If you have heard of San Diego’s infamous Pacific Law Center, you may have heard the name Larry Majors associated with it. After all, it was Majors who brought Philips and Associates to Phoenix, and eventually Pacific Law Center to San Diego in 2003. For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a brief history.
Way back in 1990, Larry Austin Majors, Sr. was arrested on 16 felony counts for collecting sales taxes illegally charged to Indians while he was the manager of a Payson, Arizona car dealership. Majors, was pocketing the money and, despite the best efforts of his attorney, Duane Varbel, was ultimately sentenced to a year in prison and 7 years probation in 1991 for his actions.
As if the arrest itself was not dramatic enough, Majors was taken into custody while attending a baseball game in which his son, Austin Majors, was playing.
Not having learned much about making an honest living during his stint in the penitentiary, Larry joined his brother, Wayne, in the fraternity of convicted felons who graduate to running law firms. Wayne Majors, who had served time in federal prison in the late 1980s for mail fraud, was running the Dallas/Ft. Worth law firm Paternostro and Associates, when his brother Larry arrived. Wayne, as the executive director and office manager, hired Larry and made him an employee.
In April of 1992, Larry left Dallas for San Antonio where he partnered with Attorney Marvin Davis in the law firm Davis and Associates. Majors was the money and the brains behind the operation. He designed and implemented the advertising campaign, and within several months, Davis and Associates had made a huge dent in the bankruptcy market in San Antonio. For his part, Majors paid himself a salary of $8000 per month.
Even in Texas, Majors seemingly made too big a splash, too fast. Less than a year after opening Davis and Associates, Majors left abruptly in October after a bankruptcy judge in San Antonio put an end to the operation, finding on the record that Majors had started the firm, funded it, and controlled its operations. He also forbade Larry Majors from ever engaging in the unauthorized practice of law again. In other words, Larry Majors was never to have anything to do with the operation of a law firm ever again.
Majors, however, was not about to ride off quietly into the sunset. In fact, in May of 1992, a month after he opened Davis and Associates, Majors partnered with his former criminal attorney, Duane Varbel, in the Phoenix bankruptcy firm, Varbel and Associates.
Shortly thereafter, Larry Majors made his first splash in the San Diego market when he opened Gordon and Associates in San Diego. True to form, the firm quickly became the highest volume bankruptcy law firm in the county, but was gone roughly a year later. Gordon was eventually disbarred for his role in the opertation.
Not one to mess with a streak, Majors went on to fund Phillips and Associates in Phoenix with his future son-in-law, Jeffrey Phillips. Philips and Associates, of course, eventually opened shop in San Diego under the name Pacific Law Center.
Larry’s son, Austin Majors, was the Director of Marketing at PLC. Larry Majors, who was once described as a cross between Wayne Newton and John Gotti, would appear occasionally at Pacific Law Center functions and was a regular at the strip club, Pure Platinum, where he would throw extravagant “all expenses paid” firm happy hours for the sales team after a good month.
Keeping up the family tradition of operating law firms illegally, Austin continued in his role at PLC even after the firm was sold to Kerry Steigerwalt in 2008. Steigerwalt and Larry Majors had a strategy meeting at a San Diego hotel around the time the deal went through. Apparently Larry wanted to keep a family connection, so Austin stayed on until early 2009.
Fast forward to the present day. Steigerwalt announced several months ago that Pacific Law Center would be closing its doors and may well be on his way to joining Varbel, Gordon, and Davis in facing suspension or disbarment after having gotten involved with Larry Majors.
The thing about temptation, though, is there always someone willing to succumb to it. Two former PLC bankruptcy attorneys, Don Bokovoy and David Weil, recently opened Golden State Law Group (http://www.goldenstatelawgroup.com/). A former colleague of Bokovoy and Weil confirmed that, you guessed it, Larry Majors is indeed the financial backer behind Golden State Law Group, and Austin Majors, once again, is handling the marketing for the firm.
A recent post on the Facebook Page for Golden State Law Group showed a comment from a follower which read “Glad to see you are back in the game guys . . . “ Right below that is a reply from Austin Majors, which reads “Thanks!”
The cast of characters makes anything in a John Grisham novel appear pedestrian. Bokovoy was heavily involved in the long defunct law firm of Gordon and Associates. The disgraced attorney Gordon eked out a living for years doing side work for PLC’s bankruptcy department. Bokovoy was recently in the news after he was tracked down at bankruptcy court by a disgruntled client and confronted on camera about questionable business practices.
If history has anything to say about it, we will probably start to see ads for Golden State Law Group all over television, billboards, and bus stops throughout San Diego County, and they will likely grab a substantial share of the bankruptcy market in fairly short order. Unfortunately, history also teaches us that consumers in San Diego should tread with great caution if they are considering hiring Golden State Law Group to handle their bankruptcy case.