Pala Band of Luiseno Indians, and the Lytton Rancheria of California Indians (represented by Rodgers), also reportedly severed ties with him.”

Please see source @:

http://smartgirlpolitics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/mccain-s-complaint-against-t…

Speaking of Dickstein — a widely-known but controversial figure within California’s Tribal Gambling industry — he was recently named as defendant in a suit seeking unspecified monetary damages. Also named as defendant is Dickstein’s wife, Sacramento-based lobbyist Jeannine English.

The lawsuit alleges that Dickstein and English executed a scheme that caused injury to the Plaintiff, a Southern California resident who claims his privacy and constitutional rights were “egregiously violated.”

Specifically, the suit alleges that in order to camouflage a scheme and make it appear as though it is purely a mundane action by a governmental agency and was not designed to conceal Dickstein’s and English’s own acts of malfeasance, greed, and betrayal, defendants resorted to abusing their considerable “political and legal clout.”

This clout was presumably obtained as a result of the funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars from myriad Tribal Casinos to various state and local governmental agencies/officials, as well as from English’s position as a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, and the fact that the president of the State Bar of California, Jon Streeter, and his firm of Keker & Van Nest, represent Howard Dickstein. This , the plaintiff alleges, shows “malice and oppression” on the part of defendants sufficient to justify an award of punitive damages.

Dickstein , who is no stranger to litigation, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.

In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.

In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.

According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”

Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”

Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.

Howard Dickstein’s proxy Doug Elmets : Journalists report the news; we orchestrate it!

Journalists report the news; we orchestrate it!

Please see @:

http://twitter.com/#!/elmetspr

 

Profile:

Doug Elmets is the founder and president of Elmets Communications – a full spectrum consulting firm serving a broad range of clients in business, government and the political arena.

Elmets is a well-known media and crisis strategist widely sought for his ability to develop and communicate powerful, convincing messages for his clients, including but not limited to: Thunder Valley Casino Resort, the United Auburn Indian Community, Jackson Rancheria Casino, Pala Casino, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Modesto Irrigation District.

Elmets’ record of delivering results is anchored in more than three decades of public affairs experience in government, business and politics, ranging from his years as a White House spokesman in the Reagan Administration to his more recent work for trade associations, Fortune 500 companies, public municipalities, and Native American tribes. Combining his political acumen, coalition-building talents and knack for branding a cause, Elmets provides his clients outstanding service, whether their needs relate to media relations, legislative and regulatory advocacy, community relations or crisis management.

Prior to launching his company in 1996, Elmets managed the government and public relations for oil giant ARCO, working in Los Angeles and Sacramento. As ARCO’s chief lobbyist, he oversaw all of the company’s government and public affairs on the state level and was responsible for corporate relationships with California’s cities and counties. 

Source, please see @:

http://www.elmets.com/about/executives/doug

Supreme Court gives local gaming tribe big win

“The court said you have to follow the law,” Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, said in an interview. “That’s all we are asking.”

The Supreme Court, without comment, refused to take up an earlier 9th Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that the state’s approach was an illegal tax under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that governs how tribes operate Las Vegas-style casinos.

Rincon, which jointly operates the Harrahs Rincon Resort and Casino in Valley Center near Escondido, will now open fresh negotiations with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown. If the impasse persists after 60 days, a court-appointed mediator would step in.

“No comment on Rincon,” Gov. Jerry Brown, who as attorney general defended the state’s assessment on slots, said as he was leaving a budget news conference. Asked if he would ask tribes for revenue sharing moneys in new negotiations, he only said, “I will follow the court’s decision.”

A significant amount of money — about $360 million a year — is collected through the revenue sharing fees on slots from numerous tribes.

Those disputed assessments were first imposed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shortly after he took office in 2003 as he and lawmakers sought much-needed revenues for the state. The idea was to pump up the depleted general fund by securing tribal commitments of paying a percentage of net winnings. In return, tribes could add more slots.

But that conflicted with federal law, Rincon argued, because fees were supposed to be assessed only to address the direct impacts of the casinos, such as increased traffic.

An early proposal would have allowed Rincon to add up to 900 slots to its 1,600-machine stable.

The tribe said would have realized just $2 million of the $40 million in new revenues generated by the expansion. The state would have collected the other $38 million, according to Rincon’s figures.

“No business would be asked take this type of deal, let alone agree to it,” Rincon said in a statement responding to the court ruling.

It was not immediately clear whether the decision will sweep in those tribes that earlier conceded to the state’s conditions attached to agreements for more slots.

Sacrament Attorney Howard Dickstein, who represents the Pala band of San Diego County and two other large gaming tribes, is convinced the ruling will force the Brown Administration to reopen all of the deals.

“Pala will request it on this point,” Dickstein said.

Pala, which operates a large casino and resort complex along Highway 76, was the first tribe to agree to the state’s demands as part of an expansion to lift a 2,000-slot cap imposed by its 1999 compact, he said.

As a result, Dickstein said Pala has paid the state about $18 million a year.

The federal appellate court, in a 2-1 decision issued in 2008, did not address the question.

“We express no opinion concerning the validity of those (signed) compacts,” the court noted.

However, the court signaled that tribes, by agreeing to the state offer, would likely be held to its terms until new compacts are signed.

“Those tribes agreed that the revised exclusivity offered and the financial benefits they would receive from amending their 1999 compacts, were satisfactory to them,” the court said.

 

Please continue @:

http://www.kumeyaay.com/kumeyaay-news/2445-supreme-court-gives-local-gaming-t…

Home Kumeyaay News News Archive Local Reservations Kumeyaay History Calendar Organizations Kumeyaay Videos Contact Us Upcoming Events Fri Jun 15 @14:00 – 08:00PM Native American Marine Corps Veterans Gourd Dance Ku

“The court said you have to follow the law,” Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, said in an interview. “That’s all we are asking.”

The Supreme Court, without comment, refused to take up an earlier 9th Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that the state’s approach was an illegal tax under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that governs how tribes operate Las Vegas-style casinos.

Rincon, which jointly operates the Harrahs Rincon Resort and Casino in Valley Center near Escondido, will now open fresh negotiations with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown. If the impasse persists after 60 days, a court-appointed mediator would step in.

“No comment on Rincon,” Gov. Jerry Brown, who as attorney general defended the state’s assessment on slots, said as he was leaving a budget news conference. Asked if he would ask tribes for revenue sharing moneys in new negotiations, he only said, “I will follow the court’s decision.”

A significant amount of money — about $360 million a year — is collected through the revenue sharing fees on slots from numerous tribes.

Those disputed assessments were first imposed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shortly after he took office in 2003 as he and lawmakers sought much-needed revenues for the state. The idea was to pump up the depleted general fund by securing tribal commitments of paying a percentage of net winnings. In return, tribes could add more slots.

But that conflicted with federal law, Rincon argued, because fees were supposed to be assessed only to address the direct impacts of the casinos, such as increased traffic.

An early proposal would have allowed Rincon to add up to 900 slots to its 1,600-machine stable.

The tribe said would have realized just $2 million of the $40 million in new revenues generated by the expansion. The state would have collected the other $38 million, according to Rincon’s figures.

“No business would be asked take this type of deal, let alone agree to it,” Rincon said in a statement responding to the court ruling.

It was not immediately clear whether the decision will sweep in those tribes that earlier conceded to the state’s conditions attached to agreements for more slots.

Sacrament Attorney Howard Dickstein, who represents the Pala band of San Diego County and two other large gaming tribes, is convinced the ruling will force the Brown Administration to reopen all of the deals.

“Pala will request it on this point,” Dickstein said.

Pala, which operates a large casino and resort complex along Highway 76, was the first tribe to agree to the state’s demands as part of an expansion to lift a 2,000-slot cap imposed by its 1999 compact, he said.

As a result, Dickstein said Pala has paid the state about $18 million a year.

The federal appellate court, in a 2-1 decision issued in 2008, did not address the question.

“We express no opinion concerning the validity of those (signed) compacts,” the court noted.

However, the court signaled that tribes, by agreeing to the state offer, would likely be held to its terms until new compacts are signed.

“Those tribes agreed that the revised exclusivity offered and the financial benefits they would receive from amending their 1999 compacts, were satisfactory to them,” the court said.

 

Please continue @:

http://www.kumeyaay.com/kumeyaay-news/2445-supreme-court-gives-local-gaming-t…

Doug Elmets on Pala Band of MissionIndians Expulsion 154 people: “Supreme Court held that a tribe’s right to define its own membership has long been recognized as central to its existence “

The Pala Band of Mission Indians on Wednesday expelled 154 people from its North County tribe, according to a Pala spokesman.

The removal of the 154 people appears to be connected to the removal of eight people from its rolls last year.

Those eight people were told in June by the tribe that they did not meet the 1/16th Pala “blood quantum” requirement.

Pala spokesman Doug Elmets said the tribal council made the decision to remove the additional 154 people Wednesday, but he declined to discuss the reason for the removal.

“It is important to remember that the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez case in 1978, held that a tribe’s right to define its own membership has long been recognized as central to its existence,” Elmets said.

Pala officials said last year that the tribe had 918 members; thus the 154 people expelled Wednesday account for about 15 percent of the tribe.

Those who have been expelled from Pala stand to lose more than $150,000 a year in payments from the tribe’s Pala Casino Resort and Spa, which is about 15 miles north of Escondido. They also will lose their ability to participate in Pala’s tribal government and other benefits, including health care, housing and educational services.

In June, Pala’s executive committee issued a letter to eight individuals, including the children of former Pala Chairman King Freeman, who are descendants of Margarita Brittain, who died in 1925. The letter said those eight people were disenrolled from the tribe because they did not meet the tribe’s required 1/16th Pala blood quantum.

 

Please continue @:

http://www.kumeyaay.com/kumeyaay-news/2663-exclusive-pala-tribe-expels-154-pe…

Members of Pala Band of Mission Indians Ask President Barack Obama for Help in Struggle Against Controversial Gambling Attorney Howard Dickstein

Members of San Diego-based Pala Band of Mission Indians are asking U.S. President Barack Obama for help in their struggle against controversial gambling attorney Howard Dickstein.  

In an article recently published by a former member of the tribe, an eerie comparison was made between “Blood Diamonds” to “Blood Indian Gaming Money.”  According to the article “Gov. Jerry Brown was given $200,000 in “Blood Indian Gaming Money.” 

Moreover, the author alleges that Howard Dickstein controls “the Tribal  Business Alliance, Robert Smith and Doug Elmets. Elmet’s office is in the same building where Gov. Brown has his penthouse pad. So the disenrolled blood $$ don’t have to drip that far to get them all dirty.”

Dickstein , who is no stranger to controversy, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.

In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.

In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.

According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”

Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”

Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.

The article concludes by urging the readers to sign a petition: ” The unjustified killing of the souls of tribal members at Pala is not the actions of a sovereign but the actions of a cruel dictatorship that any ruthless dictator in the world would admire. Speak out and sign the petition to the White House    Now!.”

 

Pala Band of Mission Indians expelled from tribe sue feds

REGION Families expelled from Pala tribe sue feds
Rose Riggs stands in front of the Pala Casino. She was expelled from the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

 

A woman with a blood disease lost her health insurance, a young woman starting college could lose her scholarship, a man could lose his job and a woman with a newborn baby could lose her home.

All these and many other hardships were the results of the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ decision to remove more than 160 people from its tribe, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month.

The lawsuit is asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs to step in and restore the former Pala members’ benefits, including the estimated $150,000 a year in casino revenues that go to each member; health insurance coverage; and their ability to participate in tribal government.

Escondido attorneys Thor Emblem and Tracy Emblem filed the lawsuit March 5 on behalf of about 60 former members of the Pala tribe.

The attorneys declined to comment on the case.

The families “will suffer immediate and irreparable harm and request immediate action to restore their … tribal benefits while their appeal of the (tribe’s) actions are pending review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” the lawsuit states.

Last year, the Pala tribe, which owns a large casino and resort near Fallbrook, removed from its membership rolls eight people who were descendants of a woman named Margarita Brittain, saying they did not have sufficient Pala heritage to belong in the tribe.

Earlier this year, the tribe expelled an additional 154 people who were also Brittain descendants.

After an appeal, the Bureau of Indian Affairs recommended that the first eight people be allowed back into the tribe. Pala has not said whether it plans to honor the BIA’s recommendation.

In court documents, the 60 people say they were illegally kicked out. They argue that the tribe illegally changed its constitution in 1997 without holding an election allowing all tribal members an opportunity to vote on the new constitution.

 

Please continue @:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/region-families-expelled-from-pala…

 

 

SacBee 2004: Governor, five tribes set to sign compacts

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to sign deals today or Thursday that will authorize at least five new Indian casinos in California and firmly establish his approach to future expansion of tribal gambling.

Among the “sure thing” tribes is the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, a tribe with Sonoma County roots that wants to build a mega-casino just off Interstate 80 in San Pablo. As envisioned, the casino would become the largest in California and one of the largest in the world, with up to 5,000 slot machines and covering up to 600,000 square feet.

The casino would be operated for the tribe by a partnership that includes the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas; the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, a Yolo County tribe that owns the Cache Creek Casino Resort; the Pala Band of Mission Indians in San Diego County; Arlen Opper, a Cache Creek executive; and Jerry Turk, the managing partner of the Pala casino.

In an interview Tuesday, George Maloof said his family had been friends with Opper for a long time and also had close relations with the Rumsey tribe.

Please continue @:

http://www.calstate.edu/pa/clips2004/august/18august/tribes.shtml

G.N. Woodhull : Anyone who was around when Governor Brown first served as Governor should not be surprised by his judicial appointments

Although I have never been known as one who has run away from a fight, I must admit I am very, very, tired. Years of fighting the take-over efforts of HRH-1 in close-quarters and fending off the fiasco that was CCMS has taken its toll. Those efforts now seem to be in the distant past.

Anyone who was around when Governor Brown first served as Governor should not be surprised by his judicial appointments or current approach to the Judicial Branch.

On the one hand, he inherited an insolvable budget problem that took over 20 years to develop (term limits). On the other, this Governor really doesn’t care about the trial courts or judiciary as a whole, other than those he has personally appointed. He has never really liked for the courts telling him “no” on any issue…be it the Federal Courts or California Courts. His total focus is going to be the bottom-line of the budget, not who gets hurt within the judiciary during the incremental steps toward in balancing the budget. The easiest way for Governor Brown to deal with the budgetary issues is simply to tell the Judicial Branch – “This is your budget allocation, deal with it.” He really doesn’t care if trial courts are open or closed or for that matter how the budgeted money is spent, just that there won’t be more allocated than he thinks it deserves. Candidly, the more the JC/AOC screws up, the easier it it for him to cut the allocations the following year. The fiscal crisis that we are in is going to be here for at least another 5-7 years, unless the State declares bankruptcy.

The end result is that in the short run HRH-2 and her minions will gain power over the Branch, but everyone suffers because too much of that money will stay in the Crystal Palace. There aren’t enough patriots to overthrow the Monarchy. Remember that it was only a minority of the public that initially supported the American Revolution. Today, the vast majority of the public today could care less about who is in charge of the California Judicial Branch. I’d put the interest level in how our Branch is managed at about 1.5%.

Neverland is sounding better and better to me. Although I have always refused to grow up, I am starting to feel very old…

Faithfully yours,

Gen. N. Woodhull

 

Please see source @:

http://judicialcouncilwatcher.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/youre-suggesting-that-…

Recall Tani Cantil Sakauye — The Case Against California’s Chief Justice

Source:

https://recalltani.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/the-case-against-californias-chie…

 

Tani Cantil Sakauye was virtually ordained chief justice by a termed-out, tainted, unlicensed motorcycle driving, womanizing, love child making hollywood star governor. She was recommended by the previous chief justice who was running from his office over thousands of better qualified candidates.

She has no administrative experience running a business. She has no administrative experience running an office. She has no administrative experience even running a court!

As one of the the primary protectors of the California Constitution, she violates that very same constitution when she continuously re-appoints retired judges under the TEMPORARY assigned judges program, some who have sat on the bench as assigned judges for as long as eighteen years, thereby denying the local community the ability to elect and have a say as to who their judicial officers will be.

She has taken the position that destroying court mediation records that are utilized by judges in making custody decisions is okay because as far as she is concerned, they have no bearing on family matters and they’re not a part of the court record!

At a time of record deficits and mass layoffs in the trial courts, she chooses to give AOC employees raises while people who serve the public at the front counter windows in the courts lose their jobs.

She continues to build the world’s most expensive public buildings, some costing as much as $1,900.00 per square foot! As a gross example, Alpine county will be blessed with a 26 million dollar courthouse in Markleeville, population, 200 residents. About a thousand in the whole county. Similar disparities are happening in rural areas all over the state. Meanwhile, her budget cuts are CLOSING courthouses across the state. Rather than redirect these construction funds towards serving the public, she wants to build palaces to justice far out in the woods and out in the desert, while the majority of us where the population centers are watch courthouses close down. 

She praises gross mismanagement by declaring to the public that gross mis-managers that work for the judicial branch are invaluable to her operation.

As a former blackjack dealer and waitress, two jobs where sex appeal and good looks get you bigger tips, she feigns being offended by a legislator calling her pretty, when her mentor justice scotland did the same damn thing! Why would our womanizing, love child making ex-governor possibly make a pick of her over better qualified candidates hmmm? Maybe he was letting his little head think for his big one again??

Today, she is responsible for running the largest judiciary in the western world. She is responsible for more real estate holdings than Donald Trump himself. She’s continuing the big lie of branch centralization via a three billion dollar case management system, written by a company with a tainted track record and she can’t even manage her own lawbreakers over in her administrative office of the courts. She rewards corruption with promotion!

She remains intent on ignoring the voices of critics. She refuses to hold incomptence accountable. She promotes those who have violated the public trust.

This is not a person who has the decorum to remain in the office she holds. Towards that end, JCW is looking for those who will join us in developing a plan to remove her from office.

Six months of another version of the truth is enough.

Sheldon Adelson Morally Opposes Internet Gambling (TLR Note: Unlike Thomas Girardi’s Boyd Gaming)

Sheldon Adelson

Just when it seemed like the push for Internet poker legislation was progressing nicely and all the concerned parties were getting on the same page, Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson has come out against legalizing online poker.

After once opposing Internet gambling, it appeared that all the major Las Vegas casino owners had come to realize that Americans want to play poker online and that their companies could benefit.

Now Adelson, the world’s richest casino executive and a large Republican donor with influence on Capitol Hill, has indicated that he morally opposes online gambling because he doesn’t believe technology is good enough to prevent minors from playing.

It seems hypocritical for someone who operates casinos to oppose gambling on the Internet. Sands’ Las Vegas holdings include the Venetian and Palazzo. It raises the suspicion that Adelson’s real issue is that Sands has fallen behind Caesars and MGM in preparing for online poker.

“He does have young children, in their early teens, and he has raised this concern before,” said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. “I think he does have some concerns there, but I think he’s somewhat misinformed. There are ways being used very effectively throughout Europe, where this is licensed and regulated, to keep children off Internet gaming sites.”

Opposition from the Adelson could throw a wrench into Rep. Joe Barton’s plans to get poker legislation passed by the end of next year. Getting a bill on the House floor will need the approval of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), and Adelson is very influential among Republicans.

It’s long been thought that a bill getting through the Senate would need the support of Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday that Adelson discussed Internet gaming with Kyl in a visit to Washington, D.C., last week.

But Adelson is just one man. The American Gaming Association issued a statement saying that it will continue to support federal legislation to allow states to license and regulate Internet poker. Caesars, Wynn, MGM and Boyd Gaming remain committed to the cause. There is hope that they could eventually convince Adelson to come on board.

LEGAL MALPRACTICE SUIT FILED AGAINST ENSTROM LIPSCOMB & LACK , WALTER LACK , ROBERT WOLF, JERRY RAMSEY, ALBUS-KEEFE & ASSOCIATES

 
Case Summary

Case Number: SC112882
MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN ET. AL. VS. ENSTROM,LIPSCOMB &LACK

Filing Date: 06/06/2011
Case Type: Legal Malpractice (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending

 


Future Hearings

02/10/2012 at 09:00 am in department WEF at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Motion to Compel (1.) FURTHER RESPONSES SPECIAL ROGS2.) FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM ROGS3.) FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUESTFOR PRODUCTION OF DOCS4.) FURTHER RESP TO RQST PROD #25.) FURTHER RESP TO RQST PROD #3)

03/05/2012 at 08:30 am in department WEF at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Status Conference ( FSC 8-9-12 JT 8-17-12)

04/12/2012 at 09:00 am in department WEF at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Hearing on Demurrer (-and Motion to Strike)

08/09/2012 at 08:30 am in department WEF at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Final Status Conference ( JT: 8-17-12)

08/17/2012 at 09:30 am in department WEF at 1725 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Jury Trial ( EST TIME: 5-7 DAYS)


Documents Filed | Proceeding Information

Parties

ALBUS-KEEFE & ASSOCIATES INC. – Defendant

ENGSTROM LIPSCOMB & LACK – Attorney for Defendant

ENGSTROM LIPSCOMB AND LACK – Defendant

LACK WALTER B. – Defendant

LACK WALTER J. – Defendant

PRAKASHPALAN DON M. – Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

PRAKASHPALAN MURUGANANDAN – Plaintiff

PRAKASHPALAN NAVA – Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

PRAKASHPALAN NAVA – Defendant

PRAKASHPALAN NAVAMALAR – Plaintiff

RAMSEY JERRY A. – Defendant

WOLFE ROBERT J. – Defendant


Case Information | Party Information | Proceeding Information

Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)

Click on any of the below link(s) to see documents filed on or before the date indicated:
11/22/2011   

01/20/2012 Opposition (PLFF’S ADDENDUM TO OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO SPECIAL INTERROGS; SET 1; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES)
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/20/2012 Opposition (PLFF’S ADDENDUM TO OPPOSITION TO NTC OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM PLFF FORM INTERROGS SET NO. 1; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/20/2012 Reply To Motion (REPLY TO PLFF’S OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM PLFF TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET NO. 3; SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF ROBERT T. BRYSON)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/19/2012 Reply To Motion (REPLY TO PLFF’S OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO REQ FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS SET 2; SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF ROBERT T. BRYSON)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/18/2012 Opposition (PLFF’S ADDENDUM TO OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURHTER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO REQ FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS SET #3; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES)
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/18/2012 Opposition (PLFF’S ADDENDUM TO OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO REQ FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS SET #2; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES)
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/18/2012 Opposition (PLFF’S ADDENDUM TO OPPOSITION TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM NAVAMALAR PRAKASHPALAN TO REQ FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS SET #1; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES; DECL. OF NAVAMALAR ..)
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

01/18/2012 Opposition (plff’s addendum to opposition to mtn to compel further responses from MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO AMENDED REQ FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET #1; MEMO OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES)
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/17/2012 First Amended Complaint
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

01/12/2012 Reply (TO PLAINTIFF’S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM NAVAMALAR PRAKSHPALAN TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET NO. 1 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/10/2012 Reply to Opposition (TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL ROGS SET NO.1 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/09/2012 Declaration (SUPPLEMENTAL – OF ROBERT T. BRYSON TO DEFENDANT’S REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET NO. 1)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/09/2012 Reply to Opposition (TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET NO. 1; AND SUPPLEMENTAL DECL OF ROBERT T. BRYSON)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

01/05/2012 Amended Notice (OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON ALL MOTIONS PREVIOUSLY SET FOR JANUARY 5, 2012 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/23/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE (MOTIONS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/23/2011 Notice of Ruling
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/23/2011 Notice (NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF ATTORNEY FOR DEFT IN PRO PER DON M. PRAKSSHPALAN & NAVA PRAKASHPALAN FROM 1-3-12 – 1-16-12 )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/23/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/21/2011 Opposition (to m/compel further resp to req prod doc set 2 )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (to demurrer )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (to m/compel further resp to req prod docs set #1 )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Declaration (Nava Prakashpalans to m/compel further resp req prod doc set 1 )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (m/compel furth resp to req for prod )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (to m/strike )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (m/compel further resp to req prod )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Declaration (Muruganandan Prakashpalans )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Opposition (to m/compel further resp )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/21/2011 Declaration (Muruganandan Prakashpalans opp to m/compel further resp )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/15/2011 Motion to Strike (PORTIONS OF PLFFS’ COMPLAINT )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/15/2011 Demurrer (TO PLFFS’ COMPLAINT )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/13/2011 Statement – General (SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/13/2011 Reply (BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/13/2011 Separate Statement of Und. Facts (IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/13/2011 Declaration (OF MURUGANANDAN PARAKASHPALAN IN SUPPORT OF REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/08/2011 Opposition (TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSION )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/08/2011 Motion to Strike
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/08/2011 Demurrer
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/08/2011 Opposition (TO MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/08/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/07/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PROCUTION )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/07/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/07/2011 Separate Statement of Und. Facts (STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPLE FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/06/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/06/2011 Statement – General (SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/05/2011 Separate Statement of Und. Facts (IN SUPPORT OF DEFT’S MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESP TO AMENDED REQ FOR PRODUC OF DOCS, SET NO.1 FROM PLTFF MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN. )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/05/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF EL&L’S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO AMENDED REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION,SET NO.1 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/02/2011 Notice (NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND ORDER TO DEPT F )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

12/02/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

12/01/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/01/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

12/01/2011 Statement – General (SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/30/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONESS TO SPECIAL ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/30/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER TO SPECIAL ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/30/2011 Separate Statement of Und. Facts (IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/29/2011 Separate Statement of Und. Facts (IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/29/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYSON IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSE TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

11/29/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS )
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

11/29/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONES TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

Click on any of the below link(s) to see documents filed on or before the date indicated:
TOP   11/22/2011   

11/22/2011 Notice-Case Reassignment and Order
Filed by Clerk

11/17/2011 Proof of Service
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

11/17/2011 Motion to Compel (FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS AND FURTHER PRODUCTION OF DOCS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

11/17/2011 Declaration (OF MURUGANANDAN PARAKASHPALAN IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO FORM ROGS )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

11/06/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT T. BRYON IN SUPPORT OF MTN TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

10/27/2011 Amendment to Complaint (doe: 1 Jerry A. Ramsey )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

10/27/2011 Amendment to Complaint
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

10/27/2011 Amendment to Complaint (doe: 3 Robert J. Wolfe )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

10/27/2011 Amendment to Complaint (doe: 2 Walter J. Lack )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

10/03/2011 Notice of Ruling
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

09/21/2011 Answer to Complaint Filed
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

09/14/2011 Reply (SUPPORTING MOTION FOR ORDER )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

09/14/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT J. WOLFE )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

09/06/2011 Declaration (IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR ORDER REQUIRING PLTFS TO FURNISH SECURITY AND FOR A PREFILING ORDER RESTRICTING THE FILING OF LITIGATION. )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

09/06/2011 Opposition (TO MOTION FOR ORDER REQUIRING PLTFS TO FURNISH SECURITY AND FOR A PREFILING ORDER RESTRICTING THE FILING OF LITIGATION. )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

09/06/2011 Statement-Case Management
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

09/06/2011 Statement-Case Management
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

07/22/2011 Proof of Service
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

07/15/2011 Request for Entry of Default (AGAINST: ENGSTROM, LIPSCOMB & LACK A PROFESSIONAL CORP. MOTION FOR ORDER AND 1ST APPEARNAC FEES PAID ON 7-13-11. PLEASE SEE THE REJ NTC )
Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

07/13/2011 Motion for an Order (REQUIRING PLNTF TO FURNISH SECUTIRTY AND FOR A PREFILING ORDER RESTRICTING THE FILING OF LITIGATION )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

07/13/2011 Declaration (OF ROBERT J. WOLFE IN SUPPORT OF MTN FOR ORDER COMPELLING PLNTF TO FURNISH SECURIT AND FOR A PREFILING OF RESTRICTING THE FILING OF LITIGATION )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

07/05/2011 Request for Judicial Notice (RE NOTICE OF RELATED CASE )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

07/05/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE (OF HEARING )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

06/27/2011 Notice-Related Cases (TO SC090538 FILED IN DEPT J )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

06/27/2011 NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE (COURT DARK 6/16/11 CONT TO 6/21/11 )
Filed by Clerk

06/23/2011 Notice (OF UNAVAILABILITY )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

06/23/2011 Proof of Service (OF SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT )
Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

06/06/2011 Complaint Filed

01/12/2011 Reply to Opposition (TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM MURUGANANDAN PRAKASHPALAN TO AMENDED REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET NO. 1 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant

Click on any of the below link(s) to see documents filed on or before the date indicated:
TOP   11/22/2011   


Case Information | Party Information | Documents Filed

Proceedings Held (Proceeding dates listed in descending order)

12/28/2011 at 08:35 am in Department WEI, Jacqueline A. Connor, Presiding
Motion to Compel (FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FORADMISSION) – Off-Calendar-Request-Moving Party

12/21/2011 at 08:30 am in Department WEI, Jacqueline A. Connor, Presiding
Motion to Compel (further answer to rogs2) MTN TO CMP FUR RESPONES TO REQ FOR ADM…Adv from 12-28-11) – Motion Denied

09/21/2011 at 08:30 am in Department WEI, Jacqueline A. Connor, Presiding
Motion (FOR ORDER REQUIRING PLTF TOFURNISH SECURITY AND FOR PREFILINGORDER RESTRICTING THE FILING OFLITIGATION2) CASE MANGEMENT CONF) – Motion Denied

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Assails Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos- LA Observed

Some First Amendment experts are crying foul.

“I have never heard of an entire civil trial being conducted secretly,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit that provides legal assistance to journalists. “It’s absolutely outrageous.”

City News Service reporter Bill Hetherman was ejected from the trial on January 11, after the opening statements.

See Complete article @:
http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2012/01/judge_kicks_media_out_of.php

Olive oil: Fraud and intimidation, the unpalatable truth

Olive oil: Fraud and intimidation, the unpalatable truth

Wife of Rovio boss turns up to the palace wearing an Angry Birds dress

Palantir, the War on Terror’s Secret Weapon

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.

Kate Middleton and Prince William to move in to Kensington Palace | Mail Online

Prince William and Kate Middleton to move into permanent home at Kensington Palace – mirror.co.uk

Kate Middleton (Pic: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton (Pic: Getty Images)

With no hot water, asbestos in the walls and decades-old electrics, it needs much more than just a lick of paint.

Advertisement >>

But Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace – known as “KP” to the royals – is to become the permanent home of Prince ­William and his wife Kate.

The couple will move into the exclusive residence in 2013 after a nine-month-long refurbishment.

Palace officials last night confirmed that the apartment, which was used by Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, will ­become their London base.

Kensington Palace (Pic: PA)

William has an emotional attachment to KP as it was where he and Prince Harry were brought up by their late mother Diana, in Apartment 8-9.

It has been described as a “children’s ­paradise” with long passageways, ideal for youngsters to rush around in, and ­numerous gardens to play in.

Pilot William’s love of helicopters is said to stem from his days watching them ­landing on the palace’s helipad.

A royal source said: “There are obvious strong emotional ties for William. It means a lot to him that he will be setting up his permanent home so close to where he was brought up by his mother.”

Prince Harry, 27, will also move into a two-bedroom cottage in the grounds, which has often been used by Wills and Kate, both 29. After structural work, Apartment 1A will have two or three ­reception rooms and up to four bedrooms on three floors, providing plenty of room when they start a family.

Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry (Pic: Getty Images)

A royal source said: “William and Kate are looking forward to planning their new home. They will be heavily involved in the design and the choice of furnishings.

“There is a lot of structural work ­needed before it is habitable. There is no hot water and it will need new wiring and piping. The electrics haven’t been changed for 50 years.”

BALMORAL

While the work is done, the couple, who have been staying on the Balmoral estate this ­weekend, will keep their current main home on Anglesey, North Wales.

Prince William is currently serving at the island’s RAF base as a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot. They rent a cottage there for £750 a month.

They will also keep a temporary, ­smaller apartment at Kensington Palace. The royal source added: ­“William and Kate are ­particularly pleased that Harry will also be moving in nearby. This was ­important to them as they are all so close.”

The Duke and Duchess of ­Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also live at the palace.

As ­second in line to the throne ­the prince, whose RAF salary is £37,170, will not be ­liable to pay rent on Apartment 1A.

It is currently ­managed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces, which is holding a public ­exhibition there until next ­September, when refurbishment work will begin.

The structural work will be ­funded by Grant-in-Aid budgets provided to the royal household for royal ­residences. But the cost of interior ­decorating and furnishing will be paid privately by the Royal Family.

During the couple’s visit to ­Copenhagen to raise awareness about famine victims this week, they are said to have discussed interior design with Denmark Crown Prince ­­­­Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, whose palace has had a ­£25million ­refurbishment.

Kensington Palace has been a royal residence since 1689, when the site was bought by King William III.

Download the Daily Mirror’s ‘Wills & Kate A Royal Love Story’ souvenir mobile app for iPhone, iTouch, iPad or Nokia smartphone here

Condoleezza Rice: We clearly have a race problem

“The next morning, I went shopping at the Ferragamo shoe store down the block from my hotel, returned to the Palace … and again turned on the television. The airwaves were filled with devastating pictures from New Orleans. And the faces of most of the people in distress were black. I knew right away that I should never have left Washington. I called my chief of staff , Brian Gunderson. ‘I’m coming home,’ I said. ‘Yeah. You’d better do that,’ he answered. Then I called the President. “Mr. President, I’m coming back. I don’t know how much I can do, but we clearly have a race problem,’ I said. ‘Yeah. Why don’t you come on back?’ he answered. I actually hadn’t expected that from the President. That’s odd, I thought. He’d been so insistent that I go and get some rest. He’s really worried. ‘Maybe I can go to Houston to represent you,’ I said. ‘Well, just come on back, and we can talk about it then,’ he replied.

No. 03-03-00374-CV. – LUBIN v. FARMERS GROUP INC – TX Court of Appeals

LUBIN v. FARMERS GROUP INC Jan LUBIN, Gilberto Villanueva, Michael Paladinao, Gerald Hooks and Lesly K. Hooks, Appellants, v. FARMERS GROUP, INC.;  Farmers Underwriters Association;  Fire Underwriters Association;  Farmers Insurance Exchange;  Fire Insurance Exchange;  Texas Farmers Insurance Company;  Mid-Century Insurance Company of Texas;  Mid-Century Insurance Company;  Truck Insurance Exchange;  Truck Underwriters Association;  Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Company;  The State of Texas;  Texas Department of Insurance;  and Texas Commissioner of Insurance, Appellees. No. 03-03-00374-CV. — January 21, 2005 Before Chief Justice LAW, Justices KIDD and PURYEAR;  Justice KIDD Not Participating. David Burrow, Alice Oliver-Parrott, Burrow & Parrott, LLP, Joe W. Redden, Jr., W. Curt Webb, David W. Jones, Russell S. Post, Beck, Redden & Secrest, LLP, Dwight E. Jefferson, Dwight E. Jefferson, PLLC, Houston, Villanueva & Paladino, Philip K. Maxwell, Joe K. Longley, Longley & Maxwell, L.L.P., Stephen L. McCleery, Austin, Michael T. Gallagher, Dan Downey, Houston, for Lubin, Pat Maloney, Jr, Maloney, Jefferson & Dugas, Curt L. Cukjarti, Trey Martin, Conry Davidson, Martin & Cukjati, LLP, San Antonio, John A. Davis, Jr., Steven R. Davis, R. Martin Weber, Jr., Davis & Davis, Steven M. Smoot, Houston, William J. Skepnek, Skepnek Law Firm, P.A., Lawrence, for Villanueva, Joseph C. Blanks, Doucette, for Hooks & Hooks.David C. Mattax, Chief, Financial Litigation Division, James R. Wenzek, Jeff Graham, Asst. Atty’s Gen., Amy Warr, Finance Litigation Div., Austin, for State, Tex. Dept. of Ins. & Tex. Comm.Gerard G. Pech, Layne E. Kruse, Richard N. Carrell, Katherine D. Mackillop, Marcy Hogan Greer, Michael Scott Incerto, Mary Schaerel Diets, Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Austin, for Farmers Parties. OPINION The issue in this interlocutory appeal is whether article 21.21, section 17 of the insurance code allows the Attorney General to maintain a class action without satisfying the class action prerequisites set out in article 21.21, section 18.   See Tex. Ins.Code Ann. art. 21.21, §§ 17, 18 (West Supp.2004-05).  Section 17 of article 21.21 authorizes the Attorney General, at the request of the Texas Department of Insurance (the “Department”), to institute a class-action suit to recover from an insurer damages for injuries done to the insurance-buying public.  Id. § 17(a).   Section 18 sets out procedural requirements for class actions, including the appointment of a class representative.  Id. § 18.   In this case, the Attorney General initiated a class action under section 17, but did not comply with section 18’s procedural requirements;  in particular, no class representative was appointed.   The district court found that strict compliance with section 18 was unnecessary because the Attorney General was qualified through his capacity as parens patriae to adequately represent the interests of the potential class members without the appointment of a class representative.   Appellants, individual policyholders who intervened and objected to the class settlement agreement, contend that the trial court erred in allowing the Attorney General to pursue a class action without satisfying the requirements ordinarily applied to class action lawsuits.   We agree and hold that the Attorney General must comply with the procedural requirements of section 18 to maintain a class-action suit under section 17.   Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s order certifying the class and remand the cause to the district court for further proceedings.

Coal lawyers hit with ethics complaint over remarks about inbreeding in Appalachian coalfields « Coal Tattoo

Law Prof Files Ethics Complaint Against Crowell Lawyers for Appalachian Inbreeding Suggestion – News – ABA Journal

Media_httpimagesabajo_pfedn

An assistant law professor in North Carolina has filed an ethics complaint against four Crowell & Moring lawyers who suggested that inbreeding could be responsible for Appalachian birth defects chronicled in a study of mountaintop mining.

Continue @:
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/law_prof_files_ethics_complaint_agains…

Remains of Royal Family fanatic unearthed near palace – Yahoo!

Alaska Report: Todd Palin and Sarah Palin to divorce

Courthouse News Service

     Walking home after editing a story on the money shortage for California’s courts, it crossed my mind that the court system could be compared to the European Union.
     San Francisco’s court could be compared to Greece, the first of the dominos to tumble.
     “San Francisco may have been the first trial court to fall,” San Francisco’s presiding judge, Katherine Feinstein, told the Judicial Council last week. “But I know that others are soon to follow, and you know that too.”
     So which one is next.
     Which court will be California’s Portugal, the next one that has to take radical measures such as closing courtrooms and laying off hundreds of staff.
     Maybe Ventura fits that bill.
     The court bit on a boondoggle of an IT system pushed by the bureaucrats. But it got no help, as I understand it, in paying for the overtime that came with the new system.
     Which trial court would be Spain, so big that its tumble would shake the whole system. Would that be one of the big Southern California counties.
     And will the courts on the edge get any help from the “plush” and “palatial” headquarters of the bureaucracy, using the words of Sacramento’s trial judges.
     Or will those courts be allowed to go down and down through the waters of insolvency without a hand extended from the folks that now act as the courts’ central banker.
     Feinstein, who is the daughter of California’s senior senator, was saying she did not get much help. In fact, she says she got none at all.
     “I was stunned that neither I, nor our court executive officer, received a single phone call from anyone in the Administrative Office of the Courts — the entity that is supposed to provide services and support to the trial courts.”
     I found it stunning that Feinstein, an elected judge and the leader of San Francisco’s court system, speaks to the council under a time limit and as a member of the public, like the nervous bus driver from Nevada County who told the council that a new courthouse was not necessary, that the old one just needed to be fixed up.
     By contrast, administrators who are not elected and who don’t have a legal background sit as members of the council and, without limitation, offer their opinions and debate matters of statewide court policy.
     I asked our reporter, Maria Dinzeo, what the mood was like at Friday’s meeting, tense, urgent, acrimonious.
     She said it was somber around the council table. The only time it got tense was when the Los Angeles judges wanted to take more from the construction funds in order to keep the courts open.
     Administrators argued against stopping their building projects, saying it would send the wrong message to the Legislature. Thereby, they implicitly argued that closed courtrooms would send the right message — a kind of punishment perhaps for those bad legislators who took the money away.
     “We’ll leave no message except that we were able to keep the courtrooms open in order to have the Legislature take more money from us,” argued San Diego’s head clerk who is longtime council member.
     Dinzeo said the mood became tense at that point because the two L.A. judges were beleaguered, arguing alone, unsupported and indeed opposed by the rest of the council.
     I thought that was strange, that you have a judicial system in the nation’s biggest state, where individual courts are teetering on the edge of insolvency, where a major court has already fallen, where an enormous bureaucracy is recommending that next year it should be cut only as much as the staggering trial courts, and the large majority thinks building new buildings is a good idea.
     The result of the council’s deliberations is that the judicial branch will go ahead with new construction while existing courtrooms go dark, while justice is delayed and delayed further, and while the system bleeds into dysfunction.
     The reason the legislators cut the money in the first place was because, according to their statements beforehand, California as a whole was short and the legislators were mad at the way the court administrators had been blowing money.
     When the court bureaucracy did not reform its spendthrift ways, legislators warned repeatedly, “We have the power of the purse.” Speaking of messages between the courts and the Legislature, how did that one not get delivered.
     So now the administrators are sending their message back to the Legislature.
     Does it say, we have reformed our spending ways and we should have at least some of our funds restored. Or does it invite the Legislature to pull even more money out of the court building funds, until they are bone dry.
     “I am unable to comprehend the actions the Council took by favoring their bureaucracy over a failing trial court and the message of other court’s that they are also having problems,” a judge told me.
     “That only two council members stood up to the staff recommendations is shameful,” he added. “So much for branch-wide leadership by the council members. They are seemingly deaf to the concerns raised the past year by judges, legislators and the public.”
     “The Chief said she wanted everyone to give her a chance,” the judge concluded. “We did.

CaliforniaALL Part 9: Fraud Realized

Diversity Realized

CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a
result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a
Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of
California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President
Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E.
Redfield.

CaliforniaALL’s alleged purpose was to award grants to entities that
would increase minority participation in the “pipelines” that feed into
industries such as finance, technology, and law.

123 - Copy
Mr. Peter Arth Jr., former Chief of Staff to CPUC’s President Michael
Peevey. Mr. Arth has been recently recalled as mayor of the city of
Dunsmuir, California, where he was nicknamed “Mayor Juana” for his
support of the growing of marijuana in the middle of town. (Photo:
courtesy)

Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies
(including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief
existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2
million, including an unusually large sub rosa contribution of $769,247
from the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008. CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
As we previously mentioned, other than in Foundation tax records and a 2
by 2 inch blurb in its 2008 annual report, the State Bar contribution
was never mentioned again – not by the State Bar itself, not in the Cal
Bar Journal, not in the Foundation’s “newsroom,” and not by anyone or
any publication of CaliforniaALL. See below, California Bar
Foundation’s Newsroom, which made no mention of the “hush-hush”
transfer.
Foundation News Room 2008 - Copy

According to confidential sources, an ongoing multi-prong inquiry is
continuing and expanding, albeit at a slow pace. According to these
sources, the nature of the investigation as well as the direct
involvement of governmental bodies require that the inquiry commenced in
venues other than California.

Separately, sources maintain that the inquiry also involves personnel at
CaliforniaALL, the State Bar of California, and the California Bar
Foundation, with particular attention given to examining past and
present actions by Buchalter Nemer’s Holly Fujie and Howard Rice’s
Douglas Winthrop.

As reported by these sources, there is absolutely no doubt that the
actions of Ms. Fujie and Ms. Ashley (President and Vice President of the
State Bar of California, respectively) were motivated by a desire to
benefit themselves and financially enrich fellow APIs (Asian Pacific
Islanders). In addition, the sources maintain connections between Mr. James Hsu and
Justice Ming Chin vis-à-vis CAUSE are also being examined, as are events
at the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento.

 Ruthe Ashley

Holly Fujie Leslie Hatamiya Patricia Lee

From Left Ruthe Ashley, Holly Fujie, Leslie Hatamiya, and Patricia Lee.
Sources maintain that as part of the inquiry, the State Bar of
California was asked to produce and otherwise disclose the
classification and total annual compensation of Patricia Lee consistent
with Section 6001.4 of the State Bar Act. (Photo: courtesy.)
FRAUD BY “DIVERSITY EXPERT” SARAH E. REDFIELD
Between 2004 and 2008, Professor Redfield served as a “visiting”
professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. From 2008-2009, she
served as interim Executive Director of CaliforniaALL, as well as
program director. Professor Redfield was paid $157,763 for her services while she was
misclassified as an “independent contractor.” See
http://tinyurl.com/Portia-Balthazar.

As was established in the last installment, claims by CaliforniaALL and
the learned professor that they established and otherwise “launched” the
Saturday Law Academy at U.C. Irvine are totally false and baseless.
see http://tinyurl.com/Hampton-court-palace-surrey.

Additionally, the sources maintain that claims by Sarah E. Redfield to
the effect that she was part of both the CURRICULUM COMMITTEE and
OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE are also false, fraudulent, and were otherwise spun
from whole cloth.

While Professor Redfield was part of the Oversight Committee, she was
not part of the Curriculum Committee. In fact, the sources maintain
that close examination of SAL Curriculum shows that it was similar to
the curriculum in the years before CaliforniaALL was even established,
with emphasis on exceptions to the First Amendment such as time, place,
and manner.

See below, misleading claims by Professor Sarah E. Redfield, which falsely mention Curriculum Committee. :

Amazon Redfield

About Sarah Redfield

Curriculum Committee

Oversight Committee

Posted via email from lesliebrodie’s posterous

CaliforniaALL Part 9: Fraud Realized

Diversity Realized

CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a
result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a
Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of
California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President
Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E.
Redfield.

CaliforniaALL’s alleged purpose was to award grants to entities that
would increase minority participation in the “pipelines” that feed into
industries such as finance, technology, and law.

123 - Copy
Mr. Peter Arth Jr., former Chief of Staff to CPUC’s President Michael
Peevey. Mr. Arth has been recently recalled as mayor of the city of
Dunsmuir, California, where he was nicknamed “Mayor Juana” for his
support of the growing of marijuana in the middle of town. (Photo:
courtesy)

Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies
(including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief
existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2
million, including an unusually large sub rosa contribution of $769,247
from the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008. CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
As we previously mentioned, other than in Foundation tax records and a 2
by 2 inch blurb in its 2008 annual report, the State Bar contribution
was never mentioned again – not by the State Bar itself, not in the Cal
Bar Journal, not in the Foundation’s “newsroom,” and not by anyone or
any publication of CaliforniaALL. See below, California Bar
Foundation’s Newsroom, which made no mention of the “hush-hush”
transfer.
Foundation News Room 2008 - Copy

According to confidential sources, an ongoing multi-prong inquiry is
continuing and expanding, albeit at a slow pace. According to these
sources, the nature of the investigation as well as the direct
involvement of governmental bodies require that the inquiry commenced in
venues other than California.

Separately, sources maintain that the inquiry also involves personnel at
CaliforniaALL, the State Bar of California, and the California Bar
Foundation, with particular attention given to examining past and
present actions by Buchalter Nemer’s Holly Fujie and Howard Rice’s
Douglas Winthrop.

As reported by these sources, there is absolutely no doubt that the
actions of Ms. Fujie and Ms. Ashley (President and Vice President of the
State Bar of California, respectively) were motivated by a desire to
benefit themselves and financially enrich fellow APIs (Asian Pacific
Islanders). In addition, the sources maintain connections between Mr. James Hsu and
Justice Ming Chin vis-à-vis CAUSE are also being examined, as are events
at the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento.

 Ruthe Ashley

Holly Fujie Leslie Hatamiya Patricia Lee

From Left Ruthe Ashley, Holly Fujie, Leslie Hatamiya, and Patricia Lee.
Sources maintain that as part of the inquiry, the State Bar of
California was asked to produce and otherwise disclose the
classification and total annual compensation of Patricia Lee consistent
with Section 6001.4 of the State Bar Act. (Photo: courtesy.)
FRAUD BY “DIVERSITY EXPERT” SARAH E. REDFIELD
Between 2004 and 2008, Professor Redfield served as a “visiting”
professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. From 2008-2009, she
served as interim Executive Director of CaliforniaALL, as well as
program director. Professor Redfield was paid $157,763 for her services while she was
misclassified as an “independent contractor.” See
http://tinyurl.com/Portia-Balthazar.

As was established in the last installment, claims by CaliforniaALL and
the learned professor that they established and otherwise “launched” the
Saturday Law Academy at U.C. Irvine are totally false and baseless.
see http://tinyurl.com/Hampton-court-palace-surrey.

Additionally, the sources maintain that claims by Sarah E. Redfield to
the effect that she was part of both the CURRICULUM COMMITTEE and
OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE are also false, fraudulent, and were otherwise spun
from whole cloth.

While Professor Redfield was part of the Oversight Committee, she was
not part of the Curriculum Committee. In fact, the sources maintain
that close examination of SAL Curriculum shows that it was similar to
the curriculum in the years before CaliforniaALL was even established,
with emphasis on exceptions to the First Amendment such as time, place,
and manner.

See below, misleading claims by Professor Sarah E. Redfield, which falsely mention Curriculum Committee. :

Amazon Redfield

About Sarah Redfield

Curriculum Committee

Oversight Committee

Posted via email from lesliebrodie’s posterous

7 March 2003 — Tribal Casinos Seek More Slots

Gaming News

California Casinos Seek More Slots

7 March 2003

by Liz Benston

LAS VEGAS — Two tribal casinos in California managed by Las Vegas companies may seek an increase in the number of slot machines they are allowed under existing state compacts, representatives say.

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. manages the Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort near San Diego for the Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians. Station Casinos Inc. will manage and is developing the upcoming Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento for the United Auburn Indian Community.

Both tribes have recently joined a coalition of 21 California tribes that became the first in the state to formally announce their desire to discuss sharing casino revenue with the state in exchange for expanding the number of slot machines at their casinos, among other issues.

California tribes now may offer up to 2,000 devices each.

In a letter to California Gov. Gray Davis last month, the coalition said it recognizes that “the exercise of rights triggers responsibilities, including the obligation to fairly mitigate off-reservation impacts of future development.”

The coalition — representing a cross-section of tribes with both large and small casinos as well as tribes without casinos — expects to negotiate a variety of issues with the governor beginning this month. It also aims to distance itself from other tribes that have been critical of the governor’s plan to extract $1.5 billion in revenue from the state’s tribal casinos.

The Auburn tribe may ask for more slot machines because it is closer to urban areas that can support greater demand, said Howard Dickstein, a Sacramento attorney representing Auburn and other coalition tribes.

John Currier, chairman of the Rincon tribe, said it expects to negotiate the ability to add more slots at some point in the future when the property has matured.

Fees for new slots must be reasonable, however, Currier said.

“If another (tribal casino) open for 10 years is willing to pay more, we wouldn’t be able to afford it at this time.”

Slots have start-up costs and may only be profitable during peak weekend periods, he said. And competition has intensified.

The Rincon casino is within a 20 mile radius of five tribal casinos — the most dense casino market in California.

“It used to be, ‘Build it and they will come,’ ” Currier said. “Conditions have changed. You really have to go out and find new customers. It’s very difficult to get existing casino customers to go to your casino.”

The fact that three California tribes with significant Las Vegas connections have joined the coalition isn’t a coincidence, he added.

“The tribes in this coalition are business-minded tribes,” he said. “They didn’t enter into agreements with expert licensed operators coincidentally.”

On the other hand, many other tribes — whether they belong to the coalition or not — can’t support additional slots because they lack the demand, Dickstein said.

Only about a dozen gaming tribes will likely ask for slot increases to accommodate gamblers, he said.

That means Gov. Davis is unlikely to raise the kind of revenue he wants to help plug the state’s budget deficit — unless he allows tribes to build future casinos away from rural, tribal land and in urban areas that can attract more customers, he said.

Gov. Davis remains opposed to urban casinos. But that may change, Dickstein said.

“I think closing the budget deficit may be a higher priority now than discouraging urban casinos,” he said. “It’s casinos near urban areas that can use profitably more than 2,000 machines and can afford any significant revenue-share on those machines.”

If tribes were to share 25 percent of their casino revenue — similar to a plan underway in New York — California would need to at least double the number of slot machines, he said.

Though doubling machines is unlikely, tribes of all sizes and affiliations appear interested in removing the state cap on slot machines to allow market forces to dictate how many machines their casinos can have, Dickstein said.

Major Las Vegas companies — after fighting an initial effort to legalize tribal casinos in California — have more recently expressed interest in striking management contracts with tribes.

Still, the investment prospects for local companies have diminished as tribes ink deals with management entrepreneurs based outside Nevada, experts say.

Many of California’s gaming tribes already have established relationships with investors and are inundated with offers from others, said Jerry Turk, owner of the management company for the tribal Pala Casino near San Diego.

Linda Roe, vice president of business development for Las Vegas casino developer Marnell Corrao Associates and a tribal gaming expert, says opportunities still exist for management companies that are willing to try harder to form lasting relationships and make a long-term commitment to the well-being of the tribe.

“They’re being careful,” Roe said of the tribes. Some savvy tribes don’t need help. But the ones that do are looking for companies they can develop long-term partnerships with rather than for firms looking to turn a quick buck.

Harrah’s Rincon Casino — which opened last August with 1,500 slots, 200 hotel rooms and six restaurants — is perhaps the most well-known example of a Las Vegas company partnering with an Indian tribe.

Harrah’s hasn’t said whether it expects to expand the resort, deferring instead to tribal leaders. But company spokesman Gary Thompson said it’s possible given the property’s better-than-expected casino performance and hotel occupancy rates in the mid to high 90s.

Station Casinos expects to earn more than $25 million a year for managing the Thunder Valley Casino for the Auburn tribe. Thunder Valley — expected to open in June with up to 1,900 slots, 100 table games, a bingo room and a VIP gambling area — is able to accommodate up to 3,000 slots, Station Casinos executives say.

The neighborhood casino operator bought another 100 acres across from Thunder Valley and has an option to buy another 150 acres nearby. The company has declined to reveal plans for either site, such as whether it would build a hotel for gamblers.

Historically, the company has master-planned its locals’ casinos by buying up a significant amount of surrounding land that has since been developed into retail stores, theaters or hotel rooms.

Major Las Vegas operators including MGM MIRAGE, Park Place Entertainment Corp. and Boyd Gaming Corp. have expressed interest in pursing management contracts with Indian casinos.

MGM MIRAGE has been especially vocal about pursuing tribal relationships. The company last year hired a development chief with a pre-existing relationship with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians who serves as a design consultant for a new casino in downtown Palm Springs. It’s a limited and less-lucrative arrangement that doesn’t involve managing the casino and therefore doesn’t require federal approval.

Besides Harrah’s Rincon and Thunder Valley, two other California casinos have significant Las Vegas connections.

The Pala Casino made headlines when it became the first new permanent casino to open after the passage of a voter initiative in 2000 that allowed Las Vegas-style casinos in California. It also marked the first time a Nevada gaming company was brought in to invest in a tribal casino.

Turk, a former co-owner of Fitzgerald’s casino in downtown Las Vegas, brought in partner Anchor Gaming of Las Vegas to manage the casino. Before consummating its $1.4 billion merger with slot giant International Game Technology last year, Anchor announced it would sell its majority stake in Pala’s management company to Turk.

The Pala tribe — a member of the 21-tribe coalition — will also likely expand its 2,000-slot maximum if Gov. Davis’ revenue-sharing proposal makes economic sense, Turk said.

Adding slots ultimately dilutes the profits produced by existing machines, he said.

And because machines are replaced so often, it’s also difficult to identify which are new machines and therefore subject to the state’s potential revenue-sharing plan, he said.

In the meantime, the casino is anticipating a summer opening for a 507-room hotel, 30,000 square feet of meeting space and a spa.

“The whole objective is to create more of a destination (resort),” Turk said. “When we’re done we’ll have a property that’s equal in quality to anything in Las Vegas.”

Siren Gaming, a business unit of Marnell Corrao Associates pursuing Indian casino management deals, is running the Valley View Casino near San Diego for the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. Siren’s team includes former executives of the Rio in Las Vegas. Its president, John Lipkowitz, was the general manager of the Rio when it was owned by design magnate Anthony Marnell.

Still, major Las Vegas companies — wary of the growth of Indian gaming in their largest drive-in market — have been slower to join the competition.

In most cases, business pitches to tribes aren’t coming from the nation’s gaming capital but from entrepreneurs across the nation who are trying to cash in on a windfall of gaming expansion, tribes say.

Coalition member Nicholas Fonseca, tribal chairman of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians in Northern California, has been inundated with calls and mailers from investors nationwide seeking a deal to manage, finance or otherwise help the tribe develop its upcoming casino.

“There are people trying to break into the industry,” Fonseca. Many are uneducated about Indian gaming law and believe that tribes can simply build casinos on non-tribal land without argument, he said.

The tribe already has inked a deal with Lakes Gaming, a Minnesota company controlled by Lyle Berman, the former president and chairman of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.

The Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria Indians doesn’t even have a gaming compact with the state, much less a casino. But the tribe has a business deal with First Nation Gaming, a management company owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Indian tribe in Louisiana, that aims to help the tribe obtain land for a casino.

The tribe joined the coalition to “protect the interests of non-gaming tribes like ourselves and remove some of the market barriers” to casino development, tribal chairman Steve Santos said. The statewide cap on slot machines “prevents even small tribes like ourselves from entering gaming,” he said.

The Alturas Rancheria, which operates a small, 80-slot locals’ casino in the rural, northeast corner of California, says it isn’t looking to expand its machines to a number that would attract interest from Las Vegas investors.

The tribe likely won’t offer more than 350 slots, which could trigger a requirement that the tribe share its slot revenue with non-gaming tribes, tribal administrator Susie Hegsted said.

“We don’t have the market for that,” she said. “I think what the smaller tribes are looking for in these compact negotiations is to continue what the Governor wants, that (larger) tribes share the wealth with the smaller tribes” that can’t build casinos in more-lucrative areas, she said.

The small tribe still is receiving an increasing amount of mailers from investment groups and other companies nationwide seeking casino deals, she said.

< Gaming News

Prince William and Kate Middleton servant jobs turned down over low wage – mirror.co.uk

Prince William and Kate Middleton servant jobs turned down over low wage – mirror.co.uk

Howard Dickstein — Prominent tribal attorney sued by former client for fraud — Union-Tribune Newsblog

Prominent tribal attorney sued by former client

SACRAMENTO — One of California’s most successful Indian gambling tribes has accused its former counsel, prominent tribal attorney Howard Dickstein, of fraud and self-dealing in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Yolo County.

“This lawsuit is about greed and betrayal,” declares the 57-page complaint filed by attorneys for the Rumsey band, which operates one of the state’s largest casinos with 3,100 slot machines in the remote Capay Valley northwest of Sacramento.

The 40-member tribe alleged that Dickstein and it’s former financial advisor, Arlen Opper, “placed their own interests and the interests of others ahead of the tribe’s” in complicated investments and business deals “fraught with self-dealing and conflicts of interest.”

“In the final analysis, the tribe’s former trusted counsel and investment advisor literally fed off the tribe’s financial success, or allowed others to do so, without the tribal council’s knowledge and approval,” the suit alleges.

Dickstein, who also represents the Pala band of San Diego County, helped deliver Rumsey from poverty during 20 years as its attorney. He was abruptly fired last year, not long after a new chairman was elected. He portrayed the lawsuit as “political payback” by opponents in the small tribe.

Dickstein said he helped Rumsey grow from “less than $100,000 in assets and a tilt-up bingo hall” to a diverse economic empire with “assets in excess of $1 billion.”

“It’s extremely hurtful … after all these years of good faith and dedication, to be faced with a pack of lies,” Dickstein said, promising a countersuit. “We will fight back and fight back hard.”

– James P. Sweeney, Copley News Service

Posted by Michael Smolens | 05:30 PM

From Manilla, Iowa, to Nation’s No. 1 law firm in L.A. | Iowa Independent

Ron Olson, who grew up in rural western Iowa, now leads a firm of 180 lawyers in Los Angeles.

Ron Olson, who grew up in rural western Iowa, now leads a firm of 180 lawyers in Los Angeles.

One of the more powerful men in the history of Hollywood, studio boss Lew Wasserman, had some advice for a Manilla, Iowa-kid-turned Los Angeles lawyer.

“Ron,” said Wasserman. “You stay out of the limelight because it will only fade your suit.”

But one can only keep spectacular success under wraps for so long.

Ron Olson, 67, born in Carroll and raised in Manilla, a son of an insurance salesman-broker, is a primary lawyer at Munger, Tolles & Olson, the firm that American Lawyer magazine just named No. 1 in the nation. It is the first time the magazine has ranked a Los Angeles firm at the top.

Olson, a close, lifelong friend of the late Kenneth Macke, the former Target CEO from Carroll, is featured on the front cover of that leading legal publication looking very much like a man who belongs there.

It would be an understatement to say he comes highly recommended.

One of the more high-profile American financiers in history, Warren E. Buffett, has relied on Olson as friend and counsel for years.

“I could go on for pages about Ron — all very favorable — but there is a lot going on here so I will keep it short,” Buffett wrote in an e-mail. “Ron is a great friend and a great adviser. My wife and I made him a trustee under our will. That’s about as good an endorsement as anyone could have.”

In a phone interview from California, Olson said Buffett knows how to bring out the best in people.

“He makes friends that are very close,” Olson said.

A former Drake University halfback (when they played Division I schools), Olson projects the physical confidence of someone who even in his 60s might just believe he could still gain 10 yards if the linemen could find him a glimmer of light.

With a confident countenance, the twinkle of an office oracle, he has the commanding presence of someone able to provoke a settlement or plea bargain by just opening the door.

He has more than enough resume to back up the magazine-cover image.

Munger has represented Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in recent deals.

“They’re very responsive,” Buffett tells American Lawyer. “They get results, and they get them fast. You are dealing with extraordinarily high-quality people.”

Warren Buffett (right) and Ron Olson at Fenway Park on Sept. 9. Buffett threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Red Sox game that night.

Warren Buffett (right) and Ron Olson at Fenway Park on Sept. 9. Buffett threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Red Sox game that night.

Olson himself represented the Yahoo! Inc. board of directors in its recent merger with Microsoft.

He has represented Paramount’s chairman and the Spanish-language television Goliath Univision.

“I have a foot in Hollywood and a foot in what I would call the more traditional corporate practice,” Olson said.

Earlier in his career Olson battled in the courts for some of the men who shaped television and film — such as Norman Lear, the trailblazing creator of “All in the Family,” featuring the iconic Archie Bunker and dealing in such a raw, honest way with race and class that the show retains a relevance even in reruns today.

“These were probably the greatest television writers of all time,” Olson said.

Olson counseled Lear and other members of the creative community against Family Viewing Time in the 1970s, a period early in the evening that the Federal Communications Commission exercised tight control over — to the famous suffering of “All in the Family” and other cutting-edge programs.

“(President) Nixon and his people got it in their head that television had gotten too violent and there were too many sexual innuendos,” Olson said. “They wanted to clean up television.”

A U.S. District judge eventually ruled that the government had coerced the networks. Olson’s legal arguments literally affected the way tens of millions of Americans would spend their evenings. They could watch what they wanted.

“As a result of the case, the family hour ended,” Olson said.

If Olson had success navigating the intersections of law and Hollywood, it is in part because he excelled at choosing mentors, like Wasserman, the late Universal Studios titan, who in cutting a deal for actor Jimmy Stewart that involved a percentage of the profits in “Winchester ’73” changed the balance of power in movies to the big stars and directors.

“He was the giant,” Olson said. “There was no one bigger.”

In decades of high-profile legal work, Olson also earned an international reputation.

He represented the Republic of the Philippines against the family of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, who left with a treasure trove of cash and other riches when they sought exile in Hawaii.

Olson helped trace the Marcoses’ ill-gotten gains. So what about the 2,700 pairs of shoes Imelda Marcos famously left behind in just one palace?

“We didn’t take those away from her,” Olson deadpanned.

Olson has a lengthy record of pro-bono work on behalf of disabled clients and Native Americans and other parties.

His firm, as the Los Angeles Times notes, also does quite well with keeping an eye on the bottom line. The firm’s revenue per lawyer increased 11 percent to $1.14 million last year, The Times reported. The firm’s total revenue was more than $200 million with 180 lawyers.

The man on the cover of American Lawyer at the top of this organization in one the nation’s largest metropolitan areas is still very much connected to the rural Iowa of his youth.

Olson not only has a 4-month-old Black Labrador, for pheasant hunting, of course, but a farm between Audubon and Kimballton, where corn and soybeans grow and cattle are raised. He returns for planting and fall hunting and on some other occasions.

Olson’s parents, Clyde “Blue” and Delpha (Boyens) Olson, were living in Aspinwall at the time of his birth, but he grew up in Manilla.

His father was a successful general broker and insurance salesman.

“My father had an especially strong presence in Manning, selling insurance to most of the major farm-to-market truckers and used Herb Kuel’s tavern as a place for receiving messages from farmers who wanted to see him,” Olson said.

Delpha Olson worked as a teacher, starting in the Great Depression, during which time she cut wood to heat the school and scooped sidewalks.

She grew up on a farm east of Irwin and for her junior and senior years of high school went to Harlan so that she could obtain “normal training.”

“That was, in those days, a way to get a teacher’s certificate without going to college,” Olson said. “There was no way for her to get back and forth between Irwin and Harlan on a daily basis for high school. Therefore, she moved into a little room above the nickel and dime store.”

Olson’s mother started teaching at the grade school then based in Aspinwall.

“She and another woman, Lucille Rowan, whose husband operated the barber chair in my grandpa’s tavern, taught all eight grades, acted as the janitors, shoveled the snow in the winter, and built the fires,” Olson said. “For all of that they were being paid $40 a month and, because this was in the midst of the Depression, mom was unable to cash the first four or five checks because the local bank holding the school district’s money had closed.

“Based on the many former students who have been part of my life, I think mom was a much beloved teacher. Later in life, she continued to teach Sunday school at the local Lutheran Church in Manilla and piano lessons. At her funeral, I took note of the fact that her piano students may not have progressed as far in their piano studies with my mom as they might have with others, but I was sure that nobody could have taught them more about love. She was special.”

The family lived in Manilla among a number of relatives. For his part, Olson graduated from Manilla High School in 1959.

“I did all the things you do in small-town schools — played all the sports, band, chorus, and even an opera, ” Olson said. “It was a great opportunity. It was like having the whole town rooting for you. I know Ken Macke felt the same way, and ever since I’ve had the same feeling — a feeling that the whole town has continued to root for me.”

Through the years, Olson with Manilla ties, and Macke, a Carroll native, shared western Iowa roots with success on larger professional stages.

“I think there’s a lot of what we grew up with in western Iowa,” Olson said. “Part of it is just as simple as you learn how to work. That’s an important aspect of anyone’s career. You learn how to work and you learn how to respect people. Growing up as he and I did you really didn’t have a sense of anyone being rich or poor. You didn’t have to have someone validated by some fancy credential. It’s a place of very few excesses. I think that’s wonderful.”

It’s an experience he shares with his wife.

Olson and his wife of 44 years, Jane (Tenhulzen) of Denison, have three children: Kritstin McKissick of Denver, a graduate of Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University with experience at the World Bank for which she was, among other things, the country officer for Nicaragua; Steven Olson, a Stanford University and University of Michigan Law School graduate who is in private practice in Los Angeles; and Amy Duerk of Missoula, Mont., a graduate of Carlton College (where she was captain of the soccer team) and the University of Michigan Law School. She has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency as well as a law firm in San Francisco. She now practices law in Missoula.

American Lawyer recently featured the father-son tandem of Ron Olson and Steven Olson among its “paternal powerhouses” along with such notable figures as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his son Eugene, and former Secretary of State James Baker III and his son.

Olson’s wife, a University of Nebraska graduate, started a journalism career in Denison. Olson recalls many instances in which his courted gal ran off to cover stories, leaving his plans changed for the evening.
“She was a committed journalist,” Olson said. “You know the type.”

While he was in law school she worked as a writer for the Ypsilanti Press in Michigan and, later, during his time in England she was a journalist in Oxford, England.

Ron Olson has a younger brother, Dr. James Olson, now living in Seattle, Wash.

Following high school Olson headed to Drake University — although he had an opportunity to go to the Ivy League.

“I was really the first in my family to go to college,” Olson said. “Today, I recognize the difference between Drake and Dartmouth, but in those days it looked an awful long ways away.”

At Drake, Olson played halfback and was involved with student government and debate.

Olson recalled the old-school practices of the 1950s in which two players competing for a starting job would be thrown into a pit, with the one emerging getting the spot.

“That was pretty tough going,” said Olson, who played halfback.

Members of the Drake University backfield in the early 1960s are pictured. From feft are Paul Kassulke, who played for 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings, achieving All Pro status several years; Terry Zang, who went on to play back-up quarterback to Bart Starr with the Green Bay Packers; Jim Evangelista, who became a high school coach in Chicago; and Ron Olson, a Manilla native who now leads a top national law firm.

Members of the Drake University backfield in the early 1960s are pictured. From feft are Paul Kassulke, who played for 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings, achieving All Pro status several years; Terry Zang, who went on to play back-up quarterback to Bart Starr with the Green Bay Packers; Jim Evangelista, who became a high school coach in Chicago; and Ron Olson, a Manilla native who now leads a top national law firm.

He remembers a strategy the two Drake friends employed to surreptitiously hydrate themselves at practice as coaches wouldn’t let players drink water in an effort to toughen them.

Olson and Macke would bury lemons in the field the night before, dig them out when coaches weren’t looking the next day and chomp on the fruit for the fluids.

Excelling at Drake, Olson was accepted at the prestigious University of Michigan Law School. He did well there and earned a Ford Foundation fellowship. Studying in Oxford, England, in 1967, Olson started a lifelong friendship with former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., a candidate for the presidency in 2000.

Olson played on an American basketball squad with Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar.

“My job was to feed Bradley,” Olson said. “I was point guard, but I wanted to be sure he did the shooting.”
It’s a strategy that’s worked well at Munger, Tolles & Olson, where Ron Olson for 30 years has worked to find the nation’s top legal talent — and get them the ball, so to speak.

His endgame: develop young lawyers into great lawyers.

“Focusing on dollars and cents wasn’t enough,” Olson said.

Categories

RSS .

  • Give more money to the Judicial Council for Court Construction? Have we gone mad in Sacramento? 2019/09/06
    Below is a judicial branch synopsis from a legislative analysis of infrastructure needs for the state. I think it is prudent to point out that the judicial council only feigns adhesion to fraud, waste and abuse laws and actually worked aggressively to weaken the laws pertaining to judicial branch whistleblowers. They did this by creating […]
    SiteAdmin
  • Yet Another Unlicensed Contractor Debacle 2017/07/10
    This story is late in publishing because the AOC (ahem, the judicial council) spent months drawing out our requests for information on a simple inquiry they should have been able to deliver on the same day it was received because what scant information they did provide was readily available to them. But they dragged out […]
    SiteAdmin
  • Another Clifford Ham boondoggle in San Diego 2017/04/19
    More false promises of tunnels reaching out from jails to courthouses. Don’t say we didn’t tell you so because we’ve stated many times that ALL tunnel promises are false promises made to win local support of the projects and penciled out upon approval. What we find most disturbing is that Clifford Ham has a track […]
    SiteAdmin
  • Writing our obit is a bit premature… 2017/04/06
    Welcome to 2017! Yeah, we know, a bit of time has passed since we’ve been hyperactive here. We’ve been a bit busy frying other fish.  If you consider yourself a progressive, you’ve already read and possibly even recognized our work elsewhere. We will be continuing those projects and check in here as not to neglect […]
    SiteAdmin
  • Welcome to the first business day of our reinvigorated 10 year run! 2017/01/02
    Thanks to the sheer incompetence of Judicial Council staff leadership, we’re going to be spending the next ten years nipping at their heels. Last week, the San Francisco trial court ruled that the Jacobs entities maintained their contractors license and that the 22.7 million that the Judicial Council should have been able to recover is […]
    SiteAdmin

RSS Drudge Report Feed

  • TRUMP THE INVINCIBLE? 2019/09/23
    TRUMP THE INVINCIBLE? (Main headline, 1st story, link) Advertise here
  • GALLUP: Public Divided About Recession Coming Within Year... 2019/09/23
    GALLUP: Public Divided About Recession Coming Within Year... (First column, 1st story, link) Related stories:Will massive debt really doom us? Advertise here
  • Will massive debt really doom us? 2019/09/23
    Will massive debt really doom us? (First column, 2nd story, link) Related stories:GALLUP: Public Divided About Recession Coming Within Year... Advertise here
  • 4 in 10 House Republicans in office when Trump inaugurated quit or lost seats... 2019/09/23
    4 in 10 House Republicans in office when Trump inaugurated quit or lost seats... (First column, 3rd story, link) Advertise here
  • Immigrant kids fill this town's schools. Their bus driver is leading backlash... 2019/09/23
    Immigrant kids fill this town's schools. Their bus driver is leading backlash... (First column, 4th story, link) Advertise here
  • GAME OVER: BROWN SAYS DONE WITH NFL... 2019/09/23
    GAME OVER: BROWN SAYS DONE WITH NFL... (First column, 5th story, link) Related stories:Rips Kraft for Getting 'Caught in Parlor'...Start to season nightmare for league...Seas of Empty Seats Plague Teams... Advertise here
  • Rips Kraft for Getting 'Caught in Parlor'... 2019/09/23
    Rips Kraft for Getting 'Caught in Parlor'... (First column, 6th story, link) Related stories:GAME OVER: BROWN SAYS DONE WITH NFL...Start to season nightmare for league...Seas of Empty Seats Plague Teams... Advertise here
  • Start to season nightmare for league... 2019/09/23
    Start to season nightmare for league... (First column, 7th story, link) Related stories:GAME OVER: BROWN SAYS DONE WITH NFL...Rips Kraft for Getting 'Caught in Parlor'...Seas of Empty Seats Plague Teams... Advertise here
  • Seas of Empty Seats Plague Teams... 2019/09/23
    Seas of Empty Seats Plague Teams... (First column, 8th story, link) Related stories:GAME OVER: BROWN SAYS DONE WITH NFL...Rips Kraft for Getting 'Caught in Parlor'...Start to season nightmare for league... Advertise here
  • Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine... 2019/09/23
    Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine... (First column, 9th story, link) Related stories:Giuliani can't say 100% he didn't threaten aid...PELOSI HINTS AT IMPEACHMENT...Inside president's legal team trying to stop... Advertise here
  • Giuliani can't say 100% he didn't threaten aid... 2019/09/23
    Giuliani can't say 100% he didn't threaten aid... (First column, 10th story, link) Related stories:Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine...PELOSI HINTS AT IMPEACHMENT...Inside president's legal team trying to stop... Advertise here
  • PELOSI HINTS AT IMPEACHMENT... 2019/09/23
    PELOSI HINTS AT IMPEACHMENT... (First column, 11th story, link) Related stories:Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine...Giuliani can't say 100% he didn't threaten aid...Inside president's legal team trying to stop... Advertise here
  • Inside president's legal team trying to stop... 2019/09/23
    Inside president's legal team trying to stop... (First column, 12th story, link) Related stories:Trump Confirms He Discussed Biden With Ukraine...Giuliani can't say 100% he didn't threaten aid...PELOSI HINTS AT IMPEACHMENT... Advertise here
  • MILE HIGH CLUB: AMERICAN AIRLINES jet makes emergency landing as passenger smokes weed... 2019/09/23
    MILE HIGH CLUB: AMERICAN AIRLINES jet makes emergency landing as passenger smokes weed... (First column, 13th story, link) Advertise here
  • IRAN PREPS WAR... 2019/09/23
    IRAN PREPS WAR... (First column, 14th story, link) Related stories:KINGDOM WANTS ACTION...Inside America's Aborted Attack...Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he's yet to close... Advertise here
  • KINGDOM WANTS ACTION... 2019/09/23
    KINGDOM WANTS ACTION... (First column, 15th story, link) Related stories:IRAN PREPS WAR...Inside America's Aborted Attack...Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he's yet to close... Advertise here
  • Inside America's Aborted Attack... 2019/09/23
    Inside America's Aborted Attack... (First column, 16th story, link) Related stories:IRAN PREPS WAR...KINGDOM WANTS ACTION...Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he's yet to close... Advertise here
  • Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he's yet to close... 2019/09/23
    Trump heads to UN with long list of deals he's yet to close... (First column, 17th story, link) Related stories:IRAN PREPS WAR...KINGDOM WANTS ACTION...Inside America's Aborted Attack... Advertise here
  • Trudeau returns to campaign with promise of lower taxes... 2019/09/23
    Trudeau returns to campaign with promise of lower taxes... (First column, 18th story, link) Related stories:Asks forgiveness, but had none for Chinese peer accused of racism...Why He Could Lose... Advertise here
  • Asks forgiveness, but had none for Chinese peer accused of racism... 2019/09/23
    Asks forgiveness, but had none for Chinese peer accused of racism... (First column, 19th story, link) Related stories:Trudeau returns to campaign with promise of lower taxes...Why He Could Lose... Advertise here
.
Advertisements