This case was last updated from San Francisco County Superior Courts on 05/09/2022 at 06:57:59 (UTC).

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS. POTTER HANDY LLP ET AL

Case Summary

On April 11, 2022, The People of The State Of California (“Plaintiff”), represented by Boudin. Chesa of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and Geoge Gascon of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, filed a contract lawsuit against Potter Handy LLP, Mark Potter, Russell Handy, Dennis Price, Amanda Lockhart Seabock and Ors (collectively, Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief, the restoration of benefits, civil penalties and the costs of litigation for the Defendants’ alleged unlawfully circumvention of the California Legislature’s procedural reforms on abusive Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh Act”) disabilities litigation. This case was filed in the Civic Center Courthouse in the San Francisco County Superior Court with Judge Samuel K. Feng presiding.

 

In their complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “The law firm Potter Handy LLP, dba ‘Center for Disability Access’ is unlawfully circumventing the California Legislature’s procedural reforms on abusive Unruh Civil Rights Act (“Unruh Act”) disabilities litigation. The firm does so by filing thousands of boilerplate, cut-and-paste federal-court lawsuits that falsely assert its clients have standing under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (‘ADA’).” 

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “After the business settles, the Serial Filer fails to return to the business, and the firm rarely if ever monitors the business’s compliance with the ADA and Unruh Act, despite that being the alleged basis for the lawsuit. Instead, Potter Handy and the Serial Filer simply move on to other targets, filing an ever-increasing number of new lawsuits in order to keep the firm’s revenues flowing [...] This means that a disabled plaintiff filing a lawsuit in California may bring both a federal ADA claim for injunctive relief and a state law Unruh Act claim for damages, all for the same alleged set of facts—an “ADA/Unruh” suit.”

 

The Plaintiff then alleged that, “To help businesses comply with the laws and protect the rights of disabled persons while avoiding unnecessary litigation, the Legislature created the California Commission on Disability Access and set up a process by which businesses could voluntarily hire an inspector through the Certified Access Specialist program (“CASp”).”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that, “Potter Handy has long been alleged to engage in fraud. Notably, in 2005, a former Potter Handy client named Phillip DiPrima asked to dismiss cases that Potter Handy had filed on his behalf, submitting a sworn declaration accusing Defendants Mark Potter and Russell Handy of multiple fraudulent acts. Relevant here, Mr. DiPrima accused Defendants Potter and Handy of (1) alleging ADA violations in complaints filed in Mr. DiPrima’s name that Mr. DiPrima did not experience and had not told Potter Handy he experienced; and (2) entering into settlements on  Mr. DiPrima’s behalf without obtaining commitments to fix the alleged ADA violations, solely to maximize their own compensation.”

 

The Plaintiff has listed only one claim for relief, for the alleged violation of Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq., against all Defendants. 

 

In their prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested that the Court preliminarily and permanently restrain their successors and the assigns of all or substantially all their assets and enjoin them from engaging in any acts of unfair competition; that Defendants be ordered to restore to every person in interest all money and property which was acquired by Defendants through their unlawful conduct; that Defendants are ordered to pay cumulative civil penalties of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and award to the Plaintiffs their costs of suit and any other such relief that the Court deems just and proper. 

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9079

  • Filing Date:

    04/11/2022

  • Case Status:

    Not Classified By Court

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • County, State:

    San Francisco, California

Judge Details

Judge

SAMUEL K. FENG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Defendants

BALLISTER JR., RAYMOND

CARSON, CHRISTINA

DOES 1-100

GRACE, PHYL

GUTIERREZ, FAYTHE

HANDY, RUSSELL

MASANQUE, ISABEL ROSE

MONTGOMERY, ELLIOTT

POTTER HANDY LLP

POTTER, MARK

PRICE, DENNIS

PRICE, PRATHIMA

SEABOCK, AMANDA LOCKHART

SEABOCK, CHRISTOPHER

SMITH, BRADLEY

ZAMAN, TEHNIAT

ZIMMERMAN, JOSIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

BOUDIN, CHESA

Attorney at SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

350 Rhode Island St.

San Francisco, CA 94103

GASCON, GEORGE

Attorney at LOS ANGELES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

211 West Temple Street, 10Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Court Documents

COMPLAINT FOR RESTITUTION, CIVIL PENALTIES, PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT

BUSINESS TORT, COMPLAINT (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AS TO DEFENDANT POTTER HANDY LLP POTTER, MARK HANDY, RUSSELL PRICE, DENNIS SEABOCK, CHRISTOPHER SEABOCK, AMANDA LOCKHART CARSON, CHRISTINA PRICE, PRATHIMA BALLISTER JR., RAYMOND MONTGOMERY, ELLIOTT SMITH, BRADLEY ZIMMERMAN, JOSIE ZAMAN, TEHNIAT MASANQUE, ISABEL ROSE GUTIERREZ, FAYTHE GRACE, PHYL DOES 1-100 NO SUMMONS ISSUED, JUDICIAL COUNCIL CIVIL CASE COVER SHEET NOT FILED CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR SEP-14-2022 PROOF OF SERVICE DUE ON JUN-10-2022 CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT DUE ON AUG-22-2022

CIVIL CASE COVER SHEET

CIVIL CASE COVERSHEET FILED (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

EXHIBITS A-K TO COMPLAINT FOR RESTITUTION, CIVIL PENALTIES, PRELIMINAR

EXHIBITS A-K TO COMPLAINT FOR RESTITUTION, CIVIL PENALTIES, PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS, AND OTHER EQUITABLE RELIEF (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Notice to Plaintiff

NOTICE TO PLAINTIFF

SUMMONS

SUMMONS ISSUED (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) TO PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/14/2022
  • HearingMatter(s): CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; Location: CIVIC CENTER COURTHOUSE ROOM 610; Judge Name: SAMUEL K. FENG

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  • 04/11/2022
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  • DocketSUMMONS ISSUED (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) TO PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

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  • 04/11/2022
  • FinancialPayment: CIVIL COMPLAINT/PETITION/OTHER FIRST PAPER; Payment Type: EXEMPT; Receipt Number: H2522411F002

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  • 04/11/2022
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  • DocketNOTICE TO PLAINTIFF

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  • 04/11/2022
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  • DocketEXHIBITS A-K TO COMPLAINT FOR RESTITUTION, CIVIL PENALTIES, PRELIMINARY AND PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS, AND OTHER EQUITABLE RELIEF (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

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  • 04/11/2022
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  • DocketCIVIL CASE COVERSHEET FILED (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

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  • 04/11/2022
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  • DocketBUSINESS TORT, COMPLAINT (TRANSACTION ID # 67466833) FILED BY PLAINTIFF PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AS TO DEFENDANT POTTER HANDY LLP POTTER, MARK HANDY, RUSSELL PRICE, DENNIS SEABOCK, CHRISTOPHER SEABOCK, AMANDA LOCKHART CARSON, CHRISTINA PRICE, PRATHIMA BALLISTER JR., RAYMOND MONTGOMERY, ELLIOTT SMITH, BRADLEY ZIMMERMAN, JOSIE ZAMAN, TEHNIAT MASANQUE, ISABEL ROSE GUTIERREZ, FAYTHE GRACE, PHYL DOES 1-100 NO SUMMONS ISSUED, JUDICIAL COUNCIL CIVIL CASE COVER SHEET NOT FILED CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR SEP-14-2022 PROOF OF SERVICE DUE ON JUN-10-2022 CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT DUE ON AUG-22-2022; Fee: EXEMPT

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