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Electronically FILED by Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles on 07/13/2021 10:07 AM Sherri R.

Carter, Executive Officer/Clerk of Court, by J. Lara,Deputy Clerk

1 Edward M. Robbins, Jr., Esq., State Bar No. 82696


Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez, P.C.
2 9150 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300
Beverly Hills, California 90212-3414
3 Telephone: (310) 281-3247
Facsimile: (310) 859-5129
4 E-mail: EdR@taxlitigator.com
5 Court Appointed Special Master
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7 SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
8 FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT
UNLIMITED JURISDICTION
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ANTWON JONES, individually Lead Case No.: BC577267 [Related
11 and on behalf of the class, Cases Nos. BC536272, BC565618,
12 BC568722, BC571664, BC594049,
BC574690]
13 Plaintiffs,
14 v. NOTICE OF FILING THE
SPECIAL MASTER’S FINAL
15 REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
16 CITY OF LOS ANGELES, et al.,
Dept: SSC6
17 Defendants. Judge: Honorable Elihu M. Berle
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19 NOTICE

20 Notice is hereby given to all parties in the case and action of Jones v. City of

21 Los Angeles and the related cases: Kimhi v. City of Los Angeles (Case No.

22 BC536272); Bransford v City of Los Angeles (Case No. BC565618); Morski v. Dept.

23 of Water & Power (Case No. BC568722); Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles

24 Department of Water and Power (Case No. BC571664); City of Los Angeles v.

25 PwC (Case No. BC574690); Antwon Jones v. City of Los Angeles (Case No.

26 BC577267), and Macias v. Dept. of Water & Power (Case No. BC594049),

27 collectively “Related Cases”, that the Special Master’s Report on The

28 Investigation Into Any Violations Surrounding The Case and Action of Jones v.
City of Los Angeles and Related Cases
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1 was filed with the Court on Monday, July 12, 2021.
2 A copy of the three volume Report, without the exhibits, is attached hereto.
3 The exhibits will be filed separately.
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5 Dated: July 13, 2021 Respectfully submitted,

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EDWARD M. ROBBINS, JR.
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Report on The Investigation Into Any Violations
Surrounding The Case and Action of Jones v.
City of Los Angeles and Related Cases

Volume I of III

Special Master Edward M. Robbins, Jr.

Submitted Pursuant to the Order of the Honorable Elihu Berle


Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California


April 2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME I

INTRODUCTION TO THE REPORT ....................................................................................... 2

Pre-filing Collusion Findings ....................................................................................................... 6


Collusion Coverup and Misrepresentations Findings ....................................................... 7

Financial Audit ................................................................................................................................. 11


Conclusions Regarding Ethics Breaches ............................................................................... 11
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................................................... 13

Summary of Findings ................................................................................................................... 14

1. Relationships of the Parties ............................................................................................. 14

2. Genesis of the Related Cases .......................................................................................... 17

3. Filing and Settlement of Jones v. City ........................................................................ 25

4. Financial Audit ...................................................................................................................... 34

Ultimate Factual Findings ............................................................................................................. 34

Volume II .......................................................................................................................................... 1-379

Volume III ......................................................................................................................................... 1-170

1
INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL MASTER’S REPORT

The City of Los Angeles (“the City”) is a public entity with divisions, departments
and bureaus under its control. The government of the City consists of approximately
42 departments and bureaus each of which are headed by General Managers or
advisory or controlling boards or commissions appointed by the mayor, subject to
confirmation of the City Council. The City provides water and electric service to
certain residents of the City and the County of Los Angeles through the City’s
Department of Water & Power (“DWP”).

At all times relevant, DWP was the largest municipal utility in the United States,
with an annual operating budget of $5.5 billion. DWP provides water and electric
service to approximately 4 million residents and has 1.4 million customers
(“ratepayers”). The DWP and its ratepayers contract for DWP to provide the
ratepayers with water and power. As a revenue-producing proprietary department,
the DWP transfers a portion of its annual estimated electric revenues to the City’s
general fund. In 2014 the DWP transferred $253 million to the City. DWP's
operations are financed solely by the sale of water and electric services. Capital
funds are raised through the sale of bonds. DWP receives no direct tax support from
government. DWP pays no federal or state income taxes on its profits. A five-
member Board of Water and Power Commissioners establishes policy for the DWP.
The Board members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council
for five-year terms.

In September 2013, the DWP launched a new customer information system (CIS) to
assist it in managing some of its core business operations, including billing for power
and water usage. As part of the new CIS the DWP replaced its forty-year old billing
system with a new "Customer Care & Billing System" ("CC&B System") configured
and implemented by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP ("PwC"). The launch of CIS
was a disaster. The City hired TMG Consulting, Inc., a utility‑focused information
technology advisory firm, to prepare a "Root Cause Analysis" report titled Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power Approach for CCB/MWM Stabilization
Root Cause Analysis dated August 25, 2014. The report says that the DWP was still
attempting to resolve defects that existed during its consumer information system
(CIS's) development. The report represents TMG's root cause analysis of what went
wrong with the project. Its analysis confirmed that the department's decision to
launch CIS when it did was a poor one. The report summarizes the causes TMG
identified as contributing to the launch's problems. The report also identifies the
DWP's ineffectiveness at addressing root causes during CIS's first year of operation
as a reason that "collections have hit unmanageable levels," and it describes CIS as

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in a state of "continuing instability," which it largely attributes to defects in the
system and the DWP management. The CC&B System largely escapes blame in the
TMG Report.

By the end of 2014, the City had lost hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed
revenue due to billing problems with the CC&B System and had suffered from
scathing and relentless attacks in the media about the billing debacle. In addition,
due to DWP’s failure to resolve ratepayer complaints and ongoing issues with the
new CC&B System, four putative billing class action lawsuits ("Other Class
Actions”) were filed against the City in 2014 and early 2015:

• Kimhi v. The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court
(“LACSC”) Case No. BC536272, filed February 13, 2014 (the “Kimhi
Class Action”);
• Bransford v. City of Los Angeles, LACSC, Case No. BC565618, filed
December 4, 2014 (the “Bransford Class Action”);
• Morski v. City of Los Angeles, LASC, Case No. BC568722, filed
January 7, 2015 (the “Morski Class Action”); and
• Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles, LACSC, Case No. BC571664, filed
February 5, 2015 (the “Fontaine Class Action”) (collectively, the “Other
Class Actions”).

The first of the Other Class Actions generally alleged that since the implementation
of the CC&B System, DWP had improperly overcharged its customers, sent delayed
bills, improperly estimated bills, failed to investigate problems, and failed to provide
customers with appropriate refunds or credits.

Against this backdrop, we turn to the inner workings of the Los Angeles City
Attorney’s Office at the end of 2014. The Los Angeles City Attorney is an elected
official who serves as the city of Los Angeles' government’s lawyer and as a criminal
prosecutor for misdemeanor violations. In addition, the General Counsel Division of
the office provides legal counsel for the city and represents it in civil actions.

At its apex, the office has a City Attorney. Two attorneys directly report to the City
attorney: The Chief Deputy City Attorney essentially an executive officer for the
City Attorney who presides over the entire office, followed by the Chief Assistant
City Attorney who presides over the Civil Litigation component of the office. A
group of attorneys working for the office of the City Attorney are assigned full time
to represent the DWP and are at the offices of the DWP. This DWP group is
supervised by a General Counsel for DWP. Besides managing DWP’s day-to-day

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legal operations and supervising a staff of 38 attorneys in various specialties, the
General Counsel formulates and implements the legal strategies pertaining to DWP’s
renewable energy portfolio, alternative energy developments, litigation, facility
upgrades, complex regulatory issues, labor relations, environmental matters, and
water supply and distribution issues. Directly reporting to the General Counsel is an
Assistant General Counsel and below them are the rest of the attorney staff assigned
full time to represent the DWP.

The players under discussion employed full time by the City are:

City Attorney: Michael N. Feuer


Chief Deputy City Attorney: James P. Clark
Chief Assistant City Attorney (Civil Litigation Branch): Thomas H. Peters
DWP General Counsel and Senior Assistant City Attorney: Richard M. Brown
(retired in 2016), then Joseph A. Brajevich
DWP Assistant General Counsel: Richard Tom
DWP Deputy City Attorney: Eskel H. Solomon
DWP Deputy City Attorney: Debra Dorney

The City Attorney also has the authority to hire outside lawyers to assist and
represent the City in litigation. The lawyers overtly hired by the City Attorney are:

Angela C. Agrusa, from Liner LLP


Maribeth Annaguey, from Liner LLP
Paul R. Kiesel, from Kiesel Law LLP
Paul Paradis, Paradis Law Group

By the end of 2014, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (“DWP”) was
enmeshed in a public relations firestorm resulting from the DWP’s ongoing failure
to provide reliable billing services to its over 1.5 million ratepayers. Lawyers in the
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (“LACA”), along with retained Special Counsel
for the City of Los Angeles (“City”), hatched a three-part plan beginning in
December 2014, to take control of the ever-worsening DWP billing debacle by: (1)
shifting blame in the press from DWP to its billing-system consultant PwC; (2) suing
PwC for damages (City v. PwC); and (3) getting rid of the other class action suits
filed against the City through orchestrating a competing class action suit to become
the lead suit, filed by a ratepayer client who had unknowingly retained the City’s
Special Counsel (Jones v. PwC).

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By mid-February 2015, Michael Feuer, James Clark, Thomas Peters (the City
Attorney and his two top deputies), Richard Brown, Eskel Solomon, Richard Tom,
Deborah Dorny (LACA attorneys specifically assigned to represent the DWP), and
DWP Board President Meldon Levine all knew most or all of this three-part plan.
The plan included Paul Paradis and his partner Gina Tufaro (two New York lawyers
working for the City as Special Counsel) who, along with a Los Angeles lawyer,
Paul Kiesel, were simultaneously representing both the City and Antwon Jones, a
DWP ratepayer, in the two suits contemplated against PwC. Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters,
Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny all knew that Antwon Jones was the
ratepayer represented by Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel. The City’s outside
retained counsel from Liner LLP (the “Liner Firm”), Maribeth Annaguey and
Angela Agrusa, voiced objections to the three-part plan, which led the City to a mid-
February decision to drop Jones v. PwC and swap in Jones v. City, a “white knight”
suit that would be the prime class action and would sideline the other ratepayer class
action suits then pending against the City.

The “white knight” suit was created through Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel’s
handpicking of friendly plaintiff’s lawyers (Jack Landskroner of Cleveland and
Michael Libman of Los Angeles) to file a Paradis-drafted complaint against the City
(Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel’s client) and mail a Paradis-drafted settlement offer to
Mr. Paradis’s, Ms. Tufaro’s, and Mr. Kiesel’s other client, the City. Mr. Paradis
drafted the Jones v. City class action complaint for his client Antwon Jones publicly
accusing his other client, the City, of a host of bad actions against Mr. Jones and the
Class members, including fraud and deceit, unjust enrichment, negligent
misrepresentation, violation of city ordinances, and on and on, and continued to
parrot the theme from their earlier Jones v. PwC draft complaint blaming the DWP’s
problems on PwC’s work on the DWP’s billing system.

It was critical for the City to conceal the fact that the City was, in substance, suing
itself in the Jones v. City civil action. A real civil action must be prosecuted by one
party against another for the declaration, enforcement, or protection of a right, or the
redress or prevention of a wrong. See CCP § 30 (Civil action defined). Exposure of
the facts behind filing Jones v. City would, at a minimum, destroy the City’s
modified three-part plan.

The City’s plan almost worked, but eventually the Court and the lawyers for PwC
unraveled the City’s egregious plan.

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Pre-filing Collusion Findings:

Despite the City’s public assertion that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, without the
knowledge of anyone in the City, went “rogue” in handing off the Jones v. City
complaint to Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman, the evidence supports a finding that
the City directed and assisted in the City suing itself with a sham lawsuit. Evidence
of collusion includes:

• The City was motivated to create Jones v. City as a vehicle for ending its
public relations problem from the DWP’s billing fiasco, for getting rid of the
other class action cases, and for settling the ratepayer claims on terms it
dictated with the imprimatur of a court settlement.

• The City provided non-public data to Mr. Paradis to be incorporated into the
Jones lawsuit;

• Mr. Paradis provided a copy of his client Mr. Jones’s draft complaint in Jones
v. PwC to his other client, the City without authorization from Mr. Jones;

• Mr. Paradis never told Mr. Jones about his dual representation of Mr. Jones
and the City;

• LACA attorneys knew that Mr. Paradis was drafting a “second complaint”
after the City had killed Jones v. PwC, when the phrase “second complaint”
could only refer to Jones v. City;

• The close relationship between former partners Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Peters.

• The close relationship between Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner, and Mr.
Paradis’s telling Mr. Solomon in March 2015 that a Cleveland lawyer would
be suing the City;

• “White knight” discussions in March 2015 between inside (Messrs. Solomon


and Tom) and outside counsel (Ms. Annaguey), which refer to the eventual
Jones v. City complaint, and which discussions Mr. Solomon informed Ms.
Dorny;

• The City had information that Mr. Paradis drafted the Notice of Claim, the
Complaint and Settlement Offer for Mr. Jones against the City in Jones v. City
and the City made no inquiries, rather the City remained silent;

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• The speed at which the City pounced on the Jones v. City settlement offer,
compared with slow-walking settlement discussions with the lead class
plaintiff’s lawyer Tim Blood, resulting in the City’s lead outside counsel
telling Mr. Landskroner during the first settlement discussion they already had
settlement terms worked out;

• The negotiation of fees within days of filing Jones v. City and well before
settling the class claims — including ways of structuring fees;

• Mr. Clark’s truthful February 2019 PMQ deposition testimony he changed to


untruthful statements through an errata sheet after other LACA attorneys and
Outside Counsel convinced him to do so; and

• The participation by LACA attorneys, Outside Counsel, and Special Counsel


in covering up the Jones v. PwC and Jones v. City facts, which demonstrates
consciousness of guilt as they would not have been motivated to lie to the
Court unless they knew they had something to hide.

Collusion Coverup and Misrepresentations Findings:

The coverup started no later than in February 2015 and ran through at least February
2019, and arguably later, and included these actions and inactions, among others:

• A remarkable absence of communication between and among the City’s


attorneys in response to the filing of Jones v. City.

• Absence of any inquiry from the City’s attorneys regarding the provenance of
Mr. Landskroner and how he possessed what was obviously confidential
DWP data.

• The City’s swift action to freeze out the other class action cases for quickly
settling with Mr. Landskroner. Within six weeks of filing the Jones case, and
with no responsive pleading, let alone discovery, the parties went to mediation
before Judge Tevrizian (Ret.).

• Attorneys participating in the mediation on behalf of the City failed to inform


Judge Tevrizian of the attorney-client relationship of one of the City’s lead
negotiators, Mr. Paradis, with the plaintiff, Mr. Jones; failed to inform Judge
Tevrizian that Mr. Paradis had prepared the complaint, claims notice, and
settlement offer for Mr. Jones against the City and had selected Mr.

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Landskroner as counsel for Mr. Jones; failed to inform Judge Tevrizian that
the parties had essentially agreed on all major terms of the settlement within
a few weeks after Jones v. City was filed; and staged the mediation so it
appeared “contentious.” All this was done so Judge Tevrizian would think
the mediation was an arm’s-length lawsuit and would not know the City was
colluding with Mr. Landskroner to create a settlement most favorable for the
City.

• Mr. Blood, lead representative of the Other Class actions, complained bitterly
to the City Attorney that the City had engaged in secret settlement discussions
regarding the overbilling litigation, and had excluded from those discussions
the attorneys litigating the class actions months before Jones v. City had been
filed, in favor of negotiating with a Cleveland attorney with the least amount
of relevant experience and who had done the least work on the class actions.

• In June 2015, in connection with the City’s efforts to beat back Mr. Blood’s
attempt to force disclosure of the tentative deal based on suspicions of
collusion, Mr. Paradis apparently contacted Judge Tevrizian and convinced
him that the attorneys for the City and Mr. Jones should be ordered to not
disclose the settlement or the MOU to Mr. Blood and others who, unknown
to Judge Tevrizian, could uncover the collusive genesis of Jones v. City.

• On August 1, 2015, the City was informed by outside counsel Maribeth


Annaguey that the amount of attorneys’ fees proposed by Judge Tevrizian
(who was unaware of the collusive nature of the settlement and the minimal
work actually done by Mr. Landskroner, LGM, and Mr. Libman) was
excessive and the litigation risk was nominal. Ms. Annaguey identified over
twenty reasons why a settlement figure for attorneys’ fees in the 7 figures may
be difficult to support. Those reasons included that: (1) the DWP had
committed to refunding its customers even before litigation was filed; (2)
DWP had virtually admitted liability publicly; (3) no discovery or motion
practice had been conducted; (4) Mr. Landskroner had done little
demonstrable work; and Mr. Blood had initiated settlement discussions with
the DWP before the Jones lawsuit was filed.

• Beginning in August 2015, Mr. Landskroner repeatedly lied to the Court,


falsely claiming he conducted a pre-filing investigation, he drafted the
complaint, and he prepared the settlement letter, when Mr. Paradis did all
three. He also falsely claimed to have investigated Cleveland Water’s failed
billing system and this gave him special expertise that allowed him to

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negotiate a settlement. Mr. Landskroner’s bills falsely supported these claims
by showing work he did not perform beginning in November 2013, which was
a fraud on the Court and the taxpayers.

• Beginning September 2015, Mr. Libman was present when Mr. Landskroner
made false claims of pre-filing investigation to the Court and remained silent
while Mr. Landskroner orally lied to the Court on this issue.

• In August 2015, Mr. Landskroner swapped out his own name for Mr.
Paradis’s in Mr. Paradis’s engagement letter with Mr. Jones and backdated
the engagement letter to December 11, 2014, attempting to cover up that he
was only engaged just days before Jones v. City was filed.

• In November 2015, Ms. Annaguey falsely asserted the City did not approach
Mr. Blood to drop his suit and join a ratepayer class action against PwC, and
in February 2017, disingenuously declared that Mr. Landskroner’s
relationship with Mr. Paradis was available through docket searches, knowing
full well that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner were co-counsel in then-
pending litigation.

• Mr. Landskroner, in opposition to Mr. Blood’s ex parte motion to lift the


discovery stay, falsely represented that he had no prior relationship with either
the City Attorney or the Liner Firm, failing to disclose his relationship with
Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro both with their joint representation of Mr. Jones
and other pending class action matters.

• In April 2018, Ms. Tufaro signed a Notice of Motion and Memorandum of


Law supporting the City’s motion to quash PwC’s PMQ deposition notice; the
memorandum falsely described the Jones v. City draft complaint as an
“internally circulated” document drafted by the City’s attorneys at the City’s
request to aid the City’s counsel in providing the City with legal advice and
attaching Mr. Peters’s false declaration

• The April 2018 declaration of Mr. Peters falsely characterized Jones v. PwC
as merely an “exercise” for the City, when Mr. Peters knew Mr. Paradis
intended to sue PwC on Mr. Jones’s behalf. His knowledge is evidenced by
the City’s efforts to get Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb to sign tolling
agreements, dismiss their cases against the City, and join a class action case
against PwC (i.e., Jones v. PwC) (Mr. Peters signed the tolling agreements on
behalf of the City). Mr. Peters also knew of the proposed conflict waiver

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language regarding Mr. Jones in Mr. Paradis’s and Mr. Kiesel’s February
2015 draft engagement letter with the City. Mr. Peters also intentionally failed
to prepare for his PMQ deposition so he could claim lack of knowledge about
these essential subjects and hide behind Mr. Paradis’s invocation of attorney-
client privileges, even though as the supervising attorney for the City, Mr.
Feuer had specifically directed him to review and have final say in all claims
of privilege by the City in City v. PwC.

• In February 17, 2017, Mr. Tom signed a declaration filed with the Court that
falsely described the City’s purported remediation efforts as conducted at the
direction and under the supervision of the City’s attorneys since September
2014, to assist those attorneys in providing the City with legal advice. The
declaration was intended to throw an improper work product privilege over
the City’s remediation efforts.

• On January 30, 2019, Mr. Peters represented to the Court that the City
Attorney would be transparent and would produce all requested documents at
the PMQ deposition where Mr. Clark would be PMQ, but inconsistent with
this representation, Mr. Peters later that day downloaded but did not open the
file from Mr. Kiesel labeled PMQ responsive documents because he wanted
to keep the documents from PwC, even though the documents had to be
produced. Further, even though Mr. Peters knew Mr. Paradis had responsive
documents, he did not push Mr. Paradis to provide any documents, thus
continuing the City’s coverup through at least the end of February 2019.

• On March 14, 2019, Mr. Clark signed an errata sheet to “correct” over 50 of
his original, truthful testimony statements originally confirming many aspects
of the collusion after he met with the City’s other lawyers to discuss his
deposition testimony.

• During her June 5, 2019, deposition, Ms. Annaguey testified falsely where she
defended her admitted earlier false statement made in a November 2015 reply
brief (she said that Mr. Blood lied when he said that the City solicited him to
dismiss his case against the City and join a suit against PwC, but in fact Mr.
Blood was truthful). Ms. Annaguey defended herself by claiming her false
statement in that reply brief was innocent and was based on discussions with
Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny at the time and that she first learned
of the tolling agreement/dismissal plan after late January 2019. However, a
memorandum she and Ms. Agrusa authored on February 17, 2015, noted that
Mr. Blood’s firm had “allegedly agreed to voluntarily dismiss the DWP from

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the Bransford matter and to substitute in PwC as the defendant.” Her
deposition testimony was knowingly false, just like her original false
statement in the November 2015 reply brief.

• In August 2019, counsel for the City was less than forthcoming with the Court
with the discussion of the “white knight” and the email in the City’s
possession regarding the internal discussions about the “white knight.”

• When the City’s collusive scheme unraveled, Messrs. Landskroner, Paradis


and Wright invoked the Fifth Amendment to block their further testimony.

Financial Audit

The Special Master did not complete a financial audit regarding fee and financial
arrangements between and among the players because the Special Master postponed
interviews and subpoenas to avoid affecting an overlapping federal criminal
investigation. The Special Master’s Report has included an appendix setting forth
financial information relevant to this issue and the overall report which is
informative to the overall report. See Appendix C (“Questionable Payments”). If
directed by the Court, the Special Master will continue to re-evaluate this decision.

Ultimate Conclusions Regarding Ethics Breaches 1

• Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel violated the ethical rules against
dishonesty, deceit, and collusion and violated their ethical duties to Mr. Jones
and the Court in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct.

• LACA attorneys Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms.
Dorny violated the ethical rules against dishonesty, deceit, and collusion and
violated their ethical duties to the Court in violation of Rules of Professional
Conduct.

• Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Agrusa violated the ethical rules against dishonesty,
deceit, and collusion and violated their ethical duties to the Court in violation
of Rules of Professional Conduct.

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A detailed breakdown of these violations may be found in Appendix E in Volume III.
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• Mr. Landskroner violated the ethical rules against dishonesty, deceit, and
collusion and violated his ethical duties to Mr. Jones and the Court in violation
of Rules of Professional Conduct.

• Mr. Libman violated the ethical rules against dishonesty, deceit, and collusion
and violated his ethical duties to the Court in violation of Rules of Professional
Conduct.

• The Special Master could not determine, and is therefore not reaching
conclusions, as to whether any lawyer violated ethical duties stemming
exclusively from his or her obligations to supervise subordinate lawyers.

• Further, where the Special Master has evidence of wrongdoing but due to an
absence of evidence in the possession of the Special Master that an attorney
conclusively engaged in ethical misconduct, this Report does not specifically
note the existence of some, but not enough, evidence of wrongdoing.

• Consistent with the Court’s Order appointing the Special Master, this Report
does not address the conduct of DWP employees, all of whom are nonlawyers
who did not appear before the Court and did not submit false declarations.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
By Order dated June 17, 2019, the Court appointed Edward M. Robbins, Jr., as
Special Master “to assist the Court in determining the full extent of any violations
surrounding the case and action of Jones v. City of Los Angeles” and the related cases
of Kimhi v. City of Los Angeles, Bransford v. City of Los Angeles, Morski v. Dept.
of Water & Power, Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles v.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and Macias v. Dept. of Water & Power. The Court
assigned the Special Master the duty to investigate and report to the Court on these
areas:

1. Relationships: Any relationships that pre-existed filing the related cases


between and among counsel representing the City and counsel of record in the
related cases and the extent to which these pre-existing relationships led to the
naming of counsel in Jones, including relationships between and among: the
City; Mr. Paradis and his law firm, Paradis Law Group, PLLC (“PLG”); Mr.
Kiesel and his law firm, Kiesel Law, LLP (“KL”); Michael Libman and his
law firm; Mr. Landskroner and his law firm, Landskroner Grieco Merriman,
LLC (“LGM”); and Antwon Jones.

2. Genesis: The genesis of the related cases, including the representation of Mr.
Jones, ethical duties owed the Court and Mr. Jones, the facts and
circumstances surrounding the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, the filing and
settlement of Jones v. City, collusion and misrepresentations to the Court, and
other matters. The Court directed the Special Master to “make findings about
any impropriety, fraud, collusion, unethical conduct, violations of the rules of
professional conduct or any fraud upon the Court as part of the class action
and all related actions.”

3. Financial Matters: All financial matters relating to payments by the City of


Los Angeles (“the City”) in connection with the settlement of the Jones case,
the remediation of the DWP billing system and payments to Paul Kiesel, to
Paul Paradis, to entities in which Mr. Paradis or Jack Landskroner have an
interest and all other payments in connection with the related cases.

This Report contains three written sections identified as Volume I, Volume II and
Volume III. Volume I contains an Introduction and this Executive Summary.
Volume II contains three timelines stating the facts pertaining to the identified
periods of time:

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Volume II Timeline One of the Report (2013 to April 1, 2015) discusses the genesis
of the Jones v. PwC draft complaint and the City v. PwC complaint; the genesis and
drafting of the Jones v. City complaint; the relationship of the City with Mr. Paradis,
Mr. Kiesel and their firms; and the formation of the relationship of Mr. Jones with
Mr. Paradis, PLG, Mr. Kiesel, KL, Mr. Landskroner, LGM, and Mr. Libman.

Volume II Timeline Two of the Report (April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015)
discusses filing the complaint in Jones v. City; negotiations between Mr.
Landskroner and the City, including the mediation sessions before the Honorable
Dickran Tevrizian, U.S. Dist. Judge (Ret.); the DWP’s contract with PLG to provide
project management services for the remediation of the CC&B billing system; and
the motion for preliminary approval of the Jones settlement. It ends with the order
conditionally granting preliminary approval of the Jones settlement.

Volume II Timeline Three of the Report (2016 through 2019) addresses the
preliminary and final approval of the Jones v. City settlement; the DWP’s $30
million contract for project management services with Aventador Utility Solutions,
LLC (“Aventador”), which was wholly-owned by Mr. Paradis; the City’s abuse of
the discovery process in City v. PwC to hide the Jones v. PwC draft complaint; and
the City’s effort to mislead the Court about the relationship of Mr. Paradis to Mr.
Jones and the collusive nature of the Jones settlement to shift to PwC the cost
incurred because of the failed implementation of the CC&B billing system and the
Jones settlement.

Volume III contains thirteen appendices, including Appendix A which delineates the
mechanics of using the electronic copy of the Report and accessing the Exhibits.

The Report’s findings are summarized below, beginning with the relationship of the
parties and the genesis of the lawsuit against PwC and Jones v. City.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

1. Relationships of the Parties

Before December 2014, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and PLG had been co-counsel with
Mr. Kiesel and KL in several consumer class action lawsuits. Mr. Paradis had no
prior relationship with the City Attorney, or any attorney employed by the City
Attorney. Mr. Kiesel and his wife had donated $2,000 to Mr. Feuer’s 2013 campaign
for Los Angeles City Attorney and, before December 2014, had represented the City
in at least one lawsuit. From 2011 until February 2014, Mr. Peters, who was Chief
of the Civil Litigation Branch of the City Attorney, had been a law partner of Mr.
14
Kiesel. Mr. Kiesel used his relationship with Mr. Peters to obtain a meeting with the
City Attorney for himself and Mr. Paradis to get information to use for a proposed
class action on behalf of Mr. Jones against PwC and to discuss a lawsuit by the City
against PwC. Mr. Kiesel’s prior relationship with Mr. Peters was instrumental in the
City’s and the City Attorney’s retaining PLG and KL to represent the City in City v.
PwC.

As of December 2014, Mr. Landskroner had been co-counsel with Mr. Paradis in
several class action lawsuits. When Mr. Paradis initially contacted Mr. Jones and
the City, he and Mr. Landskroner were co-counsel in the consumer class action case
captioned Reed v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-01701PAG (ND
Ohio), which was dismissed without prejudice in January 2015. As of the date the
complaint was filed in Jones v. City, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Landskroner
were co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the consumer class action Wright v. Nationstar
Mortgage LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-10457 (ND Ill.), and were co-counsel throughout
2015 and 2016. Although Ms. Annaguey and other counsel for the City knew this
relationship when the motion for preliminary approval of the Jones settlement was
pending, they did not inform the Court of this relationship or that Mr. Paradis
represented both the City and Mr. Jones.

Mr. Paradis, with the knowledge and consent of Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, and other
City Attorney lawyers, contacted Mr. Landskroner on or about February 25, 2015,
to represent Mr. Jones for purposes of his lawsuit against the City. Prior to late
February or early March 2015, Mr. Kiesel had no relationship with Mr. Landskroner
or LGM. Before filing the complaint in Jones v. City, Mr. Landskroner had no
relationship with any attorney employed at the City Attorney or with Ms. Agrusa,
Ms. Annaguey, or any attorney at Liner LLP, which had been retained as outside
counsel to defend the City in the consumer class actions. Before March 2015, Mr.
Landskroner had no relationship with Mr. Libman.

Mr. Libman contacted Mr. Kiesel in March 2014 to discuss excessive bills his
deceased mother-in-law had received from DWP. He had no further contact with
Mr. Kiesel until late February or early March 2015, when Mr. Kiesel recruited him
to act as local counsel for Mr. Landskroner in Jones v. City. On July 27, 2015, Mr.
Kiesel associated in as co-counsel with Mr. Libman for the plaintiff in Gastello v.
Costco, BC 505544 (LASC), in which the jury returned a $2.85 million verdict for
the plaintiff on September 8, 2015. Although counsel for the City knew this
relationship when motions for preliminary and final approval of the Jones settlement
were pending, they did not inform the Court.

15
Before March 2015, Mr. Libman had no relationships with Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro,
PLG, Mr. Landskroner, or LGM. Before filing the complaint in Jones v. City Mr.
Libman had no relationship with any attorney employed by the City Attorney or any
attorney at Liner LLP.

Mr. Jones had no contact with the attorneys representing any party in the related
cases until he was contacted by Mr. Paradis on December 5, 2014, in response to a
complaint about his DWP bills that Mr. Jones had posted on a webpage about DWP
on the Consumer Affairs website. He retained Mr. Paradis and PLG as counsel to
represent him in a class action case against PwC on December 11, 2014, although
Mr. Jones always intended to sue DWP. On March 26, 2015, Mr. Paradis introduced
Mr. Landskroner to Mr. Jones by email, informing Mr. Jones that Mr. Landskroner
would be assisting Mr. Paradis in a consumer class action case to be filed on behalf
of Mr. Jones against the City. Mr. Jones signed a retainer agreement retaining LGM
to represent him in Jones v. City that Mr. Landskroner emailed him on August 21,
2015. Mr. Landskroner had backdated the retainer agreement to December 11, 2014,
the day that Mr. Jones had executed his retainer agreement with PLG.

Although Mr. Kiesel was listed as one of Mr. Jones’s counsel on the Jones v. PwC
draft complaint, Mr. Jones never signed an agreement retaining Mr. Kiesel and did
not know he was listed as his counsel. Although Mr. Libman was counsel of record
for Mr. Jones in Jones v. City, Mr. Jones never signed an agreement retaining Mr.
Libman as his counsel and did not know Mr. Libman acted as his counsel of record.
Mr. Jones did not meet or speak with Mr. Kiesel until February 13, 2019, the date of
Mr. Jones’s deposition in City v. PwC. As of his deposition, Mr. Jones had never
met or spoken with Mr. Libman.

The only known payments made by the City to Mr. Landskroner, LGM, and Mr.
Libman were those approved by the Court in granting final approval of the Jones
settlement.

On October 20, 2015, the DWP Board approved a one-year contract with PLG to act
as project manager for the remediation of the CC&B billing system, retroactive to
July 13, 2015. Neither Mr. Paradis nor Ms. Tufaro had any background or training
in project management. Neither DWP nor the City Attorney did any due diligence
to determine their qualifications to serve as project manager and deputy manager or
their education or training in information technology. The contract was extended
for a second year. The City paid PLG $6,029,765 under the contract.

16
On June 6, 2017, the DWP Board approved a three-year contract with Aventador to
act as project manager for remediation of the CC&B billing system in connection
with the Jones settlement. The contract price was $30 million. Aventador was
formed less than three months before the contract and its sole member and president
was Mr. Paradis. The City paid Aventador $24,479,000 under the contract. Based
on documents provided by the City, the invoices from both PLG and Aventador
listed the names of persons working under the contract and the number of hours
worked, with no detail as to the services rendered under the contracts.

In March 2019, Mr. Paradis purportedly sold Aventador to one of its employees,
Ryan Clarke, who changed the entity’s name to Ardent Cyber Solutions, LLC
(“Ardent”). During April 2019, the City paid Ardent $2,683,525. It paid Ardent an
additional $1,778,175 for services purportedly rendered during the periods May 3-
24 and May 27-June 7, 2019. Ardent’s invoices contained the same level of detail
as invoices submitted by PLG and Aventador. The Special Master was informed by
the City it believes some of those proceeds were paid by Ardent to Mr. Paradis.
Ardent’s November 2019 filing with the California Secretary of State lists Mr.
Paradis as the member/manager and president of Ardent.

2. Genesis of the Related Cases

On March 6, 2015, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer held a press conference
to announce filing City v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (“City v. PwC”). Flanked
by James Clark, Chief Deputy City Attorney, and Thomas Peters, Assistant City
Attorney, Mr. Feuer briefed the press about the lawsuit, which alleged that the
monumental problems resulting from the September 3, 2013, roll out of the CC&B
billing system were due to the wrongful acts of PwC. The Los Angeles Times ran a
story about the press conference that day, which reported:

L.A. DWP lost millions in billings due to botched rollout,


lawyers say

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lost up


to $88 million in commercial billings because of the
botched rollout of a computer billing system, city lawyers
said Friday.

The news that tens of millions of dollars in revenue went


uncollected at the city-owned utility came as City Atty.
Mike Feuer announced he was suing
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consultant hired to oversee
17
the launch of the complex system. The $70-million billing
program had been touted as a major initiative to
streamline the ratepayer experience and increase
efficiency by integrating a variety of functions, including
service calls and billings.

But it didn’t work, Mr. Feuer said, and the DWP spent an
additional $41 million trying to correct problems. Among
those were customers receiving highly inflated, error-
filled bills. Most of the breakdowns have been fixed, Chief
Deputy City Atty. Jim Mr. Clark said, adding that the
utility still appears to be losing an undetermined amount
of money because of the troubles. “The problems are so
severe…that it's been difficult to say today that it’s been
entirely fixed,” Mr. Clark said at a City Hall news
conference announcing the lawsuit’s filing.

After the system was activated in September 2013, DWP


customers flooded the utility with complaints about
delayed or incorrectly estimated bills and late notices. The
telephone call volumes were so high that some customers
had to wait on hold for up to 40 minutes. The backlog got
so bad that the DWP added a voice message advising
customers to try again during off-hours.

A 57-page complaint alleges that Pricewaterhouse


Coopers breached its contract and fraudulently
misrepresented how it could help the city implement the
new system. Cleveland Water, another municipal utility,
encountered similar problems when it hired
PricewaterhouseCoopers to integrate new billing
software, but the accounting firm concealed that fact from
Los Angeles officials, the lawsuit alleges.

“The city of Los Angeles is out tens of millions, perhaps


hundreds of millions of dollars,” Mr. Feuer told the press
gathering. “Today we are here to get it back.”

Counsel of record for the City in City v. PwC were Mr. Feuer, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters,
Richard Tom, and Eskel Solomon, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office (“City

18
Attorney”), and Special Counsel Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Gina Tufaro, Mr.
Paradis’s law partner. Suing was the first public act in the City’s three-part “spin
and sue” plan, to shift blame for the DWP’s billing fiasco to PwC, rid the City and
DWP of the multitude of class action lawsuits arising from the billing problems, and
recover from PwC damages due to the billing problems.

In 2014, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Tufaro were co-counsel in a class action
in San Mateo County Superior Court they filed in 2010 against a company that
manufactured “SmartMeters,” a utility meter that the company had sold to PG&E.
As a result of their research, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel erroneously believed that a
ratepayer could not sue DWP in Superior Court.

In August 2014 Mr. Jones posted a comment on a webpage on the privately run
Consumer Affairs website for consumers with complaints specifically about DWP.
Mr. Jones expressed outrage over the large bills he had received and the poor
customer service and wrote that he wanted to start “a class action lawsuit ASAP.”

On December 5, 2014, Mr. Paradis contacted Mr. Jones in response to his post on
the Consumer Affairs webpage. Mr. Jones told Mr. Paradis he wanted to file a class
action lawsuit against DWP about its billing practices. During either this or a
subsequent conversation, Mr. Paradis convinced Mr. Jones he should file a class
action lawsuit against PwC before suing DWP. On December 9, 2014, Mr. Paradis
emailed Mr. Jones a retainer agreement. The line of the email was “LADWP
Litigation,” but the retainer agreement’s subject line was “Jones v. PriceWaterHouse
Coopers LLP.” The retainer agreement recited that Mr. Jones retained PLG to
represent him as named plaintiff in a consumer class action against PwC. Mr. Jones
wanted to recover damages for amounts billed and paid as a DWP customer for
electricity in amounts over that actually used. Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Paradis the
signed signature page of the retainer agreement on December 11, 2014.

By December 9, 2014, Mr. Kiesel had contacted Mr. Peters to set up a meeting with
himself and Mr. Paradis on December 16, 2014, to obtain evidence to use in the
contemplated ratepayer class action against PwC. On December 11, 2014, Mr.
Paradis emailed Mr. Peters he was “investigating issues arising from the selection
and installation of a new customer care and billing CC&B software package for the
LADWP,” that he looked forward to discussing their findings with him, and
requested the DWP-PwC contract and the TMG Root Cause Analysis. Mr. Peters
emailed Mr. Clark he would be meeting Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis to discuss
whether DWP had a case “concerning some technology they purchased.”

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Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel met with Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark on December 16,
2014, to discuss the investigation they were conducting. Mr. Paradis informed Mr.
Peters and Mr. Clark he was retained by Antwon Jones to file a consumer class action
against PwC. They also discussed the feasibility of DWP suing PwC and the City
retaining Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel and their firms to represent the City in such a
lawsuit. Mr. Paradis agreed to prepare a draft complaint for a lawsuit by the City
against PwC. Mr. Peters obtained the appendices to the Root Cause Analysis for
Mr. Paradis to prepare complaints against PwC. Mr. Feuer knew of the meeting and
exchanged emails with Mr. Peters afterwards about what occurred.

Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters the City v. PwC draft complaint on January 5, 2015.
Two days later, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro the
Bransford complaint, asking for their thoughts. The next day, Mr. Peters emailed
them a copy of the Morski complaint. Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Peters and
asked, “if you would like us to take any action in either the Casler or Morski
actions.” Over the next few days, a plan was formulated under which the City
directed Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis to contact Tim Blood, lead counsel in Bransford,
and Alan Himmelfarb, lead counsel in Morski, to get them to sign tolling agreements,
dismiss their cases without prejudice, and join in a ratepayer class action (Jones v.
PwC) against PwC. Mr. Feuer, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Peters approved of the plan, as
did Mr. Levine. We will refer to this plan as the “tolling agreement/dismissal plan.”
Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny knew about the tolling
agreement/dismissal plan. Although Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey were outside
counsel for the City in defending the Bransford and Morski class actions, they did
not learn of the tolling agreement/dismissal plan until approximately one month
later.

On January 9, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint. Mr. Jones approved the draft complaint and authorized Mr. Paradis to
file it. Despite this approval and authorization, Mr. Paradis never sued PwC on
behalf of his client, Mr. Jones.

To further the tolling agreement/dismissal plan, Mr. Paradis contacted Mr. Blood on
January 13, 2015, and Mr. Kiesel contacted Mr. Himmelfarb. Mr. Blood and Mr.
Himmelfarb both signed tolling agreements on behalf of their clients and Mr. Peters
signed the tolling agreements on behalf of the City. By the end of January 2015, Mr.
Himmelfarb withdrew from the plan due to Mr. Paradis’s refusal to show him a copy
of the draft class action Jones complaint against PwC.

20
On January 23, 2015, Mr. Keisel met with Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr.
Solomon, and Ms. Dorny to discuss the proposed lawsuits by the City against PwC
and by a ratepayer class against PwC. Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro participated by
telephone. Before the meeting, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Gary
Geuss, and Mr. Clark a copy of the City v. PwC draft complaint. Immediately
following the meeting, Mr. Paradis sent Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr.
Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro an email with the subject line “Jones v. Pricewaterhouse
Coopers, LLP (Consumer Class Action).” Attached to the email was a second
complaint, namely the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, which was identical to the
complaint he had sent Mr. Jones (with three inconsequential differences). The email
stated that Mr. Paradis looked forward to meeting with DWP staff “in order to further
hone our allegations as we continue our investigation.” Several minutes after
receiving this email, Mr. Solomon emailed four managerial-level DWP employees
(Tim Spinn, Nance Walker-Bonnelli, Matt Lampe, and Sharon Grove), copying Mr.
Tom, Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown, transmitting a copy of the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint and asking about their availability for a meeting during the week of
January 26.

On January 27, 2015, Mr. Paradis and an attorney from KL met with Mr. Spinn, Ms.
Walker-Bonnelli, Mr. Lampe, Ms. Grove, and another DWP managerial employee,
Mark Townsend, to vet the City v. PwC and Jones v. PwC draft complaints. Mr.
Tom and Ms. Dorny were present at this meeting. Over the next several days, Mr.
Paradis met with the DWP staff members individually. Either Mr. Tom or Ms.
Dorny was present at the individual meetings.

By the last week of January 2015, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon,
and Ms. Dorny knew that Mr. Paradis and his firm had been retained by a ratepayer
named Antwon Jones who wanted to sue due to damages he suffered because of
overbilling by DWP. But during their depositions Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms.
Dorny all testified that prior to sometime in 2018 they did not know that Mr. Paradis
and his firm represented Antwon Jones.

On February 11, 2015, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr.
Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel met. During this meeting, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey
learned, for the first time, that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel planned on filing a
consumer class action against PwC besides a lawsuit on behalf of the City against
PwC. They also learned that Mr. Blood had agreed to dismiss DWP and sue PwC.
On February 17, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny a
memorandum she and Ms. Agrusa had drafted pointing out the inherent conflict of
interest in Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel representing both the City in a lawsuit against

21
PwC and consumers in a class action against PwC, and other potential problems with
having them do so. This email was forwarded to Mr. Tom, Mr. Clark, and Mr.
Peters.

By no later than February 23, 2015, the City had decided that Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Kiesel could not represent both a consumer class against PwC and at the same time
represent the City against PwC. On or about that date, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr.
Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis met and agreed that rather than sue PwC, Mr. Jones would
file a class action complaint against the City that would encompass the causes of
action in the four class action complaints that had, by that time, been filed against
the City (Kimhi, Bransford, Morski and Fontaine) and that the City would settle the
class action cases with counsel for Mr. Jones, to the exclusion of counsel for the
other plaintiffs, on terms essentially dictated by the City. This was the inception of
the collusive Jones v. City lawsuit.

On February 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis contacted Mr. Landskroner to enlist him to act
as counsel for Mr. Jones in a class action against the City – a step that only makes
sense after Jones v. PwC had been abandoned for Jones v. City. That same day, Mr.
Paradis emailed Ms. Dorny he had “received very strong marching orders to get this
information pulled together so that I can finish drafting the second complaint.” The
Special Master concludes that “the second complaint” referred to Jones v. City, since
before February 25 the City had informed Mr. Paradis, he could not represent both
the City and Mr. Jones in lawsuits against PwC, so the Jones v. PwC complaint was
dead. By March 3, 2015, Mr. Kiesel had enlisted Mr. Libman to act as local counsel
for Mr. Landskroner in Jones v. City.

The Special Master has determined that the City had several goals in having a
collusive class action lawsuit filed against it concerning its billing problems: first,
the City could quickly settle such a lawsuit on terms it dictated; second, such a case
could be settled with little or no discovery by the plaintiff; third, the settlement could
be structured in such a way as to allow the City to shift as much of its costs as
possible to PwC; fourth, the settlement could be implemented in a way to ensure as
little interference as possible with DWP’s determination of the ratepayers entitled to
refunds or credits and the amounts; fifth, quick settlement, with court approval,
would allow the City to spin or “change the narrative” so DWP was cast as the victim
and PwC as the villain, a major concern of DWP and the City Attorney.

By February 2015, the City knew the California State Auditor would be issuing a
report in March highly critical of DWP’s actions in the CC&B billing system fiasco.
On Friday, March 6, 2015, the City filed City v. PwC. One reason for filing it on

22
that date was to allow the City to “change the narrative” before issuance of the State
Auditor’s report.

Earlier in that month, on February 2, 2015, Mr. Kiesel had forwarded to Mr. Peters
a draft of a contingency fee agreement (hereafter “fee agreement”) under which the
City and the City Attorney would retain PLG and KL to represent it in a lawsuit
against PwC. The earliest draft of the fee agreement was dated “February __, 2015,”
with a commencement date of “February __, 2015” and provided for a contingency
fee of 19.99% of any recovery by the City. The fee agreement’s conflict of interest
section stated that “the City represents that it is aware that Special Counsel has been
retained to represent a putative class in an action that will be captioned Jones v.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (the Jones Action) and hereby provides Special
Counsel with approval to proceed with the filing and litigation of the Jones Action.”
This conflict of interest provision was in the drafts of the fee agreement before
March 12, 2015, when Mr. Tom revised the fee agreement and deleted the provision
about Jones v. PwC and changed the commencement date to December 1, 2014. The
final version of the fee agreement, dated April 21, 2015, had a January 1, 2015,
commencement date and contained no reference to Jones v. PwC. The DWP Board
approved the fee agreement on April 23, 2015. The Los Angeles City Council
approved the fee agreement on June 24, 2015.

In March 2015, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny discussed with Mr. Paradis
and Mr. Kiesel about the so-called “white knight approach,” which involved having
a class action lawsuit brought against the City that would allow the City to settle the
class actions involving DWP on terms dictated by the City and obtain the broadest
release possible. On or about March 13, 2015, Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon spoke
with Ms. Annaguey about the “white knight approach” and on March 16, 2015, Mr.
Solomon spoke to Ms. Dorny about his phone call with Ms. Annaguey. Thus by no
later than mid-March 2015, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms.
Annaguey, and Mr. Dorny knew that a collusive class action lawsuit prepared by
Mr. Paradis, with Mr. Jones as plaintiff and class representative, would be filed
against the City as a way for the City to resolve the class action billing cases that
would allow the City to end the negative publicity about DWP and increase potential
damages it hoped to recover from PwC. Mr. Clark knew Mr. Landskroner would be
acting as attorney of record for Mr. Jones, even though Mr. Jones knew nothing
about Mr. Landskroner and still believed that Mr. Paradis and his firm were his
attorneys and were dedicated solely to representing his interests and those of DWP
ratepayers. Mr. Paradis was at this time acting in the dual role of special counsel to
the City and as counsel for Mr. Jones, a fact known to the City Attorney and several
managerial employees of DWP but not known by Mr. Jones.

23
A prerequisite for a suit against a governmental entity in California is filing a notice
of claim with the entity. Mr. Paradis therefore drafted a notice of claim to be filed
on Mr. Jones’s behalf with the Los Angeles City Clerk and to be signed by Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Libman as counsel for Mr. Jones. On March 24, 2015, Mr.
Paradis emailed the draft notice of claim to Mr. Kiesel for his input and to forward
to Mr. Libman to put on his letterhead, sign, and return so it could be forwarded to
Mr. Landskroner, who would sign and return it for filing with the City Clerk. The
notice of claim dated March 24, 2015, signed by Mr. Libman and Mr. Landskroner,
states it is written “on behalf of my client, Mr. Antwon Jones.” As of the notice of
claim, Mr. Jones had not communicated with, had never heard of, and did not know
of either Mr. Landskroner or Mr. Libman, let alone that they were representing
themselves as his counsel. Although Mr. Libman assured Mr. Kiesel he would
submit the notice of claim, it apparently was never filed with the City.

Mr. Paradis introduced Mr. Jones to Mr. Landskroner by email on March 26, 2015,
as someone who would assist Mr. Paradis with Mr. Jones’s class action suit against
DWP. On March 29, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones the complaint in Jones
v. City and requested Mr. Jones’s authorization to file. Mr. Landskroner was copied
on the email. The complaint listed Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman as Mr. Jones’s
only counsel, something Mr. Jones did not notice. Mr. Jones approved filing the
complaint and Mr. Paradis responded that they would keep him posted.

At this time, and throughout the pendency of his case against the City, Mr. Jones
continued to believe that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner were both representing
him in the class action against the City. Mr. Paradis never withdrew from the
representation of Mr. Jones and never advised Mr. Jones he was special counsel to
the City in City v. PwC or that he was assisting the City in the defense of the billing
class actions, which included Mr. Jones’s lawsuit.

Mr. Landskroner knew of Mr. Paradis’s dual representation but never advised Mr.
Jones and never demanded that Mr. Paradis withdraw from representation of the City
or, at the very least, be walled off from involvement in the class action cases. None
of the attorneys at City Attorney’s Office who knew Mr. Paradis’s dual
representation ever asked for written evidence he had a) terminated his
representation of Mr. Jones, b) advised Mr. Jones of his representation of the City,
or c) obtained a conflict waiver from Mr. Jones. Nor did these attorneys try to wall
off Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel from Jones v. City and the related
ratepayer actions. Instead, the City Attorney and the City actively sought Mr.
Paradis’s affirmative and ongoing direct involvement in the Jones v. City litigation,
including the negotiation and mediation of the settlement, which included a

24
commitment by the City to spend $20 million on remediation (a clause that worked
to Mr. Paradis’s financial benefit, as he soon signed a separate contract to lead the
remediation work), drafting the settlement agreement, drafting talking points,
preparing briefs to be submitted, and formulating strategy for the defense of the
settlement. Little or no action was taken by the City on the defense of Jones v. City
that did not involve the City ensuring the direct input of Mr. Paradis.

On the eve of filing Jones v. City, Mr. Blood and his co-counsel in Bransford, Ms.
Wade, met with Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny to discuss
possible settlement of the billing class actions. Mr. Blood expected there would be
follow-up settlement discussions with representatives of the City. These discussions
never took place.

Filing and Settlement of Jones v. City

On April 1, 2015, Mr. Libman, at the direction of Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, had
the summons and complaint filed in Jones v. City. Mr. Paradis advised Mr. Kiesel
to have Mr. Libman serve the summons and complaint on the City. Mr. Tom had
asked Mr. Paradis for a copy of the summons and complaint and late that afternoon,
Mr. Landskroner had his paralegal email a courtesy copy of Jones v. City’s summons
and complaint to Mr. Tom, who forwarded the email to Mr. Solomon, Mr. Brown,
and Ms. Dorny.

On the morning of April 1, 2015, before the summons and complaint were served
on anyone at the City, Mr. Solomon had emailed the CNS “dinger” for Antwon Jones
v. City of Los Angeles to Mr. Tom, with a copy to Ms. Dorny, stating that he believed
“this is the expected new class action lawsuit.” There was nothing in the “dinger”
other than the name of the plaintiff, Antwon Jones, that could have led Mr. Solomon
to believe this was the “expected” lawsuit.

One day later, on April 2, 2015, Mr. Landskroner’s paralegal emailed a settlement
proposal in Jones v. City (the “Jones Settlement Proposal”) to Mr. Tom and Mr.
Solomon. The Jones Settlement Proposal discussed the “subclasses” of ratepayers
purportedly harmed because of the flawed implementation of the CC&B billing
system and referred to comments made by the Court at the March 30, 2020, status
conference in Bransford. Aside from the detailed information about subclasses, the
settlement framework in the Jones Settlement Proposal was very similar to the one
laid out by Mr. Blood in his March 31 meeting with representatives of the City.

The detailed information in the Jones Settlement Proposal about subclasses was not
publicly available and was not known outside of DWP. But no one in the City
25
Attorney’s Office or in the Liner firm expressed concern or was interested in learning
how Mr. Landskroner obtained this information. Based on the evidence obtained,
including the subclass information, it would have been difficult if not impossible for
Mr. Landskroner to achieve the mastery of facts given how little time he had been
on the case and his almost non-existent access to the information, outside of Mr.
Paradis, to the substance of details in the Settlement Proposal. The Special Master
has concluded that the Jones Settlement Proposal was drafted by Mr. Paradis and the
information was obtained from the DWP by Mr. Paradis. The City’s blasé attitude
about possible leaks of DWP information to Mr. Landskroner stands in contrast to
the opposite reaction of counsel for the City, including Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey,
Mr. Paradis, and attorneys at the City Attorney bordering on outrage at the
possibility that someone may have informed Mr. Blood that the City and Mr. Jones
had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) at the end of the second
mediation session. The Special Master further concludes that the reason that no one
in the City Attorney’s Office or its outside counsel raised a concern about a possible
leak of confidential DWP information to Mr. Landskroner was they knew that the
information came from Mr. Paradis and Mr. Paradis had drafted the Jones Settlement
Proposal as had been intended by the City.

The day after the Jones Settlement Proposal was emailed to Mr. Tom and Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Agrusa called Mr. Landskroner and suggested a meeting the following
week. Later that morning, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Landskroner to confirm a
meeting at the Liner firm’s downtown Los Angeles offices on April 8, 2015. This
was done although the City Attorney had not tried to determine whether Mr. Jones
had filed the required notice of claim with the City, something which the record
reflected that the City Attorney’s office apparently did in all other cases, including
but not limited to the Morski claim.

Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman met with Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny on April 8, 2015. Mr. Landskroner began by
misrepresenting that he had investigated a failed installation of the CC&B billing
system for Cleveland Water in September 2009 and investigated the DWP’s CC&B
billing problems in November 2013. Mr. Landskroner similarly misrepresented to
Judge Tevrizian during mediation and to this Court in hearings on the motion to
approve the Jones settlement those assertions. These representations were false. Mr.
Landskroner conducted no investigation of Cleveland Water’s installation of the
CC&B billing system and knew virtually nothing about the DWP’s billing problems
until after he was contacted by Mr. Paradis on February 25, 2015.

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Seven days after Jones was filed, at the April 8, 2015, meeting, the parties discussed:
1) a complete release for all claims; 2) what Mr. Landskroner viewed as obstacles to
settlement; 3) the causes of action alleged in the Jones complaint and in the
complaints in the other billing class actions; 4) fees, including a possible cap on fees;
and 5) choosing a mediator. In a private conversation with Mr. Landskroner, Ms.
Agrusa told him she had settlement terms largely done and that a “mediator will be
good on addressing fees and for optics.”

A week later, on April 13, 2015, Mr. Clark, Mr. Tom, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey,
Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel met to discuss Jones v, City and the other billing class
actions. At this meeting Mr. Clark gave the directive that the City would settle the
class action cases against DWP with Mr. Landskroner. Ms. Agrusa had follow-up
conversations with Mr. Libman and Mr. Landskroner during which they discussed
fees, the settlement structure, using a mediator, the hiring of an industry consultant
to approve the formulas used by DWP to determine the amounts to be refunded or
credited, and that she would draft the settlement agreement. Mr. Landskroner’s and
Mr. Libman’s notes of the April 8 meeting and the follow-up phone calls prove the
falsity of Ms. Agrusa’s deposition testimony, in City v. PwC, that she never
discussed fees other than in the mediation sessions with Judge Tevrizian. Instead,
Ms. Agrusa repeatedly discussed fees with Mr. Landskroner before mediation and
before first resolving the ratepayers’ claims.

Within three weeks of filing Jones the parties already had a mediation in play. On
April 20, 2015, Ms. Agrusa had contacted Judge Tevrizian’s assistant to get possible
dates for mediation sessions in Jones v. City. The following day, Mr. Solomon
emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr.
Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey. In his email, Mr.
Solomon stated that “given the direction we intend to take,” Ms. Annaguey should
contact Mr. Blood and tell him that Ms. Agrusa was out of the office. Mr. Solomon
further stated that a joint status report should be prepared with a briefing schedule
for anticipated demurrers and that “it is in our best interest” to have Ms. Agrusa
inform Mr. Libman and Mr. Landskroner they should appear at the next status
conference “to establish their active participation in the pending matters, and
possible lead position.”

On May 20, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey, with dates Judge
Tevrizian had available for mediation sessions. At the May 22 status conference,
when the Court asked whether the parties had discussed alternative dispute
resolution, Ms. Agrusa stated to the Court it was “the consensus of the parties that I

27
have spoken to that it is premature to consider an A.D.R., but it is something that we
would certainly consider when we are a little further down the road and when the
pleadings are set and the issues are better defined.” Ms. Agrusa’s representation to
the Court was false, as she well knew. Ms. Agrusa knew she had both informed Mr.
Landskroner she had settlement terms largely done and that a mediator would be
good for two reasons: fees and optics. And Ms. Agrusa knew she had, recently and
before her statement to the Court that A.D.R. was premature, already contacted
Judge Tevrizian’s office about his availability for mediation sessions in Jones v.
City.

Before filing Jones v. City, most problems with the CC&B billing system had been
resolved. DWP was completing remediation of the system, which it estimated would
cost no more than $20 million, and had determined that it would need to have an
outside firm audit the system to ensure its reliability. DWP had repeatedly
announced publicly that it would refund or credit any overcharges resulting from
billing errors. The City’s and Mr. Landskroner’s pre-mediation briefs both set out
settlement frameworks virtually identical and incorporated these elements.

Two all-day Jones v. City mediation sessions were held with Judge Tevrizian on
June 11 and 12, 2015. Most negotiations took place during breakout sessions with
Judge Tevrizian in which Mr. Clark and Mr. Paradis – who was not one of the
lawyers for the City in the Jones v. City case – represented the City and Mr.
Landskroner represented the Jones class. Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Clark and Mr.
Paradis all knew full well that Mr. Paradis had also been retained by Mr. Jones in
connection with his complaints against the DWP for issuing erroneous bills to him
and other potential class members. Judge Tevrizian, however, was unaware that Mr.
Paradis represented both Mr. Jones and the City or that he had recruited Mr.
Landskroner to join him as counsel for Mr. Jones and assist Mr. Paradis with the
filing and settlement of Jones v. City. Mr. Landskroner was Mr. Jones’s counsel of
record and Mr. Jones’s engagement with Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and the PLG firm
was concealed from Judge Tevrizian. The City, assisted by Mr. Paradis, and Mr.
Landskroner had agreed to all major terms of the settlement, all of which were
dictated by the City’s goals. The mediation and Judge Tevrizian were used by the
City, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Landskroner in a manner consistent with Ms. Agrusa’s
statement that mediation was “for the optics.” They put on a charade for Judge
Tevrizian’s consumption. Protecting the ratepayers with an independent, arm’s-
length negotiation was never their goal. Eliminating the negative press,
discouraging any ratepayer discovery, and using the mediation to provide a cover of
legitimacy for the pre-determined resolution, both to ease the settlement through the
Court and the DWP Board, was the goal. Ultimately, using the mediation privilege,

28
they threw a blanket of secrecy around their activities to conceal their behavior from
the other plaintiffs’ counsels. Along the way, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Paradis
obtained tens of millions of dollars for their own financial gains.

The City’s pre-mediation brief discussed two subclasses not mentioned in Mr.
Landskroner’s pre-mediation brief: customers not billed since the “Go Live” date of
the CC&B billing system and customers not billed for over 120 days. Issuing a bill
to a customer not billed for two or more billing cycles is known as “back-billing.”
On June 17, 2015, at the City’s request, Mr. Landskroner had a letter emailed to
Judge Tevrizian about unbilled accounts. Mr. Landskroner proposed that customers
back-billed should be allowed reasonable payment terms and that DWP should not
be allowed to back-bill for over six months. The Special Master has concluded,
based on the evidence, that the substance of Mr. Landskroner’s letter was dictated
by the City and its Special Counsel, Mr. Paradis. The entire brouhaha over back-
billing and the mediation session devoted to this issue were part of the charade and
gave the participants something to pretend to argue about in front of Judge Tevrizian.

Following the public announcement of the settlement during the week of June 16,
2015, Mr. Blood called Ms. Agrusa and asked for a copy of the MOU. This set off
near pandemonium among the City’s counsel, who were afraid Mr. Landskroner had
leaked to Mr. Blood that an MOU had been signed. Mr. Paradis, upon learning of
Mr. Blood’s request, made clear that he expected that Judge Tevrizian would have a
very strong negative reaction to any of that information being disclosed to Mr. Blood
or anyone else outside of mediation. Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis’s
comments, limiting his response to “the core group” which included only Mr. Kiesel,
Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Clark, that he found Mr. Paradis’s comments to be absolutely
correct and that Mr. Landskroner should be told very directly by someone on that
email that if he provided the information to anyone he risked the City moving for his
disqualification. On June 22, 2015, Judge Tevrizian had an email sent to counsel for
the City and for Mr. Jones that the MOU and the terms of the settlement were not to
be disclosed to anyone until the Motion for Preliminary Approval and that if anyone
disobeyed, he would notify the Court so it could impose sanctions.

The Special Master has determined that Mr. Paradis called Judge Tevrizian to cause
the Judge to issue an email to the parties not to disclose the settlement or the MOU
until the Motion for Preliminary Approval. This followed the City’s game plan for
obtaining approval of the settlement: to disclose as little as possible, as late as
possible, to plaintiffs’ counsel in the other class actions to make it more difficult for
them to mount an effective opposition to the settlement and possibly uncover the
collusive genesis of Jones v. City and the plan to freeze out other plaintiffs’ counsel

29
for the handpicked, and accommodating and largely under the City’s domination,
manipulation and control, Mr. Landskroner.

Paul Bender, an outside professional, was contacted in late June 2015 about the
Jones v. City settlement by Mr. Paradis, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Wright and Mr.
Landskroner. Discussions between Mr. Bender, Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Wright continued during July 2015. Initially, Mr. Bender understood that he
would be retained to oversee DWP’s remediation of the CC&B billing system.
Although Mr. Bender was retained by Mr. Landskroner to act as the “independent
monitor” to ensure DWP complied with the settlement, including identifying
customers entitled to credits or refunds and the amount, Mr. Paradis, and to a lesser
extent Mr. Wright, were involved throughout the negotiations with Mr. Bender,
including revising his proposals, and Mr. Paradis drafted all of Mr. Bender’s
declarations and reports submitted before spring 2019.

A third mediation session was held with Judge Tevrizian on July 24, 2015, to discuss
the back-billing issue. After the session Mr. Clark, on behalf of the City, and Mr.
Landskroner, on behalf of Mr. Jones, signed an Addendum to the MOU, which
provided for the amendment of Rule 17 of DWP’s Rules to limit the period that
could be covered by a back-bill.

A fourth mediation session was held on July 31, 2015, where Judge Tevrizian made
a mediator’s proposal for attorney fees: DWP would pay $13 million in attorneys’
fees and $750,000 in expenses with future fees capped at $13 million. In an August
1, 2015, email, Ms. Annaguey outlined the many reasons Mr. Landskroner was not
entitled to so hefty an award, including: the limited work he did; that the City wanted
to settle; that the City had begun negotiations with Mr. Blood; that Mr. Landskroner
had done little demonstrable work to benefit the plaintiff class; that he never pursued
a lawsuit involving the Cleveland CC&B system; there had been no discovery; that
Mr. Jones never filed a claim; and there would be “higher scrutiny of Landskroner
and Libman, individually, and their relationships with the LADWP and its counsel.”
Ms. Annaguey noted that Mr. Landskroner made “threats to leverage the back-billed
accounts issue,” which DWP had brought to him, and that it felt “like nothing short
of blackmail.” Despite the proposed fees being unjustified, the City agreed to pay
the fees demanded. Because of Mr. Landskroner’s knowledge of the City’s
expectation of his status as a “white knight” and his knowledge of Mr. Paradis’s
representation of both Mr. Jones and the City, the City had few options without
risking disclosure of the entire collusive plan. So, the City agreed to Mr.
Landskroner’s demands. In a perverse sense, Mr. Landskroner’s demands were

30
reasonable. He could not be expected to risk his bar license on a corrupt scheme like
Jones v. City without a big pay day.

On August 17, 2015, Mr. Landskroner filed an amended complaint in Jones v. City.
The amended complaint raised no new causes of action or sought any different forms
of relief than were contained in the original complaint. The changes were designed
to aid the City in its suit against PwC and not to aid the class. The major change in
the amended complaint was that it added irrelevant factual allegations about PwC’s
alleged misconduct in implementing the CC&B billing system for DWP and in
implementing a similar billing system for Cleveland Water. The Special Master has
determined that the amended complaint was filed to support the City’s allegations
against PwC and to bolster the City’s claims that PwC should be held liable for all
the costs of settlement, including all remediation costs and attorneys’ fees. It was
one more step in the City’s “spin and sue” strategy.

Mr. Landskroner moved for Preliminary Approval of the settlement on August 17,
2015. The supporting memorandum and Mr. Landskroner’s declaration contained
several misrepresentations, including his purported extensive pre-filing
investigation and hiring of non-testifying experts, and that the settlement resulted
from “serious, informed, non-collusive negotiations” which “stalled,” resulting in
the need for Judge Tevrizian to act as mediator. The Settlement Agreement listed
Mr. Libman and Mr. Landskroner as counsel; in reality, Mr. Paradis on behalf of the
City drafted the Settlement Agreement. Counsel for the City knew of the
misrepresentations in the Memorandum and Declaration but did nothing to correct
the misrepresentations or call them to the Court’s attention.

Mr. Landskroner similarly misrepresented at the September 11, 2015, preliminary


approval hearing. Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel,
Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Libman were present, heard Mr. Landskroner’s
misrepresentations and did nothing to correct them. On behalf of the City, Ms.
Agrusa affirmatively adopted Mr. Landskroner’s statements. Similarly, Mr.
Landskroner made numerous misrepresentations in subsequent pleadings and
declarations he filed. Counsel for the City including Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey,
Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis
and Ms. Tufaro knew of these misrepresentations and did nothing to either correct
them or call them to the Court’s attention.

The same counsel for the City, with Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman, also failed to
bring to the Court’s attention, and actively concealed, these facts, among others,
from the Court and plaintiffs’ counsel in the other class actions:

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• Mr. Paradis represented Mr. Jones, who was interested in filing a class
action lawsuit about his DWP bills and had a direct conflict of interest in
representing the City about the CC&B billing system;

• Mr. Paradis represented the City in mediation of Jones v. City, at hearings


on approval of the settlement and in devising strategy to obtain approval
of the settlement even though he was counsel for Mr. Jones;

• Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Landskroner were co-counsel in other
class action litigation when Jones v. City was filed and while approval of
the settlement was sought;

• Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Libman were co-counsel in a personal injury case that
resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict for their client just days before
the September 11, 2015 hearing;

• Mr. Landskroner’s and Mr. Libman’s billing records submitted in support


of their request for attorneys’ fees and expenses were false and grossly
inflated; and

• Mr. Paradis, not Mr. Landskroner, was the only person involved in the
Jones v. City litigation who investigated Cleveland Water’s billing
problems.

On October 20, 2015, the DWP Board approved a contract with Mr. Paradis’s and
Ms. Tufaro’s law firm to act as project manager for the remediation of the CC&B
billing system. The contract was not the result of competitive bidding but was,
instead, a “sole source” contract. Neither DWP nor the City Attorney did any due
diligence to determine whether Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, or any member of the PLG
firm had the training or experience to act as project manager for a multi-million
dollar IT project or whether Mr. Paradis or Ms. Tufaro had any experience or training
beyond being a plaintiffs’ class action attorney. The contract was for one year,
retroactive to July 13, 2015, and could be extended for another year. The contract
price was $1,304,090. In May 2016 it was extended for one year and the contract
price was increased to $6,029,765. PLG was paid $6,028.481.59 under the contract.

On June 6, 2017, the DWP Board approved another sole source contract for Mr.
Paradis. The City awarded a no-bid three-year $30 million contract for Mr. Paradis’s
newly created and controlled company, Aventador, to provide project management
services for the remediation of the CC&B billing system. DWP paid Aventador

32
$24,279,100.00 for services purportedly performed by it. Thus, Mr. Paradis and
entities owned and controlled by him were paid over $30 million by DWP. The
hourly rates charged by both PLG and Aventador for project management services
for the project manager and deputy manager were the hourly rates charged by Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro for providing legal services. The average hourly rate under
the PLG and Aventador contracts was higher than the average rate normally charged
by companies providing project management services for IT projects. Mr. Paradis,
Ms. Tufaro, and other persons working on these projects charged nearly full-time
(i.e., 8 hours a day, five days a week) when consultants performing similar services
normally charged as needed. Invoices submitted by both PLG and Aventador just
list the number of hours worked per person and the billing rate with no itemization
of the services performed. Several retired DWP managerial employees went to work
for Aventador, including Mr. Townsend. And Mr. Bender’s two chief associates,
Osman Ahmad and Siva Thoppe, also went to work for Aventador and then, after
Mr. Paradis purportedly sold Aventador, they returned to work for Mr. Bender as
independent monitor of the Jones settlement.

The Court conditionally granted the motion to preliminarily approve the settlement
in Jones v. City at a hearing held on December 21, 2015. That same day, PwC served
its first request for production of documents on the City in City v. PwC. The City
then began a long, calculated campaign of discovery abuse, including asserting
unwarranted claims of privilege both in response to written discovery requests and
during the deposition of Mr. Peters as the City’s PMQ witness and lying to the Court.
This campaign was designed primarily to keep PwC from discovering that Mr.
Paradis was Mr. Jones’s counsel and that, with the approval of the City, Mr. Paradis
had reworked the Jones v. PwC draft complaint into the Jones v. City complaint so
it could get a quick settlement of the class actions with a hand-picked attorney who
would do no discovery, with no answer being filed or motion practice, and would
allow the City to claim that PwC was liable for all costs in the settlement and
remediation. The campaign of discovery abuse is detailed in PwC’s June 29, 2020,
Motion for Sanctions, supporting memorandum and supporting declaration of
Daniel Thomasch. The Court has found that the City had engaged in long-running
discovery abuse and thus, in October 2020, imposed a $2.5 million attorneys’ fee
sanction against the City and in favor of PwC as a remedy.

33
3. Financial Audit:

The Special Master did not complete a financial audit regarding fee and financial
arrangements between and among the players because the Special Master postponed
interviews and subpoenas to avoid affecting an overlapping federal criminal
investigation. The Special Master’s Report has included an appendix setting forth
financial information relevant to this issue and which is informative to the overall
report. See Appendix C (“Questionable Payments”). If directed by the Court, the
Special Master will continue to re-evaluate this decision.

ULTIMATE FACTUAL FINDINGS

1. Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Paradis Law Group, Mr. Kiesel, and Kiesel Law had
an inherent conflict of interest in representing Mr. Jones regarding his
complaint about overbilling by DWP and the City regarding the CC&B billing
fiasco.

2. Neither Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Paradis Law Group, Mr. Kiesel, nor Kiesel
Law disclosed to Mr. Jones they were also representing the City and they
failed to obtain a conflict waiver from Mr. Jones.

3. City attorneys, including Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and
Ms. Dorny knew Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Paradis Law Group, Mr. Kiesel,
and Kiesel Law were representing Mr. Jones regarding his complaint about
DWP’s billings yet none tried to require that they obtain a conflict waiver
from Mr. Jones nor did the City provide them with a written conflict waiver
or wall them off from the class actions; instead, the City had them actively
participate in material and substantive aspects of the Jones v. City case. The
City mentioned none of this to the Court.

4. Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters authorized and approved Mr. Paradis’s and Mr.
Kiesel’s redrafting the Jones v. PwC draft complaint into a consumer class
action complaint against the City and the recruiting of Mr. Landskroner to act
as lead counsel of record and Mr. Libman as local counsel in Jones v. City.
This was done so the City could continue with its plan, originally under Jones
v. PwC and the accompanying tolling agreements/dismissals by Mr. Blood
and Mr. Himmelfarb which would have been done overtly by Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Kiesel, to instead settle the class actions then pending with a pliable
plaintiffs’ counsel, chosen by Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, who would agree
to terms dictated by the City, with no pre-settlement discovery or motion
practice and with a coordinated messaging against PwC.
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5. Deputy City Attorneys Tom, Solomon, and Dorny knew the City would utilize
a “white knight approach” that involved having a Cleveland lawyer bring a
class action complaint that included the causes of action in the then-pending
class action cases so the City could resolve the class action cases on terms it
dictated shortly after the Jones v. City “white knight” complaint was filed.
The City had no interest in mentioning any of this to the Court.

6. By no later than mid-April 2015 Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey knew the City
had decided to settle with Mr. Landskroner, excluding plaintiffs’ counsel in
the other cases, and worked with the City to deceive counsel in the other cases
and the Court, including falsely representing to the Court, on the eve of the
mediation sessions with Judge Tevrizian, that it was too early to consider
mediation.

7. The mediation sessions with Judge Tevrizian were a staged sham; the terms
were agreed to before mediation; the City and Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey all knew Mr.
Paradis was representing the City during the mediation sessions and was also
Mr. Jones’s attorney. The lawyers continued their practice of hiding the
material facts of the Jones suit from the Court, or in this case the Mediator.

8. The City used Judge Tevrizian’s reputation as a jurist and mediator to give the
mediation session the appearance of having been arm’s length and the aura of
being reasonable and prevailed upon Judge Tevrizian to sign a declaration
filed in support of the settlement without his knowing the true story of
collusion and coverup.

9. In pleadings filed in support of approval of the settlement and in statements


in Court, Mr. Landskroner made numerous representations that the City and
its attorneys knew were false. The City and its attorneys did and said nothing
to correct Mr. Landskroner’s misstatements or to bring them to the Court’s
attention since doing so would have risked revealing the collusive nature of
the settlement.

10. Counsel for the City, including Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, knew that the attorneys’ fees recommended by Judge
Tevrizian in his mediator’s proposals (initially $13 million and then $19
million) were excessive, unjustified, and a misappropriation of taxpayer funds
but did nothing to alert Judge Tevrizian, the DWP Board or the Court to this.

35
Instead, they supported what they knew were grossly excessive attorneys’ fee
awards.

11. Counsel for the City and Counsel for Jones knowingly misstated to the Court
in pleadings filed in support of approval of the settlement to perpetuate the
coverup of their sham lawsuit, that:

a. Prior to filing the complaint in the Jones v. City action, Jones Counsel
of Record initiated an extensive and very lengthy investigation into the
matters alleged in the complaint sufficient to identify the strengths and
weaknesses of the Jones v. City action.

b. Jones Counsel of Record initiated an extensive and very lengthy


investigation into the matters alleged in the complaint sufficient to
judge the propriety of the proposed settlement.

c. Jones Counsel of Record sent the City a detailed proposal for the early
resolution of the Jones v. City action, which was comprehensive and
detailed settlement proposal that allowed the Jones, Kimhi, Bransford
and Fontaine actions to be resolved.

d. Jones Counsel of Record presented the City with a well-developed,


comprehensive settlement proposal to resolve the class actions whereas
Bransford counsel (Mr. Blood) admits he only discussed a general
framework for resolution.

e. After having provided the detailed settlement proposal, Jones Counsel


of Record met and conferred with counsel for the City and commenced
formal settlement negotiations shortly thereafter.

f. Despite Jones’s failure to file a claim prior to commencing the Jones v.


City action, the City voluntarily elected to proceed with settlement.

g. The Parties conducted no negotiations about attorney’s fees or expenses


to be reimbursed until after the parties had agreed on the substantive
terms of the settlement.

h. The settlement negotiations were hard-fought, contentious and


protracted.

36
i. The Parties advanced settlement discussions as far as they could go
until these efforts stalled.

j. Jones and the City elected to voluntarily proceed with a mediation.

k. Jones Counsel of Record and the DWP then participated in multiple


days of mediation before the Honorable Dickran Tevrizian
(Ret.). [Mediation was a sham.]

l. The number of hours spent litigating the Jones v. City action were
reasonable, as were the hourly rates charged by Plaintiff’s Counsel.

m. Jones Counsel claimed that he began working on the case in November


2013, that the number of hours was reasonable, and that given Jones
Counsel’s efforts and the result a 2.15 multiplier was justified.

n. The proposed settlement in the Jones v. City action was reached through
arm's-length bargaining.

o. That Jones Counsel had investigated similar billing problems with


Cleveland Water’s billing and this expertise played an integral role in
advancing the settlement.

12. The City engaged in a wide-ranging scheme of discovery abuse in City v.


PwC to hide the collusion that pervaded Jones v. City.

13. Although Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny
knew well before December 2018 (when Mr. Kiesel informed the Court of the
conflict of interest) that Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro represented Mr. Jones,
they did not inform the Court of that fact.

14. After the disclosure that the City’s Special Counsel was also counsel for Mr.
Jones and the withdrawal of Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, and their
firms as counsel for the City in City v. PwC, the City continued its abuse of
the discovery process, including failing to produce non-privileged documents.

15. While Mr. Feuer and Mr. Levine knew and approved of the tolling
agreement/dismissal plan, and Mr. Feuer was keenly interested in the
ratepayer actions and negative press against the DWP, the Special Master
found no evidence that either of them or any member of the DWP Board
actually knew that Jones v. City was the product of collusion or knew of the

37
numerous misrepresentations made to the Court and the mediator in Jones v.
City and City v. PwC.

16. The evidence establishes, from December 2014 through March 2015, Mr.
Feuer’s intimate involvement and the overall clear understanding of the need
for his approval with all matters related to City v. PwC. Mr. Feuer knew of
the role of Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel in acting on the City’s behalf in the
tolling agreement/dismissal plan for the pending ratepayer actions. The
evidence also establishes that Mr. Feuer had some connections with Jones v.
City. In June 2015, Mr. Feuer was told that something was amiss in Jones by
Mr. Blood’s phone call and letter to Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark alerting them to
Mr. Blood’s belief that the settlement in Jones v. City was the product of
collusion. Mr. Feuer needed to make a recommendation to the DWP Board
for formal approval of the Jones settlement, which included almost $40
million in attorney fees and remediation costs. Mr. Feuer knew of the direct
connection between the damages pursued in City v. PwC and the costs
incurred by the City under the Jones settlement. Mr. Feuer’s testified that he
assigned Mr. Peters with the supervision of City v. PwC and of Special
Counsel, he had charged Mr. Peters with reviewing any claim of privilege
asserted, and he had determined that Mr. Peters “had satisfied the
requirements of the Santa Clara[1] opinion.” The evidence produced by the
City, however, was almost void of any communications reflecting Mr. Feuer’s
knowledge of, or involvement in, Jones v. City other than being advised by
Mr. Clark of the settlement.

17. The Special Master’s ability to reach a firm conclusion about the extent of Mr.
Feuer’s knowledge or participation in Jones v. City was hampered by the lack
of evidence, which arguably was a direct result of the fact that Mr. Clark was
tasked by Mr. Feuer with overseeing the ratepayer class actions, which
included the Jones v. City case. Mr. Clark who was the principal person who
would apprise Mr. Feuer of activities in the ratepayer cases testified that he
destroyed and/or kept no notes of his briefings of Mr. Feuer about
“significant” matters and did not recall if he spoke about the Jones settlement
with Mr. Feuer. At his deposition, Mr. Feuer confirmed the lack of a paper
trail on his discussions with Mr. Clark and testified that he had little or no
recollection regarding the details of his knowledge of the Jones cases.

[1]
County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court, 50 Cal.4th 35 (2010), set forth the requirements for
a public entity engaging private counsel under contingent fee arrangements.
38
Report on the Investigation into Any Violations
Surrounding the Case and Action of Jones v.
City of Los Angeles and Related Cases

Volume II of III

Special Master Edward M. Robbins, Jr.

Submitted Pursuant to the Order of the Honorable Elihu Berle


Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California


April 2021
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1
TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME II

TIMELINE ONE: SEPTEMBER 2013 TO APRIL 1, 2015 ................................ 9

• September 2013: DWP Launches the New CIS And Its


CC&B Component with Disastrous Consequences ....................................... 9

• August 2014: A Root Cause Analysis Faults DWP


For the Problems with The New CIS ...........................................................10

• November 2014: DWP Releases the Root Cause


Analysis and Starts Feeling the Heat of Both
Bad Press and Increased Exposure to Class
Action Litigation ...........................................................................................10

• February 2014 Through February 2015:


Ratepayer Class Actions Against DWP Are Filed .......................................11

• Genesis of Related Class Action Cases .........................................................13

• June 2014: The Liner Firm Begins Defending the City


Against Plaintiffs’ Class Action Suits Against DWP ...................................15

• August-December 2014: Antwon Jones Complains Online About


His DWP Bill And New York Attorney Paul Paradis Responds .................15

• November 2014: The City Braces Itself for More


DWP Ratepayer Lawsuits .............................................................................16

• December 2014: Tim Blood Files the Then-Lead Class


Action Involving The CC&B System Against DWP ...................................17

• Also, In Early December 2014: Mr. Paradis And


Mr. Kiesel Hatch Their Plan to Have the City
And Mr. Jones Sue PwC In Separate Lawsuits ............................................19

2
• Second Half of December 2014: The City And
Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Work Together on the
City v. PwC and Jones v. PwC Complaints ..................................................31

• Early January 2015: The Draft Complaints Are Distributed to the Clients;
Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel Try to Convince Lawyers in the
Other Class Actions to Join Jones v. PwC and
Drop Their Cases Against the City ...............................................................37

• February 2015: The Jones v. PwC Strategy


Disintegrates for Two Reasons. As a Result, The
City and Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel Pivot to Filing
a Sham Jones v. City Complaint and Recruit Mr. Landskroner
to Front That Sham Lawsuit .........................................................................71

• The Shift to Filing Jones v. City as a “White Knight” Lawsuit to


Gobble Up the Other Class Actions Was Hatched
Before the End of February 2015 .................................................................91

• March 2015: Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, And Mr. Kiesel File City v. PwC
While Continuing to Draft the Jones v. City Complaint with Help from the
DWP and the LACA ...................................................................................105

• The City’s Settlement Negotiations Prior To the Filing of Jones v. City .. 128

Timeline Two: April 1, 2015 To December 31, 2015 ........................................130

• First Week of April 2015: Jones v. City Complaint


Is Filed by Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman With Assistance from
Mr. Kiesel. The Paradis-Drafted Settlement Letter Is Sent to City ........... 130

• Early April 2015: The Jones’s Settlement Proposal


and the City’s Initial Negotiations with Mr. Landskroner .........................134

• April 3, 2015: The City’s Lawyers Start Pretending They Didn’t


Know About Jones v. City Before It Was Filed .................................148

3
• April 3: Jones v. City Settlement Preparations
By the City Remain on Track ................................................................150

• Middle of April: First Contact with Mr. Landskroner


and the White Knight Settlement Is Mostly Completed ....................151

• Early April 2015: Mr. Landskroner Lies to Mr. Jones, Claiming Mr.
Landskroner Was Involved in An Investigation of Cleveland
Water’s CC& Billing System .....................................................................154

• Mid-April 2015: Mr. Clark Affirmatively Chooses Mr. Landskroner As


the Lawyer with Whom the City Would Negotiate, Freezing Out
Lawyers Who Had Filed Earlier Class Action Complaints and Whose
Allegations the Jones Complaint Restated; The City’s Lawyers Also
Negotiated Attorneys’ fees Before Claims Were Settled ...........................159

• April 20: The Parties Choose Judge Tevrizian and Identify Available
Mediation Dates Despite Being Fully Aware That They Had Already
Reached Nearly Complete Settlement ........................................................162

• Late April: Collusive Efforts Between the City


and Mr. Landskroner Continue, Including
Freezing Out Mr. Blood and Directing Mr. Landskroner And
Mr. Libman To Appear in Court; The City Retroactively Hires
the Paradis and Kiesel Law Firms for City v. PwC ....................................163

• May 2015: Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel Take Control


of the City’s Response to Jones v. City, After
Having Drafted the Complaint on Behalf of
Mr. Jones; The Collusion With Mr. Landskroner Continues .....................171

• June 2015: The Sham Mediation Reaches the Pre-Ordained Conclusion,


With Only Attorneys’ fees and Running the Gauntlet of Objections By
Other Plaintiffs’ Counsel Remaining to Be Dealt with By the City .......... 175

4
• July 2015: The City and Mr. Landskroner Successfully Use Every Means
Possible to Convince the Court to Approve the Settlement,
Then Pivot to Mediating Attorneys’ Fees to Reward Mr. Landskroner
And Mr. Libman For Assisting in the City’s Plan .....................................205

• Early August 2015: Mr. Landskroner “Blackmails” the City into Agreeing to
Exorbitant Attorneys’ Fees; Ms. Annaguey Raises the Alarm; The City
Willingly Agrees to the Fees ......................................................................211

• Mid-August 2017: The City and Mr. Landskroner


Press the Court to Approve the Jones Settlement,
Repeatedly Lying in The Process ...............................................................229

• September 2015: Court Gives Initial Approval,


Including Attorneys’ Fees, Despite Objections by Counsel in the
Related Actions After Crediting False and Misleading Statements
By Lawyers For the City and Mr. Landskroner .........................................246

• October 2015: Efforts to Sideline Mr. Blood And


The Other Plaintiffs’ Counsel Continue; The City Hires
Paradis Law Group by Way of a Non-Competitive Bid Process
To Conduct Non-Legal Remediation Management At
Above-Market Rates ...................................................................................251

• November 2015: Lies to The Court Continue In


Support of Approving Jones Settlement; The
Parties Tweak the Settlement Further .........................................................262

• December 2015: Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in The Related Actions Continue


To Assault the Jones Settlement to No Avail; Court Holds Another
Hearing on Preliminary Approval and Is Lied to Again ............................268

• Late December 2015: Civil Discovery in PwC


Matter Zeroes in On Collusion Regarding
Jones and The City and Its Lawyers Attempt to Cover
Up the Collusive Nature of The Jones Settlement .................................273

5
Timeline Three: December 31, 2015 To Present ...............................................274

• 2016: The Collusion, Coverup, And Lies Continue;


Paradis Law Group Gets Paid Millions by DWP ...................................274

• Winter 2016: More Mediation, More Settlement


Agreement Changes, And More Attorneys’ Fees ......................................278

• Mid-December 2016-January 2017: City Asserts an


Improper Blanket Privilege Claim Over Remediation to Stop
PwC From Discovering the Collusion; PwC’s Lawyers Find
the Draft Jones v. PwC Complaint
Buried in the 19,321-Entry Privilege Log ..............................................283

• February 2017: Gibson Dunn And Mr. Blood Assert


Collusion and Press for More Information; The City’s
Lawyers Lie, Counterattack, And Distract in Response ........................285

• Spring 2017: PwC Continues to Push for Answers


While Landskroner And Libman Seek Increased
Fees by Lying Yet Again ..........................................................................292

• June 2017: Mr. Paradis Moves His Overpriced Remediation


Work from His Law Firm to A Solely Owned LLC Named After a
$400,000 Lamborghini “Aventador” .........................................................306

• Late June 2017-July 2017: The Court Give Final Approval to The
Settlement and Fees, and Payments Ensue .............................................312

• August-December 2017: PwC Continues to Press for Disclosure of Jones


v. PwC Documents; Mr. Paradis Repeatedly Lies to The Court in a
December 2017 Hearing ...........................................................................316

• January 2018: The Court Grants PwC’s Discovery Requests in


Connection with Jones v. PwC ................................................................324

6
• April-June 2018: The City Tries to Delay PwC’s
Efforts to Learn About Jones v. PwC And the City Also
Submits More Lies to the Court ...............................................................325

• September 2018: Mr. Peters, Mr. Kiesel’s Former


Law Partner, Obstructs the PwC Discovery Process by Failing
to Prepare for His “Person Most Qualified” Deposition ........................329

• November-December 2018: The City Attempts to Convince the Court,


Without Success, That Mr. Peters Didn’t Obstruct Discovery;
Ms. Tufaro Lies to The Court About Jones v. PwC, And Mr.
Keisel Corrects Some of the Lies ............................................................337

• January 2019: Fearing What PwC’s Lawyers, Daniel Tomasch and


Gibson Dunn, Will Find if They Keep Pressing, the City Seeks to
Disqualify Gibson Dunn as Well as Concoct a Fake “Common
Interest Privilege” With Their Opponent, Mr. Jones, And Further
Their Attempt to Distract the Court from the Real Facts ......................342

• February-May 2019: Mr. Peters Turns A Blind


Eye to Exhibits for Mr. Clark’s PMQ Deposition, Ensuring Mr. Clark
Would Be Equally Unprepared and PwC Would Not Have
Responsive Documents; Mr. Clark Makes Damaging Admissions
But Later Attempts To Walk Back Most Of Them In An Errata .......... 351

• March 2019: The Four-Year Collusion Between


The City and Lawyers for Mr. Jones Is Uncovered;
Multiple Persons Assert Their Fifth Amendment Rights ...........................365

• March-April 2019: Mr. Paradis Plays A Shell


Game with Aventador By Changing Its
Name to Keep the Contract with DWP Going ........................................372

• April 2019: Mr. Bender Learns DWP’s Back-Billing


Is a Larger Problem Than Previously Disclosed ........................................373

7
• April-May 2019: The City “Discovers” the Undisclosed
Responsive Documents for the Clark PMQ Deposition;
Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis Admit the Collusion in the
Face of The City’s Claims That It Was Unaware ......................................375

• June 2019-June 2020: Mr. Wright Resigns, the FBI Executes


Search Warrant, and Mr. Paradis and Ardent File Bankruptcy ..................377

8
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9
TIMELINE ONE

SEPTEMBER 2013: DWP LAUNCHES THE NEW CIS AND ITS CC&B
COMPONENT WITH DISASTEROUS CONSEQUENCES

In September 2013, following over three years of integration and testing, the DWP
replaced its 40-year-old consumer information system (“CIS”). The CIS provided
billing and customer service functions for the DWP’s roughly 3.8 million customers.

At the core of the CIS replacement project was a billing system called Customer
Care and Billing (“CC&B”) configured and implemented by
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (“PwC”). CC&B was a ready‑made, off‑the‑shelf
Oracle software product, which the DWP stated would improve its flexibility,
reliability, data management, and ability to integrate the program with other
programs. CC&B interfaced with 28 other DWP systems to create CIS. However,
the DWP’s decision to launch its new CIS in September 2013, was premature and
the department’s workforce was not prepared to ensure the system’s proper
operations. The ratepayers complained of late utility bills, unwarranted shut‑off
notices, and excessive wait times to speak with customer service representatives.

Ex State auditor’s report

The launch of the new CIS and its CC&B component was a disaster.

In July 2014, despite DWP’s awareness and public acknowledgement of customer


billing errors and customer complaints,1 and its engagement of TMG Consulting,
Inc. (TMG) to perform a root cause analysis, DWP made the decision that it was
appropriate to release PwC, pay PwC the contract hold-back, and exonerate PwC’s
bond. 2

1
Ex LADWP Press Release.
2
As evidenced by a June 25, 2014 DWP email, the decision to release PwC and pay the $3.2M
contract hold back a $1M knowledge transfer contingency was reviewed and discussed with City
Council member Felipe Fuentes (“Mr. Fuentes”) and Meldon Levine (“Mr. Levine”), President of
the DWP Board. Ex BGR 042033

10
AUGUST 2014: A ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS FAULTS DWP FOR THE
PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW CIS

The City of Los Angeles (“City”) hired TMG Consulting, Inc., a utility‑focused
information technology advisory firm, to prepare a confidential “Root Cause
Analysis” report titled Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Approach for
CCB/MWM Stabilization Root Cause Analysis (“Root Cause Analysis”).

TMG supplied DWP with its confidential “Root Cause Analysis.” The Root Cause
Analysis, dated August 25, 2014, contained an 11-page Executive Summary, and
referenced 13 Appendices, several of which bore the date August 10, 2014. The
Root Cause Report said that the DWP was still attempting to resolve defects that
existed during its CIS development. The Report represented TMG’s root cause
analysis of what went wrong with the project. Its analysis confirmed that the DWP’s
decision to launch CIS, in September 2013, including the component CC&B System,
without first resolving the many known defects was a poor one. The Report
summarized the causes TMG identified as contributing to the launch’s problems.

The report also identified the DWP’s ineffectiveness at addressing root causes
during CIS’s first year of operation as a reason that “collections have hit
unmanageable levels,” and it described CIS as in a state of “continuing instability,”
which it largely attributed to defects in the system and the DWP management. The
CC&B System (and the firm hired as system integrator, PwC) largely escaped blame
in the TMG Report.

Ex TMG Report

NOVEMBER 2014: DWP RELEASES THE ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS


AND STARTS FEELING THE HEAT OF BOTH BAD PRESS AND
INCREASED EXPOSURE TO CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

On November 18, 2014, the DWP released the Root Cause Analysis report.3 The
Root Cause Analysis provided a great deal of information for any plaintiff’s lawyer
interested in bringing a class action suit against the City based on DWP’s erroneous

3
The press immediately reported on the findings in TMG’s 14-page Root Cause Analysis report.
Ex Poor management blamed for DWP customer billing problems
Ex LADWP Identifies “Root Cause” of Billing, Customer Service Breakdown

11
billing. Notably, there is no evidence that the Appendices listed in the TMG Report
were made publicly available by the DWP.

On November 25, 2014, the Los Angeles City Council’s Energy & Environment
Committee, having previously held hearings on September 23, 2014, and requested
the DWP report on the latest findings of the independent assessment of the CIS,
moved:

That the DWP be requested to immediately report to the


Council regarding the internal/independent assessment of
the CIS conversion and TMG Consulting’s findings and
recommendations regarding the matter.

That the DWP be requested to report as to the steps it will


take to implement the independent assessment’s
recommendations on the CID conversion and other major
projects.

That the DWP be requested to report as to the status of the


Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s review/audit.

Ex 14-01610s1_mot_11-25-14

FEBRUARY 2014 THROUGH FEBRUARY 2015: RATEPAYER CLASS


ACTIONS AGAINST DWP ARE FILED

By the end of 2014, the City had lost hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed
revenue due to billing problems with the CC&B System and had suffered from
scathing and relentless attacks in the media about the billing debacle. In addition,
due to DWP’s failure to resolve ratepayer complaints and ongoing issues with the
new CC&B System, four putative billing class action lawsuits (“Other Class
Actions”)4 were filed against the City in 2014 and early 2015:

• Kimhi v. The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court
(“LACSC”) Case No. BC536272, filed February 13, 2014 (“Kimhi”);

• Bransford v. City of Los Angeles, LACSC, Case No. BC565618, filed


December 4, 2014 (the “Bransford Class Action” née Casler) (“Bransford”);

4
To distinguish other class actions from Jones v. City.
12
• Morski v. City of Los Angeles, LASC, Case No. BC568722, filed January 7,
2015 (“Morski”); and

• Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles, LACSC, Case No. BC571664, filed February
5, 2015 (“Fontaine”)

These four cases will be referred to collectively as the “Other Class Actions.”

Ex State auditor’s report


Ex Kimhi Class Action
Ex Bransford Class Action
Ex Morski Class Action
Ex Fontaine Class Action

The Kimhi complaint alleged that since February 2010, participants in the DWP’s
Solar Incentive Program had been damaged due to delays in approving them for
participation in the program, failing to properly bill them for energy consumed and
failing to properly credit them for energy generated; as such, it did not directly
implicate the CC&B rollout. The Bransford and Fontaine complaints generally
alleged that since the implementation of the CC&B System, DWP had improperly
overcharged its customers, sent delayed bills, improperly estimated bills, failed to
investigate problems, and failed to provide customers with appropriate refunds or
credits. The Morski complaint alleged that the DWP assessed tiered billing without
obtaining actual monthly meter reads and without providing monthly bills to its
customers in violation of certain City ordinances.

Before the filing of the first of the Other Class Actions, both the City and DWP
knew of the errors in the DWP customers’ billings, including that customers were
being overbilled and underbilled (and not billed at all).

Ex State auditor’s report

By Early 2014, DWP representatives publicly acknowledged that it knew the new
billing system had led to incorrect bills for tens of thousands of its customers. The
DWP also acknowledged that it knew some of its customers were receiving back-
billing for past billing periods not billed properly by DWP. The DWP’s initial public
statements attributed the billing errors to the CC&B and the installation of digital
smart meters at homes under a federal agency program.

Ex News at 6 from Westwood

13
Ex LADWP Press Release

DWP had publicly declared, long before settling the collusive Jones v. City class
action, that it was already working to stabilize and remediate the billing system.

City Attorney Mike Feuer (“Mr. Feuer”) testified that, after the “billing fiasco first
became public,” he instructed his staff “that subject to approval by the Department
of Water and Power Commissioners, these cases should be resolved by assuring that
every ratepayer received a hundred cents on the dollar5 for every claimed overcharge
and that the resolution should include a fix of the billing system.”

Feuer Dep 61: 7-12

Nonetheless, as is discussed fully below, the DWP attempted to shift blame to PwC,
both to improve its public image and to recover from PwC for what the Root Cause
Report found was DWP’s failure to ensure the kinks were worked out before CC&B
went live. Ultimately, the strategy engaged in by the City Attorney’s Office
(“LACA”) and its retained Special Counsel became to recover from PwC for DWP
billing errors regardless of whether, or not, these errors related to PwC’s work on
CC&B.

GENESIS OF RELATED CLASS ACTION CASES6

On February 13, 2014, the Kimhi Class Action was filed. 7

Mr. Feuer was aware that this lawsuit had been filed against the City, involving solar
customers who claimed the DWP had not given them credit for solar power they
generated. Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark discussed retaining, and decided to retain,
outside counsel to assist the LACA with the defense of the cases.

Ex Feuer Dep 19:12-20:3

5
Note, however, in a June 13, 2015, email exchange between James Clark (“Mr. Clark”) and Mr.
Feuer regarding the Jones v. City settlement reached in the June 11-12, 2015, mediation, Mr. Feuer
questioned why the City was “settling for 100 cents on the dollar.” Ex COLA-SM_0005715
6
The term “Related Cases” shall refer collectively to Jones v. City, City v. PwC and the Other
Class Actions.
7
On December 4, 2014, the Casler Class Action would become the second class action lawsuit
filed in connection with the underlying issue of systematic overbilling by DWP. Casler, however,
was the first class action lawsuit to raise issues unrelated to the solar credit claims asserted in
Kimhi.
14
As discussed further below, the Liner LLP (“Liner Firm”) law firm was hired as
outside counsel in the defense of those cases. Mr. Clark along with William Kysella
(“Mr. Kysella”), an attorney in the DWP General Counsel Office, were listed on the
Liner Firm engagement agreement with the City as the supervising attorneys over
Kimhi and the class action billing cases. 8

In 2014, Mr. Feuer knew media stories were depicting DWP in an unfavorable light
due to billing errors. Mr. Feuer testified that he had an expectation that such a case
would be brought to his attention and that he affirmatively asked Mr. Clark to report
to him periodically “when matters of consequence required my attention.” The
reports from Mr. Clark to Mr. Feuer were claimed to have been oral with no written
record of the briefings in existence to be produced.

Feuer Dep 26:5-12; 27:13-14; 27:15-17

In March 2014, Michael Libman (“Mr. Libman”) contacted Paul Kiesel (“Mr.
Kiesel”) assertedly regarding information relating to high and inaccurate DWP bills
received by an immediate family member. 9 Both Mr. Libman and Mr. Kiesel were
(and as of this report still are) licensed to practice law in the State of California,10
and were, as of July 27, 2015, working as co-counsel in the matter of Gastello v.
Costco, which was filed by Mr. Libman on April 10, 2013. [Appendix H]. At some
point, Mr. Kiesel shared Mr. Libman’s information 11 with Mr. Paradis, who has
never been licensed to practice law in the State of California.

Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 35:3-37:22; Libman Dep 20:13-21:6, 18-25; Kiesel Dep (5-
30-19) 36-37

8
Mr. Clark claims to have had nothing to do with Kimhi, but he testified that he had overall
supervision of and responsibility for Jones v. City. Clark Dep (4-29-19) 119:1-6, (4-9-19).
9
Under well-established class action law, a lawyer for the class cannot represent the class if a
relative is the class representative in a class action lawsuit. Zylstra v. Safeway Stores (5th Cir.
1978) 578 F.2d 102; see also In re California Micro Devices Securities Litigation (N.D. CA 1996)
168 F.R.D. 257, 262 (attorney cannot serve as both class representative and class counsel); Apple
Computer, Inc. v. Superior Court (2005) 126 Cal. App. 4th 1253, 1271 (same).
10
CalBar webpages: http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/222353;
http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/119854
11
Mr. Libman testified that he gave Mr. Kiesel some billing statements, maybe some research he
had done, and that Mr. Kiesel indicated that he wasn’t interested in pursuing a class action against
DWP. (Libman Dep 274:9-13; 279:14-20)
15
JUNE 2014: THE LINER FIRM BEGINS DEFENDING THE CITY
AGAINST PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION SUITS AGAINST DWP

On June 16, 2014, the Liner Firm was retained as outside counsel for the City
Attorney’s Office, to serve as lead counsel in the defense of the Other Class Action
lawsuits, and work under the direction of the City Attorney. 12 The retainer
agreement was for the period June 16, 2014 to June 14, 2017. Angela Agrusa (“Ms.
Agrusa”) was designated as outside counsel’s supervising attorney with the
stipulation that “Outside Counsel’s Supervising Attorney shall not be changed”
without the City Attorney’s written authorization. Marybeth Annaguey (“Ms.
Annaguey”), then a junior partner at the Liner Firm, was also responsible for
defending these lawsuits.13 The Liner Firm representation included “[a]ll settlement
negotiations and pretrial proceedings.” As noted above, the Liner Firm attorneys
were, by the terms of the engagement, to be supervised by Mr. Clark and Mr.
Kysella. The Liner Firm engagement was signed by Marcie Edwards (“Ms.
Edwards”) on behalf of the DWP and Mr. Clark on behalf of the City Attorney’s
office.

Ex Initial Liner Engagement at p. 9, §IV.A.1.

AUGUST-DECEMBER 2014: ANTWON JONES COMPLAINS ONLINE


ABOUT HIS DWP BILL AND NEW YORK ATTORNEY
PAUL PARADIS RESPONDS

Prior to August 26, 2014, on a Consumer Affairs website, Antwon Jones (“Mr.
Jones”) registered an online complaint about DWP billing issues. The Consumer
Affairs website, which was set up to collect consumer complaints on a variety of

12
At the time the Liner Firm was retained by the City, the only class action pending against DWP
was the Kimhi case. The engagement agreement provided that the Liner Firm was to serve as lead
counsel in defending “class action lawsuits” without limiting it to the Kimhi case.
13
Before any of the subject DWP billing lawsuits were filed, the City put out a request for proposal
for interested counsel to represent the City in defending against putative class actions by ratepayers
in connection with problems related to the new billing system. Ms. Agrusa submitted a proposal,
was interviewed by DWP and attorneys at the City Attorney’s office, and suggested, up front, that
the DWP should acknowledge the problems and set up a claim process to make ratepayers whole.
This was not the first matter in which Ms. Agrusa had been retained to represent the City. While
Ms. Agrusa was originally in charge of the defense of the CC&B class action cases, at a certain
later date, Ms. Annaguey took over for the Liner Firm. (Agrusa Dep 48:15-49:13; 38:1-4; 38:12-
39:22; 42:13-17.) Ms. Annaguey was designated outside counsel’s Supervising Attorney in
Amendment Five to the Liner-DWP contract, which was approved by the DWP Board on June 6,
2017. (Liner 5th Amendment at pp. 2, 3; DWP Board Minutes of June 6, 2017 at p. 32.)
16
topics and transmit those complaints to plaintiffs’ lawyers, had a webpage devoted
to ratepayer complaints about the DWP. See
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/utilities/laDWP.html?#sort=oldest&filter=none

Mr. Jones, understanding that he was posting on a consumer affairs website,


indicated that he wanted to be contacted by an attorney as he was considering a
lawsuit against DWP. Despite his public posting about DWP in August 2014, it was
not until December 2014, that Mr. Jones received a response to his online complaint
about DWP. That response came in the form of an email from Paul Paradis (“Mr.
Paradis”) offering to represent Mr. Jones.

Ex BGR 001720-41
Jones Dep 40:3-19; 43-44; 46:22-47:6 55:12–57:8; 100:7–101:3
Clark Dep (2-26-19) 46:15-24

NOVEMBER 2014: THE CITY BRACES ITSELF FOR MORE DWP


RATEPAYER LAWSUITS

On November 1, 2014, DWP Assistant General Counsel Richard Tom (“Mr. Tom”)
emailed Mr. Feuer, copying Mr. Tom’s supervisor, LACA attorney Richard Brown
(“Mr. Brown”), attaching the Casler claim and stating: “Because of its potential to
become a class action lawsuit, I want to bring to your attention a claim (file attached)
against the DWP that was received by our office this week. Rich Brown is bringing
this matter to Marcie Edwards’ attention on Monday for further action.”

There follows an over 400-word detailed description of the Casler claim and a plan
of action for dealing with the Casler claim.

Ex COLA-SM_0001223

In November 2014, upon the City’s receipt of the Casler administrative tort claim,
Mr. Tom approached LACA attorney Deborah Dorny (“Ms. Dorny”) to assist Eskel
Solomon (“Mr. Solomon”) with the anticipated filing against the City in the Casler
matter. Mr. Solomon told Ms. Dorny, who reported to Mr. Solomon as well as Mr.
Tom, that he was handling the matter but would bring her in if he needed help. At
that time, Mr. Solomon was the supervisory attorney for the DWP Civil Litigation
Group. Mr. Solomon reported to Mr. Tom, who as DWP Assistant General Counsel,
had direct supervision over the attorneys in the DWP component of the City

17
Attorney’s Office who had day-to-day supervision of the defense of the class actions
against DWP.

Dorny Dep 16:17-22, 17:3-8, 27:7-29:2


Solomon Dep (7-31-19) 19:25-20:20

DECEMBER 2014: TIM BLOOD FILES THE THEN-LEAD CLASS


ACTION INVOLVING THE CC&B SYSTEM AGAINST DWP

On December 4, 2014, the Bransford (née Casler) class action was filed by Blood,
Hurst & O’Reardon LLP (“Blood Firm”) and Milstein Adelman LLP (“Milstein
Firm”). This was the lead class action case involving DWP billing errors stemming
from allegations relating to the CC&B system. The Bransford complaint flags the
new CIS system and identifies it as a major source of the billing problems. The
Bransford complaint identifies PwC as the systems integrator for the CIS systems.
The Bransford complaint defines its class as starting at the “go live” date, September
3, 2013.

Ex COLA-SM_0001271-93

On December 4, 2014, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Feuer, Mr. Clark, and Lea Kapur
(“Ms. Kapur”), copying Mr. Brown and Mr. Tom, regarding the Bransford class
action complaint:

Please be advised that on December 3, 2014 the attached


summons and complaint was served on the Los Angeles
City Clerk’s Office and forwarded to my attention. The
pleading is an anticipated “class action,” related to
LADWP Water and Power billing practices, and is likely
one of several such filings. Counsel for the plaintiffs are
the Blood Hurst & O’Reardon firm (San Diego) in
association with the Milstein Adelman firm (in Santa
Monica). The Department has retained the Liner LLP Law
Firm to assist us with the defense of this important matter.
We propose a meeting with Jim Clark together with the
Liner Firm to discuss this matter at Jim’s convenience.
Please advise me and/or Richard Tom of available dates
and times. Thank you, EHS.

Ex COLA-SM_0001263

18
On December 5, 2014, at 11:16 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed

ALL: With regard to the above-captioned matter, which


was the subject of an email yesterday, I have confirmed
the class action has been filed w/ the Los Angeles Superior
Court. The lead plaintiff is now Sharon Bransford w/
former lead plaintiff John Casler deleted from the action.
Please see the information below. On Thursday,
December 4, a [second] meeting was held w/ LADWP
staff, the Liner Law Firm (retained outside counsel) and
LADWP Legal Division attorney regarding the defense of
this matter. The participating/responsible City Attorneys
are Assistant Counsel Richard Tom, DCA Deborah
Dorny, and myself. We will keep you advised of
developments as they occur. We will contact Jim [Clark]
to set up a briefing meeting at his convenience regarding
this matter. Although COLA is the named defendant,
LADWP Legal Division will be the responsible group for
the defense of this matter. EHS.

Ex COLA-SM_0001263-65

At 12:24 p.m., Mr. Feuer replied to Mr. Solomon’s email, copying Mr. Clark, Ms.
Kapur, Rob Wilcox (“Mr. Wilcox”), Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny and Joseph
Ramallo (“Mr. Ramallo”), re: UPDATE Re SHARON BRANSFORD, STEVEN
SHRAGER AND RACHEL TASH vs. COLA, LADWP BILLING MATTERS
CLASS ACTION, BC565618:

Thanks. Two things:

1) For our records, please note that there is at least a


small possibility that, given a recent water and power bill
we received for our home, my wife and I might be eligible
for class membership. We paid the bill (which may have
been correct even though it reflected significant a
retroactive amount) in full.

By this email I am confirming that my wife and I will not


participate in the plaintiff class, and, should the plaintiff
class recover any damages, we will reject any share of
those damages.
19
Please let me know if the lawyers on this email recommend
that I take any additional action to avoid a conflict viz. this
case.

2) Also note that I’ve known plaintiffs’ counsel, Tim Blood,


for many years. Especially were this to go to mediation,
that relationship may prove helpful in reaching a
resolution.

Thanks.

Ex COLA-SM_0001263-65

ALSO, IN EARLY DECEMBER 2014: MR. PARADIS AND MR. KIESEL


HATCH THEIR PLAN TO HAVE THE CITY AND MR. JONES SUE PwC
IN SEPARATE LAWSUITS

During the month of December 2014, Mr. Paradis was doing two things that are
material for this report. First, he was enlisting the aid of Mr. Keisel, with whom
he had worked before, to facilitate a meeting with Mr. Peters, the third-highest-
ranking attorney in the City Attorney’s Office who supervised the City’s civil
litigation and also was a former law partner of Mr. Kiesel. Secondly, Mr. Paradis
was lining up a client who could serve as the class representative in a class action
suit Mr. Paradis intended bringing against PwC relating to the DWP’s billing
issues.14

On December 4, 2014, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying Ms. Tufaro, re:
PNM PwC:

Paulie – as discussed. Take a look and call me back when


you get freed up. These two documents were prepared
from a longer and more extensive report entitled: “Root
Cause Analysis.” It is dated August 25, 2014 and was
authored by TMG Consulting. I want to talk about the
Root Cause Analysis. Thanks,

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

14
From time to time the writer will offer comments or explanations or opinions outside the realm
of narrative facts. In those cases, the comments will be enclosed in a text box, as here.
20
On December 5, 2014, Mr. Paradis contacted Mr. Jones in response to Mr. Jones’s
posting on the Consumer Affairs’ website, where he complained about his bills and
stated, “I want to start a class action lawsuit ASAP [against DWP].” This was Mr.
Jones’s first contact with Mr. Paradis. Mr. Jones was considering a lawsuit against
the DWP. Mr. Jones understood that Mr. Paradis would represent him in connection
with a possible ratepayer action against the DWP.

Jones Dep 42:21-47:16, 55:12-19, 100:7-101:6; Ex. 5 to Jones Dep at p. 15.

Ex Jones Dec ¶5

Ex Thomasch Dec 3-4

On December 8, 2014, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying J. (Julissa)


Salgueiro (“Ms. Salgueiro”) of the Kiesel Law LLP (“Kiesel Law”), re: LADWP
Meeting w/Tom Peters:

Paulie,

I hope you had a good flight to London. I need to re-do


my travel plans for next week if you were able to set up a
meeting with Tom Peters for next Tuesday as we discussed
last week. I am open all day next Tuesday and will re-do
the ticket however I need to if you are able to get the
meeting set up – please let me know. Also, when you speak
with him, it would be VERY helpful if you are able to
actually get:

(i) the contract itself – it is referred to a “LADWP


Agreement No. 47976”; and

(ii) the report that was done that I emailed you about
last week. The report is referred to as the “Room
Cause Analysis” and was prepared by TMG
Consulting and is dated August 25, 2014 (but has
not yet been publicly released).

Two minutes later, Mr. Kiesel replied to Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Salgueiro,
stating: “I will try and reach Thom tomorrow. I wasn’t able to reach him before I
left for London.”

21
Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

On December 9, 2014, at 1:28:51 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones, enclosing
a retainer agreement retaining the legal services of the PLG firm, under the subject:
“LADWP Litigation”:

It was a pleasure speaking with you this afternoon. As we


discussed, I have attached a Retainer Letter to this email.
Please review the letter and, after you have done so, sign
it and return a signed copy to me and keep a copy for your
records. In addition, please mail me a PDF version of
your LADWP bills (from inception through the last bill you
received) and all other correspondence (including email
chains) with anyone concerning your account with the
LADWP. I look forward to working with you.

Ex. PLTF000001

While the line of Mr. Paradis’s email to Mr. Jones stated “LADWP Litigation” the
Retainer Letter specified a class action against PwC and “other defendants.”

Ex PLTF000001
Ex Jones Paradis Retainer Letter

On December 9, 2014, at 1:41 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Kiesel, re: Thom
Peters:

Sorry - been working on client retention for the class case


involving LADWP. We should have that signed retainer
back shortly and I will send you a draft of the complaint to
look over tomorrow. We are going to be in your Sandbox
for a Change - Central Civil West. I will crank out the
email to Thom and you now.15

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

15
The email from Mr. Paradis continued to another topic, the pending class action litigation before
Judge Carney involving Lenovo. As discussed in Appendix H, on February 21, 2013, Mr. Paradis,
Ms. Tufaro, along with Mr. Kiesel, were counsel for plaintiffs in Kacsuta v. Lenovo (United States)
Inc., Case no. 8:13-cv-00316-CJC-RNB (USDC, CDCA). That matter, as reflected in the docket
sheet, was mediated by the Hon. Dickran Tevrizian (ret.) in 2015. (Doc #65). Ex Kacsuta v Lenovo
22
Mr. Jones testified he did not retain, nor did he understand that he was retaining, Mr.
Kiesel or Keisel Law, to represent him in connection with the DWP billing matter.
Mr. Jones had never communicated with, or met, Mr. Kiesel before February 2019.

Jones Dep (2/13/19) pp. 43-44, 111, 138, 169.

Mr. Kiesel testified that he understood he was being asked to assist Mr. Paradis in
obtaining information to benefit a ratepayer client of Mr. Paradis, by facilitating a
meeting with the City to obtain “evidence or information to assist in a ratepayer case
against” PwC for the DWP billing problems.

Kiesel (3-13-19) Dep 51:14-53:11; 69:1-71:13; Kiesel (5-28-19) Dep, 42:5-43:13.

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Based upon the evidence, it is fair to conclude that Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and
Mr. Kiesel had initially planned to be retained as co-counsel on behalf of Mr.
Jones, despite their failure to disclose Mr. Kiesel’s involvement to Mr. Jones at
any point in the engagement. Mr. Kiesel was listed as counsel along with Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro on the draft Jones v. PwC complaint. The initial
engagement letter sent to the City included the conflict waiver for both Mr. Kiesel
and Kiesel Law, as well as Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Paradis Law Group
(“PLG”). Mr. Kiesel had been previously, and repeatedly, brought in by Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro, as co-counsel, to assist in litigation and filings including
filing pro hac vice applications on their behalf in multiple matters filed in
California, and specifically in the Central District of California — which is where
this litigation was initially contemplated to be filed.

On December 10, 2014, at 12:07 p.m. (ET) Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones:

Hi Antwon,

I am just following up on our conversation from yesterday


afternoon to confirm that you received the Retainer Letter
that I sent to you. Please let me know if you have any
additional questions and when I can expect to receive the
signed retainer letter from you because I need it in order
to move forward as we discussed.

That same day, Mr. Jones responded to Mr. Paradis:

23
How many people are on this class action suit with me?

Mr. Paradis then replied to Mr. Jones:

At this point we estimate that there will be somewhere


between 75,000 to 100,000 other people with you in the
class.

Ex PLT 000014-15

On December 11, 2014, Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Paradis:

Hello, Paul attached is the retainer letter signature page.

Ex PLT 000014-15

That same day, at 10:01 a.m., (ET), after Mr. Paradis received Mr. Jones’s
signature page on the retainer agreement, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones:

I am drafting the Complaint and will incorporate the


specifics about your overcharges into the Complaint when
I receive the bill records from you. Once the Complaint is
finished I will email it to you for your review.

Ex PLTF 000010-12

Mr. Jones testified that his intention in retaining Mr. Paradis was to sue DWP:

Q. At the time that Mr. Paradis contacted you in


response to your posted website complaint, you
understood at that time initially that he was going to
represent you in connection with a possible action against
LADWP; isn’t that correct?

A. Yes.

Jones Dep (2/13/19) p. 98


Ex Jones Paradis Retainer Letter
Ex. PLTF 00010

24
On December 10, 2014, at 3:07 p.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Peters. The text of
the message in the copy produced by the City is redacted.

Ex COLA-LADWP_ 0005488

Mr. Peters did not respond to Mr. Kiesel’s email until the next day, December 11,
2014, at 6:42 p.m., which was in the midst of the email string happening between
Mr. Peters and Mr. Paradis also on December 11, 2014, which were copied to Mr.
Kiesel.

Mr. Peters’s December 11, 2014, 6:42 p.m., response to Mr. Kiesel was as follows:
Does this mean our meeting with Paradis is off for next
week?

Mr. Kiesel, (12 minutes later in London on Pacific Time) at 10:54 a.m., 16 replied to
Mr. Peters:
Nope. We are set for Tuesday morning your office!
Peters Dep (9-13-18) 7- 8
Ex COLA-LADWP 0005488

On December 11, 2014, at 4:28 a.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Paradis re: Good
morning sir: “Have you sent anything to Thom Peters yet? Just haven’t seen
anything. We are confirmed for Tuesday morning.”

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

On December 11, 2014, at 12:41 p.m., less than three hours after emailing Mr.
Jones that he was drafting a class action complaint for him that would incorporate
the specifics of Mr. Jones’s erroneous DWP bills,17 Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters,

16
These three emails were provided to the Special Master exactly as noted, with the specific dates
and time stamps, including the last email from Mr. Kiesel appearing to have been sent almost seven
hours earlier. It is, however, clear that Mr. Kiesel’s response was 12 minutes later, as per his
December 8, 2014 email with Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel was in London, apparently with his iPhone
not yet adjusted for the change in time zone from Los Angeles to London.
17
See Ex PLTF 000010-12

25
copying Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel, regarding a meeting scheduled for the next
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, stating:

As I am sure Paul mentioned, we are investigating issues


arising from the selection and installation of a new
Customer Care & Billing (CC&B) software package for
the LADWP and look forward to discussing our findings
with you.

In advance of the meeting, it would be much appreciated


and very helpful if you could provide us with: (i) a copy of
LADWP Agreement No. 47976, which is the original three
year agreement between LADWP and Price Waterhouse
(sic) Coopers, LLP (“PwC”) to provide advice and
assistance in the planning and software selection activities
and system implementation for the replacement of
LADWP’s legacy Customer Care and Billing (“CC&B”)
system; and (ii) a copy of the “Root Cause Analysis”
report prepared by TMG Consulting of Austin, Texas,
which is dated August 25, 2014.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005489
Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Continuing that email exchange, on December 11, 2014, at 5:39 p.m., Mr. Peters
responded to Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel:

Hi Paul. I do look forward to seeing you again next week.


I am skeptical if I can figure out where those documents
are and get a copy prior to our meeting but will try. If my
skepticism turns out to be well-founded, is a meeting
unlikely to be fruitful? If so, should we reschedule for a
time after I have the materials in hand?

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Mr. Paradis then replied, at 2:43 p.m., to Mr. Peters, copying Ms. Tufaro and Mr.
Kiesel:

26
Based on the results of our investigation to date, I believe
that a meeting will be fruitful even if you are not able to
get your hands on those two documents before we meet. I
am interested in your reaction to our findings thus far and
your thoughts about how we believe we might be able to
help the LADWP and its customers. If we need a follow up
meeting after you get the docs, we will happily come back
out so we can sit down and discuss in more detail ...
remember it is Winter back East! Looking forward to
seeing you.

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

To which, Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis, at 9:17 p.m., copying Ms. Tufaro
and Mr. Kiesel:

Completely understood. And I have asked the chief lawyer


for DWP to get the docs to me in time. He has yet to
respond, but there is some hope. See you Tuesday.

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Also, on December 11, 2015, at 2:46 p.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Clark:

Hi Jim: I am planning to meet with Paul Kiesel and a


lawyer from New York next Tuesday morning to discuss
whether DWP has a case concerning some technology
they purchased which doesn’t do what it is supposed to do.
The lawyers have asked if I could locate (1) LADWP
Agreement No. 47976, which is the original three year
agreement between LADWP and Price Waterhouse
Coopers, LLP, [sic] to provide certain advice and
assistance and (2) a copy of the “Root Cause Analysis”
report prepared by TMG Consulting of Austin, Texas,
which is dated August 25, 2014. May I reach out to the
people at DWP, maybe Anat or Rich, to see if I can get a
copy of these things? Thanks.

Mr. Clark responded to Mr. Peters: “Sure. To save any bruised feelings, why don’t
you start with Rich, and tell him that you cleared this with me.”

27
Mr. Peters replied to Mr. Clark: “Cool. Thanks.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005495

As a result of the above suggestion of Mr. Clark, on December 11, 2014, at 6:12
p.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Brown, copying Mr. Clark, with the subject line
“Possible affirmative suit on behalf of DWP”:

Hi Rich: We have been approached by a lawyer who


believes we may have a significant lawsuit against Price
Waterhouse Coopers [sic] related to work they did in
connection with some expensive but faulty technology
DWP purchased. I will learn the particulars next Tuesday
morning and, if it is at all promising, I will fill you in. In
anticipation of that meeting, however, the lawyer has
asked if I could locate (1) LADWP Agreement No. 47976,
which is the original three-year agreement between
LADWP and PWC, to provide certain advice and
assistance and (2) a copy of the “Root Cause Analysis”
report prepared by TMG consulting of Austin, Texas,
which is dated August 25, 2014. Jim has no objection.
Would your staff be able to email me a copy of these things
before the end of the day Monday? Thanks much.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005500

In response to Mr. Peters’s request, Mr. Brown thereafter, at 6:37 p.m., emailed
Dirk Broersma (“Mr. Broersma”), copying Mr. Tom, asking:

Can you locate the docs that Thom needs. Before you send
them to Thom, you, Richard and I should meet on Monday.
I will be out of the office on Friday.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005500

On December 16, 2014, Mr. Peters met in person, as was previously scheduled,
with Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel at the City Attorney’s Office in
connection with the investigation that they were conducting on behalf of Mr. Jones
and the putative consumer class that Mr. Jones sought to represent against PwC. At
that meeting, counsel informed the City that they had been retained and were
conducting an investigation on behalf of Mr. Jones, which involved Mr. Jones and a
28
putative consumer class action case against PwC. During that meeting, the filing of
a direct action brought by the City against PwC for damages in connection with the
City’s new CC&B billing system, in which Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis and Ms.
Tufaro, through their respective law firms, would be retained by the City Attorney’s
Office as Special Counsel, was also discussed. At that time, an initial agreement
was made for the City to retain both firms to represent the City in connection with
an investigation and possible lawsuit against PwC, with the City’s full knowledge
that these same two firms were simultaneously representing Mr. Jones in a potential
action against PwC, the substance of which directly related to Mr. Jones’s claims of
erroneous billings by the DWP. Ultimately, it took until April 27, 2015, for the
Special Counsel engagement to be formally approved by the DWP Board. The City
Council approved the Special Counsel engagement on June 24, 2015. When
approved, the retainer was made retroactive; but only to January 1, 2015.

Ex COLA-SM_0000707

City v. PwC, LASC Case No. BC574690, Plaintiff’s Response to Court Order Dated
February 21, 2019, at page 4 (not exhibited). 18

By early December 2014, Mr. Paradis, with the assistance of Mr. Kiesel, had
scheduled a meeting with Mr. Peters at the City Attorney’s Office to facilitate
obtaining information, in connection with the DWP billing issues which Mr.
Paradis described to Mr. Kiesel as having “not yet been publicly released.”

Mr. Paradis’s contemporaneous efforts to retain a client, Mr. Jones, for “the class
action case involving LADWP” were not disconnected to Mr. Paradis’s and Mr.
Kiesel’s efforts to obtain both a meeting with, and information from, Mr. Peters to
facilitate a possible affirmative action by the City against PwC. Mr. Paradis
wanted a ratepayer to file the second suit as part of this two-lawsuits strategy; a
two-lawsuit strategy was ultimately pursued by the City with the assistance of Mr.
Paradis, however, in the end only one of the suits, City v. PwC, was filed against
PwC. The other was Jones v. City.

18
In City v. PwC, LASC Case No. BC574690, Plaintiff’s Response to Court Order Dated
February 21, 2019, at page 4, the City stated that the meeting occurred on December 18, 2014.
Although Mr. Peters represented in open Court that Mr. Paradis’s attorney-client relationship with
the City began on “December 18, 2014” [Ex RT (3-4-19) Proceedings 45], he subsequently
confirmed that December 16, 2014 was the correct date. Peters Dep (5-2-19) 340. The Special
Master finds that Mr. Peters’ deposition testimony regarding December 16, 2014, is correct and
consistent with emails of that same day.

29
At the December 16, 2018 meeting, Mr. Paradis agreed to prepare a draft complaint
in which PwC would be the named defendant in an affirmative civil lawsuit filed by
DWP. Mr. Clark testified that he participated in the December 16, 2014 meeting
and that he learned of Mr. Paradis’s representation of Mr. Jones around December
2014. The testimony regarding the date being December 16, 2014, is consistent with
the above email exchanges, including the ones that occurred between Mr. Feuer and
Mr. Peters that same day. 19

Peters Dep (5-1-19) 40, (5-2-19) 10-11; 335: 3-18


Clark Dep (2-26-19) 53; 285-287; 84: 10-13
Kiesel Dep (3-13-19) 70-72; (5-28-19) Dep 43-44

As of December 16, 2014, both Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark knew of Mr. Paradis’s
and Mr. Kiesel’s attorney-client relationship with Mr. Jones and that such
representation involved a matter related to the DWP’s improper billings.

Mr. Peters testified he probably heard the name Antwon Jones but doesn’t remember
and when he got the Jones v. PwC draft complaint he only read the cause of action
against PwC because he was only interested in the legal theory for a consumer class
action against PwC as a “thought experiment.”

Peters Dep (5-1-19) 11:3-16; 20:9-10

Based upon the evidence in this case, Mr. Peters’s testimony on this point is simply
not credible. It is not credible that an attorney, with Mr. Peters’s experience or in
his governmental supervisory position, who read the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint, signed the Bransford and Morski Tolling Agreements, and read the
Paradis/Kiesel draft retainer agreement, can be found to have credibly believed
that Antwon Jones was a non-existent client of Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel or that
the Jones v. PwC consumer action was merely part of some “thought
experiment.” Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Tufaro would not have needed a
conflict waiver from the City for a non-retained client, let alone a non-existent
person or a “thought experiment.”

19
In its March 1, 2019, brief on privilege at p. 4, the City admitted that at the initial meeting of
Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark with Mr. Paradis, “counsel informed the City that they had been retained
and were conducting an investigation on behalf of Mr. Jones, involving Mr. Jones and a putative
consumer class action case against PwC. Clark Tr. at 21.” Ex 19-03-01 Final Court Brief
30
On December 16, 2014, Mr. Feuer emailed Mr. Peters with no message, only the
following subject line: “Was the Kiesel meeting meaningful.”

Ex COLA-SM_0001266

Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Feuer:

Very. Jim knows the outline of the proposed case. We will


see a draft complaint within a week and if it is something
we wish to do we should move quickly. At its core it is a
breach of contract case for DWP concerning customer
billing software that doesn’t work but cost $71 million.

Ex COLA-SM_0001267

Mr. Feuer replied to Mr. Peters:

Ok. breach of K case, 17200 20 or both?

Ex COLA-SM_0001268

Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Feuer:

Breach and fraud for sure. A 17200 claim could be added


as well, but I do not see that as necessary. If we do plead
17200 it will not be in the name of the People so avoids -
I think - another conversation on County of Santa Clara,
etc.

Ex COLA-SM_0001269

The above emails evidence Mr. Feuer’s contemporary awareness of both the
existence of the December 16, 2014 meeting, as well as the substance of the
meeting.

20
B&P Code Section 17200. As used in this chapter, unfair competition shall mean and include
any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or
misleading advertising and any act prohibited by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of
Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.
31
SECOND HALF OF DECEMBER 2014: THE CITY AND PLAINTIFFS’
LAWYERS WORK TOGETHER ON THE CITY v. PwC AND JONES v. PwC
COMPLAINTS

On December 17, 2014, after the December 16, 2014 meeting, Mr. Peters emailed
Mr. Brown:

Hi, Rich, I met with some lawyers who believe DWP may
have a case against PricewaterhouseCoopers related to
the Consumer Care and Billing software that has been
problematic and requesting a time to call to discuss.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005511

That same day, on December 17, 2014, Mr. Brown, designating his email with a
High Importance label, forwarded Mr. Peters’s email to Mr. Tom and Mr.
Broersma:

Rather than I, I suggest the two of you should meet/talk


with Thom about this potential suit. I think the key is
whether DWP wants to pursue this matter, assuming that
it is a viable lawsuit. Richard, please call Thom and set up
something for you and Dirk that meshes your schedule. I
am out of pocket the days and times Thom suggests.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005506

At 1:05 p.m., Mr. Tom responded by emailing Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Brown and
Mr. Broersma, saying:

Thom: Rich asked me to follow up with you - Dirk


Broersma and I are available at 5 PM. this afternoon to
discuss - shall we give you a call at your office? Let us
know. Thanks.

At 1:51 p.m., Mr. Peters replied to Mr. Tom: “That will be great.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005517

32
Also, on December 17, 2014, at 2:28 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters, copying
Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel:

Hi Thom, Thank you for taking the time to meet with us


yesterday. As promised, we are already hard at work on
preparing the Draft Complaint you requested. In
reviewing certain of the documents that you provided to
us, I noticed that the 12 page document entitled, “Los
Angeles Department of Water & Power CCB/MWM
Stabilization Approach,” dated August 25, 2014, identifies
a total of 13 Appendices on pages 11-12. None of these
Appendices were attached to the documents that you
provided to us and we need to analyze them in connection
with the preparation of the Draft Complaint because it
appears that these Appendices are relevant to both
liability and damages, among other things. Accordingly, I
ask that you please provide us with complete versions of
all 13 of these Appendices as soon as possible so that we
can review them and incorporate relevant portions into
the Draft Complaint. For your convenience, the names of
these Appendices are as follows:

1. Total Defect Worksheet 8-10-14


2. Defect Analysis as of 8-10-14
3. Total To-Do Inventory as of 8-10-14
4. Total Bill segment Error To-Do Inventory as of 8-10-14
5. Operational To-Do Management
6. Application Support To-Do Management
7. Bill Segment Errors between August 10 and August 20
8. Severance Dollars Analysis
9. FA-MWM-KPl’s
10. Billing Analysis
11. Accounts Never Billed
12. Collection Dollar Analysis
13. 3 Bill Cancel Bill Seg samples

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you. Paul

33
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005527

On December 17, 2014, at 5:15 p.m., Mr. Peters forwarded Mr. Paradis’s email to
Mr. Tom, copying Mr. Brown and Mr. Broersma, stating:

It was great talking to you guys. Thanks to all for setting


it up so quickly. As I mentioned, the potential plaintiff’s
attorney sent the following request, and I’d like to
accommodate him as much as possible.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005514

The above email evidences that there was a call between Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, and
Mr. Broersma on December 17, 2014, regarding Mr. Paradis as a “potential
plaintiff’s attorney” and, in combination with subsequent emails, that they agreed
to accommodate Mr. Paradis by directly providing Mr. Paradis with the DWP
records and information he had specifically requested.

The next day, on December 18, 2014, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Brown and Mr.
Broersma the internet links to Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, identifying them as the
two attorneys with whom Mr. Peters spoke.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005517

The above emails evidence that, from the beginning, Mr. Feuer, Mr. Clark, Mr.
Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Broersma were aware of, and involved in
the facilitation of Mr. Paradis’s efforts to draft a lawsuit on behalf of the City to
be filed against PwC.

At 2:47 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters:

Hi Thom,

I am just following up to ensure that you received my email


from yesterday (see below). I emailed yesterday to request
that you produce to us the 13 Appendices identified in my
email below because our investigation thus far indicates
that certain of these Appendices contain factual evidence
that should be included in the Draft Complaint that we are
in the process of preparing for consideration by your
office. I look forward to hearing from you and receiving
34
these materials so that we can finalize our Draft
Complaint.

Mr. Peters, at 4:09 p.m., responded:

I did get it and have assigned it to DWP to find the


materials you seek ASAP.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005527

Three hours later, at 7:01 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones:

We have completed a significant portion of our pre-filing


investigation and have obtained a number of non-public
documents that provide strong evidence in support of the
claims we are alleging. We are also almost finished
drafting the Complaint that will be filed and I am emailing
to inquire if you have had a chance to access your LADWP
Bills so that you can send them to me for review. I think
you will be impressed with the evidence we have
uncovered when you read a draft of the complaint.

Ex PLTF000014-15
Ex PLTF000024-25

On December 19, 2014, Mr. Broersma emailed Mr. Peters transmitting “per your
request” nine of the 13 Appendices from the confidential TMG Consulting Report
and promising the rest in a following e-mail.

Mr. Peters forwarded Mr. Broersma’s email and attachments to Mr. Paradis.

Ex COLA-LADWP_ 0005531
Ex PLTF000014-15

Later, on December 19, 2014, Mr. Broersma emailed Mr. Peters transmitting the
remainder of the 13 Appendices from the confidential TMG Consulting Report.
“Here’s the second batch.” Mr. Peters forwarded the email to Mr. Paradis with the
attachments and the comment “More good stuff.”

35
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005569

The above emails evidence that Mr. Peters, with the assistance of Mr. Broersma,
and the knowledge of Mr. Clark, caused to be provided to Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Kiesel internal records from the DWP. Mr. Paradis then sent emails respectively,
to each of his clients, Mr. Jones and the City, regarding the use of that non-public
information and its significance to the drafting of their respective complaints
related to claims involving the DWP’s erroneous billing issues.

On December 20, 2014, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones, copying Ms. Tufaro:

[W]e just got additional non-public documents in late last


night, and we are in the office analyzing this information
over the weekend so that we can incorporate the new
information in these documents and get you a draft
complaint to review and approve by Tuesday. Also, FYI,
I am going to be copying my Partner, Gina Tufaro, on
most of our emails going forward because she is now
working on this case with me.

Ex PLTF000024-25

The evidence supports a finding that Ms. Tufaro was clearly aware of her and Mr.
Paradis’s attorney client relationship with Mr. Jones effective no later than
December 20, 2014.

On December 24, 2014, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters:

The good news is that the Appendices that you provided


are a treasure trove of useful information and are
providing great factual specificity that we are
incorporating into the draft Complaint. The bad news is
that because of the length (one Appendix alone is over
4,000 pages) and complexity of the Appendices, we are
slightly behind where I anticipated being at this point in
terms of finalizing a draft to send to you. We worked all
last weekend and are going to work over this coming
holiday weekend as well to get the draft Complaint
finished up and will provide it to you early next week. I

36
apologize for needing the extra time, but given the quality
of the information in the Appendices, I would rather
provide you with a version that incorporates all of this
information because I believe that it will have much more
of an impact. Best wishes for the holidays and we look
forward to speaking with you next week.

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Later, on December 24, 2014, Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis, copying Mr.
Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro:

Paul, I completely understand. I greatly appreciate the


effort, as do, I am sure, the ratepayers of Los Angeles. But
it is insane to spend two consecutive weekends in the
holiday season spelunking through these many materials
and crafting a complaint. This is particularly so because
Mike Feuer, who will obviously need to approve this suit,
21
is out until January 5. I am out next Monday and
Tuesday, in addition to New Year’s Day. Thus, there is no
need to continue to work at the pace you suggest if for no
other reason than your audience will not be around until
after you envision having the complaint drafted. I think
you should shoot for the week of January 5th, go see the
family, and enjoy the holidays.

Thanks so much!

Ex SM Email Summary Initial Contacts

Despite the fact that, in December 2014, the DWP, as directed by the LACA, had
provided to Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel non-public information used
to draft the City v. PwC complaint, the City chose to make the engagement
agreement facially reflect that it was retroactive only to January 1, 2015, rather
than December 16, 2014.

21
Mr. Clark testified “everybody reports to Mike, Mike Feuer.” Clark Dep (4-9-19) 282

37
The LACA — at a minimum in the person of the second and third-in-command,
Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters — knew as of December 2014 that Mr. Paradis was
representing Mr. Jones in his capacity as a DWP ratepayer, and, at the same time,
serving as Special Counsel for the City.

EARLY JANUARY 2015: THE DRAFT COMPLAINTS ARE


DISTRIBUTED TO THE CLIENTS; MR. PARADIS AND MR. KIESEL
TRY TO CONVINCE LAWYERS IN THE OTHER CLASS ACTIONS TO
JOIN JONES v. PwC AND DROP THEIR CASES AGAINST THE CITY
On January 5, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters a draft complaint of City v.
PwC, copying Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro:

Thanks for the courtesy of allowing us additional time to


prepare the draft Complaint. We have attached the draft
version for review and consideration by your Office and
look forward to discussing this matter in detail in the near
future. I also note that there are a number of contractual
provisions that could impact strategy that will need to be
discussed in detail before any action is taken. Please let
me know if you have any questions. Thank you and Happy
New Year. We look forward to hearing from you.

Attachment: LADWP v. PWC Cplt - FINAL DRAFT - 1- 4- 15.DOC (missing from


our copy)

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005569

On January 6, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Brown, copying Mr. Clark, Mr.
Solomon, and Mr. Tom:

To further our thinking about the wisdom of suing


PricewaterhouseCoopers for breach in connection with
the CIS work they did, it would be useful to see the Class
Complaint filed against DWP in connection with the
performance of that system. Can you send it over and let
us know who is defending?”

Mr. Brown, with the subject line “Possible DWP suit,” responded to Mr. Peters,
copying Mr. Tom, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Solomon, requesting Mr. Solomon forward

38
the class action complaint against the DWP as Mr. Solomon was the one monitoring
that case.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005258-79

On January 7, 2015, at 9:11 a.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and
Ms. Tufaro, forwarding a copy of the Bransford class action complaint, stating:

All: Here is the class action complaint filed against DWP


which implicates issues in the proposed affirmative
complaint you have drafted. As I shared with Paul K this
a.m., we at the City Attorney’s Office are reviewing the
draft complaint now and I expect we will have a full
discussion internally of the pros/cons of pursuing the
action soon. A possible “con” will be whatever negative
ramifications our affirmative action might have with
respect to the pending class action. If you have any
thoughts on that, I welcome them. We are moving as
swiftly as possible, mindful of the potential a [sic]
competing FCA case could emerge.

Thanks again for the excellent draft, and happy 2015.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0001270
Ex COLA-SM_0001271-93 (Bransford complaint)

Mr. Kiesel responded to Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro:

Got it Tom. Paul P and Gina may well have some


significant insight and strategic thoughts on how the
city could respond to this action in light of what we now
know.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0001294

39
Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Peters and Mr. Kiesel, copying Ms. Tufaro:

Thom,

Thank you for your email. We are in the process of


reviewing the Complaint filed in the Casler Action and will
be prepared to discuss that Complaint with you in detail
tomorrow when Paul K is back on the ground in LA (he is
flying back as I write this). We will also be prepared to
discuss the possible impact of filing the LADWP action
against PwC. I do not know Paul’s schedule tomorrow, so
please let us know a few times that work for a call with you
tomorrow so that we can get something scheduled once his
flight lands.

In advance of our call tomorrow, it would be very helpful


if you could provide us with the 2 items that are discussed
in Parag 31 of the Casler Action so that we could review
them in advance of our call. These two items are: (i) the
October 2, 2014 materials provided to the City by the
Casler Plaintiffs; and (ii) the November 26, 2014 letter
from the City to the Casler Plaintiffs and all attachments
thereto. Finally, based on the Class definition in Parag 32
of the Casler action, we believe that Plaintiffs have
created a significant problem for themselves. We look
forward to speaking with you tomorrow.

Thanks.

Paul

Ex COLA-SM_0001295

The above emails evidence that, by January 7, 2015, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and
Mr. Kiesel were working with Mr. Peters to assist the City in devising a strategy
to not simply address the City’s potential claims against PwC, but also defend the

40
pending class action to ensure no negative ramification of “our affirmative action,”
meaning City v. PwC.

On January 7, 2015, Morski was filed by the Law Offices of Alan Himmelfarb
(“Himmelfarb Firm”), Manning, Manning & Luckenbacher (“Manning Firm”), and
Parisi & Havens LLP (“Parisi Firm”).

Ex Morski Complaint

On January 7, 2015, at 7:25 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Peters, Mr. Clark, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Tom, and Gary Geuss (“Mr. Geuss”), a LACA supervisor, a copy of the
Bransford complaint, which Mr. Solomon identified as “the class action lawsuit you
requested.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005258-79

On January 8, 2015, at 2:33 p.m., Mr. Solomon advised Mr. Peters, Mr. Clark, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Geuss that the Blood Firm had replaced plaintiff Casler
with plaintiff Bransford.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005345

On January 8, 2015, at 7:50 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed a copy of the “new Morski
matter” to Mr. Clark, copying Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Kapur, and Mr.
Geuss.

Because you requested a copy of the initial class action


(Casler case), I anticipate you would want a copy of the
new Morski matter. Our office will handle both pending
matters and keep you advised. should [sic?] you have any
further needs or questions please contact me.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005284-344

On January 8, 2015, at 2:29 p.m., Mr. Peters emailed a copy of the Morski class
action complaint to Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel: “Another class action vs. DWP just
came in. It is attached below. Thanks.”

Ex COLA-SM_0001297

41
On January 8, 2015, at 2:59 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters, copying Mr.
Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro:

Thom,

Thank you for sending the Morski complaint along.


Attached is the memo that you requested this morning.

In addition, when we spoke earlier this morning, you


mentioned that you are interested in expediting the entire
LADWP situation. We cannot agree more, which is why I
want to be sure that you are aware of the requirements
imposed by Article X, Section 1001.1 of the Agreement
between LADWP and PwC. This Section is entitled,
“Dispute Resolution” and requires that, in the event of a
dispute, the aggrieved party is required to serve a written
request for a “First Resolution Meeting,” which shall be
held within 10 days of the written request being made. In
the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute
at the First Resolution Meeting, the aggrieved party may
send the other party “a schedule of availability of the
Party’s senior officers authorized to resolve the dispute”
during a thirty (30) day period following the First
Resolution Meeting. If the dispute remains after that 30
day period has expired, the parties may submit to non-
binding arbitration or file an action in the courts.

In light of the foregoing, please advise if you would us to


draft a letter to PwC on behalf of the LADWP requesting
a First Resolution Meeting for review by your office. Also,
please advise if you would like us to take any action in
either the Casler or Morski actions.

Finally, as always, please let me know of you have any


questions.

Thank you.

Paul
42
Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0001297
Ex COLA-SM_0001299-303 (attached memo)

The attached five-page memo is addressed to Mr. Peters from Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, re: LADWP v. PwC (Defective CC&B System Matter). The
memo presents an analysis of the issues presented by the Bransford and Morski
actions. The memo points out that both actions allege that the DWP overcharged its
ratepayers, but Bransford blamed the new CIS while Morski blamed DWP’s failure
to follow the governing rules. The memo spends most of its analysis explaining
why, under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, only the DWP Board, not the Court,
has jurisdiction over the claims asserted in both Bransford and Morski.

The above five-page memo, provided to Mr. Peters, was wrong on the primary
jurisdiction point. Primary jurisdiction rules did not affect either complaint. As
evidenced herein, it appears that Mr. Himmelfarb disabused Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro of their erroneous theory on this point a few weeks later in
a phone call on January 28.

Nonetheless, the above emails evidence that there were oral, as well as written
communications between Mr. Peters and Mr. Paradis that went well beyond the
filing of City v. PwC and specifically focused on involving Mr. Paradis, Ms.
Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel in strategic decisions regarding the disposition of the
pending ratepayer class actions against the City and DWP.

On January 9, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones:

Attached is the confidential draft complaint that we have


prepared on your behalf. Please review and confirm that
we are authorized to filed it on your behalf.

Ex PLTF 000065

Attached to Mr. Paradis email was a draft complaint for Jones v. PwC. The draft
complaint did not name the City or DWP as party defendants. The draft complaint
listed Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel, and their respective law firms, as Mr.
Jones’s counsel. It did not list Mr. Landskroner or his law firm. Nor did it list Mr.
Libman or his law firm. The draft complaint was to be filed in the U.S. District

43
Court for the Central District of California and asserted a single cause of action
against PwC for tortious interference with contract.

Ex PLTF 000028-64 (Draft Jones v. PwC)

On January 11, 2009, Mr. Jones authorized Mr. Paradis to file the Jones v. PwC
complaint, underscoring that Mr. Paradis intended full well to file the complaint that
was later falsely characterized as a “thought experiment” drafted solely to advise the
City.

Ex PLTF 000065 (Mr. Jones’s authorization to file)

Between receiving the draft City v. PwC complaint on January 5, 2015, and
January 13, 2015, members of the LACA again met with Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Kiesel to further strategize on how to shift the blame for the failed CC&B System
from DWP to PwC.

As Mr. Kiesel testified:

Q: So the plan as originally conceived of sometime prior


to January 13, 2015, involved attempting to get the lead
plaintiff counsel in the existing class actions [Bransford
and Morski] arising out of the CC&B system to voluntarily
dismiss their claims in return for which the City would toll
any claim they might have against the City, and they
would be invited to join in a proposed complaint to be filed
by Jones as a class action against
PricewaterhouseCoopers; is that correct?

*****

A: That would be correct.

Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 97:16-98:1

Mr. Kiesel testified that Mr. Peters, and Mr. Clark were at the meeting, which
occurred after January 5 and before January 13, 2015. He further testified that
Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny were possibly there, but he didn’t think Mr.
Brown was there. Attorneys from the Liner Firm were not there.

Kiesel Dep (5/28/19) 94:6-15, 95:3-4.

44
Although the Liner Firm was engaged to defend the City in the class action cases,
and not Mr. Kiesel or Mr. Paradis or their firms, the LACA directed Mr. Kiesel to
contact Mr. Himmelfarb and Mr. Paradis to contact Mr. Blood with regards to legal
matters directly related to the defense of the subject class action cases as discussed
in detail below.

Kiesel Dep (5/28/19) 46:9-47:15.

On January 13, 2015, Mr. Paradis forwarded a Confidential Tolling Agreement


(“CTA”) to Mr. Blood. In substance the CTA provided that: (1) it would be effective
when signed; (2) for 3 years, or if earlier, 60 days from notice by plaintiff, any cause
of action the plaintiffs had against DWP would be tolled; and, (3) the plaintiffs would
dismiss their case upon the CTA being executed by the City.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005708
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005709-14

On January 14, 2015, at 3:07 p.m., Mr. Blood’s partner, Ms. Hurst, emailed Mr.
Paradis the draft CTA with redlined changes, copying Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Blood, and
Mr. Kiesel. At 4:14 p.m., Mr. Paradis responded to Ms. Hurst, Mr. Blood and Mr.
Kiesel, copying Ms. Tufaro, that he had accepted her edits and asked for the Casler
Action’s case number. Ms. Hurst emailed him the case number. At 4:41 p.m., Mr.
Paradis emailed Ms. Hurst, Mr. Blood, and Mr. Kiesel “Thx,” copying Ms. Tufaro.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005724-25

On January 14, 2015, at 5:07 p.m., Mr. Paradis, emailed to Mr. Peters, copying
Mr. Kiesel, the proposed CTA for the then-Casler Action, which Mr. Paradis, having
drafted and negotiated on behalf of the City, had also obtained the approval of Mr.
Blood.

As discussed, attached is a draft of a Tolling Agreement


that has been approved by Plaintiff’s counsel in the Casler
Action. When executed, this Tolling Agreement will
accomplish the immediate dismissal of the Casler Action
at absolutely no cost to the City. Paul K. will call you
either later tonight or in the morning to discuss logistics
and timing, which, as we have discussed, is an issue for a
number of reasons that are completely beyond our control.
Please call either Paul K. or me at 646-216-2262 if you
have any questions. Thank you.
45
Ex COLA-LADWP 0005346
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005709-14 (Casler CTA)

The next day, on January 15, 2015, Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis, copying
Mr. Kiesel, saying:

Thanks, Paul. We are strongly considering this strategy.


We are in the process of vetting the idea, as well as the
larger though unrelated issue of pursuing affirmative
relief. These processes are slower than one would like. It
is nonetheless a priority here. Thanks again for these
excellent ideas.

On that same day, Mr. Paradis replied to Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Keisel:

Thanks Thom - we look forward to hearing from you


further.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0010789

Also, on that same day, Mr. Keisel replied to Mr. Peters in a separate email chain,
with a copy to Mr. Paradis:

Got it. Thanks Tom.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0010787

Thus, between January 5, 2015, and January 15, 2015, the LACA, DWP, Mr.
Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel had agreed to a plan to rid the City of the pending class
action suits against the City and DWP and at the same time facilitate efforts to
change the public narrative from the DWP screwed up to PwC defrauded the DWP.

The City’s plan required Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to file a damages suit, with
the City as plaintiff, against PwC, and, at the same time, file a consumer class
action suit, with Antwon Jones as the putative class plaintiff, against PwC.

Both suits were to be prosecuted by Mr. Paradis, along with his partner Ms. Tufaro,
and Mr. Kiesel, as Special Counsel for the City in the first suit and as counsel for
Mr. Jones in the second suit. Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel assured the City that they
could obtain voluntary dismissals of two consumer class action suits then-pending
against the City (Morski and Bransford ) in exchange for tolling agreements with
46
plaintiffs’ counsel, with the understanding that plaintiffs’ counsel in those actions
would sign on to a consolidated complaint against PwC to be drafted by Mr.
Paradis on behalf of a consumer class of DWP customers (Jones v. PwC).

As the evidence shows, Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark were aware that Mr. Paradis had
already been retained by a ratepayer class plaintiff, Antwon Jones, to bring an
action for damages in connection with the DWP erroneous bills with the
recommended defendant, at that time, being PwC.

Initially, the lawyers for the then-pending class action suits, Mr. Blood and Mr.
Himmelfarb, both agreed to have their respective clients join in a case against PwC
and, for that purpose, each signed a CTA with the City regarding the Bransford and
Morski cases. Ms. Agrusa testified that she didn’t know there were attempts to toll
Bransford and Morski in January 2015, but that she was informed on February 11,
2015, that Mr. Blood had agreed to dismiss DWP from the Bransford case and
substitute in PwC. The information came as a surprise to her because she didn’t
know anyone on behalf of the City had spoken with Mr. Blood and she was surprised
they had spoken to Mr. Blood without involving her and Ms. Annaguey as they were
counsel for the City in those cases and had been negotiating with Mr. Blood,
including up to March 31, 2015.

Agrusa Dep 80:25-84:4; see also Annaguey Dep 44:13-45:10

On January 21, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Mr. Geuss,
copying Mr. Clark, to request a meeting the next day. “Jim [Clark] can be available
here at 2:30 tomorrow. Does that work for you? FYI, the draft complaint is attached.”
The email attached a 35-page document titled “LADWP versus PwC CPLT Final
Draft 1/4/15.” The draft complaint listed Mr. Feuer, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Peters as
counsel for the City on the first page with the notation “Additional Counsel Appears
on Signature Page.” The additional counsel listed on the signature page were Mr.
Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Tufaro.

Clark Dep (4-29-19) 549


Ex COLA-LADWP 0005353-88

That same evening, Mr. Peters gave Mr. Kiesel a heads up about the City’s meeting
the next day and the two attorneys continued a separate email discussion regarding
the Morski complaint and “saving the City a fortune in defense costs”:

47
Mr. Peters: FYI, our meeting w/DWP is tomorrow at
2:30p.

Mr. Kiesel: Thom the compliant, if you meant to, was not
attached.

Mr. Peters: After this spade work, let me take you up on


your offer of a conversation, ad hoc, based on what I am
hearing from folks internally. PK, I did not intend to
resend the Morski complaint but can get it to you if you
need it. Paul P and Gina have it. Thanks.

Mr. Kiesel: Got it. I would say Thom whatever you can do
to move the ball will save the City a fortune in defense
costs PLUS the upside of recovering hundreds of millions
BUT time is really of the essence to move here. I know that
is an antithetical to the city speed but this does need to
move. Happy to discuss if you want to further. If you need
me you can certainly reach out by cell tomorrow. �

Ex COLA-SM_0001353

The next day, on January 22, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel a link to a news
story under the subject “Doesn’t seem like Blood is on board”:

Odd that Tim would talk about how great his case is vs.
DWP if he’s prepared to dismiss as against DWP.

http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20150122//in-
DWP-overbilling-cu stomers-file-2-class-action-lawsuits

Mr. Kiesel promptly replied to Mr. Peters by email:

No doubt why we need to move him off the DWP. Suspect


if asked he wasn’t going to say he sued the wrong entity.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0010792

In the late hours of January 22, 2015, and into the early hours of January 23,
2015, Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Peters continued to exchange emails.

48
Mr. Kiesel: A long day just in San Jose bout to head home.
Needless to say in light of Blood’s interview we need to get
him back on the reservation. We should move to file the
class and get his case dismissed. We can talk tomorrow. I
am picking [wife] and [daughter] or rather at this point I
am meeting [wife] and [daughter] at LAX tonight. They
are returning from a mother daughter vacation. What you
have to look forward to.

Mr. Peters: I am looking to meet with Mel ASAP and have


the green light to do so. Wish I could move quicker.

Mr. Kiesel: I understand and feel your pain. Go to sleep.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0010795

On January 23, 2015, after a lot of back and forth trying to schedule the meeting
suggested two days earlier, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Solomon and Mr. Clark, copying
Mr. Brown and Mr. Tom:

I’d like to get together asap. I’d like Mel [Levine, LADWP
Board President], Marcie [Edwards, LADWP General
Manager], and Jim [Clark] in the room. LA Times and
other media outlets are already publishing articles about
the class action matters. This means that other plaintiffs’
attorneys will be inspired to file on top of Blood and
Himmelfarb even if we get those two lawyers to dismiss as
against DWP, which they will if we move forward
immediately. Plus, on the affirmative breach of contract
case, a qui tam could emerge at any minute, and when s/he
does we lose control and have to pay a huge piece of
DWP’s damages to the whistleblower. Time is thus of the
utmost essence to decide if we want to end the existing
class actions and /or seek recovery of perhaps $65 -plus
million for DWP. Jim and I can be available between 3:30
and 5 today. I am happy to come over to your offices, and
I [sic] Paul Kiesel can come over then as well to answer
questions if folks would like him to do so. Does 3:30 work
on your end?

Emphasis added.
49
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005391-94

By January 23, 2015, Mr. Peters had already received a copy of Jones v. PwC
complaint from Mr. Paradis.

Peters Dep (5-1-19) 252:14-18, 254:6-15.

On January 23, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro
regarding: Today at 3p re DWP matters:

In the room will be PRK, me, and:


Jim Clark, Chief Deputy CA.
Richard Tom, Assistant General Counsel, DWP
Eskel Solomon, Manager of DWP’s civil litigation
Deborah Dorny, the DCA in charge of overseeing
defense of the pending class actions
Available by phone will be Paul Paradis and/or Gina Tufaro.
PRK, I need your license plate number again, please, if you’d like me
to clear you into our parking lot off of Los Angeles Street.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0010799

Mr. Kiesel attended the above January 23, 2015, meeting held at the DWP, and
testified at his deposition about it:

Q: What do you recall about the substance of that meeting?

A: The City wanted to have the tolling agreements entered


into with Himmelfarb and Blood and take the pressure off
the Department for the class actions that had been filed
against it because of the CC&B problems. And the
Department of Water and Power now was considering an
action against PwC for their implementation of the CC&B
system.

Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 16-24

Ms. Dorny also attended the January 23, 2015, meeting held at the DWP. She
testified at her deposition that:

50
• Mr. Solomon told her it was going to be about some affirmative litigation
brought by the City;
• They discussed the City wanting to bring an action against PwC for billing
system problems;
• She was aware through the media and board meetings that there was
significant harm to customers from the new billing system due to overbilling
and not billing;
• This was the first time she heard about the City potentially suing PwC;
• There was a discussion of the types of lawsuits that might be filed against PwC
and the possibility of a qui tam action; and
• A potential consumer class action against PwC was discussed.
Dorny Dep 40-41.
Ex COLA-LADWP 0010799

On January 23, 2015, after the above meeting, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Solomon,
Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro with the subject line “Jones v.
PwC Consumer Class Action” and a draft of the Jones v. PwC complaint, which
specifically identified Antwon Jones as plaintiff and Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and
Mr. Kiesel as counsel to Antwon Jones on both the cover page and the signature
page:

51
52
Mr. Paradis’s email stated:

Eskel, Richard and Deborah,

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this matter earlier


this afternoon. Attached please find the current
confidential draft of the Consumer Class Action
Complaint that we talked about. I look forward to meeting
with the DWP people you mentioned in order to further
hone our allegations as we continue our investigation.
Please advise when you have details concerning the
schedule so that I can book my flights. Following our call,
I cleared my calendar for all of next week and am
prepared to spend as [sic] time as necessary meeting with
your people. I look forward to hearing from you and
meeting you soon.

Sincerely,

Paul O. Paradis

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0000002-38

The copy of the draft Jones v. PwC complaint that Mr. Paradis sent to the City on
January 23, 2015, had only three modifications (all non-substantive) from the
original version sent to Mr. Jones on January 9, 2015, and approved for filing by
Mr. Jones shortly thereafter: (i) the deletion of the date shown on the signature
page of the earlier version sent to Mr. Jones; (ii) an addition to the cover page of
the version provided to the City indicating “Additional Counsel on Signature
Page,” and (iii) the watermark on the copy sent the City read “CONFIDENTIAL
DRAFT” while the watermark on the copy sent Mr. Jones read “DRAFT.”

The 82 substantive paragraphs of the complaint sent by Mr. Paradis on January


23, 2015, were otherwise identical to the original version of the complaint Mr.
Paradis had provided to Mr. Jones on January 9, 2015. Compare (Ex COLA-
LADWP_0000002-38), with (Ex PLTF000026-64). The draft complaint sent the
City and the one sent to Mr. Jones identified plaintiff as Antwon Jones of Van
Nuys, California, and contained one cause of action, viz., for tortious interference
with contract (specifically between the City and its ratepayers) by PwC’s allegedly
53
causing the DWP to breach its contractual obligations to its customers (Mr. Jones
and the class of ratepayers he sought to represent).

See Ex COLA-LADWP_0000002-38 at -0002, -0004, -0035

As Mr. Clark testified, the differences between the two complaints were “minimal,”
“trivial,” and “immaterial.”

Clark Dep (4-9-19) 321:5-14

Mr. Jones had not authorized Mr. Paradis or anyone else to provide a draft of the
Jones v. PwC complaint or any confidential communications to the City or DWP
or anyone associated with the City. Mr. Jones was not informed that Mr. Paradis
had made such disclosure. Mr. Jones did not authorize the City or DWP to use
his name as a potential plaintiff to further the City’s interest.

Jones Dep127:10-24, 152:8-15, 166:13-22, 175:6—176:3

On January 23, 2015, after receiving Mr. Paradis’s email and a copy of the Jones
v. PwC complaint, Mr. Solomon sent the first of two emails to DWP employees
Sharon Grove (“Ms. Grove”), Tim Spinn (“Mr. Spinn”), Nance Walker-Bonelli
(“Ms. Walker-Bonelli”), and Matt Lampe (“Mr. Lampe”), copying Mr. Tom, Mr.
Brown, and Ms. Dorny. The first email attached a draft of the City v. PwC complaint,
which had been received from Mr. Paradis. Mr. Solomon stated:

ATTORNEY CLIENT/ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT

ALL: There has been a significant positive development in


the class action billing case(s) which requires your
attendance next week at a meeting. Please advise me as
soon as possible what dates between January 26 -30 you
are available for a two to three hour meeting together with
the times on those dates you can make yourselves
available for that two to three hour meeting. Attached you
will find a draft lawsuit you are not to discuss with
anyone and that will be the subject of the meeting. The
attorneys who drafted the lawsuit will attend the meeting
and want your advice/input regarding the accuracy of the
complaint. Please review it and be ready to discuss it.

54
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Contact me by
phone should you have any questions. EHS.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0001408
Ex COLA-LADWP_0000001
Ex COLA-LADWP_0000002-38

Minutes later, Mr. Brown forwarded Mr. Solomon’s email to Mr. Tom with the
question:

What transpired at the meeting with Thom et al?

Ex COLA-SM_0001444

Several minutes after he sent the above email, Mr. Solomon then sent a second
email to Ms. Grove, Mr. Spinn, Ms. Walker-Bonnelli and Mr. Lampe with copies to
Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom and Mr. Brown, attaching a copy of the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint:

Subject: FW: Jones v. Pricewaterhouse Coopers [sic],


LLP (Consumer Class Action)

CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY CLIENT AND WORK


PRODUCT

ALL: In anticipation of the meeting we need to hold next


week attached please find a second draft lawsuit which I
ask you review for accuracy and comment. This draft
lawsuit and the earlier one sent to your attention will be
discussed during our meeting. If you have not already
done so, please provide the dates and times during the
week of January 26-30 you are available for a two to three
hour meeting. Thank you, EHS.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0004896

The January 23, 2015 email from Mr. Paradis to Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, Ms.
Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro transmitting the Jones v. PwC draft complaint

55
and the Mr. Solomon email to ALL 22 which then forwarded the draft of the Jones
v. PwC suit to others in the City/DWP establishes that two weeks after providing
Mr. Jones with the Jones v. PwC draft complaint and Mr. Jones approved Mr.
Paradis to file it, Mr. Paradis, directly and through Mr. Solomon, improperly and
unethically provided key members of the LACA and the DWP with what should
have been a confidential copy of an unfiled lawsuit that Mr. Jones had not
authorized his lawyer, Mr. Paradis, to disclose. It is clear that this disclosure was
not inadvertent. Mr. Paradis intentionally sent the draft complaint to the City
knowing full well that he did not have Mr. Jones’s authorization. There is no
evidence that Ms. Tufaro, who was aware of the improper disclosure of her client’s
confidential information, took any action to remedy the violation by her partner,
Mr. Paradis. The LACA was unquestionably aware that Mr. Jones was the
ratepayer client represented by Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro. For all intents and
purposes, vis a vis the LACA, Mr. Kiesel also held himself out as counsel for Mr.
Jones and, despite the lack of disclosure to or retainer agreement with Mr. Jones,
conducted himself consistent with the fact that Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro had at
all times associated Mr. Kiesel as counsel for Mr. Jones.

Facially, Mr. Kiesel held himself out to third parties as counsel for Mr. Jones.
Legally, Mr. Kiesel was the only lawyer of the three listed on the Jones v. PwC
complaint with a California bar license and thus, he was necessary to the
representation of Mr. Jones in California. This was further consistent with the
historical pattern of Mr. Kiesel routinely associated as counsel with Mr. Paradis
and Ms. Tufaro for legal proceedings filed by Mr. Paradis and/or Ms. Tufaro in
California.

On January 23, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Tom, Mr.
Brown, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Clark regarding Evidence Hold Letters re
Billing Practices Class Action:

Attached please find copies of the evidence hold letters


forwarded to Oracle American, TMG Consulting, Five
Points Partners, and Pricewaterhousecooper. [sic] Please
forward them to Paul. I have reached out to the LADWP
staff for dates/times during the week of January 26 -30 for
a meeting re the text of the PWC summons and complaint

22
ALL in this instance refers to: Ms. Grove, Mr. Spinn, Ms. Walker-Bonelli, Mr. Lampe, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Dorny.

56
(requesting a two to three hour block of time). Regards,
EHS.

Ex Pansky Evidence Hold Letter

Ms. Dorny testified that the January 23, 2015, meeting was to discuss the City v.
PwC and the ratepayer v. PwC cases.

Dorny Dep104-106

On January 24, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Clark asking if “we have a
greenlight” to tell Mr. Blood that a draft tolling agreement would be forwarded for
his execution.

Ex Pansky email Re: Good morning Jim” Number 1

On January 26, 2015, Mr. Clark sent an email to Mr. Kiesel stating:

Paul --

I have been working on this all weekend, and just haven’t


been able to connect with Mel. I am 100% sure that he’ll
be fine with it -- and Mike is completely on board -- but I
just want Mel’s sign off. He’s in his G, D&C office today,
and we’ve traded calls. I’m confident that this will get
resolved in the next few hours, and will let you know as
soon as that’s happened. I am truly sorry about this
incredibly stupid delay. Best. Jim

Ex Pansky email Re: Good morning Jim” Number 1

See Clark Dep (04-29-19) 561 (Mr. Clark confirming that “Mike” in his email was
a reference to Mr. Feuer)

See Feuer Dep 41-45 (When asked regarding this email “Does that refresh your
recollection that at some point he you came to learn of a plan to seek to have lawyers
in the pending class actions dismiss their cases in return for the City signing a tolling
agreement?” Mr. Feuer responded “No.” The phrase “Mike is completely on board”
does not make him recall anything on the subject. He has “no recollection with
regard to this issue.”

57
On January 26, 2015, at 3:47 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Blood and Ms. Hurst
that he was “pushing hard with the City” to agree to the proposed Confidential
Tolling Agreement and had just been “informed they are signing off on the draft of
the Confidential Tolling Agreement,” but just changing the caption to reflect that
Bransford was now plaintiff in place of Casler.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005778

On January 26, 2015, at 5:31 p.m., Mr. Kiesel provided Mr. Himmelfarb with a
Confidential Tolling Agreement in Morski.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005771
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005772-77 (Morski CTA)

The tolling agreement for Mr. Himmelfarb was similar in form to the one Mr.
Paradis had earlier prepared for Mr. Blood for the Bransford case. Even though
Mr. Paradis had prepared the draft tolling agreements, he caused the drafts to be
formatted to facially appear that the pleadings had been prepared by the plaintiffs’
lawyers representing the Bransford and Morski ratepayers rather than reflecting
that the pleadings had been prepared by Mr. Paradis.

On January 26, 2015, Mr. Clark sent an email to Mr. Kiesel stating:

Paul --

Just talked to Mel. While (for political reasons) he still


would like me to talk to his Vice-Chair, Bill Funderburk,
we’re good to go on the tolling agreement and 10-day
notice letter now. He was enthusiastic, by the way, and is
confident that the full Board will support the litigation
strategy we’ve discussed. All best regards.

Jim

Ex Pansky email Re: Good morning Jim” Number 2

Contrary to Mr. Clark’s testimony that Mr. Paradis was not involved in
formulating strategy “to confront existing or threatened class actions,” he knew,
in fact, that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were directly involved in the tolling
agreement/dismissal plan strategy and in the development of the City’s strategy to
settle the class actions through a collusive lawsuit.
58
Clark Dep (4-9-19) 284

On January 26, 2015, at 9:20 p.m., Ms. Hurst emailed Mr. Paradis the tolling
agreement in Bransford, which Mr. Blood had executed. The following day, Mr.
Kiesel forwarded the signed Bransford tolling agreement to Mr. Clark and Mr.
Peters.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005406-5411

Mr. Solomon also knew about the tolling arrangement proposals.

Solomon Dep Ex. 51

Meanwhile, Ms. Dorny had organized attendance at the now scheduled January 27,
2015, meeting with DWP staff that Mr. Solomon had requested on behalf of Mr.
Paradis. The meeting invitation was sent to Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters so they would
be, and were, aware of the meeting.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006042-43

On January 26, 2015, Mr. Clark responded with an email to Mr. Tom, Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Peters, Mr. Geuss and Mr. Brown:

What is this about? Gary and I are in interviews -- for the


vacant DWP position, no less -- at the time this meeting
was set. I’m not sure how this happened, but if we should
attend, the meeting needs to be moved. Thanks. Jim

A few minutes later Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark with this explanation:

I apologize for any misunderstanding.

This session is intended to make LADWP internal staff


available to Paul Paradis and Paul Kiesel for purposes of
vetting the draft complaints. We scheduled this for
tomorrow based on staff availability because Mr. Paradis
is travelling from New York today in advance of the
blizzard and we wanted to take maximum advantage of his
time in Los Angeles.

59
You and Thom were included on the email invitation so
that you were aware of the meeting, but we did not
anticipate that your participation would be needed. It
probably does make sense to schedule a meeting on
Wednesday some time to report back on status and to
determine if you and Mike have any other questions or
have made a decision as to how we will handle this matter.

I hope this clears up the misunderstanding. If you have any


other questions, please contact me. Thanks. Richard Tom

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0010819-23

On January 27, 2015, the planned meeting occurred. Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, Ms.
Dorny, and Mr. Paradis attended the meeting at the Offices of the City Attorney with
the DWP employees. Before the meeting, Ms. Dorny requested her secretary to print
six copies of the Jones v. PwC complaint, which Ms. Dorny brought to the meeting.
During the meeting, Mr. Paradis asked DWP employees about their involvement in
the PwC implementation, the bidding process, how PwC was chosen, and how long
the process took.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006061
Dorny Dep 71-81; Tom Dep 184-85

By the end of January 2015, in addition to Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro,
at least five City attorneys, Mr. Peters, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, and
Mr. Brown, and at least five DWP employees, Ms. Grove, Mr. Spinn, Ms. Walker-
Bonnelli, Mr. Lampe, and Mr. Townsend, had received a copy of the draft Jones
v. PwC complaint that identified Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro as
plaintiff’s counsel for Antwon Jones.

That complaint also specifically identified Mr. Jones by his full name, by his
address and included the dates and amounts of bills he received from DWP. Jones
v. PwC was not a generic “John Doe” complaint and it was not a “thought
experiment.” The evidence is clear that these members of the LACA and the DWP
were aware that Mr. Jones was a real person and that the Jones v. PwC complaint

60
was being prepared as vehicle to eliminate and control the then-pending ratepayer
class actions filed against the DWP in connection with the DWP billing errors.

In his deposition, Mr. Kiesel testified that the City was helping with the allegations
against PwC in both the action to be brought by the City and a possible action to be
brought by a ratepayer:

Q: What was the -- what was your understanding of the


nature of the interaction by which the vetting of the
complaints was to take place?

A: My recollection was that the City was helping with the


allegations, the text, of the causes of action to be asserted
against PricewaterhouseCoopers and was using the
internal documents that were developed by the
Department of Water and Power to have a complaint
drafted and finalized to bring against PwC.

So that is how the support was being offered by the City


on the one hand. And on the other the City was interested
in seeing what causes of action a ratepayer could bring as
a ratepayer against PricewaterhouseCoopers when they
had no contractural [sic] relationship with
PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 115-116

Mr. Kiesel later testified in that same deposition that Mr. Paradis had multiple
meetings with DWP staff about the draft complaints:

Q: Was it your understanding that Paradis was having


meetings with employees of DWP that you were not
attending?

A: Yes.

Q: And the purpose of those meetings, as you understood


it, was to obtain factual information for use in one, the
other, or the both of the complaints he drafted?

A: Correct.

61
Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 120-121

Q: Was there a perceived filing schedule for [the Jones v.


PwC] complaint once the Morski and Bransford plaintiffs
had dropped? Or was there going to be an immediate filing
of the consumer class action complaint?

A: So now that you asked that question it reminds me there


may have been some thought at least at that time of doing
a simultaneous filing so both the City’s claim and
ratepayer claim was filed at the same time to shift the focus
of where the City felt the blame belonged for what was
happening with the CC&B system.

Q: In other words, train all the guns on PwC at the same


time?

A: That I believe was part of the discussion, yes.

Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 150-151

Consistent with Mr. Kiesel’s testimony, Ms. Dorny testified that in February 2015,
LACA employees met and discussed both lawsuits at the same meeting. Ms.
Dorny understood that a plan of pursuing parallel lawsuits against PwC was under
consideration by the LACA. Ms. Dorny collected information and worked with
DWP employees to obtain information for Mr. Paradis in connection with drafting
the lawsuit.

Dorny Dep 121-123

Mr. Solomon also testified at his deposition that he assumed that a ratepayer class
action against PwC was going to be concurrently filed with the City v. PwC
complaint.

Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 500


Ex COLA-SM_0003205
Ex BGR 026676

On January 27, 2015, at 1:36 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Tom

62
Do you know where we stand on getting authority for the
filing of the tolling agreement? Last I was aware, Jim
Clark was going to speak with Mel Levine and then if Mel
was on board, you were going to run it by Marci
[Edwards]. Eskel [Solomon]wants to give the Liner firm
a heads up before it is filed.

Ex COLA-SM_0001503

On January 27, 2015, at 4:58 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Clark:

Richard asked me to touch base with you concerning


authority for the tolling agreement. Have you had a
chance to speak with Mel? Once everyone is on board,
we’ll need to talk with the Liner firm (our outside counsel
for the 2 class actions) so they know what is happening.

Ex COLA-SM_0001505

Shortly thereafter, at 5:04 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Solomon re: Tolling
Agreement update:

Talked with Richard – he has not spoken with Marci yet,


waiting to hear from Jim Clark to see if he has had
discussions with Mel Levine. Richard asked me to follow
up with Jim, with I have via email. I’ll keep you apprised.
I have not responded to Maribeth about the Oracle call on
Thursday. Hopefully we’ll have more information by the
morning and we can update the Liner firm on what is
happening.

Ex COLA-SM_0001507

That same day, at 6:13 p.m., Mr. Solomon responded to Ms. Dorny:

Understood. Thank you, EHS.

Ex COLA-SM_0001511

63
That same day, Mr. Clark responded to Ms. Dorny:

I have spoken with Mel. We’re good to go.

Ex COLA-SM_0001508

It is evident that the City coordinated and approved the planned dismissal of the
Bransford and Morski class actions, and the filings of the City v. PwC and the
Jones v. PwC complaints, to accomplish its goals, as Mr. Kiesel stated to Mr.
Peters on January 21, 2015, to “save the City a fortune in defense costs PLUS the
upside of recovering hundreds of millions… �.”

On January 27, 2015, Mr. Himmelfarb met, at Mr. Kiesel’s office, with Mr. Kiesel
and Mr. Paradis and a third person. 23 Mr. Himmelfarb had previously been counsel
in a case where Mr. Kiesel was lead counsel and Mr. Himmelfarb felt that Mr. Kiesel
had treated him very fairly in that matter. As such, when Mr. Kiesel called Mr.
Himmelfarb about working together on the consumer class action case against PwC,
he was willing to listen.

At the January 27, 2015, meeting, Mr. Himmelfarb understood that Mr. Paradis
and Mr. Kiesel were working for the City. Mr. Kiesel also stated that he had a former
partner who was then at the LACA. During the meeting they talked about the
ratepayer class action cases. Mr. Paradis and Mr. Keisel discussed that they had
worked on a case involving PG&E [Edwards v. Silver Spring Network] and had
concluded that the ratepayers could not sue a municipal utility. Mr. Kiesel and Mr.
Paradis were thus critical of Mr. Himmelfarb’s Morski case, asserting their belief
that one couldn’t sue a municipal utility. Mr. Himmelfarb had previously reviewed
the ordinances and concluded they were wrong. Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel also
stated that while one can’t sue the DWP, they could sue PwC. While Mr.
Himmelfarb disagreed about the ability of his client to sue the DWP, he kept it to
himself at that time.

Ex Himmelfarb interview notes

On January 28, 2015, in a telephone call with Mr. Keisel and Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Himmelfarb having again researched the primary jurisdiction issue and coming to
the same conclusion as he had before, disabused Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel of their
primary jurisdiction argument.

23
The third person at the meeting was not Mr. Libman or Mr. Landskroner.
64
Ex Annotated notes re AH Phonecon Primary jurisdiction issue in Morski

At this point, Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis should have been aware that no law
necessarily prevented a ratepayer, like Antwon Jones, from filing a class action
against the City, contrary to their earlier belief.

On January 28, 2015, Mr. Peters and Mr. Kiesel had a string of emails regarding
establishing the personnel to be involved in the City v. PwC action and mentioning
that Mr. Paradis and Matt Young (“Mr. Young”), from the Kiesel Firm, were
meeting with key DWP personnel over the next three days.

Ex Pansky Re_ FW_ LADWP

When asked whether Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, or Ms. Dorny were authorized to
have private attorneys representing a private party interviewing DWP people to
hone the allegations in a lawsuit in which the City was not going to be a party, Mr.
Feuer testified that they were not.

Ex Feuer Dep 77–78.

On January 28, 2015, Mr. Himmelfarb emailed Mr. Kiesel that he was accepting
his “invitation to join the soon-to-be-filed PwC case” and shortly afterward emailed
Mr. Kiesel the Confidential Tolling Agreement he had signed on behalf of the
Morski plaintiffs.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005800

On January 29, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr.
Clark, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Paradis the City’s tolling agreement for Morski, which
Mr. Himmelfarb had signed.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005412-17

On January 29, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Clark as well as Mr. Wilcox, LACA’s
in-house public relations person, as follows:

65
I would like to meet today if at all possible. The narrative
of “DWP screwed up” (see, e.g., the link below) can and
should change, and we can begin to make that change
now. Both of the lawyers who brought class actions
against DWP - Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb - have now
agreed to dismiss their cases, subject to tolling
agreements, and those tolling agreements have been
signed. We are ready to immediately demand PwC
compensate the City for the abominable work PwC did in
connection with DWP’s billing system. The City is victim
here, not villain. A heads-up to Orlov, maybe even a press
conference, may make sense. Can I have Lisa get us all
together today? Thanks.

http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20150128/lawsuits-
against-DWP-can-help-not-hurt-the-utility-editorial

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005418

Despite the above knowledge of LACA’s public relations officer and


LACA’s two most senior lawyers, and despite the importance of ending the
class action suits to join forces and focus all DWP billing woes on PwC, and
despite Mr. Clark’s communications with Mr. Levine about such matters,
Mr. Feuer testified that he didn’t recall becoming aware of a plan to have
Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb dismiss their class actions against the City.
He did not recall Mr. Clark mentioning that the dismissal plan fell through.

Feuer Dep 1-58 passim

In Mr. Clark’s initial deposition testimony, he stated that he was “sure” that
he had apprised Mr. Feuer of the existence of the draft Jones v. PwC
complaint, as they meet twice a week and Mr. Clark advised Mr. Feuer of
what’s going on. Mr. Clark later recanted that testimony while also admitting
that he kept no written record of what he orally advised Mr. Feuer.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 56; (4-9-19) Dep 402.

66
This is not the only fact that Mr. Clark testified to on February 26, 2019, while
represented by Mr. Peters, which Mr. Clark later took efforts to recant. To
that point, Mr. Clark’s Errata to his February 26, 2019 testimony consisted of
almost 50 substantive changes.24

On that same day, January 29, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel,
and Ms. Tufaro:

We want to change the narrative seen in the article


below. Is there anything in the DWP/PwC contract, or
anywhere else for that matter, that you feel would prevent
the City from noting that we are now looking to the real
culprit - PwC - to answer for the many problems it has
caused? Is a presser - perhaps a joint one with your
affirmative consumer case - something we can move
towards in the immediate future? Thanks.

http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20150128/lawsuits-
against-DWP-can-help-not-hurt-the-utility-editorial

COLA-LADWP_0005418

Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, at the direction of the LACA, had recruited Mr. Blood
and Mr. Himmelfarb to join the Jones v. PwC case, while at the same time Mr.
Paradis continued, as Special Counsel for the City, to draft the City v. PwC
complaint.

24
The substantive changes made by Mr. Clark to his deposition are to be given minimal credence.
He testified as the City’s PMQ witness and his original deposition testimony are statements of a
party. Where a party “corrects” admissions in a deposition, the “trial court may accept the first
and reject the latter of these contrary positions” “especially where there is no assertion the original
answer was incorrectly transcribed or the question was misleading or ambiguous.” The Court is
“entitled to disregard the ‘corrections’ she made to her deposition testimony and her contradictory
affidavit.” Wagner v. Glendale Adventist Med. Ctr. (1989) 216 Cal. App. 3d 1379, 1391, citing
with approval Burgon v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, (1979) 93 Cal. App. 3d 813, 823; see also
Drexler v. Petersen, 4 Cal. App. 5th (2016) 1181, 1187 n.3 (noting that appellant did not challenge
trial court’s rejecting “corrections” that contradicted admissions made in the appellant’s
deposition).

67
Later, on January 29, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed to Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr.
Kiesel the executed signature pages to the tolling agreements with Mr. Blood and
Mr. Himmelfarb which Mr. Peters had signed on behalf of the City, requesting they
“let [him] know as soon as we learn that Blood and Himmelfarb, in compliance with
the attached tolling agreements, dismiss.”

Ex GD 002749- GD 002751
Peters Dep (5/1/19) 256, 257

On that same day, January 29, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel:

You are free to immediately send the letter [10 day letter]
to PwC and the tolling agreements to the plaintiffs’
lawyers. The fully executed agreements are attached.

Ex Pansky Re_ Retention


Ex SKM_224e15012913200

As evidenced here, by January 29, 2015, the LACA knew of and affirmatively
encouraged the planned filing of a ratepayer class action against PwC, going so
far as to sign tolling agreements with plaintiffs’ counsel in Bransford and Morski,
in the expectation that they would sign onto the Jones v. PwC complaint and
would, with Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel in the lead, pursue that action instead of
continuing the existing ratepayer class action cases against the City and the DWP.

On January 30, 2015, Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, as Special Counsel for the City,
transmitted a demand letter on behalf of the City to James Curtin (“Mr. Curtin”) and
Thomas McGuiness (“Mr. McGuiness”) of PwC demanding the City be
compensated for the alleged bad work performed by PwC in connection with DWP’s
billing system.

Ex BGR 013113-013114

On January 30, 2015, Mr. Paradis, on behalf of the City, sent Mr. Blood and Ms.
Hurst a copy of the City’s executed signature page to the Bransford tolling
agreement, as follows:

Tim / Leslie,

Attached please find an executed signature page for your


tolling agreement reflecting the fact that the City has now
68
signed the Agmt. Please effectuate the dismissal today and
send me a file stamped copy of the dismissal so that I can
provide it to the City later today. The City has also signed
the Tolling Agmt in the Morski case and that is being
dismissed today as well. I am in LA and will be through
next week. I am continuing to gather documents and other
evidence and interviewing witnesses in order to finalize
the draft complaint that I have been working on. I
anticipate having it ready next week and will provide you
with a draft that you can review and we can discuss once
I am finished. We are looking forward to working with you
on this case.

Paul

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005838

On January 30, 2015, in the early morning, there was an email exchange between
Mr. Himmelfarb and Mr. Kiesel, where Mr. Himmelfarb asked about the current date
planned for the filing and to “forward the current draft” to him. Mr. Kiesel
responded that he would “forward the draft as soon as [Paradis is] ready.” Mr.
Himmelfarb replied that he would “like to get a copy of whatever has been put
together at this point.” He added: “I need to see what I’m committing to.” Mr.
Kiesel responded, “Fair enough. Let me reach out to Paul and see if I can get the
current draft.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005835

Later that morning, on January 30, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Himmelfarb
with the City’s executed signature page of the Morski Tolling Agreement, stating:

I am continuing to gather documents and other evidence


and interviewing witnesses in order to finalize the draft
complaint that I have been working on. As Paul K. told
you earlier this morning, I am happy to meet with you at
his office today to review the current draft, but I think it
would be more productive to let me spend the time
continuing to work and gather the evidence we need so
that I can show you a more complete version next week.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005843-44
69
Immediately, Mr. Himmelfarb responded to Mr. Paradis that:

Initially, I was told that upon my executing the tolling


agreement, I would be provided with a copy of the
complaint. Then, once the Morski case had been
dismissed, I would be given access to the LADWP
documents.

Thus far, I have demonstrated good faith by agreeing to


join forces with you on your PWC action, and agreeing to
dismiss my presently filed Morski action. I have
memorialized this good faith by executing, as requested,
the tolling agreement with the LADWP. . .

I am now encountering some reluctance in providing me


with a copy of the complaint. I understand that this is a
‘work in progress’. . .

What I am not familiar with is secrecy and concealment


amongst and between co-counsel. Frankly, this has given
me pause regarding this entire transaction.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005843

Again, despite the absence of any formal paperwork to evidence that Mr. Paradis
or Mr. Kiesel had been “retained” by the City to defend the consumer class action
cases, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were approved by the City to communicate
directly, and did continue to communicate directly, on behalf of the City, with Mr.
Himmelfarb and Mr. Blood on arguably what were, at that time, the most
significant litigating discussions and decisions in the pending consumer class
action cases of Morski and Bransford. The Liner Firm, which was outside counsel
retained by the City to defend these actions, was not involved in or apprised of
these discussions or decisions until later.

It is uncontroverted that despite having freely shared the draft Jones v. PwC
complaint with DWP staff and LACA, Mr. Paradis refused to share the “already
drafted” complaint with Mr. Himmelfarb. Additionally, there is no evidence
indicating the Jones v. PwC complaint was shared with Mr. Blood or Ms. Hurst
either. Disclosure of the draft Jones v. PwC complaint would identify to persons
outside City personnel that Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel (lawyers for

70
the City) were also counsel for Mr. Jones, thereby damaging Mr. Jones’ ability to
bring a class action against the City.

On January 30, 2015, the Blood Firm caused the Bransford complaint to be served
on the City.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005421-45

On January 30, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Kiesel:

Thom,

After speaking with you, PRK asked me who I think our


primary contact person at DWP should be. After spending
some time with a number of people there, I believe that we
are going to need two primary contact people. The first is
Eskel Solomon in Legal and the second is Mark
Townsend, who is the Assistant Director in the
Information Technology Services Division. I believe that
between the two of them we should be able to accomplish
what we need to accomplish. Also, although PRK
suggested to you that whoever we select would interface
with us through Matt Young, after discussing it further
with PRK, we agreed that it will be more efficient for me
to interface with them directly and for me to keep PRK in
the loop rather than adding Matt as an extra layer. Please
let me know if you have any questions. As for the research
that we discussed last night, we are still working on it and
hope to have an answer later today - I will keep you in the
loop. Finally, I have contacted Blood and Himmelfarb and
am awaiting confirmation that they have dismissed their
respective actions. As soon as they confirm that back to
me, I will be in touch. Thanks. Paul

Emphasis supplied

Ex Pansky DWP v. PwC Litigation - Contacts

Sometime in late January 2015, the California State Auditor gave the City a
prepublication copy of her report entitled Consequences Linked to Its Premature

71
Launch of Its Customer Information System May Push Total Costs Beyond $200
Million. The State Auditor gave the City thirty days to reply if it wished. 25

FEBRUARY 2015: THE JONES v. PwC STRATEGY DISINTEGRATES


FOR TWO REASONS. AS A RESULT, THE CITY AND MR. PARADIS
AND MR. KIESEL PIVOT TO FILING A SHAM JONES v. CITY
COMPLAINT AND RECRUIT MR. LANDSKRONER
TO FRONT THAT SHAM LAWSUIT

In February 2015, meetings with the City were held in which City v. PwC and Jones
v. PwC were discussed together. As previously noted, Ms. Dorny testified that she
understood that a plan of pursuing parallel lawsuits against PwC was under
consideration by the City Attorney’s Office. Ms. Dorny collected information and
worked with DWP employees to obtain information for Mr. Paradis in connection
with drafting the lawsuit.

Dorny Dep117, 122-124

On February 1, 2015, Mr. Himmelfarb, having still not received the promised copy
of the Jones v. PwC complaint, emailed Mr. Kiesel to inform him that Mr.
Himmelfarb’s client would not be joining the litigation with Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Kiesel and that he was backing out of the agreement to dismiss his client’s case,
notifying Mr. Kiesel that he would “litigate Morski as a separate case.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005851

At this point an important, if not necessary, component of the City’s overall plan
to take control of the pending ratepayer actions and create a united front in
changing the public narrative was in jeopardy. The Jones class action against PwC
was designed to rid the City of the immediate problem of the Other Class Actions
as well as doubling down on making PwC the “bad guy.” As the evidence
establishes, the death of Jones v. PwC was around the corner for other reasons,
e.g., namely the February 17, 2015 Liner Memo. Nonetheless, Mr. Himmelfarb’s
departure from the plan for Jones v. PwC 26 and, shortly thereafter, Mr. Blood,

25
The City replied on February 20, 2015, as discussed below.
26
There is a lack of evidence as to whether Mr. Keisel or Mr. Paradis immediately shared the
information about Mr. Himmelfarb’s defection with others at the LACA or DWP. However, as
further evidenced herein, as long as Mr. Blood, who had the lead class action case, Bransford, was
72
whose ratepayer client filed first, would ultimately require a new plan to enable
the City, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel to take control of the ratepayer actions
against the City and DWP.

On February 2, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Paradis, a
proposed timeline that contemplated both the City v. PwC and Jones v. City
complaints being filed on the same date:

February 5, 2015 City to receive draft pleading City of


Los Angeles v. PwC;

February 6, 2015 Meeting with Mike, Jim, Thom and the


Pauls;

February 10, 2015 Make sure complaint is finalized and


ready for filing on the 11th;

February 11, 2015 File City complaint and hold press


conference announcing the filing of this action;

February 11, 2015 Consumer case v. PWC can be filed on


the same day, though after City action filed, and a “joint”
press conference is conducted at City Hall.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006099

Attached to Mr. Kiesel’s February 2, 2015, email was a draft Engagement and
Contingency Fee Agreement (the “Special Counsel Agreement”) that recited at page
6, the following paragraph entitled “Conflict of Interest”:

In addition, the City represents it is aware that special


counsel has been retained to represent a putative class in
an action that will be captioned Jones v.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (the Jones action) and
hereby provides special counsel with approval to proceed
with the filing and litigation of the Jones action.

still willing to join Jones v. PwC, the City, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel could, and did, continue to
move forward with the original plan.

73
Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006099

Jones v. PwC appears in the draft proposed engagement agreement between the
City and Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel on February 2, 2015. This iteration of the
Special Counsel Agreement had “February __, 2015” as the commencement date.

The next day, on February 3, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel re: “Retainer K”:

Do you have any time tomorrow between 10:30 and noon


to discuss? I have minimal edits and a few clarifications
I’d like to hash out. Need less than 45, probably less than
30 - if we keep discussion of the new Tesla out of it . . . .8)

Ex COLA-LADWP 0010867

On February 4, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, copying
Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny, regarding Morski:

Attached please find a Notice of Initial Status Conference


Order, and the Court’s January 22, 2015 Minute Orders
regarding the Morski matter. We need to be sure to comply
with the pre-conference meet and confer/case
management plan requirements. The Conference is set for
March 20, 2015. Regards, EHS.

Ex Pansky RE_ Morski vs. LADWP, BC568722

On February 4, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Tom, Ms. Dorny, copying Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, that the complaint filed in the
Bransford class action had been served on the City on January 30, 2015. Mr.
Solomon commented:

The summons and complaint service and POS filing on


such recent dates appear contrary to my understanding
that the Blood Hurst & O’Reardon firm was standing
down regarding this case and should be a topic of
discussion at our Friday (2-6-15) meeting.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005421-45

74
The core participants for the LACA concerned with addressing the class action
aspects of the plan, initially via Jones v. PwC, are here identified. They are Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Tufaro,
and Mr. Paradis. Later, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey will show up.

On February 4, 2015, in response to an email from Ms. Annaguey to Mr. Solomon,


which was copied to Ms. Dorny and Mr. Farkas re: Bransford: Draft Letter to Oracle,
Mr. Solomon forwarded that email to Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, with a copy to Mr.
Tom and Ms. Dorny, noting:

Please see the email received from the Liner Firm w/


attachment. I’ve advised them we need to hold a
conversation Friday afternoon, and unless otherwise
decided intent (sic) to then tell them about the change of
direction. Do you have a suggested response to the
attached draft letter to Oracle. In a prior email I
forwarded all the initial evidence hold letters sent re the
class action matters. EHS

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Paradis responded:

Eskel

I would let her send the letter because we need this to


happen given the other cases that we are working on even
if the Liner Firm is going to be transitioned out. The only
change to her letter that I suggest is that the time period
for the litigation hold needs to be expand (sic) to begin in
November 2009 (when LADWP issued the relevant RFP).
Thanks.

Paul P.

Ex COLA-SM_0001646

On February 4, 2014, Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Dorny to introduce Ms. Tufaro and
requested that she be included on all document production related emails going
forward.

Ex COLA-SM_0001630

75
On February 5, 2015, Ms. Tufaro emailed Ms. Dorny, copying Mr. Paradis re:
question regrading [sic] the Morski action:

Good morning Deborah,


I look forward to meeting you later today. Paul has tasked
me with addressing the issues relating to the Morski
action. I am looking into the issue regarding notice under
the Torts Claims Act and need your help. There is a
reference to some sort of notice in the Morski complaint in
Parag. 9, however, our understanding is that the LADWP
has no record of any notice being provided in this action.
Can you please check and advise if any such notice was
provided and, if so, whether there was a subsequent
response?
After receiving Ms. Dorny’s response, Ms. Tufaro then replied:
Hi Deb,
Thanks for your response. Additionally Paul mentioned
that the Department also sent a letter to Ms. Himmelfarb
regarding this issue. Can you please sent (sic) that an any
communications regarding Mr. Morski or Mr.
Himmelfarb to me?
We are working on the Complaint, so it is unlikely that we
will be stopping by any time before 3 pm. I will keep you
posted and let you know in advance.
Thanks so much.
Gina.
Shortly thereafter that same day, Ms. Dorny provided
Ms. Tufaro with the requested Morski documents.
Ex COLA-SM_0001658

This is additional evidence that the LACA, well before the filing of City v. PwC
and while aware of Mr. Paradis’s, Ms. Tufaro’s, and Mr. Kiesel’s representation
of Antwon Jones, had already included Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel
as part of its legal team in its defense of the Morski and Bransford class actions.

On February 5, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny,
copying Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas, and Ms. Hallock (all of the Liner Firm), advising
76
that another class action lawsuit - Fontaine v. the City of Los Angeles - had been
filed. Ms. Annaguey flagged that the plaintiff had not yet complied with the requisite
claim’s procedure.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005863
Pansky RE_ Service on COLA of Fontaine vs. LADWP
Ex Fontaine Class Action

On February 6, 2015, Mr. Solomon forwarded Ms. Annaguey’s email to Mr. Clark,
Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel and Mr.
Geuss, noting that “[t]his should be another topic of discussion at our 10am meeting
this morning.” Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny, copying Mr.
Kiesel: “I think this only reinforces the plan to stay Tim Blood’s case – rather than
dismissing it as we discussed yesterday.” Mr. Kiesel replied to the same individuals:
“As do I.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005863

Five days after Mr. Himmelfarb announced that he was going to proceed
independently with Morski, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were still moving forward
with the plan to use Jones v. PwC to control the ratepayer cases vis a vis Bransford,
which was the lead class action case, filed by Mr. Blood.

On February 6, 2015, Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Agrusa learned that Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Kiesel would represent the City in an action against PwC with regards to the
DWP billing issues.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005608-14 (Liner Memo)

On February 6, 2015, at 4:02 p.m., Lisa Hughes (“Ms. Hughes”), Mr. Peters’s
assistant, emailed Mr. Peters re: Kiesel/DWP retainer – latest version attached. Two
minutes later, Mr. Peters forwarded the email to Mr. Kiesel with the notation
“Presto.” Mr. Kiesel responded 5 minutes later “Gracias.”

The “latest version” of the Engagement and Contingency Fee Agreement that was
attached to Ms. Hughes’s February 6, 2015, email included the following paragraph
entitled “Conflict of Interest”:

In addition, the City represents that it is aware that special


counsel has been retained to represent a putative class in
an action that will be captioned Jones v.
77
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (the “Jones action”) and
hereby provides special counsel with approval to proceed
with the filing and litigation of the Jones action.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0010879
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006162
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006163-71

While this provision was not included in the final retainer agreement, having been
edited out by the LACA, this email and draft show that the City was aware of a
possible Special Counsel (Kiesel Law LLP and Paradis Law Group, PLLC)
conflict based upon the disclosure that they represented Antwon Jones.

By letter, dated February 6, 2015, Daniel Thomasch (“Mr. Thomasch”), Gibson


Dunn & Crutcher (“GD”), wrote to Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis offering to meet with
them about the demand against PwC.

Ex COLA-SM_0001726-27

On February 8, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Paradis, re:
Checking in:

Just wanted to make sure you got a copy of the contract


that Paul forwarded to you yesterday. Also wanted to let
you know that having reviewed your edits to the Legal
Services Agreement, aside from needing a copy of the
city’s travel policy, the modifications made by you are
accepted by Paul P and me.

Have you had a chance to speak with Blood yet?

Ex COLA-SM_0002125

On or about February 9, 2015, the LACA identified a potential conflict of interest


affecting Mr. Clark’s ethical ability to participate in the anticipated case against
PwC, because of Mr. Clark’s status as a retired partner and his continuing financial
connection with GD, counsel for PwC.

Clark Dep (4-9-19) 334-335

78
On February 9, 2015, Mr. Peters circulated an email chain to Mr. Solomon, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Dorny giving an update on the Kiesel/Paradis
retainer.

Ex Pansky Re_ Kiesel_Paradis retainer

On February 9, 2015, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis engaged in an
email exchange, copying Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas, Ms.
Hallock, and Mr. Tom, re: Class Action Billing Issues, IT Meeting. Per Mr.
Solomon:

Morning: These are the computer experts (Stroz


Friedberg) that have already reviewed the LADWP
system, retained by the Liner Firm and LADWP, with
whom we want to continue a relationship. At the least they
can advise you of the system status and we can decide
where to go/what to do next. EHS.

Deborah will work on the meeting scheduling w/ Paul


Kiesel and Paul Paradis and advise you. EHS.

Ex Pansky RE_ Class Action Billing Issues, IT Meeting


Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 372-373

On February 9, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Hallock, Mr. Farkas, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny
that another copy of the Bransford summons and complaint were served again on
the city clerk on February 5, 2015. Mr. Solomon noted:

Prior to the March 2 due date, I will discuss the contact of


the Blood Hurst & O’Reardon Firm by the Liner Firm in
keeping w/ recent agreements.

Ex Pansky ADDITIONAL SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT,


SHARON BRANSFORD, ET. AL. VS. COLA, BC565618
Ex BRANSFORD ET. AL. vs. COLA BC565618 SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT
Ex BRANSFORD ET. AL. vs. COLA BC565618 (2-5-15 Service Date)

On February 9, 2015, an email chain began with an email from Mr. Kiesel to Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Solomon, and Mr. Farkas, copying Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr.

79
Paradis, and Mr. Peters,27 alerting them to two news stories and a possible article
that would be appearing on the DWP billing problem. Mr. Kiesel noted “it’s
important to get out in front of these stories to minimize the chance for additional
filings.” Mr. Solomon then responded to everyone on the email, indicating he was
forwarding Mr. Kiesel’s email to Mr. Ramallo (DWP Media) and Rob Wilcox (City
Attorney Media) and Mr. Clark. Mr. Kiesel then emailed Mr. Clark:

I didn’t sent you the original email since I wasn’t sure to


what extent, in light of Gibson Dunn’s representation, to
loop you in, to these discussions (it’s why I’m writing to
you privately on this email as well �)

Mr. Clark responded, using his LACA email, that he “is still trying to figure out what
I can and cannot do” but participating in a call about press strategy “is fine.”

Ex COLA-SM_0000468 - COLA-SM_0000472

As the evidence establishes, Mr. Clark knew a) GD was representing PwC almost
one month before the lawsuit against PwC was filed and about 2 months before
PwC made an appearance in the City v. PwC case, and b) despite being on notice
that there was a potential conflict he continued to be involved in the decision-
making process for the City v. PwC case. Not until PwC filed a demurrer, through
GD, was Mr. Clark, after consultation with Mr. Feuer, recused from participating
in the City v. PwC case.

Despite that recusal, the evidence is that Mr. Clark continued to communicate
directly with Mr. Paradis in matters related to City v. PwC, e.g., in connection with
the Jones v. City mediation process where Mr. Paradis’s supposed role was on
behalf of the City in the related City v. PwC case.

In fact, there is a void of evidence that the City, Mr. Paradis, or Mr. Clark took
any steps to truly wall off Mr. Paradis from Jones v. City or Mr. Clark from City
v. PwC; in fact, the evidence is to the contrary.

Ex Clark GD emails COLA-SM_0000462 - COLA-SM_0000706


Clark Dep (4-9-19) 334-335

27
Although Ms. Agrusa was designated the lead attorney in the class action cases, she was not
included in the email chain.
80
On February 11, 2015,28 a meeting was held with Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, Ms.
Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel. Mr. Kiesel testified that he
believed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters were also present, and it was likely that Ms. Dorny
was also present. Ms. Agrusa testified that she understood Mr. Kiesel and Mr.
Paradis were at the meeting to explain that they had been retained by DWP “to look
at two possible courses of additional action involving the billing crisis at the City.”
At that meeting, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey learned that Mr. Blood had agreed
to dismiss DWP and substitute PwC as defendant and would have a co-counsel
relationship with Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel in a ratepayers’ class action against
PwC. Ms. Agrusa testified she was surprised to learn that anyone at the City had
also had a conversation with Mr. Blood without involving her or Ms. Annaguey.

Tom Dep (5-15-19) 298-299; Solomon Dep (8-1-2019) 459-462; Kiesel Dep (5-28-
19) 185-186; Annaguey Dep 40-41; Agrusa Dep 73, 76, 81, 96-97

On February 11, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Solomon and Mr. Peters, copying
Anne Haley (“Ms. Haley”) and Mr. Brown, RE: DWP v. PwC Retainer, stating that
the agreement to retain Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel needed approval of the board
retroactively, requiring suggested language for the “sole source” justification
required to explain why no other firms had been solicited to do the work and that
rather than use the retainer provided by Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, the agreement
be set up as a contract. Mr. Tom stated that he was working with Adriana Blazevic
(“Ms. Blazevic”) to incorporate the substantive provisions of the retainer agreement
that Mr. Solomon and Mr. Peters and the PLG/Kiesel Law firms had developed.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006243

On February 13, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr.
Brown, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Dorny, regarding reaching
out to DWP Board members William Funderburk (“Mr. Funderburk”) and Mr.
Levine:
Jim-
I spoke with Bill Funderburk and traded emails with Mel
Levine late this afternoon. They are both in agreement
with the approach of a limited briefing to the board on
Tuesday seeking their support for the filing of the suit, and
both understand the potential short delay in the filing date.

28
Ex COLA-SM_0002129 (February 9, 2015, email from Ms. Dorny noting everyone is available
for meeting on February 11, 2015)
81
We would have the opportunity for a more detailed
discussion about suit in the next few months as needed.
Ex GD 002752

On February 15, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Spinn and Ms. Annaguey a copy
of the summons and complaint filed on February 6, 2015, in Fontaine v. City.

Ex COLA-SM_0002400 (email)
Ex COLA-SM_0002401-21 (Fontaine summons and complaint)

On February 17, 2015, at 3:06 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters:
We briefed the DWP board (Funderburk, Noonan,
Fleming, & Barad) this afternoon on the planned filing of
the suit against PwC, and the upcoming contract for their
approval of the retention of outside counsel to handle the
suit. After discussion, the Board indicated their support
for the filing of the lawsuit.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this.
Thanks. Richard Tom
Ex Pansky Re_ DWP Customer Billing System Lawsuit
Ex Board Minutes (closed session) of February 17, 2015, at pp. 32, 33

On February 17, 2015, at 4:52 p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed to Mr. Solomon, Ms.
Dorny and Ms. Agrusa a Memorandum addressed to Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny
(the “Liner Memo”) raising concerns about information revealed during the
February 11, 2015, meeting with Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis at DWP. The email
stated:
Dear Eskel and Deborah,
Thanks again for coordinating last week’s meeting. We
agree that it is important for us to have an open line of
communication with Paul Kiesel and Paul Paradis so that
we can effectively protect the DWP’s interests. We were
surprised to hear during our meeting that Kiesel and
Paradis are pursuing a consumer case against the PWC
as well. Upon further reflection, we are concerned that
this strategy may pose some complications. We prepared
the attached identifying possible issues for your
consideration. We apologize in advance if we are going

82
over ground that has already been covered but we just
want to make sure that you and the client have the
information necessary as we move forward.
We are happy to discuss further with you.
Regards,
Maribeth
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006212-13

The Liner Memo noted the intended plan for Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to represent
the City in an action against PwC, and to bring a separate consumer action, Jones v.
PwC. The Memo also noted an agreement with counsel for the plaintiffs in the
Bransford class action to voluntarily dismiss DWP from that case and substitute in
PwC as the defendant. The Liner Memo specifically cautioned Mr. Solomon and
Ms. Dorny that:

[P]ursuing a parallel lawsuit against PWC in federal


court while maintaining defense of the various state court
class action lawsuits will most likely affect the defense of
those cases and the possible strategies and arguments
available to the DWP. Any allegation in the PWC Suit
that the implementation of the new billing system caused
DWP customers to be overcharged may be an admission
of liability by the DWP in the state court class action
suits.

The Liner Memo also warned Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny about potential conflicts
that “may result in [Kiesel Law LLP and PLG] being disqualified from one or more
of the lawsuits,” and that it “may result in any settlement or other dispositive result
being disturbed or overturned.” It continued:

[T]he DWP will likely be joined in the PWC Class Suit.


Once that happens, the Kiesel/Paridis [sic] Firms will
represent the consumers in a lawsuit against PWC in
which those consumers have claims against the DWP,
while simultaneously representing the DWP in its separate
lawsuit against PWC . . .. The consumers will also have
claims against the DWP, but the Kiesel/Paradis Firms
may not be able to advance those claims as they will
concurrently represent DWP. Further the Kiesel/Paradis
83
Firms may receive (and already may have received)
confidential information from the DWP, which will be
central to the PWC Class Suit.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005608-14

The Liner Memo, under the heading “A. Federal Lawsuit against
Pricewaterhousecoopers/ i. Strategic Considerations,” stated:

Finally, the lawsuit against PWC adds a new theme to


push in the press, allowing the DWP to potentially change
the public narrative regarding the billing issues that have
occurred.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005608-14

On February 17, 2015. at 4:56 p.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey and Ms.
Dorny, copying Ms. Agrusa and Mr. Tom:

I very much appreciate your reaching out to us about your


concerns. I am forwarding your email to my supervisor,
Richard Tom, with whom Deborah and I will discuss the
concerns you raise [sic] matter. EHS.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006212-13

A few minutes after receiving the Liner Memo, on February 17, 2015, at 4:59 p.m.,
Mr. Solomon forwarded the Liner Memo to Mr. Tom, copying Ms. Dorny, with the
message:

After you have reviewed the attached Liner memorandum,


Deborah, you, and I, should discuss it. Frankly, some of it
is over my head, and I would suggest that since they are
concerned, the memo be forwarded directly to Clark for
his advice. (forwarding to Thom Peters may result in a
leak to the two Pauls?). If Clark is not forwarded the
memo there could be future repercussions. The Liner Firm

84
is following my stated instructions to give us the best
advice they have. Please advise.

EHS.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006212-13

On February 17, 2015, at 7:53 pm., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Solomon and Ms.
Dorny:
Let’s discuss tomorrow - I agree we should share with Jim.
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006212-13
The LACA’s involvement in discussions and decisions about whether or not Jones
v. PwC should be filed further evidences the collusiveness of the overall plan to
use Mr. Paradis’s client, Mr. Jones, for the City’s benefit.

Further, despite already being on notice that GD has been hired to represent PwC,
the LACA lawyers did not think twice about the impropriety of including Mr.
Clark in the discussions about Jones v. PwC.

On February 18, 2015, at 1:36 p.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey, copying
Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny:

Please be advised that Richard Tom has forwarded your


memorandum to both Jim Clark and Thom Peters of the
City Attorney’s Office for review and comment. We have
not provided your memo to either Paul Kiesel or Paul
Paradis, pending advice from Clark and Peters. Again,
thank you for reaching out. EHS.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006223-24

On February 18, 2015, at 1:51 p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Solomon, copying
Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny:

Understood.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006223-24

85
On February 18, 2015, at 2:20 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark, copying Mr.
Peters, Mr. Geuss, Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, attaching a marked-
up copy of the Liner Memo:
Jim:
Last week, we hosted a meeting to have the Liner firm,
which is representing LADWP in connection with the
original consumer class actions, meet with Kiesel /Paradis
in order to begin the coordination of their efforts in
connection with the proposed lawsuits related to the
LADWP customer billing system implementation. The
discussion went well, and the Liner firm is on board with
the coordination effort. However, in providing their best
advice and counsel, they wanted to bring to the City’s
attention a number of issues of concerns/issues that they
wanted to ensure that the City had considered.
Please let me know whether you have any questions, and
whether you would like us to take any further actions in
connection with the issues raised.
Richard Tom
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005450-51

On February 18, 2015, Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny spoke with Ms. Annaguey to
discuss the Liner Memo and asked her to consider any issues or problems with the
same attorneys representing the City and consumers in actions against PwC, if
DWP is joined as a cross-defendant.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005617-18

On February 19, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny,
copying Ms. Agrusa and other Liner Firm attorneys, repeating the concerns
discussed on the February 18, 2015, call and in the Liner Memo:
Team,
It was great speaking with you yesterday. During the call,
you asked us whether we saw any issues or potential
problems if the attorneys representing the consumer class
against PWC also ultimately took on the defense of the
86
DWP, if the DWP were joined in the consumer class action
as a cross-defendant. As I mentioned on the call, we see
potential issues and I wanted to follow up very briefly on
them.
One potential problem is that the lawyers’ defense of the
DWP in the consumer class action against PWC would
likely pose a conflict of interest with their other client, the
consumer class. That consumer class would likely overlap
to a significant degree with the putative classes in the
current class action lawsuits against the DWP, where that
very same or similar “client” is asserting claims against
the DWP;
While the lawyers could maintain the argument that PWC
was at fault for any harm to the consumer class, the
lawyers representing both the DWP and the consumer
class are unlikely to be able to get a “conflict waiver”
from the consumer class to affirm that the class has no
claims against the DWP;
Setting aside the conflict issue, the DWP would also have
the practical complication of being represented by the
same lawyers who are contending that a consumer class
exists and is ascertainable vis-a-vis the PWC. The PWC
will look to the DWP for discovery that will likely be used
to challenge class certification. If the same lawyers
representing the DWP are representing the putative class,
it will be that much more difficult to oppose the PWC’s
discovery efforts.
In addition, any potential settlement or resolution of the
consumer case against PWC may be challenged because
of a perceived conflict. An objector could challenge the
settlement by pointing to the fact that the DWP should also
be at the table but is not because the same lawyers who
represent the class also represent the DWP.
Again, these are just potential issues we are raising out of
an abundance of caution, and we recognize that they may
already have been identified and addressed. Ultimately,
these potential conflicts may not arise or may be dealt
with, and we raise them here only to ensure that we

87
provide you with all of the information we can. As always,
our goal is to ensure the best result for the DWP and to
vigorously defend its interests.
Ex COLA- LADWP_0005617-18

On February 19, 2015, 4:15 p.m., Mr. Solomon forwarded Ms. Annaguey’s email
to Mr. Tom:

FYI. Please consider forwarding this follow-up email to


Thom Peters and Jim Clark for their consideration. EHS.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005617-18

During this same time period, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were directly involved,
on behalf of the City and DWP, in preparing a response to the State Auditor’s
Report.

On February 19, 2015, Mr. Kysella emailed Mr. Wright, copying Mr. Tom and Mr.
Brown:
I have attached a revision of the proposed response to the
State Auditor, which includes concurrence on the
Auditor’s recommendation for greater communication
with the Board and oversight by the Board. It also includes
a version of the bullet points accomplished to date. It does
not include a promise to provide a subsequent response.
We may have to make one or two small tweaks tomorrow
morning, but we think this addresses the concerns you
raised.
Ex Pansky RE_ draft response to state audit 3
Ex State Auditor Response to Audit (February 20 2015)-legal redline2--1035am

On February 20, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Kysella and Mr. Tom, copying Mr.
Kiesel, attaching Mr. Paradis’s revisions to Mr. Kysella’s revision:
Richard & Bill,
As I just discussed with Richard, Paul Kiesel has this
document, but HAS NOT yet had an opportunity to read it
our [sic] give us his views. Because of the time pressure, I
am sending it to you with the understanding that the

88
document is therefore NOT FINAL on our end and that
Paul K will have an opportunity to weigh in and express
his views when he gets freed up shortly. That said, I
believe that the language I proposed addresses that (sic.)
Paul K. raised in his email and will hopefully stop the
Auditor dead in her tracks and make her ask about the
investigation - by the time we respond, the complaint will
already be filed. Talk to you guys soon. Thanks.
Paul P.
Emphasis added.

Ex Pansky RE_ draft response to state audit


Ex LADWP Response w- Paradis 2-20 REDLINE

The above email evidences that the City v. PwC complaint was purposefully filed
prior to the issuance of the State Auditor’s Report in part to blunt the effect of that
report and to focus blame for the billing problems on PwC. The City’s final
version of its response can be found at pages 51 and 52 of the State Auditor’s
Report. It is Mr. Paradis’s authored final version.
Ex City response to State auditor’s report

On February 21, 2015, (Saturday), at 8:46 a.m., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark,
copying Mr. Peters, Mr. Geuss, Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny,
forwarding Ms. Annaguey’s February 19, 2015, email:
Jim:

Here is a follow-up email from the Liner firm. Please


advise if we should schedule a meeting to discuss and if
so, who should participate. Thanks.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005461-63

On February 23, 2015, at 7:35 a.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Solomon about
having a meeting regarding a “consumer class” case, which given the death of Jones
v. PwC as shown by Mr. Peters’s email to Mr. Clark four hours later, and as
confirmed in Mr. Clark’s 2019 testimony, can only be referring to Jones v. City:
Good morning,
Now that I have basically finished up the initial DWP v.
PwC complaint and am waiting for technical corrections
89
back from the IT Dept., I would like to speak with you and
Deb about the consumer class case that we are going to
be filing. Discussion should take no more than an hour
and I am wondering what your availability is today -
please let me know. Thanks. Paul P.
Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 488, 493-494
Ex COLA-LADWP 0005619 (email chain between Mr. Paradis and Mr. Solomon)

That same day, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Mr. Tom and Ms.
Dorny, giving his availability that day and stating that Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny
should also be present at any meeting. Mr. Paradis emailed his agreement: “book 2-
3p.m. for a meeting and Gina and I will be there.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006231

On February 23, 2015, at 11:28 a.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Clark:

I had thought we rejected the concept of Kiesel /Paradis


defending DWP in any action. [apparently confirming the
already made decision to kill Jones v. PwC based on the
possibility that PwC would look to add DWP to the Jones
v. PwC suit as a necessary party, giving rise to Kiesel and
Paradis defending DWP while representing plaintiff Jones
in the same suit]. I am thus unsure what Richard wishes
to discuss here. Should I respond to him? Thanks

Ex COLA- LADWP_0005461-63

After emailing Mr. Clark, that afternoon, at 3 p.m., Mr. Peters, consistent with Mr.
Solomon’s email above, met with Mr. Paradis, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, and Mr.
Solomon, (and most likely Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Clark).29

Peters Dep Ex 16

29
Mr. Peters’s calendar for February 23, 2015, has written in at 3 p.m., crossed out to 2 p.m.,
“meeting w/ Paul Paradis, Richard Tom/Deborah Dorny + EHS here.” As discussed in detail
below, Mr. Kiesel also testified that the new plan was devised at one or more meetings between
February 17 and March 3 that included Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel. Kiesel
Dep (5/28/19) 69-70
90
On February 23, 2015, at 11:18 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters,
Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro,
attaching LADWP v. PwC - 2-23-15 w-o REDLINE FROM 2-13-15 VER. -
FINAL.DOC:
Counsel,
Attached is the revised draft of the initial complaint.
Because the edits against the February 13th version are
so extensive, the RED LINED version is very difficult to
read. Accordingly, I have only attached the CLEAN
version. If anyone wants to see the RED LINED version,
please let me know and I will send it to you. I look forward
to receiving your comments in the hope that this document
can be finalized and ready for filing this week. Thank you.
Paul P.
Ex COLA-SM 0002853 with attachment COLA-SM_0002854-922

The memorialization of the Liner memo seriously damaged the City’s initial plan
to use a Jones v. PwC class action suit to control the ratepayer class actions. Mr.
Peters’s email, combined with the above, evidences that the City killed Jones v.
PwC as the “second suit” no later than February 23, 2015.

According to the data accumulated by the Special Master, the email trail on the
Jones v. PwC case ends here. The LACA provided no written record of telling
Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to stand down on the Jones v. PwC case. Instead, as
the evidence shows, the City went to extreme lengths to eliminate and conceal
from the Court, as well as from counsel for PwC and others, its record of the
existence of Jones v. PwC and its knowledge of the representation of Mr. Jones by
Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel.

Mr. Peters testified that he did not see any need to discuss Jones v. PwC further
since that suit had been discarded in the wake of the Liner Memo and Ms. Dorny’s
February 19, 2015, follow-up email. Mr. Peters did not testify as to when he told
Mr. Kiesel or Mr. Paradis that Jones v. PwC was not viable, only that it was
sometime after the Liner memo.

If the City’s sole intent here was, as it has pontificated over and over to this Court
and the public, only to make the ratepayers whole, then the simplest, swiftest, and

91
most obvious next step would have been to negotiate a settlement of the already
pending ratepayer class actions with Mr. Blood, in what would have been a
legitimate arm’s-length negotiation with the harmed ratepayers represented by
counsel who was not wrought with obvious ethical conflicts, the possession of
confidential client information, and who could speak the truth in open Court.

Instead, the plan for the Jones v. PwC class action suit was discarded by the City
and replaced with Jones v. City, an all-encompassing (aka “white knight”)
consumer class action brought against the City with counsel for Mr. Jones selected
by Mr. Paradis, allowing the City and Mr. Paradis, as originally planned, to control
the outcome of the ratepayer cases.

The City, with the assistance of Mr. Paradis, facilitated a “bait and switch” on the
ratepayers and on Mr. Jones in the form of Jones v. City, which the City, in
coordination with Mr. Landskroner, quickly publicized as the DWP’s “do the right
thing” settlement so the City could then pivot to shift blame to and seek damages
from PwC while ridiculing Mr. Blood’s opposition to and criticism of the
settlement as motivated by greed and collusion without any concern for ratepayers.

THE SHIFT TO FILING JONES V. CITY AS A “WHITE KNIGHT”


LAWSUIT TO GOBBLE UP THE OTHER CLASS ACTIONS WAS
HATCHED BEFORE THE END OF FEBRUARY 2015

As Mr. Kiesel testified in his deposition, this new plan was devised at a meeting
which occurred after February 17, 2015, and before March 3, 2015, that included
Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Paradis, and himself:
Q: Did there come such a time there was a transition from
a plan to obtain voluntary dismissals of the existing actions
and train all guns on PwC and instead the game plan
became sue PwC and settle a to-be-filed lawsuit against
the City?
A: So precisely right.
There was an attempt to have the filed actions tolled
and dismissed without prejudice.
When that became not an option, and when in mid-
February a decision was made there could not be a
consumer case brought against PricewaterhouseCoopers,
a decision was made by the City to use the same plaintiff

92
who was going to sue PricewaterhouseCoopers [ Mr.
Jones] to then file suit against the City of Los Angeles with
all of the causes of action that had been asserted in the
other claims, to have one complete lawsuit that would then
be the vehicle to resolve the Department of Water and
Power’s CC&B issues.
And Mr. Paradis though, I had forgotten this, was
the one who was drafting that complaint which I
forwarded where we began today on March 3 when I
requested from Mr. Libman on March 3, 2015, his State
Bar number to assist Mr. Paradis in the preparation of
that complaint.
Q: So does it follow that the meeting you testified to in
which the City announced that plan was earlier than March
3, 2015?
A: It was.
Q: And can you identify without any specificity when it
was?
A: No. I can only say it was sometime between February
17 and March 3, but I can’t identify a date.
Kiesel Dep (5-28-2019) 199-200
***

Q: And in the course of that conversation, was it discussed


that by having such an action brought against the City[,]
the City could then act to settle it?
A: Yes.
Q: And was there any discussion of how to effectuate a
settlement how to accomplish that?
A: Yes.
Q: And what was discussed in that regard?
A: First and foremost to make sure there was a lawsuit
that had all of the causes of action that had been asserted
in the other claims that had been filed already. Once all
the causes of action were present in a single complaint the
93
City could then move to settle that case and get a release
of all the other claims that had been brought against it in
one action.
And so Mr. Paradis was provided with copies of other
complaints that had been filed against the City in order to
prepare one comprehensive action which would be Jones
versus City of Los Angeles.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 62-63
***
Q: Did you have an understanding that if the plan was put
into motion that the plaintiffs’ counsel of record would be
looking to settle the case?
A: Yes.
Q: And tell me how you came to that understanding?
A: The goal was always to get back ratepayers 100 cents
on the dollar. As a class action lawyer that is the goal to
get 100 percent recovery for your client. The City wanted
to provide 100 percent relief for the ratepayers, while at
the same time having a release of the claims that had been
filed against it.
So the plan was to have Jones versus City of Los Angeles
brought, have the attorney who would be bringing that
lawsuit immediately make a request to settle the claim on
terms that were 100 percent beneficial to the ratepayers of
the City of Los Angeles, and enter into a negotiation to
begin to resolve those claims once the lawsuit was filed.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 64
Mr. Kiesel testified that while Mr. Paradis originally raised the idea to use Mr. Jones
in a case against the City, he was ultimately directed to do so by the City:
Q: Was it your understanding that the City had given Mr.
Paradis approval to file an action against the City if he
wanted to do so or that he was being directed to do so after
having raised the issue?
A: After having raised the issue with the City, I believe he
was directed to do so by the City.

94
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 62
Mr. Clark testified, on February 26, 2019, that he was aware that Mr. Paradis had
drafted the Jones v. City complaint and provided it to Mr. Landskroner, as follows:
Q: Is it your understanding that the Complaint that was
filed by Mr. Jones on his behalf on April 1, 2015 against
the City of Los Angeles was originally drafted by Mr.
Paradis?
A: I think he had – he had – well, I’m not sure. I think he
may have had some role in that.
Q: Did you inquire about that?
A: Yes.
Q: And what did Mr. Paradis tell you about his role in
preparing the draft Complaint that was filed six days after
the case was handed off to Mr. Landskroner?
A: I think he prepared the earlier Complaint and I think
he gave it to Mr. Landskroner.
Q: Do you know whether the Complaint as filed differed
from the Complaint that Mr. Paradis prepared?
A: No.
Clark Dep (2/26/19) 95-96.
At this point in Mr. Clark’s testimony, Mr. Peters interrupted and suggested that they
take a break. The lunch break lasted 45 minutes. Immediately after the 45-minute
break, before being asked another question, Mr. Clark affirmatively modified his
prior testimony:
I gave you an incomplete answer about Mr. Paradis’ role
in preparing the Complaint (unintelligible) filed by Mr.
Landskroner. I’m sorry, I should have remembered this
before.
He – he, Mr. Paradis, apparently gathered the complaints
that had been previously filed by – in the other class
actions and sent them to Mr. Landskroner, so that was
done. I don’t know if Mr. Paradis – and I don’t have
reason to believe Mr. Paradis had any role in the actual
drafting the Complaint, but I do know he did that [sent the
other complaints to Mr. Landskroner].

95
Clark Dep (2/26/19) 97
Mr. Clark further testified that he understood the purpose for [the City] providing
these copies of the other class actions [to Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis] was to make
it easier to draft a complaint that would cover the claims in all actions.

During this same deposition, Mr. Clark, in acknowledging his awareness that Mr.
Paradis represented both Mr. Jones and the City, testified that during Mr. Paradis’s
representation of Mr. Jones, Mr. Clark did not know whether there was ever a time
that Mr. Jones “was not considering the potential of filing a lawsuit against DWP,”
(Clark Dep (5/26/19) 99) that he did not learn the circumstances under which Mr.
Paradis had ended his relationship with Mr. Jones until February 2019 (id. 99), and
that it was Mr. Paradis who, with Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Peters in the room, informed
him prior to April 1, 2015, that Mr. Landskroner would be filing the Jones v. City
complaint. Id. 99-100.

Mr. Clark testified that would be advantageous to the City, as Mr. Landskroner, like
Mr. Paradis, was viewed as much more reasonable than Mr. Blood, Mr. Himmelfarb
and the other plaintiff’s lawyer involved. Specifically, Mr. Clark testified:

I don’t know if they [Mr. Blood, Mr. Himmelfarb and other


plaintiff’s lawyer] were willing to do what DWP wanted,
which was basically – there would have been an
overcharge repaid and have the – and oversight of the
system to correct it.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 107.

NOTE: HERE WE TAKE A SLIGHT DETOUR FROM A STRICT TIMELINE TO


FOLLOW THE WHITE KNIGHT ISSUE

The Jones v. City complaint added few new allegations of substance to the allegations
Mr. Paradis copied from the previously filed complaints, so the only real value would
be as a “white knight” complaint and its main beneficiaries would be the City, Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro, and the lawyers who could be controlled by the City - Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Libman.

At the mid-February meeting where Jones v. City replaced Jones v. PwC, it was also
discussed who would act as Mr. Jones’s counsel in suing the City. Mr. Kiesel
testified as follows regarding this issue:

96
Q: So it is your understanding as a predicate that Mr.
Paradis and attorneys within the City Attorney’s office
discussed the need to recommend new counsel to Mr.
Jones and decided upon Mr. Landskroner sometime in
advance of that introduction, correct?
A: I’m not even sure I would describe it as “new counsel”
for Mr. Landskroner, although I accept that Mr. Paradis
was his lawyer. I think it was more like who should Mr.
Jones file the action with.
Q: Mr. Jones would file an action with his attorneys. Was
it the idea it would be Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Paradis?
A: No.
Q: So then Mr. Paradis would be introducing Mr.
Landskroner who would in effect take over; is that correct?
A: That was my understanding.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 62

The evidence is undisputable that these discussions and this agreement between
the City and its Special Counsel, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel, were
never disclosed to Mr. Jones, who believed that Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro at all
times acted as his attorney, and his attorney only, in his dispute with DWP.

Mr. Kiesel testified that Mr. Paradis and the City referred to the intended Jones v.
City of Los Angeles action as the “White Knight action.”
Q: Let me break that into two questions. Did you ever hear
Deborah Dorny refer to the Jones class action as the quote
White Knight Complaint?
A: I have no specific recollection who used that phrase.
Q: Do you recall ever hearing anyone affiliated with the
City Attorney’s Office use that phrase?
A: Yes.
Q: Do you know whether that phrase was used by anyone
in the City Attorney’s Office in your presence prior to
April 1, 2015?

97
A: Yes.
Q: And was it?
A: I recall it was. I can’t recall who it was that used those
words.
Q: Without regard to the specific individual, are you aware
of anyone in the City Attorney’s Office using the phrase
White Knight Complaint to refer to the Jones v. LADWP
complaint at any time after that complaint was filed on
April 1, 2015?
A: I don’t have any recollection after it was filed.
Q: But you do before it was filed?
A: Yes.
Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 27-28
Q: Did you ever -- withdrawn. Were you ever a participant
in a meeting or a discussion in which the phrase White
Knight litigation was used in reference to the Jones case?
THE WITNESS: I recall conversations around the time
that the other lawsuits were being sent to Mr. Paradis who
retained the other lawsuits that the Jones action was
referred to as the White Knight action.
Q: And that was the intended Jones action would become
the White Knight, correct?
A: Yes.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 81-82
Q: And which documents are those?
A: So I recall the term “White Knight Complaint” was
used by the City of Los Angeles to refer to the action that
Paul Paradis was preparing to bring against the City.
They called it the White Knight Complaint, and I wanted
him to send me any emails where the subject was, or the
reference line was, anything related to the words White
Knight Complaint. He did not provide anything to me.
Kiesel Dep (5-30-19) 707

98
On April 29, 2019, Mr. Paradis sent a text message to Mr. Kiesel stating Ms. Dorny
and Mr. Tom “repeatedly referred to [the Jones class action complaint] as the ‘White
Knight Complaint.’”
Ex Paradis text

The evidence supports a finding that the LACA and the Liner Firm attorneys used
the term “White Knight” in connection with Jones v. City.

On March 13, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom,
and Ms. Agrusa re: Call with Blood.
FYI - We just spoke with Blood. Available for a quick call
to update?
Maribeth Annaguey, Esq.
On March 16, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Solomon:
Did this call take place? If not, I can arrange for a call
today.
Mr. Solomon responded on March 16, 2015:
Yes, Richard Tom and I spoke w/Maribeth. Related to the
“white knight” approach. I can brief you verbally. EHS.
Ex White Knight Email Chain

This “white knight” email (Ex COLA-SM_0000473) is the only document


produced by the City in this matter that uses the term “white knight” in any context.

The provenance of our copy starts in April 2019, when GD downloaded the
contents of Mr. Clark’s GD retired partner account onto an encrypted hard drive
and delivered it to Mr. Clark. (Ex GD-Clark email). The Special Master learned
about this in September 2019 and on September 6, 2019, requested from the City
a copy of any emails from Mr. Clark’s GD retired partner account that related to
Jones v. City and the related cases. (Ex SM email to BGR re Clark Emails). The
City did not provide the Special Master with the “white knight” email from Mr.
Clark’s retired partner account until December 2019, after the City dismissed City
v. PwC. Mr. Clark was not listed on the “white knight” email, but since it was

99
among the emails produced from Mr. Clark’s GD retired partners account at GD
(see the file Ex COLA-SM_0000462 - COLA- SM_0000706), he likely was bcc’d
as he was on other emails sent by attorneys for the City.

The City produced another copy (Ex COLA-SM_0010969) of the “white knight”
email to us from its own servers nine months later in September 17, 2020 as part
of a larger data production, approximately one year after it voluntarily dismissed
the complaint in City v. PwC , so the “white knight” email was never produced to
PwC for use in its many depositions.

The “white knight” email corroborates Messrs. Paradis’ and Kiesel’s claim that
the City was complicit with them in the planning and filing Jones v. City.

While Mr. Solomon’s “white knight” email says his conversation with Ms.
Annaguey “related to” the white knight approach, please consider the following
testimony in Mr. Solomon’s deposition for clarification: Mr. Solomon testified in
a City v. PwC deposition he could have heard of the white knight approach in early
March 2015. (Solomon Dep 546) Mr. Solomon testified that he “reached out to
the Liner firm to help me understand [the white knight approach], so there should
be an email” demonstrating that request, and that either Ms. Annaguey or Ms.
Agrusa educated him on the white knight approach (although he could not recall
whether such education was provided orally or in writing). (Id. 547-549) Mr.
Solomon testified that he spoke with Ms. Annaguey or Ms. Agrusa, who confirmed
that the “White Knight approach” was “kosher,” and it was something they were
experienced with in dealing with class actions. (Id. 547-548) Mr. Solomon
testified that he asked Ms. Dorny whether she had heard of this type of approach,
and he may have spoken with Mr. Brown. (Id. 556-567)

Although both Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey both testified that they never heard
the Jones v. City complaint called “the White Knight complaint” (Agrusa Dep 151;
Annaguey Dep 189-90), it is clear from Mr. Solomon’s March 15, 2015 email he
had spoken with Ms. Annaguey about the white knight approach with Ms.
Annaguey and that it was before the filing of Jones v. City, not after, as the City
claimed.

The attorneys’ discussions about “white knight” were only done orally. At their
depositions, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey denied there were conversations about
a “white knight complaint,” testimony the Special Master finds was disingenuous.

100
The evidence is that two weeks before Jones v. City was filed, Ms. Annaguey was
discussing the white knight approach with Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon.

This “white knight” email chain should have been in both Mr. Solomon’s and Ms.
Dorny’s email accounts and presumably also on the City’s backup servers since
March 2015. The City never produced the “white knight” email to PwC in
response to PwC’s requests that encompassed such emails, and it was not listed in
any privilege log produced by the City in City v. PwC. On September 17, 2020,
the City produced over 2000 pages of additional documents to the Special Master,
and the “white knight” email from its own servers was among the production.

It is fair to conclude that the City’s failure to timely produce copies of the “white
knight” email from its own records was intentional, and it dragged its feet on
producing the copy from Mr. Clark’s GD account.

At the August 12, 2019 hearing, when the “white knight” email was absent to help
PwC’s motion to compel further discovery responses (Ex 2019.08.12 Hearing re
Motion to Compel), a major issue was whether Mr. Solomon heard the use of the
term “white knight” before the filing of Jones v. City. After arguing that the “white
knight” issue was first raised in PwC’s reply to the City’s opposition, Eric George
(“Mr. George”), counsel for the City, referred the Court to Mr. Solomon’s
deposition where Mr. Solomon said he heard the phrase used after April 1, 2015.
Id. 25-26. Noting there was an apparent oversight, Mr. Thomasch then read the
portion of Mr. Solomon’s testimony where he stated he could have heard “white
knight” used before April 1. Id. 43-45. The City had the March 16, 2015, email
evidencing that “white knight” was discussed by Mr. Solomon, Mr. Tom, and Ms.
Annaguey, and by Ms. Dorny and Mr. Solomon, at least two weeks before the
filing of Jones v. City. 30 The Special Master assumes that Mr. George was not
informed of this.

At his deposition, Mr. Solomon explained what he understood the “White Knight”
approach to mean:
Q: So what did you understand to be a white knight
approach?

30
Mr. Solomon’s testimony at his deposition on August 1, 2019, further put everyone in the City
on notice that there was should be contemporaneous emails on this subject in connection with Mr.
Solomon’s reaching out to the Liner Firm to help him understand the white knight approach.
101
A: To the effect of when you have multiple class actions, it
was possible to negotiate a full settlement with a
particular plaintiff’s class action that would allow your
client to globally deal with everything. This was a new
concept to me. Okay? And that global settlement, if
approved by the court, then would, under the terms of the
agreement that were negotiated, would address all the
causes of action because there would be one release,
settlement terms to be globally applied. And I’ll remind
you the settlement term was everybody gets paid a hundred
percent. That was -- that was definite. There could have
been other details, but it was this global white knight
approach that was new to me.
Q: And -- and who informed you of this approach?
A: My best recollection is it was one of the two Pauls or
both.
Q: And they did so in a oral conversation?
A: Yeah. I remember it to be a face to face.
Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 544-545
Mr. Solomon also testified that approximately one month prior to the filing of the
Jones v. City complaint [filed on April 1, 2015], Mr. Paradis revealed that “an
attorney in Ohio” who had previously worked with Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel
would be filing a class action complaint to provide a vehicle to settle all pending
over-billing litigation claims against the City, which Mr. Paradis described to Mr.
Solomon as a “white knight approach.”

Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 533-536, 541-550.

The Special Master finds Mr. Solomon’s testimony on this point to be consistent
with the evidence. One month before the filing of Jones v. City, would be around
March 1, 2015. As the evidence establishes, on February 25, 2015, promptly after
the February 23, 2015 emails and meetings involving attorneys for the City, Mr.
Paradis reached out to Mr. Landskroner to join in the representation of Mr. Jones.
By March 3, 2015, Mr. Kiesel had reached out to Mr. Libman to join in the
representation of Mr. Jones.
The evidence also shows that on March 11, 2015, Mr. Tom, who had all but let
stand idle the original draft of the City’s engagement agreement with Mr. Paradis
and Mr. Kiesel, as Special Counsel, despite the fact that they had filed the City v.
102
PwC complaint on March 6, 2015, and had, for months, been representing the City
in Bransford and Morski, suddenly found a sense of urgency to obtain and edit the
engagement agreement so that within 24 hours, by March 12, 2015, Mr. Tom had
deleted any reference to Mr. Jones or Jones v. PwC from the City’s engagement
agreement with Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel.

Mr. Solomon testified that he “reached out to the Liner firm to help me understand
[the white knight approach], so there should be an email” demonstrating that request,
and that either Ms. Annaguey or Ms. Agrusa subsequently educated him on that
approach (although he could not recall whether such education was provided orally
or in writing). (Id. 547-549) Mr. Solomon testified that he spoke with Ms. Annaguey
or Ms. Agrusa, who confirmed that the “White Knight approach” was “kosher,” and
it was something they were experienced with in dealing with class actions. (Id. 547-
548) Mr. Solomon testified that he asked Ms. Dorny whether she had heard of this
type of approach, and he may have spoken with Mr. Brown. (Id. 556-567) While
Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey both testified that they never heard the Jones v. City
complaint referred to as “the White Knight complaint” (Agrusa Dep 151; Annaguey
Dep 189-90), it is clear from Mr. Solomon’s March 15, 2015 email that he had
spoken with Ms. Annaguey about the “White Knight.”

NOTE: HERE WE REJOIN THE REGULAR TIMELINE, WITH MR. PARADIS


RECRUITING MR. LANDSKRONER TO FILE THE “SECOND COMPLAINT,”
MEANING JONES v. CITY

On February 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis contacted Mr. Landskroner regarding becoming
involved in Jones v. City.

Ex LGM000001
Ex LGM000011

On February 25, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Paradis about a meeting the
following day:
Tim and Nance are confirmed for tomorrow at 10 a.m. I
have not yet heard from Kathy and George — but I will
push it. See you tomorrow.
Ex COLA-SM_0002942
On February 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Dorny responding to her meeting
information:

103
Thanks Deb. Not sure if you spoke with Mark at all, but I
stopped down in his office on my way out and let him know
that I had received very strong marching orders to get
this information pulled together so that I can finish
drafting the second complaint. He understood and said
he will do what is necessary to help out. See you in the
morning - have a good night.
Emphasis added.
Ex COLA-SM_0002942

Consistent with Mr. Kiesel’s and Mr. Paradis’s statements of the facts in this
matter, Mr. Paradis openly discussed with attorneys for the City that he was
working on “the second complaint.” The second complaint can only refer to
Jones v. City, since the initial complaint of Jones v. PwC had been abandoned,
per direction of the City, by this point. It is evident that the City, LACA
attorneys and DWP were aware of the coming Jones v. City complaint.

Further, that the City, not Mr. Jones, was the client giving the “strong
marching orders” on February 24, 2015, that Mr. Paradis complete the second
complaint is also evidenced by the fact that prior to March 26, 2015, Mr. Jones
was told nothing about a complaint against the City and DWP; instead he was
strung along by Mr. Paradis with the continuing promise that his lawyers
would file, on his behalf, the previously authorized Jones v. PwC complaint.

On February 28, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, attaching the complaint for City
of Los Angeles (DWP) v. PwC - 2-27-15 - FINAL.DOC:
Counsel:
Attached is the current draft of the complaint for your
review and comments. All edits/comments received to date
have been incorporated and the draft has been fact
checked by the LADWP Chief Information Officer and the
LADWP Assistant IT Services Director. I look forward to
receiving any final comments/edits. Thank you.
Paul P.
Ex COLA-SM_0003019

104
Ex Pansky Re_ City of Los Angeles v. PwC - Latest Draft Complaint

On February 28, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel:
Thanks, Paul, for putting so much work into this for the
City. Now, given that you have been effectively living on
City property for the last month or so, how should the City
collect rent from you, and what is PwC’s view on that? 8)
Thanks, again, for the AMAZING effort. Mike has the
complaint. Start applying the war paint; this launches
imminently.
Ex Pansky Re_ City of Los Angeles v. PwC - Latest Draft Complaint
On February 28, 2015, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Feuer, forwarding Mr. Paradis’s
earlier email, attaching the City v. PwC complaint:
FYI. I have yet to read this, and don’t expect to until
tomorrow evening, but it is advertised as being good.
Incidentally, in the retainer Kiesel has now proposed,
there is an in kind provision akin to the one with which we
are agonizingly familiar. DWP is fine with it. Seems to me
this matter could embrace that term. Please correct me if
I miss something. PS, there is no finance co. here, rather
a fret that because DWP has a number of unexecuted
contracts with PwC, the defendant may propose
completing their work on one or more of them gratis,
triggering fees, per the in kind provision, that DWP will
need to pay. Again, DWP is fine with that. Are we? Thanks.
You were awesome today. And G’nite.
Ex COLA-SM_0003019

On February 28, 2015, Mr. Feuer replied to Mr. Peters.

Ex COLA-SM_0003087

105
MARCH 2015: MR. PARADIS, MS. TUFARO, AND MR. KIESEL FILE
CITY v. PwC WHILE CONTINUING TO DRAFT THE JONES V. CITY
COMPLAINT WITH HELP FROM DWP AND THE LACA

On March 2, 2015, Ms. Tufaro emailed Ms. Dorny instructing her to have the City
place a litigation hold on extensive identified data at DWP.

Ex 00068252

On March 3, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny, copying Mr.
Brown:
Paul Kiesal [sic.] called and advised me that in
anticipation of the Saturday (3-7-15) LANCC presentation
regarding billing matters, he was [sic.] arranged for the
PWC lawsuit (and although he did not directly mention
also the consumer law suit) to be filed late Thursday /early
Friday (3-5/3-6). Both he and Paul Pardis [sic.] were
more than concerned about the presentation and
statements that could serve to undermine the LADWP. He
advised that Mike Feuer and Jim Clark were going to
present the case(s) to the print media Thursday night and
w/ the electronic media Friday morning. He has been
working w/ Thom Peters in making these arrangements.
Apparently, via Peters, Mike and Jim have agreed the
case(s) need to be filed before 3-7-15, so they are focusing
their attention on the Thursday /Friday schedule. NOTE:
Kiesel intends to attend the 3-7-15 and announce the
lawsuit, reference a website at which it can be accessed,
and indicate the LADWP is being proactive and pursing
[sic.] PWC. I indicated that I also intended to attend the
3-7 meeting. Billing matters, including the anticipated
presentation, will then not occur/be presented, because of
the “litigation(s)”.
You need to determine what, if any, of this information
should be forwarded to Marcie Edwards/Mel
Levine/others. Additionally, I believe we need a plan to
cover the “what if no lawsuit(s) are filed” situation.

106
On March 3, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kysella, and Ms. Agrusa re:
Status Update on Lawsuits Related to DWP Customer Billing:
I apologize for the short notice, but we need to get together
to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the status of the
activities related to the DWP customer billing lawsuits,
and so that we have clear plan as to responsibilities for
those activities over the next several days. We will have a
follow-up call with DWP and City Attorney Staff to discuss
media and public official outreach and other activities
later today as needed.
SUGGESTED AGENDA
1. Update on status of state court class actions
2. Update on status of planned federal court action
3. 3/7 LANCC Meeting
4. 3/13 Release of State Auditor Report
5. Outreach to media
6. Outreach to Mayor and City Council
7. Assignment of Responsibilities
8. Other Items
9. Next Steps - Follow-Up call
Ex BGR 026676
The “planned federal court action” in Mr. Tom’s email referred to City v. PwC
which was originally planned to be brought in federal court. At the last minute,
the City decided to sue in state court, apparently having learned that PwC could
not remove the state action to federal court.

Ex PWC - Memo re Diversity Jurisdiction

As Mr. Kiesel testified in his deposition:


Q: Do you have personal knowledge of whether the City
provided copies of the then existing class actions to Mr.
Paradis in advance of April 1, 2015?
A: Yes.
107
Q: And what is your knowledge in that regard?
A: Mr. Paradis was indicating that he was receiving and
had received all of the complaints that had been filed
against the City. I believe he was given those complaints
so he could then draft one comprehensive lawsuit that
included all the causes of action.
***
Kiesel Dep (6/11/19) 69
A: The time frame I would give is likely somewhere in the
mid-February time frame that the decision was made for
[Paradis to draft the Jones v. City complaint].
Q: What triggered that plan?
A: So the City of Los Angeles facing multiple lawsuits from
ratepayers wanted to have an avenue to resolve all of the
filed claims insuring that ratepayers receive back 100
cents on the dollar that they had overpaid. And the City
then wanted to have Antwon Jones bring an action against
it to resolve the claim.
Q: And that was your understanding in February of 2015?
A: Yes.
Q: And was that understanding entirely derivative of Mr.
Paradis? Or was it in whole or part derivative of
conversations with employees of the City of Los Angeles?
A: My recollection it was a City motivated.
Q: I’m not sure that answers my question. I’m trying to
determine whether you reached that understanding based
entirely on information that had been relayed to you by
Mr. Paradis?
Or did you base your understanding in whole or in part on
information conveyed to you by individuals in the City
Attorney’s Office?
A: I learned that information from attending meetings in
which the City was present and that conversation took
place.

108
Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 67-68
***
Q: Am I correct that one aspect of the complaint that was
desired by The City, the complaint to be filed against it,
was that the new complaint would encompass all the
claims of the then existing class actions against the City?
A: Yes.
Q: That would then allow a settlement of that case to lead
effectively to the termination of the existing cases; is that
correct?
A: Correct.
Kiesel Dep (5-28-19) 68-69
On March 3, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Libman, copying Mr. Paradis, stating:
We are preparing the complaint for your review. Can you
send me your State Bar number for inclusion in the draft
complaint? I am including Paul Paradis, my co-counsel,
who is drafting this complaint.
Prior to March 3, 2015, Mr. Libman was not aware of Mr. Paradis. Mr. Libman
responded to both Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis with his State Bar number. Mr.
Landskroner is not on this email.
Ex COLA-LADWP 0005868-69
Libman Dep 49

Mr. Kiesel testified that the complaint being prepared was the Jones v. City
complaint:
Q: My question for you sir, the complaint that was being
prepared for which you wanted to receive Mr. Libman’s
State Bar number, was that complaint ultimately filed?
A: Yes.
Q: And what was the caption of that complaint?
A: I do not know the specific caption of the complaint that
is being referenced in this email. I believe it was Jones
versus Department of Water and Power.

109
Kiesel Dep (6-11-2019) 64-65
In his deposition, Mr. Kiesel testified that, as of March 5, 2015, Mr. Clark and Mr.
Peters knew the plan to file Jones v. City:
Q: And am I correct that the date of these emails March 5
is two days after the March 3, 2015, exchange with Mr.
Libman that we just looked at and one day before the filing
of the LADWP versus PwC case in Superior Court,
correct?
A: Correct.
Q: Am I correct that by this time you understood that there
was going to be the filing of a case captioned Jones v. City
of Los Angeles?
A: Yes.
Q: And to the best of your recollection as of March 5,
2015, the day before the filing of the PwC case and two
days after your exchange of Mr. Libman seeking his bar
number, is it your recollection that Mr. Clark was aware
of the plan to file the Jones v. City of Los Angeles case?
A: Yes.
Q: Is it your understanding that as of that date Mr. Thomas
Peters was aware of the plan to file the Jones versus City
of Los Angeles case?
A: Yes.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 30-31
The evidence is clear that prior to the filing of the City v. PwC lawsuit by the City’s
Special Counsel, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, both Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters were
aware of the plan to have Mr. Paradis’s and Mr. Kiesel’s other client, Mr. Jones,
sue the City.

On March 5, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Ms. Annaguey, copying Mr. Paradis asking
for a copy of the complaint filed in the solar case. On March 6, 2015, Ms.
Annaguey replied to Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kysella and Mr.
Solomon, transmitting a copy of the First Amended Complaint filed in Kimhi.

Ex COLA-SM_0003705 (emails)

110
Ex COLA-SM_0003706-24 (Kimhi first amended complaint)

On March 6, 2015, the City v. PwC lawsuit was filed by Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel,
as Special Counsel for the City, and Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark, in their capacity as
attorneys for the City.

Ex 2015.03.06-LADWP Complaint

Mr. Feuer testified that even though he doesn’t recall precisely when he first learned
of a possible DWP lawsuit against PwC, ultimately, he is the one with the authority
to approve filing civil actions on behalf of the City.

Feuer Dep 62-67

On March 6, 2015, Mr. Feuer, flanked by Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark, held a press
conference to announce the filing of City v. PwC.

https://www.dailynews.com/2015/03/06/los-angeles-sues-consulting-firm-over-
DWP-billing-problems/

Ex Los Angeles sues consulting firm over DWP billing problems

Between March 6, 2015, and April 1, 2015, Mr. Paradis continued to meet with
DWP employees. There were two empty offices on the 3rd floor of DWP
headquarters which Mr. Paradis used when he was there. At some point Mr. Paradis
was provided his own office on the 15th floor. Mr. Paradis was also, by this time,
provided a keycard to enter the DWP building.

Dorny Dep 29-30

On March 7, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Campbell Hawkins (“Mr. Hawkins”),


copying Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, Ms. Hallock, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis,
and Ms. Tufaro, instructing Mr. Hawkins:

Please forward to all the individuals identified in this


email a full copy of your 3-7-15 Powerpoint presentation.
Thank you. EHS.

Ex Pansky 3-7-15 Powerpoint Presentation


Ex Final_LANCC_Estimated_Bills_Presentation_03_06_15

111
On March 10, 2015, the California State Auditor issued a public report criticizing
the DWP management:

The department’s executive management was well aware


of the significant problems associated with CIS and yet
made the questionable decision to launch the new system.
In October 2011- nearly two years before the department
launched CIS-the department’s quality assurance
consultant rated the CIS project as needing “immediate
attention” and warned that no aspect of the project was
ready. In fact, the quality assurance expert reported that
the project’s scope, quality, and schedule were all at the
lowest possible rating. The department’s own reports also
showed numerous defects that remained unresolved, both
before and after launch. Finally, we found that the
department’s executive management provided little to no
specific information to the Los Angeles Board of Water
and Power Commissioners (board) about the CIS project,
effectively denying the board the opportunity to delay
CIS’s implementation.

Ex Cal State Auditor Report

On March 10, 2015, the Los Angeles Times ran a story on the State Auditor’s Report
causing the City to scramble putting together a response.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-laDWP-billing-system-681-million-
20150310-story.html

Ex $681 million in unpaid DWP bills

Ex COLA-SM_0004233

On March 11, 2015, Mr. Tom requested that Mr. Peters provide him with a Word
version of the February 2, 2015, pdf of the proposed retainer agreement for Mr.
Paradis and Mr. Kiesel so he could make changes to conform to a DWP contract to
be approved by the board, noting “we need to get these other pieces of the puzzle in
place as we move into the litigation” and requesting “[d]o you have a suggested
sentence of two to explain why we selected the two firms to handle the case -
perhaps from other cases where we are using the Kiesel firm, as the example.”

112
Ex COLA- LADWP_0006266-70

On March 11, 2015, Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Tom’s email and provided him
with the latest version he had, noting that he had not edited it.

Ex COLA- LADWP_0006266-70

That same day, on March 11, 2015, Mr. Libman emailed Mr. Kiesel asking:
Hi Paul,
KTLA reported on a lawsuit of the city of LA against PWC
this morning. Any update on the class action?
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005870
From February 2, 2015, to March 11, 2015, the draft Engagement and
Contingency Fee Agreement between the City and Special Counsel Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Kiesel included a reference to Jones v. PwC and included the conflict of interest
waiver provision.

Peters Dep Exs 63, 65, 67 (emails of 3/11 and 3/12 re fee agreement)
Peters Dep Exs 65, 66, 68 (fee agreements attached to emails all of which include
the conflict waiver for Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel representing Jones v. PwC)

On March 12, 2015, at 11:02 a.m., Ms. Blazevic emailed Mr. Tom, transmitting
the draft Engagement and Contingency Fee Agreement between the City and Special
Counsel Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel with her changes. The agreement still had the
Jones v. PwC conflict waiver language included.

Ex COLA-LADWP 006299-6308

On March 12, 2015, at 11:13 a.m., Ms. Haley emailed Mr. Peters attaching a pdf
of the engagement agreement she had which included the Jones v. PwC conflict
language.

Ex COLA-LADWP 006309-6313
Ex COLA_LADWP 006314-6322

On March 12, 2015, Mr. Tom revised the draft Engagement and Contingency Fee
Agreement between the City and Special Counsel Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel and
deleted the following from the conflict waiver section of the agreement:

113
In addition, the City represents that it is aware that Special
Counsel has been retained to represent a putative class in
an action that will be captioned, Jones v.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (the “Jones Action “) and
hereby provides Special Counsel with approval to proceed
with the filing and litigation of the Jones Action. Special
Counsel represents and warrants that it is familiar with
provisions of Government Code of the State of California
sections 87100, et seq. &1090, and certifies that it does not
know of any facts that constitute a violation of those
sections.

This language had been included in the original February 2, 2015 version sent to
Mr. Peters. Mr. Tom left the note “[delete?]” at the site of the missing conflict
waiver language. The note disappeared from the final version. Mr. Tom also
changed the commencement date of the agreement from “February __, 2015” to
“December 1, 2014.”

Tom Dep 485-488


COLA-LADWP 0006323-27
COLA-LADWP 0006328-37

On March 12, 2015, at 12:02 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed Ms. Blazevic: “Here are my
revisions.”

COLA-LADWP 0006323-27

Mr. Tom’s March 12, 2015, revision is the first version of the Engagement and
Contingency Fee Agreement that does not have the reference to Jones v. PwC.
COLA-LADWP 0006328-37

The evidence shows that it was Mr. Tom who removed the reference to Jones v.
PwC from the engagement agreement.

It is not credible that 20 days later, when Mr. Tom received the Jones v. City
complaint that he did not know, as he would later testify, that Mr. Jones was the
same Mr. Jones referenced in the conflict waiver language that he personally
reviewed, revised, and took steps to delete from the City’s Engagement Agreement
with Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel.
Tom Dep 472-477 (Vol 2); 431-432

114
On March 15, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Brown, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Wright, Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, plus two
other Liner Firm lawyers, an invitation for a conference call two days later. Attached
was a document file named CIS Update 3-17-15 dhw-ct-3-16-15 930 am ct.pptx.
The attached document was a 28-page Power Point presentation entitled “Customer
Service Information Remediation Progress Report” giving an outline of where
LADWP stood in its efforts to correct its billing problem.

Ex GD 003815-42
Ex GD 003843

The City, knowing that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were preparing a class action
complaint against the City to resolve all the ratepayer class actions, continued to
provide Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel with insider information from the DWP
regarding the remediation efforts, which would become a significant part of the
settlement proposal in Jones v. City and a direct financial gain to Mr. Paradis, Ms.
Tufaro, PLG, and Mr. Paradis related entities, in the tens of millions of dollars.

On March 15, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas,
and Ms. Hallock, copying Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms.
Tufaro:
Attached please find a new claim for damage related to the
billing matters class actions, for Jinwoo Yi, tendered by
the Law Office of Michael K. Shu & Associates, w/ a POS
dated 2-27-15, and received by LADWP on March 2,
2015. My initial approach is to have DCA Deborah Dorny
contact counsel for the claimant to discuss the matter, and
because the claim has no address/account information for
Jinwoo Yi obtain that information. Once that
address/account information is received, I have
Department staff review the status of Claimant Yi’s
account. As this matter will be defensive in nature, the
Liner Firm will be ready to take the lead when we have a
better idea of the claim. Note: Technically, under the
Government Code, suit cannot be filed for the 45 days
after the claim is served, but counsel often ignore that
prohibition, and generally by the time the initial
responsive pleading is due the 45th day has passed so the

115
court takes a “no harm” approach. Anyone disagreeing
w/ my approach should advise me asap. EHS.
Ex Jinwoo Yi Class Action Claim For Damage (2-27-15)
Ex Jinwoo Yi, Class Claim Against LADWP (2-27-15)

The evidence of Mr. Solomon’s approach regarding an administrative claim is to


be expected as routine to defending a class action complaint. It is also consistent
with the evidence regarding the questions by Ms. Tufaro regarding the filing of an
administrative claim by Morski. The absence of such an approach by the City’s
lawyers in Jones v. City, and their explicit waiver of any procedural defense,
further supports that the City anticipated and planned to use Jones v. City as a
collusive vehicle to control and settle the then-pending class action cases against
the DWP.

On March 16, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny,
Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Farkas, and Ms. Agrusa re: proposed replacement for
Slides 16 and 17 of the PowerPoint presentations set for the DWP Board meeting on
March 17, 2015:
• The majority of the Department’s 1.6 million customers
were billed correctly.

− Department has acknowledged that a limited


number of customers experienced billing issues
following “go live.”

− Attention has been focused on this limited number


of customers and the Department is working with
them to rectify any issues.

− A small percentage of customers stopped paying


due to claimed inaccurate billing.

− The Department limited disconnects to avoid


improperly terminating service.

− The Department is experiencing an increase in


accounts receivable.

116
• The Department is ramping up efforts to collect moneys
rightfully owed and unpaid by:

− Devoting resources to collect the accounts


receivable.

− Lowering collections thresholds back to normal


pre-go live levels.

− Determining the ultimate amount of uncollected


funds to be written off.

• The Department anticipates the final amount of


uncollected funds to be manageable within existing
budget.

− LADWP has healthy reserves.

− State auditors attested to LADWP’s financial


health.

Plan to provide Board updates every 30 days on collection


efforts.

Ex AN - Liner Proposed Revisions To 3-17-15 PowerPoint Presentation Changes


Ex AN - Liner Proposed Revisions To 3-17-15 PowerPoint Presentation

Just prior to March 17, 2015, Councilman Felipe Fuentes, chairman of the City’s
Energy and Environment Committee, asked the DWP to make a presentation
concerning the State Audit Report issued on March 10, 2015, and discuss the State
Auditor’s findings with the Committee.

In a series of emails, Mr. Tom provided the rationale for not talking to the Energy
and Environment Committee, or any City Committee. On March 17, 2015, Mr.
Tom emailed Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown regarding “Councilman
Fuentes”:

117
Here’s my initial ideas - see if they fit in with what you
guys are doing-
Key problems with discussing state audit report in open
session at Council:
1. Adversely impacts just initiated PwC litigation
A. Providing different and additional info for PwC to
challenge and defend itself with.
B. Example of claimed A/R numbers relate directly to
damages claimed against PwC.
2. Lack of consistent position by City Council and DWP
will be exploited by PwC to City’s detriment.
3. Airing of issues raised by State Audit will similarly be
exploited by PwC.
If Council is interested in briefing concerning PwC
litigation, which overlaps with the State Audit, that
briefing can be provided in closed session, with much
reduced impact on PwC litigation.
Ex Pansky, “Councilman Fuentes”
Ex Pansky Re_ Talking Points To Respond To CTTEE Request

On March 17, 2015, Mr. Paradis, who had a different opinion about providing
information to the committed, emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny
and Ms. Tufaro re: Talking Points to Respond to CTTEE Request:

All of Richard’s points correctly note that the Department


cannot make the requested presentation at this time
because doing so would result int eh Department making
admissions that could be used against the Department in
the PwC litigation and – potentially in the consumer class
actions pending against the City.

All of Richard’s points boil down to a single message –


which is “the Department cannot make any presentation
at this time because the Department has been advised by
Special Counsel that it cannot do so due to the pending

118
litigation against PwC and the other consumer class
actions that are pending against the city.”

I strongly advise against getting any more specific than


this.

Thx.

Promptly thereafter Ms. Dorny replied:

If Marcie wants more explanation as to why we cannot


publically (sic) discuss the State Audit, I would add to
Richard’s points that the Audit attributes fault to LADWP
management and its vendor. Any discussion of what
management knew and did not know during the
implementation and particularly at “go live” goes right to
the heart to the lawsuit against PwC and would reveal
critical theories and strategy of the Department.

Ex COLA-SM_0004875

It is evident that the City and DWP were motivated not to explain the State
Auditor’s Report to the Committee and to avoid transparency with the Committee
on the underlying findings in the report, because it attributed fault to DWP
management and any discussion of what management knew and did not implement
at “go live” went to the heart of the City’s lawsuit against PwC and its defense of
the pending, and planned, ratepayer class action complaints.

On March 24, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Kiesel a draft of Mr. Jones’s Notice
of Claim letter, already addressed to the City Clerk Holly Wolcott (“Ms. Wolcott”),
with the caption “Inaccurate customer bills issued by the Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power and Related Billing Practices-NOTICE OF CLAIM,” which
was to be filed on behalf of Antwon Jones. Neither Mr. Landskroner nor Mr. Libman
were on this email. Mr. Paradis’s cover letter to Mr. Kiesel stated:

The letter we discussed is attached. If you have no


edits, please send it to Michael [Libman], have him put
it on his letterhead and sign it and then send it back so
I can send it to Jack Landskroner for his signature.
Once it has been signed by both Michael and Jack
Landskroner, I will have Jack serve it tomorrow.
119
The opening paragraph of the Notice of Claim, as drafted by Mr. Paradis, who
was unquestionably at that exact time also, along with Mr. Kiesel, Special
Counsel for the City, stated:

I write on behalf of my client, Mr. Antwon Jones…

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005877-882

As of March 24, 2015, Mr. Jones had never met, never spoken to, and never heard
of either Mr. Landskroner or Mr. Libman, and he had not retained either of them to
provide legal services or approved their involvement in his engagement with Mr.
Paradis and PLG.

Ex Letter to Daniel Tomasch 2-12-2019

Even though Mr. Jones was unaware of the identity of his “new” counsel, the
City was aware of Mr. Landskroner.

As Mr. Clark testified:

[S]ometime between mid and late March Mr. Paradis


was talking certainly, at least to David Wright and told
him, not without identifying the case, but the – he knew
Jack Landskroner from a prior -- at least on prior case
which they’d been co-counsel and on the same side,
and so he knew that -- he may have told others as well,
but mid to late March we knew about that [the
relationship between Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Landskroner].

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 186-187

On March 25, 2015, Mr. Kiesel forwarded to Mr. Libman the March 24, 2015,
email from Mr. Paradis with the Notice of Claim letter, as drafted by Mr. Paradis,
attached. Mr. Kiesel asked Mr. Libman to call when he got the letter. Mr. Libman
responded that he was in trial, picking a jury, and would call Mr. Kiesel later on his
cell phone. Late that evening, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Libman “[d]on’t forget to
sign and send the notice [of claim] letter tonight.” Mr. Landskroner was not on any
of these emails.

On March 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Landskroner:

120
Please expect an email of a PDF letter from your co-
counsel, Michael Libman, tonight. Please let me know
when you get it so I can give you instructions on next
steps.

Ex Untitled Extract Pages


Ex COLA-LADWP _0005885-86
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005888-92
Ex BGR 031855-905

On March 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis again emailed Mr. Landskroner:

Just FYI – between us – this guy Libman takes 3 days to


do anything – so I want to run this show through your
shop to move things along.

Emphasis added.

Ex Untitled Extract Pages

On March 26, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Solomon,
and Mr. Tom a Memo prepared by the Liner Firm, entitled: LADWP- List of
Customer Complaints:

For your files, here is a memo that Liner prepared


tracking customer complaints from various sources:
lawsuits, media, etc.

Ex COLA-SM_0005228
Ex COLA-SM_0005229

The evidence supports a finding that the City knowingly provided Mr. Paradis
and Mr. Kiesel with information it was aware could and would facilitate the
drafting of Jones v. City. Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel drafted the necessary
administrative claim and the complaint for Mr. Jones, as well as the
prospective class, to enable them to file a suit against their other client, the
City. Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel selected nominal counsel, along with a local
counsel, to assist with their surreptitious representation of Mr. Jones and the
prospective class. The only thing they did not do was pay the filing fee.
Although Mr. Libman made sure to remind Mr. Kiesel that someone needed
to take care of that expense.
121
On March 26, 2015, Mr. Libman emailed the Notice of Claim, which he had
signed, back to Mr. Kiesel.

Ex BGR 031895-905

On March 26, 2015, Mr. Libman was directed to send 31 the Notice of Claim,
prepared by Mr. Paradis, to the Los Angeles City Clerk regarding “Inaccurate
customer bills issued by the LADWP and Related Billing Practices.” A section
in this Notice of Claim states that “[a]t the end of August 2014, the DWP
estimated that approximately 6,000 customers had not been billed in about seven
months.”

Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) Ex 92, 94


COLA-LADWP_0005885-86
COLA-LADWP_0005888-92

As to whether he knew why Mr. Kiesel was asking him to sign and send the Notice
of Claim letter to the City Clerk, Mr. Libman testified:

Not specifically. Part of the process of working or


collaborating or liaising on the forthcoming class action
against the LADWP, City of Los Angeles.

Libman Dep (7-22-19) 163:15-21

In all claims filed against the City, there is a delay period after filing a claim to
give DWP time to review the claim. A claim is considered denied if DWP or other
City agency does not act on it within 45 days. Forty-five (45) days from March
26, 2015, would have been May 10, 2015.

As such, the April 1, 2015, filing of Jones v. City was procedurally improper as it
did not comport with Mr. Jones’s obligations to exhaust the administrative claims
process. By May 10, 2015, the City was well on the way to agreeing to negotiate
a settlement with Mr. Landskroner that would not only resolve Jones v. City, but
also the other pending ratepayer class actions. The City’s mediation brief
expressly waived this defense.
31
Ms. Annaguey stated, in her August 1, 2015, “extortion” email, that the Jones’s claim was never
filed.
Ex Pansky Re: Attorney Client Privileged Communication - Follow up re mediation
122
On March 26, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones, copying Mr. Landskroner:

I am also writing to update you on the litigation and to


introduce you to one of the other attorneys who will be
working on the case. His name is Jack Landskroner and
he is based in Cleveland, Ohio (I have copied him on this
email so that you have is (sic) email address). Our
investigation in this matter has revealed that, in 2009, the
Cleveland Water Department encountered a nearly
identical situation as to what happened at LADWP when
the DWP implemented its new Oracle-based Customer
Care & Billing System (“CC&B System”). Our
investigation has also confirmed that the very same team
of PriceWaterhouse Coopers (sic) employees who botched
the installation of the CC&B System for the Cleveland
Water Department was also involved in the botched
installation of the CC&B System for the LADWP.

Because Jack is located in Cleveland, he has some unique


insights into what happened in connection with the
installation of the CC&B Systems at Cleveland Water and
the severe billing problems that were experienced
immediately after that system went live and he will
therefore be very helpful in prosecuting the case involving
the botched billing system at the LADWP. I also wanted
to information you that, based on the information we have
developed through our continuing investigation, another
complaint is being prepared on your behalf that will name
the City of Los Angeles and the LADWP as Defendants. I
have asked Jack to work on this complaint and, once this
complaint is finished in the next day or so, either Jack or
I will be sending it to you for review and approval (similar
to what you and I already did with the other complaint).
Because of Jack’s unique knowledge of what happened in
Cleveland, I have asked Jack to get involved with a
number of things in the case so you will be hearing from
him more and more as the case proceeds. This is being
done to maximize the chances of a prompt resolution so
that the moneys that were paid by you and other LADWP

123
customers can be recovered and repaid to each of you
quickly.

Ex PLTF000069-70

It is uncontroverted that, by this email, Mr. Paradis for the first time introduced
Mr. Jones to Mr. Landskroner. Mr. Paradis also, for the first time, informed Mr.
Jones that a second complaint, one against the City of Los Angeles and the DWP,
was also being prepared for Mr. Jones. Nothing in this email evidenced that Mr.
Paradis or Ms. Tufaro were withdrawing as Mr. Jones’s counsel and that Mr.
Landskroner would proceed thereafter as Mr. Jones’s only attorney. Consistent
with Mr. Paradis’s earlier introduction of Ms. Tufaro as another lawyer who would
be working with Mr. Paradis on Mr. Jones’s behalf, Mr. Paradis led Mr. Jones to
believe that he would continue as his attorney along with Mr. Landskroner in both
the complaint against PwC which Mr. Jones had already approved for filing and
the proposed complaint against the City which was yet to be approved by Mr.
Jones. Mr. Paradis did not disclose to Mr. Jones that he also represented the City
of Los Angeles and the DWP in any capacity; and in particular, as the City’s
Special Counsel in the complaint already filed, City v. PwC. Mr. Paradis failed to
disclose to Mr. Jones that the Jones v. PwC complaint was not filed and never
would be. It had been taken off the table by the City.

It is also evident that, before this date, Mr. Jones had not authorized Mr. Paradis
to work with any other lawyer, outside of Ms. Tufaro and the PLG firm, on his
behalf and that Mr. Jones had in fact understood that all investigative work being
done on his behalf was performed by Mr. Paradis and members of PLG and no
other lawyer.

It is also uncontroverted that Mr. Jones had never communicated with Mr.
Landskroner before Mr. Paradis’s March 26, 2015 email to Mr. Jones which
copied and introduced Mr. Landskroner. In fact, Mr. Jones did not actually meet
Mr. Landskroner or sign the LGM engagement agreement until August 2015. As
the evidence shows, Mr. Landskroner then caused the LGM retainer to be
fraudulently backdated to match the PGL retainer with Mr. Jones.

Ex PLTF000069-70
Ex PLTF000148-49

The next day, on March 27, 2015, Mr. Libman emailed Mr. Kiesel, stating:

124
I hope we can make this work.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005705

Mr. Libman testified that in the March 27, 2015 email to Mr. Kiesel, his
comment was simply referring to “working with me on the DWP overbilling
issues.” Mr. Libman, however, admitted he knew that Mr. Kiesel was
involved “on behalf of the City” and “was special counsel in some sort of
special relationship with the City” while disingenuously claiming that he
understood they were allegedly counsel together in the Jones v. City case.

Libman Dep (7-22-19) 126, 111, 141

It is also appropriate to find that Mr. Libman’s testimony that he was simply
referring to “working with me on the DWP overbilling issues” is not
credible. The testimony is not credible based upon the timing of the email
and the chain of events leading up to the filing of Jones v. City, namely the
fact that it was not Mr. Landskroner, but rather Mr. Kiesel, who had provided
him with a fully drafted administrative claim for Mr. Jones to be used against
the City, Mr. Kiesel’s other client. It is further not credible based upon the
fact that Mr. Libman, as directed, concealed this fact by putting Mr. Jones’s
administrative claim letter on his letterhead with signature blocks for himself
and Mr. Landskroner, and the fact that Mr. Jones had no idea that Mr.
Libman was supposedly also his lawyer.

Ultimately, Mr. Jones, upon the advice of Mr. Paradis, did not sue PwC.

Jones Dep 122

On March 29, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed to Mr. Jones, copying Mr. Landskroner,
a draft complaint entitled Antwon Jones v. City of Los Angeles and requested Mr.
Jones’s approval to file the attached complaint. In that email, Mr. Paradis stated to
Mr. Jones that both he and Mr. Landskroner would then move the matter forward.
The draft complaint contained 19 causes of action and was to be filed in the
California state court. Mr. Paradis told Mr. Jones that the additional claims involved
numerous problems uncovered because of the ongoing investigation. The draft
complaint also included Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Lipman’s name, but not those of
Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, or Mr. Kiesel. While Mr. Paradis had informed Mr. Jones
the day before that Mr. Landskroner would be assisting Mr. Paradis in Mr. Jones’s
representation, Mr. Paradis failed to disclose to Mr. Jones that he would not be

125
formally appearing in Jones v. City. Mr. Paradis also failed to disclose the
involvement of Mr. Libman. Mr. Jones had never meet Mr. Libman and had no
communications with Mr. Libman.

Jones Dep 75-76

Mr. Jones did not notice that Mr. Paradis’s name was not on the complaint. Mr.
Jones, however, understood that Mr. Paradis was at all times still representing him
in pursuing his claims against DWP and the only change was Mr. Landskroner would
now assist Mr. Paradis in Mr. Jones’s representation. Mr. Paradis did not terminate
his or PLG’s representation of Mr. Jones. Neither Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, or Mr.
Landskroner, orally or in writing, advised Mr. Jones that Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro
were terminating the PGL engagement with Mr. Jones.

Jones Dep 78, 79


Ex PLTF000069-117

On March 29, 2015, Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner his
authorization to file the Jones v. City lawsuit. Mr. Paradis replied, copying Mr.
Landskroner, telling Mr. Jones “Cplt will be filed promptly and we will keep you
posted.” Again, Mr. Paradis led Mr. Jones to believe that Mr. Paradis would be his
counsel in Jones v. City. At no time did Mr. Paradis provide Mr. Jones with any
written or oral advisement he was no longer his counsel, or that Mr. Landskroner
would be handling the case exclusive of Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and PLG. Mr.
Paradis simply continued to mislead Mr. Jones, to the benefit of not only Mr. Paradis,
Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman, but also the City and
DWP.

Ex PLTF000117

As the evidence shows, a multitude of lawyers for LACA, including those in top
supervisory positions, despite being aware that Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr.
Kiesel concurrently represented the City — both against PwC and in defense of
the City in Bransford and Morski — and represented Mr. Jones, nonetheless, said
and did nothing to remove Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel from City v.
PwC when Jones v. City was served and filed. Nor did anyone in the LACA
suggest, or take any steps, to wall them off from Jones v. City despite the fact that
the conflict provisions of the engagement agreement stated that if any member or
associate of Special Counsel ever represented PwC “an appropriate ethical wall”
would be erected.

126
It is evident that the decision to remain silent, and then the ensuing cover-up
evidenced herein, by the City’s lawyers was a direct result of the collusive
agreement between Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel and the City to use Jones
v. City as a “white knight” and their overall plan to control the class actions, change
the narrative and blame PwC.

Mr. Kiesel testified, credibly, that he facilitated filing the Jones v. City case, at the
direction of the City, as were all of his actions relating to Jones v. City.

Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 90-91,118-20, 195 (5-30-19) 749-751

On March 30, 2015, Mr. Jones, in response to Mr. Paradis’s March 26, 2015,
representation that Mr. Landskroner had “unique insight into what happened” with
the botched CC&B billing system at Cleveland Water and would thus be “very
helpful in prosecuting the case” against DWP, emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Mr.
Landskroner, and asked him about the “outcome of the similar Cleveland case.” Mr.
Landskroner replied that no case had been filed, couching his admission with “as of
yet” because “it is still being investigated.” Mr. Landskroner did not copy Mr.
Paradis on his reply.

Ex PLTF000123

Based upon the evidence, Mr. Landskroner filed no case in Cleveland until
October 15, 2015. The case which Mr. Landskroner ultimately filed in Cleveland
had nothing to do with Cleveland’s CC&B system nor was the case a success for
Mr. Landskroner. The complaint filed in Cleveland, initially entitled Yoby v. City
of Cleveland and Cleveland Public Power, involved allegations that the Cleveland
Public Power improperly charged customers an Environmental and Ecological
Adjustment (“EEA”) fee that assertedly had nothing to do with environmental
protection laws and directives.

The evidence is that the complaint was filed on the same day that Paul Bender
(“Mr. Bender”), who had previously been the Cleveland Director of Public
Utilities (“Director”), informed the Cleveland media that the City was illegally
charging EEA fees. Mr. Bender, at the time he was the Director, put a moratorium
on all EEA charges effective May 2013. The moratorium was lifted in October
2014, after Mr. Bender was no longer the Director. Ultimately, Mr. Bender
became a witness in that case.

127
Ex Cleveland lawsuit (The Special Master has included his entire file on the Yoby
case as this exhibit)

On March 31, 2015, as noted above regarding Mr. Libman’s request for payment
of the filing fee on Jones v. City, Mr. Libman emailed, not Mr. Landskroner, but
rather, Mr. Kiesel:

I got the draft complaint from Jack Landskroner. He is


asking me to file it. costs? Please call me...

Mr. Kiesel responded to Mr. Libman, and rather than telling him to ask Mr.
Landskroner, stated: “Let’s discuss the complaint. Would like to get it on file
today. Happy to reimburse your cost.”

Mr. Libman then emailed Mr. Kiesel, not about the complaint, but rather about how
badly his current trial went and that he was “[o]n to the next—Costco slip and fall.”32

Mr. Kiesel responded to Mr. Libman “...will call you later and we can coordinate
the filing.”

Mr. Libman replied to Mr. Kiesel, again not saying anything about Jones v. City, but
rather only discussing two DMEs he was attending between 12 and 3.

Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Libman again, asking him to call his cell after 5 if he could.

Mr. Libman later emailed Mr. Kiesel under the line “Summons Complaint Cover
Sheet.pdf” and provided a copy of the Jones v. City summons and complaint. Mr.
Landskroner is not on any of these emails.

When questioned at his deposition about this email exchange with Mr. Kiesel, Mr.
Libman had no explanation as to why he reached out to Mr. Kiesel instead of just
filing the Jones v. City complaint himself.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005919-21

32
As set forth in the Appendix H, regarding the multitude of collateral relationships between the
various lawyers involved herein, pending at this time was the class action entitled Gastello v.
Costco, Case No. BC505544 (Los Angeles Superior Court) in which Mr. Kiesel associated in as
co-counsel with Mr. Libman in July 2015. That matter, filed in 2013, resulted in a $2,856,000
verdict in favor of the plaintiff on August 20, 2015, after a 6-day jury trial. Judgment in favor of
the plaintiff for $2,856,000 was entered on September 8, 2015. Mr. Kiesel’s firm received
approximately $500,000 in fees in that case.
128
Libman Dep 111

There is no explanation by Mr. Libman here which is not inculpatory. The


evidence is clear that, at this point in time, Mr. Libman was nothing but a strawman
with the necessary California bar card so that Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis could
effectuate the collusive plan with the City to proceed with Mr. Landskroner as the
“white knight” counsel for Mr. Jones in the filing of Jones v. City.

It is evident that Jones v. City was part of a collusive and unethical “white knight”
plan.

On April 1, 2015, Mr. Libman, at the direction of Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis,
caused to be filed the Jones v. City class action complaint. At 5:14 p.m., that same
day, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Tom a conformed copy of the Jones v. City
Complaint. The next morning, at 9:27 a.m., Mr. Landskroner caused the Jones
Settlement Proposal to be sent to Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006340
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006527

THE CITY’S SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS PRIOR


TO THE FILING OF JONES V. CITY

Prior to the filing of the Jones v. City case, the City had already begun settlement
discussions with counsel in other billing class actions. 33 On January 2, 2015,
representatives of the City held an all-day mediation session with plaintiff’s counsel
in the Kimhi case before Retired Judge Enrique Romero. A second mediation
session, tentatively scheduled for April 10, 2015, was cancelled by the City.

Ex K L Myles Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 15


Annaguey Dep 164-166

On March 31, 2015, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny, on
behalf of the City, met with Mr. Blood and Ms. Wade, class counsel in the Bransford
case, to discuss possible settlement. At the meeting, Mr. Blood laid out the elements
and framework of a settlement. Mr. Blood believed the meeting went well, “with
33
The City’s plan was to settle the billing class action cases. Outside counsel for the City, the
Liner Firm, therefore discussed possible settlement with every attorney who filed a billing class
action. Agrusa Dep 135

129
the City stating it believed discussions would move forward,” but it “needed some
time to organize efforts and interest groups within the City.”

Blood Dec (8-28-15) ¶ 6


Agrusa Dep 153-154
Annaguey Dep 168-177

As will be shortly seen from the evidence, less than an hour after Mr. Tom received
the Jones Settlement Proposal from Mr. Landskroner and within minutes of Mr.
Landskroner’s request for an in-person meeting, Mr. Tom took steps to promptly set
up the meeting to discuss settlement in Jones v. City. As Mr. Clark testified: “we
anticipated settling with Mr. Jones.” Clark Dep (2-26-19) 137

130
TIMELINE TWO

FIRST WEEK OFAPRIL 2015: JONES V. CITY COMPLAINT IS FILED BY


MR. LANDSKRONER AND MR. LIBMAN WITH ASSISTANCE
FROM MR. KIESEL. THE PARADIS-DRAFTED
SETTLEMENT LETTER IS SENT TO CITY

As was part of the “white knight” plan, the Jones v. City complaint co-opted the
causes of action in the then-pending class action complaints involving billing
issues. Additionally, the Jones v. City complaint contained 11 pages of allegations
that are word-for-word identical to allegations in the draft Jones v. PwC complaint
that had been circulated by Mr. Paradis to various City attorneys and DWP
employees in February 2015 and abandoned later that month.

Compare Ex COLA-LADWP_0000002–0038 with Ex Jones v City at 12– 23

Yet, LACA attorneys have uniformly continued to assert, even after the collusion
was uncovered, that they did not recognize the Jones v. City complaint had the
same plaintiff as, or identical language to, the often discussed Jones v. PwC
complaint.

On April 1, 2015, Mr. Libman, at the direction of Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis,
caused to be filed the Jones v. City class action complaint. The Paradis-drafted Jones
v. City complaint reflected only Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman as counsel for Mr.
Jones. The complaint did not list Mr. Jones’s other retained counsel, Mr. Paradis
and Ms. Tufaro, whom he had expressly authorized to file Jones v. City as counsel
for Mr. Jones on the face of the pleading. Mr. Jones, however, had no understanding
that Mr. Libman was his attorney.

Jones Dep 77, 114

On April 1, 2015, the City employees who knew that Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and
Mr. Kiesel were counsel for Mr. Jones in connection with his claims for improper
billings by the DWP were:

Jim Clark, Chief Deputy City Attorney


Thom Peters, Chief Assistant City Attorney (Civil Litigation)
Richard Brown, General Counsel DWP
Richard Tom, Assistant General Counsel DWP
Eskel Solomon, Deputy City Attorney (Litigation Supervisor DWP)

131
Deborah Dorny, Deputy City Attorney DWP
Sharon Grove, Assistant General Manager DWP
Timothy Spinn, Commercial Service Supervisor DWP
Nance Walker-Bonnelli, 34
Billing and Customer Relations Manager DWP
Matt Lampe, Chief Information Officer DWP
Mark Townsend, Assistant Director of Information Technology DWP
David Wright,35 Chief Operating Officer of DWP

Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Peters, Mr. Clark, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon,
Mr. Landskroner, and Mr. Libman had advance knowledge that Mr. Landskroner, a
lawyer from Cleveland, would be filing the Jones v. City complaint, would be
submitting a settlement offer shortly after the complaint was filed, and that the City
would settle with Mr. Landskroner because Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb “didn’t
want to negotiate or propose things that were not – were not acceptable. And I
don’t know if they were willing to do what DWP wanted, which was basically –
there would have been overcharge[s] repaid and have the – and have oversight of the
system to correct it.”

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 107

On April 1, 2015, at 4:42 p.m., Mr. Libman emailed Mr. Kiesel, designating it as
“Importance High” under the subject line Jones v. City of Los Angeles, stating only
“see attached” and provided Mr. Keisel with an enclosed, conformed copy of the
filed Jones v. City complaint.

Mr. Libman explained he did this because “[Mr. Keisel] was (sic) a special
relationship with the City and the Complaint needed to be sent to the City. City’s
the defendant.”

Libman Dep 167:4-13

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005973
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005974-6033
34
Retired September 2015.
35
The Special Master adds Mr. Wright to the list because Mr. Clark testified that David Wright
was aware that Mr. Paradis represented Antwon Jones. Mr. Clark initially testified that Mr. Wright
(then Chief Operating Officer of DWP) was informed by Mr. Paradis in December 2014 that “Mr.
Paradis was representing Mr. Jones in connection with a possible case by Mr. Jones against PwC,”
but his Errata Sheet changed the timing of that communication (not the fact that it occurred) from
December 2014 to February or March 2015. Clark Dep (2-26-19) 25–26
132
Mr. Libman’s testimony is not credible. No attempt was made by Mr. Paradis or
Mr. Kiesel to hide from Mr. Libman that Mr. Jones was their client. That
representation was clear from the fact that Mr. Paradis had drafted the Jones v.
City complaint, the Jones Settlement Proposal, and Mr. Jones’s administrative
claim, and that Mr. Libman’s emails communications with Mr. Kiesel, to the
exclusion of Mr. Landskroner, facilitating the filing of Jones v. City as well as the
request by Mr. Libman to Mr. Kiesel to ensure that he be reimbursed the filing fee
for Jones v. City.

On April 1, 2015, at 4:50 p.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed a copy of the filed Jones v. City
complaint to Mr. Paradis. Forty minutes later Mr. Kiesel again emailed Mr. Paradis
asking, “What shall we do about service of this complaint?” Mr. Paradis
immediately emailed Mr. Kiesel in response:

Please have Michael [Libman] serve it- but Landskroner


already emailed a courtesy copy to Richard Tom tonight
(per Richard’s request to me.)

Emphasis added.

Ex GD 002942-43

On April 1, 2015, at 5:03 p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon,
and Ms. Dorny, copying Ms. Agrusa and two other members of the Liner Firm,
regarding the filing of Jones v. City:

Another class action lawsuit was filed today. The


complaint is not yet available for download but we will
keep checking and circulate when we can access it. If you
receive it, please forward to us for review and
calendaring.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006339

On April 1, 2015, at 5:14 p.m., Mr. Landskroner, per Mr. Tom’s request to Mr.
Paradis, emailed Mr. Tom a courtesy copy of the Jones v. City complaint, copying
staff at Mr. Libman’s firm and Mr. Landskroner’s firm:

133
Dear Mr. Tom:
Attached is a courtesy copy of a Class Action Complaint
that was filed earlier today on behalf of my client Antwon
Jones.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Yours very truly,
Jack Landskroner
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006340
On April 1, 2015, at 5:45 p.m., Mr. Tom forwarded Mr. Landskroner’s email to
Ms. Dorny, Mr. Solomon, and Mr. Brown with no explanation.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006401

Ms. Dorny testified that before Mr. Tom’s email she had not heard of Mr.
Landskroner nor was she aware of a situation where Mr. Tom was provided a
courtesy copy nor was she aware of any reason Mr. Tom would have been sent a
courtesy copy of the Jones v. City complaint.

Dorny Dep 133-134, 136

The LACA was expecting Mr. Landskroner to make a written settlement proposal
shortly after he filed the lawsuit. Mr. Clark testified “we anticipated settling with
Mr. Jones” but Mr. Clark does not recall thinking an offer would be coming on April
2, 2015.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 137

Mr. Paradis made no attempt to hide from the LACA or DWP that Mr. Jones was
his client. His representation of Mr. Jones was clear from the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint, the conflict-of-interest provisions of the initial drafts of the engagement
agreement between the City and PLG and KL, and the many emails with the Jones
v. PwC subject line.

Mr. Clark testified that he believed Mr. Paradis terminated his relationship with
Mr. Jones, but he admitted that he never asked Mr. Paradis if he told Mr. Jones
that he was terminating their relationship or if he told Mr. Jones that the
relationship was terminated, and testified that no one at the City ever requested
documentation that the relationship was terminated. Similarly, no lawyer in the

134
LACA asked Mr. Paradis if he possessed confidential information of Mr. Jones or
if he provided Mr. Jones with confidential information of the City. No lawyer in
the LACA asked whether PLG or Kiesel Law had sought any sort of conflict
waiver, which would have been required from both the City and Mr. Jones, to
resolve the issue.

For LACA to allow – in fact, facilitate – Mr. Paradis’s direct involvement, on


behalf of the City, in the settlement of Jones v. City while knowing full well that
he represented Mr. Jones as recently as February 2015 on matters directly related
to the Jones v. City complaint is simply incredible.

The City’s plan to “change the narrative” through using Mr. Jones as a proxy
meant that the City didn’t care about conflicts, and the last thing they wanted to
do was to create a paper trail of conflicts; particularly, after Mr. Tom, on March
12, 2015, ensured the deletion of the clear written disclosure by Mr. Paradis, Ms.
Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel of their representation of Mr. Jones, so as not to jeopardize
the City’s retainer of these lawyers as Special Counsel in City v. PwC, or interfere
with Mr. Paradis’s ongoing involvement in the ratepayer actions and ability to
assist the City in quickly disposing of those matters.

See Clark Dep (2-26-19) 83, 84, 88, 89; (4-9-19) 465

EARLY APRIL 2015: THE JONES’S SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL AND


THE CITY’S INITIAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH MR. LANDSKRONER

On April 2, 2015, 8:50 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed a CNS36 alert, also called a
“Dinger” giving details on newly filed action, to Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny regarding
filing the Jones v. City complaint, noting: (Emphasis added)

I believe this is the expected new class action lawsuit, filed


w/the court 4-1-15. I have no information that it has been
served on COLA or DWP, but would expect it to be served
this week. Plaintiffs’ counsel is a Michael Libman. EHS.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006462-63

Mr. Solomon testified about why he characterized the


Jones complaint as “expected”:

36
Courthouse News Service

135
Q. … Do you have any understanding of where Mr.
Landskroner, a Cleveland attorney, got your name to
direct this settlement proposal to you and to Mr. Tom?
A. Yes.
Q. What is your understanding?
A. Not from the name Landskroner, but from the fact that
these documents, including the one that indicates that I
expected a class action lawsuit, which is the Exhibit 76, 37
it’s the Cleveland, Ohio thing. It’s the Ohio thing. I had a
conversation at some point with Paul Paradis or Paul
Kiesel or both where they indicated to me they knew of an
attorney in Ohio who was going to file a lawsuit. They had
worked with this attorney before and that the lawsuit was
expected.
Q. Did you understand that the lawsuit was going to be
against DWP?
A. Yes. It was going to be a class action lawsuit.
Q. With respect to billing matters at DWP?
A. Yes.
Q. When was this conversation?
A. Sometime before this. I don’t think it was months. It was
a matter of weeks. And by “this” I mean this series of
emails.
MR. NICHOLSON: Why don’t you peg it to Exhibit 77
and do the best you can to --
THE WITNESS: Yeah, it would have been within -- within
several weeks, if not a month before [Exhibit] 77.
Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 532-535; Ex 77

The email Mr. Solomon forwarded only listed the name of the case and Mr.
Libman, a California lawyer, as plaintiff’s counsel. It did not mention either Mr.
Landskroner or Cleveland, or Ohio. The CNS Dinger was received by Mr.
37
Ex 76 is a/k/a Ex COLA-LADWP_0006462-63

136
Solomon on April 1, 2015, at 5:01 p.m. That same day, Mr. Landskroner emailed
the courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Tom at 5:16 p.m. and Mr. Tom
forwarded it to Mr. Solomon, Mr. Brown, and Ms. Dorny on April 1, 2015, at 5:45
p.m.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006401

The only document that would have indicated to Mr. Solomon that the Jones v.
City complaint was filed by a Cleveland attorney was the complaint forwarded to
Mr. Solomon by Mr. Tom at 5:45 p.m. on April 1. If Mr. Solomon had opened
Mr. Tom’s 5:45 p.m. email and read the complaint, there would have been no need
to advise Mr. Tom about the expected complaint and that it had not been served
yet, since he would have known Mr. Tom already had the complaint. Thus, Mr.
Solomon had not opened Mr. Tom’s email at the time Mr. Solomon sent his email
at 8:50 a.m. the next day and had no apparent reason to know that Jones v. City
was the “Cleveland, Ohio thing.” What he did know when he got the CNS Dinger
was that Jones v. City was the collusive action planned, controlled and expected
by the City.

The Special Master concludes that Mr. Solomon was dissembling when he said he
called it the “expected complaint” because he was told an Ohio attorney would be
filing a lawsuit. A fair conclusion is that Mr. Solomon called it the expected
complaint because he knew that the identified plaintiff, Antwon Jones, was the
same plaintiff in the aborted Jones v. PwC complaint that had been repurposed
into a lawsuit by Mr. Paradis against DWP to resolve the Billing Class Action
cases in a manner dictated by the City.

Although Mr. Tom had already received a courtesy copy of the Jones v. City
complaint, Mr. Tom testified that he did not know what Mr. Solomon meant in using
the phrase “the expected new class action lawsuit filed April 1, 2015,” that he did
not ask Mr. Solomon what he meant by “expected new class action lawsuit,” and
that he did not expect the Jones v. City complaint before it was filed on April 1,
2015.

Tom Dep (5-15-19) 34-35

See also the transcript of an August 12, 2019 hearing in this case, at 51:21–52:9 (this
Court crediting Mr. Solomon’s testimony, along with Mr. Kiesel’s testimony, which
directly contradicts the City’s “already questionable claim that Special Counsel were
rogue actors.”)

137
Ex 2019.08.12 Hearing re Motion to Compel

Ms. Dorny testified that she scanned the Jones v. City complaint close to the time
when it was filed and, at some point, read the complaint as she was expected to
defend the case. It was her practice to read the paragraph that describes the plaintiff
she is assigned and at some point, she confirmed that the plaintiff, Antwon Jones,
was a ratepayer.

Dorny Dep 137-138, 145

On April 2, 2015, at 8:57 a.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Ms. Annaguey and two other
Liner Firm attorneys, copying Mr. Solomon and Mr. Tom, attaching a copy of the
Jones v. City complaint, stating:

Attached please find a copy of the new lawsuit emailed to


Richard [Tom] last night by the plaintiff’s atty. To our
knowledge, the Department and COLA have not been
served.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006466

On April 2, 2015, at 9:27 a.m., Mr. Landskroner’s legal assistant Debra Spaller
(“Ms. Spaller”) emailed and FedExed to Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon a settlement
demand letter titled “Confidential Settlement Proposal and Request for
Settlement Meeting” (“Jones Settlement Proposal”). Mr. Libman was not on
this email and by the initials next to his name on the letter, Mr. Libman did not
personally sign the letter either.

Gentlemen: Attached you will find a Confidential


Settlement Proposal and Request for Settlement Meeting
authored by Jack Landskroner and Michael Libman.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006527

On April 2, 2015, at 9:45 a.m., Mr. Tom forwarded the email with the Jones
Settlement Proposal to Ms. Dorny, Ms. Annaguey, and Ms. Agrusa, copying Mr.
Solomon and Mr. Brown. Mr. Tom requested a call that afternoon “to discuss – it
may help shape our presentation/discussion of the settlement options with Dave
Wright and Guy Lipa this afternoon.”

Tom Dep Ex. 57

138
A short time later, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon proposing
a meeting the following week to discuss the Jones Settlement Proposal.

The Jones Settlement Proposal was a single-spaced, nine-page letter on LGM


letterhead and was signed by Mr. Landskroner and by an unknown person on behalf
of Mr. Libman. It was sent via email and overnight delivery. It stated in the first
paragraph that the complaint filed in Jones v. City: “encompasses all the allegations
made in all of the other ‘billing error’ class actions filed against the City and/or the
DWP that preceded the Jones action – including the Kimhi Action” and that this is
“because I am aware that Judge Berle inquired of the parties on March 30th as to
whether there should be a consolidated complaint filed that encompasses all the
allegations for all of the other ‘billing error’ complaints. Simply stated, the Jones
complaint addresses Judge Berle’s concerns and accomplishes precisely this task.”

The Jones Settlement Proposal requested “an immediate in-person meeting for the
purpose of discussing this confidential settlement proposal.” It also proposed
mediation before either Retired Judge Peter D. Lichtman or Retired Judge Dickran
Tevrizian.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006528-36 at 6529

The Jones Settlement Proposal proposed that the parties stipulate to certification of
a class consisting of the following seven “sub-classes”:

a. The Incorrect Tier Billing Subclass


b. The Incorrect Trend Estimate Billing Subclass
c. The Closed Accounts with Un-Refunded Balances Subclass
d. The Estimated Bill/Leaking Water Meter Subclass
e. The Solar Generated Power Subclass
f. The Late Charges on Incorrect Bills Subclass
g. The CC&B Omnibus Billing-Related Grievances Subclass

The Jones Settlement Proposal stated that: “Plaintiff’s investigation has identified
an approximate number of subclass members in each of the proposed subclasses”
and contained information as to the approximate size of several of the subclasses
(approximately 67,000 for the “Incorrect Tier Billing Subclass,” approximately
46,000 for the “Closed Account with Un-Refunded Balances Subclass”). The
Special Master notes that information on the number of persons in a subclass was
not something that was publicly available.

Lampe Dep 128-131


139
The Jones Settlement Proposal also discussed: a) the proposed treatment of each
subclass; b) hiring an independent audit firm to “conduct an assessment of the
processes and controls within the Oracle CC&B environment that govern billing
activities” in order “to restore customer confidence among its customers in the
correctness of the bills that the DWP sends its customers” (an objective of the DWP);
c) payment to the named plaintiff of $5,000; d) payment by the City of reasonable
attorneys’ fees and expenses; e) payment by the City of all costs of notice and
administration of the settlement; and e) the settlement being “subject to Plaintiffs
completing reasonable confirmatory discovery.”

The Jones Settlement Proposal did not indicate what, if any, familiarity either Mr.
Landskroner or Mr. Libman had with either of the mediators proposed. 38

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006527
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006528-36
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006549

As Mr. Clark testified, he was aware that Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis had, in past
cases, used Judge Tevrizian as a mediator, as Mr. Clark had himself done several
times.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 139-140

Although Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel had previously mediated several cases before
Judge Tevrizian (see Appendix H), the Special Master could not find any evidence
that Mr. Landskroner had ever mediated a case before Judge Tevrizian or Judge
Lichtman prior to the Jones v. City case and nothing in the letter indicates why he
specified either of those retired judges as mediator.

Mr. Landskroner’s files, which were provided to Mr. Kabateck, include JAMS
printouts on Judge Lichtman and Judge Tevrizian that were printed out on April 3,
2105, the day after the Jones Settlement Proposal was transmitted to Mr. Tom and
Mr. Solomon.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 1144

38
Please note that the Jones Settlement Proposal makes no mention of the 6,000 unbilled (“back
billed”) ratepayers mentioned in the March 26, Notice of Claim. This group later becomes
significant.

140
Evidence that Mr. Landskroner was provided those specific names by Mr. Paradis
is as follows:

1. Mr. Landskroner never mediated a case before either Judge. If he had he


would not have needed to print out their bios.

2. Mr. Landskroner printed out the JAMS biographies after the April 2 letter,
indicating he hadn’t researched them before sending the letter. It makes no
sense to recommend a person to serve as mediator in a major litigation
without obtaining information about that person prior to including his/her
name in a settlement proposal. This is simply further evidence that, as was
the case with the Jones v. City complaint and Mr. Jones’s administrative
claim, it was Mr. Paradis, not Mr. Landskroner, who wrote the Jones
Settlement Proposal.

3. The first page of the Judge Lichtman bio has written “Available 4/9, 4/13”
which indicates, even prior to meeting with the DWP, Mr. Landskroner as
the “white knight” was looking to line up potential mediation dates in the
immediate future, evidencing that Mr. Landskroner understood he was
virtually assured that he would be the plaintiff’s counsel chosen to settle the
class action billing cases immediately after filing the complaint in Jones v.
City. Mr. Landskroner was an unknown to the LACA and outside counsel
(the Liner Firm) for the City. Absent his understanding of his role as a
“white knight” as part of a pre-filing agreement to settle it would have been
unrealistic for him to assume the City would leapfrog Mr. Blood and Mr.
Himmelfarb and immediately schedule a mediation with him.

Just as no one representing the City seemed interested in discovering how Mr.
Landskroner knew to send the courtesy copy of the Jones v. City complaint to Mr.
Tom, no one made any inquiry into how:
a. Mr. Landskroner knew to send the Jones Settlement Proposal to Mr. Tom and
Mr. Solomon;
b. an attorney in Cleveland knew what the Court, three days previously, stated
concerning a consolidated complaint;
c. Mr. Landskroner had obtained information not available to the public
concerning subclass sizes; or
d. why the Jones Settlement Proposal recited a goal of the DWP for any
settlement.

141
Peters Dep (5-2-19) 504-507
Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 553-554 (conjecturing that, while the information was not
publicly known, someone could possibly “ferret it out” through a Public Records
Act request)

Dorny Dep 167 (she was at the March 30, 2015, hearing and Mr. Landskroner wasn’t
there), 172 (she is not aware of any publicly available source identifying the number
of ratepayers in each subclass, has no idea where Mr. Landskroner got the
information, and was not part of any discussion about where he got the information)

Annaguey Dep 229 (she did not know where Mr. Landskroner got the information
on the number of people who fell into the various subclasses and no one discussed
it)

Tom Dep (5-16-19) 527-530 (he didn’t focus on information about subclasses in the
Jones Settlement Proposal and doesn’t know if any City Attorney lawyer asked Mr.
Landskroner how he got such detailed information)

When asked about the Jones Settlement Proposal containing information that was
not publicly available, Mr. Peters testified:

My reaction was, as is frequently the case, a plaintiff’s


class action attorney had gotten a lot of information, and
I was never going to know where the source of that
information gathered was.

Peters Dep (5-2-19) 505

Mr. Lampe testified that the billing data information contained in the Settlement
Proposal regarding how many DWP customers fell within the identified subclasses
was not “something we ever reported publicly” and that he did not believe that there
was any way that someone outside of DWP would have been able to determine how
many customers fell within a given subclass (as long as DWP had not identified that
information to the Board, which he did not recall it doing).

Lampe Dep (8-7-19) 128-131

Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon read the Jones Settlement Proposal shortly after it was
received.

Tom Dep (5-16-19) 406


142
Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 539

It is evident that the Jones Settlement Proposal was not authored by Mr.
Landskroner or Mr. Libman, both of whom refused to answer whether they wrote
any part of the proposal. (Libman Dep 90. Landskroner Dep 76-79) The clear
conclusion is that the Jones Settlement Proposal was written by Mr. Paradis.

It is evident that Mr. Paradis wrote the Jones Settlement Proposal because:

1. Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman lacked access to the technical knowledge
displayed by the letter’s author.

2. It is undisputable that Mr. Paradis drafted the complaint and the Notice of
Claim in Jones v. City. There was no reason for Mr. Paradis not to draft the
Jones Settlement Proposal. There is no evidence that anyone else drafted it
either.

3. The LGM firm’s files in the Jones v. City case obtained from New Class
Counsel contain notes and annotated drafts for several documents in the
case. There are, however, no notes for or drafts of the Jones Settlement
Proposal. Given the limited amount of time Mr. Landskroner spent on the
case prior to the April 1, 2015, filing of the complaint, he could not have
conducted the investigation needed to prepare the Jones Settlement
Proposal. The same conclusion applies equally to Mr. Libman.

4. The Jones Settlement Proposal is saturated with non-public information


inaccessible to Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman, but that was provided by
the City and DWP to Mr. Paradis and/or which the City and DWP made
accessible to Mr. Paradis. The record is replete with evidence of Mr. Paradis
receiving non-public DWP information of the sort displayed in the Jones
Settlement Proposal and using that information to draft pleadings and
notices in Jones v. City.

5. Page 2 of the Settlement Proposal recites that: “Plaintiff Jones directed his
counsel to work with Plaintiff’s non-testifying consultants to develop a
highly detailed settlement proposal … to resolve Jones Action as well as the
claims in Bransford, Fontaine and Kimhi.” As discussed below, Mr.
Landskroner did not engage any experts or consultants for purposes of the

143
Jones action. The only one of Mr. Jones’s counsel who had the information,
time, and expertise to draft the Jones Settlement Proposal was Mr. Paradis.

Ms. Spaller’s comment that the Settlement Proposal was “authored by Jack
Landskroner and Michael Libman” is not contrary to this finding as there is no
evidence Ms. Spaller was personally aware of who wrote the Settlement Proposal;
rather, it is evident that she was simply stating the names that facially appeared on
the Jones Settlement Proposal.

Accordingly, the Special Master concludes that it was Mr. Paradis, not Mr.
Landskroner, who drafted the Jones Settlement Proposal.

Mr. Landskroner did not inform Mr. Jones of the Jones Settlement Proposal or any
settlement offer being made on his behalf to the City until June 2015.

Jones Dep 89-90

The City’s receipt of the Jones Settlement Proposal led to an unusual amount of
activity among the lawyers in the LACA, the Liner Firm, and officials in the DWP,
including Mr. Wright.

Tom Dep (5-16-19) 411-455

On April 2, 2015, 8:49 a.m., 39 Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Tom regarding Friday’s
Meeting:
Hi Richard, For Friday’s meeting, should we have a
PowerPoint or handouts of the possible settlement
framework?
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006547
Shortly thereafter, at 9:50 a.m., Mr. Tom replied to Ms. Annaguey’s email
regarding Friday’s Meeting, copying Mr. Solomon and Ms. Dorny:

39
Based upon the timing and content of Ms. Annaguey’s email to Mr. Tom, the Special Master
concludes that there were additional communications about the Friday meeting and the anticipated
settlement discussions that were either oral, or if in writing, not provided to the Special Master, as
Mr. Tom’s email, forwarding the Jones Settlement Proposal to Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Agrusa and
referencing Friday’s meeting to discuss was not sent until almost an hour after Ms. Annaguey’s
email about the Friday meeting.
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006566

144
I think a powerpoint summarizing what you gave to
Deborah and me, as well as the key points from our
conversation with Tim Blood and from the new
Landskroner proposal, will do it.
Offhand, here are areas I think we should cover:
Key provisions
Key benefits/problems with settlement
Key obstacles
Timetable
Protocol
Key players
Needed Resources and Cost
Needed approvals
Next steps.

Emphasis added.
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006547
This email exchange, and the additional evidence delineated in this Report as to
the involvement of the Liner Firm as of this date in the timeline, suggests to the
Special Master that prior to April 1, 2015, the members of the Liner Firm, in
particular Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Agrusa, were not at that time intentional
participants in the City’s collusive Jones v. City “white knight” settlement plan.

On April 2, 2015, at 9:53 a.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Tom and Mr.
Solomon requesting an in-person meeting in Los Angeles on either Tuesday, April
7, or Wednesday, April 8, 2015, to discuss the Jones Settlement Proposal.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006549

Mr. Tom read Mr. Landskroner’s above email at 10:04 a.m., that same day.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006551

Shortly thereafter, at 10:15 a.m., Mr. Tom emailed Ms. Agrusa and Ms.
Annaguey, copying Ms. Dorny and Mr. Solomon, asking their availability for a

145
meeting with Mr. Landskroner on the morning of April 7 or the afternoon of April
8, 2015.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006552

That same day, at 11:15 a.m., Amy Eichelberger (“Ms. Eichelberger”) of the Liner
Firm emailed dial-in instructions for a 1:15 p.m. call to Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom,
Ms. Dorny, and Ms. Agrusa, copying Mr. Solomon and Mr. Brown.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006566
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006569-70

On April 2, 2015, at 5:18 p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, referring to a future conversation in which Mr. Blood
was supposed to share “his thoughts on fees,” with Ms. Agrusa.40

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006579

Ms. Annaguey testified that, on April 2, 2015, she was working on a presentation to
be made to DWP regarding Mr. Blood’s settlement offer: “...we were going to be
meeting with people from management about the framework that had been discussed
with Tim, and we were putting together material for that meeting.”

Annaguey Dep 203, 206, 209

Ms. Agrusa, in her deposition, stated that she never had any discussion with Mr.
Blood regarding his class counsel attorney fees and that, in her opinion, the use of
such words reflected the fact that Ms. Annaguey had not previously had any
experience with class action litigation and that Ms. Annaguey “was unfamiliar with
the terminology.”

My conversations with Mr. Blood, in particular, were


about structure and framework for a settlement, and it
would have been premature at that point to discuss fees.
The cases had not been along very long, and it was really
about how are we going to structure a settlement of this

40
The Special Master understands that it is bad form, if not improper, to discuss fees in a class
action settlement before resolution of the substantive issues.

146
magnitude and complexity. So I think it was just inartful
use of language by her.

Ms. Agrusa also testified:

I never discussed class counsel fees with Mr. Landskroner


or Mr. Blood. The only time fees were discussed was in the
context of the mediation with Mr. Tevrizian.

Agrusa Dep 152-53

As discussed in more detail below, the contemporaneous notes of Mr.


Landskroner and Mr. Libman directly contradict Ms. Agrusa’s deposition
testimony. The evidence shows that, in fact, Ms. Agrusa discussed fees with
Mr. Landskroner one week after the Jones v. City complaint was filed and
more than three months before mediation session with Judge Tevrizian that
was dedicated to discussing fees. Specifically, attorneys’ fees were discussed
at the April 8, 2015 meeting and in the follow-up phone calls Ms. Agrusa had
with them on April 13 and April 15, 2015. The notes also contradict Ms.
Agrusa’s testimony that within a week of these calls she was “very removed” and
while she had communications with Mr. Blood, “as far as Landskroner and
Libman, that would have been primarily Maribeth.”

Agrusa Dep 175-176

Under California Government Code sections 911.6, 945.4 and 950.6, a person
cannot sue a public entity unless a written claim is first presented to that entity and
the entity either rejects the claim (in whole or in part) or 45-days have elapsed
since presentment of the claim without action. (See also Ex Pansky Jinwoo Yi
Class Action Claim For Damages (Mr. Solomon noting that the JinWoo Yi class
action cannot be filed until 45 days after a claim is sent to the City)) Failure to
comply with these procedural rules bars a plaintiff from filing a lawsuit against the
public entity. City of Stockton v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 730, 737-8.

As noted in Ms. Annaguey’s August 1, 2015, email concerning Judge Tevrizian’s


mediator proposal on attorneys’ fees (Ex Pansky Re: Attorney Client Privileged
Communication - Follow up re mediation), “One of our primary defenses against
the Jones Plaintiff is that he has failed to follow the administrative process -- He
never filed a government claim.” Despite the fact of this absolute bar, the City
immediately entered into settlement negotiations with Mr. Landskroner and Jones

147
v. City having already decided that Mr. Landskroner was the attorney with whom
it would negotiate settlement vis-a vis Jones v. City, the City’s pre-determined
settlement vehicle.

On April 3, 2015, at 8:01 a.m., Ms. Agrusa emailed Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, and Mr.
Solomon that she had spoken with Mr. Landskroner that morning. She suggested
that they meet with Mr. Landskroner on April 8, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. At 11:07 a.m.,
Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Landskroner to confirm that the City was available to
meet with him on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at the Liner Firm’s offices in downtown
Los Angeles. By the afternoon, Ms. Agrusa and Mr. Landskroner had confirmed a
meeting at the Liner Firm’s office in downtown Los Angeles the following
Wednesday (April 8) to discuss the Jones Settlement Proposal.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0025741-42
Ex COLA-LADWP_0006582
Ex COLA-LADWP_0005620

Two days after Jones v. City was filed, the City agreed to Mr. Landskroner’s
request for a meeting the following week.

Thus, Mr. Blood and his Bransford case, the putative lead case until now, were
effectively shelved in favor of Mr. Landskroner and the Jones Settlement
Proposal.

On April 3, 2015, at 9:17 a.m., Mr. Peters, apparently having been out of the
office on vacation and not included in any of the above April 1-2, 2015, LACA
emails regarding the receipt and filing of Jones v. City, emailed Mr. Tom, Mr.
Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, copying Mr. Clark, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Ms.
Tufaro, regarding “New DWP class action,” stating:

Hello. FYI, an attorney named Michael Libman has


filed the case listed below [Jones v. City], which is
described in CNS as “class action for overbilling.”
When we get served, I ask the lawyers at DWP to
please share the complaint with the group. Thanks.

Mr. Solomon replied to all included in Mr. Peters’s email, transmitting a conformed
copy of Jones v. City, stating:

Thom: We are aware of the filing w/ the Superior Court,

148
however, neither the COLA nor the LADWP have been
served.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006591

APRIL 3, 2015: THE CITY’S LAWYERS START


PRETENDING THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JONES v. CITY
BEFORE IT WAS FILED

On April 3, 2015, at 10:09 a.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel regarding the
PwC answer in City v. PwC:

Hello Sir. Just got back from a lovely vacation; am back


in the Office as of today. An extension to answer is of
course okay. I am frankly surprised PwC isn’t going to file
a pleading challenge. That they are not is testament to how
factually rich and legally solid the Complaint is. Nice job
again to you all.

Ex COLA-LADWP 0006713-14

On April 3, 2015, at 10:14 a.m., Mr. Kiesel, in one reply to both of Mr.
Peters’s above emails, stated:
Welcome home. I don’t think they will “answer” ... I
suspect they just want more time to consider what
they are going to do.
On the new class case you mentioned 41 I want to
give you the background on that case ... I am aware
of it. �
If you can call around 3ish that would work well.
Emphasis added.
Ex COLA-LADWP 0006713-14
Mr. Kiesel testified as to why he put the smiley face emoji at the end of his reply:
…because I thought Mr. Peters’s email of April 3, 2015 at
9:17 in the morning was a CYA email that it was not a
41
Mr. Kiesel’s reference to Mr. Peters’s “new class case you mentioned” was obviously Jones
v. City.

149
shock that the Jones case had been filed. In fact it was
referred to as the expected filing by the Department of
Water and Power.
So everybody was aware that the case was going to be filed
and so my smiley face was more a commentary on the
nature of Mr. Peters’s earlier email that suggested there
was a new lawsuit that was perhaps a surprise.
Kiesel Dep (5-29-19) 126

Mr. Peters testified that he understood the emoji to mean “Mr. Kiesel showing that
he’s ahead of me. He’s already read the case, and he’s going to give me the
background on it.”

Peters Dep (5-2-15) 517

The Special Master concludes that the evidence supports the veracity of
Mr. Kiesel’s testimony regarding Mr. Peters’s attempted “CYA email”
being an instruction to feign surprise regarding the filing of Jones v. City,
and that Mr. Kiesel’s understanding of those instructions was exemplified
by his smiley face emoji reply to Mr. Peters.

Following up on his “CYA email,” at 10:20 a.m., Mr. Peters then emailed Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, copying Mr. Clark, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Ms.
Tufaro, asking whether the allegations in the Jones complaint that DWP’s CC&B
billing system included billing for sanitation services was “simply false.” At 10:27
a.m., Mr. Solomon replied to Mr. Peters, copying the other recipients of Mr. Peters’s
email, that DWP bills included items for trash and sewer service but he “will defer
to Paul Paradis regarding the interface, if any, of the CC&B System and those
COLA fees.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006717

Not only was the Jones v. City lawsuit not a surprise, but as Mr. Clark
testified, he knew “[s]ometime during the latter half of – the end of March”
that the settlement demand would be forthcoming, and that the City would
be settling with Mr. Jones.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 137

150
APRIL 3: JONES V. CITY SETTLEMENT PREPARATIONS
BY THE CITY REMAIN ON TRACK

On April 3, 2015, at 2 p.m., Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey met with Mr. Tom and
other representatives of the City to discuss a framework for settlement of the pending
billing class action lawsuits against DWP: Kimhi .v City of Los Angeles; Bransford
v. City of Los Angeles; Morski v. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power;
Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles; and Jones v. City of Los Angeles.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0006579

Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey made a PowerPoint presentation (“the Settlement
PowerPoint”) about the settlement framework for the billing class actions.

The Settlement PowerPoint identified “key allegations” that “permeate” the class
actions: a) improperly estimated bills; b) overcharges for electricity and water; c)
overcharging with respect to tiered billing and seasonal rates over multiple billing
periods; d) delayed bills followed by substantial lump sum bills seeking immediate
payment and e) failure to credit for solar energy.

Ex COLA-SM_0000439-61 at 441

The Settlement PowerPoint listed as benefits of settlement: a) the restoration of


public trust and confidence in DWP billing; b) turning the “media narrative around;”
and c) the “potential to minimize the cost of settlement by including settlement costs
as a damage claim in the PwC case,” among other things. Among the detriments to
settlement were the loss of the chance to defeat the litigation and the “cost of
administration and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees,” among other things.

Ex COLA-SM_0000439-61 at 446-447

The Settlement PowerPoint laid out the goal of settlement as “DWP to make full
credits or refunds to customers who were found to be overcharged.”

Ex COLA-SM_0000439-61 at 449

The “Process to Goal” included “review of all customer accounts/Mediator


blessing/Possible sign-off of protocol by well-reputed industry consultant.” Under

151
the settlement framework, DWP would bear all costs of administering the settlement
and pay reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Ex COLA-SM_0000439-61 at 450, 452

On April 3, 2015, at 4:07 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed the Jones Settlement
Proposal to Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, and
Ms. Dorny, telling them that a meeting with Mr. Landskroner was scheduled for
April 8, that the Liner Firm and attorneys from the LACA had participated in a
settlement meeting with Mr. Blood earlier in the week, and that Mr. Blood’s proposal
“turned out to parallel in significant part the Landskroner proposal.” Mr. Tom
advised that both proposals appeared to provide “good opportunities” for an early
resolution of DWP’s billing issues and that “[we] have begun to brief DWP
management about the proposals and possible frameworks for a settlement in order
to determine if they agree that a settlement will serve DWP’s interests.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005621-23

MIDDLE OF APRIL: FIRST CONTACT WITH MR.


LANDSKRONER AND THE WHITE KNIGHT SETTLEMENT IS
MOSTLY COMPLETED

On April 8, 2015, only seven days after Jones v. City was filed, a settlement
meeting occurred. Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman met with Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny at the Liner Firm’s offices in
Los Angeles. Based on his prepared presentation notes, Mr. Landskroner gave as
his background that he “began investigating issues with CC&B Oracle billing
systems dating back to billing issues which developed with the installation of the
CC&B billing software by the Cleveland Water Department in 9/2009. My
investigation and focus on the problems here in LA began dating back to the news
reports published in 11/13 re: billing issues and the CC&B systems.”

Ex LGM PDF Doc 656 at 3, 8

Ms. Agrusa testified that her belief was that Mr. Landskroner “had been in heavily
litigated class litigation involving a utility company and problems with their
systematic billing structure.”

Agrusa Dep 148-149

152
Mr. Landskroner’s handwritten notes of the April 8, 2015, meeting reflect that the
following issues were discussed: 1) a complete release for all claims; 2) what Mr.
Landskroner viewed as obstacles to settlement; 3) the causes of action alleged in the
Jones complaint and in the complaints in the other billing class actions; 4) attorneys’
fees, including a possible cap on fees; and 5) choosing a mediator.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 656 at 9-12

Mr. Landskroner’s Needles notes42 recount the discussion of fees and a mediator:
Angela suggested she has ideas on fees and is not afraid
of a fight with them independently. Also discussed a hybrid
type of agreement.
(Privately) Angela suggests she thinks she has settlement
terms largely done and it’s more a question of who can
bring everyone under the roof and fees. Mediator will be
good on addressing fees and for optics. She sees this as
a lodestar case plus but no multiplier.
They will support me if there is a fee fight and i take
responsibility
She suggested conservative mediator because will help
with fee fight .... i said not so ... will slit my throat if I
assume responsibility.
Need to follow up on Monday with Angela re where we
think fee cap would be. I will ask about mediator.
Emphasis added.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 656 at 7
By his internal notes of April 8, 2015, Mr. Landskroner appears to have already
forgotten “his” prior suggestion of mediation but also two specific mediators as
articulated in the Jones Settlement Proposal. That said, Mr. Landskroner is clearly
on the same page as the City with regards to the “optics” of using a mediator.

The meeting with Mr. Landskroner lasted one to two hours.

42
Needles is a case management software application. See https://www.needles.com/.

153
Annaguey Dep 227

Ex 3 Confidential Exhibits to Special Master

On April 9, 2015, Mr. Solomon, on behalf of the City Attorney, signed the signature
line of the “Approved as to Form and Legality/Michel N. Feuer, City Attorney/Apr
09, 2015” stamp on the tenth page of the Engagement and Contingency Fee
Agreement dated as of April 21, 2015, between the City, the Office of the City
Attorney, Kiesel Law, and PLG “as the principal attorneys designated to assist the
City” in the action against PwC.

Ex FULLY EXECUTED Engagement Agreement

Mr. Solomon testified that he was asked to stamp the Engagement and Contingency
Fee Agreement as approved as to form and legality by “one of the secretaries that
deal with the timing”; although it is his general practice to review a document he
stamps “approved as to form and legality,” he knows “for a fact I did not” review
the Engagement and Contingency Fee Agreement because it was “given to me to
move forward for a board session. I assumed it was properly vetted. It was in final
form. And I stamped it to move it forward” even though he knew the Board would
rely on his stamp and signature to see that it had been reviewed as to form and
legality before it was approved. He did this because the agreement had been
reviewed by Mr. Tom, who was unavailable to sign it.

Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 362-366

On April 9, 2015, the DWP turned off Mr. Jones’s power.43 Mr. Jones, concerned
this was retaliation by DWP for his filing of the Jones v. City case, emailed both
Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner for assistance in having his power restored.
Mr. Jones continued to believe both Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner were his
counsel. Neither Mr. Paradis nor Mr. Landskroner advised Mr. Jones, orally or in

43
On March 29, 2015, Mr. Paradis had emailed the Jones v. City complaint to Mr. Jones, obtained
his approval to file, and noted that after Mr. Jones gave his approval, that the complaint would be
filed promptly and “we will keep you posted.” Despite the failure of Mr. Paradis and Mr.
Landskroner, to keep Mr. Jones posted, Mr. Jones reasonably believed the complaint was filed and
the shut off of his power was connected to that filing. Ex PLTF000117
154
writing, this was not true.44 Mr. Jones was unaware of other class action cases that
had been filed against the DWP.

Emphasis added.

Ex PLTF000129-136
Jones Dep 68, 93-99, 160, 224-225

On April 10, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that service would be
restored that day.

Ex PLTF000135-137

After learning of the filing of the complaint on his behalf, Mr. Jones asked Mr.
Landskroner to settle the case as quickly as possible. Mr. Jones did not recall seeing
the April 2, 2015, letter prior to his deposition being taken in February 2019. Mr.
Jones did not learn that a settlement offer had been made until several months after
the lawsuit was filed.

Jones Dep 83-84, 91-92

EARLY APRIL 2015: MR. LANDSKRONER LIES TO MR. JONES,


CLAIMING MR. LANDSKRONER WAS INVOLVED IN AN
INVESTIGATION OF CLEVELAND WATER’S
CC&B BILLING SYSTEM

A major theme initially pushed by Mr. Landskroner and, later, by both Mr.
Landskroner and the City, is that Mr. Landskroner was the attorney best suited to
settle the Class Actions because of his expertise in utility billing cases due to his
investigation of problems the Cleveland Water Department faced following its
implementation of a CC&B system. The evidence obtained by the Special Master
leads to the conclusion that these representations by Mr. Landskroner as someone
with expertise in utility billing cases were false. To the extent any lawyer involved
in Jones v. City was involved in investigating the Cleveland Water Department’s
billing problems, the evidence strongly suggests that person was Mr. Paradis, not
Mr. Landskroner. That Mr. Landskroner’s representations were false was known
to attorneys in the LACA by mid-May 2015. They did nothing, however, to

44
Mr. Jones’s engagement of Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and PLG continued until June 27, 2019,
when his present counsel, Jeff Isaacs (“Mr. Isaacs”) sent formal notice terminating such
representation. Ex 19-07-31-Notice-of-Filing-of-Government-Claim-by-Antwon-Jones at 6.
155
correct Mr. Landskroner’s misrepresentations in this regard to either Judge
Tevrizian or this Court.

The evidence upon which the Special Master bases these conclusions includes:

• On March 26, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Jones about involving Mr.
Landskroner to assist in the case, writing:

Our investigation into this matter has revealed that, in


2009, the Cleveland Water Department encountered a
nearly identical situation as to what happened at DWP
when the DWP implemented its new Oracle-based
Customer Care & Billing System (“CC&B System”).
Our investigation has also confirmed that the very same
team of Price Waterhouse Coopers employees who
botched the installation of the CC&B System for the
Cleveland Water Department was also involved in the
botched installation of the CC&B System for the DWP.

Because Jack is located in Cleveland, he has some


unique insights into what happened in connection with
the installation of the CC&B System at Cleveland Water
and the severe billing problems that were experienced
immediately after that system went live and he will
therefore be very helpful in prosecuting the case
involving the botched billing system at the DWP.

Jones Dep 75-76


Ex PLTF000069-70
Ex PLTF000121

Mr. Paradis did not represent that it was Mr. Landskroner who conducted
an investigation into the Cleveland Water Department’s billing problems;
instead he referred it as “our investigation,” which to a lay person could be
reasonably interpreted as Mr. Paradis referring to both PLG and Mr.
Landskroner, and Mr. Jones would not have been the wiser. There is no
evidence that Mr. Landskroner, versus PLG, did any work investigating
Cleveland’s CC&B system. Mr. Paradis, however, was articulate in

156
delineating that Mr. Landskroner was brought in because he was in
Cleveland and “has some unique insights” about Cleveland’s problems.

• On March 30, 2015, Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Mr.
Landskroner, asking “What was the outcome of the similar case in
Cleveland?” Mr. Landskroner replied, “There has been no case filed in
Cleveland as of yet on the PWC claims … it is still being investigated.”

Ex PLTF000123

Further evidence of the falsity of Mr. Landskroner’s assertions of his work


on the Cleveland Water’s CC&B billing system problems comes from the
files that he turned over to New Class Counsel.

• Mr. Landskroner’s Needle Notes for February 24, 2015, advised his
assistant that he had “looked at a case against the water/sewer district related
to billing and talked to a former employee. Can you find me info on this.”
The files he turned over to New Class Counsel contained a folder marked
“Black & Veatch.”

The files in that folder (Ex LGM PDF Doc 1034-1046) consist of:
(a) Black & Veatch’s “Cleveland Water Customer Service
Turnaround Project Closeout Report 30 June 2012.” That report notes
that the CC&B billing system was implemented by Cleveland Water
in September 2009. It makes no mention of PwC.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1035;
(b) an article printed 5/11/2015 titled “Water Issues” about how cities
around the world attempt to deal with “non-revenue water,” i.e., water
lost due to leaks, siphoning off of water, etc.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1036;
(c) an article printed 5/11/15 dated 1/15/13 “Black & Veatch overhaul
saves Cleveland $14m a year” followed by 2 pages of notes with the
names of Cleveland Public Utilities Commission officials and how
Cleveland Water sets rates, but no mention of Cleveland Water’s
billing problems or PwC.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1037;

157
(d) documents about Cleveland Water, all printed between 2006 and
February 2009, well before Cleveland Water implemented the CC&B
billing system.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1038-1041, 1043-1046; and
(e) notes concerning “Scott Kalish Review file/Class Action” and
Cleveland Water’s billing practices, which do not mention the CC&B
billing system or any problems with billing.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1041
These are the only documents in Mr. Landskroner’s file concerning the
Cleveland water/sewer billing system. Other than the Black & Veatch
report, these documents had nothing to do with the CC&B billing system.
Other evidence supporting the conclusion that Mr. Paradis was the person
investigating Cleveland Water’s billing problems is contained in emails the
City turned over to Ms. Pansky but did not turn over to either counsel for
PwC or the Special Master.
• On May 4, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Paradis a draft summary of key
points of the PwC litigation requested by Ms. Edwards and the DWP Board.
The draft noted that:
During the investigation conducted by Special Counsel,
a report created by an independent third party retained
to determine the root cause of Cleveland Water’s
troubled billing system was obtained. Even a cursory
examination of that report demonstrates: (i) the striking
similarities in the number and nature of the defects that
plague both Cleveland Water’s and DWP’s CC&B
platforms; and (ii) the fact that these defects were
caused by PwC.
Ex Pansky FW: Billing Litigation Summary Points with attachment
As noted above, there is nothing in the Black & Veatch report that mentions
PwC or indicates that it was the cause of the Cleveland Water billing
problems.

158
On May 11, 201545, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Clark, Mr. Paradis,
Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Solomon:
Thanks Paul. Was there any litigation related to the
Cleveland fiasco?
Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Peters and Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Clark, Ms. Dorny,
Mr. Tom, and Mr. Solomon:
Thom,
As far as we are aware there has not been any CC&B
system related litigation in Cleveland. However, we are in
the process of setting up a meeting with Cleveland City
officials in connection with our ongoing investigation. We
will keep you apprised as we obtain additional
information. Thanks.
Paul P.
Ex Re Pansky Billing Litigation Summary Points (403)

By referring to “our ongoing investigation” and saying they are trying to set up a
meeting with Cleveland officials about the investigation, Mr. Paradis is making no
effort to hide from the City that he and his firm, PLG, are conducting the
investigation of the Cleveland Water Department’s botched implementation of a
CC&B billing system, not Mr. Landskroner.

Of course, if “our investigation” instead was understood by the City to refer to


both Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner, their close business relationship and
potential conflicts would have been even more evident. Either way, Mr. Paradis’s
admission would have been a further flag for the City if they hadn’t already been
aware of Mr. Paradis’s relationship with Mr. Landskroner and the overall collusive
intent to have Mr. Landskroner act as the “white knight” to the City’s benefit.

One of the Special Master’s attorneys interviewed Richard Goddard. Mr.


Goddard is a partner in the Cleveland, Ohio, law firm of Calfee Halter &
Griswold, LLP. Mr. Goddard was lead counsel for the City of Cleveland in
Yoby v. City of Cleveland, Case No. CV-15-852708 (Cuyahoga County,
Ohio, Court of Common Pleas) (hereafter “Yoby”), filed October 15, 2015.
45
The Special Master notes that this email discussion happens to be on the same date that Mr.
Landskroner obtained two of the articles in his file connected to Cleveland’s water billing issues.

159
Mr. Landskroner was class counsel in Yoby, which alleged that Cleveland
Public Power had illegally overcharged customers. As discussed in
Appendix I filed herewith, Mr. Bender, who was engaged to serve as
independent monitor of the Jones v. City settlement, was a witness for the
plaintiffs in the Yoby case.

Mr. Goddard related that Mr. Landskroner had no expertise in or


understanding of how Cleveland Public Power works, its billing methods,
or controlling Ohio Supreme Court cases on public utilities. He said Mr.
Landskroner did not understand financing or accounting and never
understood that depreciation is a non-economic event and is how
accountants allocate the cost of a tangible asset over time. Mr. Landskroner
and the attorneys he worked with were not prepared for the case. According
to Mr. Goddard, Cleveland produced hundreds of thousands of pages in
discovery and offered to make several million pages available for review;
Mr. Landskroner and his associates appeared to have never reviewed any of
these documents. The Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment
in favor of the City of Cleveland on January 7, 2019.

Ex Memo re Interview of Rick Goddard on Bender

MID-APRIL 2015: MR. CLARK AFFIRMATIVELY CHOOSES MR.


LANDSKRONER AS THE LAWYER WITH WHOM THE CITY WOULD
NEGOTIATE, FREEZING OUT LAWYERS WHO HAD FILED EARLIER
CLASS ACTION COMPLAINTS AND WHOSE ALLEGATIONS THE
JONES COMPLAINT RESTATED; THE CITY’S LAWYERS ALSO
NEGOTIATED ATTORNEYS’ FEES BEFORE CLAIMS WERE SETTLED

On April 13, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Kiesel, and
Mr. Paradis about their availability for a 90-minute “coordination meeting with Mr.
Clark to discuss the PWC/Customer Billing Class action case this week.”

Ex BGR 026800

One of the topics discussed at the April 13, 2015, meeting was “the directive from
the City to move forward with Mr. Landskroner in negotiating a settlement.” Mr.
Clark made the decision that the City would negotiate a settlement with Mr.
Landskroner exclusively.

160
Agrusa Dep150, 158-159

Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey testified that the decision to negotiate a
comprehensive settlement agreement exclusively with Mr. Landskroner was made
by Mr. Clark, and that such decision was made known to them before April 21, 2015.
Ms. Agrusa pinpointed the April 13 meeting as the time when she and Ms. Annaguey
were told of the decision that the City would negotiate a settlement with Mr.
Landskroner to the exclusion of the other class action plaintiffs’ attorneys. This was
the same date that Ms. Agrusa had her follow-up phone call with Mr. Landskroner
and Mr. Libman about settlement structure and attorneys’ fees. Ms. Agrusa testified
that she recommended that the City negotiate settlement with Mr. Blood, whom she
found to be very sophisticated, ethical, reliable, and “could dig in to do the work that
needed to get done.” She assumed that Mr. Clark decided the City should negotiate
with Mr. Landskroner based on Mr. Paradis’s and Mr. Kiesel’s opinion.

Agrusa Dep 148, 150, 158-160

Annaguey Dep 258-259

While LACA attorneys, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel knew before April 1, 2015, that
Mr. Landskroner would be filing the Jones v. City complaint and submitting a
settlement offer shortly after filing the complaint, the Special Master has seen no
evidence that Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey were aware of this fact before the Jones
v. City complaint was filed and the Jones Settlement Proposal submitted. There is
also no evidence that they knew, prior to April 1, 2015, that the City had decided to
settle with Mr. Landskroner because Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb “didn’t want
to negotiate or propose things that were not – were not acceptable and I don’t
know if they were willing to do what DWP wanted, which was basically – there
would have been overcharge[s] repaid and have the – and have oversight of the
system to correct it.”

Emphasis added.

Clark Dep (2-26-19) 107-18

In fact, Mr. Blood’s settlement framework was similar to Mr. Landskroner’s in


that it called for a refund/credit of all amounts overcharged and the correction of
the DWP’s billing system.

The difference was Mr. Landskroner would accept a deal dictated by the City that
would not include discovery or an outside monitor/special master to oversee the
161
remediation. Neither Mr. Blood nor Mr. Himmelfarb would have allowed the City
to dictate the deal.

On April 13, 2015, Mr. Libman (and possibly Mr. Landskroner) had a telephone
conversation with Ms. Agrusa. Mr. Libman’s notes reflect that they discussed two
concepts for fees: first, a fee proposal for an “all in fee #” and second an amount
certain for fees up to date with either “A) w/cap for just us or B) w/cap for all
objectors.” The fee application would be “low 6 figures” with a “cap of 7 figures.”

Ex LGM PDF Doc 656 at 23, 24

On April 15, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and Liner attorneys David Farkas (“Mr.
Farkas”) and Karen Hallock (“Ms. Hallock”) stating: “I am advised by the City
Clerk’s Office that service of the Antwon Jones class action/billing practices case
was made on April 3, 2015.”

Ex COLA-LADWP 0005633

On April 15, 2015, Mr. Landskroner had a telephone conversation with Ms. Agrusa.
Mr. Landskroner’s hand-written notes reflect that Ms. Agrusa suggested attorneys’
fees of $1.45 million for “all players.” The handwritten notes and Mr. Landskroner’s
Needles notes reflect that they discussed the settlement structure and a tiered fee
model, that Ms. Agrusa “envisions” mediation, an industry consultant to bless the
formulas involved, and a third-party administrator such as KPMG. If Mr.
Landskroner were on board, they would hire a mediator, develop a term sheet, take
the proposed settlement to the DWP board and, if authorized, Mr. Agrusa would
draft the settlement agreement. Mr. Landskroner’s Needles notes state he “indicated
that I thought my fees alone could be done at numbers the city is looking for based
on my time but i do not want to bear the brunt of the other p’s fee petitions. On the
other hand if there is a desire to have me bring everyone under the tent than it would
have to be a premium paid up front We both agree that a cap on the tail end would
be appropriate for continued work and that this is a mediator issue.” Undated notes
in Mr. Landskroner’s file for the meeting with the City’s counsel state “I checked
w/mediators. Lichtman has availability 9th & 13th.”

Ex LGM PDF Doc 656 at 21, 25-27

As noted previously, Mr. Landskroner’s and Mr. Libman’s notes of the April 8,
2015, in-person meeting and the follow-up telephone calls with Ms. Agrusa

162
contradict her deposition testimony that she “never discussed class counsel fees
with Mr. Landskroner or Mr. Blood. The only time fees were discussed was in the
context of the mediation with Mr. Tevrizian.” (Agrusa Dep 152) It also
contradicts Ms. Agrusa’s testimony that within a week of these calls she was “very
removed” and while she had communications with Mr. Blood, “as far as
Landskroner and Libman, that would have been primarily Maribeth.” Instead, it
is clear that fees were discussed in great detail, and with specific numbers –
specifically $1.45 million.

Agrusa Dep 175-176

On April 16, 2015, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Wright, copying Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Kiesel, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Brown, requesting that IT personnel working on
remediation be released to work with Mark Townsend “on an urgent project related
to the billing class actions” and that a meeting had been scheduled for 2:30 that day
to fill Mr. Wright in on the details.

Ex Pansky 2_30 Meeting with Legal

APRIL 20: THE PARTIES CHOOSE JUDGE TEVRIZIAN AND IDENTIFY


AVAILABLE MEDIATION DATES DESPITE BEING FULLY AWARE
THAT THEY HAD ALREADY REACHED NEARLY COMPLETE
SETTLEMENT

On April 20, 2015, Ms. Agrusa sent an email with the subject line “Judge Tevrizian”
to Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Dorny, copying Ms. Annaguey and
Mr. Farkas. The email stated:

We called Judge Tevrizian’s case manager at JAMS,


asking for dates between May 25 and June 12. I was
informed that he is booked solid for those weeks, with the
possibility of June 4 opening up in the coming weeks. His
next available dates after June 12 are July 1, 7, 14, 15, 21.

My sense is that we should probably hold off booking a


date for now until some logistics are addressed this week
at DWP.

Ex COLA-SM_0005329

163
On April 20, 2015, Mr. Paradis replied to Ms. Agrusa’s email, as follows:

Thanks for the update. I actually saw Judge T for dinner


this weekend and mentioned that you would be calling to
book him. He said that his case manager had been booking
several weeks out, but told me to be in touch with him
directly if we could not get a date that worked for us from
her. He said that he would open a date for us to make sure
we received the time we need when we need it.

Mr. Paradis further stated that DWP was working to “properly identify the scope and
definition of each subclass” and once that work has progressed and they had more
information on the amount of time it would take to complete this work, “we will be
in a better position to make a decision concerning mediation dates.” Besides Ms.
Agrusa, the email was addressed to Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, copying
Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Farkas, and Ms. Tufaro.

Ex COLA-SM_0005330

On April 21, 2015, the Special Counsel Agreement between the City and Mr.
Paradis/PLG and Mr. Kiesel/Kiesel Law was finalized by Mr. Tom for the
prosecution of the City v. PwC case. The agreement provided that each firm would
“receive attorneys’ fees in the amount of 19.99%, to be split evenly between the two
firms, of any net monetary and non-monetary recovery, after deduction of costs.”
The Jones v. PwC conflict language was still gone. The final version of the
agreement had a commencement date of January 1, 2015, not December 1, 2014, as
contained in Mr. Tom’s March 12, 2015, revised version.

LATE APRIL: COLLUSIVE EFFORTS BETWEEN THE CITY AND MR.


LANDSKRONER CONTINUE, INCLUDING FREEZING OUT MR.
BLOOD AND DIRECTING MR. LANDSKRONER AND MR. LIBMAN TO
APPEAR IN COURT; THE CITY RETROACTIVELY HIRES THE
PARADIS AND KIESEL LAW FIRMS FOR CITY v. PwC

On April 15, 2015, at 9:41 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Brown, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Paradis, Mr.
Kiesel, and Ms. Dorny, as well as some other Liner Firm lawyers, with the
subject line “ANTWON JONES VS. LADWP, BC577267 (Class Action
Billing Practices).” The email states:

164
I am advised by the City Clerk’s Office that service of the
Antwon Jones class action/billing practices case was
made on April 3, 2015.

* * *
FYI I attach a copy of the Jones complaint, together with
the April 2, 2015 Confidential Settlement Proposal Letter
received from Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC., both
of which have been previously distributed.

Emphasis added.

Ex 2015-4-15 ES email

On April 21, 2015, at 3:53 p.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Clark and Mr.
Peters, copying Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro,
Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey, re: Tim Blood, regarding Mr.
Blood’s intent to file an amended complaint in Bransford, stating:

Tim Blood contacted Angela Agrusa today asking for a


conversation to discuss his thoughts on an amended
complaint in his Bransford case. Judge Berle set an April
30 deadline for the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint
or for a joint report identifying issues the parties would
like to brief for a demurrer or motion to strike with a
proposed briefing schedule.

Considering the direction we intend to take, we have


instructed Maribeth Annaguey to contact Blood and
advise, accurately, that Angela is out of the office. We have
also instructed that in the interim a joint report be
prepared to file on April 30 with a briefing schedule for
our anticipated demurrer or motion to strike. This will
allow us time to confirm our direction, without Blood’s
firm investing in preparing a comprehensive amended
complaint. As reported last week, Himmelfarb advised that
he will be filing an amended complaint on April 30. Faruki
has not indicated as to how they intend to deal with the
April 30 deadline.

165
Finally, we think it is in our best interest to have the
Libman/Landskroner Firms appear on April 30 and
establish their active participation in the pending matters,
and possible lead position, and will ask Angela to convey
that message to them. We will keep you advised. EHS.

Ex Pansky CORRECTION RE EMAIL OF APRIL 21, 2015


Ex COLA-SM_0005338-39

On April 22, 2015, at 10:27 a.m., Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Solomon, noting
that there was no hearing set for April 30 and the next hearing was set for May 22,
2015.

Ex COLA-SM_0005335-37

On April 22, 2015, at 12:38 a.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Libman to have him call
Mr. Paradis “to discuss a hearing in front of Berle on April 30th that you and Jack
need to attend.” At 2:17 p.m., Mr. Libman responded to Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr.
Paradis, inquiring about the time of the April 30 hearing. Mr. Libman had apparently
previously emailed Mr. Paradis, because at 2:20 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr.
Libman, apologizing for the delay, noting that his review of the docket indicated the
April 30 date was “a mistake” and that the only hearing set was for May 22.

Ex BGR 031855-905 at 896-899

At approximately the same time, at 2:31 p.m., Mr. Solomon, in response to Mr.
Paradis’s 10:27 a.m. email, emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Brown,
Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms.
Annaguey, to advise them that the next hearing was a status conference/OSC on May
22, 2015, not April 30, and that:

We continue to believe that the Libman/Landskroner


Firms need to appear on May 22 and establish their active
participation in the pending matters, and possible lead
position. Angela will convey that message to them.

Ex Pansky Correction re: Email of April 21, 2015


Ex COLA-SM_0005338-39

Although Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were not ever formally retained to represent
the City in the ratepayer billing class actions, they were included on the emails,
166
assertedly because they were “working closely with the City Attorney’s Office with
regard to settlement strategies.”

Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 569

At 3:12 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Libman, copying Mr. Kiesel, regarding the
hearing set for May 22, that “we should probably plan to have dinner with Jack and
the two Pauls on the evening of May 21st so we can catch up.”

Ex BGR 031855-905 at 895

LACA’s affirmative steps to direct strategic information to an adversary


counsel and advocate on behalf of such counsel to the detriment of competing
adversary counsel, further supports a finding that the City was a direct
participant in facilitating the use of the Jones v. City case as the lead (and
collusive “white knight”) ratepayer class action.
Within three weeks of being sued in the Jones v. City action, the City wanted
Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman to secure Mr. Landskroner’s position as lead
counsel in the related ratepayer class actions. The City directed Ms. Agrusa
and Ms. Annaguey to advise Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman to personally
attend the next Court conference to “establish their active participation in the
pending matters, and possible lead position” to the detriment of plaintiffs’
counsel in the Other Class Actions.

On April 23, 2015, a Special Meeting of the DWP Board was held where the
General Counsel for Water and Power submitted for approval the proposed
agreement between the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power, and
Kiesel Law (Agreement No. 47334-5) and PLG (Agreement No. 47335-5), as
Special Counsel for Matters Related to a Lawsuit Against PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP (BC574690). This matter was Item 23 on the Consent Agenda (“Items for
Approval – Discussion Not Required”). The proposed resolution recited in part that
“no lawyers have greater familiarity with the underlying facts than Kiesel Law LLP
and Paradis Law Group, PLLC.” The Board voted to approve the agreements.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012944 at 14

The Engagement and Contingency Fee Agreement approved by the DWP Board
provided at Section I.D. that the LACA was responsible for closely monitoring
Special Counsel’s activities, directing the litigation, and making all significant
decisions:

167
D. City Attorney shall supervise and retain final authority
over all aspects of the Dispute Resolution Process and, if
litigation is commenced, all aspects of the Litigation. To
facilitate City Attorney’s retention of such supervisory
control and final authority, City Attorney will monitor,
review, and participate as the lead counsel in the Dispute
Resolution Process and the Litigation. In addition, if
litigation is commenced Special Counsel will present the
following matters to City Attorney for decision with
adequate time for City Attorney to review and decide,
without limitation, such matters as: (a) the content of all
court pleadings; (b) the content of all dispositive motions
and oppositions to such motions; (c) the decision of
whether to settle or try the case; (d) the decision of
whether to waive a jury trial; (e) selection of witnesses and
evidence to be presented at trial; (f) trial strategy
questions; (g) the conduct of trial; and (h) all other
matters of significance. City Attorney retains all discretion
to conduct the Dispute Resolution Process and the
Litigation. City Attorney retains veto power over any
action or proposed action by Special Counsel in
connection with the Dispute Resolution Process or the
Litigation. City Attorney and the Board of the Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power retain sole authority to
settle or otherwise compromise this matter at any time and
in exchange for any consideration.

Section II. A. of the Agreement stated that Special Counsel


shall be employed on a contingency fee basis, with the fee
equal to “the amount of 19.99% (split evenly between the
two firms) of any net monetary and non-monetary
recovery, after deduction of Costs (the ‘Contingency
Fee’).”

Ex FULLY EXECUTED Engagement Agreement

The Engagement and Contingency Fee Agreement did not provide for Mr. Paradis,
Mr. Kiesel, PLG, or Kiesel Law to play any role in the defense of the Class Actions
against DWP. Mr. Feuer testified that Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters presented to him
the “notion” to retain Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to represent the City in a lawsuit

168
against PwC and that ultimately, he made the decision to retain them. When asked
if Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were authorized “to effectuate the dismissal of the
Morski and Bransford cases” Mr. Feuer testified that he had no recollection of that
but “all I can say is my understanding from the inception of the discussions with Mr.
Kiesel, Mr. Paradis was that their work with us, the scope of their work, was limited
to the PwC case.” Mr. Feuer further testified that no one in his office had authority
to involve Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel in the Bransford and Morski cases without
conferring with him about it, which did not occur. Regarding Mr. Paradis’s role in
the settlement of the Jones case, Mr. Feuer testified “Mr. Paradis’ role was to work
on the PwC case, not the Jones case, and I don’t -- I don’t know what, if any, role
Mr. Clark delegated to Mr. Paradis in that context.”

Feuer Dep 156-159

As discussed throughout this Report, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr.


Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were involved throughout in the Jones v. City and Other
Class Actions, including:

(a) the efforts to obtain dismissals of the Bransford and Morski cases;
(b) the repurposing of the Jones v. PwC draft complaint into the Jones v.
City complaint;
(c) negotiating the settlement;
(d) preparing the City’s mediation brief;
(e) participating in mediation;
(f) drafting the settlement agreement;
(g) strategizing on how to obtain approval of the settlement; and
(h) working on the City’s press campaign to gain support for the settlement,
among other things.
The evidence also supports the Special Master’s conclusion that Mr. Feuer knew
of and approved the effort to obtain a dismissal of Bransford and Morski.

Contemporaneously with the discussions about having Mr. Landskroner and Mr.
Libman appear at the May 20 hearing, Mr. Paradis and the LACA were also working
to squelch the DWP’s efforts to engage KPMG to conduct an audit of the CC&B
billing system.

Ex COLA-SM_0005344

On March 18, 2015, the day after Mr. Wright gave his PowerPoint presentation to
the DWP Board that DWP was within industry standards for billing and that the

169
cost of completing remediation was an estimated $20 million, DWP staff began
discussions about engaging KPMG to “come in and validate our CCB bills to give
an extra level of comfort to our customers that our bills are calculating correctly.”

A goal of such an audit was “to have a report that will refute the notion that
customer bills are wrong because of the new system.” Ann Santilli (“Ms. Santilli”)
of DWP emailed Mr. Solomon on March 23, 2015, about potentially engaging
KPMG to audit the CC&B billing system because it was “suggested” that “we may
want this work to be under our attorney client privilege given the issues with the
former system integrator [PwC].”

Ex BGR 027020-027047
Ex 15-03-17 - March 17, 2015 Minutes

On April 23, 2015, Ms. Santilli sent Mr. Solomon an email to follow up on her
request, copying Ms. Dorny. Ms. Dorny emailed Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Mr.
Farkas, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Tufaro to solicit their thoughts on the impact of the
proposed KPMG audit on litigation and “keeping it within A/C privilege.”

Ex COLA-SM_0005344

On April 24, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed in reply that he felt “very strongly that the
Project be put on hold” for “the reasons we discussed” and Mr. Solomon emailed
that he agreed with Mr. Paradis.

Ex COLA-SM_0005344

On April 27, 2015, at 2:17 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Tom and Mr. Paradis,
copying Mr. Solomon and Mr. Brown, that “we had agreed … we did not want to
have any KPMG audit or our bills for now,” and while they had talked Mr. Townsend
and Mr. Lampe “completely off of it,” there were still people within DWP who
wanted such an audit.

Ex COLA-SM_0005348

On April 27, 2015, at 2:41 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Paradis that there was “still
a push for an audit to document some level of billing accuracy.” At 5:28 p.m., Mr.
Tom emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Dorny and Mr. Solomon, that he would try

170
to arrange a meeting with Ms. Edwards and Mr. Wright. An audit of DWP’s CC&B
billing system was not conducted until several years later.46

Ex COLA-SM_0005348

On April 30, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro,
copying Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny, about Mr. Blood’s amending the Bransford
complaint to substitute one of the plaintiffs in that case. Mr. Paradis expressed
concern that Mr. Blood may add additional claims and that:

[I]t is important that we keep the claims locked down to


include the 27 ‘buckets’ that Deb and I are working on
with IT if we are going to adhere to the settlement
schedule that Jim Clark imposed on us.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0005360

That same day, Mr. Solomon responded that:

Blood has no limitations, and has never had any


limitations, re any amendment to the complaint. I
understand your concern re his amendment containing
new allegations/buckets, but I know of no way to place any
limit. I understand he is aware of the Jones complaint and
anticipate his amendment will alter accordingly. I am
sorry if this crosses your work, but I don’t see the
alternative. In any event your work w/ Deborah remains
totally necessary and relevant.

Ex COLA-SM_0005364

46
On December 20, 2017, Mr. Wright as General Manager and Jeffrey Peltola (“Mr. Peltola”)
Chief Financial Officer, signed a recommendation to the DWP Board to extend the auditing
contract with KPMG through April 23, 2020, which would authorize KPMG to provide other
auditing services “including potentially reviewing the Customer Care and Billing System (CCB)
as required as part of the class action lawsuit settlement.” KPMG did not begin the audit of the
CC&B billing system until January 2019. (Ex Class Counsel Report of June 22, 2020 p. 50)

171
MAY 2015: MR. PARADIS AND MR. KIESEL TAKE CONTROL OF THE
CITY’S RESPONSE TO JONES v. CITY, AFTER HAVING DRAFTED THE
COMPLAINT ON BEHALF OF MR. JONES; THE COLLUSION WITH
MR. LANDSKRONER CONTINUES

On May 11, 2015, at 9:14 a.m., Mr. Kiesel sent an email to Mr. Clark and Mr.
Peters, copying Mr. Paradis, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Solomon, with Talking
Points for the billing litigation cases that “were prepared by Deborah and Paul P in
conjunction with other members of the team.” The email further advised that “Paul
P. and the team are in the process of finalizing a report that will specify the proposed
sub-classes that will comprise the proposed Settlement Class in the Rate Payor
Cass Actions.” The Talking Points emphasized that all problems with the CC&B
billing system were the result of the alleged fraud and deceit of PwC and that the
Cleveland Water system had similar problems with a CC&B billing system installed
by PwC.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0005496
Ex COLA-SM_0005497-501

Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Dorny were working hand-in-hand toward settling
the “rate payor mass actions” despite the awareness of all included on the above
email that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel represented Mr. Jones. The evidence of Mr.
Paradis’s direct involvement, and the City’s knowledge thereof, in the settlement
of the ratepayer cases is further evidenced by both the emphasis on Mr. Paradis’s
role and the failure to include Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey in this email.

As noted above, on May 11, 2015, Mr. Peters asked whether there was “litigation
related to the Cleveland fiasco?” Mr. Paradis replied to Mr. Peters’s query that there
has not been any CC&B-related litigation in Cleveland.

Ex COLA-SM_0005502
Ex COLA-SM_0005503

On May 19, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters, copying Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey, that Judge
Tevrizian “is available for two full days of mediation on July 2nd and July 6th,” and
asked if these dates worked. If they did, Ms. Dorny advised she would reserve them
and “reach out to the plaintiff side.”

172
Ex COLA-SM_0000001

On May 20, 2015, Mark Townsend issued a 45-page draft report “Jones v City of
Los Angeles Class Action Members,” which appears to be the report referred to in
Mr. Kiesel’s May 11 email of 9:15 a.m. Each page of the report has a diagonal
watermark “Attorney Client Privileged Communication.” The report overview
states it “describes the methods used to identify the DWP customers who are part of
the different subclasses of the class action lawsuit.” The report estimates the
accounts that are potentially in each subclass and the estimated maximum financial
impact of the settlement, which totals $48,983,244.24. At pages 34 and 35, the
report estimates the number of customers “we have not attempted to bill since Go-
Live” at 6,587 and the number of customers whose bills have been delayed more
than 120 days due to an error at 7,698. Even though this draft report was
confidential, was prepared for counsel defending the City against Mr. Landskroner’s
lawsuit and was marked on every page “Attorney Client Privileged
Communication,” a copy was contained in Mr. Landskroner’s files in a folder
marked “Work Plan.”

Ex LGM PDF Doc 1275


Ex LGM PDF Doc 1276

On May 22, 2015, a status conference was held in the Bransford case. Counsel
appeared for the plaintiffs in the Bransford, Fontaine, Kimhi, and Morski cases. Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Libman appeared on behalf of the plaintiff in the Jones case.
Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey appeared for the City in the billing cases and Mr.
Kiesel and Matthew Young (“Mr. Young”), an attorney at Keisel Law, appeared on
behalf of the City in City v. PwC. Maurice Suh (“Mr. Suh”) appeared for PwC.

The Court ordered the Bransford, Morski, and Fontaine class actions and the
Jones v. City case related (collectively, the Related Class Actions), with the City
v. PwC case. Neither Mr. Keisel, Mr. Landskroner, nor Mr. Libman disclosed
to the Court that Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro were – or at very least recently had
been – counsel for both Mr. Jones and the City of Los Angeles, and that Mr.
Paradis had drafted the Jones v. City complaint and Mr. Jones’s administrative
claim notice, and as noted above, the Jones Settlement Proposal.

Ex 2015.05.22 - Bransford - Related Cases - Hearing Transcript

In response to the Court’s inquiry about whether the parties had met and conferred
about alternative dispute resolution, Ms. Agrusa responded:

173
Your Honor, we have only had very minimal exchange in
the context of the preparation of the joint report. It is
basically the consensus of the parties that I have spoken to
that it is premature to consider an A.D.R., but that is
something that we would certainly consider when we are
a little further down the road and when the pleadings are
set and the issues are better defined.

Ex 2015.05.22 - Bransford - Related Cases - Hearing Transcript at 32-33

Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Annaguey, and Mr. Landskroner were present in Court and all of
them, as well as Ms. Agrusa, knew that efforts had already been made to arrange
mediation sessions in the Jones v. City case. None of them corrected Ms. Agrusa’s
false statement.

Contemporaneous documents obtained by the Special Master establish that Ms.


Agrusa’s representation to the Court about A.D.R. was knowingly false.

As noted above, at the April 8 meeting and during their phone call on April 15,
Ms. Agrusa and Mr. Landskroner had discussed a mediator, which was for “the
optics” and fees; on April 20, 2015, Ms. Agrusa emailed other counsel
representing the City that her firm had contacted Judge Tevrizian about dates for
mediation of the Jones case; and just three days prior to her representation to the
Court, Ms. Agrusa received from Ms. Dorny an email with dates Judge Tevrizian
had available for mediation in the Jones case. A.D.R. was not “premature,” but
imminent, and Ms. Agrusa and the others knew that.

During her deposition, Ms. Agrusa explained her false statement to the Court as
follows:
As I mentioned before, this was going to be a complicated
settlement, one that had a lot of moving parts.
I suspect what I was messaging to the Court and to parties,
as well as to probably the press that was in the audience,
was that we’re not quite ready to go to mediation, but that
we’re interested. And that was, I think, the tone of what I
was saying.
Q So basically, the prematurity was with respect to the --
those specific moving pieces you earlier described?

174
A Yeah, when the pleadings are sent and the issues are
better defined. I think that was a code for it is -- the case
is not, quote-unquote, “at issue,” ready for resolution
dispositively, but that’s where we’re headed.
Agrusa Dep 179

Like her statement to the Court, Ms. Agrusa’s deposition testimony in this regard
was also false. However, since the City did not provide PwC with either Ms.
Agrusa’s April 19, 2015, email or Ms. Dorny’s May 19, 2015, email concerning
their attempts to obtain dates from Judge Tevrizian for mediation sessions, PwC
thus did not have the documents to confront and impeach Ms. Agrusa about her
testimony.

Also on May 22, 2015, after the Court hearing discussed above, Mr. Solomon
emailed Mr. Wright, copying Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Ms. Edwards, and Ms. Dorny,
(and immediately thereafter forwarding this email to Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey
with a copy to Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel), with a memorandum regarding the
DWP’s customer shutoff practice. The attached memorandum stated, amongst other
things:

[B]oth the City Attorneys and outside counsel working on


these matters submit that a water and power shutoff hold
be issued. … The shutoff hold is suggested through the
June 15, 2015, at which time we can reassess the situation.
We anticipate by the June 15 date confidential
mediations that may resolve the overall class action
matters will have been held. Please note the planned
mediations must remain confidential and should not be
referenced to staff.

Emphasis added.

Later that evening, Mr. Solomon emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Mr. Tom, Ms.
Dorny, and Mr. Kiesel, regarding the shut off hold:
Paul, it was your good call to follow up on the matter.
Thank you. EHS
Ex COLA-SM_0005530

175
Ex COLA-SM_0005531
Ex COLA-SM_0005532

During May 2015, David Bowers (“Mr. Bowers”), the attorney for the Fontaine
plaintiffs, telephoned Mr. Landskroner to discuss class counsel in the related billing
cases working together. Mr. Landskroner informed Mr. Bowers that he was “still
not sure” what direction he wished to take.

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 8

Like Ms. Agrusa’s May 22, 2015, misrepresentations to the Court, Mr.
Landskroner’s phone calls with plaintiffs’ counsel in the other billing cases were
designed to hide the fact that he and the City had already agreed to a settlement
substantially dictated by the City and that they were about to enter mediation to
serve as window dressing or “optics” for their collusive settlement.

From mid-April to early June 2015: During this period, Mr. Libman appeared
incapable of fulfilling the function of local counsel, so Mr. Landskroner turned to
counsel for his opponent, the City.

On May 26, 2015, Mr. Landskroner made an entry in his Needles notes that Mr.
Kiesel’s paralegal “is behind the scenes help for us on this case,” that LGM was to
contact her about filing pro hac vice applications and “getting us on line on the
outside service company that everyone is using in the consolidated cases….” . Mr.
Landskroner also filed a Notice of Related Case and attended a status conference
during this time. (LGM Needles Notes, April 22, 2015-May 21, 2015; LGM
Needles Notes, May 26, 2015-June 12, 2015)

Ex 24 Confidential Exhibits to Special Master


Ex 25 Confidential Exhibits to Special Master

JUNE 2015: THE SHAM MEDIATION REACHES THE PRE-ORDAINED


CONCLUSION, WITH ONLY ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND RUNNING THE
GAUNTLET OF OBJECTIONS BY OTHER PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL
REMAINING TO BE DEALT WITH BY THE CITY

Sometime between May 19, 2015, and June 3, 2015, all-day mediation sessions
were scheduled for June 11 and 12, 2015, before Judge Tevrizian.

176
Mr. Feuer testified that he had not firsthand knowledge of the manner in which the
mediation was conducted. Mr. Clark handled the mediation. He was not aware of
Paul Paradis’ role in the mediation. He does not know each person’s role in the
mediation, other than Mr. Clark was in chare of overseeing the resolution of the
case. Feuer Dep 122-124.

On June 3, 2015, Judge Tevrizian’s assistant emailed Mr. Landskroner and Mr.
Legando to confirm “2 full day sessions on June 11 & 12, 2015, with Hon. Dickran
Tevrizian.” On June 4, 2015, Mr. Landskroner confirmed. On June 5, 2015, Ms.
Dorny, on behalf of “City of LA, acting by & through DWP” signed a JAMS Fee
Agreement & Cancellation Policy form.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 2882


Ex JAMS fee agreement

Just over ten weeks after filing Jones v. City, despite a lack of discovery or motions
by either Mr. Jones or the City, and without a responsive pleading by the City, the
City and counsel for Mr. Jones went to mediation before Judge Tevrizian.

Ex Landskroner Dec (8-17-15) ¶¶ 10–14

On June 7, 2015, Mr. Paradis sent an email to Mr. Townsend and Ms. Dorny,
copying Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro, in which he forwarded a revised version of Mr.
Townsend’s “Jones v. City of Los Angeles Class Action Members” Report. Mr.
Paradis stated to Mr. Townsend and Ms. Dorny that:

We have gone through the Report and edited it down to 44


pages. … Mark can explain each of … [the subclasses] at
the Mediation and Judge Tevrizian can take his own notes.
Knowing him as well as I do, I am afraid Judge T. will lose
patience with us if we try to get into micro level of detail
on each of these.

Ex COLA-SM_0005563

That same day, Mr. Kiesel replied: “Thank you Paul. Look forward to reviewing.”

Ex COLA-SM_0005608

177
Attached to Mr. Paradis’s email was the report revised by Mr. Paradis.47 The report
notes that the proposed settlement of the proposed class and sub-class was only in
connection with the mediation of the Jones Action and was based on the
investigation conducted by Counsel for the City and DWP in the Jones Action
and Special Counsel to the matter City v. PwC.

Ex COLA-SM_0005564

On June 8, 2005, at 5:26 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed to Mr. Kiesel the final draft of
the mediation brief for review by Mr. Peters, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Kiesel noting: “as
you discussed with” Mr. Paradis. At 8:05 p.m., Mr. Kiesel forwarded to Mr. Clark
and Mr. Peters the mediation brief, copying Mr. Paradis. Mr. Kiesel noted that the
“separate report which contains the damage analysis [Mr. Townsend’s subclass
report] will be given to Judge T only. Plaintiff will not have a copy of this report.”

Ex COLA-SM_0005638
Ex PL - DWP - Jones - Mediation Brief (FINAL DRAFT)

Despite this caveat, as discussed above, a draft copy of the report was provided to
Mr. Landskroner and contained in his files.

Further, the Special Master has no emails or other documents indicating that Ms.
Agrusa or Ms. Annaguey of the Liner Firm, the City’s outside counsel of record
in Jones v. City, were involved in the preparation of the City’s proposed settlement
report or the City’s mediation brief, even though the latter was printed on Liner
Firm pleading paper and ultimately signed by Ms. Agrusa for the City.

On June 8, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that he would be in Los
Angeles the following week “to work with a mediator” to “determine if a meaningful
resolution of the case can be achieved.” He asked Mr. Jones where he could reach
him if he needed to speak with him on the following Thursday or Friday. Mr. Jones
responded that Friday would work best, but he could make himself available
Thursday. Mr. Landskroner responded:

47
From this reply, it can be fairly concluded that Mr. Paradis’s reference to the “we” in “we have
gone through [Mr. Townsend’s] report” and edited it, did not include Mr. Kiesel.
Ex COLA-SM_0005608

178
I will only call if necessary so you don’t need to wait by
the phone. This is a confidential meeting and I just want
to be able to get a hold of you if anything comes up.

Ex PLTF000140-41

Mr. Landskroner did not inform Mr. Jones where the mediation would occur or
that Mr. Jones could personally attend the mediation. By repeating that the
mediation was “confidential,” Mr. Landskroner in fact led Mr. Jones to believe
that he was not allowed at the mediation.

One need not speculate how differently things would have turned out if Mr. Jones
had appeared at mediation and then learned that Mr. Paradis was not only
representing him but also the City.

On June 8, 2015, an LGM employee emailed Mr. Kiesel’s paralegal about the status
of Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Legando’s pro hac vice applications. Mr. Kiesel’s
paralegal responded that the pro hac vice applications were “NOT on calendar, but
we need to see if the Court will issue the Orders….”

Ex Class Counsel Report of June 22, 2020 at Ex. 25

Again, Mr. Kiesel’s firm is performing the function on behalf of a plaintiff suing
his client, the City, that should have been performed by Mr. Landskroner’s local
counsel, Mr. Libman.

On June 9, 2015, the City submitted its mediation brief. While that same day, Mr.
Clark reviewed and approved of the brief, noting “The brief is excellent. It can go
as far as I’m concerned,” the Special Master received no evidence that anyone
higher in the LACA than Mr. Clark approved the submission of the brief.

Ex COLA Confidential Mediation Brief 6-9-2015


Ex COLA-SM_0005673

The City’s mediation brief began by lambasting PwC, asserting that customers were
“overbilled due to PwC’s misconduct.” (Id. at 1) It argued that plaintiffs had failed
to exhaust administrative remedies, that the California Tort Claims Act barred most
of the plaintiffs’ causes of action, and that the class was not certifiable. (Id. at 8-14)
Despite its alleged defenses:

179
DWP recognizes that settlement provides an opportunity
to restore public confidence, to organize its already
ongoing remediation efforts, and to avoid additional
litigation costs. For these reasons, DWP has spent
hundreds of high level IT employee hours investigating
any potential inaccuracies in its billing and attempting to
identify potential subclasses for purposes of settlement.
DWP is confident that a full and fair settlement can be
achieved and therefore comes to this mediation prepared
to bargain in good faith. The proposed settlement
structure will provide a mechanism that will, in effect,
result in resolution of all potential billing issues caused by
PwC’s fraudulent defective configuration,
implementation, and testing of the CC&B System.

Id. at 14

The City’s mediation brief set out the following framework for settlement:

a. Full credits and refunds to any customer “found to be improperly billed”;


b. Members of the various subclasses to be identified based on objective
criteria agreed to by the parties;
c. A third-party consultant “with the requisite expertise” would verify
DWP’s internal protocols and methodologies for identifying members of
the various subclasses;
d. Notice and the ability to opt out would be provided to all class members
via inserts in customers’ bills;
e. Grievance procedures for class members who disputed DWP’s
determination, with a special master appointed by the Court to determine
the validity and amount of any disputed claim;
f. DWP “will bear all the notice costs and costs of administering the
settlement”;
g. DWP would pay “reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs” with an incentive
to the named plaintiffs; and
h. The settlement would be subject to DWP Board approval.
Id. at pp. 19-20

On June 9, 2019, Mr. Landskroner submitted a mediation brief on behalf of the class
plaintiffs. It tracked, in large part, the Jones Settlement Proposal and proposed a
settlement like that proposed by the City in its Mediation Brief:

180
(a) DWP to credit or refund 100% of overcharges to members of each
subclass;
(b) Membership in each subclass to be determined by mutually agreed upon
criteria;
(c) Retention of a settlement administrator who will supervise the giving of
notice and other matters;
(d) Notice to be given (i) via inserts in bills to DWP customers, (ii) via
publication of a summary notice, (iii) via establishment of a settlement
website and (iv) via a toll-free number;
(e) Grievance procedures for customers who dispute DWP’s determination,
including a special master to decide grievances;
(f) Establishment of a credible remediation plan;
(g) Audit of the CC&B billing system by an independent auditor;
(h) Entry of a stipulated judgment of settlement;
(i) Reimbursement of Mr. Jones;
(j) DWP to pay attorneys’ fees agreed to by the parties;
(k) DWP to pay the cost of notice and administration of the settlement;
(l) The parties would issue a joint statement describing the settlement; and
(m) The settlement to be subject to confirmatory discovery by plaintiff.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 657 at 23-39

Items (a), (b), (d), (e), (i), (j), and (k) of the settlement framework in Mr.
Landskroner’s mediation brief are virtually identical to the settlement framework
in the City’s mediation brief.

Two of the points (retaining a settlement administrator and confirmatory


discovery) are standard features in class action settlements while two of the
features were ones the City had already internally committed to (remediation and
an audit of the CC&B billing system).

The only other item in Mr. Landskroner’s settlement framework, issuance of a


joint statement describing the settlement, is not one that would necessitate two
days of mediation. This fact further supports the Court’s July 25, 2019 finding
that the mediation was a sham and a charade.

As Ms. Agrusa aptly described the mediation to Mr. Landskroner at the April 8
meeting, the mediation was for “the optics.”

181
Although Mr. Landskroner’s mediation brief discusses DWP’s failure to bill
customers (id. at p. 28), it does not include unbilled accounts in the subclasses for
settlement purposes. The City’s mediation brief, however, includes the following
two “potential” subclasses:
9. Customers Who Have Not Been Billed Since Go-Live
Subclass.
Due to various configuration and conversion issues with
the implementation of the CC&B System, some customers
have not received a bill at all.
10. Customers Whose Bills Have Been Delayed More
Than 120 Days Subclass.
Due to various configuration and conversion issues with
the implementation of the CC&B System, some customers
have not received a bill in the past four or more months.
Ex COLA Confidential Mediation Brief 6-9-2015 at 8
A ratepayer account that has not received a bill for two or more billing cycles is
referred to as an “unbilled account” or a “back-billed account.”

On June 10, 2015, in response to a request from JAMS, Ms. Dorny emailed Sara
Siemens (“Ms. Siemens”) of JAMS, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Brown the names of the
persons who would attend the June 11 and June 12 mediation sessions on behalf of
the City:
Thom Peters
James Clark
Richard Tom
Eskel Solomon
Deborah Dorny
Matt Lampe
Mark Townsend
Paul Paradis
Paul Kiesel
Angela Agrusa
Maribeth Annaguey

Ex COLA-SM_0000069_COLA

On June 11 and 12, 2015, the parties in the Jones matter participated in two
days of mediation before retired U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian.
182
Attending these sessions were LACA attorneys Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr.
Tom, and Mr. Peters, Ms. Annaguey, and Ms. Agrusa (who testified that she
only attended on June 11, 2015) as the City’s outside counsel; Special Counsel
to the City in the case of City v. PwC, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel (who testified
that he only attended on June 11, 2015); and Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Legando,
and Mr. Libman on behalf of Mr. Jones. Mr. Landskroner represented to Judge
Tevrizian that he had conducted a “substantial investigation” over the “last 18
months” including discussions with expert consultants.

Mr. Paradis actively participated in mediation, including “break-out sessions”


with Mr. Clark and Judge Tevrizian, as counsel for the City even though the case
of City v. PwC was not part of the mediation and counsel for PwC was not
included. Ms. Dorny, who attended most of the mediation sessions, testified that
not only was Mr. Paradis at the mediation sessions, but that he participated in the
discussions about the framework of the settlement in Jones v. City. After the first
session Ms. Agrusa, who was lead counsel and counsel of record for the City in
the Jones v. City case, did not bother returning for the other scheduled mediation
sessions. Ms. Agrusa testified that, despite the role of the Liner Firm as lead counsel
for the City in the ratepayer class actions, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Clark alone negotiated
on behalf of the City, and that having been pushed aside, she didn’t attend the second
mediation session. Mr. Jones attended none of these sessions.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 657 at 7


Agrusa Dep 181-185

As discussed above, contrary to his statements to Judge Tevrizian, Mr.


Landskroner did no investigation of the DWP billing problems or of Cleveland
Water’s CC&B billing system problems. He also never retained any expert
witness or consultant for purposes of his purported investigation. Mr. Landskroner
had a file labelled “Expert Marc Williams,” who is an Executive-in-Residence &
Master Lecturer in finance at Boston University, specializing in risk analysis in
energy, banking, and capital markets.

Based on Mr. Landskroner’s files, he had one phone call with Mr. Williams, who
sent a “Consulting Contract” dated February 26, 2015, which was the day after
Mr. Paradis reached out to him in regard to being involved in representing Mr.
Jones. Mr. Williams was to provide non-testifying risk-management consulting
services commencing on March 2, 2015. The Consulting Contract was never
signed. There is no evidence that Mr. Landskroner consulted with any other expert

183
concerning the case prior to his discussions with Mr. Bender to act as independent
monitor after the parties agreed to the terms of the settlement.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 370-373

During the June 11 and June 12 mediation sessions the parties discussed several
topics, including:

(a) the problems experienced following the installation of the CC&B billing
system in September 2013;
(b) The tiered billing subclass;
(c) Trend estimate subclass;
(d) The closed account with unrefunded balance subclass;
(e) The estimated bills/premise condition subclass;
(f) The solar subclass;
(g) The auto-bill-pay subclass;
(h) The late payment charge subclass;
(i) The minimum charge on top of usage subclass;
(j) A settlement payment plan;
(k) The issuance of refunds and credits;
(l) Unbilled sub-account classes (raised only in the City’s mediation brief);
(m) Key performance metrics;
(n) Backlogged field investigations; and
(o) Improving the dispute resolution process.

Ex LGM PDF 657 at 7-20

During “break-out sessions” with Judge Tevrizian, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Paradis alone
represented the City. Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey did not participate in any of
the break-out sessions, despite the fact that they, and not Mr. Paradis, were lead
outside counsel for the City in defending the class action billing cases.

Agrusa Dep 181-183, 185


Dorny Dep 201-202
Ex COLA-SM_0000069
Ex 5 Confidential Exhibits to Special Master
Agrusa Dep 181-185
Ex LGM PDF 657 at 23-39

184
On July 25, 2019, the Court found that the Jones “mediation” was a “charade”
and a “sham” and amounted to a “fraud on the Court.”

Ex 2019-7-25 Hearing Transcript 29-31

On day one of the mediation in Jones v. City, Mr. Landskroner was aware that Mr.
Paradis (and Ms. Tufaro) had a conflict of interest in appearing on behalf of the
City.

Mr. Landskroner, at minimum, knew full well that Mr. Paradis: (1) represented
Mr. Jones in connection with his dispute with DWP billing errors; (2) had brought
in Mr. Landskroner (and Mr. Libman) to also represent Mr. Jones in connection
with his dispute with DWP billing errors; (3) had drafted Mr. Jones’s
administrative claim in connection with his claimed DWP billing errors; (4) had
drafted the Jones v. City complaint, to sue the City in connection with his claimed
DWP billing errors; (5) had obtained pre-suit evidence used to draft both the
administrative claim and Jones v. City complaint; and (6) had drafted the
settlement letter to the City.

Most of the LACA lawyers knew Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were conflicted from
having anything to do with Jones v. City.

On day one of the mediation in Jones v. City, in attendance were Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Kiesel, together with Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, and Mr.
Clark, all of whom had been provided, by Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, with the
Antwon Jones v. PwC draft complaint. As previously noted, Mr. Peters, Mr.
Solomon, and Mr. Tom were provided the engagement letter with the conflict
waiver for Jones v. PwC, and Mr. Tom had personally deleted that conflict waiver.
Add to the mix, Mr. Landskroner was fully aware that Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro,
and Mr. Kiesel were attorneys simultaneously for Antwon Jones and the City.

The inexplicable aspect of this scenario is that any one of the participants could
have shut down this charade. None did.

On June 12, 2015, following the end of the second mediation session, Mr. Clark on
behalf of the City and Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman on behalf of the class
plaintiffs signed a “DRAFT” Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). The MOU
recited that “this MOU sets forth the material terms of the settlement of the claims
asserted in Kimhi v. The City of Los Angeles, Case No. BC536272; Bransford v. City
of Los Angeles, Case No. BC565618; Fontaine v. City of Los Angeles, Case No.
185
BC577267; and Jones v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. BC577267 litigation
(collectively, ‘Litigation’), subject to approval by the Board of Water and Power
Commissioners, the Los Angeles City Council and the Court” and that the terms of
the MOU would be incorporated into a formal settlement agreement.

Ex MOU061215

The first mediation session was held just seventy-two days after the Jones v. City
complaint was filed. The City had not filed any responsive pleading in the case,
no discovery had been done, and the issues had not been better defined.

Additionally, the City took affirmative steps to hide from both the Court and
plaintiffs’ counsel in the Other Class Actions that it was mediating with Mr.
Landskroner to settle all the cases, including the Kimhi solar case, without the
participation of counsel for plaintiffs in those cases, regardless of the fact that Mr.
Jones was not a solar customer and thus not someone who was representative of
that class of DWP customers.

These affirmative steps included, but were not limited to, Ms. Agrusa’s false
statements to the Court at the May 22, 2015, hearing that it was too early to
consider A.D.R. in Jones and the Related Actions, when in fact the City had just
identified two days in July for Judge Tevrizian to conduct a Jones-specific
mediation and later that same day ended up booking two days in June with Judge
Tevrizian.

The MOU included the following terms:

(a) Relief to be provided the tier billing subclass, the trend estimate billing
subclass, the closed account with unrefunded balances subclass, the estimated
bill/premise condition subclass, the Solar Power subclass, the automatic bill
payment subclass, the late payment charge subclass, and the minimum charge
or zero consumption on estimated electric bills subclass;
(b) Performance metrics that the “DWP would use its best efforts to implement
and manage”;
(c) Class certification;
(d) That DWP “will make full 100% credits or refunds to Class Members found
to be improperly overcharged”;
(e) The notice process;
(f) Validation of claims;

186
(g) Reporting to the Court on implementation of the settlement agreement and
remediation;
(h) The release to be given the City and DWP;
(i) That DWP will pay legal fees and expenses “in an amount agreed upon by
the parties”; and
(j) That DWP will pay a $5,000 incentive award to Mr. Jones.

The MOU further stated that the “parties have agreed to continue to meet and confer
regarding the resolution of additional claims including but not limited to claims that
may arise from unbilled customer accounts.”

Ex MOU061215

Mr. Landskroner would soon raise the unbilled accounts issue with Judge
Tevrizian.

From early 2014, the City had publicly announced its intent to refund 100% of any
amount overcharged its customers and had spent millions of dollars on remediation
of the CC&B billing system.

By March 17, 2015, Mr. Wright reported to the Board that the DWP equaled or
exceeded industry standards in meter reading, estimated billing, and timely billing;
that a random audit found billings appeared to be accurately calculated; that a third
party [KPMG] was being hired to perform an independent audit; and that DWP’s
goal was to remediate all known critical CC&B billing system defects by that fall.

Thus, by March 2015, DWP had either done, or was committed to doing,
everything required of it by Jones’s proposed settlement.

On June 12, 2015, at 7:44 p.m., Mr. Clark emailed Mr. Feuer to inform him that a
framework for resolving “all but one of the DWP Billing Class Actions” had been
reached. Mr. Clark stated that under the settlement, “DWP will either refund or
credit to its customers 100% of all funds that have been overbilled.” Mr. Wilcox,
the City Attorney’s Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, and
Alexander Ponder (“Mr. Ponder”), an Administrative Assistant in the LACA, were
copied on the email.

Ex COLA-SM_0005711

187
On June 12, 2014 48, Mr. Feuer responded to Mr. Clark’s June 12 email discussing
both the Class Actions and other matters with “thanks very much. i’ll call you over
the weekend.”

Ex COLA-SM_0005713

Later, on June 13, 2014, Mr. Feuer further responded again:


[I]f we’re settling for 100 cents on the dollar, I take it we
believe settlement rather than litigation is beneficial
because we have no defenses and absent settlement we’ll
only increase attorneys’ fees? In addition, if DWP made
mistakes the department should rectify the harm it caused
because it’s good public policy? Or is there something else
I should be thinking about?
Ex COLA-SM_0005715 (Redacted by SM to eliminate immaterial 3rd P data)

On June 14, 2015, Mr. Clark responded to Mr. Feuer’s second June 13 email. With
respect to the Class Action Billing Cases, Mr. Clark responded:

You have captured the essence of our reasoning regarding


settlement, although the thinking is somewhat more
detailed and complex than can be embodied in a few
sentences (including considerations involving customer
relations, the PWC case, press reactions, and, of course,
the putative rate increases). I think that these issues, plus
analysis as to how we want to address the role of our
Office in both the internal and external “story,” require
an actual conversation rather than a mere exchange of
emails. I talked to Paul Kesal [sic] tonight (at the LACBA
Litigation Section Executive Committee dinner),and will

48
On June 13, 2015, at 4:30:20 am, it appears that Mr. Feuer sent this same email. It is noted
that Mr. Clark replied from his GD blackberry account also on June 13, 2015. When Mr. Feuer
responded to Mr. Clark’s reply, on June 13, 2014, his response went to Mr. Clark’s GD account,
a fact which Mr. Feuer corrected shortly thereafter.
Ex COLA-SM_0005712
Ex COLA-SM_0005718 (Redacted by SM to eliminate immaterial 3rd P data)

188
convey his thoughts on these questions when we have a
chance to talk.

Mr. Feuer responded: “i’ll [sic] call you later this afternoon.”

Ex COLA-SM_0005725 (Redacted by SM to eliminate immaterial 3rd P data)

Mr. Clark was informing Mr. Feuer that he spoke with Mr. Kiesel about issues
concerning the settlement and would convey Mr. Kiesel’s thoughts, implying that
Mr. Kiesel was involved in the settlement of the Jones case. This evidences that
Mr. Feuer was being briefed on strategy in Jones v. City. The repeated notations
regarding calls also evidences that communications between Mr. Clark and Mr.
Feuer regarding significant LACA litigation matters were also done orally.

Mr. Feuer testified that he recalled Mr. Clark briefing him on attorney fees in the
Jones case, but he did not recall the contents of the discussions. Feuer Dep 148.

On June 12, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Solomon, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, and
Ms. Dorny that he had spoken to Mr. Funderburk about the status of the case. On
June 14, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Tom, copying Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel,
and Ms. Dorny, that Mr. Kiesel had updated Mr. Wright that afternoon. Mr. Paradis
also asked for a copy of the MOU so he could rough out a draft press release and
talking points. In response, Mr. Dorny sent him a copy of the executed MOU.

Ex COLA-SM_0005729

On June 15, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that the “essential terms of
settlement which will otherwise make all affected customers whole” had been
reached, that the terms are confidential, and that Mr. Jones shouldn’t discuss the case
or settlement with anyone. Mr. Jones responded, “that is wonderful news” and he
looked forward to hearing from Mr. Landskroner shortly. This was the first
communication Mr. Jones had from Mr. Landskroner since June 8, 2015.

Ex PLTF000139-40

On June 15, 2015, at 4:38 p.m., Mr. Ramallo emailed Mr. Lipa, Mr. Wright, Mr.
Solomon, and Ms. Dorny a draft statement about the settlement in Jones v. City and
requested Ms. Dorny to send it to Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel for review. At 5:20
p.m., Ms. Dorny forwarded the draft to Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel for review. At
6:34 p.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed his changes to Ms. Dorny and Mr. Paradis, which Ms.
Dorny forwarded three minutes later to Mr. Ramallo and Mr. Lipa, copying Mr.
189
Paradis, Mr. Solomon and Mr. Tom. Thereafter, at 7:38 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed
Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel that she would tell Mr. Lipa and Mr. Ramallo “we want
to go w the kiesel [sic] version.”

Ex Pansky Re_Draft Statement for Review - Class Action Customer Claims Agmt
in Principle

On June 16, 2015, at 5:21 a.m., Mr. Tom sent the current draft of the press
statement to Mr. Clark. At 7:10 a.m., Mr. Clark responded that “I am confused
about where we are” because his understanding was that the City was not planning
on releasing a public statement or only a bland one, because a statement would lead
to demands to provide significant details of the agreement. Mr. Clark further stated
that the Mayor’s Office and key Council members should be given a “heads up,”
which he would do in the morning. He copied Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Wilcox,
and Mr. Kiesel on the email. At 9:17 a.m., Mr. Tom responded to Mr. Clark that he
and Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis would call Mr. Clark to address his questions.

Ex Pansky Re_ Draft Statement for Review - Class Action Customer Claims Agmt
in Principle

On June 16, 2015, Ms. Agrusa emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Solomon, Ms.
Dorny, and Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Annaguey, about the hearing that day where
the Court was informed of the conditional settlement. Mr. Solomon responded that
Ms. Agrusa’s email should be sent to Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Lipa, Mr. Wright,
Ms. Edwards, Mr. Levine, Mr. Funderburk, Mr. Ramallo, and Mr. Wilcox. Mr.
Solomon “assume[d] Clark will tell Feuer.”

Ex Pansky RE_ Judge Berle

On June 16, 2015, Mr. Wilcox provided Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark with the proposed
statement by DWP regarding the status of the settlement of the Billing cases.

Ex COLA-SM_0005766
Ex COLA-SM_0005767

On June 16, 2015, Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Landskroner to ask if he was “lead
plaintiff.” Mr. Landskroner responded he was and that as part of the agreement he
had requested that Mr. Jones receive a $5,000 incentive reward.

Ex PLTF000138-39

190
On June 17, 2015, Mr. Landskroner sent a letter (Ex COLA-SM_0000071-73)
to Judge Tevrizian, specifically noting that DWP has requested that “we clarify
our position for the resolution of the ‘unbilled customer accounts’”:
DWP has inquired whether the Jones Complaint
encompasses claims that include this subclass. It does:
the Jones Complaint includes those customers whose
bills were withheld for months and who have since
received lump-sum billing, as well as those customers
that have yet to be billed by DWP. To wit, ¶ 30 of the
Complaint alleges, “First and foremost, defects in the
CC&B System have caused the DWP to delay the
issuance of its customers’ bills for electricity, water,
sewage and sanitation services for multiple billing
cycles.” This is the essential factual predicate for the
claims of the unbilled customer accounts subclass.
Indeed, Plaintiff Jones himself experienced a time
period during which he did not receive a bill, only to
receive a massive bill later on ¶ 57). And we alleged
that this experience was representative of a subclass
(see, e.g., p. 22, lines 26-28, detailing a customer
complaining she did not receive a bill for 9 months).
And the Complaint sets forth, under multiple causes of
action, that DWP concealed from its customers that it
had not billed them for all of the usage during the
billing period ¶ 68(G), 82(G)); that DWP breached its
contractual duty to customers by failing to accurately
obtain usage information for each billing period for
Plaintiff Jones and the class ¶ 98); and that LADWP
further breached the covenant of good faith and fair
dealing by failing to undertake a comprehensive
program to rectify its breaches, even after learning that
thousands of its customers had not been timely billed
(see ¶ 105).
DWP knew its systems were not billing for services it
was providing to this subclass of accounts, and still it
chose not to bill for these services for over 22 months,
constituting a waiver. To the extent this waiver position
is not explicit in the Jones Complaint, we will make it
clear in the forthcoming Amended Complaint.

191
According to the letter, failing to provide relief would
“undermine the parties’ goal of achieving complete
resolution of all billing issues related to the CC&B
System. …” The letter suggested that “DWP must make
accommodation for reasonable repayment terms and
modification of billing so that members of the subclass are
not exposed to financial shock or hardship as a result of a
large lump-sum bill.” The letter further proposed that
DWP should only be allowed to back bill for no more than
six months and that such bills would be amortized over a
period of one year. Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Landskroner and Mr.
Legando were copied on the letter. Id.
This letter was copied to Ms. Agrusa and no other counsel for the City. Mr.
Libman is not copied on this letter either. When Mr. Landskroner’s paralegal
emailed the letter to Judge Tevrizian, the only counsel who are copied are Ms.
Agrusa, Mr. Landskroner, and Mr. Legando. Shortly thereafter, Judge Tevrizian
caused the letter from Mr. Landskroner to be emailed to Mr. Paradis, Mr. Brown,
and Ms. Dorny, with copies to Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Legando.

Ex COLA-SM_0000071-73
Ex COLA-SM_0000074
Ex COLA-SM_0000075

The Special Master is not persuaded by the arguments in this letter that the
Jones complaint captured the post-Go Live unbilled/back-billed ratepayer
accounts, but it really makes no difference because the City went along.
The Special Master believes the evidence supports a finding that the substance
of the letter was dictated by the City’s Special Counsel, Mr. Paradis.

As discussed above, a subclass for unbilled customer accounts was addressed


by the City in its mediation brief, but not by Mr. Landskroner in his mediation
brief. Second, Mr. Landskroner notes that this letter was written because
“DWP requested that we clarify our position” concerning unbilled accounts.
Third, Ms. Annaguey stated in her August 1, 2015, (blackmail) email “Re:
Attorney Client Privileged Communication – Follow up re mediation,” that
back-billing “was an issue the Department identified to Mr. Landskroner and
offered a solution.”

192
The entire “dispute” over back billing was another charade to give the
appearance that the parties had real, substantive disputes when, in fact, there
were none. The back-billing issue also gave the parties a mechanism for
increasing Mr. Landskroner’s and Mr. Libman’s fees to a previously agreed
level, as will be discussed.

On June 17, 2015, Ms. Annaguey forwarded to Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis an
email she had sent to Mr. Libman and Mr. Legando, which noted:
We are preparing the Notice of Conditional Settlement,
which we anticipate filing in the next couple of days. As
Angela [Agrusa] represented to the Court, the Notice
will seek to vacate all upcoming hearing and deadlines
in the related cases.
Ex Pansky RE: Jones v. DWP: Notice of Conditional Settlement

On June 17, 2015, the Energy and Environment Committee of the Los Angeles City
Council held a hearing on whether to recommend the Engagement and Contingency
Fee Agreement for approval to the City Council. At 4:22 p.m., Mr. Tom, who
attended the hearing, emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Thom, copying Mr. Paradis and
Mr. Kiesel, that it:

[W]ent well. The inquiries were limited to the PwC


litigation. After discussion, the committee voted to
advance the contracts to the full council for approval.

Mr. Clark replied “Great.”

Ex Pansky Re_ Energy and Environment Committee

On June 18, 2015, at 10:01 a.m., Mr. Blood emailed Ms. Agrusa asking for a copy
of the MOU. At 10:15 a.m., Ms. Agrusa emailed Ms. Annaguey to ask Mr. Legando
if he, Mr. Libman, or Mr. Landskroner spoke to Mr. Blood, since “I do not know
how Tim would know there is an MOU. I did not tell him of one.” Mr. Solomon,
Ms. Dorny and Mr. Tom were copied on the email. At 10:37 a.m., Ms. Dorny
forwarded the emails from Ms. Agrusa to Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, Ms.
Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Peters, stating
that Mr. Blood had asked for the MOU, Ms. Annaguey was contacting Mr. Jones’s
counsel to see if they had discussions with Mr. Blood, and that “it may be that Blood
is fishing.”
193
Ex Pansky Fwd_ DWP

On June 18, 2015, at 10:40 a.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, Mr.
Brown, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Peters that he
was “CERTAIN that Mr. Libman DID Not,” that Mr. Landskroner was out of the
country and did not talk with Mr. Blood and that “I would provide him with nothing
at this point.” He advised he would call Mr. Legando to “double check that there
was NO communication with Blood.” At 10:41 a.m., Ms. Annaguey advised that
she spoke with Mr. Legando, who was going to call Mr. Landskroner and get back
to her. At 11:35 a.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Keisel, copying Ms. Annaguey, Ms.
Dorny, Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, and
Ms. Tufaro:
There is confidential DWP information that is business
related, protected by the mediation privilege and non-
public in the MOU. I anticipate that Judge Tevrizian
would have a very strong negative reaction to any of that
information being disclosed to Blood or anyone else
outside the mediation. In addition, much of this
information could have an impact on the damages in the
PWC litigation. Finally, if this information were provided
to Blood and none of the other plaintiffs’ counsel in the
other class actions, the City would be subjected to
criticism for showing favoritism.
Accordingly, it is my strong view that the information
contained in the MOU cannot be provided to Blood until
it is incorporated into a signed stipulation of settlement
and the motion for preliminary approval is filed.
Ex Pansky Fwd_ DWP
At 12:16 p.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Clark:
“I am limiting this email to the core group. In my view
Paul Paradis is absolutely correct that the MOU goes
nowhere at this point, and Landskroner should be told
very directly by someone on this email that if he provides
it to anyone who is not under the umbrella of Tevrizian’s
mediation privilege he risk us moving for DQ. If he has
already provided it to Blood or anyone else he needs to
tell us.”
Emphasis added.
194
Ex Pansky Fwd_ DWP

No one appears to have considered the obvious: Mr. Blood assumed that there
would be a memorandum of understanding following the successful mediation of
a complex class action. The reaction of the City Attorney, its Special Counsel,
and its Outside Counsel to find the possible “leak,” which bordered on the
hysterical, should be compared to their total indifference to the obviously leaked,
non-public DWP information contained in the Jones Settlement Proposal. This
comparison underlines the fact that the City’s attorneys knew that Mr. Paradis
drafted the Jones Settlement Proposal and that the Jones v. City lawsuit was
planned by the City as a collusive vehicle to settle the Other Class Actions on
terms dictated solely by the City.

On June 19, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel that their contract
with the City was on the City Council agenda for approval on June 24, 2015. He
asked them to be in attendance “if you are able to do so.”

Ex Pansky RE_ City Council Meeting

On June 22, 2015, Judge Tevrizian emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Landskroner, and Mr. Legando that he was
concerned that other counsel not involved in the mediation were requesting a
copy of the Confidential Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) and that
such information was confidential and subject to the Mediation Privilege and
that if he discovered that anyone was violating this, whether orally or in writing,
he would notify the Court of such misconduct so that appropriate sanctions could
be imposed. Mr. Libman was not on this email.

Ex COLA-SM_000079

Each of the addressees responded that they understood.

Ex COLA-SM_000081
Ex COLA-SM_000083
Ex COLA-SM_000085
Ex COLA-SM_000087
Ex COLA-SM_000089
Ex COLA-SM_000091

195
Since Mr. Blood had not contacted Judge Tevrizian as of June 22, 2015, Mr.
Paradis is the most likely source for Judge Tevrizian knowing about Mr. Blood’s
request. As noted previously, Mr. Paradis independently communicated with
Judge Tevrizian to obtain the mediation dates and, as noted below, in August,
when Mr. Clark was planning to speak with Judge Tevrizian, Mr. Paradis gave
him the Judge’s cell phone number.

On June 23, 2015, in response the Judge Tevrizian’s request for a list of
attendees at the June 24, 2015, mediation in Jones v. City, Mr. Dorny responded
that the following individuals would be present on behalf of the City: Mr. Brown,
Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Keisel, Mr. Peters, Mr. Clark, Ms.
Agrusa, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Townsend.

Ex COLA-SM_0000095

Again, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were included, on behalf of the City, in the
Jones mediation, despite the knowledge of everyone on the list (except perhaps
Ms. Agrusa) of their representation of Mr. Jones and the fact that neither of them
had been retained to represent the City in Jones v. City.

On June 23, 2015, Mr. Landskroner responded that attendees on behalf of Mr.
Jones would be himself and Paul Grieco (“Mr. Grieco”), who was a principal of
LGM. Mr. Libman was not included as appearing on behalf of Mr. Jones at the
mediation. Three and a half hours later, Mr. Landskroner followed up to indicate
that Mr. Libman would also be attending.

Ex COLA-SM_0000098-100

On June 24, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council voted to adopt the recommendation
of the Energy and Environment Committee and approved the Engagement and
Contingency Fee Agreement between the City and Kiesel Law and PLG.

Ex Official Action of the Los Angeles City Council

A significant advantage of the Jones v. City mediation exercise for the


participants in the collusive Jones v. City lawsuit was the blanket of secrecy it
threw over the entire settlement process. This secrecy inhibited the other class
counsel from understanding the details of the collusive settlement as it
evolved, even as they were being shut out from the settlement process affecting
their own cases. Mr. Blood complained. . . . . .

196
On June 25, 2015, Mr. Blood spoke on the phone with Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark
about the settlement.49 That same day, Mr. Clark emailed Ms. Annaguey, copying
Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa,
and Mr. Solomon about the call with Mr. Blood. Mr. Clark related that Mr. Blood
complained that the City negotiated a settlement without his participation and had
stonewalled his efforts to learn about the settlement. According to Mr. Clark, he
informed Mr. Blood about Judge Tevrizian’s admonishment not to disclose the terms
of any proposed settlement, which were confidential, and read him Judge Tevrizian’s
“order” about not disclosing the settlement. Mr. Clark further related that Mr. Blood
said he wanted to call Judge Tevrizian and he wanted Mr. Clark to be on the call.
Mr. Clark ended his email:
It seems to me that we should agree to a mutual call, and
decide both who from our team should be on the call, and
what our position should be. Also important (as the other
City Attorney lawyers and I learned this afternoon), is the
DWP’s desire to be able to say (as soon as the fact of the
settlement becomes public) that DWP intends to make all
overcharged customers whole, and that it will review (or
has reviewed) ALL of its customers’ records to make sure
that any customer subjected to an overcharge will receive
“100 cents on the dollar” in relief.
The fuse on this issue is short, and we should decide how
we want to handle the Blood situation during our call
tomorrow morning.
Ex COLA-SM_0005781

49
When interviewed by members of the Special Master’s team, Mr. Blood stated that he has known
Mr. Feuer since the latter was a state legislator. When he phoned Mr. Feuer, he expected that Mr.
Feuer would hear him out and then state that he would have his staff look into Mr. Blood’s
concerns. Mr. Blood said that this is not what happened. Instead, he informed the Special Master’s
team that Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark seemed very upset, yelled at Mr. Blood, and acted irrationally
during the phone call.
Ex BHO interview on November 5_ 2019

197
Mr. Feuer testified that he doesn’t recall if he was aware of the terms of the Jones
litigation when Mr. Blood called. Feuer Dep 144-146

On June 26, 2015, at 7:39 p.m., Mr. Feuer emailed Mr. Clark and asked him to “let
me know how the call with Blood and Tevrizian goes.”
Ex COLA-SM_0005802

On June 26, 2015, Mr. Blood sent a letter to Mr. Feuer, copying Mr. Clark,
regarding his concerns about actions being taken by counsel for the City,
confirming their prior phone call, setting forth:
First, you confirmed that the City and the DWP have
engaged in secret settlement discussions to resolve the
pending litigation against the City and the DWP arising
from the DWP’s admitted overbilling of its customers -
conduct that is ongoing. The negotiations were not just
kept from the public, which under many circumstances
(although probably not here) are understandable, but
purposely excluded the lawyers from the cases that were
filed months earlier and who have been actively litigating
the case on behalf of DWP customers. In fact, to the
exclusion of all others, the City chose to negotiate with the
lawyers who copied the work of the other lawyers, have
the least amount of relevant experience in class action
litigation, have done the least amount of work in this case
and filed their copy-cat complaint a full five months after
the first lawsuit was filed and apparently without
complying with the Tort Claims Act.
The letter further stated that Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark refused to reveal the procedure
used to choose the attorney with whom the City negotiated or why it excluded the
other attorneys from settlement discussions and that they refused to discuss the terms
of the settlement.
The letter stated that when Mr. Blood asked them to disclose the terms of the
settlement, Mr. Feuer and Mr. Clark refused because “the mediator ordered you not
to tell the other lawyers” and due to “mediation privilege.” (Emphasis in original.)

198
Mr. Blood pointed out that a private mediator has no authority to issue orders 50, that
it is up to the parties to agree whether to keep terms of a settlement secret, that doing
so is “a telltale of a reverse auction” and that the mediation privilege “does not
prevent a party from telling the lawyers representing the same parties in the case the
terms of the settlement.” He expressed shock at how the City and DWP were
handling “this purported settlement, both because it is a class action involving public
entities and the DWP’s shameful history of cover-up and deception.”

Ex 15-06-26 - Blood letter to Feuer

Mr. Blood’s letter put Mr. Feuer on notice of the problematic nature of the
settlement. Mr. Blood’s instincts were good given his limited information.
Understandably he gave too much substance to the Jones v. City case in
describing it as a reverse auction. Jones v. City was not a reverse auction; it
was a collusive suit masquerading as a reverse auction.

Mr. Feuer testified he doesn’t recall being asked by Mr. Blood about the procedure
used to negotiate with “the weakest case and the least experienced lawyer.” After
receiving Mr. Blood’s letter, he asked Mr. Clark to evaluate the contentions and
“take appropriate action.” He doesn’t know if Mr. Clark made a determination of
whether the Jones v. City complaint contained cut and paste from other complaints
against the City. Mr. Clark didn’t tell him that copies of prior complaints were
sent to Paul Paradis prior to Jones v. City being filed. He doesn’t recall if he was
aware of the terms of the litigation when Mr. Blood called. Feuer Dep 144-146

On June 26, 2015, Ms. Agrusa’s responded to Mr. Clark’s email, indicating that her
preference was to be direct with the other lawyers involved in the billing class cases
of the fact of the settlement and state as much in the joint report. Mr. Clark replied:

The DWP desires re disclosure are a bit complex. They


want to be free to say two things I mentioned in my earlier
email, but not have to reveal other details, such as the
exact nature of the billing problems, a specific description

50
Based upon Mr. Clark’s June 29, 2015, email discussed below, in which he notes that “Judge
Tevrizian really doesn’t have that power” it is clear that Mr. Clark knew his representations to Mr.
Blood were misleading.

199
of the sub-classes, and (most importantly) how many
customers were overbilled, and the total amount of that
overbilling.

Ex COLA-SM_0005790

On June 26, 2015, at 11:31 a.m., Ms. Annaguey circulated a draft Notice of
Conditional Settlement for review and comment. Mr. Paradis responded at 12:27
p.m., to Ms. Annaguey that he had no edits, copying Mr. Clark, Mr. Kiesel, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas, and Ms.
Tufaro. In his email Mr. Paradis discussed a recent phone call with Judge Tevrizian:

I just spoke with Judge Tevrizian as Jim requested. In


addition to the information that Judge Tevrizian
authorized us to disclose yesterday, he has now authorized
the additional disclosures requested by the Department,
namely that the settlement provides that : (i) all customer
accounts will be reviewed for accuracy in billing from
September 2013 through approval of the settlement by the
Court and (ii) any customer found to have been over
charged as a result of a billing error caused by the CC&B
billing system will be refunded 100% of the amount they
were overcharged.

In addition, he is expecting a joint call from


Angela/Maribeth and Tim Blood at his office at JAMS. He
is going to make clear to Blood that the mediation
privilege applies and that Blood was not involved in the
mediation and is not going to be allowed access to any
information concerning the settlement until such time as
the Motion for Preliminary Approval is filed with the
Court. Once that motion has been filed, he will only be
allowed access to publicly filed information just as all the
other plaintiffs’ counsel are entitled to.

Ex COLA-SM_0005798

Mr. Clark responded to Mr. Paradis “Great job.”

Ex COLA-SM_0000481
Ex COLA-SM_0000480-82
200
On June 26, 2015, the City filed a Notice of Conditional Settlement Pursuant to
C.R.C. 3.1385(c), stating that the parties in the Jones action had reached a
conditional settlement that settled all claims in Jones, Kimhi, Bransford, and
Fontaine. The Notice further stated that a Motion for Preliminary Approval would
be filed by August 17, 2015, and a hearing on the Motion for Preliminary Approval
would be held September 11, 2015. The Notice requested the Court to vacate all
hearings and other proceedings in the Kimhi, Bransford, and Fontaine cases and
continue the hearing scheduled for July 8, 2015, in Morski for thirty days.

Ex Notice-of-Conditional-Settlement

On June 29, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis about the conference
call she and Ms. Agrusa had that morning with Mr. Blood, his partner Leslie Hurst
(“Ms. Hurst”), Ms. Wade and Judge Tevrizian. Ms. Agrusa was copied on the email.
Ms. Annaguey related that:
Tim Blood started off by telling the Judge that he had filed
the first of these cases, followed by Faruki and
Landskroner filed a “copycat” complaint 5 months later.
Tim said that he had had 1 settlement meeting with the
City, then didn’t hear anything further from us and
recently found out that the City had mediated with
Landskroner. Tim complained that we won’t disclose
anything about the settlement and he’s concerned because
this has all of the markings of a reverse auction.
Judge Tevrizian cut him off and said that he has ordered
all of us to strict confidentiality. He explained that this is
a very fragile settlement because of the extensive approval
process that must take place. He also told Tim that the City
was initially reluctant to commit to a settlement for fear of
leaks. Judge Tevrizian said that he was only able to get a
deal because he promised that there would be strict
confidentiality and as a result he instructed all of us that
we are not to reveal the contents of the deal until it is
presented in a motion for preliminary approval. Judge
Tevrizian also told Tim that this is not a reverse auction,
it is a “handsome” settlement for the consumers. But, the
DWP is getting hammered in the press and some of it is

201
based on bad information. So, we need complete
confidentiality in the interim to make sure this gets across
the finish line.
Tim asked why we would use a Cleveland lawyer. Judge
Tevrizian explained that he understands that Landskroner
has extensive experience dealing with matters involving
utilities and billing software.
Tim said the City has made a difficult situation even more
difficult because we cut out the lawyers who are actually
litigating the case. He said he doesn’t want to make things
more difficult particularly if it is a good settlement for the
class but he’ll do what he has to do. He started to tell
Judge Tevrizian about their difficulties dealing with the
City but Judge Tevrizian cut him off and said he’s not
going to comment further.
Tim got Judge Tevrizian’s message loud and clear. I
expect Tim is now evaluating his next move.
Ex COLA-SM_0005815
Mr. Clark responded “Nice job. I see no reason for a call.”
Ex COLA-SM_0005817-18

On June 29, 2015, counsel for plaintiffs in Bransford v. City and Fontaine v. City
filed Correction of Notice of Conditional Settlement and Opposition to Motion to
Vacate All Proceedings in Bransford and Fontaine Actions (the “Correction”). The
Correction stated that the City had “apparently entered into secret settlement
negotiations with counsel in Jones, would not disclose how Jones’s counsel was
selected, why the lawyers representing the other plaintiffs, who had actually been
litigating their cases, were excluded from negotiations, and that the “settlement has
all the hallmarks of a settlement reached by an improper reverse auction.”
The Correction further noted that the Notice falsely implied that all plaintiffs were
involved in and reached the settlement and that in the June 29 conference call with
the mediator, the mediator informed them that he was not allowed to disclose the
settlement terms, even though the settlement purportedly binds all plaintiffs.

The Correction pointed out that Jones was the last case filed, copied the allegations
in the complaints filed in the other actions, and was “facially defective because Jones

202
never bothered to file a claim pursuant to the Government Tort Claims Act, a pre-
suit requirement.”

The Correction discussed the fact that on May 22, 2015, the City’s counsel informed
the Court that it was premature to consider mediation and that the City intended to
file demurrers and motions to strike in all four cases.

Finally, the Correction requested that the July 8, 2015, status conference and other
proceedings not be vacated. The Correction was signed by Mr. Blood for the
Bransford plaintiffs and Mr. Bower for the Fontaine plaintiffs.

Ex 15-06-29-Blood-Opp. To Motion to Vacate Bransford Proceedings

Unbeknownst to the Court, Judge Tevrizian, and counsel for plaintiffs in the Other
Class Actions, the settlement was not simply the result of a reverse auction.
Instead, the Jones complaint was prepared by the City’s Special Counsel, who was
also counsel for Mr. Jones, at the direction of the LACA, and Mr. Landskroner
was selected by the City’s Special Counsel to act as counsel of record for Mr.
Jones, which was done for the specific purpose of having a settlement on terms
that were dictated by the City without any prior discovery, and that the mediation
was a sham.

On June 29, 2019, Bransford, Fontaine, and Morski Plaintiffs’ Joint Report was
filed with the Court. The Joint Report stated that the City had never responded to
repeated requests by the Bransford and Fontaine plaintiffs to meet and confer, as
ordered by the Court at the May 22 hearing. The Joint Report discussed selection of
a mediator, discovery, class certification and leadership structure, proposing that Mr.
Blood be appointed as interim lead counsel in the Bransford, Fontaine, and Jones
cases and Mr. Himmelfarb be appointed as interim lead counsel in the Morski case.

Ex 15-06-29 Bransford - Plaintiffs - Bransford Fontaine and Morski Plaintiffs_ Joint


Report

The filing of the Correction triggered a series of emails among the City’s attorneys.
On June 29, 2015, at 2:51 p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis, copying
Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas and Ms. Hallock, transmitting the Correction. Ms.
Annaguey suggested they “discuss and alert the necessary PR and business people
asap as Tim has likely got Steve Lopez [of the LA Times] on this as well.” At 3:10
p.m., Mr. Solomon responded to Ms. Annaguey and the persons to whom she sent

203
her email, adding Mr. Ramallo and Mr. Wilcox. Mr. Solomon proposed that the
prepared statement should be issued. At 3:15 p.m., Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Solomon,
Ms. Dorny, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Paradis, asking that Mr. Paradis “refine the
language of what will be released.” At 3:29 p.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Ms.
Figueroa, one of Mr. Ramallo’s assistants, advising her that the statement had not
yet been approved for release and that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel may suggest edits.
Mr. Brown, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Ramallo, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, and Mr. Brown were copied on the email. At 3:38 p.m., Ms. Annaguey
emailed Mr. Solomon and the persons on his 3:10 p.m. email, observing that once
the statement has been approved, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman should be
advised that DWP is issuing a “mediator-approved statement.” At 4:42 p.m., Mr.
Paradis emailed Ms. Dorny his proposed edits to the statement. At 4:48 p.m., Mr.
Tom emailed Mr. Paradis, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Clark, Mr.
Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Tufaro, and Ms. Edwards, copying Ms. Agrusa,
Mr. Farkas, Ms. Hallock, Mr. Ramallo and Mr. Wilcox to include Ms. Edwards on
later drafts. At 5:03 p.m., Ms. Edwards emailed Mr. Tom, copying those persons
on his 4:48 p.m. email “All, this needs to be ready to go today please.” At 5:43
p.m., Mr. Clark emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Dorny, Ms. Annaguey, Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Farkas,
Ms. Hallock, Mr. Wilcox, and Mr. Ramallo. Mr. Clark stated that he did not like
saying that they are prohibited from disclosing details:
Since Tevrizian really doesn’t have that power. I’d suggest
that we say something like: “The parties have been
advised by Judge Tevrizian that, under the rules governing
confidential mediations in California, they are not
permitted to disclose additional specifics of the proposed
settlement until the Motion for Preliminary Approval has
been filed with the Court.”
With those suggestions, I am otherwise fine with the text,
and agree that we should get it out.
At 7:06 p.m., Ms. Dorny responded to Ms. Annaguey and the persons listed in her
3:38 p.m. email, transmitting the revised press release “with the additional
information approved by the mediator.” At 7:51 p.m., Mr. Solomon emailed the
people on Mr. Tom’s 4:48 p.m. email (excluding Ms. Tufaro and Ms. Edwards)
asking Mr. Clark whether the media statement should be issued now and that “I
believe the DWP finalized media statement should be issued now before the
inevitable inquiries.” At 8:55 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Paradis
that she was making the edits and would get the statement to Mr. Ramallo “now.”
Ms. Dorny copied the other persons to whom Mr. Clark sent his 5:43 p.m. email.
204
Ex Pansky RE_ Bransford - Correction of Notice of Conditional Settlement
Ex Pansky RE_ Bransford - Correction of Notice of Conditional Settlement
REVISED DRAFT PRESS RELEASE
Ex Pansky Re_ Bransford - Correction of Notice of Conditional Settlement
REVISED DRAFT PRESS RELEASE 2
Ex Pansky Re_ Bransford - Correction of Notice of Conditional Settlement
REVISED DRAFT PRESS RELEASE Edwards
Ex Paradis edits to press release

On June 30, 2015, Mr. Ramallo emailed Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, and
Brooks Baker (“Ms. Baker”) of DWP “talking points” from a meeting held earlier
that day. Mr. Wright and Mr. Lipa were copied on the email. The attached
“Customer Billing System Talking Points” contained the following information:
• DWP is in the final stretch of fixing the remaining
problems with its new billing system. 98.7% of all bills
are being processed by the computer billing system and
being mailed on time, exceeding industry standards.
Less than ½ of 1% of bills require any adjustment by
specialized billing team members prior to mailing to its
customers.
• The main focus right now is on collecting what is
rightfully owed by customers for the water, electric and
City services they used. This is because DWP turned
off collections for a period of time following the billing
system implementation and many customers fell behind
in paying their utility bill.
With respect to steps being taken to resolve the problems, the talking points related
that bills delayed more than four months “are being handled by a specialized team
to ensure they are properly handled and to prevent any inaccurate bill from being
sent to any customer” and that customers whose bills were significantly delayed
would get letters informing them that their bills were delayed and were undergoing
manual review. The talking points also stated that call hold times have dropped from
an average of more than 30 minutes to five minutes, that estimated bills had dropped
from 20% of all bills to under 5% and were now “at industry standard levels” and
that an internal audit “validated the accuracy of the billing formula used by the”
CC&B billing system.
The Talking Points included a press statement, approved by the City Attorney on
June 1, 2015, which incorporated information from the Talking Points about call
wait times and the hiring of new customer service representatives, but not how well
205
the billing system is performing, and referenced the City’s lawsuit against PwC and
the Class Action lawsuits as the reason additional information cannot be provided.

Ex Pansky Current Customer Billing System TPs June 30, 2015


Ex Pansky Customer Billing System Talking Points 6302015 (002)

The Talking Points further reflect that prior to the first mediation session, the
billing problems that were the subject of the Billing Class Actions were to a large
extent resolved. This raises the question of why it was necessary for DWP to hire
PLG for over $6 million and thereafter, Mr. Paradis’s company, Aventador, for
$30 million, to act as project manager to effectuate and oversee the remediation
included, with Mr. Paradis’s involvement, in the Settlement Agreement.

Just prior to the end of June 2015, Paul Bender (“Mr. Bender”) of Paul Bender
Consulting (“Bender Consulting”) was telephoned by “counsel for Plaintiff Jones”
to serve as the independent monitor “to oversee the activities and actions that the
DWP proposed to undertake” under the terms of the settlement of Jones v. City. On
June 29, 2015, Mr. Bender participated in a conference call with Mr. Landskroner,
Mr. Paradis, Osman Ahmad (“Mr. Ahmad”), Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Wright concerning
his being engaged to serve as independent monitor. Notes of the meeting state “600
defects remediated 80-85% resolved.”

Ex DOCID000910

See Appendix I for more information on the hiring of Paul Bender.

The hiring of Mr. Bender was joint effort by the DWP, Mr. Wright, Mr. Paradis,
and Mr. Landskroner.

JULY 2015: THE CITY AND MR. LANDSKRONER SUCCESSFULLY USE


EVERY MEANS POSSIBLE TO CONVINCE THE COURT TO APPROVE
THE SETTLEMENT, THEN PIVOT TO MEDIATING ATTORNEYS’
FEES TO REWARD MR. LANDSKRONER AND MR. LIBMAN FOR
ASSISTING IN THE CITY’S PLAN

On July 8, 2015, a hearing was held in Bransford v. City. At the hearing, the Court
ordered that the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Bransford, Morski, Kimhi, and
Fontaine cases be provided with a copy of the settlement agreement by August 10,
2015, and scheduled a hearing on preliminary approval of the class action settlement
for September 11, 2015.

206
Ex REPORTER'S TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS JULY 8, 2015

On July 9, 2015, Mr. Farkas emailed a draft answer to the second amended
complaint in Morski to Mr. Solomon and Mr. Dorny, copying Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Brown. At Mr. Solomon’s suggestion, Mr. Farkas
forwarded the draft answer to Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis for their review and
comment.

Ex Pansky FW_ Morski_DWP_ Draft Answer to SAC and Petition for Writ of
Mandate

On July 13, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Wright, Mr. Townsend,
Mr. Kiesel, and Mrs. Tufaro that he had contacted Judge Tevrizian for additional
mediation sessions to address unbilled accounts and attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Mr. Paradis discussed his efforts to get mediation dates:
Judge T’s scheduling coordinator informed me that he is
booked through the end of August. Accordingly, I called
him directly and respectfully requested that he make time
available for us before the end of the month so that we can
finalize the settlement stipulation and Preliminary
Approval papers. After some back and forth, he agreed to
re-schedule two other matters and we are now confirmed
to mediate the “unbilled” issues on July 24th and the
attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement issues on July
31st with the Judge. These were the only days that I could
get from the Judge, so I apologize in advance if they are
not convenient, but I was not given a choice on the dates.
Because of the operational issues and management
decisions that we will need to address on July 24th, I am
requesting that Dave Wright and Mark Townsend plan to
attend full day on the 24th. In addition, I am requesting
that Dave Wright also attend full day on July 31st.
Ex Pansky Jones Litigation - Update re Additional Mediation Days
On July 20, 2015, Mr. Landskroner wrote to Judge Tevrizian that he had not
received a response from the City to his June 17 letter as it related to unbilled
accounts. Mr. Landskroner further stated that he hoped to receive from the City a
draft settlement agreement prior to the July 24 mediation session, together with

207
updated information on the number of accounts and the total dollar amounts in each
subclass identified in the MOU.
Ex LGM PDF Doc 1521

On July 23, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed JAMS that the following persons would be
at the next day’s mediation session on behalf of the City:

Richard Brown
Eskel Solomon
Deborah Dorny
Paul Paradis
Paul Keisel
Thom Peters
Jim Clark
Angela Agrusa
Maribeth Annaguey
David Wright
Mark Townsend

Ex COLA-SM_000095

On July 23, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed JAMS that he, Mr. Grieco and Mr.
Libman would be attending the July 24 mediation session on behalf of Mr. Jones.

Ex COLA-SM_000098-99

On July 23, 2015, Mr. Farkas emailed Ms. Dorny and Mr. Paradis a draft settlement
agreement that the Liner Firm “had been working on for discussion purposes” and
that Ms. Annaguey would bring it to the mediation session scheduled for July 24.
[Folder 9/Exhibit List/from 9-18-20 doc prod/COLA-SM_0011036, 0011037 (draft
agreement).] Ms. Dorny replied “Thanks David. I’ll start going through this today.”

Ex COLA-SM_0011036
Ex COLA-SM_0011037 (draft agreement)
Ex COLA-SM_0011058

On July 24, 2015, a third mediation session was held before Judge Tevrizian. A
confidentiality agreement was signed by Mr. Paradis, Stacey J. Dana (“Ms. Dana”)
of PLG, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Clark, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Wright, and Mr.
Townsend as representing the City and Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Grieco and Mr.

208
Libman as representing Mr. Jones. A major topic discussed was the unbilled
accounts.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 658 at 3, 4

On July 24, 2015, Mr. Clark on behalf of the City and Mr. Landskroner and Mr.
Libman on behalf of Mr. Jones signed an “Addendum to Memorandum of
Understanding Executed June 12, 2015.” The Addendum stated that any provisions
of the June 12, 2015, MOU “not addressed in this Addendum shall continue to be in
full force and effect.” The MOU included the following terms:

(a) The remediation period for each subclass;


(b) Changes to performance metrics that the “DWP would use its best efforts to
implement and manage”;
(c) Class certification;
(d) That DWP “will undertake to amend Rule 17” to provide that when a billing
error is determined any “undercharge or overcharge will be computed back
to, but not beyond that date, but not in any event exceeding a maximum 270
days prior to the date of discovery of the overcharge or undercharge” for
residential customers and not in excess of four years for commercial
customers;
(e) Provisions for an “Omnibus Subclass;”
(f) That all credits and refunds to class members would be made not later than
12 months from the date of final approval;
(g) That Paul Bender would verify DWP’s methodology for identifying subclass
members and that the parties would request bids from potential claims
administrators;
(h) That attorneys’ fees and costs would be negotiated on July 31, 2015; and
(i) That DWP would pay a $5,000 incentive award to Mr. Jones.

Ex MOU072415

On July 26, 2015, Mr. Clark emailed Mr. Feuer, Ms. Kapur, Mr. Wilcox, Mr. Ponder
and Mr. Peters that all major terms of a settlement had been reached in the DWP
billing cases other than attorneys’ fees, which would be mediated before Judge
Tevrizian on July 31. Mr. Clark further related that the settlement documents would
be made public when filed with the Court on August 17 and that he would provide
more details on Monday, July 27.

Ex COLA-SM_0005869

209
On July 30, 2105, at 9:22 a.m., Ms. Annaguey sent an email to Mr. Tom and Ms.
Dorny, copying Ms. Agrusa, with the subject line “Communications between
Plaintiff’s counsel and Client.” The email stated:
I just wanted to follow up on yesterday’s discussion
regarding Landskroner’s direct communications with
David Wright. As discussed, it was news to us [presumably
the Liner lawyers] that Landskroner and David have had
direct communications. I understand the client’s desire to
be directly involved in a PR plan. However, as I relayed
yesterday, I would strongly recommend against there
being any more calls between David and Landskroner
without counsel present. Although right now it appears
that everyone is working toward the same goal, we cannot
lose sight of the fact that this is still an adversarial
process. Indeed, just last Friday, Landskroner sat across
the table from us at mediation and accused us (DWP and
its lawyers) of lying to him and of having unreliable data.
If Landskroner doesn’t get his way (particularly tomorrow
at the fee mediation), who knows what he will say or he
will use Wright’s private conversations.
Additionally, this settlement and the process will be under
strict scrutiny. Jardini and Blood have already intimated
that there has been collusion with the Jones plaintiffs’
lawyers. If it becomes known that there were direct
communications between the client and Plaintiffs’
counsel, that will likely feed into those accusations.
Again, I don’t want to slow down or interfere with the
significant progress that is being made. But we want to
protect the client especially if something goes sideways
with the settlement.
At 9:47 a.m., Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Dorny, copying Ms.
Agrusa, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Brown, in reply to Ms. Annaguey’s 9:22 a.m. email:
We are on the same page. I had a conversation about this
w/ Paul Paradis. I will explain in person but am satisfied
that this matter is handled.
Ex COLA-SM_0011207

210
Notably, Mr. Solomon chose to approach Mr. Paradis instead of Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Wright (who effectively was Mr. Solomon’s day-to-day
client given Mr. Wright’s role as head of DWP) to put a stop to direct
communications between Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Wright.

If Mr. Landskroner initiated the conversation without the City’s lawyers’


consent, this would be a serious ethical breach. Even if the client initiated the
communications, most lawyers would express concern directly to the opposing
lawyer if that lawyer had accepted a call from a represented party without that
party’s lawyer on the line as well.

This is yet another instance (the other involving the “white knight” discussion)
of Mr. Solomon choosing to avoid a written record concerning collusive
conduct, saying he would explain “in person” rather than on email (which he
otherwise was not reluctant to use).

On July 30, 2015, at 12:11 p.m., Mr. Landskroner caused a letter to be sent
Judge Tevrizian, copying Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Clark, Mr. Paradis,
and Mr. Kiesel. The letter stated that the City had failed to provide “an update of
the account totals .... the dollar amounts at issue for each subclass [listed in the
MOU] ... This should include the gross estimated economic impact associated with
the 66,000 accounts in the ‘un-billed’ sub class, which will directly benefit from the
negotiated residential four billing cycle look-back restriction and/or the four-year”
pay-back provisions of the settlement.” Mr. Libman was not copied on this letter
either. Shortly thereafter, Judge Tevrizian caused the letter from Mr.
Landskroner to be emailed to Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel,
Mr. Clark, Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Annaguey.

Ex COLA-SM_0000105
Ex COLA-SM_0000106
Ex COLA-SM_0000107

On July 30, 2015, Ms. Annaguey sent a letter to Judge Tevrizian, copying Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Clark, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Tom, and Mr.
Brown, noting that the next day’s mediation session may not be productive as
queries were being run to bring the numbers up to date and suggesting that the
mediation be focused on a framework to determine fees and costs as the DWP
has not received a proposed fee request from plaintiff or any information to
substantiate any amount of attorneys’ fees stating that “DWP, as a

211
government entity with obligations to the public, needs to be satisfied that any
amount requested and agreed is fully supportable.”

Ex COLA-SM_0000107
Ex COLA-SM_0000108

On July 30, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Landskroner information on the number
of members and the amount for eight subclasses, which did not include unbilled
accounts. Mr. Landskroner responded “please be prepared to discuss your updated
numbers and the estimated economic impact of this piece of the settlement” at the
July 31 mediation session. Mr. Landskroner copied Judge Tevrizian, Ms. Dorny and
Ms. Annaguey. Ms. Annaguey forwarded Mr. Landskroner’s email to Mr. Solomon,
Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Dorny.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0026186

On July 31, 2015, a fourth mediation session was held with Judge Tevrizian. At the
mediation, the parties discussed attorneys’ fees and the unbilled accounts issue.
Judge Tevrizian made the following mediator’s proposal to resolve the attorneys’
fees issue: DWP would pay $13 million in fees and $750,000 in expenses with future
fees capped at $1 million. Mr. Landskroner’s notes for the August 31 mediation
session indicate that he estimated the total amount of unbilled accounts for the period
September 2013 through July 2015 at $92.4 million.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 663

The “blackmail email chain” (below) gives reasons why Judge Tevrizian’s
“mediator’s proposal” to pay up to $13 million in attorneys’ fees, was
exorbitant. These reasons were never articulated to either Judge Tevrizian
or the Court, since doing so would have revealed that the Jones settlement
was the result of collusion.

EARLY AUGUST 2015: MR. LANDSKRONER “BLACKMAILS” THE


CITY INTO AGREEING TO EXORBITANT ATTORNEYS’ FEES; MS.
ANNAGUEY RAISES THE ALARM; THE CITY WILLINGLY AGREES
TO THE FEES

On August 1, 2015, Mr. Bender emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner a copy
of the draft April 2012 turnaround report for Cleveland Water. Mr. Wright was
copied on the email.

212
Ex COLA-LADWP_0026189
Ex COLA-LADWP_0026190

On August 1, 2015, after interviewing several public relations firms, LGM entered
into a consulting agreement with Englander Knabe & Allen (“EKA”) to provide
public relations work for LGM, including “developing key messages” to promote
the settlement in the Jones case. Mr. Merriman signed the agreement on behalf of
LGM.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 917

The Landskroner Attorney’s Fee Blackmail Email Follows

On August 1, 2015, at 11:50 a.m., Ms. Annaguey sent an email to Mr. Tom, Mr.
Solomon, and Ms. Dorny, with a copy to Ms. Agrusa. The email’s subject line was
“ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION- Mediation follow
up.” The email gave a list of reasons why the amount of attorneys’ fees proposed
by Judge Tevrizian (who was unaware of the collusive nature of the settlement and
the minimal work actually done by Mr. Landskroner, LGM, and Mr. Libman) was
excessive:
• The litigation risk was nominal;
o The DWP committed to fully refund/credit its customers before any
litigation had been filed;
o The lawsuit against PWC contained DWP admissions virtually
admitting liability on the billing class actions;
o The DWP had already determined it was going to settle these cases
before Landskroner filed the Jones lawsuit;
• Blood had already initiated settlement discussions with the DWP before the
Jones lawsuit was filed;
o During preliminary discussions, Blood indicated that he does not see
this case as providing a windfall but rather would get a straight
lodestar for the attorneys’ fees;
o Blood settled a class action case against the DWP for $375k;
• These cases, particularly the Jones lawsuit, are in their infancy by litigation
standards;
• There has been no responsive pleading filed in Jones/Bransford/Fontaine;

213
• One of our primary defenses against the Jones Plaintiff is that he has failed
to follow the administrative process -- He never filed a government claim;
• There has been zero motion practice in any of the settled cases;
• There has been no discovery in any of the settled cases;
• There has been no decision (much less briefing) on class certification;
• The settling lawyer is based in Cleveland, Ohio and will be receiving the lions
share of fees despite little demonstrable work to advance the interests of the
class;
• There will likely be higher scrutiny of Landskroner and Libman, individually,
and their relationships with the DWP and its counsel;
o Despite Landskroner’s professed investigation into the CC&B system
in Cleveland, he never pursued a lawsuit there;
o Note, Kiesel and Libman apparently just tried a PI case together last
week;
• Defense fees are nowhere near the alleged lodestar for Landskroner and we
have been defending five class actions for nearly a year;
• We do not have numbers to support the value of the settlement such that any
common fund percentage could be calculated or used as a cross-check;
o The economic impact on the 8 subclasses is approximately $37 million
(excluding back-billed accounts);
• We do not have back up for plaintiffs’ counsel’s alleged lodestar numbers to
support the fees requested;
• Case law in California likely will not support a multiplier of 4 (or even above
2.3); and
• Landskroner may be unable to reign in the other attorneys, in which case any
premium would be unwarranted but may nonetheless be guaranteed.

Noting that a “7 figure” award would be difficult to support, Ms. Annaguey related
that “the client is seriously considering the fee proposed because of Plaintiffs’
threats to leverage the back-billed accounts issue. This feels like nothing short of
blackmail. Dave Wright pointed out that this was an issue the Department identified
to Mr. Landskroner and offered a solution. In his words, ‘we [the Department]
brought it to him’ and now we’re being penalized for it.” Ms. Annaguey concluded:

214
Richard and Deborah and I spoke about the impact
numbers for the back-billed accounts. Paradis said
yesterday that he thinks they are in the $80M-$120M
range. Townsend quoted to Deborah that he thinks the
unbilled accounts may have an impact of $18M. If the
number is closer to $18M, then query whether the
Department would have an issue with that number being
disclosed. If not, then Landskroner’s leverage may be
neutralized and the client may well be better off defending
against a fee application than accepting a fee/cost award
of nearly $15 million.
We understand that there are policy/public relations
issues that may trump our concerns. Ultimately, this is a
client decision.
Ex COLA-SM_0000019-22
On August 1, 2015, at 2:40 p.m., Ms. Annaguey forwarded her 11:50 a.m. email
to Mr. Clark, noting that Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny and Mr. Brown
believed it should be shared with him. At 4:34 p.m., Mr. Clark responded, “superbly
summarizes the many issues with the fee number Landskroner et al. have come up
with” and suggested that they consider the fees claimed by all plaintiffs’ attorneys
and the potential benefit to the class. At 7:27 p.m., Ms. Annaguey responded that
the total attorneys’ fees claimed by all counsel was a maximum of $6.5 million plus
$500,000 in costs, that the numbers looked inflated and that the economic benefit
was difficult “to fix and narrow.” At 9:20 p.m., Ms. Annaguey forwarded the email
chain to Mr. Clark, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Keisel, copying Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon,
Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown, that she was “looping in Paul P and Paul K.” [Id.]

On August 2, 2015, the City quantified the back-bill accounts. At 9:57 a.m.,
Mr. Townsend emailed Mr. Paradis and Ms. Dorny a spreadsheet with an
explanation purporting to estimate the value of the back-billed accounts before
and after the “Go Live” date of the CC&B, September 3, 2013. The spreadsheet
estimates the total value of the back-billed accounts at $44,963,499.58. Of that
amount $16,350,248.76 was for amounts unbilled after the “Go Live” date. The
difference ($28,613,250.82) was for amounts before the “Go Live” date. Thus,
about two thirds of the back-billed amounts predated the “Go Live” date,
meaning that PwC was not responsible for these amounts.

Mr. Paradis responded by email a few hours later:

215
Thanks Mark - this was a Herculean effort on your part
today and is very much appreciated because it is the
information that Jim Clark is asking for. Just want to
make sure we are reading this correctly - the new
estimate for the value of the “unbilled accounts” using
these assumptions is estimated at $44.9 million -
correct?
Ex Pansky RE_ Summary of Back-Billed Accounts

On August 2, 2015, at 11:21 a.m., Mr. Farkas emailed Mr. Townsend, copying Ms.
Annaguey, Ms. Dorny and Mr. Paradis, stating that “we have some questions
regarding the table you sent summarizing the back-billed accounts” and asking if
Mr. Townsend had time for a brief call. At 11:56 a.m., in response, Mr. Paradis
emailed Mr. Farkas and Mr. Townsend, copying Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Dorny, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, stating that he and Ms.
Tufaro were “working on the settlement stip” but he’d make himself available for a
call when Mr. Townsend was available.

Ex COLA-SM_0011306

Apparently, Mr. Townsend confirmed that Mr. Paradis was reading Mr.
Townsend’s email correctly, because shortly past midnight on August 3, 2015,
Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Clark, copying Mr. Peters and Mr. Kiesel:

Jim,
As you requested ahead of your conversation with
Judge Tevrizian on Monday [August 3], Mark
Townsend and I spent the entire day and night working
to provide a realistic and defensible estimate of the
value of the 66,000 unbilled accounts. The original
range provided by Mark Townsend was $80mm - $120
mm (about two weeks ago). Late last week, someone
(unknown to me who it was) asked Townsend to provide
a revised estimate and he provided a revised estimate
of $18 mm. Based on our having spent several days
working directly with IT and Billing personnel two
weeks ago, Deb Dorny and I suspected that this number
was artificially low and cautioned that it should NOT
216
be used for any purpose because it was very likely
grossly understated and inaccurate. Despite our
admonition, this number was used during the mediation
and this weekend in multiple email communications.
Based on your request, I directed Townsend from DWP
IT to arrive at a revised estimate based on very realistic
and credible assumptions that are very defensible from
a litigation posture.
I know it is late, but we just finished up and I wanted
to get you the new estimate of $44.9 million for the
unbilled accounts before you speak with Judge
Tevrizian in the morning (Townsend wants to re-
review all the calculations in the morning because we
are both tired and I will let you know if there are any
changes once we perform the final review with clear
eyes in the morning). This puts the total value of the
proposed settlement at a minimum of: (i) $40 million
for the 8 Refund/Credit buckets in total and (ii) $44.9
million for the Unbilled Portion that will be addressed
through the Rule Change. These two components
combine to create a total minimum settlement value of
$84.9 million WITHOUT including any of the other
remedial measures, monitoring, independent audits,
etc. If you need the detailed calculations etc. that are
back up for the approach we used, please let me know.
Also let me know if you have any further questions or
want to consider and further evidentiary support in
connection with your discussions with Judge Tevrizian.
My cell number is 201-XXX-XXXX. For your
convenience, Judge Tevrizian’s cell number is 213-
XXX-XXXX. Thank you. Best, Paul
Emphasis added and phone number removed.
Ex Pansky Revised Estimate of Unbilled Accounts
Mr. Clark thanked Mr. Paradis and noted that “the numbers … may not be the ‘final
answer,’ but they are good enough for my call with Judge T.”
Ex Pansky Revised Estimate of Unbilled Accounts

217
Presumably, Mr. Clark passed on Mr. Paradis’s calculation to Judge Tevrizian
who accepted it and used it to support Mr. Landskroner’s high fees. So, in one
stroke the participants more than doubled the total minimum settlement value
in Jones. Note, Mr. Paradis’s numbers are inflated, because Mr. Paradis gave
Mr. Clark the gross number of unbilled accounts including the pre-Go Live
amount of $28,613,250.82 that did not belong in the computation since it had
nothing to do with the Jones case as it was amended two weeks later.
Nevertheless, the City went along with Mr. Landskroner’s fee request in the
face of Mr. Landskroner’s apparent threat to make an issue out of the back
billing.

Theoretically, if Mr. Landskroner followed through with his threat, his


amended complaint in Jones might include all of Mr. Townsend’s numbers
which would be quite useful to PwC’s defense of its case, something that was
not wanted by the City or DWP and was contrary to the City’s three-part “spin
and sue” plan, to shift blame for the DWP’s billing fiasco to PwC, rid the City and
DWP of the multitude of class action lawsuits arising from the billing problems,
and recover from PwC damages due to the billing problems. Two-thirds of the
back-bill errors identified by Mr. Townsend were pre-Go Live, so such a
disclosure would impair the City’s ability to blame PwC for the back-billing
errors which were unaffected by PwC. Nevertheless, this perceived potential
threat gave the colluders leverage to increase Mr. Landskroner’s fees, even
though the blackmail threat was likely make-believe. The odds of Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Paradis (or any of the other attorneys for that matter)
intentionally blowing up the City’s “spin and sue” plan at this point were slim
to none. The attorney conspirators were past the point of no return.

On August 6, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro (with a
copy to Mr. Brown) a “Settlement Agreement – Draft” asking for their review and
comments “as soon as possible so that we can get a draft to Plaintiff’s Counsel this
afternoon.” Mr. Paradis further noted that he was almost finished drafting the
exhibits, which he would circulate soon.

Ex COLA-SM_0005891

This is the earliest version of the Settlement Agreement.

218
Based on this email and the totality of the facts, the Special Master concludes that
the Settlement Agreement for the Jones case was drafted by Mr. Paradis.

On August 7, 2015, the DWP Board met in closed session to confer “with legal
counsel” regarding the billing cases and City v. PwC. Among those in attendance
were Board President Levine, the four other commissioners, Ms. Edwards, Mr.
Solomon, Mr. Tom, Mr. Wright, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis. The
minutes of the meeting state as to the Kimhi, Bransford, Fontaine and Jones cases
“Discussion held-action taken but not a final action that is reportable.” As to Morski,
the minutes state that action was deferred. As to City v. PwC, the minutes state
“Discussion held-no action taken.”

Ex Board Minutes (8-7-15)

On August 7, 2015, at 1:27 p.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed his edits to the draft
Settlement Agreement to Ms. Annaguey, copying Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Ms.
Agrusa. At 2:21 p.m., Ms. Annaguey sent an email to Mr. Clark, Mr. Tom, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Wright, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Kysella, copying Mr.
Paradis, Ms. Agrusa, and Ms. Dorny, forwarding Mr. Landskroner’s revisions to the
draft Settlement Agreement. Ms. Annaguey stated that most of the revisions were
not substantive and listed “some substantive changes that we need guidance on.” At
5:35 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr.
Brown, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Wright, Mr. Kysella, and Ms. Tufaro, copying Ms.
Agrusa and Ms. Dorny. The first part of the email was addressed to Ms. Annaguey
and advised that Ms. Tufaro would provide her “with our edits to Jack Landskroner’s
latest edits. Many of his edits are NOT acceptable…” He also advised that Ms.
Tufaro would provide drafts of (i) Preliminary Approval Order; (ii) Final Approval
Order; (iii) Long Form Notice and (iv) Short Form Notice. In the portion of the
email to “TEAM” Mr. Paradis related:

Judge Tevrizian called me this afternoon to inquire how


the Board meeting went this morning. I told him things had
gone well and Judge T then gave me very specific
instructions that he wants us to follow when we distribute
the Settlement Agreement (he also said he wants us to
distribute ONLY the Settlement Agreement without any
Exhibits) to the remaining Plaintiffs Counsel on Monday
in order to maximize the control that we exercise over
that process. Specifically, Judge T instructed me to
prepare a letter informing each of the three other Plaintiffs

219
counsel that the Settlement Agreement is being provided
to them as directed by the Court and subject to the
continuing mediation privilege. Judge T also wants us to
tell each of them that they are instructed to review the
Settlement Agreement and to inform us by no later than
noon Tuesday of 3 dates/times that they are available to
meet with Judge T and us next week to discuss the
settlement and any fee application that they are
considering making because he is going to continue to
handle the remainder of the settlement as part of the
continuing mediation. Judge T also said that if any of them
fail to adhere to the process that he has imposed, he will
speak directly with Judge Berle about their failure to
comply with Judge Ts instructions to ensure that there are
negative consequences. Accordingly, I will draft a letter in
accordance with Judge T’s instructions and circulate to
the team for input this weekend.

It was crystal clear to me that Judge T is going to see this


settlement through to the end and that he intends to control
it with an iron fist until it is presented to Judge Berle. I am
available by cell this weekend if anyone wants to discuss
further.

Ex COLA-SM_0005999

At 5:43 p.m., Ms. Tufaro emailed Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Brown, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Wright, Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Kysella, copying Mr.
Paradis, Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Dorny, PLG’s edits to Mr. Landskroner’s latest draft
of the settlement agreement. At 6:05 p.m., Mr. Kiesel responded, requesting:
That with regard to the “fee” allocation on page 40 line 6
that both “Class and Liaison Counsel” shall be
responsible for allocating the attorneys’ fees among
plaintiffs’…
I continue to believe having local Los Angeles counsel
engaged is critical to the optics of this being a Los Angeles
based claim that’s being resolved.
Have a great weekend all.

220
My thanks once again to the entire team for an outstanding
effort and result. Gina you are the unsung hero and Mr.
Paradis you remain inspiring.
Ex Pansky Re RE
At 9:18 p.m., Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel that he strongly agreed
with Mr. Kiesel’s suggestion.

Ex Pansky Re RE

On August 10, 2017, at 11 a.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed his proposed revisions
to the most recent draft of the settlement agreement to Ms. Annaguey, copying Mr.
Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Ms. Agrusa, and his secretary. At 1:06 p.m., Ms. Annaguey
forwarded Mr. Landskroner’s redlined version of the draft settlement agreement,
together with her comments on Mr. Landskroner’s proposed changes, to Mr. Brown,
Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny and Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Paradis, Ms.
Agrusa, Ms. Tufaro and Ms. Hallock. Ms. Annaguey noted that one of Mr.
Landskroner’s changes would make him, and not Mr. Libman, responsible for
allocating attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Ex Pansky FW_ Revised Settlement Agreement

In response to Ms. Annaguey forwarding Mr. Landskroner’s email of proposed


changes, Mr. Paradis 51 responded to the group that he would be “Happy to battle
Jack on these items.”

Ex COLA-SM_0006184

On August 10, 2015, at 1:16 p.m., Joy Ryan (“Ms. Ryan”), an employee of the
Liner Firm, emailed Mr. Blood and Larry Jackson (“Mr. Jackson”), his co-counsel
in the Bransford case, a letter from Ms. Annaguey and a Non-Disclosure Agreement

51
As further reflected by Mr. Paradis presumptive role, on behalf of the City’s legal team in the
settlement of Jones v. City, on September 1, 2015, when faced with a putative class members
expressing concerns about his billing, Mr. Landskroner reached out to Mr. Paradis and no one else,
requesting that he “look into” the matter and “run a preliminary audit on this customer to see where
he will come out in terms of the settlement.” The same happens again on December 1, 2015,
when Mr. Landskroner was faced with “a continuous flow of calls from disgruntled customers”;
Mr. Landskroner reached out to Mr. Paradis to assist in protecting the “credibility of the entire
settlement.”
Ex COLA-SM_0006658
Ex COLA-SM_0009184
221
(“NDA”) conditioning release of the draft Settlement Agreement to him on his
signing the NDA. 52 Judge Tevrizian, Mr. Landskroner, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey,
and attorneys for the plaintiffs in Kimhi and Fontaine were copied on the email. At
3:58 p.m., Mr. Blood emailed Ms. Ryan and Mr. Jackson, copying the individuals
copied on Ms. Ryan’s email. Mr. Blood questioned why the City waited until the
afternoon of the day it was to produce the settlement agreement “to spring all of this
on us,” that the NDA went beyond anything discussed in Court, and that no one
agreed to use a mediator for fees or a procedure for determining fees, and demanded
that the City produce “the information the court ordered it to produce and we will
maintain its confidentiality.” At 4:22 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Annaguey,
copying Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Brown, Ms. Agrusa,
and Ms. Tufaro:

Blood needs to learn some manners and Judge Tevrizian


made clear to me on Friday that he will speak directly with
Judge Berle if any of them act up or refuse to adhere to the
procedure Judge Tevrizian instructed be followed. … I will
let Judge Tevrizian know how Blood is behaving and feel
very strongly that no one be provided with the Settlement
Agreement unless they sign the NDA. Kiesel knows better
than I do, but I am guessing Blood will have a very difficult
time explaining his refusals to Judge Berle after Judge
Tevrizian speaks with Judge Berle.

Ex COLA-SM_0006203

On August 10, 2015, at 4:22 p.m., Ms. Agrusa emailed Mr. Tom, Ms. Annaguey,
Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel that they should tell Mr.
Blood that they would produce only a redacted draft settlement agreement unless he
signs the NDA. At 4:35 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters: “need you to direct
that Blood not be given anything today without a signed NDA and also directing us
to contact the Court immediately to seek a protective order. Angela is way too close
to Blood - read her next email. Sorry I can’t talk – I am flying back to LA and they
just closed the door.” At 4:37 p.m., Mr. Paradis sent another email to Mr. Peters
concerning Ms. Agrusa’s proposal:

52
On August 10, 2015, emails were also sent by the Liner Firm to plaintiffs’ counsel in the Kimhi,
Morski, and Fontaine cases to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they were provided a copy
of the Settlement Agreement.
222
This is ridiculous. Please inject yourself ASAP and shut
this down so that nothing gets released to Blood until he
signs the NDA. I also need you to direct that we contact
Judge Berle and Judge Tevrizian and inform them and to
seek a protective order preventing the disclosure of the
Agmt. Unless and until they execute the NDA. If he has no
intention of disclosing anything to the press, he should
sign the plain vanilla NDA.

Ex COLA-SM_0006205
Ex COLA-SM_0006207

At 4:44 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Agrusa, copying Mr. Tom, Ms. Annaguey,
Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown:

For the record, I am strongly against disclosing anything


to Blood who is the source of all the leaks to Mr. Lopez.
In addition, I would much rather face Judge Berle and
explain why nothing was produced today when Blood
suddenly reneged on his representation to keep the
agreement attorneys eyes only and refused to sign the
NDA than face Mike Feuer, Jim Clark or Thom Peters to
explain why Blood was provided with a draft of the
Agreement when he refused to sign the NDA after
representing in court that he would maintain it as
confidential. I do not think that conversation would go
well with either of them.

Ex COLA-SM_0006213

At 4:50 p.m., Mr. Peters emailed Ms. Agrusa: “Blood promised to sign an NDA as
a condition precedent for receiving the documents. He is refusing to sign such an
NDA. Thus, our obligation to share the documents he wants, or any portion of them,
has not matured. What am I missing? Thanks.” Copied on the email were Mr. Tom,
Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown.
At 4:53 p.m., in response to an email by Mr. Kiesel that he would read the NDA to
make sure it was not more than Mr. Blood had agreed to, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr.
Kiesel:

223
Judge Tevrizian just called me after seeing Tim Blood’s
email. Despite being on the runway, I answered when I
saw he was calling. Blood’s email made him furious and
said he is going to call Judge Berle directly in the morning
to let him know how Blood is behaving. He asked that
Maribeth please email him Judge Berle’s chambers
number ASAP. He felt very strongly that nothing be
disclosed to Blood absent a signed NDA and will make
that clear to Judge Berle in the morning, so I think we have
more than enough cover on this issue.

Copied on the email were Mr. Peters, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Tom, Ms. Annaguey, Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, and Mr. Brown.

Ex COLA-SM_0006216
Ex COLA-SM_0006223

On August 10, 2015, Eric Rose (“Mr. Rose”) of EKA emailed a “DWP Settlement
Media Plan/Timeline” to Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Merriman, and Adam Englander
(“Mr. Englander”) of EKA. The email set out the media campaign to be launched
to generate public support for the settlement through August 17, 2015, when the
settlement agreement was to be filed with the Court. The email makes it clear that
the EKA media campaign would be closely coordinated with the DWP, with Mr.
Rose to call Mr. Ramallo “to get his input on the [LGM press] release and tone” and
to revise the release “based on input received from the DWP.”

Ex LGM PDF Doc 408

On August 11, 2015, Ms. Agrusa emailed Ms. Annaguey, copying Mr. Brown, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel that she had gotten “Mr.
Blood in line with the nda … Lots of suspicion about DWP and Landskroner
colluding, etc. and fears about them being set up in some way with this NDA.”

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_0006357-61

On August 11, 2015, at 8:40 a.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Wright, Mr.
Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Brown and Ms.
Agrusa. Ms. Annaguey related that Mr. Landskroner had asked, among other things,

224
“Do we want to include the declarations from the RPA [DWP Ratepayer Advocate]
and Judge Tevrizian with the Motion for Preliminary Approval or hold to file in
advance of the Final Approval Hearing?” At 9:08 a.m., Ms. Dorny responded “I
like the idea of filing the declarations now given the anticipated objections to the
settlement. We should include Judge Tevrizian’s declaration even if we need to wait
on the RPA’s dec.” At 10:01 a.m., Mr. Paradis responded that there was merit to
Ms. Dorny’s suggestion to submit Judge Tevrizian’s declaration with the motion for
preliminary approval and at 10:24 a.m. Ms. Agrusa emailed that she also liked Ms.
Dorny’s suggestion. At 10:36 a.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Agrusa that “Judge T.
told me he wants us to prepare a first draft of his Declaration and he will review, edit
and finalize as he sees fit. I have asked Gina to prepare and circulate a draft to our
team before it goes to Judge T.” Copied on the email were Mr. Wright, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Brown, and Ms.
Tufaro.

Ex Pansky Re Motion for Preliminary Approval

That same day, Mr. Kiesel emailed Ms. Dorny, Mr. Wright, Mrs. Annaguey, Mr.
Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Mr. Paradis, copying Mr. Brown, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Peters,
and Mr. Clark. Mr. Kiesel advised that he had “a fruitful conversation” that morning
with Mr. Blood, who he did not expect would be “adverse” to the settlement, and
that Mr. Blood would sign the NDA with a few modifications.

Ex COLA-SM_0011515

On August 11, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny,
Mr. Paradis, and Mr. Kiesel concerning a conversation she had with Mr.
Landskroner about his proposed revisions to the latest draft settlement agreement.
Ms. Agrusa and Mr. Brown were copied on the email. Ms. Annaguey related that
she and Mr. Landskroner had ultimately reached an agreement on most of his
revisions, except one. With respect to that proposed revision, Ms. Annaguey related:
At page 33, he again strikes the words “limited number
of” in the sentence: “in the limited number of situations
where the DWP has not issued timely or accurate bills and
has nevertheless undertaken to retroactively collect such
bills to bring customer accounts current, the DWP may
have created a hardship for its customers.”
After a lot of back and forth, Jack does not want to budge
on this. He thinks that “limited number of” is misleading
and does not want any qualifying language. Alternatively,
225
he said we can include the actual numbers. He of course
knows we’re not going to do that. Again, he’s leveraging
the Department’s desire to keep this information
contained.
Jack feels pretty strongly that he, and he alone, set up the
fee account and be responsible for allocating fees and
expenses. He does not have confidence in Libman and it
sounds like they have not seen eye to eye in the past on
legal strategy. He does not want Libman to be able to hold
up, interfere with or disrupt the process.
Ex Pansky FW_ Revised Settlement Agreement

Although the Court had ordered the City and Mr. Landskroner to provide a copy of
the Settlement Agreement to plaintiff’s counsel in the Other Class Actions by August
10, 2015, the Settlement Agreement was not provided until two days later, on
August 12, 2015.

Ex Pansky RE: CONFIDENTIAL PURSUANT TO NDA - Jones v DWP


Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 12
Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) ¶ 7

The City did not provide the exhibits to the Settlement Agreement until August 13,
2015.

Ex Pansky FW_ CONFIDENTIAL PURSUANT TO NDA - Jones v DWP - 2


Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 12
Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) ¶ 7

The City demanded that any comments on the Settlement Agreement be provided
within 48 hours.

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 12

The evidence shows this pattern repeated throughout the settlement approval
process: the City and Mr. Landskroner provide documents after the date they were
either ordered to or promised to be provided to plaintiff’s counsel in the Other
Class Actions, and then, when the documents were finally provided, unilaterally
demand comments within a very short time frame and when comments were
received, reject all or most of them on the ground that they were too late.
226
The Special Master concludes that the evidence reflects that this was more than
just normal jockeying for position among attorneys: the City wanted to jam up
other plaintiffs’ counsel to reduce the number and quality of objections so that it
alone could continue to control the determination of who was a class member and
the amount to ultimately be paid by DWP.

On August 13, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that a settlement had been
reached. Antwon:
Hope you are well. We have our inked deal with DWP on
settlement. I will be filing our motion for preliminary
approval on Monday so there will be lots of noise. Can you
give me a call today if you have a moment so I can brief
you on the game plan? Jack
Ex PLTF000156
On August 15, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Wright, stating, in part:
Judge Tevrizian called me this morning and told me he
absolutely wants the issues that the potential objectors
raised with him late in the day yesterday wrapped up by
the time we file on Monday because he wants them to sign
onto the Settlement Agreement. I am working through
those issues with Judge T and Blood and Jardini later
today, but I need you to answer a question for me please.
The question concerned the rate paid to solar customers for power they generated.
Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Mr.
Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro were copied on the email. In reply,
Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Paradis, asking what objections were raised by Mr.
Blood and Mr. Jardini. Ms. Agrusa and Ms. Dorny were copied on this email.
Ex COLA-SM_0011600

On August 17, 2015, Mr. Landskroner signed Bender Consulting’s “FINANCIAL


PROPOSAL for Independent Monitoring of DWP’s Performance on Customer
Billing and Customer Service Settlement Agreement in the matter of Jones v. City
of Los Angeles Case No. BC577267” dated August 14, 2015, thereby retaining
Bender Consulting as independent monitor for the settlement in Jones v. City.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 1548

227
On August 17, 2015, at 10:08 a.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Paradis, Mr. Kiesel,
Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Wright, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Solomon, setting up a conference call
at 12:30 p.m. Ms. Dorny wrote:
Discuss items in Paul’s email this morning:
1. Change in Class Definition - Judge T does not want
this changed at all - I told Blood the definition is not
changing.
2. Solar - we can change the claim for so that both the
Omnibus and Solar subclasses each have two check boxes.
The first will say “Check here is you want us to use your
data in calculating your claim” and the second will say
“check here if you want us to use data provided by DWP
in calculating your claim”
3. Solar pmt rate - if I understand Maribeth’s email
and the Mediation Brief in Kimhi, the Dept. is paying
people who generate excess power onto the grid using the
same rate that the Dept. uses to charge people. Maribeth,
please confirm if this is accurate. If it is, this is a non-
issue.
4. Release language- Judge T does not want this changed
at all. I told Blood the Release Language is not changing.
5. Claim Forms - we are intending on doing what
Blood has raised in his letter and Gilardi will be so
instructed.
6. Re-Writing Claim Forms - again, per Judge T, this
is not happening. We are meeting with Gilardi this
morning to discuss this process, but at best right now all
we are contemplating is adding the two check boxes for
both Omnibus and Solar as per Item 2above.
7. $5K service awards for other named pltfs. Judge T
said he wants this done. Dave Wright has authorized it IF
all three of them indicate that they are on board with the
deal today before it is filed or immediately thereafter in
an independent filing that says that any requests that the
Conf set for this Thursday be vacated in light of the
unanimous agreement. I told Blood this and he is going
to work to get it done.
228
8. Timing of Final Judgment Language - Blood gave
on this issue.
I think we should have u call to discuss so that I can get
back to him promptly. I propose a call at 12:30 today so
we can have answers.
Ex COLA-SM_0011601

On August 17, 2015,53 at 4:46 p.m., an amended class action complaint was filed
in Jones v. City. Although the settlement agreement filed with the Court
contemporaneously with the amended complaint provided that DWP would
remediate the CC&B billing system and that it would amend Rule 17 to limit the
time within which DWP could bill customers for previously unbilled billing cycles,
the amended complaint did not contain any cause of action concerning remediation
or unbilled accounts and the prayer for relief did not request that the Court order
DWP to remediate the CC&B billing system or to amend Rule 17. The major
differences from the original complaint filed April 1, 2015, were:

• The amended complaint added paragraphs concerning the problems


experienced by Cleveland Water after PwC implemented its CC&B billing
system and that a turnaround project led by “Paul Bender, an independent
consultant with successful turnaround management experience,” succeeded in
eliminating the problems.
• Added numerous references to PwC and its “flawed” implementation as the
cause of the problems with the DWP’s billing system. The original complaint
made only one reference to PwC.
• Added September 3, 2013, the “go live” date of DWP’s CC&B billing system,
as the date when DWP began experiencing problems with its billing system.
The original complaint did not indicate when DWP’s billing problems began.
• Added paragraphs enumerating the subclasses in the settlement class. The
amended complaint did not include any subclass for customers whose
accounts were unbilled.

Ex Jones---Amended-Complaint

53
On August 14, 2015, Mr. Landskroner provided Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, and Ms. Tufaro
with a draft of the amended complaint for their review.
Ex COLA-SM_0006443

229
Attached to this Report as Appendix K is a chart listing the differences between the
original and amended complaints in Jones v. City together with a copy of the
amended complaint highlighting the changes from the original complaint.

MID-AUGUST 2017: THE CITY AND MR. LANDSKRONER PRESS THE


COURT TO APPROVE THE JONES SETTLEMENT, REPEATEDLY
LYING IN THE PROCESS

Still on August 17, 2015, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman moved for Preliminary
Approval and to file the Jones first amended complaint. Attached as an exhibit to
Mr. Landskroner’s declaration for Preliminary Approval is the Class Action and
Settlement Agreement and Limited Release (with Liner LLP’s firm name as a
vertical heading), which states: “WHEREAS, after the parties had concluded
negotiating all of the material and nonmaterial terms of the Agreement, other
than the amount of attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement paid to Class
Counsel on July 24, Judge Tevrizian informed the parties that they could begin
negotiating the amount of attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement to be
paid to Class Counsel, and conducted a fourth day of mediation concerning this
issue on July 31, 2015.”

Ex 2015.08.17 Original Settlement signed August 7, 2015 NO BB EXCLUSION

On August 17, 2015, at 4:49 p.m., Plaintiff’s Notice of Unopposed Motion and
Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement was filed in Jones v.
City. The motion contained the following at page 3:

• Both prior to, and after, the filing of the Complaint in the Jones Action,
Plaintiff Jones, by and through his counsel, undertook an extensive
investigation into the failure of the CC&B system in order to understand the
defects that directly resulted in the harms and losses experienced by DWP
customers.
• This investigation included interviews with confidential witnesses, multiple
reviews of documents and consultations with non-testifying experts, all of
which confirmed the widespread nature of the defects in the CC&B System.
• Plaintiff’s counsel’s investigation also revealed that customers of the DWP’s
Solar Incentive Program had been damaged as a result of extensive delays in
energizing their systems and by DWP’s failure to properly credit them for
energy produced.

Ex 2015.08.17 Unopposed Mot for Approval of Sett

230
These representations were false and were meant to mislead the Court, counsel for
the plaintiffs in the Other Class Actions and the public into believing that Mr.
Landskroner conducted an exhaustive investigation when, in fact, the only
attorney for Mr. Jones who conducted the pre-filing investigation was Mr. Paradis;
not Mr. Landskroner.

The City and its attorneys spent almost two years attempting to obstruct PwC’s
efforts to obtain the draft Jones v. PwC complaint specifically to hide the fact that
Mr. Paradis was simultaneously representing both the City and Mr. Jones, a
revelation that would have called into question the bona fides of the mediation and
the settlement.

Other representations concerning the purported investigation were made at pages 9


and 10, including that

• A “significant investigation [was] conducted by Class Counsel, both prior to


and after the filing of the Complaint” (p. 9, ll. 21-22);
• “prior to and after the filing of the Complaint, Class Counsel conducted an
extensive and very lengthy investigation into the matters alleged in the
Complaint, which included, among other things, interviewing current and
former DWP employees and working closely with investigators and Plaintiff’s
non-testifying experts to diligently investigate the facts relevant to the merits
of the claims asserted in the Action, including the functionality of the CC&B
System and the DWP’s solar program,” (p. 9, l. 28-p. 10, l. 5);
• “Class Counsel’s extensive investigation” (p. 10, l. 11-12); and
• “the Settlement is the product of serious, informed, non-collusive negotiations
and years of investigation into an understanding of the origins of Defendant’s
overbilling practices” (p. 10, ll. 22-26).

These also were misrepresentations. As detailed above, Mr. Landskroner did not
conduct any pre-filing investigation of DWP’s billing problems (or, apparently,
those of Cleveland Water) and did not retain any non-testifying expert witnesses
or consultants.

These misrepresentations were based on the declaration of Mr. Landskroner. In


his declarations, Mr. Landskroner refers to these investigations as being conducted
by “plaintiff’s counsel” (see Ex Declaration of Jack Landskroner in Support of
Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval at ¶¶ 7, 8, 9, 10) while the Motion
refers to the investigations being conducted by “plaintiff’s counsel” or “Class
Counsel.”
231
Nowhere was it revealed to the Court that Mr. Paradis was Mr. Jones’s counsel,
that Mr. Landskroner was not involved in the case until shortly before the
complaint was filed, and that all pre-filing investigations were conducted by Mr.
Paradis.

The Court and third parties were given the impression that Mr. Landskroner and
his firm had conducted a lengthy and extensive investigation, hired non-testifying
experts, and otherwise invested substantial time and resources into developing the
case on behalf of the class and formulating a settlement framework. Counsel for
the City, including Mr. Clark, Mr. Peters, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms.
Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and Mr. Kiesel, knew or should
have known that Mr. Landskroner did little or no work prior to the filing of the
case. However, they took no steps to correct Mr. Landskroner’s misstatements
concerning his investigation at any time during proceedings in the Jones case until
the December 12, 2018, hearing when Mr. Kiesel finally spoke out to correct Ms.
Tufaro’s lies and inform the Court “that Special Counsel did have a relationship
with Mr. Jones that was not adverse to the City of Los Angeles until Mr. Jones
wanted to pursue an action against the City and that was the end of the
relationship.”

Ex 2018.12.12 Hearing re Motion for Protective Order and Motion to Compel


42:21-24

The Motion and Mr. Landskroner’s declaration also misrepresented the mediation
in this case. It was represented to the Court that Mr. Landskroner and counsel for
the City engaged in settlement negotiations that “eventually stalled” and therefore
the parties sought the assistance of Judge Tevrizian to act as mediator.

Ex 2015.08.17 Unopposed Mot for Approval of Sett


Ex Landskroner Dec ¶¶ 11, 12

The Special Master found no evidence of any “stalled” negotiations. Mr.


Landskroner’s notes reflect settlement discussions with the City only during the
April 8, 2015, meeting with counsel for the City and the April 13 and 15, 2015,
phone calls with Ms. Agrusa. Nothing in those notes indicate that the settlement
negotiations “stalled.” Documents obtained from the City, from Ms. Pansky and
(through Mr. Kabateck) from Mr. Landskroner do not reflect any ongoing
settlement discussions after the April 15 telephone call. The parties were, in fact,
trying to line-up Judge Tevrizian to act as the mediator for their planned settlement
232
on April 20, just five days after the last phone call between Mr. Landskroner and
Ms. Agrusa. The claim that negotiations were stalled was just more of the same
pattern of misrepresentations to the Court and the public.
It was further misrepresented to the Court that after “2 full hard-fought days of
mediation” the “essential terms of a settlement were reached. And that the
“negotiations, although contentious, were undertaken in good faith and at arms’
length.” (Ex 2015.08.17 Unopposed Mot for Approval of Sett at 2; Ex
Landskroner Dec ¶¶ 14, 15)

It was further misrepresented to the Court that the settlement must be presumed to
be fair because it was reached after “protracted, and at times contentious, arms-
length negotiations” before a respected mediator, which was “proof of the non-
collusive nature of the negotiations.” (Ex 2015.08.17 Unopposed Mot for
Approval of Sett at 9)

The evidence is that the settlement was not at arm’s-length but was in fact
collusive.

As this Court found at the July 25, 2019, hearing (Ex 2019.07.25 Hearing
Mediation Privilege), the mediation in this case was collusive, a charade, play-
acting, and a sham. The evidence fully supports the Court’s July 25 finding that
the mediation was collusive and a sham. This evidence includes:

• With the authorization of the LACA, on or about February 25, 2015, Mr.
Paradis began drafting a class action complaint to be filed in the name of
Mr. Jones against the City.
• At the request of the LACA, on February 25, 2015, Mr. Paradis contacted
Mr. Landskroner to act as the attorney of record for a class action case
against DWP.
• At Mr. Kiesel’s suggestion, Mr. Libman was recruited to serve as local
counsel for Mr. Jones.
• Mr. Paradis drafted a claim on behalf of Mr. Jones against DWP to be signed
by Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman.
• Prior to the filing of Jones v. City, attorneys in the DWP’s general counsel
office discussed a “white knight approach,” Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon
spoke to Ms. Annaguey about the “white knight approach,” and Mr.
Solomon thereafter emailed Ms. Dorny that he would tell her orally about
the talk with Ms. Annaguey.

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• On March 26, 2015, Mr. Paradis introduced Mr. Jones to Mr. Landskroner
by email.
• On March 29, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed the complaint to be filed against
the City to Mr. Jones for his approval, copying Mr. Landskroner. Mr. Jones
gave Mr. Paradis permission to file the complaint on his behalf.
• Attorneys in the LACA expected the filing of a class action complaint
against the City by an Ohio-based attorney.
• Mr. Landskroner emailed a copy of the complaint in Jones v. City on the
day it was filed as Mr. Tom requested.
• The complaint was emailed to Mr. Tom even though he was not, at that date,
a counsel of record for the City in any of the class action billing cases.
• The LACA expected Mr. Landskroner to submit a settlement offer shortly
after he filed the class action complaint in the name of Mr. Jones and
expected to settle with Mr. Landskroner, even though it had previously had
settlement discussions with Mr. Blood and had a mediation session with
counsel for the plaintiff class in Kimhi.
• The day after the Jones complaint was filed, Mr. Landskroner’s office
emailed a detailed settlement proposal to Mr. Tom and Mr. Solomon which
contained facts that were not known to anyone outside of the DWP, but no
one who represented the City showed any interest in investigating how Mr.
Landskroner obtained detailed information that was not publicly available.
As discussed above, the Special Master has concluded that the Jones
Settlement Proposal was drafted by Mr. Paradis.
• The City agreed to meet with Mr. Landskroner to start settlement
discussions on April 8, 2015, one week after the complaint in Jones v. City
was filed.
• The essential terms of the settlement were established at the initial meeting
between Mr. Landskroner and counsel for the City and well before the start
of mediation. As Ms. Agrusa told Mr. Landskroner at their initial meeting
on April 8, 2015, the mediation was for “the optics” and for fees. As she
also told him, the settlement terms were “largely done.”
• By April 13, 2015, less than two weeks after Jones v. City was filed, “the
directive from the City” was that there would be a settlement with Mr.
Landskroner. This was the day of the first of the two calls between Ms.
Agrusa and Mr. Landskroner to discuss the terms of the settlement including
fees.
• By April 20, 2015, less than three weeks after the Jones complaint was filed
and less than two weeks after the initial meeting with Mr. Landskroner, Ms.

234
Agrusa had already contacted Judge Tevrizian to obtain dates for mediation
sessions.
• On April 21, Mr. Solomon emailed Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey and other
attorneys representing the City that Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman
should both appear at the next hearing in the DWP billing cases to establish
their active participation and possible lead in the billing class actions.
• On May 19, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed other counsel for the City about dates
Judge Tevrizian had available in the Jones case.
• Despite the fact that she discussed with Mr. Landskroner the use of a
mediator for optics on April 8 and that she and Ms. Dorny had each already
contacted Judge Tevrizian’s assistant to obtain dates for a mediation in
Jones, on May 22, 2015, Ms. Agrusa told to the Court that it was premature
to consider A.D.R. in the class action billing cases.
• Mr. Landskroner was provided with a draft confidential report prepared by
Mr. Townsend concerning the number of members of each subclass and the
estimated dollars involved for each subclass.
• The City raised the issue of including unbilled accounts in the mediation
session and proposed the resolution of the issue to Mr. Landskroner.
• No discovery was done by Mr. Landskroner prior to mediation.
• The mediation briefs of both the City and Mr. Landskroner outlined
substantially similar settlement frameworks.
• In his declaration in support of the application for attorneys’ fees, Mr. Jones
stated that Judge Tevrizian was engaged as a mediator because, following
several weeks of settlement negotiations, those negotiations stalled due to
Mr. Jones’s “demands that: (i) any settlement result in 100% of all
overcharges being refunded or credited to all past or present DWP
customers; (ii) the DWP take the remedial measures necessary to ensure that
the defects in the new CC&B System were permanently corrected; and (iii)
the DWP provide independently verified evidence that the CC&B System
was functioning properly and generating accurate customer bills on an
ongoing basis.” [Jones Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 12.] Mr. Jones is not sure whether
he knew there were ongoing settlement discussions before the mediation,
but Mr. Landskroner asked him for permission to engage in mediation.
(Jones Dep 107:4-19.) In fact, none of these demands caused negotiations
to stall because they were all things that DWP wanted to achieve. (Clark
Dep (2-26-19) 128:13-129:17) Thus, the “disputed” issues Mr. Landskroner
told Mr. Jones required mediation were undisputed. As Ms. Agrusa told
Mr. Landskroner on April 8, mediation was for “the optics.”

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• The City agreed to an extortionate attorneys’ fees award, even though, as
made clear in Ms. Annaguey’s August 1, 2015, email, there were many
reasons why Mr. Landskroner’s claimed attorneys’ fees were grossly
inflated.

Contemporaneously with the filing of the motion for preliminary approval, Mr.
Landskroner filed an amended complaint which did not add any new causes of
action, pray for any relief not contained in the original complaint or make any
substantive changes other than to pin the blame for the billing problems on PwC
and its alleged botched installation of the CC&B billing system, even though
PwC’s actions were irrelevant to the class action billing cases but were only
relevant to DWP’s case against PwC.

The August 17, 2015, Settlement Agreement, which was attached as Exhibit 2 to
Mr. Landskroner’s declaration filed with the Unopposed Motion for Preliminary
Approval, contained similar false representations concerning Mr. Landskroner’s
investigation and the mediation.

Page 1 of the Settlement Agreement filed on August 17, 2015, contains the following
recitals:

WHEREAS, prior to filing the complaint in the Jones


Action, Class Counsel (as defined herein) initiated an
extensive and very lengthy investigation into the matters
alleged in the complaint and has continued to conduct an
ongoing investigation into the facts and law relating to the
allegations, claims and defenses asserted in this Action;

WHEREAS, Class Counsel’s continuing investigation has


included, among other things, interviewing current and
former DWP employees and working closely with
investigators and Plaintiff’s non-testifying experts to
diligently investigate the facts relevant to the merits of the
claims asserted in the Jones Action, including the
functionality of the CC&B System and the DWP’s solar
program

Representations concerning the “contentious” mediation appear at page 3 of the


August 17, 2015 Settlement Agreement. Virtually identical misrepresentations

236
are contained in the recital sections of the revised settlement agreements filed
on October 16, 2015, November 18, 2015, and November 10, 2016.

Ex 15-10-16 - Supplemental-Landskroner-Declaration at Ex 2
Ex 2015.11.18 - Second Supp Dec of Landskroner w revised set at Ex 2
Ex 2016.11.10_revised_class_action_settlement

Paragraph 29 of the Definition Section of the August 17 Settlement Agreement


defined the “Settlement Class” as follows:
“Settlement Class” is comprised of:
All DWP customers who were improperly over-charged
for electric, water, sewage or sanitation services between
the dates of September 3, 2013 and the present, and who
are entitled to credits or refunds for electric, water,
sewage or sanitation services and/or for participation in
the DWP’s solar incentive program from February 13,
2010. Excluded from the Settlement Class are the Judge to
whom this case is assigned, any members of the Judge’s
immediate family, and counsel of record in this action.
(August 17 Settlement Agreement p. 7)
Note that this definition of “Settlement Class” included DWP customers who were
back billed between September 3, 2013, and the date of final approval.

The August 17 Settlement Agreement broke down the “Settlement Class” into the
following subclasses:

• Tiered Billing Subclass: all residential and commercial customers of DWP


who were billed and paid for electricity or water usage at tiered rates higher
than those rates that would otherwise have been used to bill these customers
during the period September 3, 2013 through August 13, 2014.
• Trend Estimate Subclass: all residential and commercial customers of DWP
who paid electricity or water and sewer bills that were incorrectly estimated
due to a defect in the Trend Estimation Algorithm used to compute these
estimates during the period September 3, 2013 through August 13, 2014.
• Closed Account with Credit Balance Subclass: all residential and commercial
customers of DWP who: (i) have “Closed Accounts” with credit balances and
(ii) are owed refunds that have been withheld by DWP during the period of
September 3, 2013 to present.

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• Premise Condition/Estimated Bill Subclass: all residential and commercial
customers of DWP who: (i) unbeknownst to the customer, had a premise
condition that caused excessive consumption of water and/or power; (ii)
received estimated bills for multiple billing periods after September 3, 2013;
(iii) because of these estimated bills, were prevented from timely discovering
the premise condition; and (iv) were charged for greater quantities of water,
power or sewage than they otherwise would have been charged.
• Solar Customers Subclass: all residential DWP customers who have installed
solar systems and applied to participate in the Solar Photovoltaic Incentive
Program from February 13, 2010 to date and: (i) experienced delay in the final
approval process beyond 30 days after submission of a complete Incentive
Application and Supporting Documentation and indication that the solar
system was fully permitted and ready for inspection; and/or (ii) have not been
properly billed for energy consumed and/or generated; and/or (iii) have not
been properly credited for excess energy generated by the customer’s solar
power system.
• Automatic Bill Payment/Bank Overdraft Charge Subclass: all DWP
customers who: (i) were enrolled in an automatic bill payment plan with a
bank and (ii) were charged overdraft fees because DWP charged the customer
an incorrect amount, which, in turn, resulted in the customer’s bank account
being overdrawn.
• Late Payment Charge Subclass: all DWP customers who were assessed an
inaccurate Late Payment Charge.
• Estimated Electric Bills with “Minimum Charge” Subclass: all DWP
residential and small commercial customers: (i) whose consumption was
estimated to be zero and (ii) who were, therefore, assessed a “Minimum
Charge” on an electric bill when the actual usage was above the “Minimum
Charge.”
• Omnibus Subclass: all DWP residential and commercial customers that
believe they were: (i) incorrectly assessed a charge associated with their
power, water, sewage or trash collection at any time from September 3, 2013
to the present; or (ii) otherwise damaged as a result of their participation in
the DWP’s Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program at any time from February
13, 2010 to the present, that is not covered by any of the other Subclasses
listed herein.

Note: The settlement agreement includes customers who were back-billed for more
than they owed between September 3, 2013, and the date of final approval. This
makes sense, since Mr. Jones was not billed for several months, then received a large

238
bill for several thousand dollars. (See Ex Jones Amended Complaint ¶ 51, which
states that Mr. Jones received no bill from January 16 to July 11, 2014, when he
received a bill for $1,374.10.) There is no subclass of customers who were not billed
even though Mr. Landskroner in a June 17, 2015, letter to Judge Tevrizian (Ex
COLA-SM_0000071-73) urged that the “unbilled accounts” subclass should be
included in the settlement.

Much of the August 17 Settlement Agreement (and revised settlement agreements)


discusses corrective measures DWP will take, stating “that it [DWP] will appropriate
and spend an additional twenty million dollars ($20 million) over the eighteen-
month CC&B System Remediation Period provided for by this Settlement to retain
CC&B System consultants and software engineering consultants including, but not
limited to Oracle Corp.” and setting out metrics DWP would be required to meet.
(August 17 Settlement Agreement pp. 12-31)

The August 17 Settlement Agreement also contains a section on amending Rule 17


of the Rules Governing Water and Electric Service concerning unbilled and
underbilled accounts, and provided, in part, that if DWP discovered a billing error it
could (with certain exceptions) compute any undercharge or overcharge back no
more than 270 days prior to discovery of the error for a residential account or four
years for a commercial account. It also provided that any customer who received a
corrected back-bill after final approval would have a four-year period to pay the
back-billed amount without penalties or interest. (August 17 Settlement Agreement
pp. 31-32)

The August 17 Settlement Agreement provided for an award of attorneys’ fees of up


to $13,000,000, of expenses of up to $750,000 and a service award to Mr. Jones of
$5,000. It further provided that if the Settlement was finally approved and attorneys’
fees, expenses and a service award approved, the City would pay attorneys’ fees,
expenses and the service award within 7 days of final approval “directly to an
account established by Class Counsel and Liaison Counsel. Class Counsel shall be
responsible for allocating the attorneys’ fees and expenses among plaintiffs’
counsel.” (August 17 Settlement Agreement p. 42.)

Note: The August 17 Settlement Agreement’s signature pages (pages 47, 48) have
signature blocks for Ms. Edwards and Mr. Landskroner. Mr. Landskroner signed
his signature line and an unknown person signed for Ms. Edwards. The date written
in next to each signature block is “August 7, 2015.” As discussed above, on August
10, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed to the City proposed revisions to the draft of the
settlement agreement and as late as August 11, 2015, Mr. Landskroner and counsel

239
for the City still had not resolved all issues concerning the wording of the agreement.
It thus appears that signatures on the August 17 Settlement Agreement were
backdated.

On August 17, 2015, a Declaration of Hon. Dickran Tevrizian (Ret.) in Support of


Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval was also filed.

The declaration contains a number of false statements. There is no evidence that


Judge Tevrizian knew these statements were false; instead, the evidence is clear
that Judge Tevrizian relied in good faith on the representations of the City’s
representatives, particularly Mr. Clark and Mr. Paradis, and was misled by the
elaborate stage show presented to him by counsel for both the City and for Mr.
Jones during the mediation sessions.

In his declaration Judge Tevrizian repeated Mr. Landskroner’s representations


concerning his extensive in-depth investigations of the DWP billing system and of a
similar failed billing system in Cleveland and his use of “non-testifying experts”
(Tevrizian Dec (8-17-15) ¶¶ 10, 11), and stated “It is my opinion that Class
Counsel’s in-depth investigation and prior experience in this field played an integral
role in advancing the settlement discussions.” (Id. ¶ 12) Judge Tevrizian further
opined that “The high quality of work performed by Class Counsel in this matter
resulted in a very favorable Settlement being obtained for the Settlement Class.” (Id.
¶ 22)

In fact, and unbeknownst to Judge Tevrizian, Mr. Landskroner did no investigation


of either the DWP’s billing problems or of the Cleveland Water Department’s billing
problems. The investigation of DWP was done by Mr. Paradis, with the assistance
of the LACA and managerial-level employees of DWP.

Not knowing that the parties had reached an agreement in advance and were using
mediation “for the optics” as a way to sell the bona fides of the settlement to this
Court, the parties in the Other Class Actions and the general public, Judge Tevrizian
stated the June 11 and 12 “mediation sessions were both contentious and protracted.”
(Id. ¶ 10)

Ex Tevrizian Dec (8-17-15)

On August 17, 2015, both DWP and LGM issued press releases concerning the
settlement. The DWP press release was a statement by Ms. Edwards that the
“settlement makes good on a commitment I made to our customers” to make whole

240
everyone who was overcharged and that “With this new agreement, every customer
who was affected will receive 100 cents on the dollar.” The statement specifically
referenced the familiar theme or playbook that the damages to be paid out through
Jones v. City were the responsibility of PwC. The “settlement makes clear specific
areas where PWC [sic] … made critical errors that resulted in overcharges or the
inability to quickly refund customer credit balances.”

Ex DWP Press Release 11-17-2016

The DWP press release further stated:


We are continuing our legal action to seek recovery of all
costs associated with the proposed settlement as part of
ongoing litigation against Pricewaterhouse Coopers [sic]
(PWC), the firm hired to perform the system integration
and replacement of DWP’s customer information and
billing system. The settlement makes clear specific areas
where PWC failed to provide key functionality or made
critical errors that resulted in overcharges or the inability
to quickly refund customer credit balances.
The City and DWP continue to pursue claims against
Pricewaterhouse Coopers [sic] (PWC) to recover
damages, including costs associated with the class
action settlement and system remediation, attorney’s
fees, and related claims ...
Ex DWP Press Release 11-17-2016

The LGM press release, prepared by EKA, stated that “consumer rights attorney
Jack Landskroner” termed the settlement historic, briefly outlined features of the
settlement (“100% recovery” for all overcharged ratepayers; commits DWP to invest
$20 million to overhaul the billing system; appoints an independent monitor),
attributed the “faulty billing system” to PwC’s conversion of the DWP billing
system, which “failed miserably,” and touted Mr. Landskroner’s purported
investigation of the Cleveland Water Department’s billing problems:
In March, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed
a lawsuit against PwC…. If successful, all of the costs
incurred by DWP in settling this case could be recovered
from PwC.

241
* * *
Jack Landskroner, whose law firm is based in Cleveland,
Ohio, began investigating utility billing problems after the
2009 launch by PwC of a new water billing system for the
Cleveland Water Department, which also turned
disastrous. His knowledge of the Cleveland billing fiasco
enabled Landskroner to understand the necessary
comprehensive reforms approved in the groundbreaking
DWP settlement.
Ex LGM Press Release
That the LGM firm’s press release on the settlement mirrored the City’s was not a
mere coincidence; rather, as with a multitude of acts in this matter, it was part of
a coordinated plan, as evidenced by the series of calls and meetings, beginning
August 10, 2015, leading up to the August 17, 2015, press release, between LGM,
the public relations firm it hired to “sell” the settlement, and Joe Ramallo from
DWP to ensure the City’s “input on the release and tone” of the LGM press release.
See pdf below for emails from Mr. Rose to Jack re DWP Settlement Media
Plan/Timeline.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 408

This approach of issuing press statements that connected the financing of the Jones
v. City settlement to the pending City v. PwC action continued through November
16, 2016. Consistent with the theme, DWP’s then-General Manager David Wright
reiterated to the media that the City was seeking full reimbursement of all
overcharges of its customers and costs associated with the Jones v. City settlement
from PwC54:
The city and DWP will continue to pursue full repayment
by (PricewaterhouseCoopers) of the damages DWP and its
customers sustained due to PwC having designed and
implemented the flawed billing system.

54
https://www.dailybreeze.com/2016/11/14/DWP-customers-were-overcharged-at-least-675-
million-monitor-says/
Ex DOCID000420

242
On August 18, 2015, Mr. Paradis emailed Ms. Siemens, a JAMS employee assisting
Judge Tevrizian, copying Mr. Landskroner, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Blood, Mr. Bower, Mr.
Wade, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Libman, Mr. Kiesel, and several other individuals, that
he would be attending the August 20, 2015, mediation session, “on behalf of the
City.” Mr. Kiesel responds, “My hope is to be there as well….” The August 20,
2015, mediation session was focused on attorney fees and costs and for the first-time
attorneys for the Other Class Actions attended.

Ex COLA-SM_0000200-201

On August 19, 2015, Judge Tevrizian emailed all the potential attendees at the
August 20, 2015, mediation session, telling them that the mediation scheduled for
that date was to begin at 11:30 a.m. The identified attendees include lawyers for all
of the related class suits.

Ex COLA-SM_0000207

On August 20, 2015, a fifth mediation session was held before Judge Tevrizian.
Among those in attendance were Mr. Landskroner, representatives of the City, Mr.
Blood, Mr. Bower, and Mr. Himmelfarb. The City and Mr. Landskroner termed the
session a “fee mediation.” During this session, Mr. Bower told Judge Tevrizian that
a discussion of fees was premature given the extensive negotiations and changes that
needed to be made to ensure the settlement protected class members and provided
the maximum benefit to the class. Mr. Blood spent most of the three-hour mediation
discussing with attorneys for the City and Judge Tevrizian the changes he believed
were needed to fix the perceived problems with the settlement agreement. During
this meeting Mr. Landskroner did not participate in discussions about proposed
changes to the settlement agreement and the City indicated it would not consider any
changes to the draft settlement agreement.

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶¶ 13, 14


Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) ¶¶ 8, 9

During this mediation, it became obvious to Mr. Bowers that Mr. Landskroner had
done “virtually no discovery” either before or after the June mediation sessions.

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 13

On August 20, 2015, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Jones met for dinner in Los Angeles.

243
On August 21, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that he “enjoyed dinner
last night.” The email asked Mr. Jones to sign the attached document “today.” The
attached document was a representation agreement on LGM letterhead backdated to
December 11, 2014, the day that Mr. Jones signed the representation agreement with
Mr. Paradis. The Re line of the letter was “Antwon Jones v. DWP.” The body of
the letter was verbatim the same as the representation agreement between Mr.
Jones and Mr. Paradis, except that, in all but one place, DWP replaces PwC.
Paragraph 3 of the LGM letter still states, in part, “Mr. Jones will have no individual
responsibility for the payment of any fees for the legal representation required to
prosecute the claims asserted against PwC….”

Emphasis added.

Ex PLTF000158-61
Ex 15-08-21 Landskroner Retainer (Backdated to 2014-12-11)
Ex Backdated Jones Engagement Letter

It is evident that Mr. Paradis either prepared the engagement agreement between
LGM and Mr. Jones and provided it to Mr. Landskroner or he gave a Word version
of the PGL engagement agreement with Mr. Jones to Mr. Landskroner with
instructions to change the name of the defendant and put it on LGM letterhead.

On August 18, 2015, counsel for the Bransford plaintiffs requested an opportunity
to review the data runs provided to Mr. Landskroner. Subsequent to August 13,
2015, when the City sent his firm exhibits to the settlement agreement, the City
“confirmed that it never provided counsel in Jones any information, other than
allowing counsel the opportunity to review (but apparently not have copies of)
voluminous electronic data runs.”

Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) Dec ¶ 7

On August 25, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Ms. Wade, a partner in the Adelstein
firm and one of the attorneys for the Bransford plaintiffs, advising Ms. Wade that
the data was available for her review on Thursday afternoon, August 27. Ms.
Hallock was copied on the email.

Ex Exhibits to Blood Dec (8-28-15) Dec: Ex J

On August 26, 2015, Ms. Wade replied to Ms. Annaguey, asking if she and David
Marin (“Mr. Marin”) could come to the Liner Firm’s offices on August 27 at 3:30.

244
Ms. Hallock, Mr. Marin, and Lee Jackson (“Mr. Jackson”) of the Adelstein firm
were copied on the email.

Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) Ex J

On August 27, 2015, at 10:18 am, Ms. Wade emailed Ms. Annaguey to confirm
3:30. Ms. Hallock, Mr. Marin and Mr. Jackson were copied on this email. At 1:15
p.m., Ms. Annaguey emailed Ms. Wade and Mr. Marin, copying Ms. Hallock,
claiming that she had “not received emails from either of you regarding the data
review and therefore assumed that you would not be proceeding with the review.”
She stated that if Ms. Wade wanted to still review the data, she should provide
proposed dates and times for the next week “and we will check with the client to set
a time.” At 1:18 p.m., Ms. Wade emailed Ms. Annaguey and Mr. Marin that she
had emailed Ms. Annaguey twice, had not received a response, and would see her at
3:30. Copied on the email were Ms. Hallock, Mr. Blood, and Ms. Hurst. At 1:56
p.m., Ms. Hallock forwarded Ms. Wade’s emails to Ms. Annaguey and at 2:01 p.m.,
Ms. Annaguey emailed Ms. Wade, claiming that Ms. Hallock had “just forwarded
to me” Ms. Wade’s 1:18 p.m. email, that since she hadn’t heard from Ms. Wade she
assumed the data review “was not occurring this week” and the IT person was no
longer available that day. Finally, she asked Ms. Wade to propose dates and times
for the following week.

Ex Blood Dec (8-28-15) Ex J

As an isolated incident, this may not merit any analysis. But it was not an isolated
incident. Ms. Annaguey’s initial email in this chain on August 25, 2015, was to
Ms. Wade and Ms. Hallock only. Mr. Marin was not a recipient of any email other
than the two replies by Ms. Wade, the first of which identified Mr. Marin as
accompanying Ms. Wade for the review.

Although Ms. Annaguey claimed in her 2:01 p.m. email of August 27 not to have
received Ms. Wade’s earlier emails until they were forwarded to her by Ms.
Hallock, she nonetheless addressed her 1:15 p.m. email to both Ms. Wade and Mr.
Marin, despite claiming not to have heard from Ms. Wade.

This evidences that, contrary to her claim, Ms. Annaguey had received Ms.
Wade’s earlier emails (identifying Mr. Marin for the first time) but was

245
intentionally trying to delay the review of data until after the date for filing any
opposition to the motion for preliminary approval had passed.

On August 28, 2015, the Blood Hurst, Milstein, and Faruqui firms, on behalf of the
plaintiffs in Bransford and Fontaine, filed a Joint Opposition to Motion for
Preliminary Approval and Appointment of Leadership, together with a Declaration
of Timothy Blood in support of the opposition and exhibits thereto. The opposition
argued that the proposed settlement was fundamentally flawed, was silent, vague, or
uncertain on several important points and that Mr. Landskroner should not be
appointed lead counsel.

Ex 15-08-28 - Bransford-and-Fontaine-s-Joint-Oppo-to-Preliminary-Approval

On August 28, 2015, LGM issued a press release entitled “Attorney Tim Blood tries
to Hijack Settlement that repays DWP customers/Statement from Lead Counsel Jack
Landskroner.” The statement, prepared by EKA, the public relations firm retained
by LGM to whip up public support for approval of the settlement, asserted that Mr.
Blood was trying “to block the landmark settlement of overbilling claims against”
DWP and asserted that Mr. Blood’s objection “is simply a sad, greedy attempt” by
someone who “has no shame at all or apparently problems disrespecting the efforts
of retired federal judge Dickran Tevrizian” and was nothing more “than a money
grab” by someone who had nothing at all to do with the settlement.

Ex LGM PDF Doc 411

Throughout the approval process, both Mr. Landskroner and the City attacked Mr.
Blood’s opposition to the settlement as solely an attempt by Mr. Blood to get more
money which would be coming out of the pocket of ratepayers.

This is ironic given that, as the City well knew, Mr. Landskroner had done very
little to justify the $13 million “Mediator’s Proposal” it had agreed to and that any
award of attorney fees to Mr. Blood would be paid out of the $13 million the City
initially agreed to pay (subsequently raised to $19 million) and would not be
additional money paid by ratepayers.

246
SEPTEMBER 2015: COURT GIVES INITIAL APPROVAL, INCLUDING
ATTORNEYS’ FEES, DESPITE OBJECTIONS BY COUNSEL IN
THE RELATED ACTIONS AFTER CREDITING FALSE AND
MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY LAWYERS FOR
THE CITY AND MR. LANDSKRONER

On September 3, 2015, Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman filed Plaintiff’s Reply
Memorandum in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of
Class Action Settlement.

Ex 15-09-03 Reply Memorandum

The Reply Memorandum represented, falsely, that “[t]he parties in the Jones
Action have worked diligently in negotiating the terms of the Settlement.” Rather
than address the points raised in the Joint Opposition, and consistent with the
theme laid out in his August 17 press release, Mr. Landskroner asserted repeatedly
that the opposition was filed solely so that plaintiffs’ counsel in the Other Class
Actions could “gain leverage to obtain unjustified attorneys’ fees,” that the
opposition was “motivated by nothing more than the Related Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s
desire to put their own financial interests ahead of the interests of the Settlement
Class Members,” that the joint opposition was “an attempt to line their own
pockets with unearned and unjustified attorneys’ fees, for work that they did not
perform, all at the expense of the Settlement Class Members….”and that they are
“grossly inadequate representatives who have only their financial interests at
heart” who were attempting to “extort attorneys’ fees.” (Reply Memorandum at
1, 3, 4)

Mr. Landskroner repeated the lie that he “undertook an extensive investigation”


including “consultations with non-testifying experts” (Reply Memorandum at 9),
and that counsel opposing the settlement failed to do any work and “did not attend
any of the mediation sessions… and played absolutely no role in achieving the
relief provided by the Settlement” (Reply Memorandum at 11), ignoring the fact
that not only were counsel for other plaintiffs not informed of the mediation
sessions, but that, as Mr. Landskroner knew from attending the May 22, 2015,
hearings, Ms. Agrusa, representing the City, lied to the Court about the cases not
being ready for mediation, thus misleading the Court and plaintiffs’ counsel in the
Other Class Actions about the secret discussions between the City and Mr.
Landskroner.

247
Mr. Landskroner repeatedly asserted that the attorneys who oppose the settlement
are just trying to extort attorneys’ fees for work they have not done when, as
demonstrated by Ms. Annaguey’s August 1 email, it was Mr. Landskroner’s fees
which were grossly inflated, unjustified, and he was trying to use inside
information to extort fees from the City and ultimately the taxpayers of Los
Angeles. It is also ironic that Mr. Landskroner attacked counsel in the related class
action, the same counsel who filed the initial consumer case against the DWP,
claiming that such counsel was opposing settlement for having done no work when
it was Mr. Landskroner, who had, in fact, had the Jones v. City complaint handed
to him, literally.

September 11, 2015, was the hearing on the motion for preliminary approval of the
settlement. Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman appeared for the plaintiff and Ms.
Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, and Mr. Tom appeared for the City in Jones v. City.
Although City v. PwC was not on the calendar, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis 55, Ms. Tufaro
and Ms. Dorny formally appeared on behalf of the City in that case.

During his presentation to the Court, Mr. Landskroner made numerous false
statements concerning his investigation, pre-mediation settlement discussions and
“contentious” mediation:

[T]he foundation of plaintiffs’ claims were based not


only on an extensive investigation to the claims of the
D.W.P. customers here in Los Angeles but included
extensive investigation into a prior failure of the same
C.C. and B. installation at the Department of Water in
Cleveland, Ohio, by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

55
At this same hearing, Mr. Paradis, “appearing on behalf of the City,” stated he “was imported
by Jim Clark to deal with Mr. Blood in connection with the issues that he’s raised with the court.”
That Mr. Paradis took this role serious is further exemplified by his September 15, 2015, email to
Mr. Peters asking that he shut down Ms. Annaguey’s attempts to facilitate a one-on-one meeting
with Mr. Blood and Mr. Clark, noting “If Landskroner finds out about this he is going to go nuts
– and rightfully so.” Mr. Peters took care of the problem, confirming with Mr. Paradis that “After
today’s call, are we good re: this?”
Ex 2015-09-11 Hearing 9, 46
Ex COLA-SM_0006794
Ex COLA-SM_0006891
248
It’s not [sic] coincidence that I’m from Cleveland, and I
spent a considerable amount of time investigating that
particular incident, which largely mirrored the
problems that were faced by the Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power. The information
gained in this investigation was invaluable to assisting
in the understanding of the C.C. and B. system defects
and the wide-scale impact upon customers, not just in
Cleveland, but in Los Angeles. our investigation
included interviews with confidential witnesses, review
of documents, consultation with and retention of non-
testifying experts, all of which helped to provide the
understanding that was necessary to recognize the
functionality problems of the C.C. and B. systems, its
defects, and how L.A.D.W.P. customers were harmed. It
also provided an understanding of how the solar
customers were harmed and delayed in getting into the
system and getting the credits that they were entitled.

Based on the results of our investigation and the


strengths of these claims, counsel approached the city
and D.W.P. to discuss settlement and put together a
settlement proposal, including a comprehensive
framework to structure a settlement based on the
information and knowledge that we had.

Progress was made in these discussions, but they stalled.

Ex 2015.09.11 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval at 7-12

After making these false statements to the Court about his investigation, about his
employing “nontestifying experts” and his putting together a comprehensive
settlement framework, and how settlement discussions stalled, Mr. Landskroner
related (falsely) that after settlement discussions “stalled” the parties entered into
mediation with Judge Tevrizian. His discussion of mediation continued with more
lies, but he attributed most of what he said to Judge Tevrizian’s declaration in
support of preliminary approval:

As noted in Judge Tevrizian’s declaration, which has


been filed in support of this settlement, these mediation
249
sessions were contentious and protracted. The class
counsels’ in-depth investigation and prior experience in
this field played an integral role in advancing the
settlement discussions. [¶]…. It was Judge Tevrizian’s
opinion that the settlement was fair, reasonable, and
adequate, and that the work of class counsel in this
matter resulted in a very favorable settlement being
obtained for the settlement class.

Ex 2015.09.11 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval at 8-9

As discussed above, Mr. Landskroner never conducted an extensive investigation


of the DWP billing fiasco, never hired any experts, did not prepare the
comprehensive settlement framework and did not conduct an investigation of the
failed installation of the CC&B billing system at Cleveland Department of Water.
Additionally, the basic framework of the settlement was agreed to by mid-April
and the parties had contacted Judge Tevrizian’s assistant for dates for mediation
sessions over a month before the May 22, 2015, hearing before this Court.

The inaccurate statements made by Judge Tevrizian in his declaration were due to
the fact that he was unaware that Jones v. City was a collusive lawsuit and that the
terms of the settlement were agreed to in advance. Instead, Judge Tevrizian had
accepted at face value the representations made to him by representatives of the
City, including the Chief Deputy City Attorney, Mr. Clark, and an attorney who
had mediated a number of cases before him, Mr. Paradis, and he did not know that
the mediation was nothing more than an elaborate stage production put together
for the “optics.”

Mr. Landskroner repeated his lies throughout his presentation, stating that the
settlement “was unquestionably reached through arm’s length negotiation” relying
on Judge Tevrizian’s reputation as a jurist and mediator to give the settlement the
appearance of having been reached through honest, good faith negotiations
without compromising class members’ interests. (Id. 16:20-17:9) He claimed to
have done “sufficient pretrial investigation” (Id. 17:14-27) and cited Judge
Tevrizian to support the statement that “counsel’s in-depth investigation played a
crucial role in advancing settlement discussions.” (Id. 20:11-18)

At one point, Mr. Landskroner, in an attempt to explain to the Court what it has to
do, set forth lie after lie:

250
At this stage, the court must assess the fairness,
reasonableness, and adequacy of the settlement. The
presumptive fairness of the settlement exists when the
settlement is reached through arm’s length bargaining,
investigation and discovery are sufficient to allow
counsel and the court to act intelligently, and counsel is
experienced in similar litigation.

This settlement was unquestionably reached through


arm’s length negotiation. (Id. 16)

The Special Master concludes that the settlement was NOT unquestionably
reached through arm’s length negotiation. Nor was there any discovery. Nor was
there any investigation by Mr. Landskroner or Mr. Libman. Extensive
investigation was done by Mr. Paradis, as Special Counsel for the City and as
counsel for Mr. Jones, for the purpose of allowing Mr. Paradis to draft a
complaint for Mr. Landskroner’s use, none of which helps Mr. Landskroner’s
argument here.

Members of the LACA (Mr. Tom and Ms. Dorny), the City’s outside counsel (Ms.
Agrusa and Ms. Annaguey) and its special counsel (Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Paradis, and
Ms. Tufaro) all were present while Mr. Landskroner made these false statements
to the Court in an effort to convince it to grant the motion for preliminary approval
of the settlement. They all knew that the settlement agreement was worked out
with Mr. Landskroner shortly after the Jones complaint was filed, that Judge
Tevrizian had been contacted about holding mediation sessions by mid-April, that
Mr. Landskroner had done no pre-filing or post-filing investigation or discovery
and that the mediation sessions with Judge Tevrizian were conducted for one
purpose: “the optics,” to give the appearance that the settlement was the result of
hard, arm’s length negotiations. Yet none of them did anything to correct Mr.
Landskroner’s false statements either during or after the September 11, 2015,
hearing.

Not only did these lawyers not correct Mr. Landskroner’s numerous repeated lies,
these lawyers, on behalf of the City, affirmatively adopted them en masse.
Speaking on behalf of the City in support of the motion for preliminary approval,
Ms. Agrusa stated that “we reiterate Mr. Landskroner’s comments.” (Ex
2015.09.11 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval at 28)

251
The Court continued the hearing on the motion for preliminary approval to
November 3, 2015. October 13, 2015, was set as the date by which a revised
settlement agreement was to be filed and October 23, 2015, as the date for filing
objections to the revised settlement agreement.

Ex 2015.09.11 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval at 64-65

Subsequent to the September 11, 2015, hearing, the parties arranged to meet to
discuss changes to the settlement agreement.

On September 28, 2015, Mr. Blood, Mr. Himmelfarb and Mr. Bower met with Mr.
Landskroner and counsel for the City to discuss changes to the settlement agreement.
The meeting occurred at the Liner Firm’s offices in downtown Los Angeles.

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) Dec ¶ 17-18

On September 19, 2015, Mr. Clark emails Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Peters, Mr. Solomon,
Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Brown, and Ms.
Agrusa, and another Liner lawyer with the subject line “Re: Red-Line.” In this email,
Mr. Clark indicates that he has no intention of negotiating with Mr. Tim Blood,
referring to Mr. Blood as a “clown.”

Ex Pansky Re_ Red-Line

OCTOBER 2015: EFFORTS TO SIDELINE MR. BLOOD AND THE


OTHER PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL CONTINUE; THE CITY HIRES
PARADIS LAW GROUP BY WAY OF A NON-COMPETITIVE
BID PROCESS TO CONDUCT NON-LEGAL REMEDIATION
MANAGEMENT AT ABOVE-MARKET RATES

On October 2, 2015, a second meeting was held where Mr. Blood, Mr. Himmelfarb,
Mr. Bower, Mr. Landskroner, and counsel for the City met with Mr. Bender and his
associates, Mr. Thoppe and Mr. Osman, at the Liner Firm’s offices. At the meeting
Mr. Bender gave a PowerPoint presentation, after which Mr. Blood, Mr.
Himmelfarb, and Mr. Bower were allowed a brief period of time to ask questions of
Mr. Bender.

252
Ex DOCID001005
Ex Bower Dec (10-26-15) ¶ 19-20
Ex Blood Supp. Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 7
Ex Wade Dec (10-28-15) ¶¶ 6,7
Ex Himmelfarb interview notes
Ex BHO interview on November 5_ 2019

At the October 2, 2015, meeting, Mr. Landskroner read a prepared statement


“perfunctorily” informing Counsel for the Bransford, Morski, Fontaine, and Macias
plaintiffs (a) which of their suggested improvements to the settlement agreement
would be made, (b) which improvements would be made, though not incorporated
into the written settlement agreement and (c) which criticisms and suggestions were
still under consideration.

Ex Blood Supp. Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 8


Ex Wade Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 8

On October 2, 2015, Ms. Annaguey emailed Mr. Paradis and Ms. Dorny about Mr.
Bender’s declaration, stating it will “need to explain general level of work and access
already provided.” In response, Ms. Dorny emailed Ms. Annaguey and Mr. Paradis
that they also needed to “emphasize that Bender’s work level and timing is derived
from the settlement dates.”

Ex COLA-SM_0011692

On October 2, 2015, CBS Los Angeles News reported that Brian Kabateck
criticized the proposed settlement agreement and said, “This is possibly the worst
settlement I’ve ever seen.” At 9:01 p.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed a draft of a letter for
Mr. Peters responding to Brian Kabateck’s public statement that the Jones settlement
is possibly the worst Mr. Kabateck has ever seen:
On what authority, Brian, would you ever make a
statement that this is possibly “the worst settlement you
have ever seen...” Do you know the terms of the
settlement? Do you know who is administering the
settlement? Do you understand that it was your VERY
WELL respected judge Tevrizian who negotiated the
settlement?
Are you that desperate for media attention that you would
comment on a case you have no understanding of your

253
relation to? As you may or may not know, Brian, I
represent the Department of water [sic] and power [sic]
in their litigation against Price Waterhouse Coopers [sic]
and, therefore, am intimately familiar with the terms of
this proposed class resolution. The department is
committed to returning 100 percent of any overcharges
from rate payers. How often do you ever have a resolution
where consumers are awarded 100%percent of their
damages?
On what basis do you contend “this is a star chamber”. I
have no idea why you felt it necessary to inject yourself
into this litigation but, let me suggest, you stay away.
Mike Feuer and his office held you in high regard and I
can’t imagine they hold a similar view today. A Serious
mistake.
That same evening Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Keisel in an email:
Having taken a breath, having kissed my daughter
goodnight, having finished my glass of wine, and having
(critically) consulted with The Robe who shares my
address, I may have had an epiphany.
Who gives a toot what this dummy says?
Who views him as an authority? Or an expert? Or, even,
a person whose opinion is worthy of consideration? The
judiciary? You know the judges even better than I, Paul,
but I feel I know them well enough to say this uninformed,
self-aggrandizing “critic” suffers from the reality of who
he is known to be. This is a lawyer unburdened by ethics,
decency, and professionalism. He is not only all about
money, he is only about money, and is seen as someone
who views media exposure - of any sort - as a means to
that end. To praise our amazingly fair settlement is not
newsworthy because it is not sensational. News these days
requires conflict. Kabatek [sic] knows this. So he pulls a
gallon of gas from his posterior, pretends to have read the
draft settlement agreement (or, if he did read it, violated
rules, as I understand it - a request for discovery re leaks?
a thought), then trashes our efforts, because he is such a
nobody he knows he’ll not be broadcast, nor approached
254
again for comment in the future, unless he tries to create
a “newsworthy” conflict.
So perhaps we ignore this clown altogether. I see no
indications online that his prevarications have any media
legs. Whatever he says will not endanger the settlement. I
do not see that he changes the narrative. He is a nobody
with no concern for, much less loyalty to, the truth.
Bottom line: Who gives a shit what this idiot says?
Do we therefore unduly dignify his asinine logorrhea by
responding at all?
Succinctly put: If a dipshit falls in the woods, should we
even acknowledge that we heard it?
Maybe saying nothing is the best tact, since nobody heard
anything of significance.
But remembering this, internally? That is indelible.
Ex Pansky Re: Draft letter. You should be ashamed

The Special Master includes this email chain to highlight the continuing
professional and personal relationship between Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Peters. Any
claim that Mr. Kiesel blindsided his friend, former partner, and current colleague
by engineering Jones v. City behind his, Mr. Peters’s, back, is not credible.

In October 2015, the City turned over supervision of the CC&B remediation effort
to Mr. Paradis and his firm PLG. The PLG contract ultimately grew to the point
that the City paid almost $30 million to Mr. Paradis and entities owned and
controlled by Mr. Paradis.

On October 13, 2015, 56 Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Bender, stating in part “I will be
sending you a draft of your declaration to review and finalize tomorrow. I will deal

56
That Mr. Paradis, despite not being retained as counsel for the City in the ratepayer actions, was
often the point person in communications with Mr. Bender as is noted in this key email as well as
the August 28, 2015, email from Mr. Paradis, copied to Mr. Landskroner, Ms. Annaguey, Ms.
Dorny, and Mr. Wright, specifically informing Mr. Bender that the Court had signed to protective
order to disclose materials to Mr. Bender so that he could begin work the next day, or the following
Monday at the latest.

255
directly with David about getting the contract finalized as we discussed last Friday
when I get back to LA.” That day, Mr. Bender forwarded Mr. Paradis’s email to Mr.
Ahmad.

Ex BENDER_0002

On the surface, Mr. Bender was engaged by Mr. Landskroner to act as independent
monitor. Neither Mr. Bender nor his company, Bender Consulting, was ever
engaged by the City or DWP. The highlighted area is the only indication the Special
Master has seen that in fact Mr. Bender and his company worked for DWP. The
contract Mr. Paradis mentions may be the project management agreement between
DWP and PLG, which was approved by DWP Board on October 20, 2014. This
raises the possibility that Mr. Bender and Bender Consulting were acting as project
manager for DWP on the remediation of the CC&B Billing System while they were
acting as independent monitor to ensure that DWP complied with the Jones
settlement. The money paid to Mr. Bender and his company for the work as
independent monitor was paid by the City to LGM, which then paid Mr. Bender’s
company.

On October 16, 2015, at 9:48 a.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Bender that “we
have to have your piece of the puzzle to finalize the rest of the filings.”

At 9:58 a.m., Mr. Bender emailed Mr. Paradis, Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Ahmad, and
Mr. Thoppe “Good timing Jack. Just finished. Attached is the document, and a
separate signature page.” Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Bender, Mr. Ahmad and Mr.
Thoppe: “Thanks for getting this turned around so quickly. I apologize for the delay
in getting it to you.” At 10:32 a.m., Mr. Bender emailed Mr. Paradis, copying Mr.
Bender, Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Ahmad, Mr. Thoppe, and Ms. Tufaro: “I hope this
helps.” At 10:34 a.m., Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Bender, copying the
individuals Mr. Bender copied: “It helps a great deal.”

Ex Nina Marino Special Master Report: 10.16.15 declaration emails

It is evident that Mr. Paradis did the initial draft of all of Mr. Bender’s declarations
and reports through final approval of the settlement and many of Mr. Bender’s
reports after final approval. While Mr. Paradis drafted the declarations, they were
usually on Mr. Landskroner’s pleading paper and often filed and served by Mr.
Landskroner’s office.

Ex COLA-SM_0006653

256
As the evidence shows, Mr. Paradis emailed the first draft of the Settlement
Agreement, which was put on Mr. Landskroner’s pleading paper and which Mr.
Landskroner filed. This may have been true of other pleadings filed by Mr.
Landskroner. Absent access to emails between Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner,
with no outside third party on the email chain, the Special Master does not know
what other pleadings filed by Mr. Landskroner were drafted by Mr. Paradis.

On October 16, 2015, Mr. Landskroner filed Plaintiff’s Supplemental


Memorandum in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of
Class Action Settlement, Supplemental Declaration of Jack Landskroner in Further
Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval, Declaration of Deborah
Dorny and Declaration of Paul Bender in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for
Preliminary Approval. The first Revised Settlement Agreement (“1st RSA”) was
attached as an exhibit to Mr. Landskroner’s supplemental declaration.

Ex Dorny Dec (10-16-15)


Ex Bender Dec (10-16-15)
Ex Landskroner Supp Dec (10-16-15)
Ex Plaintiff’s Supplemental Memorandum

The 1st RSA made a number of changes to the August 17 Settlement Agreement,
including the following:

• In the Recital provisions it adds that the Settlement excludes the Morski and
Macias constitutional challenge to tiered billing and tiered billing in violation
of City ordinances and the Macias Bane Act claim.
• Adds that Released Claims do not include the constitutional Morski and
Macias constitutional claims and the Macias Bane Act claim.
• Expands upon the provisions relating to Bender Consulting’s role as
independent monitor.
• Adds a provision for the appointment of a special master to decide disputed
claims.

Ex Bender Dec (10-16-15)


Ex Landskroner Supp Dec (10-16-15)
Ex Plaintiff’s Supplemental Memorandum

On October 19, 2015, Mr. Broersma approved as to form and legality


Professional Services Agreement No. 47361-6 for Project Management Services-
257
Customer Information System Remediation between the Los Angeles Department
of Water & Power and Paradis Law Group, PLLC (“PLG Contract”). (Ex COLA-
LADWP 0011366-11423 at 11393) Mr. Wright, as DWP’s Chief Administrative
Officer and Ms. Edwards, as DWP’s General Manager, signed a Board Letter
Approval dated October 19, 2015, recommending that the DWP Board approve the
contract. The Board Approval Letter recited that “time is of the essence” because
the Revised Settlement Agreement “requires immediate oversight of remediation
measures on a compressed time schedule” and the work “requires specific
knowledge and professional experience in litigation settlement project
management.” The Board Approval Letter further recited that PLG was
“exceptionally qualified and considered a single-source provider.” (Id. at COLA-
LADWP 011366-368)

On October 20, 2015, the DWP Board adopted Resolution No. 016-079 approving
the PLG Contract and authorizing the execution of the agreement on behalf of the
DWP. (Id. at COLA-LADWP 0011370) The PLG Contract was signed by Mr.
Paradis on behalf of PLG and, on November 3, 2015, by Mr. Wright and the Board’s
Secretary, Barbara E. Moschas (“Ms. Moschas”), on behalf of DWP.

The PLG Contract was a single source services agreement awarded without the
benefit of requests for proposals. DWP’s asserted justification for bypassing the
otherwise required request for competitive proposals was stated as the need to
“ensure DWP’s full compliance with the mandated Revised Settlement Agreement.”
(Id. at COLA-LADWP 011367) The PLG Contract applied retroactively from
July 13, 2015, and continued through March 12, 2016, and included an option
for an additional four-month extension, from March 13, 2016, through July
12, 2016. The total amount of the PLG Contract was $1,304,090. (Id.)

The PLG Contract identified Mr. Paradis as “Project Manager” and Ms. Tufaro
as “Deputy Project Manager,” with hourly billing rates of $450 and $425,
respectively; it listed Stacey J. Dana (“Ms. Dana”), an associate at PLG, as
“project associate” and Melanie Jacobs (“Ms. Jacobs”), a PLG clerical
employee, as “project support staff” at hourly billing rates of $375 and $175
respectively. (Id. at COLA-LADWP 011418, Exhibit F of the PLG Contract)
Exhibit H, Statement of Work, to the PLG Contract described the scope of work
to be provided by PLG as:

Contractor shall provide project management services


necessary to implement the measures required by the
Revised Settlement Agreement in the Jones Action,

258
pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Agreement
and as determined necessary by DWP Chief
Administrative Officer or his designated representative.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0011421

All five Board members (President Levine, Jill Banks Barad, Michael F.
Fleming, Mr. Funderburk and Christina E. Noonan) voted to approve the PLG
Contract. Among the attendees of the meeting were Ms. Edwards, Mr. Wright,
and Mr. Brown. Mr. Paradis was not in attendance. Prior to being noticed for
his deposition, no one had ever informed Mr. Jones that Mr. Paradis had a contract
with the City “to oversee the performance of work that was agreed to in the
settlement” of his case. Mr. Jones would never have hired an attorney who he
understood worked for either the City or DWP.

Ex Board Minutes (10-20-15) at 17-18


Ex COLA-LADWP_0011366-11423 (PLG Contract)
Jones Dep 134, 215

While justification for having the PLG Contract a sole-source agreement was that
it was required under the Revised Settlement Agreement, the PLG Contract was
entered into approximately two months before the Court conditionally granted the
motion to preliminarily approve the settlement and was made retroactive to July
2015. The PLG Contract becomes more important later when the City claimed a
work product privilege over all the remediation work being done to improve the
CC&B alleging that the work was done under the supervision of lawyers (Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro) to assist in litigation.

Mr. Jones was not informed nor was he requested by anyone to provide any
conflict waivers regarding the PLG Contract with the City. Prior to being noticed
for his deposition, no one had ever informed Mr. Jones that Mr. Paradis had a
contract with the City “to oversee the performance of work that was agreed to in
the settlement” of his case. (Jones Dep 215:3-10) As repeatedly noted, Mr. Jones
would never have hired an attorney who he understood worked for either the City
or DWP. (Jones Dep 134:2-5)

On October 26, 2015, Mr. Himmelfarb filed Morski’s Opposition and Objections
to Plaintiff’s Supplemental Memorandum in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion
for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and Declaration of Alan
Himmelfarb in Support thereof in Jones v. City. In the opposition Mr. Himmelfarb

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argued that the revised settlement agreement failed to comply with the Court’s order
concerning the Morski and Bane Act claims, that it released many claims without
any compensation, that it did not make whole every customer, and that the revised
settlement agreement contained flaws in the means, mechanism, and implementation
of the Settlement itself.

Ex 15-10-26 - Morski-Opposition-Objections-to-Revised-Preliminary-Approval
Ex 15-10-26 - AH-Decl---Morski-Opposition

On October 28, 2015, Mr. Blood filed in Bransford the Bransford and Fontaine
Supplemental Joint Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action
Settlement, the Supplemental Declaration of Timothy Blood in support of the Joint
Opposition, the Declaration of Gillian L. Wade in support of the Joint Opposition
and the Declaration of David E. Bower re Timeline Regarding Attempts to
Participate in Settlement Negotiations.

The Supplemental Joint Opposition argued, among other things, that a) “it is flatly
untrue that Jones’s ‘non-testifying consultants’ ‘develop[ed] a highly detailed
settlement proposal” and b) Bender Consulting “is not independent, but conflicted”
since it works for public utilities, not ratepayers. (Ex Bransford-Fontaine P Supp
Joint Opposition to Motion at 2, 9-12)

In his Declaration, Mr. Bower discussed the August 20, 2015, “fee mediation.”
He stated, in part “What the proposed settlement agreement did seem to provide
was a full and extremely broad release of all claims, past, present and future,
basically absolving DWP of all of its negligence and mistreatment of its
customers for any existing issues concerning billing or service.”

Ex Bower Dec (10-28-15) ¶ 13


Ex Bransford-Fontaine P Supp Joint Opposition to Motion
Ex Exs A-C to Supp Blood Dec
Ex Wade Dec (10-28-15)

In fact, it was worse than the Bransford and Fontaine parties imagined. As
discussed above, Mr. Landskroner was selected by the City’s Special Counsel to
file the Jones v. City lawsuit, LACA and the DWP expected to settle the class
billing cases with Mr. Landskroner before the complaint was filed and the
evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the Jones Settlement
Proposal was drafted by Mr. Paradis, not Mr. Landskroner. Additionally, the DWP
was involved in the selection of Mr. Bender, who initially believed he was being

260
retained to oversee the remediation of DWP’s CC&B billing system and, as
implied by the October 13, 2015, email from Mr. Paradis to Mr. Bender, Mr.
Bender may have been additionally retained to oversee remediation through
DWP’s project management agreement with PLG.

This evidence was, however, unavailable to the opponents of the Settlement


Agreement or to the Court.

On October 29, 2015, Ms. Edwards emailed Mr. Wright, Mr. Tom and DWP’s
then-Chief Financial Officer Jeff Peltola with the subject RE: confidential work
product— talking points for $300M regulatory asset-class action.

When we briefed [the] Council on the settlement, the costs to comply


were not yet compiled. We didn’t consider this an issue at the time, as
we were going to have to make customer service improvements
regardless of the lawsuits – in fact the settlement helped by defining
specific performance targets we needed to reach.

These are dollars we would have recommended to the Board they spend
anyway to begin the investments in improved customer service.

[The remediation improvements] would have cost the same had I been
the one to recommend them as opposed to the court. We felt having the
court do it was more credible to the public.

The staffing plan was developed considering the highest anticipated


staffing and expense range to meet the settlement requirements.

All the costs for the recovery of the failed roll out of the customer
service system were totaled up, and important to note, we threw in
everything and the kitchen sink in order that we improve our chances
at getting some or all of the money back from our lawsuit against PWC.

Ex Edwards email

So then-General Manager of the DWP Marcie Edwards made clear that certain
operational reforms at the DWP would have been necessary even without the
settlement. But the optics were better if they could tell the public that the costs
were ordered by the Court and not ordered by the DWP. And when the DWP

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totaled the costs of its CC&B fiasco, they estimated it on the high side in order to
increase their anticipated damages against PwC.

On October 30, 2015, at 9:13 a.m., Ms. Edwards sent to Mr. Wright and Mr. Tom
a draft discussion of the estimated cost of the settlement over 6 years for their
comments. It appears to be a draft of a presentation, and although it does not specify
to whom the presentation is intended, based upon the evidence discussed herein, it
appears that the presentation was most likely for the LA City Council. It states that
the cost is estimated at $370 million, which is “on the high side because…we filed
suit against” PwC and will look to them for recovery so she does not want to come
in on the low side. Ms. Edwards also notes that DWP will need to raise rates to
cover the costs, but this should be done in 3 or 4 years. Ms. Edwards requested
a response within “15 minutes.” At 9:17 a.m., Mr. Tom forwarded Ms. Edwards’
email to Mr. Clark, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Annaguey and Ms. Dorny. At 9:19 a.m., Mr.
Clark responded to Mr. Tom and the recipients of Mr. Tom’s email that he “can’t
read now” as he was on the freeway.

Ex COLA-SM_0000571-73

The Special Master emphasizes this portion of the email to highlight the obvious.
There is no foreseeable financial problem that can be permitted to befall the DWP
that can or will interfere with the $200 million or so that goes into the City’s
treasury every year from the DWP. The DWP will raise the costs to the ratepayers
to maintain that cash flow no matter what.

There was no DWP Board meeting on October 30, 2015. The Los Angeles City
Council met on that date, starting at 10:00 a.m. Item 32 on the City Council’s
agenda for October 30, 2015, was a closed session with the City’s “legal counsel”
to discuss the Billing Class Actions and City v. PwC. Since Ms. Edwards’ email
requests the persons to whom her remarks are addressed to “keep this within the
confines of closed session,” the Special Master concludes that Ms. Edwards email
was for the 10:00 a.m. City Council meeting, hence her request for any feedback
within 15 minutes.

Ex City Council 10-30-15 agenda

262
NOVEMBER 2015: LIES TO THE COURT CONTINUE IN SUPPORT OF
APPROVING JONES SETTLEMENT; THE PARTIES TWEAK
THE SETTLEMENT FURTHER

On November 2, 2015, Ms. Annaguey filed Defendant City of Los Angeles’ Further
Reply in Support of Plaintiff Jones’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class
Action Settlement. In the Further Reply, which was signed by Ms. Annaguey, the
City asserts that PwC “caused” DWP’s “billing fiasco” and that the objections of the
Bransford and Fontaine plaintiffs were “driven by resentment” and “hard feelings.”
(Ex Further Reply at 1) After arguing that the 1st RSA “provides full transparency
and accountability, has a carefully crafted Release and provides that it is the Court
that ultimately determines what attorneys’ fees will be awarded” (id.) Ms. Annaguey
stated that DWP did not select Mr. Landskroner as the attorney with whom it would
settle the case due to a “reverse auction,” that the mediation was contentious and
protracted, and that “it is time to set aside ego and hurt feelings, end the litigation
costs and get to remediating the damage to the class members.” In a footnote, Ms.
Annaguey stated that Mr. Blood’s assertion that DWP attorneys solicited them to
participate in a lawsuit against PwC “is false.” (Id. at 6)

Ex Further Reply

As Ms. Annaguey stated in her August 1, 2015, email concerning attorneys’ fees,
the DWP was “committed to fully refund/credit its customers” before litigation
began. Mr. Blood had already initiated settlement discussions before Jones v. City
was filed, there had been zero discovery in Jones v. City and Mr. Landskroner did
“little demonstrable work to advance the interests of the class.” Ms. Annaguey was
also aware that the settlement proposal contained information not publicly available.
All of this would have led a reasonable attorney to question whether Mr.
Landskroner had drafted the Jones Settlement Proposal. She also knew that the
mediation was not “contentious” since she knew from the initial meeting with Mr.
Landskroner, from the City’s decision to shine on Mr. Blood and counsel for the
other class plaintiffs, and from the false statement Ms. Agrusa made at the May 22
hearing, among other things, that the settlement was agreed to in advance of the
mediation sessions, which were more shadow theater than real negotiations. The
only matter that could possibly be accurately described as “contentious” were
discussions as to how much Mr. Landskroner was trying to “blackmail” out of the
DWP.

In her deposition, Ms. Annaguey was questioned about the statement that Mr. Blood
falsely asserted that he was solicited by DWP attorneys to participate in a lawsuit

263
against PwC. Ms. Annaguey testified that before early 2019 she did not know about
the plan to have Mr. Blood and Mr. Himmelfarb dismiss their cases and join a lawsuit
against PwC, that she consulted with Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, and Mr. Dorny about
Mr. Blood’s statement and sent them a copy of the draft to review to confirm its
accuracy, and that her denial was not meant to exclude Special Counsel. (Annaguey
Dep 115-117) Ms. Annaguey’s testimony is belied by the February 17, 2015, Liner
Memo she and Ms. Agrusa authored. There, Ms. Annaguey wrote that at a February
11, 2015, meeting they were informed “the law firm of Blood Hurst & O’Reardon
(“Blood Firm”), currently counsel of record for the plaintiffs in Bransford, has
allegedly agreed to voluntarily dismiss the DWP from the Bransford matter and
substitute in PWC as the defendant.” (Ex Liner Memo at 2) Simply put, Mr. Blood’s
assertion was true, Ms. Annaguey knew it was true and both her statement in the
Further Reply and her deposition testimony were false.

On November 3, 2015, the Court held a further hearing on the motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement. Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Merriman, Edward
Jerse (“Mr. Jerse”), an LGM partner, and Mr. Libman appeared for Mr. Jones. Mr.
Clark, Mr. Tom, Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Paradis,
Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Keisel, Mr. Young, and Helen Zukin (“Ms. Zukin”) (another Kiesel
Law associate) appeared on behalf of the City. Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel,
Mr. Young, and Ms. Zukin identified themselves as “outside counsel for the City”
without stating that they were counsel for the City solely for Jones v. PwC. (Ex
2015.11.03 hearing transcript 1:20-25, 3:6-7) During the hearing, Mr. Landskroner
falsely stated:

We discussed in some detail the terms of the settlement,


the arm’s length negotiations undertaken, the process
under Judge Tevrizian, the background and insight that
my office brought to this case, coming from Cleveland and
having investigated virtually the identical CC&B billing
system malfunction in the City of Cleveland Water
Department.

Ex 2015.11.03 hearing transcript 18:19-24

Mr. Landskroner represented that the City and his firm had made the changes the
Court indicated at the prior hearing and requested that the Court grant preliminary
approval and appoint Mr. Jones lead plaintiff, LGM class counsel and Mr. Libman
liaison counsel. The Court noted that Mr. Landskroner’s signing of the settlement
agreement was insufficient and that Mr. Jones needed to sign the settlement

264
agreement. Determining that additional changes needed to be made to the settlement
agreement, the Court scheduled a hearing on December 21, 2015, on the motion for
preliminary approval and set November 17, 2015, as the date by which a new
revised settlement agreement was to be filed.

Ex 2015.11.03 hearing transcript 65:9-10

On November 3, 2015, at 5:17 p.m., Mr. Jones emailed Mr. Landskroner: “how did
court go today?” At 5:31 p.m., Mr. Landskroner replied: “Court punted until 12/21”
and advised that Mr. Jones would need to sign the settlement agreement. At 10:23
p.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones, writing “I think I want you at 12/21
hearing, if available. Important date.” On November 4, 2105, at 7:22 a.m., Mr.
Jones replied: “I can plan to be there. Just send me over the time.”

Ex PLTF000184

On November 6, 2015, Ken Greene (“Mr. Greene”), a Kiesel Law employee, sent
an email to Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Young that “I set up DWP PMG for the project mgt.
group so you can begin to enter time in matter #15-1088.” Anna Abgaryan (“Ms.
Abgaryan”), another Kiesel Law employee, was copied on the email.

Ex Pansky DWP PMG Matter Number

This email is dated a little more than two weeks after the DWP Board approved
the PLG Contract. This raises a real possibility that, while Mr. Kiesel’s firm may
not have been paid directly by the City, it may have received payments from PLG
for services billed to a “project mgt. group” account and that these services were
in fact either for work performed as counsel for City or as a kickback from Mr.
Paradis. Since the invoices PLG submitted to the City just show hours purportedly
worked and the billing rate per hour, it is impossible to tell whether any of the
entries are for work done by Mr. Kiesel or members of his firm.

For reasons previously explained to the Court, the Special Master has been unable
to obtain bank records or other documents to show whether PLG paid Kiesel Law
for services purportedly rendered under either the PLG Contract or the subsequent
Aventador Contract.

On November 8, 2017, Mr. Townsend emailed Mr. Paradis, Ms. Annaguey, Ms.
Dorny, and Ms. Tufaro, copying Mr. Wright, Ms. Grove, and Mr. Lampe, outlining
in detail what he saw as the unintended consequences of restricting our ability to

265
correct billing errors where we have overcharged a residential customer or
“Qualified Business” beyond 270 days.

The proposed amended wording for Rule 17 only allowing


DWP to compute charges back 270 days for Residential
and Qualified Businesses, seems to have the unintended
consequence of restricting our ability to correct billing
errors where we have overcharged a residential customer
or “Qualified Business” beyond 270 days.

Ex COLA-SM_0011733

Following the September 11, 2015, hearing, the City and Mr. Landskroner entered
into negotiations with Mr. Himmelfarb concerning the scope of the issues raised in
the Morski and Macias actions that would be excluded from the scope of the
settlement agreement and release. As a result of those negotiations, the parties to
the Jones case and Mr. Himmelfarb agreed that the exclusion would include a) all
back-billing claims for the period September 3, 2013, through September 10, 2015,
and b) all cancel-rebill claims. See Macias Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Request
for Clarification Re: Scope of Authority of Newly Appointed Class Counsel in Jones

Ex Macias Request

On November 17, 2015, a Stipulation Re: Filing of Revised Settlement Agreement;


[Proposed] Order was filed by Mr. Kiesel in Jones v. City. The stipulation recited
that the plaintiffs were ordered to file a revised Settlement Agreement on November
17, 2015, that they had “reached an agreement in principle” on language to be
included in the Settlement Agreement with Mr. Himmelfarb and requested that the
date for filing the Settlement Agreement be extended to November 18, 2015. Mr.
Kiesel signed on behalf of Mr. Landskroner, Ms. Agrusa, and Mr. Himmelfarb.

Ex 63355278

On November 17, 2015, at 5:51 p.m., Ms. Dorny emailed Mr. Clark and Mr. Peters,
copying Mr. Paradis, Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Kiesel, Mr. Tom, Mr. Brown,
Mr. Ramallo, and Mr. Wilcox. Ms. Dorny advised that “Landskroner was able to
reach an agreement with Himmelfarb this morning, getting him on board with the
settlement. Note that there is still the carve out of his tiered billing and Bane Act
allegations. As a result, the Court has granted permission to file the papers tomorrow
to incorporate this agreement into our filing.” Ms. Dorny further advised that the
DWP Board, in closed session, “expressed a strong interest in responding” to a
266
Consumer Watchdog event scheduled for November 18, suggested options for
responding and asked if anyone wanted to have a call to discuss.

Ex COLA-SM_000646-48

At 7:38 p.m., Mr. Clark responded to Ms. Dorny, and the same individuals to whom
Ms. Dorny addressed her email, that all of the options were “TERRIBLE ideas” and
they would be:

[C]razy to (1) jeopardize an almost certain preliminary


approval of the settlement; (2) risk later damage in the
other, non-settling cases; and (3) dignify an otherwise
irritating but unimportant set of whiners by giving them --
and their criticisms -- a totally unmarried level of
credibility, all because we put our clients and/or lawyers
in an uncontrollable situation where they can do nothing
to help our case. This game isn’t about feeling good or
short term publicity. It’s about winning. Can we PLEASE
keep our eyes on our real goal.

Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-SM_000646-48

At 7:51 p.m. Mr. Clark sent a follow-up email stating that it was “a no win set of
options” and that he was trying to reach Mr. Levine to discuss.

Ex COLA-SM_000646-48

On November 18, 2015, Mr. Landskroner filed Plaintiff’s Supplemental


Memorandum in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of
Class Action Settlement, Declaration of Tom Merriman in Further Support of
Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval, Declaration of Edward S. Jerse in
Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval, and Second
Supplemental Declaration of Jack Landskroner in Further Support of Plaintiff’s
Motion for Preliminary Approval which included the Second Revised Settlement
Agreement (“2nd RSA”) at Exhibit 2.

Ex Supp Memo
Ex 2015.11.18 - Second Supp Dec of Landskroner
Ex 2nd RSA (11-18-15) Exhibit 2 of the Second Supp Dec of Landskroner

267
Merriman Dec
Jerse Dec

The Second Revised Settlement Agreement (“2nd RSA”) made several changes to
the RSA filed on October 20, 2015, including the following:

• Added a new paragraph 4 to the definition section to define “Back-Billing” as


“the submission of a bill by DWP to an account holder that includes more than
one billing cycle where the prior billing statements had not previously been
billed to the account holder. Back-Billing does not include the issuance of a
‘Cancel-Rebill’ bills.” (2nd RSA at 7)
• Added a new paragraph 5 to the definition section to define “Cancel-Rebill’’
as “a bill issued that reconciles a customer’s charges from prior bills.” (Id.)
• Expanded the definition of “Released Claims” to include claims for economic
and non-economic damage and that all such losses and damages are deemed
Eligible Claims for which a person can seek recovery through the Omnibus
claims process. (2nd RSA at 11)
• Added to the paragraph excluding the Morski and Macias constitutional
claims and the Macias Bane Act claim that “Released Claims also do not
include: (i) the Non-Monthly Tiered Billing claims pled in the Macias Action;
(ii) ‘Cancel-Rebill’ claims arising from Non-Monthly Tiered Billing as pled
in the Macias Action (iii) the claims for violations of California’s Bane Act
including those pled in the Macias Action; (iv) claims arising out of field
investigations created after December 21, 2015; (v) claims arising out of
DWP’s failure to record or credit payments made by customers; (vi) claims
arising from the Back-Billing of customers during the period September 3,
2013 through September 10, 2015; and (vii) claims for personal injury.” (2nd
RSA at 11-12)
• Revised the last paragraph of the amendment to Rule 17 to read “The Parties
hereto agree that all residential customers that have been Back-Billed on
September 11, 2015 or thereafter will be credited for any amounts billed in
excess of 270 days. The Parties also agree that all residential and commercial
customers who receive a Back-Bill between the dates of September 3, 2013
and the close of the Remediation Period shall have a period of four years from
the date on which they receive the Back-Bill to pay the entirety of the Back-
Billed amount only, in full, without penalty or interest, in equal monthly
installments. To qualify for the foregoing, customers must remain current on
their most recent bill. The Parties further agree that, in the event that any
residential or commercial customer fails to timely make any payments due of
268
any portion of the Back-Billed amounts in accordance with these terms, the
entirety of the Back-Billed amount shall immediately become due and
payable.” (2nd RSA at 40-41)

DECEMBER 2015: PLAINTIFFS’ LAWYERS IN THE RELATED


ACTIONS CONTINUE TO ASSAULT THE JONES SETTLEMENT
TO NO AVAIL; COURT HOLDS ANOTHER HEARING ON
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL AND IS LIED TO AGAIN

On December 4, 2015, Mr. Blood filed the Bransford and Fontaine Joint Opposition
to Motion for Preliminary Approval of Revised Class Action Settlement and
Declarations of Timothy G. Blood and Leslie E. Hurst in Support thereof, in
Bransford. The Joint Opposition argued that there were numerous problems with
the second revised settlement agreement, including: a) that counsel for Jones could
apply for up to $13 million in attorneys’ fees and plaintiffs’ counsel in Kimhi could
apply for $1,999,999 in attorneys’ fees, but there were no provisions for other
counsel; b) that Jones’s counsel was to be paid within 7 days of final approval
without any requirement for repayment if the settlement was reversed on appeal; c)
that there were problems with excluding from the settlement ratepayers who were
back-billed between September 3, 2013, and September 10, 2015; and d) the release
was broad and convoluted.

Ex BRANSFORD AND FONTAINE Joint Opposition to Motion for


Preliminary Approval
Ex Blood (12-4-15) Dec
Ex Hurst (12-4-15) Dec

On December 4, 2015, Mr. Himmelfarb filed the Morski and Macias Opposition
and Objections to Plaintiff’s Supplemental Memorandum in Further Support of
Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and
Declaration of Alan Himmelfarb in Support Thereof in Jones v. City. The Morski-
Macias opposition argued that Corrected Back-Billing Class Claims, one of the eight
classes in the Morski and Macias cases, remained unresolved, and that DWP seeks
a full release of all claims and defenses related to this class without any
compensation or consideration provided members of this class in exchange for the
release.

Ex MORSKI AND MACIAS Opposition and Objections


Ex Himmelfarb Dec (12-4-15)

269
A December 8, 2015, email chain to set up a conference call went to Mr. Clark,
Mr. Wright, Mr. Levine, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Dorny and Mr. Tom.

Ex COLA-SM_0000649-51

The evidence suggests that the probable topic of the conference call was the
upcoming preliminary approval hearing before Judge Berle. This email chain, and
the below email chain, is further significant because Board President Mr. Levine
is included on the email chain.

A December 16-20, 2015, email chain involving Mr. Clark, Mr. Wright, Mr. Levine,
Mr. Paradis, Ms. Dorny, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Kiesel, Ms. Tufaro, Ms. Annaguey, Ms.
Agrusa, and Mr. Tom was about a call Mr. Paradis/Mr. Kiesel had with Jamie Court
(“Mr. Court”) of consumer watchdog advising that Mr. Court is opposed to the
settlement. As with the December 8, 2015, email chain, Mr. Levine is one of the
recipients of the email chain, which discusses the response to Mr. Court. Mr. Levine
sent an email that he defers to counsel and Mr. Clark suggested that they ignore Mr.
Court and focus on the goal of getting preliminary approval noting that he was “fine
with all of this. Nice work Paul.”

Ex COLA-SM_000652-56

On December 17, 2015, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones that he did not need to
come to the December 21, 2015, hearing.

Ex PLTF000319

On December 18, 2015, at 8:09 p.m., as a follow-up to the December 16 email


chain, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Levine, Ms. Edwards, and Mr. Wright about
discussions he and Mr. Kiesel had with Mr. Court. Copied on the email were Mr.
Clark, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro. Mr. Paradis advised that Mr.
Court was not willing to support approval of the settlement because there was no
clear standard to be applied in deciding disputed claims. Mr. Paradis characterized
Mr. Court as having “abandoned the path of reasonableness and was now acting like
Blood by continually seeking to up the ante.”

At 11:14 p.m., Mr. Levine responded to Mr. Paradis, Ms. Edwards, and Mr. Wright:

I wonder if someone should tell Jamie that being a


stalking horse for Blood impairs his credibility and
effectiveness and that, were he to focus on the merits, he
270
could get something accomplished, but, so long as he is
essentially acting as Blood’s agent, his effectiveness is
being eviscerated.

Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Levine that he would do as Mr. Levine directs but, in
his opinion, “we are wasting our breath with Jamie and should just leave it alone and
proceed with the hearing on Monday as planned.” Mr. Kiesel responded to Mr.
Paradis that he agreed, copying the recipients of the prior emails in this chain.

On December 19, 2015, at 7:59 a.m., Mr. Levine emailed Mr. Kiesel and Mr.
Paradis, copying the other recipients in the email chain, “In light of your experience
with Jamie, I will defer. You are probably right.” That afternoon Mr. Clark emailed
Mr. Levine, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis, copying Ms. Tufaro, that he agreed with
Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis and “that we focus on Monday’s hearing, and ignore
Jamie.”

Ex ClarkGDEmails 653-655

Note: In the above email chain, Mr. Blood is blamed for Mr. Court’s refusal to
support the settlement.

Throughout the settlement approval process, both internally and in press releases,
the LACA, Special Counsel for the City, and Mr. Landskroner blamed Mr. Blood
for all oppositions to the settlement agreement, for all news articles and broadcasts
that were not totally supportive of the settlement agreement and for all stories in
the press that shed DWP in a negative light, such as news articles by Steve Lopez
appearing in the Los Angeles Times.

The City, its counsel, and Mr. Landskroner, collectively, in their court filings and
public statements blamed Mr. Blood’s opposition to the settlement agreement as
due to his greed, even though in his March 31 settlement discussion with the City’s
counsel Mr. Blood indicated that he did not believe the case justified a multiplier
and had previously settled a class action against DWP for $375,000 in attorney
fees.

Ultimately, it is fair to conclude that what was behind these attorneys’ dirty tactics
and repeated blame of Mr. Blood was their collective goal to keep secret the truth
to Mr. Blood’s statements that the Jones settlement was in fact collusive.

271
On December 19, 2015, Mr. Tom emailed Mr. Clark that there was to be a meeting
on December 20 at the Liner Firm’s offices “to coordinate with Jack as to any
questions from Blood, Himmelfarb, and the judge.” Ms. Dorny, Ms. Agrusa, Ms.
Annaguey, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis were copied on the email.

Ex ClarkGDEmails 652

On December 21, 2015, the court held a hearing on the motion for preliminary
approval of the settlement. Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Merriman, and Mr. Libman
appeared on behalf of Mr. Jones; Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Agrusa, Mr. Clark, Mr. Tom,
Mr. Solomon, Ms. Dorny, Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Young
appeared on behalf of the City. Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Young
identified themselves as “special counsel” or “outside counsel” for the City without
specifying that they only represented the City in City v. PwC.

Ex 2015.12.21 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval 1-4

Also appearing were Mr. Jardini on behalf of the Kimhi plaintiffs, Mr. Blood, Ms.
Hurst, and Ms. Wade on behalf of the Bransford plaintiffs, Mr. Bower and Ms. Rohr
on behalf of the Fontaine plaintiffs, and Mr. Himmelfarb and Gary Luckenbacher
(“Mr. Luckenbacher”) on behalf of the Morski and Macias plaintiffs. Also present
were Mr. Wright and Mr. Townsend of DWP.

Ex 2015.12.21 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval

The Court preliminarily and conditionally approved the Jones v. City settlement and
appointed Mr. Jones as class representative, with Mr. Landskroner and the LMG
Firm as class counsel and Mr. Libman as local liaison counsel. The Court’s
preliminary and conditional approval was due in significant part on the false
representations made by Mr. Landskroner and counsel for the City. As the Court
stated:
In this case, class counsel in the Jones action and counsel
for the defendant met and attempted to negotiate the
claims asserted unsuccessfully.
Thereafter, the parties retained the services of retired
Judge Dickran Tevrizian as a mediator. A mediation was
held on June 11 and 12, July 24, and July 31. The
negotiations -- apparently, according to the evidence
submitted, the negotiations were contentious and at arms’
length but were undertaken in good faith.
272
Defense [sic] counsel undertook an extensive
investigation of the claims, both prior to and after the
filing of the action. The investigation included interviews
with confidential witnesses, review of documents, and
consultations with non-testifying experts.
Class counsel also reserved the right to conduct
confirmatory discovery on certain issues. The court notes
that class counsel is sufficiently experienced in this type of
litigation.
So based upon the evidence submitted, and without coming
to any final conclusion about whether the settlement
should be preliminarily approved, at this stage, the court
finds that the investigation and discovery appear to have
been sufficient to allow counsel and the court to act
intelligently; and it appears that the settlement, based on
the evidence, is entitled to a presumption of fairness.
Ex 2015.12.21 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval 80-81
After the Court ruled that it was conditionally granting preliminary approval, Ms.
Agrusa informed the Court that “the parties have agreed to sit down and make the
[Court’s] recommended changes” and that it be lodged as a final settlement
agreement. (Id. 95) The Court continued the matter to February 5, 2016.

The preliminary approval hearing was continued several times, ultimately being held
almost a year later on November 18, 2016.

Mr. Feuer testified the he and Mr. Clark discussed attorney’s fees in the Jones v.
City case but he did not recall the content of the discussions. Feuer Dep 148

Mr. Feuer testified the he and Mr. Clark discussed attorney’s fees in the Jones v.
City case but he did not recall the content of the discussions. Feuer Dep 148

The evidence supports a finding that had Mr. Jones appeared at the December
21, 2015, hearing, he would have noticed that his lawyer Mr. Paradis was on
the opposite side of his case. The Special Master concludes that Mr.
Landskroner’s pattern of excluding Mr. Jones from all proceedings that could

273
bring to light Mr. Paradis’s double-dealing is further evidence of the cover-up
of what these lawyers knew to be unclean hands in what was not only a
collusive settlement but also counsels’ ultimate facilitation of the payment of
millions in fees, respectively, for their own self-interests.

LATE DECEMBER 2015: CIVIL DISCOVERY IN PwC MATTER


ZEROES IN ON COLLUSION REGARDING JONES AND THE
CITY AND ITS LAWYERS ATTEMPT TO COVER UP THE
COLLUSIVE NATURE OF THE JONES SETTLEMENT

The City’s efforts to impede PwC’s discovery involved more than attempting to
hide the relationship between Mr. Paradis and Mr. Jones and the collusion that led
to the settlement in the Jones v. City class action.

An October 20-November 5, 2015, email chain involves requests from DWP’s


Budget Office for estimates on “all settlement-related positions linked to the 13
metrics.” On November 4, 2015, Ms. Dorny emailed the DWP customer service
budget manager that DWP’s attorneys should review anything before it is turned
over to the budget office. Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Wright, Mr. Tom, Ms. Dorny,
Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Grove, Mr. Rofail, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro that:

We ARE NOT going to create and be forced to hand PwC


this kind of info just because Navigant or Budget Office is
asking for it. We previously provided a list of 21 or so
items that we are willing to release. We ARE NOT going
to be releasing ANYTHING that ties the metrics to specific
cost estimate for purposes of benchmarking exercises for
reasons we have already discussed. Once again, I will go
to Jim Clark on this as well if we need to.

Ex Pansky RE: FY 16/17 New Labor Requests: Prioritization & Tie to Settlement
Metrics

On December 21, 2015, PwC served the City with its First Set of Requests for
Production of Documents (“RFPs”) (Nos. 1–59). Among other things, the First
RFPs called for documents concerning the remediation of the CC&B Billing
System after September 3, 2013, and documents concerning DWP’s alleged
damages.

Ex PwC’s First Set of RFPs

274
TIMELINE THREE

2016: THE COLLUSION, COVERUP, AND LIES CONTINUE;


PARADIS LAW GROUP GETS PAID MILLIONS BY DWP

On February 22, 2016, the City served its responses to PwC’s First RFPs in
which it refused to produce documents in response to 45 of PwC’s 59 RFPs.

Ex City’s Response Objections to First RFPs

On April 6, 2016, at 4:17 p.m., Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Bender “Here are my
edits to Paul’s declaration. The edits to the Stipulation will follow the edits to the
Bender Declaration.” At 6:20 p.m., Mr. Bender wrote “My edits” and at 9:45 p.m.,
“Do you need anything else from me before you file?” At 9:51 p.m., Mr. Bender
emailed Mr. Paradis, stating in part,

Matt called-he’s worried that he doesn’t have the doc you


are looking for… He will be very valuable to you with his
direct knowledge of what was happening day to day,
especially during the go-live period. Declaration? Any
issues with my edits? I can explain my reasoning for each.

At 10:15 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Bender, stating in part:

Declaration-no major issues with your edits. Adopted all


but two minor ones because the language I used in the one
I sent last night was lifted from last version that we filed
with the court previously – so wanted to make sure
everything conformed with your prior version. Had Gina
re-circulate a draft that incorporated everyone’s edits.
Please let me know if you are good with that version.

Ex Nina Marino Bender Dec emails 4.6.16

On April 8, 2016, the Liner Firm filed the following pleadings on behalf of the City:
Stipulation To Continue Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Class
Action Settlement and Declaration of Paul L. Bender in Support of Parties’
Stipulation To Continue Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Class
Action Settlement.

275
The gist of the stipulation to continue was to give Mr. Bender more time to
accomplish necessary work for the settlement.

Ex File and Serve Notice to Libman from DOCID000570


Ex 16-04-08 - Liner - Stipulation-to-Continue-Plaintiff-s-Motion-for-Preliminary-
Approval
Ex 16-04-08 - Liner - Bender-Declaration
Ex 2016.04.08 Bender Declaration 4.8.2016
Ex DOCID001203

On April 11, 2016, Mr. Himmelfarb filed the Morski and Macias Objection to
Stipulation to Continue Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval in Jones v. City.

Ex DOCID000570

On April 12, 2016, Mr. Libman emailed Mr. Kiesel, not copying Mr. Landskroner,
or anyone else:
P,
Is the hearing on Friday morning on the settlement
approval going forward? I know that there was an ex-
parte to kick it filed and there was an opp by Morski.
Mr. Kiesel promptly replied to Mr. Libman, again with no copies to anyone else:
I DO not think that it will be going forward. If it does ...
we’ll be there.
Ex Email chain from DOCID000570-2
The above further evidences the extent to which the Special Counsel for the City,
allegedly only retained to prosecute City v. PwC, was improperly intertwined with
the affirmative aspects of Jones v. City and the continuing subterfuge that Mr.
Jones was truly being independently represented by Mr. Landskroner and Mr.
Libman.

On May 23, 2016, Mr. Broersma, on behalf of the City Attorney, approved as to
form and legality Amendment No. 1 to the PLG Contract. Amendment No. 1
provided that the PLG Contract was being extended by one year, with a one-year
optional period, and increased by $4,725,675 the payments to PLG, for a total
contract amount of $6,029,765. Amendment No. 1 was signed by Mr. Wright,
who was then the Chief Operating Officer, on behalf of Ms. Edwards.

276
Ex COLA-LADWP_0011461

On June 7, 2016, the DWP Board considered Amendment No. 1 as Item No.
16. The minutes do not reflect a vote being taken on whether to approve
Amendment No. 1.

Ex 16-06-07 - June 7, 2016 Minutes - Item 32A(9) Jones; Item 16 Paradis

On June 8, 2016, PwC served its Second Set of RFPs (Nos. 60–69). The City
served its response to PwC’s Second RFPs on July 12, 2016.

Ex PwC’s Second RFPs


Ex City’s Response Objections to Second RFPs

On June 20, 2016, Amendment No. 1 to the DWP-PLG Contract was signed on
behalf of DWP by Mr. Wright for Ms. Edwards, by Ms. Moschas, DWP Board
Secretary, and by Mr. Paradis on behalf of PLG. The signature page has a stamp
that Amendment No. 1 was “Authorized by Res. 16 296/Jun 7, 2016.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0011461

Between December 30, 2015, and October 3, 2017, DWP paid PLG
$6,028,481.59 under the original and amended PLG Contract. The amounts and
dates of the payments to PLG were:

12/30/2015 $132,587.50
12/30/2015 144,625.00
2/3/2016 159,674.09
3/2/2016 121,050.00
3/2/2016 197,775.00
5/5/2016 155,550.00
5/5/2016 171,787.50
5/5/2016 173,475.00
7/5/2016 219,150.00
7/5/2016 196,875.00
7/5/2016 224,025.00
7/20/2016 200,062.50
8/30/2016 193,802.50
10/3/2016 251,952.50
10/27/2016 198,312.50
277
12/19/2016 273,802.50
12/19/2016 151,260.00
2/8/2017 232,315.00
5/2/2017 261,955.00
5/2/2017 287,055.00
5/2/2017 292,657.50
5/18/2017 335,637.50
6/29/2017 376,385.00
7/17/2017 344,612.50
8/16/2017 372,330.00
10/3/2017 359,767.50

Ex Paradis Law Group_Contract No. 47361-6 – Payments

The records reflect that the above payments were made based upon the hourly
rates submitted and claimed by the individuals working for PLG without any
description of the work performed.

On July 15, 2016, Mr. Landskroner filed “Report of Independent CC&B System
Monitor Concerning Status of Class Action Settlement for First and Second Quarters
of 2016.” Like the earlier reports and declarations of Mr. Bender, this report was
drafted by Mr. Paradis.

Ex Bender Dec (7-14-16)


Ex Nina Marino Bender Dec emails 7-15-16

In his report, Mr. Bender related the site visits he, Mr. Thoppe, and Mr. Osman made
and the work they did during the first six months of 2016. (Id. ¶¶ 9-25) Mr. Bender
related that while he initially contemplated that the independent monitoring project
would require 18 months and approximately 2,000 hours to complete, he now
believed the project would take 42 months to complete and require approximately
6,500 hours of work by his team. He requested that “the Parties be permitted until
November 18, 2016, to complete all of the programming and testing necessary to
confirm accuracy of the mechanisms utilized by the LADWP to: (i) identify
customers who have been overcharged and (ii) quantify the amounts of such over
charges.” (Id. ¶¶ 26-28) He further related that DWP IT professionals had identified
an additional $5.4 million in credits and refunds due class members. (Id. ¶ 29)

Ex Bender Dec (7-14-16)

278
WINTER 2016: MORE MEDIATION, MORE
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT CHANGES,
AND MORE ATTORNEYS’ FEES

On October 28, 2016, Ms. Dorny emailed Judge Tevrizian for the upcoming
October 31, 2016, mediation session, stating that Mr. Clark, Mr. Wright, Mr.
Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Ms. Annaguey, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Dorny would be appearing
for the defense (i.e., City).57

Ex COLA-SM_0000217

On October 31, 2016, the scheduled mediation session happened with Judge
Tevrizian. Present for the City were the persons identified in Ms. Dorny’s October
28 email. Mr. Landskroner represented Mr. Jones and the class members. The
Special Master is not aware of whether other counsel participated in this mediation
session, although Mr. Libman’s October 5, 2016 notes suggest he intended to
participate. At this mediation the parties agreed to the following revisions to the
Settlement Agreement (i) payment of a minimum of at least an additional $22.8
million to Class members who were over charged; (ii) a revision to Rule 17 of the
Rules Governing Water and Electric Service to provide for a shorter period of time
for which DWP may collect payment from customers whose bills are delayed due to
billing errors; (iii) a revision to the 18 month Remediation Period; (iv) a revision to
the date by which the Tiger Team would be operational; (v) a revision to the scope
of work the Independent CC&B Billing System Monitor is to perform involving the
Tiger Team and claims administration activities; (vi) a revision to the date by which
the Information Technology Department Project Management Office will be
operational; (vii) a revision to the claims process for certain Solar Subclass
members; and (viii) a revision to the amount of attorneys’ fees and expense
reimbursement to be sought by Class Counsel.

Ex Tevrizian Dec (5-5-17) ¶¶ 23-25

57
On September 6, 2016, Mr. Landskroner forwarded to Mr. Paradis an email “fyi” regarding an
article in the Seattle Times regarding the City’s new utilities billing system. As noted in the article
link included in the email (https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/city-light-
computer-glitch-lets-customers-see-other-users-bills/ ), the new system, which was created by
Oracle with involvement by City staff and PwC, was launched in October 2015. Mr. Paradis
immediately forwarded Mr. Landskroner’s email to Mr. Wright and in their exchange, Mr. Paradis
very clearly notes “I can’t file this as a class case while I represent LA.” As Mr. Paradis full well
knew his representation of Mr. Jones in a class case also meant he shouldn’t have been representing
LA either. Ex COLA-SM_ 0010957

279
Ex Landskroner Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 32

The revision to attorneys’ fees and expenses were the result of a Mediator’s Proposal
that attorneys’ fees be capped at $19 million, plus $2.5 million in expenses for the
independent monitor, and $500,000 in expenses for all attorneys, with Mr.
Landskroner to be responsible for “compensating other attorneys for their fees.” The
Mediator’s Proposal additionally called for Class Counsel to receive compensation
equal to 29% of any future recovery after final approval of the settlement for several
classes of claims, with the $1 million for future services provided for under the June
12, 2015 MOU to be credited towards future fees awarded by the Court. All fees
and costs were “subject to court approval.”

Ex Mediator’s Proposal

The files Mr. Libman turned over to Mr. Kabateck contain notes dated October 5,
2016, with the words “Judge T” and “Mediation Push.” It lists several topics,
including future fees, “270 Rule,” closed account subclass, and solar. The notes do
not refer to an October 31 mediation session. These notes appear to be topics to
cover and things to say at the upcoming mediation session.

Ex Libman’s Notes of 10-5-16 mediation

On November 10, 2016, Ms. Annaguey filed the Notice of Filing Revised Class
Action Settlement Agreement and Limited Release and Supplemental Declaration
of the Independent CC&B System Monitor in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion
for Preliminary Approval. The identical Notice of Filing Revised Class Action
Settlement Agreement and Limited Release was again filed on November 14, 2016.

Ex 3rd RSA (11-10-16)


Ex Bender Dec (11-10-16)
In his Declaration Mr. Bender summarized the remediation work performed
during the first three quarters of 2016. He again stated that he originally
contemplated that work could be done in 18 months and 2,000 hours but had
determined that it would instead take 42 months and 6,500 hours. (Ex Bender
(11-10-16) Dec ¶¶ 26-27) He advised the Court that the DWP had now identified
$22.8 million in additional credits and refunds owed Class Members, bringing
the total amount of credits and refunds to $67.5 million. (Id. ¶¶ 38, 39) Mr.
Paradis prepared the initial draft of Mr. Bender’s November 2016 Declaration.

Ex Nina Marino Bender emails 11.16

280
The Revised Class Action Settlement Agreement and Limited Release was
attached as Exhibit 1 to the Notice of Filing. The Revised Settlement Agreement
(“3rd RSA”) was signed by Mark Adams (“Mr. Adams”) for Mr. Wright “with
permission” on behalf of defendant DWP and by Mr. Jones, individually and as
class representative, and by each plaintiff in the Kimhi case individually and as
solar subclass representatives.

The 3rd RSA contained several significant changes from the prior three settlement
agreements filed with the Court. These included:

• The number of subclasses was reduced from nine ((i) tiered billing; (ii) trend
estimate; (iii) closed account with credit balance, (iv) premise
condition/estimated bill; (v) solar customer; (vi) automatic bill payment/bank
overdraft; (vii) late payment charge, (viii) estimated electric bills with
minimum charge; and (ix) omnibus) to seven ((i) overbill; (ii) incorrect fee,
(iii) unrefunded balance; (iv) solar; (v) premise condition/estimated bill; (vi)
automatic bill payment/bank overdraft charge; (vii) omnibus subclass), and
the descriptions of the subclasses changed.
• The period during which the independent monitor would perform services was
increased from 18 months to 42 months and the number of estimated hours of
the independent monitor increased from 2,000 to 6,500.
• Attorneys’ fees increased from $13 million to $19 million and expense
reimbursement increased from $750,000 to $3 million, with $2.5 million of
expenses for the independent monitor.
• The Kimhi plaintiffs were added as recipients of $5,000 service awards.

Ex 3rd RSA (11-10-16) 57:11-13

Consistent with the earlier settlement agreements that had been conditionally
preliminarily approved, the 3rd RSA contained the following provisions, among
others:

• Defined “Settlement Class” as “All LADWP customers who were over-


charged for electric, water, sewage or sanitation services between the dates of
September 3, 2013 and the present, and who are entitled to credits or refunds
for electric, water, sewage or sanitation services and/or for participation in the
LADWP’s solar incentive program from February 13, 2010.” Excluded were
the assigned Judge, members of his immediate family, and counsel of record.
(Id. at 14)

281
• Contained a broad release of claims, including for economic and non-
economic damages proximately caused by DWP overbilling or failure to
perform certain functions. (Id. at 11-13)
• Excluded the following from released claims:
o Claims in Morski and Macias that DWP violated various ordinances,
causes of action 27-32 in Macias and Bane Act claims. (Id. at 13) Note:
Causes of Action 27-32 relate to cancel-rebill claims, or as termed in
Macias, “corrected back-billing.” See Appendix D to Macias Request
for Clarification. (Ex 19.9.30 Macias Request)
o Claims arising from DWP’s failure to record or credit customer
payments. (3rd RSA at 13)
o Claims arising from the Back-Billing of customers during the period
September 3, 2013 through September 10, 2015. (Id.)
o Claims for personal injury. (Id.)
• Contained provisions for monetary relief for each subclass. (Id. at 18-21)
• Provided that DWP would spend an additional $20 million over the 18-month
remediation period to retain consultants and software engineers to assist DWP
in remediating the CC&B billing system. (Id. at 21)
• Set out detailed performance metrics for DWP to meet. (Id. at 21-36)
• Appointed Bender Consulting independent CC&B systems monitor and set
out its duties, including the filing of quarterly reports. (Id. at 36-38)
• Provided for an independent audit to confirm the accuracy of the CC&B
system to be completed immediately after the remediation period. (Id. at 38-
39)
• Provided that the DWP Board would amend Rule 17 to limit back-billing to 6
months for both residential and commercial customers. (Id. at 41-42)58
• Provided that customers who received back-bills between September 11,
2015, and November 18, 2016, will be credited for any amount billed in excess
of 6 months and that persons back-billed from September 3, 2013 through the
end of remediation would have four years to pay the back-billed amount
without penalty or interest. (Id. at 42)
• Class notice procedure. (Id. at 42-47)

58
Although the Class period in Jones goes back to September 2013, the Rule 17 credits are only
for the period of September 11, 2015, through November 18, 2016 (which the City ultimately
extended through early 2019). This means that if a customer received a bill in this time frame and
was back-billed in violation of the newly revised Rule 17, the City would issue them a credit or
refund.

282
• That within 7 business days of final approval, DWP would pay attorneys’ fees
and expenses to Class Counsel, who would be responsible for allocating the
attorneys’ fees among plaintiffs’ counsel. (Id. at 57-58)

Ex Bender Dec (11-10-16)


Ex 3rd RSA

On November 16, 2016, Mr. Blood filed the Bransford and Fontaine Response to
Motion for Preliminary Approval of Revised Class Action Settlement in Bransford
v. City. The Response noted that the Revised Settlement Agreement was filed just
four court days before the hearing. It argued that the revisions were substantial and
required careful scrutiny to ensure that the settlement was fair and reasonable.
Among the substantial revisions identified by the Bransford/Fontaine Response
were:

• Changes to the release


• Redefined and different subclasses
• Additional class members
• Increased role of the CC&B billing system monitor (i.e., Bender Consulting)
from 2,000 hours to 6,500 hours work
• An unexplained increase in attorneys’ fees and expenses from $13 million and
$750,000 respectively to $19 million and $3 million, respectively

Ex 16-11-16 Bransford-Fontaine

On November 18, 2016, the preliminary approval hearing was held. Mr.
Landskroner, Mr. Merriman, and Mr. Libman appeared on behalf of Mr. Jones. Ms.
Tufaro, Ms. Annaguey, Ms. Dorny, and Kathryn McCann (“Ms. McCann”) appeared
on behalf of the City. Counsel also appeared on behalf of the plaintiffs in Macias
and Morski, Kimhi, Bransford and Fontaine. The Court preliminarily approved the
settlement.

Ex 2016.11.18 Jones Preliminary Settlement Approval

On December 14, 2016, the City and PwC filed a Stipulation and [Proposed]
Order. The stipulation provided, in pertinent part, that: (1) by December 30,
2016, the City would complete production of specific categories of non-
privileged documents responsive to PwC’s First and Second RFPs; and (2) by
January 20, 2017, the City would produce two privilege logs for all documents
withheld and/or redacted in connection with the City’s production. The first

283
privilege log was to list documents withheld as privileged that related to IBM’s
Rational Quality Manager (“RQM”); the second privilege log was to list all non-
RQM documents that were being withheld as privileged. (Id. at ¶¶ 4, 5) The
Court signed and entered the proposed Scheduling Order on December 15, 2016.

Ex 16-12-14 Stipulation
Ex Not. of Entry of Stip. and Scheduling Order

MID-DECEMBER 2016-JANUARY 2017: CITY ASSERTS AN


IMPROPER BLANKET PRIVILEGE CLAIM OVER
REMEDIATION TO STOP PwC FROM DISCOVERING THE
COLLUSION; PwC’s LAWYERS FIND THE DRAFT
JONES v. PwC COMPLAINT BURIED IN THE
19,321-ENTRY PRIVILEGE LOG

By December 2016, Special Counsel for the City had retained a contract
attorney to assist in reviewing documents to assist in preparing privilege logs in
response to PwC’s First Set and Second Set of RFPs. On December 19, 2016,
the contract attorney, Jennifer L. Siegert (“Ms. Siegert”) 59, emailed Ms.
Ramirez, a Kiesel Law attorney, asking whether “it would be easier for me to
just assume that anything regarding the remediation after 11/1/14 is privileged,
no matter who/what is on it?” Ms. Ramirez responded “[T]hat is correct,
anything remediation related after 11/1/14 is privileged.”

Ex Pansky Re: a few questions

This email chain shows that the City had determined to make what was, in
effect, a blanket claim of attorney-client privilege and work product as to any
document related in any way to remediation without determining, on a
document by document basis, whether the document was, in fact, privileged.

On December 30, 2016, the Court signed the Order Granting Motion for
Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and Directing Dissemination
of Class Notice, which was filed that day.

59
A LinkedIn search for Jennifer L. Siegert revealed that she is an attorney licensed in
California and New York. Her LinkedIn profile reflects that between February 2006 and July
2019 she was an independent contract attorney & consultant on e-discovery.

284
On January 5, 2017, Ms. Annaguey filed a Notice of Entry of Order Granting
Preliminary Approval in the Jones, Kimhi, Bransford, and Fontaine cases.

Ex 17-01-05 Notice of Entry of Order Granting Preliminary Approval

On January 20, 2017, the City served its two privilege logs on PwC. The non-
RQM document privilege log contained 19,321 entries in response to PwC’s
First Set of RFPs. Almost all of the entries in the non-RQM privilege log
claimed that the documents were privileged since they were “concerning
investigation performed at the direction of counsel to assist in analyzing and
preparing advice concerning attorney-directed remediation and DWP’s legal
rights and remedies.” (Ex 17-02-03 - Motion-to-Compel-Docs-Improperly-
Withheld-as-Privileged) Of the documents allegedly privileged on these
grounds, over 18,300 did not list an attorney as an author, sender, or recipient.
(See id. at 6–7)

Row 385 of the non-RQM document privilege log identified a document


described as “Jones v. PwC –Initial Complaint -FINAL.DOC” with a date of
January 24, 2015 (“the Jones v. PwC draft complaint”). The log entry did not
identify the author of the complaint. At Row 384, the City logged an email
entitled “FW: Jones v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (Consumer Class
Action).” Mr. Solomon was listed as the author of this email, which was
addressed to Ms. Grove, Mr. Spinn, Ms. Walker-Bonnelli, and Mr. Lampe, with
Ms. Dorny, Mr. Tom, and Mr. Brown copied on the email. The email appeared
to be the transmittal email for the document identified in Row 385 and will be
referred to hereafter as the “Solomon transmittal email.” Mr. Solomon’s
transmittal email and the Jones v. PwC draft complaint were alleged to be
privileged as “concerning investigation performed at the direction of counsel to
assist in analyzing and preparing advice concerning attorney‐directed
remediation and LADWP’s legal rights and remedies.”

Ex Partial privilege log

285
FEBRUARY 2017: GIBSON DUNN AND MR. BLOOD ASSERT
COLLUSION AND PRESS FOR MORE INFORMATION;
THE CITY’S LAWYERS LIE, COUNTERATTACK,
AND DISTRACT IN RESPONSE

On February 3, 2017, PwC, through its counsel Gibson Dunn, filed its first
Motion to Compel Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged. Among the
documents sought through this motion were the Jones v. PwC draft complaint
and the Solomon transmittal email. 60

Ex 17-02-03 - Motion-to-Compel-Docs-Improperly-Withheld-as-Privileged

On February 3, 2017, Mr. Blood filed Bransford and Fontaine Ex Parte


Application for an Order Lifting the Discovery Stay in the Early Class Actions
to Allow Limited Discovery Regarding Procedural Fairness, noting that “the
circumstances surrounding the settlement” in Jones v. City had been “called into
question,” and there are concerns “regarding collusion amongst the settling
parties.”

Wade Dec
Ex Part App re Stay

On February 7, 2017, Ms. Annaguey filed a Joint Opposition to Bransford and


Fontaine Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte Application and a Declaration of Jack Landskroner
in Support of Joint Opposition and a Declaration of Maribeth Annaguey in
Support of Joint Opposition in Jones v. City.

Ex Joint Opp (2-7-17)


Ex Annaguey Dec (2-7-17)
Ex Landskroner Dec (2-7-17)

The Joint Opposition filed in response to Mr. Blood’s ex parte application was
a showcase of false statements by lawyers for the City and for the Class.

In the Opposition, counsel for Mr. Jones and the City asserted, “[t]here was no
collusion between the parties to the Settlement,” and that the plaintiffs in the

60
At that time, PwC did not seek production of 1,019 allegedly privileged documents that the
privilege log identified as having an attorney as author, sender, or recipient.

286
Early Class Actions were simply seeking “to disrupt and distract” the parties
from meeting the court-ordered, class-notice deadline.

As the evidence establishes, there was little else but collusion between the
parties to the settlement as the Special Master has delineated repeatedly in this
Report, supra. It is further evident that, in response to Mr. Blood’s attempt to
get to the bottom of what was happening to his cases at the hands of the parties
to the settlement, the actions of those parties turned from a collusive settlement
to a collusive coverup.

At the same time it was seeking to thwart the efforts of the Bransford and
Fontaine plaintiffs to uncover the collusive nature of Jones v. City and the
settlement, the City was attempting to defeat efforts by PwC to uncover the
collusion between the City, its counsel and Mr. Landskroner.

On February 7, 2017, Mr. Landskroner submitted his declaration in response


to the assertion that Mr. Landskroner has an improperly close relationship with
the City’s lawyers. Mr. Landskroner affirmatively stated that before Jones v.
City, he had “never worked on any matter with [Liner] or the [City Attorney’s
Office] either as co-counsel or opposing counsel.”

Ex Landskroner Dec (2-7-17) ¶ 11

The record is that Mr. Landskroner’s declaration was materially misleading as


he omitted the fact that Mr. Paradis, who was then Special Counsel to the City:
(1) introduced Mr. Landskroner to Mr. Jones; (2) drafted the claim to be signed
and filed by Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Libman on behalf of Mr. Jones; (3)
drafted the Jones v. City complaint; (4) drafted the Jones Settlement Proposal;
and (5) was, at that time, along with Ms. Tufaro, co-counsel with Mr.
Landskroner in Wright v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-10457
(ND Ill.).

Ex Wright v Nationstar: docket sheet

In response to the Bransford/Fontaine Ex Parte Motion’s claim that the City


chose to negotiate with Mr. Landskroner because his was the “weakest” of the
plaintiffs’ firms, Mr. Landskroner attested to the following:
Because the Landskroner Firm had conducted an
extensive pre-filing investigation into the matters
alleged in the Jones Action, the Landskroner Firm was
287
able to develop a highly detailed settlement proposal
pursuant to which Plaintiff Jones proposed to resolve
the claims asserted in the Jones Action; as well as in
certain of the related actions. After providing the City
with the comprehensive settlement proposal, the
Landskroner Firm met and conferred with counsel for
the City and commenced formal settlement negotiations
shortly thereafter. The parties advanced settlement
discussions as far as they could go until these efforts
stalled. After further consideration, the parties agreed
to continue their settlement discussions in a more
formal mediation environment and engaged the
services of the Judge Tevrizian to conduct a formal
mediation.
Emphasis added.
Landskroner Dec (2-7-17) ¶ 13
Mr. Landskroner’s declaration, at this paragraph, falsely stated that: (1) Mr.
Landskroner’s firm did extensive pre-filing investigation; (2) that his firm
developed the settlement proposal; and, (3) that negotiations “stalled” as the
reason for retaining Judge Tevrizian as mediator.

The Bransford/Fontaine Ex Parte Application unwittingly erred in stating


that Mr. Landskroner was chosen because his firm was the “weakest.” In
fact, Mr. Landskroner had, prior to the filing of Jones v. City, been brought
in by Mr. Paradis to be counsel of record for Mr. Jones for the purpose of
settling all of the ratepayer actions on terms dictated by the City.
Additionally, the settlement framework in the Jones Settlement Proposal was
virtually identical to that set out by Mr. Blood in his March 31, 2015
settlement conference with representatives of the City. The apparent
differences were that the Jones Settlement Proposal was written, not oral, and
it contained a list of subclasses and numbers of members of each subclass
(information obtained from DWP and not publicly available) and identified
two mediators, none of which made the Jones Settlement Proposal more
“comprehensive” than that of Mr. Blood. As Mr. Tom related in an April 3,
2015 email, Mr. Blood’s March 31 proposal “turned out to parallel in
significant part the Landskroner proposal.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0005621

288
In her declaration, Ms. Annaguey stated that she was:
[I]nformed and believe[s] … that the City has not paid
any attorneys [sic] fees in the PwC action to Kiesel Law
LLP or Paradis Law Group, PLLC to date.
Ex Annaguey Dec (2-7-17) ¶ 4
Ms. Annaguey omitted the relevant fact that, as of that date, the City had paid
over $3 million to PLG for work performed by PLG’s lawyers, under the PLG
Contract.

Ex Paradis Law Group_Contract No. 47361-6 - Payments

In response to the Ex Parte Application’s seeking discovery into the relationship


between and among counsel in the Jones v. City and City v. PwC cases, Ms.
Annaguey stated that such “information is a matter of public record….”

Ex Annaguey Dec (2-7-17) ¶ 5

As the evidence shows, Ms. Annaguey very well knew that, at the time she
made this statement to the Court, Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Libman had a case
together as co-counsel in the summer 2015, as she reported internally in her
August 1 email discussing attorneys’ fees.

Ex 2015.08.01 Blackmail

As reported in the online service Verdict Search, in August 2015, Mr. Kiesel
and Mr. Libman obtained a $2.865 million verdict on behalf of the plaintiff in
Gastello v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, Los Angeles County Superior
Court Case No. BC505544. (Verdict Search in Folder 10) Mr. Kiesel testified
that he and Mr. Libman tried several cases together in which they split fees.

Kiesel Dep (3-14-19) 184-185

It is also noted that Gastello v. Costco Wholesale Corporation was filed April
10, 2013, but Mr. Libman did not associate Mr. Kiesel as counsel in that matter
until July 27, 2015.

See Appendix H (“Professional Relationships”), Gastello v. Costco Docket


Sheet

289
On February 17, 2017, the City filed its Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to
Compel Production of Documents and the supporting Declaration of Richard
Tom. In his declaration, based on his “personal knowledge of the facts set forth
herein, which are known to me to be true and correct,” Mr. Tom asserted:

[T]hat City’s counsel commenced an investigation and


remediation effort in September 2014 in response to the
February 2014 filing of the Kimhi class action and the
threat of additional lawsuits;” that this investigation
and remediation were “dominantly and primarily to aid
Plaintiff’s counsel in advising the City of its legal rights
and responsibilities;” and that during the course of this
effort numerous documents and communications were
created “to assist Plaintiff’s counsel in providing legal
advice regarding Plaintiff’s legal rights and remedies,
including potential legal claims.

Ex 17-02-17 - Plaintiff-s-opposition-to-defendant-s-motion-to-compel
Ex Tom Dec (02.17.2017) ¶¶ 7–9, 12

Mr. Tom further declared that the City’s counsel “led and supervised” the
investigation and remediation (id. ¶ 10) and that the remediation documents
sought by PwC fell into:

[O]ne of three categories (i) communications between


LADWP employees working under the direction and
supervision of Plaintiff’s counsel describing the
investigation and remediation effort; (ii) documents
generated by the LADWP employees working under the
direction and supervision of Plaintiff’s counsel
detailing the investigation and remediation effort; and
(iii) communications between LADWP employees
working under the direction and supervision of
Plaintiff’s counsel and third parties (including the
Independent CC&B Monitoring Expert and Plaintiff
Jones’ counsel) concerning the investigation and
remediation effort.

Id. ¶ 14

290
Finally, Mr. Tom declared that the City “regarded the Remediation Documents
as ‘attorney work product’” at all relevant times. (Id. ¶ 16)

Mr. Tom did not name the attorney or attorneys under whose direction this
investigation or remediation effort were undertaken. Mr. Tom also claimed that
the remediation-related documents from September, October, and November
2014, were prepared to provide legal advice to the City about the Kimhi class
action, even though that case had nothing to do with the CC&B Billing System,
but, instead, DWP’s failure to credit new solar customers for power they
generated, a problem that pre-dated the CC&B billing system’s go live by
several years.

Ex Kimhi class action

Ms. Agrusa testified that the DWP retained Mr. Paradis under a separate contract
“to handle remediation tasks separate and apart from legal work” and that she
was not “in any way” involved in remediation.

Agrusa Dep 191:6-12

Mr. Solomon testified that remediation work was supervised by Ms. Grove, Mr.
Spinn, Ms. Walker-Bonnelli, Mr. Lampe, and other DWP staff and that attorneys
from LACA were involved in that he had Ms. Dorny attend DWP staff meetings
and report back to him.

Solomon Dep (8-1-19) 323:11-324:3

The City eventually produced documents in City v. PwC showing that the
remediation work conducted in 2014 and most of 2015 was supervised by DWP
employee Massoud Saboury (“Saboury”), a non-lawyer, who was replaced at the
end of 2015 by PLG after the DWP Board approved the PLG Contract. (See Ex
COLA-LADWP_0017801(11-5-2015 email from Mr. Wright to Mr. Lampe
stating that “Paul [Paradis] will be named the project manager next week to
replace Massoud.”)) The PLG Contract summarizes PLG’s services as:

1. Oversee CC&B System and software contracts to


remediate the current billing system, and
recommend continues [sic] system improvements.
2. Identification and calculation of customer billing
overcharges incurred since September 3, 2013.

291
3. Compensation to class members that were
overcharged by June 30, 2016.
4. Creation, adoption, and monitoring of the
procedures that meet or exceed 13 court mandated
customer service performance metrics.
5. Development of internal guidelines and procedures
to identify, escalate, and manage future complex
customer billing issues.
6. Coordination with court appointed independent
CC&B System monitoring expert.
Emphasis added.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0011367 at 2

Mr. Tom knew before the PLG Contract was entered into that DWP was
interested in hiring Mr. Paradis for (non-legal) remediation work that was
separate from his work as Special Counsel for the City.

Tom Dep (5-16-19) 564:17-565:4

Mr. Tom was present, in his role as DWP Assistant General Counsel, at the
October 20, 2015 DWP Board meeting where the PLG Contract was discussed
and approved, and the Deputy City Attorney who approved the PLG Contract as
to form and legality, Dirk Broersma, worked under Mr. Tom. Mr. Tom (as well
as the City) thus knew PLG and Mr. Paradis were retained by DWP under this
contract to provide project management services, not legal services.

Ex Board Minutes (10-20-15)

While Mr. Tom claimed in his declaration to have personal knowledge of the
supervision of remediation efforts that began in September 2014, DWP’s
remediation of the CC&B Billing System predated Mr. Tom’s employment with
the City Attorney and he admittedly did not first learn about the remediation
efforts until sometime in December 2014 or January 2015, after he learned of
the class actions.

Tom Dep (5-16-19) 550:7-551:10

292
In essence, the City was improperly taking advantage of Mr. Paradis two
separate roles with the City: as the City’s lawyer handling the affirmative case
against PwC, and as DWP’s remediator directing DWP how to remediate the
CC&B fiasco.

There is a bright line between representing the City against PwC as a lawyer
and working for the City to provide non-legal, non-privileged management
and consulting to DWP regarding technical and process fixes, but the City
treated both as being legal work when only the former was. The assertion of
legal privilege for remediation work when the contract called for non-legal
work by someone who happened to be a lawyer was both frivolous and
designed to obstruct PwC and the Court from learning the truth.

SPRING 2017: PwC CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR ANSWERS WHILE


LANDSKRONER AND LIBMAN SEEK INCREASED
FEES BY LYING YET AGAIN

On March 6, 2017, a hearing was held on PwC’s first motion to compel. The
Court granted in part and denied in part PwC’s motion to compel. At the hearing,
the Court rejected the City’s objection based on the attorney work product
doctrine to the production of investigation and remediation documents and
ordered “production of documents withheld based upon attorney work product,
as listed in the privilege log,” which included the Jones v. PwC draft complaint
and the Solomon transmittal email. (Ex 2017.03.06 Hearing re Privilege Issues
57:11-13) As to the 1,180 documents withheld on the ground of attorney-client
privilege, the Court ordered the City to provide a “refined privilege log” that had
more identifying information about the documents the City about those
documents if it wished to rely on the attorney-client privilege. (Id. 57:14–58:2)

On March 7, 2017, Donna Stevener (“Ms. Stevener”), as DWP’s Chief


Administrative Officer, and Mr. Wright, as DWP’s general manager, signed
Board Approval Letter recommending the amendment of Rule 17 to the Rules
Governing Water and Electric Service. The proposed amendment read as
follows:

293
METER TESTS AND ADJUSTMENT OF BILLS FOR
METER AND UTILITY ERRORS
A. Meter Tests
1. Every meter will be tested at or prior to the time of
installation. No water meter will be placed in service
which fails to register within test flow limits required by
Department specifications.” No electric meter will be
placed in service if found to register less than 99 percent
or more than 101 percent of the true value.
2. When a Customer questions the accuracy of a water or
electric meter) the Department will conduct an official test
of the meter within a reasonable time after the Customer’s
request. If the requested test is made within 12 months of
a previously requested and performed test on the same
meter, the Customer will be required to pay an amount as
determined by the General Manager to cover the cost of
the test. If the meter is found to register less than 98
percent or more than 102 percent of the true value, the
charge for the test will be waived. The Customer has the
right to be present or represented at the duly scheduled
time for the test. The test will be scheduled during regular
working hours of the Department and conducted whether
or not the Customer or representative of the Customer
appears as scheduled for the test.
B. Meter Errors
1. When, as a result of any test a meter is found to register
more than 102 percent of the true value, the Department
will refund or credit to the Customer the overcharge based
on meter readings corrected to the true value, for the
period in which the meter was in use, not to exceed 12
months, unless it can be shown that the error was due to
some particular cause, the date of which can be fixed,
provided that the period of adjustment shall not exceed
three years in any event.
2. When, as a result of any test, a meter is found to register
less than 98 percent of the true value, the Department may
render a bill based on meter readings corrected to the true
value, for water or electricity consumed but not covered
294
by bills previously rendered for a period not to exceed four
months, provided that if the actual period in which the
error in registration existed exceeded four months, and
can be definitely determined, the correction to be made
may cover the actual period, provided that the period of
adjustment shall not exceed three years in any event.
C. Utility Errors
1. When a Department error in billing is discovered on a
current Customer’s account and the date of its occurrence
can be determined, the overcharge or undercharge will be
computed back to but not beyond that date, but not in any
event, exceeding four years prior to the date of discovery
of the overcharge or undercharge .
2. When a utility error extends back into a prior
Customer’s billing period:
a. Paragraph C. 1 of this Rule shall apply when
overcharges have occurred. Prorated refunds will be
mailed to the prior Customer’s current mailing address,
or credited to the current account. If the prior Customer
no longer has a Department account, either an attempt to
locate the prior Customer will be made or the refund will
be mailed to the prior Customer’s last known mailing
address;
b. In cases of undercharges, if a closing bill has been
rendered, it will be canceled and a corrected closing bill
will be mailed to the prior Customer’s last known mailing
address. However, if the Department has not taken any
action to correct the error within four years of the date of
discovery of such error, the Department will not attempt
to collect the balance due. If the account has not been
closed by the payment of a closing bill, it shall be
considered current and paragraph C.1 of this Rule will
apply.
D. Back-Billing
When the Department has failed to issue a bill to a
Residential, Industrial or Commercial Customer, the
Department will not back-bill the customer for a period of

295
time in excess of (i) 3 billing cycles for customers billed
bi-monthly or (ii) 6 billing cycles for customers billed
monthly from the date of the last regular read within the
customer’s most recent billing cycle, unless otherwise
provided by law or contract.
The foregoing back-billing limitations is not applicable to:
(i) “back-dated service connection”; (ii) energy theft; (iii)
water theft: (iv) illegal diversion; (v) fraud; (vi) customer
refusing access; and (vii) an instances where delay or
error in billing is solely attributable to customer action or
inaction which serves to impede LADWP’s ability to
conduct its business.
E. Authority of General Manager
The General Manager may exercise his or her operational
and administrative discretion to adopt procedures to
implement this Rule.
Ex 3-7-17 resolution adopting new R 17
On March 7, 2017, the DWP Board held a regularly scheduled meeting. Item
No. 21 at the meeting was the adaptation of Resolution 017 180, submitted by
the Chief Administrative Officer, to amend Rule 17. The minutes of the Board
do not reflect action taken on this item. Ms. Moschos, as Board Secretary,
certified that Resolution No. 017 180 had been adopted by the DWP Board. On
March 8, 2017, Mr. Tom, as Assistant General Counsel, DWP, signed that the
resolution was approved as to form and legality.

Ex 3.7.17 board minutes new R 17


Ex 3.7.17 resolution adopting new R 17

At this point, Rule 17 was officially amended to reflect the protection for back
billed ratepayers that had been promoted collectively by the City and by
counsel for Jones, since the July 24, 2015 Addendum to the MOU, as a
ratepayer benefit under the settlement. (Ex MOU072415)

On March 29, 2017, Articles of Organization for Aventador Utility Solutions, LLC
(“Aventador”) were filed with the California Secretary of State. The Articles of
Organization list Elsie Sanchez as the organizer of the company and Spiegel &
Utrera, P.A., is listed as the registered agent. The “One Manager” box is
checked. Mr. Paradis was the sole member/manager of Aventador.

296
Ex Aventador Statement of Information

On April 4, 2017, the Court entered its Order granting in part and denying in
part PwC’s Motion to Compel.

Ex 17-05-03-Notice of Ruling

On April 7, 2017, the City produced its first revised privilege log, which
contained 1,547 entries, or 367 more than were originally listed as withheld
based on attorney-client privilege. (Ex LADWP - Final W.O Control Ids - Nar
Revised Priv Log) The Jones v. PwC draft complaint and the Solomon
transmittal email were listed on Rows 72 and 73 (top of page 4). The City
asserted that the Jones v. PwC draft complaint was a “Document created by
counsel containing legal advice and work product concerning the claims asserted
in this action.”

On April 30, 2017, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones a draft declaration for Mr.
Jones to review and sign in support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval and
Application for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards.

Ex PLTF000473-79

On May 1, 2017, Mr. Landskroner emailed Mr. Jones a revised declaration for
Mr. Jones to sign.

Ex PLTF000480-86

Mr. Jones signed the revised declaration and emailed it back to Mr. Landskroner.

Jones Dep 31-32

On May 2, 2017, PwC served its Third Set of RFPs (Nos. 70, 71, 72) on the
City. RFP No. 70 requested “All DOCUMENTS transmitted to LADWP or any
of its counsel by JONES’s COUNSEL, or otherwise on behalf of the Jones
putative class, prior to August 7, 2015, including but not limited to Plaintiff
Jones’s ‘comprehensive settlement demand’.” Request No. 71 requested “All
DOCUMENTS transmitted by or on behalf of LADWP to JONES’s COUNSEL,
prior to August 7, 2015,” including documents related to the Jones Settlement
Proposal. (Id.)

Ex 17-05-02 - PwC-Document-Request-Set-3

297
On May 5, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed Plaintiff’s Notice of Unopposed Motion
and Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Award of Attorneys’
Fees, Costs and Service Awards. The Notice of Motion and the Motion were both
signed by Mr. Landskroner as counsel for plaintiff. The Motion requested the Court
enter an order: (i) finally approving the Settlement; (ii) certifying the Settlement
Class for Settlement purposes; (iii) finding that the Class Notice constituted the best
practicable notice; (iv) awarding Class Counsel $17,453,977.00 in attorneys’ fees
and $2,712,035.28 in expenses ($2.5 million for reimbursement of expenses which
have and will be incurred by the CC&B System Monitoring Expert and $212,035.28
for reimbursement of expenses incurred by all Plaintiffs’ Counsel) and (v) awarding
a $5,000 service award each to Mr. Jones and the plaintiffs in Kimhi.

Ex Unopposed Motion For Final Approval Of Class Action Settlement


Ex Landskroner Dec (5-5-17)

The Motion for Final Approval attached a supporting Memorandum of Law


(“Memo”). As in prior filings in support of preliminary approval of the settlement,
the Memo and Mr. Landskroner’s supporting declaration contain numerous false
representations, including:

• The following misrepresentations about the extent of the investigation


conducted by Mr. Landskroner and his firm, both before and after filing the
Jones complaint:

o That they “undertook an extensive investigation” of the flaws in the


CC&B billing system, and that this investigation included “interviews
with confidential witnesses, multiple reviews of documents and
consultations with non-testifying experts, all of which confirmed the
widespread nature of the defects in the CC&B System. Plaintiff’s
counsel’s investigation also revealed that customers of the LADWP’s
Solar Incentive Program had been damaged as a result of extensive
delays in energizing their systems and by LADWP’s failure to properly
credit them for energy produced.” (Memo at 3-4; Landskroner (5-5-
17) Dec ¶¶ 7-9)
o That the “significant investigation conducted by Class Counsel, both
before and after” the complaint was filed establishes that Class Counsel
had “sufficient information to conclude that the settlement is in the best
interests of the Settlement Class.” (Memo at 17; Landskroner (5-5-17)
Dec ¶ 57)

298
o That Class Counsel’s opinion that the settlement is in the best interests
of the class should be given significant weight given the “years of
investigation into an understanding of the origins of Defendant’s
overbilling practices.” (Memo at 18)

As detailed above, Mr. Landskroner’s claims of having conducted an “extensive”


investigation, which entailed the hiring of “non-testifying experts” and
investigators and the interviewing of witnesses, both prior to and after the filing of
the Jones v. City complaint, was false. In his argument that his skill was exhibited
in obtaining a 100% recovery for the class, Mr. Landskroner noted at page 34 of
the supporting Memorandum that confirmatory discovery was “via the
Independent CC&B Systems Monitoring Expert,” i.e., Mr. Bender.

The evidence is that Mr. Bender was not contacted until June 29, 2015, more than
two weeks after the MOU was executed, was not retained until August 17, 2015,
after the Settlement Agreement was executed and on the day the motion for
preliminary confirmation was filed with the Court, and did not make his first site
visit to the DWP until a later date. Thus, Mr. Landskroner inadvertently confirmed
the statement in Mr. Bower’s October 28, 2015, declaration that Mr. Landskroner
did no confirmatory discovery before entering into a settlement with the City.

• Misrepresentations about settlement negotiations between representatives of


the City and Mr. Landskroner, including:

o That settlement negotiations “stalled.” (Memo at 4; Landskroner (5-5-


17) Dec ¶ 11)
o That a settlement in principal was only reached “after two full hard
fought days of mediation” on June 11 and 12, 2015, which, “although
contentious, were undertaken in good faith and arm’s length,” and as a
result of the negotiations DWP conceded “that each and every LADWP
customer that had been overcharged would receive either a credit or
refund in the amount of 100% of the overcharge” (something that DWP
had repeatedly stated since early 2014 it would do). (Memo at 4;
Landskroner (5-5-17) Dec ¶¶ 12, 14)
o That the settlement was “the product of serious, informed, non-
collusive negotiations” and that Judge Tevrizian opines that the
settlement is “fair, reasonable and adequate.” (Memo at 18)

After discussing the main terms of the Settlement Agreement and urging that it met
all factors required for approval of a class action settlement, Mr. Landskroner
299
addressed attorney fees. Mr. Landskroner requested attorney fees for LGM, Mr.
Libman, Mr. Himmelfarb and Knapp Peterson Clarke (counsel for the Kimhi
plaintiffs). Mr. Landskroner asserted that his firm had spent 8,117.50 hours and Mr.
Libman had spent 1,444.00 hours and that their fees, based on their standard billing
rates, were $5,305,758.00 and $799,100.00, respectively, and that a lodestar of 2.15
was reasonable. [Id. at 30-31, 33.] No attorney fees were requested on behalf of
counsel for the Bransford or Fontaine plaintiffs.

In support of his request of a multiplier, Mr. Landskroner represented to the Court


that prosecution of the action was time consuming and his firm took a risk in working
on a contingency basis. (Memo. at 35)

Contrary to Mr. Landskroner’s representation to the Court, he was in fact


requesting a multiplier of his inflated fees for achieving a settlement handed to
him on a silver platter with no real work on his part.

As Ms. Annaguey correctly noted in her August 1, 2015 email concerning


attorneys’ fees, “LADWP committed to fully refund/credit its customers before
any litigation had been filed” and “had already determined it was going to settle
these cases before Landskroner filed the Jones lawsuit” and that Mr. Landskroner
had done “little demonstrable work to advance the interests of the class.”

Ex 2015.08.01 Blackmail

On May 5, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed a “Declaration of Jack Landskroner in


Support of Plaintiffs Motion for Final Approval in Jones v. City.” (Ex Landskroner
Dec (5-5-17)) The declaration contained many of the false statements in the Memo
and was cited in support of those statements. (See above.) Additionally, the
declaration sought to provide evidentiary support for the lodestar amount of
$5,306,059 for Mr. Landskroner and LGM. Mr. Landskroner declared that he
and the LGM Firm had expended 8,117.50 hours on the litigation. (Ex
Landskroner Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 96)

The evidence, however, establishes that over 1,000 hours was claimed for work
allegedly performed before Mr. Landskroner was brought in by Mr. Paradis, on
March 26, 2015, to help represent Mr. Jones, of which more than 850 of those
hours were even prior to Mr. Paradis approaching Mr. Landskroner about the
case on February 25, 2015. Specifically, Mr. Landskroner’s declaration to this
Court was that he expended these hours from November 2014 through March
26, 2015:

300
Landskroner’s Declaration re Hours
Month Nov. 2014 Dec. 2014 Jan. 2015 Feb. 2015 Mar. 2015
Total hours 201.50 145.75 282.75 320.00 244.75

See Exhibit B to Second Declaration of Jack Landskroner in Support of Plaintiff’s


Application for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards

Ex Second Landskroner Dec (5-5-2017)

Further, the remaining 7,100 hours are equally suspect, given that lack of discovery
between the City and Mr. Landskroner; and the extensive pattern of Mr. Paradis,
rather than Mr. Lankskroner, drafting much of the Jones v. City paperwork.

Ex Landskroner Dec (5-5-17)


Ex Second Landskroner Dec (5-5-2017)

On May 4, 2017, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Bender regarding the “Bender Report.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0038148

On May 5, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed the Declaration of the Hon. Dickran
Tevrizian (Ret.) in Support of Plaintiffs Motion for Final Approval of Class Action
Settlement and Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards. In his
declaration, Judge Tevrizian stated that the “mediation sessions were both
contentious and protracted” (Ex Tevrizian Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 9) and that Mr.
Landskroner’s “in-depth investigation and prior experience in this field played an
integral role in advancing the settlement discussions.” (Id. ¶11) Judge Tevrizian also
discussed the October 31, 2016 mediation session, which he described as “extremely
contentious and protracted.”

Ex Tevrizian Dec (5-5-17)

A member of the Special Master’s team interviewed Judge Tevrizian on October


24, 2019. At the time of his interview, Judge Tevrizian did not have his notes of
the mediation session, which had been provided to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation.

Judge Tevrizian related that he first learned about Mr. Paradis’s conflict of interest
in a December 2018 meeting with Mr. Paradis, who told Judge Tevrizian that he
had represented Jones in Jones v. PwC in addition to representing the City in Jones

301
v. City. Judge Tevrizian related that he told Mr. Paradis “you can’t do that, it’s a
conflict” and that the conflict was “likely not waivable in a class action case, given
that Jones is common to both lawsuits.” Judge Tevrizian further related that Mr.
Paradis said: “didn’t I already tell you this,” and he responded “no, and if you had,
I wouldn’t have mediated a case with you being ethically prohibited from working
on the case.”

The Special Master concludes that Judge Tevrizian did not know of the conflict
until December 2018, and that at that time the information was self-servingly
brought to his attention by Mr. Paradis as this meeting occurred shortly after Mr.
Kiesel brought Mr. Paradis’s dual representation to the Court’s attention (which
thus would have motivated Mr. Paradis to contact Judge Tevrizian in an attempt
to change that narrative). The Special Master also is of the opinion that prior to
that time Judge Tevrizian believed in good faith that the mediation sessions were
between two adverse parties acting at arm’s length, rather than the staged
production put on to give the appearance of an arm’s length negotiation and to
further their collusive goals by cloaking the farce with Judge Tevrizian’s
recommendation to this Court.

On May 5, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed the “Declaration of Antwon Jones in


Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval and Application for an Award
of Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards.”

Ex Jones Dec (5-5-17)

In his declaration, as drafted by counsel, Mr. Jones refers to “counsel” or


“my counsel” without naming the attorney or firm referred to. Because Mr.
Landskroner, attorneys with his firm, and Mr. Libman were the only
attorneys who made a formal appearance on behalf of Mr. Jones, the Court
and counsel for the other plaintiffs would have understandably, and
erroneously, been led to believe that the term “counsel” referred to Mr.
Landskroner, his firm, and Mr. Libman.

As the evidence shows, however, this was, in fact, not what Mr. Jones
understood by the term. At his deposition, Mr. Jones testified that when he
referred, in paragraph 5 of his declaration, to retaining counsel and
requesting counsel to conduct an investigation he was referring to Mr.
Paradis, who is the only person he retained at that time to represent him and
the only person he asked at that time to conduct an investigation, and that

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Mr. Paradis was the only person who conducted any investigation on his
behalf before March 26, 2015.

Emphasis added.

Jones Dep 42-43, 50-51, 58-59, 68

Mr. Jones further testified at his deposition that he was introduced by Mr.
Paradis to Mr. Landskroner on March 26, 2015, that he instructed Mr.
Paradis and Mr. Landskroner to file the complaint on his behalf, understood
they were both filing the complaint, and did not understand why Mr. Paradis
was not listed as his attorney on the complaint filed against DWP. Mr. Jones
had never met Mr. Libman, never communicated with him directly, and
never understood Mr. Libman to be his attorney. Mr. Jones further testified
that when he referred in his declaration to the counsel who filed the
complaint, he meant Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner. Additionally, he
testified that when he learned a settlement offer had been made to the City,
he believed it was made by both Mr. Landskroner and Mr. Paradis, that Mr.
Paradis had never resigned as his attorney, and Mr. Jones had never fired
him.

Emphasis added.

Jones Dep 68, 74, 76-80, 95-96, 139

As is supported by the evidence, neither the Special Master nor any of the
parties to these proceedings has reason to believe that Mr. Jones intentionally
made false statements in his declaration. All the false statements in his
declaration are attributable to Mr. Landskroner and whoever else was involved
in drafting Mr. Jones’s declaration.

The false statements drafted into Mr. Jones’s declaration include the
following:

• Paragraph 6 refers to counsel retaining experts. Mr. Jones testified Mr.


Landskroner told him that experts had been retained, but he didn’t know
who they were or the field in which they were experts; he believed Mr.
Paradis and Mr. Landskroner retained experts. (Jones Dep 57-58, 60,
61)

303
• Paragraph 9 referred to his counsel “working with the consulting team
to develop a highly detailed settlement proposal” to resolve all the class
actions. Mr. Jones did not know who the consulting team was. Like the
“experts,” the Special Master believes Mr. Jones had been told by Mr.
Landskroner that he worked with consultants to develop the settlement
proposal. (Jones Dep 93)

Paragraph 12 states that after several weeks of settlement discussions talks


stalled due to Mr. Jones’s demands that (i) any settlement result in 100%
refund or credit for all overcharges, (ii) that DWP take remedial measures to
correct the CC&B system, and (iii) that DWP independently verify that the
CC&B System was functioning properly and generating accurate customer
bills. Since Mr. Jones did not participate in settlement negotiations or the
mediation, these statements would have been based only on what Mr. Jones
was told by Mr. Landskroner.

On May 5, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed in Bransford the “Declaration of


Michael Libman, Esq. in Support of Motion for Approval of Class Settlement.”
Mr. Libman’s declaration was filed primarily to justify to the Court a factual
basis for approving Mr. Libman’s requested award of attorneys’ fees. Mr.
Libman’s declaration included a lodestar amount of $799,100 for Mr. Libman
and his law firm and declared he had spent 1,444 hours litigating Jones v. City.

Ex Libman Dec (5-5-17)

Mr. Libman specifically claimed, in Exhibit C to his declaration, that he spent


550.75 hours of his time (or 1/3 of the total claimed hours) on Categories 4 & 5
as follows: 23.25 hours (Category 4) in 2013-2014; 111.5 hours (Categories 4
& 5) in 2015; 254.75 hours (Categories 4 & 5) in 2016; 161.25 hours (Categories
4 & 5) in 2017. His declaration describes these categories as follows:
4) Client /Class Member Communications: includes
consultations and communication with lead plaintiff,
consultation and communication with counsel for the
other plaintiffs, communication with absent class
members regarding billing errors and defects, and
education and, awareness campaign.
5) Litigation /Settlement Strategy and Analysis:
includes consultations with plaintiff, development and
implementation of litigation strategy, research and

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design of settlement strategy and proposal, consultation
with non-testifying consultants, and strategy planning
meetings with liaison and other counsel for plaintiffs in
related actions.
Ex Libman Dec (5-5-17) ¶ 8
Libman Dep 60, 189-190

Although both Categories 4 & 5 specified that Mr. Libman’s work included
hours spent on “consultations and communication with lead plaintiff” and
“consultations with plaintiff,” as Mr. Jones testified, he never met Mr. Libman,
did not understand Mr. Libman to be his counsel, and never had any
communications with Mr. Libman. During his deposition, Mr. Libman testified
that even though he never spoke, met, or wrote to Antwon Jones until after January
1, 2019, the statement in his declaration referred “by extension [to
communications with Jones] through Mr. Landskroner’s office.”

Jones Dep 76-77, 110-11, 139


Libman Dep 189-191

In Exhibit B to his declaration, Mr. Libman claimed he spent approximately 380


hours between November 2013 to March 2015, which was prior to his being
brought in by Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to act as local counsel for Mr.
Landskroner in Jones v. City. Mr. Libman’s representation was never approved
nor requested by Mr. Jones. 61 Exhibit B to Mr. Libman’s declaration lists as

61
Mr. Libman, claimed during his deposition, that he had “close to a couple thousand, maybe
1600 emails, that [he was] aware of that were generated or related to this [Jones] case as part of
[his] work.” However, Mr. Libman admittedly only produced approximately 20 emails, consisting
of various strings of conversations largely between Mr. Libman and Mr. Kiesel. Mr. Libman did
not prepare any privilege log associated with the supposedly remaining 1,580 emails despite
having been served with a subpoena. The emails that were produced by Mr. Libman, with the
exception of a single email between Mr. Libman and Mr. Kiesel dated 3/27/14, were only for the
time period from March 3, 2015, to April 22, 2015. The substance of those emails related to four
discrete topics: (1) Mr. Kiesel’s request that Mr. Libman put on his own letterhead, sign and submit
(after Mr. Paradis obtained Mr. Landskroner’s signature) the Notice of Claim for Mr. Jones which
had been prepared by Mr. Paradis; (2) Mr. Kiesel’s request for Mr. Libman’s State Bar number so
that it could be added to the Jones v. City complaint that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel were drafting;
(3) Mr. Libman’s coordination with Mr. Kiesel as to the timing of the filing of Jones v. City; and
(4) Mr. Paradis’s urgent, but mistaken, request that Mr. Libman and Mr. Landskroner show up for
a hearing on April 30, 2015, in front of this Court. Contrary to claims he had extensive
305
follows the hours he allegedly spent on the Jones case from November 2013
through March 26, 2015:
Libman ‘s Declaration re Hours
Month Nov Dec. Jan. Feb Mar Apr. May Jun. Jul. 2014
2013 2013 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014
Hours 34.35 27.0 43.50 25.75 14.0 24.5 22.25 11.75 10.0

Month Aug Sep. Oct. Nov Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar.


2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2015 2015 2015
Hours 17.0 22.75 26.25 24.50 24.50 16.0 19.75 16.75

SEE APPENDIX C (“QUESTIONABLE PAYMENTS”) FOR A MORE


DETAILED ANALYSIS

On May 5, 2017, Mr. Blood’s firm filed Bransford and Fontaine Plaintiffs’ Notice
of Request for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and Plaintiff Service
Awards, a Request for Award of Attorneys’ Fees and the declarations of Mr. Blood,
Ms. Hurst, Ms. Wade and Mr. Bower. In the Request, counsel argued “their work
in initiating this action, spurring settlement discussions, repeatedly pushing to
improve the terms of the settlement despite fierce resistance from the settling parties
to do so, and assisting Department of Water & Power (DWP) customers and thereby
preventing water and power disconnections and triaging countless problems for
customers created by the DWP” entitled them to an award of $4,924,000 (after
application of a multiplier of two) in attorney fees plus expenses, all to be paid out
of the $19 million in attorneys’ fees and $500,000 in expenses provided for by the
Settlement Agreement.

Ex BLOOD ATTY FEE REQUEST (5-5-17)

communications with Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Landskroner was not even copied on any of the emails
Mr. Libman produced.
Libman Dep 40-41, Ex 3

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JUNE 2017: MR. PARADIS MOVES HIS OVERPRICED REMEDIATION
WORK FROM HIS LAW FIRM TO A SOLELY OWNED LLC NAMED
AFTER A $400,000 LAMBORGHINI “AVENTADOR”

On June 1, 2017, Ms. Stevener, as DWP’s Chief Administrative Officer, and Mr.
Wright, as its General Manager, signed a Board Letter Approval recommending that
DWP approve Agreement No. 47442-7 for Project Management and Consulting
Services related to the Jones Settlement and Customer Care and Billing System
Remediation With Aventador Utility Solutions, LLC. The Summary section of the
Board Letter Approval stated:

The proposed contract will enable LADWP to retain the


project management and consulting services necessary for
LADWP to (i) continue to implement the terms and
conditions specified in the Revised Settlement Agreement
in the matter entitled Antwon Jones vs. City of Los Angeles
(Case No. BC577267) (the “Jones Action’’); (ii) perform
the work items related to the remediation of the defectively
implemented Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) System;
and (iii) simultaneously add system functionality required
for increased system utilization for an amount not to exceed
$30,000,000 and term of three years. The contractor is
uniquely situated to perform this work, and therefore, a
single source contract with Aventador Utility Solutions,
LLC (Aventador) is recommended.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012012 at 0012042-83

On June 2, 2017, Mr. Broersma, on behalf of the City Attorney, approved as to form
and legality both the resolution to approve the DWP-Aventador contract and the
contract itself.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012012 at 0012020, 0012049

On June 2, 2017, the Aventador contract was signed by Mr. Paradis as President
and Ms. Tufaro as Vice President and General Counsel of Aventador.

Since the same person (Mr. Paradis) was going to be providing project management
services for remediation of the CC&B Billing System under the Aventador
Contract while simultaneously representing the City in City v. PwC, the change of
the entity performing the services was to change the vendor from an entity with Mr.
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Paradis’s name to a shell entity that did not bear his name. Nonetheless, and unlike
the PLG Contract, which listed Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, and two employees of
PLG as “key personnel,” the Aventador Contract lists only one person as “key
personnel,” Mr. Paradis. Additionally, Section 5.2.2 of the Aventador Contract
allows DWP “at its sole discretion” the right to terminate the contract “if Paul
Paradis is no longer employed by the Consultant or is otherwise unavailable to
perform services under this Agreement.”

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012012 at 0012036

On June 5, 2017, according to news sources, Gwendolyn Williams (“Ms.


Williams”), the head of the Contracting Division at DWP, wrote that
Aventador’s consultants’ rates, which were $400 per hour on average, were
higher than those of other comparable companies. Ms. Williams also raised
concerns that Aventador’s employees indicated they planned to work nearly full
time at the hourly rate, which conflicted with other consulting firms that typically
charged as needed. Ms. Williams did not feel she could determine whether the
work being performed would justify the higher rates.

Ex 19-07-11 LA Times Article - Before the double-dealing allegations

On June 5, 2017, the City responded to PwC’s Third Set of RFPs. The City
objected to RFP No. 70, which called for documents transmitted by Mr. Jones’s
counsel to the City, on the grounds of vagueness, over breadth, undue burden,
and that it “calls for the production of documents that are protected by the
settlement privilege or other applicable privileges.” The City objected to RFP
No. 71, which requested documents transmitted by the City to Mr. Jones’s
counsel, as vague, overly broad, and unduly burdensome, and stated that “[n]o
responsive documents exist.”

Ex 17-06-05 - PwC-Responses-to-Disc.-Set-Three Appx 2 at Ex. 60

Since Mr. Paradis was Mr. Jones’s counsel during much, if not all, of the
relevant time frame, the City had dozens of emails to and from Mr. Paradis
that were responsive to Request Nos. 70 and 71.

On June 6, 2017, a resolution approving the Aventador Contract was Item 22


on the DWP Board’s regular meeting. The minutes for the meeting note that the
DWP Ratepayer Advocate, Dr. Fred Pickel, commented on the Aventador
Contract. The DWP Board voted to approve the Aventador Contract, with all

308
five Board members voting “Aye.” At the time of the vote to approve the
Aventador Contract, Commissioner Funderburk moved to amend the resolution
approving the contract to add the following: “Create an ad hoc Committee of
two Board Members to provide oversight of this contract.”

Ex 17-06-06 - June 6, 2017 Minutes at 36-37

On June 14, 2017, Mr. Tom, on behalf of the City Attorney, approved as to form
and legality the verbal motion to amend the resolution to create an ad hoc
committee.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012021

On June 6, 2017, Michael Botnick (“Mr. Botnick”) a Senior Information


Systems Supervisor weighed in on hiring Aventador with an email to Mr.
Wright, Ms. Stevener, copying Mr. Townsend and other DWP managers:
All,
I am writing this email on my own behalf. That said,
there are multiple fellow employees concerned about
this topic.
As a DWP veteran I have been in charge of the
Departments Bill Print sub-system utilizing both TRES
(‘old CIS’) and CCB. I am sensitive regarding the
scrutiny we DWP employees have been subjected to
prior to our CCB project debacle. Post CCB has been
untenable, but it seems, we are nearing a time when
settlement with our ratepayer citizens is in reach.
As a citizen, a ratepayer, and a DWP veteran, I was
concerned on several levels to find out about the
Aventador Utility solutions contract.
I’m concerned we are outsourcing the Project
Management of CCB remediation.
I’m concerned the contract is being awarded to a
company with no track record I could find. The only
reference available to me for Aventador Utility
solutions, LLC shows the company existing for a three
month period.

309
Is this the company we are awarding? If so, 3 months
in business does not lend itself much time to develop a
track record.
Overall I am concerned with three things:
Increasing rather than reducing the scrutiny the DWP
is subjected to
Not responsibly utilizing the public’s funds
Not furthering the careers of active employees
Respectfully,
Michael Botnick
P.S. Yes, I do realize, I am not privy to all the influences
being exerted here. Please realize I am truly concerned
about this Department, I am not attempting to
‘grandstand’ or be flippant. I realize I am in no
position to demand any response, I would however
appreciate a response.
Sr Information systems Supervisor Los Angeles DWP
Ex COLA-LADWP 0020163-64
On June 7, 2017, Mr. Wright responded by email to Mr. Botnick with a lengthy
defense of Aventador and a justification for the hiring of Aventador, including
that the projects “need to be completed in the next three years to comply with
the order from the Independent Court Appointed Monitor as part of the Class
Action Lawsuit.”
Ex COLA-LADWP 0020163-64

Mr. Botnick, like Mr. Blood, apparently sensed something was off, but of
course had no idea how bad things actually were with Aventador and the entire
Jones deceptive enterprise.

On June 6, 2017, the DWP Board adopted Resolution 17256, which amended the
contract between DWP and the Liner Firm. This was the fifth and final amendment
to the agreement between DWP and the Liner Firm. It allocated $1,622,200 in
additional funds to the Liner Firm (bringing the total allocation for defense of the
class actions to $5,422,200) and designated Ms. Annaguey as “Outside Counsel’s
Supervising Attorney.” Prior to the Fifth Amendment, Ms. Agrusa, not Ms.
Annaguey, had, at all times, been designated “Outside Counsel’s Supervising
310
Attorney.” The Fifth Amendment was signed by Mr. Wright and Ms. Moschos, as
representatives of DWP, on August 17, 2017, and by Mr. Clark on behalf of LACA
on August 20, 2017. August 17, 2017, was also the date that Browne George Ross
(“BGR”) substituted as counsel of record for the City in place of the Liner Firm. Ms.
Annaguey joined the BGR firm; Ms. Agrusa did not.

Ex Liner 5th Amendment

Prior to the Fourth Amendment, the total amount allocated to the Liner Firm for
defense of the Class Actions was $2,250,000.

In October 2016, the DWP Board approved the Fourth Amendment to the Liner
Firm’s contract, approving an additional $2,550,000 in fees, more than doubling
the amount allocated to the Liner Firm in the two prior years of its representation.
Thus, approximately 65% of the Liner Firm’s fees ($4,172 million/$6.422 million)
was allocated after the settlement had been reached in Jones v. City, and all that
remained was the final mediation session, the November 2016 hearing on
preliminary, and the July 2017 hearing on final approval.

On June 22, 2017, Mr. Wright as General Manager and Ms. Moschos as
Secretary signed the Aventador contract on behalf of DWP.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012012 at 0012049

The Scope of Work of the Aventador Contract was similar to that contained in the
PLG Contract. Exhibit H to the Aventador Contract described the scope of work as:

Contractor shall provide project management and


consulting services required by LADWP to timely complete
the work items required to comply with the terms of the
Jones Settlement. This proposed contract is also intended
to ameliorate any concerns the Monitor may have
concerning LADWP’s (i) lack of well-qualified 1T project
management personnel and (ii) prior failures to procure
such services on a contracted basis.

Ex COLA-LADWP_0012012 at 0012079

The principal difference between the scope of the work described in the PLG Contract
and that described in the Aventador Contract is that the latter adds that the Aventador
Contract was meant to ameliorate the Monitor’s concerns about DWP’s lack of well-
311
qualified project management personnel. Interestingly, shortly after the inception
date of the Aventador Contract, Mr. Thoppe and Mr. Osman, Bender Consulting’s
two key associates on the independent monitor project, went to work for Aventador
to provide services to DWP, Mr. Thoppe leaving in July 2017 and Mr. Osman leaving
in March 2018.

Ex Bender Dec (5-31-19) ¶ 5a, b

From February 2018 through December 2018, DWP paid the following
amounts to Aventador under the Aventador Contract:

2/2/2018 114,000.00
2/2/2018 266,000.00
2/2/2018 522,025.00
2/2/2018 570,325.00
2/2/2018 790,500.00
2/2/2018 468,100.00
3/7/2018 831,725.00
4/26/2018 675,700.00
4/26/2018 801,225.00
5/8/2018 989,100.00
7/5/2018 1,142,575.00
7/24/2018 1,171,425.00
9/10/2018 1,968,400.00
9/12/2018 1,831,600.00
11/27/2018 1,569,500.00
12/28/2018 2,217,450.00
12/28/2018 1,614,825.00
1/17/2019 1,777,600.00
3/1/2019 2,573,450.00
4/1/2019 799,600.00
4/4/2019 604,400.00
4/11/2019 578,125.00
4/19/2019 601,450.00
Total $24,479,100.00

Ex Aventador_Contract No. 47442-7 Payments

312
PLEASE SEE APPENDIX C “QUESTIONABLE PAYMENTS” FOR A
MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS

LATE JUNE 2017-JULY 2017: THE COURT GIVE FINAL APPROVAL


TO THE SETTLEMENT AND FEES, AND PAYMENTS ENSUE

On June 26, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed Supplemental Declaration of Jack


Landskroner in Further Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval of Class
Action Settlement and Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards,
advising the Court that, as a result of mediation, an agreement had been reached that
Mr. Jones would be awarded attorneys’ fees of $15.8 million and the attorneys for
the Bransford and Fontaine plaintiffs would be awarded attorneys’ fees of $3.8
million.

Ex Landskroner Dec (6-26-17) ¶ 7

The evidence is clear that Mr. Landskroner misled Mr. Jones specifically in
connection with Mr. Landskroner’s request to obtain $15.8 million of attorneys’
fees.

At the time he signed the declaration in support of attorney fees for the settlement,
which had been prepared by Mr. Landskroner, Mr. Jones understood that he was
attesting to the work done by both Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner and the
attorney fees being requested were for both Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner. Mr.
Jones, of course, also had no idea that Mr. Paradis was contemporaneously
representing the City and DWP.

Jones Dep 42-43, 50-51, 58-59, 68, 76-77, 110-11, 139

On July 7, 2017, the hearing on motion for final approval of the Revised Settlement
Agreement and Limited Release was held. The Court granted the motion and
approved the settlement. The Court’s Order Granting Final Approval of Class
Action Settlement and Final Judgment in the Jones v. City case was signed and filed
on July 20, 2017. The Order provided, in pertinent part:

• The definition of the settlement class. (¶ 3)


• That the settlement was arrived at “after extensive arm’s length
negotiations conducted in good faith by counsel for the parties, and is
supported by the majority of the Settlement Class,” as a result of which

313
the Court approved the settlement “as fair, reasonable and adequate in
light of the complexity, expense and duration of the litigation….” (¶ 8)
• That all claims that accrued between September 3, 2013 and December
30, 2016, other than the solar claims, were released, except for specified
claims asserted in the Morski and Macias actions (which included any
claims related to “cancel-rebill”), Bane Act claims, claims arising out of
field work investigations created after December 21, 2015, claims arising
out of DWP’s failure to record or credit customer payments, “claims
arising from the Back-Billing of customers during the period September
3, 2013 through September 10, 2015,” and personal injury claims. (¶ 9)
• That the named plaintiffs in Jones, Kimhi, Bransford, and Fontaine cases
were entitled to service awards of $5,000 each (with the court
interlineating the names of the Bransford and Fontaine plaintiffs). (¶ 11)
• That $19,000,000 was awarded in attorneys’ fees, $15.2 million to
plaintiffs’ counsel in Jones, Kimhi and Morski and $3.8 million to
plaintiffs’ counsel in Bransford and Fontaine, with expenses awarded in
the amount of $2,741,003.99, with $2.5 million allocated for the CC&B
System Monitoring Expert, $212,035.28 allocated to plaintiffs’ counsel in
Jones, Kimhi and Morski and $29,968.71 allocated to plaintiffs’ counsel
in Bransford and Fontaine. (¶ 12)
• That the City was to pay the amount of fees and expenses within seven
business days to Class Counsel, who was responsible for allocating these
amounts among plaintiffs’ counsel. (¶ 12)
• That Class Counsel and Liaison Counsel (Mr. Libman) could make
quarterly application for reasonable attorneys’ fees equal to 29% of future
recoveries subsequent to final approval by class members for certain
categories of claims. (¶ 13)
• That the court is to retain continuing jurisdiction over (i) implementation
of the settlement and awards or distributions to class members; (ii) hearing
and determining any future attorneys’ fee applications; and (iii) all parties
for purposes of enforcing and administering the Settlement Agreement. (¶
14)
Ex Transcript 2017.07.07 Jones Settlement Hearing
Ex ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL 7-20-17

On July 7, 2017, Matthew Blake (“Mr. Blake”), a reporter at the Daily Journal,
emailed Mr. Kiesel asking for a copy of the amended complaint filed in City v.
Jones and the opposition to PwC’s demurrer. After Mr. Kiesel responded that

314
he was currently in a jury trial but would get back to Mr. Blake, the latter
responded

I just wanted to follow-up on this. Also, was your


consumer lawsuit against PwC approved?

Ex Pansky Re_ reporter’s questions about City of Los Angeles v. PwC

Although the City was attempting to prevent discovery of the fact that it had
initially considered having PLG and Kiesel Law file a consumer class action
against PwC with Mr. Jones named as putative class plaintiff, this fact was
apparently known to persons outside of DWP, LACA, Special Counsel, and
attorneys at the Liner Firm.

That the Jones v. PwC information was known by a news reporter is further
evidence of the plan by the City and Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel to use Mr.
Jones to change the narrative from blaming the DWP to blaming PwC. That
the news reporter was focused on whether that case had been “approved”
further supports Mr. Kiesel’s testimony in 2019 that the City was the driving
force behind the plan.

On July 26, 2017, Mr. Landskroner filed the Notice of Entry of Judgment or
Order regarding the July 20, 2017 Order granting final approval of the
settlement.

Ex DOCID000787

315
On July 28, 2017, the City transmitted the following checks to LGM via Federal
Express:

Date Check # Amount Payee


Landskroner Grieco
7/19/2017 700150266 $19,241,003.99 Merriman, LLC
Tahl Beckerman
7/21/2017 700150479 $5,000.00 Megerdichian,
7/21/2017 700150478 $5,000.00 Yaar Kimhi
7/21/2017 700150477 $5,000.00 Antwon Jones
7/21/2017 700150480 $5,000.00 Yelena Novak
7/27/2017 700150959 $5,000.00 Rachel Tash
7/27/2017 700150958 $5,000.00 Hayley Fontaine,
7/27/2017 700150957 $5,000.00 Steven Shrager,
7/27/2017 700150956 $5,000.00 Sharon Bransford

The transmittal letter was signed by the DWP Assistant General Counsel, Mr.
Tom.

Ex Settlement Court Order and Checks

Between August 4, 2017, and October 10, 2017, LGM distributed the
attorneys’ fees and costs it received (including interest accrued thereon) as
follows:

DATE PAYEE FEES EXPENSES

Knapp, Peterson & Clarke $1,999,999.00 $19,227.31


8/4/2017
Law Offices of Michael J.
8/4/2017 Libman $1,650,000.00 $3,370.01
Law Offices of Alan
8/4/2017 Himmelfarb $1,444,913.80 $0
Milstein, Jackson, Fairchild &
8/7/2017 Wade $3,800,000.00 $28,968.71
8/15/2017 Bank Fees (Aug) $5.93
Milstein, Jackson, Fairchild &
9/1/2018 Wade $18 Wire Transfer
9/18/2017 Bank Fees (Sept) $18.00

316
Cash transfer DWP Escrow
Fund to LGM checking
10/2/2017 $5,060,942.14
Cash transfer DWP Escrow
Fund to LGM Savings
10/2/2017 $189,437.36
Cash Expense transfer to
10/10/2017 Escrow Fund $4,552,543.60
Cash transfer from DWP
Escrow Fund to Checking
10/10/2017 Account $8,398.54
Recclass remaining funds from
DWP Escrow Fund
10/10/2017 $500,000

Ex Landskroner 700150266
Ex LGM0005993

AUGUST-DECEMBER 2017: PwC CONTINUES TO PRESS FOR


DISCLOSURE OF JONES V. PwC DOCUMENTS;
MR. PARADIS REPEATEDLY LIES TO THE
COURT IN A DECEMBER 2017 HEARING

On August 14, 2017, the City provided a second revised privilege log to PwC.
The “Jones v. PwC – Initial Complaint – FINAL.DOC” and Solomon transmittal
email were listed, with the same privilege claims as in the April 2017 log. The
“comprehensive settlement demand” did not appear on the City’s August 14,
2017, privilege log, despite the privilege claim raised in response to RFP No. 70.

Ex Thomasch Dec

On August 16, 2017, Ms. Annaguey filed a Notice of Substitution in each of the
Class Actions substituting the law firm Browne George Ross (“BGR”) for the
Liner Firm as counsel for the City. Shortly before the Notice of Substitution,
Ms. Annaguey and Ms. McCann left the Liner Firm and joined BGR.

Ex 17-08-16 - Jones-SOA

On September 29, 2017, the City served a revised privilege log in response to
the Court’s March 8, 2017 Order that the City, in response to PwC’s December

317
21, 2015 First RFP, produce most of the remediation documents and a new
privilege log. Identified as Document number 70 on the Privilege Log was the
withheld January 24, 2015 email with the line “FW: Jones v. Pricewaterhouse
Coopers, LLP (Consumer Class Action),” circulated to Mr. Brown, Mr. Tom,
Solomon and Ms. Dorny, as well as DWP employees Ms. Grove, Mr. Spinn, Ms.
Walker-Bonnelli, and Mr. Lampe. Document number 71 on the privilege log
was titled, “Jones v. PwC - Initial Complaint - FINAL.DOC,” dated January 24,
2015.

Ex One page from 9-29-17 privilege log

On September 29, 2017, the City produced a third revised privilege log with
1,058 entries. The Solomon transmittal email was listed at Row 70 and the
“Jones v. PwC – Initial Complaint – FINAL.DOC” was listed at Row 71. Both
documents had the same classifications and descriptions as the April 7, 2017,
privilege log. The “comprehensive settlement demand” responsive to RFP No.
70 appeared on the September 29, 2017 privilege log, at Row 1,058, listed as
“Re: Jones v. City, Confidential Settlement Proposal and Request for
Settlement,” which was withheld on the basis of a “Settlement/Mediation”
privilege.

Ex City’s Sept 29 2017 privilege log

Between October 2, 2017, and November 9, 2017, LGM made the following
distributions from the attorneys’ fees awarded to it:

Date Payment Payee Amount


10/2/2017 Check Jack Landskroner $2,400,000.00
10/2/2017 Check Paul Greico $1,200,000.00
10/2/2017 Check Tom Merriman $400,000.00
10/10/2017 Check Paul Greico $1,517,514.84
10/10/2017 Check Jack Landskroner $3,035,029.06
Sanford C. Bernstein &
11/9/2017 Wire $1,210,710.52
Co.

The Beneficiary on the wire transfer to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. produced by
Mr. Landskroner to Mr. Kabateck was blacked out and is unknown. The likely
conclusion for the redaction on the wire transfer is that the funds went to

318
someone other than Mr. Landskroner, as there would be no reason for Mr.
Landskroner to hide this payment to himself. He already listed payments to
himself of $5.435 million, or almost five times the amount wired to Sanford C.
Bernstein & Co.

Ex LGM checks

SEE APPENDIX C (“QUESTIONABLE PAYMENTS”) FOR A MORE


DETAILED ANALYSIS

On November 3, 2017, PwC filed Notice of Motion and Defendant


PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Second Motion to Compel Production of
Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged, a supporting Memorandum of
Points and Authorities, a supporting Declaration of Theodore O’Reilly, and an
Appendix of Exhibits. The motion sought, among other things, the
“comprehensive settlement demand” and the Jones v. PwC draft complaint.

Ex 17-11-03 Second-Motion-to-Compel-Improperly-Withheld-Documents

On November 15, 2017, the City filed its Opposition to Defendant’s Second
Motion to Compel and supporting Declaration of Paul O. Paradis. In its
Opposition, signed by Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, the City argued for the first
time that the Jones v. PwC draft complaint was also protected by both the
attorney-client privilege and as work product. (Id. at 2–3, 5–7) The City argued
that the Jones v. PwC draft complaint “was not, as PwC incorrectly contends ‘a
draft litigation document for use by Mr. Jones and a putative class of LADWP
ratepayers,’” id. at 5, and that “PwC’s suggestion that Document No. 71 [the
Jones v. PwC draft complaint] somehow supports the notion that LADWP
colluded with Plaintiff Jones in connection with the settlement of the Jones
Action is completely baseless. PwC’s attempt to suggest any collusion in the
Jones case . . . is completely without merit and in bad faith.” (Id. at 7 n.4)

In his declaration Mr. Paradis declared that:

At the same time the City was evaluating and planning


its legal strategy as a defendant in these customer class
actions, the City was also discussing and evaluating the
possibility of pursuing claims against PwC – either
directly or indirectly – to recover the millions of dollars

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in damages incurred by the City as a result of PwC’s
failed billing system implementation.

Ex Paradis Dec ¶ 6

Mr. Paradis further attested that Document 71 was prepared by “outside counsel”
for the City at “DWP’s request.” Additionally, Mr. Paradis declared that:

LADWP officials requested that outside counsel


prepare a draft complaint alleging claims that could be
brought by an LADWP rate payer against PwC. As
requested by LADWP officials, outside counsel then
researched and drafted Document No. 71 in Plaintiff’s
Revised Privilege Log, i.e., the Jones v. PwC
Complaint, [but] the City/LADWP ultimately
determined to pursue claims against PwC directly by
filing this action, rather than indirectly, as discussed in
Document No. 71 and no further action was ever taken
based on the legal theory proposed in Document No.
71….

Id. ¶¶ 8–9, 12

Ex 17-11-15 - Plaintiff-S-Opposition-To-Defendant-S-Second-Motion-To-
Compel
Ex Declaration of Paul O. Paradis ISO Plaintiff’s Opp to PwC’s 2nd Motion to
compel

As is clear from the evidence, it was Mr. Paradis who was the so-called “outside
counsel” and the one who prepared the Jones v. PwC complaint. While the City
was fully aware that he drafted that complaint to benefit the City, the City also
well knew that Mr. Paradis had a ratepayer client, Antwon Jones, for whom he
also prepared the complaint Jones v. PwC and that Jones v. PwC was planned, not
in lieu of, but rather in addition to, the filing of City v. PwC. Further, Mr. Paradis
knew he was lying to the Court by asserting that the complaint was not drafted to
be used by Mr. Jones. It was Mr. Paradis who personally emailed the Jones v.
PwC complaint to Mr. Jones before sending it to the City and it was Mr. Paradis
who obtained Mr. Jones’s authorization to file that complaint and it was Mr.
Paradis who, later, advised Mr. Jones not to file that complaint.

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The only bad faith here was by Mr. Paradis and the City. Both knew in filing this
declaration that the facts were not as the City and Mr. Paradis were attempting to
mislead the Court to believe and thus rely upon in rendering a decision to the City’s
advantage in the City v. PwC litigation.

These actions constituted fraud on the Court.

On December 4, 2017, the Court heard oral argument on PwC’s motion to


compel. Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, and Mr. Paradis all appeared on behalf of the
City. Mr. Paradis made the following representations to the Court:
THE COURT: ...Who was the attorney in this case
drafting the pleading?
MR. PARADIS: I drafted the pleading, your Honor,
on behalf of the city, at the request of the City.
THE COURT: You drafted them on behalf of the
City?
MR. PARADIS: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: And so why is Jones the plaintiff?
MR. PARADIS: Without disclosing attorney-client
privileged communication, your Honor, we were
asked to prepare two different complaints. ---
* * *
THE COURT: ... But explain to me the process.
You’re telling me that you, as the attorney for the City,
are drafting a complaint for a plaintiff that’s not the
City.
MR. PARADIS: Correct. We were asked -- actually,
We drafted it for the city, for the city. ---
THE COURT: Who are you representing in that case?
MR. PARADIS: We represented the City, your Honor.
We were actually contemplating different legal
strategies, different legal theories. And the City
requested that we prepare two different draft
complaints: one which was a direct complaint by the
City against PwC; the other on behalf of Mr. Jones
against PwC….
321
THE COURT: I hear you, but I don’t understand it.
What you are doing as a city attorney drafting a
complaint on behalf of Mr. Jones?
MR. PARADIS: Again, without getting into the
details, to waive anything, there was a concern on the
City’s part that people who were customers be entitled
to recover. So the idea was, what are the types of legal
theories that might be out there that could be used by
the class members if they wanted to recover? What are
the theories? They wanted to explore and understand
that.
That draft complaint had a single allegation, single
cause of action. It was never provided to anyone other
than the City. And you’ve got a 16-count complaint
that was filed by Mr. Jones, which is very different.
Doesn’t have anything to do –
THE COURT: I understand the complaint by Mr.
Jones against the City. I don’t quite understand -- is the
city authorized to -- or is the city attorney’s office
authorized to file complaints on behalf of ratepayers?
MR. PARADIS: It was not to be filed on behalf of the
ratepayers, your Honor. It was something they wanted
to analyze and discuss with us internally to see what the
kinds of claims might be, to understand what type of
claims ratepayers might bring if they decided to do that.
THE COURT: Is there a reason why Mr. Jones’s name
is on it? Now, I understand you put “John Doe” or
“XYZ” as a fictional, potential plaintiff. How did it end
up with Antwon Jones as the plaintiff?
MR. PARADIS: Again, your Honor, without
disclosing privileged communication, there were
several people who had been complaining to the
department, at that point in time had been in touch with
the department, and Mr. Jones’s name was one of
them.
* * *

322
THE COURT: I’m not sure that we have all the facts.
I don’t quite understand the setup here as to what the
attorney was drafting, on behalf of whom. So I think
some more submission ought to be made on that.
The Court deferred ruling on whether the Jones v. PwC draft complaint was
privileged and authorized PwC to take a PMQ deposition “on the circumstances
surrounding the creation” of the complaint.
Ex 2017.12.04 Hearing Re MTC and Status Conference 17-23

With the exception of Mr. Paradis’s admission that he had violated his attorney
client privilege with his client Mr. Jones and that the City was fully aware of,
and directing, Mr. Paradis’s drafting of Jones v. PwC, Mr. Paradis’s other
responses to the Court’s questions were lies.

As the evidence shows, Mr. Paradis’s statement that the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint “was never provided to anyone other than the City” was false. In
fact, two weeks before Mr. Paradis provided it to his client [the City], Mr.
Paradis also provided the Jones v. PwC complaint to his other client, Mr.
Jones.

Mr. Paradis’s further statement suggesting the “16-count complaint that was
filed by Mr. Jones, which is very different. Doesn’t have anything to do with
[the Jones v. PwC complaint]” was also false. As the evidence shows, Mr.
Paradis was the one who prepared not only Jones v. PwC, but also Jones v.
City. The Jones v. City complaint copied verbatim a number of paragraphs of
the Jones v. PwC draft complaint. The cases and the evidence Mr. Paradis
gathered for the cases were directly related, as was Mr. Paradis’s legal
representation of Mr. Jones at the same time he was representing the City.

Mr. Paradis’s statement that the Jones v. PwC draft complaint “was not to be
filed on behalf of the ratepayers,” id. 19:27–28, was false. As the evidence
shows, Mr. Paradis’s retention agreement with Mr. Jones stated that Mr.
Paradis was to represent Mr. Jones “as a named plaintiff and putative class
representative in a class action lawsuit against PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
(‘PwC’) and other defendants.” As the evidence also shows, with the LACA’s
authorization, Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel solicited Mr. Blood and Mr.
Himmelfarb to enter into tolling agreements with the City for the Bransford
and Morski actions, which the City signed, in an effort not simply to dismiss

323
those actions against the City but to specifically have those additional
ratepayers join in the Jones ratepayer class action against PwC.

Mr. Paradis was not forthright with the Court when the Court asked him: “How
did it end up with Antwon Jones as the plaintiff?” Antwon Jones was not, as
Mr. Paradis claimed, simply the named plaintiff on Jones v. PwC because Mr.
Jones was one of the people complaining to the DWP. As Mr. Paradis knew
full well, and intentionally omitted what was unquestionably material
information to the Court’s question, was the reason Mr. Jones’s name was on
Jones v. PwC was because Mr. Jones had retained and authorized Mr. Paradis
to file Jones v. PwC – after Mr. Paradis solicited Mr. Jones and convinced Mr.
Jones that he should sue, not DWP, but rather PwC. In fact, as Mr. Paradis
was aware, Mr. Jones had not even formally complained to DWP until Mr.
Paradis caused Mr. Landskroner to send the Paradis-drafted claim letter to the
City barely days before Mr. Paradis then caused the filing the Jones v. City
complaint.

Both Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro, who were present at that hearing, also knew
Mr. Paradis’s affirmations were false. Yet neither of them took steps to inform
the Court that Mr. Paradis’s statements were false.

While Mr. Paradis lied to and misled the Court in multiple, material ways, not
all of his statements to the Court on December 4, 2017, were false. As the
evidence shows, Mr. Paradis’s statements to the Court about the City’s
knowledge of Mr. Paradis’s representation of Antwon Jones and the City’s
direct role in the contemplated filing of Jones v. PwC were true.

Specifically, it was true when Mr. Paradis stated:

And the City requested that we prepare two different


draft complaints: one which was a direct complaint
by the City against PwC; the other on behalf of Mr.
Jones against PwC….

Mr. Paradis, however, failed to also inform the Court that Mr. Jones had also,
at Mr. Paradis’s encouragement, requested him to prepare the Jones v. PwC
draft complaint.

324
And while it was true, when Mr. Paradis stated: “I drafted the pleading, your
Honor, on behalf of the city, at the request of the City,” such statement was
clearly intended to mislead the Court as Mr. Paradis knew that he was
omitting the facts material to the Court’s inquiry, namely, that he had also
prepared and was hired to prepare, the complaint on behalf of Mr. Jones.

On December 13, 2017, Mr. Brajevich emailed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel,
copying Mr. Peters, asking to be kept updated on the status of any developments
in City v. PwC.

On December 14, 2017, Mr. Kiesel forwarded Mr. Brajevich’s email to Ms.
Ramirez, at Kiesel Law, noting: “for us to discuss.”

Ex Pansky FW Keeping update 2

On December 29, 2017, PwC lodged a [Proposed] Order Compelling Plaintiff


to Produce Documents Improperly Withheld as Privileged.

JANUARY 2018: THE COURT GRANTS PwC’S DISCOVERY


REQUSTS IN CONNECTION WITH JONES V. PwC

On January 4, 2018, the City filed Plaintiff’s Objections to PwC’s [Proposed]


Order.

Ex 17-12-29 - Proposed-Order-Compelling-Plaintiff-to-Produce-Documents
Ex 2018-01-04 Plaintiff-s-Objection-To-PwC-s--Proposed--Order-Compelling

On January 5, 2018, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, copying
Mr. Brajevich. In the email, Mr. Peters requested, in connection with the City v.
PwC case, that Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis meet face to face with him and Mr.
Brajevich “to address where we find ourselves at this point in the case and where
to go from here.” Mr. Peters explained that, in a recent meeting between Mr.
Paradis, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Clark, “the valuation of the case is being
dramatically reduced while the desire to settle quickly is being dramatically
increased.” Thus, Mr. Peters wanted to understand the reason for the re-
valuation and anything that undermined the City’s witnesses “as we will soon
need to brief Mike [Feuer] about where we are and next steps.” Mr. Peters
suggested a meeting on January 12, 2018.

Ex Pansky Full blown meeting in PWC, please

325
It is evident that the LACA’s re-evaluation of the case occurred shortly after
the Court granted PwC’s motion to compel and authorized it to take a PMQ
deposition concerning the creation of the Jones v. PwC draft complaint. The
Special Master has identified no other contemporaneous event that could have
generated a “dramatic” reduction in the City’s valuation of its case against
PwC.

On January 11, 2018, the Court entered the order lodged by PwC. The Court’s
Order directed DWP, inter alia, to produce a PMQ witness to testify about the
Jones v. PwC Complaint, “to lay a foundation as to the party on behalf of whom
the complaint was drafted and the reasons for it, [citation omitted], including,
but not limited to, how the document was prepared and the circumstances
surrounding the document.”

Ex 18-1-17 - Court’s Jan 11 2018 Order - Notice-of-Entry-of-Order-


Compelling-Production-of-Documents ¶ 2

APRIL-JUNE 2018: THE CITY TRIES TO DELAY PwC’s EFFORTS


TO LEARN ABOUT JONES V. PwC AND THE CITY
ALSO SUBMITS MORE LIES TO THE COURT

In early April 2018, Margaret “Maggie” Carter (“Ms. Carter”), counsel for
defendant LaRoque in City v. PwC, contacted Mr. Keisel about a date for the
noticed deposition of DWP employee John Chen (“Mr. Chen”).

On April 12, 2018, at 5:17 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters about the
noticed deposition of Mr. Chen, asking

Any update on the status of the draft letter that we sent


earlier this week? Please let us know if you have had a
chance to discuss with Mike [Feuer] and what authority
we have to proceed.

Mr. Paradis suggested that, to avoid the deposition of Mr. Chen, the City request
the Court to compel arbitration. At 5:47 p.m., Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Paradis
that the Court cannot order arbitration unless the parties stipulate, that the City
should send a letter offering to discuss settlement but that “there’s little that
Maggie [Carter, the O’Melveny attorney] can do to force the issue. She can
rant and rave but in the end the deposition will happen when we are prepared
to go forward AND OR [sic] the court order [sic] it to go forward. Either way

326
we’re well in to [sic] May before that will happen.” At 11:10 p.m., Mr. Paradis
emailed Mr. Kiesel, copying Mr. Peters, Mr. Brajevich, Ms. Ramirez, and Ms.
Tufaro, stating they needed to keep Ms. Carter at bay but that “we need to get
the demand letter out to her and Seth if Mike [Feuer] will give us authority to
do so.”

On April 13, 2015, at 7:30 a.m., Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis’s question
whether he had spoken with Mr. Feuer, stating “Not yet. Perhaps I’ll get to him
tomorrow. I will certainly try.”62

Ex Pansky Re_ LADWP v. PWC, et al._ Deposition of John Chen -


ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION

These emails highlight that the City frequently sought to delay discovery for
no reason other than to deter the opposing party from obtaining evidence
related to the case. It also shows that Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel, as Special
Counsel were aware of the need for, and would only take certain action with,
Mr. Feuer’s approval.

As discussed below, the Court most recently imposed a $2.5 million attorneys’
fee award against the City based on its repeated obstructionist tactics employed
against PwC to prevent PwC from uncovering the collusive and sham nature
of Jones v. City.

On April 13, 2018, PwC served Notice of Deposition of the City’s PMQ to
testify on May 3, 2018, regarding the Jones v. PwC draft complaint. The PMQ
Notice of Deposition identified seven topics of testimony and attached six RFPs,
including one requesting a copy of “the caption, signature, and service pages of
the JONES V. PWC DRAFT COMPLAINT.” The City never served written
objections to either the Jones PMQ Notice of Deposition or the attached RFPs.

Ex 2018-09-13 - Exhibit 1 to Deposition of Thomas Peters

On April 24, 2018, at 7:31 p.m., Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters transmitting a
draft motion to quash and a draft declaration for Mr. Peters. At 8:17 p.m. Mr.

62
Mr. Feuer testified that Mr. Peters had supervisory authority over and was personally
involved in the City v. PwC litigation. (Feuer Dep 93:19-22) As such, Mr. Peters was to have
complete control over the litigation and retain veto power over decisions of Special Counsel.
(Id. 92:13-93:5)

327
Peters responded to Mr. Paradis, copying Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro, that he
would “edit to put in my voice tomorrow….” At 10:23 p.m. Mr. Paradis emailed
Mr. Peters, stating in part:
I have attached my original declaration from our
November 2017 filing so you can see what we said
originally. As you will see, the draft of your
Declaration we provided today closely tracks what we
originally said in my declaration last November.
As for the “standing” question, the answer is as we
previously discussed. Namely, at the time this was all
being contemplated back in 2015, you and Jim were
trying to decide if the City was going to file a direct
action against PwC, or if the City was going to let rate
payers sue PwC themselves. There was discussion
concerning how a rate payer might or might not have
standing to sue PwC and what type of claim a rate
payer might assert against PwC. You guys instructed
us to prepare the draft of the Jones v. PwC complaint
and we prepared and shared the draft with you and
discussed it with you. Neither of you liked the concept
of the third party beneficiary that we had alleged in the
draft – so the whole concept of letting rate payers assert
a third party beneficiary class claim was abandoned in
favor of the City suing PwC directly.
Emphasis supplied
Ex Pansky Re_ Draft Motion to Quash

On April 25, at 12:16 a.m., Mr. Peters responded to Mr. Paradis, copying Mr.
Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro:
Got it. I do recall. Thanks. We will get this done
tomorrow.
Bless you all, by the way, for working so freakin’ hard,
constantly, on all this incessant bullshit. If you don’t get
durably rich from this engagement it would be a pity.
Ex Pansky Re_ Draft Motion to Quash

328
In its Memorandum in support of its April 28, 2018 Motion to compel and to
strike the City’s motion to quash, which is discussed below, PwC pointed out
the similarities between the declaration of Mr. Peters and the earlier declaration
of Mr. Paradis.

The above email chain shows why the declarations were similar: Mr. Peters’s
declaration was copied from Mr. Paradis’s, with the name of the declarant
changed and a few minor changes to put it in Mr. Peters’s “voice.”

The email chain also serves to further corroborate that, from the very
beginning, it was the City, not Mr. Jones, which was in control of whether or
not Mr. Jones filed Jones v. PwC, with Mr. Paradis as the drafter. There is
also more than a suggestion that both Mr. Peters and Mr. Clark, as referenced
by name and as “you guys,” were the ones in the LACA who instructed Mr.
Paradis to draft Jones v. PwC, e.g., Mr. Peters affirmatively acknowledged
this fact. It is no wonder then that Mr. Kiesel and Mr. Paradis, in early 2015,
openly and intentionally included a conflict waiver for Jones v. PwC in their
proposed engagement letter to be hired as Special Counsel for the City.

On April 26, 2018, the City, rather than disclosing the fact that Mr. Jones was
Mr. Paradis’s client, who had been used by Mr. Paradis and the City to the City’s
own ends including the attempt to eliminate and control of the then-pending
ratepayer class actions, affirmatively moved to quash the PMQ notice, submitted
a declaration from Mr. Peters, and proceeded to delay further by calendaring the
hearing out 3 months to July 18, 2018. As noted in their above emails, the
declaration by Mr. Peters, drafted by Mr. Paradis, tracked Mr. Paradis’s
November 15, 2017 declaration, setting forth that it was Mr. Peters who directed
Mr. Paradis to prepare the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, “[t]o aid the City in
understanding one possible avenue of recovery against PwC,” and “for the
purpose of advancing then ongoing discussions of legal advice and potential
legal strategy.”

Ex Plaintiff---s-Motion-To-Quash-PWC-s-Notice-Of-Deposition
Ex Peters Dec (9-13-18)

On May 25, 2018, PwC moved to compel compliance with the Court’s January
17, 2018 order and to strike the City’s motion to quash, which the City opposed.
PwC noticed the motion for hearing on June 21, 2018.

329
Ex 18-05-25 - Notice-of-PwC-s-Motion-to-Compel-Compliance-with-Order

In support of its opposition to PwC’s motion, the City submitted a declaration


from Ms. Tufaro. 63 Mr. Tufaro’s declared, referring to the “City” as the
“Plaintiff,” that the draft Jones v. PwC complaint was “an un-filed, internally
circulated complaint drafted by Plaintiff’s counsel, at the request of Plaintiff’s
counsel.”

Ex Tufaro Dec (6-8-18)

On June 21, 2018, a hearing was held on PwC’s Motion to Compel Compliance
with Court Order. Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Ramirez
appeared on behalf of the City. At the hearing, the Court stated that it had
“ordered the deposition already. I don’t think it’s necessary to issue a new order
to state that I really mean what I already said.” (Ex 2018.06.21 Hearing re
Sanctions and Motion to Compel and Joint Status 23:8–10) Thus, PwC’s motion
was denied as moot. Id. 23:11–15, 24:6–7. In response to the Court’s asking the
City whether it would produce its PMQ witness, Mr. Paradis responded that
“we’ll work with the client” to produce a Jones PMQ witness. He further agreed
that the City’s motion to quash was withdrawn. Id. 23:16–24:5.

Ex 2018.06.21 Hearing re Sanctions and Motion to Compel and Joint Status

SEPTEMBER 2018: MR. PETERS, MR. KIESEL’S FORMER LAW


PARTNER, OBSTRUCTS THE PwC DISCOVERY PROCESS BY
FAILING TO PREPARE FOR HIS “PERSON MOST
QUALIFIED” DEPOSITION

On September 13, 2018, Mr. Peters appeared for deposition as the City’s PMQ,
although as PwC was to learn, Mr. Peters had been prepared to act as the person
least qualified to answer questions. Mr. Paradis and Ms. Tufaro, Special
Counsel for the City, attended the deposition on behalf of the City. Mr. Peters
testified at his deposition:
The draft Jones v. PwC complaint had been his idea, it
was “a thought experiment”; it “was never intended to
be filed”; and he had instructed Paradis to draft it.

63
Ms. Tufaro’s declaration equally mislead the Court. Ms. Tufaro was fully aware, no later than
December 20, 2014, that she had been retained by Mr. Jones, along with her partner Mr. Paradis,
in connection with Jones v. PwC and his claims against the DWP.

330
He did not have any advance notice of the filling of the
Jones v. City case.
He did not inquire to determine if anyone affiliated with
the City provided a copy of the draft complaint to Mr.
Jones or his counsel.
He inquired into whether special counsel provided a
copy of the Jones v. PwC Complaint to Jones - Jones’
counsel and was assured that had not happened.
When Mr. Peters was asked whether he knew Mr. Jones was represented by
counsel in January 2015, Mr. Paradis instructed Mr. Peters not to answer on
grounds of the attorney-client privilege.
When asked who decided to identify Mr. Jones as the plaintiff in the draft Jones
v. PwC complaint, Mr. Paradis again instructed Mr. Peters not to answer on
grounds of the attorney-client privilege.
When PwC’s counsel questioned Mr. Peters regarding the City’s knowledge of
the professional relationship between Mr. Paradis and Mr. Landskroner, Mr.
Paradis abruptly ended the deposition and claimed that the City would be
seeking a protective order.
The City failed to produce documents before or at the deposition although it had
not served objections to the RFPs attached to the Notice of Deposition.
Peters Dep (9-13-18) 12:17–24, 15:16–18, 18:18–21, 19:21–23, 21:9–11,
23:14–16
In his capacity as the City’s PMQ witness, Mr. Peters testified that he had not
looked for any responsive documents because he interpreted the Court’s January
11, 2018 Order as precluding any right for PwC to request the production of
documents. Regarding whether the City had responsive documents, he claimed
such information was protected by the attorney-client privilege. Mr. Paradis
asserted that if, in preparing for the PMQ deposition, Mr. Peters obtained
information from counsel, then it is privileged. Id. 16:2-10.

Peters Dep (9-13-18) 12:17-15:25, 17:17-25:16

Representative of Mr. Peters’s responses to questions about whether the City


was producing any of the six categories of documents requested is the following:
Q. Did you bring any documents with you responsive
to Request for Production No. 2?

331
A. No, sir, I did not.
Q. Do you know whether the City possesses any
documents responsive to Request No. 2?
MR. PARADIS: Objection to form. Same instruction,
same objection.
THE WITNESS: I don’t know how I could respond to
that without violating the attorney/client privilege, sir.
Peters Dep (9-13-18) 15:16-25
Mr. Feuer later testified at his deposition that, among other things, Mr. Feuer
expected Mr. Peters to review any decision involving a claim of privilege by the
City.

Feuer Dep 97:7-11

At his May 1, 2019 deposition, Mr. Peters testified as follows concerning the
assertion of privilege at his PMQ deposition:
Q. If that question was asked and -- and the record
reflects that Mr. Paradis instructed you not to answer on
the grounds of privilege, is that an instruction that
ultimately you were responsible for?
* * *
THE WITNESS: Yeah. It’s an interesting question. In
the context of giving my PMQ deposition, I took the
advice of the City’s attorneys and followed their advice
with respect to that deposition.
Peters Dep (5-1-19) 76:5-18

If, in fact, Mr. Peters was merely following Special Counsel Mr. Paradis’s
advice on privilege issues, and leaving any investigation into matters covered
by the Notice of PMQ Deposition to Mr. Paradis, then Mr. Peters was, at best,
abdicating his legal responsibilities as supervisory attorney over the litigation
and Special Counsel. The evidence, however, is clear that Mr. Peters full well
knew that Mr. Paradis was Mr. Jones’s attorney and that was what Mr. Paradis
sought, by his objections, to conceal. As such, the more appropriate
conclusion is that what transpired at the PMQ was Mr. Peters, along with Mr.
Paradis, intentionally acting to obstruct the course of justice.
332
Although the PMQ deposition was to cover the creation of the Jones v. PwC
draft complaint, Mr. Peters testified that he had not reviewed the draft complaint
in more than three years. Despite testifying that “there’s no one more qualified
than I to discuss these matters,” when asked what he did to prepare for the
deposition, Mr. Peters testified “I did nothing to prepare myself in — beyond the
preparation I brought naturally to this undertaking.” Mr. Peters testified that he
did not review the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, did not review any of the
privilege logs containing entries regarding the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, and
did not review any of the pleadings filed with respect to the motions to compel
that led to the PMQ deposition. Even if that intentional lack of preparation were
a true statement, it can’t be overlooked that Mr. Paradis took steps to “refresh”
Mr. Peters’s recollection with his April 24, 2018 email, as discussed in detail
above.

Peters Dep (5-1-19) 25:18–27:4, 26:4-7, 33:23-34:2, 33:10–34:8

Despite having signed a declaration which was submitted to the Court barely a
week before his deposition, in which he specifically recalled facts about the
creation of Jones v. PwC, at his deposition, when questioned regarding the
creation of the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, Mr. Peters testified to having no
memory about it, as illustrated by the following colloquy:
Q. Please identify all attorneys identified on the face of
the draft Complaint or on the signature page.
MR. PARADIS: Same instruction, same objection.
THE WITNESS: I’m not recalling.
BY MR. THOMASCH:
Q. And you didn’t check?
A. I’ve not looked at that, as I’ve said, in a number of
years.
Peters Dep (9-13-18) 36:22-37:6

On instructions from Mr. Paradis, Mr. Peters claimed privilege and refused to
answer a number of questions including a) who made the decision to identify
Mr. Jones as the named plaintiff in the Jones v. PwC draft complaint, and b) if
he knew in January 2015, “whether anyone had informed Mr. Jones or Mr.
Jones’s counsel that Mr. Jones’s name was on a draft Complaint prepared at [Mr.
333
Peters’s] direction.”

Peters Dep (9-13-18) 52:9–16, 60:14–25

Mr. Peters did testify that he directed the preparation of the Jones v. PwC draft
complaint as a “thought experiment” to see “whether there would be a way for
ratepayers to get compensation directly from the entity that I believed was
responsible for the problems that were being reported in the L.A. Times” and to
see “what a Complaint by a ratepayer against PricewaterhouseCoopers would
look like,” and that the complaint was drafted purely to provide legal advice and
was “never intended to be filed.”

Peters Dep (9-13-18) 38:5–39:22, 72:13–73:17, 38:5–12, 62:7–21

As the evidence shows, Mr. Peters knew his testimony in this regard was false.

Mr. Peters signed the tolling agreements for the Bransford and Morski cases,
which were entered into so the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in those
cases would dismiss their lawsuits and join in the intended Jones v. PwC
ratepayer class action against PwC.

Peters Dep (5-1-19) 230:9-14, 256:11-13, 257:5-11 and Exhibits 43, 45

Mr. Peters was the person to whom Mr. Kiesel sent the draft engagement and
fee agreement that provided for the City to waive the conflict of interest in
having Mr. Paradis and Mr. Kiesel represent both the City against PwC and
the plaintiff in the intended Jones v. PwC ratepayer class action.

Ex COLA-LADWP_00006099, 100, 110 at 6104–6105

On February 2, 2015, Mr. Kiesel emailed Mr. Peters, copying Mr. Paradis,
with a proposed schedule for filing two complaints: A City v. PwC complaint
against PwC and a consumer class action complaint against PwC.

Ex COLA-LADWP_00006099

Mr. Peters also testified that he never spoke with Mr. Landskroner about the
Jones matter until the mediation, and neither he nor anyone else in his office
knew the Jones v. City complaint was coming before it was filed. He also
testified he did not know how Mr. Jones wound up retaining counsel in

334
Cleveland and had no idea “whether anyone affiliated with the City, including
Special Counsel, put Mr. Landskroner in touch with Mr. Jones.” Mr. Peters
additionally testified that before the Jones v. PwC draft complaint was filed, no
one affiliated with the LACA spoke with anyone not affiliated with the office
about a plan to draft a consumer class action complaint. He also testified, that if
it had happened, he would have been told; if it happened and he was not told
“people would be – jeopardizing their jobs.”

Peters Dep (9-13-18) 52:9-16, 58:9-21, 68:20-69:1

Despite the evidence of malfeasance by members of the LACA in the Jones v.


City and City v. PwC cases, it does not appear that anyone has put their jobs in
jeopardy. There is no evidence Mr. Peters’s resignation from the City Attorney’s
Office was triggered by his actions in these cases. To the contrary, both Mr.
Peters and Mr. Feuer testified that Mr. Feuer asked for Mr. Peters’s resignation
for reasons wholly unrelated to Mr. Peters’s performance of his supervisory
duties in City v. PwC.

Feuer Dep 120:10-121:11 (“my request for his resignation had nothing to do
with this case”)
Peters Dep (5-1-19) 15:4-16:11

Indeed, Mr. Feuer testified as follows concerning Mr. Peters’s execution of his
supervisory authority:
I have an extremely high standard. I think he [Mr.
Peters] satisfied, and I believe throughout the course of
litigation, Mr. Peters satisfied the legal requirements of
Santa Clara. There are -- it is certainly the case that I
wanted Mr. Peters to have very -- have even more
extensive oversight with regard to the work of outside
counsel in this case.
Feuer Dep 96:5-11
Mr. Feuer additionally testified delegating that his delegation of personal
supervisory authority over the case to Mr. Peters meant Mr. Peters was to be
involved in the
formulation, review and revision of court documents, to
be involved in any major strategy, determinations, to be
involved, to the extent there was a proposal, to resolve
a case, any number of matters over which authority was
335
appropriate.
Feuer Dep 94:21-95:2

Mr. Feuer also testified that he expected Mr. Peters to review all claims of
privilege by the City in the case.

Feuer Dep 97:7-11

Mr. Peters testified that he was aware of a privilege log but did not review it. As
lead attorney in the case, and under the terms of the Engagement and
Contingency Fee Agreement, Mr. Peters was required to review and approve all
pleadings filed on behalf of the City in the case. If Mr. Peters’s testimony that
he did not review the privilege log is true, then he violated not only one of the
duties assigned him by Mr. Feuer, but also the legal obligation under County of
Santa Clara v. Superior Court (1985) 50 Cal. 4th 35, to supervise Special
Counsel as specifically set forth in the Special Counsel engagement agreement
with the City. 64

Peters Dep (9-13-18) Dep 81:2-8

Mr. Peters also testified falsely that he did not know who Mr. Jones’s counsel
was in January 2015, when the draft complaint was being prepared and made the
absurd statement “assuming that he even had counsel at that point.”

Peters Dep (9-13-18) 70:6–71:7

The falsity of this testimony was shown by Mr. Peters’s testimony at his May 1,
2019 deposition that he knew in December 2014, that Mr. Paradis represented
Mr. Jones:
Q: When did you first learn that Mr. Paradis represented
a client who was an LADWP customer who claimed to
have been overcharged by LADWP after September 3,
64
The City clearly wanted to exercise tighter control over the agreement with PLG and KL than
it did with other outside firms in civil cases. Thus, unlike the agreement with the Liner Firm, the
engagement agreement with Special Counsel incorporated the requirements of County of Santa
Clara v. Superior Court.

336
2013?
A: I believe it was within a week prior to December
16th, 2014.
* * *
Q: And so your learning first that Mr. Paradis
represented a client who was an LADWP customer who
claimed to have been overcharged by LADWP, you
learned that before you had actually met Mr. Paradis in
person; correct?
A: Yes.
* * *
Q: And at the time that you first learned that he
represented such a client, did you learn the name of that
client?
A: I don’t believe so.
Q Do you know when the first time you learned the
name of Mr. Paradis’s client who was an LADWP
customer who claimed to have been overcharged by
LADWP after September 3, 2013?
A: Forgive me being pedantic, but by “learned,” I was
told or it was on a document I read is one thing.
Did I appreciate who this person was? I don’t think I
internalized that. I knew he had a ratepayer; that was
what was important to me.
Q: Did you know the ratepayer’s name?
A: The name was put in front of me, I’m quite sure. The
name may have been, although I’m not certain of this,
mentioned even at the first meeting.
But as we all know, ultimately there’s a draft complaint
with this person’s name on, which I didn’t appreciate
that -- it -- it was unimportant to me other than that
there was a ratepayer. That’s what I took it to mean.
Peters Dep (5-1-19) 103:15–105:7

337
Mr. Paradis, who was defending the deposition on behalf of the City, terminated
Mr. Peters’s PMQ deposition when topic 7 of the deposition notice was reached,
which was “LADWP’s knowledge as of February 7, 2017, of the professional
relationship between (i) Paul Paradis and/or Paradis Law Group, PLLC and (ii)
Jack Landskroner and/or Landskroner Grieco Merriman, LLC, including but not
limited to, DWP’s knowledge, if any, of plaintiffs’ co-counsel relationship in
either or both of Reed v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-cv-01701 (N.D. Ohio
filed Aug. 4, 2014) and/or Wright v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-cv-10457
(N.D. Ill. Filed Dec. 30, 2014), and its knowledge, if any, of contingency fee
arrangements involving those counsel in either or both actions.” (See Peters Dep
(9-13-18) 93:13–94:18) At that point, Mr. Paradis stated “[t]his is well beyond
the scope of what’s ordered in paragraph 2 of the court’s order.” (Id. 95:22–25)
Mr. Paradis proceeded to “suspend” the deposition, indicating that the City
would seek a protective order. (Id. 99:22–24)

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018: THE CITY ATTEMPTS TO


CONVINCE THE COURT, WITHOUT SUCCESS, THAT
MR. PETERS DID NOT OBSTRUCT DISCOVERY;
MS. TUFARO LIES TO THE COURT ABOUT
JONES V. PwC, AND MR. KEISEL
CORRECTS SOME OF THE LIES

Six months later, on November 1, 2018, the City filed Notice of Motion and
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Protective Order
arguing that Mr. Peters had provided all needed testimony and that any further
examination of him or another PMQ witness “constitutes ‘bad faith,’
unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment or oppression.” (Ex 18-11-01-
Motion-for-Protective-Order-re-PMQ) The Motion contained a number of
blatant lies, including:
• that “Jones was selected as a fictitious plaintiff because he was someone
that had complained to the LADWP about being overbilled,”
• that the Complaint was drafted for the purpose of providing legal advice
to the City with no intention that it be filed; and
• that Mr. Peters never directed that the complaint be disseminated to any
individual not associated with the City and that no such dissemination ever
occurred.
Id. at 4

338
The City, similar to the pattern of attacking Mr. Blood when he got too close to
the truth about the collusive settlement in Jones v. City, boldly asserted:

The time has come for the Court to put an end to this
side-show, which has absolutely nothing to do with the
claims asserted in this case, and which amounts to
nothing more than sheer harassment.”

Id. at 6

On November 2, 2018, PwC filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel


and for Sanctions Regarding the Person Most Qualified Deposition for the Jones
v. PwC Complaint, a supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities, a
Separate Statement in support of the motion and a supporting Declaration of
Daniel Thomasch.

Ex 18.11.02 Dec of Dan Thomasch


Ex 18-11-02 - LADWP-v.-PwC-Memorandum-of-Points-and-Authorities-re-
Motion
Ex 18-11-02 - LADWP-v.-PwC-Notice-of-Motion-to-Compel-Sanctions
Ex 18-11-02 - LADWP-v.-PwC-Separate-Statement-in-Support-of-PwC-s-
Motion

On December 6, 2018, a hearing was held on PwC’s motion to compel and for
sanctions. Mr. Paradis, Ms. Tufaro and Mr. Kiesel appeared for the City. Mr.
Thomasch and Mr. Santiago appeared for PwC. The Court found that Mr. Peters
was not prepared for the PMQ deposition and that many of the questions asked
of him did not call for privileged information.

Ex 2018.12.06 Hearing re Motion to Compel and Sanctions re Jones v. PwC


13:28–15:3

The Court ordered that the deposition be resumed, and that Mr. Peters return to
answer questions. Id. 16:7–9. The Court directed that if Mr. Peters was not the
person most qualified, the City “is going to have to designate somebody else that
is the most qualified person to answer questions with regard to the subjects
identified in the notice of deposition and the witness must be prepared.” Id.
16:9–16. The Court also authorized PwC to take the depositions of Mr. Jones
and Mr. Landskroner. Id. 16:17–22. The Court granted PwC’s motion to compel
(id. 15:26–27) but stated it would “hold off the effectiveness of the Order . . .

339
until after the hearing on the motion for protective order” set for December 12,
2018. Id. 18:24–19:19.

Ex 2018.12.06 Hearing re Motion to Compel and Sanctions re Jones v. PwC

On December 12, 2018, during the hearing on the City’s motion for a
protective order and PwC’s motion to compel discovery, the Court asked Ms.
Tufaro whether she was involved in the class action litigation. Ms. Tufaro,
knowing full well that Mr. Jones had retained the PLG firm, including Mr.
Paradis and Ms. Tufaro in December 2014, to represent him in connection
with his DWP billing issues, nonetheless lied to the Court and denied not
only her representation of Mr. Jones in the class action litigation, but also
that she had ever represented Mr. Jones:

The Court: It appears to me ... there may not be an


adversary relationship [between Jones and the City].
There are serious issues - were you involved in the
class action litigation.
Ms. Tufaro: No.
* * *
The Court: Does the City take the position that Mr.
Jones was at some time represented by the City
Attorney’s Office? or counsel for the City?
Ms. Tufaro: No, your Honor.
The Court: At no time was Mr. Jones represented by
counsel for the City; is that right?
Ms. Tufaro: No, your Honor. No.
Ex 2018.12.12 Hearing re Motion for Protective Order and Motion to Compel at
14, 28
Ms. Tufaro continued to lie to the Court, telling the Court that Mr. Peters’s
testimony established that “the City by and through Mr. Peters” directed counsel
to draft the Jones v. PwC complaint solely to provide legal advice for the City
and that the complaint had not been disseminated to any individual who was not
associated with the City. (Id. 39:5–14)

340
Following Ms. Tufaro’s statements, Mr. Kiesel asked the Court for a
“momentary break.” (Id. 41:16–18) Immediately after the resumption of
proceedings, Mr. Kiesel informed the Court that he wished to “clarify one thing.”
(Id. 41:28–42:2)

Mr. Kiesel then corrected one key point in Ms. Tufaro’s untruthful
representations to the Court.

Mr. Kiesel addressed Ms. Tufaro’s false statement that Mr. Jones was at no
time represented by counsel for the City, and in doing so, Mr. Kiesel
acknowledged for the first time to the Court what lawyers for the City, Mr.
Landskroner and Mr. Libman, had known for years, which is that Special
Counsel for the City had in fact represented Mr. Jones.

Mr. Kiesel, however, neither identified Special Counsel by name, nor did he
specify the time period for that representation.

Id. 42:1–26

Mr. Kiesel asserted falsely, although it is not clear whether he knew this
particular point was false, that Mr. Jones had initially retained Special Counsel
when he was considering a case against PwC and not a case against the City.
Mr. Kiesel then proceeded to mislead the Court with his further comments, that
“Special Counsel did have a relationship with Mr. Jones that was not adverse to
the City of Los Angeles until Mr. Jones wanted to pursue an action against the
City and that was the end of that relationship.” (Id. 42:8-14, 20–24)

As the evidence shows, contrary to Mr. Kiesel’s assertion, the pursuit of an


action against the City by Mr. Jones was not in any way the end of Special
Counsels’ relationship with Mr. Jones.

As Mr. Kiesel knew full well, Special Counsels’ legal relationship with Mr.
Jones not only did not end at that time, but he also knew that it was “Special
Counsel” who ensured that Mr. Jones could and did pursue the City in Jones
v. City, e.g., by Mr. Paradis’s drafting of Jones v. City, personally providing
legal advice to Mr. Jones advocating the filing of Jones v. City, and obtaining
approval from Mr. Jones to file Jones v. City, aided by Mr. Kiesel’s direct
involvement in ensuring that the necessary paperwork and the complaint
against the City actually made it to Mr. Libman and then to the Court. All of

341
this was being done while his firm and Mr. Paradis’s firm were Special
Counsel to the City.

The Court denied the City’s motion for protective order (id. 49:25–50:7) and
granted PwC’s motion to compel with regard to the documents requested,
overruling the City’s privilege claims. (Id. 50:8–15) The Court ordered the City
to produce a PMQ witness to answer questions about “the documents,
information about the process, how it came to be that the Complaint was drafted,
to how it came to be that Jones was named as a plaintiff and all those related
questions.” (Id. 50:16–28). The Court asked PwC to submit a proposed order by
December 17, 2018, that would describe “[t]he specific questions that need to
be answered” during the PMQ deposition. (Id. 51:7–53:2) The City was given
until December 21, 2018, to object to any of the items in the proposed order.
(Id. 52:27–53:2)

On December 17, 2018, PwC lodged a [Proposed] Order Granting PwC’s


Motion to Compel and for Sanctions. The proposed order contained at ¶¶ 11(a)–
11(s)(s) a list of questions that the PMQ witness was to answer.

Ex 18-12-17 - LADWP-v.-PwC--Proposed--Order-Granting-PwC-s-Motion-to-
Compel

On December 28, 2018, Mr. Paradis emailed Mr. Peters and Mr. Brajevich,
copying Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro. Mr. Paradis pointed out that Ms.
Annaguey’s August 1, 2015 email on Mr. Landskroner’s attorneys’ fees and his
email on damages and settlement of the Jones v. City case both had gone to Mr.
Clark at his retiredpartner.gibsondunn.com email address and thus had been on
Gibson Dunn’s servers since August 2015.

On December 31, 2018, Mr. Peters emailed Mr. Brajevich, copying Mr. Paradis,
Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, asking if there was evidence that Mr. Thomasch
may have seen those emails but didn’t notify the City of that fact, whether this
would be grounds to disqualify Gibson Dunn.

342
JANUARY 2019: FEARING WHAT PwC’s LAWYERS, DANIEL
THOMASCH AND GIBSON DUNN, WILL FIND IF THEY KEEP
PRESSING, THE CITY SEEKS TO DISQUALIFY GIBSON DUNN AS
WELL AS CONCOCT A FAKE “COMMON INTEREST PRIVILEGE”
WITH THEIR OPPONENT, MR. JONES, AND FURTHER THEIR
ATTEMPT TO DISTRACT THE COURT FROM THE REAL FACTS

On January 3, 2019, Mr. Paradis responded to Mr. Peters and Mr. Brajevich,
copying Mr. Kiesel and Ms. Tufaro, that he and Ms. Tufaro had researched the
possibility of “DQing Gibson as you suggested in your email. We are still
working on the research and pulling all of this information together so that we
can have a meaningful conversation with you and Joe.” Mr. Paradis further
related that he was asking Mr. Kiesel to request from Mr. Thomasch a second
extension to file objections to PwC’s proposed order and because we “need the
additional time to complete our research and meet with you and Joe to discuss
a number of issues presented here.”

Ex Pansky RE City Of LA V. PwC - Confidential Attorney-Client Privileged


Communication

On January 10, 2019, at 12:48 p.m., Mr. Brajevich emailed Mr. Paradis,
copying Mr. Peters, Mr. Kiesel, and Ms. Tufaro, concerning his telephone call
with Mr. Thomasch. The email stated, in pertinent part:
I spoke with Thomasch and followed the script below
Paradis gave me. The short answer he denied the
requested extension. Some bullet points:
• He said the [sic] when Kiesel asked for the previous
extension he specifically stated the [sic] was the last
extension. I said yes, Paul told me and that is why I am
making the request because the need arises on our end.
• Thomasch asked who the individual was and I said
that I am not sure I can disclose the name of an
individual who is out on medical leave. This didn’t
seem to bother him as much. (As Paradis and I
discussed this morning, revealing that it was Clark
out of the gate would probably cause him to explode
given Jim’s Gibson Dunn prior employment.) Also,
Thom I don’t know to what extent we can disclose that
Jim is out on medical leave.

343
• His bigger issue was that he did not understand how
the fact that someone is now out on medical leave
precluded the ability to meet the deadline that has been
extended twice and the City’s ability to identify
documents and identify/assert attorney client
privileges. He said this has been going on since
December of 2017 and that several months ago Kiesel
told him that we were working on getting documents
response together. He kept emphasizing that this has
been going on for too long.
• He came back to saying he would not be granting
the request for an extension at this time, unless
somebody could explain to [sic] specifically how the
medical leave now impacts something that he has be
[sic] promised by Kiesel several months ago would be
provided.
I didn’t get into a heated exchange with him and I [sic]
the fact that I didn’t engage him confrontational [sic]
seemed to irritate him.
That’s the report.
Emphasis added.
At 1:15 p.m., Mr. Paradis replied to Mr. Brajevich to have someone in LACA
“draft and circulate a motion for extension (ask for two weeks)” and send it
around for editing.
Ex Pansky Re City of LA v PwC

As evidenced here, Mr. Paradis’s instructions to Mr. Brajevich, who was the
DWP General Counsel, were followed to the letter. This pattern had also been
evidenced previously, in August 2015, when Mr. Paradis told Mr. Peters to
stop Ms. Agrusa from trying to work out a deal with Mr. Blood on the NDA.
Mr. Peters, on behalf of the City, similar to Mr. Brajevich, did as told.

The highlighted portion of the email exchange a