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AUGUST 28, 2016


Hour 1 "Sex Change Regret"

with Walt Heyer - REPEAT PROGRAM FROM MAY1, 2016

Hour 2  Excessive Class Action Attorney's Fees on Trial"

PART 2  with Lawrence W. Schonbrun

APPEARANCES: MAY 8, 2016  AUG 28, 2016
"Sex Change Regret" with Walt Heyer
The man who's had TWO sex changes: Incredible story of Walt, who became Laura, then REVERSED the operation because he believes surgeons in US and Europe are too quick to operate
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I Used to Be Transgender.
Here’s My Take on Kids Who
Think They Are Transgender.

Walt Heyer /  
Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker with a passion to help others who regret gender change. Through his website,, and his blog,, Heyer raises public awareness about the incidence of regret and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

When a 9-year-old boy who identifies as Stormi, a transgender girl, started selling Girl Scout cookies, one neighbor was not amused, according to Buzzfeed.
The neighbor rebuffed him, reportedly saying, “Nobody wants to buy Girl Scout cookies from a boy in a dress.”
The neighbor is being called transphobic—but perhaps the neighbor thought he was being pranked by a boy and reacted accordingly. Not everyone assumes that a boy in a dress selling Girl Scout cookies is transgender.
People Can Be Genderphobic
Stormi looked like a boy to the neighbor because he really is a boy. Transgender people may deceive themselves, but they do not deceive others.
Life in society is not some fantasy world where a boy should pretend he has magically transformed himself into a girl simply by uttering the words “I am a girl” and changing how he presents himself.
The people who strongly object to the honest reaction from a man saying, “Nobody wants to buy Girl Scout cookies from a boy in a dress” are perhaps gender-phobic, rejecting and ridiculing the reality of male and female genders.The people who encourage very young kids to act out, switch genders, and live a life of pretend need to understand that Stormi could be suffering from a dissociative disorder, just as happened with me. My feelings of not wanting to be a boy started in early childhood as result of cross-dressing at the hands of my grandma.
Stormi could be in need of psychotherapy, not a dress.
Caregivers all too often collaborate with a mental disorder instead of treating it. Telling a psychologically troubled boy he has changed genders is not compassion, but can become reckless parenting. By withholding psychotherapy, parents could be abusing the kid.
My Transgender Story
Living in a self-made gender fantasy world void of reality is not psychologically or emotionally healthy.

I know that to be true. I was transgender kid at the age of 4. For decades, as I tried to live in my male birth gender, the feelings of being a woman only grew stronger.

I sought help from a renowned gender specialist who told me that mine was a clear-cut case of gender dysphoria—strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex. He said the only way to get relief was to surgically change genders.

I underwent gender reassignment surgery at 42 years of age after cross-dressing for most of my life.

I lived as a transgender, Laura Jensen, female, for eight years. While studying psychology in a university program, I discovered that trans kids most often are suffering from a variety of disorders, starting with depression—the result of personal loss, broken families, sexual abuse, and unstable homes. Deep depression leads kids to want to be someone other than who they are.

That information sure resonated with me.

Finally, I had discovered the madness of the transgender life. It is a fabrication born of mental disorders.

I only wish that when I went to the gender counselor for help he would have told me I couldn’t really change genders, that it is biologically impossible. Instead, he approved me for gender reassignment surgery, a surgery that, if I had been provided proper psychotherapy, would never have been necessary or appropriate.

The Role Trauma and Psychological Disorders Can Play

The transgender life is often the direct result of early childhood difficulty or trauma. Assisting a young child into the fabricated ideology of a transgender life is not helping the child sort out what is real and what is fiction.


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The likelihood that the child known as Stormi is suffering from separation anxiety or some other psychological disorder cannot be ignored. Stormi is living in a foster home. While it may be safe and necessary, foster care is intended to separate the child from the birth parent. This can lead to psychological disorders like separation anxiety disorder.

Separation anxiety occurs as the result of loss or separation from the birth parent. Disruption in a child’s home environment can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Living in a foster home even under the best conditions can be stressful to a young person.

Separation anxiety disorder and other psychological disorders can masquerade as gender dysphoria, leading caregivers and medical practitioners to misdiagnose and not provide proper or effective psychotherapies.

Stormi’s life will evolve as maturity unfolds. Most likely in 15 or 20 years, reality will set in that he really never changed genders. This is often a turning point where the trans life is not looking as good as it once did.

Thankfully, like me, many transgender persons return to the gender they once shed. Slowly they restore the life that was lost.

The three men who came up with the idea of changing boys into girls and making transgenders, Alfred Kinsey, Harry Benjamin, and John Money, were pedophilia advocates. (For more of the history, see “Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know.)

The neighbor man was correct about one thing: The Girl Scout at his door was really a boy in a dress—just like I was as a young boy who thought I was a girl.
Hour 2 "Excessive Class Action Attorney's Fees on Trial" PART 2
Lawrence W. Schonbrun    WE THE PEOPLE RADIO
Lawrence W. Schonbrun is a nationally recognized authority on the issue of the reasonableness of attorneys' fee awards in class actions.  He has appeared on behalf of unnamed class members in approximately 200 class actions throughout the United States.  A New York City native now living in Northern California, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont in 1966 and his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1969. 

Mr. Schonbrun has been featured on John Stossel's ABC special, "The Trouble With Lawyers," as well as Morley Safer's 60 Minutes report, "The Disaster That Wasn't."  He has also testified before the United States Congress on the issue of attorney contingency fees and before the California Senate Judiciary Committee on class action reform legislation.  His work in the field of class actions has been chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, Barron's, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg Business News Service, and American Thinker.


The results of this suit are the topic of today's program:


A battle is now being waged in the California Supreme Court over how much money courts should pay attorneys from class action settlements.  The case will have national implications.  What's at stake is whether attorneys are to be paid based on a percentage of the settlement or based on the legal services they provide to the class.  Also at issue is whether a class guardian will be appointed to protect against excessive attorneys' fee requests by class counsel.

The Laffitte case is an employment dispute, in which the class's recovery was $19 million.  The plaintiffs' lawyers were awarded 33% of their clients' fund, which amounted to $6.3 million.  This was the equivalent of being paid at partner rate of $1,597.50 per hour.  The difference between a payment for legal services provided as opposed a percentage of the settlement is a windfall profit for the attorneys.  Every dollar of fees is a dollar that does not go to a class member. 

Excessive Class Action Attorneys’ Fees on Trial

By Lawrence W. Schonbrun

A class member in a landmark class action lawsuit is hoping that California will live up to its reputation as a national trendsetter—this time in the area of how attorneys get paid in class action litigation.  The California Supreme Court is considering a case which could level the playing field between class members and class action attorneys during the fee-setting process.  The Court’s decision could affect the allocation of billions of dollars, both in California and nationally.  Ultimately, the case will determine how many of those dollars remain in the hands of class members—on whose behalf the class action mechanism was originally designed—and how many of those dollars are to be diverted to the lawyers who litigate these lawsuits through judicial awards of attorneys’ fees.

The class member that I represent is asking the Supreme Court to confirm its landmark ruling in Serrano v. Priest.  In that case, California's highest court ruled that attorneys' fee awards were not to be based on a percentage of the class's settlement recovery, but rather on the value of the legal services performed by the attorneys.  The rationale for the decision was that courts were routinely overpaying class counsel by using the percentage method.  The Supreme Court was concerned that this jeopardized the public's respect for the judicial system and the integrity of the bar.

 The current case, Laffitte v. Robert Half International, is an employment law dispute, in which the class settled for $19 million.  From this amount, the plaintiffs' lawyers sought 33-1/3% of the recovery, or $6.3 million.  The attorneys sought payment for their work equivalent to a partner rate of $1,597.50 per hour!  Every dollar of that is a dollar that does not go to a class member.

Class action attorneys assert they should be paid like lawyers that take personal injury cases on contingency.  The traditional percentage in one-plaintiff/one law-firm contingent fee litigation is one-third.  However, class actions are profoundly different from contingent fee litigation.  In class actions, clients never have any contact with the lawyers who represent them and have not agreed to a fee prior to the commencement of the litigation.  When a case settles, the attorneys' fee is determined by a judge, who is supposed to protect class members from excessive attorneys' fee requests.

Class action attorneys argue that the award of a fixed percentage of their clients' recovery is necessary to attract skilled lawyers to take such cases.  The problem in class actions, however, may be that there is too much incentive, not too little.  Take, for example, the class action against Volkswagen after recent disclosures of corporate wrongdoing.  More than 500 separate class action lawsuits have been filed in the United States, each one seeking to represent the entire class of deceived car purchasers.  No problem attracting attorneys here!

The attorneys claim a fixed percentage incentivizes lawyers to get the most they can for their clients in settlement.  That sounds reasonable—until one remembers that law is a profession and attorneys have a duty of loyalty to their client.  It is the very foundation of professional responsibility.

These lawyers also argue that trial courts are too busy to calculate the fee based on the work done for the class because this would require judges to scrutinize lengthy bills listing each service performed by each attorney in the litigation.

Class counsel's arguments in our case all revolve around incentivizing attorneys to work in the best interests of their clients and on minimizing the burden on the judiciary.  The interests of class members are sadly absent, despite being the justification for the very existence of the class action mechanism.  The interests of plaintiffs' lawyers and judges take precedence in the minds of class counsel.

The American judicial system is based on adversarial presentations to the court.  The judge chooses between opposing positions argued by the two sides.  Our case asks the California Supreme Court to bring its originalSerrano III decision into the 21st Century by creating a more class member-protective system.  We seek to have the high court require that trial courts appoint class guardians to represent the interests of class members during the fee determination process.

At the fee-setting stage, the attorneys for the class are not representing their clients.  They are seeking to maximize their fee—inherently at the expense of their clients!  A class guardian would scrutinize attorneys' time records and provide a report to the judge.  When the class attorneys hire experts to give their fee requests a "professional blessing," class guardians would be able to hire opposing experts.  Guardians would provide the class with representation in the fee determination process by offering vigorous opposition to balance the forcefully argued position of class counsel seeking to maximize their fee awards.  Filling in the missing adversarial role for the class would make the fee determination process more consistent with American principles of justice.

—Lawrence W. Schonbrun is the Berkeley, California attorney for the petitioning class member in the Laffitte case.