Thursday, August 9, 2018

No Surprise; Baldwin Park also Hires the Albright Law Firm for Hatchet Jobs

Clifton Albright,
Only partner left at Albright, Yee, & Schmit
Corruption requires both contractors and attorneys. Hence, it's no surprise that the City of Baldwin Park has hired a contracted attorney firm called Albright, Yee, and Schmit. The behavior of the Albright firm shows that lawyers need to be better disciplined.

The employee that takes care of the billing is a litigation consultant who goes by Cristeta Paguirigan also known as Cristeta Klaparda. (She has a lot more aliases than that.) 

What Albright doesn't want you to know is that she's a disbarred lawyer that forged documents in criminal court to try to get her client off. (Remember; when Tafoya misrepresented my signature in court too? Are these people all learning this trick from each other?)

But that didn't stop her from getting out of the legal profession. California and Colorado permit disbarred attorneys to work as paralegals and consultants.

Clifton Albright, a regular campaign
contributor to LA politicians, with
former LA Police Chief, Charlie Beck.
Wonder if it has anything to do with $2.4M he 
billed the City of Los Angeles?
So, during the late 90's and early 200's, Paguirigan got a job with the City of South Gate, working under Albright's firm. Within a three month period, she billed around $171,000

Does that mean that Paguirigan is claiming to have worked over 71 hours for 12 weeks? Seems kind of incredible, no?

The firm in fact sent the same bill twice for $6,000, which they allege was an "accident".

Besides forgery, 
Paguirigan has been alleged to have stolen at least three sums from her clients in the amounts of $15,000; $18,590; & $37,500, which totals about $71,090. Judge Michael A. Tynan said: "The defendant [Paguirigan ] is a danger to herself and the community". Yet, the City of Baldwin Park contracted the firm that hired her out. Has any one noticed that this city has a habit of hiring criminals, especially felons? 

As of December 5, 2002, Paguirigan still owed $300,000 in outstanding judgments. I couldn't find records to show whether she paid this yet.

We do know that she had at least $8,800 to give to Council Member Monic Garcia to run for State Senate. She's also started a marijuana shop called The Jade Effect. And Jade Effect and Baldwin Park are in business together. A
round December 14, 2017, the Jade Effect received a benefit from the City of Baldwin Park when it awarded marijuana licenses to the three associated businesses that purchase the Jade Effect's services.

And guess what? 16 years later, Paguirigan still works at the Albright firm. Only now, Baldwin Park instead of South Gate is a client.

I first met Clifton Albright - as he tried to coerce a confession from the now fired boxing coach Julian Casas. I believe Albright was trying to trick a boxing coach into giving a confession. The boxing coach was making minimum wage. Albright was surprised to see me, because he wasn't expecting me to show up and defend Julian. That was my first contact with him and his firm.

This isn't the first time Albright has fought city employees. The LA Times reports that Albright defended the City of Los Angeles against police officers who complained about ticket quotas. He charged $2.4 million in doing so.

Other nasty work they've done is defending at least one serial sexual rapist and abuser. The Albright Firm and the Tafoya tag teamed together to lose the Bikram Yoga trial. And for their client, they lost him a $7.4 million judgment. If you think about it, it's a lot of money. 

But after the plaintiffs tried to collect, they found all Bikram's assets disappearing. Now, they're playing out a common scheme known well in Baldwin Park. Bikram is filing for bankruptcy - which means the plaintiffs probably won't get anything.

So far - I've litigated against four of Albright's associates: Benjamin Caplan, Lori Nielsen, Jamie Wright, and Oliver Lasley. I've had problems with service by Nielsen, Wright, and Lasley.

Oliver Lasley not only files papers late
with the court; he withheld these documents
from me and served me five days later.
Although he says he works at Albright, 
he state bar website says he works for Lasley.
Very strange. More investigation needs to be done.
Let me explain. This firm is in the practice of not delivering you papers, or they deliver them to you late. And they do this, so you either have less time to respond or can't respond at all. 

It's disrespectful. I give them their papers on time, so they could have as much time as they need to response to my briefing. 

There's an unspoken rule that lawyers aren't supposed to write such things about other lawyers, but since we're a self-regulating institution, I think a discussion about such bad faith tactics need to be exposed, especially when these lawyers are making a small fortune off of taxpayer money. 

In one case with Albright, it got so bad, that I had to file a letter with the Court of Appeal against Nielsen, because they just weren't giving me their court filings. 

Then, Wright in September of 2017, while the city knew I was away and agreed to email service, they tried to slip in court costs against me. If I didn't respond in 14 days, they would have automatically won. Well, I found out and filed a responses. 

To their surprise, I stopped them.

The City and its lawyers want to spill my blood over $356.16. It makes you wonder, how many thousands of dollars they're billing to get this money. I can only guess that the city officials and administrators are obsessed with revenge.

And that brings me to another question. I'm curious as to how much in total this firm has charged Baldwin Park. I estimate it has to be close to $200,000 or more. But the City doesn't like disclosing such facts. 

Former attorney, Jaime Wright,
Doesn't she kind of look like
JoAnna Est - who sued local activist
Joseph Teixeira?
In any event, I've outlasted a number of the Albright lawyers. The Albright Firm can't seem to keep associates. Already, Wright and Caplan are gone. 

But what's more surprising is that the other two partners, Yee and Schmit, have also left. Schmit's gone to Washington State, actually. Allegedly they left for "retirement" purposes, but I don't believe that's the real reason.

My last encounter with this firm was recent. Their newest lawyer, Mr. Lasley - again filed a late opposition with the court. Then waited five days to give to me the papers. This was so I wouldn't have time to response to his opposition. Not good. 

Well, let's see what they do next and how this adversarial relationship evolves. 

For my readers, I write this article so you can see why lawyers are hated so much. And as long as attorneys don't pay for their bad behavior, why wouldn't it continue? Bad faith litigation tactics to a lawyer is what steroids is to an athlete in sports.

In California, the legal profession has certainly slid into a serious ethical crisis. Or, maybe it's always been this way.

Learning about Baldwin Park has certainly confirmed what Mario Puzo said: “A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.”

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