Risk Update

Local Conflicts News — Los Angeles Appeal Axed, School Board Waiver Waived Off

Plaintiff in DWP Overbilling Suit Loses Follow-Up Battle” —

  • “The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the City of Los Angeles in a suit for damages brought by a man alleging that the city’s cover-up of the fact that then-New York lawyer Paul O. Paradis, representing him as named plaintiff in a class action over the Department of Water & Power’s massive overbilling of customers in 2013, was also working at the time for the city.”
  • “Affirmance came in a memorandum opinion by a three-judge panel, filed Tuesday, saying that any cover-up did not preclude an action against Paradis because once plaintiff Antwon Jones learned of the perfidy, there was still time to sue before the relevant statute of limitations expired.”
  • “Paradis—now disbarred and awaiting sentencing on a federal bribery count in connection with the DWP debacle—in 2015 represented the city, along with Beverly Hills practitioner Paul Kiesel, in pressing claims against the consulting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, maintaining that it was responsible for the faulty billing system that resulted in exorbitant amounts being exacted from rate-payers. It was liable, the city contended, for any refunds that the city might be compelled to make.”
  • “Jones sued the city and others on Dec. 21, 2020, claiming that because the city had covered-up Paradis’s conflict of interest, an action by him against Paradis became time-barred.”
  • “‘[B]ecause the four-year limitation period did not expire before the one-year limitation period had run, Jones had until June 2020 to sue Paradis. Because Jones decided not to sue Paradis and instead waited until December 2020 to file this action against the City, the City was not responsible for Jones losing his ability to sue Paradis within the limitation period.’ The case is Jones v. City of Los Angeles, 22-55612.”

Bill Freivogel notes:

  • Hamed v. Diaz, No. 514433/2019 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings County Sept. 6, 2023).
  • “In this medical malpractice case, involving a State of N.Y. facility, the Attorney General’s Office (‘OAG’is defending a doctor. In another case, involving the same events, Plaintiff is suing the State of New York. OAG is defending that case, as well. Plaintiff moved to disqualify OAG in this case, claiming both representations are in conflict.”
  • “In this opinion the court denied the motion, holding that the doctor’s and State’s interests are aligned. A complication is that the doctor is suing the State for wrongful termination. The OAG is not in that case, however. Plus, the grounds for termination did not involve the alleged malpractice in this case.”

Kaneland school board votes against approving waiver with law firm involved in Crown development project” —

  • “The Kaneland [Illinois] School District board voted unanimously against approving a waiver of conflict of interest with the law firm Ottosen DiNolfo Hasenbalg & Castaldo, Ltd. regarding Crown Community Development’s request for a TIF district for a proposed development at the Interstate 88 and Route 47 interchange.”
  • “It is believed that the village of Sugar Grove will be utilizing the law firm for the development of a new tax increment financing district (TIF) for The Grove, a 760-acre master-planned community at the I-88 and Route 47 interchange. Since such representation presents a conflict of interest between Ottosen DiNolfo Hasenbalg & Castaldo, Ltd., the village of Sugar Grove and the Kaneland School District, all board members voted against the waiver of conflict of interest.”
  • “‘My biggest concern is it’s a major conflict of interest,’ board member Aaron McCauley said. ‘I’d rather have somebody that’s going to focus on Kaneland, on our school district and they’re going to work with us. If we have to spend an extra couple of bucks, that’s fine. I love my wife [who is a lawyer], I’m taking her advice and going with that.'”