Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz
defamation lawsuit against
Maura Larkins
for statements on this website
Testimony on this page:
Deposition of Maura Larkins
by Ljubisa Kostic
June 16, 2008

Pages 138 to 157
6 Q. When should we decide if someone has already
7 committed a crime such that taxpayer dollars should no
8 longer be used to defend them, before or after we have
9 some sort of judicial process to first determine if
10 these people violated the law?
11 A. I think that it should be determined long
12 before it gets to a court. You know that most cases
13 get settled. Even more problems get resolved before
14 they are even filed in court.
15 When crimes are committed in public
16 entities, there should be watchdogs. The people in
17 charge are responsible to make sure that does not
18 happen. They should be nipped in the bud. These
19 people know when a crime is being committed or not.
20 They should stop it immediately before you ever have
21 to involve any court in it.
22 Q. So they are not entitled to disagree about
23 whether or not a crime has been committed, for
24 example?
25 A. Not if they are lying or hiding the truth.


139
1 Q. They are not entitled to believe one person
2 about what happened on a particular date or event as
3 opposed to another?
4 A. Not if it completely -- they have to go
5 against all logic or reason. If they have to hide
6 documents and if they have to commit perjury, no.
7 Q. By the way, other than the documents
8 numbered 1 through 87 that you and I talked about just
9 a little, are there any other documents that you know
10 the Stutz firm has hidden in litigation?
11 A. No. Although, I must tell you this. It
12 would include every single other document that the
13 Stutz firm has acquired about this case. Because they
14 never produced a single document in this case, in my
15 case.
16 Q. Didn't you file a motion to compel?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was that granted?
19 A. No.
20 Q. But you think that the Stutz firm should
21 say, "The heck with the judge and what he thinks.
22 Ms. Larkins says we are hiding documents. Let's just
23 go ahead and..."
24 A. Well, it is obvious you are hiding
25 documents. What the judge said was -- I think that
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1 she didn't want to get -- I really think that she was
2 kind of hoping that the case would work itself out
3 before she had to deal with it.
4 In the hearing about the motion to compel,
5 obviously, the research attorney had actually copied
6 Stutz's motion and hadn't read the motion. Because
7 they looked just completely confused when I started
8 talking, and they completely changed the decision.
9 I said I didn't mind them turning it down --
10 them turning it down for now. But I was concerned
11 that the decision said that I had provided no evidence
12 for the documents.
13 I was concerned that that would make it
14 impossible for me to do a request for production in
15 the future, you know.
16 If all the evidence I gave which was -- I
17 described those documents to within an inch of their
18 life.
19 If that was not good enough, I was going to
20 get in trouble as far as making a new request for
21 production. I told her that, and they completely
22 revoted.
23 What they said was that they were not
24 granting it because the faxes that I had sent to show
25 documents that had been -- some of the documents that
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1 I did have, so that Stutz could not keep saying, "Oh,
2 well, gee, we don't know what set this is," she said
3 that I had -- those were not part of the notice.
4 So she obviously made it clear that I can do
5 the request again, and I just have to include those
6 documents what were from the set.
7 It is not like she said it was okay for
8 Stutz to hide documents, or that she said that Stutz
9 is not hiding documents. Stutz is hiding documents.
10 Q. Did the judge say that?
11 A. I under oath said that.
12 Q. Okay. But the judge didn't. That is what I
13 want to be clear about.
14 A. Well, you seem to be saying that the judge
15 said that you were in the clear. She did not say
16 that. She just said she wanted me to give you some of
17 the pages from the set.
18 Q. Your motion was denied, was it not?
19 A. Asked and answered.
20 Q. Now --
21 A. If I may suggest, wouldn't it be best to
22 maybe go through your complaint and the specific
23 things that you cited in the complaint, to look at
24 those and talk about that.
25 Q. No, no. We are going to do it a little bit
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1 differently.
2 A. Okay.
3 Q. On the side here, there is a link to a
4 special page for Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let's go to that.
7 A. Okay.
8 Q. Now, I will print this in a moment, and
9 we'll make that our Exhibit No. 2.
10 Actually, you know what, have you made any
11 changes to the Web site since you left your house this
12 morning?
13 A. No. I don't have a BlackBerry. If I did, I
14 would not use it driving.
15 Q. Then what I'll do is I will represent to you
16 that this morning I printed off this very page that, I
17 think, we are looking at.
18 A. Yeah, that looks right.
19 Q. Is that right?
20 A. Yeah.
21 (Exhibit 2 was marked for identification.)
22 BY MR. KOSTIC:
23 Q. Okay. Let's mark that as Exhibit No. 2.
24 Again, as I said, it does have a date on it and it
25 gives us the Web address and it matches.
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143
1 A. Sure.
2 Q. I did print it this morning, and you have
3 not made any changes. So we'll just have a record of
4 it.
5 Do you want to review this to see if it's
6 what we're looking at?
7 A. No. I trust you -- I mean, in that respect.
8 Q. Now, there is a left-hand column here and it
9 says, "Why did Bob Gallagher leave his own firm,
10 Stutz Gallagher, in early 2004."
11 Do you know why Mr. Gallagher left our firm?
12 A. I have a pretty good hunch.
13 Q. What is that?
14 A. I think that he was concerned that Stutz was
15 on a slippery slope going down to really illegal
16 behavior, and he wanted to get out.
17 Q. So your understanding is that Mr. Gallagher
18 instigated the separation between the two parties?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have you ever talked to anybody about the
21 reasons why -- well, no, let's try to hone it.
22 Have you spoken to Mr. Gallagher about why
23 he left the Stutz firm?
24 A. No.
25 Q. I have kind of glanced through here, and I
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1 know there is a discussion where you apparently asked
2 Ray Artiano why Bob Gallagher left the firm?
3 A. Yeah. That was good, wasn't it?
4 Q. Why was that good?
5 A. Well, it was so funny because he was a --
6 Gallagher was a founding partner with Mr. Artiano and
7 Mr. Artiano kept referring to him as a "former
8 employee."
9 Q. Did Mr. Artiano tell you why Mr. Gallagher
10 left the firm?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Other than your hunch that you described to
13 me, do you have any actual information from any source
14 whatsoever that would inform you as to whether
15 Mr. Gallagher left because he wanted to or if he left
16 because he was asked to leave, and whether there was
17 any connection with this slippery slope toward illegal
18 behavior that you described?
19 A. Well, one thing that gave me some insight
20 into the whole situation -- in fact, it was the way I
21 found out that he had left -- was in my case,
22 Kelly Angell stood up and before Judge Nevitt one day
23 early in -- I think it was 2004, and said that
24 Robert Gallagher was no longer with the firm and that
25 it was now called "Stutz, Artiano" instead of "Stutz,
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145
1 Gallagher."
2 I thought that was interesting that she
3 would say, you know, "Robert Gallagher is no longer
4 with the firm." I had the suspicion that
5 Mr. Gallagher insisted that Judge Nevitt be told that
6 Robert Gallagher had nothing to do with this case.
7 Q. Other than your suspicion from hearing
8 Ms. Angell talk when she had made this announcement,
9 is there any other reason why you have a suspicion
10 that Robert Gallagher insisted that everybody be told
11 that he had nothing to do with that case?
12 A. I didn't say everybody. Why do you keep
13 coming up with these things? I said Judge Nevitt.
14 Q. Okay. Judge Nevitt.
15 A. That is a long way from everybody.
16 Q. Is there any other reason why you thought
17 that?
18 A. Yes. Because I had just sent in a complaint
19 to the firm shortly before that, telling them that
20 Dan Shinoff was obstructing justice.
21 Q. So you sent in a complaint that Dan Shinoff
22 was obstructing justice. Who did you address it to?
23 A. I think I addressed one to the firm itself
24 and another to -- I think the partners.
25 Q. How long before the hearing at which
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1 Kelly Angell told Judge Nevitt that Mr. Gallagher was
2 no longer with the firm did you send in your
3 complaint?
4 A. Couple of months, maybe less.
5 Q. Do you know the date on which Mr. Gallagher
6 officially left our firm?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know if Mr. Gallagher ever saw your
9 complaint to the firm?
10 A. The only way he would have -- a partner in
11 the firm would not have seen the complaint that the
12 firm itself was obstructing justice -- is if somehow
13 maybe Shinoff intercepted the complaint and kept it
14 from him. I don't think that happened.
15 Q. Right. I am not asking you to speculate
16 about what happened. I am asking you whether you know
17 if Mr. Gallagher saw your letter.
18 A. I think it's an absurd question. Of course
19 Mr. Gallagher, a partner, would see a letter claiming
20 that the firm -- a compliant to the firm that one or
21 more of its lawyers were obstructing justice.
22 Q. Have you ever been a part of a law firm?
23 A. I believe I mentioned that at the beginning,
24 that not only have I -- well, no, I guess I could have
25 been part of it.
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1 How do you mean, as a lawyer?
2 Q. In any capacity. Have you ever been a part
3 of a law firm?
4 A. My father was a lawyer; would that count,
5 when I was a kid?
6 Q. I don't know. It depends.
7 A. Well, what is your question?
8 Q. Have you ever been involved with a law firm?
9 Were you ever involved with your dad's law firm, with
10 running it?
11 A. Not with running it.
12 Q. Did you work for it?
13 A. Yeah, I did some work.
14 Q. How large was your dad's firm?
15 A. Just one person.
16 Q. Have you ever been involved with a law firm
17 that had multiple partners?
18 A. You know, your questioning I really feel is
19 just getting off track.
20 Q. I understand that. It will be faster if you
21 just answer my question.
22 Have you ever been involved with a law firm
23 that has more than one partner?
24 A. Well, I know this will shock you, so I am
25 glad that you are sitting down. No, I have not been
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1 involved in a law firm that has more than one partner.
2 Q. Other than you think that Mr. Gallagher
3 would or should have seen your letter, do you know for
4 a fact whether he did? I am not asking you to
5 speculate about what he would have done, whether it
6 was a crime not to let him see it. I am asking you
7 whether you know if he saw it or not.
8 A. I don't have firsthand knowledge. But maybe
9 we could ask him.
10 Q. Now, No. 2 in this column about
11 Mr. Gallagher says, "My guess is that two things
12 motivated Gallagher," and No. 2 is, "He could not
13 tolerate the extreme lack of ethics."
14 Is it your intention there to communicate to
15 the public that the Stutz firm has an extreme lack of
16 ethics?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. By the way, are you hoping that the Stutz
19 firm will get less business as a result of you
20 exposing us?
21 A. I actually would rather if you guys just
22 straightened up and obeyed the law.
23 Q. But what if we don't do that? Are you
24 thinking that you are going to have an effect on our
25 business?
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1 A. Probably not.
2 Q. Would you like it if you did?
3 A. My Web site is directed at the public, the
4 public which has no control. It is powerful that --
5 you know, people that involved in huge insurance
6 companies, the ones that choose Stutz Law Firm to do
7 business. This is aimed at ordinary people, people
8 with kids in school, and people who vote.
9 The first thing I think that has to be done
10 is some school board members need to be elected who
11 have some gumption and will stand up to Diane Crosier
12 and Stutz Law Firm and say, "No, we are not going to
13 spend our hundreds of thousands of tax dollars hiding
14 silly little crimes that were not even that important
15 to start with."
16 Q. So you are hoping to influence public
17 opinion?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You are hoping that that public opinion
20 translates into the election of new public officials?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you're hoping that the election of new
23 public officials leads to the Stutz firm being fired
24 from representing these public entities?
25 A. Not really. Because I actually think that
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150
1 the Stutz firm isn't all that atypical. If Stutz got
2 fired, they would just hire someone else to do the
3 exact same thing.
4 Q. Okay. So all lawyers who represent public
5 entities are similarly corrupt?
6 A. I really am getting fatigued with these
7 generalizations that you try to put in my mouth.
8 Q. I am asking questions.
9 A. No. I think that Diane Crosier would make
10 sure that she found corrupt lawyers to replace Stutz,
11 if she didn't have Stutz. I don't think that all
12 lawyers are corrupt. My father wasn't corrupt.
13 Q. Let's take a look at the part of your -- now
14 we are on the right-hand side, and it says, "Are
15 Maura Larkins' criminal actions by Stutz merely a
16 statement of opinion, or are they a statement of
17 fact?" It says, "By Maura Larkins." It says, "When I
18 allege in my Web site that certain specific events
19 have occurred, I am alleging facts."
20 A. Um-hmm.
21 Q. Is that a "yes"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you stand by that statement?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. Then it says, "When I allege that these


151
1 events constituted criminal violations of law, I am
2 stating my opinion that, given my understanding of the
3 law, these events did indeed constitute violations of
4 the law."
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. So you are providing opinions that the Stutz
7 firm violated the law?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You believe that this is a fact, that the
10 Stutz firm violated the law?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Now, the second from the left column on this
13 same page that we're looking at, it says, "A favorite
14 Dan Shinoff" --
15 A. Excuse me, let me just clarify that.
16 Because you kind of mixed up opinion and fact.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. Opinions and fact. What I am saying is
19 that -- when I say Robin Donlan committed perjury,
20 that is a fact. I just -- I simply know that because
21 I have firsthand knowledge.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. When I say that something is a crime, I say
24 that because the way I understand the law, that seems
25 to be the crime. For example, suborning perjury.


152
1 Perjury is a crime. I know as a fact, if someone
2 lies -- I know as a fact, if someone forces someone
3 else to lie. It is my opinion, given whatever
4 resources I have to make those opinions, that that is
5 a crime.
6 Q. Okay. I can separate that out. When you
7 say that "Robin Donlan committed perjury," you believe
8 that is a fact? You are asserting that?
9 A. Yes, that she said something false under
10 oath.
11 Q. You understand perjury means she did it
12 intentionally, not like her memory failed? She
13 intentionally told a lie?
14 A. Oh, yeah, sure. Yeah, I think there is a
15 difference between --
16 Q. You're asserting a fact that Robin Donlan
17 provided false testimony under oath with the intent to
18 do that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. When you say that Robin Donlan was
21 forced to provide perjured testimony, you are
22 asserting that as a fact?
23 A. You recall me saying the word "forced," or
24 is this another event where you're putting words in my
25 mouth?


153
1 Q. I do. I am going to have the court reporter
2 read it back. Because frankly, I am tired of the
3 attacks, and I want to demonstrate to you that it's
4 unwarranted.
5 A. That this particular one is unwarranted.
6 MR. KOSTIC: Let's go off the record for a
7 second.
8 (Recess taken.)
9 BY MR. KOSTIC:
10 Q. Do you believe that the Stutz firm or any
11 firm lawyer associated with our firm forced --
12 A. So you are admitting that I did not say that
13 Robin Donlan forced?
14 Q. No. I want to clear it up. I think that
15 that is what you said --
16 A. That was a hypothetical.
17 Q. So that is just a hypothetical?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So in reality do you believe that any of the
20 witnesses whose perjury you believe the Stutz firm to
21 have suborned, were forced by the Stutz firm or any of
22 its lawyers, to provide perjured testimony?
23 A. I object to the use of the word "forced."
24 For example, in that little vignette I told you about
25 how Kelly Angell got Robin Donlan to change her


154
1 testimony on camera. I don't know if the right word
2 is "forced." She certainly used her authority and she
3 was manipulative toward Robin Donlan, and she managed
4 to get her to do it. But obviously Robin Donlan could
5 have -- well, you know, I think that some
6 responsibility has to go to Robin Donlan too.
7 So that is why I am hesitant to use the word
8 "forced." Obviously pressured, manipulated, made a
9 big effort to get her to change her testimony from
10 true to false. Because "force" implies that the
11 person who is changing their testimony has no power at
12 all.
13 Q. Okay. In that specific instance we are
14 talking about something where Robin Donlan first
15 testified truthfully and then she changed her
16 testimony to false?
17 A. Um-hmm.
18 Q. Are there any other examples besides that
19 one where initially the witness gave truthful
20 testimony and then was made to change it to false?
21 A. There were instances when -- you know, I
22 really need to look at the record to answer that
23 exactly. But there were a lot of attempts to get an
24 answer changed, like saying, "Oh, wait a minute. Did
25 you ever discuss that with an attorney and, if so,


155
1 that is protected and you know you can't talk about
2 that." So that might be a better question for an
3 interrogatory.
4 Q. All right. What about the instances where
5 the witness just initially gave false testimony, at
6 least what you think the witness gave false testimony,
7 to begin with?
8 A. Well, in that case, the subornation -- when
9 they gave -- well, let's put it this way. How about
10 the witness first came up with the story that was
11 false, but they didn't tell it under oath. It was the
12 law firm that pressured them to tell it under oath.
13 It became a felony. At first, it was not any kind of
14 a crime, when you just tell a lie to somebody.
15 Q. When the witness tells the lawyer a lie,
16 that is not a crime yet?
17 Is that what you meant?
18 A. No. I am saying -- for example, with
19 Rick Werlin -- you really are good at that, aren't
20 you? Do a lot of witnesses just go along with you
21 when you do that, you just make up this thing that the
22 person didn't say -- let's take the case of
23 Rick Werlin. When he made up the story about me
24 running and jerking with glazed eyes, yelling, "I want
25 to work. I want to work." Yeah, like anybody would


156
1 ever say that. When he first told the story, it was
2 just a lie.
3 Q. Who did he first tell the story to?
4 A. On the very day it happened, he told one
5 version of the story that involved some kind of
6 running around. The story grew as time passed. But
7 that very same day that it happened, March 27th, he
8 told some version of the story to Gina Boyd, the
9 president of the teachers association.
10 Q. That was before the Stutz firm was involved?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Then how was it that the Stutz firm -- well,
13 actually we have discussed that already. Let's go
14 back to the second from the left column on the
15 education attorneys' page, which is our Exhibit No. 2,
16 and it says that, "A favorite Daniel Shinoff tactic is
17 to try to get plaintiffs arrested."
18 How many people do you know that Mr. Shinoff
19 has --
20 A. He tried to get me arrested for walking out
21 of my deposition when he was being -- well, he wasn't
22 there personally, but when Kelly Angell and her CTA
23 lawyers that were working with her, Deborah Garvin,
24 were being just horribly abusive.
25 Q. How did they try to get you arrested?


157
1 A. They asked Judge Nevitt to have me arrested.
2 Q. What was Dan Shinoff's participation in
3 that?
4 A. He was the lead attorney in the case.
5 Q. Was he there at your deposition?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was it Ms. Angell, along with other
8 attorneys who were representing the CPA who asked
9 Judge Nevitt to arrest you?
10 A. He was not in court. But I think his name
11 probably was on the filing papers.
Q. So they are not entitled to
disagree about whether or
not a crime has been
committed, for example?


A. Not if they are lying or
hiding the truth.
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page 89-91

Is Shinoff or Mark
Bresee to blame?
pages 91-94

pages 95-105

pages 105-111

pages 112-123

pages 124-138

pages 138-157

pages 157-175

pages 175-203

pages 203-222


Errata and signature
page
Larkins case
summary
Case Timeline
Deposition of
Maura Larkins

Richard Werlin
changed the record
pages 1-15

pages 15-25

pages 25-35

pages 35-48

pages 48-60

Pages 60--68

Lozano Smith
pages 73-80

pages 68-89