San Diego Lawyer Jeffrey Fritz Increases Conflict and Costs

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April 16th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

CCFC co-founder Cole Stuart was recently wrongfully arrested due to what appears to be manipulation of the police by his ex-wife Lynn Stuart and possibly various elements of the San Diego family law system. While malicious alienating parents using courts and police to abuse their children’s other parent is commonplace particularly in a broken family court system such as that in San Diego, she has been aided at this by a particularly dirty San Diego lawyer. Lynn Stuart hired Jeffrey Fritz. He has earned a reputation as an attorney who is a “shark” who will resort to all manners of abusive and unethical tactics to “win” cases for his clients while driving up huge billings that severely damage the finances of all but the very wealthiest. He typically attracts high-conflict clients such as Lynn Stuart.

(from Jeff Fritz – Cockroach in a suit)

Condensed from San Diego Union Tribune Dated: Oct 13, 1997

In the roiling sea of San Diego family law, attorneys Bob Basie and Jeff Fritz are considered the sharks.

The partners even have a stuffed hammerhead in the lobby of their no-frills Mission Valley office.

“We just thought it would be funny,” Fritz said.

The duo are known for their bitter clients and ugly court fights. They have a reputation for turning up the heat under simple divorces.

It’s a fact that some parting couples are willing to burn money, hundreds of dollars an hour, to have a lawyer do what they’d like to do themselves — make the other side miserable.

And lawyers like Basie and Fritz are at the ready.

“We… represent our clients zealously,” Fritz said. “Bad guys are entitled to representation as well as good people.”

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Dirty Lawyers Drive Conflicts

Cole Stuart has repeatedly stated that a big part of the problem with San Diego family law is that the lawyers, courts, and their service providers create and perpetuate conflict to drive up bills. While you might think that’s a bit over the top, the quotes in that 1997 article on Basie & Fritz, the partnership of which Jeff Fritz was a part until Robert Basie died, makes it clear that others in the family law system believe that Fritz is involved a in many high-conflict disasters and can turn what could be a divorce that is not contentious into one that will be extremely hostile and damaging because of his behaviors.

Many clients and lawyers like Lynn Stuart and Jeffrey Fritz use false allegations to persecute the ex-spouse. It is common for these cases to include false allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes. This enables the dirty client/attorney pair to falsely obtain Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) to bolster their war to obtain 100% child custody and large spousal and child support awards. Most judges will issue such orders with zero evidence, turning innocent people into criminals without a trial. Furthermore, such orders turn very common and reasonable actions like calling your children on the phone or sending them an email into criminal offenses that can result in arrest, incarceration, prosecution, and permanent restraining orders. Having your children’s other parent thrown in jail is a very effective way to obtain 100% child custody and ruin his or her life permanently.

(from Jeff Fritz – Cockroach in a suit)

The Killer B’s

Family law judges say it’s a minority of divorces that drag on for years,fill volumes and take the largest chunk of the court’s time.

Basie and Fritz have a reputation for being neck-deep in those cases.

At a raucous 1995 dinner for family law attorneys, one skit poked fun at the “Killer B’s” — lawyers with names beginning in B who make difficult cases more so. Basie and Fritz were at the top of the list.

“I’m not sure Jeff is involved in any case that isn’t contentious,” one attorney said of Fritz. “If it isn’t contentious in the beginning, it is once Jeff Fritz is involved.”

Fritz Is Litigious To The Extreme

Jeffrey Fritz is involved in a huge number of lawsuits in which he is a litigant. Entering a full list of them could take hours as there are about 60 civil cases that appear to involve him as a litigant. He is sued by not only his clients but by service providers, too, including attorney services and appraisal businesses. He has also filed many lawsuits against his clients, too. While it is not unusual for an attorney to engage in more lawsuits than the typical person, the number of cases here is way beyond the norm from what I observed looking up the names of several San Diego area family law attorneys.

Appearance of a High Conflict Personality

Why do I mention the court cases? As San Diego author, attorney, and mediator Bill Eddy has pointed out, people who engage in high conflict divorces often are prone to litigating over many issues. They often have personality disorders that drive them to fight over anything in which they don’t get their way. They also often pick attorneys who are “negative advocates” who carry on their client’s unethical destructive wars and themselves become involved in large numbers of legal battles as plaintiffs and defendants. This suggests such attorneys may have the “high conflict personality” disorders (he identifies the most common of them as being Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Histrionic personality disorders) that Bill Eddy cites as a frequent reason for such litigious behaviors. Jeffrey Fritz definitely fits the pattern of being a high conflict personality. It would be interesting to see if a psychological evaluation was done on Fritz whether he would be diagnosed with a personality disorder.

Avoid “Negative Advocate” Attorneys At Your Own Peril

Fritz appears to be a prime example of a “negative advocate” attorney of whom Bill Eddy has warned parents going through a difficult divorce. If you are shopping for a San Diego family law attorney, you would probably have to be crazy to hire Jeffrey Fritz. Even if you’d like to sock it to your ex-spouse, getting Fritz involved appears it will ensure maximum damages to you and your children, too. His standard of behavior appears to turn cases into hugely expensive and damaging wars that could have been avoided with choice of more reasonable counsel.

Further Reading

Custom Search

CCFC Family Law Protest in San Diego Results in Arrest of Group Leader

CCFC Family Court Reform Presentation in Del Mar, California

CCFC Press Release On Stephen Doyne Corruption/Fraud Case

Stephen Doyne and San Diego Family Law Courts Under Fire

Amicus Curiae brief filed for Emad Tadros v. Stephen Doyne

San Diego Courts Cover Up Missing Forms and Psych Evals

Unjust Delays in San Diego Family Law Courts

Eileen Lasher on San Diego CPS/Family Law Court Misconduct

San Diego County Grand Jury Cites Further CPS Misconduct

  1. Ben Siegfried
    April 19th, 2010 at 16:44 | #1

    Are there any San Diego Family Law attorneys out out there who are “positive advocacy?”

    The best thing I’ve seen so far is

    Instead of costly, draining, and very harmful litigation, attorneys could be teaching their clients how to use UpToParents to their benefit.

  2. April 19th, 2010 at 17:06 | #2

    I cannot speak highly enough of people like Cole Stuart.

    I regard him as one of the heros of Families and Children.

    I also have almost NOTHING good to say about our local (San Diego) Family Courts, having been dragged through their gauntlets for over Five Years. It continued until I finally walked away from my own Daughter, whom I haven’t “visited” in two years.

    See: for more on what I think of San Diego Family Court / Child Trafficking Services.

  3. Eileen Lasher
    April 19th, 2010 at 17:57 | #3

    I have been in San Diego Family Law Court for 16 years with no housekeeping issues addressed or resolved.

    Currently we have a case in San Diego Child Support Services, my ex husband is a San Diego Police Officer. He has evaded service along with two other uniformed police officers. To date our child support case has been held hostage for 3 years. The attorneys for San Diego Child Support Services have prepared a Declaration the delay is due to evasion of service by Officer Lasher as well as two other uniformed police officers. This is an issue that is usually resolved within 30 to 60 days. My ex husband’s attorney is Dave Schulman, Esq I have just discovered that he also sits as a temporary judge in San Diego Child Support Services. Dave Schulman, Esq had a responsibility to fully disclose this – it appears his connections are protecting his client but denying my children and I the support we are legally entitled to. Also the evasion of service has burdened the tax payers as a private process server was hired at the tax payers expense. To date the officer is rewarded for evading service and my children and I have been without support for 3 years.

  4. San Diego Parent
    July 5th, 2010 at 16:58 | #4

    I’ve seen Fritz in action for years and spoken with many of his colleagues, clients, and opponents. He’s the quintessential “scumbag divorce lawyer.”

    Many in his profession can pull off the appearance of being ethical while being lying scum, but Jeff’s problem is that most of the judges recognize that he’s a complete douche bag. It’s a small community and easy to ruin your reputation. Jeff’s rap is that he’s about as dishonest as they come. As a result he’s been losing cases for his clients despite his willingness to lie, cheat, and steal (often from his own clients) to try to win.

    Judges regularly dress him down and have even thrown out expert reports he tried to use. If you use Jeff, first you probably deserve the screw-job you’re in for — sorry for your kids, but you should have researched the guy. If you haven’t hired him, don’t — he’ll cost you ten times what he predicts, escalate the conflict to extremes, and very likely get you sanctioned or harmed by a pissed off judge. If you’re a colleague, recognize that he’s a bottom-of-the-barrel lawyer; don’t given an inch and you’ll likely have little choice but to go on the attack against him and his firm personally to keep a muzzle on him.

    Good luck people — Remember to think of your kids, get over the hurt and anger of a divorce, and move on with your hopefully happy and productive lives after the horror of divorce.

  5. One of Thousands
    September 23rd, 2010 at 17:24 | #5

    Jeffrey Fritz is a disaster to his clients, their children, the courts, and our community. Lawyers are trained to resolve conflicts. He has very poor professional communication skills, regularly refusing to conduct informal negotiations while filing dozens of unnecessary and wasteful motions. His interpersonal skills are severely impeded — he always choses to escalate hostilities rather than find cooperative solutions. In short, he’s a blind babbling turd.

    Don’t get me wrong — divorce can get heated. There are times when a “blind attack dog” like Jeff can thwart yet another blind babbling turd. Sad state of affairs in divorce court, but these people a bad lawyers (bottom of the barrel resumes FYI) being driven by angry, irrational spouses, who don’t realize they’re getting soaked by their own attorneys. It’s malpractice at its finest, and I would encourage each and every one of Jeff’s former clients to bring suit against this Jackass to recover the fees he wasted on your disso.

    Divorce is not unlike any other forum for dispute resolution–both sides think they’re right, are angry, fearful, or otherwise motivated by emotion. Attorneys have a unique roll to play with such emotionally-charged clients–help them understand that “victory” in the short term (when the lawyer is collecting his $10k per month bills) is often a loss in the long term for Jeff’s clients, their children, and the ex-spouse. Jeff (and many other divorce lawyer scumbags) don’t deliver this message, but instead chose to feed off of their clients’ emotional turmoil — and in fact chum the waters with promises of complete custody, tons of money in a settlement, no legal fees, and demolishing the life of an ex-spouse.

    More pernicious motives for use of public resources have rarely existed. People like Jeff are a disgrace to the practice of law, and should be disbarred. Yet for some reason the bar gives divorce lawyers a pass for their treachery — “it’s okay that you use your public license to harm the public, your clients, and your communities because you’re a scumbag willing to do anything to demolish your client, your client’s children, your client’s ex, and your community.”

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    If you hire Jeff, get ready to pay 10x more than he promises, be overwhelmed with motions, appearances, and huge bills. He’s extremely inefficient, escalates conflict unlike any other competent attorney in town, and uses the divorce process to torture you and your ex. If he promises your ex will pay his bills, he’s lying. Piss off your ex and you won’t see a dime.

    People — divorce is always difficult. If you hire someone like Jeff you’re going to make it ten times tougher — not only on your ex but on you and your kids.

    Good luck. Give love, and get out of this cesspool as soon as you can.

  6. Good humor
    January 11th, 2011 at 05:00 | #6

    Fritz is toxic and definitely increases the adversity of a divorce … is he a scumbag? … to many yes … but it’s his clients that cannot be very bright as he will cost them … monetarily and in other ways … as their lives will be miserable for a long time to come all due to the adversity he creates.

  7. March 6th, 2012 at 04:02 | #7

    so fritz had cole arrested, right?

    • March 8th, 2012 at 21:34 | #8

      To the Impersonator of Barack Obama,

      I’m pretty sure that the President of the United States wasn’t in the vicinity of El Cajon, California, when you wrote the comment to which I’m replying.

      And your email address [email protected] is obviously not legitimate, either.

      As you’re impersonating the President of the United States and thereby making him look like ass to anybody not bright enough to understand it is not him, I’m publishing your IP address. It’s That’s in El Cajon on a Cox Communications network, not on a US government network in the Washington DC area. Maybe that will help anybody you might be harassing pretending to be somebody you are not.

      I didn’t claim that Fritz had Cole Stuart arrested. The witness statements we received indicate that Lorna Alksne talked with her personal posse of Sheriff’s Deputies (which she needs because she is an abusive tyrant) and pointed him out after he asked a question she didn’t like at a public event at which he had every right to be because he reportedly paid for admission. To my knowledge, he had never appeared in her court, so why did she even know about him and the bogus arrest warrant issued for a DVTRO violation before any papers were even served? We many never know for sure, but the common speculation is that she was working with her friends Christine Goldsmith (a family law judge) and Jan Goldsmith (Christine’s husband and City Attorney for San Diego) to oppress the California Coalition for Families and Children and their pre-announced legal protest at the family law seminar.

      What has happened to Cole Stuart is a reflection of how the San Diego family law court judges will abusively use their connections to persecute people who legally and reasonably oppose their illegal and abusive conduct.

      If you are somehow happy about that, something is very wrong with you.

      As for your other comment, it was defamatory and inaccurate so it has been removed.


  8. SD parent 22
    March 27th, 2012 at 17:36 | #9

    Thanks Chris–Kind of you.

    Cole Stuart here.

    I tangle with bafoons like this “Barack Obama” dude all day. I prefer to find a way to peace, but some people prefer war. C’est la vie. We can go that way as well.

    Ths answer to this nimrod’s queation is “no.” Fritz couldn’t have anyone arrested even if they stole his car with cops standing in front of his house. He’s a major dimwit.

    Who had me arrested was a very vindictive ex-wife–Lynn Stuart–and an out-of-control City Attorney’s Office of Jan Goldsmith. These people are morons. Wasting taxpayer dollars over trival matters that have no impact on public safety. They should be shot dead if you ask me.

    So “Barack”–“no”, but i encourage you to contact me at [email protected] so I can learn more about you.

  9. megan mcgregor
    September 4th, 2012 at 17:07 | #10

    I worked for Basie & Fritz back in the 90’s and can understand maybe some harsh feelings for Bob Basie but as for Jeffery Fritz (whom I worked for) I think that you lost big in your divorce and cant get over it or move on. All these things you have said about Fritz I think are absurd. He is an aggressive attorney I would definitely agree but this is the only website period that trashes this attorney. I have always respected Mr Fritz and have never heard such nonsense. There is corruption everywhere and in all areas of the law but to me you sound like a disgruntled old man and honestly I don’t see whole lot people backing you up on this. You cant win them all DUDE!

    Megan McGregor Vanbenschoten 09/04/2012

  10. nanette
    October 26th, 2012 at 20:09 | #11

    I had Fritz who is linked to Stephen Doyne. I went to Doyle, he clearly said ” bring them in with their money.” didn’t do a darn thing. Fritz overbilled for $7500 one time court appearance. took me to collections.

    My case from hell was from 1989-2005. I lost my mom due to family law court, my ex tried to kill me slowly, and my daughters tortured.

    Robin DeVito was the kids atty whom was a queen bee.

    ATTY PAT MAZZEI WAS THE BEST ATTORNEY I HAD, i would recommend him highly

  11. nanette
    October 26th, 2012 at 20:13 | #12

    Mam, fritz was a complete jerk.
    Also Doyne was a complete jerk.. Kids have suffered megan so keep quiet. he is a slime ball
    @megan mcgregor

  12. nanette
    October 26th, 2012 at 20:19 | #13

    i am sorry for your loss with ur daughter. i had a exhusband whom tried to kill me, so i sympathesize

    @Randy Berg

  13. Todd Davis
    August 1st, 2013 at 20:33 | #14

    Me and my ex suffered through a long high conflict case while fritz represented me .we managed to go through all of the equity in my home , profits from the largest job my company has ever had . Fees in the neighborhood of two hundred thousand dollars . we were advised and then court ordered to hire one professional after another. My family,health ,credit are still suffering from this drawn out case .thanks jeff you got me pretty good .

  14. October 5th, 2013 at 12:24 | #15

    WARNING! Jeff Fritz and Basie and Fritz sued for fedeal criminal racketeering, fraud, abuse of process and his family court clients in United States District Court, Southern District of California, Case No. 13cv1944 CAB BLM. Google ccfc v. sdcba (California Coalition for Families and Children v. San Diego County Bar Association). More details at

  15. One of Thousands
    December 10th, 2013 at 23:05 | #16

    Fritz sinks to a new low–reveals a former client’s confidences to defend himself against Racketeering criminal charges in federal lawsuit, including confidential details of his client’s divorce and minor child personal details. Read more here:

  1. April 16th, 2010 at 18:24 | #1
  2. October 5th, 2010 at 00:12 | #2
  3. July 16th, 2012 at 20:15 | #3
  4. December 15th, 2013 at 23:22 | #4
  5. January 26th, 2016 at 02:16 | #5

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