The latest article published on The Leslie Brodie Report which exposed potential misconduct on the part of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy in concert with Kerr & Wagstaffe in the Charles Siller litigation was originally published on 26/12/2011, and is being rebublished below:
"In Part 1, we discussed the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings involving CWS and owner Charles Siller ("Siller"), former clients of Burlingame-based Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy ("Cotchett").
After Siller unsuccessfully sought to renegotiate the amount of fees owed to Cotchett, Cotchett commenced legal proceedings against Siller and obtained a judgment. Siller, defiant, filed for bankruptcy. Cotchett, also defiant, continues to pursue Siller in bankruptcy court.
Presently, Siller is asking the bankruptcy court – through a trustee represented by DLA Piper in Sacramento – to essentially renegotiate the fees by examining the "reasonable value" of the benefits obtained from Cotchett. Presumably, the parties are operating under the assumption that the determined reasonable value will not exceed the original amount.
As an aside, DLA Piper's Sacramento offices housed non-profit CaliforniaALL, the entity that obtained the sub rosa $780,000 contribution from the California Bar Foundation.
In yet another strange twist, Jim Wagstaffe of Kerr Wagstaffe – Cotchett's co-counsel in an ongoing separate matter in San Mateo – has been selected to offer expert testimony as to the reasonable value of Cotchett's services to Siller.
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stiffed Cotchett
Parties seeking representation by Cotchett, particularly in a contingency fee arrangement, had better stick to their word and their side of the agreement, and otherwise conduct themselves honorably. Shenanigans are not tolerated.
Mr Joseph Cotchett of Burlingame-based Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy (Image:courtesy photo)
At least based on our observation, Cotchett is not a corporate firm that will pretend to crunch the numbers and offer discounts or send an unpaid bill to a collection agency that might offer a client a "deal", say 30 cents on the dollar.
The way the firm sees things, the client came to it in a time of need, the firm took a risk, the firm worked hard to earn the fees and invested its own money to pay for expenses, and ultimately it delivered; so, please, do not try to disrespect the firm by not paying it what it is entitled to.
A client engaging in waggery, or otherwise trying to pull a fast one on Cotchett, is perceived as committing an act of betrayal, which is highly and deeply offensive to Cotchett's sense of fairness, justice, and what is right and wrong in the universe.
Hence, the same efficient and fearless legal machinery that initially worked on behalf of the errant client is now ready to take that client on – and justifiably so we might add.
That having been said, we have also observed that Cotchett, at times, enters into convoluted agreements with its clients regarding the payment of attorney's fees, which usually involve business transactions post-settlement, and otherwise prolong the attorney-client relationships as they move into adversarial business relationships.
This new arrangement between a toxic client and the orderly Cotchett provides both, for a short while longer, the needed platform to co-dependently remain in a relationship for Cotchett to right another wrong until a court writes it off."