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In a filing on September 6, 2006, Martin Singer, cofounder of Lavely & Singer, said he had engaged in “extensive settlement discussions” with the plaintiffs’ lawyer and they had exchanged “various drafts of a proposed settlement agreement.” The discussions ended after the plaintiffs’ lawyer wanted a settlement “with both plaintiffs simultaneously, rather than separately,” said Singer. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on October 23, 2006.

Asked if the case was dismissed because Platinum had reached a settlement with the two women, Singer refused to say, instead responding that “the manner of dismissal was confidential.”

In the lawsuit, and in a letter sent to the Reader by a Platinum outside attorney (see accompanying article), Platinum vehemently denied the allegations of wrongdoing. The letter from Platinum’s attorney pointed out that the allegations were not proved.

Mark Barnhill, a Platinum principal, responded to Reader queries with a written quote similar to what Platinum attorney Eva Kalawski gave to Dennis Kneale: “Successful companies often become targets for gratuitous lawsuits filled with unfounded allegations. Platinum has not been immune. Fortunately, we have only had to deal with a handful of these in our 14 years of operation.”

Both suits were filed by San Francisco lawyer David Mattingly. Platinum doesn’t disguise its contempt for him. In an April 25, 2007 court filing, William Briggs II, an attorney with the Lavely & Singer law firm, wrote, “This case arises from the misguided hubris of plaintiff and his counsel who apparently believe that they can harass and embarrass the defendant into a settlement. The plaintiff, who hides behind the fictional moniker of John Doe, has run to a notorious attorney who is known to fabricate sham claims in an attempt to extract large legal settlements.”

Mattingly, who was phoned three times and also sent an email with questions, would only say, “Some day I will help you. I can’t help you now.”

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Comments

kleindeinst July 15, 2009 @ 12:56 p.m.

Jesus. One look at Tom Gores and I just assume he always has a handful of roofies at his disposal.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 1:23 p.m.

Response to post #1: As happens so often, I have to confess that I'm naive. I don't know what "roofies" are. What's significant to me is that the new owner of the Union-Tribune hired a lawyer known for his threat letters to warn another publication, the Reader, against printing something that is a matter of public record. That is the real story. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2009 @ 3:36 p.m.

Platinum is headed by 44-year-old Tom Gores, who is worth $2 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which lists him 334th among the world’s billionaires.

That is an amazing statistic. There are now hundreds, maybe even thousands, of billionaires in the world.

When Trump hit the billion mark in the late 70's or early 80's there were less than 10 (in the USA anyway).

It shows how concentraded the wealth has become and is very likely a reason of the current economic meltdown.

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2009 @ 3:44 p.m.

As happens so often, I have to confess that I'm naive. I don't know what "roofies" are. What's significant to me is that the new owner of the Union-Tribune hired a lawyer known for his threat letters to warn another publication, the Reader, against printing something that is a matter of public record. That is the real story. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

"Roofies" are a drug used to incapacitate a person (usually for sexual aasault).

As for the lawyer threat letters to the Reader, tell this clown to do 3 things;

1) Look up the term "Slapps" lawsuit,

2) Look up Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16

3) Tell these clowns to bring it on, because they will lose and then get the priviladge of paying for the Readers legal bills under the fee shifting provision of CCP 425.16

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2009 @ 3:52 p.m.

BTW, Marty Singer is the lawyer of record for sending threatening letters, for whatever the reason, for many of Hollywoods biggest stars.

I don't see why Mattingly clammed up though. If Singer's firm were bad mouthing me in court filings, mstters of public record, I would fight back with everything I had.

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David Dodd July 15, 2009 @ 4:07 p.m.

I have to laugh at this. It is telling that the big giant and mighty (and oh-so-very-unreadable) Union-Tribune is the least bit concerned about what's printed in the San Diego Reader. Platinum made a huge mistake when they bought the U-T, unless they plan on letting it dissolve into nothing more than a small-time community newspaper (as a tax write-off, perhaps?). They'll make a bigger mistake should they decide to challenge the first amendment.

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2009 @ 4:10 p.m.

Opps, I did not see the companion article prior to my #5 post.

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2009 @ 4:11 p.m.

Jesus. One look at Tom Gores and I just assume he always has a handful of roofies at his disposal.

By kleindeinst

LOL...get ready for a Marty Singer "letter".

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:36 p.m.

Response to post #3: The obscenely uneven distribution of wealth and income is definitely a reason for the downturn, and could generate social unrest, as even Alan Greenspan admits. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:40 p.m.

Response to post #4: If that's what "roofies" are, then I know of no evidence suggesting their use in this case. I am sure that the lawyer making the threats, Martin Singer, knows about SLAPP suits and the other legal remedies you mentioned. Incidentally, several other publications have printed his threatening letters, despite his claim that they are copyrighted. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:42 p.m.

Response to post #5: I think if you read both of these columns carefully, along with Singer's letter, you will get a good idea why Mattingly is silent for now. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:47 p.m.

Response to post #6: From the standpoint of the First Amendment, I do not think it is wise for a newspaper owner to hire a lawyer to threaten another newspaper about the printing of materials that are a matter of public record. Remember that Platinum bought the U-T for the discounted value of the real estate. So it can flip real estate, it hopes, for a good profit. It is already trying to do so -- advertising the properties in the U-T. It paid $35.5 million for the Mission Valley headquarters, which has an assessed valuation of more than $90 million. I believe that in time, it would like to vacate that building and flip it. However, the commercial real estate industry is in the megrims now. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:52 p.m.

Response to post #7: After Schwarzenegger was governor, a maker of bobblehead dolls made a likeness of the Termiinator. The company got a threatening letter from Singer, claiming Schwarzenegger had a right to any use of his name, likeness, etc. But, said the company, he is no longer an actor. He is governor. He is a public figure. The dustup was apparently settled amicably. But a website published Singer's letter. You can find it online. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2009 @ 4:54 p.m.

Response to post #8: Hopefully, we have taken care of that matter. There is no evidence at all of that. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 16, 2009 @ 10:57 a.m.

When social mores fail, we desperately enact "laws" in an often vain attempt to "regulate" behavior. Fortunately, I grew up in a provincial society that had a healthy contempt for the latter and an intuitive respect for the former. Unfortunately, one cannot punch an errant SOB for anti-social behavior before the behavior gets out of hand and stay out of court--and LOSE, of course, and, of course, be financially wrecked as well as rot in prison. What's left is a population of errant SOB's.

There's a principle in law enforcement: If the punishment is not severe enough to modify the behavior, it isn't severe enough. Sure, a few Mad-offs might have been made an example of AFTER they've made off with their own kind's loot (Madoff's BIG mistake), but the rest pass "go" and pick up another fortune for their roll of the loaded dice, and this convinces JQP that all is well, all better now.

When it comes to slapping the hands of those lawyers and their clients who file nuisance suits, the "punishment" is far from sufficient. It has to hit the press big time, and it has to be a hard enough whack to get the mulish attorney-guild's attention--right where the arrogance originates.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2009 @ 9:39 p.m.

Response to post #15: The malefactors of Wall Street not only pass go and pick up fortunes, they are subsidized by the taxpayers when their bets fail. And the taxpayers don't seem to care. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 17, 2009 @ 9:09 a.m.

Ah, YES, the apathetic public again. Specifically, from A to Z, what would you have the public do? Other than revolution or vigilantism, just how should we respond to your comforting us and afflicting the SOB's? And where is the tipping/breaking point? When koyaanisquatsi reaches terminal velocity? That's too late, I suspect. A, B, and C should be sufficient for now.

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 11:22 a.m.

Response to post #17: Glad you asked: 1. Appoint someone tough, say Nell Minow, as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instruct her that the first thing she should do is eliminate the revolving door policy, by which SEC lawyers do favors for crooks, then take $2 million a year jobs with the crooks' law firms. Instruct Minow to concentrate on the big cases, not the wee ones, and refer more cases to criminal authorities. 2. Crack down on the stashing of money offshore. The IRS is trying this now (we think) in the case of Switzerland and UBS. We must not back down. The malefactors should get prison terms for tax fraud. 3. Have tough regulation of derivatives. 4. Tell derivatives buyers and sellers that they should start winding down derivatives -- NOW. 5.Consider criminal penalties in some of the most egregious cases: AIG, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Countrywide 6. Put mortgage salespeople who strapped people with liar loans, adjustable rate mortgages, exotic mortgages ad nauseam in jail. 7. Tighten, not loosen (as is now happening) accounting rules. 8. Never hire for a high government post someone who has failed utterly. Example: Larry Summers, who was one of the key leaders (along with Greenspan, Rubin and Levitt) who blocked the regulation of derivatives. That alone should have eliminated Summers from any government post. 8. Hire the people who did the right things. Example, Brooksley Born, who tried to regulate derivatives but was thwarted by the fools named above. This is just a start. Ask me again and I will come up with many more. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 17, 2009 @ 11:43 a.m.

Wow, I'm impressed.

You were called on the carpet for answers, and you lined them up in spades.

If we could get 25% of your suggestions implemented we would be on our way to fiscal recovery and responsibility. Some of the things you mention were cornerstones of H. Ross Perot's presidential bid in 1992- and why he was leading the largest state in the union by a 2 to 1, and 3 to 1 margins (in a 3 way race).

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 12:40 p.m.

Response to post #19: One of the most important steps would be to deal with the obscenely uneven distribution of wealth and income. The biggest offender is Wall Street. Recently, Goldman Sachs revealed that its average pay -- including janitors and char ladies -- was nearly $400,000 a year. Wall Street and the investment banking industry represent classic examples of the unearned increment. When economists such as Thorstein Veblen and political leaders such as Lloyd George talked about the unearned increment more a century and more ago, they were talking about real estate. But Wall Street is no different. It makes money shuffling money. It arranges mergers and acquisitions, when research shows that M&A represents the worst way to grow. (See studies by Sanford Bernstein.) In fact, most mergers and acquisitions fail. Most leveraged buyouts are out and out scams. These Wall Street firms make their money trading -- or, basically, gambling that is subsidized by government. It is activity that not only contributes nothing to the economy, but actually detracts from meaningful economic progress. That is why the biggest reforms must come in the banking and investment banking industries (as well as hedge funds and private equity firms) -- the very industries that taxpayers are bailing out. There must be compensation reform. There must be criminal cases -- jailing of Wall Street moguls, as there was in the 1930s. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 17, 2009 @ 1:47 p.m.

Response to #12: "However, the commercial real estate industry is in the megrims now." Send me to tailtucking to Webster's whydoncha? Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00. How long have you been clamoring to use that word? I'm rolling on the floor here! Beeyootiful!

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Duhbya July 17, 2009 @ 1:52 p.m.

Should have read: Send me tailtucking to Webster's whydoncha?

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 2:04 p.m.

Response to post #21: I use "megrims" as an occasional substitute for "doldrums," when the latter seems to be getting stale. I have been using "megrims" for decades. I'm sure I've used it in the Reader. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 2:06 p.m.

Response to post #22: You were close. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 2:27 p.m.

NOTE: JUDGE POSTPONES DELPHI AUCTION. New York bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain today (July 17) postponed until Tuesday an auction of Delphi Corp. assets that was supposed to take place today. A deal had been set up for Platinum Equity to buy the bankrupt auto parts maker with substantial help from General Motors, which is 60% owned by the government. The lenders, who would be getting little, had said it was a sweetheart deal, with the federal government pulling the strings. Judge Drain had questions about it, too. Some of the lenders plan to submit a credit bid for Delphi, which would involve them forgiving debt. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya July 17, 2009 @ 3:05 p.m.

"Response to post #21: I use "megrims" as an occasional substitute for "doldrums," when the latter seems to be getting stale. I have been using "megrims" for decades. I'm sure I've used it in the Reader. Best, Don Bauder"

Apparently so. I missed it previously:

By Don Bauder | Posted April 19, 2009, 7:11 a.m. "... a very good performance given the current market megrims."

By Don Bauder | Published Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 "... Newspaper megrims have also hit the New York Times"

To show a couple.

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Don Bauder July 17, 2009 @ 3:50 p.m.

Response to post #26: I don't know the derivation of the word, but it's possible a Native American was sitting next to his wigwam, his hands covering his face. Somebody asked him what was wrong. His reply: "Me grim." Best, Don Bauder

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WhatGoesAround July 20, 2009 @ 5:04 p.m.


The complaint alleged that Platinum executives “show favoritism towards female employees who consent to the employer’s sexual advances by rewarding them with money, gifts and travel, [meanwhile] promoting or rewarding women based on appearance and submission to sexual advances by PE executives, and financially supporting former employees to keep them quiet.”

Wow, more sexual intrigue and shenanigans in the corporate suites. Why Tom Gores and his fellow execs would waste a penny trying to silence this story is beyond me. Do they really think the public thinks they are upstanding pillars of chivalry and moral order? Sounds like a sequel to Citizen Kane is in order here. I'll write the script.

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Don Bauder July 20, 2009 @ 8:21 p.m.

Response to post #28: If you are writing a movie script, you will have to deal with Martin Singer, the lawyer. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 20, 2009 @ 8:30 p.m.

If you are writing a movie script, you will have to deal with Martin Singer, the lawyer. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

Marty is all show and no go.

He is probably a lot like Scott Peters, never seen the inside of a courtroom and couldn't actually try a case to verdict if his life depended on it.

If Gores wanted a lawyer to the stars, who could hold his own in a courtroom, he should have called Bert Fields.

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Don Bauder July 21, 2009 @ 7:40 a.m.

Response to post #30: When I researched Singer, I could find lots of threatening letters he composed (most substantially similar), but I didn't find that he has actually tried cases. He may have tried many, for all I know. I just didn't locate any. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 21, 2009 @ 10:47 a.m.

He has tried as many as Scott Peters has (zero).

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Don Bauder July 21, 2009 @ 3:22 p.m.

Response to post #32: I assume you checked that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 22, 2009 @ 3:33 p.m.

Response to post #34: You always do your homework. Don't tell JW I said that. Best, Don Bauder

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