Baker, Burton & Lundy Law Firm Presents $93,000 Cy Pres Donation

Baker, Burton & Bundy law firm presents $93,000 cy pres donation from major energy cases to the Legal Aid Society of San Diego

Baker, Burton & Lundy Law Firm Presents $93,000 cy pres Donation From Major Energy Cases to the Legal Aid Society of San Diego

On Friday, May 16, 2014 Brad N. Baker, partner at the Law Offices of Baker, Burton & Lundy, presented a donation of $93,940 from the Anti-trust Natural Gas Settlement to the Legal Aid Society of San Diego thus completing a 14 year journey.  Presented on the steps of the San Diego Superior Court at where the case was heard, this donation is the final act in the largest energy case in the history of California, which resulted in settlements and benefits of over $4 billion to California consumers and businesses.

This cy pres donation was the final money left from the class action settlements administered efficiently by Epiq Class Actions & Claims Solutions of Portland, Oregon.  Baker, Burton & Lundy directed the donation of the final settlement dollars to the Legal Aid Society of San Diego since the case was heard in the San Diego Superior Court by the Honorable Ronald S. Prager, who both sides thought did a magnificent job.

Gregory Knoll, director of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, said “There is nothing better than a law firm that thinks about us at a cy pres award time, which is when the money left from class action suits that cannot be paid out gets designated.  I can’t thank Brad enough. We are thrilled that the entire private bar in San Diego and all California has looked out for us and when there is a remainder that they think of us.  This allows us to do things we could never do otherwise.”

The energy case began in 1999 when attorney Lance Astrella found evidence of a secret 1996 meeting in an Arizona hotel bedroom between high level officers from competing gas pipeline companies planning cessation of competition and the carving up of markets to take advantage of electric deregulation in California. The companies ultimately restricted the flow of natural gas into California and Nevada.  Astrella brought the evidence to Baker, Burton & Lundy and together they recruited and organized a team of top attorneys and experts to investigate.

In September 2000 they filed a lawsuit against El Paso, SoCalGas and SDG&E alleging market allocation and anti-trust violations only to watch the situation become catastrophic as California experienced the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.  From the legal pressure El Paso settled early for $1.7 billion and in 2006 Sempra Energy settled in the midst of trial which provided billions of dollars of benefits for California businesses and consumers in lower rates as well as a restructuring of the natural gas storage process which eliminated the opportunity for future price manipulation.

Along with the prime mover, Lance Astrella, and Baker, Burton & Lundy, the high-powered consortium of attorneys included Tom Girardi of Girardi  Keese, Walter Lack, Paul Traina and Rahul Ravaputi of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, Pierce O’Donnell and John Shaeffer, of O & S, Brian McMahon, and Ty Kelly with Bill Bernstein and Barry Himmelstein of LCHB, heading up a second team of attorneys on the Price Indexing cases for false reporting of trades.

On a personal note, presenting this donation to the Legal Aid Society has special meaning to Baker since he began his law career by volunteering at the Legal Aid Society in Venice, California.  “This completes a circle” said Baker who suffered a life-threatening illness on a trip to Europe after law school and pledged that if he survived, he would donate six months of his life to a special cause.

Upon his return, he chose the Legal Aid Society where he shared his new legal knowledge with the poor and indigent who normally had no access to legal help. He looks back on that time as not only an opportunity to help others but as an “excellent opportunity to hone my legal skills, very similar to medical students’ residency and internships.”

At the end of Baker’s six months of volunteering, 1,000 feet of office space became available below the Legal Aid Society.  Baker approached fellow UCLA law graduate Kent Burton about forming a partnership and the law firm Baker & Burton was formed in 1976, expanding to Baker, Burton & Lundy in 1997 with the addition of trial lawyer Albro Lundy as partner.  Baker indicates that he was blessed to get to work with such outstanding people in his 14 year energy case journey and knows that the blessings will continue to be paid forward by Gregory Knoll and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

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Bleeding Life

Bleeding Life, Albro Lundy donates blood

Bleeding Life

Having Already given 140 pints, Albro Lundy continues to donate Blood

Published Nov., 2013 in Pulse: Healthy Living for the South Bay
Written by James Mills
Photographed by Michael Neveux 

Dedicated to the cause of giving blood, for his 52nd birthday Albro Lundy asked his family to donate a pint of blood in lieu of presents. “I was so proud,” reports the native Angelino. “We all went to Torrance Memorial together and donated at the same time. We took up all the chairs.”

Since he moved to Palos Verdes in the mid-1990s, Torrance Memorial Medical Center has been Lundy’s preferred place to donate blood. He goes in every two to three months.

“Torrance Memorial is just a really great place to give blood,” says Lundy, now 54. “They’ve got a nice spot; big, huge, picture windows overlooking the airport. You can watch the planes come in and out while you’re giving the blood. It’s free parking. No hassles. It’s a great group of people there. They’re very skilled.”

Donating blood has been a part of his life since he was a teenager. “I’ve donated 140 pints in my lifetime,” brags Lundy, a trial lawyer with the Hermosa Beach-based law firm Baker, Burton & Lundy. “I’ve been giving blood since I was 16. I had a high school teacher who said it was a good thing to do. So I did, and it was a great feeling—not just physically but spiritually too. You’re saving someone’s life by giving blood.”

Giving blood not only saves a life; in Lundy’s case, it helped him meet his future wife. “I was organizing a blood drive on campus at UCLA. Cathi and I were both working as English writing tutors. I asked her, ‘So what would you think about working on my blood drive?’ How’s that for a pick-up line?”

The couple are parents to three sons and a daughter. The three oldest children have all adopted the habit, each giving blood regularly at their colleges. Lundy is hopeful his youngest son will also start donating once he turns 16.

Lundy has traveled abroad extensively, including to Laos where he (unsuccessfully) searched for his missing-in-action fighter pilot father who was shot down decades earlier. Blood donation centers do not allow people to give for a period of time after such trips as a precaution—in case they picked up a blood-borne disease such as malaria. After the Laos trip, Lundy couldn’t give for two years. But he was back to it just as soon as it was permitted.

“Its value is extraordinary,” says Lundy. “You know you’ve saved one person’s life, but sometimes it’s up to four people’s lives. The blood can be used for up to four different people. That’s incredible to be able to do that in terms of charity. I give my blood, and it can’t be abused. I give my money to somebody, and I don’t know where it goes. Even if someone steals the blood, the only value it has is to somebody who needs it to save their life.”

Pulse logo, Torrance Memorial Hospital