LaForteza was appointed to the bench on November 5, 2008 by Arnold. He has run unopposed since. He is up for reelection in 2023.
In August 2010, LaForteza was referenced in an article on sfgate.com about donations, and gifts, given to then District Attorney, Steve Cooley. LaForteza made it to the list for giving Cooley $100 worth of cigars.
In 2018, People v. Vasquez was retried due to his improper jury instructions, and now he has made his way into civil court in Van Nuys.
He replaced a great judge, Judge Traber, who suddenly left the department 4 days after the parties last appeared before her in Hart v Sullivan.
Now he appears to be attempting to undo all the good that was done and is quite aggressive in his tentative orders even suggesting that a pro per "hire a service to assist her with review of the responsive [14,800] videos produced." The thing is - they were not responsive. The two angles were of an elevator and The videos consisted of 14,800 videos of nothing - ignoring Judge Traber's prior July 28, 2021 Order to produce videos of "trash being moved to a trash compactor." Naturally counsel and Legacy Partners produced a 24/7 loop of 14,800 videos of a "dog park" and an "elevator" at all hours of the night because what apartment complex does not move trash at midnight and 2AM? On a 24/7 loop there would have been at least 10,000 videos not responsive and plaintiff is now forced to hire a team to go through them. Legacy Partners is in violation of CCP Section 2023.080(a). He also states,
"To the extent that Plaintiff wants specific times, dates, and locations, she can propound a document request and Defendant will be required to produce the same." Judge Traber ordered Legacy Partners to produce videos evidencing trash being moved on August 7, 2020, and now LaForteza tells plaintiff to serve a RFP of the times. How could plaintiff possibly know the times? The point of the Order to produce is the Maintenance Manager alleged under oath that Legacy Partners "spends 8-hours a day on trash." Thy were supposed to provide the evidence. Additionally, Legacy Partners has not produced one document in this case - and or answered any interrogs since Justin Bubion took over as the third law firm back in October 2020. He literally objects to requests for property photos, invoices, witness names with "attorney/client privilege" and "will not lead to admissible evidence," naturally.
Plaintiff even asked for videos of trash being moved since the Order and he objected...
A judge is supposed to be objective and not act as an attorney for the defendants.
LaForteza is clearly bias against pro per litigants and appears to have a personal vendetta against this plaintiff.
He even struck a Verified Statement to Disqualify him on June 16, 2021 hours after being served, a violation of CCP Section 170.3(c)(5). In his Order he states that plaintiff should have sought appellate review when he struck her prior Notice of reservation of a motion to disqualify, filed on June 10, 2021, as though you can seek appellate review over the striking of such a Notice. She then researched the matter and followed his own instructions stated in the June 11, 2021 Minute Order. He now takes issue with the fact that she properly served him a Verified Statement with legal grounds to disqualify him.
In the June 11, 2021 Minute Order, Judge LaForteza also states:
"Plaintiff’s motion for leave to re-file Declaration Re: ADR’s Objections to Plaintiff’s Subpoena for Ex- Parte Records – June 11, 2021 filed on 06/03/2021 and stricken on 06/04/2021 is heard and GRANTED." The thing is, there was no motion for leave before the court. That day in court simply plaintiff addressed the fact that when the court stuck 3000 documents from the record the court stated at the time on June 4, 2021, that plaintiff could re-file her declaration as to ADR who were refusing to respond to a subpoena for ex-parte communications with Justin Bubion and Steven Parminter. The problem was, the Minute Order from June 4, 2021 left that out. Plaintiff was simply pointing out to the court that it had been left out. Bubion claimed he did not recall (of course) and LaForteza did not have much to say or seem to recall as to what had been previously stated (hence the need for a court reporter), but because Bubion did not argue against it the court was nice enough to honor its previous statement on the record.
A Writ will be filed, but not over the striking of a Notice - rather over the improper striking of a Verified Statement of Disqualification stating legal grounds for such a disqualification. This case has become a complete farce. With counsel (Justin Bubion and Ashan Peiris) refusing to respond to any discovery, copying and pasting improper boilerplate objections to every request, and a judge who still has a 175-page recommendations before him waiting to be ruled on since 2/2021, this case is headed to an appeal.
If judges handled their calendars and ruled according to precedent, Rules of Court and the Discovery Act, this madness could be avoided.
LaForteza thinks he can force a litigant to settle or dismiss her case by ignoring precedent and bullying them.
The vile and alarming conduct of counsel in Hart v Sullivan, et al is well documented (one can simply read Hart's declarations filed) and will be addressed in Hart v. State Bar of California. Lawyers acting like 5 year-olds, opposing every single subpoena to third parties, playing games for a year with depositions, meritless motions to quash, boilerplate objections to EVERY single Request for Production and Interrogatories, and despite all of it - they will still lose the case because they have no defense for any of the causes.
Axis and RLI (insurance carriers) have paid close to a million dollars to date just to try and beat a pro per litigant.
There is no excuse for LaForteza ignoring their conduct, not reading a pro per's pleading and striking 3000 documents from the record via an ex-parte application on a day Department U does NOT even hear ex-parte applications, as he did on June 4, 2021.
Background: Justin Bubion from Traub Lieberman, published 643 documents, which he regretted doing. He tried to bully plaintiff into stipulating to seal the records even though CRC, Rule 2.551 does not allow the parties to stipulate to sealing. Bubion would then go on to blame plaintiff for his mistake when he had staff helping him prepare the filing - so there was no excuse. One might wonder why he did not question the filing when he realized it was 1700 pages. He simply just screwed up. During the ex-parte hearing, after LaForteza said he would take it "under advisement" (he actually intended to GRANT the request to seal 1700 pages despite precedent) he suddenly changed his mind, on the record, because his Judicial Assistant interrupted and whispered something to him - and there you go...
3000 documents (in total) were now stricken.
How can this be allowed to go on at LASC?
LaForteza actually said on the record, "discovery documents do not make it into the court record," (he must have never read a Summary Judgment or MFS), and if true, how did plaintiff's leases (produced in discovery) get judicially noticed by Judge Traber?
He then says, "let's start fresh" and do away with all the documents filed as to the discovery referee's recommendations.
So you can simply wipe away the docket to "start fresh," who knew?
He literally changed his ruling on the record because of his Judicial Assistant.
LaForteza ignored case law, which states it is "unconstitutional" to seal an entire pleading due to financials, or personal info, when it can be narrowly tailored.
The public has a right to access and its not the court's job to save attorneys from their screw-ups.
When one is governed by ego they will make colossal errors and that is what counsel did here.
When Plaintiff needed to seal her home address for security reasons, she was required to motion it. While Bubion and Sullivan needlessly opposed the motion, it was GRANTED by Judge Traber. Bubion then went and published plaintiff's address in 30+ documents on May 25, 2021. He also published his client's SSN (a violation of CRC, Rule 1.20). He was not sanctioned for either.
Judge LaForteza erred in denying plaintiff's Preliminary Injunction on May 20, 2021 heard on a noticed motion, to get her PII off a third party website belonging to RealPage, as she had not authorized them to host her information. Yet here he was striking 3000 documents. He also refused to address property defects to include mini horns not working, which puts tenant lives in danger. He alleged that plaintiff had not shown the court that she would prevail on ALL 13 causes. While she had shown she would prevail on the habitability issues and nuisance, she was not required to show she would prevail on all.
This judge is clearly being guided by someone who does not know the law or care to read the facts.
Despite his previous rulings...here he was, STRIKING 3000 documents (and several of plaintiff's declarations), which he ordered the parties to file on May 24, 2021. This was all happening on an ex-parte, due to a claim by Bubion that they were all "personnel records" and "attorney-client privilege," when one could clearly view the records, and see this was untrue. Judge's should not simply take the word of a lawyer when the slightest investigation would tell the court the actual truth.
LaForteza also made a ruling on May 20, 2021 that there will be NO Informal Discovery Conferences due to the, "parties not willing to work together." Now every little matter will have to be motioned. Why should any plaintiff be harmed by OPC vile conduct?
When Judge Traber was in the case, Tommy Pan, working at Lewis Brisbois at the time, and the Legacy Partners defendants, had to pay $3500 in sanctions to plaintiff for their conduct. The defendants were also ordered to pay all costs for the referee, as Judge Traber stated that the discovery plaintiff was seeking was "basic discovery." Unfortunately, a retired judge, who has not sat on the bench for 25-years, was chosen from ADR. If you have ever encountered ADR, then you know the deal. Ret. Judge Thomas recommendations are beyond comprehension and at $650 an hour he has basically DENIED 90% of the records being sought. Legacy and LaSalle are currently arguing against the plaintiff to keep discovery with ADR. What carrier on the planet would argue to keep paying $650 an hour? Axis and RLI. Their customers would be mortified if they knew where their premiums were going. Thomas actually wrote that the defendants pointing to a 65-page document dump in response a request for one document, was "ok," despite CCP, Section 2023.080(a) not permitting this.
Knowing that Sullivan's phone had already been ordered extracted, and extracted, Thomas recommendation was to DENY the extraction. How does one cure such madness? He allowed 100+ "I don't recall" answers to Special Interrogatories when emails were readily available to the defendants to help them recall the answers. This is what happens when one is pro per.
Months after the mind-boggling recommendations were filed - the court has still not read them as of June 18, 2021, and will not rule on them until August 31, 2021, prejudicing plaintiff's case yet again.
What is transpiring here is pure madness and is the epitome of what is wrong with LASC, and why our judicial elections are so vital.
Research our judges and vote!
How long should LaForteza sit on the bench stripping others of their right of access to the court, and right to be made whole?
Hired by the court’s judges as a commissioner, Judge Paul Bacigalupo ran in 2002, able to claim he was an “LA Superior Court Judge” on the ballot. He has run unopposed since never appearing on a general election ballot again.
Bacigalupo is accused of arrogance and having significant disdain toward litigants, proven in this video of his speech at the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) audit hearing on June 12, 2019, in which he implies all complaints come from disgruntled family law litigants. This is extremely inappropriate coming from a judge in charge of hearing every side of an argument in the court of law.
Bacigalupo is openly anti-CJP reform, which should concern everyone who walks into his courtroom, especially since the mission of the CJP is “to protect the public, enforce rigorous standards of judicial conduct and maintain public confidence in the integrity and independence of the judicial system.” The CJP, which jurisdiction is only the state of California, have received over 6,000 complaints - showing there are obviously substantial issues that need to be addressed.
Transcripts from his courtroom have shown Bacigalupo antagonizing and mocking litigants. Many have witnessed him yelling at self-represented litigants for no reason. Though he claims judges are “thoughtful,” as stated in his speech in the above video, he is not.
In one startling example of his bias and hostility, in June 2018, Bacigalupo sanctioned (charged) a plaintiff $2500 over a Protective Order on a subpoena for work emails relating to the management of a rental property. The subpoena sought specific emails sitting on the defendants work server relating to the plaintiff and her tenancy. The problem though is that the motion he referenced (on the record) he was sanctioning the plaintiff on, had been taken off calendar in December 2017, and the legal fees/costs requested, were for work that could never have taken place (oppositions and appearances), and didn’t.
It was evident that Judge Bacigalupo did not even read the given subpoena and stated all the records were “employment records,” when only one of the 18 requests in the subpoena was for an employment record - an employment application. Based on these facts, code of civil procedure and precedent, he was not permitted to deny the production of the emails let alone sanction the plaintiff at all.
Just weeks after sanctioning this litigant for no reason, Bacigalupo began his new position as the President of the California Judges Association (CJA). According to employees at the CJA, he was appointed by the board of 26, not “elected” as he claims in the above video.
Bacigalupo‘s conduct is more than questionable - it’s vindictive and alarming and devoid of any legal authority. He should not be permitted to sit on any bench, let alone be president of CJA judging other judges.
A report of his conduct was made directly to the CJP on July 9, 2018. One year later - still no response. This should come as no surprise considering months earlier, in March 2018, Greg Dresser, the head of the CJP, attended an event (The Evolution of Judging - hosted by the CJA) with Bacigalupo - not to mention Bacigalupo was a Special Master for the CJP in 2018. We presume he couldn't judge himself.
Please join our efforts to remove him from the bench.
Judge Timothy Dillon was appointed by Governor Brown in 2015. His term is set to end in 2022. We must remove him from the bench now, not let him sit for another three years.
Judge Dillon is a member of the Executive Board of the California Judge’s Association (CJA).
There have been a number of potentially corrupt and indecent judges associated with the CJA.
In a recent case of retaliatory eviction as reported by KNOCK-LA, Judge Dillon overturned a jury’s decision in favor of the tenant causing the tenant to be evicted despite evidence that the tenant was being targeted.
Judge Dillon has been accused of ex-parte communications, which is defined as “any communication between a judge or juror and a party to a legal proceeding or any other person about the case, outside of the presence of the opposing party or the opposing party's attorney.”
In one specific instance, a parent informed us that Dillon admitted on the record to doing so.
Dillon is also accused of not reading motions or declarations and making judgments without being fully informed.
In another case, Judge Dillon stated on the record at least three times that he was aware of, and or in awe of, the petitioner’s boss, “a great doctor” and did not recuse himself. This unfounded admiration of a gastro doctor who moonlights as a movie producer, lead to the judge bullying the actual victim, the respondent, over having the audacity to copy this “great doctor“ on ONE email, and blindly believing the petitioner’s testimony, which would later be proven to have been perjured testimony. This clear bias lead to the respondent reluctantly, and out of great fear, signing a stipulation. When later presented with proof of perjury obtained in a separate civil suit against the petitioner, Judge Dillon said nothing and did nothing and refused to vacate.
In fact, Judge Dillon has been accused multiple times of turning a blind eye to perjured testimony allowing litigants with criminal records to walk away unscathed. Why take the oath if there are no repercussions for lying?
There have been several reports against Judge Dillon to the CJP who are supposed to be an independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges. Unfortunately they did nothing.
You can read a few of his reviews on The Robing Room.
Judge Timothy Dillon believes he will face no consequences for his years of alarming conduct.
We are here to prove him wrong.
Convey joined LA Superior Court as a commissioner in 2002 and was appointed by Arnold in 2010. Convey ran for re-election in 2012 as an unopposed incumbent never appearing on the general election ballot again. His term ends in 2025. We must recall him now.
Convey has a very interesting way he runs his courtroom. With his background in insurance defense he appears to empathize with defendants and the carriers. To say he despises self-represented litigants would be quite the understatement. Even when presented with new facts - and evidence, he denied a plaintiff's right to amend her complaint. He then forced her to respond to a demurrer filed by an employee of a suspended corporation after mediation and settlement. Convey could have simply taken the motion off calendar as required per CA Rules of Court, Rule 3.1385(c)(3) or the lawyer in question could have withdrawn the motion. Instead the self-represented litigant was forced to file a response/opposition to the demurrer. His courtroom staff then allowed this same lawyer (via a mere phone request) to move up a protective order hearing seeking sanctions of $6400 against the self-represented litigant (after settlement) by two months without a motion to shorten time, his approval or the parties in the case stipulating. He never even sanctioned the lawyer for doing so. This new date did not even permit for proper service under CCP Section 1005. He then denied (and struck) the plaintiff's motion to disqualify him for bias. This seems to be a pattern of his. He is currently permitting a cross-complaint (in the same matter) to be litigated after no responsive pleading was filed by the cross-defendants (or default entered) for 15 months. Convey never even put an Order to Show Cause hearing on calendar as transcripts lodged in 2019, confirm.
Public records show two cases filed by self-represented litigants against him (one, a lawyer himself); Art Bufford v Michael J Convey et al (2007) and Alexander Baker v Michael J Convey (2016). The stories about Convey are endless.
He tragically even issued a restraining order against singer Elizabeth Le Fey (appearing in pro per) when in fact she was physically assaulted by the petitioner. You can read more about her case below.
How much more damage will we allow Convey to cause?
Judge Alison Mackenzie was appointed to the bench by Governor Brown in July 2018 to fill a vacancy.
Mackenzie’s background is in entertainment law, so naturally she is presiding in a family law court.
Mackenzie is disorganized, scattered, and misrepresents the facts on the record. She sends litigants to other courtrooms only to find out there is no judge currently in that courtroom.
The hate she exhibits towards litigants is unacceptable.
At one hearing, Mackenzie was holding a FL300 order form in her hand while saying over and over “I don’t have an order” on the record. She then accused the respondent of “not filing a proof of service,” despite the docket showing it was filed a month prior. Mackenzie had very little to say about the actual request for clarification and subsequently denied the request.
Mackenzie is erratic and berated the same respondent in an open courtroom, yelling that the respondent had a restraining order against her and how “serious” it was, when she demonstrably did not. In fact, even Judge Dillon had previously stated on the record “there is no restraining order - just a piece of paper in a file.” Mackenzie then ignored opposing counsel’s improper conduct when she was informed that counsel told the respondent’s landlord that the respondent had a restraining order on her, hoping to get her evicted. Counsel didn't even deny it on the record. Mackenzie said nothing.
Judge Mackenzie has been on the bench for only one year and has shown she is not capable of the position.
Join us in our efforts to recall Judge Mackenzie.
LA Recalls Committee in Support of Recalling [Judge Bernie c. laforteza], Judge Paul Bacigalupo, Judge Michael J Convey, Judge Timothy P Dillon & Judge Alison Mackenzie.
I.D. Number 1423433
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