Friday, September 05, 2014

Crooked Attorney Hal Wright, And Differences Of Opinion

Regarding (my former) crooked attorney Hal Wright, I understand he is continuing to characterize his legal problems as merely a difference of opinion, of the sort that reasonable people with agreeable dispositions could settle equably, if only allowed the opportunity. Perhaps he is right. Trouble is, his difference of opinion includes the fine justices of the Supreme Court of California - every single individual one of them, since the Supreme Court met to consider his disbarment 'en banc'. Hal has a lot of persuading to do:

Moving Tools From One Place To Another, With Joe The Plumber

The tools were stored out in Rancho Cordova, but no longer.

Dismissed from the work site, it's time to bicycle on to a more-inviting neighborhood.

The oblivion of North Highlands.

Interesting Yuba City Signs II

Church of Glad Tidings.

Dancing Tomato Caffe.

Student Driver.

Deluxe Packages.

A Gnome.

"We do not sell tobacco or alcohol."


Fishing Bait.

Get Cash - Keep Control.

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

Taylor Swift is an awesome talent, and she's worked with Socorro, NM's Jeff Bhasker, so nothing she can do wrong in my book!

The Sandoval Sisters Are 'Frozen'

There are several California girls on my Facebook feed who regularly dress up as various Disney Princesses and enliven birthday parties and the like on weekends. Still, I was surprised when New Mexico acquaintances, the Sandoval sisters in Albuquerque, decided to do the same. They got covered on the evening TV news!:
Karissa and Mariah Sandoval dress up like Anna and Elsa from the hit animated film "Frozen," and appear at birthday parties and other children’s' events. Now that there's going to be a "Frozen" sequel, the sisters know the momentum will keep going.

"(We are booked for September and now and) are pretty booked up in October, it just depends on the day. But for Halloween, we are pretty booked," said Karissa Sandoval.

The Squirrel Whisperer Of Penn State

Iggy Azalea - Bounce

Krystle played this for warm-up in Fierce Funk yesterday.

This kills me: I could have seen Iggy Azalea, 2014's "It" girl, in concert in Las Vegas on my way back from Albuquerque in July, but I wasn't paying attention to what was happening in Vegas. Oh well, just have to wait till next year....

Thursday, September 04, 2014

This Photo From Walt Makes My Day!

Heck, I even mention him, although not by name but rather by our activities together, on page 165!

Grumpy Old Man Unhappy About "Breaking Bad"

I can't blame him, actually. "Breaking Bad" tourism (which I've been doing everything to promote) has a down side for those in the immediate neighborhood of attractions. It's time to spread the love around and visit some of the less-frequented sites!
One weekend not long ago, while gardening in my front yard, I counted 20 cars stopping at Jesse’s house in one hour. Most people take photographs from across the street or the sidewalk by the house. Some especially brazen and rude people will stand under the portal by the front door to pose for a photo. If they linger, I’ve been known to call the cops. Enough is enough, already.

Tourists come in limousines and taxis. Two tour companies come by regularly, including a tour offered by Frank Sandoval and his wife, Jackie, in a 1986 Winnebago they bought in Glenwood, Ariz. It’s a dead ringer for the van Jesse and his old high school chemistry teacher, Walt, used as a mobile meth lab early in the series. It also leaks a lot of oil.

...Wasn’t it great having “Breaking Bad” filmed so close by? a tourist asked.

It was not. Huge trucks and movie equipment jammed the street for days on end. Some 12th assistant to the second unit director’s dog walker, or some such title, would knock on the door and ask us to turn down the CD player. I’d be late for work only to find the 12th assistant begging me not to start my car just yet, lest a shot be spoiled. One memorable night, “Breaking Bad” simulated moonlight outside my bedroom window until 2 a.m. Simulated movie moonlight is bright enough to give you a sunburn.

...I am distinctly in the minority on this. The day I learned “Breaking Bad” was going to simulate moonlight outside my bedroom window, I went to my neighbors to express my outrage and to ask them to revolt. No one signed up. They liked having “Breaking Bad” in the neighborhood.

At that point, I figured I could be the grumpy old man whom neighbors warn their children to avoid, or I could shut up. I shut up. Until now.

Official BLiND Trailer

Coming soon, starring the amazing Christina Nicole Castro and featuring a cameo by the awesome Jessica Arena!

RIP, Teri Sisson Holcomb

Even though I had seen her Breaking Bad posts for several years, we became Facebook Friends only last week.

Is The Universe A Hologram? And Whose Hologram Might It Be?

This doesn't sound scary to me, but more like intriguing:
Do we actually live on a 2D plane, as a holographic projection? There is a well-established theory that states we are indeed living in a hologram, with a pixel size of about 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom. This has certain implications, some of which are quite sinister, even unspeakably horrific.

...The point of the Holometer experiment is that it will be able to reveal via the pixelation effect if our universe is, indeed, a hologram. It will achieve this by putting two interferometers really close to each other, creating laser beams and observing possible jitters when they interact.

...There was an influential piece published in Philosophical Quarterly in 2003, arguing that we probably are living in a computer simulation.... The philosophical argument pivots on the point that if humanity continues surviving and computer technology continues advancing, we will inevitably reach a stage where it will be possible to simulate the entire planet and all of its living beings.

At some later stage, creating these simulacra of Earth will become cheap and common — just like building mobile apps. This means that ultimately there will be billions or trillions of simulations of the universe that offer nearly perfect fidelity. Nearly, but not quite, because at the heart of these fake universes there will be some pixelation if you burrow deep enough.

Time To Flog The Shame: Crooked Attorney Hal Wright Gets Newspaper Attention Today (And Even A Mention In The 'Crime In America' Blog)

The Sacramento Bee:
Attorney Hal Erwin Wright settled Steve Isaacson’s personal injury lawsuit for pennies on the dollar without his knowledge, then forged his client’s and wife’s signatures on release forms and settlement checks to pocket the cash. He charged Isaacson hundreds of dollars for lawsuits he never filed.

“From the beginning of his representation of Isaacson in September 2010 until January 2013,” State Bar of California officials said, “he lied to his client on numerous occasions, saying he was working on his personal injury lawsuit when, in fact, he had never filed one.”

And, when Isaacson, vice president of the Davis Musical Theater Company, hired him in 2012 to handle a patron’s posthumous $15,000 donation to the company, the attorney walked away with all but $3,000 of it, then told him the spare change was a partial payment from the injury suit. After Isaacson fired his attorney, his new lawyer, Jason Ewing, uncovered the scheme in early 2013.

Wright was sentenced Aug. 12 in Yolo Superior Court to three years of felony probation and a six-month stretch in county jail for grand theft, and barred from practicing law in California. The State Bar, following its own investigation, stripped Wright, 60, of his law license in June for forgery and multiple thefts of client funds. The bar also ordered Wright to pay $58,000 restitution.

An Oct. 7 court date has been set in Yolo Superior Court to determine how much more Wright must pay.

“It so devastated (Isaacson), what (Wright) put him through these 2 1/2 years,” said Jennifer McHugh, the Yolo County deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case. “The impact is twofold: He relied on his attorney. He’s a person you’re supposed to trust. To see someone do this when the victim is so vulnerable, it destroys public trust in attorneys. It’s heartbreaking.”

For Isaacson, the show goes on even through the constant pain of a 2010 fall at a Sacramento theater (the production was titled “Death Trap,” Isaacson deadpanned) that he said injured his knee, compressed his spine and spurred the injury suit.

“It’s been four years of hell for me, I’m in excruciating pain 24 hours a day,” Isaacson said Wednesday from his Davis home.

After Isaacson’s injury, he said he didn’t have to go far to find legal help. Wright played bass guitar for Davis Musical Theater Company but also had been an attorney in Davis for more than 20 years, with an office on F Street.

Isaacson hired Wright later in 2010, seeking a settlement with the Big Idea Theatre, where the accident occurred, that would take care of his medical expenses and lost wages. Wright went to work, but Isaacson wouldn’t see a dime.

By April 1, 2011, Wright had settled his claim with the theater for $40,000, far less than the value of the suit, according to Yolo County District Attorney and State Bar officials. Isaacson and his wife never knew.

The same day, Wright forged the couple’s signatures on a release from the theater’s insurer. The insurance company mailed two checks days later. Two more forgeries, then Wright moved the checks into first a trust account, then his own.

For nearly two years after that April Fool’s Day, Wright managed to hold off Isaacson, citing court delays and postponed meetings, and even drawing up fake interrogatories – the formal list of questions sent to a party in a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Isaacson’s money and disability payments were running out and his pain and desperation were growing worse, according to a string of emailed correspondence between Isaacson and Wright that Isaacson supplied The Bee .

In an email dated Jan. 17, 2012, Isaacson pleads with Wright for an update on their case: “What are they waiting for my knee to rust away? I have been in do (sic) much pain lately. Please let me know.”

Wright reassured him two days later.

“It sickens me that you are still in pain and I’m trying best with these ‘suits,’ but thinking outside the box/bun is not their forte,” Wright wrote, adding that the case “is actually in better shape now than is (sic) was 6 months ago. Everybody’s in.”

By October 2012, Wright told Isaacson that he was “still working on getting you some jingle.”

There was no jingle. There was no case.

The Davis Enterprise:

Prosecutors said Wright also pocketed a $15,500 check intended to benefit DMTC, which had been named a beneficiary in a patron’s will. Isaacson reportedly learned of the embezzlement in early 2013 after hiring another attorney to represent him.

Yolo Superior Court Judge Samuel McAdam sentenced Wright on Aug. 12 to three years of felony probation and 180 days in the county jail. A future court date will be scheduled to determine the amount of restitution to be paid in the case.

The Yolo County Public Defender’s Office, which represented Wright, declined to comment on the case Wednesday.

In addition to the criminal-court consequences, Wright was disbarred in May and is no longer eligible to practice law in California, according to the State Bar website.

The Woodland Daily Democrat

In 2010, the victim, a Davis resident, sustained a serious fall which required multiple surgeries. He hired Wright to represent him in a personal injury lawsuit, according to the DA's Office. Wright also told the victim that he would file a medical malpractice suit. Wright did not file the lawsuit but instead took the $390 filing fee check, scratched out "Sac Superior Court" and wrote his own name. He deposited the money in his own account and never filed the victim's medical malpractice case.

Later, Wright forged the victim's signature on a Release of Liability form and settled the victim's personal injury case for $40,000, far less than the monetary damages caused by the injury. Wright then forged the victim's signature on the settlement check, kept the money and never told the victim that the case settled, the DA's Office reported. For the next two years, Wright continued telling the victim that the case was progressing through the court system, going as far as sending fake demands for information to the victim which he told the victim were from the insurance company.

The victim also hired Wright to represent the Davis Musical Theater Company in obtaining the proceeds from a will. Instead of turning the money over to the Davis Musical Theater Company, after Wright received the $15,500 check, he forged the victim's signature and deposited it in his own account, according to the DA's Office. He never informed the Davis Musical Theater Company that he received the money. It was not until early 2013, when the victim hired another attorney, that he learned Wright settled his personal injury case and pocketed the proceeds from that case and from the Davis Musical Theater Company.

District Attorney Jeff Reisig said, "Attorneys are ethically obligated to serve their client's best interests. In this case, Wright violated this trust as the victim's attorney and used it for his own personal financial benefit. Such actions undermine public trust in attorneys and undermine the entire judicial system."

The extensive investigation by the State Bar of California in this case helped the Yolo County District Attorney's Office to obtain a felony conviction.

California State Bar Communications Director Laura Ernde stated, "Wright was stripped of his law license earlier this year after the State Bar of California's Office of Chief Trial Counsel initiated disciplinary proceedings." Wright is no longer eligible to practice law.

On Oct. 7, Judge McAdam will schedule a court date to determine the amount of restitution Wright owes to the victim.

Also covered in the Regional News section of the Lodi News and the Sacramento Bee Crime News section of the Crime in America blog.

The CA State Bar maintains a Client Security Fund (CSF) to compensate victims of lawyers. Even though Hal Wright stole $3,250 from me, I have already been compensated by the CSF. There may be other victims. If you are a victim, file a claim with CSF.

Beginning To Get Optimistic About Hurricane Norbert

The weather forecasts have been pretty consistent, and so Hurricane Norbert may succeed where Hurricanes Karina, Lowell, and Marie failed, and actually reach the Los Angeles area on Tuesday morning. (Hope I don't jinx it.)