Friday, March 30, 2007

Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. New Images (9th Cir. - March 30, 2007)

Attorney Roy Dickson of Yorba Linda: Prepare to be disbarred, or, at worst, suspended. Because, in my opinion, that's going to -- and should -- happen. At least after this case.

Even a snippet from Judge Kleinfeld's opinion amply reveals Mr. Dickson's cause for concern, as well as his underlying -- incredible -- conduct in prosecuting the appeal:

"The core of the appellants’ argument is yet another fraud on the court. The appellants’ brief states that 'Dr. Robinson was in Bankruptcy until July of 2000.' This is important because a bankruptcy stay would prevent the April 2000 order compelling discovery from applying to Dr. Robinson when it was issued. The appellants’s brief states as a fact that the order granting relief from the stay and permitting litigation against
Dr. Robinson to proceed, 'was not operative until July 10, 2000.'

To support this critical factual assertion, appellants cite to their excerpts of record, where the docket sheet is reproduced. The docket sheet as reproduced in the appellants’ excerpts of record shows the date for the order granting relief from the bankruptcy stay as '7/00.' That looks as though it means July 2000, supporting the brief.

But that is false. In fact, the order was entered March 17, 2000. Appellants made March look like July by photocopying the docket sheet so that part of the left side did not copy. Thus, '03/17/00' became '7/00.'

Appellees pointed this out in their brief. Yet when it was called to appellants’ attention in the opposition brief in this appeal, they did not confess error. They did not file a reply brief."

Yikes. I'll spare you the other details regarding Mr. Dickson's representation, which you can obtain (if you'd like) by reading the rest of the opinion. Suffice it to say that Judge Kleinfeld is entirely justified in ending the opinion with a footnote that says: "We are sending a copy of this decision to the California Bar for such action as it may deem appropriate regarding Mr. Dickson." And since even the briefest of digging reveals that Mr. Dickson has already been publicly discliplined by the Bar three separate times in the last decade, I have little doubt that Roy's looking at a suspension from the practice of law -- if not disbarment -- up the road. We tend not to like deliberate efforts to defraud the court, dontchaknow.