Report: #666733

Complaint Review: James E. Silverstien

  • Submitted: Tue, November 30, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, March 12, 2012
  • Reported By: henya — los angeles California United States of America
  • James E. Silverstien
    9000 Sunset Blvd. Suite 1115 Hollywood, CA 9006
    Los Angeles, California
    United States of America

James E. Silverstien Jamie Silverstien Fee and Plea lawyering at its worst Do not hire James Silverstien if you don't like being suckered and screwed over Los Angeles, California

*UPDATE Employee: shame on you james evan silverstein

*Author of original report: James e Silverstein is an evil and sick little man

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: This posting is false, malicious, slanderous, and absolutely wrong

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In the midst of a malicious prosecution against my daughter we went to see a lawyer named Peter Knecht, who professed to be an expert of sorts in malicious prosecutions. Peter Knecht tolds us how persecuted she was and how it would cost him 30k because of the mess made by this malicious prosecution. He then recommened a lawyer who worked in his office and told us that this guy was like him when he was young and if we hired this guy he would help. The guy we would meet, James Silverstien, seemed like a clown but we thought that for 10k now we would get the services of Peter Knecht. Peter Knecht kept coming into the office and was talking strategy and kept saying, " We will take good care of you." Otherwise we would never retain for 10k James Silverstien for a misdemeanor.  James Silverstien told us all how easy the case was and even called the same night to make sure we signed with him. [continued below]....
..... Well, it got complicated and the prosecution became more malicious. There was without charges or basis a "coercive confinement." and Silverstien did nothing to get my daughter out of jail when any lawyer doing the most minimal work would. It's incredible considering the facts of the case but rotten Jamie Silverstien doesn't bother with things like learning the factss of the case.
When after 31 days she was released without explanation on bail James Silverstien and Knecht tried to pressure her into a plea for a worse deal than was offerred with the public defender. If the facts of the case are known than the idea that anyone would pay this b*****d 10k to plea when the public defender had already offerred the best plea possible. Knecht behavior  is even more egregious, really, considering how he adverstises himself and wants to be seen as a man who will fight the government.  When she refused James Silverstien, to curry favor with a malicious prosecution and judge, went on the record to say that he had told my daughter to plea and he believed she'd be punished harsher if she didn't. Then, James Silverstien just took the money and ran- withrew from the case and instantly alerted the adversary that he was doing so so they could prepare. Which they did.
James Silverstien  stole the last cent of innocent and trusting people and left them pennilesss and stuck with the overburdened public defender.
Well, my daughter didn't take the plea and with a overworked underfunded public defender who could care less really, she  was aquitted , by a JUDGE at trial  .
The case was a vile joke with no merit whatsoever and so many witnesses. James E. Silverstien did not interview one witness and did not know the case and apparently lied to Knecht about the facts of the case according to Knechts lawyer who is now claiming Jamie defrauded him.

They are both being sued and rather than man up and beg for apologies and of course returned the money these sociopathic bastards are fighting tooth and nail and trying to use dirty tricks. These are very bad men. For the purposes of this report on James Silverstien I'll just end it with a plea to not ever hire him if you want any justice or even advocacy. James E. Silverstien is  a money grubbing and  cold hearted theif. He is a dangerous lawyer to have as money and status is all he cares about.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2010 03:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

shame on you james evan silverstein

AUTHOR: justicehound - (United States of America)

What a disgusting person. He lie all the time and one day he get into big trouble. He have no ethics or class. Shame on him for how he abuse people.
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#2 Author of original report

James e Silverstein is an evil and sick little man

AUTHOR: henya - (United States of America)

Keep on eye out for a defamation suit where James Silverstein and Peter Knecht have zero chance of winning once it goes to trial. The legal malpractice suit will be refiled as the fact that the plaintiff was aquitted ,was lied about, and the judge became confused, by all indications.

The judge did say that James Silverstein and Peter Knecht showed "obvious negligence" in this case.

Rip off Report has been great as it permitted these nutjobs to lose it and put up such libel of someone who paid them 10 thousand dollars for defense. Every word they say is a lie and for them to put it in print is a great gift, in the long run.

James Silverstein and Peter Knecht are stupid, and vicious b******* with zero regard for the the law or for the truth. Hire them and you will regret it.

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

This posting is false, malicious, slanderous, and absolutely wrong

AUTHOR: jeslaw - (United States of America)

My name is James Silverstein. This malicious, false report, as well as several others posted over the past several days, has been generated by a very disturbed individual, Alisa Spitzberg. Ms. Alisa Spitzberg may also have been aided by her sister, Lauren Spitzberg and/or their mother, Henya Spitzberg.

I am an attorney who was retained by Ms. Spitzberg in late 2009 to defend her against ongoing misdemeanor criminal charges which were brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. The following information is based upon public records generated in that case.

Ms. Spitzberg was arrested in or about 2008 for violating a valid restraining order entered against her by Judge Gerald Rosenberg in the Santa Monica Court. Ms. Spitzberg appealed that order, but it was upheld by the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 1. The Court of Appeals written decision recites in detail the awful, disturbing behavior exhibited by Ms. Spitzberg. See

This restraining order was granted because the protected party and victim, Mathilde "Tig" Notaro, proved allegations that Ms. Alisa Spitzberg stalked and assaulted her by way of multiple witness testimony.  The evidence adduced in that hearing suggested that Ms. Spitzberg was displeased that Ms. notaro was apparently dating Ms. Spitzberg's ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Willen. Ms. Spitzberg stalked the victim, impeded her ability to work, made criminal threats against her, and ultimately assaulted her. The following excerpt is taken directly from the Court of Appeal written decision:

"The testimony of Notaro and others shows that Notaro was not only physically assaulted by Spitzberg on one occasion in August 2007, but that Notaro received at least two credible threats of violence from Spitzberg in April 2008. Spitzberg said to Seccia that she was "`going to get'" Notaro and that any time Notaro left her home or performed, Spitzberg was "`going to be on her.'" On April 29, 2008, Spitzberg told Whitaker that she knew the license plate number, make, and color of Notaro's car, and where Notaro lived. From this evidence, the trial court reasonably could have inferred that Spitzberg was following Notaro in order to harass and intimidate her and that such conduct constituted stalking. Spitzberg also engaged in a series of acts of harassment by making personal attacks, insults, and threats by way of e-mail.

On April 12, 2008, Seccia observed Notaro to be upset, nervous, and "freaked out" because of Spitzberg's conduct. On April 29, 2008, Notaro was afraid to leave the comedy club because Spitzberg was outside the door. The trial court reasonably could have inferred that Spitzberg's conduct was willful and malicious, seriously alarmed and annoyed Notaro, caused Notaro substantial emotional distress, served no legitimate purpose, and was not constitutionally protected."

In or about 2008, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office filed a 273.6 charge against Ms. Spitzberg for violating that restraining order. Additional charges were later added by amendment, including making annoying and harrasing phone call or communications, stalking, and making criminal threats.  Ms. Spitzberg fired several attorneys she had prior to me because, regrettably, she is a paranoid, bi-polar, delusional psychopath, and in that state concluded irrationally that each attorney was not protecting her interests, and moreover, were in on some kind of "grand conspiracy" with Superior Court Judges, the Los Angeles Police Department and the City Attorney's Office to destroy her.

In or about October 2009, I was retained by Ms. Spitzberg to represent her following two free, prolonged consultations. The very next morning, I received a frantic phone call from her mother stating that the LAPD served an arrest warrant at their residence and took Ms. Spitzberg into custody. This is the beginning of the nightmare for me.

It turned out that prior to hiring me, the master arraignment court judge in the Clara Foltz Central Justice Center declared a doubt as to Ms. Spitzberg's mental competency to stand trial pursuant to Penal Code Section 1368. Ms. Spitzberg was ordered to report to Department 95 - the Los Angeles County Mental Health Court for evaluations of her competency. She was interviewed by a Dr. Sharma, who opined in no uncertain terms that Ms. Alisa Spitzberg was incompetent to stand trial. When Ms. Spitzberg learned this, she fled the Courthouse and a warrant for her arrest was issued.

After receiving this information from Mrs. Henya Spitzberg, I made immediate efforts to free her from custody. The transcripts from the numerous hearings which were held in Department 95 over the course of more than a month show that I made multiple bail motions, which were all denied without prejudice by Judge Stratton.  In the meantime, a second court-appointed doctor again opined that Ms. Spitzberg was incompetent to stand trial. It was only after exhaustive efforts I made to procure two of my own experts who concluded she was not incompetent that the District Attorney reluctantly agreed to stipulate to her competentcy. As such, criminal proceedings were reinstituted.

In or about December, 2009, the day after the District Attorney agreed to stipulate to competency, the arrignment court Judge back at the criminal courts building agreed to give Ms. Spitzberg $10,000.00 bail at my request. While I asked that Ms. Spitzberg be released upon her promise to appear ("O.R."), as had occured earlier in the case, the Judge declined that request in light of Ms. Spitzberg's wilful disobeyance of the Judge's order that she report to Department 95 until notified otherwise.

Over the next several weeks, I spent exhaustive amounts of time reading the voluminous police reports, search warrants, prior court transcripts, and other discovery materials available in an effort to fully and intimately understand the case. At the same time, I received numerous badgering phone calls from Ms. Spitzberg, her sister Lauren, and her mother Henya, as well as voluminious, irrelevant documents, including court transcripts from prior hearings from them, which they demanded I review. These documents dealt with issues that had absolutely no relevance to the merits of the case itself, but I nonetheless spent considerable time reviewing them to apieze the Spitzbergs. Out of respect for the attorney-client relationship, I will not restate the contents of any specific discussions held with Ms. Spitzberg. However, I will say that Ms. Spitzberg was pushy, rude, demanding, non-lienear in thought, and unreasonable. She could never focus on the issues that were critical to her defense, and instead continually and irrationally harped upon how everyone was out to get her, how this was all some kind of cruel conspiracy, how the numerous judges involved were corrupt, as were the City Attorneys and Police Officers who were involved.

At some point in January 2009, I had several discussions with the assigned City Attorney, Martin Boags, with an eye towards resolving the case in a manner which would best protect Ms. Spitzberg's interests. Following those discussions, Mr. Boags offered to dismiss the charges against Ms. Spitzberg if she 1) stayed out of trouble for a year, 2) attended regular mental health therapy, and 3) had no contact with Ms. Notaro and the other protected parties.  The evening before the next court hearing before the Honorable Judge Villar, I advised Ms. Spitzberg in my office of this offer because I had a moral and ethical obligation to do so. Upon doing so, Ms. Spitzberg became irrate and accused me of, amongst other things, backstabbing her, and being "in on the conspiracy with the rest of them." I told Ms. Spitzberg that I had no such motive or intention, and was simply conveying the information I received to her. I told her she was under no obligation to accept the offer, and if she did not want to, she could go to trial. I also advised her, however, that if she went to trial and lost, she would surely face a period of incarceration the County Jail, amongst other punitive features.

The next morning in court, I advised the Judge about the terms of Mr. Boag's offer, a standard practice, and I put on the record the same non-privileged information I gave Ms. Spitzberg the night before. I also advised the Judge that I was happy to try the case for Ms. Spitzberg, but I was currently engaged in a felony trial in the same court house which had legal priority. Over Ms. Spitzberg's objection, the Judge granted a continuance.

Following the Court hearing, Ms. Spitzberg confronted me in the hallway and proceeded to threaten and belittle me. Amongst other things, she mocked the law school I attended, and threated to destroy my career by posting slanderous material on the internet. I told her that her behavior was unnacceptable, and that because she threatened me, she created a conflict of interest such that I could no longer morally or ethically represent her. Shortly thereafter, I made a motion to withdraw from her representation due to that conflict of interest, and that motion was granted by Judge Villar. Judge Villar then appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent her.

At some point earlier this year, the case went to trial. While I am not certain of the specifics, I do know that the jury hung 11-1 in favor of guilt. The City Attorney's Office has not refiled the case, but the Judge left the civil restraining order in effect, which still stands today. Based upon information and belief, it is my understanding that following this outcome, Ms. Spitzberg threatened her public defender and had to be forcefully removed from the Public Defender's Office.

Ms. Spitzberg has now filed a baseless, meritless malpractice suit against me, which my legal counsel advises me she cannot win since she cannot prove factual innocense. Because the matter is pending, I cannot address it further.

This whole experience is regrettable. I take my job very seriously, and have never - and will never - do anything purosefully harmful to any of my clients. I zestfully represented Ms. Spitzberg, but because of her mental illness, there was absolutely nothing I could have done which would have satisfied her. I am now in the unfortunate position of having to protect my good name, reputation, and character; but I will do whatever is necessary to do so.

Ms. Alisa Spitzberg is a disturbed character assassin, and anyone who has dealt with her would attest to that characterization. She notoriously hides behind the seeming annoymity of the internet, and not surprisingly, did not use her name when creating these supposed "Rip Off Reports" against me. In addition, she has slandered and defamed the good names of numerous other people who were connected with this matter, including:

The Honorable Gerald Rosenberg in Department West A; The Honorable Judge Villar in Department Central 56; The Honorable Judge Jessner in Department Central 40; the Honorable Judge Stratton in Department 95; Deputy Los Angeles City Attorneys Martin Boags, Jennifer Waxler, and Felise Cohen Kalpakian; 47-year veteran Defense Attorney Peter Knecht; and others.

Ms. Spitzberg's disturbed, psychotic rants are openly plastered on the internet, including popular bloging site (see, for instance,

If anyone has any further questions or concerns, feel free to address them to my office. To the extent I can ethically and legally do so, I am happy to discuss these meritless allegations further upon request.

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