In an almost unprecedented turn of events and somewhat ironically, the man who once stated "our justice systems, our courts, are the best things about this country because in other countries, they settle their problems through violence" is now accused of conspiring with others to operate the justice system as a criminal racketeering enterprise.

Court documents filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia reveal that controversial trial attorney Tom Girardi of Los Angeles-based Girardi & Keese is accused of violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Among the claimed misconduct, the civil suit alleges that in exchange for favorable treatment in court cases, Girardi resorted to the use of payoffs, underwriting social events, and the laundering of money to effect the outcome of court cases "with certain judges and attorneys."


Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese. Per the Ninth Circuit, Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi have resorted to employing "the persistent use of known falsehoods" and "false representations" were made "knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly" during years of litigation. Subsequent to those findings, the State Bar of California appointed Howard Rice's Jerome Falk to serve as special prosecutor against Girardi, Lack, and their respective firms. None mentioned that Girardi and Lack are actually clients of Jerome Falk and Howard Rice. See story here. For additional allegations of misconduct leveled against Girardi, please see here, and here , and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. For the latest on Walter Lack, please see here. (Image: courtesy photo)

RICO is a federal law that authorizes a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. RICO focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be held civilly liable for the crimes that they ordered others to commit or which they assisted in committing.

Tom Layton and Tom Girardi
Girardi (far left) enjoys an authentic dinner, friendship and comradery during an Italian-American Lawyers Association event. The gentleman at the center of the photo is State Bar of California employe Tom Layton who according to sources is part of an ongoing "ambulance chasing" scheme the Girardi Syndicate operates in San Bernardino County vis-a-vis a satellite office located in San Bernardino and managed by Thomas Girardi's son-in-law, David Lira. (Image:courtesy)

The suit also asserts that other individuals engaged in racketeering activities, including Tom Layton -- a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff/Senior State Bar of California investigator, and Alec Chang of Skadden Arps.

Girardi is married to Erika Jayne, an American dance/club music performer who is also known as Erika Girardi. He has been feartured regularly on The Leslie Brodie Report. For example, we previously reported about an ethics complaint alleging multiple acts of misconduct filed with the State Bar of California against attorneys from the firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Girardi & Keese.

The complaint alleged that ethical breaches took place as a result of Skadden Arps' representation of Girardi & Keese in the matter of In Re Girardi because, at the same time, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps were on opposing sides in the case of Fogel v. Farmers Group, Inc.

Fogel v. Farmers, Skadden Arps, Girardi & Keese,

Per the complaint, in August 2003, Walter Lack (of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack) and Thomas Girardi and Graham LippSmith (of Girardi & Keese) filed a class action suit on behalf of plaintiffs Benjamin Fogel against Farmers Group, Inc. in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit was defended by attorneys from Skadden Arps.

Despite their respective roles as plaintiffs' counsel and defendants' counsel in Fogel v. Farmers, Girardi & Keese and Skadden Arps entered into an agreement by which Skadden Arps would represent Girardi & Keese and Thomas Girardi before the Ninth Circuit in the matter of In re Girardi following the Ninth Circuit's issuance of an order to show cause why Girardi & Keese, Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, Thomas Girardi, and Walter Lack should not be suspended, disbarred, or otherwise sanctioned as a result of the massive fraud which took place in litigation pursued by them against Dole Food Company.

On July 13, 2010, the Ninth Circuit issued an order suspending Walter Lack for a period of six months and reprimanding Girardi; the order also imposed almost $500,000 in monetary sanctions against the two attorneys.

In Re Girardi

Skadden Arps Thomas Nolan

On July 14 2010, in an attempt to conceal their attorney-client relationship, Skadden Arps and Thomas Nolan filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit asking for their names to be redacted from the published opinion.

Shortly thereafter, Skadden Arps moved ex parte (which, not surprisingly, was unopposed) to amend the settlement agreement in the Fogel matter and the notice to the class of 14 million Americans throughout the country to include a proviso by which members of the class would be prohibited from suing anyone due to the concurrent representation described above. Nevertheless, the State Bar of California decided not to take any action on this ethics complaint.


VOICE OF OC TEAM - Tom Girardi of Girardi & Keese, James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster and executive-director of the State Bar of California Joe Dunn of Voice of OC. Brosnahan, the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the Democratic Party and spouse of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carol Brosnahan, gained fame after his psychiatrist -- Berkeley-based Scyzophrenia specialist Dr. Bruce Africa -- threaten to kill him due to an alleged sexual affair between Brosnahan and Marty Africa of Major Lindsey & Africa. In September of 2009, once Ruthe Ashley existed CaliforniaALL, Dunn (with the help of Escutia, Girardi and Brosnahan) launched online publication "Voice of OC." Dunn is also a trustee of UCI Foundation -- an entity which absorbed most of the grants CaliforniaALL collected from utility companies Senator Dunn officially investigated during California energy crisis.(Image: courtesy photos)

Girardi also assisted in the launching of Voice of OC, and toghether with Brosnahan served as a member of Voice of OC board of directord. Later, for unknown reasons, Girardi and Brosnahann abruptly quit the entity.

For additional reading about:

Thomas Girardi, please see HERE.

Erika Jayne, please see HERE

James Brosnahan, please see HERE

CaliforniaALL, please see HERE