By Donna Westfall – August 6, 2018 –
Dead people can’t collect $1.5 million dollar judgments. But that’s exactly what Attorney, Bob Cochran is trying to do. The plaintiff died many years ago and there’s no heir, executor, replacement, or assignee. The way Attorney, Bob Cochran has set this up, Cochran is the only living person on the court paperwork lined up to collect on a $1.5 million dollar judgment.
According to the defendant (who has asked not to be named at this time), “I was never given notice there was a judgment against me for the last ten years. A woman at Bob Cochran’s office told me over eleven years ago that the case against me was not being pursued and that if anything changed, they would let me know. But that never happened. After over 11 years, I just discovered a few months ago there’s a $1.5 million dollar judgment against me.”
Local paralegal Wesley Nunn reviewed the court file in the matter, Case Number CVUJ 06-1451. What he discovered was profound. First, accordingly to Mr. Nunn, “there’s no proof of service on many of the documents that are required to have proofs of service. That backs up what the defendant is saying, that he never received notice that a judgment was taken against him.”
In addition to the plaintiff being long since deceased, Mr. Nunn further points out that the complaint filed in this case by Attorney, Bob Cochran about 12 years ago is completely legally deficient because it includes no demand whatsoever for money and alleges no injury. Mr. Nunn says this renders the complaint completely legally deficient and shows extraordinary ineptness on the part of Bob Cochran as the attorney on the case.
So the defendant sought the relief entitled to him under the law. First, the defendant tried to disqualify Judge Follett. But Judge Follett refused to be disqualified from the case.
The defendant then filed a motion to vacate the sham judgment. Ordinarily, such a fraudulently obtained judgment is routinely voided. “Legally deficient judgments are routinely voided by the normal processes of law” says Mr. Nunn.
Attorney, Cochran filed an opposition to the motion to vacate. According to Mr. Nunn, Attorney Cochran’s opposition includes no cases or argument pertaining to the issue. And in the opposition, Cochran admits there is no heir, executor or beneficiary available to take the place of the plaintiff in this case. The big question in this reporter’s mind is — with no client and no beneficiary, how is Attorney, Cochran entitled to collect this $1.5 million dollars?
Not only that, but Judge Follett did all Attorney, Bob Cochran’s work and legal research for him. According to paralegal Mr. Nunn, that’s illegal. Mr. Nunn says, “I was so disgusted at the hearing. Judge Follett literally did all of Bob Cochran’s work for him. There must’ve been several hours of research done by Judge Follett for Cochran, all because Cochran brought no law or argument of any substance. Not that there could possibly be a valid reason for doing what Bob Cochran has done here, that is to pursue a $1.5 million dollar judgment with no client, no plaintiff, no executor, no personal representative, and no assignee.” Mr. Nunn went on to say, “Judge Follett fabricated his own facts and overruled California’s Legislature and Supreme Court. It’s hard to imagine anything more unjust than two prior law partners, one now a judge, fabricating their own facts and law, and misapplying that law. And this was played against a person with no legal experience.”
And Judge Follett’s cases and arguments were first presented at the hearing on the matter, where Judge Follett ruled on the spot in favor of his own flawed legal argument. Mr. Nunn says this is a very serious deprivation of the defendant’s constitutionally protected right to due process right to object to or oppose the ruling.
Paralegal Mr. Nunn also points out that because judges are immune from law suits, it may be that Judge Follett maneuvered this in a way to extend judicial immunity to Bob Cochran in this case. Is that itself illegal? According to Mr. Nunn, it’s highly illegal. Mr. Nunn says formal complaints will be submitted to the California Commission on Judicial Performance and well as the California State Bar.
By the way, Bob Cochran is set to be sworn in as our new judge in January 2019.
“From what I’ve observed here, Bob Cochran is totally incapable of performing as a judge” says Mr. Nunn. “I can predict three weeks tops before he quits or has an outburst. The stress and learning curve for a new judge requires at least 50 hours a week. Given Bob’s history of heart disease and his general health, and his need to have Judge Follett do all his legal research for him, I don’t think he can last two or three weeks working 50 hours a week. He definitely should have stayed retired. A first year law student would perform better than this.”
In the United States, 25 out of 50 states mandate judges retire by 70 years old. Now in his seventies, Bob Cochran will be nearly 80 by the time the six year term runs.
Mr. Nunn says he feels completely betrayed by Attorney, Cochran. Earlier this year, Mr. Nunn asked Cochran if he would be able to follow the law as a Superior Court judge. Cochran assured he would. Now, Mr. Nunn says it appears Cochran has no intention of following the law and may not have the capacity to be a judge. “He should have stayed retired” says Mr. Nunn.
“I previously predicted that Cochran’s running is a ploy” Mr. Nunn added. “The ploy is that Cochran can’t do the job, quits for medical reasons, and Judge Follett waltzes right back in as if he never left.”
Judge William Follett received national attention in 2017 for drastically disparate sentences in two local rape cases. In the Wilson Lor case, an Asian American, Lor was 16. Follett sencenced Lor 25 years to life for rape. But in the infamous Nolan Bruder case, where Bruder (18 at the time) admitted he drugged and raped his 16 year old sister, Follett only required Bruder to serve 4 months! This outrageous sentencing sparked outrage across the nation. According to Mr. Nunn, “this shows me that Judge Follett is clearly incapable of administering justice and that the sentencings may have racial underpinnings.” Public outcry over the Bruder sentencing led to Judge Follett’s announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2018.
I asked Mr. Nunn if he feared retaliation. Mr. Nunn said that everything he says is thoroughly backed up by the court file in this case, and that the truth provides a full defense to any defamation claim that may be used to stop the truth from finally coming out.
Mr. Nunn goes on to say, “The State Commission On Judicial Performance has removed judges for violations far less severe than this. If the Commission on Judicial Performance does its job correctly, Judge Follett and Bob Cochran will both lose their positions on the bench and may soon be taking the same ‘walk of shame’ as the likes of former District Attorney, Jon Alexander and former Del Norte County Supervisor/California Coastal Commissioner, Martha McClure”.