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Full title: Adversary case 2:21-ap-01175. Complaint by Elissa D. Miller against Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, Robert W Finnerty. ($350.00 Fee Charge To Estate). Complaint for: 1) Turnover of Property of the Estate Under 11 U.S.C. Section 542; 2) Declaratory Relief; 3) Accounting; 4) Conversion; and 5) Injuction Relief Nature of Suit: (11 (Recovery of money/property - 542 turnover of property)),(91 (Declaratory judgment)),(02 (Other (e.g. other actions that would have been brought in state court if unrelated to bankruptcy))),(02 (Other (e.g. other actions that would have been brought in state court if unrelated to bankruptcy))),(72 (Injunctive relief - other))(Andrassy, Kyra) (Entered: 08/20/2021)

Document posted on Aug 19, 2021 in the bankruptcy, 16 pages and 0 tables.

Bankrupt11 Summary (Automatically Generated)

On March 22, 2021, the Trustee spoke with Defendant Robert Mandell 25 regarding the Exide Fees and their turnover to the Estate.The Trustee is informed and believes that Defendants Robert Mandell, The19 Mandell Law Firm, and/or Robert Finnerty are in possession of the Exide Fees and 20 potentially additional fees related to the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his capacity 21 as trustee of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust. The Trustee therefore seeks an injunction 22 restraining Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Robert Finnerty from23 disposing of, conveying, transferring, diverting or dissipating any of the Exide Fees and 24 any of the fees from the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his capacity as trustee for 25 the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including but not limited to the fees from the Exide Action.Finding that Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and 20 Robert Finnerty have converted the Exide Fees thereby harming the Estate, and 21 awarding the Trustee compensatory and punitive damages against them.Restraining Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Rober25 Finnerty from disposing of, conveying, transferring, diverting or dissipating any of the 26 Exide Fees, and any of the fees from the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his 27 capacity as trustee for the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including but not limited to the fees 28 to be recovered from the Exide Action.

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Document Contents

1 SMILEY WANG-EKVALL, LLP Philip E. Strok, State Bar No. 169296 2 pstrok@swelawfirm.com Kyra E. Andrassy, State Bar No. 207959 3 kandrassy@swelawfirm.com Timothy W. Evanston, State Bar No. 319342 4 tevanston@swelawfirm.com 3200 Park Center Drive, Suite 250 5 Costa Mesa, California 92626 Telephone: 714 445-1000 6 Facsimile: 714 445-1002 7 Attorneys for Elissa D. Miller, Chapter 7 Trustee 8 UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 LOS ANGELES DIVISION 11 2 In re Case No. 2:20-bk-21022-BR 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 G IRARDI KEESE, C hapter 7 ornia ax 71 Debtors. Adv No. ______________ a, Calif00 • F 14 COMPLAINT FOR: s0 15 ELISSA D. MILLER, Chapter 7 Trustee for e1 M5- the bankruptcy estate of Girardi Keese, (1) TURNOVER OF PROPERTY OF THEa 4 ost4 4 16 ESTATE UNDER 11 U.S.C. § 542; C71 Plaintiff, el 17 (2) DECLARATORY RELIEF; T v. 18 (3) ACCOUNTING; ROBERT MANDELL, an individual; THE 19 MANDELL LAW FIRM, and ROBERT W. (4) CONVERSION; AND FINNERTY, an individual; 20 (5) INJUNCTIVE RELIEF Defendants. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

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1 Plaintiff Elissa D. Miller, solely in her capacity as the chapter 7 trustee (the 2 "Trustee") for the bankruptcy estate of Girardi Keese (the "Estate"), alleges the following 3 based on information and belief: 4 5 JURISDICTION AND VENUE 6 1. The Bankruptcy Court (the "Court") has jurisdiction over this adversary 7 proceeding under 28 U.S.C. §§ 157(b)(1) and 1334 and the Trustee consents to entry of 8 a final judgment by the Court. 9 2. This proceeding is a core proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(2)(A), (E), 10 and (O). 11 3. Venue lies in this judicial district because this proceeding arises in and 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 rperloavteidse tdo foa rc ians 2e8 p Uen.Sd.iCng. §in 1 t4h0is9 (dais).t r ict under title 11 of the United States Code as ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 4. This adversary proceeding arises out of and is related to the bankruptcy s0 15 case of Girardi Keese (the "Debtor"), Case No. 2:20-21022-BR. e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 C1 7 el 17 STATEMENT OF STANDING T 18 5. The Trustee has standing to bring this action pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 323,19 541, 542, and applicable California law. 20 21 PARTIES TO THE ACTION 22 6. The Trustee is the duly appointed chapter 7 trustee for the Estate. 23 7. Defendant Robert Mandell is an attorney licensed to practice law in the 24 State of California. 25 8. Defendant The Mandell Law Firm AKA Mandell Trial Lawyers, on 26 information and belief, is alleged to be a law firm in Woodland Hills, California. 27 9. Defendant Robert W. Finnerty is an attorney licensed to practice law in the 28 State of California.

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1 GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 2 10. The Debtor was a plaintiff's law firm based in Los Angeles, California, whic3 specialized in representing clients in mass tort and other contingency fee litigation. On 4 December 18, 2020, petitioning creditors Jill O'Callahan, as successor in interest to 5 James O'Callahan, Robert M. Keese, John Abassian, Erika Saldana, Virginia Antonio, 6 and Kimberly Archie (collectively, the "Petitioning Creditors") filed an involuntary chapter 7 7 bankruptcy petition against the Debtor (the "Petition Date"). 8 11. On December 24, 2020, the Petitioning Creditors filed a Motion for 9 Appointment of Interim Trustee Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 303(g). The Court entered an 10 order granting the motion on January 5, 2021. On January 6, 2021, the Trustee was 11 appointed as the interim trustee. 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 of Cour1t2 t.o ImOmne dJiaanteulayr Ey n1t3e,r 2a0n2 O1,r dtheer fCoor uRret leienft eurnedde ar nC hOarpdteerr D7i;r e(2c)t inTgh:e ( 1U)n Titheed CStleartek sornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 Trustee to Immediately Appoint a Chapter 7 Trustee; (3) The Debtor to File All Schedules0 15 and Related Documentation for Chapter 7 Case within Fourteen Days of the Entry of thise1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 Order; and (4) Vacating February 16, 2021 Status Conference. On January 13, 2021 C1 7 el 17 (the "Order for Relief Date"), the Clerk of Court entered an order for relief against the T 18 Debtor, and the Trustee was appointed and accepted her appointment in the Debtor's 19 case. 20 THE EXIDE ACTION AND RELATED SETTLEMENTS 21 13. On June 10, 2013, Exide Technologies ("Exide") filed a chapter 11 petition 22 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, case number 13-23 11482-MFW (the "Exide Bankruptcy Case"). 24 14. On or about December 22, 2014, Alan Salvador Aguirre et al. commenced 25 an action against Exide and other defendants in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Other 26 plaintiffs have also asserted claims against Exide and the other defendants, with all of 27 these cases consolidated in case number BC 567401 (the "Exide Action"). 28

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1 15. On April 10, 2015, the Ad Hoc Group of Exide Tort Claimants (the "Ad Hoc 2 Group") filed in the Exide Bankruptcy Case the Motion for Order: (I) Approving Proposed 3 Vernon Tort Claims Trust Agreement; (II) Approving Appointment of Vernon Tort Claims 4 Trustee and Settlement Administrator; and (III) Granting Related Relief. Among other 5 things, the Ad Hoc Group sought approval of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust Agreement. 6 On May 20, 2015, the court in the Exide Bankruptcy Case entered an order approving th 7 Trust Agreement, establishing a trust (the "Vernon Tort Claims Trust") and appointing a 8 trustee, Craig R. Jalbert ("Jalbert"), to pursue claims on behalf of the Vernon Tort Claims 9 Trust for the benefit of the plaintiffs. 10 16. In June 2015, Jalbert retained the Debtor, the Law Offices of Steven 11 Wolfson, the Mandell Law Firm, and the Law Offices of Robert K. Kent (together, the 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 "ELxaidwe F Aircmtios"n). t oU pnudresru teh ec ltaeimrmss o onf btheeh aLlaf wof Fthirem Vs'e ernnogna gTeomrte Cnlta bimy sJ aTlbruesrtt,, itnhcel uLdaiwng F iinrm thse ornia ax 71 sa, Calif000 • F 1145 wdeepree ntod inregc eoinv ew ah eptehrecre tnhtea greec oofv tehrey gwraoss sb erefocroev eorry a, fwteirth t hthee f ilpinegrc oefn ata lgaew sduififte.1r e Tnht e e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 Vernon Tort Claims Trust was responsible for reimbursing any costs incurred by the LawC1 7 el 17 Firms from the assets of the trust. Once the contingency fee was paid by the Vernon ToT 18 Claims Trust, the Law Firms had an agreement about how the fees would be split. 19 17. On September 24, 2018, Jalbert, in his capacity as trustee for the Vernon 20 Tort Claims Trust, entered into a settlement agreement with certain defendants in the 21 Exide Action, James R. Bloch, Phillip Damaska, Ed Mopas, John Hogarth, and R. Paul 22 Hirt Jr. (the "Individual Defendants"). 23 18. Under the settlement agreement, the Individual Defendants agreed to pay 24 lump sum settlement of $10,500,000 (the "Individual Defendants Settlement") to the 25 Vernon Tort Claims Trust to settle the claims against the Individual Defendants. 26 27 1 The engagement agreement is not attached to preserve any confidentiality that 28 may apply.

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1 19. On October 17, 2018, the Individual Defendants filed a Motion for 2 Determination of Good Faith Settlement and a declaration executed by Defendant Rober 3 W. Finnerty in support of the motion. In his declaration, Robert W. Finnerty testified 4 under penalty of perjury stating, "I am an attorney at Girardi | Keese, counsel for Plaintiff5 in the [Exide Action]." 6 20. On November 13, 2018, the court in the Exide Action entered an order 7 approving the Individual Defendants' Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement. 8 21. Subsequently, Donaldson Company, Inc. ("Donaldson"), another defendant9 in the Exide Action, entered into a settlement agreement with Jalbert in his capacity as 10 trustee for the Vernon Tort Claims Trust. 11 22. Under the settlement agreement, Donaldson agreed to pay a lump sum 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 sseettttllee mtheen tc loafi m$4s5 in0 ,0th0e0 E(txhidee " DAocntioanld saogna iSnsett tDleomneanldt"s)o tno. t h e Vernon Tort Claims Trust to ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 23. On March 27, 2019, Donaldson filed a Motion for Determination of Good s0 15 Faith Settlement and a declaration executed by Defendant Robert W. Finnerty on March e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 22, 2019. In his declaration, Robert W. Finnerty testified under penalty of perjury stating,C1 7 el 17 "I am an attorney at Girardi | Keese, counsel for Plaintiffs in the [Exide Action]." T 18 24. On April 25, 2019, the court in the Exide Action entered an order approving19 Donaldson's Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement. 20 25. The Trustee is informed and believes that from the Individual Defendants' 21 Settlement and pursuant to the Debtor's retainer agreement with Jalbert, the Debtor is 22 entitled to the amount of $2,100,000. 23 26. The Trustee is informed and believes that from the Donaldson Settlement 24 and pursuant to the Debtor's retainer agreement with Jalbert, the Debtor is entitled to the25 amount of $90,000. 26 27. Together, the Debtor's share of the attorneys' fees related to the Individual 27 Defendants Settlement and the Donaldson Settlement total $2,190,000 (the "Exide 28

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1 Fees"). The Trustee is informed and believes that no portion of the Exide Fees has yet 2 been received by the Debtor or the Estate. 3 28. The Trustee does not know if additional settlements have been entered int4 such that the Debtor might be entitled to a portion of the amount allocated to attorneys' 5 fees from those settlements on a quantum meruit basis. 6 DISBURSEMENT OF SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS 7 29. On February 12, 2019, and after the court in the Exide Action entered an 8 order approving the Individual Defendants' Motion for Determination of Good Faith 9 Settlement, the Vernon Tort Claims Trust disbursed the sum of $4,287,500 via wire to 10 Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm for professional fees related to the Exide 11 Action. At this time, the Debtor was counsel of record for Jalbert in the Exide Action. 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 order a3p0p.r ovinOgn D Oocntaolbdesro 9n,'s 2 M01o9ti,o ann fdo ra Dfteert ethrme icnoautirotn in o tfh Geo Eoxdi dFea Aithc tSioent telenmteernetd, tahne ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 Vernon Tort Claims Trust issued a check in the amount of $10,844.12 to Robert Mandell s0 15 and/or The Mandell Law Firm for professional fees related to the Exide Action. As set e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 forth in the following paragraphs, the Debtor was counsel of record at this time. C1 7 el 17 However, a substitution of counsel was later filed on October 24, 2019, with Defendant T 18 Robert Finnerty substituting in on behalf of the Debtor as of July 31, 2019. 19 31. On April 3, 2020, the Vernon Tort Claims Trust issued a check in the 20 amount of $2,363.08 to Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm for professional 21 fees related to the Exide Action. 22 32. On December 21, 2020, the Vernon Tort Claims Trust disbursed the sum o23 $427,650 to Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm for professional fees related t24 the Exide Action. 25 SUBSTITUTION OF THE DEBTOR AS COUNSEL 26 33. On October 24, 2019, the Debtor filed a Substitution of Counsel Agreement27 in the Exide Action, executed by Thomas V. Girardi on behalf of the Debtor, Jalbert in his28 capacity as trustee of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, Robert Mandell on behalf of the

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1 Mandell Law Firm, Steven Wolfson on behalf of the Law Offices of Steven Wolfson, and 2 Defendant Robert W. Finnerty. 3 34. In the Substitution of Counsel Agreement, the parties stipulated to the 4 following: (a) the Debtor was retained in the Exide Action on June 3, 2015; (b) Defendant 5 Robert F. Finnerty will substitute as attorney of record for Jalbert in his capacity as 6 trustee of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust and the plaintiffs in the Exide Action as of July 37 2019; and (c) the Debtor will terminate its work in the Exide Action as of July 31, 2019. 8 COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE DEFENDANTS 9 35. Pre-petition, on June 22, 2020, Phillip A. Baker of Baker, Keener & Nahra, 10 LLP, counsel for the Debtor, sent correspondence via e-mail to Defendant Robert 11 Mandell. In this correspondence, Mr. Baker writes in part: 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 Gtrheietraa Virndeeir│rn,K oGenie rtasrureds iwt│ oaKnse terhesetea Eiwnxeaiddse ien mn Jtaiuttlneteedr .ot o fP …2u0ar1sttu5oa rbnnyte ttyho fe et hetresu sfoter e of ornia ax 71 which were entitled pursuant to the retainer. It is my a, Calif00 • F 14 u$n1d0e,5r0st0a,n0d0i0n gin t hSaetp ate smebttelerm oef n2t0 o1c8c, uwrhreicdh i nw tahse s aigmnoeudn bt yo fM r. s0 15 Finnerty, then an attorney with Girardi│Keese. As a result of e1 M5- the settlement funds were distributed by the defendants. As a 4 ost4 4 16 of September 16, 2019, it is our understanding that your office C71 confirmed, the fees owing Girardi│Keese were transferred to el 17 a designated account of Mandell Trial Lawyers. Pursuant to T this correspondence, it is our request that the amounts owing 18 be immediately provided to Girardi│Keese forthwith. 19 36. On July 2, 2020, Mr. Baker sent an e-mail to Defendant Robert Mandell 20 regarding the Exide Fees and whether they would be immediately forthcoming. This 21 same day, Defendant Robert Mandell responded via e-mail, stating that "we are not 22 comfortable distributing [the Exide Fees] until we see an agreement from the competing 23 claimants or a court order." 24 37. On March 22, 2021, the Trustee spoke with Defendant Robert Mandell 25 regarding the Exide Fees and their turnover to the Estate. During her conversation, 26 Defendant Robert Mandell repeatedly told her to discuss the Exide Fees with Robert 27 Finnerty. 28

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1 38. On April 8, 2021, counsel for the Trustee sent an e-mail to Defendant 2 Robert Mandell in an attempt to resolve the dispute concerning the Exide Fees. In this e3 mail, the Trustee's counsel attached a stipulation (the "Stipulation") to be later filed for 4 approval from the Court. Under the Stipulation, the Exide Fees would be turned over to 5 the Trustee, with the Trustee to hold the Exide Fees subject to any and all claims against6 the Exide Fees until further order of the Court. The Trustee's counsel requested 7 comments from Defendant Mandell regarding the Stipulation so that it could be finalized 8 and the Exide Fees turned over. Counsel for the Trustee also requested that Defendant 9 Mandell inform the Trustee of the exact amount of the Exide Fees he and/or The Mandel10 Law Firm was holding. Defendant Robert Mandell did not respond to this e-mail. 11 39. On April 12, 2021, counsel for the Trustee sent another e-mail to Defendan2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 Rreosbpeornt dMeadn odne lAl rpergil a1r2d,i n2g0 2th1e, dei-rmecatiiln sge tnhte o Tnr Ausptreile 8's, 2co0u2n1s. e Dl teof esnpdeaankt wRiothb eRrot bMeartn dell ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 Finnerty. Defendant Robert Mandell did not offer any comments regarding the s0 15 Stipulation, nor did Defendant Robert Mandell inform the Trustee's counsel of the amoune1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 of Exide Fees he and/or The Mandell Law Firm was holding. C1 7 el 17 40. On April 12, 2021, the Trustee's counsel sent an e-mail to Defendant T 18 Robert Finnerty regarding the Stipulation and the Exide Fees, and requested that 19 Defendant Robert Finnerty provide comments to the Stipulation. 20 41. On April 13, 2021, the Trustee's counsel and Defendant Robert Finnerty 21 had a telephone conversation regarding the Exide Fees. This same day, and following 22 their earlier conversation, Defendant Robert Finnerty requested via e-mail that the 23 Trustee provide a basis for the Estate's interest in the Exide Fees. In response to 24 Defendant Robert Finnerty's request, the Trustee's counsel explained that the Exide Fee25 resulted from the work the Debtor did on behalf of Jalbert and the Vernon Tort Claims 26 Trust. The Trustee's counsel further explained that the Debtor was counsel of record at 27 the time the settlement was negotiated and signed in or about September 2018, that the 28 settlement was funded in early 2019 while the Debtor was counsel of record, and that

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1 Defendant Robert Mandell received $4,287,500.00—a portion of which constituted the 2 Debtor's fees, while the Debtor was counsel of record. Finally, the Trustee's counsel 3 explained that the Exide Fees are subject to turnover under 11 U.S.C. § 542, and 4 requested that Defendant Robert Finnerty explain his basis for why the Debtor was not 5 entitled to any of the Exide Fees. 6 42. On April 13, 2021, Defendant Robert Finnerty responded to the email from 7 Trustee's counsel, requesting that the Trustee provide him with a copy of the Debtor's 8 retainer agreement with Jalbert. Defendant Robert Finnerty did not contest any of the 9 bases for the Estate's interests raised by the Trustee's counsel in the earlier e-mail date10 April 12, 2021. Further, Defendant Robert Finnerty did not provide any explanation or 11 basis as to why the Debtor is not entitled to the Exide Fees, nor did Defendant Robert 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 F20in2n1e.r t y propose any changes or comments to the Stipulation he received on April 12, ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 43. On April 14, 2021, the Trustee's counsel sent a copy of the Stipulation to s0 15 Defendant Robert Mandell and Defendant Robert Finnerty requesting their comments one1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 the Stipulation so that the parties could avoid litigation. On April 15, 2021, the Trustee's C1 7 el 17 counsel again reached out to Defendant Robert Mandell to see if a resolution could be T 18 reached regarding the turnover of the Exide Fees, and whether Defendant Robert 19 Mandell had any suggested language regarding the reservation of rights by parties 20 asserting claims against the Exide Fees. On April 15, 2021, Defendant Robert Mandell 21 responded, directing Trustee's counsel to speak with Defendant Robert Finnerty. 22 44. On April 16, 2021, the Trustee's counsel again reached out to Defendant 23 Robert Finnerty. Defendant Robert Finnerty responded to the Trustee's counsel and 24 requested a phone call to discuss the issues concerning the Exide Fees to which the 25 Trustee's counsel responded. 26 45. On May 11, 2021, the Trustee's counsel sent a copy of the Stipulation to 27 Defendant Robert Finnerty, again requesting comments regarding the Stipulation. The 28 Trustee believes that Defendant Robert Finnerty did not respond.

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1 46. On July 26, 2021, the Trustee sent an e-mail to Defendant Robert Mandell. 2 In her e-mail, the Trustee explained, "We are still attempting to reach a stipulation for yo3 to turnover the funds. Could you please tell me the exact amount you are holding at this 4 point so we can insert that number in the stipulation." On July 27, 2021, Defendant 5 Robert Mandell responded to the Trustee's email, but did not provide any information 6 regarding the amount of the Exide Fees that are being held by him and/or The Mandell 7 Law Firm, instead asking the Trustee to talk about the matter with Defendant Robert 8 Finnerty. 9 47. On July 28, 2021, the Trustee sent an e-mail to Mr. Mandell requesting that10 he confirm that none of the Exide Fees have been disbursed to Mr. Finnerty or anyone 11 else since March 2021. Defendant Robert Mandell did not respond to the Trustee's 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 ewmasa ial.s kHinogw aebveoru,t Dwehfeetnhdearn at nRyo Ebxeirdt eF Fineneesr twy ereres pdoisnbduerds e"Nd oanftee.r" M Baerccahu 2s0e2 t1h,e i tT irsu usntecele arornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 whether Defendants Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm disbursed any of the s0 15 Exide Fees to Defendant Robert Finnerty, or any party on his behalf, prior to March 2021e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 48. The Trustee's counsel and Defendant Robert Finnerty have been C1 7 el 17 communicating regarding other matters affecting the Estate. In these exchanges, the T 18 Trustee's counsel has repeatedly asked for Defendant Robert Finnerty to provide 19 comments to the Stipulation. On August 2, 2021 and August 5, 2021, the Trustee's 20 counsel requested that Defendant Robert Finnerty provide comments to the Stipulation. 21 Defendant Robert Finnerty has not responded directly to these requests. 22 49. The Trustee is currently the plaintiff in an adversary proceeding against 23 Boris Treyzon and Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP ("ACTS"), the law firm at which 24 Defendant Robert Finnerty is a partner, case number 2:21-ap-01019-BR. The parties 25 attended a day of mediation in that adversary proceeding that was unsuccessful. As a 26 condition to scheduling a second day of mediation and as a sign of their good faith, the 27 parties agreed that the Trustee would have comments to the Stipulation no later than 28 August 9, 2021. Defendant Robert Finnerty did not provide any comments by August 9,

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1 2021. On August 10, 2021, Defendant Robert Finnerty reached out to counsel for the 2 Trustee requesting further discussion of the Exide Fees, but again did not provide any 3 comments to the Stipulation. 4 CURRENT STATUS OF THE SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS 5 50. The Trustee is informed and believes Defendant Robert Mandell and/or 6 Defendant The Mandell Law Firm and/or Defendant Robert Finnerty are holding the 7 Exide Fees. 8 51. As set forth above, the Trustee made demand upon Defendant Robert 9 Mandell and/or Defendant The Mandell Law Firm to turnover the Exide Fees, but he has 10 so far refused to do so absent a Court order. The Trustee has also requested that 11 Defendant Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm disclose the amount being held2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 fdoisr cthloes eDde bthtoer ,a bmuot uMnrt .t oM tahned Telrlu rsetfeeerr oerd athueth Torriuzsetde eM tro. MMar.n Fdienlnl etort yd,o w shoo. h as not ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 52. The Trustee is informed and believes that Defendant Robert Finnerty s0 15 asserts that the Debtor is not entitled to the Exide Fees although he has thus far failed toe1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 explain the basis for that assertion. The Trustee is informed that Defendant Robert C1 7 el 17 Finnerty asserts an interest in the Exide Fees, although he has not explained why. T 18 53. The Trustee is further informed and believes that certain parties asserting 19 secured claims against the Debtor, specifically California Attorney Lending, II, Inc., 20 Stillwell Madison, LLC, Virage SPV 1, LLC, Nano Banc, Joseph Ruigomez, Kathleen 21 Ruigomez, Jamie Ruigomez, and KCC Class Action Services, LLC, may assert liens 22 against the Exide Fees, although the Trustee is not seeking any relief with respect to 23 those liens through this adversary proceeding. 24 FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF 25 (Turnover of Property of the Estate) 26 (Against All Defendants) 27 54. The Trustee incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 throug28 53 as though fully set forth herein.

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1 55. The Exide Fees are property of the Estate as the fees relate to the 2 Individual Defendants' Settlement and the Donaldson Settlement and were earned while 3 the Debtor was counsel of record for Jalbert. 4 56. The Trustee is informed and believes that Robert Mandell, The Mandell 5 Law Firm, and/or Robert Finnerty are in possession of the Exide Fees. 6 57. Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 542(a), the Trustee seeks a judgment requiring 7 Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and/or Robert Finnerty and each of their agents 8 and employees to turnover to the Trustee the Exide Fees. 9 SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF 10 (Declaratory Relief) 11 (Against All Defendants) 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 57 as t5h8o.u gh Tfuhlley Tsreut sftoereth i nhceorerpino.r a tes the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 througornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 59. A dispute has arisen between the Trustee and Defendant Robert Finnerty s0 15 about who is entitled to the Exide Fees and to whom Defendants Robert Mandell and/or e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 The Mandell Law Firm should release them, and this dispute requires a judicial C1 7 el 17 declaration. T 18 60. The Trustee seeks a declaration that the Exide Fees are property of the 19 Estate because they resulted from work performed while the Debtor was counsel of 20 record for Jalbert. 21 THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF 22 (Accounting) 23 (Against All Defendants) 24 61. The Trustee incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 throug25 60 as though fully set forth herein. 26 62. All or some portion of the Debtor's contingency fee for its services 27 representing the Vernon Tort Claims Trust has been paid to Robert Mandell and/or The 28 Mandell Law Firm on the Debtor's behalf. The Trustee does not know if fees other than

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1 the Exide Fees have been paid to Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm and, if 2 there are such fees, what the disposition of those fees was. The Trustee also does not 3 know if they are holding all of the Exide Fees or if some portion has been released or 4 otherwise dissipated. Accordingly, the Trustee seeks an accounting from Robert Mandel5 and The Mandell Law Firm of the contingency fees that they have received to date for th6 representation of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including an explanation of what the fees7 are attributable to, how they were calculated, and their disposition. 8 63. In addition, because Robert W. Finnerty substituted into the representation 9 and may be collecting fees attributable to work performed by the Debtor, the Trustee 10 seeks an accounting from Mr. Finnerty of the contingency fees that he has received from11 the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including an explanation of what the fees are attributable t2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 and when they were receivedF. O URTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 (Conversion) s0 15 (Against All Defendants) e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 64. The Trustee incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 througC1 7 el 17 63 as though fully set forth herein. T 18 65. The Exide Fees are property of the Estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 541(a). 19 The Trustee is entitled to immediate possession of the Exide Fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 20 § 542(a). 21 66. Defendants Robert Mandell and/or The Mandell Law Firm have 22 substantially interfered with the Estate's Exide Fees by knowingly or intentionally refusin23 to return the Exide Fees after the Trustee has requested turnover. 24 67. Defendant Robert Finnerty has substantially interfered with the Estate's 25 Exide Fees by knowingly or intentionally preventing the Trustee from having access to 26 the Exide Fees. 27 68. The Trustee has not consented to Defendants Robert Mandell and/or The 28 Mandell Law Firm continuing to hold the Exide Fees, and the Trustee does not consent t

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1 Defendant Robert Finnerty's refusal to finalize the Stipulation which is preventing the 2 turnover of the Exide Fees. 3 69. Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Robert Finnerty 4 are harming the Estate by refusing to turn over or preventing the turnover of the Exide 5 Fees to the Trustee for the benefit of the Estate. 6 70. Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Robert Finnerty's 7 conduct is a substantial factor in causing the Estate harm, as the Estate is being deprive8 of the Exide Fees. 9 71. In addition, because Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, 10 and Robert Finnerty are acting with malice (i.e. intending to cause injury to the Trustee 11 with a willful and conscious disregard of the Trustee's and the Estate's rights), the 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 Trustee seeks an award of punFitIiFveT Hda CmLaAgIeMs FaOgaRin RstE tLhIeEmF. ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 (Injunctive Relief) s0 15 (Against All Defendants) e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 72. The Trustee incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 througC1 7 el 17 71 as though fully set forth herein. T 18 73. The Trustee is informed and believes that Defendants Robert Mandell, The19 Mandell Law Firm, and/or Robert Finnerty are in possession of the Exide Fees and 20 potentially additional fees related to the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his capacity 21 as trustee of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust. The Trustee therefore seeks an injunction 22 restraining Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Robert Finnerty from23 disposing of, conveying, transferring, diverting or dissipating any of the Exide Fees and 24 any of the fees from the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his capacity as trustee for 25 the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including but not limited to the fees from the Exide Action. 26 27 28

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1 WHEREFORE, the Trustee prays that the Court enter a judgment against Robert 2 Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm and Robert W. Finnerty as follows: 3 4 On the First Claim for Relief 5 1. Requiring Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, Robert Finnerty, and 6 each of their agents and employees to turn the Exide Fees over to the Trustee that 7 remain in their possession; 8 9 On the Second Claim for Relief 10 2. Declaring that the Exide Fees are property of the Estate; 11 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 3. Ordering an accOounn tthineg Tfrhoimrd R Colbaeimrt Mfoar nRdeellile, fT he Mandell Law Firm, and ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 Robert W. Finnerty of the contingency fees in connection with the Exide Action that they s0 15 have received to date for the representation of the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including ae1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 explanation of what the fees are attributable to, how they were calculated, and their C1 7 el 17 disposition. T 18 On the Fourth Claim for Relief 19 4. Finding that Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and 20 Robert Finnerty have converted the Exide Fees thereby harming the Estate, and 21 awarding the Trustee compensatory and punitive damages against them. 22 23 On the Fifth Claim for Relief 24 5. Restraining Defendants Robert Mandell, The Mandell Law Firm, and Rober25 Finnerty from disposing of, conveying, transferring, diverting or dissipating any of the 26 Exide Fees, and any of the fees from the Debtor's representation of Jalbert in his 27 capacity as trustee for the Vernon Tort Claims Trust, including but not limited to the fees 28 to be recovered from the Exide Action.

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1 On All Claims for Relief 2 6. For costs of suit; 3 7. For attorneys' fees and costs as authorized by law; and 4 8. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper. 5 6 DATED: August 20, 2021 SMILEY WANG-EKVALL, LLP 7 8 By: /s/ Kyra E. Andrassy 9 KYRA E. ANDRASSY Attorneys for Elissa D. Miller, Chapter 7 10 Trustee 11 2 0 0 92626 4 445-1 1123 ornia ax 71 a, Calif00 • F 14 s0 15 e1 M5- a 4 ost4 4 16 C1 7 el 17 T 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

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