San Diego Lawyer Jeffrey Fritz Increases Conflict and CostsWritten by: Chris Print This Article
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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.
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.”
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.
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.