Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

Carto Crew Misses Yet Another Deadline in Appeals Case (August 27, 1997)

Carto and his plenary of attorneys continue to have problems meeting simple deadlines, as evidenced by their latest court filing, an Application for Extension of Time in Which to File Appellants’ Opening Brief. If Carto’s tabloid publication, The Spotlight, is to be believed, this latest delay is part of his self-styled vigorous pursuit of an appeal in the case of LSF vs. Carto, concluded in November 1996, at which Carto and his conspirators were ordered to pay the LSF/IHR $6.43 million plus interest.

Carto’s appeal got off to a bad start even before the trial began, when LSF/IHR attorneys waived the right to a transcript. Transcrips are expensive, and are primarily used when a case is appealed. LSF/IHR attorneys were so confident of victory that they informed the judge that LSF/IHR was not interested in paying for a court reporter. After a brief huddle, Carto’s attorneys grudgingly told the judge that they would bear the entire cost themselves.

At the close of the trial, after Carto had lost, the court reporter presented her bill, which Carto ignored. However, appellants MUST have a copy of the transcript before they can proceed with an appeal, and when Carto’s attorneys ordered a copy, they were told that they would first have to pay the court reporter. They did, but their check for $6500 bounced. Finally, weeks after the end of the trial, they came up with another check that didn't bounce to pay for the court reporter, and to have her prepare the transcripts.

Under California law, Carto must provide a copy of the transcript to the LSF/IHR for free after he files his appeal brief.

The appeal brief was due on June 8, 1997. It wasn't ready, so a new date was set of July 7. It wasn't ready then, either, so a new date was set of August 22. That date has come and gone with no appeal brief, so now Carto’s attorneys are requesting an additional extension.

The reason for the dalays, according to the Application, is that Carto’s attorneys have been too busy to finish the appeal brief. What they fail to say in their Application, however, is that during the time they told the Court they would be slaving away to meet the next deadline, they somehow found time to research, write, and file two 50-page Writs of Mandate on Carto’s behalf, attacking the decisions of two of Carto’s big court losses in California: the Polis decision (which ruled that the current LSF/IHR board is legally constituted WITHOUT the Cartos and their cronies), and the Maino decision (which found that Carto had illegally diverted millions meant for the LSF/IHR). These writs were lame and belated attempts to set aside solid verdicts by presenting what appeared to be sweepings from the bar room floor (pun intended). In spite of their imposing heft, both writs were denied on August 8, just one week to the day after they were filed. This means that these writs, which must have cost Carto thousands to prepare, gained him no more than a week of hope in the hopeless situation in which he now finds himself.