March 19, 2010
Mr. Russell Wiener, Interim Chief Trial Counsel
Office of Intake/State Bar of California
1149 South Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Re: Formal Complaint against James Wagstaffe; Sinclair "Rod" Kerr; and
the law offices of Kerr & Wagstaffe for misconduct surrounding the
publication of an "XPRESS VIDEO" and alleged acts of sexism/racism
utilized by the firm while hiring associates.
Dear Mr. Weiner:
Please register a formal complaint against the above named attorneys and
inform me as to the case number assigned. I have been told in the past
by the Intake office that a complaint can be filed anonymously and was
told by counsel that I can post anonymously. As such, I wish to proceed
in such a manner.
James Wagstaffe ("Wagstaffe") and Rod Kerr ("Kerr") are members of the
California State Bar and are main shareholders in the law firm of Kerr
& Wagstaffe located In San Francisco, CA. The firm boasts that it
has established itself as a "premier" law firm. It represents many
governmental entities such as various cities, the State Bar of
California, and various companies that are on the "Fortune 500" list.
In addition to practicing law, Wagstaffe teaches at U.C. Hastings
College of the Law, San Francisco State University, and is one of the
authors of the Rutter Group publication dealing with Federal Civil
Procedure Before Trial.
MISCONDUCT RELATING TO A VIDEO PUBLISHED BY "GOLDEN GATE XPRESS"</u>
"Golden Gate Xpress" publishes a series of videos and presentations
which can be fount on the Internet named "60 Seconds Spiel".
One of the published presentations is narrated by Wagstaffe and is
titled "A LAWYER DEMOSNSTRATES HOW TO GET TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF A TRAFFIC
TICKET". ("Get Talk" in original title)
The video itself contains an audio and various pictures of Wagstaffe
shredding what appears to be a traffic ticket from the San Francisco
Police Department. The audio presentation begins with Wagstaffe
introducing himself as an attorney from the law offices of Kerr &
Some of the advise Wagstaffe offers, for example, is to <strong>"do what
I do, put a CHP (California Highway Patrol) magazine in your car, so
they think you are one of them"</strong>. He also boasts that in the
last 10 years he has been stopped close to 10-15 times but only receives
As I do not wish to furnish a direct link to the presentation as it will
further endanger public safety, however, two pictures can be found here:
alt="Prof. Jim Wagstaffe" style="margin:5px;" />
You can listen to the edited audio by pressing here:
width="200" height="20"><param name="movie"
width="200" height="20" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
ACTS OF MISCONDUCT RELATING TO "GOLDEN GATE EXPRESS" VIDEO
By participating in the video and representing himself as an attorney,
Wagstaffe clearly intends the presentation to serve as legal advice as
how to avoid getting a ticket once a driver is stopped by law
I. The video demonstrates that Wagstaffe clearly committed many acts of
misconduct. The pictures show a mad man tearing an official legal
document which is essentially a summons to appear in court for a
hearing. This shows lack of respect for the law, lack of respect toward
the legal system, and places the profession in a negative light.
II. In the presentation, Wagstaffe admitted to trying to misrepresent
himself to law enforcement by using trickery to mislead an officer that
he is "one of them". Also, he is advising others to do the same. This
encouragement to deceive an officer should not be given from someone who
is an officer of the court, a professor at two universities, a lawyer
who is representing the State Bar of California (as he will do this
afternoon in San Francisco Superior Court), and an author of a widely
used publication. In addition, the overall tone of the presentation is
inappropriate and can encourage unsafe driving habits which will result
in injuries and death.
MISCONDUCT RELATING TO DISCRIMINATORY HIRING PRACTICES OF ATTORNEYS.
The firm racial and gender make-up is as follows:
*Out of 10 lawyers, all but one is White.
*Out of 7 Partners, all but one are Males. (This was changed around
2010, where a female partner was hired. Prior to that, for most of 2009,
all the partners were men, and all the associates were females)
*All the associates are females. There are no male associates.
*All the females' associates are white.
*All the female associates are young.
* Two out of the three associates are from Hastings, where Wagstaffe
It is my absolute conviction that the firm is in breach of local, state
and federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination. Also, it
violates California Business and Professions Code sections 6106 and
It is simply unbelievable that without violation of the law a San
Francisco firm will be composed of 10 lawyers of whom nine are white;
out of seven partners, six are men; and all the associates are young
white females. In addition, for example, taking into account the current
associates and two former young white female associates, Holly Hogan and
One can not but concludes that the firm has a proclivity towards hiring
young and attractive white females with Northern-European features as
associates. Examining the pictures, I experienced an eerie feeling and
had to remind myself that the year is 2010 and I am San Francisco, CA,
U.S.A where the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and not a
law firm in South-Africa during apartheid or an experiment in eugenics
jurisprudence during the 30's in Deutschland.
Based on the above, Mr. Wagstaffe should be disciplined by the State Bar
for his misconduct.