By Donna Westfall – August 8, 2021
Local Del Norte County Judge Robert “Bob” Cochran is being sued in his capacity as an attorney under allegations of fraudulent concealment.
According to plaintiff Dave Egan, the court record plainly shows Cochran disregarded the notice requirements mandated by the State of California. Because the judgment was never served, Mr. Egan didn’t discover the judgment, which is now over $1.5 million dollars, for over 10 years.
Cochran hasn’t denied the allegations but claims his concealment and non-compliance with California’s notice requirements are protected as “free speech”. On this basis Cochran is seeking to preclude Mr. Egan’s right to have a trial on the issue.
Ordinarily, a judgment without notice is routinely voided, which is what Mr. Egan first sought. But that’s when it got worse. Much worse.
According to Mr. Egan, “I went to court with a routine proceeding to void the judgment by proving it was never served on me. But that’s where it got really dirty. Judge Follett, Cochran’s old law firm partner, was assigned. I filed a motion to disqualify Follett which also should be routine. Follett refused the disqualification. At the hearing, Follett did all of Cochran’s legal research and made all his arguments for him. Then Judge Follett agreed with himself without giving me my due process right to oppose his arguments, which deprives my constitutional rights. Basically, Judge Follett represented Cochran in that hearing and made up his own law, which is the extreme of unethical as well as illegal.”
Mr. Egan went on to add that the original case against him qualifies as a “sham” pleading because Cochran took the case against Egan on the word of a multiple felon with no documentary evidence and no legal grounds for the suit.
According to one local professional who reviewed the case, Cochran isn’t denying his wrongdoings, but is trying to escape liability based on technicalities. Currently, Cochran is claiming that the concealment of the default judgment (now over $1.5 million dollars) is an act protected as “free speech”. Yes, that’s really the defense he’s claiming. The legal profession I spoke with says that’s an absurd notion and that concealment isn’t speech at all. He added that the “free speech” protection Cochran is now seeking from the court would allow all attorneys in the state of California to deceive opposing parties by disregarding mandated notice requirements.
Many readers may remember Dave Egan from when the Sheriffs raided Dave’s home, took his property and arrested him, all on a falsified search warrant (the BlackHawk Pistol series). Dave sued the County and settlement negotiations looked certain until, without explanation, Dave’s attorney quit his case, ending the negotiations. Dave never knew what happened until 2018 when he first discovered the multi-million dollar judgment that was taken against him, which was apparently discovered by the County and caused all settlement negotiations to cease. After that, Mr. Egan could no longer afford a new lawyer and he lost the case, losing most of his property in the process.
Judge Kelly Neel from Humboldt County is hearing the current case. As a reporter, I’ll be interested to see how Judge Neel will rule on the matter coming up this week on the 13th.
Mr. Egan is wondering if there are any more cases similar to his, “I’m wondering who else have been tricked, beguiled or otherwise taken advantage of via Judge Bob’s ”Creative Probate and Wills Practices?” He’d like to see others of the public come forward should anybody else have had similar experiences. If you or anyone you know or care for has experienced any fundamental miscarriage of justice at the hands of Judge Follett or Judge Cochran, or because of Bob Cochran practice as an attorney before he became a judge, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. Upon request, all information will be kept confidential.