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Law and Disorder 9-3

The wrongful death suit against the estate of Santa Barbara businessman Michael Klein-who was killed with his daughter Talia and a pilot when their plane crashed into the side of a Panamanian volcano in December 2007-is currently in the middle of a 10-day trial before Judge Thomas Anderle. Ex-wife Kim Klein is claiming that her former husband, known to be a decisive, forceful man, was at fault for the crash that occurred when the plane went off course, even though he wasn’t the pilot, and she wants damages paid from his estate. Also suing Klein’s estate are the parents of Francesca Lewis, the sole survivor of the crash.

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Santa Barbara law firm Cappello & No»l was certified this week to represent Los Angeles County plaintiffs in a class action suit against Wells Fargo Bank, which allegedly charged borrowers in minority neighborhoods more for their loans-a potential violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Barry Cappello, known more recently for representing News-Press owner Wendy McCaw against federal labor law charges, believes there are as many as 10,000 individuals who would qualify for representation-specifically people who borrowed more than $150,000 between May 2002 and December 2005-and is seeking $4,000 per affected borrower.

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Organizers of the West Beach Music Festival-which The Independent is cosponsoring-were sued last week by the booking agent who handled last year’s festival. She claims she was cheated out of her fair share of revenues and that her contract entitled her to handle this year’s festival as well. Festival organizers have vowed to counter-sue and that this year’s show will go on.

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