LATHROP AND GAGE: Lighten Up & Enjoy Your Lucre (Part 2)
July 8, 2012
Dear Lathrop and Gage: Lighten up & enjoy your lucre before you make yourself look any sillier. Regards, Unhappy Franchisee
In the post, LATHROP AND GAGE: Lighten Up & Enjoy Your Lucre (Part 1), we stated how the silly it is that Lathrop and Gage (a law firm with 280 attorneys and $138M in yearly revenue) is claiming that their adversary Fortman Law (a law firm with 1 attorney and 1 paralegal) is unfairly tipping the scales of legal justice in favor of Fortman’s clients (lower-income individuals who paid for janitorial cleaning contracts they never received).
Lathrop and Gage has filed a Defendant Motion for Sanctions and a Defendants Motion for Protective Order (on behalf of their clients) against Fortman, their opposing counsel in the case of Markeeta Rivera, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. (alleged sleazedog scammers) Simpatico, Inc., Stratus Franchising, LLC, et al., Defendants.
Reason #2 Lathrop & Gage Should Lighten Up & Enjoy the Lucre: They Look Silly
White, upper-class attorneys of a mega-law firm who bill at $500 (or so) an hour claiming that their millionaire clients aren’t getting a fair shake in the American legal system?
That’s the stuff of Saturday Night Live parody.
In their motions, Lathrop & Gage seems to be claiming that they are being put at a legal disadvantage because Jonathan Fortman, many of whose clients in the suit are Hispanic, Bosnian or African-American janitorial workers, publicly expressed his opinion that Lathrop & Gage attorneys are using stall and delay tactics on behalf of their greedy, con-men clients.
In our opinion, Lathrop & Gage attorneys should just lighten up and enjoy their lucre, since nothing sounds sillier than overpaid white guys claiming they’re not getting a fair shake.
Reason #3 Lathrop & Gage Should Lighten Up & Enjoy the Lucre: They Look Sloppy & Inept
Lathrop and Gage attorneys expressed outrage that Fortman publicly described their advocacy as “ridiculous,” “lame,” “ill-advised,” and “all about the delay.”
Yet, in their motions for sanctions and a protective order, Lathrop and Gage attorneys seem dead-set on demonstrating that they are ridiculous, lame, ill-advised and all about the delay.
In the Defendant Motion for Sanctions, Lathrop and Gage attorneys wrote:
5. Although Plaintiffs’ counsel makes reference to six different subpoenas being served (Counsel represents subpoenas were served on Dennis Jarrett, Bob Stapleton, Marisa Lather, Farrell and Blair), Plaintiff’s counsel did not serve a single notice, either informal or formal, of these subpoenas being served.
I’m not a highly paid attorney, nor a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that adds up to five, not six, different subpoenas (Jarret – 1, Stapleton – 2, Lather – 3, Farrell – 4, Blair – 5). Or does Lathrop and Gage have their own creative math system?
Granted, such creative accounting could come in handy when creating client invoices.
Example #2: Major factual error
Four Lathrop and Gage attorneys (Scott J. Dickenson, Mathew A. Jacober, John D. Ryan, Emily E. Kiser – referred to collectively as the “poodles” in the discussion at STRATUS Franchise: Are Stratus Master Franchisees Jumping Ship?) are listed on the Defendant Motion for Sanctions.
The motion asserts that Jon Fortman publicly posting information and opinion on “his” blog, UnhappyFranchisee.com [emphasis ours]:
“8. …Mr. Fortman States in his blog…”
“12. What makes Mr. Fortman’s conduct more abhorring is his willingness to post his actions on his self-serving blog…”
With 280 attorneys and an army of paralegals and secretaries, could no one at Lathrop and Gage alert them to the fact that UnhappyFranchisee.com is NOT Jon Fortman’s blog?
Jon Fortman has no ownership nor editorial control over this website whatsoever.
The poodles, it seems, had an accident.
Example #3: Lame attempt at turning the judge against Fortman
In the poodles’ Motion for Protective Order, the crack Lathrop and Gage legal team assert that the most egregious professional sin of Jon Fortman is that he voiced “his opinion of the Judge presiding over this litigation.”
Uh-oh! What terrible, disparaging statement did Fortman make about the Judge?
Here’s Fortman’s shocking statement: “…I have appeared before the judge assigned to this case many times. She is not going to tolerate any tactics used for the sole purpose of delay…”
That’s it? The statement that the poodle’s characterize as “most shocking” is, in fact, a compliment by Jonathan Fortman that she’s a no-nonsense judge who will not tolerate delay tactics and other nonsense?
Seriously, such frivolous poodlery and shoddy legal work almost make me feel sorry for Defendants Dennis Jarrett and Pete Frese.
If I were them, I would check the hours billed for the Motion for Sanctions and Motion for Protective Order very carefully.
I would also assign someone to check the math on every Lathrop and Gage invoice.
Judging from the Motion for Sanctions, this is a law firm that believes 1+1+1+1+1 = 6.
And Stratus Franchising, LLC and their gang should keep their legal costs under control so they’ll be able to pay out the inevitable settlements that will (hopefully) be due to the victims whose savings they took.
Read more here: Janitorial / Commercial Cleaning Franchise Issues
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Disclaimer: The assertions and personal characterizations in this post are personal opinions and should be interpreted as such. They are opinions – Witty, bold & insightful opinions – not statements of fact. In fact, we could be wrong about everything ;)