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California State Bar Complaints


What follows is redacted complaints to the State Bar Association of California. The State Bar is the governing body over lawyers and law firms. The State Bar is a California Corporation.





State Bar Complaint Against

Rent Control Apt Related Lawyers

and all City Los Angeles Government Lawyers


[This complaint was received by the State Bar on July 8, 2017]

 

JULY 7, 2017

 

STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA- OFFICE OF CHIEF TRIAL COUNSEL

845 SOUTH FIGUEROA STREET

LOS ANGELES,  CA   90017-2515

 

VIA PRIORITY MAIL

9505 5000 1177 7188 0000 19

 

New Intake

 

Re: Advising the Violation of the Law/ Revocation of Attorney certification

Dear STATE BAR:

          Please revoke the license to practice law of the following attorneys/law firms based on the following rules and facts stated.

          See attached email dated Sunday, Feb. 12,  2017 at 7:50 p.m. subject: “Your Notice to Enter Dwelling for Insect Spraying- Hi Point Apartments-    Apt 9”

 

          “When a new owner purchases an existing building, and continues the rental of units, the owner assumes responsibility for repairs, and for abating a continuing nuisance.”

California Civil Code 3483

 

  1. My intercom at this location remains unrepaired, a violation of California Civil Code.
  2. My rent monies instead of being used for maintenance of my intercom, in collusion with the attorneys, have been diverted to the payment of attorney fees- B & P Code section 6068 (g); B & P code section 6106.
  3. I have paid about $40,000 in rent monies since around 2014, yet none of it has been used to repair or replace my intercom
  4. Attorneys have been unjustly enriched- B & P Code section 6068 (g); B & P code section 6106.
  5. Said attorneys/law firms have failed to advise the court that due to my rent agreement that attorneys fees reimbursement is limited to $500- see attached excerpt of rent agreement
  6. Attorney Thomas J. Watters HART. WATTERS, AND CARTER, has mounted a motion to declare vexatious litigant which asks for I believe $40,000-$80,000 in attorney fees, a violation of the rent agreement by an agent of the owner, and engaging in activity prohibited by the rent agreement
  7. Said attorneys/law firms have advised the property owner, and agents, to not comply with California Civil Code section 3483, a violation of applicable law.
  8. I served discovery on non-party Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department on Jan. 16, 2017. The Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department is NOT  a defendant in Central District Court Case 2:16-CV-03236-JLS, however City attorney Robert P. Moore I believe wrote me and said I could not serve them because they are a party. I believe this misrepresentation is grounds to revoke Mr. Moore’s license and that of all attorneys who work for the City of Los Angeles government.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

[NAME OF COMPLAINANT REDACTED]

 

ATTORNEY FOR COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, AND ALAN CHEN

Renee E Jensen     lduarte@fwhb.com, rjensen@fwhb.com   

 

ATTORNEY FOR WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE ADVISORS, Inc.

Thomas L Watters     twatters@hartwattersandcarter.com   

 

ATTORNEY FOR STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Martin Ageson     martin.ageson@doj.ca.gov, marsha.petty@doj.ca.gov   

 

ATTORNEY FOR CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CHARLES GARCIA, BARBARA BRASCIA, RICHARD BRINSON, ARMIDA-OLGUIN FLORES

Robert P Moore     robert.p.moore@lacity.org, julie.martinez@lacity.org   

 

ATTORNEY FOR HI POINT APTS, LLC, WALTER BARRATT, CLIFF RENFREW

Jared A Barry     jared@barrylawgroup.com   

 

MICHAEL N. FEUER, City Attorney (SBN 111529)

CRAIG TAKENAKA, Managing Assistant City Attorney (SBN 128898)

ROBERT P. MOORE, Dej?ufy City Attorney (SBN 222389)

OFFICE OF THE LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY City Hall East. 200 North Main Street, Suite 916 Los Angeles, California 90012-4130

Telephone: (213) 473.9947 FacsImile: (213) 978.1765

 

Renee E. Jensen, Esq. Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar, LLP One World Trade Center,

27th Floor Long Beach, CA 90831

Direct (562) 983­2581 Fax (562) 590­3511 Main (562) 983­2500

 

Jared A. Barry, Esq.  BARRY LAW GROUP

16633 Ventura Boulevard Suite 1000

Encino, California 91436 Phone (818) 789-9444 Fax (818) 789-3233

 

Thomas J. Watters

HART. WATTERS, AND CARTER

12,100 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 500

LOS ANCELES CA 90025-1030

Attomeys for Williams Real Estate Advisors, lnc.

                                                  

RICHARD J. ROJO Supervising Deputy Attorney General                                                           

MARTIN AGESON

Deputy Attorney General State Bar No. 94748

300 South Spring Street, Suite 1702 Los Angeles, CA 90013                        

Telephone: (213) 897-2147                 Fax: (213) 897-2810

E-mail: Martin.Ageson@doj.ca.gov

 

State Bar Excerpts

 

Rule 1-120 Violations

 

Assisting, Soliciting, or Inducing

A member shall not knowingly assist in, solicit, or induce any violation of these rules or the State Bar Act.

 

Rule 3-110 Failing to Act Competently

 

(A) A member shall not intentionally, recklessly, or repeatedly fail to perform legal services with competence.

(B) For purposes of this rule, “competence” in any legal service shall mean to apply the 1) diligence, 2) learning and skill, and 3) mental, emotional, and physical ability reasonably necessary for the performance of such service.

(C) If a member does not have sufficient learning and skill when the legal service is undertaken, the member may nonetheless perform such services competently by 1) associating with or, where appropriate, professionally consulting another lawyer reasonably believed to be competent, or 2) by acquiring sufficient learning and skill before performance is required.

 

Rule 3-210

Advising the Violation of Law

A member shall not advise the violation of any law, rule, or ruling of a tribunal unless the member believes in good faith that such law, rule, or ruling is invalid. A member may take appropriate steps in good faith to test the validity of any law, rule, or ruling of a tribunal.

B & P Code section 6001.

The State Bar of California is a public corporation. It is hereinafter designated as the State Bar.

The State Bar has perpetual succession and a seal and it may sue and be sued. It may, for the purpose of carrying into effect and promoting its objectives:

(a) Make contracts.

(b) Borrow money, contract debts, issue bonds, notes and debentures and secure the payment or performance of its obligations.

(c) Own, hold, use, manage and deal in and with real and personal property.

(d) Construct, alter, maintain and repair buildings and other improvements to real property.

(e) Purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by gift, bequest, devise or otherwise, any real or personal property or any interest therein.

(f) Sell, lease, exchange, convey, transfer, assign, encumber, pledge, dispose of any of its real or personal property or any interest therein, including without limitation all or any portion of its income or revenues from membership fees paid or payable by members.

(g) Do all other acts incidental to the foregoing or necessary or expedient for the administration of its affairs and the attainment of its purposes.

 

B & P code section 6069

(c) For purposes of this section, "member of the State Bar" or "member" means every member of the State Bar, law firm in California of which a member of the State Bar is a member, and law corporation within the meaning of Article 10 of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of this code.

 

B & P Code section 6068.

It is the duty of an attorney to do all of the following:

(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.

(b) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers.

(c) To counsel or maintain such actions, proceedings, or defenses only as appear to him or her legal or just, except the defense of a person charged with a public offense.

(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him or her such means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.

(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.

(f) To abstain from all offensive personality, and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he or she is charged.

(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or interest.

(o) (8) As used in this subdivision, "against the attorney" includes claims and proceedings against any firm of attorneys for the practice of law in which the attorney was a partner at the time of the conduct complained of and any law corporation in which the attorney was a shareholder at the time of the conduct complained of unless the matter has to the attorney's knowledge already been reported by the law firm or corporation.

 

B & P Code section 6103.

A willful disobedience or violation of an order of the court requiring him to do or forbear an act connected with or in the course of his profession, which he ought in good faith to do or forbear, and any violation of the oath taken by him, or of his duties as such attorney, constitute causes for disbarment or suspension.

 

B & P code section 6106.

The commission of any act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption, whether the act is committed in the course of his relations as an attorney or otherwise, and whether the act is a felony or misdemeanor or not, constitutes a cause for disbarment or suspension.

 

If the act constitutes a felony or misdemeanor, conviction thereof in a criminal proceeding is not a condition precedent to disbarment or suspension from practice therefor.

 

B & P code section 6168.

The State Bar may conduct an investigation of the conduct of the business of a law corporation.

Upon such investigation, the Board of Governors, or a committee authorized by it, shall have power to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, examine witnesses and compel the production of records, in the same manner as upon an investigation or formal hearing in a disciplinary matter under the State Bar Act. Such investigation shall be private and confidential, except to the extent that disclosure of facts and information may be required if a cease and desist order is thereafter issued and subsequent proceedings are had.

 

B & P code section 6169.

  1. When there is reason to believe that a law corporation has violated or is about to violate any of the provisions of this article or the Professional Corporation Act or of any other pertinent statute, rule, or regulation, the State Bar may issue a notice directing the corporation to show cause why it should not be ordered to cease and desist from specified acts or conduct or its certificate of registration should not be suspended or revoked. A copy of the notice shall be served upon the corporation in the manner provided for service of summons upon a California corporation.

 

B & P code section 6127.5.

Nothing in Sections 6125, 6126 and 6127 shall be deemed to apply to the acts and practices of a law corporation duly certificated pursuant to the Professional Corporation Act, as contained in Part 4 (commencing with Section 13400) of Division 3 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code, and pursuant to Article 10 (commencing with Section 6160) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of this code, when the law corporation is in compliance with the requirements of (a) the Professional Corporation Act; (b) Article 10 (commencing with Section 6160) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of this code; and (c) all other statutes and all rules and regulations now or hereafter enacted or adopted pertaining to such corporation and the conduct of its affairs.

 

B & P code section 6128.

Every attorney is guilty of a misdemeanor who either:

(a) Is guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party.

(b) Willfully delays his client's suit with a view to his own gain.

(c) Willfully receives any money or allowance for or on account of any money which he has not laid out or become answerable for.

Any violation of the provisions of this section is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both.

 

[Editor note: This complaint refers to 1522 Hi Point St Apartments (90035) owned by Hi Point Apts, LLC, Manager Walter Barratt, and managed by Williams Real Estate Advisors, Inc of Santa Monica, California. The Complaint was submittted by a tenant at Hi Point Apts.]

 





State Bar Complaint Against

County Counsel D. Brett Bianco


[This complaint was received by the State Bar June 24 and July 9, 2017]

 

July 9, 2017

 

STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA

180 HOWARD STREET

SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1639

Via Facsimile to Los Angeles office

 

D. Brett Bianco

Court Counsel

111 N Hill Street Suite 546

Los Angeles,  CA   90012-3014

Via Facsimile 213-625-3964

 

Inquiry 17-10984

 

To State Bar of California:

 

Thru this letter, I notify attorney Bianco and I ask that the State Bar revoke the license of Bianco for failure to comply with the California Public Records Act GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 6250-6270.

 

The case file in question SMALL CLAIMS “case file returned to small claims office from courtroom SW8.” August 5, 2014. [Los Angeles Court case summary]

I originally request the copy of the court file November 18, 2016 and again February 13, 2017. I again requested a copy of the file March 29, 2017 [see attached copy].

If the original file was in a court folder, as I believe was the custom of the court, I have never received copies of the back and front of the folder and any notes the court clerk would have made the day of the hearing.

Bianco’s July 5 letter [see attachment] comes months after the required 10-14 day requirements under GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 6250-6270.

Bianco claims he  made an April 27 2017 “preliminary response” but no explanation is given for why it took another approximately 69 days to complete the response. This alone is cause for discipline and suspension of Bianco’s license to practice. Bianco quotes GC 69957(b) which is dependent on GC 69957(a) which authorizes a recording “the court may order that, in a limited civil case, or a misdemeanor or infraction case, the action or proceeding be electronically recorded”. However the small claims court case is not a limited civil case or misdemeanor or infraction case, thus Bianco’s use of the GC 69957(b) is inapplicable. There are other’s problems with Bianco’s use of that code: there is no indication by Bianco that if such recording was to be used for the purpose he states, that it was announced to the litigants; thus it was not announced; also, in order for such recording to be made, if it was for that purpose, it would have to be destroyed within two years of May 2014. Obviously the recording was not made for that purpose because the recording still exists. Since the GC 69957(b) only applies to recordings that would have been destroyed within the two year period, and that time has expired, the current recording is subject to a California Public Records Act request.

Please provide me with a PDF of the Mp3 copy of the recording of the July 25, 2014 hearing. If Bianco will not comply with this request, I ask that the State Bar order counsel to comply.

The Judge clearly said at the hearing each side to pay their own costs and you guys will hopefully work this out yourselves; that would be inconsistent with a “with prejudice” ruling. Again, please supply me with a copy of the complete case file including copy of any jacket the file was enclosed in. The Judge was also served with a request for production of documents on a non-party on March 29, 2017 which Bianco has not responded to [case 2:16-CV-03236-JSL filed May 2016].

 

Sincerely,
 

[NAME OF COMPLAINANT REDACTED]


Public Record Defined

PUBLIC ACCESS v. RIGHTS OF PRIVACY

Right To Monitor Government

In enacting the CPRA, the Legislature stated that access to information concerning the conduct of the public’s business is a fundamental and necessary right for every person in the State.1 Cases interpretingt he CPRA also have emphasized that its primary purpose is to give the public an opportunity to monitor the functioning of their government.2 The greater and more unfettered the public official’s power, the greater the public’s interest in monitoring the governmental action.

B. The Right Of Privacy

Privacy is a constitutional right and a fundamental interest recognized by the CPRA.4 Although there is no general right to privacy articulated in the CPRA, the Legislature recognized the individual right to privacy in crafting a number of its exemptions. Thus, in administering the provisions of the CPRA, agencies must sometimes use the general balancing test to determine whether the right of privacy in a given circumstance outweighs the interests of the public in access to the information. If personal or intimate information is extracted from a person (e.g., a government employee or appointee, or an applicant for government employment/appointments a precondition for the employment or appointment), a privacy interest in such information is likely to be recognized.5 However, if information is provided voluntarily in order to acquire a benefit, a privacy right is less likely to be recognized.

SCOPE OF COVERAGE

1. Identifiable Information

The public may inspect or obtain a copy of identifiable public records. Writings held by state or local government are public records.8 A writing includes all forms of recorded information that currently exist or that may exist in the future. 9 The essence of the CPRA is to provide access to information, not merely documents and files.10 However, it is not enough to provide extracted information to the requestor, the document containing the information must be provided. In order to invoke the CPRA, the request for records must be both specific and focused. The requirement of clarity must be tempered by the reality that a requester, having no access to agency files or their scheme of organization, may be unable to precisely identify the documents sought. Thus, writings may be described by their content.

2. Computer Information

When a person seeks a record in an electronic format, the agency shall, upon request, make the information available in any electronic format in which it holds the information. Computer software developed by the government is exempt from disclosure.

 GC 6254.9. (a) Computer software developed by a state or local agency is not itself a public record under this chapter. The agency may sell, lease, or license the software for commercial or noncommercial use.

(b) As used in this section, “computer software” includes computer mapping systems, computer programs, and computer graphics systems.

(c) This section shall not be construed to create an implied warranty on the part of the State of California or any local agency for errors, omissions, or other defects in any computer software as provided pursuant to this section.

(d) Nothing in this section is intended to affect the public record status of information merely because it is stored in a computer. Public records stored in a computer shall be disclosed as required by this chapter.

(e) Nothing in this section is intended to limit any copyright protections.

 

 

 

 

 





State Bar Complaint Against Kane Law Firm


[This complaint was received by the State Bar on July 7, 2017 and June 28, 2017 USPS Priority mail 9505 5000 1177 7177 0000 13]

 

MAY 1 2017


 

STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA

180 HOWARD STREET

SAN FRANCISCO   CA   94105-1639

 

Via first class mail/certified mail

 

New Intake

 

Re: Advising the Violation of the Law/ Revocation of  Attorney certification

Dear STATE BAR:

 

Please revoke the license to practice law of the following attorneys based on the following rules and facts stated:

On or around January 31 2017 I had an email exchange with the law firm KANE LAW FIRM. Their address is on the proposed "professional services agreement".

Please review the email exchange and the proposed services agreement as I believe it constitutes improper conduct on the part of the law firm and in violation of State Bar rules of conduct, as to be determined by the State Bar.

My contact was with attorney Farbod Faizal.  Attorney Brad Kane is a member of the city of Los Angeles Pico Neighborhood Council land use committee. I think it is inappropriate for Brad Kane to be sitting on a city committee.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

[NAME OF COMPLAINANT REDACTED]

 

[Editor note: This complaint involves a request to the Kane law firm to review an employment separation agreement. The email conversation capped the payment at $300 but when the claimant received the proposed retainer agreement, the amount had jumped to $1300 plus a lien against any poceeds received by the employee.]

 





State Bar Complaint

Against Manatt Phelps Phillips


 

[This complaint was received a second time by the State Bar July 8, 2017 USPS Priority mail 9505 5000 1177 7188 0000 19]

 

WED., FEB 15,  2017

 

STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA

180 HOWARD STREET

SAN FRANCISCO   CA   94105-1639

Via first class mail/certified mail

 

New Intake

 

Re: Advising the Violation of the Law/ Revocation of  Attorney certification

 

Dear STATE BAR:

Please revoke the license to practice law of the following attorneys based on the following rules and facts stated:

 

On or around January 18, 2017, Manatt laid off around ten employees. I was one of those laid off.

 

Enclosed see (1) paystub “earnings statement” paydate Jan. 17, 2017 for $1562.50 (2) Jan.19 Notice to Employee as to change in relationship, indicating my “job elimination” and (3)

January 19, 2017 employment verification letter indicating separation date as Jan. 19, 2017.

I bring to your attention that I did NOT work for the employer Jan. 20, 2017 - Jan. 31, 2017 which the pay-stub says that I was still on the company payroll. I believe it was fraudulent and improper conduct for the employer to represent that I received wages from them for Jan. 20-31 when I was not an employee, thus did not receive wages and thus was not on the payroll as of Jan. 19, 2017.

Since I did no longer work for the employer as of January 19, then their earnings statements as regards “hours and earnings rates” and “taxes and deductions” is a false statement as to the time period January 20-31, 2017.

Please investigate Manatt Phelps and Phillips as they have engaged in actionable misconduct under the reporting requirements, and under any other administrative requirements under the jurisdiction of the State Bar of California including but not limited to the reporting/recording of wages, W-2, deductions, etc.  

Please investigate Manatt and revoke their certification to practice law.

Sincerely yours,

 

[NAME OF COMPLAINANT REDACTED]

attachments (3)

[Editor note: It is unlawful for an employee to engage in "fraud" surrounding a layoff under the OWBP. A decision from the State EDD forwarded to the State Bar indicates that an EDD Judge ruled that Manatt William Quicksilver had engaged in a misrepresentation regarding pay stubs and hours worked.]






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