Lawsuits involving
Attorney Daniel
Shinoff
Defamation suit
against this website
Deposition of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz
by Maura Larkins on November 8, 2007

Pages 30 through 39
Page 31



5          Q.   Okay.  
Have you been following the Mira Costa

6     scandal?

7          A.   I have not.

8          Q.   You have not followed the Mira Costa scandal?

9          A.   No.

10          Q.   But you did see some articles about it in the

11     Union Tribune?

12          A.   I do recall, there were some articles about it,

13     yes.

14          Q.   Is the Union Tribune more careful of your ego

15     than the North County Times?

16          A.   I have no --

17               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

18     question is vague and argumentative.  Don't answer that

19     question.

20               THE WITNESS:  Not to mention that I have no

21     idea what that question meant.

22     BY MS. LARKINS:

23          Q.   Does the North -- okay.  By the way, who was

24     the attorney that checked around before he joined your

25     firm?


                                     32


1          A.   B.C. Eziolu.

2          Q.   Could you spell that?

3          A.   I believe it is spelled E-z-i-o-l-u, but I

4     could be mistaken on that.

5          Q.   Okay.  Okay.  
Now, do you know of anyone other

6     than this one individual, B.C. Eziolu, who had doubts

7     about your firm as a result of my website?

8          A.   I know that I had an inquiry from one lawyer

9     about the contents of your law firm.  His name is Bob

10     Gile, G-i-l-e.

11               I know there was at least one other client,

12     whom I had known and had a relationship with for quite

13     sometime, that asked me about the website, who was this

14     person, why was she writing these things.  And I

15     certainly assume again that any prospective client in

16     doing their due diligence will try to learn what they can

17     about the law firm.

18               For instance, when we respond to a request for

19     a proposal, and our firm is being considered along with

20     many other firms, the decision-makers, maybe an

21     individual or board members of a public entity will

22     likely do their due diligence.  And even if they have no

23     reason to believe that the statements on your website are

24     true, it may still cause concern on their part.

25          Q.   Do you believe that the public has a right to
                                     33

1  
   know about public entity attorneys?

2               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

3     question is vague and ambiguous.  If you understand the

4     question, go ahead.

5               THE WITNESS:  I'm not really sure what you are

6     asking.

7     BY MS. LARKINS:

8          Q.   Let me rephrase it.  
Should the tactics of

9     public entity attorneys be protected from public view?

10               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

11     question is vague and ambiguous in terms of the term

12     ambiguous -- in terms of the phrase tactics; and

13     protected from public view is also vague.  And I'm going

14     to instruct him not to answer.

15               THE WITNESS:  I have no idea what you are

16     asking.

17               (EXH. 2 was marked for identification.)

18     BY MS. LARKINS:

19          Q.   Okay.  I'd like to have a document marked as

20     Exhibit 2.  Thank you for taking a look at this document,

21     Mr. Artiano.  Does this newspaper article from the North

22     County Times from August 25th, 2006 look familiar to you?

23          A.   No.

24          Q.   Okay.  Uhm.  Do you want to -- do you still

25     want to refuse to read things into the record?  Would you


                                     34


1     rather I do it in the form of a question?

2               MR. SHINOFF:  Please do it in the form of a

3     question.

4     BY MS. LARKINS:

5          Q.   Okay.  Uhm.  In this newspaper article, would

6     you look at paragraph five, and would you tell me if I

7     read this correctly.  It says:  An e-mail from the Mira

8     Costa public information office Friday stated that

9     Dr. Richart, or I guess her name is Richart or something

10     like that.  Let me start over.

11               "An e-mail from the Mira Costa public

12     information office Friday stated that Dr. Richart was

13     informed this morning by college attorney Daniel Shinoff

14     that the vice president of instructional services would

15     be on leave until further notice."

16               You agree that that's what it says?

17          A.   That's what it says, yes.

18          Q.   Thank you.  When Mr. Shinoff is telling the

19     president of a college what to do, would you say that he

20     becomes a public figure at that time?

21               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

22     question is vague and argumentative.

23               THE WITNESS:  Would I say that he becomes a

24     public figure?

25     BY MS. LARKINS:


                                     35



1          Q.   Yes.

2          A.   No.

3          Q.   Oh, I should have mentioned that it is a public

4     college.  When Mr. Shinoff instructs the president of a

5     public college of an important personnel decision, is he

6     a public figure?

7          A.   No, ma'am.

8          Q.   I'd like you to look at paragraph 10.  It says:

9  
   "'On the advice of our attorneys, we really can't say

10     anything beyond the memo you got from the public

11     information office,' said Fernandez."

12               Is that true?  Does that say -- paragraph 10

13     say that?

14          A.   You have read it correctly.

15          Q.   Okay.  Uhm.  
Does your firm believe that

16     information about how personnel decisions are made by

17     public entities should be kept from the press?

18               MR. SHINOFF:  I'm going to object that the

19     question is vague and ambiguous and overly broad.  If you

20     understand the question.

21               THE WITNESS:  I have no idea what you are

22     asking.

23     BY MS. LARKINS:

24          Q.   Does your law firm believe that the public

25     should be kept from knowing how personnel decisions are
Ray Artiano deposition pg 1-29
Artiano deposition pg 30-39
Artiano deposition pg 40-58
page 36

1     made by public entities?

2          A.   I don't know if I can speak for the law firm as

3     a whole; but I can tell you this, that anything having to

4     do with the attorney-client relationship and the

5     decision-making process, which involves the

6     attorney-client relationship, is privileged information;

7     and no one other than the parties have a right to know

8     about that information.

9          Q.   
Do you think that your firm uses

10     attorney-client privilege to hide information from the

11     public that the public has a right to know?

12          A.   I know they don't.

13          
Q.   Are you aware that Mira Costa College
paid approximately $3 million for an investigation
conducted by Mr. Shinoff?

16          A.   I have no idea about amounts paid to
afford an  investigation,
nor do I have any
knowledge that Mr. Shinoff conducted an
investigation.

19          Q.   That was in the Union Tribune.

20               MR. SHINOFF:  It is not a question.

21               THE WITNESS:  I know.  You to have ask

22     questions.

23               MS. LARKINS:  I know.  I'm not a lawyer.  So I

24     know I might not do this right.

25               THE WITNESS:  I'm not here to have my time

                                               37

1     wasted.

2     BY MS. LARKINS:

3          Q.   Someone who is not a lawyer is a waste of time,

4     is that what you are saying?

5               MR. SHINOFF:  Don't respond to the

6     argumentative nature of that question.

7               MS. LARKINS:  Okay.  Actually, you weren't

8     responding to a question there.  Move to strike

9     Mr. Artiano's last statement.

10               I need to take a break, about 10 minutes.

11               MR. SHINOFF:  Okay.  Very good.

12               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  Off the record at

13     11:18 a.m.

14               (Recess.)

15               THE VIDEOTAPE TECHNICIAN:  We are back on the

16     record at 11:27 a.m.

17     BY MS. LARKINS:

18          Q.   
Mr. Artiano, what members of your firm made the

19     decision to sue me for defamation?

20          A.   It wasn't a matter of what members of the firm

21     made a decision.
 I made a decision, certainly, that

22     unless you did the right thing by correcting the

23     mistake --

24               Actually, I shouldn't call it a mistake.

25          Q.   No, you shouldn't.


                                               38


1          A.   -- of the intentional misstatements you placed

2     in your website, if you had removed that, that would have

3     obviated the need for a lawsuit.  And after I gave you

4     that opportunity to do that and you refused to do that, I

5     made the decision to go ahead and file suit.

6          Q.
  Did you do any investigation to find out if the

statements on my website were true?

8          A.   I didn't have to do any investigation, because
I knew that the allegations in your -- that are posted on    
your website are not true.

11          Q.   How closely do you follow Mr. Shinoff's
actions in his work?

13          A.   I don't follow his work.  I have known
Mr. Shinoff for approximately 30 years; and I know that
he is an extremely ethical, diligent, excellent attorney.

16               I can also speak for myself.  In one of your

17     websites, one of your website postings, it talks about

18     Stutz' partner, Ray Artiano, violating California law in

19     case after case; and I know that not to be true.

20               Moreover, I know that you didn't have any

21     involvement with me, knew nothing about any of the cases

22     that I handled, but yet you chose to make an

23     intentionally defamatory comment.

24          Q.   I noticed that you read from a document just

25     now.  Would you be willing to put that document into the

                                               39

1     record as Exhibit 3.

2          A.   You want to make a copy of it?

3          Q.   Yes.

4          A.   That would be fine.

5               You'll make a copy of this?

6               THE REPORTER:  Yes.

7               (EXH. 3 was marked for identification.)

8     BY MS. LARKINS:

9          Q.   Could I take a peak at that just to make sure

10     he didn't take something out of context.

11               Did you start your quote in the middle of a

12     sentence, Mr. Artiano?

13          A.   I don't know that I started a quote anywhere.

14          Q.   When you -- when you read from the document,

15     Exhibit Number 3, did you start your quote in the middle

16     of a sentence?

17          A.   As I said, I don't know that I quoted anywhere.

18     What I said was that you have claimed that Sutz' partner,

19     Ray Artiano, violated California law in case after case.

20          Q.   Okay.

21          A.   You have also claimed that Daniel Shinoff,

22     Jeffrey Morris and Kelly Angell have violated California

23     law in case after case.

24          Q.   When you first became aware of this

25     accusation --
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