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Part I, Chapter 3, The Windermere Lawsuit

Case No. Case No. 85563-3

The Supreme Court -- Chapter Outline

Degginger & McBride Lie to Us, Refuse to Follow Our Directions,
    and Fail to Provide Competent Representation


What the Court of Appeals Did

What Degginger et. al. Did Not Do

What is Function of Supreme Courts?

Social Studies 101 -- Courts “Make” Law

The Work of the Supreme Courts

What Are Precedents?

Conflicts in Laws and Precedents

Windermere Petitions Supreme Court

We Want “Costs of the Suit” Argued to Supreme Court

Degginger & McBride Lie About Function of Supreme Court

Supreme Court “Has No Discretion”?

“Only the Legislature Can [Change the Law]”

Definition of Fraud in Rules of Professional Conduct

“Purpose To Deceive”

Contempt of Judicial Process Revealed by Blatant Nature of Lies

Degginger Refuses to Accept Our Directions

We Remind Degginger of Changes to Law by Judicial Precedent

CPA Is to Be Liberally Construed

We Give Directions re: Supreme Court Petition

February 16, 2011: Phone Call. “Let’s Do the Math”

Degginger Gives Two Spurious Reasons for Refusing Our Directions

We Tell Degginger to Take Action

Degginger’s Deceptive Answer Leads Us to Brink

We Ask Degginger “Will You Withdraw?” -- His Misleading Response

Again, We Direct Degginger to Do His Job

Degginger Needs Decision “Today”

We Instruct: “Do Not File As Written”

We Ask for an Extension

Degginger’s Tall Stories About Supreme Court Filings

Supreme Court Repudiates Degginger’s Filing Disinformation

Degginger Refuses To Have Work Reviewed

We Want “Second Pair of Eyes” on Response

McBride Refuses to Seek Continuance

Like Don Corleone, Degginger Makes Us “An Offer You Can’t Refuse”
    -- We Tell Degginger We Are Recording the Call

Degginger Insists on Phone Call

February 28, 2011 -- 11 a.m. Phone Call Recorded

Gun to Head, We Submit

Degginger’s Conversion of Our Law Suit Now a Matter of Record

Willing to Lose All

Billed for Non-Existent Conference Call

Ryan McBride Slanders DeCourseys in Court

    Numerous Emails Show His Sworn Statement to Be False

“The DeCourseys Were Very Difficult Clients”

Our History of Correcting Errors and Improving Briefs


Appellate Lawyer’s Note of Regret

Unable To Terminate Degginger & Company: Court Events in Motion

McBride Objects to Talmadge/Fitzpatrick Amicus Brief

Bloors & Ruebels Speak Out

We Denounce Attempt to Weaken Us

Our August 2, 2011 Instructions

“Don’t Work on Remand”

Untruth About Timing of Partial Payout

August 3, 2011: We Terminate Lane Powell

August 3, 2011: Why the Screeching Hurry to File a Lien?

Subsequent Lies About Sequence of Events

Sequence of Events Recapped

Degginger’s Billing:
    Educated Commentary from Courts and Atty. Fogarty

Paul Fogarty, Esq. Comments on Attorney Fee Rate at the Appeals Court

Supreme Court: Lane Powell’s Fees Unreasonable

When Challenged, Degginger Backs Down And Quits Billing to Case

Degginger Added No Apparent Value

Fogarty on Supreme Court Ruling

The Nordstrom Greed Revisited


Part I, Chapter 3, The Windermere Lawsuit:
The Supreme Court

Case No. 85563-3

Note: Some Exhibits have been redacted in accordance with a settlement agreement
the contractor who ruined our house.

McBride & Degginger Lie to Us,
Refuse to Follow Our Directions, and
Fail to Provide Competent Representation

Overview.  In this chapter, we will see how Grant Degginger and Ryan McBride violated Lane Powell's contract with us, violated their fiduciary duty to us, and violated three key Rules of Professional Conduct:

RPC 1.1 A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client.  Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

RPC 1.2(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued.  A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.

RPC 8.4(c) It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to ... (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

What the Court of Appeals (“CoA”) Did.  As mentioned earlier, the trial court based its awards to us in part on the Real Estate Purchase and Sales Agreement (“REPSA”).  The Court of Appeals made an error when it struck the REPSA foundation of the award from our judgment.  (Exhibit November 8, 2010, Pg. 39, Ftn. 24.)  The CoA did that even though the REPSA foundation for the award had not been challenged by the Appellants (Windermere, etc.).

In striking the REPSA as a basis for the awards, CoA relied on the Nordstrom v. Tampourlos precedent (described in Chapter 2), disallowed the awards that exceeded the Nordstrom rule, and thus trimmed our award by $45,000.  (Exhibit November 8, 2010, Pgs. 38, 39.)

Under the same precedent, the CoA also ruled that the fees expended at the CoA must be segregated by issue, and only the fees expended on the issue of the CPA could awarded.  If the REPSA foundation had been left intact, the Nordstrom precedent would not have applied and this ruling would not have been made.  As it was, we lost us another $50,000 (approximately) in fees that should have been awarded.  (Exhibit November 8, 2010, Pg. 39)

What Degginger et al. Did Not Do.  Lane Powell could have filed a motion to modify at the CoA, and competent representation would have done so.  Certainly McBride and Degginger possessed the competence to write and file such a motion, but by failing to do it, they failed to provide such competent representation.  This failure was a violation of RPC 1.1 “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client.” The deadline came and went, and Land Powell said not a word.  The facts suggest that the Degginger/McBride failure to protect our awards was not the result of incompetence, but unwillingness to pursue our best interests.

When Windermere petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case, we urged McBride to cross-appeal the losses at the Court of Appeals, but he refused.  Degginger then backed him up and together they lied about the laws and the function of courts to us to avoid filing a cross-petition.

The dispute was recorded in a lengthy email exchange through the month of February while the deadline for the filing the answer to the petition ran down.  In that time, Mark's father died and Lane Powell sought a short extension.  In the dispute, both Degginger and McBride stated categorically that:

  1. The current limitation on the CPA award was set by statute (it was not, of course; it had been set by the Supreme Court in the Nordstrom v. Tampourlos decision),
  2. The Supreme Court did not have the “discretion” (power) to override the alleged statutory limitation.

Now let’s have closer look.

What is Function of Supreme Courts

Social Studies 101 -- Courts “Make” Law.  Even high school students are expected to know that courts of law can “make” law by establishing legal precedents.  See, for example, homework help webpages:

FunnelBrain.com (cached copy) or

The Social Studies Help Center (cached copy)

The Work of the Supreme Courts.  Supreme Courts are concerned with the effects of law on society.  They also work to resolve real or apparent conflicts in law, overruling statutes and precedents as new information comes to them.  Supreme Courts also restore legislative intent to the application of laws.

What Are Precedents?  Through their rulings, Supreme Courts can effectively “make” law.  In the U.S., the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court ruling in 1803 most famously established that courts can void or interpret statutory law.  And courts can change their interpretations, and thus change the law: The Supreme Court decision of 1896 in Plessey v. Ferguson permitted racial segregation.  Looking at new social sciences data in 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education prohibited racial segregation.

In like fashion, state Supreme Courts also “make” law.  In the 1986 Washington case, Hangman Ridge Training Stables v. Safeco Title Insurance Company, the Supreme Court laid down the five elements a private plaintiff must prove under Washington's Consumer Protection Act ("CPA").  (See explanation at Exhibit June 10, 2012.)

PRECEDENT: A case or issue decided by a court that can be used to help answer future legal questions.  See stare decisis.  http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/precedent

The point hardly needs arguing.  [Note: Administrative courts in regulatory agencies can also “make” law.]

Conflicts in Laws and Precedents.  Under CPA, we were awarded the “costs of the suit,” as provided by RCW 19.86.090 (Consumer Protection Act).  How does that comport with Nordstrom which allows recovery for only a fraction of the costs?  On this point, there is an apparent contradiction in Washington law.  RCW 4.84.010 defines “costs” narrowly.  On the other hand, the Consumer Protection Act, (RCW 19.86.090) uses a different definition of “costs” to indicate the whole of the costs, of which attorney fees are a part.  The CPA provides that “the costs of the suit, including reasonable attorney fees” are to be awarded.

We argue the CPA was intended by the legislature to cover “the costs of the suit.” There was ONE lawsuit.  The costs of answering Windermere’s “shotgun” appeal should not be segregated into causes of action, a la Nordstrom.  In Sign-O-Lite Signs, Inc, v. DeLaurenti Florists, Inc., the Court of Appeals noted that the policy behind the award of attorney fees in the CPA is “aimed at helping the victim file the suit and ultimately serves to protect the public from further violations.” (Exhibit January 21, 1992, “Attorney Fees on Appeal,” Pg. 7.)  The CPA cannot fulfill that purpose if the plaintiff is not fully compensated for “the costs of the suit.”

A strategy like Windermere’s would ensure that, practically speaking, a CPA litigant could never recover the legal fees expended on a successful CPA suit.  A defendant could simply appeal on myriad grounds (grounds not connected with the CPA) and the plaintiff’s actually legal expenses would be driven into the stratosphere, with no chance of recovery.  A strategy like that would effectively vitiate the Consumer Protection Act.

Of course Windermere must have known about the “segregation of costs,” and doubtlessly that is why its attorneys took the shotgun approach: To the Court of Appeals, Windermere cited fourteen (14) assignments of error and seven (7) issues on appeal, with six (6) sub-issues.  Windermere was ensuring that individual CPA homeowner plaintiffs, in the long run, could not afford to sue Windermere, despite the existence of the CPA’s “cost of suit” award.

We believed that the Supreme Court, faced with new information concerning the use of RCW 4.84.010, the Nordstrom v. Tampourlos precedent, and Windermere’s strategy, would have arrived at a decision to safeguard the effectiveness of the CPA and prevent the wrongful use of court process.  For prior discussion of this matter, see Chapter 2.

Windermere Petitions Supreme Court

We Want “Costs of the Suit” Argued to Supreme Court.  Not satisfied with the Court of Appeals ruling, Windermere petitioned for review by the Supreme Court.  

Since the Supreme Court is concerned with social policy, we felt certain the judges would want to know how the Consumer Protection Act was being thwarted: Our case, and others we had learned about and publicized, showed that corrupt government regulatory agencies permitted Windermere to violate real estate licensing laws and the CPA.  Unprotected consumers were then forced to seek remedy through the courts, whereupon Windermere used “scorched earth” litigation tactics.  The Windermere victims could not afford the scorched earth litigation game and were quickly brought to their knees.  Typically, they were forced to settle for pennies on the dollar and sign an onerous secrecy agreement, which Windermere called the “Dark Clause.” Our Lane Powell attorneys had been fully informed of these facts and given the documentation, so thoroughly provided in our webpages, http://RenovationTrap.com and http://Windermere-Victims.com.

We directed Lane Powell to cross-petition on the adverse Court of Appeals decisions described in Part II, and to give the Supreme Court new information on how the CPA was being undermined and voided.  We had written more than three pages of text to include in our Answer to Windermere’s petition, and sent it to McBride on February 6, 2011, along with the draft we had corrected.  On February 7 we sent an addendum.  Our text can be seen on pages 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 6, 2011 at 8:53 PM.)  (February 7 addendum attached).

Degginger & McBride Lie About Function of Supreme Court

The lies told to us by McBride and Degginger concerning the Supreme Court can be found in the email exchanges that are arranged in date order: Lane Powell’ email can be found at Exhibit LP Email.  Our email can be found at Exhibit DeC Email.

Supreme Court “Has No Discretion”?  McBride refused to follow our direction, telling a lie not even a high-school student would believe:

The fact remains that we are entitled only to fees on the CPA claim; the Supreme Court, like the Court of Appeals, has no discretion in the matter.  I know we want more, but the law does not allow more.  (Exhibit LP Email February 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM)

We responded, expressing disbelief:

The Supreme Court is concerned with social policy.  Access to justice is a social policy issue.  And so is litigation by attrition.

The law allows what judges say it allows.  That’s the nature of court decisions.  One year slavery is OK.  The next year slavery is not OK.  One year abortions are a no-no.  The next year, abortions are OK.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 8, 2011 at 3:19 AM.)

We directed McBride to include the pages we had written for Supreme Court review.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 8, 2011 at 3:19 AM.)

Lane Powell’s website claims its attorneys “know the territory.” McBride and Degginger must have known that segregation of costs at the Courts of Appeals level would have deleterious effects on CPA plaintiffs, and that the “segregation of costs” policy in Washington was established by Lane Powell’s own Nordstrom precedent, not statute.  Messrs. McBride and Degginger surely knew this because their own firm, Lane Powell, argued in the Nordstrom v. Tampourlos case -- and was chastised for fee padding.

McBride and Degginger knew Windermere’s history of scorched earth litigation, and must have been able to predict its the consequences in combination with the Nordstrom precedent: We’d be severely out-of-pocket.

“Only the Legislature Can [Change the Law]”.  Grant Degginger entered the discussion we had been having with Ryan McBride.  Degginger echoed McBride’s earlier lie, stating that the CPA did not permit what we were requesting and that the Supreme Court had no power of decision over the matters we wanted presented.

The only way to change that is to change the law.  Only the legislature can do that.  (Exhibit LP Email February 14, 2011 at 1:04 PM).

With those comments, Ryan and Degginger were feigning ignorance that Supreme Courts can indeed change “the law” -- by judicial interpretation.

We responded, stating the obvious once again:

Grant, judges interpret or “change” the law every day of the week.  One week slavery is OK, the next week it is not.  One week abortion is not OK, the next week it is.  OK, these are federal examples.  How about something more homegrown -- Hangman Ridge, for example?  Lawyers with chutzpah make new arguments every day of the seek, particularly to Supreme Courts, and judges with chutzpah often see the wisdom of the arguments.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM.)

Indeed, it is so well known that Supreme Courts effectively “make” law that Barack Obama earned national derision when commenting on ObamaCare, he said he was “confident the Supreme Court will not take ... an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law.” Time laconically commented: “Apparently, the Harvard law grad missed the lecture on Marbury v. Madison, the landmark 1803 Supreme Court case that helped establish judicial review.” (Exhibit April 5, 2012.)

Moreover, in our opinion, Degginger and McBride must have been aware of precedent-based law and were knowingly lying to us, betraying their fiduciary duty, and committing malpractice. [Note: See “Lawyers as Liars,” Chapter 8 in “The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer,” by Zitrin & Langford, op. cit.  The authors refer to a study conducted by Iowa law professor Gerald B. Wetlaufe in which he categories the most common justifications lawyers invent for lying, Pg 164.]

RPC 8.4(c)
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

... (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

Degginger charged $10,186.50 to our case, Ryan McBride charged $115,793.50, for a total of $125,980.  Why should clients pay attorneys who lie to them?  Lying to the client is hardly above stealing from the client.

In addition to charging us for the time they spent lying, their refusal to perform their duties damaged us by an additional $100,000 in lost awards at the Court of Appeals -- “costs of the suit” claims that were never presented to the Supreme Court -- costs that Windermere should have paid but were charged to us.

Definition of Fraud in Rules of Professional Conduct

“Purpose To Deceive.”  Whether our claims against Messrs. McBride and Degginger would result in a conviction of fraud by a court of law is surely not a concern in this report: The McBride/Degginger statements that only the legislature could change the law was fraud under the definition of the RPC, Rule 1.0:

[5] When used in these Rules, the terms "fraud" or "fraudulent" refer to conduct that is characterized as such under the substantive or procedural law of the applicable jurisdiction and has a purpose to deceive.  This does not include merely negligent misrepresentation or negligent failure to apprise another of relevant information.  For purposes of these Rules, it is not necessary that anyone has suffered damages or relied on the misrepresentation or failure to inform.

Contempt of Judicial Process Revealed by Blatant Nature of Lies

The lies concerning the powers of the Supreme Court and pretense that responses to petitions must be driven down to Olympia were blatant, conspicuous and obvious.  Those lies reveal the contempt for truth, contempt the sanctity of the judicial process, and contempt for us.  Of course such lies are a violation of RPC 8.4(c).

Such blatant, conspicuous, and obvious lying by officers of the court hold the entire Bar and judicial process up to public disrepute.

Degginger Refuses to Accept Our Directions

We Remind Degginger of Changes to Law by Judicial Precedent.  In an email exchange, we told Degginger that:

... judges interpret or ‘change’ law every day of the week ... One week abortion is not OK, next week it is ...

We also referred him to Hangman Ridge.  We told Degginger:

Lawyers with chutzpah make new arguments every day of the week, particularly to Supreme Courts, and judges with chutzpah often see the wisdom of the arguments.  (Exhibit DeC Email Feb. 14, 2011 at 3.28 PM.)

In our opinion, Degginger’s and McBride’s refusal to accept our directions was a violation of RPC 1.2, Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer.

(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued.  A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.

CPA Is to Be Liberally Construed,  We told Degginger:

... our lawsuit was a CPA suit from the very beginning ... There is nothing in the CPA statute that says, ‘When those who are found in violation of the CPA file an appeal, and bring up all matters under the sun, moon, and stars in that appeal, the victims are not entitled to attorney fees when they defend themselves ... Obviously, such neutralization was not the legislative intent when the legislature wrote the CPA must be “liberally construed.”

We told Degginger that Windermere, in its appeal strategy, effectively neutralized the Legislative intent of the CPA.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 14, 2011 at 3.28 PM.)

We Give Directions re: Supreme Court Petition.  We clearly directed Ryan McBride to draft two issues for cross-appeal.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 15, 2011 at 8.39 AM.)

We explained to Degginger:

The economics of the situation do not leave us much choice ... giving away $150-175K is simply beyond consideration.  You’d feel the same if the money were coming out of your pocket.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 15, 2011 at 8.39 AM)

We continued to try to persuade McBride and Degginger to do what we want done.  (Exhibit DeC Email at February 15, 2011 at 8.39 AM.)

February 16, 2011: Phone Call.  “Let’s Do the Math.”  On February 16, 2011, Degginger called with Ryan McBride and Andrew Gabel on the line.  We challenged Degginger’s statement during that call that we were awarded “a million and a half” by the courts.  We invited Degginger to “do the math.” We reminded him of his refusal to address other points we raised: (a) the points we raised in our Nov. 7, 2010 letter, (b) the 9% interest Lane Powell is charging us while having agreed without our permission that Windermere would pay us 3.49 percent, (c) Lane Powell’s faulty advice we’d owe no taxes on our CPA awards, and (d) Lane Powell’s refusal to attempt to hold costs down by requesting CR 11 sanctions.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 17, 2011 at 8:59 AM.)

Degginger Gives Spurious Reasons for Refusing Our Directions.  Degginger replied:.

First, we concluded that the arguments were not supported by the statutes and case law.  Second, we do not believe that we could argue that they represented a reasonable extension of existing law.  (Exhibit LP Email February 17, 2011 at 10:49 AM).

Degginger also stated a cross petition was “not in our best interests” because our “substantial” victories might be lost.  See below for Lane Powell’s characterization of the controversy:  “The DeCourseys Were Very Difficult Clients.

We Tell Degginger to Take Action.  We asked how a CPA’s plaintiff’s loss of $150,000-$175,000 could be regarded as “having won” a CPA lawsuit.

When we’ve raised the issue of our loss, you have recommended that we take the matter up with the legislature.  The Legislature could do nothing about our loss.  And we’re in court now.  The court *could* do something abut it.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 18, 2011 at 7:57 AM).

Degginger’s Deceptive Answer Leads Us to Brink

We Ask Degginger “Will You Withdraw?” -- His Misleading Response.  We asked Degginger if Lane Powell intended to withdraw from our case rather than follow the instructions we had given them.

Is it your intention that Lane Powell withdraw as our counsel if we instruct you to broach the subject of Windermere's vitiation of the Consumer Protection Act through litigation attrition warfare?  (Exhibit DeC Email February 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM)

Degginger told us:

We do not wish to withdraw.  (Exhibit LP Email February 24, 2011 at 9:12 AM).

Again, We Direct Degginger to Do His Job.  We reminded Degginger:

We warned you about Windermere’s attrition warfare program again and again.  But you refused to write motions for CR 11 sanctions Please tell us about Lane Powell’s policy of not writing CR 11 motions, and how it serves and protects clients like us who can’t write off the losses.

Snow we can take.  A snow job we decline to take ...

You insist what is happening to us is ‘the law’ and recommend we go to the Legislature.  But you cannot provide us with a subsection of RCW 19.86 that provides for our situation nor sanctions it.  In fact, what is happening to is contrary to Legislative intent.  Read RCW 19.86.920.  ‘Liberally construed’ does not mean vitiated or amputated through litigation attrition warfare.  The CPA fee and costs provision was not intended to trap the litigants, to bleed their damages award from them.” (Exhibit DeC Email February 25, 2011 at 8.07 AM)

Degginger Needs Decision “Today.”  Degginger wrote that the reply brief to Windermere’s petition was due in at the Temple of Justice in Olympia on Monday had to be driven down there.  (Exhibit LP Email February 25, 2011 at 9.30 AM).  Degginger says:

Lane Powell represents you ... Do we have authority to file the brief as written?  (Exhibit LP Email February 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM.)

We Instruct: “Do Not File As Written.”  We pointed out that we still had until Monday to file, and that the Supreme Court accepted electronic fillings [i.e., there was no need to drive the filing down to Olympia].  (Exhibit DeC Email February 25, 2011 at 2.30 PM).

We Ask for an Extension.  We had just received a short extension due to the death of Mark’s father.  We asked Degginger to seek another extension.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM).

We pointed we did not have to drive down to the Temple of Justice in Olympia to file the request -- that the Supreme Court accepts electronic filing.

Degginger’s Tall Stories About Supreme Court Filings

Supreme Court Repudiates Degginger’s Filing Disinformation.  Degginger wrote of the Supreme Court:

... they want responses to petitions for review to be filed manually.  (Exhibit LP Email February 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM)

After receiving that email, we called the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Camilla, at 360-357-2077.  She told us exactly the opposite ... she was explicit.  The Supreme Court does accept electronic submissions of responses to petitions.  We informed Degginger, stopping short of calling him a liar, but stating:

We are experiencing a crisis in confidence in you, Grant.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 25, 2011 at 3.59 PM.)

Degginger Refuses To Have Work Reviewed

We Want “Second Pair of Eyes” on Response.  Citing our crisis in confidence in Degginger and citing at least seven (7) reasons why we suspected he had a conflict of interest, we told him we want someone else evaluating what he was doing, and directed him to ask for an extension until March 7.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 25, 2011 at 3.59 PM).

Degginger & McBride Refuse to Seek Continuance.  But Degginger refused to ask for a continuance so a second pair of eyes could evaluate the case.

We don’t have a good faith basis for seeking another extension from the Supreme Court.  (Exhibit LP Email February 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM).

Without an extension, we had no time to have another law firm evaluate the case to see if the firm would take it.  Lane Powell’s outstanding invoice stood at approx. $350,000.

Like Don Corleone, Degginger Makes Us “An Offer You Can’t Refuse”
-- We Tell Degginger We Are Recording the Call

We accused Lane Powell failing to abide by its contractual obligations.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 28, 2011 at 7.08 AM.)

Degginger Insists on Phone Call.  After receiving our 7:08 am email, Degginger called on the phone, stating that Messrs.  McBride and Gabel were at his side, asking that both Carol & Mark get on the phone.  Carol explained Mark was unavailable, and asked that Degginger put into email what he wanted to say over the phone.  (Exhibit DeC Email February 28, 2011 at 9.51 AM, DeC Email February 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM; February 28, 2011 at 10.34 AM).  Degginger insisted on a phone call.

February 28, 2011 -- 11 a.m. Phone Call Recorded.  We wondered why, after such voluminous email exchanges, Degginger would phone us without warning and demand to speak to us.  So we decided to record the call.  At first Degginger balked at being recorded, but we assured him it was perfectly legal and we intended to do it.  He then went on with the conversation signifying his consent.  Ryan McBride and Andrew Gabel were also with Degginger, he said.  At the end of the call, Degginger confirmed that the conversation had indeed been recorded.  (Exhibit February 28, 2011 (1), Transcript.  Copies of the recording can be provided to properly constituted authorities.)

Gun to Head, We Submit.  In the recorded phone conversation of February 28, Ryan McBride told us what neither he nor Grant Degginger would tell us in writing: Unless we did what they wanted vis a vis the Supreme Court, they would withdraw from the case, asking the court for a 30-day extension so we could find another attorney.  In fact, Degginger made us “an offer we could not refuse.”

Degginger’s Conversion of Our Law Suit Now a Matter of Record.  As we have pointed out in “Introduction: Our Support” and Chapter 1, conversion is the wrongful assumption of ownership of another’s property.  Clearly Degginger and his colleagues had converted our claims against Windermere to their own use and benefit.

Willing to Lose All.  Several additional points must be made:

  1. Given that Lane Powell’s outstanding invoice was now approximately $350,000 and, given our debt picture, what other lawyer would take the case?
  2. Even if the economics were not a problem, we did not have another lawyer lined up, and had no guarantee we could find one in 30 days.
  3. Effectively, Lane Powell was telling us we could represent ourselves in front of the Supreme Court.
  4. Lane Powell was willing to risk losing the entire case (by having us argue pro se) rather than have the CPA fee issue reviewed by the Supreme Court.  That surely is powerful evidence of McBride/Degginger/Lane Powell’s positional conflict of interest.  That is, the evidence shows Grant Degginger was more willing to withdraw, have us argue pro se in the Supreme Court, and potentially lose the case -- than he was willing to make our CPA arguments.  That is, Degginger/McBride were willing to risk the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars rather than show the Supreme Court that the Consumer Protection Act was being thwarted by the coordinated efforts of Windermere, the Department of Licensing, and the Attorney General’s office.

Billed for Non-Existent Conference Call.  On February 28, Degginger billed us two hours of his time for “multiple” mails and calls to us, at $470 per hour, time spent refusing to follow our directions.  (Exhibit February 28, 2011 (2)).  On March 1, 2011, Degginger billed us another $470 for an hour long conference call.  (Exhibit: March 1, 2011) The March 1 call never happened.  Our last phone conversation with Degginger occurred on February 28, 2011, and was recorded.

Billing for non-existent phone call: $470

Ryan McBride Slanders DeCourseys in Court

Numerous Emails Show His Sworn Statement to Be False

The DeCourseys Were Very Difficult Clients.”  Less than two years later, under penalty of perjury, Ryan McBride submitted a Declaration to the court, which stated, in part:

The DeCourseys were very difficult clients.  A significant portion of Lane Powell's representation was devoted to managing the DeCourseys' demands for Lane Powell to make outlandish and sometime frivolous arguments on their behalf, including some that would not have been advantageous to their position.  Their persistence in this regard made the representation far more expensive then it needed to be.  For example, in February 2011, Lane Powell attorneys spent 10.9 hours responding to multiple DeCoursey emails and advising on the risks associated with taking these positions.  Ex. RR at 81-82 (describing G. Degginger's time responding to "multiple" DeCoursey emails).  (Exhibit November 30, 2012 (2), Pg. 3 at 13-21.)

Notably, McBride provides no specifics of the “outlandish” arguments we wanted him to make.  He does however mention the February 2011 emails during which we rejected the outlandish lies he and Degginger told about the function of the Supreme Court and their refusal to follow our directions to protect the awards the trail court had given us.

But from the beginning, we had been helpful, rather than “difficult” clients.  As already pointed out in Part I Chapter 1, we brought Lane Powell a well-developed CPA case -- we’d spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars developing it.  We

  1. researched, identified, and developed the legal theory that would win the case at trial
  2. prompted government investigations of the contractors and the Windermere agent
  3. identified many of the experts and witnesses that would be used at trial
  4. found a construction attorney and his wife who had been similarly victimized by the agent and his business partner (proving the public interest Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) element)
  5. attended depositions
  6. served discovery requests on the parties, and
  7. wrote and filed our Third Amended Answer and Counterclaims -- which Lane Powell did not find necessary to amend

Our History of Correcting Errors and Improving Briefs.  Prior to McBride complaining that we were “difficult clients,” we corrected him numerous times on the facts of the case, and suggested arguments that he found valuable and used in the briefs; we helped him avoid pitfalls set by the Windermere lawyers, and clarify his language for a sharper style.  These comments in McBride’s emails tell the story:

Mark, thank you for your comments and suggestions.  I accepted some, modified a few, and rejected others ... I feel very strongly that this brief puts our best case forward.  (Exhibit LP Email February 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM)

[M]y plan is to finish the brief generally, and then use your materials to ensure I haven’t left out anything important.  When it comes to the Statement of the Facts, however, I may simply crib your excellent narrative.  (Exhibit September 9, 2009.)

I also carefully considered the style/grammar and substantive suggestions you sent me in redline.  For the most part, I incorporated your style and wording changes, and added some of the factual detail/corrections.  Regarding some of the additional argument you suggested, I incorporated some but not all.  The point about the [the contractor] settlement/allocation encompassing CPA attorneys fees was great, and I added and embellished that point.  Also on the Judge Erlick/Judge Fox atty's fees issue, I added a point about Rule 54(b) based on something you suggested, as well as some input I got from Brent along the same lines.  Both aspects of the brief are stronger because of these additions.  (Exhibit October 2, 2009). 

... I accepted almost all of your changes, which were well-taken, ...   (Exhibit October 5, 2009.)

Great.  Thanks Mark.  (Exhibit October 8, 2009.)

When we corrected McBride’s confusion between two judges in our case, McBride emailed:

By the way, when I wrote it should be Fox, I meant it should be Erlick, per your catch.  It[’]s corrected in the motion.  (Exhibit December 1, 2009.)

When we gave McBride a list of moot questions in preparation for oral argument:

Thanks Mark.  This looks good.  Feel free to provide answers.  Answers are always good.  (Exhibit January 26, 2010.)

When McBride argued in a draft that there was no waiver of rights because we had not signed a written waiver, we corrected his misunderstanding of the law: by statute, those rights cannot be waived.

Sure, I'll take out those words.  (Exhibit November 23, 2010 (1).)

Thanks.  I will make these changes and file tomorrow.  Our offices are closed today.  Have a good thanksgiving.  (Exhibit November 23, 2010 (2).)

When we suggested he borrow argument from the amicus brief:

Okay.  I'll try to make the stuff in section II clearer, and I'll add the sentence about the amicus and another sentence summarizing what the amicus said re Windermere litigation tactics.  (Exhibit May 16, 2011 (1).)

When we suggested he include the amicus brief as an exhibit:

I don't see why I can't attach the amicus brief as an exhibit.  I'll do it.  (Exhibit May 16, 2011.)

Mark -- I have revised the response per your input.  (Exhibit July 13, 2011.)

Every lawyer should have clients who are willing and able to contribute to the case like that.  But McBride’s attack declaration of November 30, 2012 is aimed not just at discrediting us, but also at covering Degginger’s pique:  We understood the function of supreme courts and recognized McBride’s and Degginger’s lies.  We also objected to Degginger hijacking the case to avoid damaging his political supporters (the real estate and development industry) and leaving the CPA case law in a weakened state to protect large corporations generally -- and Lane Powell’s clients generally.  Because we objected to Degginger setting the goals for the litigation, McBride called us “difficult” clients.


Here we were -- on the eve of having to respond to Windermere’s Supreme Court petition.  With no continuance, the Allied Law Group had no time to evaluate the issues of our cross-petition to the Supreme Court, and of course could not agree to represent us.  And we did not have the skills to represent ourselves before the Supreme Court.  Unless we buckled under to Degginger, we’d face catastrophe.  With a gun to our heads, we submitted.

Appellate Lawyer’s Note of Regret.  Michele Earl-Hubbard, of the Allied Law Group, with whom we had been consulting during February, 2011, wrote:

I am sorry your lawyers would not give you the extension you requested so you, and we had more time to examine the matter.” (Exhibit March 8, 2011)

Unable To Terminate Degginger & Company: Court Events in Motion.  Much as we wanted to rid ourselves of Degginger and his crew, we could see no way of doing so without causing ourselves mortal injury.  From February to July, the case was too complex and moving too quickly -- not a good transition time.  We decided that as soon as we could, we would terminate Lane Powell and hire other counsel We cashed in our last asset and life insurance policies to pay the new lawyer.  These were the court events that were in flux at the time:

  • February 28, 2011: Our Response to Windermere’s petition to Supreme Court was filed without the cross-petition.
  • April 27, 2011: The Supreme Court Commissioner filed the Order Terminating Review and inviting our Motion for Fees under RAP 18.1.
  • May 6, 2011: Our Motion for Attorney Fees was filed.
  • May 12, 2011: Windermere filed an Objection arguing that the fees should be segregated.
  • May 17, 2011: DeCoursey Reply to Windermere’s Response
  • May 25, 2011: The Commissioner ruled that the basis for the fee award was RAP 18.1, not the CPA, but Lane Powell’s fees for answering the petition were not “reasonable;” both the hours and the hourly rates were excessive.
  • June 15, 2011: Windermere filed a Motion to Modify the Commissioner’s ruling.
  • July 14, 2011: DeCourseys/Lane Powell filed a Response with a cross-motion to modify, arguing that both the fees and hours were reasonable.
  • July 28, 2011 Windermere filed reply.
  • August 8, 2011: A three-judge panel, including the Chief Judge, reviewed the matter and denied both Windermere’s and Lane Powell’s motions.

In the accounting above, “Court Events in Flux,” we did not mention one significant event.  This event again showed that the Lane Powell attorneys of whom we complain were following their own agenda, not serving ours.  This event was their reaction to the Amicus brief.

McBride Objects to Talmadge/Fitzpatrick Amicus Brief

Bloors & Ruebels Speak Out.  Several Windermere victims, Mr. and Mrs. Bloor and Mr. and Mrs. Ruebel -- filed an amicus curiae brief in our support in the Supreme Court (Exhibit March 21, 2011).  The brief was written by Peter Lohnes of the Talmadge-Fitzpatrick law firm.  The Motion for Leave to File Brief of Amicus Curiae stated:

Both the Ruebels and the Bloors are familiar with the petitioners’ litigation strategies and arguments, having prevailed in costly and time-consuming lawsuits against Windermere and its agents involving violations of the Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) and breach of fiduciary duty.  Their prior experience vividly demonstrates that there are no legal issues involved in this case warranting review by this Court.  (Exhibit March 21, 2011, Motion, Pg. 2.)

The brief went on to state:

The amici have an interest in this case because their disputes with Windermere affect the public interest where others, like the DeCourseys, have been or will be injured in the same fashion they were.  (Exhibit March 21, 2011, Brief, Pg. 1)

Their experience is that Windermere breaches its duty to its clients and subsequently litigates against them to the hilt.  The DeCourseys’ case closely mirrors those of the Amici and reveals the same pattern of breach of duty followed by adamant resistance.  The Amici, like the DeCourseys, depended on the CPA to protect them from the depredations of a large multi-state corporation.  Windermere, in turn, fruitlessly seeks any bolt-hole through which it might escape the strictures of the CPA.  (Pg. 3.)

As it did with the Amici, Windermere is attempting to attack the Court’s findings of substantial evidence and to undermine the provisions of the CPA.  (Pg. 4.)

Again echoing the Amici cases, Windermere attempts to finagle its way around the CPA.  (Pg. 8.)

Nothing in Windermere’s petition warrants review under RAP 13.4(b).  The Court should deny review.  (Pg. 10)

Thus it can be readily seen the Amicus brief wholly supported the brief written by Ryan McBride of Lane Powell -- that the Supreme Court should NOT accept Windermere’s petition to review -- but with ONE difference.  The Amicus brief fully exposed Windermere’s historical abuse of the judicial process as a means of thwarting the CPA.

When McBride discovered the Amicus brief had been filed, he expressed surprise and disapproval, criticizing it, essentially, because raised issues of public importance -- that is, CPA issues! (Exhibit March 22, 2011.)  He also criticized the Talmadge firm for not having coordinated strategy with him and telling him the brief was coming.

Having served on the Supreme Court, Phil Talmadge of Talmadge-Fitzpatrick no doubt knew what was appropriate and how best to address the issues.  But McBride -- with less than 15 years of practice, and never having served as a judge on the Supreme Court -- complained anyway.  (Exhibit LP Email March 22, 2011, 3.31 PM.)  We found McBride’s complaint unconvincing, and told him why.  (Exhibit March 23, 2011.)

We Denounce Attempt to Weaken Us. We wrote back:

You fault Talmadge & Fitzpatrick for failing to discuss strategy with you.  Clearly your objective would have been to dissuade Mr. Lohnes from serving his clients, who wanted to perform their civic duty.  In contrast, we are grateful to the Bloors and the Ruebels for performing their civil duty.  They acted unselfishly to alert the court to an on-going problem.  Windermere is a commercial menace to the people of the Northwest, the type of menace that the CPA was designed to address.  You acknowledged that fact when you argued that we were injured "in exactly the same way" as other consumers have been or were likely to be injured.

Think about this:  On one hand you say you wanted to posture our case as "factually unique," and on the other hand hand say that it is (1) governed by clearly settled law, and (2) governed by public policy law (and as such not unique).  Your position is not logically possible.  You cannot deny any public policy issues inherent in a case that is based on public policy law.  You cannot both claim this is a case of no public importance, yet claim at the same time it should fall under the auspices of the Consumer Protection Act. 

Lane Powell has been urging us to be totally selfish in designing our legal strategy.  According to LP, we should do only what is best "only" for us.  Unfortunately, if that is the standard by which LP judges virtue, we must ask if LP is following its own advice -- i.e., is LP doing only what is best "only" for LP?  That is the reasonable corollary.  Thus we see the untenability of the "selfish" principle.

We do not consider selfishness is a civic virtue; it is a civil vice.  We have reached out to help others injured by Windermere, and now they are reaching out to help us.  That may be one of the reasons the jury sided with us in the trial, too.  That is the way that a real civilization operates.  (Exhibit DeC Email March 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM.) k

With all these experiences, we worked quietly to secure other counsel, with a view to terminating Lane Powell at our earliest practical opportunity.

Our August 2, 2011 Instructions

Don’t Work on Remand.” By the end of July, we had found and secured replacement counsel, signed a retainer agreement, (Exhibit July 8, 2011 (redacted)) and brought the case to a transferable state.  On August 2, 2011, at 9:50 AM, we sent an email to Ryan McBride directing him not to do any work on the remand.  (Exhibit DeC Email August 2, 2011 at 9.50 AM).

The same day, but more than five (5) hours later, McBride replied.  He told us:

Okay, Mark, although 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.” (Emphasis added.)

McBride then went on to state:

Hickman ... indicated Windermere was contemplating making a partial payment on the judgment, to which I said ‘great,’ although I don’t know if or when that would actually happen. ... Since it could take a couple of months for that to happen ... Anyway, if Windermere actually makes a payment, we’ll let you know immediately.  (Exhibit LP email, August 2, 2011 at 3.01 PM; emphasis added.)

Untruth About Timing of Partial Payout.  We learned later that the payment from Windermere’s insurer was so imminent that, when we changed attorneys, the insurer had to rush to stop the payment from being sent to Lane Powell.  (Exhibit December 19, 2011 (2), Earl-Hubbard Declaration, Pg. 2, Lines 15-23).  [Note: See also Errata, Exhibit December 21, 2011 (2)].  Indeed, Windermere’s attorneys had already prepared the Partial Satisfaction of Judgment (Exhibit August 19, 2011), a copy of which we obtained.

The imminence of the payment is confirmed in the Declaration of Ryan McBride.  McBride states he took the call from William Hickman of Reed McClure (attorney for Windermere’s insurer) and declares that “the judgment debtors were considering making a partial payment of the judgment before the Supreme Court issued its mandate.” (Exhibit December 20, 2011 (2), Pg. 2 at 23-26.)

This all makes a lie of McBride’s statements to us that he did not know “if” Windermere would make the payment and that the payment “could take a couple of months” to happen.  He apparently knew the payment was imminent, i.e. to be made “before the Supreme Court issued its mandate.” Again, Lane Powell was trying to keep us in the dark.  (The Supreme Court issued the mandate on September 2, 2011.)

August 3, 2011: We Terminate Lane Powell.  On August 3, 2011, we had successfully lined everything up for a transfer of counsel.  At approx. 8:30 AM, we delivered our termination letter (Exhibit August 3, 2011 (1)) to ABC Legal Services, Inc. and asked them to serve it on Lane Powell..  ABC Legal served the letter at 12:14 PM on August 3.  (Exhibit August 3, 2011 (2))

August 3, 2011: Why the Screeching Hurry to File a Lien?.  Even before Lane Powell notified the court that it was withdrawing as our counsel, Degginger had a lien filed a lien against our award for $384,881.66.  (Exhibit August 3, 2011 (1).)  Why were McBride and Degginger in such a screeching hurry to file the lien?  The answer: They had to know the pay-out of the judgment award was not “months away,” as McBride deceitfully told us the day before (Exhibit LP email, August 2, 2011 at 3.01 PM.)  McBride and Degginger knew the payout was imminent, and apparently fell over themselves to stake a claim before the check went through to our new counsel.

Subsequent Lies About Sequence of Events.  Later, Degginger and others at Lane Powell attempted to re-write history: They hid the fact that on August 2 we told them to stop work.  Degginger et al. claimed instead that we terminated them because we did not want them to get paid, after we learned about the upcoming partial payment.

Sequence of Events Recapped

  • July 8, 2011. We sign a retainer agreement with Allied Law to handle the remand.
  • Thursday, July 28, 2011: Windermere filed reply to its motion to modify.
  • August 2, 2011 9:50 AM: Seeing that events were winding down in the Supreme Court and that Lane Powell’s presence on the case was no longer required, we decide to terminate Lane Powell and make the change to Allied Law.  DeCourseys tell Lane Powell “do no work on the remand.”
  • August 3, 2011, 8:30 AM (approximately) DeCourseys officially terminate Lane Powell.

The charge by Degginger et al. that we terminated Lane Powell to prevent them from being paid was obviously false.  It would have been impossible to find and hire another law firm to take over such a complex case between late afternoon on August 2 (when we received and answered McBride’s news about the partial payment) and early the next morning, August 3, when we left our termination notice at ABC Legal Services (Exhibit August 3, 2011 (1) for delivery to Lane Powell (Exhibit August 3, 2011 (2).

Degginger’s Billing: Educated Commentary from Courts and Atty. Fogarty

During the month of February, 2011, Degginger & McBride spent much of their time justifying their refusal to abide by their contract obligations and their fiduciary duty -- and charged us for that time.  Our calculations revealed Degginger charged us approximately $6,352.57 trying to convince us Lane Powell should not do its job.  We complained.  On May 4, 2011, McBride sent us an email telling us Lane Powell would refund $5,000 to us.  (Exhibit LP Email May 4, 2011 at 10.51 AM.)  But it took months -- after we had dismissed them and obviously when other attorneys were looking at the case -- for Lane Powell to actually make the credit.

Paul Fogarty, Esq. Comments on Attorney Fee Rate at the Appeals Court:

$440 per hour is almost double the rate to which the DeCourseys originally agreed when they signed on with LP in 2007.  (Exhibit September 22, 2011, Pg. 14, Fogarty Letter.)

McBride presented only a fraction of his fees to the Supreme Court, but charged the full amount to us for defending Lane Powell’s non-performance on its contract.  In his Declaration dated 30 November 2012, McBride states,

... 15.8 hours were spent on tasks that were not reviewed by [the court].  (Exhibit November 30, 2012 (2), Pg. 2, at 20-21.

Supreme Court: Lane Powell’s Fees Unreasonable.  When the Supreme Court commissioner reviewed the bills for answering Windermere’s petition, the commissioner ruled that Lane Powell’s rates and times were not "reasonable" and trimmed the fee claimed by about 33% (i.e., to about $315/hr.).  (Exhibit May 25, 2011.)  On August 8, 2011, a special 3-judge panel that included the Chief Judge affirmed the commissioner’s ruling.  (Exhibit August 8, 2011.)

When Challenged, Degginger Backs Down And Quits Billing to Case

Degginger Added No Apparent Value.  Degginger’s only visible function in the appeals case was to try to justify his firm’s non-performance on its contact.  Yet for this, Degginger billed us $10,186.50 in total.  Paul Fogarty wrote:

Grant Degginger billed time but did not add corresponding value.  On October 20 [2008], the day before trial, Grant Degginger began billing to the DeCoursey case, though he added no visible value to the case (LP Invoice 12/5/2008, p 5,6).

[Mr. Good] left the firm suddenly on November 19, 2009.  He departed the firm without notice and without explanation to his clients, DeCourseys, strongly suggesting he was summarily fired without notice or forced into quitting.  [Mr. Good] has told DeCourseys only that he has signed “a non-disparagement agreement.

[Mr. Good]‘s name continued on the invoices until February [2010] as the attorney of record, but because the case was in the hands of the appeals specialist (Ryan McBride), his absence had no effect on the case.  Beginning in December 2009, Mr. Degginger accompanied each invoice with a line or two of a personally signed cover letter, as though he were now DeCourseys’ attorney.  Mr. Degginger's name has never appeared on the pleadings as an attorney of record, but he continued sending personal letters with the invoices – and billing to their account.  Presumably, he did not bill for these letters – did he?

When it was in the Court of Appeals, the case was primarily handled by McBride, though he sent Mr. Degginger copies of all his email with the DeCourseys.  McBride also requested that the DeCourseys send Mr. Degginger and Gabel CCs of all their emails too.  Email dated June 16, 2011.  The DeCourseys protested that Mr. Degginger’s name never appeared on their pleadings, that he added no value to the case, and that the combined rates could not be justified (McBride at $440/hr., Degginger at $470/hr., and Gabel at $275/hr).  McBride assured the DeCourseys that Mr. Degginger would stop billing to their case account.  Email dated Mr. Degginger and Gabel CCs of all their emails too.  Email dated June 16, 2011.  The DeCourseys protested June 16, 2011This poses a paradox: if Mr. Degginger’s activities were billable, why would he stop billing for them?  Or if Mr. Degginger’s activities were not billable, why was he ever billing for them?  What was Mr. Degginger’s role in this case?

... When LP submitted its costs bill to the Supreme Court, it emailed the DeCourseys that it could not bill Windermere for (primarily) Mr. Degginger's time and would re-credit their account for $5,000.  Email dated May 4, 2011.  But the refund/credit did not appear on an invoice until August 17, 2011, when another attorney had been retained in place of Lane Powell.

Amount at issue: about $10,186.50.”  (Exhibit September 22, 2011, Pg. 16.  Fogarty Letter.)

Fogarty on Supreme Court Ruling.  In his September 22, 2011 letter to Lane Powell, Paul Fogarty expressed it succinctly:

Supreme Court.  By actual invoice (LP invoices dated 2/15/2011 and 3/15/2011), the DeCourseys incurred fees and costs of $28,195.25 answering Windermere's Petition, billing for costs, and answering Windermere’s motion.  LP decided not to claim for $5,555 and credited that amount back to DeCourseys and the court disallowed $2,645 in claims.  Still, LP claimed only $17,818.46 in Respondents' Affidavit of Fees and Expenses leaving a shortfall of about $2,176.79.  (Exhibit September 22, 2011, Fogarty Letter, Pg. 14.)

Supreme Court Motion to Modify: LP billed the DeCourseys for $1,687.98 for this action (LP 7/15 Invoice), but asserted a claim for only $1,540.  (Exhibit September 22, 2011, Fogarty Letter, Pg. 14.)

The Nordstrom Greed Revisited.  The Nordstrom decision and Lane Powell’s role in it was not revealed to us.  It should have been: the comments of the Nordstrom court show that a) Lane Powell was entirely too greedy with its billing, intending to shaft the defendant, and b) the Court caught them at the game.  By its own overarching greed, Lane Powell ruined the legitimate interests of the CPA for everyone, setting up the Nordstrom precedent.  

As it did in Nordstrom, so did the Supreme Court find again in DeCoursey.  It found that Lane Powell was padding its bills (“grossly exaggerated”) to reap greater fees than the case would support.  The Supreme Court commissioner, and then the special panel, found that through excess rates and hours, McBride was over billing by at least 30%.  

In total, the court found reasonable $356,482 (Superior) + $47,600.61 (Appeals) + $11,978 (Supreme) of the final bill.  We have already shown some visible elements of Lane Powell's bill padding in the trial court.  Reasonably extrapolating that the institutional abuse was continued in the upper courts, we have confirmation from the Supreme Court's own judges that the bills were not "reasonable" by a factor of about 32.77%.

And none of the courts saw all of the bills.

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