Artiano deposition
Deposition of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz
(Ray Artiano testifying)
by Maura Larkins on November 8, 2007

Pages 40 through 58 (final page) Mr. Artiano and Mr. Shinoff walk out
1     copying it.  

2               (EXH. 4 was marked for identification.)

3     BY MS. LARKINS:

4          Q.   Okay.  Yes.  I have an exhibit I would like to

5     mark as exhibit -- I have an exhibit I would like to mark

6     as Exhibit 4.  I'm going to pass it to you here.  

7               Exhibit 4, Mr. Artiano, does this document look

8     familiar to you?  Is it humorous to you, Mr. Artiano?  

9          A.   I'm sorry?  

10          Q.   Is this a matter of humor to you?  You have a

11     huge smile on your face or you did a second ago.  

12               MR. SHINOFF:  Don't respond to that question.

13               MS. LARKINS:  Okay.  

14               THE WITNESS:  The document is not familiar to

15     me.

16     BY MS. LARKINS:

17          Q.   When a complaint comes into your office, who

18     looks at it?  A complaint about one of your lawyers comes

19     into the Stutz office, who looks at it?

20               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

21     question is vague and ambiguous and overly broad.

22               THE WITNESS:  It would certainly depend upon

23     who brought the complaint.  In other words, you know, if

24     a judge was complaining about something serious, I'd

25     certainly expect to be involved.  Certainly if the state


 45


1     bar brought a concern, I would expect to be involved.  In

2     all of our years of practice, that's never happened.  

3               If an opposing attorney brought a complaint

4     against a lawyer, it would depend upon whether or not

5     that opposing attorney brought it directly to my

6     attention or it was brought to somebody else.  So --

7     BY MS. LARKINS:

8          Q.   Well, how about if it were addressed to the

9     firm itself?

10          A.   Just a blanket letter to the firm?  

11          Q.   Yes, just to Stutz law firm.  

12          A.   It would depend on where the mail was routed, I

13     suppose.

14          Q.   So it is all up to the person in the mail room?

15          A.   I would suspect that they would route it either

16     to the administrative manager --

17          Q.   Isn't that you?

18          A.   No.  

19          Q.   Who is he?

20          A.   Who is she?  Right now, it is Rita Hee.

21          Q.   And how long has she --

22          A.   Or Rita.  Actually, her last name isn't Hee

23     anymore.  She's been our administrative manager probably

24     for two, two to three years.

25          Q.   And before that?  


 46


1          A.   Before that, a woman by the name of Diana

2     Clark, I believe.

3          Q.   And how long did she work for your firm?

4          A.   A few years.

5          Q.   Would that be three or more?

6          A.   Not necessarily.

7          Q.   What does that mean, a few?

8          A.   To the best of my recollection, about two.

9          Q.   About two.  And how about before that?  

10          A.   We had the same administrative manager for

11     probably 20 years or so, and her name was Shari Randall.

12          Q.   How do you spell the Shari?

13          A.   S-h-a-r-i.

14          Q.   I'm glad I asked.  And Randall with two Ls?

15          A.   I believe so.

16          Q.   Okay.  You know, I think maybe I owe you an

17     apology, Mr. Artiano, for the big smile, because now that

18     I look at Exhibit Number 4, I see something funny.  Were

19     you smiling at the spelling of the name?  

20          A.   Ma'am, I wasn't.  First of all, I wasn't

21     smiling.

22          Q.   You weren't smiling?

23          A.   And I have no idea what you are talking about.

24          Q.   Is that your testimony, that you weren't

25     smiling?
Defamation suit against
this website
    50


1          A.   If you continue making statements such as the

2     one -- such as the one that you just made, the deposition

3     will conclude rather quickly.

4          Q.   Well, that's too bad, because you are trying

5     to --
you are suing me for saying that your firm

6     obstructed justice; and yet, you claim that you have

7     never seen that Exhibit Number 4, which was part of a

8     complaint I sent to your law firm just about weeks before

9     Bob Gallagher left the firm.  I -- you are the plaintiff

10     here.  You are the one that wanted to talk about this in

11     court, about how you don't obstruct justice.  

12               MR. SHINOFF:  You misunderstand the

13     allegations.  

14               MS. LARKINS:  Okay.  Let's hear it.
 I think

15     defamation is a heinous action; and I think people who do

16     it intentionally are heinous.  If I have said anything on

17     my website about your law firm or you as an individual,

18     Mr. Artiano, or you as an individual, Mr. Shinoff, I want

19     to apologize.  I want to reimburse you for any losses

20     financially it has cost you.  I want to take down the

21     website, put a big apology in its place.  If all this is,

22     as Mr. Shinoff seems to be saying, a fantasy on my part,

23     please stay and explain it to me, how I'm wrong.  

24               Your lawyer, Mr. Shinoff, and your other

25     lawyer, Kelly Angell, obstructed justice in an




51





1     unconscionable fashion in my case and in several other

2     cases.  Intimidation seems to be a favorite tactic.

3               THE WITNESS:  Please ask a question.

4     BY MS. LARKINS:

5          Q.   Okay.  If your law firm is so great, why did

6     Bob Gallagher leave?

7          A.   I just explained to you that I would never talk

8     about an employee, who has departed the firm.  I can tell

9     you this, however:  It had absolutely nothing at all to

10     do with you.

11          Q.   Uhm.  Do you always refer to Bob Gallagher as

12     an employee of the firm or do you sometimes refer to him

13     as a founder, a partner?

14          A.   He was a founder of the firm.  He was a

15     partner, actually, a shareholder.  In law firms, we

16     generally refer to partners, however.

17          Q.   He started the firm without you, correct?  

18          A.   No.

19          Q.   You were there at the very beginning?

20          A.   Yes.

21          Q.   How many lawyers were in the firm when you

22     founded it?

23          A.   Three of us.

24          Q.   Okay.  But now you refer to him as an employee?

25          A.   An ex-employee, yes.
 I am an employee of the




52





1     firm, as well.

2          Q.   Do you sort of -- are you uncomfortable talking

3     about Bob Gallagher?

4          A.   In California, everybody has a constitutional

5     right to privacy.  And --

6          Q.   Well, that's not what I'm talking about.  

7     Really, it struck me when you referred to him as an

8     employee.  It seemed like you were trying to diminish his

9     importance.  

10               MR. SHINOFF:  There is no question pending.

11               THE WITNESS:  I know.

12     BY MS. LARKINS:

13          Q.   How many lawyers do you know that have founded

14     a firm and then left it?

15               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

16     question is irrelevant.  Don't respond, please.  

17               MS. LARKINS:  You're instructing him not to

18     answer?  

19               MR. SHINOFF:  I am.  I don't see how it's

20     calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence.  

21               MS. LARKINS:  You know, we wouldn't even have

22     to continue with this case.  If you just gave me just a

23     little flicker of a doubt about my allegations, I'd take

24     my site down right now.  You are just acting so guilty.  

25     You are acting like you are covering up.  




53





1               THE WITNESS:  Are you going to continue to ask

2     questions or are you going to continue to make speeches?  

3     If the latter, as I said before, we are going to end the

4     deposition.  I'm not here to listen to you make speeches.  

5               MS. LARKINS:  I really am a person, who, when

6     I'm wrong, I admit it.

7               THE WITNESS:  Okay.  That's the end of this

8     deposition.  
1          A.   Yes, ma'am.

2          Q.   Oh, that is great.  That's what the video

3     camera is for.  Did you think it was kind of humorous in

4     a way, the way that my name is spelled at the top of that

5     document?  

6          A.   Frankly, I didn't notice the way your name was

7     spelled.

8          Q.   Oh, well, then we can't let you off the hook on

9     that, for the smiling.  

10          A.   Is that a question?  

11          Q.   No, that is a statement.  

12               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to ask that you cease

13     with the personal comments, please.  

14     BY MS. LARKINS:  

15          Q.   Okay.  And do you also want me to stop saying

16     things without any consideration?  

17               And, by the way, how did you know that I'm

18     prone to fantasies?  

19               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm not going to respond to that

20     question.

21               MS. LARKINS:  Well, if you say something like

22     that again, I might ask you a similar question.  

23               MR. SHINOFF:  Is that threat?  

24               MS. LARKINS:  It is a promise.
 If you make

25     disparaging personal comments such as I know that you are


48

1     prone to fantasies, I might ask you if that's what you

2     are talking about, when you ask me not to speak in a

3     certain way.

4               MR. SHINOFF:  Well, that is governed by the

5     Code of Civil Procedure.  

6               MS. LARKINS:  Really?  Whether or not you can

7     sit there and say that I know you are prone to fantasies,

8     that is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure?

9               MR. SHINOFF:  The way you are asking questions

10     is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure.  

11               MS. LARKINS:  But your comments are not?  

12               MR. SHINOFF:  Please ask your next question.

13               MS. LARKINS:  Well, here I am, an in pro per

14     attorney, and you won't even give me answers.  I mean,

15     well, an in pro per defendant, not an in pro per

16     attorney.  

17     BY MS. LARKINS:

18          Q.   Okay.  I'm sorry.  Can I look at Exhibit 1

19     again.  It is the deposition notice.  Okay.  On Number 4,

20            did you bring any documents related to your      
investigation into whether the facts on my website might be
true?
22    A.   There are no documents, because
there is no
need to determine whether or not the statements
on your  website were true
, because I knew them to be
false.

25          Q.   Oh, yeah, on this last one, I'm glad I came


49

1     back to this.  Did you bring any documents about your

2     policies with regard to complaints about unethical or

3     illegal behavior on the part of your attorneys?

4       
   A.   There are no written policies, nor have we ever
had any complaints about unethical or         
illegal behavior on  the part of any attorney
in my firm other than from you.

7          Q.   That's very interesting that you would say

8     that.  Did Bob Gallagher leave your firm because your

9     firm was obstructing jus- -- was supporting Daniel

10     Shinoff's and Kelly Angell's obstruction of justice?  

11          A.   No, that is not why Bob Gallagher left our

12     firm.

13          Q.   Why did he leave?

14          A.   You are not entitled to that information.
 That

15     is protected by Mr. Gallagher's privacy rights.

16          Q.   Would you -- were you sorry to see him leave?

17               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that that is

18     irrelevant.

19               THE WITNESS:  Again, I'm not going to engage in

20     this line of questioning, because you seek to invade the

21     privacy rights of an employee of my firm, an ex-employee,

22     rather.

23     BY MS. LARKINS:  

24          Q.   I'm not sure that you have a privacy right to

25     cover up obstruction of justice.  
57


1     STATE OF CALIFORNIA             )
)  ss
2     COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO             )

3     

4          I, Bonnie Breen, CSR No. 5582, a Certified Shorthand

5     Reporter in and for the County of San Diego, State of

6     California, do hereby certify:

7          That prior to being examined, the witness named in

8     the forgoing deposition was by me duly sworn to testify

9     to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

10          That said deposition was taken before me at the time

11     and place set forth and was taken down by me in shorthand

12     and thereafter reduced to computerized transcription

13     under my direction and supervision; and I hereby certify

14     the foregoing deposition is a full, true and correct

15     transcript of my shorthand notes so taken.

16          I further certify that I am neither counsel for nor

17     related to any party to said action nor in anywise

18     interested in the outcome thereof.

19          IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my

20     name this ______ day of ____________, 2007 at San Diego,

21     California.

22          

23          ____________________________________


25                 




58
       56


1               THE REPORTER:  We are going off the record now.

2               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  Off the record at

3     12:00 p.m.

4               (Deposition adjourned at 12:00 p.m.)

5               I, the undersigned, say that I have read the

6     foregoing deposition and hereby declare under penalty of

7     perjury the foregoing is true and correct.

8              Executed this ______ day of ____________, 2007,

9     at ____________, ________________________.

10     (City)          (State)

11          

12             __________________________________

13                    DECLARANT


1     focused on me, because you are making false allegations,

2     and I want to be protected by the camera.  Would you

3     agree to have a camera on you, yourself, Mr. Shinoff?  

4               MR. SHINOFF:  I have no problem having a camera

5     on me.  What's interesting to me --

6               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  Excuse me.  Counsel,

7     I just need to find out technically how we are going off

8     the record, because everybody has to agree.  You are

9     going off to seek a protective order, go off with that

10     part of the statute?  

11               MR. SHINOFF:  Yes, we are going to go off to

12     seek a protective order.  

13               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  So you want me to go

14     off the tape, and you want Bonnie to stop writing?

15               MR. SHINOFF:  No, I don't want the reporter to

16     stop.  

17               It is curious to me that you would hold

18     yourself out as a person, who has a great honor for the

19     truth, yet you would deny that you were smirking and

20     smiling at Mr. Artiano throughout the course of your

21     questioning.  

22               Are you saying that you weren't doing that,

23     because I believe you when you say that the truth is

24     something that is very important to you and that you find

25     defamation to be heinous?  So I take you at your word.




55





1               MS. LARKINS:  I may have smiled a few times.  I

2     really -- I don't know.  I would like to have the camera,

3     too.  

4               MR. SHINOFF:  Okay.

5               MS. LARKINS:  So I know myself for sure how

6     true or false your allegations are.

7               MR. SHINOFF:  Okay.  I'm just telling you what

8     I observed.  Okay?  And I think that the camera would be

9     extremely beneficial.  

10               MS. LARKINS:  I think so, too.  It will protect

11     me from any false allegations.

12               MR. SHINOFF:  Are you saying you didn't smile

13     and smirk at Mr. Artiano throughout the course of the

14     deposition?  

15               MS. LARKINS:  I said that the camera will

16     protect me from any false allegations.

17               MR. SHINOFF:  Why is it that you won't answer

18     the question?  

19               MS. LARKINS:  If you look at the deposition

20     transcript when it comes, you'll see that I said that I

21     may have smiled a few times.

22               MR. SHINOFF:  And how many is a few times?  

23               MS. LARKINS:  I have no idea.  I wasn't paying

24     attention to my smiling.

25               MR. SHINOFF:  Thank you.  

9               MR. SHINOFF:  We'll give you notice of our

10     motion for a protective order.  If we could have a copy

11     of the deposition transcript, please.

12               MS. LARKINS:  
Are you going to attend your

13     deposition, Mr. Shinoff?  

14               MR. SHINOFF:  No, because I'm
concerned that  the deposition will go the same
way
.  And I think we need

16     guidance from the court so the court can provide guidance

17     for both parties in terms of the rules that govern the

18     deposition process.

19               MS. LARKINS:  Okay.

20               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm also going to ask that we be

21     permitted, just so that you know, that we be permitted to

22     have a camera that focuses on you, as well, because I

23     think that your behavior is also intended to intimidate,

24     vex, and annoy the witness, in particular, Mr. Artiano.  

25               MS. LARKINS:  I certainly do want a camera
                                               40

1          A.   Which accusation?  That I violated California

2     law in case after case?

3          Q.   This -- okay
.  Let's just read this sentence

4     into the record, just so we know what we are talking

5     about.  Would you like to read it?

6          A.   Sure.  I will be happy to.

7          Q.   That first paragraph there.

8          A.   "Get out of jail free card?  The lawyers

9     provided by SDCOE Joint Powers Authority to Chula Vista

10     Elementary School District, Daniel Shinoff, Jeffrey

11     Morris, and Kelly Angell, as well as Stutz' partner, Ray

12     Artiano, violated California law in case after case."

13          Q.   Thank you.  Uhm.  When you first saw that

14     charge on my website, did it occur to you to do any

15     investigation at all into Daniel Shinoff or, well, you

16     say you have known Daniel Shinoff for 30 years, and you

17     wouldn't question him.

18               But how about Kelly Angell, did you do any

19     investigating into Kelly Angel's actions?

20          A.   Of course not.

21          Q.   May I ask why?

22          A.   Because there was no need for me to do that,

23     because I would know if anybody in my law firm had

24     violated California law --

25          Q.   How would you know that?


                                               41


1          A.   -- in case after case.  We would be notified by

2     the state bar.  We would be notified by the courts.

3          Q.   Isn't it true that the state bar does not take

4     complaints from opposing clients or attorneys?

5          A.   No, it is not true.

6          Q.   Well, that's good news.  I was under the

7     impression that they did.  Uhm.  It seems to me that you

8     filed a lawsuit without making any effort at all to find

9     out if the allegations on my website are true and that

10     you have engaged in malicious prosecution.

11          A.   Is that a question, ma'am?

12          Q.   No.  No.  I flubbed up again.

13            
   Did Bob Gallagher ever discuss my case with

14     you?

15          A.   No, Bob Gallagher never discussed any of your

16     cases with me.

17          Q.   When I sent a complaint to your law firm in, it

18     was either December 2003 or early 2004, how was my

19     complaint handled?

20          A.   I have no idea.  If I saw a complaint that you

21     filed or that you sent, I have no recollection of that.

22          Q.   What would have happened if you saw a

23     complaint?

24          A.   It would depend on what the complaint said.

25          Q.   Well, what if it said that Daniel Shinoff was




                                               42





1   
  violating the law?

2          A.   It would depend on how specific the complaint

3     was.

4          Q.   What if it says that he was obstructing justice

5     by trying to intimidate witnesses?

6          A.   Again, it would depend on what the complaint

7     said or what the letter said.

8          Q.   If someone complained to the firm that Daniel

9     Shinoff was violating the law and the firm protected him,

10     is not the firm also guilty of his wrongdoing?

11               MR. SHINOFF:  Don't answer that question.

12               THE WITNESS:  That question is nonsensical, as

13     well.

14     BY MS. LARKINS:

15          Q.   Okay.  Let me try again.  Let's not use Dan

16     Shinoff's name.  Let's keep this hypothetical.  If a

17     lawyer in your firm violates the law in case after case

18     and someone complains to the firm about that lawyer's

19     actions, aren't you aiding and abetting the wrongdoing by

20     failing to investigate, and by not just failing to

21     investigate, but by actively attacking the complainer?

22               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

23     question is vague and ambiguous.  It is an incomplete

24     hypothetical, and it calls for speculation.

25     BY MS. LARKINS:

                                               43

1          Q.   Can you answer it?

2          A.   It is incapable of being answered.

3          Q.   Well, let me try again.  If one of your lawyers

4     in your firm obstructs justice and the firm is informed

5     about it and yet continues to support that lawyer by

6     shielding him from discovery, not producing documents,

7     not producing witnesses, filing malicious lawsuits

8     against the complainer, is not that firm guilty of the

9     same wrongdoing?

10               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

11     question is vague and ambiguous.  It is an incomplete

12     hypothetical and calls for speculation.

13     BY MS. LARKINS:

14          Q.   You still can't?

15          A.   Again, ma'am, you have to be much more specific

16     than that.

17               MS. LARKINS:  Okay.  Uhm.  I need to take a

18     break.

19               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  Are we going off the

20     record?

21               MR. SHINOFF:  No.

22               THE WITNESS:  No.

23               MR. SHINOFF:  We just took a break.

24               MS. LARKINS:  Uhm, I need a -- well, I really

25     need this copied, but I suppose we could do it without
44
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2

Maura Larkins:

When you first saw that  
charge on my website, did
it occur to you to do any   
investigation at all into
Daniel Shinoff or, well,
you say you have known
Daniel Shinoff for 30
years, and you wouldn't
question him.  
But how
about Kelly Angell, did
you do any investigating
into Kelly Angel's actions?

A.   Of course not.

Q.   May I ask why?

A.   Because there was no
need for me to do that,    
because I would know if
anybody in my law firm
had
violated California law --

Q.   How would you know
that?

A.   -- in case after case.  
We would be notified by
the state bar.  We would
be notified by the courts.
Ray Artiano turned out to be
correct that he had no need to
determine whether or not the
statements on my website were
true.  Judge Judith Hayes threw
out my evidence, and relied
entirely on the declarations of
Ray Artiano and Daniel Shinoff
to decide the summary
adjudication--even though
Daniel Shinoff didn't show up
for his deposition and Ray
Artiano walked out of his.
Previous page
Part 1: Artiano deposition  pg 1-30
Part 2: Artiano deposition pg 30-39
Part 3: Artiano deposition pg 40-58