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

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Maura Larkins
v. CVESD
Summary Judgment
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
11 that is just the basis of the legal profession these
12 days, is, "Pay me and I will lie for you."
13 Q. Okay. How have you determined that lawyers
14 are lying without having personal knowledge of the
15 underlying facts?
16 A. Well, in my case, I did have personal
17 knowledge of the underlying facts.
18 Q. There were witnesses who lied?
19 A. Well, the lawyers lie too. Of course they
20 don't do it under oath, but they definitely did lie.
21 Q. So in your world view, a lawyer should
22 assess his own client's credibility and if the lawyer
23 thinks that his own client may be lying, then the
24 lawyer should do what?
25 A. Advise his client to do the right thing,
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1 especially if he's a public entity lawyer.
2 Q. If the lawyer does advise the client to do
3 the right thing, whatever that may be, and the client
4 says, "No, I won't do that. Now, would you please
5 continue defending me," what should the lawyer then
6 do?
7 A. He should continue defending him, but within
8 the law. He should produce documents. He should tell
9 the truth. He should not try to misinform the court.
10 You know, I don't know if you saw it on my site. But
11 one of the things Kelly Angell said when she did not
12 want to answer my interrogatories was, "Your Honor, I
13 can't answer them without harming my client," or
14 something to that effect. That is pathetic. She
15 should just answer them.
16 Q. Well, wasn't there a judge there to decide
17 if Ms. Angell's client was required to respond to
18 those particular interrogatories?
19 A. I think that you know very well, Mr. Kostic,
20 that school districts get a lot of help from the
21 justice system. I mean, look at that Office of
22 Administrative Hearings' decision. It was very clear
23 that as an in pro per, I was a second-class litigant.
24 I mean, there was no reason why the district
25 should have been allowed to have protection against
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1 deposition, no legal reason. It was just because they
2 were a school district. That is why the judge gave
3 them that protective order.
4 So your idea that the courts are going to
5 find -- are going to make sure that things are being
6 done right, is just outside the realm of reality.
7 Q. Here talking about Santana, again, said,
8 "Daniel Shinoff called the shooting unforeseeable and
9 said the district was not culpable."
10 Do you know if that is true, whether the
11 Santana shooting was unforeseeable?
12 A. That specific shooting was unforeseeable.
13 But after Columbine, of course, any school --
14 Q. This is Santana though, right?
15 A. After Columbine, the situation changed. It
16 no longer became reasonable for someone to say, "Well,
17 gee, I didn't think some student was going to start
18 shooting."
19 Q. Okay. But does that mean that just
20 because -- well, again, are you saying that it was, in
21 fact, foreseeable that there would be a shooting at
22 Santana High School?
23 A. No. There is no way that they could have
24 known that that particular child would have gone off,
25 and there is no way they could have known at what
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1 school he would go off. But it is not just Columbine.
2 There have been a whole rash of school shootings
3 around the country and bullying has been implicated in
4 many, if not most, of those shootings.
5 So, obviously, school districts and their
6 lawyers can't act like, "Oh, gee, how could I have
7 known," as long as they are not doing anything about
8 bullying.
9 Can I say something? It is, according to my
10 clock here, 4:58 p.m. That gives us two minutes until
11 the time when you said that you wanted to stop, and I
12 would like an answer if you are going to allow me to
13 be part of the decision about when we stop this
14 deposition.
15 Q. Yes. I don't think I'll be done in the next
16 two minutes. So I will suggest that we stop at 5:00,
17 because that is the end of the regular business hour
18 and I was hoping to discuss with you when we might
19 schedule the conclusion.
20 A. I do not want to stop. I want to keep
21 going.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. I believe that this whole deposition today
24 is purely harassment. I can tell when Stutz visits my
25 site. The day after I went to that meeting at
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1 Castle Park at the end of May, the next morning Stutz
2 was all over my blogs and Web site. The day after
3 that, I get this notice of a deposition. The whole
4 suit is malicious prosecution, and this deposition is
5 merely harassment.
6 I don't want to have this go on and on and
7 on. There is no need for it. You are not going to
8 gain anything by continuing to depose me. I would
9 like to get it finished.
10 Q. Okay. I am not willing to go past 5:00. I
11 don't owe you that. I have a family and a home where
12 I like to go, and I don't want to work overtime just
13 because you would like to do that.
14 A. You are a lawyer. You are an officer of the
15 court. You have an obligation to obey the law, and
16 the law says that the deposition does not go off
17 record unless both parties agree.
18 Q. I understand that. I mean, we are going to
19 agree that we're going to go off the record. What we
20 don't agree about is whether I have an obligation to
21 stay past 5:00 and for how long I have that
22 obligation.
23 Again, I am really not looking to debate the
24 law with you. But believe me, there is no statute
25 that says that I am supposed to stay here past 5:00.
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1 A. I am looking for the deposition notice.
2 Q. Okay. While you are doing that, let me
3 just -- as I watch my court reporter have to stretch
4 her back, you know, I also don't necessarily have a
5 right to keep others here.
6 A. You can end the deposition.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. It says, "It will be continued from
9 day-to-day, excluding Sundays and holidays."
10 Q. So what did you think that meant?
11 A. It will be continuous.
12 Q. Why would we continue it day-to-day if we
13 are just going to stay and do a marathon until we are
14 either done or exhausted?
15 A. Because you don't want to continue it on
16 Sundays and holidays. So that's why you don't mention
17 it.
18 Q. So you thought it would just go around the
19 clock day-to-day?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You read that sentence to mean that we never
22 stop and we just keep going round and round for
23 48 hours, 72 hours, unless there is a Sunday or a
24 holiday?
25 A. Mr. Kostic, you know that you are not
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1 allowed to unilaterally end the deposition -- I mean,
2 go off record.
3 Q. No, no. I am absolutely entitled to end the
4 deposition anytime I want.
5 A. Well, end the deposition, yeah. But you are
6 not allowed to unilaterally --
7 Q. We are not talking about that. We are
8 talking about what you suggested to me that our Notice
9 of Deposition somehow implied that we would not stop
10 at 5 p.m. I am not understanding that, I guess.
11 A. Well --
12 Q. I can tell you that language "continue
13 day-to-day" what that means, is if we don't finish by
14 5:00, we continue it the next day. But typically,
15 rather than mandating that somebody come back the very
16 next morning, we try to work with them to schedule it
17 when it is convenient.
18 A. You know, your arrogant law firm walked out
19 of a deposition that I was taking with Ray Artiano as
20 witness, claiming falsely that they were going to ask
21 for a protective order. No protective order was ever
22 sought. They just simply -- Daniel Shinoff and
23 Ray Artiano just walked out. Then Daniel Shinoff
24 didn't even show up for his deposition, and he did not
25 even bother to file an objection beforehand.
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1 Your arrogance is just unbelievable. The
2 way that you think that everything has to be done
3 exactly like you want it to be done and you don't have
4 to follow the rules, but you can push me around.
5 I really think it is time to end this
6 deposition. It is purely harassment done just
7 because -- I believe it is -- we are here today
8 because Chula Vista Elementary called and said that I
9 was at a meeting at Castle Park.
10 Q. You know, I don't know on which level to
11 engage these thoughts that you have. But would it
12 help you any if I told you that I have never in my
13 life spoken to anyone at Chula Vista Elementary, and
14 that I was the one who instigated this deposition? As
15 you see, I signed your Notice of Deposition. I am in
16 charge of this lawsuit. I am not in any way connected
17 to anyone at Chula Vista Elementary. I have never
18 spoken to anybody there. Nobody told me to notice up
19 your deposition. I did it on my own.
20 A. Did you visit my Web site on May 28th?
21 Q. No, I don't think so. I believe the last I
22 visited it was quite sometime before and then again
23 this morning.
24 I am trying to help you. I don't think I
25 owe you this explanation. But I really would like for
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1 you to believe that I just am not done with your
2 deposition. I don't want to stay here around the
3 clock. I am telling you that is not the law. There
4 is no law that says that nor, in fact, if I wanted to
5 keep you here past 5:00, would I have that right.
6 A. Well, according to Ray Artiano and
7 Dan Shinoff and the court reporter at Ray Artiano's
8 deposition, they made it very clear that there was no
9 going off the record unless they agreed.
10 Q. No, no. You have to understand, those are
11 completely different things, okay? Going off the
12 record so people can talk without the court reporter
13 taking it down, that is one thing.
14 Whether or not a deposition should stop at
15 5:00 and then resume the next day if it's not
16 completed, that is a completely different issue.
17 A. Well, I have had a lot of experience with
18 Stutz Law Firm and depositions. Stutz Law Firm made
19 it clear that they didn't have to end the deposition
20 for the day until they felt like it.
21 Q. Okay. Was that ever in the deposition where
22 you were the deponent?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Whose deposition are we talking about?
25 A. The people -- mostly the people I deposed in
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1 my case.
2 Q. Do you know if those people had agreed to
3 stay past 5:00?
4 A. You have the depositions.
5 Q. No, I really -- I don't personally have
6 anything. I am asking you.
7 A. It was the lawyers. It was the lawyers that
8 were refusing to end for the day.
9 Q. And --
10 A. Not just Kelly Angell, but also her
11 sidekick, Michael, Michael Hersh from CTA.
12 Q. So Kelly Angell and Michael Hersh did some
13 things how many years ago?
14 A. Three and a half years ago. So that means
15 that this has been a practice for a while. So you
16 should have heard about it by now.
17 Q. From whom?
18 A. In your legal work that you seem to know so
19 much about. You say that you have given hundreds of
20 depositions and you know all about it. You should
21 know that you don't end the deposition until everybody
22 agrees.
23 Q. No, no. Again, we are talking about
24 separate issues.
25 A. I mean, you don't go off the record. You
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1 don't end it for the day.
2 Q. We are not off the record. We are on the
3 record this whole time.
4 A. Obviously, obviously. I am talking about --
5 Q. No. What I want to know is, at the time
6 that Mr. Hersh and Ms. Angell wanted to keep a
7 deposition going past 5:00, were you the one taking
8 the deposition?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you want to stop at 5:00?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Why did you want to do that?
13 A. So -- I have a family too. I wanted to go
14 home. I was tired.
15 Q. Did you think you were right to ask that the
16 deposition stop at 5:00?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So I am not Kelly Angell, and I am not this
19 Mr. Hersh?
20 A. No.
21 Q. So why shouldn't I --
22 A. I'll tell you. Listen --
23 Q. No, you are not. You are not me. Right.
24 A. We are comparing this deposition to when I
25 was taking depositions.
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1 Q. Well, why should I be punished?
2 A. Because you are involved in malicious
3 prosecution, and this entire deposition is purely
4 harassment. I don't believe you, that you didn't
5 discuss with anybody the timing of this. Because it
6 was just too convenient, just right after that.
7 This other person that you seem to say, that
8 was not you but someone else here at Stutz, you say
9 that the person who was all over my Web site on May
10 28th was not you. It was someone else here at Stutz.
11 I find it hard to believe that they didn't talk to
12 you.
13 Q. But what would they talk to me about? The
14 Web site is there. Anybody can see it.
15 A. Yeah, but this was Stutz Law Firm. You guys
16 have a lawsuit against me, and you filed a Notice of
17 Deposition the very next day.
18 Q. After looking at your Web site?
19 A. Well, you claim that you didn't look at my
20 Web site.
21 Q. I didn't look at your Web site. But I am
22 just wondering what kind of fantasy you have in your
23 mind. What does your Web site have to do with the
24 Notice of Deposition? I mean, are we not allowed to
25 look at your Web site?
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1 A. No. It's just that I am having a hard time
2 believing you, that you had no discussion with this
3 other person at Stutz that was all over my Web site
4 the day after that meeting -- that you say it was not
5 you. So it must have been someone else here.
6 Q. You mean, one of the other 39 lawyers?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Or the 80 staff?
9 A. That is really, really interested in my
10 Web site.
11 Q. So back to why I should be punished by
12 having to stay late when you wanted to leave at 5:00.
13 A. You should stop punishing me. You should
14 stop your malicious harassment of me.
15 Q. And just allow you to defame us on your
16 Web site?
17 A. I am not defaming you.
18 Q. What if we don't agree with the things that
19 you say? What if, in our heart of hearts, we think
20 that what you are saying is awful, awful stuff that
21 does not represent who we are at all? What should we
22 do then?
23 A. I think that you are either dishonest or
24 deluded -- dishonest with yourself, deluded. You
25 just -- you know, I have wondered that about how
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1 like -- you read the deposition of Ray Artiano.
2 I mean, he comes across as -- obviously he
3 is just in -- it's amazing how he's in complete denial
4 and you wonder can he not see how he is being
5 completely irrational? I mean, he is just in complete
6 denial. I am wondering, is he lying, or does he
7 really believe that. I really don't know. I think
8 there is a little bit of both, maybe a lot of both.
9 But I really could not guess the proportions, which --
10 I don't know which is more, which is the majority of
11 the lying or the self-delusion.
12 Q. What does that have to do with us staying
13 after 5:00?
14 A. I want the deposition to end, because it is
15 just purely harassment.
16 Q. So there is no way we are going to reach an
17 agreement. You want the deposition to end right now.
18 You don't think I have any right to --
19 A. No, no, I am willing to stay. I want it to
20 be over in one day. I want to get it over with.
21 Let's finish this.
22 Q. Well, I am not done, and I am going to
23 conclude it for today.
24 A. I object.
25 Q. Okay. Understood.
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1 A. I don't agree to going off the record right
2 now.
3 Q. Okay. Well, do you want to pay the court
4 reporter to stay on the record? Because I am going to
5 leave. What is the record going to be for?
6 A. I am not going to pay the court reporter.
7 Q. So why would we need to stay on the record?
8 A. Because you are harassing me.
9 Q. No, I want to leave.
10 A. Oh, you know good and well that you are
11 never going to win this case, that you have not scored
12 any points today. It is purely harassment.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Well, I am going to
14 conclude the deposition, then, at this time.
15 As I said, I am not finished.
16 A. Is that a contradiction, "I am going to
17 conclude the deposition"?
18 MR. KOSTIC: Yeah, I am going to terminate
19 it at this time, but I am not done. I am going to
20 decide if I want to -- obviously you are not going to
21 agree to come back. So I will decide whether to ask
22 the court to decide if you should have to come back
23 and that's all. That's that.
24 (The deposition of MAURA LARKINS was adjourned
25 at 5:12 p.m.)
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1 PENALTY OF PERJURY
2
3 I, the undersigned, hereby declare that I am the
4 witness in the within matter, that I have read the
5 foregoing deposition and know the contents thereof,
6 and I declare that the same is true of my own
7 knowledge except as to those matters, I believe them
8 to be true.
9 I declare under penalty of perjury that the
10 foregoing is true and correct.
11 Executed on this _____day of ________________, 2008,
12 at _____________________, California.
13
14
15 ______________________________
16 MAURA LARKINS
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
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1
2 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE
3
4 I, PATRICIA Y. SCHULER, Certified Shorthand Reporter
5 for the State of California, do hereby certify:
6 That prior to being examined, the witness
7 named in the foregoing deposition was by me duly sworn
8 to testify to the truth, the whole truth and nothing
9 but the truth.
10 That said deposition was taken before me at
11 the time and place therein set forth and was taken
12 down by me in machine shorthand and thereafter was
13 transcribed into typewriting under my direction and
14 supervision, and I hereby certify the foregoing
15 transcript is a full, true and correct transcript of
16 my shorthand notes so taken.
17 I further certify that I am neither counsel
18 for nor related to any party to said action nor in any
19 way interested in the outcome thereof.
20 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
21 subscribed my name this June 30, 2008, at Murrieta,
22 California.
23
_________________________
24 PATRICIA Y. SCHULER, RPR
CSR NO. 11949
25
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1 CORRECTION CERTIFICATE
2 I, MAURA LARKINS, do hereby certify that I have read
3 the foregoing statement and that, to the best of my
4 knowledge, said statement is true and accurate (with
5 the exception of the following changes listed below):
6
7 PAGE LINE CHANGE TESTIMONY TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
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24 _________________________
25 MAURA LARKINS
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