Cory Briggs Revealed

“Unethical and Possibly Criminal

He wants to be your City Attorney. Would YOU hire this guy?

Getting Rich
on the Taxpayer Dime

Cory Briggs has created an elaborate network of more than 40 nonprofit shell corporations he uses to sue taxpayers and make a fortune for himself.

These shady organizations all have similar names and most are registered by Briggs’ law firm. They don’t ask people to join or volunteer. All they do is sue. And make Briggs rich.

Does that sound like the legitimate nonprofit groups you know? These aren’t real neighborhood groups taking action to protect their quality of life. These are shadowy front groups set up for one purpose: to make money for Cory Briggs.

How does Briggs’ scam work? According to a Voice of San Diego investigation, if Briggs loses, the community group pays him nothing. If he wins or agrees to settle out of court, he gets attorney’s fees paid for by the taxpayers.

In San Diego alone, Briggs has sued the city 87 times.

“Unethical and
possibly criminal”

Judges can be tough on legal misconduct, but we’ve rarely seen a court use the harsh language directed at Briggs’ “unethical and possibly criminal” tactics in 2016.

The Superior Court said it was “greatly concerned” about Briggs’ “litigation misconduct,” as “at best, an ethical lapse and at worst, criminal behavior.” The 4th District Court of Appeal agreed with that, writing “In light of this clearly unethical and possibly criminal conduct, we expect some explanation of Briggs Law Corporation’s actions. BLC provides none.”

Briggs filed a lawsuit against the City in the name of a nonprofit corporation that was suspended by the state Franchise Tax Board, and therefore couldn’t legally sue anyone. Briggs knew better – because he’s the guy who actually runs this front group – but he sued anyway.

The Appeals Court refused to award Briggs attorney’s fees for the time that the corporation was suspended, saying:

“We determine that attorney fees cannot be awarded to a party whose attorney violates the law to appear in the action and offers no justification whatsoever for his or her conduct. To require taxpayers to compensate a party or a law firm for unethical, unprofessional, or even illegal conduct, under the guise that the litigant is protecting the public interest, would turn the private attorney general statute on its head.”

Briggs later convinced the court to remove “illegal” from its statement sanctioning Briggs for his behavior.

(Court of Appeal opinion, filed September 22, 2016)

The King
of Costly, Frivolous Lawsuits

Briggs’ sham lawsuits end up costing taxpayers millions – his scheme isn’t to win the case, it’s simply to make the city pay him to go way.

Here’s how Cory’s costly con works: he sues on an important city project, blocks the funding and approvals, and then drops his lawsuit when a city pays him to go away.

Cory’s gotten rich off this scam by filing dozens of needless lawsuits against the City of San Diego. He’s blocked funding for fire stations and tried to stop a homeless shelter from opening. And he’s made a fortune doing it.

Here’s just one example of Briggs trying to stop progress in San Diego. In 2014, Briggs sued the City against the use of standard revenue bonds to fix up San Diego’s aging infrastructure. Projects slated to be completed that Cory attempted to block:

  • Hillcrest fire station
  • City Heights fire station
  • Skyline Library
  • Mission Hills/Hillcrest Library
  • South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station
  • La Jolla Cove lifeguard station
  • San Ysidro Library
  • San Carlos Library
  • University Village tot lot
  • Tierrasanta athletic field lighting
  • Mission Beach Boardwalk sea wall
  • Accessibility projects under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Who doesn’t love a tot lot, or a fire station, or a library? Briggs took his case all the way to the Supreme Court, losing every step of the way, but his willingness to hold hostage projects that protect and help San Diego families speaks to his skewed priorities.

Throwing Families
Out On The Street

“Instead of helping me, he put me in the ground.”

That’s what Gonzalo Arteaga, a working man and father of four, said about Cory Briggs, after Briggs seized his home and threw his family out on the street at the height of the Great Recession.

Arteaga had hired Briggs to try and save his home in a mortgage fraud case. Instead, Briggs forced the Arteaga family into bankruptcy and led them to lose their house.

As if that wasn’t enough, Briggs then lured Arteaga into buying a new house with a personal loan from Briggs, but when times got tough and the family fell behind, Briggs seized the house back and threw the family with four young kids onto the streets buried in debt.

A Law Professor who later reviewed the case, said ‘Briggs took advantage of their desperation and lack of understanding.’ And that Briggs committed a ‘serious attorney ethics violation’.

Since dropping off the keys with Briggs, the Arteagas have never heard from him again.

What People Are Saying About Cory Briggs:

“Unethical and Possibly Criminal.”