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Defendant motion for terminating sanctions is denied Plaintiff

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made, the tentative ruling becomes the order of the court. Local Rule 3.04.

Judge McMaster discloses that attorneys appearing in cases on todays calendar may have donated to the
Committee for Judicial Independence which was formed to oppose the attempted recall of judge McMaster. A
list of donors and amounts donated is under the custody of court executive officer Jody Patel and can be
reviewed at room 611, sixth floor, courthouse, 720 Ninth Street.

                                             Department 53
                                       Superior Court of California
                                        800 Ninth Street, 3rd Floor
                                      LOREN E. MCMASTER, Judge
                                              T. West, Clerk
                                             V. Carroll, Bailiff

                                       Friday, April 21, 2006, 2:00 PM

Item 1      03AS05039         YIKUNO COPELAND VS. JESSICA L. SHARP
            Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Strike
            Filed By:   Jones, Michael G.

                   Defendant's motion for terminating sanctions is denied. Plaintiff failed to obey
            the Court's order of February 15, 2006 directing him to respond to defendant's
            discovery requests. Plaintiff has filed an opposition indicating that he will provide the
            responses before the time of the hearing. Under the circumstances, terminating
            sanctions are not justified. Monetary sanctions were not requested.

                   Plaintiff shall serve responses not later than April 21, 2006.

                   This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required.

Item 2      03AS06439         SUSAN SHAPIRO VS. SUTTER MEDICAL GROUP, ET AL
            Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Compel
            Filed By:   Bowman, Robert

                   Plaintiff's motion to compel depositions is denied.

                   Plaintiff noticed the depositions of Mahla, Sells, and Ison for April 18, 2006 by
            mail and provided only 13 days notice. Plaintiff renoticed the deposition of Ison for
            April 24, 2006 by FAX. Plaintiff states the original notices were also sent by FAX.

                   Mail service is defective because it was untimely. As for FAX service, there is
            no written agrement for such as required by CCP section 1013(e). Plaintiff's argument
            that there is an implied agreement for FAX service is without legal support. The fact
            that some documents have been served by FAX does not change the requirements of
            section 1013(e). In any event, defendant's attorney declares he has never agreed to
            FAX service and has always served pleadings and notices by mail or personal service
            except when the Court has ordered service by FAX.
               Expert discovery closes on April 23, 2006 and the trial is set for May8, 2006.
         Defendant is entitled to begin trial preparation without having to attend depositions.

                This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required.

Item 3   04AS02960         WAYNE GUINN, ET AL VS. C M C STEEL FABRICATORS, INC., ET AL
         Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Compel
         Filed By:   Davis, Jonathan E.

                Plaintiffs' motion to compel defendant to produce documents is denied.

                Plaintiff Wayne Guinn was an employee of Fru-Con, the general contractor on
         the Consumnes Power Plant Project. Fru-Con is not a party to this action. Plaintiff
         was injured when he stepped over an open bundle of rebar. Defendant is a steel
         subcontractor who was furnished and installed rebar.

                In December defense counsel traveled to Fru-Con's corporate office in St. Louis
         to inspect documents related to the site. Counsel reviewed hundreds of photographs
         and selected and copied certain ones.

                 Plaintiffs have demanded that defendant produce the documents. Defendant
         refuses to do so on the grounds that (1) the discovery seeks documents protected by
         the attorney work-product privilege and (2) the documents are equally available to
         plaintiffs.

                Fru-Con has stated that plaintiffs may have the same access to the documents
         that defendant had. The documents are as availabale to plaintiffs as they were to
         defendant.

                 Defense counsel's choice of which photographs to copy is counsel's work
         product. Nacht & Lewis Architects, Inc. (1996) 47 Cal. App. 4th 214, 217. Not all the
         documents were deemed to be of equal importance. Counsel made the selection
         based on what she believed would best support her client's defense. Counsel's work
         consisted of her impressions of the relative effectiveness for the defense case of the
         particular photos. Her efforts are clearly protected by the attorney work-product
         privilege.

                 The discovery statutes mandaate the the party who unsuccessfully made a
         discovery motion incur monetary sanctions, unless the court finds that the motion was
         filed with substantial justification. Since defendant's counsel's efforts here is a classic
         example of attorney work-product, the Court cannot find that the motion was filed with
         substantial justification. Monetary sanctions are imposed against plaintiffs in the
         amount of $980 (7 hours, $140.00 per hour). Sanctions shall be paid by May 21, 2006.

                This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required.

Item 4   04AS03863         THOMAS WITTE VS. MARVEN STROH, ET AL.
         Nature of Proceeding: Motion For Judgment On Pleadin
         Filed By:   Barrett, David S.

                Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted.
                Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted.

                The first cause of action for breach of contract fails as the contract at issue (the
         ttorney retainer and fee agreement) is illegal and unenforceable. The allegations of this
         cause of action do not comply with B&P Code section 6148(a) because tjhe complaint
         does nott contain the "general nature of the legal services to be provided to the client."
         "To prosecute the action of Stroh v Stroh" is so broad as to be meaningless.

                 The agreement also fails to comply with B & P Code section 6148(a)(3) in that it
         fails to set forth the obligations and responsibilities of the attorney and the client.

                The purported lien referenced violates the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule
         3-300. The lien is an adverse interest and the client Stroh must be advised of his right
         to seek independent advice. There is no such advisement in the contract.

                The cause of action for fraud is merely an iteration of the breach of contract
         cause of action. There is no legal duty alleged other than that related to the contract.
         "An omission to perform a contract obligation is never a tort unless that omission is
         also an omission of a legal duty." Applied Equipment Corp.v Litton Saudi Arabia Ltd.
         (1994) 7 Cal.4th 503, 515.

                Plaintiff's request for leave to amend to state a claim for quantum meruit is
         granted. A party may properly request leave to amend when faced with a demurrer or
         a motion for judgment on the pleadings without having to file a noticed motion.

                 The court is unclear whether or not an action for quantum meruit will lie if the
         offending portion of the agreement (lien) is deem stricken. When a contact is
         unenforceable, it may nonetheless be possible for the attorney to recover the value of
         the services rendered. The question the court has is whether a claim for quantim
         meruit may be stated if the lien claim language is disregarded. Since the Court cannot
         anticipate how the amended complaint will be drafted, and since the Court desires full
         briefing on the issue before disposing of the claim, Plaintiff is granted leave to amend
         to seek to state a cause of action for quantum meruit.

               The amended complaint shall be filed and served no later than May 1, 2006,
         and any responsive pleading thereto shall be filed ten days thereafter (15 days if
         served by mail).

                This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order isrequired.

Item 5   04AS03877         BEVERLY BLENKINSHOP VS. DPR, INC.
         Nature of Proceeding: Summary Judgment
         Filed By:   Thomas, Jennifer R.

                Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is denied.

                 Plaintiff was injured on November 6, 2003 when she tripped and fell on a loose
         tile on the second floor of the Kaiser facility where she worked. Defendant was
         performing major renovations at the time and was working on the first floor.

                Plaintiff contends that defendant’s work on the first floor caused the damage to
         the second floor. She believes that work occurring in the evening of November 5, 2003
         the second floor. She believes that work occurring in the evening of November 5, 2003
         caused the damages. Plaintiff argues there were numerous activities that could have
         impacted the second floor, including HVAC, plumbing electrical, and work on the walls
         and soffits.

                 Defendant’s exhibit I, New Phasing Schedule dated November 24 is the most
         accurate record of work done on November 5 or 6. Defendant’s superintendent, Kaster,
         testified that the schedules are continuously updated to reflect projected and actual
         completion of various phases of the project. The schedule shows that framing walls
         and soffits was the only work done between November 3 and November 11. Prior to
         that PARC had removed the fire proofing. This was done by hand and did not involve
         power tools. (Kaster deposition, pages 69-70.) Kaster testified that it was not possible
         for PARC’s work to cause the tile above to shift. (Kaster deposition, page72.) Framing
         the walls and soffits involved shooting pins into the ceiling. (Kaster deposition, page
         85.) HVAC was done from November 6 to November 12. Kaster testified that this work
         would not have disrupted the tile. (Kaster deposition, page 87.)

                As plaintiff has testified the tile was in place on November 5, the only time it
         could have been damaged would have been the night of November 5 and before 6AM
         on November 6. The only work done was framing the walls and soffits. Kaster was
         unequivocal that the pins could not have damaged the tile above the ceiling.

                Later on November 6 defendant repaired the tile. (Plaintiff’s deposition, page
         41.) Kaster had no knowledge of this repair. However, he did testify that there have
         been times when the tile was disrupted when defendant was working in the area,
         below or around it, and that defendant would repair it even if it did not actually cause
         the damage. (Kaster deposition, page 74).

                There is a factual dispute as to whether defendant’s work on the night of
         November 5 - 6 could have disrupted the tile. Kaster said it was not possible because
         the concrete is five inches thick and the pins are two and one half inches longs.
         Kaster acknowledged tile damage had occurred in areas near where defendant
         worked. The fact that the pins were not long enough to penetrate the concrete does
         not mean that the tile could not have been damaged by some other aspect of
         defendant’s work (e.g. vibrations).

               Whether defendant repaired the area or knew of plaintiff’s injury is immaterial as
         to whether its work caused the tile to come loose.

               Plaintiff’s evidence objections to the declaration of Pugh are sustained. If he
         had no personal knowledge of the work done, he also had no personal knowledge that
         any work could have damaged the tile.

                 Defendant’s evidence objections to the declarations of Clark, Lata and Kirtley
         are sustained as to page 2 lines1 - 3. However, it is not disputed that plaintiff tripped
         and fell. Lata and Kirtley may state that they saw the persons who repaired the tile and
         state their belief that they were defendant’s employees. As noted above, who repaired
         the tiles does not determine the outcome of this ruling. Defendant’s objections to
         certain exhibits on the ground of relevancy are overruled.

                Plaintiff shall submit a formal order pursuant to CCP 437c(g) and CRC rule.


Item 6   05AS00163        RENE CARTER VS. ALTA'S PLACE, INC. ET AL
Item 6    05AS00163          RENE CARTER VS. ALTA'S PLACE, INC. ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion For Summary Adjudicatio
          Filed By:   Kropf, Marcos

                 Plaintiff's motion for summary adjudication is denied.

                 Plaintiff has alleged seven causes of action. Plaintiff's separate statement does
          not comply with CRC rule 342 (d). Plaintiff's notice and separate statement do not set
          forth which causes of action she seeks to have adjudicated and it is not clear from the
          separate statement to which causes of actions it applies. It is improper to require the
          opposing party and the Court to guess at what cause of action is sought to be
          adjudicated.

                  The motion is denied for the further reason that plaintiff seeks the court to
          summarily adjudicate issues. The Court can only adjudicate matters that completely
          dispose of a cause of action. CCP section 437(f)(1). Plaintiff's claims of duty are
          specious. The gravamen of the complaint is that defendants violated provisions of rthe
          Labopr Code. In any event, adjudication that defendant did or did not owe a duty to
          plaintiff is proper only if it completely disposes of a claim or defense. See Regan
          Roofing Co. v. Superior Court (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 425, 435.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required.

Item 7    05AS02225          VERNON EUGENE WHITEHOUSE VS. SENIOR GLEANERS INC., ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Amend Answer
          Filed By:   Brereton, Drew

                Defendant Murillo's motion for leave to file an amended answer is unopposed
          and granted. DXefendant shall file and serve his amendedanswer by April 24, 2006.



Item 8    05AS03689          PEOPLE OF THE ST OF CA VS. GENERAL STEEL DOMESTIC
                             SALES,ETAL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Compel
          Filed By:   Doolittle, Patrick

          This matter is continued to 4/24/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 9    05AS03951          CHRISTO ASIMAKOPOULOS VS. MICHAEL DAVID, M.D., ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Compel Interrogatories And Documents
          Filed By:   Thornton, Larry

                Defendant's motion to compel plaintiff to respond to discovery is unopposed and
          granted. Compliance without objections shall be by May 1, 2006.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required

Item 10   05AS04391          DAVID MICHAEL BRISTER, ET AL VS. OLLIE B BURGER, ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Default Hearing
          Nature of Proceeding: Default Hearing
          Filed By:   Glick, Peter E.

          This matter is continued to 4/28/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 11   05AS04957         TERCAR, INC., ET AL VS. AARON L. SWICKARD, ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Compel Responses, Deposition Attendance and Attorney's Fees
          Filed By:   Jurkovich, Michael J.

                 Plaintiff's motion to compel Inna Swickard to provide further substantive
          responses to discovery is unopposed and granted. Plaintiff's motion for an order that
          certain matters be deemed admitted is also granted unless defendant serves
          responses in substantial compliance with CCP sections 2033.210, 2033.220, and
          2033.230O before the hearing. CCP 2033.280. Objections to the requests for
          admissions are wavied as they were not timely. If plaintiff receives responses to the
          requests for admissions before the hearing it shall inform the Court.

                 Defendant also shall attend her deposition and take the oath at a time and place
          to be noticed by defendant.

                  Sanctions are mandatory on the requests for admissions. Although the Court
          ordinarily does not impose sanctions when a motion to compel is unopposed, in this
          case the defendant has engaged in a pattern of abuse of the discovery process and
          sanctions are appropriate to deter such conduct in the future. Sanctions are ordered
          pursuant to CCP 2023.010 (d) and (e) for misuse of the discovery process. When
          plaintiff attempted to obtain pertinent records, defendant moved to quash the
          subpoena. That motion was denied. She refused to take the oath at her deposition
          and refused to be deposed. Her objections to the discovery propounded by plaintiff are
          without merit, if not frivolous.

                 Sanctions are ordered in the amount of $7873.50. The Court has awarded fees
          for both attorneys for this motion and for time spent related to the failed deposition:
          Attorney Fox 31.8 hours at $120 per hour, Attorney Jurkovich 10.15 hours at $250.00n
          per hour, $120 for filng fees. Sanctions shall be paid by May 21, 2006.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required

Item 12   05AS05385         CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMM VS. SYLVIA BURLEY ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Quash Service Summon
          Filed By:   Steele, George L.

          This matter is continued to 6/15/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 13   05AS05385         CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMM VS. SYLVIA BURLEY ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Discharge Liability
          Filed By:   Le Forestier, Marc A.

          This matter is continued to 6/15/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 14   05AS05385         CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMM VS. SYLVIA BURLEY ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Demurrer
          Nature of Proceeding: Demurrer
          Filed By:   Steele, George L.

          This matter is continued to 6/15/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 15   05AS05467         MARK BUCKMAN VS. JOHN LEFAKIS ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion for Sanctions (Debbie Depo)
          Filed By:   Prokop, Tyler S.

                Plaintiff's request for imposition of sanctions for his motion to compel defendant
          Debbie Lefakis to attend her deposition is denied. The motion was continued to this
          date as to the award of attorneys’ fees, only.

                 Sanctions are denied because the motion was not opposed, and the court finds
          that other circumstances make the imposition of sanctions unjust. Code of Civil
          Procedure section 2025.450(c).

                  The Court is displeased by the ad hominem attacks between counsel, and the
          apparent lack of professional courtesies extended by moving party to defendants. The
          Court is also displeased by the unprofessional tactics of moving party by engaging in
          "Rambo" litigation tactics against his former clients and continuing to communicate
          directly with the defendants regarding settlement demands and threats knowing that
          they were represented by counsel.

                         “The profession of the law possesses extraordinary powers.
                 Lawyers can make the arrogant humble and the weak strong. In control
                 of the course of litigation and armed with the knowledge of right and
                 wrong, they are most able to abjure illegal or tortious conduct; it is their
                 duty to do so. As occupants of a high public trust and officers of the
                 court, they are expected to conform their behavior in legal affairs to a
                 higher standard of rectitude and spirit of obedience than those who are
                 willing to endure the dust of transgression. Guided by oath, duty and
                 obligation, the lawyer’s path avoids the vices from which the virtuous
                 abstain.” Kimmel v. Goland (1990) 51 Cal.3d 202, 214.

                 ”‘[I]t is vital to the integrity of our adversary legal process that attorneys    strive
          to maintain the highest standards of ethics, civility, and          professionalism in the
          practice of law.’ (People v. Chong (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 232, 243.) Indeed,
          unwarranted personal attacks on the             character or motives of the opposing party,
          counsel, or witnesses are inappropriate and may constitute misconduct. (Id. at p. 245;
          see also         Stone v. Foster (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 334, 355.)” In Re S.C. (April 7,
                 2006) ___Cal.App.4th ___, 2006 Cal. App. LEXIS 482, 3 DCA, slip opinion, p.
          22

                 The barrage of discovery served at the earliest possible time in the case, and
          the subsequent refusal to extend time, could be found to be burdensome oppressive
          and hence a misuse of the discovery process. (Code of Civil Procedure section
          2023.01 (c)) and unprofessional (Appendix to Sacramento Superior Court Local Rules).
          As soon as it was possible under the statutory provisions, Plaintiff unleashed the
          following discovery barrage on his former clients: Deposition notices to each
          defendant, form interrogatories to each defendant, special interrogatories to each
          defendant, form interrogatories to each defendant, special interrogatories to each
          defendant, requests for admission to each defendant, and requests for production of
          documents to each defendant. The Court incorporates herein the discussion of
          Plaintiff’s conduct in item 16 on today’s calendar.

                 Therefore the Court orders as follows:

                 1. The Court on its own motion grants reconsideration of all its prior rulings that
          determining that Requests for Admissions were deemed admitted and all orders that
          imposed monetary sanctions against defendants (four motions on 3/7/06, four motions
          on 3/13/06, one motion on 3/15/06, and four motions on 3/33/06) and will reconsider
          whether or not such orders are appropriate in light of all of the facts in this case. Said
          hearing shall be held on May 19, 2006, 2:00 p.m. in Department 53. Plaintiff shall file
          and serve any memorandum he chooses to file no later than May 8, 2006. Defendants
          may file and serve any reply memorandum no later than May 15, 2006.

                  2. The court orders Plaintiff Mark Buckman and his attorney, Tyler Prokop, to
          show cause, if any they have, on May 19, 2006, 2:00 p.m., Department 53, why they
          should not be sanctioned for misusing the discovery process in this case. See Code
          of Civil Procedure section 2023.010(c). The Court advises Plaintiff and counsel that the
          sanctions being contemplated are the imposition of monetary sanctions to reimburse
          defendant for attorneys’ fees incurred in responding to Plaintiffs’ discovery motions.
          See Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030.

                 3. Not later than April 24, 2006, Defendants’ counsel shall file and serve
          attorney time records and attorneys' fees incurred in responding to Plaintiffs’ discovery
          motions in this case.

                  4. Not later than May 8, 2006, Mr. Buckman and Mr. Prokop shall file and serve
          their responses to the Court’s order to show cause and their argument, if any, why
          sanctions should not be imposed, or any limitation thereto.

               5. Not later than May 15, 2006, Defendants may file and serve any Reply
          Memorandum deemed appropriate.

                  6. Not later than May 8, 2006, Plaintiff shall file and serve a document that sets
          forth a list of all discovery demands served on Defendants by Plaintiff, the date each
          discovery demand was served, and a notation of the present status of each discovery
          demand. The Court hereby stays all discovery by Plaintiff directed to defendants until
          further order of the Court.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and constitutes sufficient notice of the
          Court’s grant of reconsideration on its own motion, the Court’s issuance of the order to
          show cause to Mssrs. Buckman and Prokop, and the Court’s stay of further discovery
          by Plaintiff. No formal order is required.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no fomal order is required.




Item 16   05AS05467        MARK BUCKMAN VS. JOHN LEFAKIS ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion for Sanctions (John Docs)
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion for Sanctions (John Docs)
          Filed By:   Buckman, Mark F.

                 (Continued to this date for oral argument only.)

                Plaintiff's request for imposition of sanctions on motion to compel defendant
          John Lefakis to respond to request for production is unopposed but denied. The
          motion was continued to this date as to the award of attorneys’ fees, only.

                  Sanctions are denied because the motion was not opposed. See March 6, 2006
          Plaintiff’s Reply/ Consolidated Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiff’s Discovery Motions
          calendared for March 13, 2006, and continued by the Court to this date.

                 Although CRC 341 purports to authorize sanctions if a motion is unopposed, the
          Court declines to do so, as the specific statutes governing this discovery (Code of Civil
          Procedure section 2030.300(d)) authorize sanctions only if the motion was
          unsuccessfully made or opposed. Any order imposing sanctions under the CRC must
          conform to the conditions of one or more of the statutes authorizing sanctions.
          Trans-Action Commercial Investors, Ltd. v Firmaterr Inc. (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 352,
          355. However, repeated failures to comply with discovery obligations may lead the
          Court to find an abuse of the discovery process and award sanctions on that basis.

                 If the motion were opposed, the sanctions would still be denied as being unjust
          under the circumstances. See ruling on item 12.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required,


Item 17   05AS05467        MARK BUCKMAN VS. JOHN LEFAKIS ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion for Sanctions (John Rogs)
          Filed By:   Buckman, Mark F.

                 (Continued to this date for oral argument only.)

                 Plaintiff's request for imposition of sanctions on motion to compel defendant
          John Lefakis to answer interrogatories is unopposed but is denied. The motion was
          continued to this date as to the award of attorneys’ fees, only.

                  Sanctions are denied because the motion was not opposed. See March 6, 2006
          Plaintiff’s Reply/ Consolidated Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiff’s Discovery Motions
          calendared for March 13, 2006, and continued by the Court to this date.

                 Although CRC 341 purports to authorize sanctions if a motion is unopposed, the
          Court declines to do so, as the specific statutes governing this discovery (Code of Civil
          Procedure section 2031.300(c)) authorize sanctions only if the motion was
          unsuccessfully made or opposed. Any order imposing sanctions under the CRC must
          conform to the conditions of one or more of the statutes authorizing sanctions.
          Trans-Action Commercial Investors, Ltd. v Firmaterr Inc. (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 352,
          355. However, repeated failures to comply with discovery obligations may lead the
          Court to find an abuse of the discovery process and award sanctions on that basis.
                 If the motion were opposed, the sanctions would still be denied as being unjust
          under the circumstances. See ruling on item 12.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required,



Item 18   05AS05467        MARK BUCKMAN VS. JOHN LEFAKIS ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion for Sanctions (John RA)
          Filed By:   Buckman, Mark F.

                 (Continued to this date for oral argument only.)

                 This matter is continued to 5/19/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

          .      This order is sufficient notice of the continuance. No formal order is required.

Item 19   05AS05467        MARK BUCKMAN VS. JOHN LEFAKIS ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Motion To Set Aside Default
          Filed By:   Alam Jesmin

                 (Continued to this date for oral argument only.)

                Defendants’ Motion to set aside the default and the entry of the Clerk’s default
          judgment is unopposed and granted. Defendants’ objection to Plaintiff’s late filed
          opposition is sustained. The Court declines to consider plaintiff’s late-filed
          memorandum. CRC Rule 317(d).

                Throughout the brief, but turbulent, life of this case, Plaintiff has sought to strictly
          enforce deadlines regarding defendants. He can hardly be heard to complain when the
          consequence he demanded be imposed on defendants is applied to him. Even if the
          motion were opposed with a timely filed memorandum, the motion would still be
          granted.

                This case is a lawsuit by an attorney against his former clients seeking to
          recover allegedly unpaid fees. While the Court expects professional and ethical
          conduct in every case, such is especially true when an attorney sues persons who
          were his former clients and to whom he owed a fiduciary duty. York v. Superior Court
           (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 669, 675. While attorney sharp practices are never proper, they
          are even more inappropriate when a lawyer sues his former clients.

                  Plaintiff knew that new counsel substituted in as attorney of record for his former
          clients on or about March 6, 2006. Defendants’ new counsel made a request for a
          three week extension in which to file a responsive pleading. This request was entirely
          reasonable given the barrage of discovery that Plaintiff served on his former clients at
          the earliest possible time (10 days after service of the summons and complaint).
          Plaintiff declined to respond to the request, and instead entered Defendants’ default.
          The tactic of “quiet speed” to obtain the default is improper. While earlier letters may
          have threatened a default, Plaintiff did not respond to the Defendants’ request for a
          continuance. An attorney, who knows that the defendants are represented by counsel,
          has an ethical obligation to specifically inform such counsel prior to taking the default.
          has an ethical obligation to specifically inform such counsel prior to taking the default.
          Smith v. Los Angeles Bookbinder’s Union No. 63 (1955) 133 Cal.App.2d 486, 500.
          Plaintiff’s tactic in quickly and silently running to the courthouse to “beat” the filing of a
          responsive pleading, and thereafter refusing to stipulate to set aside the default after
          learning that a responsive pleading was to be filed the following day, must not be
          rewarded.

                 Given the recent substitution of attorneys, the flurry of discovery unleashed on
          defendants at the earliest possible time, and the reasonable expectation that plaintiff
          would extend normal professional courtesies (See e.g., the Appendix to the
          Sacramento County Local Rules incorporating the standards of conduct adopted by the
          Sacramento County Bar Association), the failure to beat plaintiff to the courthouse
          constitutes excusable neglect or mistake, thereby warranting the court setting aside the
          default and default judgment. See Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233.

                  The Court also notes that from the inception of this case until the present
          Plaintiff’s conduct toward defendants has been unprofessional, if not unethical.
          Besides the “quiet speed” default of his former clients, and the bombardment of
          substatial discovery requests without providing the courtesy of reasonable extensions,
          Plaintiff has continued to communicate directly with the defendants notwithstanding
          that he knew that they were and are represented by counsel. See, e.g. Mr. Buckman’s
          letters to Mr. and Mrs. Lefakis dated March 17, 2006 (Exhibit H to Defendant’s motion
          to set aside default) and March 27, 2006 (Exhibit K to Ex Parte Application to set aside
          default filed March 28, 2006). Such conduct is a direct violation of the Rules of
          Professional Conduct, Rule 2-100.

                 Plaintiff’s conduct in violating Rule 2-100 is particularly egregious since his
          communications directly with Mr. and Mrs. Lefakis, who he knew to be represented by
          counsel, concerned settlement demands, threats of dire consequences should his
          demands not be met, and comments seeking to undermine Mr. and Mrs. Lefakis’
          confidence in their attorney. It is difficult to imagine a more blatant violation of Rule 2-
          100.

                  The conduct of Plaintiff and his counsel in the discovery process is set forth in
          the ruling in item 12, which ruling is incorporated herein by this reference.

                 The Court orders the Clerk to transmit a copy of this ruling, as well as the ruling
          in item 12 on today’s calendar, along with copies of Mr. Buckman’s letters of March 17
          and 27 to the State Bar of California.

                 This minute order is effective immediately and no formal order is required.


Item 20   05AS05787         ENGINEERED GLASS WALLS, INC VS. DOUGLAS E. BARNHART ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Demurrer
          Filed By:   Petray, Andrea L.

          This matter is continued to 5/30/2006 at 02:00PM in this department.

Item 21   04AM10285         KATHLEEN S. DEDMAN VS. JIMMYED MORRISON
          Nature of Proceeding: Default Hearing
          Filed By:   Dedman, William
                 Appearance required.

Item 22   06CS00355         IN RE: ROBERT POWERS
          Nature of Proceeding: Petition For Change Of Name
          Filed By:   Powers, Robert

                 The petition for name change is unopposed and is granted.

Item 23   06CM00049         NATIONAL CREDIT ACCEPTANCE, INC. VS. LEE S. GARRIDO ET AL
          Nature of Proceeding: Petition To Confirm Arb Award
          Filed By:   Pugh, John J.

          This matter is dropped from calendar.

				
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