Saturday, September 01, 2007

Will Shinoff, Sleeth and Stutz law firm finally be forced out of MiraCosta College?

This blog long ago called for Daniel Shinoff to stop digging MiraCosta College ever deeper into the morass he created there. It seems that Superior Court Judge Michael Anello agrees.

Here is an article about the effort to disqualify Shinoff, Sleeth and other Stutz law firm lawyers from representing MiraCosta College.

August 25, 2007

VISTA ---- Superior Court Judge Michael Anello heard arguments Friday for and against disqualifying the law firm representing MiraCosta College in the case of a former vice president who has sued the college, but issued no final ruling...

However, in a tentative ruling issued Thursday, Anello sided with attorney Tracy Warren in granting the disqualification.

Warren represents Julie Hatoff, the former vice president of instruction accused by college officials of "wasting taxpayer money" and "protecting a rogue employee." She faces disciplinary action by the college before an administrative law judge.

Hatoff sued the college in May, alleging breach of contract, negligence, extortion, harassment and labor law violations.

In his tentative ruling, Anello said Daniel Shinoff, a partner in the law firm Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff and Holtz, violated a rule requiring lawyers to clearly inform people who they represent.

Warren said in court Friday and in court documents that Shinoff had opportunities in five meetings during the investigation of the illegal sale of palm trees from the campus horticulture department to tell Hatoff that he represented the college ---- not her as an officer of the college.

Warren said Shinoff guaranteed Hatoff confidential "attorney-client privilege" protection but then used information she provided to build a case against her.

Jack Sleeth, an attorney with Shinoff's law firm, argued Friday that Hatoff was never his client, and so no rules prescribing the attorney-client relationship pertain.
This is an earlier version of the article:

[Interestingly enough, attorney Ann Smith, of San Diego MEA pension fame, violated the rule to clearly inform a client if they are already representing someone who is in opposition to that client. Ann Smith asked me a lot of questions in January 2002 when I went to her office. Then I found out that she never considered representing my interests, and was helping those who were opposing me].

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