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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLE
I make this declaration from personal knowledge.
I was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in 1978
4 and California in 1981. I have general earned a decent but
5 modest income, and have paid over $200,000 in child and
6 over the years, which in fact is a reason I do not
7 have equity in my home, a retirement account, a account,
8 or any other asset or reserve to cover my bills when business
9 goes bad as my business has in latter 200B. The months of
10 - December 2008 were the worst six months, f
11 I have in 30 years of to law. It
12 is but true that I have been close to
13 destitute for several months. The suits stay at the dry cleaners
14 until lcan collect a small check for covering an appearance,
15 and that is an of everyday life at the present.
16 3) I have no assets, liabilities We are four
17 months behind in our mortgage, received a notice of foreclosure
18 yesterday, owe much more than our house is worth, are behind in
19 car payments and have no credit. In the past few months we have
20 of electricity, service, cable
21 service and email service. Health insurance has been
22 and cannot be due to condition problems.
23 My business bank account was closed for
24 overdrawn. The creditor calls come every seven a week,
25 start at 8 am. In November, I closed my office in Los
26 Angeles the landlord was a client and gave me a good
27 deal. I could not afford the rent or the cost of travel to
28 Southern California. The repe man has been stalking my wife's
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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLE
1 car. I am not exaggerating-I do not have the money to pay
2 arrearages at the moment.
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-I
The root of the problem is collections, not work. I
4 have been extremely busy. I worked most of July, August,
5 September and October in a difficult trademark case pending in
6 Federal Court in Los Angeles. I was promised payment on
7 numerous occasions, but it never came. I thought the client was
8 good for it-I was wrong. Eventually, in December the client
9 decided to surrender his trademark claims, drop out of the
10 litigation move on to other business. Bffilkruptcy was
11 threatened. At the time, the client owed me over $35,000, which
12 would have allowed me to pay all of my bills and! or completely
13 payoff this debt, which haunts me as an unpleasant ghost from
14 an ancient marriage and mistake I totally behind me. Our
15 deal called for the client to pay me at least $10,000 per month
16 on a litigation budget. The payments did not come, but I stayed
17 ·on the case for several reasons and had a reasonable expectation
18 of payment_ In hindsight, I should have bailed earlier but I
19 was attorney of record in a Federal trademark case, you cannot
20 just a client in federal court, the client was a
21 business associate of several other clients who asked me to stay
22 on and vouched fOl.- the client's credit worthiness. The client
23 had been in the business for over seven years, needed to pay me
24 and stay active in the case to stay in business and had
25 invested over $2 million and several years of work in the
26 venture. He had a product the was "hot" in Japan and was
27 generating considerable interest in Korea and I
28 reasonably thought he was a slow pay, not a no pay_
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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLE
1 5) As the motions in Federal court were being drafted and
2 taking almost all oE my time and energy during last summer and
3 fall, meetings were being held with Japanese lawyers and Korean
1 investors. Each week it appeared that much money would be
5 available "next week" , and I would not only get paid for past
6 work, but there would be $10.000 per month to budget for future
7 work. The case was far from over when the white flag went up.
B 6) When this Eell through it snowballed. Small bills
9 accumulated for months into big bills. Life was reduced to
10 working just to put food on the table and keep the lights on.
11 7) I tried to collect the $35,000 bill, and thought that
12 some money would come in -eventually. A lady from child services
13 called (Susan Sumugian(sp?)-I am uncertain of spelling and bave
14 no documents with ber name for guidance.) called several times
15 asking for a status report and money. I honestly answered her
16 questions. During this time, I had not given up and was hoping
17 that something would break and I would be able to come to court
18 with a major payment. The client was saying that he would pay
19. the bill and hoped to get back in the case periodically until
20 mid-December. It seemed somewhat probable that he would pay at
21 least $10 - $lSK, and to some extent I was waiting to get that
22 or some money in before coming into court and making a motion to
23 modify the order. Also, I was busy trying to make money and had
24 little time or money for travel to Southern California.
25 8) I live in Roseville which is over 400 miles from this
26 courthouse. Unless I sleep in the car, which I have done in the
27 past several months, it takes two tanks of gas and one night in
28 a hotel for me to make this motion. For most of the past month,
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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLE
1 I did not have enough money to drive to Los Angeles, pay for a
2 room and pay for parking as is needed to make this motion.
3 9) Things are improving but I am in a deep hole. I have
4 picked up contract work for a toxic tort firm based in Long
5 Beach, have picked up several small hourly cases and have filed
6 a major case in LASC that has been the subject of much buzz on
7 the internet. Headley v. Church of Scientology International,
a BC404958. I have been offered several contingency fee cases and
9 have taken on several "muni" court cases to generate some cash
10 flow. I do have slightly over $5,000 in accounts receivable that
11 are probably collectable, but not sure when and I need to do
12 something about stopping foreclosure as well. I do not intend to
13 be homeless on top of everything else.
14 10) I need more time to catch up and recover from the
15 problems caused by what is a deep recession, at least in my
16 business world. Paying this is a top priority because of
17 "closure" with Heather's mother. I want her out of my life. This
18 bill prevents that. $500 per month was somewhat but
19 doable if business was good. Business is not good; the economy
20 is not good, especially in the types of businesses I have been
21 working for the past several years.
22 11) I gave telephonic notice of ex parte to County
23 Counsel Susan Sumagian, at her direct dial voicemail, and to
Petitioner Deborah Smillie, at her home number 310.318-7113,
25 which notice was given more than 24 hours prior to the this ex
26 parte application. I called county counsel last week and Tuesday
27 morning,January 20 at 8,30 am. I called and left notice to Ms.
28 Smillie two days before the hearing, although I believe she is
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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLE
1 in this matter county counsel and notice to her
2 was not technically
3 I declare under of perjury under the laws of
4 California that the
is true and correct. Executed on
5 20, 2009 in Los County, California
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DECLARATION OF BARRY VAN SICKLB

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