Friday, September 9, 2016

Judge Aaron Persky Coworkers Embroiled in New Santa Clara County Superior Court Scandal

The State Bar of California has disciplined attorney Nat Hales in
connection with a family court dispute. 
BREAKING NEWS: Four Santa Clara County judges have been implicated in a new scandal involving providing preferential treatment to a local attorney, and collusion to cover up misconduct by the same lawyer. 

The judges, James Towery, Mary Ann Grilli, Mark Pierce and Vincent Chiarello, were all notified of alleged misconduct by attorney and court appointed "referee" Nat Edward Hales during the course of proceedings in a high conflict family court case. 

Under state law, each judge had a mandatory duty to report the misconduct to the State Bar or otherwise take corrective action. None of the judges took any action against the veteran Santa Clara County attorney, who reportedly has friends in high places within the courthouse. The judges will now face disciplinary complaints charging them with failing to comply with state law and their reporting responsibilities

The complaints will be filed with the controversial California Commission on Judicial Performance, the sole state agency responsible for judge oversight and accountability. A coalition of court reform groups, whistleblowers, and Santa Clara County Superior Court watchdogs are expected to co-sign the CJP submissions. The four judges in question are on a long list compiled by the group of of allegedly ethically challenged Santa Clara County judges, according to the coalition.


The fact that Hales did commit misconduct has just been verified by the State Bar of California. The 19-page set of documents embedded at the end of this post includes a just released State Bar disciplinary decision against attorney Nat Edward Hales, Jr.

The complaint was brought by a financially disadvantaged family court victim, Susan Bassi. Bassi alleged that Hales, who was appointed as a “referee” in her case, failed to provide a written conflict of interest disclosure statement as required by law.

The opposing attorney in the case is controversial family law lawyer Bradford Baugh, who Bassi learned had close ties to Hales. Despite repeated requests, Hales refused to provide the conflict of interest disclosure.

The four judges who heard various proceedings in the case were also notified that Hales had never provided the disclosure. Each judge ignored the conflict disclosure issue and openly violated canon 3D(2) of the Code of Judicial Ethics, which requires a judge to report attorney misconduct. 


The document set includes other evidence of alleged collusion between Hales and Baugh, including Hales admission that he received $28,683.25 in CASH from Baugh. Under federal law (26 USC 6050I) like banks, attorneys receiving more than $10,000 cash in any transaction must notify the IRS using form 8300. Failing to file the form can result in civil and criminal liability under 28 USC 6721.

The documents are:

  • State Bar letter to Susan Bassi verifying Hales misconduct and discipline (pages 1-2);
  • Attorney Nat Edward Hales State Bar data (page 3);
  • Attorney Nat Hales admission of receipt of $28,683.25 cash from attorney Brad Baugh (page 4);
  • Attorney Bradford Oliver Baugh State Bar data (page 5);
  • Whistleblower leaked fax from Brad Baugh to Dr. Michael Jones directing Jones to make changes to a declaration, and destroy all evidence of the communication with Baugh (page 6);
  • Judge James Towery profile (pages 7-8);
  • Judge Mary Ann Grilli profile (pages 9-11);
  • Judge Mark Pierce profile (pages 12-14);
  • Judge Vincent Chiarello profile (page 15-19).

In just the past 30-days, and at the request of attorney Brad Baugh, Judge Chiarello declared Susan Bassi a vexatious litigant. The timing and circumstances of the vexatious litigant proceeding suggest retaliation against Bassi for her whistleblowing against attorney Nat Hales, and other attorneys and judges involved in her case.

Within the last 60-days, in open court Judge Mark Pierce conveyed prejudgment and, at the urging of Baugh, berated Bassi as a vexatious litigant even before Judge Chiarello had issued his decision formally declaring Bassi as a VL. 

The misuse of VL law against indigent and financially disadvantaged family court parents without attorneys, and as a tool for retaliation against whistleblowers is a controversial issue recently argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Litigation over the issue is expected to continue indefinitely. 

After the hearing over which he presided, Pierce issued a harsh, draconian order using terminology reflecting his own embroilment in the case and denying everything requested by Bassi, and granting everything requested by Baugh.

The Hales incident reportedly is the tip of an iceberg of corruption and cronyism between judges and local divorce attorneys in the Santa Clara County Superior Court system. Whistleblowers contend the scope and scale of the problem rivals the 2008 Kids for Cash courthouse scandal in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The Family Court Accountability Coalition will provide updates to this story as they become available. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Attorney Keri Evilsizor Allegedly Used Men as "Breeding Stock" in Contra Costa County Family Court Drama

Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Bruce C. Mills - Judge Steven Austin - Judge Edward Weil - CJP Commission on Judicial Performance Victoria B. Henley - Attorney Keri Evilsizor Law Office of Keri Evilsizor - Keri Anne Evilsizor - John Evilsizor Country Homes Realty Danville - John Louis Evilsizor - Mary Evilsizo
Attorney Keri Evilsizor leaves a court hearing where she succeeded in having the father of her daughter jailed on contempt of court charges. 

A prominent Contra Costa County lawyer who recently had the father of her daughter jailed on contempt of court charges in a family court dispute, also has been accused of allegedly using men as "breeding stock."

Court records leaked by a state court watchdog group suggest that lawyer Keri Anne Evilsizor used two men to produce children, and then misused the court system and state child custody laws to deprive the men of their parental rights, leaving her the sole parent.

The "breeding stock" allegation was part of an op-ed published at the California Supreme Court & Judicial Branch Report.  The opinion piece is reprinted below:

SUNDAY OPINION from the Commission on Judicial Performance Reform Project:
The CJPRP editorial board commends the stand taken by the Center for Judicial Excellence in support of Joe Sweeney in his family court dispute.
It is the right thing to do, demonstrates that CJE is committed to reforming the courts for all victims, and elevates the credibility of the invaluable organization.
It would be easy - and safe - for CJE to stay out of the Evilsizor-Sweeney dispute, but anyone who has looked closely at the case and reviewed the court records knows something is amiss.
Keri Evilsizor is a lawyer who is using the law in bad faith, and in an unethical, abusive, and likely illegal way. Court records indicate that Evilsizor did the same thing to the father of her first child that she is now doing to Joe Sweeney, in real time, and right before our eyes. It appears to be her M.O.
As crass as this may sound, court records suggest that Evilsizor apparently is using susceptible men as breeding stock, and then misusing the law to deprive them of their parental rights. After the men serve their purpose, she wants them out of the picture and will stop at nothing to accomplish that result.
In our view, it appears that for no legitimate reason, Evilsizor ultimately does not want her children to have any contact with their biological father(s), which any mental health professional will verify is a symptom of a serious mental health issue.
And as a female attorney, Evilsizor is giving women, feminism, feminists and domestic violence prevention advocates a black eye, and jeopardizing the progress that has been made in DV protection and DV law by misusing existing laws in the worst possible way.
We applaud the Center for Judicial Excellence for their brave support of Joe Sweeney.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Damning Report Cataloging Career Spanning Misconduct by Judge Bruce C. Mills Leaked by Whistleblower Group

Judge Bruce C. Mills
A report cataloging serial acts of misconduct spanning more than 10 years by Judge Bruce C. Mills has been leaked to the public by a court watchdog and whistleblower group.

The 51-page dossier collected both public and "secret" discipline prosecutions against the judge by the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency responsible for judge oversight and accountability. The report is embedded at the end of this post.

The report reveals that in addition to two well known public disciplinary actions taken against the veteran Contra Costa County jurist, Mills was also found guilty in three additional incidents where the type of discipline and name of the offender were "private" and not revealed to the public.

The group identified Mills as the offending judge in the secret proceedings by reverse engineering details from the public disciplinary actions and cross referencing the information with old CJP annual reports. The acts of public and private misconduct occurred in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2013.

Judge Bruce Clayton Mills was appointed to the bench by Governor Pete Wilson in July, 1995. Mills worked as a Contra Costa County prosecutor from 1985-95, and was in private practice from 1984-87. The judge is a 1984 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Attorney Brad Baugh Whistleblower Leak: Olivier Garbe Winnov Founder Divorce Case Past Due Attorney Fee Invoice

Attorney Brad Baugh Whistleblower Leak: Olivier Garbe Winnov Inc - Attorney Garrett Dailey SBN 76180 Oakland – Divorce Lawyer Bradford Oliver Baugh SBN 68661 – Baugh & Amini 1550 The Alameda Suite 155, San Jose CA, Family Law Attorney Bradford Baugh Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Grilli – Judge James Towery – 6th District Court of Appeal San Jose – Marriage of Dong & Garbe, Diana Dong and Olivier Garbe
San Jose divorce attorney Brad Baugh.
The past due attorney fee invoice embedded at the bottom of this post is from the high-conflict Silicon Valley divorce case between Winnov Inc Founder Olivier Garbe and Diana Dong. The case is being heard by controversial Santa Clara County Family Court Judge Mary Ann Grilli.   

San Jose divorce attorney Brad Baugh represents Garbe in the trial court, and prominent appellate attorney Garrett C. Dailey represents Garbe on appeal. Dong has been represented by a string of attorneys or been self-represented due to denials of motions requesting attorney fee funds.  

Baugh is connected to a number of high-profile, high-conflict Santa Clara County divorce cases, including Richard and Laura Beauchesne, Janet and Kyle Bowers, Susan and Robert Bassi, and Evan and Violet Brooks. 

Court watchdogs allege that court records show Baugh deliberately generates conflict between divorcing couples who have substantial assets and income, unnecessarily drags cases out for years, and in the process churns exorbitant legal fees.  Whistleblowers also assert that Baugh fails to disclose conflicts of interest with Santa Clara County Superior Court judges, referees, special masters, judge pro tems, and child custody evaluators, who Baugh has had personal, social, or professional relationships with for more than 20 years. 

Court case file statistical sampling and anecdotal evidence suggest that Baugh obtains favorable outcomes for his clients at a statistically improbable level. Whistleblowers attribute the attorneys unusual success to alleged unethical conduct, serial moral turpitude misconduct, bad faith litigation tactics, and corruption within his network of judges and associates. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sacramento Superior Court Corruption: Local Court Reform Group Logs 700 Followers on Facebook

Judge Kevin Culhane, Judge James Mize, Robert C Hight, James M Mize, Matthew J Gary, Peter J McBrien, David De Alba, Laurie M Earl, Jerilyn L Borack, Tami R Bogert, Thadd A Blizzard, Stephen Acquisto, Steven M Gevercer, Bunmi Awoniyi, James P Scott P Harmon, Sacramento Superior Court, Sacramento County, Tani G Cantil Sakauye, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert DA

A Sacramento County court reform group has announced that they have just surpassed 700 followers on Facebook. The Sacramento Family Court Corruption group posts information about incidents of judge and attorney misconduct, and an alleged Kids for Cash-style racketeering enterprise they contend operates in the family court system.

The court reform advocates also engage in direct action campaigns to raise awareness and compel enforcement of state judicial ethics laws. In the most recent action, the group published and mailed a letter to Sacramento County Presiding Judge Kevin Culhane demanding that he enforce the state Code of Judicial Ethics against Judge Matthew Gary

Gary reportedly is involved in an improper, personal relationship with his court clerk, Christina Arcuri. Under state law, a judge is not permitted to engage in a consensual relationship with a court employee under his supervision.

The group has compiled and posted on Facebook dozens of examples of what they contend is corruption throughout the court.   
"We continue to gain Facebook followers because every week a new victim of court corruption is created in Sacramento Family Court," said Susan Ferris, a group administrator. "At some point, oversight agencies who have ignored this for so long won't be able to ignore the sheer volume of victims." 
The group says they have been frustrated by inaction and indifference by the state Commission on Judicial Performance, responsible for oversight and accountability of judges in California, the State Bar, responsible for attorneys, and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. 

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has refused to enforce perjury, obstruction of justicechild abduction, court document counterfeiting, false arrest, and other laws, the group charges. 
"Our local DA has made clear she would rather be a judge. To be elected a judge you need the endorsement of other judges and prominent attorneys, and Schubert is not enforcing these laws because they implicate several local judges, along with attorneys who have aided and abetted client misconduct, including criminal child abductions," Ferris explained.
"This is all about politics and ambition. There are so many unprosecuted crimes that Schubert has all but issued a decree that local judges and attorneys are immune from criminal prosecution. This preferential treatment for the legal community should ensure her election or appointment as a judge," Ferris added. 
The 2014 documentary film Divorce Court cataloged corruption in family courts throughout the United States, and designated the Sacramento County system as one of the worst in the nation. 

Related links: