Connecticut Probate: “creepy signs that showed up at an abandoned New Milford gas station, the probate court system kidnapped someone’s mom.”

OMINOUS HOMEMADE SIGNS ARE TAKING OVER CONNECTICUT

Obviously, the good people of Connecticut know that the state is pretty corrupt.  Depending on who you ask, you’ll get an extremely different example of aforementioned corruption.  But, one person claims they know the truth.

And the truth is about our probate courts.  Somehow.

Because, according to these creepy signs that showed up at an abandoned New Milford gas station, the probate court system kidnapped someone’s mom.  And held her hostage.

What kind of sick world are we living in?  Who takes someone’s mother hostage?

Supposedly, Connecticut does.  And one local radio station: I-95 WRKI got to the bottom of it.

But, the answers they got were probably not what they were expecting.  At all.

So, what do you make of this?  Publicity stunt or another instance of Connecticut’s corruption problem?

Source: http://ctboom.com/ominous-homemade-signs-are-taking-over-connecticut/

Also See: I-95 WRKI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJWmKsATU9w

“Wondering About the ‘Corrupt Probate’ Signs in New Milford?
What started off as a typical Ethan & Lou investigation took a serious turn when Lou got a chance to speak to the people living on the property of the old Citgo station on Route 7 in New Milford. They talked all about why they posted the signs and why they think the Connecticut Judicial System is Corrupt. 

Please note that the opinions expressed in this video do not reflect the opinions of Lou Milano and i95 WRKI.”

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Connecticut Probate: World War II veteran escapes from court-appointed conservator.

NEW FAIRFIELD — The grit and the grace that animate Lou Russo’s face belies the desperate place the World War II veteran was in a few seasons ago at the hands of a court-appointed conservator.

“I will never forget it, because I was treated like a bag of dirt in the street,” the 98-year-old bachelor says of the 17 months he spent against his will in a nursing home while his conservator drained his bank account, scrapped his construction trucks and rented out his house. “Sometimes I dream about it at night and think, ‘What the hell happened to me?’”

Russo’s story ended with a hero’s welcome home because two young friends stepped in to fight for him, bringing the conservator’s misconduct to the attention of the press, police and politicians. But there’s a sentiment among those who know his story that Russo never should have been mistreated.

Lawmakers in Hartford concur.

State politicians and the probate court itself are pushing for legislation to encourage more effective guardianship of the elderly and incapacitated. The legislation would create formal standards for conservators and provide for random audits to prevent exploitation.

“We are joining a nationwide effort to strengthen oversight in conservatorships,” said Paul Knierim, Connecticut’s probate court administrator. “We are working with groups nationwide to improve preventative measures so that conservators get the support they need to act with the utmost integrity.”

Although Russo’s mistreatment is not thought to be typical of the thousands of cases across Connecticut, in which people incapable of managing their own affairs are appointed guardians by probate court, cases like his are clearly part of the push in Hartford for reform.

“This is about Lou Russo, no doubt,” said state Sen. Michael McLachlan, a co-author of the bill and a vice chair of the state legislature’s joint Judiciary Committee, which is reviewing it. “Unfortunately there are other cases similar to Lou’s, but he is the local face of this problem.”

The legislation’s intent is intended to support thousands of family members appointed by the court to manage the health and finances of loved ones incapacitated by age or mental affliction, but also to discourage misconduct by auditing conservators’ accounts for fraud.

“Anything that increases oversight is always welcome,” said Dan Gaita, a former Marine who at one point was the only person advocating for Russo’s rights. “There are still unresolved issues with Lou’s case, but we are trying to let him enjoy his life.”

The legislation comes at the same time that the probate court is rolling out a statewide training program to help conservators navigate increasingly complex systems of health care, property management and public assistance programs.

“The world is getting more complicated, and we have heard a consistent drumbeat from conservators and judges telling us a formal training program is warranted,” Knierim said. “No single person can reasonably be expected to master all this stuff.”

The accountability legislation also comes at a time when the population is aging in Connecticut and across the country,

Nationwide, the number of people 65 and older is expected to jump from the current 46 million to 88 million by 2050, according to federal Government Accounting Office. In Connecticut, the AARP estimates that 600,000 people are 50 or older.

“The bill … would put Connecticut at the forefront in effective court monitoring,” said Claudio Gualtieri, advocacy director of the AARP Connecticut in testimony during a public hearing on the legislation last week. “These improvements will help protect older adults and give support to family caregivers.”

The aging trend is complicated by the prevalence of mental afflictions, the legislation’s supporters said.

For example, 75,000 people in Connecticut have Alzheimer’s disease, and thousands more have other forms of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

“Due to the progressive nature of the disease, and its profound impact on the victim’s ability to make even the most basic decisions regarding their health care and other financial matters, many people with dementia end up being conserved,” said Ian MacDonald, public policy director for the Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in testimony.

Lou’s law

Those who know Russo’s story might immediately think of his quick wit or his gracious spirit, which was on display during a recent Veterans Day celebration, when volunteers built a stage in the back yard of his New Fairfield home to hold all the VIPs who came to honor him with speeches and plaques.

It might be hard for those who know him now to remember how brokenhearted and powerless the combat veteran was in 2013, when he was admitted against his will at a Danbury nursing home while his court-appointed conservator disposed of everything he owned.

A social worker had reported the partly collapsed roof and poor general condition of Russo’s home, and Probate Court Judge Martin Landgrebe ruled that Russo needed a conservator.

Had Russo had able-bodied family members nearby, the judge might have appointed one of them to manage Russo’s return to health and oversee home repairs. As it was, Russo was single and alone, so the judge appointed a businessman named Mark Broadmeyer to manage his affairs.

Instead, Broadmeyer sold Russo’s possessions and rented his home to another family.

After persistent objections by Gaita, Landgrebe eventually reviewed the conservator’s records and ordered Broadmeyer to repay Russo $34,000. But at that point, Russo’s nursing home bill had accumulated to $100,000.

When the nursing home offered to settle with Russo for a mere $10,000, Russo’s response was “That’s how much they should pay me.”

In the end, the nursing home dropped all claims, saying Russo had suffered enough.

Today, Russo is living in the home he built himself under the conservatorship of Joseph Schirmer of Danbury, one of the leading volunteers in Lou’s life, who not only accompanied him to court with Gaita, but helped organize the corps of volunteers who remodeled Russo’s home.

Schirmer said he was pleased about news of the legislation in Hartford.

“We know how bad the system is,” Schirmer said. “People have to be held accountable.”

Knierim said the legislation was not drafted in response to any one case but agreed that egregious cases of abuse such as Russo’s were alarming.

“Most definitely this legislation is a recognition that seniors and individuals with disabilities can be vulnerable to neglect, abuse and financial exploitation, and that is a very high priority for us in the probate court system,” he said. “We try to learn from every case that doesn’t go the way it should.”

McLachlan said there was no opposition to the legislation.

The next step is for the Judiciary Committee to vote on the legislation, and determine whether it can be voted on in the Senate and the House of Representatives, he said.

“The sad thing about this is Lou had to serve as an example of why we need this legislation,” McLachlan said.

rryser@newstimes.com; 203-731-3342

See Full Story at: http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Bill-would-require-monitoring-of-court-appointed-11010335.php#photo-12568836

Comments

Elaine Renoir

NASGA is pleased to see the State of CT stepping up to the plate to address guardianship abuse. Dan Gross, a victim of guardianship abuse in CT years ago, first coined the phrase, “Isolate, Medicate, Take the Estate” and that phrase is now widely used nationwide by advocates to describe what has happened to them or their loved one under the guise of “protection.” 

Monitoring is a big first step. It must be followed by oversight, penalties and enforcement. CT is moving in the right direction! 

Join the national movement to reform unlawful and abusive guardianships. Join NASGA!

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2013 Flashback: Campaign Promises: Lisa Wexler, GOP Candidate For Weston-Westport Probate Judge

WESTON, Conn. – Weston candidates were posed a set of three questions by The Daily Voice to help give voters an idea of what they might bring to the position.

Lisa Wexler is the Republican candidate running for the Weston-Westport Probate Judge seat.

         1) Why are you running this year?

I am running for judge because I have a deep commitment to justice, the legal experience and education necessary to do the job well, and a record of caring about people in our community. Probate court is a place where you have the opportunity to help people at their most vulnerable, when they are grieving or stressed about a family situation. The probate judge is in a unique position to resolve conflicts before they escalate, prevent greedy people from looting estates, and assist people in transition in life. As an attorney of nearly 30 years, with vast experience in trusts, estates, real estate and probate, I have the skill set required.

I am married to Bill 31 years, the mom of two kids, Jon and Joanna, and a daughter, sister, niece, aunt, godmother and friend. I understand and value relationships. I am the recipient of a special award from the CT Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents for my work.

       2) What do you hope to accomplish in your term if elected?

1. Investigate fully and resolve promptly all of the pending matters and current cases in our court, because we have only had the benefit of a visiting judge coming once a week into our court for the past two years.

2. Open the Probate Court one evening per week on a regular basis to provide access to those who cannot get there during the day, even if only to ask questions of me.

3. Clarify the new probate rules for the public and the bar.

4. Hold seminars in the community on the responsibilities and duties of conservators and guardians because (a) this is a function that many families will have to learn and (b) this is a fiduciary position that can be filled by trustworthy members of our community who are not lawyers, who can fulfill these responsibilities at a greatly reduced fee.

5. Eliminate Conflict of Interest issues in our Probate Court by refusing to accept new clients and refusing to engage in any adversarial matters with other members of the Bar.

3) How do you stand out against your competitors?

1. I am a graduate with Honors of The Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1981). I am a graduate of The New York University School of Law (J.D., 1984). I received The American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law while at NYU.

2. I am admitted to the Bar of the State of New York as well as Connecticut, which will be helpful to the many members of our towns who own properties in both states. Much of probate work actually involves real estate title questions, and my expertise in New York real estate law as well as experience in its Surrogates Court will serve our towns well.

3. I have probated numerous estates in Westport going back close to 20 years. My opponent has never represented a single probate estate in our own Westport/Weston Court. The only matters he appears in are recent fiduciary appointments by the visiting Fairfield judge.

4. I have practiced law in Westport since 1989, primarily in the areas of trusts, estates, real estate and probate. My opponent, who practices in Fairfield, is primarily a divorce lawyer, advertising as such on a highway billboard. I have practiced law altogether for close to 30 years, 27 of those full-time. My opponent has eight fewer years of legal practice than I do.

5. I have been elected to town office, serving in a quasi-judicial capacity on both the Westport Zoning Board of Appeals and the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission for a total of six years. My opponent has never served the Town of Westport in any capacity.

6. A good judge must have compassion as well as intellect and experience. I am on the Advisory Board of Jane Doe No More, which advocates against the stigma of sexual assault. As a board member of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, I advocated successfully in Hartford for newborn screening for the fatal disease of SCID, which must be caught at birth in order to cure the disease. To date, at least three babies have been saved. I have been a Trustee for two local JCCs as well as Congregation Rodeph Sholom. In Westport, I co-founded Women in Power CT, which held free informational events for women looking to restart their careers. I have been a continuous sponsor of Save the Children since 1986, and made five mission trips within 10 years to support an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. Personally, I stood up as guardian for three children adopted out of foster care by a dear friend. One of those children has AIDS.

7. As a radio host, I share the microphone with non-profits and experts who inform the community about critical issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, mental illness, substance abuse and elder abuse. I speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and I will continue to do that in Probate Court, in which the clients are those with dementia or other impairments, as well as deceased individuals whose wishes are only known by their last wills and testaments.

8. Connecticut still allows Probate Judges to practice law while sitting on the bench, even though in 2011, our own Ethics Commission recommended that this policy be abolished. I believe a huge conflict of interest exists, and I have seen it in practice. If elected, I will not accept any new clients, nor will I engage in any legal practice in which another attorney is involved. My opponent defended the status quo in open debate, stating that he “did not know of any probate judge in New Haven or Fairfield County who did not practice law on the side.” My opponent will continue to practice in court and at the bargaining table. In my view, this creates an unacceptable compromise of the integrity of our court. After close to 30 years of practicing law, I am ready to be your judge — just your judge.

See Source: http://westport.dailyvoice.com/police-fire/clean-cut-westport-cops-raise-3k-in-no-shave-challenge/696739/

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Fiduciary’s Right to Self-Representation: Attorneys who find themselves acting as estate fiduciaries should be mindful of the advocate-witness rule and, if litigation ensues, must assess whose interests are at stake before they (or their firms) continue representation.

Fiduciary’s Right to Self-Representation

October 10, 2007

Barbara L. MacGrady & Peter C. Valente

New York Law Journal

In a case of first impression, Surrogate Lee L. Holzman (Bronx County) recently ruled that a fiduciary of an estate does not have the same right to represent himself in his fiduciary capacity as he does individually. Estate of Walsh, 2007 WL 2390701; N.Y. Slip. Op. 27342. The fiduciary in question was also an attorney and the court relied on the advocate-witness rule to disqualify him. However, were the fiduciary a nonattorney, it is evident that the court would have reached the same conclusion.

Facts

The case involved a discovery proceeding under Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) §2103 where the executor sought to recover funds that were transferred by the respondent, as the decedent’s attorney-in-fact, during the decedent’s lifetime. The respondent asserted that the executor’s testimony was necessary to ascertain the factual circumstances surrounding the decedent’s execution of the power of attorney in favor of the respondent.

Accordingly, the respondent claimed that the attorney-executor was subject to disqualification on the basis of the advocate-witness rule set forth in the Code of Professional Responsibility, DR-5-102 (22 NYCRR 1200.21), which states, in part:

A. A lawyer shall not act, or accept employment that contemplates the lawyer’s acting, as an advocate on issues of fact before any tribunal if the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the lawyer ought to be called as a witness on a significant issue on behalf of the client . . .

B. Neither a lawyer nor the lawyer’s firm shall accept employment in contemplated or pending litigation if the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the lawyer or another lawyer in the lawyer’s firm may be called as a witness on a significant issue other than on behalf of the client, and it is apparent that the testimony would or might be prejudicial to the client.

C. If, after undertaking employment in contemplated or pending litigation, a lawyer learns or it is obvious that the lawyer ought to be called as a witness on a significant issue on behalf of the client, the lawyer shall not serve as an advocate on issues of fact before the tribunal . . .

D. If, after undertaking employment in contemplated or pending litigation, a lawyer learns or it is obvious that the lawyer or a lawyer in his or her firm may be called as a witness on a significant issue other than on behalf of the client, the lawyer may continue the representation until it is apparent that the testimony is or may be prejudicial to the client at which point the lawyer and the firm must withdraw from acting as an advocate before the tribunal. 22 NYCRR 1200.21.

There are some exceptions that will allow an attorney to testify in certain situations. See the full text of the rule for a list of those exceptions.

The rule is meant to address potential client-attorney conflict inherent in the different roles played by an advocate and a witness in the quest for truth. As noted in the Commentaries to DR-5-102, the “advocate takes the facts of a case . . . and places them in the best possible light for the benefit of his or her client [and] the witness testifies to facts without regard to their impact on either party. In short, the former argues the facts; the latter describes them.” In S&S Hotel Ventures Limited Partnership v. 777 S.H. Corp., 69 NY2d 437 (1987), the Court of Appeals examined the conflicting interests of lawyers and their clients and stated that:

…the Code has rooted disqualification of a lawyer-witness in the concept that a lawyer’s professional judgment should be exercised for the client’s benefit, free of compromising influences and loyalties. A trial lawyer who functions also as a trial witness is thought to be more easily impeachable for interest, and thus a less effective witness for the client . . . . Recognizing that the roles of an advocate and of a witness are inconsistent, and that it is from a public image point of view “unseemly” for a lawyer in a trial also to argue his own credibility as a witness, the Code of Professional Responsibility directs that a lawyer who ought to be called as a witness on behalf of his client shall withdraw from the conduct of the trial . . . . 69 NY2d at 444.

For trust and estate practitioners, the advocate-witness rule is most commonly at play in contested probate proceedings, where the testimony of the attorney-draftsperson, now representing the proponent of the decedent’s will, is necessary. The majority view is that the attorney-draftsperson will be disqualified once the matter goes to trial, but may continue representation during the pretrial stage of proceedings. See Estate of Giantasio, 173 Misc.2d 100 (Surr. Ct. Bronx Co., 1997) and cases cited therein; contra Matter of O’Malley, 141 Misc.2d 863 (Surr. Ct. Renssalaer Co., 1988) (automatic disqualification of attorney-draftsperson in contested probate proceeding).

Litigants Right to Choose Own Counsel

In Walsh, Surrogate Holzman recognized that disqualification of an attorney under the advocate-witness rule implicates the rights of litigants to representation by counsel of their own choosing and that such rights will only be overridden “where a competing, compelling public policy reason exists” or “absent a demonstration that the testimony of the attorney will be necessary.” Courts have denied motions for disqualification where such a showing was not present. For example, in Estate of DiSalvo, NYLJ, May 9, 1997 at p. 35, col. 2 (Surr. Ct. Suffolk Co.), Surrogate Gail Prudenti denied a disqualification motion because the movant failed to demonstrate that the attorney’s testimony was essential to a contested probate proceeding. Surrogate Prudenti stated that while the advocate-witness rule is not binding on the court, it offers guidance to the court in deciding whether disqualification is warranted. However, the court also emphasized the need to consider “the litigant’s valued right to choose its own counsel” and stated that the party seeking to disqualify an attorney has the burden of establishing that “such a drastic remedy is warranted.” The applicable test, according to Surrogate Prudenti, is not whether the adversary intends to call the attorney as witness, but whether the attorney’s testimony is both necessary and prejudicial to his client. See also, S&S Hotel; Vecchiarelli v. Continental Ins. Co., 216 A.D.2d 909 (4th Dept. 1995).

Under the facts of the Walsh case, the decedent’s attorney-in-fact transferred cash belonging to the decedent into joint bank accounts held in the name of the decedent and his attorney-in-fact. The attorney-executor was claiming that the decedent lacked the capacity to execute the power of attorney in favor of the respondent, under which the respondent made the transfers. In his petition seeking turnover of the assets, the attorney-executor attached copies of correspondence between himself and the decedent’s friend indicating that the attorney-executor may have suggested the transfers and was aware that the decedent executed the power of attorney. Based on that information, it is evident that the attorney-executor’s testimony was essential to the proceeding and that his testimony could be prejudicial to the interests of the estate beneficiaries; hence, disqualification was warranted.

The Holding

The crux of Surrogate Holzman’s decision was not, however, the test of necessity and prejudice under the advocate-witness rule; rather, it was whether the public policy allowing litigants to represent themselves should apply to fiduciaries. In Walsh, the attorney was representing himself as executor. Surrogate Holzman acknowledged the general public policy reasons for granting parties the right to self-representation and stated that ” . . . where attorneys are themselves parties to litigation, . . . the right of litigants to represent themselves usually trumps disqualification under the advocate-witness rule with the result that the attorney-litigants may represent themselves pro se, . . . notwithstanding that they will testify at the trial.” However, Surrogate Holzman emphasized that the right of attorneys to represent themselves at trials where they will testify is a narrow exception to the strong public policy requiring disqualification under the advocate-witness rule.

How are the competing policies reconciled? The answer lies in a “real party in interest” analysis. The common notion of a pro se litigant is an individual representing his or her own interests and the “rationale for the right to self-representation is that litigants have a right to advocate on their own behalf where their own freedom or property interests are at stake.” Id. Accordingly, attorneys, just by reason of being attorneys, won’t be denied the same rights as nonattorneys to self-representation, so long as they are advocating their individual interests. Generally, however, a fiduciary of an estate is not acting in an individual capacity, but in a representative capacity and the interests at stake are those of the estate beneficiaries. Surrogate Holzman looked to a number of statutory provisions for support of his holding that an estate fiduciary is merely a nominal party and the real parties in interest are the estate beneficiaries.1 For example, fiduciaries are not liable on contracts entered into in their fiduciary capacity unless they fail to reveal they are acting in their fiduciary capacity (EPTL §11-4.7(a)); estates cannot sue or be sued in their own name and must instead appear through their fiduciaries (EPTL §11-4.1); wrongful death actions may only be brought by the fiduciary (EPTL §5-4.1) but the damages recovered are solely for the benefit of the decedent’s distributees (EPTL §5-4.4(a)).

Thus, Surrogate Holzman, “weighing the public policy reasons for disqualification of an attorney under the advocate-witness rule against the public policy reasons for granting parties the right to self-representation,” ruled that “the former must prevail where the attorney is not a party, individually, but instead, is a party as the personal representative of an estate.” Had the executor in the Walsh case been a nonattorney, the court would still have disallowed self-representation, not under the advocate-witness rule, but under the proscription against practicing law without a license. Had the attorney-executor in Walsh been the sole beneficiary of the estate, it is probable that the court would have ruled otherwise,2 since the fiduciary’s individual interests are at stake.

Conclusion

Attorneys who find themselves acting as estate fiduciaries should be mindful of the advocate-witness rule and, if litigation ensues, must assess whose interests are at stake before they (or their firms) continue representation.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Surrogate Holzman found the analysis in Heath v. Teich, 2007 WL 1501727 (Ohio Ct. of App.) compelling. That case involved an administrator of an estate seeking to represent herself individually and her two minor children, who were all the persons entitled to share in any recovery of a wrongful death action brought by the administrator. The Ohio Court of Appeals, determining that the real parties in interest are the estate beneficiaries, prohibited the administrator (a nonattorney) from representing the interests of her children.
  2. See Heath v. Teich, supra; but see, Gasoline Expwy, Inc. v. Sun Oil Co. of Pennsylvania, 64 A.D.2d 647 (2d Dept. 1978), where the Appellate Division disqualified an attorney in her representation of a closed corporation under the advocate-witness rule, notwithstanding that the attorney was the sole shareholder of the closed corporation.

See Source: https://www.blankrome.com/index.cfm?contentID=37&itemID=1561

Posted in Family Court Reform, Probate, Social justice | Leave a comment

Connecticut: AudioGate — CT Judicial Branch has even fought against providing these services to individuals making an administrative request for audio through the Americans with Disabilities Act “…..and, ultimately reduce the time it takes to produce a transcript….”

 

CSCB

Dan Lynch appears as guest on ‘Summary Judgment’ with hosts Atty. Rachel M. Baird (left) and Ed Peruta

It seems that the Branch made their pitch, convinced lawmakers to vote for increased fees based on a promised delivery of a tangible service with real benefits to citizens of Connecticut, but then they failed to live up to their end of the bargain. Not only have four years gone by without audio recordings being made available, but in certain instances the Branch has even fought against providing these services to individuals making an administrative request for audio through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Finally, legislation passed this session increased certain court fees to provide funds for the Branch’s technology revolving fund. Having a steady reliable funding source for technology will enable us to plan and implement many technology projects, most notably, the expansion of digital audio recording to all of our courtrooms. This will enable the Branch to make audio recordings of proceedings available to the bar and public on the day they are recorded and, ultimately reduce the time it takes to produce a transcript and accelerate the appeal process.”.

Among the more interesting topics discussed, Lynch notes how the Judicial Branch petitioned the Connecticut Legislature during the 2012 Legislative Session for support of legislation which would enable them to increase certain court filing fees. The bill in question was Raised H.B. No. 5388, titled somewhat cleverly, “AN ACT CONCERNING COURT FEES AND THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES TO THE POOR.” Now, seriously, especially in an election year, who wants to be known for voting NO on such a magnanimous piece of legislation

In the final hours of this year’s legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly granted a rare reversal enabling Lynch to recover damages — he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages in his federal complaint which will now be amended to include additional defendants and claims — resulting from his 2009 divorce and related actions in Bridgeport.

See the full Story at: http://ctsupremecourt.blogspot.com/2016_05_01_archive.html

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Connecticut: Trumbull man to sue state for attorney, judicial misconduct, he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages

daniel-lynch

Divorce has cost Trumbull resident Dan Lynch a lot more than a life partner — it has cost him his business, his physical and mental health, and his faith in the judicial system.

Perhaps most important, the legal situation cost him time — almost a decade’s worth of it, more than 15 times the average period for such a matter.

Lynch, who has been seeking an opportunity to sue, among others, Connecticut’s Statewide Grievance Committee and the Judiciary Department over alleged attorney and judicial misconduct for the last seven years, received some long-awaited good news from the House of Representatives and Connecticut State Senate Tuesday, May 3.

In the final hours of this year’s legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly granted a rare reversal enabling Lynch to recover damages — he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages in his federal complaint which will now be amended to include additional defendants and claims — resulting from his 2009 divorce and related actions in Bridgeport.

To the extent allowed by law, he noted certain claims allow for treble damages, so the damage awards could be substantially higher.

“In the end, it’s a very emotional victory,” Lynch told The Times Friday. “I don’t get back my clean record, I don’t get back all the time I’ve spent researching and responding to these cases, but now I can continue my pursuit for justice and make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

See the Full Story at: http://www.trumbulltimes.com/2016/05/11/trumbull-man-to-sue-state-for-attorney-judicial-misconduct/

Also See: CONNECTICUT COMMITTEE ON COURT RECORDING MONITORS 2010

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Connecticut: Stamford attorney accused of stealing from client’s estate. “He also did not comply with several probate orders…”

Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son.

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Photo: Stamford Police Department / Contributed Photo /

Stamford Advocate Contributed Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son. Photo: Stamford Police Department / Contributed Photo   Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son.

A city attorney with more than 40 years of experience surrendered his law license this week amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from the estates of a woman and her son. Morris Glucksman, 68, ended his 42-year law career Tuesday when he voluntarily resigned his license to practice law in the state and agreed to never ask for its reinstatement.

Judge Douglas Mintz accepted the civil and real estate attorney’s resignation. Glucksman’s attorney, John Robert Gulash, declined comment after the brief hearing in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Glucksman was back in court Wednesday when he pleaded not guilty to first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. Gulash said it wasn’t appropriate to comment on the case since he was still gathering information from state prosecutors.

The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which pursues grievance complaints against attorneys on behalf of its clients, pushed for Glucksman to surrender his license after determining he posed a “threat of irreparable harm to current and prospective clients.”

Karyl Carrasquilla, who heads the council, said she was saddened by the accusations against Glucksman. “It is always a sad day when a lawyer with a 40-plus-year practice is faced with allegations like these and tenders his law license,” Carrasquilla said. She said Glucksman was not required to surrender his license, but said it is common for attorneys to forfeit their license when facing these types of charges.

Carrasquilla said New Canaan attorney Ann Brickley volunteered as a trustee to help sort out Glucksman’s clients and protect their interests. “It is a huge service they do for the Judicial Branch and we completely appreciate everyone who has worked as a trustee in any of our disciplinary matters,” Carrasquilla said.

The Statewide Grievance Committee will soon audit Glucksman’s trustee account. According to documents contained in his court files, Glucksman stole about $58,000 from the estates of a woman and her son soon after they died three months apart about five years ago. He also did not comply with several probate orders and even submitted a forged trust document into evidence in probate court, the documents state.

The family reported Glucksman’s handling of the estate to police in November. The family also accused Glucksman of failing to winterize a house belonging to the estate, causing a water main to burst and reducing the property’s value by $72,000 as a result of his negligence, according to court documents. A day after the woman died in October 2010, Glucksman withdrew $25,000 from her account but didn’t file her will in probate court for nearly three years, court documents state.

A month after her death, Glucksman drafted three checks — two purportedly signed by the woman — written out to himself, court documents state. Three months later, Glucksman took $15,000 from a money market account belonging to the woman’s son on the day he died, according to court documents. Glucksman deposited the money into his own account and continued to cash checks from the man’s account over the following year, the documents state.

Police say Glucksman also sold $33,000 worth of sports memorabilia from the estates, but never deposited the money into accounts belonging to the estates. Glucksman is due back in court June 20

To read the full The Stamford Advocate story, and read the comments click here.

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Connecticut: Former Attorney Avoids Prison “I told the probate court something was wrong and the court ignored me.”

Former Attorney Avoids Prison in Larceny Case Involving Disabled Client

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse

John Fritz told a judge recently that his former attorney’s theft of his money left him severely depressed, nervous, angry and distrustful of lawyers, the courts and people in general.

Fritz, a disabled Wethersfield resident, had a chance to address Judge Joan K. Alexander before she sentenced his long-time former attorney and conservator, Michael Schless, at Superior Court in New Britain on March 18.

Newington police last year charged Schless with stealing about $48,000 from Fritz. Schless, 78, entered a no contest plea to first-degree larceny in February.

“Michael Schless stabbed me in the back and he only looked out for himself,” Fritz said.

Fritz told the judge he has had cerebral palsy his entire life, and he had received $120,000 from his late mother, money which Schless was supposed to help him manage.

“I think he was stealing money for a long time,” Fritz said. “In the past I trusted people, and trusted lawyers and the courts. Now, I don’t trust people anymore. I told the probate court something was wrong and the court ignored me.”

According to Fritz, what happened made him severely depressed. He stopped eating properly and lost over 80 pounds. For years, he had a home health aide to help him brush his teeth, but Schless claimed he couldn’t afford an aide and cancelled that service, Fritz said. He told the judge his lower teeth rotted and had to be pulled out. “It was awful for me,” Fritz said.

Fritz said Schless wasn’t paying his bills or rent properly, subjecting him to fines and penalties. When he complained, he said probate court officials didn’t do anything about it……..

Full Article & Source:
Former Attorney Avoids Prison in Larceny Case Involving Disabled Client

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Connecticut Citizens Need to Learn Probate Reform From Colorado Reform Efforts

The Har Company, L.L.C., is a private consulting firm dedicated to empowering families in probate courts.

Colorado and the Pro Se Litigant-References verified per Code, Case, and Constitution, Article 2:

  • Constitution Article 2 section 6 “Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character, and right and justice should be admistered without sale, denial or delay.”
  • Colorado Supreme Court in Tassian v. People, 731 P.2d 672 Jan. 1987, “The chief judge’s directive at issue here clearly discriminates against pro se litigants solely on the basis of their pro se status and in that respect, lacks any rational basis in fact and thus violates equal protection of the laws.”
  • Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon III(a)(7), “A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, full right to be heard according to law.”

The National Association for Probate Reform and Advocacy

“NAPRA” is dedicated to ending crimes against humanity in America’s probate courts including: fraud, post traumatic stress and pain from legal abuse, intimidation, bullying, harassment, failure to provide families with accountings and  financial exploitation through public awareness campaigns.

NAPRA’s mission  encourages our elected officials to ratify “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”*

NAPRA is a non-partisan educational organization created to promote transparency, accountability, and awareness  in America’s Probate Courts. At NAPRA we welcome all organizations dedicated to this common goal.  NAPRA recognizes and commends the minority of lawyers and judges who act ethically and follow the “Black Letter rules of law” in Probate Court proceedings. * Link available from the United Nations.

Legislation must be addressed that allows for the Federal Rules of Evidence to “apply” in Probate Court proceedings

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  • Laws must be adopted so all individuals in probate courts have mandatory due process, presentation of evidence, and an opportunity to be heard before a Court can take an individual’s “life, liberty, or property.”
  • Any failure by a court “judge” to deny an individual’s due process rights must immediately be put on mandatory leave.
  • The inalienable rights of American citizens are not bestowed by any  contract but are just that – “inalienale.”
  • Mandatory sanctions must be implemented so that the perpetrators cannot continue to rob Americans of their property, liberty, or life absent due process of law.

Judicial Immunity and Due Process From the CATO  Institute:

“A judge thus remains unquestionably immune as long as he does not take actions that intentionally and plainly prevent further review. The duty imposed on a state-court judge, then, is only to recognize that his own decisions may sometimes be in error and to ensure that orders affecting important constitutional rights can be reviewed in another court.” Go to information and resources for link to article.

To remedy this problem, Congress must pass legislation limiting immunity for due process violations such as notice, hearing, and the opportunity to appeal. Probate courts must have a higher sanctions for violators before allowing the taking of property, life and liberty as it applies to guardianships, conservatorships, and child protection services that often severely violate the individual’s inalienable rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Public Hearing Colorado Supreme Court-Athena Roe, J.D.

Available on OMPCO Judicial You Tube

What is Probate?

The “GAME”  of Probate or “estate administration” can come in many forms. Guardianship schemes, drugging the elderly, defrauding the estate by making false claims, and by financially exploiting the vulnerable. Probate lawyers always practice in areas of “real estate’ and land grabbing under the guise of “wealth management” –in other words your wealth.

If your parent, husband, wife, brother, sister,  or other family member’s died without a “Will” or if  they did not have a beneficiary “Deed” to the home,  payment on death and transfer on death on bank acounts, retirement accounts, etc.  the State Public Administrator will come in and take possessin of the home, bank accounts, and all other assets.  As a family member or beneficiary, you will lose control over every single asset your family worked to build within weeks.

The process is painful and often fraught with unscrupulous lawyers and judges who “rubber stamp” orders without due process of law. A Will does not protect assets.  Worse yet, probate lawyers will liquidate your family’s property for pennies on the dollar leaving you as a beneficiary a mere pittence.  Probate court abuse does not just affect the elderly. Families in divorce court may experience unique relationships with guardianships. NAPRA recognizes the lawyers who act ethically and genuinely try to help their clients. There are those who are not as noble and act adverse to their client’s case.

One way the corruption maintains itself is by silencing family members and beneficiaries “the  whistleblowers” who exposes the illegal acts, fraud,  and abuse. Your own lawyers my belittle you because of the vulnerability after the loss of a loved one and financially exploit widows, widowers,  or family members who speaks out against the rampant abuse. The ABA Rule for Lawyers and Federal Codes that address usury interest, exposure of fraud and felonies are as follows:

  •  Lawyer Rule 8.3 states, “lawyers must report criminal activity.”
  • 18 U.S.C.A. 4 makes it a crime NOT to report felonies.
  • Check  your state fraud laws at: www.clla.org/documents/Usury%20Laws%20by%state.doc.

Fraud Scams

  • Often lawyers concoct schemes to defraud the estate. Investment companies work with lawyers and banks to purchase homes and property for pennies on the dollar. For example, your family home may be worth $350,000.00. If there is no beneficiary deed, the probate laweyer can set up a scheme to liquidate your home to an investment company for $75,000.00.
  • Another scheme is the fake future interet scam, if real estate companies assert “the estate owes future interest for CAM charges”–interest rates over 45% is considered a class 6 felony.

The Har Company, L.L.C., is a separate private consulting firm. At the Har Company, L.L.C., you will learn how to spot fraud, fee churning, and fight against unfettered liquidation of your family’s assets. We will have pro se support groups for families who have become inflicted with PTSD due to legal abuse. Dr. Huffer of Equal Access is an expert on the topic. The Har Company, L.L.C., does not provide legal advice or any information or advice inherant with your case. The Har Company, L.L.C.,  can make recommendations or referrals for counsel and support groups –  should the need arise. We work with Equal Access Advocates and some attorneys and counselors.

The National Association for Probate Reform and Advocacy supports and recognizes the following organizations all committed to making America a better place for our nation’s elderly, disabled, troops, widows, widowers, children and families affected by probate administration and reform efforts:

Network and Collaborate

The Americans with Disability Act, (ADAAA),

  • Dr. Karin Huffer, Equal Access,
  • The National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association
  • Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship,
  • Kasem Cares,
  • Stop Guardian Abuse Nevada,
  • Families Against Court Embezzlement and Unethical Standards, (F.A.C.E.U.S.),
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),
  • The Estate of Denial, Lou Ann Anderson,
  • The Examiner, Lou Ann Anderson,
  • Westport Wow,
  • Marti Oakley of PPJ Gazette and T.S. Radio,
  • Senators and legislators,
  • The Judicial Integrity Project, Colorado,
  • The Honest Judge Amendment,
  • Probate Sharks,
  • Whistleblowers Summit,
  • The Law Project, NJCDLP,
  • G.R.A.D.E.,
  • Judicial-corruption.blogspot
  • and countless families and probate reform groups!

We as citizens of America must continue to demand the “gold standard”  that made America great – The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

See Website and Source of Information: http://www.harjustice.org/

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“deducted $7 million in legal fees.” – Local case could change Connecticut’s attorney disciplinary system – a jury awarded $58.6 million — the largest medical malpractice award in Connecticut history — to Danny

A Wilton 12-year-old named Danny finds himself in the middle of an attorney misconduct controversy that has the potential to change Connecticut’s attorney disciplinary system.

The case involves millions of dollars and “some of the best-known and well-connected attorneys in Connecticut,” according to a press release from Connecticut-based legal legal_malpracticemalpractice attorney Howard Altschuler.

“Danny D’Attilo appears to be the victim of a system of attorney self-regulation that is turning a blind eye to allegations of unethical conduct of Danny’s former attorneys” — Day Pitney and Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder — “who are being treated as if they are too big to discipline,” the press release further states.

In May 2011, a jury awarded $58.6 million — the largest medical malpractice award in Connecticut history — to Danny and his parents, Cathy and Domenic D’Attilo, as a result of a doctor’s negligence which left Danny “severely disabled at birth and cut his life expectancy more than half,” according to the press release.

The medical malpractice parties settled in January 2012 for $25 million in order to avoid an appeal.

Altschuler told The Bulletin he was approached by Danny’s parents in May 2014 because “among other things, they were afraid their prior attorneys had not protected Danny’s future” and “they wanted to make sure Danny was never institutionalized and would always live at home.”

See Full Story at: http://www.wiltonbulletin.com/61699/local-case-could-change-connecticuts-attorney-disciplinary-system/

Also See 2011 Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/malpractice-record_n_867439.html

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