December 6, 2013—San Diego, CA—San Diego divorce lawyer Jeffrey Fritz of Basie and Fritz and his counsel Debra Hurst and Kyle Van Dyke of Hurst & Hurst are today accused of revealing client confidences, including confidential details of former divorce client Lynn Stuart and her minor son, in their defense of racketeering charges brought by California Coalition for Families and Children. In CCFC’s letter to Debra Hurst and Kyle Van Dyke, CCFC President Colbern Stuart demanded that Hurst and Van Dyke withdraw the confidential documents and information:
I write to demand that you immediately withdraw certain exhibits and matter from the Motions to Dismiss of your clients Jeffrey C. Fritz, APC, d/b/a Basie & Fritz, and Jeffrey C. Fritz (“FRITZ”), in the above-referenced matter, Dkt#48 and #50, as violative of the certifications required under Fed.R.Civ.P Rules 11(b)(1), (2), and (3). Please allow this to serve as notice of Plaintiff’s intent to move for sanctions against you and your clients under the same in the event you fail to comply with this demand and notice within 21 days. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(2). I have reserved time for the hearing of this motion to coincide with the January 24, 2013 hearing for other motions in this case at 2:00 p.m. in Department 4C of the above entitled Court. Motion papers will follow.
Fritz and Hurst Violate Fritz’s Client and Minor Child Confidences
Stuart claims that confidential details of Fritz’s former client’s divorce proceeding were included in Basie & Fritz’s motion to dismiss the case to harass CCFC and gouge its President.
Your Motions include a request for judicial notice and twenty three exhibits totaling 162 pages, consisting almost entirely of impertinent, controversial, and scandalous materials unrelated to this action or your motion. Their irrelevance is aptly demonstrated by the fact that in your arguments to the relevant standards for your motions—Rule 12(b)(6) pleadings matters of law—you cite only two exhibits totaling three pages (RJN 19 (an email to corporate plaintiff’s attorney regarding the fact that he has not obtained permission to appear pro hac vice) at MTD 8:11, and RJN 20 (a secretary of state print-out regarding corporate Plaintiff Lexevia’s status with the Secretary of State) at MTD 8:19). Outside of the disparaging, impertinent soliloquy that is your “statement of facts,” no other RJN page or Exhibit is cited.
In your impertinent regurgitation you also disclose confidential details relating to Mr. Fritz’s own client—Lynn Stuart—and a minor child. The manner with which you characterize these details is not merely controversial, it is as a gouging personal attack on Plaintiff and his exwife’s character, and the details of a divorce proceeding relating to a minor child that have thus far been assiduously maintained in confidence. At the very least, your inclusion of such details is a violation of Mr. Fritz’s ethical duties to his client and her family’s interests in maintaining their confidences. Your facilitation of it in an unrelated action is a second compounding and outrageous offense.
Your and your clients’ introduction of such matters in this litigation should be seen as no more than a despicable effort to abuse client and party confidences in this federal District Court, and abuse its processes to attempt low-blow larded scuttlebutt, bespeaking volumes of the character and integrity of the party you represent, and apparently your own. Whatever aspersions your clients crave to abusively campaign for, they have no place in this litigation, and their inclusion in a motion which cannot weigh evidence is at best unfaithful litigation conduct with no purpose greater than to harass. I am in process of alerting the state bar and relevant professional organizations of your and your client’s reprehensible conduct. I hereby demand that you withdraw exhibits 1-17 and all matter based thereon immediately.
Fritz Threatened With Sanctions
CCFC also asserted that Hurst and Van Dyke included numerous “frivolous” arguments calculated to harass CCFC and its advocates and members.
Your Motion to Dismiss evidences the deplorable standards of a legal practice in which our communities are coerced to entrust the care and safety of children, strife-stricken families, and future. Your Motion requests to walk the Court through twenty-three exhibits of extraneous, impertinent, private, and degeneratively scandalous matter—in support of a motion that cannot weight evidence. The ears of many from your client’s home forum now present in this one may have grown tone-deaf to such aberrant, disrespectful practices common in that forum. I suggest that ears at home in the forum in which your clients now appear will not be so.
Plaintiffs hereby demand that you immediately withdraw the matter as identified above. In the event that your clients fail to do so, I will move the court for sanctions for their failure to do so on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Department 4C of the above-identified Court.
Warning to Basie and Fritz Clients and Family Court Judges: Sleep with Dogs…
“If you hire Jeff Fritz, beware that his unscrupulous tactics include sloppy maintenance of your own secrets.” Says CCFC President and the author of the letter, Colbern Stuart. “Fritz’ reputation as a bottom feeder unfortunately means he often cannibalizes his own clients after he’s tanked their cases. Our investigation into Basie and Fritz’ practice–which will be presented as the litigation proceeds–has uncovered a trail of demolished futures of his own clients. And now he resorts to disclosing his own client’s and her child’s confidences to defend himself against such abuse” said Stuart. “It’s a sad state of affairs that such behavior is tolerated—even encouraged–by his co-defendant Family Court judges. The guy should have been disbarred years ago. Maybe this will finally get through and serve as a warning to future clients that they take enormous risks in hiring firms like Basie & Fritz. Fritz is not just incompetent, he’s a menace to his own clients’ interests; especially when he needs to protect his own. Hopefully the Family Court judges and his domestic dispute industry colleagues will finally be alert that this partner in fraud will drag them down too.”
Documents filed by Fritz, Van Dyke, and Hurst to defend Fritz from the Racketeering charges included emails of Fritz’s former client relating to her divorce, including her extramarital affair with a wealthy businessman, allegations of physical abuse of her son, habitual intoxication, psychological treatment and medication, her termination of her job as a reporter for Fox 6 News as part of a nasty custody dispute that brought down her career.
Hearing on the Sanctions Motion is Scheduled for Thursday, January 24, 2:00 p.m. in United States District Court.