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

Pages 203-222
1 Q. It is not important what I thought.
2 A. But you asked.
3 Q. No, no, I did not ask.
4 A. Yeah. You said, "And that would fix the
5 school."
6 Q. Well, would that help fix the school? You
7 said that would be a start.
8 A. I think it would be a start.
9 Q. What else?
10 A. I really think that the teachers -- perhaps
11 in small groups to start with, really need to start
12 dealing with reality. You know what they are doing,
13 they're threatening basically to transfer more
14 teachers out. Probably the ones that would be
15 transferred would be like -- oh, I don't know. I
16 could guess that Terri Spurgeon would be one, perhaps
17 Al Smith and Linda Watson. It's a really bad idea as
18 long as it is just power back and forth between the
19 Castle Park family and district, with the union.
20 One of that was transferred out is now
21 president of the local union there.
22 So it is just this Castle Park family versus
23 the district. It is just this one gains the upper
24 hand and this one gains the upper hand.
25 And one thing that makes it really sick is

1 that they were together in committing these crimes
2 that they are covering up. It is a real mess.
3 Q. Okay. I have gone to a different Web page.
4 This one is about Attorney Jeffery Morris.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz. It says,
7 "Jeffery Morris was glad that Escondido Union High
8 School District was not held liable in Coach Carter
9 case."
10 A. Why don't you click there and see -- that
11 might take you somewhere. No, I was thinking it might
12 have been a news article. Why don't you just scroll
13 down and just see if there is -- is this a news --
14 Okay. That is not the news article. There was a news
15 article in which Jeffery Morris talked about that, if
16 you want to just go back.
17 Q. Did Mr. Morris say that he was glad?
18 A. It was words to that effect. You could
19 probably find -- here, here. Let's see, wait a
20 minute. Oh, the student's kidney failure. Yeah, this
21 was the Coach "Ted" Carter case. Yeah, scroll down
22 and see if you can find his quote. "Welcome to the
23 decision." Sounds glad. When you welcome something,
24 you are glad about it.
25 Q. Okay. Now, you understand that a Court of

1 Appeal considered this decision and reversed it,
2 right? It wasn't Mr. Morris who did that?
3 A. A student got kidney failure because a coach
4 suggested that he take a substance. Another coach
5 reported it, and then that coach that reported it
6 ended up getting fired at his new job by the wife of
7 the coach that recommended the substance.
8 Q. Okay. I understand that. You might think
9 that the law should be otherwise. But a Court of
10 Appeal in the State of California said that this
11 person did not have a right to recover from the
12 Escondido High School District?
13 A. That doesn't mean that it was right. They
14 didn't say that it was okay what they did. They just
15 said that the district was not liable.
16 Q. Okay. How do you know what really happened
17 in that case?
18 A. I did not read the court testimony. But if
19 you have some reason to think that the court
20 testimony, it reflects something other than this
21 article by Greg Moran, you could use that to help
22 attack my Web site.
23 Q. I am not looking to attack your Web site.
24 What I want to know is, how did you decide that --
25 apparently, you don't like the decision of the Court

1 of Appeal. Or is it just that you don't like it any
2 time that a court agrees with a Stutz attorney? I
3 mean, as I read this, you don't -- the flavor I get is
4 you wish that Attorney Jeffery Morris would have lost
5 and that the district could have been held liable for
6 that?
7 A. Oh, you are so wrong about that. If
8 Jeffery Morris were ethical, he would have said to the
9 district, "My God, what did you do? Do something
10 different." Mr. Kostic -- excuse me.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. All these cases do not have to happen.
13 These cases should never have been filed. Stutz
14 should have settled with Mr. Carter before he ever
15 filed the lawsuit.
16 All the money that the taxpayers pay to
17 Stutz for this case, all the way up through the Court
18 of Appeal, I am sure that Mr. Carter would have
19 settled for much less than that.
20 Q. So even though the law is that Mr. Carter
21 can't recover, the Stutz firm should have taken the
22 law in its own hands and said, "We believe Mr. Carter.
23 We don't believe these other witnesses and we -- by
24 God, we have to settle this because this is just
25 wrong, to heck with whether the law says that

1 Mr. Carter can recover or not." Is that --
2 A. You know you are so wrong. The judge whose
3 wife -- the coach who -- he admitted suggesting the
4 supplement.
5 Q. No, I understand that. A Court of Appeals
6 said that the district can't be held liable for that.
7 What I am asking you is why would the Stutz
8 firm be charged with disagreeing with the law and
9 telling its clients to pay money where the law says
10 they don't have to?
11 A. Because you should have done the right
12 thing. Just because you can get away with wrongdoing,
13 that doesn't make you right. The judge says that,
14 "Okay, the district doesn't have to pay." But
15 obviously the district fired the wrong person. They
16 shouldn't have fired him. They should have said,
17 "Gee, we need to know if coaches are causing kidney
18 failures in kids. We should not retaliate against
19 someone for reporting such a thing, because we are
20 harming the public. We should not be spending all
21 this tax money helping people who cause kidney failure
22 in students."
23 Q. Do you know if there was medical testimony
24 in this case to the effect that the kidney failure was
25 not caused by any supplement?

1 A. Oh, probably Stutz put some expert witness
2 that would say that.
3 Q. Why is it that if Stutz has a position to
4 take it is automatically wrong, when you yourself have
5 no medical training that would allow you to conclude
6 nor do you know what supplement this child was
7 supposedly given.
8 So I am having a really hard time
9 understanding how you, in your infinite wisdom,
10 automatically know that everybody is wrong if they are
11 on the side of Stutz?
12 A. You are making up these statements. I
13 didn't say they were wrong. I said they probably
14 would have put -- you asked me if there was testimony
15 saying that the kidney damage was caused by something
16 else, and I said, "Well, I assume that Stutz did put
17 such testimony up." That's what I am assuming. I
18 didn't say it was wrong. I just said that is what you
19 would do.
20 Q. Okay. Do you know if there was testimony
21 that the coach who was fired, Coach Carter, was not
22 fired having to do with anything about any supplements
23 or complaints about it?
24 A. I don't believe that the Court of Appeals
25 disagreed with the facts that the jury found when they

1 did find that that was why Carter was fired. They
2 just said the district was not liable for it.
3 Q. Okay. Do you know if the Stutz firm
4 suborned any perjury in the Carter case?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. All right. Let's look at other lawyers.
7 Oh, I'm sorry, there was a mention on a previous page
8 that says, "Did Dan Shinoff intimidate Mira Costa
9 trustees to get them to give Victoria Richart a
10 $1.6 million" --
11 A. Richart.
12 Q. Richart, "a $1.6 million settlement."
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What is the answer to the question?
16 A. Why don't you ask the trustees. Maybe we
17 could --
18 Q. I am asking you. It is on your Web site.
19 Do you believe that Dan Shinoff intimidated the
20 Mira Costa trustees to pay a $1.6 million settlement?
21 A. Oh, oh, so you are not asking me the answer
22 to the question. You are asking me what I believe.
23 Yes, I believe he did intimidate the three minority
24 trustees.
25 Q. So in this instance Mr. Shinoff, you
1 believe, caused a settlement to occur?
2 A. Well, he got help from Bob Ottilie and the
3 four majority trustees.
4 Q. But in this case you think Mr. Shinoff
5 should have fought it and said, "Forget the
6 settlement. Let's fight this thing in court"?
7 A. You know, it is so hard to start saying what
8 he should have done so late in the day. He should not
9 have done that shameful million-dollar investigation.
10 Q. No but Victoria Richart --
11 A. What your question is that now, let's say,
12 "Okay, he has done this million-dollar investigation
13 and the public is all up in arms about this and he has
14 worked with Victoria Richart to do it, and now she
15 wants a settlement." I have to say that was pretty
16 bad, yeah.
17 Q. Now, who did Mr. Shinoff represent? Was he
18 representing the Mira Costa Community College
19 District, or was he representing Victoria Richart?
20 A. That is an absolute question. A lot of
21 people would like -- a lot of people believe that they
22 were one and the same. Obviously, you know, she
23 didn't even file a tort claim. Here they are giving
24 her 1.6 million. It looks to a lot of us like Shinoff
25 was representing both the interests of the trustees,
1 the majority trustees, who wanted everything to be
2 kept secret about everything they had done and he was
3 representing Victoria Richart, whom he had done
4 everything with. They worked together doing
5 everything.
6 Q. Here is an instance where Mr. Shinoff
7 effectuated a settlement without there being any
8 litigation or even a tort claim and, in this instance,
9 you think that was the wrong thing and you think it
10 raises an inference that he was playing both sides.
11 But in your case you would have liked
12 Mr. Shinoff to sit his clients down and say, "You've
13 all been bad boys and girls. You should apologize to
14 Ms. Larkins. Let me go work with her and we'll settle
15 this thing, and we'll do what Ms. Larkins wants to do.
16 Let's not have a tort claim. Let's not have
17 litigation. Let's do the right thing without all
18 that"; is that right?
19 A. I have two answers. First of all, are you
20 seriously trying to compare me to Victoria Richart?
21 She worked with Mr. Shinoff personally. She has a
22 great power. Her institution pays him. Me, I am just
23 nobody. I mean, I don't have millions of dollars.
24 I don't have a million dollars to give to
25 Dan Shinoff and his favorite investigators and whoever
1 else helped with the million-dollar investigation.
2 So that's my first question. You can't be
3 serious to compare me to Victoria Richart.
4 My second thought in response to your
5 question is --
6 Q. I am not comparing you personally to anyone
7 else.
8 A. Well, you're comparing --
9 Q. I am comparing the handling of the matters.
10 A. Right, exactly. But the matters are very
11 different because one involves the college president
12 who conducted this -- you know, who ordered this
13 million-dollar investigation. The other involves
14 someone against the victim of crimes.
15 Q. But didn't you want Mr. Shinoff to work with
16 you?
17 A. You know what --
18 Q. I thought that is what you said.
19 A. You know, maybe I should get a $1.6 million
20 settlement too. I hadn't thought of that before, but
21 I think you are onto something.
22 Q. Okay. All right. Only because I don't want
23 to have another argument with you, is it okay with you
24 if I use the restroom?
25 A. Fine. I already said I was happy to --
1 Q. I am just trying to avoid, you know, another
2 half an hour argument. I will be right back.
3 A. That was smart of you to obey the laws.
4 (Recess taken.)
6 Q. I have now pulled up a part of your Web site
7 that deals with schools and violence. It says, "The
8 school culture (and school lawyer culture) contribute
9 to bullying in schools."
10 Do you believe that it does?
11 A. You know, yeah, I do believe it does. As I
12 explain here. This is what I believe. This is all
13 laid out there.
14 Q. How is Dan Shinoff complicit in what
15 happened at Santana High School?
16 A. He apparently advised the school district
17 not to have a conference -- oh, about violence. Okay.
18 Now, see, the way you frame these questions, are you
19 asking me how was he complicit in the shooting deaths?
20 Is that what you are asking me when you say, "What
21 happened at Santana?"
22 Q. Why is it that you have this thing
23 addressing school and violence on the one hand and
24 then -- you know, throughout here there are other
25 things about Mr. Shinoff? It says, "Shinoff keeps
1 important documents locked up in his files." You
2 know, we have already gone through that part.
3 So I guess I am trying to cut it short a
4 little bit. It seems to me like you're trying to
5 suggest that Mr. Shinoff's alleged unethical conduct
6 somehow contributed to what happened at Santana High
7 School; is that true?
8 A. No. I really am concerned about the way you
9 come up with these ideas.
10 Q. Listen, I am not here to have you express
11 your concerns. So --
12 A. Do you know what?
13 Q. Please, can we get back to the deposition?
14 A. I am not sure that your questioning is
15 appropriate.
16 Q. I am sure that it's not --
17 A. You make up these absurd things, like acting
18 as if I said Daniel Shinoff was responsible for what
19 happened when, if you look at the title of this page,
20 it is about bullying.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. If you recall, the boy who did the shooting
23 had been bullied. Same in Columbine. Bullying is a
24 real serious problem in schools. I really believe
25 that the district instead of just having Dan Shinoff
1 go to court and say, "No, there is no bullying. This
2 is all false, these allegations that there's bullying
3 and that bullying had anything to do with the shooting
4 incident." I really think the public would be better
5 served if there were a conference about violence,
6 about bullying. It is a problem that needs to be
7 addressed, not just covered up by Dan Shinoff -- and
8 denied. He denied that there was bullying involved.
9 Q. So this is what I was trying to get at, is
10 what Mr. Shinoff's connection is. So Mr. Shinoff
11 denied that there was bullying?
12 A. Well, he denied that bullying was related to
13 it. Do you want to scroll down and we will see what
14 it says here? Go down a little further. There, yeah.
15 Q. Now, did Mr. Shinoff say that the school
16 should not address bullying regardless of whether or
17 not it was related to the meltdown of Andy Williams?
18 A. All I know is that he apparently either gave
19 or made or agreed with the decision not to have the
20 conference requested by the parents of the dead
21 students, and that he denied that bullying had
22 contributed to the meltdown. It is pretty hard to
23 solve the problem when you deny it.
24 Q. Who participated in the decision to deny
25 that bullying contributed to the meltdown of
1 Andy Williams, do you know? Other than Mr. Shinoff.
2 A. No, I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know if Mr. Shinoff was directed to
4 make a statement to the press by his client?
5 A. Are you suggesting that Shinoff might have
6 stated as a fact to the press something that he did
7 not believe was true?
8 Q. Well, that was going be my next question, is
9 how do you know that Mr. Shinoff did not have an
10 honest belief that bullying did not contribute to the
11 meltdown of Andy Williams? But we'll get to that.
12 That's why it would be so nice if you would just
13 answer my questions instead of asking me questions
14 about what I am suggesting and, you know, why I am
15 doing it.
16 A. Okay. So your question is, is it possible
17 that his client instructed him to deny. Anything is
18 possible.
19 Q. What information do you have as far as
20 whether or not this child was bullied?
21 A. Just what I read in the paper.
22 Q. So if the district personnel disagree with
23 what a reporter says in the paper, is it inappropriate
24 for Mr. Shinoff, as the district's lawyer, to state
25 the district's position to the public?
1 A. Well, I really think that this is where a
2 lawyer can lose his humanity. It is just like this in
3 Mountain Empire School District. Daniel Shinoff
4 denied that Fred Kamper had inappropriately touched a
5 little girl, and he denied it and denied it. It is
6 just he -- to protect the school district -- I don't
7 know who he means by the "school district." It's
8 obviously not the students. I guess the people in
9 charge of the school district. He attacks victims
10 mercilessly -- like that girl that was -- special
11 education student that was raped in Sweetwater
12 district. He goes and says she wanted it.
13 Q. Daniel Shinoff said that?
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. When did he say that?
16 A. I would have to find you the case. It's
17 Sweetwater School District. So it was either middle
18 school or high school.
19 Yeah, he has a pretty bad record when it
20 comes to discussion of sexual abuse victims. He
21 generally denies that they were abused to protect the
22 school district.
23 Q. So how do you know whether any particular
24 student was actually sexually abused as alleged by a
25 guardian ad litem of a mentally retarded person? How
1 do you personally know that Mr. Shinoff is not telling
2 the truth, or at least that the view he is taking on
3 behalf of his client is supported by evidence?
4 A. It is very possible that she wanted it. She
5 is a child.
6 Q. No, no. Back away from "she wanted it."
7 What I want to know is how do you know what really
8 happened?
9 A. Well --
10 Q. Because I know you were not there.
11 A. Well, when you have both sides saying the
12 same thing in a lawsuit, you can be pretty sure that
13 probably it is the truth. Both sides admitted that
14 this girl had sex with -- I believe it was a student
15 and I think it is possible to -- I don't know. It is
16 kind of hard to determine intent with a mentally
17 disabled child. It is within the realm of
18 possibility, of course. Shinoff couldn't possibly
19 have known that, could he?
20 Q. No. Shinoff must have been talking about
21 what he thought witnesses said to him and the meaning
22 of it, right, because he was not there either?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. You have your view of what happened and so
25 does Shinoff. So what I am asking is why is it that
1 you get to be right and he is always wrong?
2 A. No. You don't understand me.
3 Q. No, I am not.
4 A. It's relevance that I am talking about.
5 When you have a girl who has a sexual experience at
6 school, it is really not relevant whether she wanted
7 it or not.
8 Q. There is a judge there to decide what is
9 relevant to the case, is there not?
10 A. Actually, isn't it the jury?
11 Q. There is a jury to decide what is relevant
12 in the case, great -- actually, if you are asking me,
13 it is the judge who decides relevance. But we have a
14 judge and we have a jury.
15 Why is it not okay to allow the judge or the
16 jury to decide what is relevant; who is right; who is
17 wrong?
18 A. Mr. Kostic, there is this whole world out
19 there outside of the law business, where a whole bunch
20 of people think that it is completely inappropriate to
21 say that a little girl who had sex, wanted it. How
22 can I explain that to you, if you don't understand
23 that?
24 Q. That is a moral view, isn't it?
25 A. Pretty much. What I am accusing
1 Daniel Shinoff of is basically immorality.
2 Q. We have in our society a method by which our
3 collective morals are made into laws, which are
4 enforced by judges and juries, don't we?
5 A. You seem to think that the justice system is
6 a system that always gets it right. I am sure you
7 know that it is a very blunt tool and that it gets it
8 wrong plenty of times.
9 Q. Why is it Daniel Shinoff who should take on
10 the task of reforming our justice system instead of
11 being able to participate as a lawyer does?
12 A. I think that, basically, the legal
13 profession is very corrupt. I think that there is a
14 minority of lawyers who are ethical. The bar
15 association is not going to do anything about it. But
16 something really needs to be done before our American
17 justice system just completely goes down the tubes.
18 Where you have public entities violating the
19 law, that is so bad. I mean, if Shinoff was a private
20 firm working for private entities like some
21 corporation or something, it would not be as bad. It
22 is so much worse when you have the government
23 committing crimes against the people. He has a higher
24 obligation as a public entity lawyer, I believe. It
25 is just so much worse when the government commits

1 crimes against people than just some corporation
2 committing crimes against people.
3 Q. Why isn't Daniel Shinoff and why aren't his
4 clients entitled to have their day in court, where
5 they put forth what they believe happened and just
6 allow a jury or a judge to decide?
7 A. You know, that is an excellent question, and
8 I am so happy that you guys have brought my case. You
9 know, you have spent hundreds of thousands of tax
10 dollars to get my case thrown out, and I never got my
11 day in court. Now by suing me, you have brought it
12 back to the courts, and maybe I will get my day in
13 court now.
14 I actually think everyone should be
15 allowed -- well, every honest person should be allowed
16 to have their day in court. I am not going to give
17 you any credit for bringing -- helping dishonest
18 people to bring malicious, abusive cases.
19 Q. Okay. But when we have a case that is
20 brought by someone like you -- you have initiated a
21 lot of litigation, who should decide whether the other
22 litigant is honest enough to have a day in court?
23 A. I don't think that should be the decision.
24 I think pro pers really do need to be given more
25 access to the courts because the legal profession is

1 so corrupt. I think that one thing is that especially
2 state courts need more money. They are just so
3 overworked that I could understand how they justify it
4 to themselves, how they rationalize, just basically
5 throwing out in pro pers. Because some in pro pers
6 are crazy, and they just don't want to deal with them.
7 But I really think that more in pro pers in
8 court would actually help the justice system become
9 more honest. Because lawyers seem to think that they
10 have a right to lie on behalf of their clients, and
SD Education Report
Education and the
Culture Wars Blog
San Diego
Education Report
Education Reform
Site Map
Larkins case
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

pages 68-73

Lozano Smith order/
Shinoff tactics
pages 73-80

pages 80-89
092704 Nevitt statements
Main Timeline
Motivations CP teachers
Case Summary
2003 Stutz invoices
2002 SDCOE payments
to Daniel Shinoff
2003 part 2 Stutz invoices
Public Records Requests
SDCOE Crosier denial
Payments to Shinoff
Maura Larkins
Summary Judgment
Judge Ahler OAH
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

pages 222-239 (end)

Errata and signature