Cyrus Sanai: Frivolous or Not?

The man behind the Full Tilt bot case

by , Oct 5, 2009 | 4:14 pm

Face the Ace: Whether he’s abusively litigious or not is up for debate, but the Hollywood lawyer challenging Full Tilt (right) is apparently no legal schlep.

Just looking into the lawyer pressing the RICO Bot-suit against Full Tilt … Cyrus Sanai … from the best I can tell, he’s quite the loose-aggressive legal player … perhaps a self-appointed Gus Hansen of the courtroom?

Back in the day he wrote for, about issues such as assisted suicide and school violence … and seemed to dig the journalism thing during his days at Harvard. (That’s where he went for undergrad. Law School at UCLA.)

His most recent case of note came last year, when he engaged in an ongoing battle against an LA judge … where Sanai found the judge’s personal blog, complete with humorous/bizarre porn images, and outed his NSFW fetish proclivities while was adjudicating a big obscenity case against a pornographer:

The question is how someone who has frequently engaged in frivolous litigation still remains a member of the California bar without any disciplinary record. It will be appalling if Kozinski faces judicial discipline in this dispute before Sanai faces attorney discipline.

More on what the LA legal community has to say about him below:

… from Popehat:

Sanai may be the living embodiment of the worst stereotypes of California lawyers, an arguably vexatious litigant who arguably abuses process and files frivolous motions to cause disruption to opponents. He has been smacked down as such by Judge Kozinski. But whatever Sanai is or isn’t, the matter raises a serious question about Judge Kozinski’s own judgment.

And from a Patterico commenter:

It amazes me that Cyrus Sanai still has his law license after publicly admitting that his campaign to bring down several federal judges is just “part of his litigation strategy” to win a divorce case. He’s already been called one of the most abusive litigants that the district court has ever seen.

And yet, in 19 years of California practice, he has no official scratches on his legal record.

9 Comments to “Cyrus Sanai: Frivolous or Not? ”

  1. Cyrus Sanai

    1. The quotation from Popehat was actually not commenting on me–it was pointing out that irrespective of what I “may” be, Judge Kozinski had displayed extremely poor judgment, something he later admitted. This was a response to the horde of judicial sycophants who attacked me for pointing out public judicial wrongdoing.

    2. Anonymous “commentators” on a blog are not authorities on anything and cannot be called members of the LA legal “community”. I received lots of support from actual community of real lawyers, as opposed to those who play them on Internet blogs.

    3. I’ve been a paid, part-time member of the MSM for decades.

    4. I’m also an English solicitor, with no “official scratches” there either.

    5. This case is not about me, it is about what happened to Lary Kennedy. It is a fight the principals of FTP brought on themselves; I spent months trying to resolve this matter informally, including holding an unsuccessful mediation, before filing the lawsuit.

  2. DanM

    1. Cool, thanks for the info.

    2. I agree they may not be “authorities” … but whether we like it or not, commentors are part of the community. You clearly have some haters out there and they apparently have better SEO than your biggest public fans.

    3. I have no idea what MSM is. Mainstream Media maybe?

    4. Ahh, those Brits …

    5. Fair enough, and indeed this jibes with what I’ve heard about other Full Tilt cases. If you have a plausibly legitimate beef and seek, say, $3mm, they will counter with something like $75k.

  3. Cyrus Sanai

    3. You got it.

    5. Yes, those offer to claim proportions sound right to me! I’m interested in learning about FTP’s practices in other similar cases. It seems pretty clear that my client was in no way treated atypically, except in that she is willing to fight the wrongdoing.

  4. stepheng

    Regarding Mr. Sanai’s assertion that “This case is not about me”, that is, of course correct, unless his poor clients wind up in a widening universe of courts wherein their attorney has been sanctioned, has personally attacked judges, engaged in conduct regarded by most lawyers and judges alike as beyond the pale and/or in which their attorney has poisoned the well–including but not limited to any federal court within the 9th Circuit.

    Mr. Sanai is a bright and talented lawyer who comes with a lot of political baggage.

  5. Cyrus Sanai

    Commentator “stepheng” is a sterling example of the attitude which allows corruption and injustice to fester. Ultimately it is based on the view that most judges do not decide cases before them based on the facts and law, but whether they personally like the lawyer or client. It’s a view that is sadly true in some jurisdictions, but not Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Second Appellate District of the Court of Appeal, or the California Supreme Court.

    There’s nothing wrong with personally attacking judges who have committed misconduct; indeed I hold the record in California state court for removing the largest number of judges for misconduct in a single case.

    Obviously, the FTP case is in state court, not federal court, so speculating on the Ninth Circuit’s attitudes since my exposure of Circuit Judge Kozinski is pretty irrelevant. The reality in the federal system, as seen by recent disciplinary cases involving federal Judges Kent (sexual assault and perjury), Porteous (bribery and perjury), and Nottingham (perjury and solicitation of perjury) is that there is a substantial amount of criminal misconduct by federal judges that is only being fitfully addressed. Ethical judges know this, and do not hold it against me or my clients.

    Indeed, stepheng’s comments are quite extraordinarily insulting to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Minning, to whom the FTP case has been assigned. The comments presume that the case will be decided not by the facts and law presented to Judge Minning in court, but rather by Judge Minning’s ex parte consideration of events in other unrelated cases, which would of course be judicial misconduct. I have no reason at this time to believe that Judge Minning will do anything other than adjudicate the case based on the facts and law presented to him in court.

    Stepheng’s assertion that I have committed “conduct regarded by most lawyers and judges alike as beyond the pale” is nonsense, and pointing to anonymous comments from a blog whose commentators are largely ACORN-obsessed, Obama-despising, judicial misconduct-defending conspiracy theorists does not support the point. Disclosing a federal Judge’s distribution of porn is only “beyond the pale” to people who were receiving or wished they were receiving such stuff themselves.

  6. Thelenite

    And to think that what pushed you over the edge was a $2,500 rent dispute. Cy, you need to get a grip. On a positive note, I’m glad to see that you’re no longer sporting the all-black Johnny Cash look.

  7. Cyrus Sanai

    “Thelenite”? While there were plenty of excellent lawyers at that firm when I was there, I can’t say I would ever want to associate myself with that management fiasco. I still bring up the BSC acquisition as the stupidest thing I ever saw a law firm do.

    And for your information, this case has nothing to do with rent. It involves poker. I’ll be happy to send you a copy of the complaint, Thelenite, if you post an email address for your firm (assuming you were one of the lucky ones who found a job when it went under).

  8. Buddy George

    A matter that needs investigated
    On case#VA107160
    People Vs buddy lee George 
    Los Angeles superior court norwalk California division S
    Judge the Honorable Roger Ito
    Los Angeles county district attorney Kang. 
    A case that can be proved as unconstitutional due to the following
    1.) I was denied my due process rights. 
    2.) the district attorney had me charged with prison priors and strikes that I did not have and it was not until after the verdict did she admit her mistakes. 
    3.) I was denied to confront witnesses I supoened 5 officers and only one showed up. 
    4.) the only witness that showed up was detective hakala from Whittier police department he was the lead detective and expert witness. 
    5.) there was bias with the processing of evidence he used his own lab. 
    6.) he lied under oath by saying he removed the drugs before the pre search video because he had a dog. 
    7.) the evidence in the case had been destroyed before the trial
    Evidence was destroyed 5-29-09
    The verdict was read on 8-15-09
    8.) henry salcidos law firm that represented me right before the trial caused a conflict of interest by violating attorney client privilege by having a meeting with the city of la mirada without my permission nor knowledge were he discussed my case were he was convinced by the city saying I should take a deal under the condition I move out of la mirada when I get out of prison. 
    9.) Henry salcido also told me at one point he didn’t care If I was innocent or guilty I should take a deal. 
    10.) he also told me at one point he was best friends with steve Cooley and if I gave him $180.000 and sign over the deed to our home he could make the case disappear. 
    11.) their was two retired district attorneys that were working for Henry salcidos law firm that were also over familiar with sheriffs and narcotics department that were involved in my case. 
    12.) through the whole case the la mirada mayor and council members had law enforcement harassing me their was about 300 or more calls made to law enforcement with the intent to have me harassed 
    13.) I can also prove false imprisonment. 
    14.) I was charged with possession for sales when no drugs were ever found to be in my possessing neither was any money ever recovered and according to the detective he found $13 dollars worth of drugs in our home all together in separate bags and only one had been tested the second one was never tested. 
    15.) it was unconstitutional for detective hakala to target me when their was 5 occupants living in our home at the time. 
    16.) the search warrant he used to get in our home the day he supposedly found the drugs was stamped denied. 
    17.) the second search warrant had a type -o- error and the name on the search warrant was Walter Eugene Farris a guy that I don’t know and neither did any one els that lived in our home and he had never been in our home. 
    18.)The attorney that represented me during the trial had not been given enough to to familiarize her self with my case the judge refused to give her time to overlook the case.
    19.) after we picked the jurors one of the jurors was prejudice he said no matter what he would find me guilty because he hates drug dealers the judge still allowed juror # 19 to hang out with all the other jurors until he was replaced. 
    The following needs to be investigated
    1.) violation of due process rights
    2.) my state and federal rights were violated. 
    3.) false imprisonment
    4.) harassment 
    5.) negligent
    6.) malpractice
    7.) wrongful conviction
    8.) officer misconduct
    9.) judicial misconduct
    10.) cruel and unusual punishment. Email below evidence when the evidence had been destroyed a email from detective hakala to district attorney kang. 
    11.) the city of la mirada offered to buy our home at cost saying under the condition I couldn’t live in la mirada nor Whittier. 
    12.)la mirada law enforcement was raiding our home practically daily. 
    13.) before this case started detective jerry Reyes told me as he handed me his card with his hand writing on it that if I dident help him he would screw me.
    14.) detective hakala and district attorney kang kept inflicting lies on the jury. 
    15.) I was not on probation or parole when this case started. 
    16.) our car had also been impounded 3 to 4 times every time officers said just tell us were the drugs are we won’t impound the vehicle and every time I was honest by saying I don’t have any drugs they impounded it any way. 
    17.) detective hakala went through my confidential legal mail violating my constitutional rights instead of using normal mail he used a 42 u.s.c 1983 to identify me as living here during The trial mentioning a law suite involving Copley
    18.) during the proceedings of the case no one had any idea I studied law I even represented my self in the federal courts I studied criminal and civil for about five years including 42 u.s.c $1983″s torts writs civic codes ethics even the CCR title 15 rules and regulations. 
    19.) I’m hoping to resolve this with out filing in the federal courts I’m exhausting all remedies if the matter is not resolved then I’m given not much choice because I was wronged 
    Sorry but this is frustrating I just want this matter looked into. 
    20.) I can prove the following. 
    1.)defamation of character. 
    2.) false imprisonment. 
    3.) negligence. 
    4.) harassment. 
    5.) malpractice. 
    6.) wrongful conviction. 
    7.) constitutional violations with my civil rights. 
    8.) including $10.000 dollars of damage to our home. 
    9.)reckless disregard.  
    10.) coaxing
    11.) including due process rights involved in a criminal court proceeding involving corruption. 
    12.) the situation that escalated 
    Into this case was a incident involving a parole officer mr verimontes he worked for la mirada public safety and the Santa fe springs parole department in the year 2001
    He was contracted by both at the same time their was a incident involved with are daughters boy friend driving a vehicle in a irate speed going to autozone test driving a 1997 ford explorer some car was parked 3 ft out from the curb 
    And some kids were playing in the middle of the street they moved out of the street as he was driving up hill and swerved to miss the car when we got back a neighbor showed up cussing and yelling in a violent manner as I got out of the passenger side he was trying to provoke me I asked him to calm down he told me fuck you I said I have kids and theirs no need for this he stated bull I ignored him and went next door and eventually went to the store with our cousin next door not knowing while we were gone the neighbor had called the sheriffs by time I got home their was no law enforcement around but when I reported to parole I was giving him the heads up about possible call made to law enforcement with our address he asked did you have any police contact I stated no he said don’t worry about it then that nite shows up with law enforcement to arrest me for driving with out a license I was in jail double the normal time waiting for my bpt hearing mean while I hired a attorney for ADA issues he had no idea that the attorney representing me at board had investigated his wrong doing because he went to every neighbor showing first my whole criminal past then mug shots asking if they seen me driving the attorney caught him lying under oath at least 12 times the commissioner let me go home when I had got out mr verimontes told me pack up your shit your moving back to Sacramento in such a irate manner to were other people eventually had to get him he told me that if I appealed him he would get a petition with our neighbors so I reported to parole in Sacramento and while I was there I filed a 602 inmate appeal demanding It to be exhausted so I could file a 42 u.s.c $1983 I charged him with the following
    1.) racial profiling 
    2.) negligence
    3.) harassment 
    4.) deformation of character 
    5.) false imprisonment 
    6.) I filed to a copy of the bpt hearing tape only to find out it had been damaged 3 days after the hearing when it was not suppose to be damaged for 120 days were I was entitled to a copy of it only to be denied eventually the 602 complaint allowed me to come home after he was involuntarily moved from both jobs. 
    7.) the city mayor and council members had sheriffs going through any lengths to get me for anything just to send me to prison also to force me to move from la mirada. 
    8.) we had a 2002 ford explorer literally torn apart to the point it was not worth having the interior completely destroyed. 
    9.) our home was stalked by sheriffs to the point our kids moved out. 
    10.) their are witnesses to two sheriff deputies named Morris and tousey that work for the city of la mirada telling every drug addict that I am a kingpin and a drug dealer. 
    11.) we even called the sheriffs about some one driving a car into our garage door they showed no interest in the damage done to our home. 
    12.) the sheriffs also known our home had been broken into and vandalized on numerous occasions. 
    13.) Morris and tousey also were telling people say his name you go free Morris and tousey are Los Angeles county sheriffs. 

    Buddy George – VA107160From: joanne alberry
    View Contact To: LAURIE YTARTE —————–
    — Laurie,here is the email from the Detective 
    telling the court that all the property was
    destroyed. Sorry about all of it. Feel free to mail
    me any payments you can at my office address
    4229 Main St Suite 4 Riverside CA 92501 I will
    let you know when I find an attorney who will
    take on a governemtn entity. good luck to you
    and Buddy,Joanne ———- Forwarded message
    ———-From: Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 7:23
    AMSubject: Fw: Buddy George – VA107160To: Hi Joanne, Per our
    conversation, here is the email from Detective
    Hakala confirming that the evidence was
    destroyed. I will request that our matter be taken
    off calendar today. Thanks. ———————-
    Forwarded by Miriam Kang/DAUsers/NLADA on
    09/25/2009 07:22 AM ————————— To:
    cc: Subject: RE: Buddy George – VA107160 I
    contacted our central property and the items
    seized in the Buddy George case (408-15814-
    0460-184) were dispoed on 05-29-09. Any other
    questions just let me know. Eric ———————
    []Sent: Thu
    9/24/2009 2:49 PMTo: Hakala, Eric J.Subject:
    Buddy George – VA107160 Hi Detective Hakala,
    Just as a reminder, please email me a letter
    confirming that the the property booked into
    evidence for this case has been disposed of and
    the date of disposal. Thanks so much!
    Sincerely,Miriam KangDeputy District
    AttorneyTel: 562-807-7211 

  9. Dan Michalski

    thanks buddy, but with all do respect, Pokerati isn’t the best place to try your case.