Saturday, August 12, 2006

Local Solutions Endorsements Coming Soon

Looks like Local Solutions is going to start their endorsement process for candidates county wide soon. I don't know enough about most of the candidates outside of Eureka to even attempt a guess at the other races, but I think their endorsements for the Eureka City Council and Mayor races will be no surprise.

What I'm curious about is Arcata. I can't imagine them not endorsing David Meserve, but what about some of the other candidates. There's two open seats on the Arcata City Council. Anyone want to hazard a guess?


At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local Solutions endorsement process is a sham and any candidates who participate are delusional. Huber, Riggs and Woodworth already know exactly who they are going to endorse, they hold phony "interviews" to make it appear that they are being fair and to GET PRESS.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, I'd say interviews for the Eureka City Council and Mayor candidates are pretty much a waste of time as we already know who the endorsements will go to there. As for as some of the other races, they may know as little about some of the candidates as I do.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they interview anyone in the last election?
All pretense was abandoned.
Will they try to reconstitute themselves?

Who's going to buy it?


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Did they interview anyone in the last election?
All pretense was abandoned.
Will they try to reconstitute themselves?

Who's going to buy it?


Please, it's going to be "Low Wage" Larry Glass and "Anyone anti-Arkey" These people want to keep Humboldt County poor, so they can have a super cheap workforce. Humboldt County Citizens are the niggers of Larry Glass and Local Solutions.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I pared my guess for Arcata Council endorsements by Local Solutions down to four, with none
a lock.

Dave Meserve, Alexander Stillman, Jeffrey Schwartz and/or Dana Quillman.

Which one or two out of four, I am not for sure. I guess there is a small chance Local Solutions could hold off endorsing anyone and "recommend" any or all of the above.

also, anon.r.charles is no John Lennon.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see if localsolutions endorses Alex Stillman.
a. she's far too savvy to fall for the bs.
b. she isn't going to do what she is told, that'll lose her the localsolutions endorsement.
c. i expect she will be pro business, and that'll lose her the taliban riggs/localsolutions. vote

If she's smart she'll tell 'em to take a flyin' leap, and will not particiapte in thier bastardized sham interviews.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonnie Neely'll get localsolutions.myass' endorsement as long as she is behaving while they hold their nose and vote for Bonnie as they proclaim on KMUD.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys need some Sunday school. These are good people.

At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:55 PM

"b. she isn't going to do what she is told, that'll lose her the localsolutions endorsement."


what do you think Local Solutions tells anyone to do?... you give WAY too much credit and energy to what is just a very basic PAC that doesn’t really give a measureable amount of direction or support (including $$$) to any candidate relative to the amount of work any real campaign has to do to get elected... stick with the issues and lose all the rhetoric and name calling... we'll all be better off.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

everyone knows meserve is their tool. stillman was obedient enough to back the lamebrain measure t, thats all they need to know.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if she backed measure t she isn't as savvy as I thought

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if she did endorse Measure T, you really think Local Solutions had anything to do with it? my god you guys are as bad as the 9:11 conspiracy nuts...

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh... and meserve is their tool? you really think he can't be a kook all on his own?... enuf said.

At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:28 PM, Blogger samoasoftball said...

Last election Local Solutions made an endorsement in the 4th District Supervisor race without interviewing the candidates. I see it as nothing but a positive move on their part to inform the liberal base they are part of with an interviewing process. Not because I agree with their methodology or philosophy, but voters should know which camp each candidate is coming from. Local Solutions does hold clout with the local progressive liberal agenda.
Richard Marks

At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Localsolutions is a sham.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure they're good people, 5:19.
question is, will they stand on their own or will they fall in with the fox.

At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


you give way to much credit to PAC endorsments... personal endorsments mean way more in a small electroial market like supervisorial districts.

At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stillman will do what she needs to do to get into a position of power. She owns all the buildings, she can make life hell for some of those groups.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously don't know Alex.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous wag said...

Two questions: (1) Won't Alex Stillman's extensive Arcata property holdings and business interests require her to recuse herself so often her seat on the City Council will be empty more often that not? Elizabeth Connor was forced to resign because of the conflicts of interest with her employment in the low-cost housing field. (2) Where in the heck did Jeffrey Schwartz come from (I know, I know -- SF) and what qualifies him to be on the City Council? I don't think he's spoken at any council meetings, written any letters to the Eye, etc. Will he get votes just because he's a FOP, or because he's not Dave Meserve?

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you can afford superior criminal defense representation from Misdemeanors to Murders at reasonable prices

That's why he plea bargains everyone Schwartz
(not to mention it is just too much WORK to really try a case)

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schwartz is a Defense attorney from SF, - the website has been changed or modified since the day after the article about his new job as a DDA was in the T/S.

Jeff is a friend of DA Paul Gallegos. I heard that Jeff was introduced to Paul by Tim Stoen. Schwartz moved to Eureka about a year ago. He had no experience as a DDA. Jeff made some comments that he didn't need the money, that he was doing a favor for Paul by working at the DA's office, that he started as a reduced salary to help out, and he would quit if Dikeman won the DA's election. I heard that Jeff's wife works for HSU, don't know if that is accurate.

As far as I know Jeff has not done anything for the community, Eureka, Arcata, or Humboldt County, including going to any city council meetings (not to say that he hasn't), let alone being an effective prosecutor.

Jeff is not a popular guy with the cops (and that is a SERIOUS understatement). Whether you like cops or not that says something.

Jeff, Hugo -, is a lazy, unmotivated, and ineffective DDA. He has become famous almost overnight for his plea bargains. Some say that Jeff still has the heart of a defense attorney. Some say that he just doesn't have the experience you would expect from someone that's been a lawyer soo long. Some say there is something else (more sinister). Some say that he is just lazy. I would lean toward the later.

Jeff, as a friend of Paul Gallegos, was a Gallegos financial supporter. Jeff/Hugo acts as if he is bulletproof and can do whatever he wants in the DA's office and in the court because he is in Paul's inner circle (back pocket).

If one of you would be investigative reoprters or investigative bloggers has a little time on your hands you could go to court and watch Hugo in action! AND maybe research his plea bargains ! Hugo dumps everything, and by dumps I mean gives an unreasonable plea bargain, gives the criminal a misdemeanor for felonies just so he doesn't have to do his job. When Jeff shows up in court he goes out of his way to plea ALL cases out. He is so inclined to give up all cases and that if he is forced to go to hearing (because the defendant won't take a plea or the judge makes him) it appears as if he hasn't even read the report. Do you remember his last case, the Whitetorn rape case ????

I have been told that Hugo has only taken one case to trial, a drunk driver case and he lost that one. The Whitethorn rape case doesn't count as a trial because he was in jury selection for a MONTH, trying to pled the case out all the time, and then he gave the "unusual" plea bargain.

I wouldn't be surprised if the grand jury or the state bar association takes a closer look at Jeff.

And before anyone gets all worked up I'm not a current or former Humboldt DA's office employee, nor married to one.

To me it's incredible that Hugo is running for city council, even in Arcata. Maybe he has the assistance of Salzman for his campaign ? Who knows. Just think how great it could be, Dave Meserve, Harmony Gritts, and on the Arcata city council. Now wouldn't that be special.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike Dikeman, who simply loses his cases (well 10 out of the last 12)!

Then there is Issac Andrews. No on has plea bargained more cases in the history of the office, then Issac did.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should they accept a guilty plea (that is what a plea bargain means) when they could go to court, risk losing on a technicality and incur huge legal fees for the taxpayers of Humboldt!??! They should be forced to make every purp who is willing to plead guilty stand trial anyway!

Ever watch law and order? All those cops and and the DA of New York must all be friends of Paul, cause they are always trying to get the prup. to plead guilty.

And what makes a defense lawyer think he can become a prosecutor? What do almost all prosecutors (the ones that are worth their weight anyway) do after they leave the DA's office. Oh yea, they become defense attorneys.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

(sigh). Does anybody have anything new to say? Let's at least come up with some new metaphors, okay?

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, 10:48 Dikeman is widely know as the one to go to when you have a question, a point that needs clarification, a moral question, and a tough case. Like a heart surgeon, he is the one who takes on the tough cases.

To demean his reputation in order to bolster your boy is despicable and low. To make light of and ridicule his experience (thousands of cases) and integrity is beyond all limits of decency.

Your boy on the other hand, cherrypicked his nine sure winners, and went to court on someone else's work. Better to compare his sterling record when he was on his own. (not)

It's ok, the chickens come home to roost.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Anon 1:09 - any evidence that Dikeman asked for the hard cases while Gallegos cherry-picked the easy cases? The claim keeps getting made. I'm wondering if anybody has any factual substance to back it up.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ther are no facts Eric. You are beating a dead horse.

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erik - he cherry picked them and had people prepare them in binders, make the witness lists out and do all of the work. Period. Sorry you don't like it.

How many has he tried since. The answer is zero.

Now you can deny reality all you want but it is still reality. And as far as 10:48 am goes - you must be a Dick clone because you are either dumber than a rock or are intentionally misinforming people in your blogs. Andrew Isaac was well respected and sent many pedophiles away for hundreds of years. He actually tried cases and won them.

At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this election a lot of Dave Meserves skeletons will escape from the closet. Such as his misogynistic tendencies, his lack of attention in regards to info packets the city manager gives to the council members, his failed seduction of harmony groves, etc.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the issue was Schwartz for city council and what he has done (to prepare himself).

And Salzman turns it over to an attack on Dikeman and Issac.

Jeff's ego is out of control running for City Council of Arcata after being a resident for a year ? What has he done for the community ? Hell if I know.

Get over it paul won the election so you should be happy. But that doesn't make him the better man or mean that Jeff is a good prosecutor. Jeff is a loser, it's no secret on the 2nd floor of the courthouse. Ask any bailiff, attorney, court clerk, or cop. Lashing out at Dikeman and Isaac isn't even adddressing the issue here, it's just spin. There is no defense for Jeff so you lash out at someone else.

Jeff is such a loser, as is the arcata city council. He will probably win and be a great asset to Harmony and Dave. Maybe with Jeff on the council Dave can finally get Bush impeached ? The whole thing is just a joke!

Salzman in not a joke, he is a devious, slimey, unethical person (maybe we should just call him Trent ?).

Well it's almost time for Law and Order.

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lately politics around here is some sort of variation of the Peter Principle, those who get elected are the least qualified to do their own jobs.

Strange, strange, strange, maybe the creators of Eureka! will turn here when they run out of material.

There must be something in the water making everyone crazy enough to consider voting for and Larry Glass.

At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone every heard of the John Marshall schoool of law in Chicago ? I never have, but that's where Jeff Schwartz got his law degree. The website says it's an accredited school.

And I was surprised to learn that he has been a lawyer in California since 1978 ! You think he'll have the basics down by now ? Maybe we can call him Max G. Schwartz ? I like the sound of that !

7:25PM How true ! Paul, Harmony, Chris, Dave, and ???? Hugo

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

"he cherry picked them and had people prepare them in binders, make the witness lists out and do all of the work."

Most attorneys have support staff. I'm sure Dikeman does as well. If Dikeman is preparing his own trial binders, he's not utilizing his time efficiently. I don't prepare mine. I know of no attorney who does unless he or she is a solo practitioner without support staff.

If that's all you have, it's very irresponsible to be making these allegations.

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saving the world one unsubstantiated allegation at a time...

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Eric you are either a true believer or a true piece of shit!

You have no real idea of what a DDA does! Or how they prepare their cases. You've never been one. You do what kind of law was it, property ? Right of way litigation for so hum "farmers" / growers ? By your own admission on the blog's you seldom go to court so .... what the fuck do you really know about prosecuting criminal cases ? Maybe you can come back with some crap like a murder case is just like a property line dispute ? Nice try Eric.

I've never been a DDA either but I do believe "Cherry Pick" means to pick those cases that are pretty much airtight and all of the work up until trial has been done. You know the one's with "jury appeal", a high likelyhood of success.

When you're the boss you can do that. The others (like Dikeman and say Issac) have to go with what is assigned to them. Dikeman would rather go to trial and lose than give a misdemeanor for a felony (or multiple ffelonies) or dismiss, unlike Mr. Jeff.

Jeffrey Schwartz trades felonies for misdemeanors on a regular basis. Check it out Eric, how many jury trials has JS done since he took the DDA job ? I'm pretty sure the answer will be one (ONE)

I do believe this was about Jeffrey running for city council in Arcata but you and your buds have turned it a defense of Gallegos and an attack on Dikeman and Issac. Spin city.

Have a pleasant evening.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to have established through the foregoing and highly predictable discourse that (1) no one participating actually knows Jeff Schwartz but, nonetheless, (2) Jeff Schwartz is a good-for-nothing Gallegos-recruit who plea bargains all of his cases. Heck, seems to me like good enough reasons to vote for him over Dave Meserve. Oddly enough, not a word has been exchanged about Alex Stillman and the potential conflicts of interest resulting from her real property holdings in Arcata. Could it be Jeff Schwartz is the red herring planted to divert attention from her, or have I been reading the Washington Spectator for too long? WAG

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rented from Alex Stillman, she was nice and easy to deal with.

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric I agree with the above post. Most trial attorneys prep their cases. You evidently are a couch potatoe who has never really practiced law to make such a stupid statement.

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 7:21 what makes you think no one participating knows Jeff ?

How wrong you are.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

anon 10:43 - First of all, trial prep is pretty much the same no matter what the subject matter. You prepare a binder with quick reference access to information and key documents. You prep witnesses. Exhibits. You read up. About the only difference between criminal and civil, and I've tried both, is that civil involves more discovery.

But again, where is your evidence that Gallegos is cherry picking easy cases for himself and shoveling the hard cases onto Dikeman? All you've got to support your argument is that Gallegos has the power to do so. You've no evidence that he's actually done that. So you're basically talking out of your ass - about what a trial attorney does, and about what Gallegos does in particular.

Dikeman loses more of his cases for two reasons. One, he specializes in drug cases, which are a tougher sell with Humboldt County juries. Secondly, he takes a view that pretty much any case brought to him should result in some punishment to the defendant - out of "respect" for the officers who pressed the charges. My secretary was on a jury in a case earlier this year which should never have been filed let alone brought to trial - a case where the police had attempted to hide the fact of a kanine search that turned up nothing before drugs miraculously appeared in the defendant's shirt pocket in his closet. As with so many medical marijuana cases before the current policy, the idea is to force the defendant to pay money to defend against a crime they don't have the evidence to prosecute effectively. That's what the mayor of Fortuna was talking about in that misleading ad during the recall - the one about the guy who grew marijuana in his own home near a school. The mayor said, "Gallegos didn't even bother to prosecute." Well of course he didn't because the guy had a medical marijuana certificate and he wasn't selling to the kids. What the Fortuna police wanted was what Farmer had always done - force the defendant to pay to bring his physician to court to personally verify the certificate.

In the dog case, when the jurors started to question him as to why he'd wasted their time and everybody else's, he practically ran out of the courtroom to avoid them. This was Farmer's approach as well, and it was Susan Massini's in Mendocino County. The voters of both counties have made it very clear they don't approve.

Incidently, every attorney in this county has represented growers in some capacity. Every single one. The policy is basically don't ask don't tell, which is what the code of ethics demands. We are not supposed to aid in the commission of a crime, but neither are we supposed to make judgments about the guilt or innocence of a client. We often do, but we're supposed to resist the temptation. When Perry Mason said that he never took a case until he was convinced of the innocence of the potential client he was in fact in violation of basic code of ethics designed to ensure that everybody have access to legal representation.

In short, you're really in over your head on this topic. And you've obviously never been involved with trial prep.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spin city ?

you've gone from the issue of Jeff Swartz running for Arcata city council back to the most recent district attorneys race?

how about keeping it simple. Does anyone really think that a person from San Francisco that moves to Arcata and has lived in Arcata for a year, can really be prepared or be a suitable city council person? For a working person, with all the obligations of work and family, to really be up on all the local issues in a year is not that practical. And the real question is what is the motivaiton ? Has this person ever done any prior public service, in Arcata or San Francisco?

I guess we can wait until the formal announcement from Swartz.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous wag said...

Let's face it, Anon 11:20 -- every Humboldt County blog discussion is really just a game of "Six Degrees of Gallegos/Dikeman." No matter what the starting topic, every discussion deteriorates into the same vitriolic exchanges, and whoever gets there first crowns himself winner. Bo-o-r-rring!

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20, Paul Hacket,Arcata's new city manager move here from Colorado a few months ago,just to take that position.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous wag said...

P.S. Anon 11:20 -- there's a brief sketch of Schwartz and his ideas on "how to make Arcata a much better place than it is" in today's Eye. He's a Green, lives in Sunny Brae, and wants better roads, free curbside recycling, sliding scale affordable child care, a voluntary $1 tax, and developing arts, culture and eco-tourism.

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous wag said...

Also, Anon 1:59, Michael Hackett has many years' experience as the City Manager of a small town comparable in numerous ways to Arcata, and City Managers are frequently recruited from other locales. The issue with Jeff Schwartz isn't quite the same.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous wag said...

I meant "Anon 12:59"

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous wag said...

Good grief. I meant "Anon 11:59." Sheesh. Enough caffeine for me today.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:59

the city manager is just that a manager. the city manager works at the direction of the council.

curb side recyclying should be free ! and is a long time coming.

anon 11:49 you left out the Arkley factor? But I guess you have a point, everything boils down to Gallegos vs. Dikeman or Arkley/ Salzman, or a combination of the two "issues".

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd settle for Schwartz doing his JOB and putting BAD GUYS away for as long as possible, not FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET THEM OFF and putting them back on the streets of Arcata.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric at 9:54 you are an absolute raving idiot. There is not way around it. I have rarely read such stupidity in my life. It is MORE THAN OBVIOUS that you have zero experience before a jury. What do you do - some real estate law and a dui every other year?

I have a couple of lawyers in my family (2 grandfathers and a sister) All are incredulous at what you blogged. Keep up the entertainment.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schwartz brought this on himself.

All he has to do is do the job he is paid to do, and that doesn't mean run for City Council.

Do your job, and do it well, Other things, like community recognition MIGHT follow. Though in this community no one seems to appreciate the work the Deputy Distrcit Attorneys do.

Eric is right about one thing. The public has NO clue what a DDA does, what the job requires, what it accomplishes, why it is so important and why a good one is so valuable, or why experience, morality and committment matters.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Not that it matters, but for the record I've tried between 20 and 30 cases, about half of them jury trials. And I have a pretty good record of results.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if schwartz and quillman can bounce that attention grabber me-serve out of office its all worth it.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric - what does that mean - you have tried 10 -15 jury trials in your career of what 15 years then? Well you record can't be that good if you don't even prep your own case. Who does it for you - the janitor?

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have an interesting debating style, Anon 1:09 and Anon 2:44, but you might want to think about cutting back on the steroids. You seem a tad overwrought and distractable -- not your usual calm, objective self.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

10 years, though I didn't try many cases for the first few years. I did get a full aquital in my very first trial. Thought it was going to be easy, but then had a hard loss in my very next trial - a civil case.

As to how "good" I am, well, you'll just have to watch me some day and judge for yourself.

And of course I prep my own cases - with the help of at least one secretary. There are large firms where the attorney does little other than read up on the case during the weekend before trial, leaving all of the preparation for support staff.

Most attorneys have secretaries prepare deposition summaries, but I prefer to do those myself because I like them a certain way and because it helps me to familiarize myself with all of the testimony where I might miss something if I rely on somebody else's summary. However, my secretaries prepare the trial binders, which consists of hole punching copies of documents and organizing them with tabbed dividers. If I'm charging a client $300 an hour to do that myself, I'm ripping him off.

In both criminal and civil matters, the vast majority of cases settle. We would have to build twenty more courthouses and hire dozens more judges and support staffs without plea bargaining. Most clients would rather avoid the expense and the experience. A good attorney knows how to obtain justice and avoid trials. Some are better than me at that apparently as there are litigators who sometimes go 2 or 3 years without having to try a case. I've tried two this year, and expect that I'll probably be trying at least one more, unless the other side gets reasonable.

But the short explanation is that an attorney depends very much on his support staff. The average trial is only a few days long. You have to figure on anywhere from 2 to 25 hours of prep for each hour of trial, depending on the nature of the case. There simply aren't enough hours in the day for an attorney to be punching holes in documents for a trial binder.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$300 an hour?

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$300 an hour while you run your blog ? Great work if you can get it.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Rose said...


The Deputy DAs, according to Paul Gallegos, handle some 550 cases PER YEAR.

That would be five HUNDRED fifty cases per year.

Except Stoen. He had two.

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stoen was busy with other things I'm sure like ................

OK I can't think of anything he did.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Yeah, I get big bucks for "running" my blog. Takes forever to type 3 or 4 paragraphs.

Really. I do agree with conservatives in one respect. Work ethics have slipped.

At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell are you talking about Eric? Americans work more hours than any other industrialized country. We suffer from a lack of 'unstructured time' and not an overabundance of it. If anything we should be reducing our work week to 35-36 hours to generate full employment.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many cases has yougofreecom Schwartz handled since he has been here?

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:33 - 1:09 and 2:44 are different anon's but good try anyway.

Eric - good job at trying to avoid the point. Sorry you lose this one as you are trying to spin Paul's laziness into being the ordinary. Perhaps your work ethic Eric is why you could never be a criminal lawyer other than the usual little dabble with DUI's or wife beaters which usually get plea bargained. The bigger cases like murder, rape etc. should go to trial and those responsible locked up - not plea bargained. I quite frankly want any lawyer representing me or anyone I care about working the case up and not having his secretary do it.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Actually, criminal trials are much easier than civil trials as anybody who does both will tell you. And because his secretary is preparing his trial binder, it does not follow that he isn't prepping up his cases. The secretaries don't prepare his witnesses do they? They don't write the opening and closing statement. They don't map out direct and cross-examinations. They don't prepare and oppose the motions in limine. They don't read up on the applicable law of the case, though they may be asked to copy the cases that could be relevent after the attorney has located them. And if Paul isn't doing all that, there's no way he's getting the jury verdicts, no matter how "easy" you think it is.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, you don't seem to have the trial experience (from what YOU posted on the blog) to be making really "informed" comments here.

Let's skip the Gallegos/Dikeman issue and focus on the lesser included issue; ! How many cases has he handled ? How about how many cases has he taken to trial as a DDA ? After all he's been an attorney since 1978, this should be easy for him, right?

I heard that Tim Stoen had NEVER completed a jury trial EVER, in all his years ! I don't know that for a fact, just a rumor.

I read all this back and forth about the DA's office, Gallegos v Dikeman, and I read the papers. Q. What does ADA Keat do ? He never goes to trail ! And why is that ? He is almost always the contact person for the press or the public. It seems that he (Keat) is doing the work that the DA should be doing while the actual DA is taking on a few handpicked cases and going on vacation. The DA should be the leader, the supervisor's supervisor, the Manager of the whole office. I don't understand why the DA has an assistannt that does no trials and all the Managment work while the actual DA takes credit for the assistants work and for taking a few (selected) cases to trial.

Look at it in simpler terms. Do you think it's appropriate for the Manager of a Les Swuab tire store to be out in the bay fixing flat tires? Of course he should know how to fix a flat but he's getting paid (perks) more to manage or run the store. The same applies with a DA. The DA is the Manager, he/she should manage the day to day administrative tasks of the office; work on the budget, seek out money for more equipment, more employees, etc. Another example; do you think the Sheriff should be out in a patrol car responding to domestic violence calls or arresting drunk drivers ? Once again, of course he should know how to do these tasks and he should have experience in these types of things but, he is the leader, the manager, the boss, and the highest paid in the organization. I would bet that arresting drunk drivers would be more fun, and less stressful, than dealing with personnel issues, the budget, the board of supervisors, etc. But that is the Sheriffs job, that is why he is the highest paid and gets the extra perks.

I'd be interested in hearing a logical or intelligent response.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me, too.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I don't know the answer to your questions. I don't have the power, time, nor desire to audit the District Attorney's office or evaluate the performances of each deputy. I do believe the Stoen hiring was a serious error for a number of reasons. My dealings with Keat have been minimal, but he seemed very professional. Whether the head DA should be trying cases on his own is point of disagreement between DA's. Some do, some don't. You make reasonable arguments that he shouldn't, but others argue that a DA should try a case every once in awhile just to stay directly in touch. I'm agnostic on the issue because I've never had to run a DA's office. Unlike some of the posters here, I do not claim to be an expert on something I know nothing about.

Re my experience, how many trials before I do have the "trial experience" to be able to comment on how to prep for a trial? I'm sure it dwarfs your own vast experience, so let me know when I've done my time, will you?

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you haven't yet so keep at it Eric.

didn't you say 15 jury trials in 10 years ?!?!?!?!?!!?

keep me posted on your jury trials and I'll share my opinion with you.

Since you are so knowledgeable abaout how many DA's take cases to trial, tell me ....... how many in California do ? And just as a reminder Eric (I know you went to school in Santa Cruz) there are 58 counties in California.

Eric's new buddy

because it's fun

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More dribble from Eric.

Sorry but your good buddy has his underlings do all the work for him, from witness lists to prepping witnesses, choosing jury instructions, reading the reports and crafting the questions. You should have paid more attention to the election Eric because it was all aired at that time. Sticking your head in the sand and saying the earth is flat won't make it flat...but of course you can keep on ignoring reality - your choice.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:52 - thanks for winging it to "empty Eric"

an admirer

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would argue that a prosecutor has the harder job.

They have to work with all the agencies involved in an arrest, from police to child welfare services on up, and they have to know the law inside and out.
They have to be up on the latest rulings, have just as much responsibility for picking juries and all other aspects of the case as a defense attorney.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, they have to know when NOT to prosecute, their job is not to find a person guilty at any cost, whereas the defense attorney is just looking for any way to get his or her client off.

And, they aren't getting $300 an hour.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


your welcome, and it's fun to boot.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric is an idiot!

The burden of proof alone in a criminal case makes it much tougher.

So, Eric, what cases did you try this year? Are the non-jury trial cases you are referring to traffic court?

And, since you presume to know many DDA in ratio to legal secretaries are there in the DA's office to prep the cases for the DDAs?

And, no, most trials do not last two to three days. A jury can't even be selected in that amount of time typically.

You really don't know what you're talking about. Stick to traffic court.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric - I have rarly read anything so stupid. Thanks for the laugh. Criminal trials last for weeks even months. You have to convince 12 people not 9. The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt not by a preponderance. Stick to you bad blogging as it is evident you pulled your legal ticket out of a cracker jack box.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Steve Lewis said...

This is so entertaining! Better'n the movie we're watching Lord of War about gun-runners...

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idn't it tho?

30 cases in 10 years compared to 550 per year? Wow!

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Uh, nobody tries 550 cases per year brainchild. That's the entire case load. Personally, we go through about 200 to 300 files per year. About 50 of them get filed as lawsuits, and like I've said before maybe 2 or 3 trials a year. It's not atypical.

Criminal cases are much simpler than most civil cases, because most criminal cases are not murder or embezzlement. Most trials are quick, and they'd be quicker if criminal trials weren't held to 3 1/2 hours every morning.

"The burden of proof alone in a criminal case makes it much tougher.

True, it does make them tough for a prosecution. However, in most communities the police testimony is treated like gospel. I think something like 80 to 90 percent of all trials result in some sort of conviction.

However, the toughest cases to win are civil personal injury cases. Every case involves medical questions, and the attorney has to become a medical expert to a certain extent. And it can be very esoteric because the medical experts usually disagree on the factor of causation. Add to this the fact that the insurance industry has poisoned the jury pool nationally so that every personal injury case is treated with harsh skepticism because they presume that your client is trying to soak the insurance company for money and you essentially have to disprove it. You'll note if you spend much time in the courtroom that civil trials often have dozens of exhibits, while those in criminal trials can be counted with your fingers. You don't prep for a PI case the weekend before the trial. You're prepping for months, and spending a lot of time and money.

"So, Eric, what cases did you try this year? Are the non-jury trial cases you are referring to traffic court?

I tried two cases in Ukiah, one in January and one in February. The first was a personal injury case involving a car-on-bike collision. There was an independent witness against us. My client was adament that he was telling the truth and that she was sympathetic to the girl driving the car and influenced by the sympathy. I bought it, but the jury didn't. We had a "zero offer" though, so there was nothing to lose except our costs, but that's why we our contingency fees seem high. We don't win them all.

The second case was an easement case againt the Church of All Worlds. The opposing attorney works for the Carter firm in Ukiah, and they backed out of a settlement agreement at the last minute convinced that there was no way they could lose. They lost.

It was a short trial, but the briefing was extensive and complex.

There. 1 for 2 this year. I'm hoping to be 2 for 3 by the end of the fall. Maybe one of you gentle folk will be on the jury.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two to three per year, and you're baggin on Dikeman for losing a few?
That's where ya lose me.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Actually, I wasn't bagging on Dikeman for losing a few. I was bagging on him for taking cases to trial that he knows he can't win simply to punish the defendant indirectly.

Incidently, since Gallegos has been in office Dikeman has tried 12 cases. That's 3 per year.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how do you know that Eric ? A little inside information maybe ? As you always say Eric, facts facts, do you have any FACTS to support your statement as to Dikeman's taking someone to trial to indirectly punish someone. Where are the facts Eric ? You're so big on facts ? That's just your opinion and your opinion is based on ................. ?

Well that's OK. You do realize that a homicide case takes a little more effort than a property line dispute or a right of way agreement? And many criminal cases have to be worked up and ready to go before the defense will take a plea. But of course with your vast experience in crimial cases you knew that.

Another point you make about which cases should go to trial. What makes you an expert on that subject ? Because you're an attorney ?? If you had any real criminal law experience you would know that once a case gets up to trial and the jury has been selected the judge may not allow certain issues to be brought up, as in toooo prejudicial to the defendant. And that can effect the outcome, but you seem to be on expert on everything including criminal law.

I have tired of you, and others, taking a run at Worth Dikeman all the time with your cheap shots. Worth was OK, a good prosecutor until he dared oppose King Richard and later Gallegos. For 25 years he was a fine DA/county employee until he crossed Salzman, Schectman, and Gallegos, which in turn fired up the devoted progressive followers (you included).

Do you ever wonder why Dikeman received praise for the first 25 years of his career and then all the sudden he turns bad once the recall is initiated ? Dikeman was never a politically motivated guy. Whether you like it or not he stepped up to the plate for the DA's office (DDA's and Staff). What he thought was the right thing (and I think so too).

Now to bolster your hero (Gallegos, Salzman, et al) you feel it necessary to continually attack Dikeman. Well Mr. Kirk, Dikeman is a father too. Three kids. Dikeman is a Veteran, an Army Veteran, a paratrooper, a Viet Nam Veteran, with a Combat Infantry Badge among other awards. Do you have a CIB ? Of course you don't because you've never served your country ...... have you ? Of course you haven't. You've never took a stand or put yourself in harms way (physical or moral). And he's not charging $300.00 an hour, Eric.

You make light of your "smug sense of superiority" but in reality, you would need a six foot ladder just to kiss Dikeman's ass. You will never measure up to Dikeman as an attorney or a man. And that's a fact, not an opinion.

your buddy

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 11:49 - the more eric blogs the bigger idiot he reveals himself to be. Oh yeah eric - your easement case was more difficult than a homicide. Right. Stay in Garberville you moron. And by the way - Dikeman was voted by his peers across the state as being the Prosecutor of the Year in this state. You can't lick his boots buster. Stay with the personal injury and easements.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Sigh. So much misinformation, so little time.

Let me start with the $300 per hour which at this point may even be below average in Humboldt County. My partner and I have to make anywhere from 20 to 40 thousand in a month, depending on the circumstances, before the practice sees a penny in profit. Litigation costs have gone through the roof in recent years even as litigation has declined. Our malpractice insurance alone is about 30 thousand per year, and that's for our collective 40 years of experience with not even a single malpractice claim between us. Not that it matters, but I'm quite certain that Dikeman's salary is higher than mine at the end of the day, especially if you consider benefits.

Secondly, some homicides are hard and some are easy. Sometimes it involves complex forensic evidence, and sometimes just a matter of witness testimony. Same with civil cases. Of course, as I said before, the vast majority of trials are less than a week long. And the length of jury selection mostly has to do with how much time the judge allows for voir dire, which often depends on the case itself. The Mendo judges are notorious for limiting voir dire, and in the average DUI case some of them conduct voir dire themselves while the attorney simply exercise their peremptories. It gets drawn out a little more in Eureka for criminal cases because of the half-day schedule, but again, it depends on the judge and the case.

Let's see. Oh yeah, "inside information." The fact that Dikeman has obtained positive verdicts in only 2 of his 12 cases over the past four years is public knowledge that was widely distributed during the campaign. You must have moved here since June.

I raised it not to argue that Dikeman is a bad attorney - he isn't - nor to suggest that he sits on his ass - he doesn't - but to point out that in a rural area and average of 2 to 3 trials a year is pretty much the norm. In large firms in urban areas, it may be a bit different. But my trial experience is average for an attorney of 10 years experience in Humboldt County. Perhaps even above average.

And yes, I know that many cases get prepped for trial before they settle. I've lost many a weekend that way.

Let's see - slamming Dikeman. Well, the indirect punishment policy is old school. It isn't just true of Dikeman but is pretty much the expectation police all over have of prosecutors. When prosecutors haven't held up to the bargain, I've witnessed cops tearing into them - including one prosecutor who worked under Farmer who got sick of it and moved to Oaklad and into private practice. I'm actually going to elaborate on a particular case early in my career on my own blog one of these days. It's a work in progress.

The practice became very evident to defense attorneys after Prop 215. It was the policy of the Farmer office. It's why Farmer lost in 02 (and why Massini lost in Mendo) - on account of Humboldt's changing demographics. It's why the police became upset with Gallegos almost immediately. It's what the recall ad featuring the ex-mayor of Fortuna was all about. It actually continues in some cases even under Gallegos. The police expect to be "supported" this way, because if the DA doesn't pursue a case it opens them up to false arrest claims (the gist of the case I will be discussing one of these days - we obtained the first plaintiff verdict ever in a false arrest case against the CHP in Humboldt County).

I'm not going to respond to everything, I don't really have the time, but I will conclude by saying that Dikeman is probably a nice guy personally. My few interactions with him would suggest that. But he conducted his campaign like an asshole, which probably why he lost. Even some of his supporters in the legal community have agreed with me about that. You can't base your whole campaign on personal attacks. You have to put forth your own version of leadership. He didn't do that.

As for the "ease" of an easement case, you want to try it sometime?

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for convincing us that you are truly a moron Eric. Keep it up. BTW how many homicides have you done? None huh? Just like to comment on everything possible without the facts.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Thanx for the substantive response anonymous 9:09. It adds much to the discussion.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, Mr. "Facts" "Give me facts" --- is very quick to comment on just about EVERYTHING like he's an expert but, when anyone says anything he doesn't argree with (or wants to cover up or gloss over) he comments that there are no facts.

Eric you can't have it both ways.

I'm obviously not as smart as you Eric but I thought that the police arrest people and the DA prosecutes them, you know just like in Law and Order. And just like in Law and Order the cops and the DA's don't always agree or get along but they DO work together?

When a DA doesn't prosecute (or routinely gives misdeomeanor deals) on specific types of crimes (MARIJUANA) because it's unpopular with his/her friends or financial backers that's one of the first steps on the very slippery slope toward corruption. What if the CHP didn't give tickets to ....... Republicans in Humboldt County? You would be outraged! What if the lAPD decided that underage sex with young girls 13 and above was OK and didn't forward those kinds of cases to the DA's office? I'm pretty sure you would be outraged! What would that be? I know what it would be I just would like to hear what you think it would be.

So Mr. Kirk enlighten us with your extensive knowledge on EVERYTHING. And since you're so smart, with all that experience, your job is so difficult, and Dikeman makes more than you ....... why not go to the DA's Office ? You're so smart you could handle a DDA's job standing on your head (and you wouldn't need to pay the malpractice insurance). Of course you wouldn't be able to blog all the time. I hear there are multiple openings.

Do you know who Pat Brown was ? A clue, he was Jerry Browns dad! He was also the governor of California. And like dude, like maybe he was the Attorney General of California before that huh dude. Well I heard, so this is NOT a fact, that Brown ran for governor on the platform (early 1950's) that he was going to clean up Hubmboldt County from corruption ? Do you know anything about that ? Sounds interesting.

Another question ? What if the CHP make an arrest, that arrest is good (plenty of probable cause) with no problems, but the DA's office doesn't file or charge because ... the community (or a large segment of the community) is not behind that kind of crime (marijuana, drugs, etc). Is that a "false arrest" ? Remember you're an expert on all criminal cases!

Question, do you think that specific criminal conduct in Orange County should be basically the same in Humboldt County ? What I mean is if XYZ conduct gets you arrested in Tustin should the same conduct get you arrested in Shelter Cove? Los Angeles? Rio Dell? Garverville? Would you expect the prosecution in all California counties to be essentially the same?

I'm on the edge of my seat awaiting your response.

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KInda makes you wonder how good a lawyer Schwartz was if coming here was a step up in pay. If $300 an hour is the low end of the spectrum in HC, it must be higher in SF. Is he here because he couldn't cut it in the real world?

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy - eric got quiet. I will wait along with 10:06 on the edge of my seat to hear his new "expert"advice.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

locosolutions will endorse anyone who is not an incumbent, except Neely and LaValley who are in the stable, it will be Glass, no question.

If Mary Beth Wolford agrees to be interviewed that will be sad.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean loco solutions wouldn't give everyone a chance to speak ?

I am really shocked !

Oh my.

At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s amazing how anonymity brings out the nastiness in some people. I don’t know why Eric chooses to try and engage in civil debate with that kind of viciousness.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't blame people for getting a little frustrated when eric is being obtuse, or blind.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric is earnest, however, and sincere, and may be the best hope for a dialogue between left and right..
In short, there's hope for Eric.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Don't have time to respond to everything. I was "quiet" today because I was in the Ukiah planning department. Believe me, I'd much rather be here arguing with all of you.

I'll take one paragraph for now.

So Mr. Kirk enlighten us with your extensive knowledge on EVERYTHING. And since you're so smart, with all that experience, your job is so difficult, and Dikeman makes more than you ....... why not go to the DA's Office ? You're so smart you could handle a DDA's job standing on your head (and you wouldn't need to pay the malpractice insurance). Of course you wouldn't be able to blog all the time. I hear there are multiple openings.

Dikeman has been in the office for about 25 years. I've been working for ten. I would hope he's being paid better than me, and I suspect he is. He's an excellent attorney whatever his other failings, and I have no doubt that he's earned his money.

It really doesn't take much time to blog. I'm on the computer many hours a day anyway. I take breaks from work throughout the day, which is usually about 10 hours long. Thank you for your concern, but I do get my work done. Including the time I'm online just before I go to bed, I'm probably "blogging" for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes a day totally. My wife thinks that's too much time incidently, and sometimes asks "why don't you come to bed instead of arguing with idiots?" With hot talk like that, how can I resist?

I know your suggestion that I apply for a DA job was made in jest, but truthfully I do not claim to be qualified. I am certain I could learn the ropes easily enough, but the DA's role is not what I'm made for, not any more than insurance defense, nor family law (I sometimes end up in family court for certain aspects of civil cases, and the tension is so heavy you can slice it with a butter knife. Good people are at their worst in family court - perhaps even worse than on an Internet forum).

The rest will have to wait. I just got back from a long drive, and I'm hungry. It's Redtail Ale time.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Fred said...

11:22 wrote: "Boy - eric got quiet. I will wait along with 10:06 on the edge of my seat to hear his new "expert"advice.".

So, here's one right winger making an ass of himself. I don't know who you are, but I think Eric (as I've pointed out on his blog) makes some good comments here.

Knock it off. You, and whoever else is ragging on him, need to shut up. Or, at the very least, try and come up with some constructive conversation.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Thanx Fred.

I appreciate that the stakes in politics can be pretty high, and it stresses people out. But the election's still a few months away. How about a moratorium on flaming until, say, October?

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Just so I'm clear, I don't think Fred was flaming. Apparently, my previous post come across ambiguously. Fred has been constructive both on this blog and my own, despite our very different political philosophies.

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred: I think that the criticism of Eric stems from the fact that he comments on issues that it seems he really knows little of and them portrays himself as knowing it all. 11:49 just called him to task on it as have others.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

As it happens, I do know something about trial preparation.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric - you seem like a nice person, but unfortunately from what I have read above your reality is different than most other lawyers - thats all.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough on the “eric v. kirk” flaming. Go back to junior high.

This is supposed to be a blog commenting on, “Local Solutions Endorsements Coming Soon”

The question of Loco Solutions interviewing all candidates before giving their “endorsement” is a fallacy. Loco has already endorsed Ron Kuhnel in his race against Jeff Leonard without even speaking to Councilman Leonard.

Loco Solutions will endorse any candidate that comes out against the balloon tract development.

And with a whopping $264 in the bank (per their July 31, 2006 Form 460s), Loco Solutions is betting the Bill Pierson will open his checkbook up rather soon to stop the “bad development” and keep the nasty big boxes (Home Depot) out of Eureka.

And I find it amusing that Loco Solutions takes donations from outside Humboldt County. Are they going to give back those checks in the spirit of Measure T?

Mr. Potato Head, Chrissy K, “cracked” Glass and “corn on the” Cobb are already bought and paid for to deliver the derailment of the balloon tract. If they prevail, the only ones who suffer will be the citizens of Eureka, who will have to put up with another 20 years on blight on the balloon tract and higher local prices from less competition.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loco probably will accept non-local money in their non-profit and then launder it into the campaigns and measures that they want thereby avoiding their own Measure T

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Fred said...

8:27 wrote, "I think that the criticism of Eric stems from the fact that he comments on issues that it seems he really knows little of and them portrays himself as knowing it all. 11:49 just called him to task on it as have others.".

I guess my problem with it is it becomes akin to name calling constantly telling someone they don't know what they're talking about.

You can do the same thing in a slightly nicer fashion by doing what I do: Just say, "I don't think so...".

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the frustration directed at Eric comes when he makes uninformed, loylaist's statements about Gallegos, the DA's office or takes a slam at Dikeman.
Since many of your fans, Fred, seem to know a little bit about Gallegos' failings, and many seem to know Worth and recognize the spin against him when they hear it, maybe Eric ought to keep an open mind.
He seems to have it in him, he seems to take a reasonable and analytical approach to everything else. He can learn alot here where people are less afraid to speak out, given the protection of anonymity.
So there's hope.
Eric, just don't believe everything you hear on KMUD.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as you know Eric, KMUD is funded by ........ WHO? The marijuana industry in SoHum.


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