The complete and utter failure of Pillsbury Madison and Sutro to win the Anaheim Hills landslide lawsuit after all of these years of futile litigation was ominously foreshadowed at its very onset -- even as the law firm was filling its prospective clients with great expectations -- such as Kenneth Chiate's verbal paintings of how he brought in, in his opinion, 100 cents on the dollar for damages incurred on an extremely similar lawsuit, in both size and number of litigants; with the end result being nearly 100 million dollars lining the pockets of those lucky Big Rock landslide victims (and their attorneys, of course). Little did we know that, in reality, we would looking at a "Nuisance Settlement" of 4 cents on the dollar. Little did we know that our properties would be confiscated by easements. Little did we know that we would soon be encumbered by an added annual taxation of $5,000.00 per year. All for four cents on the dollar. Yes, ethereal paintings of great expectations...
William E. Stoner, lead attorney, and his law firm, Pillsbury Madison and Sutro were introduced to our community of landslide victims by a seemingly professional con artist, a man who, according to his neighbors' statements, owed the law firm, which he was espousing that we now hire, some $15,000.00. He went so far as to actually try to do a pitch, right from the church pulpit, about his latest and greatest get-rich-quick stock scheme to the devastated landslide victims -- whom he obviously looked upon as potential investors; This, all in one breath, as he was effusively lauding the legal perspicaciousness of the Pillsbury Madison and Sutro barristers.
The word 'grifter' was specifically coined to describe this man -- who quickly disappeared from the Anaheim Hills area, into the dark of the night, barely a heartbeat ahead of armed bounty hunters and police detectives, all in hot pursuit.
Such was the portentous beginning of a nearly seven year debacle that left many of us homeless and bankrupt. Many of my neighbors died waiting for a justice that, we now know, none of us will ever see; while a cadre of lawyers walk blithely away, millions of dollars richer, seeking greener financial pastures.
The Final Chapter?... 1,000 Attorneys Attack 1 Landslide Victim Just Say No Formation of GHAD Resolution #99R-31 Notice of Vacancy GHAD "Benefit Area" Map Landslide DAMAGE Map