DeCourseys' Reply in Support of Complaint to the Washington State Bar Association
Degginger, McBride, Sulkin, & Eaton

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“One does not have to inhale the self-adulatory bombast of after-dinner speeches to affirm that all the interests of man that are composed under constitutional guarantees given in ‘life, liberty and property’ are in the professional keeping of lawyers.
“It is a fair characterization of the lawyer’s responsibility in our society that he [or she] stands ‘as a shield’ ... in defense of right and to ward off wrong.  From a profession charged with such responsibilities there must be exacted those qualities of truth-speaking, of a high sense of honor, of granite discretion, of the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility, that have, throughout the centuries, been compendiously described as ‘moral character.’”
(Justice Felix Frankfurter, concurring in Schare v. Board of Examiners of New Mexico, 353 US 232, 247 (1957); as cited by California Supreme Court, Exhibit January 27, 2014, Pg. 30.)

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Those Who Lie To The Court And To Their Clients
Do Not Dispute DeCoursey Documentation

Throughout their August 15 Response to our Grievance, Degginger, McBride, Sulkin and Eaton do not dispute any of our documentation.  Instead -- throughout -- they attempt to defend themselves by lying to the WSBA Disciplinary Counsel, itself an offense against Title 8 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Those Who Lie To The Court And To Their Clients Concede
They Cannot Answer the Documented Complaints of DeCourseys

The Respondents state:

It would be nearly impossible to take on each and every one of the [bizarre] accusations made by the DeCourseys.” (Response, Pg. 3, final para.)

With this statement, Respondents admit they are unable to raise even a putative defense to many points of our Grievance.  In point of fact, the more bizarre an accusation, the easier it should be to refute.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients Concede
the Accuracy Of The Matrix The Truth, The Lie, and the Judge

The DeCourseys’ serial accusations against both Mr. Sulkin and Ms. Eaton of lying to the Court have also been properly rejected (often repeatedly) by the trial court.” (Response, pg. 4, top half of page.)

But Respondents have refused to address and refute those “serial accusations” with their own documentation.  Many of those lies were summarized in the matrix The Truth, the Lie, and the Judge

(Grievance, Part II, Chapter 2, Pgs. 156-170; attached hereto for easy reference as TAB 1.)

The Truth, the Lie, and the Judge is an orderly and fully documented presentation of the lies told by Sulkin and Eaton (representing Lane Powell) in the Superior Court during the Lane Powell v. Mark DeCoursey and Carol DeCoursey litigation.  It should be easy for four big-time lawyers (supported by associates and paralegals) to show that the assertions in that matrix are untrue.  Yet the Respondents do not challenge any of the assertions in that matrix, effectively conceding everything as described.  They tacitly admit they violated RPC 3.3 “Candor Towards The Tribunal” in all cited instances.

And no, the trial court did not “reject” our assertions that Sulkin and Eaton were lying to the Court.  Judge Richard Eadie (a disqualified judge under the Code of Judicial Conduct), having been presented with documented proof that the statements in question were indeed lies, simply incorporated many of the lies in his rulings, without comment.

There were a number of independent observers in Judge Eadie’s courtroom on November 16, 2012, during the Summary Judgment hearing.  Four wrote affidavits.  Each person attested that Judge Eadie appeared to have no interest whatsoever establishing truth; he accepted Sulkin’s word on everything without even a cursory glance at our documentation.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie About Degginger’s Conflict of Interest

The Respondents state:

The DeCourseys incorrectly attempt to suggest that either Mr. Degginger or Lane Powell through Mr. Degginger had a conflict of interest in representing them.  The source of this alleged conflict -- they claim -- was that (1) at the time Lane Powell tried their case, Mr,. Degginger was the mayor of the City of Bellevue, and (2) during the course of Mr. Degginger’s 2007 re-election campaign, he received a campaign contribution from the Washington Association of Realtors.
Mr. Degginger served as a member of the Bellevue City Council from November, 1999 until December 31, 2011, and served as the City’s Mayor from 2006-2010.  His service as a council-member and mayor was listed on his resume found on the firm’s website throughout that entire period.  The DeCourseys were well aware of his role with the City and the subject was discussed the first time he met them.  Records filed with the Public Disclosure commission indicate that the Washington Association of Realtors was one of about 200 contributors to Mr. Degginger’s 2007 election.  The contribution was received in late September 2007 and was timely disclosed. He has no idea which individual members contributed to the Realtor’s political action committee that year.  He was reelected with over 70 percent of the vote.  It strains both logic and credulity to suggest that the Realtors contribution to Mr. Degginger’s campaign had any effect on the conduct of the Windermere Litigation.  As described above, Lane Powell aggressively litigated the case against Windermere and the other defendants and achieved a victory for the DeCourseys including a significant award of attorney fees.” (Response, Pg. 7.)

Realtors was not merely “one of about 200 contributors to Mr. Degginger’s 2007 election.” Realtors made the single largest contribution to Degginger’s 2007 campaign: their contribution of $1,500 was the largest permitted by law.  Degginger “had no idea which individual members contributed to the Realtors political action committee that year”? Given that Windermere is the largest real estate company in Washington and every Windermere agent/broker is a member of Realtors, Degginger must have known that many Windermere agents contributed to that $1,500.  Realtors’ contribution is a concrete demonstration that Degginger and Realtors held sympathetic views of the local economy: that real estate buy-sell is a good thing.  Quadrant Homes, which had/has a long-standing relationship with Windermere, was also a contributor to the Degginger campaign.  Other development interests that contributed to Degginger 2007 campaign are discussed in our Grievance.

Documents provided by the PDC show many of Degginger’s “200” contributors were members of the real estate, building, and development communities. 

(Grievance, Part 1, Chapter 1, “Was Representation Undertaken in Good Faith?  Or Was There Fraud In The Inducement?” Pg. 40. See Exhibit September 19, 2007 (2), attached to Grievance at Book 2.)

Lane Powell’s Contribution to Campaign Not Mentioned.  The second largest contributor to Degginger’s campaign was Lane Powell.  The firm contributed $1,000, signifying the firm’s financial backing and institutional interest in Degginger’s political activities -- and the firm’s coincidence of interests with the real estate/building/development communities -- and Windermere.  (See above citation for PDC documentation.)

“[Degginger’s] service as a council-member and mayor was listed on his resume found on the firm’s website throughout that entire period.

We had no way of knowing Degginger was on the management totem pole above the nice young man who became our attorney of record at Lane Powell.  Lane Powell does not publish its management structure on its web page.  Also, we had no way of knowing that one of the 200 lawyers in Lane Powell might be the mayor of one of the 39 little towns in King County.  And certainly, when Lane Powell claimed it was doing a "conflicts check" and coughed up the name of an unrelated attorney on the firm who was minding a bank account for one of our opponents (see below), we had no way of knowing Lane Powell (Degginger) was concealing Degginger's political conflicts of interest, and that we should ourselves, match up the names of hundreds of local politicians with the 200 names on the Lane Powell attorney list, and start poking around for answers.

The RPC does not require clients to try to sleuth out conflict of interest information from a firm’s webpage.  Nor did the information about the $1,500 Realtors contribution -- and information about the other building/development contributions -- ever appear on Lane Powell’s webpage, of course.  The Respondents apparently take the attitude that “Caveat Emptor” (“Buyer Beware”) should govern the relationship between lawyer and client, but the RPC says otherwise.

All this complexity is a prime reason that RPC 1.7 requires explicit, written conflict of interest waiver from the client, and does not just leave it to a vague wave of the Respondent's hand: "It's on the web page."  The bottom line: Lane Powell and Degginger concealed Degginger's conflict of interest, in violation of the RPC 1.7.

Conflicts Check/Duty to Disclose.  Before we signed our retainer agreement, we were told that a conflicts check was being done; a few days later we learned one attorney had a relationship with Wells Fargo, which bank had a relationship with V&E Medical Imaging Services, Inc., the party that originally sued us.  We waived that conflict.  (Exhibit September 18, 2007.)  But Degginger’s conflict of interest was not disclosed, nor was Lane Powell’s positional and institutional conflict of interest.  Degginger and his firm had every duty to disclose the fact that they and our opponents had mutually supporting interests.  Had we be informed, we would never have hired Lane Powell.

The DeCourseys were well aware of his [Degginger’s] role with the City and the subject was discussed the first time he met them.

What a whopper!  We first met Degginger during our witness briefing on October 20, 2008, the day before trial -- more than 13 months after Lane Powell signed the engagement letter.  Degginger told us absolutely nothing about himself during that meeting, other than possibly his name, which meant nothing to us.  His role at that time was obviously supervisory, and was not at all friendly or chatty.  (The Lane Powell invoice shows Degginger charged .6 hours: “Provide additional jury profile and questions to B. Nourse.”)  His visit to the witness preparation room is not recorded in the invoices.

The second time Degginger interacted with us was on October 30, 2011 when he directed the composition of a letter to us while the jury was deliberating.  On the Lane Powell letterhead, Degginger directed that a letter be sent to us advising us to offer to settle with Windermere for $250,000, a figure that was less than the entire Lane Powell invoice at that time.  Had we acceded to his advice at that time, it would have been a wonderful gift for his friends and supporters in the real estate industry, and a financial blow to us that would cripple us for the rest of our lives.  The ostensible signer of the letter (our attorney of record) addressed us as “Mr. & Mrs. DeCoursey” rather than the customary “Mark & Carol” and the writer referred to himself in the third person.  We did not know of Degginger's role in that letter until we received the monthly invoice with his time notation. 

TAB 2: Lane Powell's December 5, 2008 invoice, Pg. 6 (showing October charges), enclosed here for readers’ convenience.  Also to be found in Book 6, attached to Grievance as originally submitted.

There are two entries for charges on October 30.  One is for Degginger, wherein he was giving (oh, so vaguely) "Attention to questions regarding verdict," whatever that might mean.  The other was for junior associate, Andrew Gabel, "Research post trial motions; correspond with DeCourseys and HIH's counsel re settlement."

The settlement with HIH had been signed several weeks previous to October 30, 2008.  On October 30, 2008, Gabel certainly did not correspond with us on the settlement with HIH, nor is it likely he “corresponded” with the HIH counsel on a settlement that was completed weeks in the past.  Somebody did, however, spend time composing the treacherous letter of October 30, 2008.  Since Gabel and Degginger were the only attorneys who billed time that day, we conclude the letter was written by Degginger and Gabel.  Degginger spent 20 minutes "researching" the verdict -- deciding it was better that DeCourseys go and slit their bellies on a cheapo settlement than have Degginger’s political friends and supporters suffer an embarrassing defeat in court.  Such a host of crawly things to be hidden under so few words.

Note that the putative signatory on that treacherous letter, our attorney of record Brent Nourse, did not bill any time for October 30, 2008.  TAB 2.  We may conclude, therefore, that Brent Nourse did not compose the letter, and perhaps his signature was added by someone else.

This actual example of Lane Powell's dishonesty in invoicing should be remembered later for when the respondents attempt to prove and disprove their activities by the notations of the timekeepers.  Nothing compels a timekeeper to be honest, detailed, or explicit about those notations.

(Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “Degginger Advises Surrender on Eve of Victory,” Pg. 58.)

Our third encounter with Degginger was on the morning the verdict was announced.  Degginger came to the court and sat at the plaintiff table with our attorney of record and Mark.  When the verdict was announced, Degginger turned to Mark with a forced smile and offered a handshake, with the words, ”Congratulations, Mr. DeCoursey.” Degginger's presence that morning was another unspoken indication that he had taken a strong personal interest in the case.  His presence at the plaintiff's table indicated his active participation and management of the case, while his manner indicated he was not entirely friendly to our best interests.

And still, he did not tell us of his role in local politics or his sympathies and support for the interests of our opponents.  He did charge us for his visit: “Attend court regarding jury verdict and jury polling: follow-up on issues relating to the verdict.”

TAB 2: Lane Powell's November 30, 2008 invoice, Pg. 6, (showing October charges), enclosed here for readers’ convenience.

Our fourth encounter with Degginger was on December 10, 2011, some weeks after the trial in a personal conference in a Lane Powell conference room.  See:

TAB 3: Email of December 10, 2008 at 10:53, confirming arrangements.

At that time, he acknowledged that he was mayor of Bellevue, but he did not disclose that he had taken campaign contributions from our opponents, that his interests and theirs were aligned, or that he had sympathy for their prosperity (and they for his).  He did, however, give us to understand a rather horrifying truth, amounting to a direct statement of conflict of interest, as follows:

We suggested the success of our suit was quite a feather in the cap for Lane Powell, and might open up a whole new line of business for the firm.  Degginger looked sour and responded that the verdict was “not good for Lane Powell."

(Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “Was Representation Undertaken in Good Faith?  Or Was There Fraud In the Inducement?” Pg. 59.

We now understand -- too late -- the full implication of this remark.  Degginger was saying that our win was a loss for Lane Powell, and that Lane Powell could win only if we lost.  This is the very essence of a conflict of interest.  By his remark, we now know that Degginger fully understood his conflict at that time, but he took no steps to withdraw from supervision of the case, to seek our written waiver of his position, or to recommend an independent legal review of the situation before proceeding.

Degginger violated RPC 1.7, “Conflicts of Interest: Current Clients.” Comments 8 and 10 should hold particular interest to the WSBA.  We also believe his failure to disclose breached RPC 1.0, 1.8, 1.9 and 1.18, as well as Washington’s laws and the common law on the duties of fiduciaries.

(Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “Was Representation Undertaken in Good Faith?  Or Was There Fraud In the Inducement?” Pgs. 40-45, and Exhibits attached thereto, especially the eight (8) Exhibits at September 19, 2007.  Chapter 1 Summary attached hereto for easy reference as overview, TAB 4.)

Please refer to “The Truth, the Lie, and the Judge” Part II Chapter 2 of Grievance and attached hereto for reader convenience (TAB 1).  Realize that Respondents have no more problem lying to and deceiving the Disciplinary Counsel than they do lying to and deceiving the Superior Court.

McNaul & Fisons Case. Significantly, during the Lane Powell v. DeCoursey litigation, Lane Powell (represented by the McNaul firm) refused to answer interrogatories on whether it had provided legal representation for Windermere or other real estate agencies or agents.  It just flat out refused to answer, and the disqualified Judge Eadie denied motions to compel Lane Powell to answer.

Withholding key documents and information is right in line with the McNaul culture on discovery.  No doubt the Disciplinary Counsel will recall the infamous Fisons case -- made famous by Stuart Taylor’s “Sleazy in Seattle,” The American Lawyer, April 1, 1993.  Jerry McNaul provided expert testimony in that case, helping the Bogle & Gates law firm (representing Fisons) defend its dishonest and dodgy discovery practices.  Fisons had knowingly produced and distributed a potentially deadly drug -- which drug was responsible for causing irreversible brain damage to a 3-year old girl. McNaul’s colleagues at Bogle & Gates had advised Fisons to withhold responsive, damaging documents from discovery.  McNaul testified as an expert witness that Bogle & Gates’ deceptive responses were “typical of those that I routinely find defendants making in major litigation.” That is, McNaul defended Bogle and Gates’ use of deceptive and dodgy practices.

And from our experience, deceptive and dodgy are still embedded in the McNaul culture.

Tab 5 “Sleazy in Seattle,” by Stuart Taylor, The American Lawyer, April 1, 2014.  See Pg. 11 for McNaul quote.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie About The Alleged $200,000 Victory for DeCourseys;
It Was Actually A $200,000 Victory For Lane Powell

Respondents state:

Lane Powell settled the case against one defendant for over $200,000 ...” (Response, Pg. 1.)

The settlement agreement with the contractor who ruined our house, made just before trial, was for the sum of $270,000.  Of this sum, Lane Powell snarfed up $200,000 for payment of its invoices -- the money that remained paid the witnesses who appeared in the October 2008 trial.  As we explained in our Grievance:

We insisted that the $270,000 be issued to us in a certified check.  At the last moment a confidentiality clause was added to the settlement -- and Degginger’s team had the check made out to Lane Powell and us jointly.  Degginger’s team then demanded $200,000 to pay outstanding invoices, leaving us a stipend to pay the expert witnesses.  [Note: See “A Gun to the Head of the Junior Attorney,” at the beginning of this report.  We hold Grant Degginger directly responsible for insisting on this agreement with the contractor.]
Even more advantageous to Degginger: Lane Powell charged us $150,000 in fees for negotiations with the contractor. After the settlement, Windermere repeatedly attacked the collateral source.  We had to defend against the attack. That defense generated even more fees for Degginger’s team -- fees that were not recoverable under the Nordstrom v. Tampourlos segregation doctrine, described in Chapter 2, below.

So the great “$200,000” victory was a victory for Lane Powell who mined our legal case for fees.

Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1: “Degginger’s Practice Group Benefits by Settlement With Contractor,” Pgs. 55, 56.  Exhibit December 30, 2008 “Letter of Agreement,” confirming the $200,000 payment as a condition for continued representation, attached herein for reader’s convenience at TAB 6Also at TAB 6: December 5, 2008.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Advised Us to Concede Defeat On The Eve of Trial Victory;
Damages & Fees Award Resulted from REFUSAL To Follow Lane Powell’s “Advice”

The Respondents state:

... Lane Powell ... successfully represented DeCourseys at trial ... which resulted in a judgment of over $500,000 in damages, and nearly $500,000 in attorney fees (including a 30 percent multiplier ...” (Response, Section I, Pg. 1.)

This is an artful lie.  The Respondents do not tell WSBA that on the eve of the jury verdict, Degginger had a letter sent to us advising is to settle with Windermere for $250,000 -- a sum less Lane Powell’s invoices to us -- and not a penny for the damages caused to our home by Windermere.  Indeed, the damage to our home and finances was the cause of the litigation; but Degginger was clearly treating the litigation only as a money-making vehicle for himself and his colleagues.  Had we followed Degginger’s advice, we would have been ruined.  We won the awards by rejecting Degginger’s treacherous October 30 advice. 

See Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1,“Degginger Advises Surrender on Eve of Victory” Pg. 58.  October 30, 2008 letter attached at TAB 7 for reader’s convenience.)

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Also Lie About Their Clients’ Many Complaints

The Respondents state:

At the time, they [DeCourseys] did not raise the issues they now use as a the primary basis for their complaints.” (Response, Pg. 2, top half of page.)

This is, indeed, a brass-plated lie.  We raised many complaints about Lane Powell’s inflated fees, Lane Powell’s refusal to seek CR 11 sanctions against Windermere, Lane Powell’s attempts to pressure us into abandoning our pre-trial advantage (Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “How Degginger Pressured Us To Abandon Our Pre-Trial Advantage,” Pg. 56), Degginger and McBride lying to us, and other malpractice and wrongful acts as soon as we discovered them.

Many of our complaints during our representation were made via letter or email; one was made in a lengthy recorded phone call, a transcript of which was made by a court-certified transcriptionist.  Copies of the letters, e-mails, and transcript are attached.  The stack measures about 1/2 high.  Please find at TAB 8:

All TAB 8 documentation is inclosed in our Grievance; we surmise that the Respondents may have guessed the WSBA would be too pressed by other matters to read through our material, and thought they could get away with lying to y’all.

Note that the Respondents totally ignore Atty. Paul Fogarty’s September 22 and September 23, 2011 letters to Degginger et al.  The September 22 letter contains 19 pages of complaints against Degginger and McBride, which we have included here for your easy review at TAB 9:

The Fogarty letters were included in our Grievance as Exhibits September 22, 2011 and September 23, 2011, contained in Book 3.  So you see that saying we did not raise “issues” until filing our Grievance (filed in June, 2014) is a complete and utter lie.

We are interested in knowing what sanctions are meted out to attorneys who lie to the WSBA Disciplinary Counsel during an investigation?  Again, we refer you to the matrix, “The Truth, the Lie, and the Judge,” to be found in Grievance, Part II Chapter II, and enclosed hereto for easy reference.  TAB 1.  If the Respondents lie so handily in court, would they have any back-off lying to the Disciplinary Counsel?

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Misrepresent Court of Appeals History in the Windermere Lawsuit

Respondents state:

For instance, the DeCourseys argue that Lane Powell and Mr. McBride specifically, should have moved to modify the Court of Appeals reversal of the trial court's cost award in the Windermere Litigation appeal.” (Response, Pg. 4.)

DECEPTIVELY FALSE: Those cost and fee awards (and the legal foundation in contract under Bloor v. Fritz) had not been challenged by the appellant.  The issues had not been argued by the parties and were not properly under consideration by the court.  The Court of Appeals should not be reversing Superior Court orders that are not brought to the Court of Appeals for review.  McBride could easily have had that order of the Court of Appeals voided as an error upon reconsideration, and most certainly should have made the attempt.  The Respondents have offered no excuse for McBride’s failure.  The loss to us was the difference between “costs of the suit” under the current CPA interpretation (Nordstrom) and “expenses” under Bloor v. Fritz, which has a broader interpretation:

Here, the real estate purchase and sale agreement provided, “If Buyer or Seller institutes suit against the other concerning this Agreement, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorney's fees and expenses.”  Ex. at 41.  The trial court found that the term “expenses” was broader than the term “costs” and that it expressed the parties' intent to allow the prevailing party to recover all of the expenses arising from the breach of the contract or attempts to enforce the contract.  The trial court ordered the Fritzes to pay the Bloors $18,975.55 in expenses.  This amount included the Bloors' expert witness fees, court reporter fees, travel expenses, mediation expenses, and other expenses.  This finding supports the trial court's award of additional expenses under the contract.  [Bloor v. Fritz, 143 Wn. App. 718, 746-52, 180 P.3d 805 (2008)].

McBride's failure to bring this error to the attention of the Court of Appeals on reconsideration caused us a loss about $100,000 in fees ($55,000 consumed at the Court of Appeals) and costs ($45,000 awarded by the trial court and then disallowed by the Court of Appeals.)  McBride’s failure is not an example of vigorous representation.

Respondents state:

The DeCourseys also complain about Lane Powell’s refusal to comply with their demand to file a cross-petition for review with the Supreme Court in the Windermere Litigation ...
...Nevertheless, Mr. McBride wrote a very aggressive fee petition ... Of the $95,000 incurred on appeal, Lane Powell asked for $56,000 and, over Windermere’s object, the commissioner awarded it $47,000 -- one half of all Lane Powell’s fees.  It was a great result.” (Response, Pg. 5.)

The “aggressive” fee petition was characterized by McBride at the time as “conservative.”

(Respondents’ Application And Subjoined Affidavit For Award Of Attorney Fees On Appeal, November 17, 2010.  Pg. 11) (TAB 10.)

His time was billed to DeCourseys.  In keeping with Lane Powell's frequent practice, this amount was never billed to Windermere, though McBride promised to the Court he would do so (Application, Pg. 12).  Thus McBride silently whittled away another $3,600 in fees from our award,in favor of Degginger's friends and supporters in the real estate industry.

Can a lawyer claim that proper practice in Washington is to give away the clients' court awards without protest or competent argument, and then boast about the “great result”?  Such is the argument in the Response.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie Concerning Our Cross-Petition To The Supreme Court

Concerning our continued demands to cross-petition at the Supreme Court, Respondents state:

Over the next week or so the DeCourseys refused to make a decision on whether they would agree to allow Lane Powell to file the draft answer it had written.” (Response, Pg. 6.)

Totally false.  From February 6 on, we expressed to Lane Powell only one position from which we never wavered: Lane Powell must file a cross-petition to the Supreme Court.  (The story is told in:

(Grievance, Part I Chapter 3 and cited documentation; for readers’ convenience, see also email exchange at TAB 11.)

We repeatedly instructed Degginger and McBride to file the cross-petition, and Respondents have not shown and cannot show any documentation otherwise.  Does the RPC permit lawyers to lie to the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel?  Title 8 of the RPC says “NO.”

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients:
Their Hilarious Lies About The Function Of Supreme Courts

This Reply would hardly be complete if we did not point out that Respondents have refused to address -- and cannot refute -- the unbelievable and puerile lies they told us about the function of the Supreme Courts, stating in effect that Supreme Courts have no jurisdiction over legislated law!

Space forbids us from re-telling these mendacities; instead we refer readers to Part I, Chapter 3 of our Grievance, in particular these sections: “The Functions of Supreme Courts,” Pg. 80, and “McBride & Degginger Lie About Function of Supreme Court,” Pg. 81.  We also include by reference the Exhibits cited in our presentation.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie About The Proposed Partial Payment of Judgment: “No agreement on when, how much, or even if”

Concerning case developments at the beginning of August, 2011, Respondents state:

The following Monday, Mr. Hickman sent Mr. McBride a draft partial final judgment for review, again, there was no agreement on when, how much, or even if, Windermere’s insurer would pay.  Mr. McBride informed the DeCourseys by email of the development, which he thought would make them happy. ...” (Response, Pg. 7, top of page.)

Not so.  Windermere's insurers (represented by Mr. Hickman) sent Ryan McBride a draft of the partial satisfaction of judgment specifying a payment of $1,000,000.  Ms. Earl-Hubbard obtained a copy of that draft from Andrew Gabel of Lane Powell.

(Grievance, Exhibit December 19, 2011 (2), Ex. 6 thereto.  Included here as TAB 12 for readers’ convenience.)

Moreover, Earl Hubbard, in a sworn statement, attested to the following:

“On August 10, 2011, I received a phone call from Mr. Hickman.  During the phone call, Mr. Hickman acknowledged that sometime prior to my Notice of Appearance he and Lane Powell had agreed to a partial payment on the judgment of $1million from his client to the Lane Powell trust account.  The location of the payment was at Lane Powell’s request.  He revealed that on the day I filed my Notice of Appearance and instructed him not to make any payments to Lane Powell or its trust account that he had to rush to put a stop to the transfer.  From our conversation, it appeared the agreement to disburse $1 million to the Lane Powell trust account had been made quite some time before my involvement, and I came to understand this agreement had been reached sometime before notice to the DeCourseys by Lane Powell that such a payment was to occur.”
(Grievance, Exhibit December 19, 2011 (2).  Declaration Pg. 2 at 14-24.  For readers’ convenience, included here as TAB 13.

So the true facts are these: McBride had known for “quite some time” about the partial payment of judgment, he knew exactly how much it would be, and he knew it was imminent.  There was no question of “if.” Degginger and McBride deliberately concealed from us this important case development, in violation of RPC 1.4 -- and even here -- they lie to the WSBA Disciplinary Counsel about these facts.

Isn’t there something in the RPC about “Candor Toward The Tribunal”?  Title 8?

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie About Lane Powell’s Termination

Respondents state:

The following Monday ... Mr. McBride informed the DeCourseys by email of the development [about partial payment of judgement] which he thought would make them happy.” Response, Pg. 7, second paragraph.

The email exchange referred to above began with DeCourseys instructing McBride to stop all work. (August 2, 2011 at 9:50 AM.)

“Please do not begin any work on the remand ... We are still considering the issues.” (Grievance Exhibit DeC Email August 2, 2011 (1)).  For readers’ convenience, included here as TAB 14.

This is an explicit instruction.  At 3:01 PM that day, almost 6 hours later, McBride confirmed our worries: McBride and Degginger intended to let ride all their previous errors and lock their give-aways in stone. McBride wrote:

“Okay Mark, although from our perspective there won't be much to do.” (Exhibit enclosed herein for reader’s convenience at TAB 14.)

Note that the email cited by Respondents was a direct email reply to our “stop work” order, and even includes the text of the stop-work order.

The Respondents’ representation to WSBA (and earlier to the court) is a deliberate and mendacious reversal of fact.

McBride’s words -- “there won’t be much to do,” -- indicate that he intended to follow the course laid out by Degginger in his August 30, 2010 letter.

“Thus the correct interest rate was utilized for the award.”

See Degginger’s August 30, 2010 letter among those at TAB 8. Degginger’s remark is made at the end of the third paragraph.  The 3.49% interest rate that was written into the judgment was erroneous, even at the time the judgment was written (February, 2009.)  It should have been -- according to the Washington Treasurer -- 3.935%.  TAB 15. It was certainly not correct when Degginger wrote us his August 30, 2010 letter.  At that time, it was 5.25%.  See TAB 15.  McBride, like Degginger, intended to permit Windermere pay 3.49%, even though the statutory rate under RCW 4.56.110 was 5.25%. 

(See Grievance for documentary evidence concerning interest rates, see Exhibits June 10, 2010 (1) through (3), contained in Book 3.  June 10, 2010 (1) enclosed here as TAB 15 for readers’ convenience.)

Moreover, Degginger and McBride intended to forgive Windermere all costs, as Degginger later confessed to Ms. Earl-Hubbard on August 23, 2011.  He stated that recalculating and classifying the costs that Lane Powell had billed to DeCourseys would be:

“a lot of work to sort out costs for what could be just a few thousand dollars.” Exhibit December 19, 2011 (2) Pg. 7 at 4-11.)  TAB 13.

Compare Degginger’s statement with McBride’s statement of August 2:

... from our perspective there won’t be much to do.  We should be able to agree with Windermere on the proper amount of the amended cost bill and get a stipulated amended judgment reflecting that amount as well as the additional amounts awarded on appeal.” (Exhibit LP Email August 2, 2011 at 3:01 PM; emphasis added.  Copy of email in Grievance, Book 5, appended here for readers’ convenience at TAB 14.)

Degginger’s statement to Earl-Hubbard on August 23, combined with McBride’s statement of August 2, shows that (1) these lawyers were not maintaining our records with the intention of making proper claims on our behalf, (2) they had no intention of doing the required work, and (3) they intended to skin us once again of our lawful awards from Windermere.

Whoever’s interests they were representing -- they were not representing ours.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Lie About Motives and Manner Of Termination

The Respondents state:

“[T]he DeCourseys intended to replace lane Powell before an amended final judgment was entered in an effort to avoid paying Lane Powell its fees.” (Response, Pg. 6, second half of page.)

Not so.  We terminated the mendacious lawyers at Lane Powell to prevent them from doing more damage to us and our case.

The Respondents state:

By this time, the DeCourseys had secretly hired another law firm to handle the remand, but they never told Lane Powell that, and as far as it knew, Lane Powell was their only counsel.” Response, page 6, last paragraph.)
“Secretly?” We had already told McBride/Degginger we wanted another pair of eyes to look the Supreme Court petition. (Grievance, Part I, Chapter 3, “Degginger Refuses To Have Work Reviewed,” Pg. 85 and Exhibit DeC Email, February 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM.  Email attached for reader’s convenience, among documents at TAB 8.  Note our words:
“At this point, we are experiencing a crisis in confidence in you, Grant.  We wish to have a second pair of eyes look at our response to Windermere's petition ...”)

We had already sent the lawyers numerous complaints about their conduct and betrayal of our interests; we openly expressed our distrust in them.  (See section on complaints in this Reply, above.)  The fee agreement signed by us and Lane Powell specifically provided that “Both you and we have the right at any time to terminate the attorney client relationship.”

(Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1.  Exhibit September 19, 2008, “Termination of Representation.” TAB 17.)

Lane Powell is an international law firm of approximately 200 lawyers.  To go into a pout because two clients decide to seek other counsel under these circumstances seems most insincere.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Were Not “Forced” To File Suit

The Respondents state:

Ultimately, Lane Powell was forced to file suit against the DeCourseys to collect the amounts owed to the firm...” Section I, Pg. 2, para. beginning “The DeCourseys ...”

Degginger/Lane Powell was not “forced” to sue.  (1) After we terminated Lane Powell we hired Atty. Paul Fogarty to help us reach a peaceful settlement with Lane Powell on the outstanding issues.  On September 22, 2011 Mr. Fogarty sent Lane Powell a 19-page letter in pursuit of that goal, and another letter on September 23.  (2) On September 28, Lane Powell’s Mike Dwyer answered in part:

“... we would like to see that the DeCourseys are paid ... DeCourseys are free to make any arrangement they want with Windermere’s insurer concerning payment [as long as Lane Powell’s] legal fees to which [Lane Powell] is entitled [are protected] ... We will work with you concerning your request for documents ... “
(See Grievance, Part I Chapter 4 “Fogarty’s Sept. 23, 2011 Letter...” Pg. 98 and “Lane Powell’s Mike Dwyer..” Pg. 99.  (Exhibit September 28, 2011, Pgs. 1 and 2; enclosed herein as TAB 18, for readers’ convenience.)

Note Mr. Dwyer’s September 28 letter -- despite the lawyerly huffing and puffing -- suggested a peaceful settlement might be reached.  Lane Powell changed its tactics from peaceful negotiation to nuclear war -- apparently when Dragon Slayers Sulkin and Eaton were hired.  The statement that Lane Powell was forced to sue is a lie.

Thus it is an admission that they violated RPC 3.3 “Candor Towards The Tribunal.”

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Filed Suit Violating Specific Terms of Their Contract With DeCourseys

The Respondents state:

Ultimately, Lane Powell was forced to file suit against the DeCourseys to collect the amounts owed to the firm...” Response, Section I, Pg. 2, para. beginning “The DeCourseys ...”

According to the December 30, 2008 amendment, Lane Powell promised to forebear for “a reasonable time” on collecting the balance owed and to:

“assist you regarding possible appeals ... as necessary to prevail or retain awards discussed.” (See Grievance, Part I, Chapter, 1, “Lane Powell Promises to Forebear and Assist,” Pg. 62. See Exhibit December 30, 2008, Letter of Agreement, contained in Book 2.  TAB 6.  Enclosed here also at TAB 6 is December 5, 2008 Lane Powell letter.

The term “reasonable time” is explained in a letter dated December 5, 2008:

“[Lane Powell] will forbear on demanding payment on the balance of the amount owed until payment on the judgment or settlement with Windermere.” (Grievance, Exhibit December 5, 2008, contained in Book 2.  Attached hereto for readers convenience at TAB 6.)

As James Lobsenz explained in the Brief of Appellants, filed on August 8, 2013, in the Court of Appeals, Div. I, Case No. 69837-1-I. on p. 67-68:

“Lane Powell agreed that it would not expect to receive any payment for such services until after Windermere had paid the judgment amount to the DeCourseys.  CP 633.  Lane Powell itself wrote to the DeCourseys and proposed that during the appeal process “we will forbear on demanding payment of the balance of the amount owed [to the law firm] until payment on the judgment or settlement with Windermere.” CP 1949.  That promise to forbear was incorporated into the written December 30, 2008 attorney/client agreement which Lane Powell drafted.  Again, Lane Powell ‘agree[d] to forbear for a reasonable period of time on collecting the balance’ of its fees, and to assist the DeCourseys in the effort to “collect on the outstanding judgment against Windermere and Stickney ...” CP 633, 3500.  (TAB 19.)

James Lobsenz, of course, is an attorney of impeccable reputation, who does not tell tawdry lies to the court.

“He has the utmost integrity ... Whatever he’s representing about the case law, the facts, he’s not going to misconstrue things” says one judge.  (“James Lobsenz Rewrites the Rules,” Washington Super Lawyers, July, 2011, attached hereto for readers’ convenience at TAB 20.

Thus the claim that Lane Powell was forced to sue is an egregious violation of RPC 3.3, “Candor Towards the Tribunal,” and clear evidence of lying to the WSBA, an offense against Title 8 of the RPC.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Concede The $800,000 Shakedown of October 6, 2011

The Respondents do not address the following: After having rejected the DeCourseys attempt to negotiate a peaceful agreement, and one day after filing suit, on October 6, 2011 Lane Powell’s attorney Robert Sulkin threatened to spend “$800,000” in legal fees in order to recover “$300,000.”

The threat was communicated to Atty. Paul Fogarty, who was helping us in negotiations with Lane Powell.  Obviously a promise to spend “$800,000” to recover “$300,000” made no financial sense. Clearly the threat was an act of malice against us.  The message was clear: If we did not submit to Lane Powell’s fee demands, Sulkin and his colleagues at McNaul would pauperize us.  If that isn’t extortion, “extortion” has no meaning.

Which RPC forbids attorneys to extort their clients?  Does such extortion fall within acceptable conduct for members of the Bar?  We look forward with interest to learning what censures WSBA will impose on the offenders for their conduct.

See Grievance, Part II, Chapter 1, Pg. 114 “Sulkin Uses Prohibited Strategy to Deny Us Representation” for discussion.  See also Exhibit October 6, 2011, attached here for convenience at TAB 21.

Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
Concede Degginger’s Interest Rip-Off
-- Saving Windermere $260,000 and Losing $260,000 For Us

The Respondents did not address or contest that -- without telling us or seeking our permission -- Degginger’s subordinates closed a secret deal with Windermere.  The deal replaced the judge’s 12% post judgment interest rate with a 3.49% interest rate.  Meanwhile, Degginger was charging us 9% interest on outstanding invoices. 

See Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “THE GREAT INTEREST RIP-OFF.  Windermere Gets $260,000 Gift.  We Get $260,000 Loss.  (From 12% to 3.49% Interest -- In Our Disfavor)” Pg. 63,
  • See (Exhibit Judgment Docket) and (Exhibit February 27, 2009, pg. 3).

  • Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients Concede:
    Degginger Mined Our Case For Legal Fees, Assigned 27 Timekeepers, etc.

    Respondents have made no attempt to deny our charge that Lane Powell mined our case for legal fees: Despite our requests, Degginger refused to ask for CR 11 sanctions to stop Windermere’s ruinous litigation attrition warfare strategy, thus generating more legal fee opportunities for Degginger’s practice group: The more frivolous filings Windermere made, the more Degginger charged us to answer, and assigned 27 (twenty-seven) timekeepers to our case as revealed by the Lane Powell invoices.  Each one of the timekeepers, newly introduced to the matter, would of course generate fees as they attempted to get up to speed on the fact base of the case and the respective arguments of the parties.  (Atty. Fogarty remarks about this in his September 22, 2011 letter to Lane Powell (Pg. 16.)  TAB 9.  Other bill-padding techniques are described:

    See Grievance, Part I, Chapter 1, “Our CPA Case Is Hijacked and Becomes Cash Cow.  We Become Hostages,” Pgs. 48-51.

    The Respondents do not deny these charges and effectively admit Degginger violated RPC 1.5.

    (Degginger actually claimed proprietorship of the legal fees in the Windermere lawsuit, arguing that the fees were “awarded” to “Lane Powell” (not DeCourseys).  See Grievance, Part I Chapter 1, Pg. 57, and Exhibit October 19, 2012 (1), Dkt 253, pg. 20 at 23-24, CP 3371; Exhibit November 30, 2012 (1), Dkt 300, pg. 1 at 8-11, CP 4883.)

    Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients Concede:
    Degginger Mined Our Case For Legal Fees, Assigned 27 Timekeepers, etc.
    And Now Tell Untruths to WSBA About Photocopying

    The Respondents state:

    ...the Decourseys claim that Lane Powell attorneys billed them for time spent photocopying (id at 50) but ignore the fact that the invoices reflect that they were not billed for time spend photocopying.” (Response, Pg. 4, top of page.)

    Our claim that timekeepers billed hours for photocopying is revealed in the photocopying logs produced in discovery, validated against the hourly invoices.  That analysis reveals that Lane Powell padded its bills with more than $40,000 of timekeeper time spent on photocopying.

    That Lane Powell’s timekeepers are not always honest is proven by the verified record of their activities on October 30, 2008.  On that day, a letter was composed and signed (allegedly) by our attorney of record Brent Nourse.  But Brent did not bill any time that day.  The only to timekeepers who billed on that day were Grant Degginger and Andrew Gabel.  Gabel charged his activities to a matter that long since had become moot. See discussion of this invoice on Pg. 4, above.

    Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients Admit And Concede:
    Degginger Violated PRC 1.8(h)(1)
    Which Forbids Prospectively Limiting Liability For Malpractice The Respondents state:
    The DeCourseys claim ... that the fee agreement prospectively limited liability for malpractice ... but provide no evidence in support ...” (Response, Pg. 4, top of page.)

    TOTALLY FALSE: Not only did Lane Powell require a waiver of suit for malpractice, but Lane Powell’s lawyers argued in court that those words had exactly the meaning and effect of a waiver, prospectively prohibiting any liability for billing or malpractice claims.  The fee agreement states:

    “DeCoursey agree that Lane Powell’s fees were honestly derived and were necessarily incurred in this litigation given our opponents’ strategy.” (See Exhibit December 30, 2008, Letter of Agreement, Pg. 2, second bulled point.  This document was cited and attached in Grievance, Part I Chapter 1, “Amended Fee Agreement: December 30, 2008 (RPC 1.8(h)(1),” Pg. 61.)  Attached here for readers’ convenience as TAB 6.

    Sulkin and Eaton, speaking for Degginger, McBride and Lane Powell wrote in a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment:

    “The time spent by Lane Powell's timekeepers has been reasonable in light of the tasks involved.  The DeCourseys cannot dispute this.  Cf HAM Ex. K (in 2008 the DeCourseys agreed that Lane Powell's fees "were honestly derived, and were necessarily incurred in this litigation given our opponents' strategy.”
    (See Exhibit October 19, 2012 (1), Pg. 18, at 9-12 (Dkt. 253), cited and attached to Grievance. Note: [“Ex. K” is the December 30, 2008 addendum to the fee agreement.] Attached hereto as TAB 22, for readers’ convenience.

    Robert Sulkin argued in open court during the November 16, 2012 Summary Judgment Hearing, (Dkt. 292, November 16, 2012, p. 20 at 9­11):

    “One, as to all the fees in the underlying case, they agreed through Exhibit K that they're due and owing and fair.”
    (See Exhibit November 16, 2012 (Transcript of Summary Judgment Hearing), Pg. 20 at 9-11; Dkt 292. Relevant pages included here, for reader convenience, as TAB 23.)
    (As noted above, [“Exhibit K” is the December 30, 2008 addendum to the fee agreement.])

    Those Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
    Lie About Recusal Motion

    The Respondents state:

    ... The DeCourseys ... came up with a new tactic to avoid paying the fees they owed Lane Powell: to seek the recusal of Judge Eadie.”
  • (Response, Pg. 2, last para.)

    TRUTH: We, two Windermere whistleblowers, asked Judge Eadie to recuse himself just days after learning the truth of his Windermere connections.  Judge Eadie is the husband of a Windermere broker/agent, and himself a beneficiary of the Windermere Retirement Plan.  Judge Eadie had an obvious ax to grind, was disqualified, and should not have been permitted to preside over a lawsuit against Windermere whistleblowers.

  • See Grievance, Part II, Chapter 1, “We Discover Judge Is Husband of Windermere Broker: More Lying in Court,” Pg. 105.  Exhibit August 9, 2012.
  • On June 17, 2014, our attorney James Lobsenz filed a petition before the Supreme Court on the recusal issue.  See therein our reasons for believing the Mr. Eadie should be recused and his decisions vacated.

    Petition to Supreme Court, June 17, 2014.  TAB 19.

    The Respondents’ argument is ludicrous on its face.  We would have immediately asked for Mr. Eadie’s recusal had he timely disclosed his entanglements with Windermere as the Code of Judicial Conduct requires.  We would not have waited 10 months!  Friends, neighbors, and casual associates are astonished that such a self interested judge would be assigned to hear Lane Powell’s case.

    Recusal of the judge is quite appropriate, as told in the accompanying petition for review.  That petition, written by universally respected attorney James Lobsenz, outlines the fact base and the legal foundation for recusal.  As most members of this Bar will know, James Lobsenz would not be involved if he did not believe in the recusal, and he would not believe in the recusal without a firm legal foundation.

    James Lobsenz, of course, is an attorney of impeccable reputation, who does not tell tawdry lies to the court.

    “He has the utmost integrity ... Whatever he’s representing about the case law, the facts, he’s not going to misconstrue things” says one judge.  (“James Lobsenz Rewrites the Rules,” Washington Super Lawyers, July, 2011, attached hereto for readers’ convenience at TAB 20.

    Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
    Invent Circuitous Argument Regarding “Judge Eadie” and “The Trial Court.”

    The Respondents state:

    To a large extent, the ‘issues’ raised by the DeCourseys here --including the attacks on ... Judge Eadie ... in the Fee Dispute Litigation ... were rejected (often numerous times by the trial court [i.e., Judge Eadie] in the Fee Dispute litigation.” (Response, Page 2, second paragraph.)

    TRUTH: Judge Eadie is “the trial court” while at the same time ‘the trial court” is the person of Judge Eadie.  Ms. Eaton apparently invented this circumlocution to give more authority to the decisions made by a judge who was seriously misled by the mendacious arguments of Ms. Eaton and her colleagues.

    Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
    Lie About Discovery And Privilege

    The Respondents state:

    To sum up the Fee Dispute Litigation: for years, the DeCourseys turned the Superior Court litigation between them and Lane Powell into a farce ... refusing to engage in discovery ...” (Response, Page. 2, second paragraph.)
    The DeCourseys insist that they were entitled to both sue Lane Powell for malpractice and at the same time refuse to produce documents relating to that representation on the basis of privilege.” (Response, Pg. 4, top half of page.)

    TRUTH: From the very day it filed suit (October 5, 2011), Lane Powell served discovery requests, demanding we produce any and all communications we had with Lane Powell on any and all subjects, without regard to whether those communications related to Lane Powell’s claims.

    See Exhibit October 5, 2011(1)

    That is, Lane Powell’s discovery demands were a violation of CR 26(b)(1).  Lane Powell BEGAN the suit with a blackmail demand on all attorney -client confidentials.  We did not file counter claims until 20 days later.  When we did file counterclaims and defenses, Lane Powell claimed (in a gross distortion of existing law) that “Black Letter law” decrees that a client waives “the privilege” -- implying that attorney-client confidences on matters not related to claims and defenses were automatically waived if clients defended themselves against an avaricious attorney.

    (We have enclosed the “Chapter Outline: from our Grievance Part II, Chapter 1, Pgs. 102-107 which provides an overview of the treatments we gave these subjects.  TAB 24 Also:
    See Grievance, Part II Chapter 1, especially “Eaton’s Knowingly False Representation of Law,” Pg. 119; “The Privilege Lies and the Use of Contradictory Statements,” Pg. 123; “The Discovery Charade -- and the Discovery Facts,” Pgs. 122, 213, “Sulkin & Eaton Reverse Themselves 180 Degrees in Court of Appeals,” Pg. 134; and cited Exhibits on those pages.

    We filed a motion for Discovery Protection under CR 26(c) on Nov. 3, 2011.  Dkt. 11, attached at TAB 25.  Exhibits omitted but available upon request.

    We filed a motion for a Discovery Plan on November 9, 2011, Dkt. 16. Attached at TAB 26. Exhibits omitted but available upon Request.

    We filed an amended motion for Discovery Plan on November 21, 2011, Dkt. 24, attached at TAB 27.  Exhibits omitted but available upon request.

    Note: Lane Powell opposed our motion for Discovery Protection under CR 26(b).  See Grievance, Exhibit Nov. 10, 2011 (2).

    When Judge Eadie denied our motions, we asked him to reconsider.  He denied our requests for reconsideration, too.

    But obedient to Washington law, we produced more than 6,000 pages of discovery materials relevant to the claims and defenses of the parties (Dkt. 103 at 4) while at the same time refusing to waive privilege on communications/materials not relevant to claims and defenses.  In all of our communications we announced and agreed that was what we would do.

    Grievance, Exhibit DeC Email March 4, 2012.  TAB 28.

    Despite this production, Lane Powell has repeatedly (and falsely) claimed both in court and here that we refused to produce documents relating to that representation, and that we refused to engage in discovery.

    (Note: The statement in Response, at the end of Pg. 4, para. 1, is garbled and not supported by the cited reference, “Dkt. 278 at 5,” which contains no mention of claims stricken by the court or anything comparable.)

    Respondents state:

    That [DeCourseys charge] Malaika Eaton made knowingly false representations of law to the Court by accurately quoting Washington authorities pertinent to the issues.  (Response, Pg. 3.)

    We at no time stated that Ms. Eaton accurately quoted Washington authorities.  Ms. Eaton and her supervisor Mr. Sulkin misrepresented Washington law -- by pretending that DeCourseys’ privileged communications were not protected by CR 26(b).  Civil Rule 26 states:

    (b) Discovery Scope and Limits.  Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:
    (1) In General.  Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action ...

    So in this, Respondents once again offend against Title 8 of the Rules for Professional Conduct by telling untruths to the Disciplinary Counsel of the WSBA.  We hereby also reiterate our charges that Respondents misrepresented Tegland’s Washington Practice Series, as we showed in Grievance, Part II Chapter 1, “Eaton’s Knowingly False Representations of Law,” Pg. 119.

    Respondents continually cite Judge Eadie’s rulings in laudatory terms.  For example:

    The trial court ... was forced to hold the DeCourseys in contempt on multiple occasions.” (Response, Pg. 4, top half of page.)

    Judges most likely rely upon the statements made by their fellow lawyers, rather than pro se Redmond homeowners.  Had Judge Eadie actually believed what Lane Powell’s attorneys told him, he was horribly misled.

    Consider: Judge Eadie denied us discovery protection and a discovery plan, showing the extent to which he was misled to disregard court rules by Lane Powell’s dishonest representation of the law. 

    The WSBA passes judgment on attorney conduct on the basis of the Rules of Professional Conduct, not the conduct of an arguably misled and badly confused judge, compromised by his own personal finances.

    Those Who Lie to the Court And Lie to Their Clients
    Ridicule The Work and Efforts Of Outstanding Jurists and Scholars

    We have never made personal attacks on the Respondents; we have confined ourselves to criticizing their conduct as officers of the court.  The courts are part of our system of government, and, under the Washington State and U.S., Constitutions, we have the right to speak freely about our government and urge reforms.  Like John Locke, one of the intellectual fathers of the American Revolution, we believe legitimate political power resides in individual persons and is delegated by them to government.

    We have backed up what we have written with research and documentation.

    On Pg. 3 of Response, Respondents expressed their contempt for any effort we might make to shine the light of day on their actions, and to seek reform.  Ms. Eaton, speaking for Messrs. Degginger, Sulkin, and McBride, accuses us of having made a “litany” of incoherent accusations and legislative proposals -- without mention the numerous legal experts who have acknowledged the wrongs that occur in our system -- and are trying to fix those wrongs.

    We refer WSBA to:

    Grievance, “Introduction: Our Support,” Pgs. 7-29, and our citation of the Authorities quoted in that section.  For reader convenience, we enclose a copy of the Authorities section at TAB 29.

    Indeed, if Washington had adopted a law similar to New York Judiciary Law 487, Ms. Eaton and Mr. Sulkin might well enjoy jail terms for what they did -- and given that they conducted themselves as legal representatives of Messrs. Degginger and McBride, those gentlemen might will be joining them.  In relevant part, New York Judiciary Law 487 states:

    An attorney or counselor who: 1. Is guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party; or, 2. Wilfully delays his client's suit with a view to his own gain; or, wilfully receives any money or allowance for or on account of any money which he has not laid out, or becomes answerable for, Is guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition to the punishment prescribed therefor by the penal law, he forfeits to the party injured treble damages, to be recovered in a civil action.  ( )

    The country is sick of lying lawyers -- and lawyers who are interested only in lining their own pockets at the ruination of our justice system.

    Will Eaton, Sulkin, Degginger & McBride scream invectives at those persons who insist lawyers refrain from lying in court, who are calling for reform, or have achieved reform?  Will the Respondents accuse those persons of making a “litany” of incoherent accusations and “legislative proposals?”

    Those persons include such as Judge Dennis Jacobs of the New York Court of Appeals, and the Justices of the California Supreme Court ...

    Those Who Lie To The Court And Lie To Their Clients
    Play The Anti-Semitism Card And Ignore
    “The Invention of The Jewish People”

    Respondents attempt to distract the WSBA Disciplinary Counsel from their flagrant and repeated violations of the RPC by attacking the character of the messengers.

    Respondents state:

    Moreover, Lane Powell was forced to expend significant time addressing issues relating to Carol DeCoursey’s voluminous grossly anti-Semitic, 9/11 conspiracy, and other bizarre conspiracy writings under he pseudonym “Carol Valentine” that were the subject of significant discovery disputes in the Windermere Litigation.” (Response, Pg. 8.)

    The above statement contains unsupported allegations and is irrelevant to answering the issues we raise in our Grievance.  One also wonders: What is “grossly” anti-Semitic, as distinguished from “regular” anti-Semitic?


    The Function of the “Anti-Semitic” Allegation: What is the purpose of calling a person “anti-Semitic”?  It is to imply that person is inhuman, Hitlerian, not worthy of the protection of law, and may be lied to, lied about, stripped of his property and pauperized.  In short, an anti-Semite is not worthy of due process under law.

    Certainly, the aim of the Respondents has been the denial of our rights of due process of law.  Calling Carol anti-Semitic apparently has been part and parcel of that program.  And in the execution of their program, they have breached the RPC throughout.

    We have neither confirmed nor denied the “anti-Semitic” charges, of course.  To do so would breach our own privilege, and we have no intention to do that, neither in court nor here.

    What Is A Semite?  Let us pretend that Carol supports Palestinians in their struggle to be accorded human rights in their homeland -- and given that Palestinians are Semitic people we wonder how Carol could be “anti-Semitic” -- or even “grossly” anti-Semitic in those circumstances?

    According to Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University, the author of “The Invention of the Jewish People,” the Palestinians are most likely the descendants of the original Hebrew tribes who were subsequently converted to Islam.  (New York Times and Haaretz reviews attached at TAB A1, Tab A2, TAB A3.)  And of course Arthur Koestler -- years ago in “The Thirteenth Tribe” -- showed that most modern Jews have no Semitic blood at all.  They are descendants of those who lived in the Khazar Empire in the Dark Ages, and who were forcibly converted to Judaism.  See New York Times review and map of Khazaria at TAB B.

    So it seems that the Respondents don’t know the Palestinians are Semites, and really mean to punish us for not being anti-Semitic?

    Why The Hysteria About “Carol Valentine” and 911? A Google search on those terms reveals that a person using the name “Carol Valentine” has authored articles in which she contends that the official government 911 story is untrue; she lines up evidence and hypothesizes that Israel and its fifth column in the US was responsible for the attack, which attack was blamed on Muslims, and used as a justification of the 911 wars and the effective suspension of many provisions of the Bill of Rights.

    (We note that many Muslims of Middle-Eastern descent -- who were blamed for 911 --are actually Semitic people.)

    Respondents Are Lying Or Confessing to Betrayal of Attorney-Client Privileged Material. There is no publicly available information to support the Respondents above-quoted accusation (Response, Pg. 8).  Respondents are either telling a lie, or accusing themselves of revealing attorney-client privileged information.

    If the Respondents admit to lying, we request that they be sanctioned.  They are officers of the court and should not lie in court.  On the other hand, if they Respondents allege they are revealing truthful attorney-client privileged information, we request that they be sanctioned for that.

    Surely it is enough that Lane Powell alleges it has chosen to breach its own sacred oath to its clients and to the Bar?

    When the Respondents brought this charge against the “anti-Semitic” smear into a lawsuit ostensibly about attorney fees, the Superior Court judge had already named the exact figure he was awarding to Lane Powell.  Therefore, Lane Powell's allegation of breach of confidence against itself served absolutely no purpose and cannot be excused under the RPC.

    And could that self-proclaimed breach be excused in this forum?  We think not.

    Discovery Dispute Excuse Is Bogus  Nor has Lane Powell any foundation for claiming that "significant" time was spent in any particular discovery dispute.  How many hours were consumed in discovery disputes?  500?  50?  2?  The Respondents have not said because they cannot say, and they certainly cannot support the accusation.  And since discovery disputes are a part of many law suits, how do the Respondents propose to show what subjects were in dispute and how many hours were spent on each subject?  

    In short, do the Respondents hope to excuse $500,000+ in excess billing, padded invoices, and price gouging by any particular discovery dispute?  Or simply by calling Carol an anti-Semite?

    One might ask why the Respondents bring the irrelevant subject of “anti-semitism” into a defense against our Grievance?  The implication is that they think the WSBA Disciplinary Counsel will be moved by it, and excuse the Respondents in their numerous offenses against the Rules of Professional Conduct.

    Those Who Lie In Court And Lie To Their Clients
    Engage In Mischaracterizations and Character Assassinations

    On Pg. 3 of their Response, Respondents engage in an number of characterizations about DeCoursey statements and positions, aimed at painting DeCourseys as “nut cases.” Among the topics the Respondents address:

    Assignment of Richard D. Eadie. In October 2011, Judge Ricard D. Eadie was one of 32 judges available to preside over a case against two Windermere whistle blowers.  He was the only judge married to a Windermere broker/agent, the only judge who was the beneficiary of the Windermere Retirement Plan, the only judge who had a personal interest in the continuing economic success of the company.  A reasonable person would understand he might have have negative feelings towards two litigants who were so publicly condemning his wife’s employer and had won a civil suit against them.  He and Lane Powell would have had a community of interests: Lane Powell in stripping DeCourseys for every dime it could in legal fees, and Judge Eadie in sending this message: “Sue Windermere?  Even if you win, you will lose.” Could the assignment of such a judge to such a case happen by chance?  There were 32-1 odds against it.

    Moreover, Judge Eadie’s conduct is the best imaginable testimonial that his assignment was not random.  Throughout, he permitted the Lane Powell attorneys to lie to him about material and verifiable facts; when we presented him with documented proof of those lies, he ignored the documentation and simply incorporated many of the lies into his rulings.

    How many Superior Court judges would do that?  Each and every one of the 32?

    Other examples of Judge Eadie’s disregard of law and rules -- for example, those pertaining to discovery and privilege (all severely prejudicial to two Windermere whistleblowers) -- are further evidence of Judge Eadie’s specifically pro-Windermere attitude.  And Judge Eadie’s final rulings speak loud and clear: “Sue Windermere?  Even if you win, you’ll lose.”

    • Judicial corruption and court stacking is part of the landscape in the United States.  On September 6, 2014, we ran a Google search on “judicial corruption.” Google came back with 222,000 hits.  “Corrupt judge” returned 243,000 hits.  “Stack the courts” came back with 397,000 hits.  Attached please find an article summary of “The Neutral Assignment of Judges at the Court of Appeals,” published by Texas Law Review in 2000, and the first few pages of Federal legislation aimed at preventing special cases from being steered to special judges.  TAB C1, TAB C2.
    • Please find articles about two judges -- Judge Michael J. Conahan and Judge Mark A. Ciavarella -- who were part of a conspiracy to “sell” children to for-profit juvenile prisons for cash.  Attached is Pg. 1 of a Wikipedia article, and a September 19, 2011 article in the Scranton, PA Times-Tribune “Luzeren’s other disgraced judge a study in contrasts.  Google searches will find even more recent articles.  TAB D.
    • The FBI’s “Operation Greylord” investigation of the 1980s tells another story.  The FBI press release states, in part:
      And in the end—through undercover operations that used honest and very courageous judges and lawyers posing as crooked ones... and with the strong assistance of the Cook County court and local police—92 officials had been indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, eight policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, eight court officials, and one state legislator.  Nearly all were convicted, most of them pleading guilty (just a few are shown in our photo). It was an important first step to cleaning up the administration of justice in Cook County.  (Operation Greylord). See TAB D for FBI article.
      A Google search on “Operation Greylord” returns 14,600 hits.
    • Joseph Borkin’s “The Corrupt Judge” is a classic in the field.  Please find attached a print-out of an ad for his book on, and Pg. 1 of a Rutgers Law Review critique of the book.  TAB E1, TAB E2A Google search returns over 3,000 hits on Borkin’s name and book.

    So for the Respondents to pretend they never heard of corruption among judges and clerks, to pretend that there is NOT a bad smell emanating for the King County Courthouse concerning the assignment of Judge Eadie to the 2011 litigation -- to pretend that DeCourseys are making “bizarre” claims based on the evidence before them -- is a very special kind of mendacity.

    And Respondents never address the 32-1 Eadie assignment anomaly.

    Who Was Really Running the Summary Judgment Hearing on November 16, 2012? Respondents paint us as “bizarre” for suggesting that Robert Sulkin, not Judge Eadie, was actually running the Summary Judgment hearing of 11/16/12.  Judge Eadie himself provided the evidence at the very beginning of the hearing.  Even though our motion for continuance had been scheduled to be heard that day, and we should have been the first to address the court, the first words spoken were these:

    Mr. Sulkin: May I begin, Your Honor?

    The Court: Yes.  And I think we ought to be begin -- I know you had in your mind but [sic] with the continuance request.

    Mr. Sulkin: Thank you, Your Honor.

    Court Reporter: Counsel, could you put your name on the record for me please?

    Mr. Sulkin: Absolutely.

    Court Reporter: Thank you.

    Mr. Sulkin: My Name is ...

    Mr. DeCoursey: The continuance request was our motion.

    The Court; Oh, you’re right.  It’s your motion so that’s what we ought to begin with.

    See TAB F for relevant pages of transcript, and note that Judge Eadie was actually going to let Sulkin run the hearing on the continuance motion until Mark objected.  Throughout the hearing, Judge Eadie continuously looked at Sulkin for guidance.

    Four independent observers filed affidavits about what they saw in the courtroom -- they saw that Sulkin, not the judge, was running the show.  See TAB F2 for affidavits.

    Observer DW stated:

    “ ... this was a sham of a hearing ... Why?  Because present in Judge Eadie’s courtroom that day were only two players that seemed to matter -- Judge Eadie and Mr. Robert Sulkin ...
    “It could not have been clearer who was running that courtroom -- Mr. Robert Sulkin.  He had Judge Eadie’s undivided attention.  Yet Judge Eadie appeared to find the DeCourseys little more than mild irritants taking up his time.
    “... Judge Eadie appeared riveted on every word Sulkin said, at times seeming to take his cues from Sulkin.  He noted the documents to which Sulkin referred, taking all the time he needed to make sure he understood what Sulkin wanted him to do.”

    Disciplinary Counsel is urged to read the remainder of this affidavit.

    Observer GMD’s affidavit stated, in part:

    “The judge politely ignored Mark and Carol DeCoursey and seemed willing to be led through the whole proceeding by Lane Powell attorney Sulkin.”

    TRM also remarked upon the ‘“dubious” documentation offered by Sulkin and the fact that Judge Eadie ignored facts presented by DeCourseys.

    Observer CAD’s affidavit stated in part:

    “I was struck by the behavior of the judge and the primary lawyer for Lane Powell.  There was a symbiotic relationship that bordered on merging.  I had a difficult time determining who was running the court, the Judge or the Lane Powell lawyer.  I have to say that it was, in my observed opinion, the Lane Powell lawyer that was running the show and determining what the judge allowed in evidence and how the judge was going to rule.
    “The Lane Powell lawyer was the recipient of many constant knowing head bops, and other attentions that were disturbing to me.”

    CAD also stated words to the effect that Judge Eadie allowed lies to stand in his courtroom and had no interest in truth.

    Observer TRM’s affidavit stated in part:

    “Judge Eadie appeared to be somewhat nervous and concerned about his public image, as he squirmed about his desk checking frequently with glances towards the Lane Powell attorney as if asking for approval on each statement he made and then glancing toward the large audience in the courtroom ...
    “He was obviously nervous over his suggested conflict of interest with the case (he is married to a Windermere Broker) and repeatedly proclaimed that he had no conflict of interest.  Any reasonable person would agree that burying the DeCourseys in legal debt would certainly discourage other plaintiffs from suing Windermere.”

    TRM also stated words to the effect that Judge Eadie allowed lies to stand in his courtroom and had no interest in truth.

    Sulkin and the Israeli Law Center.  Sulkin’s history speaks for itself.  In 2011 Sulkin filed a lawsuit attempting to force the Olympia Food Coop to abandon of a handful of Israeli low-dollar items on its shelves.  The judge dismissed the suit, saying in effect it was an attempt to abrogate rights of free speech.  See “Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli goods,” The Olympian, April 7, 2014.  TAB G.  StandWithUs, an Israeli-government sponsored international activist group, seeks to suppress anti-Israel activism throughout the world. See print-outs from StandWithUs website.  TAB G.  Articles in “Appeals court upholds dismissal of anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-op,” April 14, 2014, and “Olympia Food Co-Op Wins Anti-SLAPP Motion, Court Dismisses StandWithUs Lawsuit,” February 29, 2012 identify StandWithUs and Robert Sulkin as the forces behind the suit against the Olympia Food Co-Op.  TAB G1, Tab G2, TAB G3, TAB G4.

    The Co-op was exercising its rights under the Washington and U.S. Constitutions.  Obviously made up of people of conscience, the Co-op stood up against those who run Israel and their attempt to annihilate the Semitic and Islamic people of Palestine.  Sulkin and his colleagues tried to destroy the Co-op’s rights under the Washington and US Constitutions to service his zealotry and support for the current Israeli government.

    It should be noted that the current conflagration in Gaza began when several Israeli youngsters were assassinated (allegedly) by Palestinians.  There were no reports that Israel attempted to apprehend the suspects and bring them to trial, ensuring they received due process of law.  Instead, Israel embarked on a whole scale assault on Gazans.  See Sydney Morning Herald article, “As the dust settles in Gaza, devastated families mourn their dead,” August 15, 2014.  TAB H.  If Sulkin/Eaton/Degginger/McBride had their way the quality of justice served to us would be the same quality served to Gazans. 

    In short; Sulkin corralled a handful of Zionist Co-op dissidents into serving as plaintiffs, and ran them into a $220,000 SLAPP suit penalty.  Not getting the message, he then had them post a bond in that amount so he could take the case on direct appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.  The Supremes bounced it down the Court of Appeals, and on April 4, 2014, the appeals court affirmed the judgment.  Yes, it is all right to participate in anti-Zionist political expression in Washington, and yes, it is all right to support the Semitic Palestinians.

    Conspiracies Don’t Exist?  What is a conspiracy?  It is no more or less than two or more people planning to effect a disreputable plan together.  “Conspiracy theory” is used by Federal, State, City, and County prosecutors to indict individuals who engage in wrongful activity -- and put them behind bars.  For attorneys to pretend ignorance of “conspiracy theory” and imply their opponents are crazy because they know that sometimes folks get together to do bad things is once again the height of mendacity.

    End Note

    “It is a fair characterization of the lawyer’s responsibility in our society that he [or she] stands ‘as a shield’ ... in defense of right and to ward off wrong.  From a profession charged with such responsibilities there must be exacted those qualities of truth-speaking, of a high sense of honor, of granite discretion, of the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility, that have, throughout the centuries, been compendiously described as ‘moral character.’”  (Justice Felix Frankfurter, concurring in Schare v. Board of Examiners of New Mexico, 353 US 232, 247 (1957); as cited by California Supreme Court, Grievance, Exhibit January 27, 2014, Pg. 30.)

    We urge the Washington State Bar Association to take Felix Frankfurter’s words to heart.

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