Ex-trustee says one of Hillbroom’s former attorneys hiding in Vietnam

Posted on Jul 03 2011

The former trustee of JLH Trust (Junior Larry Hillbroom) has claimed that attorney Barry J. Israel, one of the former lawyers of Hillbroom, is hiding in Vietnam.

JLH former trustee Keith Waibel, through counsels G. Patrick Civille and Robert T. Torres, told the U.S. District Court for the NMI that Hillbroom has demonstrated that all conventional attempts to serve Israel with summons have proved fruitless because Israel is hiding in Vietnam.

For this reason, Waibel asked the district court to allow him to serve the summons and his cross-claim against Israel by eletronic mail and registered mail.

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven children of the late business tycoon Larry Lee Hillblom.

Hillbroom has sued Israel in federal court for allegedly conspiring to inflate the attorneys’ contingency fee when Hillblom’s fortune was still undergoing probate proceedings. Waibel was also named co-defendant in the lawsuit for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and racketeering activity.

Waibel denied the allegations and filed a cross-claim against Israel in federal court.

In his cross-claim, Waibel disclosed that Israel and attorney David J. Lujan obtained approximately $38 million in fees and costs from JLH Trust by increasing their contingency fee without Hillbroom’s knowledge. As a result, Hillbroom’s portion of the trust was drastically reduced to approximately $12 million.

In Waibel’s support of motion for alternative service on Israel, Torres and Civille said Israel has not yet entered an appearance in this matter and the same impediment to service which confronted Hillbroom also confronts Waibel.

“Waibel has no better means of contacting Israel than Plaintiff (Hillbroom) did and knows of no other way to serve Israel except by email,” Torres and Civille said.
Hillbroom allegedly spent substantial time, resources, and costs attempting to serve Israel by hand, including hiring people in Vietnam to stake out his property and attempt to serve him there.

Torres and Civille said there was ample evidence that Israel evaded service in Hillbroom’s lawsuit filed against Israel in the Central District of California, by hiding out in Vietnam.

Torres and Civille said a California District judge allowed Hillbroom to serve Israel with summons by email.

In Waibel’s case, Torres and Civille said there is little doubt that Israel is aware of the pending claims against him and has been evading service fleeing to and remaining in Vietnam and refusing to leave his compound there.

Professional process server hired by Hillbroom allegedly located Israel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The process server attempted to serve the lawyer in Vietnam without success.

Torres and Civille said the U.S. and Vietnam have no international agreement governing service of process.

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