Griesa sues another lawyer
Three months after his $5 million lawsuit against three attorneys was thrown out, Joseph Griesa has sued another prominent lawyer, this time over a business dispute.
Joseph Griesa sued Tuesday in small claims court against Yuba City attorney and former judicial candidate Nancy Southworth and said he plans to serve the suit before the end of the week.
"The irony is that I hired her to represent me in a legal malpractice case and then she turns around and commits legal malpractice," Griesa said Wednesday.
Griesa, 47, is seeking $10,000 in damages from Southworth, accusing her of fraud, contract fraud, professional malpractice, negligence, services not rendered and breach of fiduciary duty.
Griesa said he is simply seeking a partial refund from Southworth for work she never performed. He said the family law attorney "inflated" his legal bills to avoid returning his money.
Southworth was not aware of the suit and said she could not comment directly on the matter.
"I'm not concerned about it," Southworth said. "I have a perfectly clean bar record. His reputation in the community is well known."
Griesa was convicted in 2009 of a misdemeanor count of sending sexual text messages to a then- 17-year-old female employee at the towing company his family owned. A jury deadlocked on more serious felony charges.
Despite the misdemeanor conviction, Griesa has adamantly maintained he is innocent.
Griesa hired Southworth in 2010 to sue the attorney that represented him during the criminal trial, and claimed he never received the services he paid for.
Southworth noted she is the sixth attorney Griesa has sued since his criminal conviction.
A $5 million suit against Jesse Santana, David Vasquez and Michael Trezza was thrown out in March. Cases against Tim Evans and Chuck Smith are still pending in Yuba County.
"I'd say that, in general terms, this seems to something of a trend," Southworth said. "Anybody that that sues every person they can, well, again in general, that's more likely a reflection on the person rather than the people being sued."
Griesa said "the last thing" he wanted to do was sue another lawyer.
"All of these attorneys have either lied to me, taken my money and not done what they said they were going to do or broken the law," Griesa responded. "That's why I'm suing them — and I'm not done yet, either."
First appearances in the case are scheduled for Aug. 6.