To protect the public interest, this website relies solely on public documents with respect to attorney Gregory Andrew Yates.
From the annals of fellow journalist, Mr. Jan Tucker:
Fellow journalist and California licensed private investigator, Mr. Jan Tucker is developing an in-depth report for Counterpunch Magazine about the national Tribal Trust settlements that the U.S. Government has been paying over the last several years. In particular, Mr. Tucker is examining the differences in accounting practices between nonprofits (such as the Native American Rights Fund) and private attorneys who handled those lawsuits for Native Americans.
Here's an excerpt from Mr. Tucker's blog:
I’m working on an article for CounterPunch Magazine on Native American Tribal Trust litigation and how these lawsuits have been handled by non-profits such as the Native American Rights Fund as opposed to various groups of private lawyers.
I’m eager to get in touch with anybody who has information on any of the following people, tribes or institutions. Note that inclusion on the list doesn’t mean that they have done anything wrong; some of the people listed may be potential victims. Note also that some of these names may be very common so do not impute anything adverse just because somebody’s name might be in the list because of its commonality. If you know anything or know anybody who might know anything about these folks, bad, good, or otherwise, please e-mail me at:
To read more on Mr. Tucker's blog, click here.
The Navajo Nation is the latest Tribe to come to an agreement with the U.S. Government over mismanaged funds dating back 50 years. Its $554 million deal is the largest payment to a single Indian tribe that the U.S. Government has paid to date.
Missed Court Deadline, Professional Negligence and Breach of Contract:
In April 2008, Mr. Vensel sued attorney Gregory Andrew Yates and The Law Office of Gregory A. Yates for legal malpractice and won a judgment against him. Mr. Yates was ordered to pay Ms. Vensel $100,000 dollars, plus cover $700 in mediation fees (Los Angeles Superior Court Case: LCO81111).
Ms. Vensel's case arose from her retaining Mr. Yates two years earlier, in April 2006, when Mr. Yates accepted a medical malpractice case for Ms. Shirley Vensel. Mr. Yates then proceeded to miss at least one Court filing deadline and eventually withdrew from, and abandoned Ms. Vensel's case altogether.
Mr. Yates' actions pushed Ms. Vensel's medical malpractice claim past the Court's statute of limitations, causing Ms. Vensel to lose all legal recourse on that lawsuit.
Click: More on the case.
On early 2012, Patricia Nazario filed a legal malpractice complaint against attorney Gregory Andrew Yates for breach of contract, negligence, and constructive fraud (Los Angeles Superior Court Case: BC 476321).
Click: Read the case for yourself.
The underlying matter Between Ms. Nazario and Mr. Yates is the McArthur Park Mayday Melee of May 1st, 2007. A staff reporter at KPCC 89.3 FM at the time, Ms. Nazario one of several journalists attacked by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department while covering the otherwise peaceful immigration rally near downtown Los Angeles.
Ms. Nazario was one of only three journalists who took their cases to trial. After several weeks of deliberations, the jury came back with its decision, awarding Ms. Nazario $30,141.00 against the City of Los Angeles. As public records show, Mr. Yates kept the entire settlement.
Click: To read Mr. Yates' letter to Ms. Nazario.
In May 1986, The State Bar Court of California suspended Mr. Yates' license to practice law for two years, and put Mr. Yates on probation for five years.
Click: To see official attorney discipline records.
The State Bar Court punished Mr. Yates for several violations of Rules of Procedures of the State Bar of California, including incidents of forging settlement checks, mismanaging, or misappropriating money that belonged to his clients. Of the 10 person panel that reviewed Mr. Yates' case, two referees voted NO to the disciplinary terms that were ultimately imposed, "...on the grounds that the degree of discipline recommended is insufficient".
Click: For more case details.
In short, the State Bar Court's findings included that Mr. Yates:
- Signed a settlement agreement without the authority or consent of his then client.
- Tried to give the Court and other involved parties falsely executed documents in order to obtain money
- Tacked on expenses and 'costs' not included or described in the retainer agreement as reimbursable expenses including items of secretarial expense, law clerk expense, outside typing services, and attorney runner services.
- Mislead his clients as to the reasons why he was suggesting they settlement their cases
- Deducted a fee from a client's settlement, who was a minor, in violation of the law and without court approval.
- Took a total of $14,500.00 dollars in settlement funds for his own use from his clients over a year and a half, including $2,500 from the Harris family, whom Mr. Yates was representing in the wrongful death lawsuit involving their son.
As part of his probation, Mr. Yates was ordered to:
- Make $6,641.12 in restitution to former clients, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harris Senior (whom Mr. Yates was co-representing in a wrongful death lawsuit involving the couple's son, the late Robert Harris Jr.).
In May 1988, the California Supreme Court extended Mr. Yates' probationary period by one year.
At the May 1, 2007 immigration rally at MacArthur Park, LAPD officers-- in full riot gear-- executed unprovoked attacks against women, peaceful protesters, and journalists in a purported effort to clear the park. Their aggression and brutal actions violated rules and protocols established after a similar incident at the 2000 Democratic National Convention (DNC) outside the Staples Center.
At that event, a handful of aggressive protesters threw plastic bottles and other harmless objects at LAPD officers. In response, cops in riot gear shot rubber bullets, beanbag bullets and used tear gas indiscriminately on thousands of people, including reporters. The LAPD was also forced to sign a consent decree, as well as pay more than four million dollars in settlements for Civil Rights violations. Department officials made several promises, including officers would give crowds time to disperse in the future, and provide ‘safe areas’ for reporters, not attack them.
Those promises were not upheld and resulted in what the media nicknamed the May Day Melee. Christina Gonzalez, Patricia Ballaz, and Patricia Nazario decided to take their cases to trial, which began on June 18, 2010. Several-- not all-- media reports about the unjust conduct of LAPD officers on May 1, 2007 and subsequent trial of the three journalists in 2010 follow:
SPJ-LA regarding LAPD Misconduct:
City New Service:
RTNDA Seeks Help in Probe of LAPD Actions (05/03/2007)
Browne Greene Files Lawsuit for TV Camerawoman:
Ballaz Announcement (05/04/2007)
The New York Times:
Actions by Police at Rally Troubles Los Angeles Chief (05/04/2007)
FBI Will Look Into MayDay Violence at MacArthur Park (05/07/2007)
LA Times-Tim Rutten:
Media Need to Keep Focus on LA Police Investigation (05/05/2007)
Mayor Villaraigosa Visits Site of May Day Melee (05/06/2007)
LAPD Chief Offers Strongest Apology Yet (05/07/2007)
LAPD Reassigns Two Top Commanders (05/08/2007)
LAPD Chief Reassigns Two Officials Over May Day Violence (05/08/2007)
National Lawyers Guild:
Class Action Lawsuit Filed for May Day Rally (05/21/2007)
Calls for Police Probe (05/13/2007)
SCPR/KPCC 89.3 FM:
Chief Bratton Discusses MacArthur Park (05/17/2007)
Can Bratton Survive May Day? (05/31/2007)
City New Service:
NAHJ Announces LAPD Chief Bratton's Participation at San Jose Conference (06/15/2007)
The New York Times- The Lede Blog:
Report Faults LAPD's Handling of Protest (10/09/2007)
LAPD Takes Blame for Park Melee (10/10/2007)
Council Approves $450,000 to Settle Claims in MacArthur Park Melee (06/09/2010)
MayDay Melee Trial Begins:
City New Service (06/18/2010)
Patricia Nazario takes the witness stand:
City News Service (06/28/2010)
Patricia Nazario takes the witness stand:
Courthouse News Service (06/30/2010)
Police abuse trial comes to a close:
City News Service (07/02/2010)
Los Angeles Times:
Jury Awards $1.7 Million to Fox Camera Operator (07/02/2010)
SPJ-LA responds to May Day trial verdict:
Statement issued (07/06/2010)
Daily Breeze/Daily News Editorial:
LAPD mistakes overshadow successes (11/24/2011)
Patricia Nazario's civil complaint against the City of L.A. arose from the May 1, 2007 immigration rally at MacArthur Park where LAPD officers, dressed in full riot gear, aggressively attacked protesters, passersby, as well as journalists in a purported effort to clear the park. Their unprovoked violence and brutal abuse violated rules and protocols established after a similar incident outside the 2000 Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Staples Center. At that event, a handful of protesters threw plastic bottles and other harmless objects at LAPD officers. In response, cops in riot gear shot rubber bullets, beanbag bullets and used tear gas indiscriminately on thousands of people, including reporters.
After that public relations debacle, the LAPD was forced to sign a consent decree, as well as pay more than four million dollars in settlements for Civil Rights violations. Department officials made several promises, including officers would give crowds time to disperse in the future, and provide ‘safe areas’ for reporters, not attack them.