SAN FRANCISCO, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Observers of California's high court anticipate a ruling on a petition to investigate corruption and remedy malicious prosecution by the State Bar Association. The decision could have far-reaching ramifications for all lawyers and clients in the state.
Attorney Philip Kay sought intervention by the California Supreme Court after Bar prosecutors colluded with a vindictive judge seeking to restore his tarnished reputation. Bar officials are already under a cloud of suspicion. They face numerous accusations ranging from ethical impropriety to criminal conspiracy and alleged bribery.
Kay is a nationally acclaimed civil rights lawyer who has been representing victims of sexual harassment and discrimination for more than 25 years. He has successfully prosecuted cases against some of the world's largest and most high-profile defendants, including the landmark 1994 sexual harassment trial of Weeks v. Baker & McKenzie.
The State Bar's current troubles grew from false charges filed by Judge Michael Anello. He presided over the 2002 case of Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Company, in which a San Diego jury awarded $30.6 million to six women represented by Kay. The plaintiffs were victims of repeated harassment and violence at the hands of an abusive store manager for this subsidiary of grocery giant Kroger.
Following the verdict, national news reports tarred Anello for his mishandling of the trial. The embarrassed judge retaliated by secretly complaining to the State Bar that he granted defendants a new trial based on attorney misconduct by Kay. Bar prosecutors exacted a three-year suspension based on the falsified evidence. Kay says he was denied even the appearance of due process, in which the suspension was entered by default without a trial.
"Judge Anello lied," says Kay. "The State Bar has admitted in its response that the defendants were not denied fair trials and that I did not interfere with the administration of justice. This false reporting is a crime."
State Bar rules require, among other things, that a charge of attorney misconduct be accompanied by evidence of disciplinary action ordered on the record during a trial. Anello never issued such an order against Kay. On the contrary, trial records and transcripts show the judge explicitly denied that Kay had committed any misconduct.
Kay provides a baseball analogy.
"The judge sits as the umpire and makes the calls during trial. The judge can consider, contemplate and adjudicate any misconduct throughout the trial. However, once the trial is over, he loses jurisdiction to issue any such orders or make any such complaints to the State Bar. Judges don't get do-overs in the State Bar."
Kay graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. He attended San Francisco Law School while working as a San Francisco Firefighter. He has been repeatedly included in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers of Northern California as a specialist in employment discrimination, harassment and whistleblower cases.
The National Law Journal named Kay to the list of "Top Ten Litigators" for 2002 and "Litigator of the Month" for May 2002.
Law Offices of Philip E. Kay
736 43rd Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94121
SOURCE Law Offices of Philip E. Kay