The McMillan Law Firm La Mesa Massive Legal Cases Lost

Darren Chaker writes on legal developments in California and impacting First Amendment rights.


Scott McMillan San Diego attorney, continues his downward spiral in 2020 some say may lead to bankruptcy since The McMillan Law Firm, La Mesa continues to lose cases thus not bringing in money. As a recap in the last few years: In 2017, Scott McMillan lost a motion to dismiss where he brought before a federal judge for fraud in Brightwell v. Scott McMillan, Southern District of California Case 16-CV-1696 W (NLS) where he and his associate attorney Michelle D. Volk were both named defendants.

In 2017, San Diego attorney Scott McMillan lost a major federal RICO lawsuit to remove a report naming him being involved in child molestation from the internet and other critical comments about him and his law firm which are public records. Read the report yourself. The report was filed as an exhibit in San Diego Superior Court Case No. 37-2017-0036344 and can be seen here. The federal court found the case to be meritless as seen in its court order here.

Also in 2017, Scott McMillan lost another massive case where he sued the ATF. During oral argument the chief judge called the case “silly” , denied the appeal, and recommended to Scott McMillan to hope the Government makes another offer of $450 to settle the case where Scott McMillan was seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars. See video clip here.

In 2018, the State Bar of California shut down the McMillan Academy of Law, operated out of Scott McMillan’s run-down office in La Mesa (east San Diego) literally 30 feet away are train tracks. See the State Bar report basically calling the “law school” a fraud (i.e. in sum – 3 students in 12 years, no student ever graduated, out of date law books, and no staff to teach in a non-ADA compliant building). See the full report here. See also law school review here declaring no students or graduates here. “We have had one student take the First Year Law Students’ Examination and that student passed. This is the basis for the 100% pass rate thus far. As of yet, no students have graduated from the Academy.” (emphasis added) Page 3, See   Embarrassingly, the building where the “school of law” existed did not even have a sign on the building telling potential students a law school existed in the run-down building.

In 2018 Scott McMillan, San Diego attorney, The McMillan Law Firm, immediately filed an appeal asking the Ninth Circuit to reverse the dismissal of his federal RICO lawsuit along with issuing an injunction to restrain publication concerning the child molestation report linked to above and other publicly available records related to Scott McMillan. The Ninth Circuit appears to have denied the request for an injunction as seen in its order here.

In 2019, after filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the wrong county initially, Scott McMillan filed the lawsuit in the correct county and still lost. In Ochoa v. Dole Food Company, San Diego attorney Scott McMillan sued multiple entities in the same lawsuit. He lost multiple times in the trial court only to lose on appeal too! On April 16, 2019, Scott McMillan lost his appeal in Ochoa v. Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella where the court did not agree with his far-fetched legal lunacy theories of liability he pushed before the court:

“Plaintiffs argue the trial court erroneously refused to conduct a hearing on Dole’s motion for summary judgment.  We disagree.” The court also discarded Scott McMillan’s entire theory of liability: “Since there is no triable issue as to whether Dole manufactured and/or designed the east-west wet auger or was engaged in the business of manufacturing, designing, and/or selling wet augers, plaintiffs cannot prevail on their causes of action for strict products liability (see Ortiz, supra, 234 Cal.App.3d at p. 187; Hyman, supra, 35 Cal.App.3d at pp. 773-774) or negligence-based products liability (see Gonzalez v. Autoliv ASP, Inc., supra, 154 Cal.App.4th at p. 793 [negligence theory of products liability subsumes elements for strict products liability]).” California Court of Appeal, Fifth District, Case No. F073844.” The Court of Appeal also awarded thousands of dollars in costs against Scott McMillan for bringing the appeal, “Costs are awarded to defendant Dole Food Company.” For the complete facts and the court decisions, see this case and each appeal concerning the three failed appeals Scott McMillan brought in that one matter here.

In 2019, a different appeal concerning the same incident was lost California Court of Appeal, Fifth District, Case No. F073978, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., and Terra Bella Agland, LLC, & Dole Food Company. Scott McMillan lost this appeal too where costs were $6,545.25. The court confirmed the plaintiff’s attorney, Scott McMillan of San Diego, failed to produce evidence of liability: “Plaintiffs did not produce any evidence Terra Bella Agland sold or otherwise placed in the commercial stream the east-west wet auger or other wet augers.  (Cf. Green, supra, at pp. 824, 828 [defendant sold defective crane].)  Without such evidence, plaintiffs cannot prevail on their causes of action for strict products liability (see Bonus-Bilt, Inc. v. United Grocers, Ltd., supra, at p. 437), negligence-based products liability (see Gonzalez v. Autoliv ASP, Inc., supra, 154 Cal.App.4th at p. 793 [negligence theory of products liability subsumes elements for strict products liability]), false representation (see Hauter v. Zogarts, supra, 14 Cal.3d at p. 111, fn. 3), and breach of implied warranties (see Scott v. Metabolife Internat., Inc., supra, 115 Cal.App.4th at pp. 415-416).  (See ante, at pp. 19-21.)”

In January 2020, the Ninth Circuit denied San Diego attorney Scott McMillan’s appeal for his failed lawsuit to remove internet posts critical about his law firm finding that the defendant(s) did nothing wrong. See the Ninth Circuit court order affirming dismissal.  The Ninth Circuit did not need a long opinion to hash out the issues Scott McMillan put before them in hundreds of pages of briefing. Ultimately, the appellate court issued a simplistic four-page opinion stating his RICO lawsuit and allegations of extortion were without merit by stating in part: “Plaintiffs failed to allege extortionate conduct…” and “The district court also properly dismissed the conspiracy claim because the “failure to adequately plead a substantive violation of RICO precludes a claim for conspiracy.””

In October 2020, Karass v. Stirlen (In re Stirlen), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division Bankruptcy Case No. 17 B 06666, Chapter 7, Adversary Case No. 17 A 00424, the appellate court denied Scott McMillan’s lengthy appeal. Literally each and every of a dozen errors claims by Scott McMillan were discarded by the court.  

The last stop for the Scott McMillan loser train was decided November 2020 where the Fifth District Court of Appeal based in Fresno found the third appeal in the same case of The McMillan Law Firm La Mesa, California was doomed. In this case, Scott McMillan appealed the loss. The court said, “On appeal, plaintiffs contend Rosen’s declaration “failed to affirmatively establish personal knowledge of the facts attested to as required by section 437c[, subdivision ](d)…Here, we find no abuse of discretion.”   Court of Appeal Case No. F074947.

Since 2017, Scott McMillan, The McMillan Law Firm, 4670 Nebo Drive, La Mesa, Ca has lost the below cases in the Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division (San Diego):

Case No. D076869           Trial Court Case No.  37-2016-00015444-CU-OE-CTL         Taylor et al. v. Financial Casualty & Surety, Inc.         

Case No. D075706           Trial Court Case No.  37-2016-00015444-CU-OE-CTL          Taylor v. The Superior Court of San Diego County/Fugitive Recovery Investigations, Inc.        

Case No. D072367           Trial Court Case No.  37-2016-00015444-CU-OE-CTL          Taylor et al. v. The Superior Court of San Diego County/Fugitive Recovery International, Inc. et al.       

Case No. D072367           Trial Court Case No.  37-2016-00015444-CU-OE-CTL          Taylor et al. v. The Superior Court of San Diego County/Fugitive Recovery International, Inc. et al.       

Case No. D072154           Trial Court Case No.  37-2010-00102377-CU-OR-CTL         Kindt v. The Superior Court of San Diego County/Trango Systems, Inc.         

Case No. D071707           Trial Court Case No.  37-2016-00022104-CU-BC-CTL          Farhan v. The Superior Court of San Diego County/La Mesa Springs Center, LLC           

The above are only a handful of about 115 appeals and writs in California appellate and the California Supreme Court filed by The McMillan Law Firm in La Mesa, CA but only succeeded in reversing the trial court in 5 cases that I can find.

While San Diego attorney Scott McMillan claims to be an appellate expert and a “leading attorney”, it appears – he leaves a trail of lost cases and now allegations of child molestation as his legacy. Your typical “leading attorney” graduates from an ABA accredited law school, while Scott McMillan graduated from a small unaccredited law school that was behind a car dealership at the time. Top appellate attorneys also have a winning track record. For example, one attorney “won four reversals from the California Court of Appeal in a single year, as well as grants of both a writ petition and a petition for rehearing. Once, he obtained five reversals in quick succession in a 12-month period.” See attorney bio here. Another top appellate law firm has a success rate of above 60%. “The firm seeks extraordinary litigators with strong interest in civil appellate work—a must for a firm that boasts a success rate of above 60 percent in appeals.” See Horvitz & Levy ranking. Another firm acknowledges it has won 500 appeals and wins so often it lists its recent wins here. Most importantly, these California law firms do not self-proclaim they are a “leading” law firm as Scott McMillan does on his website, but third parties rank them as leading law firms such as here and here.

When you pick a law firm for an appeal, be sure to check the actual success rate of the attorney, awards, and education. A consumer does not want to hire an attorney with a track record of losses or self-proclaimed status of being a “leading law firm”. Of course, an attorney with a history such as Scott McMillan is helpful to avoid as well since not only do potential clients see his history of losses, but also potential jurors who control the outcome of a case. 

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