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Attorney Theodore Arthur Pinnock, who has filed more than 2,000 lawsuits against San Diego County businesses for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, was suspended for 90 days by the California State Bar on Jan. 27.

The suspension did not relate to his activities of suing businesses. According to the bar, Pinnock removed $4,000 from a client trust account.

In the bar records, Pinnock is listed as a resident of the Philippines, although his phone and fax numbers are in San Diego County.

In 2007, a judge imposed sanctions against Pinnock, ordering him to complete ethics training and pay $15,000 in legal fees. He had filed suit against a business that had been closed for two years. Pinnock is himself disabled

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 April 3, 2012 @ 12:38 p.m.

He also commingled funds from other clients totaling $27K, and was barred by a Los Angeles County Judge from filing any lawsuit in state or FEDERAL court without approval of the presiding judge. I doubt a state court judge has the legal authority to bar a lawyer from filing in federal court, which is an entirely different system.

http://www.adaabuse.com/images/vexatious_litigant_order_and_court_of_appeal_decision.pdf

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 7:08 a.m.

Yes, there was a vexatious litigant charge earlier. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK April 4, 2012 @ 8:10 a.m.

Pinnock is the personification of everything people say about corrupt lawyers.

( giving these qualities to something not considered human)

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 9:12 a.m.

By filing all those suits, and forcing barely profitable restaurants and retailers to build thousands of dollars worth of add-ons, Pinnock has incurred the wrath of a lot of independent businesses. On the other hand, he remains a hero of those who are disabled. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK April 4, 2012 @ 2:06 p.m.

If someone cares to dig deeper ( talk to the business owners) he never saw that changes were instigated, he just collected what he could to settle out of court.

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 2:08 p.m.

There are all too many lawyers who are only interested in fees. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister April 14, 2012 @ 7:32 a.m.

On the other hand, what we have here is a failure to discriminate. Between valid and invalid violations, between righteous indignation and righting the unrightable wrongs.

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 9:14 a.m.

Pinnock hasn't been the only lawyer pursuing this strategy. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2012 @ 10:36 a.m.

There was a Business and Professions code section that allowed the same type of abuses, where you could sue and collect lawyer fees. Well, long story short there were three guys out of LA doing business as the "Trevor Law Group" that did these as shake-down lawsuits-not unlike what Pinnock was doing. They were ALL disbarred. The difference is the legislature changed that B&P section to stop the abuse, and CA should do the same with the CA ADA law, this only happens in CAn't nationwide. Even Dianne Feinstein has urged the CA lawmakers to fix this problem.

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 2:06 p.m.

Trevor. Pinnock. Permit me to wander off topic. Trevor Pinnock is a great harpsichordist and conductor who has been instrumental in reviving baroque music. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 4, 2012 @ 8:02 p.m.

That is WEIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good one Don, never would have guessed.

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Don Bauder April 5, 2012 @ 7:36 a.m.

Listen to Trevor Pinnock recordings. Blissful. Best, Don Bauder

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Dave Stewart April 4, 2012 @ 10:44 a.m.

"Pinnock is the personification of everything people say about corrupt lawyers." You can say that again. Apparently, this is not his first "problem": http://members.calbar.ca.gov/courtDocs/11-Q-18101-1.pdf

Here's what he said after the latest disciplinary action: "Being born with severe cerebral palsy did not stop me. Being born poor and black did not stop me. Being in an institution for ten years did not stop me." I know it will sound bad saying this, but this guy has a huge chip on his shoulder and it seems to me as though he feels he is owed something. This guy has filed lawsuits all over the place: http://www.legislativedisgrace.com/images/1491_Pinnock_Cases_-_State.pdf

The closed business this guy filed the lawsuit against was the Sea and Shore Market in OB. The lawsuit claimed the woman he represents visited the store in March 2006 and found the front door to the store was too heavy, the counters too high, the walkways too narrow, and the bathroom inaccessible. Funny thing is, the market closed down in 2004 because it flooded. Several years ago, this guy sent a bunch of business owners in Julian, something like 60 or 70 of them, demanding that they come into compliance with the ADA and pay him $2,500 each for his "services" or he would take them to federal court. Read for yourself: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Member/Detail/153434
http://www.savejulian.com/homepage.html

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Don Bauder April 4, 2012 @ 2:11 p.m.

That's his modus operandi. It extended even to Julian. You're not even safe being in the country. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill April 5, 2012 @ 9:35 p.m.

BTW Senator Feinstein has formally requested that the CA legislature put an end to this ADA lawsuit scam. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/02/BUAJ1NSQRE.DTL However, I think the trial lawyers have a lot more say in gov't than small business owners - so doesn't seem likely.

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MURPHYJUNK April 6, 2012 @ 8:11 a.m.

I wonder if his suits in federal court will be quashed in the state system?

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Don Bauder April 7, 2012 @ 3:38 p.m.

I don't know what will happen to federal suits. Doesn't seem likely that there would be many of them, despite all the suits he files. Best, Don Bauder

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Dave Stewart April 7, 2012 @ 5:15 p.m.

Actually, he has filed hundreds of lawsuits US District Court, Southern Division, San Diego alone. He has also filed in US District Court in L.A. I don't know if it's still open, but at one time he also had an office in Walnut Creek, so I wouldn't be surprised if their were some filed in N. Ca. as well. This guy has been doing this for 20 yrs, wonder how much he has ripped people off for during that time.

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MURPHYJUNK April 8, 2012 @ 8:40 a.m.

All his bogus suits were filed in federal court ( probably so the state and local courts could not have any say in the matter)

His main issue was that the businesses he shook down were violating the civil rights of his supposed clients. ( many of whom never actually visited the businesses)

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Dave Stewart April 8, 2012 @ 1:47 p.m.

Actually, if you look at one of the links I posted,you'll fins 1491 cases filed between 2003 and 2011 and it appears that most of them actually were not filed in federal court.

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MURPHYJUNK April 10, 2012 @ 7:59 a.m.

You'r correct, I stand corrected ( and should have known better)

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Don Bauder April 7, 2012 @ 3:36 p.m.

Personally, I am not aware of Feinstein's efforts. Obviously, many attorneys and business owners complain about ADA abuses. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister April 14, 2012 @ 7:38 a.m.

Will his victims ever see any restitution?

I should note that some of his threats did bring about needed changes. A friend of mine was one of his "victims" who saw that changes to her facility needed to be made, and did so. Still, he caused a lot of unnecessary misery. She would have made the changes had she been simply asked to do so. Believe it or not, she did not understand. That's different from being indifferent.

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Don Bauder April 14, 2012 @ 9:11 a.m.

Obviously, fixing establishments to accommodate the handicapped is societally positive. However, there have been a lot of abuses along the way. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister April 14, 2012 @ 4:07 p.m.

Obviously. But the main point was about victim restitution.

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Don Bauder April 14, 2012 @ 8:45 p.m.

What do you mean by restitution? Do you mean that a restaurant that spends $8000 making the place more accommodative to the disabled should get its money back? Don't count on that. Best, Don Bauder

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