Free Declaration in Support - District Court of California - California


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Date: July 23, 2007
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Case 3:O7—cv-02552-I\/IJJ Document 35 Filed O7/23/2007 Page 1 of 3
I DRATH, CLIFFORD, MURPHY & HAGEN, LLP
JOHN M. DRATH (State Bar No. 045031)
2 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 700 ( `
Oakland, California 94612-3517
3 Telephone: (510) 287-4000 .
4 Facsimile: (510) 287-4050
Attorneys for Defendants
5 HANDLER, THAYER & DUGGAN, LLC and
THOMAS J. HANDLER, J .D., P.C. (erroneously sued
6 herein as THOMAS J. HANDLER, individually)
7
8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
10
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I2 GREGORY R. RAIFMAN, individually and as ) No. C07-2552 MJJ
Trustee of the RAIFMAN FAMILY REVOCABLE )
13 TRUST DATED 7/2/03; SUSAN RAIFMAN, )
individually and as Trustee of the RAIFMAN )
14 FAMILY REVOCABLE TRUST DATED 7/2/03; )
and GEKKO HOLDINGS, LLC, an Alaskan limited)
I5 liability company, dba GEKKO BREEDING AND )
RACING, )
16 )
Plaintiffs, ) DECLARATION OF THOMAS J.
17 ) HANDLER IN SUPPORT OF
vs. ) MOTION TO SET ASIDE
18 ) DEFAULT
CLASSICSTAR, LLC, a Utah limited liability )
19 company; CLASSICSTAR FARMS, LLC, a )
Kentucky limited liability company; BUFFALO )
20 RANCH, a business entity form unknown; )
GEOSTAR CORPORATION, a Delaware )
21 corporation; S. DAVID PLUMMER; SPENCER D. )
PLUMMER, III; TONY FERGUSON; THOMAS )
22 ROB1NSON/ JOHN PARROT; HANDLER, )
THAYER & DUGGAN, LLC, an Illinois limited )
23 liability company; THOMAS J. HANDLER; )
KARREN, HENDRIX, STAGG, ALLEN & )
24 COMPANY, P.C., a Utah professional corporation, )
f/k/a/ KARREN, HENDRIX & )
25 ASSOCIATES, P.C., a Utah professional )
corporation; TERRY L. GREEN; and DOES )
26 1-1000, inclusive, ) I
) DATE : 08/28/07
27 Defendants. ) TIME : 9:30 a.m.
) COURTROOM : 1 1
28
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Case 3:O7—cv-02552-I\/IJJ Document 35 Filed O7/23/2007 Page 2 of 3
1 I, THOMAS J. HANDLER, declare and state as follows:
2 l . Iam an attomey authorized to practice before the courts ofthe State of Illinois,
3 and I am one of the named defendants herein.
4 2. On May 24, 2007, the summons and complaint in this matter was hand
5 delivered to our office and, within twenty-four (24) hours, I forwarded it to our insurance carrier,
6 GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY ("GREAT AMERICAN"), by Federal Express.
7 Within a week to ten days I was advised by the insurance company that they had retained defense
8 counsel for us, and I gave the matter no further thought, assuming that the matter was being handled
9 by defense counsel and that I would be contacted in due course. I was unaware that a default had
10 been requested until our office received a notice in the mail on July ll and, that same day, we
1 1 received a letter from JOHN M. DRATH of DRATH, CLIFFORD, MURPHY & HAGEN advising
12 us that a default had been entered.
13 3. The allegations in the complaint are wholly without merit as concerns our firm
14 and me personally. Our representation in CLAS SICSTAR began in 2001 . Firm partners who handle
15 primarily tax matters provided tax advice in connection with the CLASSICSTAR Mare Lease
16 Program. I provided no such professional advice myself, written or otherwise.
17 4. My area of specialization is estate planning. I am also a horse breeder, and
18 I own horses included in the CLASSICSTAR "Mare Lease Program." In December 2003,
19 CLASSICSTAR hosted an educational conference in St. Croix for breeders, and I attended as both
20 a breeder and as a speaker. My topic was "core estate planning," covering wills, living trusts, and
21 other estate planning tools for individuals with medium to high net worths. My remarks did not
22 address horse ownership or tax benefits related to horse ownership in the CLASSICSTAR or any
23 other similar program. I have never solicited investors in the CLASSICSTAR program.
24 5. I do not recall ever meeting any of the named plaintiffs at the conference in
25 St. Croix, but it is possible that I did. There were social gatherings at the conference which I
26 attended, and I had conversations with other attendees. To the extent those conversationsuelated to
27 the tax benefits of the CLASSICSTAR Mare Lease Program, and I do not know that they did, they
28 would have involved nothing more than my personal understanding that tax benefits do exist. I was
2

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1 nm. lhcrc is any capacity, official nr nthcrwisc, on behalf of CLASSICSTAR. 1 received nu
2 remuneration 1`ur attending this conference.
3 1 dcclarc under penalty 01`pmjury, under the laws 01` the State of California, that the
4 foregoing is lruu and correct. Exccutcd this ML day 01`.1u1y, 2007 at Chicago, 111in0is.
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