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 in Hart v. Sullivan, et al., last appeared before her
During his short period of time in Department U he has ruled as follows:
Ordered that a pro per litigant hire a service to go through a 14,800 video dump despite the videos not being responsive to a prior court order, Struck 3000 documents from the docket as to help opposing counsel who filed 642 documents they alleged were "personnel files."
Has ignored CCP Section 2023.080(a).
Struck a Verified Statement to Disqualify served on him for clear bias four hours after being served.
Refused to order a third party, RealPage, to remove plaintiff's personal identifiers from their website.
Refused to direct the Legacy defendants to repair defects that put tenant lives in danger.
Permits counsel to lie to him on an ongoing basis - even turns counsel's deceptive statement into Orders.
Permitted OPC to file his own client's SSN w/o sanctions, despite Rule 1.20.
After a plaintiff spoke for roughly 20 minutes on July 22, 2021, at a hearing on a MTQ two document requests from Career Strategies, Inc, ("Career") pointing out step-by-step how his 9-page tentative to GRANT the request was improper, he immediately makes his tentative an order. He did not even look at the plaintiff while she spoke. Appeared to be working on something not related to Hart v Sullivan, does not ask any questions or try and understand why his ruling was wrong, or even appear to be remotely interested in the proceedings. This is a judge on a mission. Judicial Canon of Ethics mandates that all litigants be heard. Without an ounce of evidence before him that the defendant was EVER an employee at this temp agency, Career - and despite evidence before him that after the defendant's termination from Legacy Partner's employment she immediately sought unemployment, he STILL would not budge from his tentative. The defendant would not even produce dates she allegedly worked at Career so she could claim emails she sent were "personnel records" when they were simply letting Career know that she was "transitioning jobs."
His clear hatred of pro per litigants is going to get him removed from the bench. LaForteza is not ruling on the merits - he takes a line in a motion and conforms it to the ruling and outcome he wants, which is for the plaintiff to lose. This is not the job of ANY judge. If the public were to look at the Minute Orders from Judge Traber, and compare them to Judge LaForteza, one will see a fair judge's perception of the case in contrast with a bias judge on a mission.
While not saying a word as to Hart's valid points on the tentative - he spent 5-10 minutes citing case law as to why he was returning a letter (while on the record) HART wrote him about the case (copied to all parties) being that he will not allow an IDC in the case. There is judge who essentially no one in the case can communicate with on any matter unless its motioned.
LaForteza alleges in an Order filed July 22, 2021, that the plaintiff is suing "19 defendants" when this is not so. The property was placed into an LLC with corporations controlling the LLC. In 2018, the property was placed in a Corporation with LaSalle Investment, and Kyle Dupree, running/controlling the property. Essentially one person is appearing for each of these entities. As to the property management, Legacy Partners, Inc., and its employees working at the subject property, they are sued as the "property managers" and consist of six defendants. Two of the six are being sued for breaching a prior 2016 settlement. He is clearly trying to mislead the public, the appellate court (where this is all headed) and the record, as though the plaintiff is suing 19 different individuals for the same conduct - when this is not so. He continues to accuse the plaintiff in his tentatives (made into orders) that she is lying and or misquotes her conduct despite the motion and evidence before him proving that what he is saying, is factually incorrect.
A judge with so much hate for a litigant (as evidenced in each of his orders) should not be ruling on the case.
At this point, this case has become a complete farce. With counsel (Justin Bubion from Traub who moved to Quintairos in June 2021 (with no substitutions being filed with the court), and Ashan Peiris an associate from Wilson Elser) refusing to respond to any discovery, copying and pasting improper boilerplate objections to every request, refusing to produce documents to back up any of their boilerplate Affirmative Defenses, and a judge who has yet to review 250-pages of discovery recommendations from ADR since 2/2021, this case is headed to an appeal.
If judges handled their calendars and ruled according to precedent, Judicial Canon of Ethics, California 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, the evidence and the blatant facts before him.
Axis and RLI & Sompo (insurance carriers) have paid close to a million dollars to date to stoop to any scheme necessary just to try and beat a pro per litigant. This should concern their insured and the public.
There is no excuse for LaForteza ignoring Bubion's 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.
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). 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?
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 Bubion did here.
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 under Cary Wood, at Lewis Brisbois at the time, and Sullivan along w/ the Legacy defendants had to pay $3500 in sanctions to plaintiff for their conduct. Wood/Pan then suddenly left the case. 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. They currently have 3 civil suits filed against them.
Ret. Judge Thomas ("Thomas") recommendations are beyond comprehension and at $650 an hour he has basically DENIED 90% of the basic records being sought. Legacy and LaSalle are currently arguing against the plaintiff to keep discovery with ADR, as they know he will continue to rule in their favor. What ethical carrier on the planet would argue to keep paying $650 an hour? Axis, RLI & Sompo. Why not simply litigate on the merits? Because they have no defense. 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 to a request for production, was "ok," despite CCP, Section 2023.080(a) not permitting this.
And despite being told twice that Sullivan's phone had already been ordered extracted, and extracted, over "unauthorized access" to plaintiff's tenant file at which she removed plaintiff's CDL, Thomas' recommended the DENIAL of 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 and it must stop.
Six months after the mind-boggling recommendations were filed w/ the court, LaForteza has still not read them as of July 25, 2021, and will not rule on them until August 31, 2021, prejudicing plaintiff's case yet again, as there is a stay on all referee matters until the ruling.
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! The CJP will not do a thing and neither will the Presiding Judge.
Only the public can get change!
How long should LaForteza sit on the bench stripping others of their right of access to the court, and right to be heard and 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.
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 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.
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 "You do..." when in fact, she didn't.
We receive reports about this judge on a weekly basis. Quite alarming. Her rage and bias statements seem to be systemic. According to litigants she sends her Bailiff to the hall to tell them of her final order. Naturally.
Judge Mackenzie has been on the bench for a short time and has already 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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