• Report: #626675

Complaint Review: Shulman Hodges & Bastian

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  • Submitted: Mon, July 26, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, November 29, 2010

  • Reported By: Chewy — irvine California U.S.A.
Shulman Hodges & Bastian
26632 Towne Centre Drive St 300 Internet United States of America

Shulman Hodges & Bastian Jim Bastian Ron Hodges Len Shulman Lawyer that I trusted and paid a over 200K in legal fee's already, sue's me for a balance of disputed fee's Internet

*Author of original report: Shuman Hodges and Bastian

*Author of original report: Shulman Hodges and Bastian

*UPDATE Employee: Just the Facts

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Retained this firm approx 8 years ago to help with business litigation.  They billed me an exhoribant amount of money totaling over 250K in fee's.  Paid most of the bills...even though I did not agree with them.   However, I did not agree with the balance due of over 40K...and opted for arbitration with a firm that Bastian chose called AAA. We scheduled an arbitration/mediation date and Instead of proceeding with mediationand manged to negotiate a settlement with Jim Bastian for a payment of 20K.  I sent them $20K just so they would stop threatening me with more lawsuits.    Even though they received the check, they did not cancel the mediation and 3 lawyers showed up to AAA and got a default for the full amount against me for over 70K...  I was shocked.  I thought we had already settled this case days before the mediation.  I signed the agreement and sent them a check thinking everthing was done and paid in full. They went to the mediation behind my back and proceeded to get a deafult against me for much more money.  They used personal information that I gave them in confidence against me for their own personal gain.    Both myself and my new attorney ,  Walter Weiss were shocked at the lack of ethics used by this firm.  They went into court ex parte to get a TRO and froze my bank account even though I was not properly served.    This kind of representation is what gives attorney's such a bad name.  I paid this firm a ton of money..and they deceived me.  I am now forced to spend a ridiculous amount of time and more money to defend this...They know that it doesn't cost them anything but their time to go into court...and I have to retain new counsel just to get some justice.  Beware of these guys...they are as nasty as it gets...    I know everyone has attorney horror stories...but these guys took it to a new level. 

 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/26/2010 03:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Shulman-Hodges-Bastian/internet/Shulman-Hodges-Bastian-Jim-Bastian-Ron-Hodges-Len-Shulman-Lawyer-that-I-trusted-and-pai-626675. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Shuman Hodges and Bastian

AUTHOR: Chewy - (U.S.A.)

This matter has been settled with the firm of Shulman , Hodges & Bastian and this posting constitutes a retraction of any statements which seemed to imply that the firm handled my matter improperly.
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#2 Author of original report

Shulman Hodges and Bastian

AUTHOR: Chewy - (U.S.A.)

This matter has been resolved.  And a settlement has been reached with the firm.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Just the Facts

AUTHOR: Shulman Hodges & Bastian - (United States of America)

This post is written on behalf of the persons complained about by Ms. Andra Sachs; namely, James C. Bastian, Ronald S. Hodges, and the firm of Shulman Hodges & Bastian LLP. We respectfully submit the the following chronology so that Ms. Sachs is dissuaded from taking any further frivolous action that to date has served no purpose other than to vex, harass and annoy these persons.

Ms. Andra Sachs, a former client of this firm, and self proclaimed Queen of the Jungle (see her September 15, 2010 email http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/email.pdf), is the subject of an adverse judgment in favor of the firm as a result of her nonpayment of fees and costs. All of the attorneys fees and costs were incurred while successfully representing her interests over the span of considerable time. At no time during our representation or the one year following did she ever complain about any of the fees being unauthorized, improper or excessive. At no time during our representation or the year following did she take issue with any particular itemized entry. At no time during the course of our representation or the year following did she ever complain of any improper or unethical conduct by the firm or any of its members. The properly detailed, itemized bills were sent monthly and were never met with any criticism. In true Andra Sachs fashion she simply attempted to leave yet another law firm in her trail and stated she would not pay the bill because she didnt have the money. (Please note that the subject of our retention started with the defense of certain claims surrounding her receipt of approximately $9 million a few years ago; hardly someone penniless or unable to defend herself in any matter).

After waiting more than one year to initiate any collection action, and after unsuccessful attempts by Ms. Sachs to avoid binding arbitration (all proper notices of right to arbitrate were sent and ignored) in favor of settlement, the firm was forced to file a petition to compel Ms. Sachs to arbitrate. The Orange Count Superior Court then ordered Ms. Sachs to arbitrate and a binding arbitration was conducted.  After repeated unsuccessful attempts at challenging the binding arbitration award, and the dismissal of her appeal following entry of judgment in favor of our firm, Ms. Sachs decided that her best and only option at this point is to do whatever she can to defame the good character and reputation of this firm and those members of the firm that have taken steps to collect the monies owed.

This firm takes these specious allegations very seriously and is taking these steps to inform the public of the true facts regarding this matter so Ms. Sachs understands that these improper tactics will not benefit her in any way vis a vis avoiding her responsibility to pay the monies she owes this firm. The firm has never done anything unethical or illegal during its representation of Ms. Sachs or during its collection proceedings. The above posting, most likely by Ms. Sachs, lacks merit.

CHRONOLOGY OF RELEVANT EVENTS

On October 14, 2008, after waiting more than one year since it last performed services for Ms. Sachs and her various companies, and after attempting to resolve the past due balance through a payment plan or discounted payoff, the firm properly served Ms. Sachs with the Notice of Clients Right to Arbitrate. (See Exhibit 1 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_1.pdf) The Notice was ignored, and Ms. Sachs took no action in furtherance of this right.

As a result of Ms. Sachs ignoring the Notice of Right to Arbitrate, the firm initiated an action to compel Ms. Sachs to arbitrate.  When Ms. Sachs ignored the petition, the California Superior Court ordered Ms. Sachs to binding arbtiration. See http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/arborder.pdf  The firm then initiated binding arbitration with AAA pursuant to its fully executed fee agreements with Ms. Sachs and her companies. Ms. Sachs was served with the AAA arbitration proceeding. After several unsuccessful attempts by Ms. Sachs to postpone the arbitration through repeated lies to the case administrator about settlement and/or poor health, the arbitration was held before well-respected attorney, Stephen Drummy, Esq. Neither Ms. Sachs nor her attorney, Mr. Walter Weiss, would agree to appear at the hearing despite repeated calls by AAA and Mr. Drummy encouraging them to do so. Despite the non-appearance at the hearing Mr. Drummy requested that the firm present its entire case in chief claiming he did not want Ms. Sachs to make any specious claim that the award, if any, was taken by default. After a day of testimony by several attorneys from the firm, and the admission into evidence of dozens of exhibits, Mr. Drummy took the matter under submission. On April 27, 2010 Mr. Drummy issued his binding award in favor of the firm. (See Exhibit 2 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_2.pdf)

Following the award, the firm properly filed and served its motion to confirm the award and have judgment entered. Ms. Sachs opposed the motion, and also filed an ex parte for an order setting aside the award. (See pleadings submitted by Ms. Sachs with the instant complaint). After each and every argument raised by the parties was carefully considered, the motion to confirm the award was granted and Ms. Sachs ex parte for an order setting aside the award was denied. On July 21, 2010, after the Court waited the requisite time for any objections to the proposed judgment to pass, judgment was entered in favor of the firm. (See Exhibit 3 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_3.pdf)

On August 20, 2010, determined to make the firm incur as much time and money as possible to collect what is owed, Ms. Sachs filed her Notice of Appeal. (See Exhibit 4 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_4.pdf) Despite filing the matter in pro per, the firm later learned at the second session of her judgment debtor exam that she has a law school graduate assisting her with the appeal.

On September 21, 2010 the appeal was ordered dismissed. (See Exhibit 5 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_5.pdf)

So as you can see from the chronology of actual events, this is nothing more than a former client attempting to create busy work for a law firm to which she owes money. (She has also posted the above defamatory comments on the internet, and elsewhere).

MS. SACHS SPECIFIC CLAIMS

Ms. Sachs claims she paid the firm hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of this firms multi-year representation of her involving rather complex business disputes. Although we find it curious that she was able to come up with a specific figure for prior fees paid despite complaints by her that she was unable to do so for lack of documentation from us, we do not dispute that significant fees were incurred and paid. We did excellent work for Ms. Sachs and achieved incredible results without any prior complaint by her or her companies as to the amount of fees charged or the results obtained. Unfortunately for her, this dispute is about what she did not pay. Regardless, there is no proper, substantiated claim of any unethical conduct as to this claim.

Ms. Sachs claims she complained to the law firm often about the fees incurred, yet has never presented a single email or letter evidencing any such complaint, let alone one made during the course of our representation. In fact, if forced to do so, we will submit numerous emails (some of which were admitted into evidence at arbitration) showing glowing praise of the work performed by this firm on her behalf. Regardless, there is no proper, substantiated claim of any unethical conduct as to this claim. Ms. Sachs has claimed this is now a matter of Sampson and Goliath. Although we assume she meant to refer to David and Goliath, her mistaken characterization is more accurate. She is a very wealthy woman with a very sophisticated estate (asset protection) plan created by very sophisticated lawyers (Riordan & McKenzie). She is currently represented by two law firms in this dispute; Mr. Walter Weiss firm, and Mr. Michael Wrights firm. This firm is representing itself in the enforcement proceedings. In all instances of communicating with Ms. Sachs and her counsel during enforcement proceedings the firm has abided by all Rules of Professional Conduct, including those instances when Ms. Sachs attempts to communicate with the firm directly. Regardless, there is no proper, substantiated claim of any unethical conduct as to this claim. It is certainly no instance of David verses Goliath.

Ms. Sachs claims she was, and continues to be, denied some portion of her file (accounting records). Her claim is complete nonsense for several reasons; a) she obviously has all file materials necessary to complete her accounting or else her claim of payment of over $250,000 is completely fabricated; b) she was provided an opportunity to review all arbitration exhibits prior to the arbitration, including all accounting documents to support the firms claim; c) her attorney in the arbitration proceeding, Mr. Weiss, was provided with a copy of all accounting documents relating to her accounts; and d) anticipating a specious claim of not turning over her entire file we required that a receipt be signed when the fifty-five (55) boxes containing her file materials were picked up by her son on July 26, 2010. (See Exhibit 6 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_6.pdf and Exhibit 7 http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/Exhibit_7.pdf) Regardless, there is no proper, substantiated claim of any unethical conduct as to this claim. Ms. Sachs claims there is some settlement between her and the firm regarding the fees owed. Such a claim is nonsense. In fact, she has unsuccessfully asserted that claim the case administrator at AAA, to the Arbitrator (Mr. Drummy), and to Judge Luesebrink prior to judgment being entered. There is no settlement agreement between the parties, period. (See also Ms. Sachs own email reflecting such http://www.shbllp.com/Shared/email.pdf) What Ms. Sachs is referring to is a proposed settlement we agreed to accept if signed and fully funded prior to any arbitration proceeding. She did neither and now regrets not doing so. That said, the firm has repeatedly agreed to discount the current amount owed by more than fifty percent (50%) to resolve the claim and Ms. Sachs continues to ignore her current counsels recommendation to accept same, choosing instead to continue on with conduct such as this defamatory posting; thus, causing the judgment to increase by the amount of fees and costs incurred in enforcement proceedings.

CONCLUSION

The bottom line to this issue is that Ms. Sachs is used to bullying her way through attorneys, and the self-proclaimed Queen of the Jungle is frustrated by two things: 1) the fact this firm will not tolerate her repeated lies and gamesmanship to avoid paying what she owes, and 2) the fact that arbitrators and judges refuse to believe her repeated lies. Simply put, this is not a matter of unethical conduct by the firm or any of its lawyers. Rather, it is a simple fee dispute with a former client that refuses to accept the advice of her current counsel to accept responsibility for her actions.

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