Friday, August 13, 2010

Lawsuits fly in various Griesa matters

by Tom Nadeau

Lawsuits are flying about involving Joseph Griesa, the Marysville businessman who has pleaded no contest to charges that he did not pay certain taxes and that he acted improperly with under-aged female employees.

Griesa has sued one of the several attorneys who have represented him in Yuba County Superior Court in the interlocked and complicated matters of People v. Griesa and People v. Santana, Vasquez.

He also has reportedly filed a separate $5 million cross-complaint in Sutter County Superior Court against a female who in a different lawsuit is accusing him of sexual harassment.

And in an entirely unrelated matter, he is being sued in Sutter County Superior Court by a woman who seeks damages for injuries allegedly suffered in a March 14 traffic accident.

It's a litigious world ...

In Griesa v. Chuck Smith, civil case #10-1681, filed July 23, the former Mitchell Towing Service owner seeks compensatory and punitive damages for an unspecified amount for alleged legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty, additional attorney’s fees, damage to his reputation and emotional distress.

The two-page attachment outlining his beef against Smith – the third of four attorneys who have represented in this Hollywood epic of a lawsuit – recounts hiring Smith on June 28, 2008 and firing him in August 2009.

Griesa claims he paid Smith a total of $105,000 for legal representation.

During the time in question, Griesa alleges Smith dodged dealing with the “obscure” tax code violations he was charged with, gave him poor legal advice, did not meet with accountants, provided inadequate support research and failed to call some 20 possibly exculpatory witnesses to testify.

“Chuck Smith was never hired to believe in my innocence but was hired in giving [six] a proper defense,” Griesa said in the attached complaint.

The $5 million cross-complaint Griesa filed in Sutter County alleges the woman’s accusations are slanderous and defamatory and that his accuser intentionally inflicted emotional distress when she filed the lawsuit.

The woman was reportedly 17-year-old minor at the time of the alleged crimes. Griesa counter-charges that the woman’s basic motive for suing him was profit.

Griesa is acting as his own attorney in both his lawsuit against Smith and his counter-suit against the unnamed female.

In the traffic accident lawsuit Jaspreet Kaur v. Griesa, et al, CV-10-1076, the plaintiff seeks at least $100,000 for personal injuries and property damages allegedly sustained.

The vehicles collided March 14 on Smith Road about one-tenth of a mile west of State Road 99, the lawsuit stated. Kaur's lawsuit was filed May 12, not quite two months later.

Griesa is expected to sentenced Aug. 27 in his Yuba County convictions. His sentence could range from probation and county jail time to four years in prison, attorneys have said.

As a result of his conviction, he must now register as a sex offender wherever he resides.


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