The Paradox of Judicial Power

The job of a judge is to find a just solution.

I was recently before Judge William Nevitt in the San Diego Superior Court for a restraining order hearing. Judge Nevitt has a good reputation and judicial demeanor. He looks like an intelligent and kind man. And he probably makes good decisions most of the time.

After the evidence was presented, Judge Nevitt gave a nice little speech about how glad he was that the litigants brought their dispute to court, instead of handling it on their own. I was thinking about mid-eastern countries like Iran and Iraq, where a land dispute turns into centuries of senseless killing. I am glad I do not live in Iraq. Yet.

When our judicial system loses its integrity, it will soon look like Iraq in the United States of America.

I’m sure most of the people who came to The United States from Iraq do not want to see our system become like their homeland’s. Unfortunately, those of us born in the U.S. of A. probably don’t have up our guard against the insidious deterioration of systems of government when the pigs start making little changes to the rules, to help themselves and their friends. (Hint: read Animal Farm by George Orwell.)

I think Judge Nevitt tried to bend the rules to help a friend. I think Commissioner Friedenthal wanted a little help from Judge Joan Lewis and Judge Ipema, who wanted a little help from Judge Schall, who was watching her own ass and passed it on to Judge Nevitt. No one would suspect kindly old Nevitt of bending the rules.

And all they wanted was a restraining order against Laura Lynn. A restraining order hearing is not a criminal trial. Litigants are not given an attorney if they cannot afford one. It is not supposed to be about property rights. It is a strange bird. It is a warning, an injunction saying one person may do something criminal or harassing in the future, and if they do the harassing thing or criminal thing, they will have criminal charges added. The added charge is breaking the restraining order.

Unless the restrained party lives with the victim, there is no loss of property rights involved. Unless Judge Nevitt, Judge Ipema, Judge Lewis or Judge Schall decide to bend the rules.

Judge Friedenthal was definitely biased against me. The California Supreme Court said so. It is not easy to get the California Supreme Court to say anything, so his bias must have been pretty serious.

Why did Friedenthal feel so strongly against me? At first I think he ruled against me to help a friend or paying customer. He might have been biased from the start due to his friendship with my sister’s brother-in-law. But his livid animosity came when I started to expose him for his bias against strong women in general and his propensity to generate income for a few attorneys he appointed as minor’s counsel.

This is the paradox of judicial power. A judge’s job is to keep people honest and right, and to punish them and force them to correct their errors. But when someone tries to correct a judge, the judge gets his underwear all in a bunch. He starts using his power to make things worse. When I asked attorney Gary Weyman to file a motion for disqualification, known as a CCP 170.1 against Friedenthal, Weyman, an expensive Encino attorney said “No Way!” He said he had to go in front of Friedenthal again and he would never win another case.

Not only were judges all attorneys once, but they were once also women and men.


All Judges Were Once Lawyers: Or the Continuing Saga of Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal

Laura Lynn was somewhat retired in a nice quiet life, buying the contents of estates and reselling from a shop in San Diego. When suddenly she was thrust back into the hell of The Superior Court of the State of California.

For many years Laura fought injustice in Los Angeles Family Law. She was successful at getting Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal publically admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance. The odds of accomplishing that are like winning the lottery.

There was one judge who retired early after a volley of letters between Laura and the FBI in which the judge told a few whoppers that were easily disproved.

Fox News did a feature about Alan Friedenthal and how he showed bias while ruling from the bench. They interviewed Laura for that piece and she had three minutes of fame on T.V. I guess that wasn’t her full allotment of fame, because now she is dusting off her keyboard and giving a closer look at San Diego Superior Court.

This blog started as an expose of a group of alleged fraudsters, headed by Real Estate Broker Justin Earley and his sidekick, Vicki Kahia. Vicki was recently widowed. Her husband, a doctor, bought a life insurance policy. On the application he said he was in perfect health. He died of cancer about 11 months later. The insurance company thought it fraudulent and didn’t want to pay Vicki. But she sued them and they settled for an undisclosed sum. Vicki had a little cash to spend on property.

Vicki and Justin wanted the property The Estate Sale is on. The building is not much to look at, but location, location, location. The property was kitty corner to where a trolley station for the new blue-line is going to be. There are 15,000 cars per day that drive by, even before the trolley is put in. There is a billboard next to the I-5 freeway that captures another 130,000 cars full of eyes each day.

Not only was it a prime property, but the seller was willing to do a short-sale. He had a man interested in buying the property for $1,200,000. The buyer, Tony Bral was from a wealthy Beverly Hills family. Jordan sold the property to Kahia for $860,000 and it looked like she intended to sell it to Bral for $1.2 million. Only the flies on their walls knew how the $340,000 difference would be spent.

There was one hitch in the plan. Laura and Mike of The Estate Sale had a right of first refusal to buy the property. Laura was from a wealthy family and her mom was generous with Laura, until then. Laura’s sister Linda wanted to buy the property, also. They could have bought it and shared it. Mom actually put in a full list price offer, cash, with documentation of liquid assets ten fold to buy the property. The offer was ignored.

Jordan’s broker, Peter Michael Rocca of Rock Solid Real Estate was not going to earn a commission if the property sold to Laura. He and Earley, of Capital Real Estate Ventures Inc decided not to give Mike and Laura the required notice of the sale, and just let Vicki have the property.

Earley thought the cost of a lawsuit would deter Laura from demanding her rights. Wrong.

Now, this would be a simple case. Contract. Knowledge of contract. Enticement for one party to break the contract. Loss. Slam dunk!

But Earley doesn’t give up any easier than Laura. Not even when he is wrong. He set out to “mess up Laura’s little world”. Literally, he wrote that in an email to a bunch of the other conspirators.

Kahia, with Earley’s cooperation, filed an unlawful detainer action against Laura and Mike. That is a fancy word for an eviction. Then Earley called Laura’s oldest sister, Mary Sherman.

Mary was married into a wealthy family. Mary’s husband Jeff had two brothers, Biff Sherman and David Sherman. David Sherman was childhood friends with…Alan Friedenthal. Mary did not like Laura. Mary did like money. So far, for some reason, Mary’s kids were inheriting three times as much money as Laura’s kids. It had something to do with how Friedenthal had decided Laura’s custody arrangement.

After Mary and Earley talked, things started to sour between Laura and her mother. In all fairness, Mom, Sandi Kramer, never cared much for Laura either. But Laura’s dad, Dr. Norman H. Kramer kept things fair for Laura. Unfortunately he passed away a few years back, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to give Sandi a reason to disown Laura.

At one point, Kahia offered to sell the property to Laura for $860,000. But Laura had only 30 minutes to come up with a solid source of funds. Laura called Sandi. Sandi declined investing in the property, because she wrote in an email, she had her “own debts to pay.” A later conversation with Linda suggested that Laura’s family thought she was not paying her rent.

You’ll need to tune in tomorrow to find out how Friedenthal and friends in the California Courts got some revenge.


What is the Price of a Cup of Coffee?

The City of San Diego will be named as Doe Defendant Number Two in the case of Lynn v Kahia if they do not correct their errors and give a reasonable settlement of cash to The Estate Sale owners. One defendant in Lynn v Kahia went to arbitration and, though he was represented by attorney Daryl Idler and The Estate Sale owners were in pro per, The Estate Sale won. It is probable they will win on the same issues at trial, even pro per. (Attorneys interested in taking the case on contingency are invited to contact Laura at (760) 966-6000.)

The case started as a simple contractual and business tort. The owner of Candy Depot and Kona Coffee on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest, Vicki Kahia, snaked Mike and Laura out of their right of first refusal to purchase the property their business was on. If Laura and Mike owned the property instead of renting, their monthly payment would be about $5,000 per month lower or they would pay about $1,500 per month less and have the entire property to themselves, including a billboard that is viewed by 130,000 cars per day.

When caught, Kahia did not act remorseful and try to make amends. She immediately filed an eviction proceeding against Mike and Laura. When that failed, she (through her agents) asked City of San Diego building inspectors to help in the process of getting The Estate Sale off the property. Inspectors Bryan Monaghan and Tommy Thomas agreed and made up bogus fines against The Estate Sale.

City of San Diego Inspector Phil Myers signed off on permits that allowed the tenant on one of the two parcels on the property to steal power from The Estate Sale. He also allowed PB Sports, on the second parcel, to add two large doors that faced The Estate Sale’s parking lot. The doors were right on the property line.

Then when PB Sports owner Justin Cannatella started parking his BMW on The Estate Sale’s front display area, the San Diego Police Department refused to cite Cannatella for trespass. California Penal Code 602(k) states “…every person who willfully commits a trespass by any of the following acts is guilty of a misdemeanor:

Entering any lands, whether unenclosed or enclosed by fence, for the purpose of injuring any property or property rights or with the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner of the land, the owner’s agent, or by the person in lawful possession.”

It seemed pretty clear to Mike and Laura that parking a BMW and a van on someone else’s front display area interfered with their business. One excuse Officer Ochab and other police gave to allow Cannatella to park there was that Mike and Laura did not have possession. They showed a court order that stated that while their civil disputes with Kahia were being decided, they had possession of the premises. They also showed a note signed by the old landlord that said specifically that area was for The Estate Sale’s display.

Then Officer Andreen came up with the cute excuse, “premises” meant only the building and not the parking lot. Laura showed him the Black’s Law Dictionary definition of “premises” which was the land and buildings and appurtenances thereon. Officer Andreen did not want to be bothered with law dictionaries. He is a police officer, not an attorney, he said.

After Lieutenant Scott Wahl got involved, and Laura started videotaping the police, the City of San Diego employees started being more polite, but still tried to get Mike and Laura to allow Cannatella to use their lot. The police used their authority to intimidate Mike and Laura and told them they were not “reasonable” to withhold use of their property from the very man who they alleged hit them, stalked them, trespassed in an attempt to close down their business, put up signs on The Estate Sale’s lot that said parking was for PB Auto Group, Cannatella’s next business he is opening, exclusively and who allegedly falsely imprisoned Mike and Laura several times in violation of PC 236.

Even after Laura got a temporary restraining order against Cannatella, The San Diego Police Department told her Cannatella could call a tow company as often as he wanted to try to have Laura’s car towed off her own lot.

We wonder how much free coffee Vicki Kahia gives the police officers to receive preferential treatment. If The City lets this go to trial and they lose one of those $10,000,000 lawsuits, that would be pretty expensive coffee. You do the math.


Good Clean Fun: How PB Sports Owner Justin Cannatella Torments Us

A temporary protective order was issued against the owner of P.B. Sports, Justin Cannatella, and his side kick, self-proclaimed police informer against the Mexican Mafia, Barry Pishon. When Mr. Pishon is not busy putting “55 murderers in prison” he is yelling threats at a middle-aged white woman that he will put her in jail and tow her car.

The boasting about informant work may be just that, but trying to tow a neighbor’s car and trying to put the neighbor in jail are actual activities of the dynamic duo.

The dispute stems from a real estate case, where Vicki Kahia snaked Laura Lynn and Mike Pietrczak out of purchasing the land The Estate Sale and P.B. Sports is on. While a court works out if Vicki should give or sell the property to The Estate Sale owners, or if Mike and Laura should pay their almost $7,000 per month rent to Vicki, there is a court order giving possession of half the property to The Estate Sale. (Mike and Laura already won an arbitration against their original landlord, but Vicki is playing hardball and dragging the matter through the more formal court system, with her lawyers paid for by her insurance company, Traveler’s.)

Cannatella wants to use the parking lot in the half of the property known as 2946 Garnet Avenue. Vicki’s broker, Justin Earley of CREV and JUDD, Inc, convinced the San Diego Police Department that he was the “manager” of both lots. Even when shown a copy of the order giving possession of “the premises” of 2946 Garnet Avenue to Mike and Laura, the police gave higher authority to a management agreement signed by Vicki Kahia, according to emails from Earley and verbal explanations by several officers.

Now there is a personal conduct order issued by The Court that requires Cannatella and Pishon to not “harass, intimidate, attack, threaten, stalk, abuse, destroy personal property of or disturb the peace” of Laura and Mike. For some reason, when the police were called several times since the order was served, they did not think certain behaviors fell within the scope of the restraining order.

Some of the complaints the police thought did not harass, intimidate, attack, threaten, stalk, abuse, destroy personal property of or disturb the peace were:

Justin taking video of Laura walking out to her car in the morning, taken from her parking lot, while Justin’s BMW blocked Laura from exiting.

Justin calling Western Towing to have Mike’s car towed off 2946 Garnet Avenue, because it blocked Justin and his customers from driving over 2946 to reach 2950. It is much easier to drive that way, but The Estate Sale was tired of Justin taking more and more liberties with their space, so they drew distinct boundaries according to the letter of the law.

Justin shoving a trash bin across The Estate Sale’s parking lot, because he did not like it in front of the back of his building, on the property line. He wants to use the back of the building as the front, and The City Neighborhood Code Enforcement erroneously approved it that way. (Perhaps a little payola was given.)

The police did agree that when Justin locked the gate to 2946 Garnet Avenue with his own lock and chain, during business hours, that might fall into the category of restrained behavior. They issued a citation, but made no arrest. They did not ask Mr. Cannatella to move his car from where he parked it in the 2946 Garnet parking lot.

A few hours later, without turning on his car lights, Justin and Barry quietly drove off. Someone had broken into Mike’s car and put superglue in the ignition between 8 p.m. and when the duo drove off around 9:30 p.m.. The police have no suspects.




Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: An Honest Judge

One owner of The Estate Sale, Laura Lynn, was a sort of folk hero or thorn in the side of corrupt judicial officers in Los Angeles. As you might expect, this did not ingratiate her with the Sheriff Department, either. Eventually, Laura was able to have Commissioner Alan Friedenthal publically admonished by the California Supreme Court for his bias, and she was probably, at least partially responsible for the early retirement of Presiding Family Law Judge Marjorie Steinberg.

Laura was trying to enjoy a quiet private life in San Diego, when Vicki Kahia snaked her out of a sweet real estate deal. Vicki seems to have friends on the police department here in San Diego, and the PD was encouraging Vicki’s cohorts to harass Laura.

Finally Laura has a perfect case to obtain a restraining order against two of the alleged land stealing conspirators. She got a temporary restraining order and is waiting to have the case heard for a permanent order.

The case was transferred to a different courtroom, because Judge Lisa Schall recused herself. The judge based her recusal on the fact that “A person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.”

Bravo Judge Lisa Schall! Laura does not recognize the name. She was probably not a target of Laura’s exposes. But, apparently Judge Schall heard of Laura and was gracious enough to bow out of the case.

This is a simple act, but one that helps preserve our freedoms and our amazing way of government. Three cheers for Judge Lisa Schall.

P.S. Even if she did it to cover her own drunk driving violation ass from another disciplinary action by the CJP.


The Estate Sale Wins Arbitration!

Arbitrator Michael Briggs of San Diego Neutrals awarded Micheal Pietrczak and Laura Lynn of The Estate Sale $171,000 for a breach of contract by their original landlord James Jordan of Certified Car Care in San Diego.

The decision stated that Mr. Jordan’s claim of just forgetting to give a contractual first right of refusal to purchase the property did not relieve Mr. Jordan of liability for actual damages.

Mr. Jordan was represented by attorney Daryl Idler. Though the attorneys representing the defendants who were not part of the arbitration, but are included in the lawsuit, might say Mr. Idler couldn’t argue his way out of a bag, it is clear that they will also lose in the litigation. Mike and Laura are also asking for punitive damages and compensation for intentionally inflicted emotional distress against defendants Vicki Kahia, owner of Candy Depot in Hillcrest, and real estate brokers CREV, Randy Rivera, Justin Earley, Rock Solid Real Estate, Peter Michael Rocca (who recently filed for bankruptcy), and agent Anthony Carnevale. Justin Cannatella, owner of P.B. Sports, Tony Bral, a Los Angeles based investor from the wealthy Persian/American Bral family, and The City of San Diego may also be named when the suit is amended to include information found during arbitration.


Insider Trading In San Diego: Charges Filed Three Years Later

Former Qualcomm Directors Indicted for Insider Trading
Derek Cohen and Robert Herman Bought More Than $500,000 in Securities of Atheros Communications Inc. Just One Day Before Qualcomm Officially Announced its Acquisition of That Company
U.S. Attorney’s Office
May 12, 2014

Southern District of California
(619) 557-5610
SAN DIEGO, CA—Two former Qualcomm sales directors have been charged with four counts of insider trading in an indictment unsealed today.

According to the indictment, Derek Montague Cohen and Robert William Herman were both directors of Qualcomm’s North America Sales Department. In addition to their day jobs, they were also part of an informal stock trading group, sharing tips and opinions about the stock market. According to the indictment, while still employed by Qualcomm, Cohen and Herman learned that Qualcomm (QCOM) was about to acquire Atheros Communications Inc. (ATHR), then a publicly traded technology company headquartered in California. Based on this inside information—and just one day before Qualcomm officially announced the acquisition—Cohen and Herman placed more than $500,000 in trades on various Atheros securities, including stocks purchases and option contracts. At the same time, Cohen allegedly covered a short position that he maintained, in violation of company policy, on Qualcomm stock.

Shortly after Cohen and Herman placed their trades, the New York Times’ DealBook blog leaked news of the impending acquisition, causing shares of Atheros to dramatically increase in value. Cohen and Herman then sold their securities, realizing a total profit of nearly $230,000. The indictment alleges that Cohen and Herman later falsely claimed to in-house Qualcomm lawyers and staff that they had only traded after reading a leaked news item—even though trading records, combined with records of the New York Times Company, show that this was impossible.

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said, “Insider trading is a threat to public companies and investors alike. This indictment should send a message throughout Southern California and beyond: the Department of Justice will not tolerate the manipulation of the securities markets for cynical and selfish personal gain.”

In a parallel action, the Securities and Exchange Commission today announced civil insider trading charges against Cohen and Herman.

Michele Wein Layne, director of SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, said, “As alleged in our complaint, Qualcomm placed trust in these sales managers who proceeded to exploit the confidential information shared with them and conduct insider trading for their personal gain.”

Cohen was arrested Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after he returned from an overseas visit to the Philippines. Herman remains at large.

Cohen was arraigned on the indictment in federal court in Los Angeles this afternoon; he entered a not-guilty plea and was to be released on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruben B. Brooks in San Diego on May 14, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. for a status hearing.

Indictments are not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defendants in Case Number: 14CR1202-JLS:

Derek Montague Cohen
Age: 52
San Diego, California
Robert William Herman
Age 52
San Diego, California