Law Firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy Pinkney Violate Bar Association Rule 2-200 Financial Arrangements Among Lawyers
Law Firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy Pinkney charged Beaumont for Claims & Lawsuits Contracted to other Law Firms.
The April 21, 2015 Council Agenda listed 11 Lawsuits:
a. Conference with Labor Negotiator – Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 City
b. Pursuant to Government Code 54956.9 (d)(1)– Pending Litigation
1) Western Riverside Council of Governments vs. City of Beaumont RIC 536164 (Appeal Filed)
2) Oak Tree Alternative Care vs. City of Beaumont RIC 1109687 (Appeal Filed)
3) Morgan/Luna vs. City of Beaumont RIC 1118540 (Judgment for City; Appeal filed)
4) City of Beaumont vs. WRCOG/RCTC – RIC 1211222 (Stayed)
5) Sontoski vs. City of Beaumont – RIC 1217866
6) Hernandez vs. City of Beaumont, et.al. ED CV 13-00967DDP (DTBx) (Settlement Agreement
Approved by Court, Dismissal Pending)
7) City of Beaumont vs. Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District RIC 1314072 (Settlement
8) Pedroza vs. City of Beaumont EDCV-13-01800JGB (DTBx)
9) Ellis vs. City of Beaumont RIC 1402938
10) Bingham vs. City of Beaumont RIC 1408807
11) Hupp vs. City of Beaumont EDCV14-02560
c. Pursuant to Government Code 54956.9(d)(2)– Anticipated Litigation (one potential case)
d. Personnel Matters – Evaluation of City Manager and Legal Counsel (Govt. Code 54957 (b))
The Law Firm of Aklufi Wysocki charged the City between $20,000 to $25,000 per month for city attorney services and the Lawsuits & Claims were assigned to other Law Firms.
On April 28, 2015, the Law Firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy Pinkney was hired as Beaumont’s City Attorney to replace the Law Firm of Aklufi Wysocki. There was no advertisement for the position and no Public Bid as required by State Law. The ‘selling point’ was that the Law Firm would only charge $7,500/month retainer, which was far less than Aklufi Wysocki’s fee.
In the last 29 months the Law Firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy Pinkney has charged the City $2 Million including fees for old Lawsuits already concluded and Lawsuits that were already Contracted to other Law Firms.
Listed on Billing as of September 2017:
General Litigation $38,709.35
3rd Party Claim $42,908.89
Planning Commission $1,018.60
Police Department $3,728.40
Utility Authority $2,860.00
Aklufi Wysocki $1,014.60
Bank of America $302.50
BCV Parks and Recreation $825.00
BCV Water District $220.48
Cali Riverwatch $1,109.96
Hidden Canyon $8,115.51
Labor & Employ $261,601.81
Laborers’ International $1,508.20
Oak Tree $8,322.30
Sierra Club $5,233.31
Urban Logic $36,714.74
Workman’s Comp $165.00
TOTAL INVOICES $1,641,947.26
TOTAL PAID OUT $1,923,012.93
INVOICES MISSING: $281,065.67
Rule 2-200 Financial Arrangements Among Lawyers
(A) A member shall not divide a fee for legal services with a lawyer who is not a partner of, associate of, or shareholder with the member unless:
(1) The client has consented in writing thereto after a full disclosure has been made in writing that a division of fees will be made and the terms of such division; and
(2) The total fee charged by all lawyers is not increased solely by reason of the provision for division of fees and is not unconscionable as that term is defined in rule 4-200.
(B) Except as permitted in paragraph (A) of this rule or rule 2-300, a member shall not compensate, give, or promise anything of value to any lawyer for the purpose of recommending or securing employment of the member or the member’s law firm by a client, or as a reward for having made a recommendation resulting in employment of the member or the member’s law firm by a client. A member’s offering of or giving a gift or gratuity to any lawyer who has made a recommendation resulting in the employment of the member or the member’s law firm shall not of itself violate this rule, provided that the gift or gratuity was not offered in consideration of any promise, agreement, or understanding that such a gift or gratuity would be forthcoming or that referrals would be made or encouraged in the future.