John Pierce - Pierce Bainbridge - Pravati Capital, Llc - Virage Spv-1, Llc

John Pierce and several litigation funders named Pravati Capital, LLC and Virage SPV1- LLC are accused of engaging fraudulent misconduct during federal court proceedings.
View more...
   EMBED

Share

  • Rating

  • Date

    Last Month
  • Size

    bytes
  • Views

    101
  • Categories

Preview only show first 6 pages with water mark for full document please download

Transcript

Electronically FILED by Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles on 03/21/2022 06:02 PM Sherri R. Carter, Executive Officer/Clerk of Court, by C. Monroe,Deputy Clerk 22STCV09854 Assigned for all purposes to: Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Judicial Officer: William Fahey 1 2 3 4 5 Gerard P. Fox (SBN 151649) [email protected] GERARD FOX LAW, P.C. 1880 Century Park East, Suite 1410 Los Angeles, CA 90067 310-441-0500 Attorneys for Plaintiffs, Greenway Nutrients, Inc. and Gustavo Escamilla 6 SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 7 FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 GREENWAY NUTRIENTS, INC., a Colorado Corporation, and GUSTAVO ESCAMILLA Plaintiffs, v. JOHN MARK PIERCE, an individual; PIERCE BAINBRIDGE, PC, a California professional corporation; WARD DAMON POSNER PHETERSON AND BLEAU, P.L., a Florida limited liability company; PRAVATI CAPITAL, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; IAN ABAIE, an individual; ALEX CHUCRI, an individual; VIRAGE MASTER LP, Delaware limited partnership; VIRAGE SPV 1 LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and DOES 1-25, inclusive, Defendants. Case No.: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES (1) Constructive Fraud (2) Breach of Fiduciary Duty (3) Conspiracy (4) Aiding and Abetting Fraud (5) Aiding and Abetting Fraud (6) Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty (7) Unfair Business Practices (8) Tom Bane Civil Rights Act (9) Aiding and Abetting Securities Fraud (10) Declaratory Judgment DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Plaintiffs, Greenway Nutrients, Inc. and Gustavo Escamilla, allege as follows: NATURE OF THE ACTION 2 3 1. This case is about a complicated and interwoven web of corruption, deception, and 4 high-stakes political influence. It involves a high-profile lawyer with a history of corruption with 5 a firm built like of house of cards, reliant on unscrupulous litigation funding companies with a 6 history of runs ins with state lending regulators to keep up the charade. This case also involves a 7 politically connected Serbian Oligarch federal law enforcement officials have represented was 8 responsible for conducting a massive multimillion dollar transnational counterfeit goods scam, and 9 allegedly a top-money maker for a transnational drug trafficking and criminal enterprise, Group 10 America. The enterprise is a brutal yet low profile violent criminal entity, and its New York City 11 based Serbian mob-boss has powerful ties to Serbian President Aleksander Vucic, former New 12 York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani who previously acted as a political advisor and consultant for the 13 Serbian Government and he also has ties to the Serbian Secret Police, and allegedly, U.S. 14 intelligence agencies. 1 Finally, this case involves a Plaintiff (Greenway Nutrients, Inc.) whose 15 principal, Plaintiff Gustavo Escamilla, has found himself on the opposite end of this Serbian 16 Oligarch’s powerful political and dangerous organized crime influence for the better part of a 17 decade. Despite the constant threat of retaliation, and the unfair nature of pursuing legal remedies 18 against entities that refuses to play fair, Plaintiffs herein continue their attempts to seek justice and 19 restitution. 20 2. Plaintiff Gustavo Escamilla is a Mexican-American small business owner. He is 21 the developer, formulator, and principal of Greenway Nutrients’ (“Greenway”) products. 22 Escamilla and Greenway were the victims of a massive, decade’s long, multimillion dollar 23 transnational counterfeit goods scheme perpetrated by one of Group America’s alleged top money 24 makers, David Dragan Selakovic. Through his various alter ego entities, Selakovic interfered with 25 and stole several million dollars’ worth of Greenway’s valuable product and inventory, intellectual 26 property, trademarked materials, trade secrets, and business model. The theft sought to enrich 27 28 1 “The Hardest-Working Drug Game You’ve Never Heard Of” – Stevan Dojcinovic and Pavla Holcova. See https://www.occrp.org/en/group-america/the-hardest-working-drug-gang-youvenever-heard-of -1COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Selakovic, Greenway’s former lawyers, and Group America’s vast criminal enterprise, at the 2 expense of Escamilla and Greenway. Selakovic’s actions devastated Greenway’s plans to take its 3 companies business model public, leading to decades of legal battles and conflict with Selakovic, 4 and Greenway’s former lawyers Mike Ryan and James Ryan. In one brazen move, Selakovic, 5 acting through one of his alter-ego entities, improperly interfered with an existing business 6 relationship and invested a purported $30 million to purchase a majority interest equity stake and 7 convinced Greenway’s former raw product supplier named Ecowin Co. LTD (“Ecowin”), to 8 breach its exclusive distribution agreement with Greenway. Selakovic, and entities controlled by 9 Selakovic, mercilessly ransacked Greenway’s business model, creating multiple competing 10 websites improperly selling untold millions of dollars of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s 11 trademark back to Greenway’s customer base and copious amounts of subsequent knock-off and 12 competing versions of Greenway’s products for years. 3. 13 Plaintiffs Escamilla and Greenway would have some success in their decades long 14 struggle. Escamilla and his business partner are principally responsible for uncovering Selakovic’s 15 massive decades long multimillion dollar transnational counterfeit goods scam involving copious 16 amounts of illicit versions of software from Adobe and Microsoft. Greenway was identified as 17 federal crime victim whose participation and cooperation with authorities from The United States 18 Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) 19 lead to the successful seizure of millions of dollars of counterfeit goods including counterfeit 20 software from Adobe and Microsoft. The government’s criminal investigation, “Operation 21 Software Slashers.” resulted in six guilty pleas and was hailed as “one of the largest software 22 piracy schemes ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.” 2 On information and belief, 23 Selakovic, and his longtime business partner named Steven Blackburn, the alleged ringleaders 24 responsible for the counterfeit scheme, may have potentially reached a deferred prosecution or 25 plea agreement with the DOJ in connection with Selakovic’s, and Blackburn’s allegedly being 26 27 28 2 “Operation Software Slashers: Six Defendants Plead Guilty to $100 Million Software Piracy Scheme.” See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/operation-software-slashers-six-defendants-pleadguilty-100-million-software-piracy-scheme 3 “Gustavo Escamilla et al v. United States of America, civil case #2:21-cv-01910, [DE-1] -2COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 prosecuted and indicted under seal by the government in connection with Operation Software 2 Slashers. 3 4. 3 Group America’s substantial transnational drug trafficking organization is headed 4 by New York City based Serbian mobster, Mileta Miljanic, the former personal bodyguard to 5 former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. At the same time, current Serbian President 6 Alexander Vucic served as Serbian Minister of Information under former Serbian President 7 Slobodan Milosevic. 4 8 Presidency Secretary of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, and was the former Serbian 9 Prime Minister of Justice under Serbian President Aleksander Vucic for years. 5. 10 David Selakovic’s younger brother, Nikola Selakovic, served as the Group America has ties to powerful entities all over the world, including 11 government intelligence agencies. 5 The gang is indeed violent, and members are accused of 12 engaging in the most heinous acts of violence, including torture, dismembering enemies with 13 chainsaws, and potentially responsible for multiple assignations around the world. Their brazen 14 and well documented corruption scheme of influence usually includes a mix of financial pressure 15 and threats of violence against parties that refuse to bend to their will. Group America’s former 16 ringleader was indicted for tampering with a juror to help fix the first federal racketeering trial of 17 John J. Gotti, the boss of the Gambino crime family. Miljanic is currently incarcerated after being 18 indicted in connection with alleged weapons charges in New York. 6. 19 Up against this vast criminal network, Escamilla knew he needed a high-profile 20 litigator to help Greenway exercise its rights. The company had been informed by DHS that a 21 favorable civil verdict would lead to criminal charges against Selakovic, Blackburn, and their 22 related entities. It was then when Escamilla and Greenway decided to pursue civil rights violations, 23 and other civil remedies, and eventually hired a high-profile Ivy league big-name lawyer to take 24 on Selakovic, Greenway’s former lawyers, and Selakovic’s powerful Serbian criminal enterprise. 25 26 27 28 4 “Operation Software Slashers: Six Defendants Plead Guilty to $100 Million Software Piracy Scheme.” See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/operation-software-slashers-six-defendants-pleadguilty-100-million-software-piracy-scheme 5 See https://www.occrp.org/en/group-america/ 6 See https://www.courthousenews.com/powerful-serbian-american-drug-traffickers-may-haveties-to-intelligence-agencies/ -3COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 7. Enter John Pierce, a lawyer whose firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, 2 LLP (hereinafter “Pierce Bainbridge”) was once hailed as the one of the fastest growing high- 3 stakes litigation firms in the world. Pierce Bainbridge represented high-profile clients including 4 former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tulsi Gabbard, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, 5 and Michael Avenatti. 6 8. The foundation of Peirce’s firm was built upon sand, basing the entire operating 7 budget of the firm on litigation loans from powerful and unethical litigation financing firms. At 8 one point during his representation of Greenway, Pierce was in debt to Defendant Pravati for 9 millions of dollars. In an effort to get out from under the influence of Pravati, Pierce turned to 10 Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC (hereinafter collective referred to as “Virage”). 11 Eventually, Pierce would be indebted to Virage to the tune of an estimated $59 million. These 12 loans were collateralized by Pierce Bainbridge’s portfolio of contingency fee and other cases. 13 Pierce Bainbridge was so indebted to Virage that Pierce was beholden to their every whim, least 14 they take away his livelihood by calling his debt. Escamilla and Greenway were originally 15 unaware of Pierces propensity to engage in dishonest conduct. Had Plaintiffs known, Greenway 16 would not have retained Pierce Bainbridge in any capacity. 17 9. Pierce Bainbridge represented Greenway in its case against Selakovic and his 18 various alter ego entities as well as Greenway’s former attorneys Michael Ryan and James Ryan 19 (herein referred to as the Ryan Brothers). Greenway’s former exclusive raw product supplier 20 Ecowin was also a defendant. Ecowin defaulted after being properly served. After obtaining a 21 default judgment against Ecowin, Greenway would be able to obtain a judgment for damages in 22 the tens of millions of dollars. Despite successfully opposing a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss filed 23 by the Ryan Brothers, Pierce suddenly concocted a false dispute between Pierce Bainbridge and 24 Greenway in order to withdraw from the case. Pierce and his lawyers claimed that there was no 25 evidence against the Ryan Brothers to support Greenways claims. Not only was that not true, 26 Greenway through Escamilla, had provided Pierce with ample evidence to show that the Ryan 27 Brothers were indeed viable defendants. Pierce did not conduct any discovery to help prove 28 Greenway’s case. His firm did not even bother to serve a set of written discovery seeking -4COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 documents or communications that would have been relevant to Greenway’s claims, let alone take 2 the necessary depositions. 3 10. Pierce, Peirce Bainbridge, and local counsel Defendant Ward Damon, ultimately 4 filed a false and materially misleading motion to withdraw as counsel, leaving Greenway without 5 a way to pursue damages against Ecowin or the Ryan Brothers and ultimately resulting in 6 Greenway suffering tens of millions of dollars as Ecowin was in default and all Pierce, his firm, 7 and Ward Damon needed to do was prove its damages. 8 11. Pierce’s actions were greatly influenced by the two defendant litigation funds, 9 Pravati and Virage. Without their influence, Pierce and Peirce Bainbridge would likely have 10 methodically moved through to obtain a default judgment against Ecowin, litigate the case against 11 the Ryan Brothers, as they were retained to do in the first place. However, due to the efforts of 12 Defendants Pravati and Virage, Greenway and Escamilla were greatly harmed. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 13 14 12. Venue is proper in this judicial district, pursuant to California Code of Civil 15 Procedure §§ 395(a) and 395.5. The defendants represented Greenway as its attorneys and required 16 local Florida co-counsel while the company resided and operated in the County of Los Angeles, 17 State of California, who either reside, maintained an office, and transacted business on behalf of 18 the Plaintiff’s, in connection with Defendants’ representation of the Plaintiff’s Florida suit, while 19 acting as its attorneys in the County of Los Angeles, and are within the jurisdiction of this Court 20 for purposes of service of process. 21 22 13. This Court has jurisdiction of this matter because Defendants have committed the acts complained of herein either entirely or substantially within the state of California. THE PARTIES 23 24 25 26 14. Plaintiff GREENWAY NUTRIENTS, INC. is a Colorado corporation with its primary place of business in the County of Los Angeles, State of California. 15. Plaintiff GUSTAVO ESCAMILLA is the primary owner, developer, formulator, 27 and creator of Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s products, with his primary place of residence in County 28 of Los Angeles, State of California. -5COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 16. Defendant JOHN MARK PIERCE is an individual and resident residing in the 2 County of Los Angeles, State of California. Pierce was the principal shareholder of now defunct 3 law firm of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, LLP, and the attorney retained to represent 4 Plaintiff Greenway Nutrients for the relevant period for this complaint. 17. 5 Defendant PIERCE BAINBRIDGE P.C. is California professional corporation and 6 law firm duly organized under the laws of the State of California with its principal place of business 7 in the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, State of California. Pierce Bainbridge is the 8 successor in interest to the now defunct law firm of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, LLP, 9 the attorney retained to represent Plaintiff Greenway Nutrients for the relevant period for this 10 complaint. John Pierce is the principal shareholder of Defendant Pierce Bainbridge, P.C. 11 18. Defendant WARD DAMON POSNER PHETERSON, AND BLEAU, LP (“Ward 12 Damon”) is a Florida limited liability company with its primary place of business in West Palm 13 Beach Florida. Defendant Ward Damon had substantial contacts with the State of California by 14 and through its representation of Plaintiff Greenway Nutrients during the relevant period for this 15 complaint. 16 19. Defendant PRAVATI CAPITAL, LLC, is a Delaware limited liability company, 17 with principal offices and a place of in Scottsdale, AZ. Pravati is licensed by the California 18 Department of Financial Innovation and Protection to engage in lending activities in the state of 19 California. Pravati is a third-party litigation funding company and had substantial contacts with 20 the State of California by and through its contractual litigation funding relationship with Pierce 21 Bainbridge at the relevant time. 22 20. Defendant ALEXANDER CHUCRI is an individual and resident residing in the 23 County of Los Angeles, State of California. Chucri is the principal and Chief Executive Officer of 24 Pravati Capital, LLC. 25 21. Defendant IAN ABAIE is an individual and resident residing in the County of 26 Maricopa, Arizona. Abaie Senior Legal Counsel, and an Investment Analyst for Pravati Capital, 27 LLC. 28 -6COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 22. Defendant VIRAGE MASTER, LP. Is Delaware limited partnership with a 2 principal place of business in Houston, Texas. Virage Master, LP is a third-party litigation funding 3 company and had substantial contacts with the State of California by and through its contractual 4 litigation funding relationship with Pierce Bainbridge at the relevant time. Virage Master, LP, is 5 licensed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to engage in lending 6 activities in the state of California and registered with the California Secretary of State as a 7 corporation which will do business in California. 8 23. Defendant VIRAGE SPV-1, LLC, is a Delaware limited liability company, with a 9 principal place of business in Houston, Texas. Virage SPV-1, LLC had substantial contacts with 10 the State of California by and through its contractual litigation funding relationship with Pierce 11 Bainbridge at the relevant time. Virage SPV-1, LLC is not licensed by the California Department 12 of Financial Protection and Innovation and is not registered with the California Secretary of State 13 as a corporation which will do business in California. 14 24. Plaintiff if is unaware of the true names and capacities, whether individual, 15 associate or otherwise of Defendants DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, and therefore sues them by 16 such fictitious names. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on this basis alleges, that each of the 17 Defendants designated herein as DOE is legally responsible in some manner for the events and 18 happenings herein referred to and/or legally caused injury and damage proximately thereby to 19 Plaintiff, as herein alleged. Plaintiff reserves the right to amend this Complaint when the true 20 names, identifies and/or capacities of the DOES are ascertained. 21 FACTS COMMON TO ALL CLAIMS 22 The Players 23 25. Greenway Nutrients, Inc. (hereinafter “Greenway”) is an organic nutrient, 24 fungicide, and pesticide company. Gustavo Escamilla (hereinafter “Escamilla”) is the primary 25 owner, developer, formulator, and creator of Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s brand name line of 26 products. In 2010, Greenway was a unique and innovative brand that was an early mover in the 27 Hydroponic and Home lawn and Garden markets. The company’s products were considered the 28 one of the best and most well recognized in the industry. Greenway’s initial market share and -7COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 growth were explosive, with products that were well-established in the marketplace and distributed 2 nationally to well over 1,600 hydroponic stores throughout the entire U.S. Greenway’s products 3 had also recently crossed over into the lucrative home lawn and garden markets and distributed to 4 over 23,000 independent retailers at the time. 5 26. Greenway University, Inc. was an initial educational facility for educational and 6 regulatory compliance that included hydroponic growing. That served as the springboard for 7 Greenway Nutrients, Inc. formation which immediately became Escamilla’s and his business 8 partners primary and sole forward growth strategy and focus for taking Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s 9 business model public through a proposed reverse merger deal with a company named HPC, 10 Acquisitions, Inc. (“HPC”), which is now named Vegalab, Inc. The products were extremely 11 popular, and the growth of the company accelerated to the point where the potential profitability 12 of the company was in the range of $100 million if Greenway was able to grow unmolested by 13 Selakovic and his outside agitators. 14 27. Tom Ryan, Michael Ryan, and James Ryan are brothers who are all attorneys Tom 15 Ryan ultimately became general counsel for Greenway. Mike Ryan was hired to help Greenway 16 with various legal matters. James Ryan was also involved with Greenway’s attempts to seek new 17 investments. James Ryan would later serve as litigation counsel on behalf of Selakovic and his 18 various alter ego entities working against his former client, Greenway Nutrients. 19 28. Steve Blackburn and David Selakovic were introduced to Escamilla and Greenway 20 in 2011 through the Ryan Brothers. Ostensibly, Blackburn and Selakovic were businessmen who 21 could help Greenway grow their online footprint through their website development and media 22 company, New Epic Media, LLC. Tom and Mike Ryan assisted Greenway Nutrients, Inc. draft 23 and prepare the company’s website development agreement with Selakovic’s company New Epic 24 Media, LLC. Selakovic and Blackburn were also running a fulfillment center. Tom Ryan assisted 25 in creating Fulfillment Solutions Services, LLC, allegedly to assist in fulfilling Greenway’s online 26 sales orders and distribute Greenway products on the east coast. Tom and Mike Ryan assisted 27 Escamilla’s company Greenway Nutrients, Inc. draft its fulfillment agreement with Selakovic’s 28 company Fulfillment Solutions Services, LLC. -8COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 29. Unbeknownst to Escamilla at the time, Selakovic was a member of the Serbian 2 mafia responsible for conducting a massive multimillion dollar transnational counterfeit software 3 manufacturing and distribution scam. 4 Alexander Vucic and New-York based Serbian mob boss Mileta Miljanic, ringleader of “Group 5 America” a violent yet low profile Serbian American transnational drug trafficking organization. 6 Miljanic is currently incarcerated after a federal indictment in connection with alleged weapons 7 charges and an alleged person of interest public corruption scandal in New York. 8 30. Selakovic has substantial ties to Serbian President Selakovic controls Vegalab, LLC, Vegalab, Inc (formerly HPC)., and Vegalab, SA. 9 Fulfillment Solutions Services, LLC, and New Epic Media, LLC, who were all deemed alter-ego 10 companies for Selakovic by a Court. All have been implicated in the Adobe and Microsoft 11 counterfeit scandal detailed below (hereinafter “Selakovic Entities”). 12 31. Ecowin CO. LTD, (hereinafter “Ecowin”) is a South Korean government 13 subsidized entity and one of South Korea’s most successful manufacturers of highly concentrated 14 raw materials used in formulating Greenway’s products. 15 introduced Ecowin products to the U.S. market and entered into an exclusive distribution 16 agreement for the entire United States. Ecowin was contractually obligated to sell its products 17 only to Greenway, and they would be resold under Greenway’s brand name and line of products. 18 The agreement was drafted and negotiated by Tom and Mike Ryan. Within months, Ecowin 19 breached its exclusive distribution agreement with Greenway after the Ryan Brothers violated their 20 fiduciary duties and provided Selakovic with Greenway’s confidential insider business 21 information regarding Greenway’s exclusive distribution agreement with Ecowin. Unbeknownst 22 to Escamilla or Greenway, Selakovic and Ecowin executed a secret and secondary exclusive 23 distribution agreement with Selakovic’s newly formed and controlled entities. Subsequently, one 24 of Selakovic’s alter-ego entities invested a purported $30 million to acquire a majority interest 25 stake in Greenway’s former raw product supplier Ecowin. 26 32. Greenway first discovered and HPC Acquisitions, Inc. is a company with whom Escamilla and Greenway held 27 confidential reverse merger discussions regarding completing a reverse merger deal to take 28 Greenway’s business model public. Tom and Mike Ryan were involved in Greenway’s -9COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 confidential reverse merger discussions with HPC. Tom Ryan drafted, and prepared Greenway 2 Nutrients, Inc’ Non-Disclosure Non-Compete Agreement (hereinafter “HPC NDNCA”) related to 3 Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s reverse merger discussions with HPC. Greenway’s proposed reverse 4 merger deal with HPC never happened, because unbeknownst to Escamilla or Greenway at the 5 time, Selakovic, and Ecowin, in connivance with Mike Ryan, and HPC, went around Escamilla 6 and Greenway’s back and jointly agreed that HPC was a suitable corporate vehicle for Ecowin, 7 Selakovic, and Selakovic controlled entities to take Selakovic’s newly formed and competing 8 organic pesticide and fungicide business model public later. In March 2017, Escamilla discovered 9 Greenway’s former attorney Mike Ryan had taken a role as a managing member at Vegalab 10 (formerly HPC). It was clear that he flagrantly breached his fiduciary obligations to keep 11 Greenway’s proprietary information and reverse merger plans with HPC confidential. Mike Ryan 12 assisted Selakovic to essentially steal this deal from Greenway. According to United States 13 Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Mike Ryan became a managing member and took 14 stock ownership of Vegalab, Inc. 15 33. John Pierce is the principal and founder of the now defunct law firm, Pierce 16 Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP (hereinafter “Pierce Bainbridge”). Escamilla’s company 17 Greenway retained Pierce Bainbridge to file and litigate a civil lawsuit against the Selakovic 18 Entities, Vegalab, Inc., James and Mike Ryan, Supreme Growers, LLC, and Ecowin. John Pierce 19 suddenly and seemingly inexplicably manufactured an attorney-client conflict with Escamilla by 20 refusing to prosecute the Ryan Brothers, leading to Pierce sending clients threatening email 21 communications days before Pierce Bainbridge’s withdrawal as counsel. The same day Pierce 22 Bainbridge received a purported $28.5 million “loan agreement” from one of the defendant 23 litigation funders and party to this action. John Pierce’s new law firm, Pierce Bainbridge, P.C. is 24 simply the natural extension of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP. John Pierce was the 25 principal of his prior entity and continues to be the principal of his current entity. Most of the 26 clients and infrastructure from Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP were simply transferred 27 to Pierce Bainbridge. As such, they are the same entity for the purposes of this litigation. 28 -10COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 34. Ward Damon Peterson Posner & Bleau, LLP served as local counsel for Pierce Bainbridge during Greenway’s litigation. 3 35. Pravati Capital, LLC is a litigation fund that provided capital loans to Pierce 4 Bainbridge during the time when Greenway was a client. Escamilla’s company Greenway applied 5 for litigation funding from Pravati. Shortly after Escamilla provided Pravati with substantial 6 evidence regarding Selakovic, Selakovic’s entities, Ecowin, Vegalab, Inc., the Ryan Brothers and 7 Greenway’s meritorious claims, Pravati pressured Pierce Bainbridge into abandoning Greenway 8 as a client. Around the same time, Pierce Bainbridge defaulted on an undisclosed funding note 9 worth over $9 million. Pravati, and its CEO Aleksander Chucri, have a history of violating 10 California law with respect to California Financing Law. 6 11 36. Virage Master LP is a litigation funder that provided capital loans to Pierce 12 Bainbridge through Virage Master, LP’s alleged member or subsidiary Virage SPV-1, LLC, who 13 in turn, provided millions of dollars in funding to Pierce Bainbridge to allegedly cover the 14 undisclosed $9.1 million defaulted funding loan from Pravati. Virage Master, LP, and or other 15 Virage entities, have been accused of improperly influencing litigation at Pierce Bainbridge. 16 37. On information and belief, Selakovic or others affiliated with the politically and 17 New York City Serbian mob boss connected Selakovic, conspired with Virage Master, LP, and or 18 Virage SPV-1, LLC, and or other Virage entities, as a pay-off or bribe to induce Pierce, and his 19 firm’s lawyers, to undermine and abandon Greenway's meritorious Florida lawsuit. Under the 20 phony cover and guise of Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, and or other Virage 21 entities providing Pierce Bainbridge with up to $100 million in a proposed multi-tranche litigation 22 funding deal to legitimize otherwise illegitimate and fraudulent misconduct. A. 23 The Ryan Brothers Involvement with Greenway Includes Actions as Legal 24 Counsel for Greenway Nutrients 25 1. 26 27 38. The Ryan Brothers Greenway’s interactions with The Ryan Brothers are important to this litigation because their involvement with Greenway – and Pierce Bainbridge’ contrived attempt to get 28 6 See Exhibit A – Consent Order from California Commissioner of Business oversight. -11COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 themselves fired as counsel – are the basis for the actions at issue in this case. The Ryan Brothers 2 and their connections to Group America are central players, even today. 3 39. Escamilla met Tom Ryan in May of 2010, after Tom attended a one-on-one training 4 session related to compliance with industry regulations in Colorado through Greenway University. 5 Shortly thereafter, in June 2010, Greenway Nutrients, Inc. was formed in Colorado. Tom was an 6 attorney who represented that he was interested in learning about compliance issues in the state of 7 Colorado and attended one-on-one seminars with Escamilla through Greenway University. 8 40. Tom and Escamilla immediately hit it off and Tom worked to cultivate a friendship 9 with Escamilla. Tom attended further sessions at Greenway University and began to advocate for 10 an active role in the company including a role as general counsel. He learned that Escamilla was 11 considering seeking to take Greenway’s overall business model public by first completing a Private 12 Placement Memorandum (hereinafter “PPM”). That would later be converted to a publicly traded 13 company through a proposed reverse merger deal with another corporation. 14 41. Tom introduced Escamilla to his brother Michael Ryan, who also happened to be 15 an attorney. Tom and Mike represented that Mike specialized in SEC registrations and could help 16 draft and prepare a PPM for Greenway’s overall business model and attract outside investors. Prior 17 to performing any work on behalf of Greenway, Tom and Mike Ryan were required to execute 18 Greenway’s NDA, which they did. 19 42. In November of 2010, Tom Ryan became an employee of both Greenway Nutrients 20 and Greenway University, where Tom served as general counsel for both companies. As part of 21 his compensation, Tom was living in Greenway’s corporate housing in Denver, Colorado. He later 22 lived in Greenway’s housing in California until November 18, 2012. Tom was also issued stock 23 in Greenway Nutrients. There was no other formal retainer agreement for his services. Tom Ryan 24 never disclosed that he was an equal partner in an entity formed to engage in the practice of law 25 with his brother James Ryan. 26 43. James and Tom Ryan were business partners during the time Tom Ryan as general 27 counsel for Greenway Nutrients and Greenway University. The Ryan Brothers never disclosed 28 this information to Escamilla or Greenway. However, records show that Tom and James were -12COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 indeed operating a legal entity formed to engage in the practice of law registered in the State of 2 Florida for years. James Ryan and Tom Ryan formed Ryan & Ryan Attorneys, an Association of 3 P.A.’s in 1996.7 The corporation was in good standing in the State of Florida at least through April 4 26, 2011. 8 At the same time Tom Ryan drafted and prepared multiple agreements by and between 5 Greenway Nutrients, Inc, and Selakovic’s controlled entities. It was not uncommon for Tom Ryan 6 to discuss Greenway Nutrients, and Greenway University’s, day to day business operations and 7 happenings with his brothers James and Mike Ryan during countless telephone conversations with 8 Escamilla’s present. These conversations included explanations of Greenway’s forward growth 9 plans to conduct a reverse merger strategy to take Greenway’s business model public. 44. 10 The Ryan Brothers – particularly Mike and Tom – often used the same email 11 address, [email protected], to communicate with Greenway, its staff, and Escamilla. Both men 12 had access to confidential information and attorney-client communications related to Greenway. 45. 13 On information and belief, James Ryan also had access to the [email protected] 14 email address. As a partner with Tom in Ryan & Ryan Attorneys, P.A., James was certainly 15 privileged to the information shared with Tom and Mike Ryan through the email address. 46. 16 Also, during the time period in question, Mike Ryan and James Ryan were partners 17 in a business entity formed to engage in the practice of law in the State of Florida called Ryan and 18 Ryan Attorneys, LLC. 9 19 47. The Ryan Brothers each worked on a funding push on behalf of one of Escamilla’s 20 businesses. While the investment solicitation (PPM) was. initially drafted in the name of 21 Greenway University, the PPM materials contained entire pages related to Greenway Nutrients 22 including the products, copyrighted materials, and business models. The information regarding 23 Greenway Nutrients Inc’s products was significant. Materials reviewed by the Ryan Brothers 24 included rebranding and distribution agreements for Greenway’s organic pesticide products and a 25 Letter of Intent to develop and manufacture products for Greenway Nutrients brand name line of 26 products. The Letter of Intent was drafted by Tom and Mike Ryan, for the manufacturing, 27 28 7 See Exhibit B – Articles of Incorporation of Ryan & Ryan Attorneys, Association of P.A. See Exhibit C – Ryan & Ryan Attorney Corporate Filing 9 See Exhibit D – Articles of Organization Ryan and Ryan Attorneys, LLC 8 -13COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 distribution, and sales of Greenway products. All the information included references to 2 Greenway’s intellectual property, products logos, forward sales strategies, and business model, 3 and Greenway Nutrients was the primary driving factor in the valuation of the PPM. 4 48. The Ryan brothers were generously compensated for their work on the PPM. The 5 compensation was acknowledged by Tom Ryan via an email wherein he stated, “I received the 6 first $50,000.00 wire deposit and the $5,000.00 to us.” 10 Indeed, the Ryan Brothers were working 7 as a team and accepted substantial compensation for their legal work on the PPM. 8 49. Any attorney working on the PPM would necessarily have reviewed confidential, 9 privileged, and trade secret information related to Greenway Nutrients. As attorneys retained to 10 assist with the PPM, Tom and Mike Ryan executed Greenway’s NDA, offered legal advice, drafted 11 and prepared contracts demonstrating each had an attorney-client relationship with Greenway and 12 a fiduciary duty to safeguard confidential trade secrets of the company. They were all privy to the 13 confidential information. 14 50. The Ryan Brothers helped value of Greenway’s overall business model in the PPM 15 at $25 million at the time of the attempted investor solicitation. Mike and Tom Ryan were 16 specifically working on behalf of Greenway Nutrients, Inc. when evaluating the company. In order 17 to do so, they would have had access to confidential information when preparing PPM documents, 18 valuing the company, and otherwise working on the deal. Greenway’s proprietary information 19 was absolutely involved. 20 51. James Ryan sent stock solicitation letters to clients offering a 17.5% equity stake 21 for a $4.5 million investment in overall business model included in Greenway’s PPM. James 22 Ryan’s efforts to promote and help the PPM included access to Greenway University and 23 Greenway Nutrients confidential information, including Greenway Nutrients products, 24 copyrighted materials, and business models. 25 concert with his brothers – both of whom were James Ryan’s business partners at the time – created 26 a fiduciary duty from James Ryan to Greenway, a duty he would later violate repeatedly. 27 28 52. James Ryan’s actions as an attorney working in In addition to their compensation for their work on the PPM, the Ryan Brothers 10 Exhibit E – Email from Tom Ryan to Gustavo Escamilla dated July 26, 2010. (emphasis added) -14COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 would be paid a percentage of the total investment as evidenced in their draft PPM solicitation 2 letter to be signed by James Ryan. 11 3 2. 4 53. The Ryan Brothers Introduce Greenway to Selakovic and Blackburn After preparing the PPM, in or around January of 2011, Tom Ryan introduced 5 Escamilla and Greenway to Steve Blackburn and David Selakovic. None of the men, Blackburn, 6 Selakovic, or the Ryan Brothers, had any prior experience in the organic fertilizer, pesticide, or 7 fungicide industry prior to their involvement with Greenway and Escamilla. Unbeknownst to 8 Escamilla, Selakovic and Blackburn were involved in a multitude of highly complex criminal 9 enterprises. 54. 10 Selakovic and Blackburn’s criminal ties include connections to the Serbian 11 American mob, also known as Group America. The enterprise has close ties with the Serbian 12 government and Group America’s ringleader is Mileta Mijanic. Where Selakovic, in turn, through 13 his younger brother Nikola Selakovic’s high standing in the Serbian Government and close 14 personal and professional working relationship Serbian President Alexander Vucic has afforded 15 David Selakovic’s powerful political influence, and dangerous organized crime protection through 16 Group America’s vast transnational drug trafficking enterprise. That affords Group America’s 17 elite members with immense political power with alleged Serbian Secret Police and U.S. 18 Intelligence agency connections. These connections would repeatedly come in to play later for 19 Selakovic and Blackburn with respect to Greenway. 20 55. Due to Greenway’s stellar growth and rapidly expanding sales, Escamilla sought 21 ways to reduce the company’s logistics by seeking an order fulfillment center on the east coast. 22 The plan included allowing an outside fulfillment center to package and distribute products. 56. 23 Tom Ryan told Escamilla that Blackburn and Selakovic could assist Greenway. 24 Blackburn and Selakovic allegedly operated a successful multimillion dollar software distribution 25 business and were looking to diversify their portfolio. The match seemed like a good fit for all 26 parties. Blackburn and Selakovic’s company, New Epic Media LLC even created a new website 27 for Greenway with the goal of growing Greenway’s sales. 28 11 See Exhibit F – Email dated January 21, 2011. -15COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 57. Tom and Mike Ryan also assisted Escamilla and Greenway in drafting and 2 preparing Greenway’s fulfillment agreement and, in creating Fulfillment Solutions Services LLC, 3 for the purpose of filling Greenway’s online sales and distribute Greenway’s products on the east 4 coast. Tom Ryan assisted Blackburn in creating Fulfillment Solutions Services, LLC – in order to 5 provide fulfillment and distributions services to Greenway. As planned, Fulfillment Solution 6 Services was provided with Greenway’s proprietary trade secret formulation and dilution ratios, 7 several million dollars’ worth of raw product inventory, including bottles, labels bearing 8 Greenway’s registered trademark, caps, and sales information. That included and bottling 9 equipment used to fill Greenway’s online, retail, and wholesale sales orders. 10 58. During the process of negotiating with Fulfillment Solutions, Tom Ryan, Escamilla 11 and his business partner toured the fulfillment center as part of Greenway’s due diligence. There 12 were no red flags during the walkthrough. Escamilla and his business partner noticed large 13 quantities of software on pallets emblazoned with the logos of seemingly reputable software 14 companies like Adobe and Microsoft. The existence of these seemingly legitimate products gave 15 Escamilla the faith that the fulfillment center was a legitimate operation. Unfortunately, the 16 products were not legitimate and the pallets of software were counterfeit goods, part of a massive 17 transnational multimillion-dollar illicit software manufacturing and distribution scheme that would 18 lead to one of the country’s largest ever criminal prosecutions. 19 59. Obviously, the partnership with these outright criminals did not result in increased 20 revenue for Greenway. In fact, Greenway’s robust online sales substantially decreased. The 21 business relationship with Blackburn and Selakovic soured quickly. 22 60. Selakovic and Blackburn stole Greenway’s confidential wholesale, retail, and 23 online customer lists, several million dollars’ worth of Greenway’s raw product inventories, bottle 24 caps, bottles, labels bearing Greenway’s trademark, and Greenway’s bottling equipment. 25 Selakovic and Blackburn undertook these actions under the guise of an illegitimate $77,000 billing 26 dispute. The dispute that was a part of a calculated ruse and con job by Selakovic and Blackburn 27 to steal several million dollars’ worth of Greenway’s raw products and bottling inventory. 28 61. Subsequently, Selakovic hatched his scheme of taking customers and profits away -16COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 from, and directly competing against, Greenway in the market unlawfully. 62. 2 According to a signed affidavit by one of Selakovic’s first employees of Vegalab, 3 LLC the only products Selakovic’s Vegalab entities, and another entity named Supreme Growers, 4 LLC (“Supreme”) had to sell during his employment with Vegalab, LLC were Greenway’s organic 5 pesticide and fungicide products bearing Greenway’s trademark. 12 Mr. Heller also stated he found 6 Greenway’s products were easy to sell and already well established in the marketplace and that 7 when Selakovic and Blackburn ran out of Greenway’s labels bearing Greenway’s registered 8 trademark, Selakovic and Blackburn simply printed more. 9 63. At around the same time, after months of negotiations, Greenway entered into an 10 exclusive distribution agreement for the entire U.S. market with Ecowin. Greenway now had 11 exclusive supply of Ecowin’s entire line of its highly concentrated products to Greenway to be 12 reconstituted, repackaged, and resold under the Greenway Nutrients brand name line of products. 13 Both Mike and Tom Ryan were involved in the drafting and preparation of the exclusive 14 distribution agreement between Greenway Nutrients, Inc. and Ecowin. 13 Escamilla executed the 15 agreement, which bound Ecowin to sell their entire line of products in the United States only to 16 Greenway exclusively, and the company began to do business with Ecowin. During their months 17 long negotiations, Ecowin’s CEO, and several of Ecowin’s executives flew to the United States to 18 meet with Escamilla, his business partner, and Greenway. Subsequently Ecowin’s CEO even sent 19 a photo of them all having dinner together and signed a formal letter of appreciation on Ecowin’s 20 letterhead thanking Escamilla and his business partner for Ecowin’s opportunity to enter the U.S. 21 market through its newly formed relationship with Greenway. 22 64. Within months, Ecowin inexplicably breached its exclusive distribution agreement 23 and cut Greenway off from their abilities to place any future orders raw product orders. Econwin 24 declining to sell any of their products to Greenway even though they were contractually obligated 25 to supply products to Greenway exclusively. 26 65. After Escamilla’s multiple attempts to contact Ecowin executives demanding an 27 28 12 13 Exhibit G – Heller declaration Exhibit H – Email from Tom Ryan to Gustavo Escamilla dated September 11, 2011. -17COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 explanation, Greenway’s principals conducted a brief private investigation, it was then that Ecowin 2 then cited their new exclusive distribution agreement with Selakovic’s newly formed Vegalab 3 entities and disavowed the previous agreement with Greenway. This maneuver was shocking. 4 Selakovic had not previously been in the natural pesticide business and suddenly he was able to 5 identify proprietary products and scoop them off the market. 6 66. Clearly, the Ryan Brothers had gone around Greenway’s, and given Selakovic 7 Greenway’s confidential insider business information related to Greenway’s exclusive relationship 8 with Ecowin and Selakovic used his alter ego corporate entities to undercut, out maneuver, and 9 outright cheat Greenway and Escamilla. 67. 10 Selakovic’s merciless ransacking and hijacking of Greenway’s business model was 11 far from over. Because simultaneously, in June 2012, Selakovic’s website development company 12 New Epic Media, LLC, flagrantly violated Greenway’s NDA and improperly converted Greenway 13 Nutrients confidential and proprietary website development information, stole Greenway’s 14 customer lists for their self-dealing gain unlawfully, created multiple knock off and competing 15 websites and online storefronts for Selakovic’s newly formed Vegalab entities, and another 16 company called Supreme Growers, LLC, that Selakovic also previously controlled and Growers 17 Trust, LLC to compete against Greenway in the market unlawfully. 14 18 68. The Selakovic entities began selling untold millions of dollars of counterfeit, 19 unauthorized, competing, and knock-off versions of Greenway products, and copious amounts of 20 products bearing Greenway’s trademark. These products were being unlawfully sold to 21 Greenway’s customer base and others for years. Selakovic’s fraud and corruption cost Greenway 22 up to $100 million in lost profits and market share. 69. 23 Around January 2012, Greenway began discussions with Eric Hanson of US 24 Strategies Inc. regarding a potential reverse merger with Greenway Nutrients, Inc. and HPC, now 25 named Vegalab, Inc. (“VEGL”). During the negotiations, Greenway proposed buying the shell of 26 27 28 14 Adobe software also successfully sued and obtained permanent federal injunctions against the principals of Supreme Growers LLC, named Anthony Kornrumpf, and Growers Trust, LLC, named David Thompson, who were allegedly several of Selakovic’s and Blackburn’s top money makers of illicit online software resellers of counterfeit software products. -18COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 HPC with the intention of executing a reverse merger later. Tom Ryan drafted the non-disclosure 2 for US Strategies and Eric Hanson. All of the negotiations and communication with Tom Ryan 3 were completed through the email address he shared with his brother Mike Ryan. As such, Mike 4 Ryan had unfettered access to the privileged details of the deal and as a fiduciary to Greenway he 5 had a duty to protect that information from other actors and to refrain from self-dealing at the 6 expense of his client Greenway. 7 70. The merger with HPC Acquisitions failed to materialize due to complications 8 caused by Selakovic and Blackburn’s malfeasance both related to the Ecowin debacle and the fact 9 that Selakovic’s entities were counterfeiting copious amounts of Greenway’s products and 10 undercutting Greenway with its own materials. The products flooded the market and eventually 11 raised Escamilla’s and his business partners further raised their suspicions that something more 12 sinister was occurring. 13 71. Mike Ryan eventually drafted a PPM for Selakovic’s company Vegalab, S.A., with 14 similar if not identical plans for a reverse merger with HPC that he undoubtably obtained from his 15 representation of Greenway. Vegalab, SA essentially stepped into the shoes of Greenway, using 16 Greenway’s lawyers, to complete Greenway’s public entity formation strategy, for their own gain. 17 That company is now known as Vegalab, Inc. Mike Ryan obtained an executive-level position at 18 Vegalab, Inc., providing the company with untold amounts of insider and proprietary information 19 he obtained through his work with Greenway. 20 B. Software Fraud 21 22 Escamilla and His Business Partner Expose Adobe and Microsoft Fraud 72. In an attempt to discover what was happening to Greenway’s ever shrinking market 23 share, Escamilla, and his business partner, took it upon themselves to hire a private investigator to 24 dig into Selakovic’s and Blackburn operations and fulfillment center, seeking evidence of illicit 25 sales of Greenway counterfeit goods. 26 73. Escamilla, his business partner, and their team staked out Fulfillment Solutions 27 Services, LLC and Supreme Growers, LLC’s joint warehouse facility, obtaining substantial 28 material evidence and information for months. They observed the comings and goings -19COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 surrounding the facility and sifted through the company’s trash looking for evidence of 2 counterfeiting of Greenway’s products. 3 74. Not only did they discovered evidence of substantial manufacturing, distribution, 4 and sales millions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit, unauthorized, knock off, or competing versions 5 of Greenway products, they also learned entities ultimately controlled by Selakovic and Blackburn, 6 were also illegally manufacturing, distributing, and reselling untold millions of dollars’ worth of 7 illicit versions of Adobe and Microsoft products as well. Selakovic’s and Blackburn’s Fulfillment 8 Solutions Services, LLC, and Supreme Growers, LLC’s joint warehouse, and its fulfillment center, 9 turned out to be the central hub of Selakovic’s and Blackburn’s massive transnational counterfeit 10 11 goods racket in the U.S. Market. 75. Due to the brazen nature of Selakovic and Blackburn’s malicious actions, Escamilla 12 met with a Special Agent with the Los Angeles field office of the United States Federal Bureau of 13 Investigation (hereinafter “FBI”) to show what they found. Escamilla provided evidence of how 14 Selakovic’s company Vegalab and other entities ultimately controlled by Selakovic, had created 15 competing websites to take market share away from, and were distributing copious amounts of 16 counterfeit versions of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, and back to 17 Greenway’s customer base, and others illegally. The FBI declined to prosecute the case. 18 76. Undeterred, in July of 2014, Escamilla took Greenway’s evidence and information 19 regarding Selakovic, Blackburn’s, and entities manufacturing, distribution, and sales of substantial 20 volumes of counterfeit software products to counsel for Adobe and Microsoft. 21 77. Microsoft is very well acquainted with and had successfully sued Blackburn several 22 times in the past. James Ryan defended Blackburn, and entitles controlled by Blackburn, against 23 multiple lawsuits filed by Microsoft related to unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and 24 unauthorized sales of millions of dollars in illicit versions Microsoft Software company’s products. 25 78. After reviewing Greenway’s evidence, Adobe immediately filed suit against 26 Selakovic and Blackburn (as well as their corporate entities). Adobe successfully obtained a 27 federal injunction against Blackburn, Selakovic’s entities, including Supreme Growers, LLC, New 28 Epic Media, LLC, Vegalab, LLC and Vegalab, SA, and also sued Vegalab, Inc. James Ryan also -20COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 defended Blackburn and Selakovic against the lawsuit. the Court in Adobe’s case determined these 2 entities were alter ego corporate entities of Selakovic because Selakovic had extensively 3 intertwined and commingled their assets. 4 C. DHS Officials Advise Escamilla That Greenway Would Be Identified as The 5 Lead Victim’s in Conjunction with Microsoft, Adobe, in Connection With 6 DHS and DOJ’s “Operation Software Slashers” 7 79. In March 2015, after speaking with counsel for Adobe, Escamilla and his business 8 partner were contacted by officials from DHS. Escamilla met in person and conducted an 9 exhaustive interview recorded under penalty of perjury, with multiple DHS agents, including the 10 11 acting DHS agent in charge Operation Software Slashers criminal investigation. 80. Escamilla became part and parcel of Operation Software Slashers when he was 12 informed by DHS officials, that the Federal prosecutor in the Western District of Missouri 13 (hereinafter “USAO-MO”) agreed to prosecute Greenway’s federal criminal trademark 14 infringement complaint Escamilla and Greenway filed against Selakovic, Blackburn, other 15 unmanned suspects and corporate entities operated or controlled by Selakovic. 16 81. On or about June 16, 2015, Escamilla emailed DHS officials advising them that a 17 2013 Colorado federal civil lawsuit that included allegations of civil trademark infringement filed 18 by Greenway against Selakovic, Blackburn, other individuals, and corporate entities operated and 19 controlled by Selakovic, was in jeopardy of being dismissed. 20 82. Plaintiff Escamilla advised DHS officials that he was financially devastated by the 21 ongoing and illegal sales of Greenway’s products, illegally bearing Plaintiff’s Greenway’s 22 registered trademark, unlawfully being sold back to Greenway’s customers for years by Selakovic, 23 Blackburn, and entities ultimately controlled by Selakovic. This caused Escamilla and his family 24 severe financial hardship where he was no longer able to afford to pay for a private civil attorney 25 to pursue damages during a Colorado federal civil case. 26 27 83. Later, Escamilla went from being told that Greenway would be the Lead Victim in the Government’s massive criminal case related to Operation Software Slashers to being informed 28 -21COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 that he would have to file a very costly federal civil lawsuit to justify any further Federal 2 involvement. The email dated October 28, 2016, came as a shock, and stated in relevant part: 3 “We have researched your claims and consulted with the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri and while we sympathize with your situation, we have been advised that on August 17, 2015 a District Court found in favor of Selakovic against Greenway Nutrients in regards to the assertion of the Greenway trademark. While we understand that you may disagree with this judgement, our agency is bound by decision of the court and therefor are restricted on what we can do in regard to your claims that they continue to sell your products illegally… Regardless, we continue to investigate the alleged criminal activities in regard to his alleged distribution of counterfeit software.” 4 5 6 7 8 84. 9 10 The same day, Escamilla responded stating that the court in Greenway’s 2013 Colorado lawsuit had never issued a purported negative ruling against Greenway in favor of 11 Selakovic. Rather, the court dismissed the claims without prejudice after Greenway was unable 12 to fund the litigation against the deep pockets of Selakovic. In fact, the Colorado court had 13 exclusive ruled in favor of Greenway on the merits of the case. 85. 14 15 16 17 if Greenway prevailed against Selakovic regarding Greenway’s civil trademark infringement claims the agency would reconsider opening criminal proceedings against Selakovic. This email stated in part: “While I understand your frustration and concerns, our agency cannot move forward with any investigation involving your trademark until you resolved this issue with the District Court in Colorado that issued the decision. “ … 18 19 “We have, and continue too, since the day we met with you to seek charges against Selakovic in Singapore for his alleged sale of illicit software…” 20 21 “Additionally, we have made attempts to look into the alleged misuse of the Greenway Nutrients logo, but because of the court decision, in a case you were a party to in Colorado, would not be able to file charges at this time,”… 22 23 “We would be happy to take a second look if that decision is reversed.” … 15 24 25 26 27 28 On November 21, 2016, DHS investigators sent an email to Escamilla, stating that 86. DHS’s investigation and subsequent prosecution lead to the successful arrest and prosecution of six other criminal Defendants for their participation in the unlawful manufacturing, sales, and distribution of 170,000 units of illicit versions of Microsoft and Adobe software products worth over $100 million. However, according to Blackburn’s deposition transcripts obtained 15 Exhibit I – Email from Shawn Gibson to Gustavo Escamilla dated October 28, 2016. -22COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 during Adobe’s massive civil lawsuit against Selakovic, Blackburn, and entities ultimately 2 controlled by Selakovic, DHS and DOJ’s purported 170,000 illicit sales units sales figure and $100 3 million in losses figure pales in comparison to Blackburn’s admissions under oath. Thus, the 4 depths of the crimes committed by Selakovic and Blackburn dwarf the accusations currently at 5 issue here. The Adobe and Microsoft scandal show the lengths and magnitude of corruption 6 87. During Escamilla’s meeting with Adobe’s lead counsel and Manager of Adobe’s 7 Software Piracy investigations they informed Escamilla that before he identified Selakovic, 8 Adobe’s team of private investigators had unsuccessfully attempted to pinpoint precisely who was 9 supplying Blackburn with an endless stream of hundreds and thousands of illicit versions of 10 Microsoft’s and Adobe’s software products for years. And, that Selakovic’s and Blackburn’s 11 massive transnational counterfeit goods scam was allegedly responsible for illegally controlling as 12 much as 90% of all Adobe’s online retail sales for years. 13 D. Escamilla and Greenway’s Subsequent Attempts to Obtain Monetary Relief 14 88. As successful as the DHS criminal investigation was for the government, Greenway 15 has thus far been unable to obtain restitution for the wrongdoing by Selakovic, Blackburn, and 16 Selakovic’s entities, due to Selakovic’s powerful political and dangerous Group America 17 connections. Thus far, they have been able to thwart Escamilla’s and Greenway’s efforts at every 18 turn, often with highly complex and complicated bribery and intimidation. 19 89. During DHS’s criminal investigation, Escamilla emailed DHS officials advising 20 them he was in fear for his personal safety because multiple bald males, with what appeared to be 21 gang affiliated tattoos, were lurking outside Greenway’s office and warehouse, pointing their 22 flashlights inside Greenway’s windows and office space attempting to see if anyone was inside. 23 These actions scared and intimated Escamilla who was alone and the only person in Greenway’s 24 warehouse and office at the time. This harassment was no isolated incident, and before retaining 25 Pierce and his firm, Escamilla advised Pierce of Selakovic’s thugs were allegedly also staking out 26 and harassing Escamilla’s mother, sister, and family members, in an ongoing effort to intimidate 27 the victims and his family members repeatedly over the years. 28 -23COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 90. Selakovic, who is allegedly one of Group America’s top money makers, has good 2 reason to go to great lengths to stop Greenway from a favorable civil verdict because Selakovic 3 and Group America are aware that a favorable civil verdict would lead to criminal prosecution of 4 Selakovic In this context, it makes sense as to why Selakovic and his counterparts would go to 5 great lengths to stop Escamilla and Greenway, their literal freedom is potentially at stake. 6 91. In 2013, Plaintiff Greenway filed its 2013 federal civil lawsuit in Colorado for 7 allegations related to the illegal manufacturing, distribution, and sales of copious amounts 8 Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark by Selakovic, Blackburn, and their related 9 entities. 16 At the time, Escamilla and Greenway were unaware that Mike or James Ryan were 10 heavily involved in the fraud committed against the company. 11 92. Moreover, during Greenway’s 2013 Colorado civil lawsuit’s discovery process, 12 Selakovic and Blackburn were compelled to present evidence to Greenway proving that Greenway 13 owed zero monies to Selakovic, Blackburn, or entities controlled by Selakovic. 14 93. Selakovic’s entities filed retaliatory lawsuits in Florida state court related to 15 Selakovic’s purported $77,000 fraudulent billing dispute created by Selakovic’s entities. This 16 fraudulent billing dispute is, in part, how Selakovic and Blackburn justified stealing, 17 manufacturing, distributing, and subsequently reselling millions of dollars’ worth of illicit versions 18 of Greenway’s products to subordinate employees (i.e., “they owe us money). They were able to 19 obtain default judgments against Greenway related to the fraudulent Florida state claims. Even 20 though Selakovic and Blackburn were sued for these same issues where Greenway prevailed and 21 maintained substantial material evidence to the contrary. 22 94. The only reason why Greenway’s 2013 Colorado federal civil lawsuit was 23 dismissed without prejudice was due to Plaintiff Escamilla and his company Greenway’s 24 inabilities to obtain or afford to pay for substitute private legal counsel at that time. 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 16 Greenway Nutrients, Inc. v. Blackburn, et al. #1:13-CV-01088. -24COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 E. Greenway Files Florida Federal Civil Lawsuit in June 2017 2 95. In January 2017, Plaintiff Escamilla began contacting and interviewing several 3 Florida-based law firms to initiate another federal civil lawsuit against Selakovic, Blackburn, and 4 entities ultimately controlled by Selakovic, in the Southern District of Florida. 5 6 7 96. In February 2017, Escamilla and his business partner, decided to engage the law firm named Boyes, Farina, Matwiczyk (hereinafter “BFM”) located in Palm Beach Florida. 97. One of BFM’s named partners John Farina (hereinafter “Farina”), served as lead 8 counsel. While most Escamilla’s interactions with BFM, were conducted through another BFM 9 Partner named Kenni Judd, Esq. (hereinafter “Judd”), and BFM associate named Joshua Plager, 10 11 Esq (hereinafter “Plager”). 98. Before engaging Farina and BFM, Escamilla supplied substantial material evidence 12 of Selakovic, Blackburn, and Selakovic’s entities unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and sales 13 of millions of dollars’ worth of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, being 14 unlawfully sold back to Greenway’s customer base for years. 15 99. Greenway’s claims were supported by a critical email Escamilla received from the 16 former President of Selakovic’s website development and online media company New Epic Media, 17 LLC, who advised Escamilla and Greenway that she immediately resigned from her position as 18 President of New Epic Media, LLC after she discovered Selakovic and Blackburn fully intended 19 on defrauding Greenway to unlawfully control Greenway’s online sales via Greenway’s 20 relationship New Epic Media, LLC. 21 100. Moreover, Escamilla supplied Farina and BFM lawyers with material evidence 22 demonstrating DHS officials advised Plaintiff Escamilla that Greenway would need to obtain a 23 favorable court ruling over Selakovic regarding Greenway’s civil trademark infringement claims 24 before DHS and USAO-MO officials would consider filing criminal charges against Selakovic, 25 Blackburn, and others, as part of Greenway’s involvement in Operation Software Slashers. 26 27 101. In March 2017, while updating Greenway’s records for its upcoming Florida civil lawsuit, Escamilla was shocked to discover Mike Ryan, in conjunction with Vegalab, Inc. 28 -25COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 (formerly HPC Acquisitions, Inc.), Ecowin, and Selakovic entities Vegalab, SA, and Vegalab, 2 LLC, had taken Vegalab, Inc’ business model public in place of Greenway. 3 102. It was clear that Mike Ryan had flagrantly violated Greenway’s NDA and his 4 fiduciary obligations owed to his former clients and went around Escamilla’s and Greenway’s back 5 to assist Selakovic to take Vegalab, Inc.’s (HPC’s) business model public through an over-the- 6 counter reverse merger deal with the same OTCB shell corporation Vegalab, Inc. that Escamilla 7 and Greenway previously held confidential reverse merger discussions with. 8 103. Mike Ryan’s business partner and brother drafted and prepared the HPC documents 9 related to the potential merger. Mike Ryan was also privy to these discussions related to the reverse 10 merger. That contractually obligated Greenway’s former attorneys, to keep Greenway reverse 11 merger plans confidential. 12 104. Escamilla requested Farina, Plager, Judd, and BFM aggressively pursue civil 13 damage claims against Greenway’s former attorney Mike Ryan for legal malpractice, breach of 14 fiduciary duty, breach of contract, amongst other proposed civil causes of action. BFM declined 15 to bring these causes of action. 16 105. Instead, the unfortunate series of events that occurred immediately thereafter, 17 further heightened the victims concerns of Selakovic utilizing that Ryan brothers and his powerful 18 political and dangerous organized crime connections to thwart Escamilla’s and Greenway’s efforts 19 from pursuing damages against them. 20 106. After Escamilla’s multiple requests to pursue damages against Greenway’s former 21 attorney Mike Ryan went ignored, Escamilla grew increasingly frustrated and concerned and 22 proceeded to request to review a copy of the proposed draft of Greenway’s Florida civil complaint 23 Farina and BFM intended on presenting to the Court. 24 107. In mid-May 2017, Escamilla advised BFM lawyers that the acting DHS agent in 25 charge of Operation Software Slashers contacted Escamilla via email indicating DHS’s General 26 Counsel located in Washington D.C., would like to speak with Greenway’s attorneys Farina, Judd, 27 or Plager at that time. That Farina and BFM lawyers also willfully ignored, failed to investigate, 28 -26COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 and failed to follow up on. This would be a theme in Greenway’s attempts to finally get restitution 2 from Selakovic, attorneys refusing to represent Greenway’s best interests. 3 108. Things only got progressively worse and declined from there. All throughout May 4 of 2017, Escamilla continued to email BFM lawyers requesting to review a proposed draft copy 5 of Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil complaint that Farina and BFM intended on presenting the court. 6 That BFM lawyers willfully ignored and failed provide to Escamilla a copy before Farina and 7 BFM improperly filed Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil lawsuit. BFM improperly filed Greenway’s 8 2017 civil lawsuit, that Farina and BFM failed provide to Escamilla and his company Greenway 9 until almost a week after it was filed. 10 109. On June 15, 2017, immediately after BFM filed suit and served Selakovic’s website 11 development company New Epic Media, LLC, James Ryan sent Farina and BFM a fraudulent, 12 misleading, and deceptive email, threatening BFM if they did not immediately agree to dismiss 13 Greenway’s 2017 Florida complaint. James Ryan stated that he would file a Rule 11 motion for 14 sanctions, seeking attorneys’ fees and costs. In other words, he was representing Selakovic and 15 Blackburn in litigation against Greenway, his former client. 16 110. As alleged above, James Ryan that had previously been involved with Greenway’s 17 PPM, and evaluated Greenway’ overall business model at approximately $25 million. James Ryan 18 drafted a stock solicitation letter offering his connections a 17.5% equity stake in exchange for a 19 $4.5 million dollar investment in Greenway’s PPM. James Ryan had access to proprietary and 20 confidential information. The Ryan Brothers never revealed they were partners in law firms Ryan 21 and Ryan Attorney’s P.A. or Ryan and Ryan Lawyers, LLC together. The email – filled with lies 22 and threats – revealed that James Ryan represented all the organizations that were accused stealing 23 Greenway’s business plans, products, and intellectual property. Suddenly, it was clear that the 24 Ryan Brothers with the assistance, of Selakovic and his powerful political and dangerous 25 organized crime connections, were intimately involved in the scheme to defraud Greenway. 26 27 111. James Ryan besmirched and discredited his former client, claiming Greenway’s suit was baseless and without merit and then proceeded to raise Selakovic entities $77,000 28 -27COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 manufactured and fraudulent billing dispute and default judgment, as the phony underlying legal 2 basis BFM would be sanctioned for if they proceeded forward with Greenway’s 2017 Florida suit. 3 4 112. Escamilla was utterly astounded because, prior to James Ryan’s emails, Escamilla and Greenway were unaware of his substantial involvement in the scheme to defraud Greenway. 113. 5 Immediately thereafter, on or about June 26, 2017, and without ever once speaking 6 with Escamilla the entire time Escamilla and Greenway were clients of BFM, Farina sent Escamilla 7 a letter via email advising him that Farina and BFM intended to file a motion to withdraw as 8 counsel of record, which BFM did. 9 114. Before the Florida court granted Farina’s motion to withdraw, Escamilla advised 10 Farina, and BFM lawyers that a California based attorney agreed to amend and prosecute 11 Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil lawsuit. Requesting Farina and BFM to sponsor Greenway’s 12 purposed attorneys Pro Hac Vice application and remain on Greenway’s case as required local 13 Florida counsel. And without providing any explanation, Farina and BFM declined to assist or 14 sponsor Greenway’s California based attorney to prosecute Greenway’s claims. 115. 15 In other words, on information and belief, BFM appears to have conspired with 16 James Ryan to abuse the judicial process to the severe detriment of Escamilla and Greenway. 17 James Ryan appeared to be hell bent on ensuring Greenway’s claims were not decided on their 18 merits, or adequately fleshed out. BFM lawyers did not even serve Selakovic, Blackburn, and all 19 other remaining Selakovic’s entities, failed to investigate any of Greenway’s claims, propounded 20 no discovery, took no depositions, before blindsiding Escamilla, and abruptly withdrawing from 21 Greenway 2017 Florida lawsuit. 22 23 116. James Ryan also filed a motion to stay discovery in the action, presumably to prevent Escamilla and Greenway from further discovering the depth of the corruption. 24 117. In late October 2017, the Florida court dismissed Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil 25 lawsuit due to Greenway’s inabilities and failure to obtain substitute counsel in a timely manner. 26 /// 27 /// 28 -28COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 F. LLP as Legal Counsel Against the Ryan Brothers, Selakovic, and Others 2 3 Greenway Engages John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht 118. Before Greenways 2017 Florida civil lawsuit was dismissed, in October 2017, 4 Escamilla read a press release that John Pierce and Pravati Capital LLC (hereinafter “Pravati’) had 5 jointly released. That publicly advertised Pierce and his law firm’ innovative and exclusive 6 multimillion dollar litigation funding deal with Pravati at the time, stating in relevant part, 7 “John Pierce was equally excited about the deal: This is a huge step forward for our firm. Pravati’s backing ensures that we will be able to take even the largest commercial litigations to trial against any firm in the world and win.” Pierce continued, “Pravati is at the absolute forefront of the emerging market for litigation funding. When it comes to creative funding solutions for law firms and claimants alike in the high-stakes commercial litigation space, there is no better choice than going to Alex Chucri and the team he has assembled at Pravati Capital.” 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 119. Defendants Pierce and Pravati’s press release advertised Pierce’ firm was seeking to represent parties who possessed meritorious multimillion civil claims with significant upside potential, which appeared to be a perfect fit for Escamilla’s and Greenway’s needs at the time. That served as the sole reason that induced Escamilla to initially contact Pierce, his firm, and eventually Pravati. 120. In an attempt to revive Greenway’s meritorious civil claims, Greenway engaged John Pierce, the principal of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, LLP (hereinafter “Pierce Bainbridge”) to bring another lawsuit against Selakovic, et al. 121. Attorney Ronald Nisonson (hereinafter “Nisonson”), of Ward, Damon, Peterson and Bleau, PL., (hereinafter “Ward Damon”) served as local Florida counsel. 122. Before engaging Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon, Escamilla presented substantial evidence to Pierce that contained a detailed description of James Ryan’s egregious attorney misconduct that occurred during Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil lawsuit. The evidence also described in great detail Escamilla’s recent discovery of Mike Ryan’s and James Ryan’s involvement in the overall scheme to defraud Greenway. 123. Escamilla and Greenway respectfully requested Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and eventually Ward Damon, aggressively pursue civil damages for legal malpractice, breach of -29COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 contract, and breach of fiduciary duty, amongst other potential civil causes of action against Farina 2 and BFM. That Pierce, and Pierce Bainbridge declined to follow through on, failed to investigate, 3 or prosecute. Instead, falsely claimed Pierce and his firm’s lawyers would have a difficult time 4 locating Florida counsel willing to act as co-counsel as required by the Southern District of Florida 5 local rules of procedure. If Greenway were to pursue civil legal malpractice damage claims against 6 Farina and BFM as well, which was a false, materially misleading, and untrue. 7 124. Escamilla provided substantial material evidence to Pierce and his firm 8 demonstrating the high-profile nature of Greenway’s claims due to Selakovic’s well-documented 9 and powerful political and dangerous organized crime connections. Escamilla also advised Pierce 10 and his lawyers that Selakovic, and or others affiliated with Selakovic, allegedly paid or bribed 11 Farina and BFM to undermine and abandon Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil lawsuit. 125. 12 At the time, John Pierce was a rising star in the legal world. Pierce boasted he had 13 a fast-growing firm of elite lawyers. The firm eventually represented other high-profile clients 14 such as former Senator and aspiring Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard, George Papadopoulos, 15 Carter Page, and Michael Avenatti, and the former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, amongst 16 others. Pierce had a massive public persona. He was well connected in political circles on both 17 sides of the isle. As it would turn out, John Pierce was a snake oil salesman. His firm obtained 18 only a single jury verdict for a little over a mere $500,000. This was far from the superstar, high- 19 powered, legal representation he promised. 20 126. Within months of Greenway retaining John Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge John 21 Pierce allegedly struck a new friendship up with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As has 22 recently been reported in various news outlets, Giuliani had substantial ties to the Serbian 23 government and Selakovic’s political ally President Aleksander Vucic and thus Group America. 17 24 Pierce Bainbridge’s connections with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rudy 25 Giuliani’s connections to the Serbian Government, and Serbian President Aleksander Vucic, 26 would bring connections to Group America into the fold. 27 28 17 Mr. Giuliani’s connections to Serbia have been consistently reported since 2012 in various publications such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the New Republic. The associations are often described as problematic or controversial. -30COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 127. Pierce represented that his firm could litigate difficult cases and obtain results that 2 evaded other lawyers, such as had been the case Greenway’s prior litigation. They promised 3 thorough, aggressive, and focused litigation on behalf of their clients. Finally, they promised they 4 would not back down from a fight. As it turned out, none of these representations were accurate. 128. 5 Greenway and Pierce Bainbridge entered into an Attorney Client Agreement 6 (hereinafter “Agreement”) related to legal services on March 2, 2018. 18 Escamilla signed the 7 Agreement on behalf of Greenway. John Pierce signed the Agreement on behalf of the law firm. 8 129. The Agreement does contain an arbitration clause. However, the clause is void. 9 The clause, 15.1.6, states that the arbitration clause must be specifically initialed by the client, 10 which Escamilla deliberately refused to initial, and Pierce and his firm did not raise any concerns, 11 protest, or dispute Escamilla’s refusal to initial or acknowledge the arbitration clause. Further, 12 applicable state law renders the clause void based on Greenways’ decision not to execute the 13 portion of the contract related to the arbitration clause. 14 130. According to Business & Professions Code section 6147(a)(b), which states, in 15 pertinent part: (a) An attorney who contracts to represent a client on a contingency fee basis shall, 16 at the time the contract is entered into, provide a duplicate copy of the contract, signed by both the 17 attorney and the client, or the client’s guardian or representative, to the plaintiff, or to the client’s 18 guardian or representative. The contract shall be in writing and shall include, but is not limited to, 19 all of the following: and (b) Failure to comply with any provision of this section renders the 20 agreement voidable at the option of the plaintiff.” Greenway wishes to void the arbitration clause. 21 131. Additionally, in Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. v. Hock 22 Investment Co. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 83, 88-89. relying on standard rules of contract 23 interpretation, the court of appeal determined that the contract, itself, “contemplated that the 24 arbitration of disputes provision would be effective only if both buyers and sellers assented to that 25 provision by initialing it. Since the sellers did not initial that provision, it did not become 26 effective.” (Id. at 92, emphasis added.) Here, Greenway did not initial the provision and thus the 27 clause is void. 28 18 Exhibit J – Engagement Letter -31COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 132. During their representation, lawyers from Pierce Bainbridge had access to all of the 2 documentation available to Plaintiffs and also any publicly available information. Escamilla, and 3 thus Greenway, was an extremely responsive client who provided detailed outlines to counsel 4 which related the facts of the case. If Escamilla’s documents were not sufficient, counsel was able 5 to seek additional information or documents or the native sourcing of documents for more 6 information. In fact, lawyers from Pierce Bainbridge had a contractual and fiduciary obligation to 7 seek out these documents and information in order to best represent Greenway. Their reputations 8 as lawyers demanded that they seek as much information as possible from the client to pursue the 9 litigation and achieve the best possible result for Greenway. John Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and 10 11 Ward Damon’s lawyers failed to uphold that duty. 133. On August 17, 2018, Pierce Bainbridge filed suit on behalf of Greenway against 12 Greenway’s former attorneys Michael Ryan and James Ryan, The Ryan Law Group, LLC, 13 Selakovic, Blackburn, Greenway’s former supplier named Ecowin, Supreme Growers, LLC, 14 VEGL, and other entities operated and ultimately controlled by Selakovic, in the Southern District 15 of Florida. See Greenway Nutrients, Inc. v. Selakovic et al, Case # 9:18-cv-81104. 16 134. Greenway’s Florida suit centered around the Plaintiff’s discovery that James Ryan, 17 had flagrantly violated Greenway’s NDA, abused confidential information, and breached his 18 fiduciary duty, in connivance with his brother Michael Ryan, Selakovic, Ecowin, and 19 representatives of Vegalab, Inc., who went around the Plaintiff’s back and execute Greenway’s 20 confidential reverse-merger and publicly traded entity formation strategy. The suit further alleged 21 they intentionally interfered with Greenway’s exclusive distribution agreement with Ecowin, and 22 Supreme Growers, LLC, selling copious amounts of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s 23 trademark causing Escamilla and Greenway, millions of dollars in financial losses, devastating 24 Greenway’s opportunity to take its business model public. 25 26 27 28 135. Pierce’s eventual capitulation to outside forces began slowly and even before the court’s favorable ruling for Greenway. 136. On or about September 5, 2018, after being served with Greenway’s suit, James Ryan, sent a nasty and ill-tempered email, providing false and materially misleading information -32COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 by denying the fact that James Ryan, his brother Mike Ryan, or the Ryan Firm, had ever received 2 or reviewed any confidential information from Escamilla, and never represented Greenway or any 3 entity owned by Escamilla, stating in relevant part: “I am in receipt of your complaint and I want to be clear I am going to be very short on curtesy I extend before I begin pursuing sanctions.” … 4 5 7 “Your allegation that my brother Michael, my firm or I ever represented Greenway Nutrients, Inc. (Greenway) is false. That never happened. Nor did we receive any confidential information from Greenway, or any other entity operated by Mr. Escamilla.” … 8 “My brother Tom has never been a member or associate of my firm.” … 6 137. 9 The email was obviously untrue. It is important to note that the correspondence 10 states that James Ryan is intimately aware of Escamilla and Greenway. As such, claims that the 11 Ryan Brothers never received confidential information from any entity operated by Mr. Escamilla 12 is a bald-faced lie, because Escamilla and Greenway repeatedly presented substantial material 13 evidence to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon lawyers to the contrary. 138. 14 Escamilla provided Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon lawyers, with 15 evidence in the form of email communications, distribution agreements, and various contracts that 16 were drafted on behalf of Greenway by Mike and Tom Ryan. 139. 17 The lawsuit Pierce Bainbridge filed was feeble in its attempt at taking on Selakovic 18 and the Ryan Brothers head on and the additional warning sign that John Pierce was not advocating 19 on behalf of Greenway and being pulled in a different direction. Instead of filing a motion to take 20 judicial notice as requested, proving Blackburn, Selakovic, and James Ryan previously defended 21 multiple massive trademark infringement lawsuits filed by Microsoft and Adobe Systems, or 22 pointing out that numerous permanent federal injunctions Microsoft and Adobe had successfully 23 obtained against Blackburn, Selakovic, or that James Ryan had defended against since 2000, Pierce 24 Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s claims made it seem like the litigation was a basic business 25 transaction gone wrong. 19 26 27 28 19 See Microsoft Corporation v. MBC Enterprises, Steven Blackburn Case #2:00-CV-00217, Microsoft Corp. v. Big Boy Distribution LLC, Steven Blackburn, Case #07-80296-CIV, and Adobe Systems Incorporated v. Bea's Hive LLC, Selacorp, David Selakovic, Steve Blackburn Case #9:14-cv-81102 -33COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 140. On October 1, 2018, James Ryan filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of himself, 2 Mike Ryan, their law firm, and Selakovic’s entities Vegalab, Inc, and Vegalab, LLC. The motion 3 included dozens of misleading or outright false representations from James Ryan, including 4 arguments related to res judicata and collateral estoppel for all defendants regarding Greenway’s 5 June 2017 Florida civil lawsuit Farina and BFM improperly filed on behalf of Greenway. Where 6 the Court granted James Ryan’s request to stay discovery. 7 141. On October 15, 2018, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s opposition to James 8 Ryan’s motion was pitiful. Pierce and Nisonson signed the pleading, which dedicated less than a 9 page to the most salient issue with respect to Selakovic and his associated entities, res judicata, 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 stating in relevant part, “Specifically, when Greenway’s counsel moved to withdraw in the 2017 Action, Judge Kenneth A. Marra issued an Order on July 21, 2017, granting that motion and stating that failure to secure new counsel within thirty days would “result in this action being dismissed without prejudice.” See Decl. of Jonathan A. Sorkowitz (“Sorkowitz Decl.”) at Ex. 1 (DE 31 in the 2017 Action) (emphasis added). In response to subsequent filings by Greenway and HPC Acquisitions, Inc. (now known as Vegalab, Inc. and a Defendant here), the Court issued another order citing its July 21, 2017 Order, and again commanding Plaintiff to obtain counsel, no later than October 27, 2017, or else suffer dismissal of its case. See Sorkowitz Decl., at Ex. 2 (DE 41 in the 2017 Action). Finally, when Greenway was unable to retain counsel by October 27, 2017, the case was dismissed. See Sorkowitz Decl., at Ex. 3 (DE 44 in the 2017 Action). Although the ultimate dismissal order did not specify that the dismissal was without prejudice, that was unnecessary. Judge Marra had already expressed his intent that an eventual dismissal for failure to find counsel would be without prejudice. Res judicata cannot apply on this basis. 142. Even before they decided to litigate Greenway’s civil case, Plaintiffs repeatedly 22 supplied Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon with substantial evidence demonstrating the Ryan 23 Brothers had access to confidential, attorney-client, and trade secret information. 24 143. Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon deliberately concealed and failed to mention 25 or disclose the existence of Greenway’s of this information in Greenway’s opposition. Peirce and 26 his lawyers had plenty of information that contradicted James Ryan’s motion to dismiss. 27 28 144. On October 5, 2018, a partner from Peirce Bainbridge, John Sorkowitz, sent an email to Escamilla updating him on the Greenway litigation. The email seemingly acknowledges -34COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 that merits of Greenway’s case. The email notes several facts which could been shown through 2 additional discovery and states that there is a “colorable” claim against the Ryan Brothers. 3 Sorkowitz noted that $50,000 had been paid to the Ryan Brothers for services performed and that 4 James Ryan indeed had access to the confidential information related to Greenway and that 5 “discovery might turn up more.” Sorkowitz never completed any discovery. In fact, Pierce 6 Bainbridge never served any written discovery and never attempted to take any depositions during 7 their representation of Greenway. 145. 8 On February 14, 2019, the Florida court ruled in Greenway’s favor with respect to 9 the claims against the Ryan Brothers on the motion to dismiss, finding that Greenway’s former 10 attorneys James and Mike Ryan and their law firm could be held accountable to Greenway for 11 breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference claims, further noting that James Ryan “had 12 flagrantly misquoted the law.” 20 13 infringement and unjust enrichment claims were viable. 14 146. The Court also ruled that Greenway’s civil trademark Greenway was also able to continue its case against former supplier Ecowin, now 15 majority owned by an entity solely owned by Selakovic, which defaulted after being properly 16 served. During the period Ecowin was contractually obligated to supply its products to Greenway, 17 Ecowin had unlawfully shipped thousands of gallons of Ecowin’s highly concentrated products to 18 an entity operated by Blackburn and controlled by Selakovic in violation of Greenway’s NDA. 147. 19 Ecowin’s unlawful shipments were worth tens of millions of dollars in estimated 20 retail value that Selakovic, Supreme Growers, LLC, and Selakovic’s entities unlawfully benefitted 21 from without any compensation Escamilla’s company Greenway. 22 148. The motion to dismiss, however, did rule in favor of the Selakovic entities primarily 23 because Peirce and his lawyers failed to adequately oppose the motion on grounds related to res 24 judicata and collateral estopple. On February 19, 2019, Pierce Bainbridge Ward Damon made 25 matters worse by failing to oppose James Ryan’s motion for clarification regarding Vegalab, Inc. 26 inclusion in the viable claims moving forward. 27 28 20 See Greenway Nutrients, Inc. vs. Selakovic et al., case no. 9:18-cv-9 81104 [DE-81]. -35COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 149. Lawyers at Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon knew that the Ryan Brothers were 2 intimately involved with the HPC reverse merger talks and knew that Vegalab, Inc. was the new 3 name for the HPC, with the name change occurring after Selakovic copied Greenway’s reverse 4 merge plans. By failing to oppose the motion for clarification, Defendants effectively allowed 5 Vegalab Inc. and thus Selakovic to talk away from the litigation almost unscathed. There remained 6 only one entity related to Selakovic and Group America remaining in the litigation: Ecowin. 7 150. The lawsuit nevertheless had substantial merit with respect to Ecowin and the Ryan 8 Brothers. The court’s strong admonishment should have been a warning to lawyers for Pierce 9 Bainbridge and Ward Damon regarding the relative honestly and trustworthiness of James Ryan. 10 151. Vegalab, SA, an alter-ego entity of Selakovic is the sole shareholder of and 11 purportedly invested $30 million to purchase a majority interest stake in Ecowin, which was in 12 default after failing to respond to Greenway’s Complaint. This meant that Greenway could pursue 13 damages against Selakovic’s company Ecowin without the need for the trial related to liability and 14 finally achieve some restitution for the years upon years of damages caused by Selakovic, 15 Blackburn, Ecowin and the Ryan Brothers. While there may have been more work to do, 16 Greenway was on the path toward a significant recovery against Ecowin. 17 152. On March 4, 2019, Escamilla and his business partner were present for a 18 confidential settlement conference with Pierce Bainbridge Partner Jonathan Sorkowitz and Ward 19 Damon Partner Ronald Nisosnson. James and Mike Ryan were in attendance for the defendants. 20 153. Escamilla prepared an evidence package for Sorkowitz and Nisonson to present to 21 the Court during Greenway's settlement conference, demonstrating that attorney-client 22 relationships existed between the Ryan brothers and Greenway Nutrients, Inc. The settlement 23 conference was a complete waste of time and farce that lasted less than two hours. James Ryan 24 stood before the Court, claiming to have never received any confidential business information or 25 represented Greenway Nutrients, Inc. in any capacity. 26 27 154. And even though Escamilla provided Nisonson and Sorkowitz with material evidence to the contrary, demonstrating that attorney-client relationships existed between the Ryan 28 -36COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 brothers and Greenway Nutrients, Inc. both Nisonson and Sorkowitz deliberately concealed and 2 failed to present the evidence to the Court. 3 155. On March 5, 2019, Escamilla emailed Nisonson to schedule a face-to-face meeting 4 alone to express his dissatisfaction with how things were deliberately mishandled during 5 Greenway's settlement conference the previous day. Nisonson responded, stating he was 6 unavailable. Nisonson and Ward Damon never made any additional efforts to assist Greenway or 7 Escamilla in their litigation. 8 156. The idea that the Ryan Brothers never represented Greenway, or any entity 9 controlled by Escamilla, is laughable. Mike Ryan assisted Escamilla and Greenway Nutrients, Inc 10 draft a Letter of Intent to manufacture organic fertilizer products for Greenway Nutrients and a 11 rebranding and distribution agreement for Greenway Nutrients organic pesticide products. The 12 Ryan Brothers all had access to and helped shape the investment documents related to the PPM. 13 Those documents Greenway’s business plans, marketing strategies, and future label designs for 14 Greenway’s entire line of products. Tom, Mike and James Ryan acted in concert to review 15 confidential information from Greenway, knew the inner workings of the company, and owed 16 fiduciary duties to Greenway by way of that representation. 17 157. Nevertheless, James Ryan threatened to file a Rule 11 motion seeking attorney’s 18 fees and costs if Greenway did not immediately consent to dismiss the lawsuit just like he did to 19 Farina and BFM did during Greenway’s 2017 Florida civil lawsuit. 20 158. Despite claiming to be hard-nosed litigators, some of the best in the world, Pierce 21 Bainbridge ignored the substantial evidence provided by Escamilla and seemed to be working with 22 James Ryan instead of attempting to put up a fight. 23 159. Lawyers at Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon knew James Ryan’s 24 representations were materially false and misleading. The court had previously noted that James 25 Ryan was not afraid of materially misrepresenting the facts and the law. They were repeatedly 26 provided with evidence demonstrating James Ryan’s fraudulent misrepresentations and denials 27 included in the untrue September 5, 2018, email correspondence. Nevertheless, Pierce and his firm 28 failed to investigate, callously disregarding and ignoring the evidence provided by their own client. -37COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 160. Shockingly, after the court ruled that Greenway’s claims against the James and 2 Mike Ryan for breach of fiduciary duty and tortious inference could continue, Pierce and his 3 lawyers started a campaign against Greenway and Escamilla to convince them to dismiss the Ryan 4 Brothers from the litigation. Despite Sorkowitz’s written acknowledgement that Greenway’s 5 claims against the Ryan Brothers were colorable – and a ruling by the court finding the same – 6 Pierce Bainbridge was attempting to force Greenway to drop the allegations without conducting 7 any discovery on the issue. 8 161. The following months resulted in a letter writing campaign between Pierce and 9 Escamilla. In each letter, it became more and more clear that Pierce never reviewed any of the 10 documents provided by Escamilla. He never sought any clarification related to Greenways claims. 11 The correspondence from Pierce and his lawyers does not reveal any attempt by the law firm to 12 ascertain the facts or gather additional information. Rather, the lawyers simply belittle, demean, 13 and threaten Escamilla. Further, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon did not undertake any efforts 14 to build evidence in support of Greenway through the discovery process. No depositions were 15 taken. No discovery was propounded. Nothing was done to advance Greenway’s case. 16 162. In February 2019, prior to the court ruling in Greenway’s favor, Escamilla 17 requested permission from Pierce Bainbridge to apply for litigation financing with Pierce 18 Bainbridge’s exclusive litigation funder who maintained a contractual senior lien position and 19 financial vested interested on Pierce Bainbridge’s entire caseload, Defendant Pravati. Requesting 20 their assistance and introduction to Pravati. 21 163. Surprisingly, Pierce, Sorkowitz, Pierce Bainbridge advised Escamilla and 22 Greenway that they would be unable to assist Escamilla with Greenway’s litigation funding 23 application with Pravati due to a purported “conflict of interest.” 24 164. According to Pravati’s litigation funding agreement with Pierce Bainbridge, Pravati 25 maintained a vested interest in, as well as acted as Pierce Bainbridge’s exclusive litigation funder 26 who maintained an equal 50/50 share in the successful outcome of any monetary recoveries Pierce 27 Bainbridge achieved through any of Pierce Bainbridge’s legal proceedings based on the potential 28 damage award value of Pierce Bainbridge’s overall caseload. -38COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 165. That contractually obligated Pierce Bainbridge to provide Pravati with a monthly 2 status report of all Pierce Bainbridge’s cases, their valuations, and other relevant Pierce Bainbridge 3 client file information, that also included Greenway’s 2018 Florida civil lawsuit. 4 166. During the application process, Escamilla disclosed Farina and BFM’s 5 malfeasances, and Ryan Brothers had embezzling Greenway’s confidential insider business 6 information for their self-dealing gain, after preparing and later evaluating Greenway’s PPM and 7 public formation entity strategy during their representation of Greenway. Escamilla further 8 provided Defendants Pravati and Abaie with a detailed timeline of events, evidence of an attorney 9 client relationship existing between Greenway Nutrients Inc, Tom, Mike, and James Ryan, 10 Greenway’s and HPC’s agreement, and the distribution agreements for New Epic Media, LLC’s 11 and Fulfillment Solutions Services, LLC’s that were drafted by the Ryan brothers. Escamilla also 12 provided affidavit from Selakovic’s employee, David Heller, and former New Epic Media, LLC’s 13 President’s email. 14 167. Escamilla further advised Pravati that DHS officials had informed Escamilla that 15 his company Greenway would be eligible to receive compensatory damages from the more than 16 $20,000,000 that DHS and DOJ officials had successfully seized during civil asset forfeiture 17 proceedings in connection with “Operation Software Slashers,” if Greenway were to obtain a 18 favorable court ruling over Selakovic. 168. 19 Pravati’s representative, Ian Abaie advised Escamilla that Pravati would also be 20 speaking with Pierce, Sorkowitz, and other lawyers at Pierce Bainbridge to acquire their evaluation 21 or opinions of the value of Greenway’s case against the Ryan brothers and Ecowin. 21 22 169. On February 14, 2019, despite ample evidence related to the potential recovery of 23 substantial damages, Pravati declined to provide funding for Greenway’s litigation stating in 24 relevant part: “Thanks, Gustavo. Unfortunately, the case metrics put it outside the parameters of our current fund. Therefore, at this time, we are unable to provide funding. We would encourage you to keep us apprised of developments in the case, as we 25 26 27 28 21 To date, despite repeated requests, Pravati and Abaie have refused to provide Escamilla and Greenway with copies of the documentation provided be Pierce Bainbridge related to Greenway’s litigation. -39COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 regularly start new investment funds, each of which has its own investment parameters. We greatly appreciate your time and efforts throughout this process” … 170. Escamilla cordially thanked Abaie and Pravati and justifiably relied on their 4 representations of Greenway’s case metrics falling outside of Pravati’s current funds parameters, 5 amicably parting ways. 6 7 8 171. On March 6, 2019, the clerk issued an entry of default as to Ecowin. This would allow Pierce Bainbridge Ward Damon to file a motion for default final judgment as to Ecowin. 172. On the same day, lawyers from Pierce Bainbridge sent Escamilla an email 9 demanding that Escamilla consent to release the James and Mike Ryan from Greenway’s Florida 10 suit. Otherwise, according to the lawyers, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon would be notifying 11 the court of their intentions to withdraw as counsel of record on behalf of Greenway. Pierce 12 Bainbridge’s correspondence was a complete 180-degree transition from prior communications 13 where Sorkowitz stated Greenway had colorable claims that simply needed exploration through 14 discovery. The change in position by Pierce Bainbridge was completely unforeseen, particularly 15 after the court ruled that Greenway could continue its litigation against the Ryan Brothers. 16 173. In their correspondence, Sorkowitz, Pierce, and Pierce Bainbridge went so far as to 17 deny ever receiving any material evidence from Escamilla or Greenway demonstrating that an 18 attorney-client relationship existed, despite having ample evidence to the contrary and prior 19 acknowledgment of the same. Even if it were true that the lawyers had not received substantial 20 evidence related to Greenway’s claims, they never sought clarification or requested additional 21 support for Greenway’s claims after Escamilla contacted Pravati. It was as if Pierce Bainbridge 22 was no longer interested in pursuing the case. 23 174. On or about March 7, 2019, Escamilla met with Pierce at Pierce Bainbridge’s 24 corporate offices located in Los Angeles, California. During that meeting, John Pierce promised 25 to provide Greenway with an expert witness to evaluate Ecowin’s liability to Greenway and testify 26 in a damages hearing related to Ecowin. In exchange, Escamilla was to potentially agree to execute 27 a mutual consent to release the Ryan Brothers from Greenway’s Florida suit. 28 -40COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 175. John Pierce failed to follow through on the promise to provide Greenway with an 2 expert witness to adequately assess Ecowin’s liability. Pierce and his firm never intended to 3 provide Greenway with an expert witness and was attempting to fraudulently induce and trick 4 Escamilla under duress, who was acting on behalf of Greenway, to agree to enter into a mutual 5 consent to release agreement with the Ryan Brothers. 6 176. On March 11, 2019, Pierce Bainbridge Partner Sorkowitz advised Escamilla Pierce 7 Bainbridge would not have ample time to provide Greenway with an expert witness due to the 8 limited time before their March 20, 2019, expert witness report was due to be presented to the 9 court. Escamilla supplied Pierce Bainbridge with evidence proving Ecowin had unlawfully 10 shipped thousands of gallons of Ecowin’s highly concentrated products to an entity operated by 11 Blackburn and controlled by Selakovic in violation of Greenway’s NDA. Ecowin’s unlawful 12 shipments were worth tens of millions of dollars in lost retail value to Greenway from which 13 Ecowin, Vegalab, Inc, Selakovic, and Selakovic’s entities unlawfully benefitted. 14 177. Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon knew that Ecowin was actively involved in 15 participating with Mike Ryan, Selakovic, and Selakovic’s entities to embezzle Greenway’s 16 confidential insider business information to take Vegalab, Inc, (then named HPC, Acquisitions, 17 Inc), public instead of Greenway. 18 178. What followed was an embarrassment to the legal profession. Escamilla, rightfully, 19 continued to seek clarification regarding the status of Greenway’s case and attempts to prove 20 damages against Ecowin. 21 179. On March 25, 2019, a few days before receiving a $28.5 million "loan agreement" 22 from Virage Master LP and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, Pierce belittled, demeaned, and threatened 23 Escamilla in an email stating, "I am closing a massive deal this week," "I assure you further threats 24 will not receive such a warm response," and "I am not in the mood for your ten thousand word 25 emails with multiple fonts bolded with underlines and italics. It is juvenile." These words were in 26 in response to Escamilla’s attempts to seek the status of an estimated damage figure regarding 27 Ecowin's default judgment. Pierce had repeatedly failed to provide Escamilla with any update on 28 the status of the promised expert. -41COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 180. On March 27, 2019, Pierce used unwarranted, abusive, intimidating, and violent 2 language during his representation immediately before withdrawing as counsel for Greenway, and 3 threatened Escamilla stating in relevant part, “Now leave me alone until you force me to be 4 deposed and testify at trial. Otherwise, I do want to see you, or hear your name even. This will not 5 be a pleasant experience for you.” 6 181. None of this language is becoming of an “elite” lawyer and none of the language 7 was warranted. Pierce’s responses were an indication that something had changed, and he appeared 8 to be under a lot of stress. Despite having a slam-dunk default judgment, Pierce was chastising 9 and insulting his own client, almost daring Escamilla to fire him. Presumably, Pierce realized that 10 if Escamilla fired his firm, he would not run afoul of the signed retainer agreement or the California 11 State Bar Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16(b). 12 182. On March 28, 2019, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon failed to file a motion for 13 default judgment as to Ecowin, or a notice of joint liability as to James Ryan, Mike Ryan, and the 14 Ryan brother’s law firm potential joint liability. Instead, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon filed 15 a false and materially motion to withdraw as counsel. 16 183. The same day Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, sent Pierce 17 Bainbridge a $28.5 million "loan agreement" on information and belief used to cure Pravati's $9.1 18 million litigation funding default within days of Pierce Bainbridge’s withdrawal. 19 184. The motion filed by Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon included false and 20 materially misleading information. The entire motion to withdraw as counsel of record on behalf 21 of Greenway was orchestrated because Escamilla refused to consent to agree to release the Ryan 22 Brothers from Greenway’s Florida lawsuit. The motion argued in relevant part, 23 24 25 26 27 28 “It In the course of those communications, it has become clear that professional considerations require termination of Plaintiff’s Counsel’s representation of Plaintiff. “ … “In the course of those communications it also became clear that Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Counsel are in fundamental disagreement about the conduct of this case. “ … “Plaintiff’s Counsel avoids further detail in this publicly-filed Motion out of an abundance of caution to avoid prejudice to Plaintiff. However, Plaintiff’s Counsel stands ready to provide further information to the court in camera if the Court wishes. “ … -42COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 4 5 “Separately from the professional considerations requiring termination of Plaintiff’s Counsel’s representation of Plaintiff and their fundamental disagreement about the conduct of the case, Pierce Bainbridge has repeatedly advised Plaintiff that it cannot proceed without receiving certain necessary information and documents from Plaintiff relating to a potential default judgment, but has not received such information and documents to date. 185. Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s sham motion to withdraw went so far as to 6 falsely claim Escamilla and Greenway were requesting counsel violate their professional duties, 7 falsely accused Escamilla and Greenway of refusing to provide counsel with material evidence in 8 to support its claims against Ecowin, who defaulted. Counsel knew that was untrue as it was Pierce 9 who failed to provide an expert for proving the damages in for default judgment. 10 186. The only explanation for Pierce’s decision to manufacture this dispute is that he 11 and his “top” lawyers at Pierce Bainbridge desperately needed money to cure Pravati’s March 8, 12 2019, $9.1 million dollar litigation funding default, and wanted to take the easy road against the 13 defaulted Ecowin. Escamilla and Greenway had provided substantial documentation that was 14 sufficient to move forward with claims against the Ryan Brothers. 15 187. Pierce knew that the Retainer Agreement Paragraph 12 (Discharge or Withdrawal) 16 did not allow the firm to quit on Greenway’s case just because proving the claims against the Ryan 17 Brothers would be more work. Pierce also knew that the California State Bar Rules of Professional 18 Conduct does not provide for withdrawal simply because the law firm does not want to work up a 19 case. The only way Pierce could lawfully resign is by orchestrating a situation wherein it appeared 20 that Escamilla was being unreasonably difficult. 21 188. Escamilla emailed Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon lawyers on well over a 22 dozen separate occasions accusing Greenway’s former attorneys of jointly engaging in egregious 23 attorney misconduct during Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit. Escamilla repeatedly requested an 24 estimated damages figure for Greenway’s case. Pierce Bainbridge lawyers were contractually 25 obligated to report and provide Pravati during Piece Bainbridge’s representation of Greenway. To 26 date, Pierce Bainbridge has never provided Greenway with any evaluation of damages related to 27 the case and never retained an expert to determine the same. 28 189. Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon deliberately concealed critical material evidence and information central to Greenway’s civil claims of redress repeatedly. Most of -43COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Pierce’s actions described above are in direct violation of numerous Rules of Professional Conduct 2 according to the State Bar of California, including but not limited to, A. Rule 1.3 Diligence B. Rule 1.4 Communication with Clients C. Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients D. Rule 1.9 Duties to Former Clients E. Rule 1.16 Declining or Terminating Representation F. Rule 3.3 Candor Toward the Tribunal* G. Rule 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others H. Rule 5.4 Financial and Similar Arrangements with Nonlawyers I. Rule 8.4 Misconduct J. Rule 8.4.1 Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 190. Demonstrating Escamilla also copied Pierce, Piece Bainbridge’s, and Ward Damon’s lawyers on numerous occasions during Escamilla’s numerous interactions and communications with State Bar of California officials. That Greenway’s former attorneys have also callously ignored and failed to respond to for years. 191. Notwithstanding their clients multiple and rightful requests seeking information included in Greenway’s clients’ files, Piece Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s lawyers have willfully ignored and failed to respond to Escamilla’s numerous email requests seeking an attorney opinion or estimated damages award valuation of Greenway’s overall case value. That failure also illustrates that Selakovic, and or other affiliated with Selakovic likely paid off or bribed Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge’s, and Ward Damon’s lawyers to undermine and abandon Greenway’s 2018 Florida civil lawsuit. 192. On April 18, 2019, in a desperate attempt to notify the court of the egregious attorney misconduct taking place between Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon, and Selakovic’s longtime attorney James Ryan’s behind the scenes, Escamilla filed a motion to strike defendants pleadings for fraud on the Court. 193. Greenway’s motion described Escamilla’s substantial interactions with DHS and USAO-MO officials who had identified Greenway as the Lead Victims in “Operation Software Slashers,” in conjunction with Microsoft and Adobe. The motion explained that DHS advised Escamilla that his company Greenway would need to obtain a favorable civil court ruling over Selakovic before officials would consider filing criminal charges against Selakovic, Blackburn, -44COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 and Selakovic’s entities in connection with Greenway’s trademark infringement allegations. The 2 motion also included the evidence and allegations related to the underlying lawsuit. 3 194. Escamilla also sent the motion to strike Defendant’s pleadings for fraud on the court 4 to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, as well as Selakovic’s attorney James Ryan, and 5 his law firm, who all failed to respond to their former client’s email, failed to oppose, and instead, 6 ignored the motion altogether. 7 195. The Florida court ruled that Escamilla could not represent Greenway as a pro se 8 litigant, and again, Escamilla and Greenway were left without counsel or a way to pursue the 9 claims against the Ryan Brothers or Ecowin. The case was ultimately dismissed without prejudice 10 11 for failure to prosecute on May 1, 2019. 196. All of this damage was done to Greenway under the phony guise of a multimillion- 12 dollar litigation funding deal worth up to a purported $100 million, through Virage Master LP, and 13 or Virage SPV-1, LLC. Virage’s deal makes no sense because Pierce Bainbridge had no major 14 multimillion dollar favorable court decisions under the firm’s belt, who had thus far, achieved only 15 a single court victory for a total recovery of a little over $500,000. The only explanation is 16 nefarious behavior on the part of Defendants. 17 G. The Defendant Litigation Funds Have a History of Shady Dealings and 18 Malfeasance and Improperly Influenced Pierce Bainbridge During the Firm’s 19 Representation of Greenway 20 197. After Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon, and James Ryan failed to respond 21 to or acknowledge Escamilla’s April 18, 2019, motion to strike defendants pleadings for fraud on 22 the court during Greenways 2018 Florida civil lawsuit, Escamilla has since embarked a multi-year 23 campaign to investigate and uncover why Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon engaged in 24 negligent and reckless attorney misconduct. 25 198. Escamilla was at a loss as to what just happened. Why would a supposedly top- 26 rate law firm repeatedly refuse to provide Escamilla and Greenway with an estimated damages 27 award figure regarding Ecowin’s default, then turn around and falsely discredit and accused their 28 clients of failing to provide counsel with any evidence or information relating to Ecowin’s default. -45COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Why would they suddenly refuse to litigate the matter and then proceed to demean, discredit, 2 intimidate, and threaten Escamilla. Pursuing a multimillion-dollar default judgment seemed like 3 a worthwhile endeavor, especially for a firm so indebted to litigation finance firms. 4 199. It is well established that Pierce Bainbridge collapsed due to a massive failure in 5 management, extremely burdensome debt from litigation funding companies including Defendant 6 Pravati, and influence by outside actors including criminal conspirators. 22 7 200. According to multiple news articles, Pierce took a leave of absence in March 2020, 8 amid allegations he’d taken out a personal loan using the firm’s assets as collateral. In a statement 9 to The American Lawyer a firm spokesperson said a “preliminary investigation” had corroborated 10 that he took out a personal loan, but Pierce himself has not publicly commented on the matter. 11 201. At the time Greenway retained Pierce Bainbridge, Pierce Bainbridge maintained a 12 multimillion-dollar exclusive litigation funding deal with Pravati. Yet in late January 2019, 13 unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge engaged Jonathan Katz, and his New Yok 14 City based firm Katz, Kane & Co., LLC (hereinafter "KKC") to act as financial advisors and to 15 provide investment banking services. For the express purpose in assisting Pierce and Pierce 16 Bainbridge negotiate, raise, and/or refinance approximately $59 million from Virage Master LP’s, 17 through Virage SPV-1, LLC, and Virage SPV-2, LLC, in a series of financings, leveraging Pierce 18 Bainbridge's portfolio of contingency-fee cases as collateral. 19 202. According to civil court filings, the request required Pierce Bainbridge to provide 20 Jonathan Katz and KKC with Pierce Bainbridge’s client file information to conduct due diligence 21 of Pierce Bainbridge’s entire portfolio of cases and client files that would be used as collateral for 22 the fund Pierce Bainbridge’s entire portfolio of contingency-fee cases would used as collateral to 23 fund Pierce Bainbridge’s massive multi-tranche litigation funding deal with Virage Master LP, 24 and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, and Virage SPV-2, LLC, worth up to a purported $100 million. Those 25 26 27 28 22 John Pierce has a history of shady associations and funding scams. More recently, John Pierce has associated himself with Lin Wood – yes, that Lin Wood – and was accused by Kyle Rittenhouse of scamming doners for a legal defense fund in excess of $2 million. See: https://www.businessinsider.com/rittenhouse-said-lin-wood-john-pierce-defense-fund-was-scam2021-11 -46COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 cases necessarily included Greenway’s meritorious 2018 Florida civil lawsuit against Selakovic et 2 al, that the Court had not yet ruled on and was still ongoing at that time. 3 203. On March 7, 2019, according to its S.E.C filings, the same day Pierce attempted to 4 trick Escamilla to agree to consent to release James and Mike Ryan from Greenway’s meritorious 5 2018 Florida civil lawsuit, Virage Capital Partners LP, raised $73.8 million from a handful of 6 undisclosed private investors. That, upon information and belief, is an alleged tit for tat good faith 7 gesture on behalf of Virage controlled entities demonstrating their abilities to raise and have 8 substantial cash on hand to fund Virage SPV-1, LLC, and Pierce Bainbridge’s subsequent 9 multimillion dollar litigation finding deal through Virage Master, LP. 10 204. Pierce Bainbridge and Pravati’s exclusive litigation funding relationship appears to 11 have soured, because shortly thereafter, on or about March 8, 2019, Pravati filed a UCC-1 lien 12 against Pierce Bainbridge to secure a $9,100,000 litigation funding default against Pierce 13 Bainbridge, just within days of Pravati inexplicably declining Greenway’s meritorious multi- 14 million-dollar Florida suit from obtaining litigation funding from Pravati. 15 205. On or about April 1, 2019, and according to Pravati’s UCC-1 filings with the 16 California Secretary of State, Pierce Bainbridge cured Pravati’s $9,100,000 litigation funding 17 default. This was within days of the Defendants filing a false and materially misleading motion to 18 withdraw as counsel, and abandoned Greenway’s Florida suit. 19 206. Pierce Bainbridge’s sudden financial windfall and the eerie timing of Pierce 20 Bainbridge curing Pravati’s $9,100,000 litigation funding default, within days of the Defendants 21 abandoning Greenway’s Florida suit, against parties who were potentially facing severe federal 22 criminal charges, lends credibility to the Plaintiff’s concerns of substantial foul-play occurring and 23 why the egregious attorney misconduct occurred. 24 207. On information and belief, Pierce Bainbridge and John Pierce were influenced by 25 Selakovic, and or Selakovic’s powerful political and dangerous drug trafficking Group America 26 connections to manufacture a conflict between Pierce Bainbridge and Greenway in attempt to 27 (once again) leave Greenway without counsel in pursuit of its claims against the Selakovic and his 28 various companies. The coordinated effort was intentional, corrupt, and intended to protect -47COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Selakovic and his criminal enterprise. Defendants were aware that a successful civil judgment 2 against Selakovic and his various corporations would kick-start criminal prosecution by DHS. 3 208. On information and belief, Selakovic, and or other affiliated with Selakovic and 4 Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon conspired to act against the interests of Greenway and 5 sabotage its meritorious litigation against Vegalab, Inc, the Ryan Brothers and Ecowin. 6 209. According to civil court records and during series of the more than half a dozen 7 UCC-1 filings initially memorializing Virage Master, LP’s alleged subsidiary Virage SPV-1, 8 LLC’s purported March 29, 2019, $28.5 million and subsequent “loan agreements” filed with the 9 California secretary of state. The first of which, coincidentally occurred the same day Pierce, 10 Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon lawyers filed their false and materially misleading March 29, 11 2019, motion to withdraw as counsel during Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit. 12 H. California Law 13 14 Virage Master, LP Has a History of Nefarious Connections and Violations of 210. With the assistance of their private investigator, Escamilla uncovered Selakovic’s 15 substantial connections to Group America and its New-York city-based mob-boss and ringleader 16 Mileta Miljanic. 17 211. Moreover, Escamilla uncovered substantial material evidence and information 18 regarding Virage Master, LP’s consent order filed by the California Department of Financial 19 Protection and Innovation (hereinafter “DFPI”, and formerly named California Department of 20 Business Oversight). 21 212. According to DFPI’s public records, Virage Master, LP. California Finance Law 22 license number 603L286, agreed to the terms of a consent order with the DFPI for its alleged 23 failure to file Virage Master, LP’s annual report in violation of Financial Code section 22159, 24 demonstrating that Virage Master, LP was allegedly providing the DFPI officials with inaccurate, 25 false, and materially misleading information. Regarding Virage Master, LP, and its alleged 26 members or subsidiaries March 29, 2019, Virage SPV-1, LLC, “loan agreement” and Virage SPV- 27 2, LLC’s numerous other “loan agreements” and UCC-1 filings that allegedly occurred through 28 November of 2019, where Virage Master, LP asserted in relevant part, -48COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES “On April 16, 2020, Respondent submitted its Annual Report, which was due on March 15, 2020, 23 business days late. Pursuant to Financial Code Section 22715, the maximum penalty that may be imposed for filing 23 business days late is $9,500.00 ($100 per business day for the first five business days and $500 per business day thereafter up to a maximum of $25,000). 1 2 3 “M. In connection with these proceedings, Respondent represented to the Commissioner that it had taken no new applications under its license.”… 4 5 213. 6 7 8 9 10 civil court records, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s March 29, 2019, alleged $28.5 million “loan agreement,” and Virage SPV-2, LLC’s subsequent and multiple UCC-1 filings allegedly advancing Pierce Bainbridge tens of millions through various other “loan agreements” all throughout and until November 2019, filed with California Secretary of State. 214. 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 22 23 valid. Escamilla discovered Virage’s founder Martin Shellist’s has a history engaging in witness intimidation and financial wrongdoing related to Virage’ lending activities. Escamilla uncovered evidence and information regarding Virage’s founder Shellist’s involvement in multiple Virage related entities that were accused of witness intimidation and significant wrongdoing regarding the manipulation of terms of “loan agreements” by a purported 30 to 40 Chicago area based law firms. 23 Not only are these allegations a matter of public records, various media outlets have reported the same. 24 215. 26 27 28 According to an affidavit in civil court filings, Joel Androphy, his firm, and other Chicago area-based lawyers conducted a telephonic interview with federal law enforcement authorities regarding Virage related entities and its founder Shellist reporting that he allegedly engaged in financial wrongdoing regarding Virage related entities lending practices. 216. 24 25 Furthermore, and according to civil court records, Escamilla’s fears of malfeasance occurring between Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and its litigation funder Virage appear to have been 20 21 Virage’s statements are false materially misleading and untrue, and contradicted by The affidavits demonstrate that after one of the attorneys who was considering supplying information to Androphy on a confidential basis, Virage and Shellist were allegedly 23 See David H. Berg & Associates PC d/b/a Berg & Androphy and Joel Androphy v. Affiliated Solutions d/b/a Litcap, Virage Capital Partners, SPC, Virage Master Fund, LP, Series 2, Virage Master, LP, and Martin Shellist civil case #2016, 50408. 24 See https://www.law360.com/articles/953113/law-firm-accuses-litigation-funder-of-witnessintimidation -49COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 “tipped off” he was speaking with Androphy and his firm. Shellist was upset with the attorney 2 who was speaking with Androphy and his firm and are alleged to have threatened the witness. 3 217. Virage Master LP, and or Virage SPV, 1, LLC, and or Virage, SPV-2, LLC’s undue 4 influence in this case cannot be in dispute. Former partners at Pierce Bainbridge have referred to 5 the litigation funding situation as a “house of cards” and accused Pierce of taking actions that were 6 determinantal to his clients at the behest of litigation funding companies including Defendants 7 Pravati and Virage. Public filings in multiple matters across the country have made it clear that 8 Virage has inserted undue influence on litigation matters to the detriment of Pierce’s clients. For 9 example, Virage caused massive issues for Pierce Bainbridge clients involved in a class action 10 dispute regarding Boeing and pressured counsel to take unethical actions. 25 11 218. In that case, a former Pierce Bainbridge attorney named Andrew Williamson, and 12 former Partner named Andrew Lorin, accused Pierce Bainbridge’s outside counsel, Ed Altabet, of 13 attempting to intimidate and threaten Williamson. Williamson went on to say that Altabet was 14 exerting improper control over the case, as he was compensated by a Virage entity. Williamson’s 15 statement shows that Virage has a documented history of indue influence over lawyers associated 16 with Pierce Bainbridge, including Pierce Bainbridge partner, Mr. David Hecht's actions. 17 Williamson stated in relevant part, “I attempted to investigate the veracity of Mr. Hecht's statements before involving the Court. See Exhibit 9 attached hereto (May 16, 2020 Email). From the outset of those efforts, I received a threatening email from Pierce Bainbridge's outside counsel, Ed Altabet, in response to an inquiry regarding some of Mr. Hecht's on-the-record statements, which further reinforced my concerns over the motivation behind those statements and my concerns over who is actually controlling litigation for Pierce Bainbridge. 18 19 20 21 22 23 “I found it troubling that, instead of a factual response from the firm's CFO or COO (whom I had emailed), I instead received a visceral response from Mr. Altabet (who had previously represented to me that he has ties to the firm's litigation funder, Virage Capital Management, LLC). See id. 24 25 26 27 28 25 Exhibit K – Declaration of Andrew Williamson -50COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 219. Moreover, included unsealed court records, and Mr. Williamson’s exhibits are 2 "Direct Messages" from Pierce Bainbridge’s Slack internal messaging system between Mr. 3 Williamson and former Pierce Bainbridge Partner Andy Lorin, stating in relevant part, 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 “There was a possibility that I would start a new firm to help service the Boeing case and serve as cocounsel to Yavar and Brian. But I think Virage has screwed that up by alienating Y&B.” … “Virage is alienating a lot of people and Ed Altabet keeps threatening me in an effort to coerce me into taking unethical action. It is unfortunate how this all fell apart. 220. These affidavits, under oath and in a case that is unrelated to the underlying litigation, reinforces Escamilla and Greenway’s allegations that Virage SPV-1, LLC, and or Virage SPV-2, LLC were improperly influencing Pierce Bainbridge with respect to case management. There is now documented evidence of Virage SPV-1, LLC, and or Virage SPV-2, LLC “intimidating”, “threatening”, and “alienating” former Pierce Bainbridge Partners and associates, at the same time, and allegedly exerting decision making authority over other Pierce Bainbridge’s cases just like they did in this instance. 221. Additional clients have testified that Pierce Bainbridge’s litigation funder Virage SPV-1, LLC, and or Virage SPV-2, LLC’s litigation funding personnel were present and in the room for opposing counsel’s depositions of Pierce Bainbridge’s own clients. These actions all point to sinister conduct on behalf of Virage, and Pierce Bainbridge. 222. In November 2019, Selakovic’s potential undue influence over Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge and Selakovic’s dangerous connections to Group America’s New York City area based Serbian Mobster Mileta Miljanic, and their powerful political ally, and Serbian President Alexander Vucic’s, decades long relationship with Rudy Giuliani came full-circle when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, retained Pierce Bainbridge in connection with whether or not Giuliani broke any laws in connection with his activities in Ukraine, law enforcement officials told NBC News. A week or so after former New York City Mayor, Giuliani announced he hired Pierce Bainbridge, Virage Capital made a $21 million loan commitment to Pierce Bainbridge. Within months, the firm cratered, with dozens of partners and associates resigning from the firm according to an article published by Law360.com. -51COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 223. Virage entities remains a black box when it comes to its funding. According the 2 UCC filings and court records, much of the investment into Virage funds, including those funding 3 Pierce Bainbridge, come from a handful of undisclosed private investors. That included 4 untraceable assets originated from off-shore Cayman Island accounts. According to an exhaustive 5 U.S. government report conducted by the U.S. Department of State, the Cayman Islands area as a 6 known haven for international major drug trafficking organizations and various other nefarious 7 types of criminal enterprises who do not wish to disclose the source of their off-shore Cayman 8 Island deposits or investments monies. 9 224. Not surprisingly, after Pierce Bainbridge was able to cure Pravati’s $9.1 million 10 litigation funding default, through funds obtained from Virage SPV-1, LLC’s $28.5 million “loan 11 agreement”, within of days of filing a false and materially misleading motion to withdraw. 12 Subsequently a $200 million Pravati Investment Fund V Offshore LP was formed, in the Cayman 13 Islands, according to SEC filings. 14 I. Pravati Capital, LLC’s Past Interactions with The California Department of Business Oversight, Other Alleged False Civil Court Proceedings 15 16 17 18 225. Defendant Pravati has had its own run ins with the law showing that this defendant is not above skirting the rules. 226. According to public records, on February 18, 2018, Pravati Capital, LLC, and 19 Pravati’s CEO Defendant Alexander Chucri, entered into a consent order with the California 20 Department of Business Oversight (now named the California Department of Financial Projection 21 and Innovation “DFPI”) due to Pravati’s alleged engagement in unlicensed lending activities in 22 the State of California. The consent order states in relevant part, 23 24 25 26 27 28 “The Commissioner finds that, during the period of February 2015 to at least February 2016, Pravati Capital engaged in the business of a finance lender or broker in this state without first obtaining a license from the Commissioner, in violation of Financial Code 22100, subdivision (a). “ … Desist and Refrain Order: In accordance with Financial Code section 22107, Pravati Capital is ordered to desist and refrain from violating the CFL by engaging in the business of a finance lender or broker without a license of Financial Code section 22100 -52COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 227. Since that time, Pravati has demonstrated that it is not above filing false and 2 misleading pleadings or above violating the order. For example, in January 2021, Pravati filed a 3 demurrer falsely claiming Pravati was not required to maintain a valid CFL license with the DFPI, 4 which was untrue, and appears to violate California Financial Code § 22161(a)(6)(7), which states 5 in relevant part: “(a) a person subject to this division shall not do any of the following . . . (6) 6 knowingly misrepresent, circumvent, or conceal, through subterfuge or device, any material aspect 7 or information regarding a transaction to which the person is a party, or (7) commit an act that 8 constitutes fraud or dishonest dealings.” Escamilla reported this to the DFPI in December of 2020. 9 J. Escamilla Discovers James Ryan Was Acting as Interim CEO of Vegalab, Inc, 10 And Subsequently Requests to Obtain Copies of Greenway’s Litigation 11 Funding Paperwork from Greenway’s Former Attorneys Pravati. 12 228. On or about January 25, 2020, Escamilla discovered that James Ryan was acting as 13 the interim CEO of Vegalab, Inc. That is the same Vegalab, Inc. that Escamilla and Greenway 14 previously held confidential reverse-merger discussions with and that James Ryan, Selakovic, and 15 others fraudulently converted for their self-dealing gain. 16 229. Had it not been for Defendants Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge attempting to 17 fraudulently induce Escamilla to agree to consent to mutual release of James and Mike Ryan, and 18 their law firm from Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit, then later denying ever receiving evidence from 19 Escamilla or Greenway demonstrating that an attorney client-relationship ever existed between 20 James and Mike Ryan and Greenway Nutrients, Inc, the Plaintiffs would not have suffered 21 damages and James Ryan would have not been able to serve as interim CEO of Vegalab Inc. 22 230. After discovering that James Ryan was acting as the interim CEO of Vegalab, Inc, 23 Escamilla emailed Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon requesting copies of Greenway’s litigation 24 funding paperwork that Pierce Bainbridge was contractually obligated to provide to Pravati. 25 Escamilla specifically requested any representations or attorney opinions as to the estimated value 26 of Greenway’s multimillion dollar damage award potential against Ecowin and others. 27 28 231. To that point, under Pierce Bainbridge's exclusive litigation funding agreement with Pravati, Pierce Bainbridge was contractually obligated to provide Pravati with an assessment -53COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 and or estimated value of Greenway's Florida case' potential damage award. At the same time, 2 Greenway's lawsuit was ongoing, that also states in relevant part: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 “REPORTING: Within five (5) days after the end of each month during the term of this Agreement, LAW FIRM shall send a report to an attorney of PRAVATI'S choice detailing all the pledged Cases in the Portfolio of Cases and other Related Proceedings, which monthly report shall accurately identify the following information as of the end of the immediately preceding month: (a) the current status of each Case, including without limitation, the eligibility and approval of all Cases and Client claims submitted by LAW FIRM or otherwise on behalf of any Client, and (b) any other information regarding the Cases that PRAVATI may reasonably request from time to time.” … 232. On March 30, 2019, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to repeatedly acquire 10 copies of Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork form Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge lawyers, 11 Escamilla emailed Defendant Chucri, to advise Chucri and Pravati Plaintiff recently discovered 12 that Greenway’s former attorney James Ryan was now acting as the interim CEO of Vegalab, Inc. 13 and also provided Defendants Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati with copies of Greenway’s April 18, 14 2019, uncontested motion to strike defendants pleadings for fraud on the court. 15 233. Chucri responded to Escamilla and acknowledged he was aware of Greenway’s 16 litigation funding application with Pravati, stating in relevant part: “Yes, I’ve been in the loop on 17 this for some time, as well as the original underwriting our team executed some time ago. Our 18 legal team and I turned this down, offhand I do not remember why we did. We have an extensive 19 legal team that underwrites our investments, and we determine investment feasibility in house.” 20 234. On April 14, 2020, Escamilla emailed Defendants Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati, to 21 inquire if Pravati, had an interest in possibly extending litigation financing to Greenway based on 22 the Greenway’s significant updated material evidence demonstrating Greenway’s former attorney 23 James Ryan unlawfully acting as the interim CEO of Vegalab, Inc. 24 25 26 235. That same day, Mr. Chucri responded to Escamilla by stating in relevant part: “We underwrote this case, we decided to not fund, we have no further interest in discussions.” 236. Months later, after conducting further investigation, on September 23, 2020, 27 Escamilla once again emailed Defendants Chucri, Abaie, and Chucri, only this time, Escamilla 28 requested that Mr. Chucri, Mr. Abaie, or Pravati provide Greenway with copies of Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork. Escamilla also requested any representations Pierce Bainbridge -54COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 provided to Pravati as to Greenway’s potential damages during Greenway’s Florida suit that Pierce 2 Bainbridge was contractually obligated to report to Pravati monthly, and all throughout Pierce 3 Bainbridge’s representation of Greenway. 4 237. This time, Defendants Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati callously ignored the Plaintiff’s 5 request to receive copies of Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork, and became inexcusably 6 dismissive and belligerent by stating, “GO AWAY PEST!” 26 7 238. It was at that time that Escamilla advised Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati, that their 8 failure to provide Greenway with copies of the company’s litigation funding paperwork would 9 result in Escamilla and Greenway filing a formal complaint against Pravati with the DFPI for 10 Pravati’s alleged violations of California Financial Code, Section 22161 subdivision(s), (a)(6), 11 and (7). 12 239. On September 28, 2020, Defendant Abaie, who also copied Pravati’s CEO 13 Defendant Chucri, and another Pravati attorney, sent Escamilla an unwarranted, coercive, 14 fraudulent and misleading Cease and Desist email threatening Escamilla, who is a Mexican 15 American small business owner who possesses no formal legal education, stating in relevant part, “If you think you are the first bad actor to try to blackmail us using threats to involve the California DBO, you had better think again” … 16 17 “If you want a fight with us, you had better be ready to pry the confidential documents from my corpse.” … 18 “Pravati found your case to be devoid of merit and to suffer from severe challenges with collectability. Consequently, we rejected your funding application outright. I would be happy to tell any judge about the defects in your case, 19 20 21 “consider yourself warned.” 27 22 240. 23 24 25 26 27 28 The correspondence intimated and confused Escamilla, because prior to this email, and during multiple communications between Escamilla and Abaie, there was never any discord. The emails were always courteous, professional, and cordial. Defendant’s Abaie, also acknowledged in this was out of left field, stating in relevant part: “As you may recall, I served as 26 Exhibit L – Email from Defendant Chucri to Plaintiff Escamilla dated September 28, 2020. See Exhibit M – Email from Defendant Chucri to Gustavo Escamilla dated September 28, 2020. 27 -55COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 the underwriter on Greenway’s funding request and had direct communications with you. Until 2 recently, I believed Greenway and Pravati had respectfully parted ways.” 3 241. On September 29, 2020, the Escamilla send Defendants Pravati and Abaie an email 4 that contradicting Defendants Abaie’s coercive and dishonest statements included in Abaie, 5 Chucri, and Pravati’s September 28, 2019, email threatening email Escamilla. Escamilla also 6 accused Abaie and Pravati violating California Financial Code, Section 22161 subdivision(s), 7 (a)(6), and (7), stating in relevant part: 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 “California Financial Code, Section 22161 subdivision (a),(6), prohibits any licensee, officer, or employee of said licensee, to knowingly misrepresent, circumvent, or conceal, through subterfuge or device, any material aspect or information regarding a transaction to which the person is a party. “ … “As you know, the only reason we hired Pravati's joint venture partner named Pierce Bainbridge was due to federal law enforcement officials with the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") advising my business partner and me that the primary accused defendant is our civil case named David Dragan Selakovic (SELAKOVIC"), is the ringleader responsible for a massive multibillion-dollar transnational counterfeit goods scheme entitled "Operation Software Slashers (“OSS”).” “I advised you that DHS officials had informed us that our company Greenway Nutrients, Inc. ("GREENWAY") would need to acquire a favorable court ruling over Selakovic before DHS and the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") would consider filing criminal charges against Selakovic and his longtime business partner named Steven Blackburn ("BLACKBURN"), and other unnamed criminal suspects in our case.” “DHS officials also advised us that Selakovic and Blackburn are responsible for the theft of several billion dollars’ worth of fake, counterfeit, or unauthorized versions from other California-based Silicon Valley-tech giants’ products such as Adobe Systems and The Microsoft Corporation, to name a few.” “DHS Officials also advised us that my company would be able to receive compensatory damages from the more than $20 MM that DHS and DOJ officials had successfully seized during civil asset forfeiture proceedings, which had pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with OSS. That entirely contradicts your misleading statement that you made to me on or about September 28, 2020, as to our lawsuit being devoid of any merit, which, as you knew then, like you know now, remains to be entirely untrue.” 242. Further, on September 29, 2019, Plaintiff’s reminded Mr. Abaie that Pierce Bainbridge performed no discovery, took no depositions, failed to serve Selakovic, and failed to -56COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 prepare or present Greenway’s motion for default judgment against Ecowin which resulted in 2 Greenway suffering millions of dollars in damages and receiving zero monetary recovery. 3 243. Escamilla also reminded Defendants Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati that Pierce 4 Bainbridge and Ward Damon also failed to inquire if James and Mike Ryan, and their law firm, 5 maintained any professional liability insurance coverage before demanding that Escamilla agree 6 to consent to release the Ryan Brothers and their law firm from Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit, 7 causing Greenway millions of dollars in financial losses. 8 244. Upon information and belief, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Pravati assisted to aid 9 and abet each other and unethically protect each other’s financial best interest in connection with 10 Pierce Bainbridge’s and Pravati’s equal 50/50 share of any successful monetary recovery involving 11 any of Pierce Bainbridge’s cases. Through their exclusive litigation funding agreement and equity 12 interests, Pravati and Pierce Bainbridge put their needs ahead of the Greenway’s best interest and 13 aided and abetted each other to provide false and materially misleading statements to fraudulently 14 coerce, deceive, and threaten Escamilla. 15 245. Moreover, Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Chucri, Abaie, and Pravati, have 16 continued to conceal critical material evidence central to Greenway’s civil claims of redress, failed 17 to respond to, and continue to ignore the Escamilla’s numerous requests for copies of Greenway’s 18 litigation funding paperwork. These actions have aided and abetted Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge’s 19 breach of fiduciary duties and have concealed any representations that Pierce Bainbridge was 20 contractually obligated to report to Pravati regarding Greenway’s potential damage award value 21 against Ecowin and others during Greenway’s Florida suit. 22 K. Escamilla Files A Complaint with The DFPI Against Pravati Capital, LLC 23 And Virage Master LP, For Alleged Violations of California Financial Code, 24 Section 22161 subdivision(s), (a)(6), and (7) 25 246. In December 2020, Escamilla on behalf of his company Greenway, filed a formal 26 complaint against Defendants Pravati Capital, LLC, after Abaie, Chucri, and Pravati. 27 complaint was related to the actions of Defendants and the communications they send to Escamilla 28 -57COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES The 1 that served as an unwarranted, coercive, false, and materially misleading September 28, 2020, 2 email threatening Escamilla. 3 247. Escamilla also alleged violations of California Financial Code § 22161 (a)(6), and 4 (7), and that Defendants, Abaie, Chucri, and Pravati, knowingly misrepresented, circumvented, or 5 concealed, through subterfuge or device, material aspects or information related to Greenway’s 6 February 2019 litigation funding application process and due diligence transaction to which 7 Escamilla’s company Greenway are parties, who committed an act that constitutes fraud or 8 dishonest dealings. 9 248. 10 11 DFPI officials acknowledged they opened a preliminary investigation and assigned a DFPI case number to Escamilla’s and Greenway’s DFPI complaint at that time. 249. On December 2, 2021, Plaintiff Escamilla emailed Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and 12 copied multiple named Ward Damon Partners, advising counsel of Escamilla’s and Greenway’s 13 recent August 2021, confirmation of Selakovic’s dangerous connections to Group America’s 14 massive drug trafficking organizations ringleader Mileta Miljanic stating in relevant part, 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 “This email is being sent to you and others to memorialize and toll our recent August 2021 discovery of the primary Defendant in our civil case named David Dragan Selakovic's ("Selakovic") alleged substantial connections to Mileta Miljanic. The alleged New York Mob boss and ringleader of a brutal yet lowprofile Serbian-American drug trafficking organization dubbed "Group America," a network with historical links to the Serbian secret police that multiple international law enforcement authorities accused of receiving protection from the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") or other U.S. intelligence agencies.” … “As you know, Selakovic is the older brother of a high-ranking Serbian politician named Nikola Selakovic. Who serves as the acting Secretary to the President of Serbia named Alexander Vucic ("Vucic"), with ties to the U.S. sanctioned Serbian weapons dealer named Slobodan Tesic ("Tesic"),” … “According to multiple international investigative news agencies, who claim "Group America" is one of the most successful transnational drug trafficking organizations accused of successfully smuggling tons of Cocaine for decades.” … “Since on or about March 26, 2020, Greenway Nutrients, Inc. ("GREENWAY") have sought to obtain copies of a litigation funding memorandum and or attorney opinion letter that Greenway's former lead attorney named John Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge provided to Pravati Capital, LLC. During Pierce Bainbridge's and Ward, Damon, Posner, Pheterson & Bleau, PL, ("WARD DAMON") botched representation of Greenway.” … -58COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 “Your former clients are now seeking any representations you, Jonathan Sorkowitz, or Pierce Bainbridge were required to provide to Virage Capital Management, LP. ("VIRAGE") or any other Virage-related entities during Virage due diligence process to substantiate the value of Pierce Bainbridge's assets ad caseload, during your representation of Greenway. 250. Escamilla’s discoveries only heighted his fears of significant foul play occurring during Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit, due to Group America’s former ringleader being indicted for allegedly engaging in witness tampering in connection with former Gambino crime boss John Gotti’s infamous criminal proceedings. 251. Moreover, Plaintiff Escamilla advised Pierce, Pierce, Bainbridge, and Ward Damon of his recent discovery and review of SEC filings indicating Virage Master Fund, LP, that raised 10 $73,800,000 from a handful of “undisclosed” private investors on March 7, 2019, which is the 11 same day Pierce attempted to fraudulently induce and trick Escamilla under duress, to agree to 12 consent to release James and Mike Ryan from Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit. Escamilla further 13 advised that on March 29, 2019, the same day Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon lawyers 14 filed a false and materially misleading motion to withdraw from Greenway’s Florida suit, Virage 15 Master, LP’s alleged subsidiary or member corporation, Virage SPV-1, LLC, sent Pierce 16 Bainbridge a “loan agreement” for a purported $28.5 million. According to UCC-1 filings, Pierce 17 Bainbridge allegedly used this money to pay off Pravati’s $9.1 million default judgment. 18 252. On December 2, 2021, Pierce finally responded to his former client’s email, 19 however, Pierce failed answer or address any questions or provide his clients with any copies of 20 their litigation funding paperwork from Virage as requested. This paperwork would be the same 21 information that Pierce Bainbridge was required to provide to Jonathan Katz, and his company 22 KKC. Katz in turn would have presented the information to Virage Master, LP, while Greenway’s 23 2018 Florida suit was still underway and included as part Jonathan Katz’s and KKC’s monetary 24 valuation of Pierce Bainbridge’s entire caseload. This information was used as underlying 25 collateral to secure Pierce Bainbridge’s substantial litigation funding deal with Virage SPV-1, 26 LLC, for a purported $100 million. 27 28 253. Instead, Pierce referred his former clients to his firms outside counsel Ed Altabet. This is the same Altabet former Pierce Bainbridge associate Andrew Williamson accused of -59COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 intimidation and the same Altabet that was exerting decision-making authority over Pierce 2 Bainbridge’s Boeing class action case. Altabet was allegedly tied to Pierce Bainbridge’s litigation 3 funder Virage Capital, who was accused of alienating other former Partners before their departure 4 from Pierce Bainbridge. 5 254. Pierce indicated Altabet would respond to Escamilla’s email and answer his 6 questions regarding Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork used a collateral to fund Pierce 7 Banbridge’s March 29, 2019, “loan agreement” with Virage SPV-1, LLC. This was untrue. 8 Altabet never responded. 9 255. On December 2, 2021, Escamilla responded to Pierce’s email, that Pierce 10 Bainbridge outside counsel Altabet was also copied on, and questioned counsel whether Altabet 11 was being compensated by Virage Capital Management, LP. ("Virage") or any other Virage related 12 entity to represent Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge regarding Virage's security interest in Pierce 13 Bainbridge's past or remaining assets and caseload. 14 256. Moreover, according to multiple lawsuits, filed against Pierce and Pierce 15 Bainbridge, Virage SPV-1, LLC or Virage SPV-2, LLC, sought to intervene to protect Virage 16 entities senior secured interests over Pierce Bainbridge’s remaining assets and caseload. Altabet, 17 has defended Pierce and his law firm(s) against numerous other civil suits filed by other cash 18 advance lenders even after Pierce Bainbridge allegedly defaulted. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 257. Altabet’s representation includes litigation against Jonathan Katz, and his company KKC’s filed against Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge, where Mr. Altabet stated in relevant part: “I am counsel to Pierce Bainbridge LLP (f/k/a Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price Hecht LLP) ("Pierce Bainbridge") in connection with certain corporate and litigation matters. In my capacity as counsel, I am fully familiar with and have knowledge of the statements made herein." "…Pierce Bainbridge suffered mass departures of its partners between the fall of 2019 through the spring of 2020. (See Jonathan Katz. Aff. ¶ 11)." "Pierce Bainbridge was, at its height, a preeminent plaintiff-side law firm that was comprised of many lawyers of exceptional talent and skill. Upon information and belief, as Katz Kane is acutely aware, since its arbitral award is based upon its purportedly arranging financing for Pierce Bainbridge by Virage SPV 1 LLC and Virage SPV 2 LLC (collectively, "Virage"), the majority of the firm's cases were structured on a contingency fee basis. (Katz Aff. ¶ 10 &12; Arb. Award at 2-3)." -60COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 "Upon information and belief, Virage filed UCC financing statements against Pierce Bainbridge over the course of 2019. (See Exhibit A)." "Upon information and belief, Pierce Bainbridge’s single largest creditor is Virage." "Upon information and belief, Virage is a senior secured creditor of Pierce Bainbridge. (See Exhibit B). " 258. Jonathan Katz's affidavit in that same litigation placed an estimated dollar figure on Pierce Bainbridge's overall firm civil case value, where Mr. Katz stated in relevant part: "As set forth in the Arbitration Award, KKC and IAA helped Pierce Bainbridge raise and/or refinance approximately $100 million from Virage SPV 1, LLC ("SPV 1") and SPV2 in a series of financings."... "As of mid-September 2019, Pierce Bainbridge's portfolio of contingency fee cases, as compiled by the firm and provided by the firm to Virage, had an estimated fee value of $142,312,833 ("Estimated Fee Due to PB - LOW Based on Reasonable Settlement, Assuming No Dismissal") to $542,446,500 ("Estimated Fee Due to PB - HIGH")." … 259. The filings appear to demonstrate Altabet is aware that his client’s supplied its 14 former financial advisor Jonathan Katz and Virage with an appraisal or valuation of the firm’s 15 entire portfolio of cases. 16 Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit. Pierce Bainbridge used the information related to Greenway as 17 collateral to obtain millions of dollars in litigation funding for their self-dealing gain. 18 260. That valuation necessarily included an appraisal or valuation of Furthermore, Pierce and Altabet subsequently defended Pravati in a matter 19 involving a dispute wherein Pierce Bainbridge was accused of allegedly stealing a high-profile 20 client from a Philadelphia area-based lawyer named Bruce Chasan. All of these parties were 21 intimately involved with each other and had an interest in protecting their bottom line. 22 261. This case was part of the threats used against Escamilla. Abaie, and Chucri, 23 referenced in their unwarranted, coercive, and threatening September 28, 2020, email sent to 24 Escamilla stating in relevant part: "Go ask your friend Bruce Chasan about what happened when 25 he made bogus threats against us.” 26 262. That email intimated Escamilla who is a Mexican American small business owner 27 with no formal legal education. Bruce Chasan and Escamilla had shared information regarding 28 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Pravati’s dealings with respect to their cases. This email was -61COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 aggravated by Escamilla’s subsequent discovery that Pravati’s former lawyer Altabet, with alleged 2 ties to Pierce Bainbridge’s litigation funder Virage SPV-1, LLC, or other Virage entities, had 3 started to represent Pravati and Pierce Bainbridge after Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 4 Damon filed a false and materially misleading motion to withdraw from Greenway’s Florida suit. 5 263. On December 14, 2021, after receiving no response, Escamilla emailed Pierce, and 6 his law firm, Ward Damon named Partners, and Pravati’s former lawyer, Altabet again in an 7 attempt to acquire copies of Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork from either Altabet, Pierce, 8 Pierce Bainbridge, or Ward Damon lawyers, or any attorney opinions or valuations of Greenway’s 9 2018 Florida case. 10 264. Escamilla emailed Altabet and regarding their interference with and violation of 11 Escamilla and Greenway’s civil rights to their property and due process under the Tom Bane Civil 12 Rights Act, according to California Civil Code § 52.1, and California Constitution, Article I, 13 Section 28(b), stating in relevant part, 14 “Dear Mr. Altabet, We never heard back from you” … 15 “Please be advised, in doing so, we allege, your client John Pierce ("Pierce") and his former litigation funding partner named Virage SPV-1, LLC ("VSP-1") and or Virage SPV-2, LLC ("VSP-2") of violating our civil rights under the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, according to California Civil Code § 52.1 ("The Bane Act"), and California Constitution, Article I, Section 28(b). 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 “It is essential to note that before filing suit on behalf of our company, Greenway Nutrients, Inc. ("Greenway") in the Southern District of Florida. We advised your client Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge of our previously identified as a crime victim involved in one of the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and the United States Department of Justice's ("DOJ's") most substantial federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of its kind. The United States Attorneys Office is prosecuting it for the Western District of Missouri. See Greenway Nutrients, Inc. vs. Selakovic et al., case no. 9:18-cv-9 81104 [DE-102]. “ … “We also provided Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge with a copy of a civil rights lawsuit Greenway, and I filed against DHS officials according to 42 U.S. Code § 1983. For discriminating against me because I am a Mexican Small businessman not represented by private legal counsel at that time. Depriving the victims of any rights to our property, equal protection, or due process. See Gustavo Escamilla, et al. v. Department of Homeland Security, et al. 2:17cv-07748 DE-1” … “Furthermore, on August 6, 2018, I innocently emailed the DHS Agent in charge of investigating Greenway's federal criminal complaint. We filed against the primary bad actors and others in our civil case, requesting copies of any material -62COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 evidence DHS may be willing to share. Or acquired during DHS's criminal investigation of Greenway's criminal complaint under the Crime Victims Rights Act, according to 18 U.S. Code § 3771 ("CVRA"). “ … “On August 6, 2018, a former Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, LLP ("Pierce Bainbridge") Partner named Jonathan Sorkowitz ("Sorkowitz") reprimanded the victims of alleged substantial criminal wrongdoing. For innocently requesting copies of any material evidence DHS may be willing to share or have acquired during the DHS's investigation of Greenway's criminal complaint” … “On March 27, 2019, your client John Pierce ("Pierce") sent his former clients Greenway Nutrients, Inc. ("Greenway") and me a coercive, intimidating, and threatening email stating in relevant part, He ("Pierce') did not ever want to see or hear from me ever, and "this will not be a pleasant experience for you." … “Because Pierce's former clients Greenway and I innocently requested an estimated civil damages award figure against Greenway's former raw product supplier, Ecowin Co. LTD ("Ecowin"), who had defaulted in our case. That Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and local Florida counsel FAILED and refused to provide to Greenway repeatedly.” … “Upon information and belief, we assert that Selakovic or others affiliated with the high-profile New York mob boss connected Selakovic allegedly utilized VSP1 and or VSP-2 or others affiliated with VSP-1 and or VSP-2, to pay off and or bribe former counsel to abandon Greenway's meritorious Florida lawsuit. In exchange for VSP-1 and or VSP-2 or others affiliated with VSP-1 and or VSP-2 promising to provide Pierce Bainbridge with proposed multi-tranche litigation funding deal worth up to $100 MM. “… “Your client John Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge's March 27, 2019, intimidating, coercive, and threatening email caused the victims of substantial criminal wrongdoing to live under constant fear. And the severe threat of considerable violence.” … “Because and according to multiple international investigative news organizations, the latter accused "Group America's" (including Selakovic's substantial alleged connections to "Group America's" ringleader) members of maintaining a well-established history of engaging in some of the most heinous acts of violence. Including dismembering enemies with chainsaws, assassinating senior authorities' officers, and cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies.” … “I am a Mexican American small businessman. John Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge's former clients/victims' civil rights have been violated and interfered with repeatedly under the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, according to California “Civil Code § 52.1 and the California Constitution, Article I, Section 28(b). In conjunction with being unduly deprived of client property and information central to the victims, civil rights claims for damages, equal protection, or due process.” “Namely, any representations or documentation regarding Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge's monetary evaluation of Greenway's meritorious damages award against Greenway's former attorneys James and Mike Ryan. Or Greenway's -63COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 former multimillion-dollar default judgment against Greenway's former supplier Ecowin, who had defaulted during Greenway's Florida civil lawsuit. And while Greenway's Florida case was still ongoing that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and others were allegedly required to provide to VSP-1 during VSP-1's due diligence process of Pierce Bainbridge's assets and caseload. That regretfully Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and others interfered with and failed to provide to their former clients Greenway. “ … “Thank you, Mr. Altabet; please be advised we do not wish to receive any threatening or intimidating email responses from you, or any of "Group America's" purported thugs, even though we do not know you, or have any problems with you or any of "Group America's" ringleaders. Therefore, please feel free to contact Greenway's and my crime victims and or civil rights attorneys identified below in the alternative.” … 9 10 265. Within minutes of Escamilla sending his email request to Altabet, and Greenway’s 11 former lawyers, instead of contacting Escamilla’s or Greenway’s crime victims or civil rights 12 attorneys to supply them with copies of Greenway’s litigation funding paperwork from Virage, as 13 requested, Pravati’s former lawyer Altabet attempted to call victim Escamilla on his personal cell 14 phone. Escamilla did not recognize the New City area phone number and subsequently conducted 15 a reverse phone search, and discovered it was Ed Altabet who called. 16 266. This call intimidated Escamilla because of Altabet’s connections to Virage. 17 Escamilla was accusing Greenway’s former lawyers of being paid or bribed by Selakovic and other 18 others affiliated with the high-profile politically and New York mob boss for Group America. 19 267. Escamilla’s valid fears of considerable threats of violence were exponentially 20 heightened after receiving Altabet’s ominous phone call, because shortly thereafter, James Ryan’s 21 brother, and Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s former attorney, Tom Ryan, also tried to call Escamilla on 22 his cell phone. Tom Ryan initially introduced Escamilla and Greenway to Selakovic, and never 23 once advised or disclosed Escamilla or Greenway of Selakovic’s dangerous Group America’s 24 massive transnational drug trafficking connections. Escamilla had not heard from or had any 25 contact with Tom Ryan in years. There was no reason for this call, except to step up the pressure 26 to stop Escamilla from enforcing his rights, which intimated Escamilla. 27 28 268. Escamilla contacted the DFPI agent in charge of investigating Greenway’s complaint and numerous DFPI attorneys that oversaw Defendant Pravati and Virage’s DFPI -64COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 consent orders to provide them with a copy of Plaintiff Greenway’s December 14, and 15, 2021, 2 correspondence with Altabet. Escamilla also alleged that Pierce and Altabet were being paid off 3 or bribed by Selakovic and or others affiliated with Selakovic, including Group America, whose 4 brutal yet low profile massive transnational drug trafficking enterprise maintains a well-established 5 history of being accused of engaging in intimidation, torture, dismembering enemies with 6 chainsaws, potential political assassinations, of senior public officials, and corruption. 7 269. Escamilla provided the DFPI investigator with evidence of Escamilla making all 8 parties aware of their status as crime victims involved in DHS and DOJ’s massive “Operation 9 Software Slashers” criminal investigation and prosecution. Escamilla relayed his fear of physical 10 harm from Pravati, and Virage as they were allegedly violating the victims’ rights under The Tom 11 Bane Civil Rights Act, according to California Civil Code § 52.1 and according to California 12 Constitution, Article I, Section 28(b), that affords the victims of alleged criminal wrongdoing 13 unalienable victims’ rights stating in relevant part: 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 “More importantly, the complainants respectfully request that none of the information presented to the DFPI is provided to the opposing parties due to the alleged bad actor's substantial ties to a violent yet low profile Serbian- American drug trafficking organization. According to multiple investigative international agencies, they have a well-established history of engaging in heinous and violent acts that may wish to cause us physical harm, as described in the attachments and below” … 270. Escamilla also made the DFPI investigator aware of Virage Master, LP, providing the DFPI with false and materially information included in Virage Master, LP’s May 2020, consent order with the DFPI. Virage appears to have failed to adequately advise the DFPI of the existence of Virage SPV-1, LLC, who is not licensed to transact or engage in lending activities in the State of California. They further failed to advise DFPI that on March 29, 2019 Virage provided a multimillion dollar “loan agreement” that Pierce Bainbridge allegedly used to pay off Pravati’s $9.1 million litigation funding default filed with the California Secretary of State. The funding also included another Virage entity that is not adequately licensed to engage in, transact, or conduct lending activities in the state of California, named Virage SPV-2, LLC. This claim is still being investigated by DFPI. -65COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 271. Escamilla’s fears of foul play occurring during Greenway’s 2019 lawsuit were 2 further heightened by Virage’s extensive involvement in media coverage surrounding the 3 embattled Thomas Girardi, and the Girardi Keese Law Firm’s bankruptcy proceedings. Virage’s 4 related financial disclosures indicate that Virage allegedly loaned Girardi’s law firm approximately 5 $10 million. According to separate civil court filings, Virage sought to intervene in another 6 California suit prior to Girardi’s law firms’ demise, Virage was allegedly willing to loan Girardi’s 7 law firm millions of dollars more. In exchange for Girardi relinquishing “financial control” over 8 Girardi’s law firm to Virage, which Girardi was unwilling to do. 9 272. These fears were further reinforced by Virage’s founder Shellist being accused of 10 engaging in past allegations of malfeasance by over 30-40 Chicago Illinois area-based lawyers, 11 The malfeasance demonstrates Virage is no stranger to exerting “financial control” over a law 12 firm. Of course, Altabet, according to civil court filings, was allegedly tied to Pierce Bainbridge’s 13 litigation funder Virage SPV-1, LLC or other Virage entities, and was also accused of attempting 14 to “intimidate” and “threaten” a former Pierce Bainbridge associate while appearing to attempt to 15 improperly exert “decision-making authority” regarding a former Pierce Bainbridge’s Partners 16 involvement in the Boeing Southwest class action lawsuit. 17 273. On information and belief, Selakovic or others affiliated with the politically and 18 New York mob boss, improperly influenced or conspired with Virage founders and facilitated 19 through Virage SPV-1, LLC as a pay-off or bribe to induce Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge to 20 undermine and file and false and materially misleading motion to withdraw from Greenway's 21 meritorious 2018 Florida lawsuit. On information and belief, was done under the phony cover and 22 guise of Virage SPV-1, LLC or other Virage related entities promising to provide Pierce 23 Bainbridge with up to $100 million in a proposed multi-tranche litigation funding deal to legitimize 24 otherwise illegitimate and fraudulent misconduct. 25 274. Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge lawyers tried to and did prevent Escamilla from doing 26 something he had the right to do under the law or to force Escamilla on behalf of his company 27 Greenway, to do something that Greenway was not required to do under the law. 28 -66COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 275. Pravati, on information and belief, were unjustly enriched and financially benefitted 2 by Pierce Bainbridge’s multimillion dollar March 29, 2019, “loan agreement” and financial 3 windfall allegedly used to cure Pravati’s $9.1 MM litigation funding default. Within days of Pierce 4 Bainbridge and Ward Damon lawyers abandoning Greenway’s meritorious 2018 Florida suit. The 5 same day Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon lawyers filed their false and materially 6 misleading March 29, 2019, motion to withdraw. 7 276. Pravati, Abaie, and Chucri continued to withhold, conceal, refuse to respond to, or 8 provide their former client and Greenway with any information regarding Pierce Bainbridge’s 9 monetary evaluation, attorney opinions, or assessments of Greenway’s Florida case Pierce 10 Bainbridge was contractually obligated to report to Pravati on a monthly basis who, instead acted 11 in a threatening and hostile manner toward Escamilla related to his attempts to review litigation 12 funding paperwork submitted on Greenway’s behalf. Instead of cordial responses or providing 13 documentation as requested, Escamilla was met with version distain that called in to question the 14 very nature of the response. 277. 15 Pravati’s senior legal counsel – Abaie – with Pravati’s CEO Alexander Chucri and 16 another attorney copied, went so far as to threaten Escamilla with violence relating to his requests. 17 Specifically, Abaie stated “If you want a fight with us, you had better be ready to pry the 18 confidential document from my corpse.” He ended the same email with “consider yourself 19 warned.” 28 Escamilla understood these statements – along with John Pierce’s prior statements – 20 scared and intimated Escamilla. 21 278. Escamilla is now aware of Selakovic’s substantial connections violent criminal 22 enterprise whose well-publicized allegations of witness tampering, potential political 23 assassinations, massive multi-years long multi-ton cocaine drug trafficking shipments, and a multi- 24 year multimillion dollar transnational counterfeit goods scam dating back to 2000. He is further 25 aware of the alleged protection of the Serbian government. Escamilla indeed feared for his safety 26 and continues to fear for his safety with respect to the filing of this lawsuit. 27 28 28 Exhibit L. -67COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 279. Even though Plaintiff Escamilla advised Pravati’s former and Pierce Bainbridge’s 2 current outside counsel, Escamilla did not wish to receive any threatening communications from 3 Altabet, or Group America’s thugs, requesting Altabet to please contact Escamilla’s crime victims 4 or civil rights attorneys, Escamilla further received an ominous telephone call from Pravati’s 5 former lawyer, Altabet. 6 280. The only purpose of Pravati’s former Lawyer Ed Altabet’s phone call was to 7 intimidate and harass Escamilla further in hopes to attempt to dissuade him from exercising his 8 and Greenway’s right to bring this lawsuit. That indeed intimidated and scared Escamilla because 9 the severe threat of considerable violence occurring by Selakovic’s dangerous and powerful Group 10 America’s thugs, whose vast transnational drug trafficking criminal enterprise, maintains a well- 11 established history of carrying through on threats or acts of considerable of violence. Including 12 torture, dismembering enemies with chainsaws, and alleged assassination of senior public officials. 13 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION 14 CONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD (Civ. Code § 1573) 15 (Greenway against All Defendants) 16 17 18 281. Greenway repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 282. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 19 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. As such, a 20 confidential relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce 21 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and 22 integrity of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility 23 to act competently, professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s 24 civil case. 25 26 27 28 283. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon acted on behalf of Greenway as counsel in Plaintiff’s civil action Case No. 18-cv-81104-BB. 284. As established above, Escamilla informed Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon that DHS officials had advised Escamilla, Selakovic, Blackburn, and Selakovic entities are -68COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 the alleged masterminds responsible for conducting a massive multimillion-dollar transnational 2 counterfeit goods scam, with powerful power political connections to Serbian President 3 Aleksander Vucic. Serbian President Aleksander Vucic served as the Minister of Information 4 under former President Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, at the same time Mileta Miljanic, 5 Group America’s ringleader served as the personal bodyguard to Slobodan Milošević and 6 Selakovic’s younger brother Nikola Selakovic, served in several other Senior Level positions in 7 the Government of Serbia, including Presidency Secretary of Serbian President Aleksander Vucic. 8 Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, worked as paid consultant and advised the Serbian 9 Government, and Aleksander Vucic. Within about a week or so of Former New York City Rudy 10 Giuliani retaining John Pierce’s law firm Pierce Bainbridge, Virage “loaned” Pierce Bainbridge 11 $21 million. Coincidentally, Mileta Miljanic, Group America’s ringleader also resides in in one of 12 the five Burroughs of New York City, and within months, Pierce Bainbridge collapsed. DHS 13 officials further advising them any prosecution of Selakovic would cause significant political strain 14 on U.S./Serbia government relations. 15 285. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon agreed to represent Greenway in legal 16 matters against Ecowin, Supreme Growers, LLC, Vegalab, Inc, the Ryan Brothers, and the 17 Selakovic entities. As attorneys, and by the very nature of this representation, these defendants 18 owed fiduciary duties to Greenway. By manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring 19 evidence provided, failing to adequately pursue and defend Greenway’s interests and fraudulently 20 withdrawing as counsel, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon indeed breached their 21 fiduciary duties to Greenway. 22 286. Defendants Chucri Pravati’s CEO, and its Senior Legal Counsel, are litigation 23 finance industry professionals, and Pravati, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, are 24 litigating finance entities with knowledge of the legal industry and the rights and responsibilities 25 of lawyers with respect to their clients. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage 26 SPV-1, LLC were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties 27 to Greenway. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, 28 were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to -69COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Greenway by manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to 2 adequately pursue and defendant Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. 3 287. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon knew that James Ryan's brother Tom Ryan 4 drafted and prepared Greenway's and HPC's NCNDA. Tom Ryan had Escamilla sign before 5 Escamilla, Greenway, Tom, and Mike Ryan held any confidential reverse merger discussions with 6 Eric Hanson and Vegalab, Inc (then named HPC, Acquisitions, Inc). That unbeknownst to the 7 Plaintiff’s at the time, within months, Eric Hanson, Vegalab, Inc, Ecowin, Selakovic, and 8 Selakovic’s entities willfully violated. Even though Greenway’s and HPC’s NCNDA contractually 9 obligated all parties to keep Greenway Nutrients Inc’s publicly traded entity formation strategy 10 and reverse discussions confidential. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon had in their 11 possession and knew of and/or willfully disregarded and concealed Greenway’s and HPC’s 12 NDNCA, to the Court in Greenway’s defense. They knew that Ecowin was actively involved in 13 participating with Greenway’s former lawyer Mike Ryan, Selakovic, and Selakovic entities to 14 embezzle Greenway’s confidential insider business information to take Vegalab, Inc, (then named 15 HPC, Acquisitions, Inc), instead and in place of Greenway. 16 288. Despite having voluntarily accepted the trust and confidence reposed in them with 17 regard representing Greenway in its civil lawsuit, and in violation of this relationship of trust and 18 confidence as Greenway’s attorneys, Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and on that basis allege, 19 that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon abused the trust and confidence of Plaintiffs by, 20 among other things: 1) Manufactured a dispute between Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 21 Damon and Greenway by ignoring substantial evidence provided by Escamilla regarding the 22 merits of Greenway’s claims against the Ryan Brothers; 2) Failed to vigorously oppose a motion 23 to dismiss filed by Greenway’s former attorney, particularly with respect to the Selakovic 24 defendants resulting Selakovic and his alter ego companies being dismissed from the action; 3) 25 Failed to even oppose James Ryan’s motion for clarification resulting in the dismissal of the last 26 remaining Selakovic entity in the case; and 4) Filed a false and misleading motion to withdraw as 27 counsel. 28 -70COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 289. On February 14, 2019, the Florida court ruled in Greenway’s favor on the October 2 1, 2018, motion to dismiss, finding that the lawsuit could continue against The Ryan Brothers, 3 Vegalab, Inc. and Ecowin. 4 290. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intentionally mislead Greenway and 5 Escamilla by failing to disclose outside forces were influencing their decision in the litigation. 6 Due to the relationship of the parties – and Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s fiduciary 7 duties owed to Greenway – Greenway and Escamilla justifiably relied on Pierce, Pierce 8 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s false representations. 9 291. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon subsequently failed to follow through 10 on their promise to provide Greenway with an expert witness, then turned around and falsely 11 claimed Escamilla and Greenway failed to them with any evidence to prove Greenway’s damages 12 against Ecowin. This was also untrue because Plaintiff's presented substantial evidence to counsel 13 demonstrating Ecowin supplied Vegalab, Inc, and Selakovic's entities, with copious amounts of 14 its highly concentrated products to an entity operated by Blackburn and controlled by Selakovic, 15 who, in turn, jointly and unlawfully benefitted from the unlawful sales of tens of millions in retail 16 product value of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, back to Greenway’s 17 customers, and others, and counterfeit, knock-off, or competing versions of Greenway’s products. 18 292. During Greenway’s numerous communications with Abaie and Pravati throughout 19 its litigation funding application and due diligence process with Pravati, Escamilla advised and 20 disclosed Greenway’s and Ecowin’s exclusive distribution agreement, and Greenway’s and HPC’s 21 NDNCA to Defendants Abaie, Chucri, and Pravati. And Pravati’s CEO Chucri, and Pravati’s 22 Senior Legal Counsel Abaie acknowledged there were part of the underwriting team that reviewed 23 Greenway’s litigation funding application with Pravati, during subsequent email exchanges. 24 293. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC were aware that 25 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties to Greenway. Defendants 26 Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC, were aware that Pierce, Pierce 27 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to Greenway by manufacturing a 28 conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to adequately pursue and defendant -71COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and 2 Ward Damon had in their possession and knew of and/or willfully disregarded and concealed 3 Greenway’s and HPC’s NDNCA, before the Ryan brothers, Escamilla, Greenway Nutrients, Inc., 4 and Vegalab, Inc, held any confidential discussions to take Greenway Nutrients, Inc’s business 5 model public through a OTCB reverse merger deal with Vegalab, Inc. 6 294. Pravati, Churci, Abaei, Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC sought to 7 undermine Greenway’s relationship with Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon through 8 deceptive tactics. As evidenced in other matters, Pravati, Churci, Abaei, Virage Master, LP and 9 Virage SPV-1, LLC, through their financial muscle, improperly influenced Pierce and Pierce 10 11 Bainbridge to the determent of their clients. The same thing happened to Greenway. 295. Pravati was in a special position to improperly influence Pierce and Pierce 12 Bainbridge with respect to Greenway. Pravati and its associated individual defendants had 13 reviewed the substantial evidence provided by Escamilla when he sought litigation funding from 14 the company. Pravati had further inside information when it consulted with Pierce and Pierce 15 Bainbridge regarding Greenway’s likelihood of success. Pravati knew that Greenway had a 16 meritorious case against the remaining defendants. Pravati intentionally concealed that it already 17 had a vested interested in Greenway’s litigation due to its agreement to leverage Pierce 18 Bainbridge’s entire case load. Pravati further intentionally concealed that it would improperly 19 influence Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon to drop Greenway’s meritorious case for 20 due to their association with nefarious outside forces. 21 296. Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC were in a similar special position to 22 evaluate Greenway’s claims. In order to obtain a nearly $100 million funding deal with Virage, 23 Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge were required to open their entire caseload to Virage for review. 24 Virage would have had access to and known that Greenway had a meritorious case against the 25 Ryan Brothers and Ecowin at the time of review. They nevertheless improperly influenced Pierce, 26 Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon to abandon Greenway. 27 28 297. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon completely mismanaged Greenway’s case, failed to adequately oppose Vegalab, Inc’s motion for clarification and failed a multimillion-72COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 dollar motion for default judgement against Ecowin, or a notice of joint liability against the James 2 Ryan, Mike Ryan, or their law firm, before filing a false and materially motion to dismiss. Pravati, 3 Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s, active encouragement and assistance 4 in Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of their fiduciary duties to Greenway was 5 a substantial factor in causing Greenway’s harm. 6 298. As a direct and proximate result of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s 7 concealment, fraud, and deceit, Greenway has suffered damages. The amount of these damages 8 has not been precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding $25 million 9 related to the fraud. 10 299. Greenway further seeks punitive damages to deter Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward 11 Damon, Pravati, Churci, Abaei, Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC from continuing their 12 fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous business practices. In committing the 13 above-described acts, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon, Pravati, Churci, Abaei, Virage 14 Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described in detail 15 herein and incorporated by reference Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon, Pravati, Churci, 16 Abaei, Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s actions were intended only to injure 17 Greenway. The facts described herein were despicable and done with a willful and knowing 18 disregard for Greenway’s rights. Given Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward Damon, Pravati, Churci, 19 Abaei, Virage Master, LP and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s willful, wanton, reckless, and malicious 20 conduct and their high degree of moral culpability, punitive damages are appropriate and 21 warranted, and must be awarded these law firms and their counterparts from continuing to commit 22 fraud on the public at large. 23 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION 24 Breach of Fiduciary Duty 25 (Greenway against Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon) 26 27 300. Greenway repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 28 -73COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 301. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 2 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. Pierce, Pierce 3 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon agreed to act as Greenway’s counsel in a civil action against the 4 Ryan Brothers, Selakovic, and his various alter ego companies. 5 relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, 6 and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and integrity of Pierce, 7 Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility to act competently, 8 professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s civil case. 9 10 11 302. As such, a confidential Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon acted on behalf of Greenway as counsel in Plaintiff’s civil action Case No. 18-cv-81104-BB. 303. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon knew Ecowin, Mike Ryan, and 12 Selakovic’s entities embezzled Greenway’s plans to take Vegalab, Inc public for their self-dealing 13 gain. As set forth above, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, knew the Plaintiff’s hired 14 Tom and Mike Ryan, the brothers and a member and equal shareholder in Florida entities formed 15 to engage in the practice of law with James Ryan, to assist Escamilla to draft and prepare a PPM. 16 The information provided included Greenway’s product information, a rebranding and distribution 17 agreement for Greenway’s organic pesticide product, a Letter of Intent with an organic fertilizer 18 company to manufacture products to be sold under Greenway’s brand name line of products, 19 Greenway’s logo’s and trademark information, forward strategies, plans, and business model, with 20 the intent to take Greenway’s business model public later and offered to sell non-registered 21 securities in the State of California, Colorado, and across the United States. 22 304. On February 14, 2019, the Florida court ruled in Greenway’s favor on the October 23 1, 2018, motion to dismiss, finding that the lawsuit could continue against The Ryan Brothers, 24 Vegalab, Inc. and Ecowin. 25 305. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intentionally mislead Greenway and 26 Escamilla by failing to disclose outside forces were influencing their decision in the litigation. 27 Due to the relationship of the parties – and Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s fiduciary 28 -74COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 duties owed to Greenway – Greenway and Escamilla justifiably relied on Pierce, Pierce 2 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s false representations. 3 306. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon knew that outside forces, including 4 pressure from Defendants Pravati and Virage, as well as the Ryan Brothers and possibly other even 5 more nefarious organizations, were influencing the decision making of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, 6 and Ward Damon with respect to their representation of Greenway. 7 307. Despite having voluntarily accepted the trust and confidence reposed in them with 8 regard representing Greenway in its civil lawsuit, and in violation of this relationship of trust and 9 confidence as Greenway’s attorneys, Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and on that basis allege, 10 that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon abused the trust and confidence of Plaintiffs by, 11 among other things: 1) Manufactured a dispute between Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 12 Damon and Greenway by ignoring substantial evidence provided by Escamilla regarding the 13 merits of Greenway’s claims against the Ryan Brothers; 2) Failed to vigorously oppose a motion 14 to dismiss filed by Greenway’s former attorney, particularly with respect to the Selakovic 15 defendants resulting Selakovic and his alter ego companies being dismissed from the action; 3) 16 Failed to even oppose James Ryan’s motion for clarification resulting in the dismissal of the last 17 remaining Selakovic entity in the case; and 4) Filed a false and misleading motion to withdraw as 18 counsel. 19 308. Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge also failed to follow through on their promise to 20 provide Greenway with an expert witness, then turned around and falsely claimed Escamilla failed 21 to provide Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon with any evidence to prove Greenway’s 22 damages against Ecowin. This was also untrue because Plaintiffs presented substantial evidence 23 to counsel demonstrating Ecowin supplied Vegalab, Inc, and Selakovic's entities, with copious 24 amounts of its highly concentrated products to an entity operated by Blackburn and controlled by 25 Selakovic, who, in turn, jointly and unlawfully benefitted from the unlawful sales of tens of 26 millions in retail product value of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, back to 27 Greenway’s customers, and others, and counterfeit, knock-off, or competing versions of 28 Greenway’s products. -75COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 309. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon completely mismanaged Greenway’s 2 case, failed to adequately oppose Vegalab, Inc’s motion for clarification and failed a multimillion- 3 dollar motion for default judgement against Ecowin, or a notice of joint liability against the James 4 Ryan, Mike Ryan, or their law firm, before filing a false and materially motion to dismiss. Pravati, 5 Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s, active encouragement and assistance 6 in Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of their fiduciary duties to Greenway was 7 a substantial factor in causing Greenway’s harm. 8 310. As a direct and proximate result of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s 9 breach of their fiduciary duties, Greenway has suffered damages. The amount of these damages 10 has not been precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding $25 million 11 related to the fraud. 12 311. Greenway further seeks punitive damages to deter Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and 13 Ward Damon from continuing their fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous 14 business practices. In committing the above-described acts, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 15 Damon acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described in detail herein and incorporated by 16 reference Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s actions were intended only to injure 17 Greenway. The facts described herein were despicable and done with a willful and knowing 18 disregard for Greenway’s rights. Given Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s willful, 19 wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their high degree of moral culpability, punitive 20 damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be awarded these law firms and their 21 counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the public at large. 22 THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION 23 Conspiracy 24 (Greenway and Escamilla against Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, 25 and Virage SPV-1, LLC) 26 27 312. Greenway and Escamilla repeat and reallege each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 28 -76COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 313. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 2 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. Pierce, Pierce 3 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to Plaintiffs by, among other things: 4 1) Manufacturing a dispute between Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon and Greenway 5 by ignoring substantial evidence provided by Escamilla regarding the merits of Greenway’s claims 6 against the Ryan Brothers; 2) Failing to vigorously oppose a motion to dismiss filed by Greenway’s 7 former attorney, particularly with respect to the Selakovic defendants resulting Selakovic and his 8 alter ego companies being dismissed from the action; 3) Failing to even oppose James Ryan’s 9 motion for clarification resulting in the dismissal of the last remaining Selakovic entity in the case; 10 11 and 4) Filing a false and misleading motion to withdraw as counsel. 314. Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge also failed to follow through on their promise to 12 provide Greenway with an expert witness, then turned around and falsely claimed Escamilla failed 13 to provide Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon with any evidence to prove Greenway’s 14 damages against Ecowin. This was also untrue because Plaintiffs presented substantial evidence 15 to counsel demonstrating Ecowin supplied Vegalab, Inc, and Selakovic's entities, with copious 16 amounts of its highly concentrated products to an entity operated by Blackburn and controlled by 17 Selakovic, who, in turn, jointly and unlawfully benefitted from the unlawful sales of tens of 18 millions in retail product value of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, back to 19 Greenway’s customers, and others, and counterfeit, knock-off, or competing versions of 20 Greenway’s products. 21 315. Defendants Chucri Pravati’s CEO, and its Senior Legal Counsel, are litigation 22 finance industry professionals, and Pravati, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, are 23 litigating finance entities with knowledge of the legal industry and the rights and responsibilities 24 of lawyers with respect to their clients. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage 25 SPV-1, LLC were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties 26 to Greenway. Defendants Pravati, Chucri. Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC, 27 were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to 28 -77COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Greenway by manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to 2 adequately pursue and defendant Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. 3 316. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, 4 were aware Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intended to breach their 5 fiduciary duties to Greenway. 6 317. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 7 intended that Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intended to breach their 8 fiduciary duties to Greenway. 9 318. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 10 took active steps to influence Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon into 11 breaching the fiduciary duties to Greenway. 12 319. On March 28, 2019, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, failed to file a 13 Motion for Default Final Judgment as to Ecowin, or Notice of Joint Liability as to James Ryan, 14 Mike Ryan, and the Ryan brother’s law firm potential joint liability. Instead, on March 29, 2019, 15 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon filed a false and materially motion to withdraw. 16 320. The same day Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, sent Pierce 17 Bainbridge a $28.5 million "loan agreement" on information and belief used to cure Pravati's $9.1 18 million litigation funding default within days of their withdrawal. 19 321. On information and belief, the Serbian Mafia, through its control of Virage, used 20 its substantial influence, connections with the Serbian American mafia, and other tactics to 21 encourage Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s fraudulent behavior. 22 322. As a direct and proximate result of that actions of Defendants Pravati, Chucri, 23 Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, Plaintiffs have suffered damages. The amount 24 of these damages has not been precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue 25 exceeding $25 million related to the fraud. 26 323. Greenway and Escamilla further seek punitive damages to deter Defendants As a 27 direct and proximate result of Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage 28 SPV-1, LLC from continuing their fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous -78COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 business practices. In committing the above-described acts, Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, 2 Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described 3 in detail herein and incorporated by reference Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, 4 LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s actions were intended only to injure Greenway. The facts described 5 herein were despicable and done with a willful and knowing disregard for Greenway’s rights. 6 Given Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s willful, 7 wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their high degree of moral culpability, punitive 8 damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be awarded these businesses and their 9 counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the public at large. 10 FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION 11 Aiding and Abetting Fraud 12 (Greenway and Escamilla against Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, 13 and Virage-SPV-1, LLC) 14 15 16 324. Greenway and Escamilla repeat and reallege each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 325. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 17 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. Pierce, Pierce 18 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon committed fraud when they breached their fiduciary duties to 19 Plaintiffs by, among other things: 1) Manufacturing a dispute between Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, 20 and Ward Damon and Greenway by ignoring substantial evidence provided by Escamilla regarding 21 the merits of Greenway’s claims against the Ryan Brothers; 2) Failing to vigorously oppose a 22 motion to dismiss filed by Greenway’s former attorney, particularly with respect to the Selakovic 23 defendants resulting Selakovic and his alter ego companies being dismissed from the action; 3) 24 Failing to even oppose James Ryan’s motion for clarification resulting in the dismissal of the last 25 remaining Selakovic entity in the case; and 4) Filing a false and misleading motion to withdraw as 26 counsel. 27 28 326. Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge also failed to follow through on their promise to provide Greenway with an expert witness, then turned around and falsely claimed Escamilla failed -79COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 to provide Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon with any evidence to prove Greenway’s 2 damages against Ecowin. This was also untrue because Plaintiffs presented substantial evidence 3 to counsel demonstrating Ecowin supplied Vegalab, Inc, and Selakovic's entities, with copious 4 amounts of its highly concentrated products to an entity operated by Blackburn and controlled by 5 Selakovic, who, in turn, jointly and unlawfully benefitted from the unlawful sales of tens of 6 millions in retail product value of Greenway’s products bearing Greenway’s trademark, back to 7 Greenway’s customers, and others, and counterfeit, knock-off, or competing versions of 8 Greenway’s products. 9 327. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intentionally mislead Greenway and 10 Escamilla by failing to disclose outside forces were influencing their decision in the litigation. 11 Due to the relationship of the parties – and Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s fiduciary 12 duties owed to Greenway – Greenway and Escamilla justifiably relied on Pierce, Pierce 13 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s false representations. Had Greenway and Escamilla known that 14 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon were influenced by outside actors, including 15 Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, Greenway and 16 Escamilla would never have engaged the firms as counsel in this litigation. 17 328. Defendants Chucri Pravati’s CEO, and its Senior Legal Counsel, are litigation 18 finance industry professionals, and Pravati, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, are 19 litigating finance entities with knowledge of the legal industry and the rights and responsibilities 20 of lawyers with respect to their clients. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage 21 SPV-1, LLC were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties 22 to Greenway. Defendants Pravati, Chucri. Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC, 23 were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to 24 Greenway by manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to 25 adequately pursue and defendant Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. 26 329. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 27 were aware Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon intended to commit fraud and 28 breach their fiduciary duties to Greenway. -80COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 330. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 2 intended that Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon commit fraud and act to the 3 detriment of Greenway and Escamilla. 4 331. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 5 gave substantial assistance and encouragement to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon to 6 assist in committing the fraud. Specifically, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage 7 SPV-1, LLC provided funds to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, that financially benefitted Ward Damon 8 by helping to fund their respective business practices. The funds had strings attached. In the case 9 of Greenway, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC were 10 instrumental in influencing Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon into completely 11 disregarding their responsibilities to Greenway. 12 332. According to civil filings, in late January 2019, Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge 13 engaged Jonathan Katz, and his New Yok City based firm KKC to conduct exhaustive due 14 diligence on Pierce Bainbridge’s entire portfolio of cases, that included Greenway’s Florida case. 15 The intent was to seek further litigation funding. The exhaustive review of Pierce Bainbridge’s 16 case load would have included Greenway’s client files an all of the information related to their 17 valid lawsuit against Ecowin and the Ryan Brothers. Pierce Bainbridge’s massive March 29, 2019, 18 multi-tranche litigation funding deal with Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, or other 19 Virage entities worth up to a purported $100 million. 20 333. On March 28, 2019, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, failed to file a 21 Motion for Default Final Judgment as to Ecowin, or Notice of Joint Liability as to James Ryan, 22 Mike Ryan, and the Ryan brother’s law firm potential joint liability. Instead, on March 29, 2019, 23 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon filed a false and materially motion to withdraw. 24 334. The same day Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, sent Pierce 25 Bainbridge a $28.5 million "loan agreement" on information and belief used to cure Pravati's $9.1 26 million litigation funding default within days of their withdrawal. 27 28 -81COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 335. On information and belief Virage Master, LP, and or Virage SPV-1, LLC used its 2 substantial influence, connections with the Serbian American mafia, and other tactics to encourage 3 Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s fraudulent behavior. 4 336. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage 5 Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC, Plaintiffs have suffered damages. The amount of these 6 damages has not been precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding 7 $25 million related to the fraud. 8 337. Greenway and Escamilla further seek punitive damages to deter Defendants. As a 9 direct and proximate result of Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage 10 SPV-1, LLC from continuing their fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous 11 business practices. In committing the above-described acts, Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, 12 Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described 13 in detail herein and incorporated by reference Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, 14 LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s actions were intended only to injure Greenway. The facts described 15 herein were despicable and done with a willful and knowing disregard for Greenway’s rights. 16 Given Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s willful, 17 wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their high degree of moral culpability, punitive 18 damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be awarded these businesses and their 19 counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the public at large. 20 FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION 21 Aiding and Abetting Fraud 22 (Greenway against Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon) 23 24 25 338. Greenway repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 339. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 26 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. As such, a 27 confidential relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce 28 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and -82COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 integrity of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility 2 to act competently, professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s 3 civil case. 4 340. The Ryan Brothers and Selakovic entities clearly defrauded Greenway at every 5 turn. As alleged extensively above, the Selakovic entities sold and manufactured counterfeit goods 6 that used Greenway’s trademark. At each and every turn, the Selakovic entities undercut and 7 unmined Greenway’s ability to make a profit. Further, the Ryan Brothers assisted Selakovic in his 8 endeavors by providing confidential information to Selakovic that was either protected by a non- 9 disclosure agreement, a protected trade secret, or protected by the attorney-client privilege. Any 10 representation made the Ryan Brothers and Selakovic were fraudulent as applied to Greenway, 11 because the statements were never intended to be true. Further, they intended that Greenway rely 12 on the statements in order for the bad actors to gain Greenway’s trust. Greenway was harmed as 13 a result of the fraudulent statements. 14 341. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon were aware of the ongoing fraud, 15 particularly with respect to the Ryan Brothers, the Selakovic entities, and Ecowin. They knew 16 that the Ryan Brothers and the Selakovic entities were committing the fraud against Greenway 17 because they had the evidence. 18 342. As established above, DHS officials advised Escamilla that Selakovic, Blackburn, 19 and Selakovic entities are the alleged masterminds responsible for conducting a massive 20 multimillion-dollar transnational counterfeit goods scam, with powerful power political 21 connections to Serbian President Aleksander Vucic. Serbian President Aleksander Vucic served 22 as the Minister of Information under former President Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, at 23 the same time Mileta Miljanic, Group America’s ringleader served as the personal bodyguard to 24 Slobodan Milošević. And Selakovic’s younger brother Nikola Selakovic, served in several other 25 Senior Level positions in the Government of Serbia, including Presidency Secretary of Serbian 26 President Aleksander Vucic. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, worked as paid 27 consultant and advised the Serbian Government, and Aleksander Vucic. 28 -83COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 343. Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon gave substantial assistance and 2 encouragement to the Ryan Brothers and the Selakovic entities to continue the fraud. Specifically, 3 Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon failed to act in the best interest of Greenway when 4 representing Plaintiff in litigation against the Ryan Brothers and the Selakovic. Peirce, Pierce 5 Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s actions were intentional and designed to assist in continuing the 6 tort against Greenway. 7 344. Greenway was harmed by Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s actions. 8 As a direct and proximate result of Defendants Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s 9 actions, Plaintiffs have suffered damages. The amount of these damages has not been precisely 10 determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding $25 million related to the fraud. 11 345. Greenway further seeks punitive damages to deter Defendants Peirce, Pierce 12 Bainbridge and Ward Damon from continuing their fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly 13 disingenuous business practices. In committing the above-described acts, Defendants Peirce, 14 Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described in detail 15 herein and incorporated by reference Defendants Peirce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s 16 actions were intended only to injure Greenway. The facts described herein were despicable and 17 done with a willful and knowing disregard for Greenway’s rights. Given Defendants Peirce, Pierce 18 Bainbridge and Ward Damon’s willful, wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their high 19 degree of moral culpability, punitive damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be awarded 20 these law firms and their counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the public at large. 21 SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION 22 Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty 23 (Greenway against Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC) 24 25 26 346. Greenway repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 347. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 27 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. As such, a 28 confidential relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce -84COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and 2 integrity of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility 3 to act competently, professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s 4 civil case. 5 348. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon agreed to represent Greenway in legal 6 matters against Ecowin, Supreme Growers, LLC, Vegalab, Inc, the Ryan Brothers, and the 7 Selakovic entities. As attorneys, and by the very nature of this representation, these defendants 8 owed fiduciary duties to Greenway. By manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring 9 evidence provided, failing to adequately pursue and defend Greenway’s interests and fraudulently 10 withdrawing as counsel, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon indeed breached their 11 fiduciary duties to Greenway. 12 349. Defendants Chucri Pravati’s CEO, and its Senior Legal Counsel, are litigation 13 finance industry professionals, and Pravati, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC are 14 litigating finance entities with knowledge of the legal industry and the rights and responsibilities 15 of lawyers with respect to their clients. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage 16 SPV-1, LLC were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties 17 to Greenway. Defendants Pravati, Chucri. Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC 18 were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to 19 Greenway by manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to 20 adequately pursue and defendant Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. 21 350. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 22 were not only aware of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of fiduciary duties 23 owed to Greenway, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively 24 assisted and encouraged Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach. As the financial 25 backing and majority creditor of co-defendants, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and 26 Virage SPV-1, LLC actively pulled the strings with respect to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 27 Damon’s actions as they related to Greenway. Agents from Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, 28 -85COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively participated in the management (or mismanagement) of 2 Greenway’s legal action against the Ryan Brothers and the Selakovic defendants. 3 351. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC played an 4 active role in aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duties in part by providing litigation 5 funding to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, that financially benefitted Ward Damon that had strings 6 attached. 7 8 9 352. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s most puzzling choices directly correspond to the actions of Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC. 353. During his representation of Greenway, unbeknownst to Escamilla, Pierce and his 10 firm were in default to Pravati to the tune of $9.1 million. Pravati had access to the confidential 11 case files related to Greenway’s litigation based on Escamilla’s attempt to obtain litigation 12 financing as explained in detail above. Pravati had also consulted with Pierce Bainbridge 13 regarding the relative merits of Greenway’s case as part of the due diligence. At this time, 14 Greenway had survived the Ryan Brothers’ attempt to be dismissed form the litigation. The court 15 ruled in Greenway’s favor with respect to continuing the litigation against the Ryan Brothers and 16 allowed Greenway to pursue a default judgment against Ecowin, a company that defrauded 17 Greenway from tens of millions of dollars. 18 354. Yet, at that time, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon were in the process 19 of manufacturing a conflict with Greenway related to their ability to continue the litigation. On or 20 about March 27, 2019, and before abandoning Greenway’s Florida suit, Escamilla emailed Pierce, 21 Sorkowitz, and Pierce Bainbridge, advising counsel that Greenway would not consent to Pierce’s 22 repeated attempts to dismiss the Ryan Brothers from its litigation. On March 28, 2019, Pierce, 23 Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, failed to file a motion for default judgment as to Ecowin. 24 Instead, on March 29, 2019, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon filed a false and 25 materially motion to withdraw. 26 355. Conspicuously, on the very same day that Pierce Bainbridge filed their motion to 27 withdraw as counsel for Greenway, March 29, 2019, Defendant Virage executed a $28.5 million 28 loan agreement to Pierce Bainbridge to assist the firm in paying off the $9.1 million default from -86COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Pravati. This was simply the initial tranche of funds for a much larger investment. However, the 2 fund, VSPV-1, LLC was not licensed in the state of California and thus restricted from engaging 3 in lending activities. Defendant Pravati has similarly been disciplined by the Department of 4 Business Oversight for it’s illegal, unlicensed, and predatory lending practices. 5 356. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC influenced 6 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon to act against the interests of Greenway and sabotage 7 its meritorious litigation against the Ryan Brothers and Ecowin. The relationship between Pierce 8 Bainbridge and Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC would deepen and include reportedly 9 $100 million in loans from Virage to Pierce Bainbridge. 10 357. The sheer size of the loans and the unexplainable actions of Pierce Bainbridge 11 shows that Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage SPV-1, LLC had an outsized 12 influence on the actions of the firm. Further, public filings, such as those related to the Boeing 13 litigation and others referenced above show that Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or 14 Virage SPV-1, LLC were actively involved in influencing the outcomes of other litigation matters 15 and actively working to breach the fiduciary duties owed to Pierce Bainbridge clients. The same 16 happened here. 17 358. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon completely mismanaged Greenway’s 18 case, failed to adequately oppose Vegalab, Inc’s motion for clarification. And failed to file a 19 motion for default judgment against Ecowin or notice of joint liability as to the Ryan brothers and 20 their law firm’s potential liability, before filing a false and materially motion to dismiss. Pravati, 21 Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s, active encouragement and assistance 22 in Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of their fiduciary duties to Greenway was 23 a substantial factor in causing Greenway’s harm. The amount of these damages has not been 24 precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding $25 million related to 25 the fraud. 26 359. Greenway further seeks punitive damages to deter Defendants Pravati, Chucri, 27 Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC from continuing their fraudulent, malicious, 28 oppressive and greatly disingenuous business practices. In committing the above-described acts, -87COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC acted with fraud, 2 oppression, and malice as described in detail herein and incorporated by reference Defendants 3 Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s actions were intended only 4 to injure Greenway. The facts described herein were despicable and done with a willful and 5 knowing disregard for Greenway’s rights. Given Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage 6 Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s willful, wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their 7 high degree of moral culpability, punitive damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be 8 awarded these litigation funds and their counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the 9 public at large. SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION 10 Unfair Business Practices – Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq. 11 12 (Greenway and Escamilla against Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage 13 Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC) 14 15 16 360. Greenway and Escamilla repeat and reallege each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 361. California Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq. prohibits any unlawful, 17 unfair or fraudulent business act or practice. Further, the California Civil Financial Code § 18 22161(a)(6-7) states it is improper for a financial institution or lender such as Pravati, its CEO 19 Chucri, or its Senior Legal Counsel Abaie, Virage Master, LP, or Virage SPV-1, LLC to 20 “knowingly misrepresent, circumvent, or conceal, through subterfuge, or device, any material 21 aspect or information regarding a transaction to which [they] are a party” or “commit an act” that 22 constitutes fraud or dishonest dealings.” 23 362. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 24 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. As such, a 25 confidential relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce 26 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and 27 integrity of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility 28 -88COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 to act competently, professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s 2 civil case. 3 363. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon agreed to represent Greenway in legal 4 matters against Ecowin, Supreme Growers, LLC, Vegalab, Inc, the Ryan Brothers, and the 5 Selakovic entities. As attorneys, and by the very nature of this representation, these defendants 6 owed fiduciary duties to Greenway. By manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring 7 evidence provided, failing to adequately pursue and defend Greenway’s interests and fraudulently 8 withdrawing as counsel, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon indeed breached their 9 fiduciary duties to Greenway. 10 364. Defendants Chucri Pravati’s CEO, and its Senior Legal Counsel, are litigation 11 finance industry professionals, and Pravati, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC are 12 litigating finance entities with knowledge of the legal industry and the rights and responsibilities 13 of lawyers with respect to their clients. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage 14 SPV-1, LLC were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed fiduciary duties 15 to Greenway. Defendants Pravati, Chucri. Abaie, Virage Master, LP. and Virage SPV-1, LLC 16 were aware that Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon breached their fiduciary duties to 17 Greenway by manufacturing a conflict with Greenway, ignoring evidence provided, failing to 18 adequately pursue and defendant Greenway’s interests and fraudulently withdrawing as counsel. 19 365. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 20 were not only aware of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of fiduciary duties 21 owed to Greenway, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively 22 assisted and encouraged Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach. As the financial 23 backing and majority creditor of co-defendants, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and 24 Virage SPV-1, LLC actively pulled the strings with respect to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 25 Damon’s actions as they related to Greenway. Agents from Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, 26 LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively participated in the management (or mismanagement) of 27 Greenway’s legal action against the Ryan Brothers and the Selakovic defendants. 28 -89COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 366. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC played an 2 active role in aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duties in part by providing litigation 3 funding to Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, that financially benefitted Ward Damon that had strings 4 attached. 5 6 7 367. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s most puzzling choices directly correspond to the actions of Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC. 368. During his representation of Greenway, unbeknownst to Escamilla, Pierce and his 8 firm were in default to Pravati to the tune of $9.1 million. Pravati had access to the confidential 9 case files related to Greenway’s litigation based on Escamilla’s attempt to obtain litigation 10 financing as explained in detail above. Pravati had also consulted with Pierce Bainbridge 11 regarding the relative merits of Greenway’s case as part of the due diligence. At this time, 12 Greenway had survived the Ryan Brothers’ attempt to be dismissed form the litigation. The court 13 ruled in Greenway’s favor with respect to continuing the litigation against the Ryan Brothers and 14 allowed Greenway to pursue a default judgment against Ecowin, a company that defrauded 15 Greenway from tens of millions of dollars. 16 369. Yet, at that time, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon were in the process 17 of manufacturing a conflict with Greenway related to their ability to continue the litigation. On or 18 about March 27, 2019, and before abandoning Greenway’s Florida suit, Escamilla emailed Pierce, 19 Sorkowitz, and Pierce Bainbridge, advising counsel that Greenway would not consent to Pierce’s 20 repeated attempts to dismiss the Ryan Brothers from its litigation. On March 28, 2019, Pierce, 21 Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, failed to file a motion for default judgment as to Ecowin. 22 Instead, on March 29, 2019, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon filed a false and 23 materially motion to withdraw. 24 370. On the very same day that Pierce Bainbridge filed their motion to withdraw as 25 counsel for Greenway, March 29, 2019, Defendant Virage executed a $28.5 million loan 26 agreement to Pierce Bainbridge to assist the firm in paying off the $9.1 million default from 27 Pravati. This was simply the initial tranche of funds for a much larger investment. However, the 28 fund, Virage SPV-1, LLC was not licensed in the state of California and thus restricted from -90COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 engaging in lending activities. Defendant Pravati has similarly been disciplined by the Department 2 of Business Oversight for it’s illegal, unlicensed, and predatory lending practices. 3 371. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC influenced 4 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon to act against the interests of Greenway and sabotage 5 its meritorious litigation against the Ryan Brothers and Ecowin. The relationship between Pierce 6 Bainbridge and Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC would deepen and include reportedly 7 worth up to $100 million in loans from Virage to Pierce Bainbridge. 8 372. The sheer size of the loans and the unexplainable actions of Pierce Bainbridge 9 shows that Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage SPV-1, LLC had an outsized 10 influence on the actions of the firm. Further, public filings, such as those related to the Boeing 11 litigation and others referenced above show that Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or 12 Virage SPV-1, LLC were actively involved in influencing the outcomes of other litigation matters 13 and actively working to breach the fiduciary duties owed to Pierce Bainbridge clients. The same 14 happened here. 15 373. As alleged above, Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or 16 Virage SPV-1, LLC improperly and illegally provided Defendants Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge 17 with litigation funding potentially leveraging Greenway’s litigation without the consent of 18 Greenway or Escamilla. Further, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage SPV- 19 1, LLC were improperly involved in the management and strategy of Pierce and Pierce 20 Bainbridge’s caseload, including Greenway’s litigation against the Ryan Brothers and Selakovic 21 entities. 22 374. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage SPV-1, LLC further 23 knowingly misrepresented, circumvented, and concealed through subterfuge material information 24 regarding their involvement in Greenway’s litigation – and Pierce Bainbridge’s withdrawal as 25 counsel – through fraud and dishonestly. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage 26 SPV-1, LLC knowingly concealed evidence and or lied to Escamilla regarding the reasoning for 27 declining funding for Greenway’s litigation and subsequent subterfuge or Greenway’s claims. 28 -91COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 375. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or Virage SPV-1, LLC's actions, 2 misleading statements, concealment of material evidence and outright lies constitute fraudulent 3 business practice because, among other things, they aided and abetted Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge 4 and Ward Damon’s breach of fiduciary duties owed to Greenway, defrauded the court, and 5 otherwise irreparably harmed Greenway. Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and/or 6 Virage SPV-1, LLC knowingly engaged in unfair business practices when they improperly 7 influenced Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon to the detriment of Greenway 8 376. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon completely mismanaged Greenway’s 9 case, failed to adequately oppose Vegalab, Inc’s motion for clarification. And failed to file a 10 motion for default judgment against Ecowin or notice of joint liability as to the Ryan brothers and 11 their law firm’s potential liability, before filing a false and materially motion to dismiss. Pravati, 12 Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s, active encouragement and assistance 13 in Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of their fiduciary duties to Greenway was 14 a substantial factor in causing Greenway and Escamilla’s harm. The amount of these damages has 15 not been precisely determined and the damages are continuing to accrue exceeding $25 million 16 related to the fraud. 17 377. Greenway and Escamilla further seek punitive damages to deter Defendants 18 Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC from continuing their 19 fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous business practices. In committing the 20 above-described acts, Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, 21 LLC acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described in detail herein and incorporated by 22 reference Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s actions 23 were intended only to injure Greenway. The facts described herein were despicable and done with 24 a willful and knowing disregard for Greenway and Escamilla’s rights. Given Defendants Pravati, 25 Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC’s willful, wanton, reckless, and 26 malicious conduct and their high degree of moral culpability, punitive damages are appropriate 27 and warranted, and must be awarded these litigation funds and their counterparts from continuing 28 to commit fraud on the public at large. -92COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION 1 Tom Bane Civil Rights Act – Civ. Code § 52.1 2 (Escamilla Against All Defendants) 3 4 5 6 378. Escamilla repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 379. As established above, Group America, including Selakovic and his associated 7 entities, are a violent criminal enterprise. As alleged above, Group America had substantial 8 connections and influence over the Ryan Brothers and ultimately, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward 9 Damon, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC. These entities were 10 11 either controlled or heavily influenced by Group America, violent criminal enterprise. 380. Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon owed Plaintiff Greenway 12 fiduciary duties. As counsel of record for Greenway, these duties are undisputed. As such, a 13 confidential relationship existed at all relevant times herein between Plaintiffs and Pierce, Pierce 14 Bainbridge, and Ward Damon. In that regard, Plaintiffs placed confidence in the fidelity and 15 integrity of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon in entrusting them with the responsibility 16 to act competently, professionally, and with reasonable care to procure damages in Greenway’s 17 civil case. 18 381. As established above, DHS officials advised Escamilla that Selakovic and 19 Blackburn are the alleged masterminds responsible for conducting a massive multimillion-dollar 20 transnational counterfeit goods scam, with powerful power political connections to Serbian 21 President Aleksander Vucic. Serbian President Aleksander Vucic served as the Minister of 22 Information under former President Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, at the same time Mileta 23 Miljanic, Group America’s ringleader served as the personal bodyguard to Slobodan Milošević. 24 Selakovic’s younger brother Nikola Selakovic, served in several other Senior Level positions in 25 the Government of Serbia, including Presidency Secretary of Serbian President Aleksander Vucic. 26 These key players are indeed tied to Defendants. For example, former New York City Mayor 27 Rudy Giuliani, who worked as paid consultant and advised the Serbian Government, and 28 Aleksander Vucic was a client and close confidant of Pierce. Within about a week or so of Former -93COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 New York City Rudy Giuliani retaining Pierce Bainbridge, the Virage defendants “loaned” Pierce 2 Bainbridge $21 million. After which, Group America and Mileta Miljanic, had their hooks in 3 Pierce Bainbridge and within months, Pierce Bainbridge collapsed. 4 382. As laid out extensively above, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge and Ward Damon 5 orchestrated a false, misleading, and despicable attempt withdraw as counsel for Greenway. They 6 filed motions full of lies and false statements. Peirce and Peirce Bainbridge concocted and created 7 a dispute with Escamilla, hoping he would fire them on behalf of Greenway. Nevertheless, they 8 acted as subterfuge to destroy Greenway’s claims and deprive Greenway of its rights under the 9 law. During the process, Defendants sought to make sure Escamilla never attempted to exercise 10 11 any of his constitutional rights through threats of violence, intimidation, and mob tactics. 383. Pierce used intimidating and violent language during his attempts to withdraw as 12 counsel for Greenway, including stating that things such as, “This will not be a pleasant experience 13 for you.” Given Pierce’s new association with Group America – through his association with Rudy 14 Giuliani, Pravati, and the Virage defendants, this threat was not simply hyperbolic in nature. 15 Pierce’s statements were intended to prevent Greenway and Escamilla from pursuing legal 16 remedies which are protected under the law. These statements were related to Defendant Pierce, 17 Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s representation. As the titular leader of the litigation team, 18 Pierce’s statements are attributed to all Defendants related to the representation. 19 384. A few days before receiving Pierce Bainbridge's $28.5 million "loan agreement" 20 from Virage Master LP and or Virage SPV-1, LLC, Pierce belittled, demeaned, and threatened in 21 an email Pierce sent to Escamilla. Stating, "I am closing a massive deal this week," "I assure you 22 further threats will not receive such a warm response," and "I am not in the mood for your ten 23 thousand word (sic) emails with multiple fonts bolded with underlines and italics. It is juvenile." 24 The email was in response to Escamilla’s communication seeking status and estimated damages 25 figure regarding Ecowin's default judgment. 26 385. Further, on March 27, 2019, Pierce used unwarranted, abusive, intimidating, and 27 violent language during his representation immediately before withdrawing as counsel for 28 Greenway, and threatened Escamilla stating in relevant part, “Now leave me alone until you force -94COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 me to be deposed and testify at trial. Otherwise, I do want to see you, or hear your name even. This 2 will not be a pleasant experience for you.” 3 386. Given Pierce’s new association with Group America, this threat was not simply 4 hyperbolic in nature. Pierce’s statements were intended to prevent Greenway and Escamilla from 5 pursuing legal remedies which are protected under the law. These statements were related to 6 Defendant Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s representation. As the titular leader of 7 the litigation team, Pierce’s statements are attributed to all Defendants related to the representation. 8 387. Pravati’s senior legal counsel – Ian Abaie – went so far as to threaten Escamilla 9 with violence relating to his requests. Specifically, Abaie stated “If you want a fight with us, you 10 had better be ready to pry the confidential document from my corpse.” He ended the same email 11 with “consider yourself warned.” Escamilla understood these statements – along with John 12 Pierce’s prior statements – to be threats of violence. 13 388. During Escamilla's numerous communications with Pravati's CEO Chucri that 14 ultimately devolved into Pravati's CEO September 23, 2020, belligerent email Chucri sent Pravati's 15 former client Greenway, callously advising Escamilla to "GO AWAY PEST!" 16 389. Escamilla requested its property and information back in connection with 17 Greenway’s litigation funding application and due diligence process with Pravati, during which 18 Chucri and Abaie were part of the underwriting team. Escamilla requested communications 19 regarding any representations, assessments, attorney opinions, or monetary valuations of 20 Greenway’s case from Pierce Bainbridge. 21 390. Further, on December 14, 2021, Escamilla emailed Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, Ward 22 Damon, and Pravati’s former lawyer Ed Altabet advising the parties after Pierce advised Escamilla 23 that Altabet would answer questions regarding Escamilla’s December 2, 2021, email request 24 seeking information regarding Greenway’s 2018 Florida suit, and any monetary valuations, and 25 other information Pierce Bainbridge was required to provide to the Virage entities. 26 391. Escamilla has further received ominous telephone calls from counsel who 27 represents both Virage and Pierce Bainbridge in response to a litigation notice sent by Escamilla. 28 Of course, both the lawyer and these defendants are heavily connected to a violent criminal gang. -95COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 The only purpose of this phone call was to intimidate and harass Escamilla in hopes to attempt to 2 dissuade him from exercising his right to bring this lawsuit. According to court records filed by a 3 former Pierce Bainbridge associate, Altabet has a history of attempting to “intimidate” dissenter 4 and allegedly “threatened” him. At the same time, a former Pierce Bainbridge Partner, accused 5 “Virage” of “alienating” other former Pierce Bainbridge Partners through their conduct. 6 7 392. These actions from persons and entities associated with a violent criminal enterprise were intended to intimidate and deprive Escamilla and Greenway from bringing the instant lawsuit. 393. 8 Escamilla was intimidated and understood each of these actions to be a credible 9 threat of violence against him. Escamilla knew of Selakovic’s substantial connections with Group 10 America’s New York City based Serbian mob-boss and ringleader Mileta Miljanic, whose vast 11 transnational drug trafficking criminal enterprise maintains a well-established history of engaging 12 of carrying through on threats or acts of considerable violence, including torture, dismembering 13 enemies with chainsaws, and potential assassinations of senior public officials. 14 394. Escamilla is entitled to damages for each violation pursuant to statute. Section 52 15 permits such relief as actual damages, statutory damages (including civil penalties), exemplary 16 damages, and attorney’s fees. (Civ. Code § 52.) 17 395. Further, Escamilla has been harmed by Defendants’ threats of violence, 18 harassment and intimidation. Defendants’ actions were a substantial factor in causing Plaintiffs’ 19 harm. 20 NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION 21 Aiding and Abetting Securities Fraud 22 (Plaintiffs against All Defendants) 23 24 25 396. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 397. As alleged in great detail above, Greenway was involved in negotiations with HPC 26 to complete a reverse merger involving the two companies. After Greenway and Escamilla held 27 extensive negotiations, discussed proposed business models, and executed formal NDA 28 agreements, Greenway’s attorneys, the Ryan Brothers, took the confidential information to -96COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Selakovic and his associated entities. Selakovic, through these fraudulent transactions, used his 2 own entities to undercut Greenway, perform the reverse merger in violation of California Corp. 3 Code §§ 25501, 25401, et seq. Selakovic and the Ryan Brothers’ actions harmed Plaintiffs to the 4 tune of millions of dollars. 398. 5 Defendants were aware that Selakovic and the Ryan Brothers had committed fraud 6 against Plaintiffs. Escamilla meticulously documented the wrongdoing and provided ample 7 evidence to Defendants regarding the fraudulent actions taken against Plaintiffs. 8 Defendants Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon were engaged specifically to remedy the 9 securities fraud being committed against Greenway. Pravati and Virage Defendant reviewed and 10 In fact, had access to all of the information regarding the fraud. 11 399. Defendants gave substantial assistance and encouragement to Selakovic and the 12 Ryan Brothers in continuing to commit securities fraud with respect to Plaintiffs. When Plaintiff 13 initiated the litigation with Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon, the goal was to sue the 14 entities engaged in the fraud. As alleged in great detail above, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 15 Damon utterly failed in these duties. They failed to properly oppose a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, 16 which allowed the primary defendants related to the fraud to be dismissed from the case. Further, 17 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon failed to oppose the motion for clarification, which 18 removed the entity that actually merged with HPC out of the case, furthering and assisting the 19 fraud. 20 400. Defendants Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC 21 were not only aware of Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s breach of their duties owed 22 to Greenway with respect to the securities fraud, Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and 23 Virage SPV-1, LLC actively assisted and encouraged Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward 24 Damon’s breach. As the financial backing and majority creditor of co-defendants, Pravati, Chucri, 25 Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively pulled the strings with respect to 26 Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s actions as they related to Greenway. Agents from 27 Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC actively participated in the 28 management (or mismanagement) of Greenway’s legal action against the Ryan Brothers and the -97COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 Selakovic defendants through means of concealment, misrepresentations or omissions of material 2 fact. Because of their material assistance, Pravati Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage 3 SPV-1, LLC, Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon were indeed aiding and abetting James 4 Ryan, Mike Ryan, Ecowin, and Vegalab, Inc to violate California law. 5 6 7 401. Pierce, Pierce Bainbridge, and Ward Damon’s most puzzling choices directly correspond to the actions of Pravati, Chucri, Abaie, Virage Master, LP, and Virage SPV-1, LLC. 402. Defendants’ conduct was a substantial factor in causing harm to Plaintiffs. Without 8 Defendants’ actions, Greenway would have been able pursue remedies to rectify the securities 9 fraud committed against Plaintiffs. Instead, Defendants failed to adequately pursue Plaintiffs’ 10 11 interests and left Plaintiffs, once again, without remedies. 403. Plaintiff further seeks punitive damages to deter Defendants from continuing their 12 fraudulent, malicious, oppressive and greatly disingenuous business practices. In committing the 13 above-described acts, Defendants acted with fraud, oppression, and malice as described in detail 14 herein and incorporated by reference Defendants’ actions were intended only to injure Plaintiff. 15 The facts described herein were despicable and done with a willful and knowing disregard for 16 Greenway’s rights. Given Defendants’ willful, wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct and their 17 high degree of moral culpability, punitive damages are appropriate and warranted, and must be 18 awarded these litigation funds and their counterparts from continuing to commit fraud on the 19 public at large. DECLARATORY JUDGMENT 20 21 22 23 404. Greenway repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in the preceding paragraphs as if fully set forth herein. 405. There is substantial controversy and current dispute between the parties having 24 adverse legal interest of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance of a declaratory 25 judgement. The dispute, therefore, between Plaintiffs and Defendants is a justiciable controversy 26 appropriate for declaratory judgement under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 1060, et seq. 27 28 406. There is a current controversy and pending dispute regarding the validity of the Arbitration Agreement. -98COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 2 407. Plaintiff takes the position that the Arbitration Clause is invalid and void for a number of reasons alleged herein. 3 408. The Agreement does contain an arbitration clause. However, the clause is void. 4 The clause, 15.1.6, states that the arbitration clause must be specifically initialed by the client. 5 Further, applicable state law renders the clause void based on Greenways’ decision not to execute 6 the portion of the contract related to the arbitration clause. 7 409. According to Business & Professions Code section 6147(a)(b), which states, in 8 pertinent part: (a) An attorney who contracts to represent a client on a contingency fee basis shall, 9 at the time the contract is entered into, provide a duplicate copy of the contract, signed by both the 10 attorney and the client, or the client’s guardian or representative, to the plaintiff, or to the client’s 11 guardian or representative. The contract shall be in writing and shall include, but is not limited to, 12 all of the following: and (b) Failure to comply with any provision of this section renders the 13 agreement voidable at the option of the plaintiff.” Greenway wishes to void the arbitration clause. 14 410. Additionally, in Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. v. 15 Hock Investment Co. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 83, 88-89. relying on standard rules of contract 16 interpretation, the court of appeal determined that the contract, itself, “contemplated that the 17 arbitration of disputes provision would be effective only if both buyers and sellers assented to that 18 provision by initialing it. Since the sellers did not initial that provision, it did not become 19 effective.” (Id. at 92, emphasis added.) Here, Greenway did not initial the provision and thus the 20 clause is void. 411. 21 Defendants dispute that the Arbitration Clause is invalid. Defendants Pierce and 22 Peirce Bainbridge – though lawyers in the State of California – believe that although Greenway 23 and Escamilla specifically refused to initial clause 15, they should be held to the clause regardless. 24 412. The allegations herein constitute actual justiciable controversy. 25 413. Plaintiff seeks an order invalidating the Arbitration Clause. 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// -99COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1 PRAYER FOR RELIEF 2 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for the following relief: 3 4 1. 5 6 That Plaintiffs be awarded all other damages arising in any manner from Defendants’ acts and omissions as described hereinabove; 2. 7 That Plaintiffs be awarded reasonable litigation expenses, costs, and attorneys’ fees; 8 3. That Plaintiffs be awarded punitive damages; 9 4. That Plaintiffs be awarded presumed damages; 10 5. Plaintiff be awarded prejudgment interest; 11 6. Such other and further relief as equity and justice may require. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL Plaintiffs hereby demand a trial by jury on all issues so triable. DATED this 21st day of March, 2022. GERARD FOX LAW, P.C. _____________________________ Gerard P. Fox Attorneys for Plaintiffs Gustavo Escamilla and Greenway Nutrients Inc. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -100COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES EXHIBIT – A – 1 2 3 4 5 6 MARY ANN SMITH Deputy Commissioner SEAN ROONEY Assistant Chief Counsel VANESSA T. LU (State Bar No. 295217) Counsel Department of Business Oversight 1350 Front Street, Room 2034 San Diego, California 92101 Telephone: (619) 545-3727 Facsimile: (619) 525-4044 7 State of California - Department of Business Oversight Attorneys for Complainant 8 9 BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS OVERSIGHT 10 OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 11 In the Matter of: 12 13 THE COMMISSIONER OF BUSINESS OVERSIGHT, 14 15 16 Complainant, v. VIRAGE MASTER LP, 17 Respondent. 18 19 ) CFL LICENSE NO.: 603L286 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CONSENT ORDER ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 20 21 This Consent Order is entered into between the Commissioner of Business Oversight 22 (Complainant or Commissioner) and Respondent Virage Master LP (Respondent) and is made with 23 respect to the following facts: 24 I. 25 RECITALS 26 A. The Commissioner has jurisdiction over the licensing and regulation of persons and 27 entities engaged in the business of finance lending or brokering under the California Financing Law 28 (CFL) (Fin. Code, § 22000 et seq.). -1CONSENT ORDER 1 2 Respondent is a limited partnership, with a principal place of business at 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, 2 Boulevard Place, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77056. 3 C. 4 603L286. 5 D. Respondent operates 1 branch office in Texas. 6 E. In accordance with Financial Code section 22159, CFL licensees must file an annual 7 State of California - Department of Business Oversight B. 8 9 Respondent is licensed as a finance lender under the CFL with main license number report with the Commissioner by March 15 of each year (Annual Report). F. On December 16, 2019, the Commissioner notified CFL licensees of the March 15, 2020 deadline to file their annual reports by sending notice to the email address of each CFL 10 licensee established pursuant to the Commissioner’s Order on Electronic Communications, dated 11 November 22, 2013. The notification admonished licensees that the Commissioner could assess 12 penalties for untimely filing or failing to file pursuant to Financial Code section 22715(b). 13 G. On January 29, 2020, the Commissioner again notified CFL licensees of the March 14 15, 2020 deadline to file their annual reports by sending notice to the email address each CFL 15 licensee established pursuant to the Commissioner’s Order on Electronic Communications, dated 16 November 22, 2013. The notification again warned that the Commissioner could assess monetary 17 penalties for untimely filing or failing to file pursuant to Financial Code section 22715(b). 18 H. On March 2, 2020, the Commissioner again notified CFL licensees of the March 15, 19 2020 deadline to file their annual reports by sending notice to the email address each CFL licensee 20 established pursuant to the Commissioner’s Order on Electronic Communications, dated November 21 22, 2013. The notification warned that the Commissioner could assess penalties and summarily 22 revoke licenses for untimely filing or failing to file pursuant to Financial Code section 22715. 23 I. As of March 15, 2020, Respondent had not filed its Annual Report with the 24 Commissioner. As a result, the Commissioner issued a notice on March 18, 2020 to Respondent to 25 Respondent’s email address established pursuant to the Commissioner’s Order on Electronic 26 Communications, dated November 22, 2013, advising Respondent that it should file its annual report 27 by or before March 30, 2020 or else its license would be summarily revoked pursuant to Financial 28 Code section 22715 (Notice email). -2CONSENT ORDER 1 As of March 30, 2020, Respondent had not filed its Annual Report with the 2 Commissioner as directed in the Notice email. As a result, on April 3, 2020, the Commissioner 3 issued an Order Summarily Revoking Finance Lenders and/or Brokers License(s) Pursuant to 4 Financial Code Section 22715 for CFL License Number 603L286 (Summary Revocation Order). 5 6 7 State of California - Department of Business Oversight J. K. Upon receiving the Summary Revocation Order(s), Respondent timely notified the Commissioner that Respondent was requesting a hearing on the Summary Revocation Order(s). L. On April 16, 2020, Respondent submitted its Annual Report, which was due on 8 March 15, 2020, 23 business days late. Pursuant to Financial Code Section 22715, the maximum 9 penalty that may be imposed for filing 23 business days late is $9,500.00 ($100 per business day for 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 the first five business days and $500 per business day thereafter up to a maximum of $25,000). M. In connection with these proceedings, Respondent represented to the Commissioner that it had taken no new applications under its license. N. The Commissioner finds that entering into this Consent Order is in the public interest and consistent with the purposes fairly intended by the policies and provisions of the CFL. NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing, and the terms and conditions set forth herein, the parties agree as follows: 17 II. 18 TERMS AND CONDITIONS 19 20 21 22 23 1. Purpose. The parties intend to resolve this matter for the purpose of judicial economy and expediency and without the uncertainty and expense of a hearing or other litigation. 2. Order Rescinding Penalty Order. The Commissioner hereby rescinds the Order Summarily Revoking California Finance Lenders License which had been issued on April 3, 2020. 3. Administrative Penalty. Respondent shall pay an administrative penalty of $6,500.00 24 no later than 30 days after the effective date of this Consent Order as defined in paragraph 25. The 25 penalty must be made payable in the form of a cashier’s check or Automated Clearing House deposit 26 to the Department of Business Oversight and transmitted to the attention of Accounting – Litigation, 27 at the Department of Business Oversight, 1515 K Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, California 95814. 28 -3CONSENT ORDER 1 Notice of the payment must be concurrently sent to Vanessa T. Lu, Counsel, Department of Business 2 Oversight, 1350 Front Street, Room 2034, San Diego, California 92101. State of California - Department of Business Oversight 3 4. Failure to Pay Administrative Penalty. If Respondent fails to comply with paragraph 4 3, the Commissioner may summarily suspend Respondent from engaging in business under its 5 license until it provides evidence of compliance to the Commissioner’s satisfaction. Respondent 6 hereby waives any notice or hearing rights afforded under the Administrative Procedure Act, 7 including Government Code section 11415.60, subdivision (b); Code of Civil Procedure; or any 8 other provision of law to contest the summary suspension contemplated by this paragraph. 9 5. Waiver of Hearing Rights. Respondent acknowledges the Commissioner is ready, 10 willing, and able to proceed with the filing of an administrative enforcement action on the charges 11 contained in this Consent Order. Respondent hereby waives the right to any hearings, and to any 12 reconsideration, appeal, or other right to review which may be afforded pursuant to the CFL, the 13 California Administrative Procedure Act, the California Code of Civil Procedure, or any other 14 provision of law. Respondent further expressly waives any requirement for the filing of an 15 Accusation pursuant to Government section 11415.60, subdivision (b). By waiving such rights, 16 Respondent effectively consents to this Consent Order and Order rescinding Penalty Order becoming 17 final. 18 6. Full and Final Resolution. The parties hereby acknowledge and agree that this 19 Consent Order is intended to constitute a full and final resolution of the violations described herein, 20 and that no further proceedings or actions will be brought by the Commissioner in connection with 21 these matters except under the CFL or any other provision of law, excepting therefrom any 22 proceeding to enforce compliance with the terms of this Consent Order. 23 7. Failure to Comply with Consent Order. Respondent agrees that if it fails to comply 24 with the terms of this Consent Order, the Commissioner may, in addition to all other available 25 remedies it may invoke under the CFL, summarily suspend/revoke the CFL license of Respondent 26 until Respondent is in compliance. Respondent waives any notice and hearing rights to contest such 27 summary suspensions/revocations which may be afforded under the CFL, the California 28 -4CONSENT ORDER 1 Administrative Procedure Act, the California Code of Civil Procedure, or any other provision of law 2 in connection therewith. 3 Information Willfully Withheld or Misrepresented. This Consent Order may be 4 revoked, and the Commissioner may pursue any and all remedies available under law against 5 Respondent if the Commissioner discovers that Respondent knowingly or willfully withheld or 6 misrepresented information used for and relied upon in this Consent Order. 7 State of California - Department of Business Oversight 8. 9. Future Actions by Commissioner. If Respondent fails to comply with the terms of the 8 Consent Order, the Commissioner may institute proceedings for any and all violations otherwise 9 resolved under this Consent Order. The Commissioner reserves the right to bring any future actions 10 against Respondent, or any of its partners, owners, officers, shareholders, directors, employees or 11 successors for any and all unknown violations of this CFL. 12 10. Assisting Other Agencies. Nothing in this Consent Order limits the 13 Commissioner’s ability to assist any other government agency (city, county, state or federal) with 14 any prosecution, administrative, civil or criminal action brought by that agency against Respondent 15 or any other person based on any of the activities alleged in this matter or otherwise. 16 11. No Presumption Against Drafter. Each party acknowledges that it has had the 17 opportunity to draft, review, and edit the language of this Consent Order. Accordingly, the parties 18 intend no presumption for or against the drafting party will apply in construing any part of this 19 Consent Order. The parties waive the benefit of Civil Code section 1654 as amended or 20 corresponding provisions of any successor statute, which provide that in cases of uncertainty, 21 language of a contract should be interpreted most strongly against the party who caused the 22 uncertainty to exist. 23 12. Independent Legal Advice. Each of the parties represents, warrants, and agrees that it 24 has received independent advice from its attorney(s) and/or representatives with respect to the 25 advisability of executing this Consent Order. 26 13. Headings. The headings to the paragraphs of this Consent Order are inserted for 27 convenience only and will not be deemed a part hereof or affect the construction or interpretation of 28 the provisions hereof. -5CONSENT ORDER 1 2 14. interest. 3 State of California - Department of Business Oversight Binding. This Consent Order is binding on all heirs, assigns, and/or successors in 15. Reliance. Each of the parties represents, warrants, and agrees that in executing this 4 Consent Order, it has relied solely on the statements set forth herein and the advice of its own legal 5 counsel. Each of the parties further represents, warrants, and agrees that in executing this Consent 6 Order it has placed no reliance on any statement, representation, or promise of any other party, or 7 any other person or entity not expressly set forth herein, or upon the failure of any party or any other 8 person or entity to make any statement, representation, or disclosure of anything whatsoever. The 9 parties have included this clause: (1) to preclude any claim that any party was in any way 10 fraudulently induced to execute this Consent Order; and (2) to preclude the introduction of parol 11 evidence to vary, interpret, supplement, or contradict the terms of this Consent Order. 12 16. Waiver, Amendments, and Modifications. No waiver, amendment, or modification of 13 this Consent Order will be valid or binding unless it is in writing and signed by each of the parties. 14 The waiver of any provision of this Consent Order will not be deemed a waiver of any other 15 provision. No waiver by either party of any breach of, or of compliance with, any condition or 16 provision of this Consent Order by the other party will be considered a waiver of any other condition 17 or provision or of the same condition or provision at another time. 17. 18 Full Integration. This Consent Order is the final written expression and the complete 19 and exclusive statement of all the agreements, conditions, promises, representations, and covenants 20 between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersedes all prior or 21 contemporaneous agreements, negotiations, representations, understandings, and discussions 22 between and among the parties, their respective representatives, and any other person or entity, with 23 respect to the subject matter covered hereby. 24 18. Governing Law. This Consent Order will be governed by and construed in 25 accordance with California law. Each of the parties hereto consents to the jurisdiction of such court 26 and thereby irrevocably waives, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the defense of an inconvenient 27 forum to the maintenance of such action or proceeding in such court. 28 /// -6CONSENT ORDER 1 19. 2 counterparts, each of which when so executed, shall be deemed an original. Such counterparts shall 3 together constitute a single document. 4 State of California - Department of Business Oversight Counterparts. This Consent Order may be executed in one or more separate 20. Effect Upon Future Proceedings. If Respondent applies for any license, permit or 5 qualification under the Commissioner’s current jurisdiction, or are the subject of any future action by 6 the Commissioner to enforce this Consent Order, then the subject matter hereof shall be admitted for 7 the purpose of such application(s) or enforcement proceeding(s). 8 9 21. Voluntary Agreement. Respondent hereby enters in this Consent Order voluntarily and without coercion and acknowledges that no promises, threats, or assurances have been made by 10 the Commissioner or any officer, or agent thereof, about this Consent Order. The parties each 11 represent and acknowledge that he, she or it is executing this Consent Order completely voluntarily 12 and without any duress or undue influence of any king from any source. 13 22. Notice. Any notice required under this Consent Order be provided to each party at 14 the following addresses: 15 To Respondent Virage Master LP: Virage Master LP c/o Virage Capital Management LP Attn: Burke McDavid General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, 2 Blvd. Place Suite 300 Houston, Texas 77056 [email protected] To the Commissioner: Vanessa T. Lu, Counsel Department of Business Oversight 1350 Front Street, Room 2034 San Diego, California 92101 [email protected] 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 23. Signatures. A fax or electronic mail signature shall be deemed the same as an 27 original signature. 28 /// -7CONSENT ORDER 1 2 3 Public Record. Respondent hereby acknowledges that the Consent Order is and will be a matter of public record. 25. Effective Date. This Consent Order shall become final and effective when signed by 4 all parties and delivered by the Commissioner’s agent via e-mail to Respondent at the following 5 email address: [email protected] 6 State of California - Department of Business Oversight 24. 26. Authority to Sign. Each signatory hereto covenants that he/she possesses all 7 necessary capacity and authority to sign and enter into this Consent Order and undertake the 8 obligations set forth herein. 9 10 Dated: May 13, 2020 MANUEL P. ALVAREZ Commissioner of Business Oversight 11 12 By_____________________________ MARY ANN SMITH Deputy Commissioner Enforcement Division 13 14 15 16 17 Dated: May 13, 2020 VIRAGE MASTER LP By Virage LLC, its general partner 18 19 20 By EDWARD ONDARZA Manager 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -8CONSENT ORDER EXHIBIT – B – EXHIBIT – C – EXHIBIT – D – EXHIBIT – E – 1/9/22, 3:14 AM Yahoo Mail - Fwd: Fw: Funds and web info Fwd: Fw: Funds and web info From: Liza Haworth ([email protected]) To: [email protected] Date: Friday, September 14, 2018, 10:40 AM PDT BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! d message --------From: Date: Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 8:03 AM Subject: Fw: Funds and web info To: Liza From: [email protected] Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:44:21 -0400 To: Subject: Funds and web info I received the first $50,000.00 wire deposit and the $5,000.00 to us. Where should I send the notice of receipt of the funds for the $50,000.00. Also, Saw this on the web today, knew you would want to see it. Tom PRESS RELEASE July 26, 2010, 8:06 a.m. EDT  ·  Recommend  ·  Post:    Cannabis Medical Solutions Announces Letter of Intent to Acquire Equity Interest in Up to Eight Colorado Medical Marijuana Dispensaries LOS ANGELES, Jul 26, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Cannabis Medical Solutions Inc. (http://www.cannabismedsolutions.com/) (CMSI 0.02, +0.00, +5.29%), a leading company specializing in both brick-andmortar and online merchant payment solutions and financial security products for medical marijuana dispensaries and high-risk merchant accounts, today announced that the Company has signed a Letter of Intent with Green Medicals LLC to acquire equity interest in up to eight (8) medical marijuana dispensaries within the state of Colorado. The proposed transaction will give CMSI operating interest in up to eight dispensaries in exchange for cash and equity to be disclosed upon signing of definitive agreement within the next two weeks. "The closing of this transaction is subject to the normal due diligence process, stated B. Michael Friedman, co-founder and acting CEO of Cannabis Medical Solutions, including, without limitation, the execution of a definitive agreement and compliance with state and federal laws. We believe this potential transaction with Green Medicals LLC and their locations presently operating under the name "The Green Door" will 1/2 1/9/22, 3:14 AM Yahoo Mail - Fwd: Fw: Funds and web info immediately enhance our business franchising model and brand while creating meaningful revenues through ownership, merchant processing, cash advance loans and consulting fees," further stated Friedman. About Cannabis Medical Solutions Cannabis Medical Solutions Inc. (CMSI 0.02, +0.00, +5.29%)(http://www.cannabismedsolutions.com/) has quickly become the most recognized brand and partner in both online and wireless niche merchant payment solutions. The Company offers a full spectrum of secure and reliable transaction processing solutions using traditional, Internet Point-of-Sale (POS), e-commerce and mobile (wireless) terminals in conjunction with Industry Alliance Partners. The Company has recently focused on providing payment solutions to the licensed medical marijuana dispensaries throughout 14 states. In an effort to keep these businesses within the guidelines of CA Proposition 215, SB 420 and HB 1284, Cannabis Medical Solutions offers reliable merchant payment solutions and closed loop pre-paid stored value and loyalty cards as a unique cash alternative to these regulated dispensaries for both operators and members of collectives. CMSI will seek to capitalize on this presently untapped and much needed solution, and presently provides services to multiple locations throughout California, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana. FORWARD-LOOKING DISCLAIMER This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Cannabis Medical Solutions Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein. This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com SOURCE: Cannabis Medical Solutions, Inc. CONTACT: Cannabis Medical Solutions Inc. Investor Relations: 615.371.6148 800.420.CALL [email protected] (C) Copyright 2010 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All rights reserved.  2/2 EXHIBIT – F – EXHIBIT – G – EXHIBIT – H – ----- Forwarded Message ----- From: Tom Ryan To: "[email protected]" ; "[email protected]" Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011, 04:36:23 PM PDT Subject: ecowin I have redone the contract. In the second Article 1. 1.1 I can't cure the problem with the numbering, I have incerted an XXXX . THis is where the prices are. Obviosly the prices can be changed, but I was going to lock them in for a term of time. Please discus this, put in the term and lets send it off. They will make the changes they want anyway. Tom EXHIBIT – I – 3/21/22, 2:49 PM Yahoo Mail - RE: Ongoing and illegal Amazon.com sales of Greenway Nutrients® products RE: Ongoing and illegal Amazon.com sales of Greenway Nutrients® products From: Gibson, Shawn S ([email protected]) To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Date: Friday, October 28, 2016, 06:38 AM PDT Mr. Escamilla, We have researched your claims and consulted with the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri and while we sympathize with your situation, we have been advised that on August 17, 2015 a District Court found in favor of Selakovic against Greenway Nutrients in regards to the assertion of the Greenway trademark.  While we understand that you may disagree with this judgement, our agency is bound by decision of the court and therefor are restricted on what we can do in regards to your claims that they continue to sell your products illegally.  My suggestion is to seek legal alternatives such as an appeal of the decision and if you should receive an affirmative decision we can revisit our involvement against the distribution of the Greenway products.  Regardless, we continue to investigate the alleged criminal activities in regards to his alleged distribution of counterfeit software.  Please let me know if you have any questions.        Shawn Gibson | Operations Manager DHS – ICE | Homeland Security Investigations-Domestic Operations 500 12th Street SW, 6th Floor MS-5106 (6161) | Washington D.C. 20536 [email protected]       With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. UNCLASSIFIED // LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE //OFFICIAL USE ONLY -----Original Message----From: Gustavo Escamilla [mailto:[email protected]] Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 5:56 PM To: [email protected]; Carlos Suarez Subject: Ongoing and illegal Amazon.com sales of Greenway Nutrients® products Dear Mr. Gibson and Suarez, I hope that you are both in good spritis and going well. David Selakovic and Steve Blackburn are still illegally selling my companies US Trademark protected products via Amazon.com and Anthony Kornrumpf' company named Lookoutdeals.com. Below is an advertisement of Lookoutdeals.com' ongoing and illegal sales of my companies products through Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0068WCIMM/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1476308381&sr=87π=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Greenway+Nutrients&dpPl=1&dpID=413XunGT84L&ref=plSrch Mr. Kornrumpf was also sued by Adobe Systems for the ongoing and illegal sales of Adobe Systems products as well. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2014/06/02/12-16616.pdf I thought that this information would be helpful as it pertains the statute of limitations. It appears as if all of these gentlemen continue to have zero respect, and or fear of of the law , as well as from any type of federal law enforcement criminal action for all of their ongoing and highly illegal business conduct. 1/2 3/21/22, 2:49 PM Yahoo Mail - RE: Ongoing and illegal Amazon.com sales of Greenway Nutrients® products Thank you. Sincerely, Gus Escamilla President Greenway Nutrients® 135 East Olive Ave. #4103 Burbank, CA. 91503 (818) 355-0062 Direct 2/2 EXHIBIT – J – EXHIBIT – K – '5‘“ INBOUND NOTIFICATION E FAX RECEIVED SUCCESSFULLY TI Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM @aeeéeeo-cv-00507-ALM May 31 2020 at 1033-05 PM PDT Jun 01 2020 , 12:55AM . . AWilljamson, LLC _ #: 1911 Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 1 of 74 PageID #: 1911 Documemtwibihficsfdled 06/01flflmfi’ 39%” 7%@ng ' d 3019161560 2254 3019161560 page www.3williamsonJaw 74 Rece'lve 1 Andrew M Williamson MEMBER A.Williamson, LLC 12410 Milestone Center Drive Suite 600 Germantomi, MD 20876 Phone: 301-916-1560 Email: [email protected] VIA FACSIMILE June 1, 2020 Hon. Amos L. Mazzant, III United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Paul Broom United States Courthouse 101 East Pecan Street Sherman, Texas 75090 903-893-7008 (Phone) 903-893-9067 (Fax) Re: Earlv. The Boeing Comany andSouthwestAirlines 00., Case No. 4:19-cv-00507 (EDTX) ExParte Submission for Privilege Review in Conjunction with June I, 2020 Hearing. ' documents, which I am submitting ex parts to the Court for a privilege review, in conjunction With the June 1, 2020 hearing ' ' Pierce Bainbridge, by its outside counsel Ed Altabet, has claimed a blanket privilege over all of these documents and other information, which has prevented me from filing these documents publicly—let alone disclosing their contents or disclosing publicly other relevant knowledge I possess, which is based on internal communications at Pierce Bainbridge. 2:55AM AW'll' , LLC 3019161560 _ page 2 Jun 01 zogage 4:19-cv100n6582-ALM Document 116 Flled 06/01/20 PageZof 74 PageID #.. 1912 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 2 of 74 PageID #: 1912 June 1, 2020 Page 2 regarding other cases, which I do not believe should be disclosed at all (nor is such information relevant, here). These documents support, or provide context to, the basis for my assertion that David Hecht made several misrepresentations in his statements on the record at the May 13, 2020 hearing in this matter, and in the Response brief he filed on behalf of Pierce Bainbridge on May 28, 2020 (ECF No. 109) (the “Response”). Specific misrepresentations include: (1) Mr. Hecht’ s repeated assertion that the initial Motion to withdraw was filed “in error,“ when I can demonstrate it was not. (2) Mr. Hecht’s repeated representations that he and Mr. Lorin never resigned from Pierce Bainbridge, but instead only resigned fiom the partnership. Documents and communications in my possession show this is not accuratel; (3) Mr. Hecht’s repeated statements that he is “knowledgeable” about this case, has ever had, a “critica ” role in this case—or that he is in a position to advance Plaintiffs” case. This appears to be based solely to his on-the-record assertion that the litigation funding he is purportedly attempting to secure is directly “tied to” his “own continued role in the case.” See ECF No. 109 at 2 and 5; quoting Transcript of May 13, 2020 Hearing at 4:23-25. Mr. Hecht’s representations that he purportedly might-have—secured—funds— subject-to—docurnentation to help pay for costs (even if true) are not relevant to his assertion that he has played a critical role or is laiowledgeable about this case, and may have been made to mislead for some other purpose. In addition, Mr. Hecht’s purported reasoning for leaving the Motion to Withde untouched for twenty—nine (29) days, and sudden interest in withdrawing it is also dubious. At the May 13th hearing, Mr. Hecht provided various excuses to the Court and counsel as to why he had not acted sooner, such as “COVID” and “significant structural changes” at Pierce Bainbridge—none of which have anything to do with why the Motion to Withdraw was filed, and most likely nothing to do with why no effort was made to withdraw it for twenty-nine (29) days. While I can certainly empathize with the challenges COVID-l9 as wrought on so many, despite the pandemic, Mr. Hecht managed to launch his own law firm, Hecht Partners, LLPZ; file lawsuits there3; 1 In addition, Mr. Hecht and Mr. Lorin have filed pleadings in other federal courts—some under oath—in the past two months that contradict Mr. Hecht’s on—the-record statements to the Court in this action concerning the continuity of their affiliation with Pierce Bainbridge. Many of these federal court filings are attached to a pleading filed in this matter on May 31’“. See. e.g., Plaintiffs’ Opposition to David Hecht’s Request to Vacate the Court’s June 1, 2020 Hearing (ECF No. 112) at Exhibits C through I (ECF Nos. 112-4 through 112-10) 2 See, e.g., https://wwv.hech§artners.com/david-l—hecht htt sz/z’www. mewswire.com/news-releases/hecht— artners-files-suit-a ainst-boston-universi -for-student— tuition-reimbursement—30l054356.html (Last Accessed on May 31, 2020) Jun 01 2020 12:56AM AWilljamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 3 Case 4: 19-ev-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 3 of 74 PageID #: 1913 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 3 of 74 PageID #: 1913 June 1, 2020 Page 3 and brief several motions to compel, Daubert motions, and a major motion for summary judgment in an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida.4 Yet, he could not find the time over the course of an entire month, to undertake the simple act of withdrawing a motion that he claims was filed “in error,” in a case that he belatedly claims he is affiliated with. See Transcript at 3:16-19 and 9:23-24. Had someone at Pierce Bainbridge or “affiliated” with Pierce Bainbridge—as Mr. Hecht claims to have consistently been despite his March resignation—felt the Motion to Withdraw was filed “in error” they certainly could have withdrawn it right away. Yet, no one, including Mr. Hecht or Mr. Lorin, was willing to put their name on such a filing and represent to the Court that it ought to be withdrawn—at least no one was willing to take that position until May 13, 2020, twenty-nine (29) days after it was filed. Apparently, Mr. Hecht did not feel compelled to act until, according to him, a litigation funder offered him “significant funds for this case tied to Mr. Lorin and my own continued role in the case, subject to documentation.” See id at 4:23-25 (emphasis added); see also Response at 5 (same). In any event, Mr. Hecht’s and Mr. Lorin’s sudden position that they will remain involved in this case—despite leaving the Motion to Withdraw unchallenged for twenty-nine (29) days—does not excuse the misrepresentations made to this Court. Even if it is true that Mr. Hecht is now re-affiliated with Pierce Bainbridge (to the extent that entity meaningfully exists anymore), that does not excuse Mr. Hecht’s misrepresentations to the Court concerning the circumstances of his resignation or the propriety of the Motion to Withdraw. Mr. Hecht‘s sudden aggressive actions to appear in this litigation—in which he has had zero meaningful historical involvement to date—apparently to protect Pierce Bainbridge’s (or a perhaps a funder’s) “lodestar” interest, or perhaps to secure funding for his own law firm, all raise serious concerns over who is directing Pierce Bainbridge’s, Mr. Hecht’s (or Hecht Partners’) actions in this matter. This should be explored by the Court and the record should be corrected, accordingly. Regards Andrew M. Willifnson A.Wiliiamson, LLC Enclosures: Affidavit and Exhibits “ See, e.g., Apple, Inc. v. Corellium, LLC, Case No. 9:19-cv—81160 at ECF Nos. 341, 342, 344, 444, 452, and 454. LLC 3019161560 Jun 01 2028,;252Al49-SERRA/11M Document 116 Filed 06/01/240 Page 4 of 74 PageID #: 1914 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 4 of 74 PageID #: 1914 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SHERMAN DIVISION DAMONIE EARL, LINDA RUGG, ALESA BECK, TIMOTHY BLAKEY, JR., STEPHANIE BLAKEY, MARISA THOMPSON, MUHAMMAD MUDDASIR KHAN, ELIZABETH COOPER, JOHN ROGERS, VALERIE MORTZ-ROGERS and LAKESHA GOGGIN S each individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Civil Action No. 4: l9-cv-00507 Plaintiffs. V. THE BOEING COMPANY, and SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO., De endants. DECLARATION OF ANDREW M. WILLIAMSON 1, Andrew M. Williamson, declare as follows: 1. I am a Member at A.Williamson, LLC and former Counsel at the law firm ofPierce Bainbridge Beck, Price and Hecht, LLP. I submit this declaration based on my own knowledge and belief, and as an officer ofthe Court pursuant to my ethical obligations under Local Rule AT3(b) and Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct 3.03. 2. At the May 13, 2020 hearing in this matter, and again in the Response, (ECF N0. 109) (the “Response”) to my prior Notice and Request for Hearing (ECF No. 100), Mr. Hecht made several misrepresentations to the Court.1 . - 9161560 a e 5 . Jun 01 20%)asze54li‘i49-énggm588gl-ALfi/I 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 03/81/20 Page 55 of of 74 74 PageID Page|D#. 1915 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 3O|i)ocument Document 116 Page #: 1915 entity, ability to continue to adequately represent Plaintiffs in this case and I am also concerned whether a litigation funder is exerting improper control or influence over Pierce Bainbridge’s and/or Mr. Hecht’s actions in this case. 4. I attempted to investigate the veracity of Mr. Hecht’s statements before involving the Court. See Exhibit 9 attached hereto (May 16, 2020 Email). From the outset of those efforts, I received a threatening email from Pierce Bainbridge’s outside counsel, Ed Altabet, in response to an inquiry regarding some of Mr. Hecht’s on-the—recorcl statements, which fiirther reinforced my concerns over the motivation behind those statements and my concerns over who is actually controlling litigation for Pierce Bainbridge. See Exhibit 10 attached hereto (May 17, 2020 Email). I found it troubling that, instead of a factual response from the firrn’s CF0 or COO (whom I had emailed), I instead received a visceral response from Mr. Altabet (who had previously represented to me that he has ties to the firrn”s litigation funder, Virage Capital Management, LLC). See id. 5. I have documents/communications in my possession, and knowledge from internal firm communications, which I believe are material to correcting the record. 6. However, Pierce Bainbridge and Mr. Altabet have asserted a blanket privilege over all of these documents and communications and have asserted privilege over me divulging the substance of any internal oral communications from my time at Pierce Bainbridge. See Exhibit 11 (May 18, 2020 Email) and Exhibit 12 (May 20, 2020 Email). 7. The following Exhibits are true and accurate copies of documents and communications in my possession relevant to the assertions I make in this affidavit, and which are relevant to correcting he record in this matter (my position regarding privilege is stated in the footnotes, below): 3.. Exhibit 2: Email memorandum that I sent to Camille Varlack (C00 and Deputy General Counsel) and Kevin Cash (CF0) after being informed the -2- . -019161560 a e 6 , . Jun 01 2026:)aég52fi19_é\wlggrn558%_ALttli\/I Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 0&81/20 Page 66 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #. 1916 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 3 Document Page #: 1916 firm was shutting down on April 13th, which summarizes my cases and the actions I intended to take to wind them down, including filing a motion to withdraw in this matter (information regarding other matters is redacted).2 b. Exhibit 3: My April 15, 2020 email to Mr. Altabet memorializing our conversation from the prior evening, explaining my authority to file withdrawal motion, and requesting that he step threatening me.3 c. Exhibit 4: April 15-16, 2020 “Direct Messages” from the firm’s Slack internal messaging system between myself and Andy Lorin in which he confirmed he was not continuing on the case, and that the firm had no “good faith” basis for doing 50.4 d. Exhibit 5: My email to Mr. Altabet from the evening of April 15, 2020 inquiring why he misrepresented Mr. Lorin’s availability to remain on the case, demanding access to my private client’s files, and demanding Mr. Altabet stop threatening me.5. e. Exhibit 6: Andy Lorin’s April 16, 2020 email to Mr. Altabet confirming my actions were proper, that the motion to withdraw should remain on file, and related prior coercive email correspondence from Mr. Altabet.6 f. Exhibit 7: Andy Lorin’s April 115 2020 resignation letter—which was included as an attachment to emails fi'om Ed Altabet and Kevin Cash— showing Mr. Lorin had resigned from the firm.7 J un 01 2020 12:58AM AW'llj , LLC 3019161560 _ page 7 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4:19-cv-|00%58;-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Flled 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page7of74 Page|D#: 1917 Case 7 of 74 PageID #: 1917 g. Exhibit 8: My April 22, 2020 Final Case Memorandum sent to Camille Varlack (COO), Kevin Cash (CFO), and Tom Warren (Interim Managing Partner).3 h. Exhibit 9: An email I sent to Camille Varlack and Kevin Cash on Saturday May 16, 2020 inquiring as to Mr. Hecht’s representations that he and Mr. Lorin were still “affiliated” with Pierce Bainbridge.9 i. Exhibit 10: An email I received at my current law firm address from Mr. Altabet on May 17, 2020, in response to my email to Ms. Varlack and Mr. Cash, in which Mr. Altabet made baseless accusations against me in an apparent effort to intimidate me.10 j. Exhibit 11: May 18, 2020 email correspondence from me to Mr. Altabet responding to his May 17“] email and confirming I would seek aCourt order, per his demand, before taking any further action that would disclose substantive information based on internal Pierce Bainbridge communications and documents—despite their materiality to correcting the record in this matter. “ k. Exhibit 12: May 20, 2020 in which I confirmedl would present the attached documents to the Court for a privilege review before presenting them (or discussing their contents) with counsel for defendants. 12 3 My position on privilege for this memorandum is that the portions relevant to the issue of candor to the Court in this matter are not shielded from disclosure by work product or privilege (I have redacted information relevant only to other cases, which is irrelevant here). 9 My position on privilege is that nothing in this correspondence is privileged or confidential. This was sent to me at my current law firm email address and I have no former or current confidential relationship with Mr. Altabet that could possibly support an assertion of privilege over this email. '0 My position on privilege is that nothing in this correspondence is privileged or confidential. This was sent to me at my current law firm email address and I have no former or current confidential relationship with Mr. Altabet that could possibly support an assertion of privilege. ‘1 My position on privilege is that nothing in this correspondence is privileged or confidential. It was sent to me at my current law firm email address and I have no former or current confidential relationship with Mr. Altabet that could possibly support an assertion of privilege over this email. 12 My position on privilege is that nothing in this correspondence is privileged or confidential. This was sent to me at my current law firm email address and I have no former or current confidential relationship with Mr. Altabet that would support an assertion of privilege here. -4- Jun 01 2020 12:59AM AWilllamson, LLC 3019161560 _ a e 8 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4:19—cv-00507-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 0&81/20 Page Page80f74 Page|D#: 1918 Case 8 of 74 PageID #: 1918 8. Information in these documents supports my belief that Mr. Hecht made several misrepresentations to the Court (both at the May 13th hearing and in the May 28“1 Response), and my concern for his lack of candor to the Court, summarized as follows: a. Mr. Hecht stated at the hearing, and again in the Response, that he and Andy Lorin never resigned from Pierce Bainbridge, but purportedly only resigned from the partnership, and never left the firm. See Transcript (Exhibit 1) at 4:9-11; Response (ECF No. 109) at 2. That is not true. I was told that Mr. Hecht resigned from the firm by firm managers and Mr. Hecht is on record and under oath in several other federal courts stating as far back as mid-April that he was no longer afi‘iliared with Pierce Bainbridge. See Exhibit 3 at 1 and Exhibit 5 at 1. Mr. Lorin told me he had resigned from the firm. See Exhibit 4 at 2, Exhibit 5 at l, and Exhibit 6 at l. And, Mr. Lorin’s resignation letter, unequivocally state he put in his notice of resignation fiom the firm on April 1 l, 2020. See Exhibit 7. b. The Motion to Withdraw was not filed “in error” as Mr. Heeht claimed at the hearing (a claim he repeats in the Response). See Transcript (Ex. 1) at 3:15-19; Response at 2-5. For one, Mr. Hecht’s primary basis for that statement is that he and Mr. Lorin never left Pierce Bainbridge and therefore could continue on the matter (Transcript at 20-24)—a statement which is demonstrably false. Importantly, the Motion to Withdraw was filed based on instructions from farm management, which I repeatedly confirmed in writing with firm management. See Exhibit 2 at 1; Exhibit 3 at 1; Exhibit 4 at 2; Exhibit 5 at 1: Exhibit 6 at 1; Exhibit 8 at 2-3. And, Mr. Hecht omitted the critical fact that, despite Mr. Hecht’s protests shortly after the motion was filed, the firm made a decision not to withdraw. See Exhibits 4-7. That decision was made in light of Mr. Hecht’s and Mr. Lorin’s resignation and because, among other things, the filing itself was not improper and there were zero attorneys remaining at the firm to work on the case.13 See id. In fact, on April 16til (two days after the motion was filed), Andrew Lorin, the last remaining partner on the case at the time, specifically directed that the motion not be withdrawn because neither he, nor anyone else was going to continue on the matter at Pierce Bainbridge, and the firm was “incapable of servicing the clients, nor does it have a good faith basis for believing that it shortly can service the client[s].” See Exhibit 4 (Slack DMs from Mr. Lorin) at 2; see also Exhibit 6 (Lorin April 16“] Email) at 1. c. There does not appear to be any legitimate factual basis whatsoever for Mr. Hecht’s statements at the May 13th hearing or in the May 28111 Response that he somehow “knowledgeable” about this case, has now, or has ever had, a “critical” role in this case— or that he is in a position to advance Plaintiffs’ case. The undersigned worked on this case fiom Fall 2019 through April 2020, and can affirm that Mr. Hecht has never participated ‘3 Mr. Hecht also raises the issue of whether Plaintiffs“ “authorized” the withdrawal. My understanding is that the Plaintiffs were informed of Pierce Bainbridge’s withdrawal motion by counsel, and none objected. J un 01 2020 01:00AM AW'lli mson, LLC 3019161560 _ a e 9 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4:19-cv-IOEJSO7-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 Gap/81/20 Page Page9of74 Page|D#: 1919 Case 9 of 74 PageID #: 1919 in any meaningful manner. His representations that he purportedly might-have-securedfunds-subject—to-documentation to help pay for costs (even if true) are not relevant to his representation that he has played a critical role. This is corroborated by representations at a prior hearing that Mr. Heeht has not billed any time on this case. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct. Dated: May 31, 2020 Lia/21% ”—ls/ Andrew M. Williamson Andrew M. Williamson Jun 01 2020 01:00AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 10 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 10 of 74 PageID #: 1920 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 10 of 74 PageID #: 1920 EXHIBIT 1 Jun 01 2020 01:00AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 11 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 11 of 74 PageID #: 1921 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 11 of 74 PageID #: 1921 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS 2 SHERMAN DIVISION DAMONIE EARL, ET AL : : 3 DOCKET NO. 4:19CV507 VS. : SHERMAN, THE BOEING COMPANY, : : MAY 13, 2020 9:00 A.M. 4 ET AL TEXAS 5 TELEPHONE 6 CONFERENCE BEFORE THE HONORABLE AMOS L. MAZZANT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 7 APPEARANCES (BY TELEPHONE): 8 FOR THE PLAINTIFF: 9 MR. BRIAN JAMEs BATHAEE DUNNE, 355 S. GRANDE, DUNNE LLP 44TH FLOOR 10 LOS ANGELES, CA 90071 11 MR. MR. 12 MR. ANDREW CHAN WOLINSKY BATHAEE DUNNE LLP 13 445 PARK AVENUE, 9TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10022 YAVAR BATHAEE EDWARD GRAUMAN 14 MR. DAVID L. HECHT 15 MR. MR. ANDREW JAY LORIN MICHAEL POMERANTZ 16 MR. ANDREW MICHAEL WILLIAMSON PIERCE BAINBRIDGE BECK 17 277 PARK AVENUE, 45TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10172 18 MR. 19 JOHN JEFFREY EICHMANN DOVEL & 201 LUNER SANTA MONICA, 600 SANTA MONICA, 21 MR. BARRON MCGINNIS FLOOD HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS 22 CA SUITE 20 450 LEXINGTON, NEW YORK, NY 90401 14TH FLOOR 10017 23 MS. ELIZABETH L. 24 CAPSHAW DERIEUX 114 E. COMMERCE 25 GLADEWATER, TX DERIEUX 75647 AW'm MCSmmewm page12 Jun 01 205215? 21:12;-CV-08%)?ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 12 of 74 PageID #: 1922 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 12 of 74 PageID #: 1922 1 FOR BOEING: MR. BENJAMIN L. HATCH MR. 2 JEREMY S. BYRUM MCGUIRE WOODS 101 3 w. MAIN SUITE 9000 WORLD TRADE CENTER NORFOLK, 4 MR. VA 23510 THOMAS MILES FARRELL 5 MCGUIRE WOODS 6 HOUSTON, 7 MR. CLYDE MOODY SIEBMAN 600 TRAVIS, SUITE Tx 7500 77002 SIEBMAN FORREST 8 300 N. TRAVIS SHERMAN, 9 10 FOR SOUTHWEST: JAMES v. LEITO MR. JASON K. FAGELMAN - 12 NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT 2200 ROSS, DALLAS, 13 14 75090 MR. MICHAEL SWARTZENDRUBER MR. 11 TX COURT REPORTER: MS. TX SUITE 3600 75201 JAN MASON OFFICIAL REPORTER 15 16 101 E. PECAN #110 SHERMAN, TEXAS 75090 :7 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 PROCEEDINGS REPORTED BY MECHANICAL STENOGRAPHY, TRANSCRIPT 25 PRODUCED BY COMPUTER-AIDED TRANSCRIPTION. Jun 01 2020 01:01AM AWilh'amson LLC 3019161560 pga e 13 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 13 of 74 PageID #: 1923 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 13 of 74 PageID #: 1923 3 1 2 THE COURT: we‘re here 3 I Good morning. think 5 every time you Bainbridge 8 electronic notice, 9 responses 11 So and as co—counsel that identify yourself motion to withdraw Pierce and request for termination which is Document 79, were kind of opposed to —— well, let me Please and I speak. 7 12 drill. We're here on Plaintiffs' because Judge Mazzant everyone has made their appearances, think you understand the 10 is in 4:19CV507. 4 6 This the motions hear and there it, really of are just speak for themselves. —— who would like to speak on behalf of Pierce Bainbridge? 13 MR. HECHT: Your Honor, this is David Hecht on behalf 14 of Pierce Bainbridge. 15 as 16 motion was submitted in error by a lawyer at Pierce Bainbridge 17 during the tumultuous 18 United States with COVID in April. 19 thought 20 to myself, We are withdrawing the withdrawal motion David Hecht, and Andrew Lorin. and uncertain time at it was appropriate, but representing that 22 attorneys would remain with PB. 23 not left PB. 24 PB, I mean Pierce 25 I as of April We are the it was in firm and in the fact filed in error. for example, 15th none of the withdrawing Mr. Lorin and myself have still officed at PB. And when I Bainbridge. did want to address -- the The lawyer might have The motion was actually wrong as to, 21 We believe and we apologize for not say U1: 3019161560 pa e 14 Jun 01 203315? Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 14 14 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1924 1924 Case 21%|-cQ/wglggg)?ALM 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 1 previously withdrawing the motion, and we didn‘t because of 2 several reasons. 3 our lives, personally and professionally. 4 COVID and was recovering, as is his father. 5 still in the hospital. 6 First, COVID has wreaked havoc on many of Mr. Lorin had My mother is - Second, there was significant structural changes at 7 Pierce Bainbridge that took a couple of weeks to shake out 8 and determine where the pieces would fall. 9 Mr. Lorin and I withdrew from the partnership but we 10 remain affiliated in connection with certain cases, 11 including this one. 12 Bainbridge systems. 13 We have access to all the Pierce And whether there was any affiliation is something that 14 Southwest had questioned in its papers. 15 that there is an affiliation. 16 Bainbridge to service the clients in a co—counsel role, 17 under an agreement with Bathaee Dunne as co—counsel. 18 I can represent We're working with Pierce Third, and most importantly, part of the reason it was 19 delayed, most of the reason is also because we were trying 20 to work through financials to secure sufficient funding to 21 represent the clients sufficiently and effectively in light 22 of this tumultuous situation. 23 secured an independent commitment of significant funds for 24 this case tied to Mr. Lorin and my own continued role in the 25 case, Subject to documentation. And just last night we OMEN4AW'W ucsmmewm page15 Jun 01 20321864: 19-cv-089(5)?ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 15 15 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1925 1925 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 1 That's something that will allow me, Mr. Lorin and 2 others that we are affiliated with to advance the 3 Plaintiffs' 4 briefs, work with experts, whatever is necessary to advance 5 the case, 6 case. We will research, review documents, draft as well as paying for a portion of costs. Our expectation is that within the next couple of weeks 7 the funding will be papered and we will be able to announce 8 that. 9 Mr. 10 11 this And we also have sufficient resources, Lorin and myself, aSide from to continue to represent Plaintiffs in case. And I also wanted to address one of the concerns 12 brought up by Southwest regarding who was in possession, 13 custody and control of all relevant documents. 14 Bainbridge has preserved documents, has possession, 15 and control. l6 agreements, 17 We have, Pierce custody for example, our engagement things like that. So with that, we do want to withdraw the motion and, 18 you know, we do apologize that it took this long to get 19 things together, 20 but it has been an unprecedented time. THE COURT: Okay. So you want to withdraw the 2l motion. Are you going to be filing a new motion to withdraw 22 the certain counsel —- I guess some of the other members of 23 Pierce Bainbridge, I guess, are no longer with or are going to 24 be on the case. 25 you‘re going to file another motion to clear that up. I guess just you and Mr. Lorin. I assume U1: 3019161560 page 16 Jun 01 203315? 91315]-cfilwggga?ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 16 of 74 PageID #: 1926 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 16 of 74 PageID #: 1926 1 MR. HECHT: Yes, we can absolutely do that, and we 2 will work in cooperation with all of these individuals, so 3 everyone knows when something is filed as opposed to something 4 being filed without everyone knowing. 5 THE COURT: Okay. Very well. Let me ask, they're 6 requesting to withdraw the motion, but is anybody else —— does 7 his explanation answer the questions everyone had? 8 9 MR. DUNNE: Well, so this is Brian Dunne from Bathaee Dunne. 10 I just want to note that pretty much every word that 11 was just said is completely news to us and was never 12 provided to us in writing or told to us over the phone. 13 one called to say, hey, we're looking for or we have seCured 14 but not secured but maybe secured funding, or that, you 15 know, David Hecht and Andy Lorin are staying on with Pierce 16 Bainbridge. 17 And so I —— it's a bit of news to our firm, but we look 18 forward to, I guess, seeing what further information is 19 provided on this issue. 20 THE COURT: Okay. 21 MR. HECHT: Your Honor —- 22 THE COURT: Go ahead. 23 MR. HECHT: This is David Hecht again. 24 25 No Well, I totally -- We certainly look forward to working with Bathaee Dunne. We —— it was, you know, kind of a recent 6 3019161560 098 e 17 Jun 01 206%5032313-61W3%a€5%“.AtM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 17 17 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1927 1927 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 1 2 3 making Sure that we can adequately represent this class of 4 Plaintiffs. 5 And I don't want this hearing to get into petty 6 bickering or any kind of mud—slinging. 7 work it out. 8 in any kind of drama amongst the firms. 9 We don't want to waste the Court's resources THE COURT: 10 So we're happy to Okay. MR. POMERANTZ: Any —— Your Honor, this is Michael 11 Pomerantz. 12 attorneys who has moved to withdraw as part of that motion. 13 I just wanted to speak quickly. I'm one of the I resigned from Pierce Bainbridge in early March, and 14 in the normal course of transitioning my matters, I did ask 15 the firm to move to withdraw me from this matter, along with 16 the other matters that I worked on at the firm. 17 I am currently in the process of incorporating and I 18 hope to represent the Plaintiffs in this case as cohcounsel. 19 But my intention would be to file a new notice of appearance 20 at the appropriate time. 21 new motion to withdraw me as ocunsel, regardless of the 22 withdrawal or non—withdrawal of this motion, which I also 23 was not aware was happening until just now. 24 25 THE COURT: this matter? So I would —— I would anticipate a Okay. Anybody else want to comment on Let me first ask, anyone from Southwest? U1: 3019161560 page 18 Jun 01 203315? 914124}Clix/W60???ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 18 of 74 PageID #: 1928 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 18 of 74 PageID #: 1928 1 2 MR. SWARTZENDRUBER: Swartzendruber on behalf of Southwest. 3 4 Your Honor, this is Mike All of this is, of course, news to us, and we've heard none of this. 5 6 authorization. 7 now a new firm involved, and there are presumably —- I don't 8 know —— some combination of at least another three lawyers 9 potentially claiming involvement. 10 There is Bathaee Dunne involved. There is And the original motion was devoid of any 11 representations about where the Plaintiffs fit into all 12 this. 13 absent from this —— from this case, which is highly unusual 14 to me in the context of a withdrawal motion. And the actual Plaintiffs have been, frankly, fairly 15 And I think that, again, kind of as we said in our 16 papers, we're a bit baffled about how to take a position on 17 this motion, or the motion that was pending that apparently 18 is going to be withdrawn. 19 where the Plaintiffs are on this. 20 But I would like to understand Obviously, class action litigation is often lawyer —— 21 heavily lawyer driven just by its very nature, but I will 22 say that this is one of the more, frankly, bizarre 23 situations I‘ve ever been involved in. 24 want to make sure, particularly in light of the incredible And we certainly 25 expense associated with this case, that there's going to be U1: 3019161560 page 19 Jun 01 203315? Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 19 19 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1929 1929 Case 914124}Clix/@1830?ALM 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document an orderly manner proceeding and that we're not in a situation where effectively lawyers for the Plaintiffs are driving this and fighting the pursuit of this litigation, almost to the absence of the Plaintiffs. And so I think that's a matter of very real concern to Southwest. THE COURT: And that's a fair question. Mr. Hecht, can you shed some light on that? MR. HECHT: I can. So, to my knowledge, there has been no withdrawal of Pierce Bainbridge as counsel authorized by Plaintiffs. ll 12 13 We have engagement agreements that continue to be active that were not terminated, so I can speak for Pierce Bainbridge, at least from what I‘ve seen —— there may have been communications with clients that I'm not aware of, but as far 14 as I am concerned, the operative firms are Pierce Bainbridge 15 and Bathaee Dunne. 16 And we intend to be continuing to work with folks like 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Michael Pomerantz and others to make sure that, as the firm restructures, those counsel who are continuing and have critical roles, like Mr. Lorin and myself, could continue to be included, as well as working with people who, you know, have knowledge of the case. And certainly Pierce Bainbridge __ on the question of how much money has been spent, Pierce Bainbridge has spent millions in lodestar. Plaintiffs as well. This is a very expensive case for 6 3019161560 pga e 20 Jun 01 2062150; Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 20 20 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1930 1930 Case 251%-cfiwéltagatALLLM 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 10 1 So, you know, we do understand Southwest's concerns and 2 I can represent, without getting into drama, I don't think 3 there's an issue with Plaintiffs at this time. 4 know, we will continue to cooperate, and I think in light of 5 the restructuring and the more certainty that has now come 6 out, I think Plaintiffs' counsel will all be able to 7 cooperate. 8 intending to do, to work together with counsel. And, you At least that's what Pierce Bainbridge is 9 THE COURT: Okay. 10 MR. DUNNE: Your Honor, this is Brian Dunne from 11 Thank you. Go ahead. Bathaee Dunne. 12 I would like to say that Bathaee Dunne has separate 13 engagement agreements with all of the Plaintiffs in this 14 case except for Lakesha Goggins, who wishes to withdraw, 15 whose withdrawal Pierce Bainbridge has not filed, despite it 16 being asked for a couple of months ago. 17 be very problematic. 18 And we find that to But more to the point, I think, given the fact that we 19 haven‘t been told about any of this, we have co—counsel from 20 Dovel & Luner and co—counsel from Capshaw DeRieux. 21 what makes sense here is for an orderly process to move and 22 brief fOr lead counsel on this case, such that there is an 23 orderly process for assignment of work and to —— and to 24 communicate with clients. I think 25 I find it very troubling, very troubling that we showed LLC 3019161560 pga e 21 Jun 01 203:5? 2513-cfilw315g1507n-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 21 of 74 Page|D#: 1931 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 21 of 74 PageID #: 1931 Ll 1 up at the hearing this morning and were told things we had 2 never heard before, and then have our name used as though 3 we're working with them, in the sense that, well, we're 4 working with Bathaee Dunne to cure this and to —- we've 5 never heard any of this. 6 It‘s very troubling. I will note that we, in our role of at least interim 7 lead counsel, have asked for billing records from Pierce 8 Bainbridge. 9 why he would be on the record here claiming that he has 10 David Hecht has zero hours, so I'm not certain worked long and hard on this case. 11 And this case is going forward and I —— I just —— I'm 12 completely mystified, I will say, on behalf of our firm as 13 to why we have gone through so much effort to represent and 14 to communicate with our clients if, in fact, you know, 15 16 17 doing things. And I'm a little bit troubled. I would like a more 18 formal —— a more formal process of work assignments and of 19 communication with clients, given what I've heard so far in 20 this hearing. 21 best to represent the class. And I —— I'm happy to work with whomever is 22 THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Dunne —— 23 MR. DUNNE: But we weren't aware of the letters sent 24 by Defendants. We were unaware of the allegations in them. 25 don't know anything about them. But I read the news too. I LLC 3019161560 pga e 22 Jun 01 2032152 El???)-cfilwggagsgn-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 22 of 74 Page|D#: 1932 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 22 of 74 PageID #: 1932 1 So to come in this morning and have a law firm come in 2 and say, hey, you know, we secured a giant amount of money 3 and we're working with Eathaee Dunne on this. 4 have an affiliation with whatever giant amount of money 5 they're claiming. 6 like an orderly process on behalf of our clients to make 7 sure that everything is on the up and up here. 8 9 And we will work with them, but I would THE COURT: to stop you. 10 No, we don't Okay. Mr. Dunne, let me just —— I want I don't want to hear anything more about that. The issue today was Plaintiffs' motion to withdraw, 11 Document 79, which oeunsel has represented that was 12 inadvertently filed and is requesting to orally withdraw it, 13 which I'm going to grant that request to orally withdraw 14 Document 15 79. The issue between co—counsel, I'm not going down that 16 path today. 17 y'all to work that out, and then if you bring something to 18 the Court at that point, some other motion, but I'm not 19 working out this family dispute, if that's what we want to 20 label 21 it It's not before the Court. That's between as. So in my View the issue we had for today is over, so 22 I'll grant the oral motion to withdraw. It sounds like 23 there's still issues to be dealt with between the 24 relative —— on all Plaintiffs' caunsel, and apparently there 25 may be an issue with one of the Plaintiffs or clients who LLC 3019161560 pga e 23 Jun 01 203215? 91:51:49-cfi/wgggsgn-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 23 of 74 Page|D#: 1933 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 23 of 74 PageID #: 1933 1 wants to withdraw. 2 Again, I would ask, Mr. Hecht and Mr. Dunne, y'all work 3 together to figure out how we proceed. 4 matter the way it's come in, but the only thing before the 5 Cour: is that matter and I'm not going to venture beyond 6 that. 7 Okay. So that issue is behind us. This is an unuSual And I think there 8 were some concerns, Mr. Hecht, about documents and 9 everything. But you're still associated with the firm, so 10 you're representing as an officer of the court that that has 11 all been kept in safekeeping. 12 So if there's no issue on that, I know there was a 13 motion filed regarding extending deadlines. 14 to discuss that at all? l5 MR. SIEBMAN: Did y'all want I know it's opposed. Your Honor, this is Clyde Siebman with 16 Boeing. 17 mediation until after 5:00 o'clock last night. 18 had a chance to read that. 19 That was filed late yesterday. THE COURT: No, that's fine. I was actually in a I have not even We don't have to take 20 it up. I only asked —— I haven't looked at it either. My law 21 clerk gave it to me this morning, and I have not had a chance 22 to review it myself. 23 thought I would at least bring it up. I just —— since we were on the phone, I 24 So y'all can look at that, and I understand it's 25 opposed, and it's something we can take up later or I can 1: 3019161560 pga e 24 Jun 01 2032152 Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 24 24 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #11934 Case 917124}cit/W80???-AE—M 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 1934 1 rule on the papers when you file a response. 2 MR. SIEBMAN: 3 MR. DUNNE: Thank you, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor, just one thing —— this 4 is Brian Dunne. We have actually been talking about a 5 potential joinder on unopposed changes to the schedule for more 6 than a week now, because the —— the nearest upcoming deadline 7 is June 12th for disclosure of expert reports. 8 As I'm sure you're aware from this hearing, the COVID 9 pandemic and the counsel change and disruption, as well as 10 in fact the critical lacking of data being sent over by 11 Defendants has basically rendered that June deadline 12 effectively impossible to meet. 13 And both clients —— both Defendants have actually, in 14 correspondence, said they would be okay with at least a 60 15 day extension of all deadlines in the case. 16 if we could at least have some sort of expedited briefing on 17 the extension of the nearest term since we're very close to 18 the expert disclosure deadline. 19 THE COURT: So we would ask Well, Mr. Dunne, let me say this. I'll 20 tell you right now, I will grant some relief. Again, I try to 21 see if the parties can reach an agreement. 22 that. 23 now, so I'm relieving you of that obligation. 24 deadlines will be, I would like to see if the parties can come 25 to an agreement and then the Court can bless it. See if y'all can do But do not worry about these upcoming deadlines right What the new But I will J un 01 2020 01:07AM AW'llj LLC 3019161560 pga e 25 Case 4: 19-CV-06%?ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 25 of 74 PageID #: 1935 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 25 of 74 PageID #: 1935 1 grant you some relief, 2 MR. DUNNE: 3 THE COURT: so don't worry about that. Thank you, Your Honor. So don't worry about those pending 4 deadlines. 5 work something out. That's always the Court's preference, 6 you can work it out, knowing that I am going to grant some 7 relief. 8 bless 9 Both sides look at the motion and see if you can And then if you work out an agreement, I just need to it. And with everything going on, I will tell you what I've 10 been doing in just my —— what I would consider my general 11 civil cases, 12 on deadlines. 13 up to 90 on some cases that are unique or more complex. 14 I have denied no request because of COVID. 15 Now, I have granted every request for a continuance I usually start at 30 days, but I have gone So we're coming up to trials and I‘m resuming —— I 16 have a bench trial the last week of May. 17 trials. 18 and then I have a six week trial starting mid July. 19 are, 20 only judge proceeding with jury trials, 21 with those. 22 issues as we get ready and start reSuming jury trials. 23 we're taking all the precautions with masks and things like 24 that. 25 if I have jury trials June 8th, in the Eastern District, I'm resuming jury 15th, proceeding- 23rd and 30th, So we And I'm not the so we are resuming So there may be a denial of continuances on But in terms of the general pretrial schedule, I've And C 3019161560 pga e 26 Jun 01 2069150; 9181’?-cli/wciiiéaénscin-AiLM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 26 of 74 Page|D#: 1936 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 26 of 74 PageID #: 1936 l6 1 been very accommodating to all the parties in all my cases 2 with regards to just general pretrial and extending dates, 3 because of the state of the world. 4 5 Okay. Let me go back and ask, Mr. Dunne, anything else I can do for you today for the Plaintiff? 6 MR. DUNNE: No. We greatly appreciate it, Your THE COURT: Mr. Hecht, anything else I can do for you 7 8 9 today for the Plaintiffs? 10 MR. HECHT: That's all, Your Honor. Thank yen very THE COURT: And then for Boeing, Mr. Siebman, did you ll 12 13 want to say something or anything else I can do? 14 MR. SIEBMAN: 15 THE COURT: 16 For Southwest, anything else I can do for MR. SWARTZENDRUBER: No, that's all, Your Honor. Thank you. 19 20 Thank you, Your Honor. Southwest today? 17 18 No, that's all. THE COURT: safe. Y'all have a great day and everyone stay Thank you. 21 MR. SIEBMAN: 22 MR. DUNNE: Thank you, Your Honor. Thank you, Your Honor. 23 I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript fr0m 24 the record of proceedings in the shave—entitled matter. 25 W W Jun 01 2020 01:08AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 27 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 27 of 74 PageID #: 1937 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 27 of 74 PageID #: 1937 EXHIBIT 2 Jun 01 2020 01:08AM AWilllamson, LLC 3019161560 page 28 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 28 of 74 PageID #: 1938 \ Subject: Admin Issues Date: Monday, April 13, 2020 at 9:34:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: Andrew Williamson To: Camille Varlack, Kevin Cash Priority: High Attachments: image001.png Camille and Kevin: Thank you again for all of your efforts. I feel like the last 6-7 weeks were easy for no one and I know you guys were working very hard to figure a way out of a bad situation. I have a several administrative items I need to address ASAPi(certainly by 4/15): 3. For the Boeing case (352—001) I am confirming that based up on the attorneys on the case no longer being associated with the firm'In a few days that as of 4/15 1 need to withdraw them and the firm. The clients (since this'IS a class case) are already being informed. If any ofthisIs incorrect or if we need to discuss, please let me know. I plan to file the withdrawals on Wednesday morning Page 1 of 2 Jun 0 1 2020 01:09AM AW'iij , LLC 3019161560 _ page 29 Case4:19-cv-00aén5%n-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 29 of74 PagelD#: 1939 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 29 of 74 PageID #: 1939 Best (under the circumstances”, Andrew M. Williamson, Of Counsel Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price £5 |-_lecht LLP 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, South Tower, Suite 700 Washlngton. DC 20004 0: (202) 839-3531 E: awilligmsgnQaiemQaflhfldgm Admitted in Maryland, Wrginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia Boston | Cleveland | Los Angeles | New York | Washington, D.C. This message, including attachments, is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorneyciieni: privilege or work product doctrine. Ifyon are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. Ifyou have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. Page! oI‘Z Jun 01 2020 01:09AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 30 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 30 of 74 PageID #: 1940 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 30 of 74 PageID #: 1940 EXHIBIT 3 . - 3019161560 page 31 Jun 01 20é%soé'2?i‘3-ct‘f"tlllé"8fsith‘i Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 31 31 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #.. 1941 1941 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document Page 5129mm Gmai] - Re: Boeing, Ethical Concerns, and Restoration of Access to Email and Client Files M Gma“ Re: Boeing, 1 message Andrew Williamson Ethical Concerns, and Restoration-of Access to Email and Client Files Andrew Williamson To: Edward Altabet Wed. Apr 15, 2020 at 10:41 AM Cc: Camille Varlack , Torn Warren , Kevin Cash Edl I will be in touch shortly. However, first. I wanted to follow up on our conversation last night regarding both Boeing and restoration of my access to email and client files. l am looping in and Kevin Cash, and Camille Varlack as well because. at least through today, they are the CFO, and 000 for the firm. I am also looping in Tom Warren. ethical obligations to clients, opposing counsel, and the court—that I began the process of winding my involvement in matters down. This has included, but is not limited to, informing my own clients of my departure so as to confirm that they wished for me to remain as their counsel, drafting withdrawal pleadings, and ensure files are prepared for transition. in addition, as l explained to you on the phone, we were not given any specific guidance (beyond what I have listed above) as to how to wind matters down or transition cases. Accordingly, in light of all of this, and given that I had roughly 48 hours to ensure as smooth a transition as possible before my final day at the firm (today), I did what I thought I was supposed to do and what I was ethically obligated to do. | confirmed the action l was going to take on various matters in an email that I sent to Kevin and Camille on Monday evening. after the firm-wide call. Specifically, as to Boeing. l confirmed that because no attomeys from the firm would be remaining on the Boeing matter. that i would be withdrawing everyone. I took the lead on this in part because for approximately the last month, I have been the only attorney still at this firm who has been actively involved with that matter, except. on occasion Andy Lorin. Later Monday evening, I responded to emails from counsel for Southwest in the Boeing case. Andy Lorin. a partner here. was on those emails (I thought David Hecht was too, but upon reviewing the correspondence it looks like I was mistaken). That email correspondence continued through Tuesday evening when I filed the withdrawal. I made clear from the outset that all Pierce Bainbridge attorneys were withdrawing. I repeated that statement across a half dozen emall exchanges and even explained that I understood that Bathaee Dunne LLP would At no point did Andy Lorin instruct me not to file the withdrawal. At no point was I told by anyone else not to file the withdrawal, despite my efforts to confirm l was taking the appropriate course of action. I realize in a perfect world, it would have been ideal to have a specific set of instructions and to have more partner involvement in transitioning this and other cases, but that has been utterly lacking ever since we were told we were being laid off on Monday evening. in fact, as l understand from the general channel on Slack. even Camille appears to have been shut out of the process—as she said she has "zero line of sight" (at least as of Tuesday evening) on at least one key issue involved with transitioning cases. This, of course, makes transitioning mattersiwinding things down that much more difficult for all of us. Under the short time frame and given my own ethical responsibilities, I did what I thought I was supposed to do, and what I thought was in the best interests of the attorneys involved and the clients. I also understand. based on our conversation last night, that you are acting as outside counsel for Pierce Bainbridge, and that apparently I was not supposed to file the withdrawal. It is unfortunate that l was not told this before filing the motion. Nonetheless, l agreed to look into the steps that would need to be taken to try to modify or pull back the motion.for withdrawal. And, you instructed me not to discuss any of this with Andy Lorin, Brian Dunne or Yavar Bathaee. Because httpso’lmailgooglecomfmaiIIw'O'lihd'leSfib1dbb&view=pt&scamh=all&pcnnthid=fl1read—a%3Ar60452571 15322718557&simpl=msg—a%3Ar324341844331063316] 1/3 . - 3019161560 page 32 Jun 01 20é%soé'li9t“3-ct‘i"tlfi§8"7”:Atfi Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 32 of 74 PagelD #.. 1942 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 32 of 74 PageID #: 1942 52912020 Gmai] - Re: Boeing, Ethical Concerns. and Restoration of Access to Email andClicnt Files you did not mention David Hecht, I also clarified on a couple of occasions during our discussion that I ought not speak to him as well. i have looked into the procedure for withdrawing the motionlmodifying the motion. I also have not discussed any of this with Andy, David. Brian or Yavar. conversation last night, remains that no one on the case is going to remain at the firm after today. so i am not sure how to best achieve this. All of that written, I have serious concerns For all these reasons, and due to my own duties to my soon-to-be-former class clients, i do not think i can be the one Based on my duty of candor to the Court l am not willing to file a motion to amend/withdraw in which I would have to representing to the Court that Pierce Bainbridge will remain in this matter. It is not in the best interests of the clients. represent that the firm has counsel remaining on the matter (let alone local counsel as required)--as far as I know all of the attomeys on this matter have left or are leaving the firm today. Of course. I will not object or otherwise hamper the firm's efforts to withdrawlamend the motion for withdrawal. Nor will I file any other withdrawals in other matters except for my own, where necessary. Second, l have several matters at the firm that I need to attend to today to ensure I transition my own cases out and wrap things up with opposing counsei or other attorneys on several other matters. To do that. I need my access to SharePoint and my email. While i understand the firms' reasons for temporarily blocking me (even ifl disagree with them), it is inappropriate and unethical for the firm to continue to block my access. It makes it impossible for me to fulfill ethical duties to clients, the court, and opposing counsel across several matters. Indeed. in the message you asked Tom Warren to send to the firm yesterday, you acknowledged the need for all attorneys here to "continue to have access to client files and their work-product—whether it is physically stored in the office or electronically, including their email accounts" even after our 4115 termination date. and promised we would continue to have such access. Please confirm that my access will be restored ASAP. and in any event, no later than noon Eastern, today. Thank you. Andrew Williamson On Wed, Apr 15. 2020 at 3:36 AM Edward Altabet wrote: Andrew, i Just left you a voicemail. Please call me at 917.370.2469 to discuss the Boeing matter further. Thanks. Ed Edward D. Altabet, Esq. Altabet Law LLC 5467800475 (direct) : [email protected] https:tlmail.googlc.con1lmailfulfl?ik=d7c36bldbb&view=pt&search=all&peamthid=thrcad-a%3AI6045257t15322718557&simpl=msg-a%3Ar32434l8448310633161 2J3 3019161560 pga e 33 Jun 01 2062150911133WEE?ALl l_—|(\:/| Document 116 Filed 06/091/20 Page 33 of 74 PageID #: 1943 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 33 of 74 PageID #: 1943 512912020 www.aitabetlaw.com Gmai] - Re: Boeing, Ethical Concems, and Restoration of Access to Email and Client Files 5 Penn Plaza, 23rd Floor| New York, NY 10001 [by appointment unty] hups:flmafl.google.oomlmaflfuffl?ik=d7e36bldbb&view=pt&search=afl&pelmflfid=thmad-a%3AI604S257I 153227] 8557&simp1=msg-a%3A1-32434l8448310633 [61 313 Jun 01 2020 01:11AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 34 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/091/20 Page 34 of 74 PageID #: 1944 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 34 of 74 PageID #: 1944 EXHIBIT 4 . -LU: 3019161560 page 35 Jun 01 zoégsg'li1:%-g/WSEE0CTEALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 35 of 74 PagelD #.. 1945 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 35 of 74 PageID #: 1945 Andrew Williamson 3:52 PM Hi Andy. ljust left you a voioemail mail about Boeing. Can we talk to in the next hour or so about a motion to amend the withdrawal to state you are remaining at the firm and will continue on the case? Camille Kevin and Ed Altabet asked that I reach out to you. Hopefully you had a heads up Andy L. 4:33 PM Hi Andrew, lam at an Apple repair shop, my computer is on the fritz, so I am largely out of pocket right now. i resigned from the firm on Saturday, so I will not be continuing on the Boeing case. Andrew Williamson 4:55 PM OK. Thanks for the update. Weird that Kevin, Camille, Ed Altabet were representing otherwise. Thanks. And best of luck. .1 Andy L. 6:40 PM There was a possibility that i would start a new firm to help service the Boeing case and serve Y&B. as cocounsel to Yavar and Brian. But i think Virage has screwed that up by alienating 1 Today Andy L. 12:19 AM ' What are your plans? PS Tiger King fan as well. Andrew Williamson 12:53 PM Haha. I'm going to set up a PLLC for now. And see where that goes. No one is hiring right now, unfortunately. Virage is alienating a lot of people and Ed Altabet keeps threatening me in an effort to coerce me into taking unethical action. It is unfortunate how this all fell apan. Andy L. 2:24 PM Agreed, very unfortunate. Wishing you luck. I have a feeling our paths will cross again 1:12AM AW'lli , LLC 3019161560 _ page 36 Jun 01 206%; 4:19-cv-08gn0cg1-ALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 Page 36 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #: 1946 1946 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 06/01/20 Page 36 Andrew Williamson 2:45 PM Thanks. and I agree. Either today or tomorrow I am going to file something to either correct or withdraw the motion to withdraw. but I want to be candid with the Court. Is this an accurate statement: "Andy Lorin is still affiliated with Pierce Bainbridge and his appearance should remain on file until his departure from the firm, at which time he will no longer be continuing as co-counsel for Plaintiffs in this matter." (edited) at Andy L. 3:52 PM Please hold off until tomorrow so i can think about this. I'm not convinced that this is accurate. Andrew Williamson 3:57 PM OK. I may get push back from Ed Aitabet on holding off that long. lfl do can 1 Co you on any emails with him debating the language in the motion I am filing? I do not feel comfortable filing a correction with your appearance still on file, without your blessing. Andy L. 4:32 PM I have given this more thought and I do not believe the motion can be filed in good faith. I certainly cannot be held out as continuing with the firm. I resigned last Saturday, and I am remaining for the purpose of transferring out of cases or transferring my cases to other entities. not to wait until the last minute to transfer out of cases. since you have filed papers removing PB as counsel, i do not see how or why that should be reversed now. PP is in capable of servicing the clients, nor does it have a good faith basis for believing that it shortly can service the client. 4:33 In addition. Ed is not a lawyer of the firm, but rather for the firm. He has not appeared in the case and has no role in advancing the interests of our clients. 4:34 Happy to participate in emails to get you out of the middle of this. Andrew Williamson 4:46 PM OK. lwill loop you in. 4:46 I really appreciate this. at Andy L. 4:47 PM No worries, this is the right thing to do. Jun 01 2020 01:12AM AWilh'amson LLC Case 4: 19- cv- 00507-ALM 3019161560 page Document 116 37 Filed 06/01/20 Page 37 of 74 PageID #: 1947 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 37 of 74 PageID #: 1947 EXHIBIT 5 ' " LLC 3019161560 _ page 38 Jun 01 zoégsg'llfig-c’i/wiiigggyiALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 38 of 74 PagelD #.. 1948 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 38 of 74 PageID #: 1948 5f29f2020 Gmail - Earl v. Boeing M Gmail Andrew Williamson Earl v. Boeing I . I I . Andrew lllfilliamson Wed. Apr 15, 2020 at 6:05 PM To: Edward Altabet Cc: Camitle Varlack . Kevin Cash . Tom Warren Ed, Andy informs me that he is no longer with the firm. i'm not sure why you all represented to me that he would be willing to do this or that he was still at the firm. That was a blatant misrepresentation. Without Andy. I am not sure how PB wants to proceed in Boeing as it obviously still has no EDTX counsel as of today. In addition. as a follow up to our cartier conversation. i am providing a list of cases that need to be transitioned. i understand today is my last day at the firm, and that I am being laid off as of today. While i had expected a formal termination letter. I am not surprised that I have not received one. Nonetheless. i am willing to continue to work to locked out of my email. Please ensure that access is restored by Thursday morning at 9 am. Eastern. I am signing off for the evening because I have other personal obligations I need to attend to. I will be available after 9 am. tomorrow. Here is a list of cases where I still need the client files and need access to my emails for these case (I would give you the case numbers but it appears I've been locked out of Clio. H —_ In addition. here is a list of matters l was on but did not enter my appearance; there is probably some transition work that needs to occur. but there are other attorneys involved. so I anticipate they can handle. To the extent anyone has questions, I am happy to provide input on the following: htlpsfllmailgoogle.ccntfmaillull]?ik=d7e36b1dbb&vicw=pt&search=all&penmnsgtd=msg—a%3Ar5385l 1763482324547i£cdsqt=l&simpl=nmg-a%3Ar53851 1763482]: 1/2 . -LLC 3019161560 page 39 Jun 01 zoégsg'lfiég-cpi/nggggEALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 39 of 74 PageID #.. 1949 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 39 of 74 PageID #: 1949 5199,4020 Gmail - Ear] v. Boeing OnEd, Wed. Apr 15, 2020 at 3:59 PM Andrew Williamson wrote: ti Following our call earlier this afternoon, I reached out to Andy Lorin to get the ball rolling on a motion to amend the withdrawal. I left a voioemai and messaged him. CamiIIeIKevIanomD if someone could send me the MS Word version of our last filing in Boeing. i will get started on i drafting. I obviously can not access the files. 3 Sent from my IPhone On Apr 15. 2020, at 1:36 PM. Andrew Williamson wrote: Copy that. Thanks. Sent from my iPhone On Apr 15, 2020, at 1:31 PM. Edward Altabet wrote: I will call you between 2:15 and 2:45. Thanks. From: Andrew Williamson _ Sent: Wednesday, April 15. 2020 11 :15 AM To: Edward Altabet Cc: Geoffrey L. Harrison ; Kevin Cash ; Camille Variaok Subject: Re: Earl v. Boeing Ed. As you know. l emailed you back about 3 minutes after you sent this message. It my email is attached for reference. I wish I could have gotten to you sooner this morning. but as you might imagine I am dealing with a lot here and just generally. I wrote you back as soon as I could. It is my hope that we can resolve all of these issues as well. As I mentioned. I would be in touch after sending that email. I and will. Thanks. Andrew On Wed. Apr 15. 2020 at 10:38 AM Edward Aflabet wrote: . Mr. Williamson. i i Es g As you know, I am counsel to Pierce Bsinbridge Beck Price 8. Heoht (D FED ). We spoke harps :lfrnajl .googlecomfmailfufl]?ik=d7e36bi dbl:&viewwt&search=a]l&penmnsgid=msg-a%3M53851 l7634823245478odsqt=1&simpl=msg—a%3A1-538511763482E| 212 Jun 01 2020 01:14AM AWilh'amson LLC 3019161560 pga e 40 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 40 of 74 PageID #: 1950 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 40 of 74 PageID #: 1950 EXHIBIT 6 ' " , LLC 3019161560 page 41 Jun 01 zoégsg'lfifi-cfi/nggsgl-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 41 of 74 PagelD #.. 1951 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 41 of 74 PageID #: 1951 58112021) Gmajl - Bari V. Boeing M Gmail Andrew Wiiliamson Earl v. Boeing Andrew Williamson To: Andrew Lorin Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 5:25 PM Cc: Edward Altabet . Kevin Cash , Torn Warren , Camille Varlack Edl Based on this new information from Andy, it seems to me that. contrary to your constant threats that the firm was going to sue me or that I was exposing myself to liability from the firm. and your argument that what I filed was "unauthorized", this filing was both proper and authorized. Meanwhile, I still do not have access to files for clients that I need to transition out ofthe firm and stilt have not been able to effectively wind down cases that I am Lin—despite your representations earlier today that you would ensure my access to SharePoint and Outlook would be restored. I'm not sure if it was you, John Pierce, or Camille that had that had the final decision on that access being cutoff, but please ensure that access is promptly restored so that t can do what I need to do to transition matters or wind my involvement down for my clients and my cases. Thank you. Andrew On Thu. Apr 16, 2020 at 5:07 PM Andrew Lorin wrote: : That is all true. I am remaining atthe firm for the purpose of transitioning off of cases. Now that that has now been done i in the Boeing case. I see no reason to reverse that. Andy Sent from my iPhone i On Apr 16. 2020, at 4:53 PM. Andrew Williamson wrote: Ed, In preparing to draft this motion to con'ectfamend the motion forwilhdrawal. I discussed the proper language to include with Andy Lorin. He responded to me now that he. like I, do not believe this motion can be filed in good faith. He cannot be held out as continuing with the firm. He also pointed out something to me that you repeatedly refused to tell me regarding how the firm was going to continue with this matter, he told me (as the only remaining partner at this firm whose appearance is technically on record In this case) that the firm is incapabie of servicing the ctients. and there is no way the firm has a good faith basis for believing that anytime in the short term it can service the ctients in this case. E i am not sure where that leaves us. but I am happy to have further discussions. At this time. I am holding off on drafting or filing anything. Regards. Andrew Qn Thu. Apr 16. 2020 at 4:43 PM Andrew Williamson wrote: 53. Will do. I called around 2:15 and leftyou a voloernall. I'll try you again in a bit Andrew. E .’ Qn Thu. Apr 16. 2020 at 2:53 PM Camille Varlactt wrote: i 3i ’gi Andrew pls call wheneverfree to discuss transitioning your matters. https:llmail.google.comimaillulfl?i.k=d7e36b1dbb&view=pt&search=a11&pennmsgid=msg-a‘iéSAr—SSZBOS17650093380]9&dsqt=1&simpl=msg—a%3Ar-552805 1765El 1/5 Jun 01 2020 01:15AM AWilllamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 42 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/091/20 Page Page 42 42 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #: 1952 1952 Case 5.6112020 Gmru'l - Earl v. Boeing l E 1 Camllte Joseph Varlack. Chief Operating Officer 11' Pierce Balnbridge Book Price & Hecht LLP E 1 ‘ E 277' Park Avenue, 45th Floor 1 . E New York, NY 10172 1 P: (546)609-8677 EBoaton l] Cleveland D Los Angeles New York [I their“. 1 ELjPierceBalnbridge_Logo_0range.png ‘1 This message. including attachments. is confidential and may contain information protected by the i 1 attomey—olient privilege or work product doctrine. If you are not the addressee any disclosure Ecopying. distribution. or use of the contents of this message is prohibited If you have received this 1email in error. please destroy it and notify me immediately. On Thu. Apr 16. 2020 at 1:58 PM Andrew Williamson wrote: 1 i i1Ed. ; 1 EI understand that it"Is your position that this filing was "unauthorized." However, as I y 1 . l E hEave explained repeatedy. at the time I filed it. I reasonably in good faith thought. Ethat t was authorized to do so—and no one told me it was not authorized despite E ample opportunity to do so. Ithought the filing was appropriate and accurate. and i made sure to make crystal char in writing what I intended to do to those I believed to E be In charge. My actions were not wrong and were entirely reasonable under the E circumstances. I am stilt willing to be mes-noble. now. but yOur constant barrage of E baseless threats of the firm somehow pursuing a lawsuit against me and your -3 misrepresenting Andy Lorln's availability to continue on this case have made it E incredibly difficult for us to resolve this issue and for me to wind down my work. here. E As Itold you yesterday. I understand now that the firm. despite not having any attorneys remaining on the case. would like me to move to amend the filing to indicate Pierce Balnbrldge is still counsel of record. In addition. while I realize Kevin said Andy Lorin would remain at the firm through the end of the month. Andy Lorin I 3a. t ii made clear to me that he is not continuing on the case. . As you know. I have. and 3 remain willing to do that so long as the filing accurately reflects the facts. However. I cannot force Andy to remain on the case. nor can you. And. I will not misrepresent material facts to the Court or opposing counsel by simply omitting them from the ? filing. To be clear. I am W to correct to correct or withdraw the motion. And. i did not provide you with a drafl yesterday. because the filing we envisioned ‘ included Andy Lorin, who as you know Is not willing to continue on the case. In the 1l email I sent to you last night I told you this and I also told you I was not sure how PB 1 wanted to proceed. You never responded with any guidance. Instead you sent me T the entail I am responding to now in which you accuse me of refusing to cooperate Jl and make other baseless accusations and threats. l was not refusing to cooperate; I was waiting for some guidance and access to the files so I could work from one of E E 1 our prior pleadings-I even asked that someone send me an MS Word version of one otthe pieadings. Nonewas provided. E 1 Assuming my access is restored so that I can do this work. I wlll provide I: on wlth 3 a draft proposed flting later todaEt and i am happy to assist with getting it filed and ’ l E 2 f1 l 1 meeting and conferring with all other attorneys on the case as required under LR CV 7. I realize you are of the opinion that no MatC'Is required. but that simply isn't what the rule says, and i can tell you from experience that. without a meet and confer. there"Is a very high tittelihood the motion will get denied outright and the original pieading will stand, E memmm 1 Imps:”mail.googlcicontfmailJuIO?il<=d?c36bldbb&vicw=pt&soarch=all&perrnmsgid=msg-a%3Ar-5528051765029338019&dsqt=1&simpl=msg-a%3Ar5523051 765B 25 Jun 01 2020 01:16AM AWilll'amson, LLC 3019161560 Case 4:19—cv-00507-ALM Document 116 page 43 Page 43 of 74 PagelD #: 1953 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 43 of 74 PageID #: 1953 t 5/31l'2020 j E E E . Gmail - Earl V. Boeing E 1. i agree with you that Iwill need to file something with the Court to make ciear that I E have learned the fin-n's position is that the filing was unauthorized. This could take the form of motion to amendlcorrect as discussed above, or It could be simply a l E motion to withdraw the filing. and than PB can file whatever it wants in its place. My understanding is that you would preferthe tanner. If that is not the case. please let . 2. I will work with Camille on transitioning cases and making sure my appearance is t E E withdrawn in various matters or my address is updated. as appropriate. I understand the film is giving me until 5 pm Eastern on Friday to do this, but If more time is i E necessary the firm will give that to me. I will certainly let her know. r E 3. I have no reason to delete any emails nor will E E matters that will begoing with me. I do that. 4. Upon departure. I will only take confidential information relating to clients and E E f Filed 06/01/20 E 5. i will not file any further motions or papers on behalf of PB, except my remaining l E withdrawal notices and the contemplated filing in Boeing. Finaiiy. I respectfully disagree with you that the firm has any rights ”to reserve" to E pursue any cause of action against me. I have done it no ham'r-if there are any g actionable claims against anyone or any entity invotved here. it is the firm itself (as evidenced by the multitude of lawsuits on file almedy against it and several named é I ? partners). Any recovery PB could possibly obtain in Boeing is based on work done by attorneys at this firm on this case through April 14th-which is the last day any work 3 i 1moreltllorktoliedorneand nomorefeestobeeamed. Ontopofthat, even ifthene was done. There are no more PB attorneys on the Boeing case and therefore no E were still attorneys who could do work on it. that work would be subject to approval g of lead counsel For the plaintiffs. and I highly doubt they would be giving any further E work to PE. Thus, whether PB's appearance. with no attorneys, remains on file in Boeing. or not. its total future recovery would be the same. in any event, I ask that you stop making these baseless threats as it appears to be an effortto either harass me, orto coerce me in to do something thetwould be . . unethical. i look forward to working with you to get something on file In Boeing and E : wind down my remaining work here. I E Rmrds. ‘ E E Andrew On Thu. Apr 16. 2020 at 11:43 AM Edward Altabet i; wrote: l E i l ; E admitted that you do not have a writing from any partner or officer of the firm that ; g E E expressly authorized you to file the motion to withdraw Pierce Bainbridge or any of E the other attorneys referenced in the motion papers filed. While you have, E E throughout these discussions, repeatedly referred to your duty of candor to the ‘ E ;E court. an attorneyl] s duty of candor does not encompass sharingitemai E confidential matters with the court, nor does it pemfit an attorney to file a document E El be is not authorized tofile. nor does it permit an attorney to refuse to assist in é remediating that situation. An attomeyl: s duty of candor doeaaowever. l g r encompass the obligation to promptly inform a court that a filing made by the =Eattomey was unauthorized. httpsn'imailgoogle.com!mai1/uf0?ik=d7e36bldbb&view=pt&search=al]&pemmxsgid=msg-a%3 AI-55230517650293380I9&65qt=]&simp]=msg-a%3Ar—5528051765D 3/5 . - 3019161560 page 44 Jun 01 zoégsg'liéfi-cé/ngggsofiliAtLfil Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 44 of 74 PagelD #.. 1954 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 44 of 74 PageID #: 1954 581/2020 Gma'tl - Ear] v. Boeing ' %3 .Ei :1 1': :l £3 1 3: E?1 4‘. :5 j; 1 ;§ 3 _’|' 1; 1; 3'! ll i3 5 1 1. l51 31 3ii 3.1 2 :1 1 1 53 3 1 1 i 1 :E l1, 3 5‘1 13 5 E1 1;: i if ll l; 1 5; E1 1 .5 11 15 = .3 5r 31 3i 3' 15 ,1 i1 I‘ 13 I? 1. 31 :3 (l. 11 11 i E i if ;l ‘3 '31 'a ‘5 1 1} :1 1|: 1' 2%1 .- .‘ 1 . 3: E3 33 .3 i :1 f; 3E g 31 :E 1: , 1 «1, 1! 1 1i 1 ‘15 f 2 := 11 i?i a! :3 -3:‘ ; 3 l1. -: 13 :1 E3: 3% IE .1 .1 l1 Please take notice. Pierce Bainbridge reserves all rights to pursue claims against you for any prejudice. harm, or damage to its interat in the Boeing matter that may ertse out of or relate to your unauthorized filing and your subsequent refusal to correct that action with a truthful and accurate statement to the court concerning your lack of authority in the form of an amended motion that you were asked to prepare yesterday do. and provide to the firm for its review. which you have refused to l? 13 13 'E 1f :I 13 3.3 33 a: it suspended in order to permit the firm to secure and preserve your emails as well as to ensure that you took no further improper actions. The firm has now had the Opportunity to secure your PB email account Your access will be restored later this morning through 5pm EST tomorrow in order to permit you to collect whatever (E records and correspondence relate to matters that are going with you. If you As we discussed. your access to your firm email account was temporarily 1 believe you require access alter the close of business tomorrow. the firm will work l1 with you to give you additional time. 1: fl i: is l; 1i L5 You are not delete any emails. Please confirm that you agree to and understand 3.1 g. this. ,:| 1: 1: :3 ’3 3: 11= :E 19' E11 to the firm or the firm: 3 clients. excepting only oontldentidhfonnetion relating to clients and matters J and understand this.that will be gorng with you. Please confirm that you agree to El 73 You are not to disclose. cepy. or take copies of any confidential information relating :E 1} 1 1’ ‘ f s: ways: while you are incorrectly treating Mr. LortnEJ s silenceriresponse to various emails you apparently had with oo-counsel and opposing counsel as permission to file the unauthorized motion. that argument would only be plausible to the extent Mr. Lorin remains a partner of the firm. In any event. silence is not assent or permission. l3 5 , Iflneltton ,3: :J: 13 3% l ;; 1 ,1 As Kevin told you on the phone yesterday. Andy Lorin remains a partner of the firm through and until April 30. (See attached). In any event, you cannot have it both "l :' 13 1'; l; You are also not to file any motion. notice. or other paper with any court. agency. 31 E1 ‘1 tribunal. or arbitrator in the name of or on behalf of Pierce Bainbrldge. Please confirm that you agree to and understand this. 3 z l? :1 :3 .35 1i Please contact Camille as soon as possible so that she can walk you through the 1 process regarding the transfer of any client files. Please also provide us with a fonvarding address. it i‘ 1 33 is l1 ‘ Regards, 3 51 1.1 1‘? ii 13] 2f 3E 1 Edward D. thet. Esq. .1 ‘E 1 E1 Altabet Law LLC ,l .. 646.730.0475 (direct) httpsm'majl.google.corrumailiuft)?ik=d7e36b1dbb&view=pt&search=all&perrnmsgid=msg—a%3Ar-5528051765029338019&dsqt:l&simpl=msg-a%3Ar—552805|765D 41l5 ' " LLC 3019161560 page 45 Jun 01 zoégsg'lflg-cwgggsc51-‘ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 45 of 74 PageID #.. 1955 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 45 of 74 PageID #: 1955 523122020 Gmaii — Ear] 2/. Boeing . 5E'§ z1 [email protected] 5 5 5www.altabetiaw.com 5 55Penn Plaza. 23rd FloorlNewYorit, NYioom : I i 5 5 ; i 5 i 5 2 5 ' _ 5[by apporntment only] 5From:AndrewWitliemson 51 23cm: ThursdeY. April 16. 2020 9:52AM ' ; To: Edward Altabet ' Cc: Camille Variack ; Kevin Cash 5 ; 5 2 5 [email protected]>; Torn Warren 5 Subject: Re: Earl v. Boeing 5 Ed. 2 .E g 5 5 7 5 5 ' 5 ‘ 5 amend in Boeing, I provided an update to you about all of that yesterday evening 5 and asked that my access to files and email be restored by 9 am. on Thursday so 5 5 5 that I can effectively wind down my work here and transition cases. ; 5 5 5 i 5 5 It is after 9 am. on Thursday. and i still do not have access to SherePoint or my . 5 5 5 . 5 email. Man can I expect that to be restored? I also have not received any i confirmation that (1) my client tiles will be made available to me or (2) that my plan of action to transition matters. per your protocol is acceptable. When can expect 5 that confirmation. Thanks. 5 On Wed. Apr 15. 2020 at 6:05 PM Andrew Williamson 5 5 2 5 3 5 5 5 I have done everything I was told to do on yesterday aftemoon's phone cell g to follow your protocol and reach out to Andy Lorin to do a motion for leave to 5 5 wrote: gEd. 5 5 Andy Informs me that he is no longer with the firm (except for the purpose of 5 5 '5 5 transitioning cases). I'm not sure why you all represented to me that he would f be willing to do this or that he was still at the firm. That was a blatant f 5 5 5 5 s misrepresentation. Without Andy. I am not sure how PB wants to proceed in 5 5 Boeing as it obviously still has no EDTX counsel as of today. E iii 5 ; In addition, as a follow up to our earlier conversation. I am providing a list of 5 cases that need to be transitioned. I understand today is my last day at the 5 g 5 5 firm. and that i am being laid dfi es of today. While I had expected a funnel https: tiniafl .googlegomfmailfuJOC-‘ikflkfibl dbb&vicw=pt&search=all&permmsgid=msg-a%3Ar—5528051765029338019&daqt= E &simpl=msg—a%3Ar—552805 1765!: SIS Jun 01 2020 01:18AM AWilljamson LLC 3019161560 pa e 46 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 46 of 74 PageID #: 1956 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 46 of 74 PageID #: 1956 EXHIBIT 7 Jun 01 2020 01:18AM AWilh'amson LLC 3019161560 pga e 47 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 47 of 74 PageID #: 1957 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 47 of 74 PageID #: 1957 ANDREW J. LORIN 41 W83rd Street, Apt. 2D New York, NY ]0024 Telephone: (917) 935-3436 Email: andrew.][email protected] April 11, 2020 Re: Resignation Very truly yours, fs/ Andrew J. Lorin Jun 01 2020 01:18AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 48 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 48 of 74 PageID #: 1958 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 48 of 74 PageID #: 1958 EXHIBIT 8 . - 61560 page 49 Jun 01 zoégsg'lfifi-cfilwggagliAtLfil 3(lgclgarlcument 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 49 of 74 PagelD#.. 1959 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 49 of 74 PageID #: 1959 PIERCE BAINBHIDGE Andrew M. Williamson Of Counsel 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW South Tower, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20004 [email protected] (202) 839-3531 VIA EMAIL April 22, 2020 Tom Warren Interim Managing Partner [email protected] Camille Varlack Chief Operating Officer cvarlacnggiercebainbridgecom Kevin Cash Chief Financial Officer kcasthgierccbainbridge.corn Re.- Final Case Transition/Wind—down Memorandum Dear Tom, Camille, and Kevin: I confirmed with Camille that I will have access to my email through April 30th so that I can monitor emails and ensure any emails fi'om opposing counsel, vendors, etc. are not missed. In addition, Camille confirmed I will have access to the DC Office through April 30th so that I can retrieve remaining items there. I have also confirmed that Quentin will be transferring over my client files and emails—— hopefully by Thursday. Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price at Hecht LLP BOSICLE lDClLAINY Jun 01 2020 01:19AM AWilljamson, LLC 3019161560 page 50 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 50 of 74 PageID #: 1960 PIEHBE BAIHBHIDEE April 22, 2020 Page 2 that any local files I had were moved to the server and did my best to ensure various case files were properly organized. 6. Earl v. Boeing Jun 01 2020 01:19AM AWilliamson, LLC 3019161560 page 51 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 51 of 74 PageID #: 1961 PIERCE BAIHBRIIJEE April 22, 2020 Page 3 The only outstanding issues that remain for the firm on this matter is ensuring that all invoices—— and in particular invoices for the firm’s e—discovery vendor, Lightspeed—are paid. In addition, to ensure the firm does not incur further storage costs or transfer costs for the files Lightspeed is hosting (costs that Will exceed $1,000), Kevin Cash instructed me to direct Lightspeed to delete all files that. ii. is hosting and cnsure the firm’s contract with Lightspecd is terminated. I took that action earlier today and received confirmation from Lightspecd (Kevin was also on those emails) that it would proceed accordingly. My work on this file is now complete. Jun 01 2020 01:19AM Awnuamson, LLC 3019161560 page 52 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 74 PageID #: 1962 Case4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 52 52 of of74 Page|D#: 1962 PIERCE BMHBIIIDGE April 22, 2020 Page 4 =1: * a: If you have questions about any of the matters, please do not hesit _ t ‘ me an email to my personal email address, and Iwill provide whatever guidance 3 ad toIgive me a call or Shoat can. Thank you. Regards, Andrew M. Williamson Jun 01 2020 01:20AM AWilh'amson LLC 3019161560 pga e 53 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 53 of 74 PageID #: 1963 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 53 of 74 PageID #: 1963 EXHIBIT 9 J W 01 2020 01:20AM AW'lli , LLC 3019161560 page 54 Case4:19-cv-00ag€)%1-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 54 of74 PagelD#: 1964 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 54 of 74 PageID #: 1964 —'—-——-——-—-—_____,—,__— Subject: FW: Activity in Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing Date: From: Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 10:50:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time Andrew Williamson To: [email protected], [email protected] Camille and Kevin: I am not sure who is left or who is in charge at Pierce Bainbridge, but as far as I can-tell you are both still there (or were as of this week), so I am writing to you. At a hearing on Wednesday in the Boeing case, David Hecht made a number of representations to the Court, which I believe are misleading or at the very least vague. Following that hearing, counsel for Southwest sent a letter to a number of attorneys, including myself, asking for a plethora of information from Pierce Bainbridge and raising certain issues directly with me regarding my own actions. I plan to respond to that letter by no later than Monday and have a couple of questions for both of you. First, although both Camille and Tom Warren confirmed that David's last day at the Pierce Balnbrldge was April 15th and Tom explicitly told me to withdraw David’s appearance in light of his departure (and that lwas also told to withdraw all departing attorneys), David claims he is still either at Pierce Bainbridge or affiliated with it/speaks for it. I have no reason to doubt Camille or Tom's represantations/instructions, but have significant concerns about what David told the Court. Can you please cunl'ir rn whether David is authorized to speak for Pierce Bainbridge and explain howthat is possible in light of his departure? Second, Southwest is questioning my authorization to instruct the discovery vendor to delete the Boeing/Southwest document productions that it was hosting for Pierce Bainbridge. As Kevin knows, I sought hls guidance on this issue before I departed. and he instructed me to tell the vendor to delete the files and send us a final invoice. Kevin, could you please re-confirm that you authorized that action by responding to this email? if you could get back to me by Monday morning at the latest, I would really appreciate that. Thank you. Andrew M. Williamson Member A.Wi|liamson, LLC 12410 Milestone Center Drive Suite 600 Germantown, MD 20876 Phone: 301-916-1560 Email: Mgwilliamsomaw Admitted in Maryland, Wrgim'a, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia www.awilliam§on.law This message, including attachments, is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorneyclieni privilege or work product doctrine. Ifyou are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. Ifyou have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. From: "txedCM @txeduscourtsgov" Page 1 of4 . -019161560 page 55 Jun 01 20é%soé'ili“3-s"v‘i"3“8%”8°7”iAth 3Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 55 of 74 Page|D#.. 1965 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 55 of 74 PageID #: 1965 Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 10:37 AM To: "[email protected]" Subject: ActiviLy in Case 4:19-cv—DOSO7—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing This is an automatic e-mail message generated by the CM/ECF system. Please DO NOT RESPOND to this e-mail because the mail box is unattended. avoid later charges, download a copy of each document during this first viewing. However, if the referenced document is a transcript, the free copy and 30 page limit do not apply. U.S. District Court Eastern District of TEXAS [LIVE] Notice of Electronic Filing The following transaction was entered on 5113/2020 at 9:35 AM CDT and filed on 5/13/2020 Case Name: Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Case Number: 4:1 -cv— 7-A M Filer: Document Number: No document attached Telephonic Motion Hearing held on 5(1312020 at 9:00 am. re [79] MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney All Pierce Bainbrldge Attorneys filed by John Rogers, Valerie Mortz- Rogers, Stephanie Blakey, Muhammad Muddasir Khan, Alesa Beck, Damonie Earl, Marisa Thompson, Lakesha Goggins. Elizabeth Cooper, Timothy Blakey, Jr. and Linda Rugg. Yavar Bathaee, Brian Dunne, Elizabeth De Rieux. Barron Flood, John Jeffrey Eichmann, Andrew Jay Lorin, Andrew Michael Williamson. Andrew Wolinsky, David Hecht, and Michael Pomeranz appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Benjamin Hatch, Clyde Siebman, Jeremy Byrum. Thomas Miles Farrell and Joe Casclo appeared on behalf of Boeing Company: and Michael Swarlzendruber, James Leito, Jason Fagelman, Mark Shaw, James Shepherd, and Carrie Forbes appeared on behalf of Southwest Airlines. Plaintiffs counsel advises they desire to withdraw their motion. Court orally grants Plaintiffs request to withdraw. Call adjourned at 9:28 am. (Court Reporter Jan Mason} (kkc) 4:19-cu-00507-ALM Notice has been electronically mailed to: Elizabeth L DeRieux ederieux®capshawlaw.corn, [email protected], ccapshaw®capshawlaw.com, [email protected], [email protected] Michael Alan Swartzendruber [email protected]|brightcom, [email protected] Clyde Moody Siebman [email protected], [email protected], siehman®siebman.com, [email protected] Page 2 of 4 . - 161560 page 56 . Jun 01 zoégsg'izég-cpl/ngggagliAfiel 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 56 56 of of 74 74 PageID Page|D#. 1966 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 3lggcument Document 116 Page #: 1966 JeffreyJack Burley [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Thomas Miles Farrell [email protected], [email protected] Jaaun N rageiman [email protected], [email protected] Gregory Scott Dove] [email protected], [email protected] Julien Antonio Adams [email protected], [email protected] John Jeffrey Eichmann [email protected], [email protected] James Vincent Leito, iv [email protected], [email protected] Simon Carlo Franzini [email protected], [email protected] Geraldine W Young [email protected], [email protected] Brian James Dunne Jonas B Jacobson Jeremy S Byrum [email protected] [email protected]|law.com [email protected] David L Hecht [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Elizabeth Siebman Forrest [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Philip Alexander Tarpley Michael Pomerantz Andrew Jay Lorin [email protected] [email protected] [email protected], [email protected] skyleG-ppiercebalnbrldgecom Yavar Bathaee [email protected] Barron McGinnis Flood [email protected], [email protected]£com Andrew Chan Wolinsky [email protected] Benjamin L. Hatch [email protected],[email protected], kgo|[email protected], [email protected], usdockett’g‘hmcgulrewoods.com Andrew Michael Williamson [email protected] Page 3 of 4 Jun 01 2020 01:22AM AWilllamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 57 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 57 57 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #: 1967 1967 Case Edward Maxwell Grauman [email protected] 4:19-cv-OOSO7-ALM Notice will not be electronically mailed to: Page 4 of 4 Jun 01 2020 01:22AM Awnuamson, LLC 3019161560 pga e 58 Case Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM 4: 19- cv- 00507-ALM Document Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 58 58 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #: 1968 1968 EXHIBIT 10 . - 1560 page 59 . Jun 01 ZOE‘QSCQ' Z-fil3_c’°{,‘i"3l?§5°7”jALLLyfi 3gg1ceument 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 59 59 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD#. 1969 Case Z4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Page #: 1969 x Subject: FW: Activity in Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing Date: Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:40:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: Edward D. Altabet TD: CC: '[email protected] msonJow' John Pierce, '[email protected]', '[email protected]', 'Kevin Cash', Camille Varlack Attachments: image001.gif, image002.gif, image003.gif, image004.gif P WI G FID TIA Mr. Williamson, As you know, i am counsel to Pierce Bainbridge. Once a improper course of action. In the first instance, you should know better than to send an email like this to Kevin and Camille. The fact that you sent it to Kevin and Camille on Saturday (without copying me) — with a threat to send a letter on Monday morning to opposing counsel no less — suggests that you are looking for a way to do something unethical. In the second instance, the three people that you should have sent your email to —- John Pierce, David Hecht, and Andrew Lorin — are conspicuously absent from your email correspondence Third, you are no longer an employee of Pierce Bainbridge and, to the best of my knowledge {and according , A.Wllliamson, LLC, IS not currently counsel to anyone in the Boeing matter, nor has it entered an appearance in the case. (If you believe we are mistaken, please immediately send us a copy of any relevant documents.) Fourth, with respect to any inquiry you believe is directed to you from Boeing's or Southwest’s counsel (which, incidentally, you did not bother to attach to your email): first, you are not authorized to communicate ' el regarding the matter absent the express written consent of your former firm and your former clients; and second, under no circumstances are you permitted or allowed to divulge confidential and/or privileged information concerning your former firm or anything regarding this case to anyone other than Messrs. Pierce, Lorin, and Hecht, in the absence of a court order compelling you to do so. Fifth, unless and until A.Wiiliamson, LLC is retained as counsel or co-counsel in this matter, your role in this matter is at an end. if you are so retained, then you are obligated to discuss and disclose for comment any contemplated communication from you to the opposing partywith all of plaintiffs' counsel before you send it to defense counsel. And ifanynne has purported to direct you otherwise, or If anyone has purportedly directed you to respond to defense counsel’s inquiry, then you must immediately forward that writing to everyone on this email chain. You are directed to contact David Hecht on Mo with respect to this matter. nday morning before you do, say, or write anything further Please be guided accordingly. Edward D. Altabet - Partner Page 1 of 5 : AW'iii , LLC 3019161560 _ page 60 Jun 01 mats? EEgg--cv(IJCSflI' SHCSJO7nALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 60 of 74 PagelD #._ 1970 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 60 of 74 PageID #: 1970 Cohen Segllas Pallas Graenhall & Furmarr PC Mlmmml COHEN SEGLIAS i‘lLLA-S GREEHHALL 8. FURMAN 37": Confidentiality Note: This electronic message and any attachments ("message") is intended for Lise only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain Information that is confidential, protected by the attorney-client privilege, and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please reply to the sender that you received the message in error and delete all copies of the message from your computer and network. Dissemination, copying, or other use of this message by any person or entity other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with lRS Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this message is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding Federal tax penalties, or iii) promoting or marketing any transaction or matter discussed herein. Begin forwarded message: From: Andrew Williamson Date: May 16, 2020 at 10:50:43 AM EDT To: "[email protected]_pi§rcebaigbridgecgm" <§[email protected]_ol_ercflajrmmige.cgm>, ” [email protected]" Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 an 10:37 AM To: "thdgscaumgfl" Subject: Activity in Case 4:19-cv—00507-ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et 3! Motion Hearing This is an automatic e-mail message generated by the CM/ECF system. Please DO NOT RESPOND to this e-mail because the mail box is unattended. “*NOTE To PUBLIC ACCESS USER5*** Judicial Conference of the United States policy permits attorneys of record and parties in a case (including pro se litigants) to receive one free electronic copy of all documents filed electronically, if receipt is required by law or directed by the filer. PACER access fees apply to all other users. To avoid later charges, download a copy of each document during this first viewing. However, if the referenced document is a transcript, the free copy and 30 page limit do not apply. U.S. District Court Eastern District of TEXAS [LIVE] Notice of Electronic Filing The following transaction was entered on 5/13/2020 at 9:35 AM CDT and filed on 5/13/2020 Case Name: Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Case Hier: Number: 4:19-gv-00507-A,,LM Dago I of B . -3019161560 page 62 Jun 01 20é%soé'iil3-ci‘i‘3li%“8‘l“r/lth Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 62 62 of of 74 74 PageID PageID #: #.. 1972 1972 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document Page Document Number: No document attached Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, Ill: Telephonic Motion Hearing held on 513202!) at 9:00 a.m. re [79] MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney All Pierce Bainbridge Attomeys filed by John Rogers, Valerie Mortz-Rogers. Stephanie Blakey, Muhammad Muddasir Khan, Alesa Beck, Damonie Earl, Marisa Thompson, Lakesha Goggins, Elizabeth Cooper, Timothy Blakey, Jr. and Linda Rugg. Yavar Bathaee, Brian Dunne, Elizabeth De Rieux, Barron Flood, John Jeffrey Eichmann, Andrew Jay Lorin, Andrew Michael Williamson, Andrew Wolinsky, David Hecht, and Michael Pomeranz appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Benjamin Hatch, Clyde Siebman, Jeremy Byrum, Thomas Miles Farrell and Joe Cascio appeared on behalf of Boeing Company; and Michael Swartzendruber, James Lelto, Jason Fagelman, Mark Shaw, James Shepherd, and Carrie Forbes appeared on behalf of Southwest Airlines. Plaintiffs counsel advises they desire to withdraw their motion. Court orally grants Plaintiffs request to withdraw. Call adjourned at 9:28 am. (Court Reporter Jan Mason) (kko) 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Notice has been electronically mailed to: Elizabeth L DeRieux Mpshawlawggm. MWsthawlamggm, fipghawflgpshamlamcom, fipeterson@capshawlaw.com, rhurse@gp§hawlaw.cgm Michael Alan Swartzendruber anrtonrgsefulgright,com. ludhflfllsmfimemmmmh m Clyde Moody Siebman glyggmegmgnfileimm denigelgvelapelfilsigbmanggm, mm flammmm Jeffrey Jack Burley jeffburley@sie§man.com, burleylawthgmailgom. stenhflboomem Lam . om. Thomas Miles Farrell tfarrellfilmcguireygoodgcgm. pfaulemgguirewggdscgm Jason K Fagelman igsonfagel—maggmmnmemmughtgom, s_._|.,_har' nnchEIIfiflQWEMCO Gregory Scott Dovel grgdegvellawmm. Mdovellawmnm Julien Antonio Adams jglien@d9vellgmgom, devellaflcom John Jeffrey Eichmann lei-[@dovellamggm, gou3§@dovellgw.cgm James Vincent Leito, IV jamgimuortgnrgsefulbrightggm, magi.mglvihill@noggnrosefglbright.ggm Simon Carlo Franzini Mdgyellawgom, Widow:ll’gw.§9m Geraldine W Young gagIdine.ygung@ngflonrosgfglbrightgom, jmfulbrightggm Page 4 of 5 " , LLC 3019161560 _ page 63 Jun 01 zoégsgliéfi-cé/nggsg1-ALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 Page 63 63 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #._ 1973 1973 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 06/01/20 Page Brian James Dunne Jonas 3 Jacobson Jeremy S Byrum David l. Hecht bdunne@b§tha§edunne,ggm jo_na§@dovellaw.com jerqumgguirgmgodsggm dhegh:@_pigrcehaiub[idgm Wpierggbainpriggm flierlercebainbridgemm Elizabeth Siebman Forrest elizabexhtqrresgeigigbmamggm, ggn‘gelovela;e@§iebman,ggm, esiepmanflgmailggmfiie Philip Alexander Tarpley IVIlcnaEIanerantz Andrew Jay Lorin YavarBathaee n‘ be h sEe .com phlupxargIgM@ngrmnrogefulbrightxom michaelmgqmgmflgmgilfiom aIor'gn@pigrgebainhridgegom, nggmgbainbridggxom, yavar@9a§haeedunne.com Barron McGinnisFlood Wmeemmm m Andrew Chan Wolinsky Brian D. Schmalzbach Benjamin L. Hatch awolin§ky_@ba;haeggunne.ggm ngguirgmggggpom nguiremggdmgm, jnoon§n@mgui[ewggd§.ggm, JamilglvflmcgmiWm . Lmamemgm cool :11, Wmmuir ds-c Andrew Michael Williamson Edward Maxwell Grauman amw@awil|i§mson.law egraumathgthaegggnne.ggm 4:19-cv—00507-ALM Notice will not be electronically mailed to: Page 5 of 5 Jun 01 2020 01:25AM AWiHjamson LLC 3019161560 pga e 64 Case 4: 19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 64 of 74 PageID #: 1974 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 64 of 74 PageID #: 1974 EXHIBIT 11 Jun 0 1 2020 01:25AM AW'iii , LLC 3019161560 _ page 65 Case4:19-cv-06:E>n0ci1-ALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page Page 65 65 of of74 PagelD#: 1975 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 74 PageID #: 1975 -——————.__—___.—____—____ Subject: Re: Activity in Case 4:19—cv-00507—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing Date: Monday, May 18, 2020 at 3:59:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: Andrew Williamson To: Edward D. Alta bet, ‘Davicl Hecht' CC: John Pierce, 'ajlorin@gmail.com', ‘Kevin Cash', Camille Varlack, 'dhecht@piercebainbridge.com', 'a|orin@piercebainbridge.com' Attachments: imageOUleif. imaee002.gif, image003.gif, imageflMgif M r A It: hot, Your baseless threats and efforts to intimidate me are inapprooriate and unprofessional, and it is unclear what privilege or confidentiality you are asserting at the beginning of your first emaii. In addition, having now had the chance to review the transcript from last week’s hearing, and confirm a number of what I believe are intentionally misleading andfor false statements of material facts, I have an ethical duty to correct the record. Out of an abundance of caution, and in light of your position that i cannot do any further substantive work on the record in this matter without a Court order, I will be seeking one, shortly, and I will be requesting an Ex Parte ln Camera review of your emails and our other prior communications with Judge Mazzant. In the meantime, I will also be responding to Southwest’s inquiries insofar as they relate to me and not to Pierce Bainbridge or the clients. I do not need your authorization or David's/Andy's authorization to respond to inquiries directed to me individually. Rega rds, Andrew M. Williamson Member A.Wiiliamson, LLC 12410 Milestone Center Drive Suite 600 Germantown, MD 20876 Phone: 301-916-1550 Email: amw@awiiiiam§9n_.law Admitted in Maryland. Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Coiumbia wwwawilliamsgniaw This message, including attachments. is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorney— client privilege or work product doctrine. If you. are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. Ifyou have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. From: "Edward D. Altabet" Date: Monday, May 18, 2020 at 2:05 PM To: 'David Hecht' , "'amw@awi|liamsonJaw'“ Cc: John Pierce , “‘ajlorin@gmail.com"' , 'Kevin Page 1of7 ' " . IIC 3019161560 page 66 Jun m 7°€%$'Z‘?’i3c1‘f’6‘éla£8‘¥‘rALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 66 66 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #.. 1976 1976 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document Page Cash' , Camille Varlack , "'dhecht@piercebainbridgecom'" , "'alorin@piercebainbridge.com”‘ Subject: RE: Activity in Case 4:19-cv—00507—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing Mr. Williamson, liust tried calling you at the number below. But no voicemail picked up. No one else copied on this email has heard from you either — notwithstanding your Saturday email suggesting that you intended to send an unauthorized communication to defense counsel today. Please call me or David before COB today to discuss; or else confirm that you are standing down and will fully Lo rin. cooperate with, and will undertake no action except at the express written behest of, Messrs. Hecht and/or Thank you. Ed My cell: 917.370.2469. From: David Hecht Sent: Monday, May 18, 2020 10:26 AM To: Edward D. Altabet ; 'amw@awilliamson.law' Cc: John Pierce ; 'ajlorin@gmail.com' ; 'Kevin Cash' ; Camille Va rlack Subject: RE: Activity in Case 4:19—cv-00507—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing In case you don't have my cell number, it is 546-266-8753. 1 have calls all morning, so feel free to shoot me a text first and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I look forward to speaking. From: Edward D. Altabet Sent: sunday. may 17, 7020 11:40 PM To: ‘amw@awilliamson.law' Cc: John Pierce QMm‘grgebainbgidgg,cgm>; David Hecht ; 'Kevin Cash' «:kcashfg'opiergebainbridgecgmx Camille Varlack Subject: FW: Activity in Case 4:19-cv-00507—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et a! Motion Hearine E D NFIDE AL Mr. Williamson, As you know, I am counsel to Pierce Bainbridge. Once again you appear to be contemplating undertaking an improper course of action. In the first instance, you should know better than to send an email like this to Kevin and Camille. The fact Page 2 of 7 . 'r , ||(‘. amoimsnn pagi: n7 “In 01 méfastgiiiig-cp‘vfivggg37n-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 67 of 74 PageID #.. 1977 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 67 of 74 PageID #: 1977 that you sent it to Kevin and Camille on Saturday (without copying me) — with a threat to send a letter on Monday unethica i.morning to opposing counsel no less — suggests that you are looking for a way to do something In the second instance, the three people that you should have sent your email to -- John Pierce, David Hecht, and Andrew Lorin — are conspicuously absent from your email correspondence. Third, you are no longer an employee of Pierce Bainbridge and, to the best of my knowledge (and according to a review of the docket), A.Wii|iamson, LLC, is not currently counsel to anyone in the Boeing matter, nor has it entered an appearance in the case. (If you believe we are mistaken, please immediately send us a copy of any relevant documents.) Fourth, with respect to any inquiry you believe is directed to you from Boeing’s or SniithWest‘s counsel (which, incidentally, you did not bother to attach to your email): first, you are not authorized to communicate with defense counsel regarding the matter absent the express written consent of your former firm and your former clients; and second, under no circumstances are you permitted or allowed to divulge confidential and/or privileged information concerning your former firm or anything regarding this case to anyone other than Messrs. Pierce, Lorin, and Hecht, in the absence of a court order compelling you to do 50. Fifth, unless and until A.Williamson, LLC is retained as counsel or co-counsei in this matter, your role in this matter is at an end. If you are so retained, then you are obligated to discuss and disclose for comment any contemplated communication from you to the opposing party with all of plaintiffs’ counsel before you send it to defense counsel. And if anyone has purported to direct you otherwise, or If anyone has purportedly directed you to respond to defense counsel’s inquiry, then you must immediately forward that writing to everyone on this email chain. You are directed to contact David Hecht on Monday morning before you do, say, or write anything further with respect to this matter. Please be guided accordingly. Edward D. Altabet - Partner Cohen Seglias Dallas Graenhall 8. Fat-man PC ”in I office; I email COHEN SEGLIAS MLLAS GREENHALL s FUR-4M4 F'c Confidentiality Note: This electrOnic message and any attachments ("message") is intended for use only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is confidential, protected by the attorney-client privilege, and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please reply to the sender that you received the message in error and delete all copies of the message from your computer and network. Dissemination, copying, or other use of this message by any person or entity other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this message is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding Federal tax penalties, or (ii) promoting or marketing any transaction or matter discussed herein. Page 3 of 7 . -LLC 3019161560 page 68 Jun 01 zoégsg'iTg-cwgggég‘lALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 68 68 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #.. 1978 1978 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document Page Begin forwarded message: From: Andrew Williamson Date: May 16, 2020 at 10:50:43 AM EDT To: "cva rlack@_pfi11e_b_ai_n_b_|1d_ge.com" Subject: Fw: Activity in Case 4:19-cv—00507—ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Heanng Camille and Kevin: lam not sure who is left or who is in charge at Pierce Bainbridge, but as far as I can tell you are both Still there (or were as of this week], so I am writing to you. At a hearing on Wednesday in the Boeing case, David Hecht made a number of representations to the Court, which I believe are misleading or at the very least vague. Following that hearing, counsel for Southwest sent a letter to a number of attorneys, including myself, asking for a plethora of information from Pierce Bain bridge and raising certain issues directly with me regarding my own actions. I plan to respond to that letter by no later than Monday and have a couple of questions for both of you. First, although both Camille and Tom Warren confirmed that David’s last day at the Pierce Bainbridge was April 15th and Tom explicitly told me to withdraw David’s appearance in light of his departure (and that Iwas also told to withdraw all departing attorneys), David claims he is still either at Pierce Bainbridge or affiliated with it/speaks for it. I have no reason to doubt Camille or Tom’s representations/instructions, but have significant concerns about what David told the Court. Can you please confirm whether David is authorized to speak for Pierce Bainbridge and explain how that is possible in light of his departure? Second, Southwest is questioning my authorization to instruct the discovery vendor to delete the Boeing/Southwest document productions that it was hosting for Pierce Balnbrldge. As Kevin knows, I sought his guidance on this issue before I departed, and he instructed me to tell the vendor to delete the files and send us a final invoice. Kevin, could you please re—confirm that you authorized that action by responding to this email? If you could get back to me by Monday morning at the latest, I would really appreciate that. Thank you. Andrew M. Williamson Mambo:A.Williemson, LLC new Milestone Center Drive Suite 600 Germantown, MD 20876 Phone: 301-916-1560 Email: amw@awil|iam§gn.law Admitted in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia w w.a il iam w Page 4 of 7 . -LLC 3019161560 page 69 Jun 01 Eoégsgliég-cfiw6gg0?5ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 69 of 74 PageID #.. 1979 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 69 of 74 PageID #: 1979 This message. including attachments, is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. Ifyoa are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. Ifyou have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. From: "WW9! <3Led£_Ni@txed.uscouas.eou> Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 10:37 AM To: "Writeduscourtsgg" Subject: Activity in Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Motion Hearing This is an automatic e-mail message generated by the CMIECF system. Please DO NOT RESPOND to this e-mail because the mail box is unattended. a"*‘I'ilD'l’E To PUBLIC, ACCESS USERSV'" Judicial Conference of the United States policy permits attorneys of record and parties in a case {including pro se litigants) to receive one free electronic copy of all documents filed electronically, if receipt is required by law or directed by the filer. PACER access fees apply to all other users. To avoid later charges, download a copy of each document during this first viewing. However, if the referenced document is a transcript, the free copy and 30 page limit do not apply. U.S. District Court Eastern District of TEXAS [UVE] Notice of Electronic Filing The following transaction was entered on 5/13/2020 at 9:35 AM CDT and filed on 5/13/2020 Case Name: Earl et al v. The Boeing Company et al Case Number: Filer: 4-1 -cv- 7-A M Document Number: No document attached Minute Entry for proceedings held before DIStriat Judge Amos L. Mazzant, Ill: Telephonic Motion Hearing held on 5l13I2020 at 9:00 a.m. re [79] MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney All Pierce Bar'nbn‘dge Attorneys filed by John Rogers, Valerie Mortz-Rogers, Stephanie Blakey, Muhammad Muddasir Khan, Alesa Beck, Demonic Earl, Marisa Thompson, Lakesha Goggins, Elizabeth Cooper, Timothy Blakey, Jr. and Linda Rugg. Yavar Bathaee, Brian Dunne, Elizabeth De Rieux, Barron Flood, John Jeffrey Eichmann, Andrew Jay Lorin, Andrew Michael Williamson, Andrew Wolinsky. David Hecht, and Michael Pomeranz appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Benjamin Hatch, Clyde Siebman, Jeremy Byrum, Thomas Miles Farrell and Joe Cascio appeared on behalf of Boeing Company; and Michael Swartzendruber, James Leito, Jason Fagolman, Mark Shaw, James Shepherd, and Carrie Forbes appeared on behalf of Southwest Airlines. Plaintiffs counsel advises they desire to withdraw their motion. Court orally grants Plaintiffs request to withdraw. Call adjourned at 9:28 a.m. (Court Reporter Jan Mason) (kkc ) 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Notice has been electronically mailed to: Elizabeth L Deflleux gdeueggtwgapsnawiayyggm. atbgmmmm Page 5 of 7 ' " , LLC 3019161560 page 70 Jun 01 zoégsg'iéfl-cfiw3lgga$-ALM Document 116 116 Filed Filed 06/01/20 06/01/20 Page 70 70 of of 74 74 PageID PagelD #: #.. 1980 1980 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document Page fiWflpghawlawgom, hpegersonfiigpshawlawxom, rhgrse@gg§hawlaw.cgm Michael Alan Swartzendruber mGhaememWn n I riahJflm, Mygwngrtonrgigfglbrightgom Clyde Moody Siebman ' an LlydggiebmagQfleb—mammg, deniselgyglacefiisigpmansgm, gigbmanggm,figphagiehoothflsiemam Jeffrey Jack Burley 5gp a 'ebo feffbgrigyflsiehman£om bu:|eylaMx@_gmail.gom, sieb corn Thomas Miles Farrell Jason KFagelman fiarrellchgflm Qfaulk@_mgggir§wogd§.ggm fasonfagg man@nguonrgsgfulbfl'ghuom. §h§ri.mgtgsjgen@ugfionrgggfulbrighg.ggm Gregory Scott Dovel giegfilggvellawcom, court§@dovellaw.com Julien Antonio Adams jylign@dgygllaw.ggm. devellammm John Jeffrey Eichmann jeff@dgveilaw.cgm. gourt§@dgvellaw.gom James Vincent Leito, IV iameg leixgrgilngggnrosgfulgrigm ma mmu lvihill @nortgm'ggcfulbrightfiom Simon Carlo Franzini mgovellammm. mgovellamggm Geraldine W Young ggraldineyMgQDngfionrogefglbrighgxgm, ibaldergs©fulbrightcgm Brian James Dunne Whathagggggneggm Jonas B Jacobson Jeremy S Byrum David L Hecht jMdg-«gflawcgm jhmmguizewggdgggm dbecthpigrggbainmidgecom, DgcketNY@Q'etgebainbridgm fiylefipiercega'nhridgm Elizabeth Siebman Forrest Wsighmaflpom. Wsiggmaumom, esigbman@_gmail.ggm, mphaniebgo;h@§ighman.ggm PhilipAlexandarTarpley Michael Pomerantz Andrew Jay Lorin philimarmfléimflmhtggm michaelmpomergnggfiéigmai .ggm WWW Miamiercebainmmm §Lyl£@pi§rce bainbridgegom Yavar Bathaee yavarQbamaeedunng.com Barron McGinnis Flood barrgn.flood@h§f.ggm, fiphaniemorangfiflhsicom Page 6 of 7 LLC 3019161560 pga e 71 Jun 01 205215? 38/15]-cfi/wglgga?ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 71 of 74 PagelD#: 1981 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 71 of 74 PageID #: 1981 Andrew Chan Wolinsky Brian D. Schmalzbach Benjamin L. Hatch awoliwkyfilbgflmcedunne.com bgchmglzbachfiflmflemdm bha:ch@_m§guirewggds.com, imgéhgqguiremggds. com, Leelbglvfimggmm. mmvmemgwungmrewc §.com. Andrew Michael Williamson Edward Maxwell Grauman amw@awilliamson.law ggwbgmgggdunnggom 4:1s-cv-m5m-ALM Notice will not be electronically mailed to: Page 7 of 7 Jun 01 2020 01:30AM Awmjamson, LLC Case 4: 19- cv- 00507-ALM 3019161560 Document 116 pga e 72 Filed 06/01/20 Page 72 of 74 PageID #: 1982 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 72 of 74 PageID #: 1982 EXHIBIT 12 ' " , LLC 3019161560 _ page 73 Jun 01 zoégsgligg-cfi/W3gga?—ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 73 of 74 PagelD #.. 1983 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 73 of 74 PageID #: 1983 a Subject: Re: Eari v. Boeing Request for ln-Camera Ex Parte Hearing Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 9:14:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time From: Andrew Williamson To: Edward D. Alta bet CC: Andrew Lorin, John Pierce, Camille Va rlack, 'Kevin Cash‘, dhecht@piercebainbridgecom Ed, Thank you for your response. I will convey to Judge Mazzant that Pierce Bainbridge asserts privilege over all of those categoriES of documents and seek to have everything reviewed in camera. I am not going to revisit our prior arguments over the motion to withdraw. We already resolved that issue in mid-April) and as I am sure you recall, despite your baseless accusations that I did something "unauthorized" or "ultra vires" it ended with Andy Lorin—the only remaining partner on the case at the time—confirming the firm could not in “good faith" continue to service the clients and Lorin confirming we should not withdraw the motion at that time. This was communicated in writing which will be reviewed in camera. I have not taken any action in this matter on behalf of the firm or the clients since leaving Pierce Bainbridge. My urfier to resolve on—the-record misrepresentations via the proposed stipulation stands. There is no need for you and Ito meet and confer. You do not represent the Boeing Plaintiffs nor is your appearance on file in the case. If Andy Lorin and David Hecht would like to discuss the matter, without resorting to baseless threats and intimidation, I am willing to do so without your participation. Andrew M. Williamson Member A.Wiiliamsnn. Hr 12410 Milestone Center Drive Suite 600 Germantown, MD 20876 Phone: 301-916-1560 Email: Mawilliamsoniaw Admitted in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia www.awiliiamson.law This message, including attachments, is confidential and may contain information protected by the attorney- ciient privilege or work product doctrine. Ifyou are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution. or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. Ifyou have received this email in error, please destroy it and notify me immediately. From: "Edward D. Altabet" Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 11:48 PM To: 'Andrew Williamson' , “dhecht@piercebainbrldge.com" Cc: Andrew Lorin , John Pierce , Camille Varlack , 'Kevin Cash' Subject: RE: Earl v. Boeing Request for ln-Camera Ex Parte Hearing Page 1 of 2 : AW'lli , LLC 3019161560 _ page 74 Jun 01 2052152 39%_CV_(|)6€5$1ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 74 of 74 PagelD #._ 1984 Case 4:19-cv-00507-ALM Document 116 Filed 06/01/20 Page 74 of 74 PageID #: 1984 A nri ram, You are going to embarrass yourself further if continue on this path. No court is interested in hearing from a former associate about his perceived gripes with his former law firm. And while I have not yet seen the transcript of the May 13 proceedings, based on what has been reported to me, my sense is that Judge Mazzant has neither the time nor patience for this kind of nonsense. I directed you on Sunday, in response to your inquiry of Saturday, to contact David on Monday morning before you undertook any further action in this matter. For all the lip service you’ve given me about your meet-and-confer obligations, I have a clear paper record of you refusing to call David, or me, or Andy, or John regarding the matter before you sent a letter to defense counsel and filed your latest set of papers with the court. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Conspicuously absent from your email below and your prior emails is any explanation as to why and how you are still involved in this case. You haven’t presented an engagement letter between you and any of the plaintiffs in the action. And you haven’t presented a co-counsel agreement. I asked you to produce these documents, to the extent they existed, on Sunday night. Instead, without having a meet—and-confer with us, you went rogue (again) ~ in breach of your fiduciary obligations to your former clients and your former firm and responded to an Inquiry from defense counsel and put in a new filing with the court. (Seriously, and I say this as a defense—side lawyer: what self-respecting plaintiffs’ lawyer responds to a demand from defense counsel on an arbitrary schedule set by defense counsel?! Indeed: what self-respecting plaintiffs’ lawyer who is no longer involved in a matter doesn’t write back to defense counsel: "if you want information that you are not entitled to, subpoena me”) You keep insisting that you owe "ethical obligations to the court, the parties, and counsel." Yet you not only continue to ignore the fiduciary obligations you owe to your former clients and your former firm, you have not once provided any legal analysis that purports to support the, frankly, bizarre conduct you are now undertaking. Your ultra Vires motion to withdraw Pierce Bainbridge from the matter was successfully withdrawn on May 13 — wnnout In any way casting aspersions on your conduct (though such aspersions Would have been justified had they been cast). The proper response to that outcome would have been to send David and Andy a thank you note (and gift basket) and leave it at that. While the withdrawal motion is now beside the point, it is nevertheless worth pointing out that I asked you, over the week of April 13, for you to provide me with a copy of any writing that expressly and explicitly authorized the particuiar action you undertook. The fact that no writings were produced speaks volumes. PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, Pierce Bainbridge asserts privilege over all of the below mentioned documents and communications (and any other documents or communications that you are apparently contemplating divulging). As for the nature of the privilege of my communications with you. they are privileged viz. defense counsel and any co—counsel. The privilege continues to exist and extend to communications between a firm and its former associate regarding a matter that the associate worked on while employed by his prior firm. And you have a fiduciary obligation to observe the privilege and keep all information you learned while in the employ of your former firm in confidence. Andrew, I can’t pretend that this is not a very serious matter with potentially very serious consequences. Your actions are potentially prejudicing your former clients in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. But there is still time and space for you to make a graceful exit from this situation: withdraw the filing that you made with the court yesterday and agree not to engage in any further correspondence with defense counsel, and the Page 2 of 2 EXHIBIT – L – EXHIBIT – M –