Judical abuse of discretion in a Santa Clara Family Court is out of control. While the law requires review on a case by case basis, the public sees the system as a whole. Yesterday in a packed courtroom, Judge Grilli denied legal fees for a self represented mom who has 100% care of a minor child and no funds. Grilli then sent this mom to conduct a week long trial in civil court to argue why she needs a lawyer against her husband's lawyer as the husband has over $7,000,o00 a year in business income and has paid over $1,000,000 to lawyers and CPAs who have helped him hide money to avoid child support and equal property division in a divorce he filed three years ago.
After Grilli denied the self represented mom fees, she awarded fees to a lawyer she has a clear personal interest in. In that case the couple had completed their divorce, had no children at issue and were just continuing to fight. Judge Grilli assured the fight would continue and awarded the mom in that case, who owned a $1,000,000 house in Los Altos , had a job and had over $150,000 in cash assets, money for her lawyer . $40,000 in fact just so that lawyer could keep returning to court even though the divorce had been finalized years earlier.
That same morning Grilli made multiple " kickback " assignments for children's lawyers. Grilli often makes these assignments to lawyers she wants to give money when these lawyers in fact have little qualifications. It is judicial financial about and a way to legally give fees to corrupt lawyers with a hand out to crooked judges.
In reality these children's lawyers do little to address the interests of children. And if Grilli can't get these crooked lawyers paid by one rich parent, she has no trouble diving into steal money from public funds to give her favorite cronies kickbacks.
Abuse of discretion should not just be considered on a case by case level. If Judges are awarding lawyers fees to start or continue fights, it burdens tax payers and our courts and denies court access to people who really need it. It is time to demand auditing and transparency of fee awards that kickback billons of dollars to family lawyers and experts in California. No Judge should have that much financial discretion.
Judge Grilli is one of the worse judicial offenders . She routinely allows her favorite lawyers to violate local rules, have access to court files , engage in exparte communications and then rewards them with $50,000- to $100,000 in fees that are often paid from the sale of a home or child support from a self represented mom. When Grilli is not giving kickbacks to lawyers, she gives them to incompetent custody evaluators, realtors and CPAs who are all part of a corrupt system being paid for by tax payers and on the backs of family law litigants. Grilli has imposed this financial abuse on Santa Clara County tax payers for over 18 years.
Grilli clogs her court by failing to make decisions, stalling , continuing and reserving the most basic decisions such that she keeps divorce cases going for as long as 10-15 years.
Grilli is far from an unbiased judge capable of managing any divorce case that doesn't settle on their own. She makes a mess of custody, she ignores felony abusers and she doesn't think financial abuse is an issue ( she said so to a poor Russian mom whose husband beat her and tried to use her and her children in a human trafficking scheme) .
Grilli ran unopposed, her term does not expire until 2021. She is paid $181, 292 a year . But she has the judicial power to move billions around in fee awards in Santa Clara Family Court. Tax payers and litigants would save billons if she retired or was removed. The only people who would miss her are the crooked lawyers who would miss all those fees she routinely awards them.