|Deposition of Maura Larkins by Ljubisa Kostic
June 16, 2008
|< < < This question
needs to be asked of
Daniel Shinoff and the
CVESD board and
Parham & Rajcic law
firm. Stutz law firm
explains in this
deposition why I need
|Mr. Kostic is absolutely
right in his implication that
the people who were at
the meeting need to
testify about the extent of
It makes sense that I
should talk to someone
who was at the meeting
about what was said, as
Mr. Kostic makes clear.
Feb. 12, 2008
First violation of Labor
Code 432.7 by CVESD
Mark Bresee, who was
working with Parham
& Rajcic at that time,
was advising Chula
Oct. 4, 2001
Maura Larkins filed
tort claim; Attorney
Daniel Shinoff took
over the case
Nov. 13, 2001
Larkins filed 3
grievances, and the
district retaliated one
day later by
The district did not act
on the threat.
March 12, 2002
Maura Larkins filed
suit in Superior Court
for CVESD's violation
of Labor Code 432.7
May 7, 20002
retaliated by voting to
clear violation of Labor
Feb. 11, 2003
Maura Larkins was
dismissed for filing
grievances and a
|Defending myself for publishing my
by Maura Larkins
Stutz lawyer Ljubisa Kostic made clear when he deposed me on
June 16, 2008 that I need to depose Chula Vista Elementary
School District officials to defend myself in Stutz v. Larkins.
Nevertheless, On November 28, 2008 Mr. Kostic filed objections
to the deposition subpoenas I served on CVESD officials on
November 18, 2008. Also, on November 14, 2008 Stutz filed an
objection to the deposition of CVESD lawyer Daniel Shinoff--one
of the lawyers who are suing me, and the lawyer most often
discussed on my website. Mr. Shinoff shouldn't bring a lawsuit if
he won't submit to a deposition regarding his own allegations.
These actions are a continuation of Stutz' efforts to cover up its
wrongdoing (and that of CVESD).
|Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz
defamation lawsuit against
|To "bring an end to the
I suppose this is true:
Shinoff's goal was to bring
the lawsuit to an unjust
end, to cover up the
violations of law
enumerated in the lawsuit.
But the goal should have
been to bring the school
district into compliance
with the law.
Stutz is still trying to
cover-up the same
wrongdoing by suing
Larkins for defamation.
The fact is that Stutz
avoided fact-finding in the
past. If Stutz and CVESD
want to prove that my
statements are false, they
need to submit to the
discovery process. They
don't want this, of course.
The lawsuit was brought
purely for purposes of
intimidation, and is itself
another act of wrongdoing.
It's malicious prosecution
by Stutz, and also,
| page 95
Lines 9-16 Question [by Ljubisa Kostic]
Okay. So, again, I was asking you whether
you have any information that would specifically link
Mr. Shinoff, or any attorney with our firm here, to
the decision by the board on May 7th, 2002 to initiate
proceedings against you to terminate your employment?
You have told me about Cheryl Cox and her
statement. I just need to know if there was anything
Lines 17-24 Answer [by Maura Larkins]
Mr. Shinoff was in charge of my case. He
would have been remiss in his duties if he had not
advised the board on how to handle it. They were
pretty much at sea as far as dealing with the case,
and they exhibited no sign ever of doing any
independent thinking. It was very clear from what
Cheryl Cox told me and everything else, that they were
simply following their lawyer's instructions.
25 Q. Again, you told me that the reason why you
1 think that Daniel Shinoff was in charge of your case,
2 you are talking about the hearing to terminate your
4 A. He was in charge of the Superior Court case.
5 Q. I am trying to stick with your termination.
6 I understand that our firm represented the district
7 and others in the Superior Court case. I understand
8 that the Rajcic firm represented the district at the
9 Office of Administrative Hearings...
page 97 line 22--page 98 line 15:
Answer. It was a violation of the law to dismiss me
in retaliation for my filing a lawsuit. He would have
been completely incompetent if he had been unaware
that the district was contemplating dismissing me
right after I filed my lawsuit. I don't think that
they did come up with the idea apart from him. But if
they had, he just was not communicating well with his
clients. He was violating rules of professional
conduct by not communicating -- or he had years
afterwards to say, "Hey, wait a minute. That was
wrong. You guys should not have done that."
He must have assured them that he could help
them get away with that violation of law. They would
not have done it without that assurance. They would
not have done it without discussing it with him. They
would not have done it at all if he had given them
good legal advice and told them that it was against
the law. He must have reassured them that they could
get away with it, and he was right.
16 Q. What I need to know is why you think that
17 Mr. Shinoff was involved in advising his client in
18 that respect at all,
as opposed to the Rajcic firm?
19 A. Because I don't think that Shinoff is
20 completely incompetent, and I don't think that he
21 violated the rules of professional conduct in that
23 Q. Is there any other reason why you think that
24 Mr. Shinoff specifically, as opposed to any other
25 attorney, was the one who advised the board to
1 initiate termination proceedings against you?
2 A. Well, I am not saying that he was
3 necessarily the only one.
4 Q. Is there any other reason why you think he
5 was the one of the attorneys, period, who did that?
11 A. It was his duty to be there at school board
12 meetings. If it were the idea came from another
13 lawyer -- which I don't think it did, because the
14 Superior Court case was the only case that was in play
15 at that time. They had had a long time to dismiss me,
16 if they had wanted to dismiss me before May 7th, 2002.
17 So it would have had to have come from
18 Shinoff. He was the one involved in the only case
19 they had going. He was there. If someone else
20 actually were the first one to bring it up, he would
21 have given his opinion right there and then.
22 Q. Were you at the board meeting on May 7th,
24 A. No. It is a closed meeting.
25 Q. So you don't know what anybody said in that
2 A. Well, I sure do. I know that they voted to
3 dismiss me.
4 Q. But you don't know what was discussed by the
5 board prior to their ultimate decision?
6 A. I think it is a mistake to think that just
7 because you didn't actually witness an event, that you
8 can't know anything that happened about it. I think a
9 lot of things are pretty obvious.
10 Q. Have you talked to anyone who was at the
11 meeting about what was said?
12 A. No. But they probably would not have told
13 the truth anyway.
14 Q. Now, what we're going to do is we're going
15 to work off of your belief that Daniel Shinoff was the
16 one who directed the district to initiate proceedings
17 to terminate your employment, okay. We are going to
18 assume that's true. We are not going to argue about
19 it. We are just going to --
20 A. That is not what I said. I really wish you
21 would stop putting words in my mouth.
22 Q. What did you say?
23 A. I said he would have given advice on the
24 subject. He was one of the people -- at least one of
25 the people, there may have been someone else. I never
1 said he was the one. You may recall that I have said
2 that he might have -- someone else might have
3 suggested it first. Please be careful about that.
4 Q. I appreciate your advice. Okay.
5 In doing whatever it is that you think that
6 Daniel Shinoff did to advise the board in any way in
7 connection with whether or not they should bring
8 proceedings to terminate your employment, is it your
9 belief that Mr. Shinoff acted in a way that was
[Answer of Maura Larkins]
Yes. I would like to define "corruption" as
I am speaking about it. So many people think that
corruption -- the word "corruption" has to do with
I actually believe that that is the less
serious form of corruption. I think that the more
serious form of corruption has to do with abuse of
power and using public entities' power and authority
to violate the law.
It was a violation of law to dismiss me,
and, yes, I believe that it was an abuse of power, and
that is what I call corruption by a public entity. It
is when people are using the power of the public
entity and its authority to take actions in the case
of the board to maintain their own political power.
1 In the case of Daniel Shinoff, it is a combination of
2 political power and gaining money.
3 Q. Is it your understanding that Mr. Shinoff
4 gained money because you were terminated?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How so?
7 A. Because it kept the case going for years and
9 Q. Which case, I'm sorry?
10 A. The case that Mr. Shinoff became involved in
11 on October 4th, 2001.
12 Q. How did the fact that you were terminated
13 keep your case against the district and
14 Robin Donlan -- how did your termination keep that
15 case going?
16 A. Because Stutz used that decision more than
17 once, constantly reminded the court that I had been
18 terminated and, therefore, my complaint was not
19 valuable. It really relied on that decision. It
20 wanted that decision to use against me.
21 Q. So what the Stutz firm did is it used the
22 decision by the Office of Administrative Hearings
23 against you in your lawsuit against the district and
24 Ms. Donlan?
25 A. Um-hmm. It certainly tried to. Although,
1 the judge did remind them on occasion that my lawsuit
2 had been filed first and; therefore, obviously the
3 decision in the Office of Administrative Hearings
4 having come later, would not decide my case.
5 Q. Obviously, you initiated that lawsuit
6 against the district and Ms. Donlan; Daniel Shinoff
7 did not, true?
8 A. Obviously.
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, the Stutz
10 firm was trying to use the decision to terminate your
11 employment in order to bring an end to the lawsuit
12 that you brought against the district and Ms.
13 A. You know, they certainly did use it.
14 Q. Okay. In order to try to bring an end to
15 the litigation?
16 A. In order to damage my credibility and to try
17 to convince the court that the matter was decided. I
18 think they used the phrase "res judicata" a few times.
19 You know, it is really hard for me to know
20 exactly what goes in the mind -- on in the mind of
21 Stutz lawyers, and Dan Shinoff, in particular.
22 One possibility that I have considered is
23 that it is the same thing that David Stevens said.
24 Possibly they thought that the case -- that I would
25 win. I think most people probably would have thought
1 I would have won in the Office of Administrative
3 Actually, it is possible they thought that I
4 would win and they would give me a tiny award and then
5 that would prevent them from -- losing some big
6 judgment in Superior Court. That is a possibility.
7 Q. Other than using the decision from the
8 Office of Administrative Hearings in the
9 Superior Court lawsuit, how else do you think that the
10 Stutz firm attempted to keep that litigation going
11 longer in order to make more money from it?
12 A. Well, because they should have said right at
13 the beginning, "You guys, you did wrong," you know.
14 "You basically admitted that you made a mistake when
15 you took her out of her classroom and let these
16 teachers," you know, "commit this crime against her
17 and should not have covered it up and you should say
18 you are sorry and do the right thing."
19 Q. Suppose that Daniel Shinoff gave advice just
20 like you just said and the board said, "No. We want
21 you to defend this lawsuit, Daniel. Do what we are
22 telling you to do."
23 Is it then corrupt for Mr. Shinoff to do as
24 his client requested and defend the client from your
1 A. It is corrupt to do it when you have to
2 suborn perjury to do it.
"What I need to know is
why you think that Mr.
Shinoff was involved in
advising his client in that
respect at all, as
opposed to the Rajcic
Maura Larkins filed a
suit against CVESD on
March 12, 2002, and
was terminated less
than two months later.
|Deposition of Maura Larkins
June 16, 2008
|Stutz is trying to
push the blame
misconduct in this
case onto Mark
Bresee of Parham &
Rajcic law firm.
Certainly the blame
for the original 432.7
crimes would seem
to fall on Bresee's
Daniel Shinoff of
Stutz, Artiano Shinoff
& Holtz is responsible for
actions from October
4, 2001 onward.
|Public Records Requests
|Payments to Shinoff
|Judge Ahler OAH
Is Shinoff or Mark
Bresee to blame?
Errata and signature
Richard Werlin changed
Lozano Smith order/
|Ironically, the deposition that appears below was triggered by CVESD when it contacted Stutz
to complain about my attending a school meeting on May 27, 2008. CVESD was trying to
intimidate me, but it ended up providing me with perfect arguments by its own lawyer to
support my motion to compel testimony.
The fact that Stutz law firm is being paid by CVESD for work in this case is troubling, since it is
illegal for a public entity to sue for defamation. CVESD is not only able to influence the tactics
used in this case, and to benefit from silencing me, but tax money is being paid to Stutz law
firm to conduct its defamation suit against Maura Larkins.
Stutz has made its positions clear in the document below:
Stutz' argument is that I can not prove the truth of the statements on my website without the
testimony of CVESD officials, and that attorney Mark Bresee may be to blame for wrongdoing.
Stutz itself has clearly made these points for me: that I need the testimony of CVESD officials,
attorney Mark Bresee, and Daniel Shinoff to prove my case.
Therefore, Stutz' motion to quash my deposition subpoenas should not be granted.