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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kerry Steigerwalt's Pacific Law Center Closing---San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm Will Help Abandoned Clients

Kerry Steigerwalt's Pacific Law Center appears to be closing down. Bankruptcy Attorneys at the San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm will take abandoned clients for what they owe to Pacific Law Center. The San Diego Bankruptcy Law Firm is committed to our community and to our clients. The last thing someone facing bankruptcy needs is to lose their money because their law firm went out of business. Contact us at or call us at 619-260-1800.


Pacific Law Center 'winding down,' not adding clients

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.

Kerry Steigerwalt’s Pacific Law Center, the highly visible firm with its ubiquitous television ads, has stopped taking new clients and is “winding down” its business, the firm’s owner said Wednesday.

Steigerwalt, a well-known San Diego defense attorney who bought a majority interest in the firm in 2008, said that he broke the news to his staff during a morning meeting at the University City-based firm and advised them to focus on current cases. He said the economic downturn and the company’s business model of “little or no money down” contributed to the firm’s money woes.

“Our model is predicated on people making payments,” Steigerwalt said in a telephone interview. “Fewer and fewer people have money to hire us, and those that do are not paying. It just became a managerial nightmare.”

Steigerwalt said the firm, which has offices in San Diego, Chula Vista and Escondido, isn’t going out of business. Despite some staff reductions, he said, the lawyers working there are well-equipped to represent existing clients to the fullest.

“At this point in time, I want to take no further cases,” he said. “I want to begin winding down this business.”

The 17 attorneys listed on the firm’s website represent hundreds of clients in criminal cases, bankruptcies, loan modifications and personal injury lawsuits. The firm has 107 employees after staff cuts in February,

The lawyers, including Steigerwalt, are featured in the law center’s frequently running television commercials in which they promote aggressive representation for “little or no money down” and affordable payment plans. Testimonials from clients also are used in the ads.

Steigerwalt said he called local television stations Wednesday and told them to stop running the ads.

Steigerwalt bought 51 percent of Pacific Law Center in March 2008. Former managing partner, Robert Arentz, had a 49 percent stake. Steigerwalt later became sole owner.

Before he bought a stake in Pacific Law Center, the firm had been dogged by complaints from clients and allegations of unethical activity by former lawyers. The problems continued to some degree after Steigerwalt came on board. Clients had filed lawsuits against the firm, as did a former attorney who claimed that the sale to Steigerwalt was a fraud.

Steigerwalt said he believes he successfully turned the firm around and that its old reputation was not a factor in the decision to stop taking new clients.

Kerry Armstrong, a defense lawyer who worked for Steigerwalt for 11 years but did not work at Pacific Law Center, said Wednesday’s announcement was inevitable.

“I knew it was coming; I just didn’t know when,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said the firm was hamstrung by its business model and a poor reputation that changed little despite Steigerwalt’s efforts.

“I think Kerry really wanted to change it when he went in,” Armstrong said. “He just didn’t put the right people in place to do it for him.”


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