Mega-filer Theodore Pinnock resigns with disciplinary charges pending
After filing well over 2,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits and hundreds of allegations of false claims, the State Bar's website reports (see doc at right) that Attorney Theodore A. Pinnock tendered his resignation with disciplinary charges pending (click for link). Shortly before that, Attorney Pinnock consented to a suspension of his right to practice law after San Diego Superior Court Judge Julia C. Kelety concluded after trial that he "stole" from a disabled minor in another case.
Because the majority of the lawsuits with the troubling cliams were filed by Pinnock & Wakefield, APC, many are asking what will happen to the Wakefields, as it is widely thought that Mr. Pinnock could not have done what he did without their active and knowing assistance. Also, because Mr. Pinnock was able to file lawsuits against hundreds of defenants during the two years the State Bar took to obtain this result, many question whether new safeguards are needed to stop mega-filers from abusing the system. Finally, many question whether the existing safeguards are working at all when so many others are doing the same things without accountability. More to follow . . .
See the Court of Appeal decision attached to the determination at right as this reasoning would appear to apply to many who are doing exactly the same thing. Attorney David B. Chatfield handled the case which resulted in this decision.
Mr. Pinnock loses his lawsuit for, among other things, depression, about this website on the first (anti-SLAPP) motion. Click on the icons below to view the complaint he filed, the Judge's tentative ruling (which later became the final order of the Court), and the Judge's later order voiding the filing (apparently for failure to pay fees-- classy!). Did Mr. Pinnock make an appropriate investigation into the legal sufficiency of his pleadings before filing this action? You decide!
5 November 2008: Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz concludes that the actions of Pinnock & Wakefield and their client Jon Carpenter "were and are illegal." Read the Judge's decision (Plaintiff Jon Carpenter and the law firm of Pinnock & Wakefield were the only cross-defendants in this action-- download the cross-complaint at right to confirm to whom the Judge's comments are referring). For more info on Carpenter/Pharmacy claims, click here.
A growing number of reports suggest that the lawfirm of Pinnock & Wakefield, or someone affiliated with it, has offered monetary compensation (1) to identify properties with disabled accessibility issues, and/or (2) for visiting properties with such conditions for purposes of creating claims to file lawsuits. This website does not represent that such claims are true, but given the countless defendants currently responding to lawsuits and claims prepared by Pinnock & Wakefield, suggests that such practices should be carefully investigated, and certainly considered by defendants before paying any settlements. Of course, California Penal Code Section 158 defines the crime of Barratry as:
"Common barratry is the practice of exciting groundless judicial proceedings, and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months and by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000)"
Of course, if a person did not have a claim against a business at the time a lawyer suggested s/he go there, would the lawyer be exciting a groundless legal proceeding? See the documents below and decide for yourself! Lerach-esque? You be the judge!
Knowingly directing the destruction of evidence . . .
. . . after being alerted of the need to preserve it!
Especially after being informed in writing of the importance of preserving the web-postings shown above (see email below), Mr. Pinnock's letter below confirms he instructed his client/employee to remove them, and then proceeded to demand $4,000,000 from a small, neighborhood market with a public area of about 800 square feet. After his motion for class certification failed, he settled the case for $0.
Attorney Theodore Pinnock, who has filed more than 2,000 accessibility lawsuits against California businesses, demanded over $200,000 from just 67 historic small businesses in a small mountain community in California. See www.SaveJulian.com
Each of the lawsuits in this section was filed on behalf of the estate of a plaintiff who had filed over 80 accessibility lawsuits. In the first posted below, the plaintiff claimed to visit 15 different businesses in the same day-- including 6 different restaurants! [see paragraph 17]. In the second and third lawsuits, the plaintiff also went to another fast food restaurant and a toy store, that very same day! [see paragraph 8 of each]
Interestingly, at paragraphs 68, 17 and 18, respectively, the complaints claim that the decesaed plaintiff would like to return to these facilities. Plaintiff claimed to suffer injuries in each of these lawsuits, at paragraphs 98, 46 and 47 respectively.
Over 2,000 small businesses are believed to have been sued by the San Diego law firm of Pinnock & Wakefield; the information in this website is provided to assist defendants dealing with their current claims, but is also the subject of considerable public debate about what some consider to be inappropriate tactics in lawsuits which claim to be motivated by disabled accessibility. If you have information about inappropriate actions or tactics being used by any lawyer or claimant in connection with disabled accessibility lawsuits, please contact us.
Not all information on this website has been investigated, nor is all case information complete or current; for example, additional documents, facts and testimony which is not posted on this website could be relevant to any particular issue. Other and further information could be relevant to any investigation of the issues raised here and readers are urged to conduct their own research and investigations of the facts. We do not necessarily agree with, or endorse, any of the representations, information or positions posted herein.