Washington State Bar Association
1325 Fourth Ave., Ste. 600
Seattle, WA 98101-2539
BAR 9410 8036 9930 0046 034
Holm 9410 8036 9930 0046 034
This is a public document which contains and includes our opinions with editorial commentary:
You will consider this a formal complaint against:
Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC
1000 Second Ave., Suite 1770
Seattle, WA 98104
In 1972 Rhonda was kidnapped by two males. I stopped them. That's how I met her.
Note: Rhonda and I are not married, though she uses my last name.
Some 35 years later the kidnappers found her and began threatening her. I tracked them down and hired a Seattle attorney to obtain a restraining order. Within 6 days that "attorney" had exhausted Rhonda's life savings. All of it. Every penny. He never made an appearance in court, never filed a motion, nothing. He racked up his fees by calling many times per hour to ask silly, sometimes unrelated, stupid questions and he charged a tenth of an hour for each call. He was fired. No restraining order was ever obtained. The attorney who referred us to this man and with whom he was friends directed us to file against the offending attorney with the BAR. But we knew even then what the BAR is (the "Attorneys' Defense League", as it's known locally), so we didn't bother.
That is one example of our experiences with attorneys, out of dozens, few of which were ever more positive than that, some being much worse.
When Rhonda vacated her apartment in Seattle some years ago the landlord, a true piece of human garbage named Robert Thoreson, of HomeRX fame and ECP Holdings 740 LLC fame, wrote her a glowing reference, then refused to refund her deposit unless she signed an agreement promising not to seek damages from him for three months of severe flooding, due to his incompetence, in her unit. She refused to sign the agreement of course and referred the matter to her regular attorney in Seattle.
That attorney had been a friend for about ten years.
That attorney agreed to take the case, then a year later, having done nothing, refused to take the case, then, again agreed to take the case. Unfortunately that attorney never got around to filing the case. After 15 MORE months(!) of asking her (demanding, towards the end) to file the case, often several times per week, that attorney was fired and unfriended. We believe there is a substance abuse factor involved but we can't say for sure -- we don't know what else would have caused this level of staggering unprofessionalism. That attorney had, however, properly prepared the suit and that was supplied to us.
We filed against Thoreson in Small Claims in Seattle. We had relocated to another state and we felt it would be a trivial matter to petition the court to allow us to submit our testimony by electronic means -- videophone, or plain telephone because we couldn't afford to return to Seattle to appear in person. I have sat in many courtrooms where this was done. The court, Judge Eileen Kato to be specific, refused that simple request citing no reason. We then petitioned the court to allow us to provide a local proxy to state our case. The court, specifically Judge Eileen Kato, refused, citing no reason. We then wrote to Judge Kato by registered mail, advising her to cancel the suit as we could not possibly afford the trip to Seattle to testify. The language instructing the court to cancel the case was perfectly clear to us. The court signed for that document.
We then notified Thoreson by registered mail that the Small Claims case had been cancelled and that we would sue him in District court instead. We received no reply from the court or from Thoreson.
Rhonda then took the attorney-prepared filing document and approached Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC in Seattle. They agreed to take the case.
She was asked for $500 and she immediately borrowed, then supplied it. Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC was told repeatedly that that's all we had. We told them, quote, "We are as poor as church mice". Unfortunately, that seems to be a line that triggers most attorneys to gouge all the more.
Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC was supplied the actual text of the filing and asked to file it as it was -- it had already been researched and prepared. All that was needed was to copy the text electronically and paste it into the court's form. It was free of typos. It was ready to go. Nothing could BE more ready to go. I've just now timed myself -- I can highlight, copy, change to a new document, and past[e] in the clipboard contents in 18 seconds. I might then spend another 30 - 60 seconds fixing any formatting. At that point my suit is ready to file.
Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC sent that document back to me for correction four (4) times containing errors they had introduced. Not one word of the original filing document was used, although no meaning or facts were changed. I have no idea why this was done. I had been adamant that the original filing document be used to save money. I was told Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC might change "a word or two here or there" and I took them at that promise. A word or two, here or there, though I saw no need for even that. The suit, as prepared, was legal and proper and ready to be filed but Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC worried the damned thing to death and made no material changes that we could see. This simply inflated the bill.
In due time the suit was filed by Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC. Within several days the respondent, Robert Thoreson, supplied his attorney with a court docket showing that the original Small Claims suit had NOT been cancelled by Judge Eileen Kato as we had instructed, and that he had indeed attended that trial, and since we weren't present, Judge Eileen Kato had dismissed the suit in the landlord's favor.
We have uncovered a good deal of documentation suggesting that Judge Kato has a long history of bias on the bench. We believe in this case she knew full-well that we had asked her to cancel the Small Claims case but simply decided to side with the landlord, and to ignore our request to cancel, and to never notify us of that, and to pointedly rule for the defendant. She seems to have done this before.
Thoreson's attorney immediately sent that fact over to Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC. It was instantly clear that, since Kato had dismissed the case, we had no recourse but to drop our District Court case against Thoreson, and lose our deposit and Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC was instructed thus. They then asked four (4) times for clarification. In answer to the last such request I advised that I would not reply to them again.
We assumed Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC had not exceeded the $500 Rhonda had sent them. We couldn't imagine how they could have. They had done virtually nothing. All that was needed was to file the document already provided to them, and then relay the bad news from Thoreson's attorney back to us. Realistically, there should not have been more than 30 minutes involved. But attorneys will be attorneys, so we expected that they would have found a way to use much or most of the $500. They had never asked to exceed the $500 and we never authorized them to exceed the $500. We believed at some point, when the trial was actually beginning, they would come to us and advise that they needed more money. Depending on how much, we would make a decision then. Even a diner waitress understands that you cannot add dishes or portions to a customer's bill without asking first. Any mechanic knows this. Any housepainter knows this.
A few days ago an email arrived which included a PDF invoice in the amount of some $1500. This was the first invoice we had received, all others having been stripped out by virus-type software. We have now located two of those pdf attachments in a junk folder -- we don't know if there are others but we believe there must be. We have never received anything (nothing) from Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC by snail mail. The contents of the two invoices we did find were nothing short of shocking.
We see, for instance, that Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC has charged us $50 for "conference with Carey" (their own paralegal) regarding research on the case. What research?! No research was needed, no research was authorized, and there was no reason to do it. The case had already been researched and prepared.
Another item says, "Review research collected by Carey and email the [clients]", etc.
This refers to Carey's request to us to allow her to add $10 to our bill by requesting a tape transcript from the court. We advised her at that time, again, that we had no money and that we were concerned about throwing good money after bad. As it turns out it wasn't $10 added to the bill, it was $100.
Another entry says, "Email correspondence with opposing counsel regarding status of answer from Thoreson". The fact: Thoreson's attorney supplied to Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC a simple document showing that the Small Claims case had not been dismissed as ordered and believed. Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC then needed only advise us of that in one email consisting of about two sentences. There was less than no need to "confer" by email with opposing counsel for nearly an hour. Nearly an hour! What sporting event did they "confer" about? To confer with opposing counsel regarding.....what? Had we been advised of this and asked whether we wanted Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC to charge us $200 to email back and forth with opposing counsel over something that was cut-and-dried we would have refused absolutely because we would have known we HAD NO MONEY TO PAY FOR SUCH SILLINESS.
The two invoices we have are rife with this blatant filler and fluff. We shudder to think what the missing invoices would show.
This bill ($994.91 over and above the $500 we've already paid) is herewith disputed and we flat-out refuse to pay it. It is wrong and immoral and shows a staggering preponderance of greed and unprofessionalism and cluelessness about the real world. It is just plain wrong. Rhonda paid out her life savings to an unscrupulous attorney in the restraining order case. She simply won't do it again.
This letter is routed to the BAR, the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General, Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC, and it will be posted publicly at the following URL:
We will not accept further correspondence from the BAR or Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC. We will not read any replies from the BBB or the Att-Gen. Nothing. If Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC cares to sue us for this amount we will then ask for copies of ALL invoices and go through them line by line in court to demonstrate instances of padding and waste and we'll append those documents as well to the website.
Rhonda is battling lung cancer and will not likely live more than a number of months. She has ups and downs. Some days we think she has less than a week left. Some days we delude ourselves into thinking she might make it to Christmas. She has no money left. Various attorneys and landlords have taken every single penny, then many thousands more. Seriously -- she has been wiped out by only two professions before she became ill -- landlords and attorneys. No one else. The aforementioned attorney took her life savings which she was never able to replace. Now the medical profession has piled on. Kaiser has hit her with exactly $7000 in unpaid co-pays and deductibles JUST SO FAR (she has good insurance). Her radiologist hit her a month ago with an additional $6300 in unpaid co-pays and deductibles. She is undergoing a new radiation regimen right now which will add another roughly $6000 in unpaid co-pays and deductibles. The state of California has hit her with $4700 in unpaid taxes because her employer didn't withhold enough. The IRS has hit her with over $6000 because her employer didn't withhold enough. Her paychecks have been reduced by 20% or more due to days she is too sick to work. She works hard in a restaurant (actual work where one must PRODUCE A PRODUCT TO GET PAID -- you folks have heard of that, right?) for little more than minimum wage. She expects even that money to be garnisheed by one or all of the above. I have a meager income from royalties on literary works from decades ago which I give to her each month to try to pay the rent. When Rhonda is gone I will care NOT ONE WHIT about anything at all, especially greedy lawyers and sleazy, dishonorable BAR Associations and thieving landlords and corrupt/stupid judges.
So please, Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC, go ahead and sue her or us. You knew the gouging you were engaging is was wrong yet you did it anyway.
Why would we ever even consider doing business with any attorney on the planet, ever again? Better, we think, to solve problems in a more traditional way.
Attorneys. Do. Not. Solve. Things.
They always, always make them worse.
By the way, we placed a Craigslist ad inquiring if there was a way around the court's ruling in favor of the landlord; two different law firms replied to say yes, there was, and they had used the process successfully in the past, but it traditionally costs about $300. Why didn't Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC so advise us?
We won't throw any more good money after bad in this case. This was a dog-simple case that could have been and should have been resolved simply, easily, cheaply, quickly and in our favor. Yet at every single step of the way the G*ddamned legal system thwarted that simplicity and fairness. You people are not the friends or helpers of decent society -- you are our effing nightmares.
We do not want and will not accept any correspondence from the BAR, or from Holmquist & Gardiner PLLC, or from petty, biased, conspiring judges. We know what you are. If you send us one damned thing it will be considered an instance of harassment and either returned unread, or thrown away unread.
This complaint will serve merely to document this case. You can't later claim you didn't receive it. Any meaningful resolution is utterly and profoundly beyond the legal community. All you people produce is trouble and grief.
Chowchilla, Ca. 93610
All new developments will be appended here: