By Rhony Laigo
JOEL BANDER, the lawyer who now claims to have been set up probably by his own victims or by those who have an axe to grind against him in what is turning out to be a celebrated sex scandal that he allegedly committed in the Philippines, may yet face more legal problems as more victims come out in the open and want to fi le a complaint against him.Â According to Viken Melkonian, an Armenian and former client of Bander, more Armenians were also victimized by Bander when his fi rm peddled the socalled â€œSave Your Home, Sue the Banks programâ€ in 2008 but which, Melkonian said, was nothing more but a â€œscam.â€
Melkonian said he is a client of Atty. Mark Geragos, the celebrity lawyer who, along with at least two other attorneys, filed a case against the Bander Law Firm. He said he was instructed by Geragos to call Balita to reveal his story after learning that just like his countrymen, many Filipinos were also victimized by Bander.
Melkonian said he believes that he was the first to file a case against Bander at the California State Bar in relation to the loan litigation program where he thought Bander would be filing a case against his lender, but did not.
This developed as Attty. James G. Beirne lashed back at a newspaper tabloid which published an article that stated
he will be subjected to a trial and that he will go to jail.
According to Beirne thereâ€™s no truth to Pinoywatchdogâ€™s claim that Beirne will be tried on Feb. 27. On the contrary, Beirne said that it will be Bander who might soon be facing legal problems as soon as Beirne and his legal team launch their to put an end to Banderâ€™s black propaganda.
â€œTheyâ€™re lying,â€ Beirne said. The claim by Pinoywatchdog tabloid that a judge may sentence Atty. James G. Beirne to jail for â€œcontempt chargesâ€ is not true and will never happen, he added.
In its Feb. 4 issue, the so-called â€œPWD investigative teamâ€ of Pinoywatchdog claimed in what they called as their exposÃ©, they wrote that Beirne will be prosecuted and will be tried by a certain â€œTrial Attorney Wilson.â€
But is it turned out, there will be no hearing that they said will take place on Feb. 27 and that what they wrote as Beirneâ€™s no regard to â€œobserving the lawâ€ or that heâ€™s been â€œdeceiving the publicâ€ was just another attempt by Bander and by the PWD â€œinvestigative reportersâ€ to malign Beirne.
In their article, the PWD writers said that Beirne has violated â€œmore than 200 court contempt violationsâ€ and stated that Beirne is â€œmaking a mockery of (US) justice.â€
The so-called â€œinvestigative reportersâ€ even claimed to have been â€œtallying all these violationsâ€ and without basis also said that Beirne, if convicted, will be in â€œhock for thousands of dollars in fines or in jail for several years.â€
The PWD article even quoted Atty. Dennis Wilson as saying â€œBeirne is violating court order and doing other things; (that) doesnâ€™t seem rightâ€ It also quoted Wilson as saying â€œBeirne is involved in publishing things about Joel (Bander) that are not true.â€
Balita tried to contact Wilson to clarify his supposed claim. However, Wilson, the lawyer hired by Bander to â€œtryâ€ Beirne has yet to return our calls or respond to our emails. Balita also wanted to find out how much it would cost Bander â€“ who filed for bankruptcy for his law firm in 2010 â€“ to hire Wilson.
Balita also wanted Wilsonâ€™s comment on the supposed trial on Feb. 27 that will never take place and if he is aware that Bander and is facing or had faced several lawsuits in the past which were filed by his own clients, in particular when his Bander Law Firm was still in existence.
According to Beirnâ€™s lawyer, the claim that his client violated â€œhundreds of charges of contempt of courtâ€ for allegedly Â â€œfalse and misleading advertisingâ€ were â€œtrivial and non-existent.â€
Meanwhile, the executive editor of Pinoywatchdog admitted that Bander is financing the paper after credit card payment receipts showed that Bander was the one paying to print Pinoywatchdog.