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Atty Beirne’s hearing on Feb 27; Trial Atty Wilson will prosecute

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Balita media loves pinoy watchdog.com

  1. 1. Balita Media Loves PinoyWatchDog.com Atty Beirne‟s hearing on Feb 27; Trial Atty Wilson will prosecute By Rene Villaroman with PWD Investigative Team2/24/2012 1
  2. 2. LOS ANGELES – Barring a postponement, Atty James Beirne‟s hearing for hundreds of charges of contempt of court for false and misleading advertising will commence at the Los Angeles Superior Court sala of Judge Soussan Bruguera on February 27. Lay people and legal observers are of the opinion that this case has the markings of “daring” on the part of the accused – bankruptcy and immigration lawyer Beirne – who had willingly made advertising claims without regard to observing the law or deceiving the public.2/24/2012 2
  3. 3. In hindsight, it encapsulates what Balita executive editor proudly enunciated ininterview with PWD as follows: …..”making a mockery of (Philippine) justice,” apronouncement that history showed had backfired and landed right in their ownbackyard. The Balita executive editor, full of hubris, but short on investigation, wasreferring to Atty Joel Bander‟s ability to travel to and from the Philippines despitean Immigration hold order, which order was the product of his and his patrons‟influence in currying favor from lower echelons of Philippine bureaucracy.2/24/2012 3
  4. 4. But that brilliant sound bite, unfortunately, has come back, and is now presentlyhaunting Mr. Beirne because with more than 200 contempt of court violationsarising from a court order by Judge Bruguera handed down in June 2011, recenthistory is now showing us who really is making a mockery of (US) justice.2/24/2012 4
  5. 5. Another piece of unsavory news that‟s facing what is already a bleak landscape infront of Atty Beirne is another reality that‟s already in place. Atty Joel Bander,counsel for Diosdado and Janet Duldulao, who have accused Beirne of “commitingfraud and malpractice,” among a number of other charges, after the couple losttheir house in Eagle Rock, California when Beirne, their bankruptcy lawyer, failed tofile bankruptcy petition to save their house from foreclosure. Bander had hiredreputable trial attorney Dennis P. Wilson, as co-counsel. He has a reputation ofbeing as straight as an arrow. “Atty Wilson; he lives in the court,” quipped Bander.2/24/2012 5
  6. 6. When I interviewed Atty Wilson at his Burbank office, he said, “I‟m a trial attorney,and I spend quite a bit of time in court; but what‟s fun for me is trying cases,prosecuting famous cases, criminal defense cases. I also do family law. For mebeing in court is fun.” Being a trial lawyer, Wilson says, helps people who a lot ofattorneys do not want to help. “You are doing a public service to people doingthings they shouldn‟t do,” Wilson said. He said that trial attorneys help people byprotecting their rights; helping people who a lot of people do not want to help.”2/24/2012 6
  7. 7. When I asked him about prosecuting Beirne, Wilson opined: “Beirne is violating court order and doing other things; it just doesn‟t seem right. Beirne is involved about publishing things about Joel (Bander) that are not true.”2/24/2012 7
  8. 8. “Trial lawyers are people looking to protect public interest to make sure there‟s afair dissemination of information,” Wilson continued. “When Joel indicated there‟s apublic contempt hearing, I wanted to prosecute that,” Wilson said. The 24-yearveteran lawyer said he is not immune to suing other lawyers. “I‟ve sued them formalpractice and other things,” he revealed. “What‟s interesting is that the personthat is a victim of that attorney, it‟s hard for that person to get another attorneybecause a lot of other attorneys do not want to sue other attorneys. That‟s not fair tothe clients. A client should have all the rights as everybody else,” Wilson opined. “Ifthat attorney has done something wrong, they should have to atone for it.”2/24/2012 8
  9. 9. While the Duldulao lawsuit was awaiting trial in Judge Bruguera‟s sala, Atty Beirneand his copywriters at Balita Media, reportedly including Luchie Mendoza-Allen andAnthony Allen, went to work crafting an advertising campaign, which Beirne dubbed“Setting the Records Straight”. The advertising push began in December 2011, onthe heels of PWD‟‟s series of exposes documenting the many mismanaged casesthat were handled by the Law Office of James Beirne, based on recollections thatwere freely given to PWD investigative reporters and researchers.2/24/2012 9
  10. 10. But the ad campaign, far from setting the records straight, delved into more “lies”,deceptive, confusing and misleading advertising claims, including the use oftestimonies of unnamed persons and known persons without any designations asto their titles or professions.At PWD, we began tallying all these “violations” and arrived at a count that in ourbest estimate would put Atty Beirne in hock for thousands of dollars in fines or injail for several years. Unbeknownst to Atty Beirne and his patrons, their advertisingcampaign was making a mockery of justice. Or where they just too daring to go tothe extent of violating a court order?2/24/2012 10
  11. 11. At one point, Atty Joel Bander said to this writer, “I decided that moving for aPreliminary Injunction was the only way for Mr. Beirne to respect the law.” Banderfiled the motion in court and Beirne stipulated to the order being issued. Beirne isnow facing of thousands of dollars of fines and possible jail time only for falseadvertising that came after the issuance of the court order.Apart from the foregoing lawsuit filed by the Duldulaos against the Law Office ofJames Beirne, Atty Beirne, Balita Media and its owners, Luchie Mendoza-Allen andAnthony Allen, have had a string of infractions extending back to the 1990s, asfollows:2/24/2012 11
  12. 12. * Atty Beirne had been suspended from practicing law by the State Bar of Californiaas being a part of a credit repair business called “Allen, Beirne & Mendoza” thatadvertised in “Weekend Balita” (owned by Balita Media), but that clients never metwith or spoke to Atty Beirne prior to signing Chapter 13 Bankrupcty documents.That same prior discipline also found that Beirne‟s non-attorney partner, LuchieMendoza-Allen, also prepared newspaper columns dispensing legal advice withoutbeing properly supervised.2/24/2012 12
  13. 13. *In late 2008, Diosdado Duldulao saw Atty Beirne‟s advertising in the WeekendBalita. The advertising included illegal “guarantees that “WE WILL help you keepyour home,” and staments “WE WILL …discharge 2nd Trust Deed if applicable.”However, these „guarantees‟ violated California Business & Professions CodeSection 6157.2, to not guarantee or warranty any out on a legal matter.2/24/2012 13
  14. 14. *Atty Beirne‟s false advertising is eerily similar to Balita Media‟s false andmisleading advertising campaigns where it claimed an independent circulationaudit proved it had 80,000 copies in circulation, whin in fact it had less than 20,000,and Balita never even hired the auditing company. Balita also advertised itscirculation after an audit as the largest circulation over Asian Journal, their thenleading competitor, when the exact opposite was in fact true.At present, it is not known whether the judge will sentence Beirne to jail, andwhether these charges will result in disbarment, meaning that he will no longer beable to practice law ever again.2/24/2012 14
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