2003 and 2009 San Diego Union-Tribune articles RE Attorney James D.

Allen 2003 10 14 San Diego Union-Tribune article RE:Misconduct of attorney James D. Allen October 14, 2003 By Jeff McDonald An appeals court has set aside rulings from the temporary judge in a messy Coronado divorce case, saying he indirectly accepted property from an attorney representing the wife while the case was being litigated. In an opinion handed down last week, the appellate court held that San Diego lawyer James D. Allen should not have accepted an interest in the Warner Springs Ranch through an intermediary while presiding over the lawsuit. "Disqualification is mandated if a reasonable person would entertain doubts concerning the judge's impartiality," appellate judges wrote in their opinion, which was released Wednesday. The lawsuit was returned to the trial court. Allen, who then disqualified himself from the case without admitting he did anything wrong, declined to be interviewed. He directed questions to his own lawyer, Donald English, who was not available for comment late last week. Coronado attorney Frank Rogozienski and his wife, Shirley, filed for a dissolution of marriage in October 1997. Ten months later, they agreed to let Allen serve as the temporary judge in their proceeding. Because of huge caseloads, San Diego courts sometimes designate attorneys in private practice as judges for specific cases – but only when both parties consent. As with lawyers, judges are bound by specific rules of conduct. The Code of Judicial Ethics is designed to ensure fairness and impartiality on the part of judges and temporary judges. Allen has no public record of discipline by the State Bar of California, and a spokesman for that organization declined to say whether the attorney was under investigation in this case. The Rogozienski divorce, which involves about $70 million in marital assets, took years to litigate and cost tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees and court costs. Last November, Allen outlined his findings with respect to spousal support and the division of property, but both sides appealed that decision. As he pursued his appeal over the next several months, Frank Rogozienski discovered that Allen had never filed a routine disclosure certifying that the temporary judge had no conflicts in the case. Rogozienski said when he then requested such a filing, Allen failed to respond. Within weeks, Rogozienski found records showing that in February 2002 his wife's attorney, S. Michael Love, and Love's wife had transferred a half interest in Warner Springs Ranch to another lawyer, Harold S. Bottomly III, and Bottomly's wife. Another half interest in the ranch was conveyed by the Loves to Bottomly alone, court records say. The following month, that share was transferred to Allen and his wife. All of the transactions were listed as "gifts."

The back-country resort is a cooperative that offers tennis, golf, horse riding and other amenities. A half-membership, which gives owners use of the resort six months of the year, can sell for thousands of dollars. "I did not believe what I saw as I was going through the process," Frank Rogozienski said in an interview before the appellate ruling was issued. "And I still really don't believe they did this, but they did." Love maintained he did nothing inappropriate, saying in a statement that he made it clear to Bottomly during the transaction that Love could not deal directly with Allen. Love also downplayed the value of the memberships, alleging that his was "unmarketable." Nonetheless, a half-interest share of Warner Springs Ranch is being offered for sale on the Internet for $3,500. According to Love, it is not uncommon for people in an emotional divorce to lash out at the spouses or lawyers. Frank Rogozienski may simply be trying to change the outcome of his case, he suggested. "While Mr. Rogozienski's motives are unclear, it appears he is attempting to achieve through his present complaints what he could not otherwise obtain – a result in these dissolution proceedings that he deems satisfactory," he wrote. Jan Stiglitz, who teaches several courses in civil procedure at the California Western School of Law, said attorneys do not automatically make effective and fair judges. "It takes time to be a good judge," he said. "I'm not sure everyone that takes the bench instantly knows how to handle every situation that comes up. . . A lawyer may not have the same ethical antenna that a judge might."

2009 11 25 San Diego Union Tribune article RE:Misconduct of attorney James D. Allen November 25, 2009 Jury Finds Lawyer Negligent for Giving Gift to Judge Frank Rogozienski felt that something wasn't right. The judge in his divorce case kept ruling against him, including voiding a prenuptial agreement that cost Mr. Rogozienski $20 million in stock. Making matters worse, the presiding judge on the case refused to disclose any conflicts of interest he might have. Mr. Rogozienski decided to conduct his own investigation into any conflicts of interest, and discovered that the judge, James Allen, had received a timeshare condominum during the pendency of the Rogozienski divorce case. A little more digging revealed that the

friend that gave Allen the time share, received it from a San Diego lawyer named S. Michael Love. You know what's coming next. Attorney Love was the lawyer for Mr. Rogozienski's wife Shirley in the divorce proceedings. After the divorce, Mr. Rogozienski sued Love and Allen for professional negligence. Allen, a lawyer who was sitting as a private judge, was held to have judicial immunity and protected from liability. Love on the other hand, was determined to be negligent by a San Diego jury and awarded Mr. Rogozienski $800,000 in attorney's fees. From news accounts, it doesn't sound like the jury was all that fond of Mr. Rogozieski. For his emotional distress damages he was awarded 1 dollar. Both attorney Love and judge Allen are subject to a California State Bar investigation. Both have long histories in the San Diego legal community, and neither has been subject to a State Bar investigation before.