Contract with Larry Drivon

This is the contractual agreement between me and Larry Drivon wherein Drivon will represent me in my case against my uncle, Haig Berberian, and Co-Defendant/Co-Conspirator, Wells Fargo Bank. Rudy Bilawski was present and participated in the discussion leading up to my signing the contract.1 However, Bilawski was not a signatory.2

1 My signing Larry Drivon’s contract was the culmination of a three-way meeting between Drivon, Bilawski and me at Drivon’s law offices (then known as Belli, Drivon & Bakerink) in Stockton. For three long years, I waited for this move toward instituting action, because, to my knowledge, nothing had happened in my family’s legal matter as a whole during those past three years, and most importantly, no one in a legal position to know such privileged information, was validating my well-warranted suspicion that something sound and legal had been or was presently taking place in this regard. What I thought I knew was therefore suspect. I did not know without question that something had been or was presently going on in the matter. (Makes sense) My tentative theory was founded on the following facts, and when taken as a whole, should substantiate my belief about the hidden agenda that I believed was taking place in my family’s legal matter. In a June 8, 1983 letter to Larry Drivon, Rudy Bilawski had referred me to Larry and I was there at his law office to size him up, so to speak, to see if I approved of his coming on board. First of all, Larry was very likable and I couldn’t help but like him. (He should’ve won all of his cases by personality alone) He also had the right temperament for dealing with the sometimes hot-tempered me (albeit, in my opinion, rightly so when it came to this kaleidoscopic sordid ignominious matter). We discussed several things, a couple of which currently come to mind. On the lighter side, when I mentioned that Haig had some San Francisco lawyers in addition to the local, Bilawski responded with the classic, proverbial, wow, I’m really scared-whistle. Apparently, Rudy didn’t know that such a gesture wasn’t necessary. Me too.-I was not afraid of the San Franisco city-slickers. Big whoopty f-ing doo. Fancy hot-shot lawyers meant zero, zilch, nothing and nada to me. I knew what kind of a case I had and I knew who my legal team would be. (And by the way, both men knew full-well before my mentioning it that Haig had Frisco lawyers and they also knew exactly who they were. For three years, they knew this. Or, at least, Bilawski did. Unless I am to believe that Bilawski was sitting around twiddling his thumbs for two and a half years until he just so happened to bump into me on New Year’s Eve-1982, and told me that he was going to speak to a trial attorney on my behalf after the first of the year.-Enter Larry Drivon) Later in the discussion, I remember arguing some point that I tried to make and Larry quickly cornered me and I had to relent. I’m no brain, but he was good. At another point in our meeting, I stated that Haig Berberian’s local lawyer back in the day, E. Dean Price, who had become a District Judge in Fresno, was crooked because Haig was crooked. Bilawski immediately declared: “That’s a supposition!” And I immediately replied: “Yes, it is.” Bilawski did not want me to suppose things. It was Rudy’s job to settle the matter with Haig Berberian and his lawyers out of court, with no one being a “crook,” the potential settlement simply to be a latent late “reckoning” of the accounts and figures in the books, and not a day of reckoning for the crooks who cooked the books. No crooks involved. (Yeah, uh-huh, right) Therefore, Bilawski did not want me slinging around such pejorative character assessments if he was going to accomplish what would be, in large measure, an exchange of money for reputations. (Fine with me. No problem. Just bring me into the loop of my own case) However, I was “supposing” in that meeting because I basically believe in guilt-by-association (no, not in every case), and I had no information contrary to my belief that E. Dean Price had been a crooked low-life slimy slithering sleaze-ball lawyer. I had been kept ignorant of what was going on in my family’s legal matter for the previous thirty-three months. Therefore, using the Judge as an example, I was essentially saying to both Bilawski and Drivon: “Keep me in the dark and I’ll suppose, presuppose, assume, presume and then call whoever, anywhere, at any time, any derisory, detractive, disparaging, defamatory, derogatory, deprecatory, depreciatory, demeaning, degrading, denigrating, disdainful name, or any other darn thing else that I want.” Notwithstanding, I was left in that same no-information zone for the following three years as well, by the end of which time both men had withdrawn their representation. And here I am today. And you know what? Before and after he became a judge, E. Dean Price was and had been a crooked low-life slimy slithering sleaze-ball lawyer. And now he was a crooked low-life slimy slithering sleaze-ball judge (emphasis added). I wish I had enough wits about me at the time, agreed to hold my tongue about Price until more was known (i.e., acknowledged by those in charge of the three years’-worth of whatever it was that was going on up until then and now in legal-limbo), and then switched over to Peter Jeppson, Haig Berberian’s crooked low-life slimy slithering sleaze-ball accountant. But the same thing would have happened. The “supposition”-word would have been bandied about by Bilawski and Drivon with me betwixt and between, even though it was glaringly apparent that Jeppson was a self-righteous, sanctimonious, “religious,” holier-than-thou depraved degenerate reprobate. He was a big fat pig (with continuously batting/blinking eyes) who knew that he would be protected by Haig Berberian’s millions and Wells Fargo Bank’s billions. (And now I’ll tell you what I really think about the guy) Another thing that I remember about the meeting was that, immediately prior to my signing Larry’s contract, I pointed to Drivon and asked Rudy: “Is this the right guy for the job?” Drivon immediately stood up and said: “If you guys are going to have this discussion, I’ll be in the next room.” After Larry stepped out, I asked Bilawski: “Am I acting cocky?” I don’t recall what Rudy said. I was tired and light-headed. It was a hot summer day and my car had broken down on the way up there. And I was frustrated. Nearly three years had passed since my discovery of fraud and there were only three months left (eighty-five days to be exact) to file suit, tolling the statute for fraud. However, the vibes emanating from the two counselors and the ambience in that meeting room indicated that not even a teensy-weensy tittle of legal activity of any kind whatsoever had transpired during the previous thirty-three month period. (You can’t glean much from any good attorney’s demeanor when that attorney doesn’t want to be gleaned from, especially when you are doubting your sanity about the matter at hand) For nearly three years, I had been in a whole nother world discussing the matter with my psychiatrist, a world in which The Doctor had me believing that significant legal activity had been going on. The wheels of justice in the Berberian family legal matter involving the two brothers Berberian were turning consequentially, albeit slowly, according to Dr. Sheuerman. And then, on this day, a new world insidiously and somewhat frighteningly popped open in Larry Drivon’s office wherein The Doctor’s words and the entire previous thirty-three month period of counseling and discussion made not one bit of sense. I couldn’t tell which world was real. The situation was, in fact, surreal. A through the looking glass experience. I had entered the twilight zone. “Ground zero starts today.”–Yes, this is/was true regarding the inception of the litigation process by me, being there in Larry’s office to sign our contract. But not for my family’s legal matter as a whole, which included and encompassed my legal matter, if I were to believe Dr. Sheuerman’s words, demeanor, and frame of reference for the previous thirty-three months. Since The Doctor knew that my father and Bilawski were telling me shit, shinola, and diddly squat, you’d think that my shrink would be giving me the true scoop. (And I believed that he had access to the information in some way, shape or form, and during that previous three-year stretch of time, my assumption was transparent, and apparently albeit translucently there, in The Doctor’s own embrace). Yet I had to rethink and conduct myself hands-on with the two supremely skilled barristers in this new alternate world that enveloped and scared me. That is, having to take everything that they said at face value. And the two differing realities had me wondering if I was nuts. I’m still wondering.
2 After I had signed the contract with Larry, I was finally given a copy of the referral letter dated June 8, 1983 authored by Bilawski and delivered previously to Drivon. (Said letter can be accessed from the Timeline page at 06/08/83, title being, “The Referral Letter”) I had read the letter at Bilawski’s office a week or so before. And I tried to get a copy of it prior to the meeting with Larry. However, despite my Herculean efforts, Bilawski’s office would not provide me a copy. When I described this frustrated effort to Dr. Sheuerman, he rhetorically queried: “I wonder if Bilawski’s secretary likes her job.” You see, The Doctor knew from years of experience and no less, a genius I.Q., much of what was going on. However, he would have to have had some other more direct access to privileged information in order to make the statements that I claim he rendered and which I point out and discuss throughout this website. The foregoing suggestive intimation-“hint” that he made was just common sense. At the time, however, I had no clue that withholding the letter from me was by design. I was very naïve at the time. (But, “[I’ve] come a long way, baby.” I’m smokin’! And I’m not talking about Virginia Slims. Watch this: The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. See? I’ve got a brain. I’ve become a Doctor of Thinklogy) Though I believe that there are other reasons for denying me the letter before the meeting and prior to my signing Larry’s contract, it makes sense in the following way. I could decide not to go with Drivon and take the eye-opening bombshell letter to help me seek some other trial lawyer. And I was free to do so, because Bilawski had previously told me that his trial department (Jim Askew in particular, their top trial lawyer) was not interested in litigating the matter. Of course, if I sought out some other trial lawyer, said trial lawyer would be in bed with Brother Bilawski prior to phoning him (if he chose to do so thereafter), or any other contact with Rudy whatsoever. And said lawyer would be totally not interested in the case or try to manipulate me back into Drivon’s office. No alien attorney, albeit a Brother, was going to be allowed to stick his or her nose into this sordid obviously-fishy well-planned by-top-notch-attorneys legal matter at the behest of a renegade client. Any and all Brothers would know this, keep their distance, and offer a helping hand, if they could. But my seeking some other trial lawyer was not really a possible scenario at all, were Bilawski to believe the many letters that I had written to him up until this point. All of the letters were sincere and there was no reason not to view their content (especially that which showed my admiration of and belief in Bilawski) as earnest. In my book (and my letters), it was Bilawski’s way, all the way. He could do no wrong, especially in the competence department. And I had every intention of going with any trial lawyer Rudy referred me to. In questioning Larry’s match for the job (as referenced earlier), I was just exercising a smattering of bravado or swagger or whatever the word would be, mostly for the fun of it. There is one more reason that I can think of for denying me that letter. Perhaps Bilawski was afraid that I’d show it to my father who probably didn’t know how much money was involved. Had he known, my father would have probably gone to his source(s), his hiding-from-me lawyer(s), and demanded that he/they settle for a cool million (aka “chicken feed” when it came to this matter, his and mine). Of course, Bilawski could give the letter to me and tell me not to show it to my father. But that would be secretiveness and possibly, to some degree, deception. Therefore, the only thing to do is/was not provide me a copy before meeting with Drivon. Take no chances, period. Not with one’s client, not with the opposition. That’s hardball. And too darn much money was on the line. Now, I will address the true reason for the present subject ancillary commentary. I could swear that the June 8, 1983 referral letter that I read a week or so before at Neumiller & Beardslee in Stockton (Bilawski’s law firm) differed from the one that I was given at the end of the meeting with Bilawski and Drivon. But the difference was not much. One point of difference that I recalled (or thought I recalled) shortly after the meeting was Haig Berberian’s holdings. In the letter I was denied by Neumiller & Beardslee, I believe Bilawski’s approximation of Haig’s holdings “in and around Modesto” (leaving aside other cities, counties and states) to have been $75 million. Additionally, I believe the letter said that Haig Berberian promised my father 50% of the business if my father would leave Boston and come out to California to join Haig in Haig’s newly-discovered walnut processing venture. (My father had indeed said to me in the past that this was the case. Haig offered my father 50%, “bribing” him to come to The Golden State) In the referral letter given to me to have and to hold after the meeting with Drivon and Bilawski, the estimate of Haig’s holdings is noted at $60 million and the reference to 50% of the business for my father was missing. Since I did sign up with Drivon, one would think that the letter which I had previously read, the one with the higher estimate of Haig’s holdings and other positive things, would be the one that would be given to me. (I believe that the two letters were present in that meeting room and I was to be given one of the two depending on how things went. When I asked for a copy of the letter, Larry gave me his copy as Rudy picked up the corner of his, implying that either copy would be the same. To a paranoid like myself, two versions of the letter come into existence) Two letters do make sense in case “cocky” me asked permission to ponder for a few days Larry’s potential representation and “cocky” me asked for a copy of the letter as well. At that point, I don’t think that I would have been denied either of the two requests and the particular letter to be given to me in that particular situation if it arose, as I said, would have been preplanned. (Of course, getting my hands on the letter proved to have been a risk that the two Brothers shouldn’t have taken with either referral letter (if they were going to eventually do me like they did), because, along with other documents, I would become a mad serial mailer with it/them, soliciting representation of 10% of the lawyers in California after Larry’s withdrawal from my case. That totaled 1500 solicitation packages. And who knew that ten years hence, the Internet would be created, wherein hundreds of millions and even billions of people now have access to said referral letter and this entire seamy seedy sleazy sordid sorry saga) I do think that I would have been given the least revelatory letter had I asked to sleep on it for a day or so. There could have been a myriad of differences between the two letters that I cannot recall right now (nor at any other time being that any such distinctions would have been very subtle, aside from the number of “millions” involved). But if differences did exist, they are buried deep within my memory bank. Differences? Who knows. (Bilawski and Drivon do) Who cares? (I do, because I like to analyze and keep track of each and every detail of each and every aspect and possible angle, triangle and triangle angle involved in my life’s work) Within this website, and the forgoing commentary is an example, sometimes I am just making notation of my thoughts about this matter as I think them in real time. I’m leaving it to the reader to separate the apparently correct from the clearly demonstrated tried-and-true, weeding out both from the out-and-out crazy. (Berberian Mystery Theatre is a diary/journal as well as a website/exposé)

Click here to view the Agreement/Contract