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by Arlen Bauer

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Print | Travesty of justice in California
Guest Columnist for the Post - Mar 10 2008
by Arlen Bauer : arlenb@peoplepc.com

I'd like to tell you about the travesty of justice that I experienced with the California justice system and the sham I believe the bar is. I'll start at the beginning. I met a man, a property invester who I will refer to as BA, I did some work for BA and we became friends and over the course of fifteen years we flew airplanes, traveled and bought properties together among other things. We traveled to Thailand alot and BA built some condos there of which I bought one from him.

In the year 2000 a property came up that I liked. It was a small strip mall with about 150 storage units and a small managers house. So I sold my house got together all the money I had and invested in the property. BA and I signed a short one page agreement saying I would manage the property and BA would basicly do the legal end. This was good since BA was a law professor from Canada and also owned ten other facilities and is worth 15 million dollars.

Meanwhile I had invented a hook to use on Bungee cords. If you ever used a bungee cord you know that they never fit anywhere you want them to fit. With this hook that I call Bungee Adjuster the bungee cords fit anywhere. Everyone liked the Bungee Adjuster. So I called some manufacturer's to get a price to manufacture the Bungee Adjuster. The price was forbiding by the time it hit the retail market the price would be so high no one would buy the Bungee Adjuster. So I thought I would see how much it would cost to manufacture in Thailand. To my surprise the manufacture and shipping was about 10% of the U.S. price to manufacture. I now knew why all the big business's were going overseas.

So its Christmas eve night 2004. I'm at BA's home. I'm tired and wanting to go to bed. On my mind is about going to Thailand the next day to work out a deal to manufacture the Bungee Adjuster. Not thinking I had any reason to distrust BA a friend of fifteen years I signed a paper that I didn't read. After I was lead to believe it was and insurance application. BA slipped it by me real quick like when I'm on my way out ready to go to bed next door. Signing this agreement happened so quick I didn't even remember signing it. I later found out it was a one sided agreement saying that I owned 25% of the business, BA owned 74% of the business and a Texas corporation owned 1% of the business.

The agreement said that if any two partners got together they could expel the other partner for no reason at a cheap buyout price. Well I'm one partner, BA is another partner and, who is this Texas corp. that owns 1%? It just happens to be BA's corp. owned by BA with his daughter as president. Now BA can get together with BA and throw me out when ever. Then BA gives me a notice saying essentialy nice doing business with you and we are buying you out at about one fourth of your worth. I had no idea what BA was talking about.

I didn't work the place five years to be bought out when BA felt like it. I didn't pay him any attention and I went back to work. About three weeks later I'm served an eviction notice. Get out of the managers house where I lived and worked for five years. BA then serves a restraining order on me saying to stay out of the office. The restraining order signed under penalty of perjury said I harrassed the office manager, I was running off the good help, irrated everyone, and did untold damages to the business. I had all my money invested in this business and was not about to jeopardize it. While I managed the business it more than tripled in value. And BA said that I didn't work there. I just hung out. Never mind I got paid every year. Plus BA gave me 5% more of the business for a job well done.

BA then filed a civil suit for breach of contract. BA then files another suit for some money I owe him on my condo. So I hired a lawyer and we file a counter suit for fraud and breach of fudicary duty to be honest.

We then take depositions. The office manager says I did all the outside work and did a good job. As far as harrasment went her husband had a heart attack and I, doing her job, called her at the hospital three times and it bothered her. Another employee who collected the cash from the laundry and carwash, who BA said was giving me my share of the cash every week, said she never gave me a nickle and gave it all to BA or his daughter to put in a reserve account. Which means alot of money is missing. She also said I did all the outside work and did a great job. BA's daughter tried to act like she and BA ran the business while I just hung out living in the manager's house for free. But nobody could ever remember seeing her on the property in all of five years. BA tried to say he and I went over this agreement twice before. I would like to meet the person that would read this agreement three times and then sign it. Each person's deposition, including BA's, made a lier out of BA and his lawyer being there for every deposition knew it. And by the way nobody was found that I irrated. And all the good help quit within three months after I left. They all said they had no problem working for me.

All of the depositions took about an hour. My deposition took over six hours. Starting with what did I do when I was in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam 40 years ago and onward. I didn't realize it at the time. But BA's lawyer was trying to wear me down so I would make a mistake. Then he could motion for a summary judgement ( a summary judgement basicly means I have no case so why waste the courts time and just give BA the judgement).

I'm ready to go to court and I asked for a trial by jury. BA's lawyer then motions for a summary judgement on Rosenthal, some people, Rosenthal's, walked into a bank bought some securities and never read the small print was tricked and sued. What does this have to do with business partners for fifteen years and slipping a contract by me for a signature?. The judge denied the summary judgement and we are ready to go to court in a couple of weeks. This is about nine months from the start of this issue.

BA then drops the restraining order and dismiss's the case. My lawyer petitions the court to put this case together with the case BA filed for the money I owe on the condo and resolve everything at once. BA then dismiss's that case. My lawyer say's I have to sue BA now to get what belongs to me. But before this happens BA and his lawyer run to a different county and filed the same case there. Knowing if I filed the case the summary denial would still be valid and BA would have to go to court. This BA would not like. In legal jargon this is called "Forum Shopping".

We now have a new Judge in a different county. Apparently the new judge didn't care about the forum shopping or the summary denial in the other county. I sometimes wonder if it was because we were in BA's lawyer's territory since we were now in the town he practices law in and somebody maybe owed a favor.

BA signed a fictious name statement registered in the courthouse saying the business was a general partnership. We had a bank we had to sue. BA's lawyer did the case in my name and BA's name. Nothing was said about a limited partnership or a Texas corp. BA's lawyer knew our business was a general partnership because he did all BA's legal work. But he didn't draft the document I signed Christmas eve. It would make him part of this case and he couldn't represent BA when he tried to enforce the document. Therefore BA would have to hire an honest lawyer that playes by the rules. So BA went to another lawyer to draft the document.

Now BA shows up with a document that says our partnership was a limited partnership. The document I signed on Christmas eve night was an amendment to that document. BA said I signed this document. BA said he had the document but couldn't find it for a year and a half. But then he found it in a bank vault somewhere. It had my name on it but you can see it was not my signature. So now BA and his lawyer change tactics. My lawyer said BA had a fiduciary duty to be honest and not slip something by me for my signature. BA's lawyer now say's as a limited partner BA had no duty to be honest so why should he. So the new judge accepts that the business is a limited partnership and rejects some of my issues. This rendered my case hopeless.

My lawyer said to go to court now would be like going to a dog and pony show. So we gave BA the judgement on a stipulation that we can go directly to appeals court. A year later we go to appeals court. BA's lawyer wrote a brief saying essentially that BA as a limited partner had no duty to be honest so why should he. I denied the whole time that the business was a limited partnership and that no Texas corp owned 1% that I knew of. The evidence pointed to a general partnership. All BA had was a document with a bogus signature that took him a year and a half to find saying the business was a limited partnership. These judges that called themselfs justicies bought into this limited partnership bunk to our dismay and denied my whole appeal. It was apparent these justices never looked over the case properly. In my honest opinion if the judges take the place of a jury they should go over the case thoroughly before rendering their judgement.

Meanwhile I''m trying to get the bar to do something about BJ's lawyer using the court system to help BA cheat me. I looked on their webpage and it stated The State Bar's discipline system is designed to protect the public, the courts and the profession from attorneys who violate ethical rules covering their professional conduct. Consumers with complaints about an attorney may call the bar's toll-free number (1-800-843-9053).

The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, which is responsible for reviewing charges of lawyer misconduct, then investigates and prosecutes these complaints." So I called the bar, then I had to write them about this case that any fool could see BJ's attorney was using the court system to try and cheat me and was violating the rules of professional conduct in doing so.

Rule 1.16 A lawyer shall not represent a client . (B), (1) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent (2) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud. Rule 8.44 Misconduct : (C) To engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation (D) to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. The bar wrote back to me saying it's out of their jurisdiction and wouldn't look at the case and to hire a lawyer and sue him. What would I sue him for but violating the rules of professional conduct? Which is the bars job to make sure no lawyer does this, so their webpage say's. Or maybe I read the webpage wrong and should of had a lawyer read it to me. So I wrote to the president of the board of govenors, he can't do anything he's not the president anymore. So I wrote to one of the govenors. It's not his job and sent me to another govenor who I never heard from.

I then read further on their web page it said "How is the State Bar funded? The bar's programs are financed primarily by fees paid by attorneys and applicants to practice law." I then believed I was dealing with a sham. And I knew that these people had no intention of chastizing the persons paying their saleries. I began to wonder how many people got ramed because dishonest lawyer's knew the bar would do nothing. Who are the lawyers that they can watch over themselfs? Since everyone else in this country has some government agency watching over them, why not the lawyers?

So I wrote to governor Schwarzenegger explaining why I thought the bar is a sham and something should be done about it, he likes to hear from his constituents but it's out of his jurisdiction and I should write to the Attorney General. So I wrote to the Attorney General, the Honorable Edmond G Brown Jr., he can't do anything it's out of his jurisdiction and I should write to the bar association. Since the bar has exclusive authority to investigate and prosecute allegations of attorney misconduct. But I wasn't complaining about an attorney's misconduct. I was complaining about the Bar's misconduct. If Edmond G. Brown Jr. can't understand a simple one page letter then why is he the Attorney General?

After three years of this and what I got in return, I'm beginning to think the whole justice system is a sham. If I had the money I'd sue the bar. But then again where would I find a lawyer that would help me sue the people protecting him? And besides that, you can't practice law if you are not a member of the bar, they might disbar anyone who tried.

Three years of my life has been wasted, I'm out an untold amount of money. My Bungee Aduster project has been stalled till now. I believe if the bar would have done what their webpage says they are to do,their job. This wouldn't have happened.

I guess it's true when they say " there is no justice exept for the rich." When I was in Viet Nam I was told we were fighting for liberty and justice for all " I don't think so". This could happen to anybody!

Yours Truely
Arlen Bauer

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