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 walked 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
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
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
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?
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
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
against this website
|Mr. Artiano knew
very well when
he said this that
was suing Daniel
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
6 A. Frankly, I didn't notice the way your name was
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
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
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
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
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
25 Q. Oh, yeah, on this last one, I'm glad I came
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
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
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,
23 BY MS. LARKINS:
24 Q. I'm not sure that you have a privacy right to
25 cover up obstruction of justice.
1 STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
2 COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO )
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,
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)
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
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
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.
1 MS. LARKINS: I may have smiled a few times. I
2 really -- I don't know. I would like to have the camera,
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
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
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?
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
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
24 A. It would depend on what the complaint said.
25 Q. Well, what if it said that Daniel Shinoff was
1 violating the law?
2 A. It would depend on how specific the complaint
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
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:
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
19 THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN: Are we going off the
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
|San Diego Education Report
Ray Artiano depositon
Page 40 line 13 to page 41 line
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
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
violated California law --
Q. How would you know
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
Daniel Shinoff didn't show up
for his deposition and Ray
Artiano walked out of his.
< < <
In fact, just a couple of
months prior to this
deposition, Dan Shinoff had
been sued in federal court
for tortious interference by