[Editor’s notes: This report was transcribed by Heather Shannon. The editors are grateful for her invaluable assistance.
[This document retains its original spellings throughout, with corrections made only when the meaning may otherwise be unclear. In addition, where known, we have added first or last names in brackets to those identified by a single name. It should be noted that a number of names have not been annotated. The name is either unknown, there may be more than one person with that name or – most often the case – the name is in code.]
B-4 c (27)
[Handwriting: “To Carolyn Layton”]
Law Office Report #33
June 9, 1978
from June [Crym]
Vincent Lopez – [Temple attorney] [Charles] Garry did not want to get involved in this becauuse of the notoriety which follows him into court: he thinks that this is a case which should be played low, and if he took it on, everyone in the courtroom, the newspaper reporters, etc. would be alerted. They follow him into the courtrooms and ask about his cases. He would prefer that his firm not even get into the case, because sooner or later [“they” xx’d out] if Baker et aI pick up on this case and get the media onto it, his firms involvement would make it even more notorious. However, I suggested that I didnt think any outside attorney would have the understanding of our situation as do the attorneys in his firm, and he agreed, and said for me to talk to Jim Herndon about it, the attorney who represented Ujara [Don Sly] in his bus accident settlement case.
I talked to Herndon, and Herndon’s main reaction was also to play it lowkey, and he stressed that it’s not the attorney ([Eugene] Chaikin)’s responsibility to file an accounting, it’s the guardian. He suggests that we try to backpedal out of the whole thing by asking the court’s permission for Chaikin to withdraw as attorney. He asked me to call the Probate Commissioner and explain that Chaikin [is] out of the country indefinitely and that I had noticed the citation in the file for him to appear and explain why an accounting had not been filed. I should explain that the file shows how over the past several months Chalkin made several attempts to withdraw from the case, and even sent the guardian a substitution of attorneys to sign but there was no response. I should suggest having Chaikin submit an affidavit explaining how he tried to withdraw, and that there is no known estate, that Chaikin never had any control of any estate at all of the child and would not be able to account for any. [Handwriting: “JANN [Gurvich]: get from Chaikin” “no- wait until after Jim Herndon’s appearance – see what they want”] If the court would allow it, ask for a withdrawal just on the basis of the affidavit. If the court requires a formal appearance, Herndon is willing to help prepare the motion to withdraw and supporting declaration; he says that Chaikin would have to sign it in front of a notary public and most likely have it certified also at the American Consulate in Georgetown, to satisfy California Courts.
Herndon looking at the case in longrange suggests you check out over there the possibility of Vincent filing for emancipation in Guyana; hels been away from his guardian and family for 2 years and he’s independent, working, etc. Or, consider the possibility of someone there filing for guardianship in the Guyana court for Vincent. [Handwriting in margin: “not a bad idea. should maybe check out the procedure [illegible word”] (I didnot mention what I was thinking — that the current pressure in the Guyana courts with the TOS case may cause us to not consider other court cases being pursued by us in Guyana.)
I called the Probate Commissioner today (6/9) and spoke to his research assistant, who checked personally with him – decision is: absolutely no continuance, there will be a bench warrant out for Chaikin’s arrest if he or someone for him does not appear June 19 and explain why no accounting or present an accounting. I talked with Jim Herndon afterwards; he took the file and will do an appearance for Chaikin June 19. He will call me and have more to say next week.
B-4 c (28)
Law Office Report #33
June 9, 1978
2. Barbara Hoyer – Last year it was determined that due to her sizeable income and her dependents overseas that she would open a checking account and make deposits and send support payments over for her dependents, and reflect this on her tax return at the end of the year. She never got clear directions last year and so nothing was done–same thing is happening thise year. A checking account exists; however, neither she nor James know how to proceed on doing the support part. Please give some specific feedback on how to handle this. She has been working heavey overtime to get more income; however, if she ends up having to pay a greater tax on it because of no itemization of support and no documentation to back up such support when she files her 1978 taxes, why bother to work overtime? [Handwriting: “Check with Chaikin and Tish [Leroy] (circled) on this”]
[Handwriting: “Priority”] Also, I sent over her 1977 W-2 twice, the first time it was sent back to me, I do not know why since she is married to Tim Carter and requires a joint return be filed with his signature. We have not received that tax return back from Tish yet and would appreciate your checking into it – Barbara would be a 50% contribution, I’m sure.. [Handwriting: “50% contrib. + Husband only.”]
3. [Handwriting: “This is taken care of as far as [illegible; could be “SFCo,” San Francisco County] has said.”] 3. Marshall Farris divorce [circled] – I must have a psychological block against marriage/divorce because as Chaikin well knows, I have always managed to ignore needed work on cases involving that kind of legal problem. Marshall’s wife sued him for divorce in January, her attorney served him by mail in Guyana, and you sent his reply letter here to be mailed to her attorney with notes from Jan Gurvich directing me to find him an attorney. I mailed his letter to her attorney but then Jan’s notes got buried in thetax stuff and I forgot about it. Discovered her directions last week; had someone go down to the courthouse and get copies of the divorce court papers; the wife has now filed request for default, as of June 1 and the attorney for the wife has mailed Marshall a copy. I called Clarence Wilridge [name circled] who has taken a lot of referrals from chaikin on personal injury suits, and he said bring the papers in, he will call her attorney and request to put aside the default so he can file a proper response for Marshall Farris. He was quite friendly; I was surprised, considering all themedia flak lately. Enclosed for your files (if you have any… that’s a joke folks) are copies of all of the divorce papers. The court did not enter the default that was requested; that may be because of the South America address of Marshall Farris – the court may be allowing him time to respond to the request for default – anyway, usually in divorce cases if something like this happens, the oth er side usually concedes and allows the responding party to respond. [Handwriting: “Reques 30 day NOTICE before filing – so we should be o.k.”]
B-4 c (29)
Law Office Report #33
June 9, 1978
4. We got another letter from Marietta Davis, see attached. [Handwriting: “fuck her.”]
5. Following are notes from yesterdays meeting with [temple attorney Charles] Garry – these are piecemeal and should be combined with Jean’s – am putting them in this report because I just found out when I came home from work that someone going over tonight…
[Handwriting: “Consolidation”] The main theme with Garry right now is that he is studying differeng angles of the case and has made no final decision – today (6/9) he said he doesnt think he’ll be able to persuade the court to grant change of venue out of Mendocino County. [Handwriting: “bad news”, “he said he doesnt think he’ll be able to persuade the count to grant change of venue out of Mendocino County.” underlined; “bad news”] in the libel suit. This does not mean he will not try. But he’s worried [Handwriting: circled] about it. He is waiting for the written material from Guyana before he makes any final decisions. [Handwriting: “what written material”, did we get Maria’s stuff about her father? How about the lie detectors”]
Also the big news today was that he sent a letter to the Press Democrat enclosing our letter of specific contradictions in the press on the Kathy Hunter episode, and demanded as our attorney that they print our letter of contradictions. This was in reaction to the full page article in the Press Democrat yesterday on Kathy Hunter’s “trek” into Guyana…
[Handwriting: entire section from here down left bracketed with text “notes from 6/8”] Garry spoke to the attorney for the SF Examiner re our demand for retraction; the attorney agreed with Garry about our objection to the mention of terrorism in the headline, and the Examiner will printing some kind of retraction…
Garry is worried that they have served the corporation. He says he’s got to know how much of the property assets in the name of P.T. exist – that would beproperty (real estate property) recorded inthe name of P.T.
He estimates we are 7 to 10 months away from trial.
He wants to get venue changed and out of Mendocino County. He is aware that [former Temple attorney Timothy] Stoen is friends with the court there. At first he wanted to get Stoen out of the case, but the more he thinks about it, he is now considering the possiblity of keeping Stoen in, who is in his eyes emotional and subjective about the case. If Stoen were disbarred or taken off the case, he’s liable to get a professional, calculating good attorney who would make it a whole lot more difficult. He says Stoen has not prepared this lawsuit well. He has not asked for punitive damages well, and he has not alleged malice. Garry does not want to bring up the question of why did he not allege malcie [malice], because he would be “educating” the other side, feeding them info. [Handwriting: “agreed”]
He’s considering taking Katsaris’ deposition, needs to see Maria’s info, immediately.
letter. Wa[n]ts detailed background on Katsaris, personal [Handwriting: “done”]
Re Kathy Hunter – he wants he wants to know if Jim was physically on the progect
or up river like Michael Prokes said he was when Prokes told Kathy Hunter he was not on the project. He wants to know what really happened. [Handwriting: “send him Tim Carter version”
B-4 c (30): Letter from Marietta Davis referenced on B-4 c (29) [Handwriting: “write her that it is no obligation of P.T. but we have forwarded her letter to Mr. Davis. CC to D.A. DO NOT PAY”]
B-4 c (31): Child support payments due Marietta Davis
B-4 c (32-33): Settlement agreement between Marietta Davis and Robert Davis
B-4 c (34-35): Request to enter default in marriage of Arguster Farris and Marshall Farris
B-4 c (36): Letter from Marshall Ferris to John Toker
B-4 c (37-39): Registered letter to Marshall Farris from Arguster Farris’s attorney, John Toker
B-4 c (40-46): Court filings for Arguster and Marshall Farris
B-4 c (47-66): Duplicates of B-4 c (27-46)