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08/01/2009 13:35 FAX

BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE


STANDING COMMITTEE
COMMITTE~ ON JUDICIARY

---------------------.---------------------------

3~

---------------------.----.----------------------

Public Hearing on the


Appellate Division First Department
Departmental Disciplinary Committee,
the Grievance Committees of the
Various Judicial Districts, and the
New York State Commission on JUdicial Conduct
Condu~t

5
6

77

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Hearing Room 6
Empire State
state ,Plaza
Albany, NY

9
10

l1une 8, 2009
.rune
10:35 a.m.
10;35

11

12

PRESIDING:
PRESIDING;

Senator John Sampson


Chair
Senate Standing Committee on JUdiciary

13

14
1~
15

PRESENT:

16

Senator John A. DeFrancisco

17
17.

Senator Bill Perkins

18

19
20
21
22

23
24

(R)

....

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08/01/2009 13:35 FAX

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

STATEME!'JT
STATEMENT

Martin R. Gold
Alan W. Friedberg
First Department DDC

Christine C. Anderson,

Kevin McKeown

48-63

7
8

Han. Thomas A. Klonick


Robert H. Tembeckjian
Commission on Judicial Conduct

63-79

Justice Duane A. Hart

80-97

10

Pamela Carvel

98-109

11

Paul H. Altman

109-120

12

Luisa C. Esposito

120-128

13

William Galison

129-143

14

Eleanor capogrosso,
Capogrosso l Esq.

143-158

15

Robert ostertag
NYS Bar Association

158-169

John A. Aretakis,

169-182

9-34

Esq.

34-48

16

Esq.
Bsq.

17

Michael Kelly

182-185

19

Kathryn Grace Jordan


End Discrimination Now

165-191
185-191

20

James A. Montagnino,

192-203

21

Ruth M.

22

Kevin Patrick Brady

217-219

23

Carl Lanzisera
Americans for Legal Reform

219-225

18

24

Esq.

Pollack,
Pollack Esq.
l

204-216

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101/2009
11/2009 13:36 FAX

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

get this hearing started.

for my tardiness.

First of all,

lid like to just


And I apologize

II want to welcome all

those who are attending this,hearing dealing

with the disciplinary process as it refers

to lawyers and also to judges in the Sta


te
State

B
e

of New York.

Sampson,

rI'

My name is Senator John

I'm from the 19th Senatorial

10

District.
District,

along with my colleague Senator

11

John DeFrancisco,

12

region.

who is from the Syracuse

13

Am I correct,

14

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

16
17

Senator?
That's
Thatls correct.
And we want to

welcome you all here this morning.


This is the first in a series of

18

~earings that will examine the disciplinary


hearings

19

process for lawyers and judges in the State

20

of New York.

21

disciplinary body,

22

being handled,

23

Complaint to decide what the process is,


complaint

24

what review m@chanisms are in plac@ to

When a complaint comes to a


we want to know how is it

how many people examine the

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8/01/2009 13:36 FAX

it
ensure that once the decision is reached i
t

is fair and according to the rules of law.

3~

These are just a few questions that

weIll be examining during the course of this

hearing.

great distances to be here today to observe

and to participate in today's hearing.

th~nk
would like to take this opportunity to thank

you all.

II

know many of you have traveled

II

Your participation and input on

10

the disciplinary process will help the

11

committee determine what if any measures


meaSures are

12

needed to improve or repair the system so

13

that the members of the public as well as

14

the lawyers and jUdges


judges are all treated

15

fairly and equitably by the disciplinary

16

system.
This hearing has generated a great deal

17

18

of interest from 'the public.

19

people want to speak today,

20

unfortunately the committee was not able to

21

accommodate them all due to the limited

22

time.

23

30 witnesses.

24

everybody to keep their comments within five

A lot of

but

We have about 30 witnesses,

close to

I'm going to try to ask


Ilm

14I 005
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08/01/2009 13:36 FAX

minutes.

can haver you know,

questions and answers.

We want to get to the point so we


the interchange between

And due to the number of responses we

received,

additional hearings in New York City as well

as in Western New York so that we can get a

better understanding of the total picture

across the state and accommodate those who

10

the committee will conduct

couldn't testify today.


As I indicated,

11

we have about 30

12

individuals who are going to testify,

13

do apologize for that.

14

try to be as swift as possible.

As I said,

15

and

to
But welre going to

this hearing will examine

16

the disciplinary process for the judges and

17

attorneys in the State of New York.

18

in our state are disciplined by the

19

Commission on Judicial Conduct.

20

commission acts pursuant to Article 6,

21

Section 22 of the New York State

22

Constitution.

23

1978,
1978/

24

with one voice that there needed to be a

Judges

The

This law was put in place ~n


~n

after the people of New York spoke

141006
141 006

08/01/2009 13:37 FAX

better system for judicial discipline.

The Legislature acted through the

Judiciary Law to

cod~fy

what. the people


what

asked for.

sets out the powers and duties of the

commission.

The commission consists of 11

individuals,

apppinted by the Governor,


four appointed

one by the Temporary President 0 the

Senate, one by the Minority Leader of the

Article 2.2 of the Judiciary Law

.-

10

Senate, one by the Speaker of the Assembly,

11

the, Assembly,
one by the Minority Leader of the

12

and three by the Chief Judge of the Court of

13

Appeals.
This commission is empowered to

14

admonish or remove judges from

15

censure,

16

office if necessary.

17

witnesses,

18

to them,

19

investigate written complaints about jUdges

20

or,

21

investigations concerning judges of the

22

United Court
court System.

They can subpoena

compel courts to release records

offer immunity to witnesses,

on their initiative,

conduct

23

There are approximately 3500 judges and

24

justices in the New York State Unified court


Court

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08/01/2009
08/0112009 13:37 FAX

System.

complaints of judicial misconduct, and of

these the commission conducted 262

full-fledged investigations, along with 174

investigations that were pending from 2007.

Last year alone,

there were 1900

Dealing with attorney discipline in

New York is governed by the Appellate

Division of the State of New Yo~k


York

Court.

~he
The

Su~~eme
Su~reme

rules that govern attorney

10

conduct and discipline are found in rules of

11

profe~~ional
professional

12

those rules are subject to discipline:

13

discipline can take the form of a letter of

14

caution,

15

suspension or disbarment of the attorneys.

16

Only complaints that do result in formal

17

disciplinary action,

18

disbarment are available to the public.

19

conduct.

Lawyers who violate

This

an order of public censure,

Once again,

censure,

suspension or

ladies and gentlemen,

II

20

want to thank you very much for being here

21

today.

22

hea~ing as quickly as possible in an orderly


hearing

23

fashion.

24

we're going to try to conduct this

And I would like to introduce one of my

~008
141008

08/01/2009
8/01/2009 13:38 FAX

colleagues who just came,

from New York City,

Senator Perkins,

from Harlem.

But at this point in time I

would like

my colleague Senator DeFrancisco to say a

few words.

6
7
8
9

My words are

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

very few.
Everybody is handing in a,written
presentation.

Do me a favor,

because I've

10

gone through many,

many hearings in the last

11

17 years.

just for the sake of

12

argument t
argument,

13

that's a bad assumption on behalf of

14

officials in state government,

15

assume that we can read.

16

main points of your presentation.

17

Otherwise,

18

really on your mind and we get into a

19

reading contest,
contest t

20

any good,

21

l i s t will be here about 4 o'clock


end of the list

22

this afternoon waiting for their turn.

2~
23

24

Assume,

that we can read.

You know, maybe

but letts
let 1 s

And get to the

weill never get you. to say what's


we'll

which doesn't
doesnlt do anybody

and those who are here towards the

that t
So please do that,

and it will really

be helpful for all of us.

Thank you.

08/01/2009 13:38 FAX

~009
141009

99

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON~
SAMPSON:

1
22

perkins.
Perkins.

SENATOR PERKINS:

33
44

Senator Bill

I'm going to be

even briefer.
I of course echo the sentiments of my
my

55
66

colleague in terms of the fact that the

77

testimony has
has been written,
written, and aa brief

88

summari~~tion
summari~ation

explore your questions


questions and concerns more
more

10
10

that allows us
us to
to sort
sort of
of

would be
be helpful.
helpful.
And
And 1I just
just also
also want
want to
to compliment
compliment the
the

11
11

12
12

chairman
chairman for
for his
his vision
vision with
with re~pect
respect to
to this
this

13
13

committee,
committee, and
and particularly
particularly on
on this
this issue
issue

14
14

~hich
which

15
15

us.
us.

16
16

the
the good
good work.
work.

is
is of
of such
such great
great importance
importance to
to many
many of
of

And
And II just
just want
want to
to urge
urge him
him to
to keep
keep up
up

17
17

CHAIRMAN
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;
SAMPSON:

18
18

much,
much, Senator
Senator Perkins.
Perkins.

19
19

Thank
Thank you
you very
very

Without
Without further
further ado,
ado, we're
we're going
going to
to get
get
The
The first
first witness
witness is
is Martin
Martin Gold,
Gold,

20
20

started.
started.

21
21

aa member
member of
of the
the First
First Department
Department

22
22

Departmental
Departmental Discipliriary
Discipliriary Committee,
Committee, and
and

23
23

also
also Alan
Alan Friedberg,
Friedberg, chief
chief counsel,
counsel, First
First

24
24

Department
Department Departmental
Departmental Disciplinary
Disciplinary

litI
010
141010

08/01/2009 13:38 FAX

10
1

Committee.

Welcome, gentlemen.

Good morning.

MR. GOLD:

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of

Good morning.

Thank you.

the committee, my name is Ma~tin


Martin R. Gold.

am a lawyer in New York City and a partner

in Sonnenschein!
Sonnenschein, Nath &
~ Rosenthal, a large

8
B

national law firm.

of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee

I'm a volunteer member

10

for the First Judicial Department appointed

11

by the Appellate Division.

12

senior member of the policy committee of the

13

Disciplinary Committee.

14

I am also a

The chairman of the committee, Mr.

Roy

very much wanted to be here today

15

Reardon,

16

and to attend this hearing and participate,

17

but another commitment made that impossible.

18

And he asked me to attend in his place,

19

it's my pleasure to do so.

20

and

With me is our chief counsel, Alan

21

Friedberg.

Together we will provide you

22

with a description of the operation of the

23

disciplinary system in the First


attorney diseiplinary

24

Department and answer any questions you may

8/01/2009 13:39 FAX

!4I011
I4l 011

11
1

have concerning our operation.


The Departmental Disciplinary Committee

was established by the Appellate Division,

First Department,

role in disciplining attorneys in the First

Department,

counties.
Bronx Counties.

are all appointed by the Appellate Division.

They are all volunteers.

10

to assist in the court's

which consists of New York and


Members of the committee

80,000
There are approximately 80,000

11

attorneys in the First Department.

12

have indicated, Mr. Reardon is chairman of

13

the committee.

14

hands-on guidance

15

appointed by the Appellate Division from the

16

members of the committee.

17

Committee oversees the general


g~neral functioning

18

of the committee and the staff and also

19

provides direction on pending issues.

20

Now,

As I

The committee also receives


~rom

the Policy committee

The Policy

the Appellate Division has adopted

21

public rules and procedures governing the

22

Departmental Disciplinary Committee and

23

rules governing the conduct of attorneys.

24

These rules are available to the public,

08/01/2009 13:39 FAX


08/01/2009

141012
I4l 012

12
1

prOfessional
together with the rules of professional

2,2

conduct which govern attorney conduct,

the Departmental Disciplinary Committee

website,

Division website.

on

which is part of the Appellate

Also available on the website is

information
informa tion about th~.committee,
the' commi t tee I includin~
inc 1 uding

6B

information-concerning POW
how a complaint can

9~

be filed.

lnforrnation
Information about filing a

10

complaint is also available to members of

11
11

the public who call or visit the committee's

12
12

offices.

13
13

English,
Chinese.
English, Spanish, and Chinese.

14
14

Complaint forms
forms are available in

It
that the
to note
note that
the
important to
It is
is important

15
15

purpose
discipline is
is not
not to
to
attorney discipline
of attorney
purpose of

16
16

mediate
between attorneys
attorneys and
and
disputes between
mediate disputes

17
17

clients
of
rights of
vindicate the
the rights
clients or
or to
to vindicate

18
18

complainants.
complainants.

19
19

handled
handled by
by the
the court
court system.
system.

20
20

disputes,
disputes, issues
issues of
of legal
legal strategy,
strategy, and
and

21
21

single
single incidents
incidents of
of malpractice
malpractice that
that might
might

22
22

be
be addressed
addressed in
in aa civil
civil matter
matter do
do not
not

23
23

constitute
constitute misconduct.
misconduct.

24
24

Division
Division and
and the
the committee
committee must
must devote
devote its
its

Such
Such matters
matters can
can best
best be
be
Gen.erally fee
fee
Generally

The
The Appellate
Appellate

08/01/2009 13:39 FAX

141
!4J 013

13
1

limited resources to the limited remedial

22

options within its jurisdiction.

33

Pursuant to Sec~ion
Section 90, Subdivision 10,

as Senator Sampson mentioned, of the

55

Judiciary, Law, all materials concerning an

investigation or proceeding concerning an

77

attorney's
attorney's conduct are
are sealed until the

88

Appellate Division
Division issues
issuas a decision

99

sustaining
sustaining charges of misconduct concerning

10
10

an attorney.

11
11

issues such aa decision,


decision, the
the record
record of
of all
all of
of

12
12

the
the proceedings
proceedings becomes
becomes pUblic.
pUbli~.

13
13

When the Appellate


Appellate Division
Division

The
The Office
Office Of
Of tne
t~e Chief
Chief Counsel
Counsel of
of the
the

14
14

Disciplinary
Disciplinary Committee
committee is
is s~affed
staffed by
by 23
23

15
15

attorneys.
attorneys.

16
16

complaints,
complaints, investigate
investigate allegations
allegations of
of

17
17

misconduct
misconduct,J and
and prosecute
prosecute cases
cases at
at hearings.
hearings.

IB
18

As
As II have
have indicated,
indicated, Mr-.
Mr, Alan
Alan Friedberg
Friedberg is
is

19
19

the
the chief
chief counsel.
counsel.

20
20

The
The staff
staff attorneys
attorneys screen
screen

Here
Here is
is the
the process
process by
by which
which aa

21
21

complaint
complaint is
is handled.
handled.

when
When aa complaint
complaint is
is

22
22

received
received at
at the
the committee,
committee, it
it is
i6 immediately
immediately

23
23

assigned
assigned to
to aa staff
staff attorney
attorney to
to be
bB screened.
screened.

24
24

Investigations
Investigations may
may also
also be
be

commence~
commence~

by
by the
the

13:40 FAX
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08/01/2009 13:40

I4J 014
141014

14
1

chief counsel on his own initiative,

2:2

the absence of a complaint from a third

party.

44

even in

offic@s
Since numerous attorneys have offices

in more than one location in the state,

address that an attorney lists in

registering with the Office of Court

Administration determines

body exercises jurisdiction over that

the

~hich disci~lipary
discipli~ary
~hich

Complaints against an attorney

10

attorney.

11

who is registered at an address in another

12

judicial department are referred to the


jUdicial

13

appropriate disciplinary body.

14

discipli~ary agency is able to


each regional discipliriary

15

keep a record of all complaints filed

16

against that attorney.

17

Accordingly,

Complaints against jUdges


judges are referred

18

to the Commission on Judicial Conduct; we

19

have no jurisdiction over them.

20

The staff attorney who screens the


The

21

complaint ~eviews the entire complaint,

22

including attachments,

23

interview the complainant,

24

documents,

and may choose to


obtain court

or obtain documents or

01/2009
01/2009 13:40
13:40 FAX
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141
015
141015

15
15
11

information
information from
from the
the attorney
attorney who
who is
is the
the

22

subject
subject of
of the
the complaint.
complaint.

33

attorney believes
believes the
the allegations
allegations are
are likely
likely

44

to
to warrant
warrant formal
formal charges,
charges, he or
or she
she refers
refers

55

the
the matter
matter to
to the
the chief
chief counsel
counsel for
for

66

immediate
immediate assignment.
assignment.

77

If
If the
the

chie~.counsel
chie~counsel

If
If the
the staff
staff

concurs
concurs that
that the
the

88

allegations
allegations are
are likely
likely to
to warrant
warrant formal
formal

99

charges,
charges, the
the complain~
complainc is
is immediately
immediately
to
to aa staff
staff attorney
attorney for
for

10
10

~ssigned
assigned

11
11

investigation,
investigation, which
which may
may include
include obtaining
obtaining aa

12

written
writt~n -response
response from
from the
the respondent
respondent

13
13

attorney,
attorney, scheduling
scheduling testimony of
of the

14
14

resporident
resporident attorney
attorney or
or others,
others, and
and obtaining
obtaining

15
15

records,
records, including
including court
court records
records and
and bank
bank

16
16

records.
records.

117.
'7.

power
power to
to do
do that.
that.

18
18

All
All of
of them,
them, we
we have
have subpoena
subpoena

In
In cases
cases where
where there's
there's conclusive
conclusive

19
19

evidence
evidence of
of serious
serious misconduct
misconduct or
or failure
failure to
to

20
20

cooperate
cooperate with
with the
the committee,
committee, the
the committee
committee

21
21

is
is authorized
authorized to
to make
make an
an immediate
immediate motion
motion to
to

22
22

seek an attorney's
attorney's interim suspension
suspension during

23
23

the
the proceedings.
proceedings.

24
24

If
If the
the allegations
allegations appear
appear less
less serious,
serious,

08/01/2009 13:41 FAX

141016

16
1

the screening attorney may determine to seek

;2
2

the written response of the respondent

attorney.

to the complainant, who is requested to

reply to the attorney's response.

obtaining this information, the screening

staff attorney may

8B

dismissal or assignment of the matter to a

staff attorney for further investigation.

10

When that is obtained,

~ecommend,

it is sent

After

in writing,

Each recommendation is reviewed by the

11

chief counsel, who may determine to assign

12

the matter to a staff attorney for

13

investigation or recommend dismissal of the

14

complaint.

15

If the recommendation of the chief

16

counsel is to dismiss the complaint,

17

chief counsel signs the recommendation

18

memorandum and the entire file,

19

the memorandum,

20

members of the Departmental Disciplinary

21
21

committee
Committee who must approve the

22

the

including

is sent to one of the

55

di~missal.
di~missal.

If the complainant seeks

23

reconsideration,

the matter is sent to

24

another attorney committee member who must

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017
17
17

11

also approve dismissal.

disagreement, we have procedures to

with that.

And if there's
d~al

The committee members are appointed by


by
i~clude
i~clude

55

the Appellate Division and

experienced practicing attorneys, former

prosecutors, and approximately one-third are

88

lay members.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

So this committee

10

that reviews it, they are appointed by

11

members of the disciplinary

12

MR. GOLD:

These are the members of

13

the committee, the disciplinary committee,

14

all Of
of whom were appointed by the court.

15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

16

MR. GOLD:

1'7
17

that are dismissed

18

expressing general dissatisfaction with the

19

outcome of a case without an allegation of

20

specific misconduct by an attorney, a very

21

common kind of complaint.

22

side in every litigation.

23
24

Okay.

The types of complaints


incl~de

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

those complaints

Therels
There's a losing

We know that.

And, Mr .. Gold, we1re just trying to keep

8/01/2009 13:41 FAX

I4J 018
18

everything within five minutes, because we

:22

qUite a few
have quite

3
4

5
6
7

MR. GOLD:

Well,

1 11 m going to the

heart of what you're asking about


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Okay.

If you can,

that would be great.


MR. GOLD:

t~ings are
is how these things

reviewed internally and what are our

procedures.

10

The committee has discretion to refer

11

action concerning possible misconduct by an

12

attorney until litigation in the court

13

system is concluded.

14

discretion is done on a case-by-case basis~

lS
15

The exercise of that

If the staff attorney determines. that

16

the allegations do not constitute

17

misconduct,

18

recommend that the complaint be rejected

19

without seeking a response from the

20

respondent attorney.

21

s~reening

22

reviewed again by the chief counsel, who,

23

he agrees with the recommendation,

24

memorandum, and again the entire file is

the screening attorney may

In such a case the

attorney's written memorandum is


if

signs the

08/01/2009 13:42 FAX

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019
[4]019

19

sent to a committee member who must approve

the rejection.

Following an investigation,
in~estigation, which may

include depositions
depositions, subpoenaed documents,

interviews, the attorney writes a memorandum

recommending action on the complaint.

memorandum again must be approved by chief

8e

counsel.

dismissal,

The

If the recommendation is for


the entire file again goes to a

10

committee member "for


for approval.

11

there's a procedure for reconsideration if

12

the complainant seeks such reconsideration.

13

And again
again,
l

If the recommendation is for a letter

14

of admonition or the filing of formal

15

charges
charges,l

16

attorney members of the Policy committee


Committee of

17

the committee, which is composed of nine

18
18

attorneys and three laypersons.

19

review a file:
file; if two members approve an

20

admonition, a confidential admonition is

~1
21

sent to the respondent attorney and the

~2
22

complainant is notified.

it must be approved by two separate

The members

23

An admonition, although private, is

24

considered discipline and may be used as


as

U~/U1/~UU9
U"/UI/ZUU~

13:42
FAX
IJ:4Z !"'AX.

I4J 020
I4l

20
1

aggravation if further charges are filed

:22

against the

members of the Policy. Committee,

-44

reviewing the file,

Appellate Division appoints a referee who

conducts a hearing, which is essentially a

trial.

two~att0rney
two~attcrney

after

approve charges,

the

The rules of evidence apply.

The referee's recommendation is then

8
9

If

attorn~y.

usu~lly of four members


usually

reviewed by a panel,

10

of the Disciplinary Committee,

11

recommendation to the Appellate Division as

12

who make a

to misconduct or possible action.


.to
SENATOR PERKINS:.

13

Excuse

me.

Maybe

;L4
14

we can get to the balance of what you1re


you 1 re

1?

going to share with some questions that I

16

think are coming up.

17

MR. GOLD:

Fine.

18
is

SENATOR PERKINS:

19

you don't mind,

20

sort of like for some statistical

21

information in

22

complaints --

MR. GOLD:

23
24

I'll

Mr.

For instance -- if

term~

Chair -- I'm looking

of how many

Ilm coming to that,


I'm

but

08/01/2009 13:43 FAX

141
021
141021

21

SENATOR PERKINS:

So I might as well
~et

ask the question so you can

3~

that way we can try and have a conversation.


Because, you know,

to it, and

one of the wonderful

is that this is such a

things! Mr. Chairman,

great turnout,

And itrs going to take a lot of time,


MR. GOLD:

8
9

there's a lot of folks here.

Well,

so --

let me just j~mp.to

the statistics that we have.

10

SENATOR PERKINS:

11

MR. GOLD:

Okay.

In 2008 the committee

12

received approximately 3300 complaints,

13

concerning attorneys.

14

twenty-five of these were dismissed


dismi~sed without

15

seeking responses from the respondent

16

attorney because these complaints did not

17

describe conduct that violated the rules

18

which the committee enforces.

19

367
367

20

disciplinary agencies,

21

complaint is made against an attorney in a

22

different department.

23
24

Five hundred

An additional

complaints were referred to other


such as when a

And also included in that number are


ag~inst nonattorneys,
complaints against

such as the

101/2009 13:43 FAX

14J022
f41022

22
1

unauthorized practice of law.

we refer to the district

Those things

attor~eyls

Of the remaining cases,

office.

responses are

sought and other forms of investigation are

commenced.

In 2008,

21 attorneys were disbarred

after
aft e r hearings,
he,a rings

Eight attorneys submitted disciplinary

resignations,

that's
that
I s

after
aft e r full
f u 11 hearings.
hear i n 9 s .

22 attorneys were suspended,

10

and two were pUblicly


publicly censured.

11

addition,

12

dismissed by the committee and 58 attorneys

13

received private admonitions.


admortitions.

14

Now,

In

approximately 1900 complaints were

I can say -- these are the 2008

15

statistics -- I've been a member of the

16

committee for quite some time,

17,
17.

say that this was a representakive year.

18

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

19

the -- that's the norm,

20

complaints,

or are there more

think this is

MR. GOLD:

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

23

MR,
GOLD:
MR. GOLD;

a year.

That's
That1s usually

less complaints?

21

24

and I would

Mm-hmm.
Mm-hrom.

typica~.

Typical~
Typical?

A typical kind of

UO/UIIlUUH
VOl 1).1.1 "UUl:I 1J:43
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023

23
23

11

CHAIRMAN
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
SAMPSON:

And
And when
when you
you were
were

22

talking about
about the issue,
issue, if
if there is aa

33

question where, say, the staff attorney is

44

uncertain whether this rises to the level of

an attorney being disoiplined,


disciplined, does he then

go speak to the chief counsel?


Each staff
staff

MR.
MR..

8a

attorney

to Alan Friedberg, because he handles the

10
11

GO!JD:
GO!..JD:

Absolutely.

-~
-~

now,

let me turn this 'one over

staff.
MR. FRIEDBERG:
FRIEDBERG.:

If there's
there'S any

12

question that there might be misconduct,

13

would proceed with it.

14

we

aut we get many complaints that are


But

15

just somebody who might have lost a criminal

16

or civil case and just said "I lost, and 1 11 m

17

blaming it on my lawyer."

18

misco~duct, then those are


grounds for miscotlduct,

19

rejected without seeking a response.

20
20

If there's
there 1 s no

cases we do seek the


But in most cases

21
21

response of the attorney,


attorney, and
and then
theft that

22
22

response, which we
we call
call an
an answer, is sent
response,

23
23

to the
the complainant
complainant for
for what
what we call aa reply.
to

24
24

And then
then when
when that
that comes
comes in,
in, we
we'make
And
make aa

8/01/2009
01/2009 13:44 FAX

I4J 024
14J024

24

determination 1n
in every case.
And thatls
that's 3300 to 3500 complaints a

:2
2
3

year,

a committee member must review it,

attorney committee member.

reconsideration is sought,

committee member must review it.

10

And for any dismissal,


an

And if

a second attorney

~harges or
For anything that may go to Gharges

I review them.

an admonition,

two attorney Policy Committee

members must review it and approve.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

And dealing with

12

the -- and, usually therels one staff

13

attorney who works on these complaints?

14

15

Or,

mean -MR.

FRIEDBERG:

Well,

almost all the

16

attorneys screen cases except for several of

17

the supervisors.

18

given out to the next attorney.

19

people just give it out

20

21

22

So i
it
t '1ss just randomly

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Our intake

How many cases do

they normally handle?


MR.

FRIEDBERG;

Well,

they normally

23

SO cases for -- not for


have about so

24

screening,

for investigation.

And they

~!UIllUU9
O/U~/~UU~

13:44
~J:44 FAX
YAA

141025

25.

probably would screen 3300 complaints

divided by 21 or 20

screening,

assuming.

5
6
7

at~orneys

150 a year,

who are

three a week,

I'm

Most of our staff is very experienced.


Many are former prosecutors.
GOLD~
MR. GOLD:

Senator,

one thing.
thin'g.

or,
disagreement or.

let me just add

In cases where there's internal


say,

the chief counsel in

10

his own mind looks at a case and says "This

11

one is kind of close,

12

ought to do,

13

to Mr.

14

II

I don't know what we

he'll take it
i t to the chairman,

Reard.on.
Reardon.

sometimes when Mr.

Reardon looks at a

15

case, he says,
saysl

16

whole Policy Committee. IIII

17

IILet'
s bring
"Let's

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

this to the

gotcha.

18

there's a question such as that,

19

go.es to the entire policy Committee?


goes
GOLD~
GOLD:

20

MR.

21

CHAIRMAN

22
23
24

It could,
SAMPSON:

,so
if
So if

it then

yes.

How many members

of the Policy committee?


MR.

FRIEDBERG:

There'S 12.
There's

appointed by the Appellate Division.

All

08/01/2009 13:44 FAX

141026
~026

26

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

And out of those

12 members,

know,

and the other six say it ~ises


rises to a certain

level.

(5.
6,

8a
9

10

suppose you

h~ve

a split?

six say it doesn't rise to that level.


level,

MR.

what
What do we
we, do in those instances?
FRIEDBERG:

That's theoretical.

It never really happens.


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Never really

happens.

MR. FRIEDBERG:

If six people thought

11

it was misconduct,

12

potentially it could be misconduct,

13

proceed.

14

You

ltd
X'd have to say,

well,
and Iid
I'd

But generally itls


i t ' s fairly obvious.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

And most of the

15

cases that you see are usually mishandling

16

escrow or --

17

MR.

FRIEDBERG:

Well,

most of the

18

complaints we get are neglect from the

19

clients.

20

Most of the serious cases that result

21

in serious charges involve financial

22

matters,

23

escrow is not the biggest type of complaint,

24

i t ' s the biggest type of complaint


~omplaint that

particularly escrow.

Although

..... ""' ........... "

_VVQ

.LoJ.

":tv

r.t1.A

I4J 027

27

1
2

perhaps results in serious penalty.


MR. GOLD:

shou~d

bec~use

say that in the

First Department,

of the nature of

what goes on in the Island of Manhattan,

get
g~t an awful lot of very major complaints

involving complicated financial

SOmetimes -- we don't get too many of them,

but we do get some of these cases which are

very complex and involved.

we

issues.

Sometimes they

10

involve allegations of mishandling of funds

11

in connection with estates or trusts or

12

securities matters or things of that sort.

13

And we deal with. all of those kinds of

14

matters,

15

committee who are skilled and experienced in

16

mostly all of these areas.

17

Now,

and we have members of the Policy

by the way,

at the present time

18

one of the issues that's


thatls facing USI
US J

which is

19

very important to us,

20

We are very concerned that people who are

21

coming into the United States and are here

22

and are subject to the immigration

.::n
23

litigation system,

24

being inadequately represented by

is immigration-cases.

too many of them are


a~unsel.
c~unsel.

08/01/2009 13:45 FAX

141
028
141028

28

Now,

we just handle one little aspect

2:2

of that.

advantage of some of the vulnerable

population.

We're

concern~d

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

when lawyers take

I have seen

NO,

that.

seen that, especially with respect to my

8B

constituencies; these individuals have p~id

a considerable amount of money and it hasn't

10

And you're correct about that,

II have

gone anywhere.
MR.

11

FRIEDBERG:
FRIEDEERG:

Judge Katzman of the


pane~

12

Second circuit has established a

13

people from various fields who work in this,

14

and we're
weJre working very closely with that

15

panel.

16

people who take advantage of perhaps the

17

m.ost
m~st

19

And we are very concerned about

vulnerable people around.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

18

senator DeFrancisco?
Senator

21

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

24

Thank you very

much.

20

23

of

No,

thank you.

senator Perkins,
Senator

you had a question?


PERKINS;
SENATOR PERKINS:

Can you just give

/01/2009
101/2009 13:46 FAX

141
[4] 029

29

us -- you just mentioned two major sources,

I guess, of compla'int~.
complaints.

the escrow accounts and the other one sort

of neglect.

MR. GOLD:
GOLD~

6G

SENATOR PERKINS:

7'1

One has to do with

Yes.
Now,

what falls

into sort of the neglect category?

MR.

GOLD:

neglect case,

well,

a typical kind of

someone will write a letter

"I hired aa lawyer,

10

and say,

I paid him

11

X thousand dollars as a retainer, and then I

12

couldn't
couldn't- get him on the telephone and he

13

didn't do anything for me."


me.~

14

serious matter.

15

is important to the client.

16

supposed to neglect matters for clients.

Thatts a
That's

That X thousands of dollars

Lawyers are not

17

And generally
g~neral1y what we do with those is,

18

depending upon whether or not the client has

19

been adversely affected already by what's

20

happened -- I mean,

21

something like
limitations has run or sornethins

22

that

23
24

if the statute of

we treat those as serious matters.


In the absence of something serious

having already happened,

and certainly if

08/01/2009 13:46 FAX


08101/2009

I4J 030
141030

30

this is a first offense against that lawyer,

2
:2

it would normally

admonition.

largest single category of matters that we

have,

terms of the discipline.

r~9ult

in a letter of

Ao even though neglect is the

it's not often the most serious in

The mishandling of client funds,

client escrow account or maybe estate funds

or something like that,

is probably the most

10

serio~s and comes with the way the court


serious

11

deals with that --

12

Would
would you say most

SENA'1'OR PERKINS:
SENATOR

13

of your cases are in that area of the escrow

14

accounts?

15

MR. GOLD!
GOLD~

16

MR.

17

SENATOR PERKINS;

18

MR.

19

SENATOR PERKINS;
PERKINS:

20

No.

FRIEDBERG:

GOLD:
GOLD;

Not most,

but many.

But many.

Yes.

Most would
would. be in

the neglect categories?

GOLD;

Right.

21

MR.

22

SENATOR PERKINS:

23

quick other questions,

24

discussion.

Let me ask" two

just for the sake of

08/01/2009
8/01/2009 13:46 FAX

I4J 031
141031

31

Are these processes open,

any transparencies:
transpareneies~

closed doors,

MR.

Or are these behind

totally
total~y confidential?
~onfidential?
They're absolutely closed.

GOLD;
GOLD:

Becau~e of Section '90,


Because

JUdiciary Law,
Judiciary

sealed,

8
9

10
11

subdivision 10 of the

everything is confidential,

not subject to -- it's not available

,to anybody in the public at all.

SENATOR PERKINS:

The good news or

the bad news is it's


itls sealed;
MR.

GOLD;
GOLD:

right?

That's right.

~ppellate

unless and

Division orders public

12

until the

13

discipline against the lawyer.

14

be either a censure,

15

disbarment.

16

whole file is closed.

17

do they have

That would

suspension or

Until one of those happens,

So for example -- and by the way,

Itm
I'm

18

glad you asked that,

19

important in terms of what's before you,

20

get these complaints from complainants who

21

think that they've been injured,

22

with them fairly.

23

24

Senator,

the

because that's

and we deal

A complainant has a limited role in


terms of our proceedings.

We

He's not like a

8/01/2009 13:47 FAX

141032

32

plaintiff in a civil litigation whols


who's able

.2

to prosecute a cabe by himself.

like a complainant in a criminal matter who

refers things
t~ings to a district attorney and

then watches to see what the district

attorney is going to do.

Hels
He's more

And if we decide to dismiss a matter,

7
B

we'll advise the complainant,

our procedure

is to advise the complainant that we've done

10

that.

11

donlt
don1t tell them what we've discovered in our

12

investigation.

13

in our file to the complaint because we're

14

not permi t ted to. '

15

But we don't tell them why,


Eut

or we

We don't disclose anything

SAMPSON~
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

think that's

A lot of people need to

16

und~rstandable.

17

understand that you're not permitted to

18

provide that information unless the

19

Appellate Division,

.20
20

suspend or admonish an individual,

21

pClint in time.

22

if they choose to

at that

r think that this is a misunderstanding

.23
23

that some people have,

and I'm glad we were

24

i t up to a certain extent at
able to clear it

08/01/2009
08/0112009 13:47 FAX

I4J
141 033

33

this point in time.

MR. GOLD:

Appellate Division,

respect to that point, has the legal

authority under subdivision 10 to open the

file at any point with respect to any

particular matter.

Now, by the way,


I should add,

with

II think Senator

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

DeFrancisco has a question.


SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

10

the

Just very

11

quickly to follow up on that.

12

was a great analogy,

13

complaints about these things are not open

14

to the public.

15

you are someone referring to an agency,

16

like a DA doesn't have to prosecute every

1'7
17

case if theY,don't
they. donlt think the evidence is

18

there or that the testimony is not

19

supportable by other facts that they learn.

20

And I

21

general public.

22

think that

because I've heard some

But you 1 re not a plaintiff,


just

think that's a big confusion in the

But one other question.

What happens

23

if there's a complaint by somebody against

24

an attorney that's found to be unfounded?

08/01/2009 13:47 FAX

141034
!4J034

34

Will that attorney at least get notice that

somebodY's-complaining
somebodY's-cornplaining about something under

those circumstances?

person is unhappy.

attorney at Borne point,

dismissed, be entitled to know what the

complaint was?

MR. GOLD:

Because no doubt that


And wouldn't the

Well,

after it's
it's

i t depends upon the

time within the matter and the stage of the

10

matter and also the nature of what's

11

occurred.

12

As I

indicated before,
v~ry

if a complaint

13

is filed and on its

~4
1.4

forth any disciplinary matter,

15

respondent may not even be notified of this.

16

The complaint is simply dismissed on its

17

face,

18

commission,

19

werre concerned,
we're

20

anybody complained about them because as far

21

as we're concerned,

22

about them.

23

about them with anything even close to

24

something.

administrativelYJ
administratively}

face it doesn't set

then the

internally at the
tne

and the attorney,

as fa~
far as

doesn't need to know that

they didn't complain

You know?

They didn't complain

08/01/2009
08/0112009 13:48 FAX

I4J 035
141035

35

It doesn't
doesn 1 t have to get to a very high

1
2

level before we'll


weIll send it to the respondent

and ask him for a response.

a substantial majority of cases.


FRIEDBERG~
MR. FRIEDBERG:

That happens in

Once the attorney

learns about it, obviously at the end of the

case we will notify them as to what

happened.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

Mr.

Friedberg,

11

for taking the time.

Mr.

Gold and

I want to thank you very"much

12

And the reason I let it extend over the

13

five minutes is because II really wanted them

14

to explain the procedures and the process

15

with respect to dealing with these

16

complaints.

17

Thank you very much.

18

MR. FRIEDBERG:

We stand ready

~o

19

cooperate with you ~nd


and answer any questions

20

today or any other day.

21

MR. GOLD:

And we plan to stay

~er~

22

for the day and be available to you in case

23

you have anything further you'd


you 1 d like to ask

24

us about.

/01/2009
)1/2009 13:48 FAX

[4J
036
141036

36

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

1
2

much, gentlemen.
gen.tlemen.

MR. FRIEDBERG:

Thank you very

Thank you for your

time.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

The next witness

is Christine C. Anderson,

who used to be a

former
form~r employee with the First Department

Disciplinary committee.
Committee.
(Applaus.e.
(Applal,lse. )

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
SAMPSON;

10

think we should

11

try to keep our -- no need for applause,

12

ladies and gentlemen.

3-3

keep an orderly process and just keep it

14

moving.
Ms. Anderson,

15

We're just trying to

thank you very much.

16

werre going to try to keep it under five


welre

17

minutes.

18

explain the process,

19

Okay?

to lay the groundwork.

ANDERSON:
MS. ANDERSON;

20

21

We allowed them to go over just to


we

So you

can just do

five?
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

22

Ande~son.

No problem,

23

Ms.

Thank you very much.

24

want to get to the -- we have your

We just

08/01/2009
08/0112009 13:49 FAX

I4J 037

37

statement, we1ve read it,

get to the heart.

askin~ you questions.


jumping in and asking

So we're going to be

MS. ANDERSON:

we just want to

Okay.

should also

start by saying that this statement is drawn

solely from allegations set forth in my

federal court complaint.

comprised solely of publicly available

information,

It is therefore

and it is fully in compliance

10

with the stipulation and order of

11

confidentiality

12

2006,
2008,

13

90.10.

e~tered

on February 20,

in my case and based on Judiciary Law

80
So basically we

CHAIRMAN
CHAIRMA~ SAMPSON:

14
15

want to make sure, presently you have a

16

case?
MS. ANDERSON:

17
18

21
22

23
24

sir.

Yes,

Senator.

I would be happy to take questions when

19
20

Yes,

hav@
hav~ counsel present.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

No

prob'lem.

But

just go ahead.
MS. ANDERSON:

okay.

It has been

perfect ethical
said that men can write perfe~t

I U
11 ~':UUl:l
U U ~ 1;S:
~ t''Ax.
U.lI
.lJ: 44~
l"''A.X.

I4J
I4J 038
038

38

systems, but nevertheless,they


nevertheless, they cannot stand

being
.iwatched when they go out at night.
being.iwatched

And I think that to a large ext.ent

that's the situation with the DDC.


DDe.

The DDC
DDe

is the Departmental Disciplinary Committee,

for which I used to work.

principal attorney there for six and a half

years.

I was a former

alleged that upon learning of the

10

DDC's pattern and practice of whitewashing

11

and routinely dismissing complaints leveled

12

against

13

DDC is
detriment of the public that the DDe

14

duty-bound to serve

15

wrongdoing pursuant to my rights under the

16

Pirst Amendment to the United States


First

17

constitution and,
Constitution

18

ethical obligations under the New York State

19

Code of Professional Responsibility.

20

ce~tain

select attorneys

In response,

II

to the

reported this

importantly,

however,

my own

rather than

21

attempting to address and rectify the

22

problem, my supervisors embarked upon a

23

campaign of abuse and harassment of myself,

24
24

including a physical assault on myself by

8/01/2009 13:49 FAX

I4J 039
141039

39

deputy, .Sherry Cohen.


the first deputy/Sherry

I'CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
"CHAIRMAN

22

Ms. Anderson, we

that; I can read from your


understand thati

fa.ctual statement.
factual

to the factual background and issues with

~respect to --

ANDERSON:
MS. ANDERSON;

example,
one example/

want to get down

Well,

to get to,

Thatls what I want


That's

some examples.

MS. ANDERSON:

11

rI can give you

sir.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

But

Yes.

conducted an

12

intensive investigation of a case.

13

caseload supervisor,

14

it,

lS
15

the chief counsel.

16

charges}
charges,

Judith Stein,

My
approved

and so did Thomas Cahill, who was then


It .was
was recommended for

and then suddenly


sUddenly it was dismissed.

17

called me -- he .'
The complainant called

18

happened to be an attorney -- and asked me

19

how could something like this happen.

20

requisitioned the file and found that it had

21

been completely gutted.

22

file which was almost 3 inches thick was

23

suddenly an inch, perhaps.

24

product was taken out, Verizon phone records

What had been a

All of my work

08/01/2009 13:50 FAX

141040
14J040

40

that I had subpoenaed were not there --

C~AIRMAN

case you worked on?

MS..

Senator.

This was an actual

Yes,

ANDERSON:
AH'DERSON:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

were missing?

MS.

were missing.

10

SAMPSON:

sir.

And the documents

Yes,

ANI:)ERSON:
ANDERSON:

Yes,

the documents

Another such case which II refer to as

11

whitewashing was a case which was

12

intensively,

l3
13

again,

investigated -When you say

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

14

investigated," what do you mean


"intensively investigated."

15

by that?

16

MS. ANDERSON:

okay,
Okay,

I will bring in

17

once,
the complainant -- maybe once.

18

bring in witnesses,

19

deposition,

20

left no stone unturned.

21

as being thorough and conscientious.

22

twice -- I l' llll

I will have a

I will subpoena documents.

In that case,

I had a reputation

i t was recommended for an


it

23

admonition because we could not really prove

24

conversion.

facti
In fact,

this was a case that

UO/U~/~UU~

~J:DU

~AA

141041

41

many of my colleagues,

colleagues and II agreed that there probably

had been conversion

it.

admonition.

b~t

we couldn't prove

And so we had to just settle for an

Instead,

at least four of my

Sherry Cohen came into my

office holding the admonition in my hand ,;I.nd


and

saying,

go to the policy Committee because they may

"This is too h.arsh.

can't let .it


it

10

it
send i
t back for charges,

11

an attorney on a trial for six months."


And

12

replied,

and

can't tie up

"That happens all the

13

time.

14

rewrite this.

15
is

ethically and legally rewrite something to

l6
16

achieve a desired outcome.

17

something to achieve that outcome.

1I

And she said:.


1I
II

"No,

And I said,

18

Nevertheless,

19

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
SAMPSON~

I am going to
n
You
nyou

cannot

You cannot skew


II

she said six months


Was
was this just in

20

this one incident, or you discovered a

21

pattern?

22

MS. ANDERSON:

II

discovered a

and this is the second example I'm

23

pattern,

24

giving you.

08/01/2009
08101/2009 13:50 FAX

I4J 042
141042

42

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

MS. ANDERSON:
ANDERSON;

In any event,

rewrite it,

And

6G

whitewashed.

th~t

okay.

Okay?
she took nine months to

and it went by under the radar.

is what I mean when I say cases are

For example, another case that I had,

it was agreed by my caseload supervisor ~nd

by Cahill that there were three elements.

10

elemen~s was
And one of the elements

11

misrepresentation to us,

12

serious.

13

said:
earnestly and said;

14

what happens if they lie to us.

15

for charges.

16

here,
here

17

II

which is very

Sherry Cohen looked at me very


"Christine,

you know
They can go

I don't see misrepresentation

lien.~
only see failure to pay a lien.

1I

So she took the case from me and took

18

out the misrepresentation,

19

admonition purely for failing to pay a

20

medical lien.

21

and he got an

That is another example.

In any event,

I think that you have a

22

good idea of how they -- from the prior

23

gentlemen.

24

and --

However,

I have a recommendation

101/2009
101/2009 13:51
13:51 FAX
FAX

141043
141043

43
43

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;
DeFRANCISCO:

11
22

~moment,
~moment,

Excuse
Excuse me
me one
one

before
before you
you give
give the
the recommendation.
recommendation.

33

YoU've
You've siven
given us
us several
several instances
instances in
in your
your

44

written
written remarks; you
you mention
mention two
two here.
here.
Over the
the six years
ye~rs that you were with

55
66

the
the organization, how many
many files
files did
did you
you

77

investigate?

aS
99

MS.
MS. ANDERSON:
ANDERSON:
difficult
difficult to
to tell
tell you.

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

10
10

11
11

14
14

Hundreds?

Tens?
'MS .. ANDERSON;

12
12
13

That
That would
would be
be

certainly
certainly hundreds,
hundreds,

yeah.
SENATOR
SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:
DeFRANCISCO:

And these

15
15

instances
instances that
that you state
state in your written
written

16
16

remarks and here, are those the


the only

17
17

instances where you and your supervisor

16
18

differed?

19
19

MS. ANDERSON:
ANDERSON:

No, there were others.

20
20

But those were some

2i
2i

quick,
quick, so II just chose those.

22
22

were others, for example --

23
23
24
24

you
you wanted me to
to be
be

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

But
But there
there

What I'm
Ilm trying

to determine here is
is obviously I think

08/01/2009
08101/2009 13:51 FAX

I4J
044
14J044

44

anybody disagrees with their supervisor from

ti~e

differende
difference between disagreement over a very

small percentage of the cases and

whitewashing and activities that are

improper that would justify recovery on a

lawsuit.

determine.

to time.

1
There
S a substantial
There's

And that's what lim


I'm trying to

MS. ANDERSON;
ANDERSON:

Well,

I think you make

10

aa very good point that you're not always

11

going to be in

12

should be handled.

13

right about that.

14

ag~eement

II

on a case or how it

think you're perfectly

And on certain occaeions,


occasions, rare

15

occasions,

I would say yes, you know,

16

part of it is not maybe strong enough.

17

example, there was one where lack of

18

competence -- there is a disciplinary rule

19

about that.

20

let that go.

21

I understand being a professional"


professional' and I

22

understand your question.

And I said, okay,

that
For

then, let's

SO
So that was -- in other words,

23

My one recommendation that I would like

24

to make, however, is on the last page, which

101/2009
01/2009 13:52 FAX

f4J 045
141045
45

is I

~e

is rife with conflict.

think that the Policy Committee should

disbanded,

for the simple reason that it

As the gentleman before said, he is

with a large law firm and that they serve

without pay.

one occasion at least,

partners' brother got into trouble,

was handled -- it was taken away from me and

It is not coincidental that


that on
when one of their
that it

10

handled very quickly and expedited to their

11

satisfaction.

12

think that the Policy Committee is

13

actually in violation of JUdiciary Law 90.10

1.4

because they are not -(Scattered applause.)

15
16

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

can1t -- please.
we can't

17

gentlemen,

18
1B

appla.use.
the applause.

19

Ladies and

SENATOR PERKINS.:

Can I

Just so lim
I'm clear,

Please hold

ask a

20

question?

21

you're saying that there's preferential

22

treatment in this decision-making,

in this

23

process,

because

24

of their stature or their connections,

because

that there are those who,

(a)

are

08/01/2009 13:52 FAX

141 046
!4J046

46

not prosecuted or investigated or whatever

:2

the appropriate terminology is?


is7

MS. ANDERSON:

PERKINS:
SENATOR PERKINS;

you Ire saying.


you're

Or handled lightly.

just want to be clear that that's what

MS. ANDERSON:

PERKINS:
SENATOR PERKINS;

Or handled lightly.

may,

Yes.
Number two,

if I.

you also say that you were employed at

...

10

the DDC
nne and you were subjected to various

11

acts of discrimination and harassment as a

12

result of your race.


So now are you saying that there's a

13

14

racial view in some of these cases as well,

15

or are you just saying that as it relates to

16

just your own particular relationship at the

17

a.gency?
agency?
My allegation is that

MS. ANDERSON:

18
19

there was a pattern and remains a pattern of

20

discrimination against m~norities


minorities at the

21

DOC.

22
23

24

(Scattered applause.)
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
gentlemen, please.

Ladies and

We don't need any

08/01/2009 13:52
13:52 FAX

141047
141 047

47
1

applause.
MS. ANDERSON:

example,

supervisor
supervisor,

competent.

although several of them were

Let me just finish the point,

however,

if you don't mind.


If you -are
~re not an employee of the

8
9

for

there was not one minority


J

6
7

For many years,

court,

you have no right under 90.10 to know

10

confidential information,

11

testified to.

12

Policy Committee are not employees of the

13

court.

14

they're outsiders.

15
lS

play,

16

90.10.

17

which waS just

And the~e
these members of the

They're not employed by the court,


And they have no part to

because it's a direct violation Of

SENATOR

PERKIN~:
PERKIN~:

So again,

you1re
you're

18
IB

just saying that they should be employees of

19

the court in order to be a part of that

20

committee?
Policy Committee?

21

there should be no committee?

22

trying to --

23

24

MS. ANDERSON:
latter.

Or are you suggesting


1
1I'M
m just

The latter.

The

don't need a policy Committee.


We donlt

08/01/2009 13:53 FAX

141048

48

The DAis office doesn't have a policy

.2

committee; it relies on its staff and the

DA.

they don't have a policy committee.

You look at the

p.S.

We e II am nolo
no longer
W
n ger

Attorney's office,

ll
"we
DDe
II we'l
- -- the DD
C

has its staff and the court.

need for Big Brother.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN

10
11

12
13
14
15

SAM~SON:

There is no

Hold the applause.

Senator DeFrancisco has a question to


Ol-sk
ask you.

sreNATOR DeFRANCISCO:
SgNATOR

Who appoints

the members of the poJicy Committee?


MS. ANDERSON:

They're appointed by

the court.

16

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;

17

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Thank you.
The majority of

18

therets 12-members,
when you say there's

19

there'S 12 members on the Policy

20

Committee --

21

MS. ANDERSON:

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Twelve,

think

yes.

And the majority

23

of these 12 members come from big firms,

24

small firms?

08/01/2009 13:53 FAX

[4J 049
!4J

49

MS. ANDERSON:
ANDERSON;

1
2

Mostly large law

firms.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

:33

Large law firms.

What are they, partners in large law firms?

When ypu say large

MS. ANDERSON:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

SENATOR PERKINS:

Large law firms.


Senator Perkins.

So why were you,

terminated?
MS.

10

ANDERSON:

~or
was terminated or

11

internal whistleblowing and harassed.

12

physically assaulted.

l.~
1.3

to the court,

14

from contact with Sherry Cohen,

lS

assailant.

16

her.

17

II

II

was

When I reported that

then asked to be removed


who was the

was refused to be removed from

I asked for an ethical wall -CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

But that is an

18

issue that's being taken in a separate

19

litigation; am II

20

litigation going against --

correct?

21

MS. ANDERSON:

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

23

SENATOR PERKINS:

24

You have your own

Oh
Oh,, yes.

Yes.

Senator Perkins.
Just one final --

what is the racial makeup of the committee?

101/2009 13:53 FAX

141
050
[4]050

50

Of the committee?

MS. ANDERSON:
ANDERSON~

2:2

SENATOR PERKINS:

Committee.
MS. ANDERSON:

4
5

And very frankly,

don't want to know.

!I

Okay.

Thank you

very much, Ms. Anderson.


MS.

I really donlt
don't know.

SAM~SON;
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

6
7

of the policy

Yeah,

you,

ANDERSON:

Thank you,

The next witness

11

is Kevin McKeown, on behalf of the Fred

12

Goetz- Tr,ust.
Tr-ust.

Mr. Goetz,

13

five minutes,

14

much .
... GO
GO right ahead.

15

MR. McKEOWN:

16

thank you very

First of all, Senator,

my name is --

Mr. McKeown,

I'm
Ilm

-- Kevin McKeown,

and

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

17
18

Thank

gentlemen.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

sir.

sorry.

Mr. McKeown.

MR. McKEOWN;

19

not reading a statement on behalf of the

20

lim

21

Fred Goetz Trust.

22

submitted at the subsequent hearing when


sUQmitted

23

those 13 people will fly in from around the

24

country to testify before your great

That is going to be

~VV.1.

08/01/2009 14:18 FAX

51
1
2
3
4

5
6

committee.

I am here to read a 3D-second statement


of my own and then -CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

Perfect.

like

30 seconds.
MR. McKEOWN:

and then I will

torture you,

letter from a former judge of this state.

10

ahd then I will read a short

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON.
any testimony to us,

did you?

11

MR. McKEOWN;

12

cEAIRMAN SAMPSON:

13
14

You didn't submit

Yes,

I did.
Okay.

do have it somewhere here.


MR. McKEOWN:

Again,

I guess we

Okay.

my name is Kevin

15

McKeown.

16

organizations focusing on the restoration of

17

the trust the public should have in the

18

judicial branch of our government.

19

organizations include Integrity in the

20

Courts,

21

Brady Organization.

22

I'm the proud member of various

Expose Corrupt Courts,

The

and the Frank

I believe the statewide attorney and

23

judicial ethics oversight structure is

24

corrupt,

and I applaud this committee for

101/2009 14:18 FAX

52

.'

what can only be described as a heroic and

beginning step in returning a lost faith by

:3

the public in this state court system.

I will say one thing today as I defer

my own personal experience to the next

hearing to be held in New York City.

idea of having attorneys regulating

attorneys and attorney judges is laughable,

and today marks --

10

The

(Applause. )

This is the last

11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

12

time I'm going to ask.

13

conduct an orderly, an orderly hearing here,

14

trying to get everybody'S testimony in.

15

this continues,

16

short and just end it.

17

MR. McKEOWN;

We're trying to

If

will definitely cut it


okay?

Senators,

Thank you.
today marks

18

the beginning of a process in which the

19

public, attorneys,

20

fact judges can have faith that the respect

21

that they should have in the integrity of

22

their courts will once again return to this

23

great state.

24

court employees and in

I'm going to now read a short letter

141 003

8/01/2009 14:18 FAX

53

that was prepared -- Judge Philip Rogers

could not be here today;

However,

judges of New Xork state that accompanied me

before a o.s. House SUbcommittee on the

Judiciary a few months ago as i t pertains to

the federal crimes we allege that are

ongoing within the New York State court

system.

10

Judge Rogers was one of three

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

paraphrase it?

12

paraphrase it.

14

. Could you

I mean not read it,

MR. McKEOWN:

13

he had broken ribs.

but

It's very short.

And

Senator,. if I may.

it's done to be read,

15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

16

MR. McKEOWN:

Okay.

"Dear Senator sampson,

am a 70-year-old former attorney and

17

18

village justice who practiced law in the

19

State of New York from October 16, 1968,

20

until being unjustly disbarred on May 31,

21

1999.

22

II

I was the" victim of a secret and

23

corrupt grievance process that lacks the

24

most elementary due-process constraints and

~004

08/01/2009 14:19 FAX

54

safeguards and was used as part of a

:2

conspiracy by former business partners to

ruin me after our venture went bankrupt.

If

respectfully ask that this committee

propose legislation that will protect

victims such as myself from suffering the

loss of their law license and,

case, all of their life choices as a result

of the totally corrupt attorney disciplinary

as in my

10

process managed and controlled by money,

11

favoritism,

and cronyism.

12

"By way of background,

I practiced law

13

in my home village of Patchogue,

14

County,

15

life.

16

the Patchogue village justice.

17

elected to six

113

by substantial majorities

19

by the people who knew me best from my days

20

as a patchogue student.

21

chairman of the

22

Board Ethics Committee, president of the

23

Suffolk County Magistrates Association,

24

as a director of the Suffolk County

in Suffolk

for 30 years of my professional


I also served as

From 1970 to 1994,

cons~cutive

I was

four-year terms

in each election,

served as the

Pat~hogue-Medford

school

and

08/01/2009 14:19 FAX

141 005

55

1
2

Magistrates Association.
"In the end,

however,

my professional

standing was left in ,ruins and my status as

a member of the bar was taken from me by a

~orrupt,

system that places power in attorneys to

supervise their fellow lawyers.

believe that attorney supervision is too

complex,

secret, nontransparent disciplinary

Are we to

complicated or problematical to be

Only lawyers drafting

10

left to nonattorneys?

11

the laws and regulations could foster such a

12

ridiculous concept.

13

"What we have had for years now is a

14

fatally flawed system where no one truly

1.5

watches the watchers who,

16

testimony of former and current staff,

17

regularly abuse the process they are paid to

18

administer.

19

disciplinary committees must be replaced by

20

a new system,

21

fully familiar with ethical problem-solving

22

review and adjudicate complaints concerning

23

lawyer conduct.

24

according to

Clearly the lawyer-controlled

where nonattorneys who are

"No lawyer can or should be

pe~mitted

08/01/2009 14:19 FAX

~006

56
attor~ey.

to sit in judgment of a fellow

my case, people seeking to bring pressure on

me as a result of a failed business venture

sought to use the grievance process to

coerce a settlement payment from me and in

the end,

than one occasion,

as they themselves said on more

ruin me.

"My former pArtners and their

In

al~ies

achieved their goal by using political and

10

other connections to move my disarmament

11

proceedings from Patchogue to Brooklyn.

12

Once removed to this location,

13

evidence was ignored,

14

accepted as truer

15

protections were denied me,

16

fraudulent accusations became the foundation

17

af

18

exculp~tory

perjured testimony

W~8

basic due-process
and false and

the ruling against me.

"When my investigation was moved "to

19

Brooklyn,

20

and later events proved this to be true.

21

believe

22

community as an attorney had the ethics

23

process that was used against me simply been

24

more transparent.

I was warned that the fix was in,


I

would still be serying the legal

Instead,

a secretive and

8/01/2009 14:20 FAX

I4J 007

57

corrupted process intent on only ruining me

ended my life of public service.

:3

"Transparency would ha.ve provided me

the opportunity to reveal the perjurious

tegtimony allowed against me.

improper that my most basic right of due

process was denied,

vital testimony of various witnesses.

It was also

thus preventing the

lISenator Sampson,

commend you and

10

your committee for holding these important

11

hearings on the attorney grievance process.

1.2

Based' on' my personal knowledge of other

13

cases similar to mine,

14

elementary inquiry by this committee will

15

find that many others,

16

clients,

17

I know that the most

both attorneys and

have been wronged like me.

"I trust that these injustices will see

18

the light of day and permit the immediate

19

reinstatement af attorneys wrongly

20

disbarred.

21

changes will include systemwide

22

and the providing of due process

23

accused."

24

I am also hopefUl that needed

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Mr.

transpar~ncy

to those

McKeown,

we

08/01/2009 14:20 FAX

141008

58

have the letter here,

only one paragraph left.

earlier from Mr. Gold and also

Mr.

have to be done in those certain

Friedberg,

and definitely there's


But as you heard

these processes under law

circumstances, you know.


MR. McKEOWN:

So,

I mean

If I may address that,

Senator Sampson,

I have the pleasure of

actually having personal interaction,

so I'm

10

waiving confidentiality.

11

interaction with Mr. Friedberg and with

12

Mr. Gold.

13

threatened by.Mr. Friedberg.

14

I presented

have personal

eviden~e

that I was

And although I was called in by the

15

U.S. AttorneY'sOffice and the FBI and the

16

referral in Washington,

17

States Justice Department, although they all

18

found it very interesting and are currently

19

looking at it, Mr.

20

and Mr.

21

summarily done,

22

Gol~

D.C.,

Friedbe~g

to the United

and Mr. Reardon

have done what they have


and that is get rid of it.

Senator sampson,

23

assert,

is there.

24

at your

rt~xt

the documentation,

And I will tell you that

hearing, as a member of the

01/2009 14:20 FAX

I4J 009

59

various organizations,

we will present to

:2

you at your New York City hearing over 100

documented cases of the most ludicrous and

slipshod investigations resulting in what we

believe is a gross pattern of misconduct by

the ethics committees themselves.

8
9

10
11
12

13
14
15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

mean,

that 1 s

something we're interested in.


Senator DeFrancisco has a couple of
questions for you.
SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

Who do you

represent ?,
MR.

MCKEOWN:

organi~ations

that I

Myself.

And the three

mentioned.
When you1re

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

16

talking about the FBI and the U.S. Attorney

17

and all that,

18

pertaining to you or is it for this judge

19

that you read the letter for?

20

figure out

21
22
23
24

MR.

was that about a personal file

It m trying

--

McKEOWN:

Well,

actually,

that

judge had nothing to do with the FBI.


However,

I will tell you when I was

called into the FBI at 26 Federal Plaza,

to

8/01/2009 14:21 FAX

141 010

60

that we had become a lightning rod for

literally the worldwide collection of people

.3

that have been

ethics committees.

bring in my four outrageous cases, and I

went in there.

harm~d

the~e

by

ec~called

And they asked me to

Now, before, a group of us,

which

includes former federal prosecutors,

attorneys,

et cetera, we would go

th~ough

10

the evidence before we presented it to the

11

FBI.

12

whether it was a judge,

13

disbarred lawyer,

14

pull the case files and see for ourselves

15

what the doeumentaticn said.

16

We went out, pulled case studies


a

lawyer,

or a litigant,

Based on that,

we would

the FBI asked for four

17

specific -- the four worst cases.

lS

in other circumstances where the U.S.

19

Attorneys office, where certain information

20

has come to light where they have then said

21

we want to interview those people.

22

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:
I

And then

am totally

just asked you the cases that

23

confused.

24

you went to the FBI about,

were those

08/01/2009 14:21 FAX

141 011

61

personal cases that you were called in on or

were they people that you were representing

that somehow got in the federal criminal

system.

MR. McKEOWN:

They were -- the

organizations that I'm a member of.

answer your question,

organization, we brought those cases when

asked to these federal entities.

10

to

as a member of that

All right,

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

so

11

you weren't brought into the FBI, you were

12

seeking the FBI to look into these.

13

what you.lre saying?

14

well,

MR. McKEOWN:
offi~e

15

Attorney's

16

instance we called them;

).7

they called us.

18

inquiry in another --

19

told us.

Is that

the U.S.
The FBI.

in one

in another instance

And actually there's a new

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

So this wasn1t

20

something that -- this is something you

21

wanted to have done to explain all this to

22

the federal investigators,

23

and the like; correct?

24

MR.

McKEOWN:

the U.S. Attorney

Absolutely.

08/01/2009 14:21 FAX

I4l 012

62

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:
addition,

indicated that it

who are reviewing these particular cases,

~hould

would then make determinations concerning

fraud,

whatever it may be.

sho~ld

be laypeople.

think

In

last point -- I

Okay.

you had

not be attorneys

And the laypeople

concerning due process,

concerning

How would they gain the expertise in

10

those areas as to what the disciplinary

11

rules are and the like?

12

have any qualifications that you would

13

presume that attorneys would have?

14

lS
16

17
18

MR. McKEOWN:
good question.

Would they have to

Senator,

that's a very

And

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

That's why I

asked it.
MR. McKEOWN:

---of course they would

19

have to be guided by what the laws are,

20

the procedures are.

21

it

I ask you,

do we want bankers

22

self-regulating?

23

want wall Street self-regulating?

24

that doesn

what

work.

That doesn't work.

Do we

We know

08/01/2009 14:22 FAX

141 013

63

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

What you're saying

.2

is basically, you know,

regulate attorneys.

I mean,

lawyers can't

you have very reputable and

ethica~

positions to make that decision.

there might be an aberration here or there,

bu t

panel of -- having a panel of attorneys,

attorneys who we put in these

You know,

I don't see it' as a pro'bl em having a.

10

based upon their background and everything

11

else, making decisions such as that.

12

But if there is,

sayin~,

as you1re

when

13

you present cases to me where I

14

discrepancies and issues,

15

having this hearing,

16

bottom line of these things,

17

allegations and these conspiracy

18

want to get to the bottom line,

19

why we're asking for specific instances,

20

we can look for ourselves and,

21

those recommendations, make a determination.

22

MR. McKEOWN:

see

that's why we're

so we can get to the


all these
we

iss~e$.

and tnat 1 s
so

based upon

Absolutely,

Senator.

23

And again,

that is a very good point.

And

;24

obviously you need attorney input because

101/2009 14:22 FAX

I4J 014

64

attorneys are versed on the law.

:2

brings up the bigger issue of people

self-regulating.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

MR. McKEOWN:

But it

Understood.

If an attorney is named

John Doe and he has been convicted of a

federal crime and goes to federal prison and

does time,

That's a question.

will he get his law license back?

10

Of course we all know that there was a

11

chief judge of this state who was convicted

12

of a federal crime who went to federal

13

prison and got his law license back.

14
15

What this comeS down to,

Senator,

is

equality.

16

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

17.

MR. McKEOWN:

Understood.

And I

would much rather

18

handle a complaint that said the person's

19

name was John Doe rather than a certain

20

person who that name triggers favoritism and

21

unequal treatment.

22

down to.

That's what it all comes

23

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

24

SENATO~

PERKINS:

Senator Perkins.
So do you believe

U~!Ul!ZUUl:l

14:Zl FAX

I4J 015

65

that there is favoritism in the process,

was pointed out by the speaker before you?

DO you think that those who are big shots or

who have connections or some other such

credentials are getting treated with kid

gloves and favoritism?

MR. McKEOWN:

Yes,

Senator.

as

In fact,

1 1 11 go

in the four statewide grievance committees,

10
11

80

far as to say that it is

embedd~d

and I say under the four departments.


We have heard from state attorneys,

l2

judges,

attorneys,

retired judges from all

13

over the state.

14

you file a complaint with an ethics

15

committee,

16'

going to be handled properly.

17

you're a prisoner automatically puts you to

18

the bottom of the list at everyone of the

19

four ethics departments in this state.

20

There's the presumption that if you're in

21

jail, you could not have been wronged by an

22

attorney.

23

And,

24

totally wrong.

If youlre a prisoner and

don't you dare think that i t ' s

Senators,

Just because

that's wrong.

That is

And that's -- we can't wait

08/01/2009 14:23 FAX

141016

66

to get a stack of the 100 complaints that we

have from the beautiful people of Brooklyn,

Queens,

couldn't make it up here today.

Staten Island and Harlem alone who

So. Mr. McKeown,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

5
6

welre looking forward to that.

very much for your testimony.

forward to getting those documentations in

at our next hearing.

10

MR.

11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

12

McKEOWN:

Thank you t

Thank you
And we loo:)c

Senators.

Thank you very

much.

13

The next witness is Robert Tembeckjian,

14

counsel for the New York State Commission on

15

Judicial conduct,

16

Thomas Klonick,

17

Judicial Conduct.

18

and the Honorable Judge

chair of the commission on

Just to make a note of it,

we also have

19

representatives -- who are not going to

20

speak -- from the Second,

21

Department Disciplinary Committees.

22
23
24

Thank you very much.

Third and Fourth

Your Honor.

morning.
JUDGE KLONICK:

Good morning,

good

8/01/2009 14:23 FAX

I4J 017

67

Mr.

Committee.

Chairman, members of the JUdiciary


Thank you for this opportunity.

I am Thomas Klonick.

I'm an attorney

and a part-time town justice from Monroe

county.

Judicial Conduct.

Commission on Judicial Conduct to a

four-year term by Judge Judith Kaye"in 2005,

reappointed by Judge Jonathan Lippman just

10
11

1 1 m chair of the Commission on


I was appointed to the

earlier this year.


I am here today with the commission's

12

administrator, Robert Tembeckjian,

13

believe you already know.

14

whom I

The commission is pleased to

15

participate in this hearing,

which should

16

shed further light on our constitutional

17

mission and how we operate.

18

AS you stated earlier,

Senator, but I

19

will just briefly review,

the commission is

20

comprised of four judges,

five lawyers,

21

law people appointed by the Governor,

22

Chief Judge,

23

Legislature.

24

two

the

and the four leaders of the

The commission operates under a very

08/01/2009 14:23 FAX

I4J 018

68

rigorous system of internal checks and

balances that has been emulated by other

states to assure that all complaints are

treated seriously and fairly.

the commiesion members,

members view and act upon every complaint

that comes into the agency.

was a record number,

complaints every seven weeks.


While the

10

For example,

the 11 commission

1,923,

La"st year that


or more

ad~inistrative

th~n

275

staff conducts

11

the investigation,

12

to us

13

investigation.

14

investigation,

15

members of the 11 and the concurrence of six

16

commission members to serve a jUdge with

17

formal disciplinary

reg~larly

the administrator reports

on the progress Of each


At the

co~clusion

of

the

it requires a quorum of eight

~harges.

The administrative staff prosecutes a

18
19

ca~e;

20

hearing and files a report with the

21

commission.

22

its own law clerk,

23

subject to review Ultimately by the Court of

24

Appeals if requested by the disciplined

an impartial referee presides over the

The commission then,

aided by

adjudicates the matter,

UO/Ul/;;:UU~

14:~4

r'AX

141 019

69

1.

judge.
I believe you have the statement

:2

comm~ssion

submitted by the

the processes and procedures.

f~w

happy to answer any questions.


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:,

much,

12
13

Your Honor.

. your name earlier.


MR.

11

you,

Thank you.

Thank you very


'I

Mr. Tembeckjian, I'm sorry

10

And after a

remarks by Mr. Tembeckjian, we will be

today outlining

butchered

I apologi ze.

TEMBEC~JIAN:

Thank you.

Thank

Senator.
You have a rathe+ extensive description

14

of our process and procedures.

1~

just highlight three points in these brief

16

remarks before we take your questions, three

17

very important features of the commission

18

system.

19

I'd like to

The first is the independence of the

;20

commission itself.

It1s created by the

21

State Constitution, various appointing

22

authorities,

23

majority of appointments.

24

commission elects its own chair and it hires

no one of whom controls a

And the

08/01/2009 14:24 FAX

I4J 020
70

its own administrator to manage,

chief

operations of the agency.

exe~utive

officer,

as the

the day-to-day

The balance of Judges,

lawyers, and

laypeople is something that assures that all

relevant representatives or features ot our

pluralistic society are represented in the

commission procesS.

talking

10
11

abou~

We are,

after all,

disciplining members of an

independent branch of government.


I happen to be only the second

~hief

12

executive officer that the commission has

13

had in over 30 years, which has provided an

14

extraordinary stability.

15

model is one that has not only been

16

by other states but I think

17

~orthy

18

entities throughout New York.

19

And the commission

is

emulat~d

one that is

of emulation by other state ethics

Secondly,

the 'commission really plays

20

two roles apart from its own structural

21

independenc'e.

22

for disciplining those judges who commit

23

ethical misconduct, but itrs also

24

responsible for protecting the independence

It's responsible,

obviously,

/01/2009 14:24 FAX

141021

71
1

of the jUdiciary so that Judges can decide

cases fairlyj

bear them,

And that's a very important dual role.

impartially,

without undue outside influences.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

as they see and

Let me ask you a

question,

Mr. Tembeckjian.

proceedings are private or open to the

pUblic?

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

These

All commission

10

proceedings, under law,

11

It wasn't always that way.

12

changed.

13

investigations,

14

always confidential.

15

once the commission authorized formal

1.6

disciplinary charges against a

17

process then became open.

18

answer,

19

open

20
21
22

are confidential.

Prior to that,

In 1978

law

th~

once the -- all

as with a grand jury, were


But

prior to 1978

judge, the

The.charges,

the

the hearings and so forth were

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
formally charges,

Once they were

you said?

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

Yes.

Once

23

reasonable cause has been found to go

24

forward with a formal disciplinary process.

08/01/2009 14:24 FAX

141022

72

so after the investigation is over,

the

commission concludes a reasonable basis that

discipline may be justified here,

of eight members,

required,

until 1978, that process then became public.

a quorum

the concurrence of six is

they vote formal charges.

Up

And the commission's position

consistently since then has been that it

should be made publio at that stage.

We

10

were opposed in

11

law.

12

Legislature has taken up the issue, but it

13

has never adopted,

14

same session,

15
16
17

'78 to the change in the

And since then,

on occasion,

the

in both houses in the

the open hearings provision.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

what would be your

position today?
MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

Oh,

the

18

commission's position has consistently been

19

that the law up till 1978 was appropriate

20

and that these hearings should be pUblic

21

once probable or reasonable cause 'has been

22

found.

23
24

And opening up that disciplinary


process to the public I think would go a

IU.l/'::UUl:l 14::0:0 l<A.X

141 023

73

long way to dispelling a lot of the

misconceptions about how

operates and how it makes its decisions.


CHAIRMAN

4
5

7
8
9

10
11
12
13
14

15
16

17
18

19
20
21
22
23
24

SAMPSON~

th~

eommission

That's a good

idea.
MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

senator perkins

looks like he's about to ask me a question.


SENATOR PERKINS:

Soyou think the

law should be changed?


MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

Yes.

The

08/01/2009 14:25 FAX

I4J 024

74

That's really the

commission's operation.

only agency that I'm comfortable speaking

for and about at these

really the only one that I'm authorized to.

SENATOR PERKINS:

~roceedings,

Okay.

and

Thank you,

Just wanted to check.


7

MR.

TEMBECKJIAN:

So that dual role

of disciplining those judges where it's

appropriate and protecting the independence

10

of the judiciary by absorbing a lot of the

11

unfounded criticism that may be reflected in

12

some of what you hear today and that I know

13

has been submitted to you on other

14

occasions -- and at other hearings that this

15

committee has held over the years -- is

16

really part of what we do.

17

But the suggestion that may,

I think,

18

mistakenly be left that the commission is

19

inactive by some of its critics is really

20

not borne out by the facts,

21

approximately 40,000 complaints in the last

22

30 yearsJ which is by far more than any

23

other state,

24

numbers of jUdges as New York.

We've handled

even those that have equivalent


The

UO/U.L/':UUl:I .L<l:;;:!) t'A!

I4J 025
75

commission has pUblicly disciplined

approximately 700 jUdges and confidentially

cautioned about 1200.

The vast majority of our complaints are

dismissed.

gets treated individually and gets seeri by

the full commission.

reviews and'inquiries,

year.

10
11

But every single one of them

We conduct preliminary
about 350 or more a

Full-fledged investigations,

year a near record number,


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

last

26~.

Mr.

Tembeckjian,

12

when you talk about these investigations,

13

these are mostly complaint-driven?

14

times does the commission themselves,

15

I know

16

certain situations?

l7

th~y

have the authority to,

Or at
which

loOk into

The commission

MR. TEMBECKJIAl\J:
itself has the authority,

19

actively initiate inquiries on its own.

20

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

and it

doe~

18

How would you do

21

that -- you know,

like on your own,

22

determination,

23

what this judge is doing?

24

come about getting to that point?

well,

quite

you know,

make a

don't like

Or how do you

I4J 026
76

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

It's never "I don't

like what this judge is doing,

not on the bench.

But,

for example,

II

certainly

if we read in the

newspaper about a Judge who has been

intemperate or whose conflict of interest

has been reported, the staff will bring that

article to the commission's attention and it

will ask the commission for an authorization

10

to investigate.

11

do that.

12

The full commission has to

That was literally what happened on a

13

case involving a jUdge in Niagara County

14

that you might recall who had incarcerated

15

over 40 people because a cellphone went off

16

in the courtroom and the jUdge couldn't

17

identify whose cellphone it was.

18

defendants were called up one by one,

19

each one denied that it was his phone,

20

were remanded.

21

about in the newspaper.

22

result of an individual complaint.

23
24

So 46

and as
they

That was something we read


It

was not the

We brought it to the commission's

attention,

they authorized

investig~tion,

we

01/2009 14:26 FAX

141027

77
1

reviewed the matter,

authorized,

the jUdge was removed by the

commission,

took it up to the Court of

Appeals,

decision.

charges were

which unanimously upheld that

So the process is quite sophisticated,

but where we get that information,

forward.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

that information,

11

commission?
MR.

12

we move

So once you get

it then goes to the

TEMBECKJIAN:

Yes.

Under the

13

law,

it's the commission that has the

14

authority to investigate or to discipline.

15

The staff can recommend,

16

actually makes the disposition.

but the commission

17

And so we are not screening out

18

material or information that complainants

19

send to us because we might have a

20

predisposition or we might dislike or we

21

might not c"redit the complainant.

22

analyze,

23

inquiries,

24

commission,

review,

We will

conduct some preliminary

forward it to the entire


which will then decide whether

I4J028

76

1
2

or not we should go forward.


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

And I know senator

DeFrancisco just noted that you were able to

get additional monies to help you clear up

some of the backlog that existed maybe a few

years ago.

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

Yes,

thanks in huge

part to this committee and to Sepator

DeFrancisco's leadership.

10

For about 20 years we were grossly

11

underfunded.

12

were ,expanding, our staf f WaS reduced to as

13

few as

14

had l6st substantial resources.

15

committee two years ago held hearings on the

16

subject,

17

village court system, and one of the

18

beneficial results was that the Legislature

19

made a substantial increase that this

20

committee championed for the commission's

21

resources to meet the growing needs.

22

20

AS our complaints and workload

statewide, and in real dollars,

of the commission,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

we

But this

of the town and

When you say

23

investigators, who does the investigating?

24

Do you have attorneys or do you have private

08/01/2009 14:27 FAX

I4J 029

79

1
2

people,

investigators?

we have attorneys

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

and investigators on staff.

complaint that is going to be investigated

is actually aesigned to an attorney, and

that attorney works with an investigator to

interview witnesses,

to analyze court records,

the bottom of whether the allegation of

10
11

And every

to make field visits,


to try to get to

misconduct is actually established.


And then we will present progress

12

reports along the way,

13

report to the full commission,

14

Klonick indicated,

15

commission will decide whether to

16

confidentially caution the jUdge or

17

authorize formal charges or,

l8

complaint is unfounded,

19

and then a final


as JUdge

and then that full

if the

to dismiss.

And that's really where our role in

20

protecting the independence of the judiciary

21

comes in.

22

complaints and criticisms that judges might

23

otherwise get from complainants who are

24

essentially unhappy with the results of a

Because we absorb a

lot of the

141 030

80

case.

with having to answer to all of those,

preliminarily inquire, we deal directly with

the complainant,

to be founded,

And rather than inhibit the jUdiciary


we

and if it's determined not

we don1t go forward.

And we take a lot of the heat,

but that

goee with the territory of what it is that

we do.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

And if in fact

if

say, the

10

a judge is being elevated to,

11

Appellate Division,. court of Appeals,

12

whatever

13

those committees request from the commission

14

if there are any complaints,

15

against these judges?

16

with it?

17

i~

is,

does the commission -- do

anything lodged

Or do you come forth

How does that work?

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

Yes.

If any judge

18

who is subject to Senate confirmation or

19

appointment by the Governor without Senate

20

confirmation or is running for election and

~1

is going before a screening committee,

22

are required to submit a waiver of

23

confidentiality so that the commiseion,

24

presented with that waiver,

they

when

will give to the

8/01/2009 14:27 FAX

14I 031

81

screening entity not only the record of

public action that's been taken but any

confidential cautions,

confidential dispositions against that

jUdge.

any adverse

So those committees have it,

without

mentioning names, when the Commission on

Judicial Nomination provides us with those

waivers,

when the Governor's screening

10

committee for Court of Claims or Appellate

11

Divisions provides us with those waivers,

12

provide not only the public record but also

13

any confidential adverse dispositions that

14

were made against the judge to that body.


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

15

we

And does the

16

commission keep records in instances where,

17

you know,

18

dismissed but, you know,

19

of increased complaints with respect to

20

judges?

21

back?

22

dismissed,

23

opportunity to go back to look to see if

24

there's a pattern being created?

against judges- where it has been

you see a pattern

DO you have an opportunity to refer


Or do you just -- once i t 1 s
are they sealed or do you have an

8/01/2009 14:28 FAX

I4J 032

82

MR. TEMBECKJIAN:

We have an

opport uni t y togo back and look,.a t

pattern,

Procedures Act regarding the disposition of

records.

1-

subject to the State Administrative

But for example,

if a sUbsequent

complaint comes i,n alleging new information

or a new perspective on a previously

dismissed complaint that was not disposed of

10

on the merits after a hearing but was deemed

11

not to have shown sufficient merit on its

12

face to be investigated,

13

reexamine whether or not the appropriate

14

disposition was made in the first instance.

15

we can go back and

But I must say that that's very rare.

16

Because if a type of misconduct is part of a

17

pattern or practice"

18

up-front,

and we have the opportunity then

19

to go in,

for example,

20

to observe whether the judge is intemperate

21

on a frequent or an infrequent basis,

22

thatts the complaint that's been made.

23

24

it's usually alleged

sit in on the court

if

It1s very rare for someone to say the


judge is intemperate and not allege,

if it

08/01/2009 14:28 FAX

I4J 033
83

is in fact part of the pattern,

number of attorneys or litigants might be

able to verify that.

to litigants and lawyers to determine

whether or not these complaints are part of

a pattern or practice.

And we will reach out

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:.

Mr. Tembeckjian,

and,

Your Honor,

that any

Questions?
thank you very much

thank you very much for

10

giving us that outlay.

11

it.

12

MR.

TEMBECKJIAN:

13

JUDGE KLONICK:

14

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

We truly appreciate

Thank you.
Thank you very much.
At this point in

15

time we're going to have Judge Hart present

16

testimony.

17

Good morning,

18

JUSTICE HART:

19

Your Honor.
Good morning.

It's

good that Mr. Tembeckjian is staying here.

.20

My name is Duane Hart.

I'm a

sitting

21

Supreme court justice in Queens,

22

While I

23

long package,

24

few anecdotes of the type of attorney we1re

New York.

gave the members of the committee a


Ilm

just going to give you a

08/01/2009 14:28 FAX

I4J 034

84

dealing with with Mr. Tembeckjian.


Four or five years ago I was undergoing

:2
:J

treatment for cancer;

in fact,

Sloan Kettering being operated on for

cancer.

for it, Bob Tembeckjian wanted to see my

chart to make sure that I was being treated

for cancer and not just

committee.

was in

Instead of giving me an adjournment

dU~king

his

live been charged probably more than

10
11

most.

12

Commission on JUdicial Conduct.

13

three attorneys who offered testimony

14

against me or filed complaints against me,

15

all three -- well,

16

Goldweber,

17

thief by a federal jUdge.

live been censured twice by the


Of the

the first one was a Max

who was found to be a liar and a

18

The second was one was a Ms. Naidoo,

19

who one of my colleagues, Justice Cullen,

20

found she lied to him and to the Appellate

21

Division.

22

And the third one was being sued at the

23

time for running what appears to be a Ponzi

24

scheme to finance his cases.

And one of the

/01/2009 14:29 FAX

141035

85

reasons why he wouldn't try the case before

me was that had the case been disposed of,

he would have been responsible for paying

the people who financed this case anywhere

from $1 million to $3 million.


Those complaints are in the package

6
7

before you.

I'm not making them up; they're

recorded cas'es.
Of the first case against me,

think litigated in 2004,

which was

am still

10

11

waiting for the first bit of discovery.


-Of the second one, Mr. Tembeckj ian got

12

What he did,

13

a little cuter.

14

Mr.

15

some of them -- because as you found out,

16

believe,

17.

me,

18

is a habit they also like to do,

lSi

the tape recorder when there is positive

20

evidence against the judge that doesn't help

21

their case.

22

Friedberg did,

or what he and

they got my witnesses,


I

if they offered testimony to help

the tape recorder was turned off,

which

turn off

And

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

I know when you're


these proceedings,

23

saying a tape recording,

24,

there'S not a stenographer or it1s just a

08/01/2009 14:29 FAX

I4J 036

86

tape recorder?
JUSTICE HART:

WelT',' in the second

trial-against me the.re was a stenographer.

In the discovery and the trial before that,

there were tape recorders that Mr.

or one of his employees controlled.

Friedberg

In factt during the first proceeding,

which was an EET,

representing me,

my brother,
put a

who'was

statem~nt

on the

10

record.

11

said are nowhere in the transcript.

12

brother refused to sign the transcript.

13

The statement and the things he

At the first trial,

My

wherein it was a

14

tape recorder and the tape recording was

15

being controlled by an employee of the

16

commission,

l7

gestu~es

18

click-click.

19

are other witnesses who the committee might

20

have gotten in touch with who will verify

21

that that1s their conduct.

22

I saw Mr. Friedberg making hand

and I heard click-click,


Again.

And I believe there

I also went down during the first


since the Senate and the

23

proceeding,

24

Assembly give them money to

inv~stigate

I4J 037
87

these cases,

law secretary, and my court officer,

verified my story that the attorney who was

testifying against me wasn't

truth.

were not asked any questions.

investigatiort only stops at,

harmful tb, the judge.

will produce

10

I went down with my clerk,

my

who

~elling

the

They were not alloweq -- or they

t~ose

So their
gee,

what's

And if you want,

people if you have

hearings in New York city.


Also,

11

one of
~y

mr

other court officers

12

was asked

an attorney for the Commission

13

on Judicial Conduct to change his story

14

because, after all,

15

would you testify to help a jUdge.

16

don't take my word;

17

witnesses.
Let me see.

18

judges are scum and why


Again,

I could produce

What's interesting about

19

some of the commission rulings -- well,

20

first one,

21

the commission found that I

22

actually affirmed by the Second Department

23

both on the substantive law and the contempt

24

that

on the full record,

held the

~erson

the

even though

was wrong,

I was

who accosted me in

8/01/2009 14:29 FAX

I4J 038

88

parking lot was -- I mean did.

censured on the doctored records submitted

to the

of Appeals by Mr.

Cou~t

I was

Tembeckjian.

I think the best way to describe the

way Mr. Tembeckjian and Mr. Friedberg,

now at the First Department,

little shop was they marked the deck,

shaved the cards,

cheat.

who's

ran their
they

then they started to

(Laughter. )

10

You know,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

11

I mean,

12

these allegations -- I'm just trying to get

13

an understanding.

14

marking the deck?

what do you mean by

JUSTICE HART:

15

You try cases before

;L6

them,

they pick the jUdge .- and I have

17

nothing against the retired judges who they

18

piCk.

19

lawyer pushing 30 years

They pick the jUdge.

20

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

21

commission picks the judge.

22

JUS~ICE

HART:

I've been a

You mean the

The commission picks

23

the jUdge.

You go in against them,

they

24

donlt give you discovery or they give you

08/01/2009 14:30 FAX

I4J 039

doctored discovery.

the first dealing

my brother Leon Paul was screaming with

Vicky Ma,

and he was questioning the credibility of

this Max Goldweber.

screaming back to him that credibility is

not an

of people they have.

10

You -- credibility -had with the commission,

who was one of their attorneys,

issu~.

And Ms.

And,

I mean,

Ma was

that's the type

You don't have to take my word for it.

11

I gave you recorded documents or case law

12

that shows Max Goldweber,

13

who accused me,

14

thief for running a scam to bilk his clients

15

by Judge Wexler.

16

the first person

was called a liar and a

I gave you a document that showed that


~riginally

17

in a case that was

started in

18

Eastern District of pennsylvania,

19

Flomenhaft,

20

accuse me,

21

appears to be a Ponzi scheme to finance the

22

case before me.

And when he refused to try

23

the case -- oh,

and he also tried to export

24

me by saying he would complain to the

Michael

who was the second person to


was being sued for running what

08/01/2009 14:30 FAX

141040

SlO

commission if I made him try the case.


And I produced a document wherein the

:2

~mploye~

attorneys who

the third attorney

who complained about me,

fired her for lying and stealing in that

case.

Ms. Naidoo,

they

These are the people who offered

7
8

complaints against me and that were found'to

be legitimate by Robert Tembeckjian.

10

CHAIRMAN

11

SENATOR PERKINS:

12

much.

13

one quick question.

14
15

16

Senator Perkins.

S~MPSON:

I have to run,

JUSTICE HART:

Yeah,

thank you so

but! just want to ask

po what's the solution?


Well,

firstly,

you

have to fire Tembeckjian and Friedberg.


I mean,

I've got to tell you,

live been

17

a trial attorney or a judge,

18

30 .years.

19

Tembeckjian,

20

sued -- isntt the sleaziest attorney lIve

21

ever met is because I!ve met Alan Friedberg.

22

again, pushing

The only reason tha t


in my opinion

~-

Robert

so I don't get

(Laughter. )
So now you've taken

23

SENATOR PERKINS:

24

care of the personalities.

What

abo~t

the

08/01/2009 14:30 FAX

[4J 041

91

system --

:2

JUSTICE HART:

the personalities.

system~c

JUSTICE HART:

SENATOR PERKINS:

It's -- it's -I heard that the

individuals -They don't do it

JUSTICE HART:

10

it's not just

opinion as well.

no,

I want to get a

SENATOR PERKINS:

4
5

No,

right.
SENATOR PERKINS:

11

Well,

let me ask a

12

question.

13

individuals.

14

issues or concerns that you might want to

15

add to that?

hear you talking about the


Are there any systemic process

JUSTICE HART:

16

Well,

firstly,

you've

).7

got to have some situation where they don't

18

pick the jUdges,

where jUdges aren't

19

beholden to them

to

be named again.

20

There has to be a limit on how long

21

people like" Mr. Tembeckjian can serve in

22

office so that he doesn't have some sort

23

of

24

SENATOR PERKINS;

Term limits.

Term

101/2009 14:31 FAX

I4J 042

92

limits.

JUSTICE HART:

You have to have some -- and,

Yeah,

term limits.

complained to everybody; no one has

jurisdiction over these people.

an ADA in Queens,

cFisch.

I mean,

When I was

I actually worked for Joe

Judge Fisch said he didn't have

jurisdiction.

the court of Appeals.

I complained to the clerk of


They said they didn't

10

have jurisdiction.

Only when

11

to senator sampson l

Senator Smith,

12

GOvernor Paterson did anything actually get

13

done.

14

r complained to

complained
and

the Attorney General.

15

I complained,

16

one of the senior attorney generals.

17

Nothing was investigated.

18

19

20
21
22
2:j

24

I had a long conversation with

SENATOR PRRKINS:

Let me ask you

08/01/2009 14:31 FAX

l4J 043

93

JUSTICE HART:

1
2

SENATOR PERKINS;

What would be a

better process?
JUSTICE HART:

well,

Therers got to be

some

special prosecutor to do some sort of

ac~ounting

people had no -- you know,

firstly,

you should appoint a

of what they've done.

"These

who was it that

10

said absolute power corrupts absolutely?

11

Well,

12

Mr.

13

do anything he wants.

14

In

fact

Nothing happened.

in the situation you have right now,

Tembeckjian has absolute power.

And l

I mean,

He can

hels investigated me -- he

15

has come before you saying that he only

16'

investigates matters that are serious.

17

There has got to be something more serious

18

in the State of New York than me going

1:1

through a court scanner with my 8l-year-old

20

mother to take care of my dying fatherts

21

business.

22

I was actually investigated for that.

:23

He got the rule wrong.

produced Jewel

24

Williams to say they got the rule wrong.

I4J 044

94

They still argued the wrong rule.


They have no control.

They argue

whatever they want when they want to argue

it.

this -- again,

word for it.

There is absolutely no control over

you don't have to take my


This is all documented.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

DeFrancisco has a question.


How many

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;

10

Senator

complaints were investigated against you?


JUSTICE HART;

11

I ' l l give you -- I

there are two that they don't

12

think -- well,

13

know that I know about.

14

me

They investigated

15

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

16

JUSTICE HART:

17

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

How many?

think five or six.


okay.

And can

18

you give me just the general flavor of what

19

these investigations were about?

20

JUSTICE HART:

Okay,

going through a

21

court scanner with my mother,

22

judge's ID with a blue strip -- the

23

judges -- there are three IDs in the court

24

system/

red, yellow and blue.

showing my

judge has a

8/01/2009 14:32 FAX

I4J 045

9S
1

blue ID.

lieutenant,

could pass without

b~ing

can pass with me.

I was there with my

eo-plus-year-old mother.

85 in about three weeks.

JUSTICE HART:

stopped and anybody

She's going to be

What is that,

Yeah,

going through a

security area.
SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

11
12

didn't knew my ID said that I

,going through a security area or what?

10

the newly minted

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

The lieutenant,

Okay.

Tha t ' s

one.
That's one.

13

JUSTICE HART:

14

Keeping a child in her home -- the

15

child reported to me that she had the .flu.

16

Actually,

17

evidently was going through her first period

18

and didn't want to tell.

19

came to throw her out of the house,

20

stopped it.

21

The rule is that people give basically six

22

months to be evicted trom a home.

23

two months.

24

it was a 12-year-old child who

When the sheriff

Chase complained I

stopped it.

I gave

They got me on that.

They censured me on

when I was

141046

96

accosted in the parking lot in the gated,

secured parking lot of the court in Jamaica,

:3

somebody came up to me,

fact that I

father.

Alzheimer's and cancer.

not the jury,

WaS

my father had the flu and I wae going to

10

was going to go visit my sick

My father eventually died of

going to get a tire fixed,

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:
This is bizarre --

13

JUSTICE HART:

minute.

NO,

no,

wait a

You were stopped in a parking lot and


accosted?
JUSTICE HART:

20

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

Yes.

What you were

asked to do?
JUSTICE HART:

21

24

wait.

But your explanation is bizarre.

19

23

Wait,

This is bizarre.

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

17

21

but actually

That's the point.

15

18

I told the jury

I told the attorneys that I

12

16

like the

didnt~

go

11

14

he

I was -- he wanted me

to
SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;

Who is IIhe"?

141047

97

accosted me.
SENATOR DeFRANCI$CO:

3
4

So somebody in

the general public dccosted you

JUSTICE HART:

5
6

no,

The next day

no,

Mm-hmm.

excuse me,

accosting you for?

10

JUSTICE HART:

SO what

the litigant accosted me.

And what was'he

SENATOR DeFRANCISCOt

11

The person who

JUSTICE HART:

He wanted a longer

adjournment.

12

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

13

JUSTICE HART:

14

forget about it.

15

Goldweber,

16

forget about it.

The next day I said

His

said no,

attorn~y,

no,

no,

In the record that Mr.

17

Okay.

Max

don1t want to

Tembeckjian

18

d i dn

19

the Second Department that talked about the

20

meeting that we had.

21

to hold the guy in contempt,

22

to do is

23

that meeting never took place even though

24

the complaining lawyer said it took,place.

k now was a b r i e f t hat was

apologi~e.

f i 1e d

wit h

It said I didn't want

all held have

Mr. Tembeckjian said

I4J 048

;)8

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

But what court

proceedini was there that was being

complained Qf --

JUSTICE HART:

It was a contempt

procee9ing.

held him in contempt for accosting me.

8
'9

:LO
11

was doing the trial,

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

and I

So you held

somebody in contempt.
JUSTICE HART:

For accosting me.

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;

For accosting

you outside of the courtroom.

12

JUSTICE HART:

That1S right.

13

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

I didn't

14

wasn't familiar with that rule.

15

contempt proceedings dealt with what happens

16

in the courtroom.
NO,

17

JUSTICE HART:

18

changed the law for me,

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

20

JUSTICE HART:

21

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

23

24

three.

thought

Well,

they

thank you.

19

22

no.

Oh,

okay

He came up to me
So that's

What are the other ones?

JUSTICE HART:

Let me see.

with my mom through the scanner.

Going

101/2009 14:33 FAX

I4J 049

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

1
:2

we

already heard that.


JUSTICE HART:

well,

case after

t~o

Making somebody try a

and a half years.

They also investigated me.

An attorney

named Darren Kerns was found by two federal

courts to have brought a poorly thought out

cause of action.

him.

They mentioned that to

I did the same thing.

Mr.

Tembeckjian

10

called the other attorneys to see what I did

11

wrong on that.

12

agreed with -- two federal courts agreed

13

with me.

14

But he was told that I

Ee stopped that.

And most recently they investigated me

15

for -- the attorney who represented me in

16

the last cause of action,

17

before me that 1 recused myself from about a

18

year and a half or two years earlier,

19

they still wanted proof that

20

myaelf.

21

they had an action

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

22

along those same lines l

2.3

are still pending?

24

JUSTICE HART;

but

had recused

Okay.

And

~ust

how many of those

None.

08/01/2009 14:33 FAX

I4J 050

100

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:

1
2

JUSTICE HART:

But I was censured

twice.

SENATOR DeFRANCISCO;

Okay.

JUSTICE HART:

Like I said,

know -- I know Tembeckjian and --

Mr. Tembeckjian and Mr.

11

Thank

you.

10

so

they1re. allover at this point.

Okay,

I don't

Friedberg have to be

removed.
We don't

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

-- as

12

Senator Perkins said, I

13

interested in

14

just interested in recommendations,

15

that we can make the system,

16

seem more equitable and fair not only in the

17

eyes of the public but also those who.are

18

coming before that commission.

19

charact~r

JUSTICE HART:

think,

we're not

assassination,

WeIll

we're

if any,

as we've seen,

the system -- if

20

the system works properly,

it's fair.

21

anyone,

22

goodwill of the people who are running it

23

behind it is going to fail no matter what

24

you do.

But

any system that doesn't have the

08/01/2009 14:37 FAX

141 001

101
1

So while I agree with my friend Senator

Perkins that this isn't about character

assassination,

equitable system -- and frankly,

hands of people like Mr. Ternbeckjian and

Mr,

~ould

system however you want,

people in there who are fair,

10

it's about getting a fair,

F~iedberg,

in the

you'll never have it.

put whatever

You'

you could change the


you1ve got to have

who are

ethical.
!

11

I mean,

ag"ain, ,my -- Mr. Tembeckjian --

12

and again, . I bel ieve I

13

on an earlier day,

14

Mr. Tembeckjian that he had' to follow

15

certain a rule of ethics,

16

actually wrote back to my brother saying

17

that there are no ethics that he has to

18

follow.

19

20

when my brother told

Mr.

Tembeckjian

And -- am I correct?

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

I hear your point,

Your Honor.

21

Your Honor,

22

~USTICE

23

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

24

8ubmi t ted it to you

thank you very much for

HART:

Always a pleasure.
taking your

time out and speaking with us tOday.

141002

8/01/2009 14:37 FAX

102
1

JUSTICE HART:

CHAI~MAN

faster ..

Me.

You

Ms.

MS.

do all this in five minutes,

CARVEL:

I will rush,

I certainly

will.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

14

ca~

Carvel?

13

The next person is Pamela Carvel.

Carvel.

12

Thank you very

I'm going to try to move it a little

10

SAMPSON:

much.

Thank you.

.~

Thank you very

.;

much.
MS.

CARVEL:

You have the written

thing?

15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

16

MS.

CARVEL:

Yes,

I do.

And the flow chart that

17

I've given you is the same as the one I

18

enlarged for you to see.

19

flew in from London becavse I wanted

20

to be part of this hearing that

21

very significant effort

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

think is a

can give you a

23

little bit longer than five minutes,

24

you flew in from London.

since

08/01/2009 14:38 FAX

141 003

103
1

MS.

CARVEL;

But I

think it's a

significant effort at preserving our

aspiring democracy,

Surrogate's Court,

connection to the Office of Court

Administration and the DDC and the other

disciplinary committees comes from,

nothing less than a criminal enterprise.

because whatls going on


which is where my

is

You don1t have to take my word for it,

10.

because one of the lawyers that I

11

actually wrote an article in the New York

12

Law Journal,

13

Eve Markewich, who I hired to help me

14

recover money stolen by the controlling

15

shareholders of Hudson valley Bank,

16

article in the New York Law Journal

17

detailing all of the gross violations of

18

ethics that went into railroading my aunt so

19

that in her whole lifetime she received

20

nothing

of

and lIve attached that for you.

wrote an

benefit after my uncle died.

In 1990 my uncle,

21

hired

22

died,

23

family.

24

back from China,

the week before he

said there was $250 million in the


He called me and asked me to come
where I

was acting as a

08/01/2009 14:38 FAX

[4J 004

104
1

fraud investigator,

discover where $100 million had gone

missing.

to be able to help him

On the Saturday before his death,

h~d

two employees,

that he felt were responsible.

dead on Sunday.

culprits,

he

told people that he was going fire the


a lawyer and his secretary,
~ound

He was

And on Monday morning the

who were agents of Hudson Valley

10

Bank that held the money and that has been

11

the recipient of all of the money since

12

1990,

13

they were in control of everything.


Just recently live discovered that my

14

uncle's death certificate was forged,

15

the information on it was falsified to avoid

16

an autopsy.

17

his body to see if he was murdered in order

18

to set in motion this criminal enterprise

19

that is a pattern in Surrogate's Court.

20

that

And I will be trying to exhume

No efforts to bring these things before

21

the Office of Court Administration have

22

worked in any of the cases that I've

23

investigated other than our own.

24

Hudson

Valley Bank paid surroga.te

08/01/2009 14:38 FAX

l4I005

105
1

scarpino $100,000 during his

prior to the trials in my uncle's estate,

they paid

alleged loan.

in my

Scarpino another $100,000.

And just prior to the trials

estate,

tney paid Surrogate

These issues,

MS. CARVEL:

Raised them with the

Office of Court Administration


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

When you say the

12

Office of Court Administration,

13

Commission --

14

MS.

15

CARVEL:

I'm sorry,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
this?

CARVEL:

discovered it in 2007,

20

.2007,

23
24

When did. you do

It was probably

19

22

the

When was this?


MS.

18

21

you mean the

Commission on Judicial Conduct.

16
17

did

yOu raise them with the

10

~unt's

Scarpino $200,000 as an

CHAIRMAN SAMPSOR:

Su~rogate

Just

eleciion.

so it was probably

2008.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
happe~ed

MS.

So what has

since then?
CARVEL:

They said they didn't

find a problem with scarpino not only

101/2009 14:39 FAX

~006

106
1

receiving money from Hudson Valley Bank but

. allowing Hudson Valley Bank's controlling

shareholder to receive all of the assets

from my uncle's estate, and to allow him to

appear before Scarpino as a witness without

ever disclosing that there were financial

arrangements between Hudson Valley Bank and

Judge Scarpino.

10
11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

And you raised

this to the Commission on Judicial Conduct?


MS.

CARVEL:

Raised it to the

12

Commission on Judicial Conduct.

13

for documentation.

14

documentation.

15

nothing wrong with that.

16

I gave them full

They found absolutely

since

CHA!RMAN SAMPSON:

17

Mr. Tembeckjian is here,

18

over, we'll -- I will raise that

19

MS. CARVEL:

They aSked

before this is

All right.

iss~e.

I also,

20

the course of investigating,

21

the controlling shareholder of Hudson

22

Bank, William Griffin,

23

all of my aunt's real estate,

24

consisted -- part of it was 19 acres in

in

found out that


Va~ley

was given control of


which

8/01/2009 14:39 FAX

141 007

107
1

Ardsley,

area.

New York,

which is a very expensive

Griffin was allowed to flip that

3
4

property to himself through Hudson Valley

Bank,

partners

signed the property over and then the

property came back to Griffin as Hudson

Valley Bank.

through one of his former law


l

brothers.

In other words,

Griffin

And the whole proceeding took

10

place for $2 million on paper that never

11

changed hands,

12

$10 million or more.

13

and, the property is worth

I brought that to the attention of

14

Surrogate Scarpino,

15

again found there was no problem because of

16'

the dealing being done by William Griffin,

17

who was responsible for paying Surrogate

18

Scarpino at least $400,000.

19

and surrogate Scarpino

part of the problem with the whole

20

system of

by the way,

21

complaint against Eve Markewich for knowing

22

about all of these violations.

23

Markewich,

24

aunt1s estate, betrayed any representation

also filed a

Bve

who I hired on behalf of my

8/01/2009 14:40 FAX

141 008

108
1

for us on the promise that William Griffin

would pay her $4 million,

paid $4 million in legal fees

-- which she

has been paid,

And when I

filed the complaint with the, Commission on

JUdicial Conduct on her lack of

representation,

for whioh she was hired,

complete knowledge of ethical violations by

allow her to be

I understand.

her betrayal of the purposes


and also her

10

other attorneys,

11

only did she refuse. to tell me about them,

12

but she refused to take any action herself,

13

which was her duty as a lawyer.

14

that she refused -- not

It came back,

the decision came back

15

that her problems would be sorted out in the

16

legal lawsuit.

17

lawsuit pending between me and Eve

18

Markewich,

19

to be handled at all.

20

investigated or not,

21

in a response,

22

going to be handled in litigation.

23

there was no litigation.

24

Well,

there was no legal

and there was no venue for that


So whether they

I don't know.

She put

and her response was this is

There is --

Eut

8/01/2009 14:40 FAX

141009

109

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

you put, was that in the First

~hat

Department?

MS. CARVEL:

Manhattan.
I

That complaint

That was the

~-

for

It was the First Department.

put in a similar complaint with one

of Eve Markewich's fellow attorneys,

Streng, who didn't tell me that he was

employed by the judge.

Frank

He was also an

10

attorney of mine,

was supposed to represent

11

me.

12

dollars that

13

another million from the estate.

He converted approximately a million


I

paid him and then took

l4

Complaints were filed against him,

15

I was informed that he has a law partner --

16

one of his law partners is on the commission

17

in Westchester,

18

done.

And the same answer came back on that

19

thing,

that it would be handled in

20

litigation.

21

litigation in which Frank Streng's ethics

22

were part of the litigation.

23

no --

24

litigation involving Frank Streng at all.

and that nothing would be

But again,

actua~lYI

and

there was no

There was

at that time there was no

U~!U1!~009

14:40 FAX

[4]010

110

The whole system -- and I

call it a

criminal enterprise,

tactics being used are in the New York State

penal Code:

These are all beins operated out of the

court,

particular Westchester.

happening

Dutchess.

10

because the exact

coercion,

larceny,

conspiracy.

out Of the Surrogate's Court/

i~

Manhattan/

But I

and in

know i t ' s

itls happening in

And they're using a one-sided

system of favoritism.
My aunt and I,

11

as

fiduciaries,

should

12

have had equal access to indemnification as

13

all the other fiduciaries.

14

two fiduciaries denied indemnification

15

because we were the only two working with

16

law enforcement.

17

completely.

We were the only

All the others were paid

As long as my aunt lived,

18

she never

19

received a penny from my uncle's estate.

20

But Hudson Valley Bank controls $150 million

21

of carvel money that my aunt was the sole

22

beneficiary of.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

23

24

it?

They still control

UO/U.1/.<:UUl:l .14:41 t''A.!

141011

111

MS.

CARVEL:

It's all been given to

them.

Over the last 10 years,

by Surrogate

scarpino,

estate and in my auntls estate has been

p~ssed

notice to the named beneficiaries,

notice to the creditors.

approval,

were supposed to be in constructive trust.

all of the money in my unclers

over to Hudson Valley Bank.

Without
without

Without court

assets have been disposed of that

10

None of these things have fazed the judicial

11

commission.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

12

think,

since we

13

still have Mr. Tembeckjian here,

14

something,

15

to look a little further into something like

16

this.

I ' l l ask staff,

this is

maybe I may want

SO if you have time maybe before the

17

maybe we can just

~-

18

end of today,

19

just have a meeting with the members of the

20

commission to see what some of these issues

21

are.

22

MS.

23

r just wanted to point out one other

24

CARVEL:

my staff

I'd be glad to.

problem with the system.

Most times when

08/01/2009 14:41 FAX

141012

112
1

yOu complain about a decision or a jUdge's

.2

actions,

the avenue of appeal.

the judges either don't render decisions --

even

not render decisions for two years or more.

They do not hold trials.

trials -- Surrogate Emanuelli didn't

trial for 10 years.

they'll tell you:

~hough

Well,

you have

In Surrogate's Court,

there's a 6o-day rule,

they may

If they do hold
hol~

My aunt's issues were

10

not litigated at trial until five years'

11

after she was dead.

1.2

You're denied trial by jury or

13

decisions are rendered by transcript,

14

cannot be appealed, or theyrre rendered in

15

such a way that it's too late -- the issue,

16

the money,

17

hy the time the decision has been rendered.

18

which

everything has already been gone

This is a pattern,

and it's more 'than

19

one estate.

And I 'congratulate you for

20

recognizing there's a proDlem.

21

of the Bolution,

22

is'complete transparency and complete

23

anonymity.

24

case for 20 years.

I think part

if not the whole solution,

No jUdge should be given one

No one court should have

101/2009 14:41 FAX

141013

113

one case for 20 years.


If you have -- in our case,

I'm dealing

with Surrogate's Court.

numerous proceedings,

Supreme Court; dispose of the Surrogate's

Court.

If you have

let everything go into

Let everything be assigned by a blind

rotating calendar of' judges.

proceedings be separated so that each

Let

the

10

proceeding is going to get a different judge

11

and a different hearing.

12

. Andthere has to be something to ensure

13

that money is not passed tram one side to

14

the other or that one side alone is funded.

15

There has to be an enforcement of the

16

Constitution that all people have equal

17

rights before the law.

18

Thank you.

19

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

20

Ms.

Carvel,

thank

you very much.

21

The next witness -- and I'm going to

22

adhere to the five-minute rule -- is Paul

23

Altman.

24

Mr. Altman,

MR. ALTMAN:

are you here?


Yes,

senator.

08/01/2009 14:42 FAX

141 014

114
1

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

How are you doing,

Mr. Altman?

quite sure you can adhere to the five-minute

rule.

MR.

That's a very extensive --

Well,

A~TMAN:

what I

I'm

m going to

do is totally let you off the hook with all

those eXhibits, now that

works.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Thank you.

I didn't come in to

MR. ALTMAN:

10

see how this

11

trash any personal,ities.

I've never met

12

anybody in the room before.

13

any group.

14

in Florida.

15

York.

I'm not part of

I am a 54-year-old guy who lives


I was a jazz musician in New

And I have run afoul of the system.


And my life has been turned into a

16

17

nightmare,

18

the

19

stood down and allowed an unethical attorney

20

to torment me.

21

to decide whether I'm just a disgruntled

22

litigant or

23

to say.

24

which I'm going to tell you in

hundred~second

version.

And the DDC has

And I will leave it to you

whethe~

I have something valid

Okay?

Here's my story in a nutshell.

This

101/2009 14:42 FAX

141015

l15

has been going on for eight years.

going to try to give you the 120-second

version,

that I have a child who's now 15.

there was Family Court issues;

attorney,

Gold.

with him,

about this.

10

senator.

What

happen~d

Richard L. Gold,

lim

to me is
In 2001/

I hired an

of Morelli &

You can imagine that Ilm not in love


or I wouldn't be here talking
But I ' l l spare you a

charact~r

assassination and try to stick to the facts.


In 2006,

11

after four years of Family

~elationship

12

Court, my

13

lowed him $20,000.

14

and I

15

in New York State,

16

allows for mandatory arbitration if the

17

client demands it.

18

did not want to go to trial.

19

Florida,

20

with him soured,

and

A fee dispute ensued,

took advantage of the Part 137 law


22 NYCRR 137 -- which

And I demanded it.

I live in

rim not an attorney.

The arbitrators hated Mr. Gold,

and

21

they told him not only to waive the $20,000

22

that I allegedly owed him,

23

to refund an additional $5,000.

24

Gold did not do so.

but they told him

called the

And Mr.

8/01/2009 14:43 FAX

141016

116
1

Disciplinary Committee, and I said,

man has my money."

Committee said,

please make a complaint."

"This

And the Disciplinary

"This is a concern for us,


And I did.

And at that time what happened is

5
6

that -- well,

I don't want to get into all

the details because it will be an hour,

lim

what happened in a nutshell is that

so

going to try to keep it to five minutes.

10

Mr. Gold's retainer said that should there

11

ever be a fee dispute and should Altman

12

choose arbitration as is his right pursuant

13

to New York law,

14

binding upon Altman and the firm.


Well,

lS

York.

that arbitration will be

Gold sued me in Supreme Court of


And I will quickly get to the

16

~ew

17

DDeis

18

leeway to tell the story,

19

me and.asked the Supreme Court to award him

20

$35,000.

21

motion to dismiss pre-answer and said,

22

Honor,

23

misuse of the supreme Court.

24

already been an arbitration,

role in this, but give me a little

I,

okay?

Gold sued

who am not a lawyer, made a


"Your

this is an illegal and unethical


There's
and here is

08/01/2009 14:43 FAX

I4J 017

117

Goldls retainer agreement,

says the arbitration is binding."

Well,

and it clearly

Gold made opposition to this;

he said,

yeah;

retainer

agreement~

of the word that meant "nonbinding."

the word "binding" was in the

but it was a special use

(Laughter. )

MR. ALTMAN:

8
9

and

now,

buy this, but on June 3D,

the judge did not


2008,

in a

10

landmark decision which is featured

11

front of the New York Law Journal,

12

judge's photograph,

13

Edmead ruled that although the word

14

lIbinding H is suggestive of binding,

15

Gold was free to vacate the $25,000 award

16

and start an entirely new trial and drag me

17

to New York.

the

with the

Justice Carol Robinson

that

I would never have hired him if I had

18
19

On

known that the retainer was a trick.


And she ruled that the reason for this

20

21

is because Gold himself had not used a

22

super-secret Boy Scout-password-encoded form

23

from the Office of Court Administration that

24

I,

as an unrepresented consumer,

could have

08/01/2009 14:43 FAX

141018

118
1

known nothing about.


Well,

the DDC stood down on thi s .

laid it all out to the DDC.

the exhibits, which I cannot drag you

through in five minutes, and I

mercifully not -CHAIRMAN

I've given you

will

But this wasa

SAM~SON~

guess was a jUdge's determination with

respect to -MR. ALTMAN:

10

It was a

judge's

11

determination after the DDe -- I'm telling

12

the five-minute version,

so lIm a little out

13

of sequence -- after

nnc stood down and

14

said there appears to be pending litigation

15

on this matter.

16

Well,

~he

I wrote back to the DDC and said:

17

Look,

18

That's part of my complaint.

19

unethical litigation.

20

the jurisdiction in the world to deal with

21

this here and now,

22

goes on.

23
24

know there's pending litigation.

This is an

And you guys have all

before the litigation

cannot quote you chapter and verse,

senator, but the DDC's rules say that they

08/01/2009 14:44 FAX

141019

119
1

can pursue issues even if there's pending

litigation,

the fact that there's pending litigation.

that they dre not hamstrung by

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

inve9t~gate

litigation?

because there was a pending

MR. ALTMAN:

So the DDC did not

,Correct.

down.

wrote to them and I said,

They closed

They closed the investigation.'

A~d.

With all due

10

respect,

11

investigation that has pending litigation

12

corresponding -- at the same time,

13

you1re doing is creating a rule so that

14

attorneys who are accused of an ethics

15

violation must bring lawsuit against the

16

client who accused them.

17

automatic the DDe will stand down.

18

if you close every ethics

what

Because that's the

And if the attorney is unethical enough

19

to keep playing th{s game in a

20

attrition and finally wear the client down,

21

as Richard Gold is trying to do to me,

22

then he wins.

23

be unethical.

24

Now,

law of

well,

The DDC does not find this to

the DDC's own rules forbid what

8101/2009 14:44 FAX

l4J 020

120

Gold did.

Gold,

as a matrimonial attorney,

is not allowed to have trick wording in a

retainer agreement !egarding fee

arrangements.

chapter and verse that attorneys cannot lie

to clients and they have a fiduciary

relationship.

The specific rules af the DDC say -- or the

ethics rules say that a matrimonial attorney

Now,

I'm not going to quote

Let 1 s put all that aside.

10

must set forth the fee arrangements in the

11

retainer agreement in plain language.


No~,

12

13

how on earth is "binding" meaning

"Donbinding u in plain lan~uage7


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

14
15

took any action?

16

MR. ALTMAN:

17

So the DDC never

The DDe never took any

action.
So now I will try to give you the punch

18

only did it later turn out that the

19

line.

20

form was never even available,

21

that the form was supposedly on wasn't

22

available, but I made a reply to Goldls

23

opposition which was substantially the same

24

as what he made in court.

the website

He said,

noc

Yeah,

08/01/2009 14:44 FAX

I4J 021

121
1
2

binding, but it meant nonbinding.


So what I did is

said okay,

let him

have that.

What about the fact that he lied

in court?

he perjured himself.

transcripts.

puffed up the bill and then knocked i t down

with courtesy discounts and then went after

those courtesy discounts when he found out I

He took me into the wrong court,


Here are the

What about the fact that he

r could go

10

wasn't happy with his services?

11

on with two or

12

never submitted these allegations to GOld.

13

thr~e

more examples.

The DDC

So here's -- here are the four ways


sp~cifically

l4

that the DDC

15

whitewashed the case, which is supposedly

16

still pending.

17

still pending in front of Justice Edmead.

18

It has turned my life upside down.

19

stonewalled me and

My litigation in New York is

But to be precise,

the DDC,

the first

20

thing they did is they wrote me a letter

21

saying there's pending litigation'so we're

22

closing the case.

23

that does not follow their rules.

24

Second,

And as I

said earlier,

they did not tell me the case

/01/2009 14:45 FAX

14I022

l22

could be reconsidered.

that they notify me of this.


Third,

Their rules require

they said that there was pending

litigation in related matters.

true.

That was not

Okay?
And fourth l

to this day I have been 'in

touch with Sherry Cohen,

that the reconsideration is still pending,

and to this day they have never submitted

10
II

12

13

who has told me

the additional allegations to Attorney Gold.


AUDIENCE MEMBER:

Where are the other

two senators?
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Basically,

the

14

other two senators had commitments.

15

is -- my colleagues come in and out because,

16

you know,

17

other committee meetings and everything else

18

going on.

19

This

this is during the day we have

So you have the chairperson here

20

whols -- I'm in charge of the committee.

21

as long as I don't leave,

22

MR. ALTMAN:

WeIll

So

you1re all right.


I want to take

23

second to apologize to the audience.

I am a

24

little heated, and I am trying as best as

8/01/2009 14:45 FAX

141 023

123
1

possible to knock an eight-year story down

to a few seconds.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

I understand it.

no,

And this is

no,

something,

pending and something like this can be

reconsidered,

follow up with you in the near future

respect to the complaint that you have filed

10
11

no,

Altman,

Mr.

since your litigation is still

so I will make sure that we

with the DDe.


MR. ALTMAN:

Senator,

again,

I won't

12

drag you through the exhibits,

13

exhibits you will see that the DDe has

14

written to me and said that there was

15

nothing legitimate

16

send to Gold.

17

but in the

nothing worthwhile to

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Well,

that',s

18

something that maybe since we have the

19

members Of the DDC here/

20

Department,

21

can -- you know,

22

subsequent environment.

23
24

wit~

the First

that's something that maybe we


maybe I

can ask them in a

Just for complete disclosure;

I used to

work for Justice Edmead about 20 years ago.

08/01/2009 14:46 FAX

@024

124
1

MR. ALTMAN:

Well,

I don't agree with

her decision.

She knows that.

as saying eo in the New York Law Journal.

think this was a mistake,

with her,

motions and what have you.

she ends up agreeing with me,

ex~wife

things too.

respectfully,

I'm quoted

and I am dealing

in the court, with


And I hope that
and I hope my

ends up agreeing with me about a few

But I would like to just make one more

10

if I may,

11

comment,

12

comments you have or stand down.

13

come here with an ax to grind.

14

anybody here.

15

personally offended by Mr. Gold and

16

Mr. Friedberg.

17

them.

18

and then I will take any


I did not
I

don't know

But I was deeply offended,

walked in listening to

And I find it outrageous that these

19

people, who know the system better than

20

anybody else,

2],

the doubt and should not be the victims of

22

character assassination,

23

do not come forward and say to you:

24

Senator,

and deserve every benefit of

that these people

obviously, with the amount of power

U"/U11;!UU~

14:41:5 }<'AX

I4J025

125'

we have and the amount of opaqueness that

our agency has,

problem,

this is a perception

even though

~e

personally behave in

saintlike \<lay.

These should be the people who are

advising you on how to fix the problem.

the fact that they are not I find deeply

offensive, and I personally feel very

suspicious of them.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

Well,

I don't

11

think, Mr. Altman -- this is why we are

12

having these proceedings.

13

forward.

14

expressed your belief.

1.5

have these hearings,

16

bottom of this.
Thank you.

18

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

20
21

And this is why we

so we can get do the

MR. ALTMAN:

much,

They did come

They expreased -- now you

17

19

And

Thank you very

Mr. Altman.
The next witness is Luisa Esposito,

West Hempstead, New York.

22

MS. ESPOSITO:

23

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

24

MS. ESPOSITO;

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.
My ndme is

LU~8a

of

I4J 026

126
1

Esposito,

matters that are being brought forth by the

public are of urgent importance and it begs

for your immediate attention and involvement

in

promote justice.

you~

and I believe these serious

honorable pursuit to defend and

On or about July 8,

2005,

and

September 16,

2005, Attorney Allen H.

while representing me on an auto accident

Is~ac,

10

case,

11

hand inside my bra and grabbing my nipple

12

and all.

13

in his office and wanted me to try clothing

14

on in front of him.

15

coercion to try to get me to fellate him.

16

And after hanging up on a phone call,

17

came from behind and grabbed both of my

18

breasts.

19

grabbed my buttocks.

20

two people.

21

sexually assaulted me by putting his

On September 16th,

Isaac locked me

He used extortion and

While leaving his office,

On Oct"ober 7,

Isaac

he

This was witnessed by

2005,

I was wired by a

22

private investigator,

and hence an

23

approximate 1 hour,

24

DVD tape was produced with Isaac admitting

49 minute audio-video

101/2009 14:47 FAX

141027

127

to his crimes.

I reported these crimes,

along with

irrefutable evidence and witnesses,

to the

New York County District Attorney's Office

Sex Crimes Unit, Manhattan Special victims

unit,

Office,

agencies,

Disciplinary Committee,

the New York State Attorney General's

and other various investigatory


including the First Departmental
in hopes of a

10

resolution towards justice.

11

was further victimized and treated as if I

12

were the criminal.

13

either dismissed or ignored.

14

But instead,

All of my pleas were

As a result of these flagrant abuses,

15

presently have a case pending in front of

16

the Second Circuit Court of Appeals,

17

c. Esposito v. The State of New York,

18

al., 08-4879-CV, as well as several others

19

which had been marked related to Christine

20

Anderson v.

21

07 civ.

22

shocking allegations regarding systemic

23

corruption within the New York State Ethics

24

Committee.

9599

The State of New York,


(Sj>..S).

Luis~

et

et al.,

These cases involve

08/01/2009 14:47 FAX

141028

128
1

I believe my complaints to the ethics

panel against my tormer attorney, Allen

Isaac/ Docket

whitewashed,

very same practices that are very similar to

several others.

No,

2005-3074/

ignored,

are being

and mishandled/

The First Department Departmental

Disciplinary committee,

malice and corruption at the First

DDC.

The level of

10

Department Departmental Disciplinary

11

Committee cannot pe overstated.

12

the

On or about October 2005/

filed a

l3

grievance complaint at the DDe pertaining to

14

serious allegations against my former

15

attorney, Allen Isaac.

16

regarded sexual abuse/ extortion, coercion/

17

and corrupt influence on jUdges.

18

complaint was forwarded for prosecution

19

approximately two years later, Ms. Naomi

20

Goldstein was the attorney selected by the

21

DDC to prosecute this,

22

The complaint

When my

Docket No.'2005-3014.

On or about April 2007,

the hearings

23

began against Mr.

24

by Michael Ross and Richard Godosky.

Isaac,

who was represented


I

I4J 029

129
1

asked the court and Ms. Goldstein if I

have my attorney present during the

:3

proceedings, and Ms. Goldstein and the court

told me I

present during the hearings. , Tllis was

clearly an abuse and violation of my rights.

could

wasn't allowed to have my attorney

It soon became obvious that

7
8

Ms. Goldstein was not representing my,

interests but rather protecting my

Mr. Isaac, by the most fraudulent

10

assailant

11

and despicable means.

12

MS.

13

evidence to the court instead of the

14

original transcript of the A/V DVD tape and

15

evidence that I

16

evidence is an approximate 1 hour,

17

videotape that records Mr.

18

demanding oral sex from me in return for his

19

legal services, admitting to his sexually

20

assaulting me,

21

command favors from various judges.

22

For example,

Goldstein presented altered and redacted

had given her.

This
49 minute

Isaac explicitly

and boasting that he could

The committee and Me., Goldstein used a

23

transcription of a copy of the videotape

24

that Herbert waichman of Parker & Waichman

8/01/2009 14:48 FAX

[4J 030

130
1

submitted to the committee.

not allow my original certified

COPYI

and transcript,

The version

of the DVD transcript Ms. Goldstein

presented was heavily altered and redacted,

and omitted the critical sections most

damning to Mr.

cherry-picked what she wanted to submit into

evidence.

10

The court would

into evidence.

Isaac.

Another example.

Ms.

tape

Goldstein

When Ms. Goldstein

11

asked me to testify under oath to my

12

certified copy of the A/V tapers accuracy,

13

she then handed it back to me and did not

14

submit it into evidence.

15

Goldstein submitted the copy of the tape

16

that Mr.

17

b a c kin 2 0 0 6 .

lB

me to listen to Mr. Waichman's copy of the

19

tape with the court,

20

instead the court listened to it in front of

21

the attorneys without my presence.

22

Instead, Ms.

waichman submitted to the committee

When I

Ms.

Go 1 d s t e in did no t

as promised,

,a II 0 w

but

tried to address these serious

23

and unethical and flawed matters to various

24

individuals within the committee and outside

08/01/2009 14:48 FAX

141031

131
1

of the committee, my pleas were immediately

dismissed and ignored.

result of their unethical practices,

became very ill and could no longer continue

to attend the hearings as a witness and

complainant.

Therefore,

as a
I

I will quote a part of the audio-video

7
8

DVC tape where Isaac is heard boasting about

a case that was in tront of the First

10

Department Appellate Division and how he had

11

influence on that appeal regarding the

12

$200 million fen-phen case;

13

was in the Appellate court First

14

Department -- not the Second Department.

15

The Second Department is tougher than the

16

First Department.

17

Department.

18

case was the last.

19

the client wanted me there because some of

20

the jUdges on the panel are very close to

21

me.

22

to know that Ilm really interested in that

23

case.

24

they saw me,

uYesterday I

I was in the First

There were 16 cases,


I wasn 1 t

So I wanted them t

and my

arguing it,

but

the appellate judges,

This is all bullshit politics.

And

so I wanted them to know that

I4J 032

132

1 ' m really interested in that case.

.2

case, you know,

this."

-4
5

That

is worth $200 million.

Not

To whom and where do you report this


kind of outrage on the citizens of New York?
Wherefore,

bring this before the

Senate Judiciary Committee and pray that you

have the courage to bring these

justice before they do irreparable harm to

10
11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
question I

13

pending case before

1.5
16

MS.

Esposito,

~he

MS. ESPOSITO:

--

My case is still open

and pending four years later.


lId also like to mention that when I

reported the New York County District

18

Attorney,

19

Department Disciplinary Committee,

20

days that complaint was dismissed.

22
23
24

the

have is do you still have a

17

21

to

our society1s perception of the courts.

12

14

peopl~

Lisa Friel,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

to the First
within 10

What complaint was

dismissed?
MS. ESPOSITO;
had filed a complaint

The ADA Lisa Friel.

08/01/2009 14:49 FAX

141033

133

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

1
2

A oriminal

complaint?
MS.

ESPOSITO:

NO,

a complaint

against her regarding -- well,

it 1 s criminal I really don't know.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

understand.

who?
MS.

mean,

if

I'm just trying to

You filed a complaint against

ESPOSITO:

filed a complaint

10

against the ADA at the New York County ,

11

District Attorney's Office.

12

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

13

14

Oh,

the ADA in

the
MS.

The New York County

ESPOSITO:

15

District Attorney's Office.

16

complaint against ADA Lisa Friel.

17

complaint,

18

Department Disciplinary Committee, was

19

immediately dismissed within 10 days.

20

then I refiled again;

21

from anybody.

22

when I

filed a
And that

filed it at the First

And

haven't heard back

I've written letters to Alan Friedberg,

23

I've written letters to Thomas Cahill,

24

written letters and --

I've

/01/2009 14:49 FAX

141 034

13~

are still here,

MS.

MS.

sO much.

8
9

we'll follow up with that,

Esposito.

since the parties

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

All right.

ESPOSITO:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Thank you

Thank you very

much for your testimony.


I have to take

Ladies and gentlemen,

about a five-minute break and resume in --

10

we'll resume in about 10 minutes,

11

just have to run somewhere.

12

and we'll resume the session again.

13

take a lO-minute break,

walk around,

14

of all your anxieties.

We're going to try

15

to get through this today.

16

19

Ten minutes,
So just
get rid

Thank you very much.

(Brief recess taken.),

17,

18

because I

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;
is Mr.

Galison,

The next witness

william Qalison.

20

Mr. Galison, where are you?

21

MR. GALISON:

22

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Here.

23

know the routine,

24

couple of hearings.

Mr.

Galison,

you

you've been with me a


~et's

get to the point,

08/01/2009 14:50 FAX

141 035

135

1
2

let'S move on.

Go ahead,

MR. GALISON:

Mr.

Galison.

l'd like to

Okay.

start by just touching on a point that

Senator

not here to respond or to hear this.

not a criticism,

DeFran~isco

made,

and I'm sorry he'S


It's

just a clarification.

He asked Ms. Anderson what the

percentage of cases were in whdch"she felt

there was some impropriety or favoritism,

10

and he suggested that possibly the small

11

number,

12

that maybe something was -- if I understood

13

correctly, was that things were not so bad

14

and there might be an acceptable sort of

15

random level of impropriety or ~alfeasance.

16-

the small percentage,

was indicative

The fact is that the vast majority of

17

cases prOVide no motivation for corruption.

18

By definition,

19

is a vested interest in the outcome.

20

policeman arrests 100 drug dealers and then

21

fails to arrest his younger brother(

22

corruption rate is not 1 percent,

23

hundred percent, because that's where he had

24

a motivation to be corrupt.

corruption occurs when there


If a

his

it's a

141036

136
1

And nobody is accusing Mr.

Tembeckjian

Friedberg of doing this for sport;

or Mr.

they do it because they have a vested

interest.

interests are is not known to us, but we can

only assume that they don't do it for sport.

What exactly those vested

Having said that

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10
11

12

minutes.

Go ahead.

MR. GALISON:
Senator.

Now you have four

Sir,

thank you --

Give me a break.

Mr. G91d sets the rules of the

13

grievance committees -- I'm sorry, Mr. Gold

14

claims that the grievance committees are

15

governed by rules.

The problem is not that

16

there are no rules,

the problem is that the

17

rules are ignored,

18

twisted and perverted.

The New York state jUdiciary is so

19

dysfunctional and corrupt that their

20

so-called ethics committees routinely break

21

existing laws and capriciously create false

22

laws, without due process and with utter

23

impunity.

24

credibility of the courts,

By doing so,

they undermine the


which is clear to

8/01/2009 14:51 FAX

141037

137
1

everyone here.
Their corruption is so absolute and

flagrant that they don't even make an effort

at the appearance of propriety.

they spit in the face of citizens, the

Constitution, and the universal tenets of

justice.

both as a sword against their enemies and.a

shield to protect their friends.

Instead,

These committees use corruption

Complaints

10

against lawyers with connections are

11

brazenly whitewashed or ignored.

12

learn this from anybody else;

13

my experience.

14

Decent

lawye~s

didn't

this is from

are sanctioned or

15

disbarred with no legitimate reason,

16

because they dared to oppose the corrupt

17

power structure.

18

on Judicial Conduct routinely whitewashes

19

and dismisses complaints against judges

20

without any investigation or explanation,

21

and jUdges who dare to challenge the system

22

are punished.

23
24

Likewise J

simply

the Commission

TO compound the problem,

no attorney

will touch cases of corruption against

08/01/2009 14:51 FAX

141 038

138

crooked attorneys or judges because they

know this means professional suicide.


The corruption is not only deep and

3
4

wide,

it extends to the highest office Of

the judiciary.

State, Jonathan Lippman, who I

submit was shoehorned into office by a

faulty confirmation

implicated in at least a dozen lawsuits and

The Chief Judge of New York

proce~s,

respectfully

is personally

10

dozens more complaints regarding corruption,

11

and those are only the ones that I know

12

about.

This is the head of the snake.

We

13

can talk about the tailor the middle,

but

14

this is the head of the snake.

15

him,

And before

it was Judith Kaye.


In his prior role as presiding justice

16
17

of the First Appellate Division,

18

appointed Alan Friedberg to head the

19

Disciplinary Committee.

20

already earned his reputation as corrupt in

21

his former position as chief counsel to the

22

CJC.

23
24

Lippman

Alan Friedberg,

who

When Friedberg continued to run the DDC


as corruptly as his disgraced predecessor,

08/01/2009 14:51 FAX

141039

139

Thomas Cahill, Lippman received scores of

complaints about Friedberg's corruption and

incompetence.

Lippma~

did nothing.

And that is no surprise.

In his

previous position as administrative jUdge of

the OCA,

fired DDC Investigating Attorney Christine

Anderson for reporting systemic felonious

corruption at the DDC.

Jonathan Lippman hact personally

He fired her for

but thatls obviously a

10

insubordination,

11

mischaracterization.

12

No one can

d~ny

that DDC protects

13

guilty lawyers and attacks innocent ones.

14

But what I'd like to address is how they do

15

that,

16

And I think people will relate to many of

17

these.

18

what are the methods that they use.

I will be as brief as possible.

All problems with the DDC arise from

19

underlying conflicts.

Mine had to do with

20

a -- I'm a musician,

21

record that I made and a lawyer tried to

22

steal the rights from the record by writing

23

and claLming that I was not the copyright

24

owner.

it had to do with a

six months later,

he changed, his

08/01/2009 14:52 FAX

14J040

140

mind and said that I was the copyright

owner,

Now,

not get a record deal, and I was basically

being threatened with the federal crime of

copyright infringement.

upside down.

in the interceding six months,

Two streams of

admitted that in a sworn document.


I

could

Turned my life

system~c

and coordinated

official misconduct arose from my underlying

10

dispute.

One,

II'

disciplinary complaints against certain

12

lawyers have been illegally obstructed, by

13

multiple government agencies,

14

DnC,

lS

and others --

the DAiS office,

17

this dialog,

18

instances.
MR.

19

21

including the

the Attorney General,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

16

20

my efforts to file

Stop.

We have had

and you talked about these

GALISON:

What would you like to

know?
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Exactly.

I want

22

to "get to -- you talk about whitewashing.

23

What specifically was done that you consider

24

to be whitewashing,

those specific

08/01/2009 14:52 FAX

141 041

141
I

incidents?

:2

you have to improve the system?

MR.

editing,

GALISON:

I appreciate your.

as always,

Well,

And what recommendations would

Senator.

I ' l l make it very clear,

cases which are -- which I

crystal-clear.

talk about stuff

debatable facts.

I mean!
th~t~s

For example,

10

two

see as absolutely

I'm not going to


debatable with

this lawyer,

who wrote in

11

a letter to my record company that I was not

12

the

13

going to sue me for copyright infringement,

14

six months later admitted in a sworn

15

affidavit that I was the copyright owner.

16

By any definition of the word,

17.

lying.

18

~wner

of the record and that he was

the man was

And lying is against the rules.

It's

19

not against the lawi

r cannot sue him in

20

court for lying.

21

but not for lying.

22

infraction that is in the LCPR.

23

particular number,

24

or law firm shall not engage in conduct

Maybe for fraud,

possibly,

Lying is an ethical

it's DR 1.102.

It has a
A lawyer

08/01/2009 14:52 FAX

141042

142
1

involving dishonesty,

misrepresentation.
Now,

fraud,

deceit,

or

if you tell a record company that

1 1 m not the owner of the record and yoU .know

perfectly well and six months later you say,

yes,

I knew that he was the owner --

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

MR.

10

GALISON:

sure everybody

unde~stands

want to make

there was no

question,
What did theDDC,

12

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

14

.. Okay,

11

13

We got that point.

what did Mr.

Fried --

What did the DDC

do that was so -MR.

GALISON:

Okay,

what Mr.

Cahill

15

did was he asked for a response from the

16

lawyer.

17

employer and counsel at the time,

1a

Beldock.

19

20
21

The response came from the lawyer's


Myron

It should be noted that the


What did he do

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

that was questionable to you?


MR. GALISON:

okay,

I'm sorry,

yeah.

22

I was just going to note that Hal Lieberman,

23

who preceded Mr.

24

Beldock's office at that time.

cahill,

was working at
He went

UO/U1/;;:UU~

14:5J rA!

141043

143

directly from the one, which I

some insight as to how the revolving door

works here.

4
5
6

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

think gives

Your issue is that

that's a conflict issue that!s


MR. GALISON:

That's a conflict

issue.

some light on what's going on behind the

scene.

10

But that's an aside,

What happened,

just to shed

what Cahill did is he

11

got the response fr9m the lawyer, but the

12

lawyer

13

pages long,

14

because hels considering suing me,

15

may contain some information. II

16

this is after months of delay

17
18
19

sai~:

27

and it

By the way,

But don't they

send you a copy of his response


MR. GALISON:
supposed to.

21

letter,

22

a.nd sealed.

24

it

but Mr. Galison can't see it

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

20

23

IIHere' s my response,

Yeah,

But instead,

they were

they sent me the

which said the response is redacted

He said, We are attaching two versions


of the answer from Mr. Greenberg.

One is

8/01/2009 14:53 FAX

I4J 044

144

entirely deleted -- redacted.

3 to page 28 is redacted.

sealed envelope which neither you,

That is,

page

The other is in a
th@ DDC,

or Mr. Galison is allowed to view.


Now,

the DDC booklet and the rules say

that when and after a case is opened

by sending the thing,

investigation

or encouraged to respond to the answer.

And

10

I wrote to Mr.

how

11

can I

12

sealed envelope that I

they've opened the

the complainant is required

Cahill,

and

said,

SAMPSON:

can't even see?


I

mean,

14

very valid point which you make.

15

to the second incident.


MR. GALISON:

16
17

So in response,

19

report,

20

text,

22

23
24

that 1 s a
Let's go

Let me just say that he

said "Do the best you can."

18

21

Well,

respond to something that's in a

CHA!~MAN

13

and

I wrote a 40-page

fully documented --

40

pages of

hundreds of pages of exhibits -CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

happened to the case?


MR. GALISON:
I wrote and I

What actually

Was it dismissed?
It was dismissed.

And

said when you dismissed this,

8/01/2009 14:54 FAX

141 045

145

did you take into account the information

that was in the sealed envelope,

just decide that I

was lying?

And they said,

or did you

Oh, well,

maybe "we made

a mistake, we'll have it reconsidered.

one of the things they do.

months reviewing a case,

maybe we goafed,'Me'll

there'S another six months or a year.

They spend six

then they say,

re~onsider

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

It's

ii.

oh",
Then

want you to kind

11

of get -- because lIve got another minute

12

left,

I want you to
MR.

13

Please,

GALISON:

14

questions,

15

case.

I will tell you.

The other case,

16

just ask me the

This is one

there are five lawyers

17

and two jUdges.

I haven't gone to the CJC

18

yet.

19

mean a lawyer,

20

heard this story before,

21

Friedman,

22

Cahill, and Cahill said -- the very words he

23

wrote were IIThis attorney does not practice

24

in Manhattan or the Bronx and is therefore

The other case involved a


a guy named

judge --

which yOU've

a guy named

Leon Friedman, who I

complained to

[4]046

146

not under our jurisdiction."


I wrote him,

I said he does,

does.

letterhead, here's the picture of the plaque

over his door,

secretary saying

But he was fraudulently registered in the

lOth District. ". I 5i.1.id the fact that he r s

fraudulently registered in the 10th District

10

1 1 m not making. that up..

he just

Here's his

here's a recording of his


that'~

his 801e law

of~ice.

doesn't have any bearing.


Three years -- actually,

11

3 1/2 years

12

now I have been contesting with Mr.

13

Friedberg and his committee that 148 East

14

78th Street is in Manhattan and not in

1.;i

Suffolk County somewhere.

16

that it's in Suffolk County.

17

because by no account dos Mr.

18

a law office in SUffolk-County.

19

doesn't.

They maintain

So that is just nonsense.

20

And they -Friedman have


He just

mean,

you

21

know,

that's the stuff that I l m -- but what

22

happened was they sent my complaint to the

23

lOth District, where it was dismissed one

24

week after it was sent in April of 2p06.

It

08/01/2009 14:54 FAX

141047

147
1
2

was never sent to Mr.

Friedman.

And what was the rationale Lehind not


They said this is not a

investigating?

complaint about ethics,

compla~nt.

entire complaint was enumerated in the

precise language of the LCPR,

Code of Profess ianai Respon's ibi 1 i ty.

complaint was followed by a numerically -- a

this is a civil

Well, hold on a second.

The

the Lawyer's
' EV~ ry

10

numbered description of the exact law and

11

why my cases corresponded to those

12

particular ethical rules.

l~

not an

14

ethi~al

To say that i t ' s

complaint is just ludicrous.

But worse than that,

15

me any confirmation.

16

three years.

17

years,

18

Friedberg

19

answer the simple

20

Friedman was practicing in the First

21

Department

22

Department.

23

and I have a tape recording which I put on

24

YouTube of him sayirtg that he will not tell

they did not send

did not know for

During the time of that three

was communicating with Mr.


I

and he denied,

or

he would ref'use to

~uestion

of whether Mr.

the lOth District,


He -- I

the Second

sent him 15 letters,

08/01/2009 14:55 FAX

141048

148

me, he refuses to tell me whether the lawyer

is in his jurisdiction.

of utter

dis~egard

That i3 the level

for fairness and rules.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

we need to end it.

And I need you to


And I

think I

understand your point with the whole issue

of the transparency issue and just basically

the common

following up -GALISON:

MR.

10

dece~cy

and courtesy of just

No , no , no,

not --

11

decency and courtesy is way more than I

12

woul d demand_

13

behavior.

14

courteous to me.

15

finally --

I donlt care if hels decent or

He has to respond to my

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

16
17.

rIm talking about legal

The transparency

issue is what you


GALISON:

Yes.

18

MR.

19

transparency,

20

a list of the laws that Mr.


And I

21

well

not just

following the laws.

I've got

Friedberg broke.

just want to say -- end with one

I was recently speaking

~o

22

thing.

23

clerk of the Second Appellate Division,

24

Mr.

pelzer.

the chief

And I have him on a tape

08101/2009 14:55 FAX

141 049

149

recording saying the courts may dispense

with the rules, with their own rules.


That is not true.

The senators can't

dispense with their own rules,

cannot dispense with their own rules,

president cannot dispense with his own

rules.

Thank' ;you, sir.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

the

Thank you very

much.
The next witness is Eleanor Capogrosso.

11
12

How are you doing?

13

Mr.

14

minutes.

15

MS.

Please don't follow

Galison and take longer than five

CAPOGROSSO:

Senator,

gave you a great

16

deal of material,

17

just hit right to the points.

18

the citizens

so I ' l l try to

When you say hit

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

19

the points,

that's what I want the witnesses

20

to do.

21

that you have, and maybe any recommendations

22

that you may want to see.

Let's hit the points,

CAPOGROSSO:

the issues

Certainly.

23

MS.

24

Perhaps I could answer a question that

101/2009 14:55 FAX

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150

you raised earlier that what can we do with

the SCJC.

And it's a very --

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

know what the SCJC is?


MS.

CAPOGROSSO:

Does everybody

State Commission on

Judicial Conduct.
The answer is very simple.

have to make it public.

to do so, and I l l l explain why.

You just

And you1re mandated


Article 6,

10

section 22 of the Constitution of the State

11

Of New York states:

12

on

13

agency constitutionally designated to review

14

complaints of judicial misconduct in New

15

York state.

16

Judicia~

The State Commission

conduct is the disciplinary

1I

The Legislature presently has abrogated

17

its constitutional responsibility by giving

18

the constitutional obligation to an

19

organization that is not subject to review

20

or oversight.

21

the Judiciary Law violates the equal

22

protection and due process clauses of the

23

United States constitution.

24

As a result,

section 44 of

That was the basis of my federal case

8/01/2009 21:01 FAX

[4J 001

151

that I

attempts of trying to file that case were

dismissed,

where I

because he coached the Attorney General what

(5

to do in order to get that case dismissed.

The second was Honorable Scheindlin,

case

was because it was sua sponte dismissed,

10
11

filed in the Southern District.

first by the Honorable Griesa,

couldn't even fi1@ a complaint

was~consolidated

where I

Both

with hers.

when my

That

al~o

couldn't file the complaint.

This is the issue,

this is the answer.

12

And the federal court does not want to

13

address it.

14

where I

15

and if you look at the transcript, which is

16

next to the materials I

17

which these are in Judge- Griesa's words

18

where he coaches the Attorney General on

19

what to do to get this thing dismissed,

20

the unusual ruling by federal Judge

21

soheindlin to sua sponte dismiss a

22

complaint,

23

second Circuit case law because it doesn't

24

even give an adversary the capability of

Based upon those dismissals

couldn't file a federal complaint

whic~ is

sent to you,

of

and

against prevailing

08/01/2009 21:01 FAX

141 002

152
1

opposing it.

This is the issue

th~y

don't want to

address, but this is what you can address.

This is what you can fix, this is what you

can cure.
And I

will tell you what the overall


By not making it

problew with this is.

public, what you're doing is allowing the

rigging of the election system in this


By the State Commission on Judicial

10

state.

11

Conduct not turning over these

12

the screening committees who screen the

13

judges, what you've done is rigged these

14

elections, nothing more complicated than

lS

that.

16

preserve.

17

so they can put the ,people into power that

18

they want to be put in power.

compla~nts

And this is what they're trying to

They want these elections rigged

And it's unconstitutional what they've

19
20

done,

21

do right now,

22

not want to address that this legislature

23

can do.

24

to

and that's a simple thing that you can

Secondly,

which two federal jUdges do

the uniform judicial question

08/01/2009 21:01 FAX

141 003

153

..

here is hidden under a veil of

confidentiality by the OCA.

Elections controls the election process with

any of the politicians in this state , but

not with the jUdges.

they keep it under a veil of secrecy.

by doing so,

capability of the public to look

at these responses,

you're

The Board of

They keep it secret,

no~

giving the

of these

11

they ' re making false statements.


Now,

carefull~

to look at the resumes

10

12

And

judges, to see whether or not

the reason why I bring this up and

13

it's a big issue is

14

right now is being judged.

15

on the judicial webpage of the Senate

16

JUdiciary Committee in Washington,

17

see her answers to judicial questionnaires.

18

You will also see her transcripts that when

19

she was nominated in the past, of what her

20

responses were.

21

ahead and view it.

22

deserve anything less?

23
24

NOW,

b~cause

Judge Sotomayor
And if you look

you'll

So that the public can go


Why should this state

the reason I mention all of this

is it's also very important to do it because

08/01/2009 21:02 FAX

[4J 004

154

Section 17-128 of the Election Law says that

.2

a public officer who

refuses or neglects to perform any of its

duties by hindering or delaying or

attemp~ing

performance is guilty of a felony.

wi~lfully

omits,

to hinder or delay the

So when you have administrative judges


screen~ng

who are not being 'truthful "to the

committees when they're asked are any

10

complaints being filed against these judges

11

who are seeking an elected post,

12

afoul of this.

13

done by an informal process where a screener

14

calls the jUdge up over the phone,

15

they can say anything or conceal anything.

16

It's not under oath, under the penalty of

17

perjury, with a court reporter in the room.

18

Because I have boxes of letters ihat I

they run

Because that questioni?g is

on which

19

had sent to the administrative judges

20

concerning missing court files,

21

violations ~nd contempts of executive orders

22

bythe Governor after September 11th that

23

were summarily dismissed by the State

24

Commission on Judicial Conduct.

clear

101/2009 21:02 FAX

I4J 005

155
1

Now,

dealing with the First Department

;2

Disciplinary Committee,

little story,

minute,

what the gist of this is.

I have to tell you a

if you wouldn't mind just a

and the perhaps you can understand

Many years ago I

hired an attorney to

represent me in a dispute,

charged me an excessive fee.

lawsuit to recover his fee,

and I believe he
He files a

and I hire

10

another attorney to represent me.

11

was Howard Benjamin.

12

go to' court,

13

default judgment against

14

requested Benjamin to vacate the default,

15

claimed he could not because he made a

16

statement to the court about having been on

17.

jury duty at the time of the court

18

appearance but he instead was in his office.

19

Benjamin informed me he was going to pay the

20

jUdgement to avoid the ramifications of

21

explaining it to the court.

22

and Mr.

Mr.

His name

Benjamin doesn't

Calabro obtains a

me.

When I

false

Years later, my credit was seriously

23

affected,

24

been paid,

since Calabro's judgment had not


unknowingly to me.

Neither

he

U~/U1/lU09

21:02 FAX

141006

156

Calabro nOr Benjamin was helpful in giving

me copies of the alleged checks that

Benjamin had paid Calabro which was damaging

my credit score.

a complaint with the First Department DOC,

since by law if Benjamin had paid Calabro,

then Calabro and Benjamin were required to

hold onto these checks for a period of seven

years.

Without recourse,

filed

The pirst Department DDC transferred

10
11

the case to the FQurth Department DnC,

1:2

Howard Benjamin was an attorney who formerly

13

worked there at the First Department DOC,

14

and his partner,

15

former chief counsel at the First Department

16

DDC.

17

Mike Gentile,

since

was the

At the Fourth Department DDC,

my,case

18

was closed without an investigation as to

19

the whereabouts of those checks and the

20

investigation of Benjamin's false statements

21

to the court.

22

the former presiding jvstice of the Fourth

23

Department DDe,

24

now sits on the Court of Appeals.

r brought the complaint to

the Honorable Piggott,

who

He did

IUl/~UU~

~l:UJ

FAX

141007

157

nothing.

He concealed it,

he let it go.

he covered it up,

r filed again in the First Department

to have Sherry"Cohen and Sarah Jo

DOC,

Hamilton tell me for years that they were

retrieving these checks from the bank,

which I've given you correspondence,

documents and all of that.

of"

Then I received a letter dated


2004,

three years after I

10

November 8,

11

requested those

12

Thomas Cahill,

13

states:

14

complaint, Mr. Benjamin provided the

15

committee with copies of the fronts of two

16

checks and a copy of the front and back of

17

another,

18

transmittal letter to Mr.

19

have those letters.

20

cop~es

of checks,

in which

chief counsel to the ODe,

"In fact,

after you filed your

as well as the corresponding


Calabro."

You

During this period of time where I

21

could not obtain copies of these checks,

22

wrote boxes of letters,

I mean boxes,

23

Honorable John Buckley,

who was the

24

presiding justice at the time,

to the

to the

8/01/2009 21:03 FAX

14J008

156
1

Honorable Judith Kaye,

Judge.

were supposed to deal with something;

did nothing.

covered up,

There is no administration of this court

system.

They were the administrators.

They concealed it,

they

they

That is what the problem is.


I

called up Chief

Judge Kayets office many a time and spoke to

lO

Mary Mane,

11

was;

12

not an administrative judge."

13

"Well, what dO you want me to do?

14

one that has this duty."

15

live up to her responsibilities.

16

the problem.

17

They

they did absolutely nothing.

And I can tell you,

who was the Chief

her counsel,

and her response

"The judge is a sitting Judge,


I

she

said,
She's the

But she refuses to

But to go back to the court,

That is

during the

18

time when I could not get these checks,

19

filed a complaint against Mr.

20

the Fair Credit Reporting Act,

21

to obtain copies from him.

22

calabro under
in an attempt

Honorable Joan Kenney publishes a

23

decision on the front

24

uournal in which she says I have 35 lawsuits

pag~

of the Law

08/01/2009 21:03 FAX

[4J 009

159
1

as a pro se litigant.

:2

another transcript,

decision in the other case a year ago

my own research, and she at that point

commenced in excess of 75 actions."

, First of all,

own research.

record.

was lying.

10

in

"When I rendered the


l

They cannot go

o~tside

the

she makes things up and

how did this judge get on this

11

bench?

12

she freely do it and be allowed to do it,

13

because I

14

Commission on Judicial Conduct,

15

summarily dismissed it.

16

did

a judge cannot do their

Number two,

NOw,

Then she says,

It's very interesting that how could

filed a complaint with the State


and they

My federal complaint was seen by

17

someone who is in this room who happened to

18

be a certified court examiner and was also

19

at the brunt end of the misconduct and

20

allegations by Joan Kenney.

21

ahead and obtained the curriculum vitae of

22

Joan Kenney when she ran for election.

23
24

And she went

She found material misrepresentation in


her campaign website.

The official site

08/01/2009 21:04 FAX

I4J 010

160

provided inaccurate and false information

:2

about the candidate's participation in law

school activities

candidate

and
professional experience.
.
.

as Law Review,

lie'ensure date,

investigation,

that if you want to question

this,

10

11

the

legal employment

have no personal knowledge of the

IS

su~h

but I brought her here so


~er

concerning

ahers sitting in this audience right

now.

But this would not have been allowed to

12

happen if that unified judicial

13

questionnaire would

14

public.

15

the bench freely going ahead and saying I

16

have 35 lawsuits,

17

she can come up with,

18

record.

19

b~

able to be made

That judge would not be sitting on

75 lawsuits,

and whatever

and going outside the

But this leads to an important point,

20

because based upon that decision,

21

Honorable Debra

22

because of some legal malpractice where I

23

hired an attorney to represent me;

24

I have -- has put protective order

J~me8,

the

in a case I brought

says that

08/01/2009 21:04 FAX

141 011

161

preventing me from initiating any further

litigation as a party plaintiff without

prior approval of the administrative judge

of the court.

the

that my frivolous or repetitive actions or

vexatious conduct

Kenneys decision; which she makes

f~ont

page of the Law Journal,

claiming

which is based on Judge

Ms.

CHAJRMAN SAMPSON;

10

This also gets published on

u~.

Capogrosso,

could you sum it up?


MS.

11

CAPOGROSSO:

We've got

If you want crimes,

I ' l l give

12

more,

13

you crimes right now,

14

to get a special prosecutor not only at the

15

DDC but at the state Commission on Judicial

16

conduct.

17

though.

Yes.

what's in that paper,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

And I will -- i t ' s

18

in here,

19

But if you can wrap it up.

20

21
22

MS.

up in two

I will definitely follow it

CAPOGROSSOi
~-

OkaYt

up.

I ' l l wrap i t

about five more sentences.

I appealed the decision in the Kansas

23

case into the Appellate Division.

24

on the panel?

Judge Buckley.

Who sits

What does

101/2009 21:04 FAX

141012

162

Judge Buckley do?

He doesn't recuse

himself.

It's -- he refuses.

reargue,

ar~

Friedman,

and they agree that he doesn't have to

recuse himself.

I make a motion for his recusal.


Then I make a motion to

get a whole other five

sitting on the panel there.

jUdges that

Judge David

Tom, Acosta, and Helen Freedman,

So there is certainly a basis for his

10

recusal, because he has a vested interest in

11

the dismissal of that case because it has to

12

deal with the federal complaint which

13

in.

14

Further,

put

I have a judgment against me

15

for over a quarter of a million dollars that

16

was put on a landlord-tenant dispute.

17

terms of me trying to perfect the appeal,

18

which the case law was in my favor and the

19

judgment should not have occurred,

20

in the county clerk was completely

21

destroyed.

22

copy it for the purpose of getting the

23

record.

24

six files closed.

In
of

the file

I sent a secretary down there to

She was given initially five files,


The next two days,

she

08/01/2009 21:05 FAX

141013

163

was given five files.

be four' files.

couldn't even perfect the appeal concerning

that.

help me reconstruct the file;

Then it turned out to

To the point where I

I asked the Appellate Division to

You want retaliation?

they refused.

This is what

happens when an attorney opens their mouth

and complains about violations

orders, missing court files in a courthouse.

ofexecutiv~

10

If you want every attorney sitting in this

11

room and out the door,

12

thousands if you give them protection.

13

you need to do is give them a registration

14

with an anonymous number,

15

see misconduct,

16

anonymously report it and to be taken

17

seriously.

18

Eelieve me,

I can have you


What

and any time they

corruption by a jUdge,

to

the attorneys in this --

19

I'm probably one of the few attorneys here.

20

There would be many more if you would give

21

them that level of protection,

22

would stop.

23

would be well-served by finally get some

24

justice into this state.

and this

And the people of this state

01/2009 21:05 FAX

141 014

l64

(Scattered applause.)

1
2

CHAI~MAN

MS.

Ms.

CAPOGROSSO:

Oh,

Capogrosso

can I

make one

more point?
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

5
6

SAMPSON:

Ms.

Capogrosso

we

have to --

MS.

CAPOGROSSO:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

MS.

We have to

No.

CAPOG:ROSSO:

10

30 seconds,

11

you can't let go of.

I promise you.

On November 22

12

One more point.

2008,

:t'll be

Because this one

I write a letter

13

to the DOC.

Alan Friedberg charges me

14

because

15

against me because a locksmith who repaired

1.6

some locks in my offic@,

17

and he filed a complaint against me.

18

bill.

19

other cases I know ofl

20

practicing law,

21

in New JerseYI

22

complaints.

23

24

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

he

chos~

to start an action

I disputed the bill

Not even attorney services.

~lso

A
While on

where lawyers are

unauthorized to practice law


he doesn't even the

have in there
Your 30 seconds

UO/U.l/.<::UUl:I

~1:U5

FAX

141015

165

are up.
, MS. CAPOGROSSO:

2
3

All right.

more
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Ms.

Capogrosso,

thank you.

Thank you very much,

follow up.

Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

is Mr.

ostertag,

The next witness

former president of the New

York State Bar Association.

11

Mr. ostertag,

12

MR. OSTERTAG:

13

but we'll

(Scattered applause.)

There's

Mr.

how are you,

sir?

Good afternoon,

Ch~irman.

14

CHAIRMAN

IS

MR. OSTERTAG:

SAM~SON;

How are you doing?


I have a question,

16

I may,

17

rule,

18

the surreptitious videotaping of witnesses

19

who come voluntarily before this committee

20

to testify?

21

before you run the clock.

if

does this committee have a rule about

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
rule because,

23

is being videotaped.
MR.

We don't have a

if you notice,

22

24

Is there a

OSTERTAG:

the proceeding

I don't mean that one.

08/01/2009 21:05 FAX

141016

166

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Right.

proceeding is being videotaped,

open to the public.


MR.

OSTE~TAG:

well,

videotaped by Mr. Galison,

(5

don't know where he is now.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

llv@ been

I think it is.

Well, you and me

both.
MR.

OSTERTAG:

He was sitting over

10

there,

11

was up against the wall,

12

over here,

13

he's up against the wall again.

then he was over there,

15

videotaped.

16

know.

and then he

and he was sitting

and then he was up front,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

14

and now

At least you were

He tape-records it too, you

Watch what you say around him.


(La.ughter. ),

17

MR.

18

OSTERTAG:

Galison.

19

Mr.

20

of Mr.

21

don't know.

22

and this is

So, you know.

The

I don't know

He was videotaping the faces

Friedberg and Mr. Gold,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

No,

23

understand that, Mr. ostertag.

24

proceedings are open to the --

who I also

I would
But the

1/2009 21:06 FAX

141017

167

Mr.

Galison,

could you cease the

videotaping to allow -- I

to- feel comfortable t.o testify.

very

want our witnesses


Thank you

much.
MR.

OSTERTAG:

Well,

I was going to

give him the finger,but I didn't think

quiCkly enough.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON.

MR.

OSTERTAG:

My name is Robert

10

Ostertag,

11

76,OOO-member New York State Bar

12

Association.

13

devoted to the concep.t of lawyers serving

14

their clients consistent with the highest

1.5

standards of professional integrity.

16

and

l'm glad.

am here on behalf of the

We are a voluntary association

I would like to get back to what I am

17

here for.

I have no complaints about

18

anybody,

19

make against anybody.

20

address is the question of when disciplinary

21

proceedings should be made known to the

22

public.

23

we need to take note of the legitimate

24

competing interests that are

I have no inquested accusations to


What l

want to

And in considering this question,

involve~.

08/01/2009 21:06 FAX

141018

168

For lawyers,

their competence and

reputation is what they offer to the public.

It affects how they are viewed by individual

clients,

The arguments and viewpoints of a lawyer

with a good reputation will be heard and

~arefully

clients,

appears, or in the general community.

10

judges, and the community at large.

considered, whether by his or her


lawye~

the court in which the

Lawyers spend years, a career,

trying

11

to earn a stellar reputation.

12

reputation cannot be bought or easily

13

gained.

14

lawyer's demonstrated actions and effoits on

15

behalf of clients over a period of time.

16

Gaining the type of reputation for which all

17

of us strive requires demonstrated skill and

18

expertise on a continuing basis.

1~

Unfortunately,

20

can be lost,

21

moment.

22

A good

It can be achieved only by a

however,

an earned reputation

and it can be lost in a mere

I've practiced law for 50 years.

23

reputation I think is beyond repute.

24

recognize

th~t

My
I

it can be lost in a mere

101/2009 21:06 FAX

I4J 019

169

moment.
For clients, they are entitled to know

2
3

that any lawyer they retain has integrity

and meets the standards of our profession.

When serious questions are raised about the

ethics,

competence,

lawyer,

the client is entitled to know.

Bar Association understands that we should

not have a disciplinary mechanism whereby

trustworthiness of a
The

10

clients are unknowingly represented by

11

lawyers who may not meet those professional

12

standards.
The problem, of course,

13

is that when a

14

complaint is filed against a lawyer with a

15

disciplinary committee, the complaint mayor

16

may not have merit.

17.

complaint is disclosed and it is later found

18

to have lacked merit,

19

reputation will have been affected,

20

obviously so.

If the fact of the

the lawyer's

Anyone who is in any way in public

21
22

life,

including lawyers -- and including

23

also legislators, as you know -- knows that

24

any initial story in the media about a

08/01/2009 21:07 FAX

141 020

170
1

complaint that has been filed overwhelms any

:2

f01low-up story reporting that the

complaint was of no merit and that the

individual did not engage in any wrongdoing.

In such a situation,

initi~l

disclosure of the

complaint will have caused reputational

damage that cannot be erased.

disclosure of complaints against

l~wyers

unfair to those who,

are found

Thus,

in the end,

10

to have done absolutely nothing that

11

supports discipline.

12

we

recognize,

however,

early
is

that there are

13

situations where the pUblic should be made

14

aware of the questionable conduct of a

15

lawyer without waiting for a final

16

determination of the disciplinary body.

17

Clients who retain a lawyer during the

18

pendency of a disciplinary proceeding or

19

continue to be represented by a lawyer

20

during this proceeding may be harmed in some

21

situations if they are unaware of- serious

22

charges that have been brought but have not

23

yet been finally determined.

24

The State Bar Association has

VO/V~/~VV~

~~;UJ

YAA

I4J 021

171

considered these issues on several

:2

occasions, with at least different

committees having examined the matter within

the last 15 years.

of attorneys,

members,

obligation to make certain that those

represented by attorneys are not harmed.

While,

as an association

we want to protect our

we recognize that we also have an

In light of all these considerations,

10

and the recognized competing interests,

11

State Bar Association has concluded that

12

where there is a need to safeguard the

13

pUblic, the Appellate Divisions,

14

in charge of lawyer disciplinary matters,

15

should exercise the authority they already

16

have in any appropriate disciplinary case

17

and consider interim suspension of the

18

subject lawyer pending the outcome of the

19

disciplinary process.

20

public disclosure.

21

the

which are

with suspension comes

This proposal achieves several

22

objectives.

First,

in those cases where

23

allegations have been made against an

24

attorney which are not serious or for which

08/01/2009 21:07 FAX

141022

172

there is not significant supportive

evidence,

her name will not be revealed unless and

until there is public discipline,

that disciplinary action beyond a private

letter has been addressed to the attorney.

the attorney is protected.

His or

meaning

Where public discipline is not

warranted,

the fact of allegations having.

been made and the results of the

10

disciplinary proceeding would not be

11

revealed.

i2

remain intact.

The attorney's reputation would

However,

13

to protect clients and the

14

public in those cases where serious charges

15

are brought and the initial evidence is

16

supportive of those charges,

17

would step in and make a jUdgment as -to

18

whether suspension and public disclosure is

19

warranted.

20

made by the judges of the Appellate

21

Divisions on a case-by-case basis.

22

would place the decision as to whether to

23

suspend and disclose exactly where it should

24

be,

the courts

This would be a determination

with judges,

This

whose fundamental role in

08/01/2009 21:08 FAX

I4J 023

173

our society is to examine individual cases

and make decisions based upon the facts

placed before them.

"l

I am aware that there have been general

calls for increased disclosure of

disciplinary proceedings.

believe that those who have called for such

disclosures'have done the careful analysis

that has been done by three Bar Association

However,

10

committees,

11

competing interests that need to be

12

reconciled as I have outlined them.

13

d6 not

nor have they acknowledged the

The law recognizes that certain

14

proceedings need to be confidential to

15

protect innocent parties from being tainted.

16

Grand jury proceedings are the best example.

17

They have been secret for centuries,

18

recognition of the need to protect innocent

19

parties.

20

Similarly,

in

while the courts are open to

21

the public,

certain cases,

such as many

22

Family Court cases,

23

Legislature has recognized that there are

24

situations in which the need for

are not public.

The

141024

174
1

confidentiality is superior to the desire to

have public disclosure in a democratic

society_

In conclusion,

the state Bar

~ssociation

necessary in certain circumstances.

clients and the public need to be protected,

we want the courts to use their power to

step in,

10
11

recognizes that disclosUre is

suspend an offending lawyer,

Where

and

disclose to the public.


However,

absent a finding by an

12

Appellate Division that there is a need for

13

immediate suspension and disclosure,

14

association urges that disciplinary

15

proceedings not be open and that disclosure

16

be made only where there is a finding that

17

pUblic discipline is warranted and that an

18

attorney has in fact done something wrong.

19

Innocent lawyers need protection as much as

20

other innocent parties,

21

offers both lawyers and the clients they

22

serve the protections to which they are

23

entitled.

24

Thank you,

sir.

your

and our proposal

08/01/2009 21:08 FAX

I4J 025

175

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Mr.

Ostertag,

thank you very much.

interested that you at least and the

association recognizes there is some need I

guess

of all having the pUblic have faith in a

system like this.

deal with the perception but most

MR. OSTERTAG:

8
9

~o

And 1 1 m very

I understand

publi~

concern about the issue.


But at the sante

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10
11

time,

12

done

13

complaints that 'should be dismissed or are

14

frivolous in its nature,

15

we're trying to do two competing concerns.

16

we have to -- those counsels who have


~ood

MR.

jobs,

just to be labeled for

OSTERTAG:

at the same time

do understand that.

17

And I also recognize the fact

18

complaints that are filed with --

19

involved in the

20

number of years.

21

disciplinary process for about 19,

22

off and on.

23
24

And I

gri~vance

that there are


Itv~

been

process for a

lIve been involved in the


20 years,

recognize that complaints are

filed and it's easy to make a complaint

101/2009 21:09 FAX

141026

176

about a political person or an attorney or a

political person who is an attorney,

particularly at election time or during the

proceedings that .predate Election Day -- in

other words, a campaign time.

very difficult time tor an attorney who is

running for political office.

S
9

And that's a

You need only look at the television


channels in the last few days,

last few

10

weeks,

11

a former United States Attorney who has

12

become the subject of a complaint of

13

pay-to-play.

14

done that or he hasn't done that.

15

hasn't done it,

16

badly besmirched.

17.

over and over and over again . .

18

about this man in New Jersey who waS

And I don't know whether he'S


But if he

his reputation has been

And it happens over and

'r recognize the need to protect the

19

pUblic.

20

the pUblic.

21

association nor I suffer wrongdoers

22

But I think there is a two-way street here.

23
24

I certainly would want to protect


I must tell you that neither my

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

much for your comments.

ligh~ly.

So thank you very

08/01/2009 21:09 FAX

~027

177

Thank you.

MR. OSTERTAG:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

The next person is

John Aretakis.
MR. ARETAKIS:

Good afternoon

Senator.

My name is John Aretakis.

I'd

like to thank you,

for your overwhelming patience in this

ne~ring,

and I'd like to thank you

And 1 thank you also,

Mr. Spotts.

My focus is on the treatment and the

10

failure to follow procedure,

11

follow the law,

12

jurisdi~tion

13

Committee on Professional Standards,

14

otherwise known as COPS.

15

Department we've heard it's called the

16

Departmental Disciplinary Committee,

17

DDe.

18

it's called COPS.

19

the failure to

and acting in excess of the

by the Third Department

In the First

In the Third Department,

the

in Albany,

I was born and raised in Brooklyn,

and

20

for well over tbe last decade my only

21

practice for the practice of law has been in

22

Manhattan,

23

past 20 years,

24

have been in New York City.

in New York City.

And for the

80 to 90 percent of my

~A~es

But starting in

141028

178
1

the year

handful of lawyers handling a very,

controversial area of law involving

representation of children who were abused

by pedophiles -- that started in 2002.

Third Department committee on Professional

Standards has come down to New York City and

investigated me over 50 times,

a multiple of occasions,

200~,

when I became one of only a

5-0.

very

And on

the cases that they

10

investigate in New York City involve New

11

York city litigants,

12

New York

13

New York City attorney.

14

C~ty

The

New York City judges,

decisions,

and of course me,

Why is the committee on Professional

15

Standards up here in Albany going down the

16

Thruway 150 miles and investigating me?

17

Their only answer:

18

Law School in 1985.

19

them jurisdiction over me.

20

graduated from Albany

That supposedly gives

After law school,

senator Sampson,

21

went on to get a master's in law at

22

Georgetown University Law Center.

23

because I graduated from Albany Law 23 years

24

ago, Mr. Oehs, who's been sitting in the

And

08/01/2009 21:10 FAX

I4J 029

179
1

back of this room all day,


attack,

who I will not

says that they have jurisdiction to

investigate me.

Dsing vague and arbitrary

ethical statutes like conduct unbecoming of

an attorney and actions that are prejudicial

to the administration of justice.


I am hopeful that a review of my case

7
8

in a nutshell will help this honorable

committee more appropriately see that this

10

system is rife with abuse and it needs to be

11

remedied.
I heard the first speaker,

12

Mr. Gold.

13

And as I sat over there quietly,

14

fell O\lt of my chair.

15

address listed on the Department of OCA,

16

that determines which disciplinary committee

17

will investigate.

18

wholeheartedly.

I agree with that'

So where are you

listed?
MR. ARETAKIS:

21

m listed in New York

where lIve been for 15 or 20 years.

22

City,

23

am only listed there.

24

He said lIusing the

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

19
20

1I

I almost

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Have you ever been

08/01/2009 21:10 FAX

14]030

180
1

listed in the Third Department?

MR.

:3

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

ARE'1'AKIS:

'Excuse me?

Have you ever been

listed in the Third Department?


MR. ARETAKIS:"

I graduated from

Albany Law in 185, and I briefly worked in

Albany in 1987 for less than one year.

then in 1988,

Manhattan, where I've been.

I moved my entire practice to

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

10

And

On your

do you register your Manhattan

11

registration,

12

address?

13

MR.

14

address.

15

in Manhattan,

16

jury service a few years ago in Manhattan.

17

18

ARETAKIS:
I

Only my Manhattan

pay taxes in Manhattan,

vote

I've done a month of grand

did civil jury

se~vice

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

in Manhattan.
I'd like to cut to

19

the chase.

20

them -- what is your basis for the Third

21

D~partment

22

Then what is your basis for

having jurisdiction

MR. ARETAKIS:

They don't have any

23

basis.

They've broken the law.

They've

24

violated their own brochure that they hand

08/01/2009 21:10 FAX

14]031

181
1

out at the Court of Appeals.

will investisate lawyers who have an office

for the practice of

of the Third Department in Albany.

l~w

They say,

We

in the jurisdiction

And I think Mr. Gold and Mr.

Friedberg

might be excellent witnesses on my behalf,

becAuse they were talking about lawyers- who

are outside of their jurisdiction who they

will not investigate.

10

I will also tell you this,

Your Honor.

11

Of those 50 complaints -- and I need to say

12

this very,

13

lawyers know that the. ones we owe our

14

ethical duties to are our clients.

15.

those 50 complaints are from clients.

16

It's overwhelming.

17

very carefully,

because we

None of

None.

Mr. Oche wakes up and reads the

18

newspaper at various

19

he likes to track my career and he likes to

20

follow me because I've been engaged in a

21

very controversial area,

22

investigation against me.

.23

20 sua sponte investigations and then,

24

sometimes because I am involved in removing

pa~ts

of the state,

and

and helll start an


He's started over

08/01/2009 21:10 FAX

141032

182

pedophiles from their job,

these pedophiles

file complaints against me,

takes it upon himself to investigate them.

and Mr.

Ochs

One time I was on a nationally

4
5

syndic~ted

employer for employing a pedophile,

woman who I'd never even heard of filed

complaint against me,

defend myself from the Third Department for

10

radio show criticizing an

and

was

and a

force~

t9

about a year.
So out of those 50

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

12

complaints, what happened to those

13

complaints?

MR. ARETAKIS:

14

Well,

15

first 49 were dismissed,

16

been.

49 of them,

the

as they should have

on December 11 of '08, six months ago,

17
18

Mr. Oehs merged some decisions on New 'York

19

City cases from 2005,

20

asked the Appellate Division up here in

21

Albany to suspend me.

22

for one year.

23

CHAIRMAN

24

on.

2006,

and 2007 and

And I was suspended

And as God is my witness -S~MPSON:

wait,

wait.

You were suspended for one year.

Hold

8/01/2009 21:11 FAX

141 033

183

MR. ARETAKIS;

1
2

By the Third

Department up here in Albany.

3
4

Yes.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

And why were you

suspended?

MR. ARETAKIS;

They suspended me for

conduct that is prejudicial to the

administration of justice -- I

what that means --

conduct unbecoming of an attorney

~hey

don't know

suspended me for
I

donlt

10

know what that means -- and they suspended

11

me primarily for making what they termed

12

rather aggressive motions for recuSals of

13

various judges.

r' have been forced to be very critical

14
15

of some judges because the work live bs@n

16

employed to do on behalf of 250 victims is

17.

-- I

18

employ some bad priests.

19

critical,

20

work.

21

of law.

22

for filing a frivolous lawsuit because a

23

client might have been molested 30 years

24

ago.

sue the Catholic Church because they


live been very

I've been very pUblic with my

It's been a very controversial area

And some jUdges have sanctioned.me

08/01/2009 21:11 FAX

141034

184
1

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

:2

have,

filing a frivolous lawsuit?

I guess,

How many times

judges admonished you for

MR. ARETAKIS:

Four times.

They

merged the four decisions; two cases were

exclusively New York City cases,

cases were from elsewhere.

8
9

However,

and two

Ethical Consideration 7.4 says

a lawyer may file a frivolous lawsuit if you

10

believe the law should be modified,

11

or extended,

12

to believe that if in 1975 a priest abused a

13

lO-year-old altar boy that they should be

14

able to sue right now.

15

laws that are pending right now before

16

~arious

1'7

or the law is wrong.

changed
I happen

I believe there are

committees that may modify the law.

And 1 1 m not here to speak on that issue

18

at this time,

I'm just saying that because I

19

have taken some controversial stances and my

20

matters have been extraordinarily made

21

pUblic allover the entire country,

22

been the subject of front-page articles in

23

the New York Times,

24

vanity Fair,

I've

the New York Post,

in the village Voice,

in

all kinds

I4J 035

l85

of publications.

Mr.

Oche wakes up and he

sees a complaint made by the church about my

aggressive tactics,

sponte complaint.

and he files a sua

And he sits back there, .and I cherish

the thought that he can come up here and

answer some of your questions or privately

find some answers to these questions.


They have a rule that says you need

10

seven members of the committee to vote for a

11

punishment,

12

and

13

admonished me with four members.

14

the four members was an attorney that I had

15

a pending aggressively hostile,

16

case with.

17

interest.

18

that's a quorum.

suspen~ed

And they acted

me and punished me and


And one of

adversarial

It's a clear conflict of

But what you have is you have the

19

Appellate Division that employs the

20

Committee on professional Standards, and

21

they rubber-stamp all their decisions.

22

I've looked at hundreds -- I don't want to

23

say thousands.

24

disciplinary matters are five-nothing.

And

All the decisions regarding

So

08/01/2009 21:12 FAX


@036

186

the attorney who's been disciplined has no

right to automatically to the Court of

:3

Appeals.

on.

You have nothing to hang your hat

I also would like to say this.

AS far

as procedural due process,

their rules in a plethora of ways.

not once on any of these 50 complaints have

r been allowed to give testimony.

10

fact,

However,

Matter of

they have started six new --

11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

12

" of the 50, you won 49.


MR. ARETAKIS:

13

they violated

But you won -- out

Well,

thatlS right.

14

But I've asked to be allowed my

15

to give testimony,

16

disbarring me,

17

Because I

opportuni~y

especially when they were

when they were suspending me.


filed a l"awsuit against them

18

two months before they suspended me because

19

r was so positive that I knew the lay of the

20

land,

21

only a matter of course.

22

complaining to them and to the chief judges

23

for a number of years that they pursue me

24

willy-nilly, aggressively for no other

they were going to suspend me.

It was

I've been

01/2009 21:12 FAX

14J037

187
1

reason other than they do not like the

pOlitical position lIve taken adverse to the

Catholic Church.
And I may say this publicly,

However,

I love the

there are some

catholic Church.

bad people that have gotten into the

Catholic Church

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

MR. ARETAKIS:

10

However/ being

no,

no

and i t ' s not a

problem or a vendetta

11

No,

have.

G~eek

Orthodox and being

12

from Brooklyn and Manhattan,

think they've

13

taken upon themselves to say you don't come

14

to Albany like that,

15

like that:

16

courtroom,

Mr. Aretakis,

and act

The law is determined in our


with our standards.

And because a judge sanctions me or

17
18

admonishes me,

then Mr. Ochs thinks he has

19

unfettered authority to punish me.

20

spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of my

21

o~n

22

defend myself from all of these frivolous

23

ethical complaints that have come against

24

me.

And Ilve

time and my own attorneys in helping

These committees are prosecutors --.

08/01/2009 21:12 FAX


141038

188

1
2

so to sum i t up,

recommendations?

so, Mr. Aretakis,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

what's your

MR. ARETAKIS:

Well,

would love

nothing more than either this committee take

it upon themselves or hand it off to the

State Commission on Investigations or to the

Inspector General's Office to take this

matter,

my matter and investigate it.

10

they do investigate it,

11

rotten from the core.

12

However,

If

you'll find it's

I would also ask in the

13

meantime,

14

ability to earn any type of living for my

l;i

family,

16

here in the Third Department has pending be

17

transferred to the First Department.

18

committed such egregious actions so as to be

19

an unethical lawyer who's not trustworthy,

20

what's wrong with these fine attorneys from

21

the First Department investigating me?

22

since they pave taken away my

that everything that Mr. Ochs up

If

The reason is they've gotten a few

23

dozen complaints against me as well,

and

24

what they've done is they wrinkle them up

08101/2009 21:13 FAX

141039

18~

and they throw them in the wastebasket,

because these are not clients of mine.

they've sent me one letter in

seven years that I've been engaged in clergy

abuse

complaint."

~aying

20

So

years --

in

"Please respond to this


And that was dismissed as well.

So there's no problems that I have --

and I also would like to just finish

this.

~it~

It's my understanding that 99.9

10

percent of all attorneys are suspended or

11

disbarred for stealing money,

12

funds,

13

or being charged in another jurisdiction

14

with a crime of moral turpitude and

15

therefore being given comity and being

16

suspended in this jurisdiction.

neglecting a case,

commingling

getting

arre~ted,

My crime is without precedent, making

17
18

accusations and allegations in court papers

19

against various jUdges and having frivolous

20

lawsuits -- if you look at this,

21

awful record, and I've again only touched

22

th~

23
24

there1s an

tip of the iceberg.


I appreciate the time you've given me.

Thank you very much.

101/2009 21:13 FAX

I4J 040

190
1

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

thank you very much,

look into it.

5
6

and we will definitely

MR. ARETAKIS;

Mr. Aretakis,

Thank you.

(Recording ends and resumes during


testimony of Michael Kelly.)

MR.

KELLY:

-- judge assigned to my

case.

And for the last three years,

because

I am trying to uncover forgeries outside of

10

Rockland County that

11

out of the Surrogate Court using deceased

12

peoplels names,

13

judges and district attorney's office in

14

Rockland County.

15

believe are coming

I am being targeted by the

The gentleman, Gary Casella,

says that

16

my complaint of my former defense attorney

17

being promoted to the district. attorney's

18

office in the middle of my case now being

19

district attorney,

20

attorney in the Rockland county District

21

Attorney's Office

22

he swore the oath of office,

23

defense attorney on my criminal matter in

24

the same court he is sworn to be a

a senior district

for four months after


he acted as my

08/01/2009 21:13 FAX

141041

191

prosecutor with.
I have a sworn oath of office in that

I have forgeries with naming a

package,

person, named forgeries out of Rockland

county with a handwriting analysis expert's

opinion on there on who forged those

documents.

There's more in that.

My daughter,

they kept me away from my

daughter with illegal court orders saying I

10

can't see my 17-year-old daughter where she

11

wrote letters to the court asking the judge

12

for unrestricted visitation with her

13

The judge ignored those.


I am being retaliated against in

14

15

Rockland County.

16

me,

17

harassment,

18

policeman,

19

fine.

20

The only thing on the docket

21

22

fath~r.

They recently incarcerated

as a first-time offender,

for

as a retired New York City


for 14 days in jail with a $250

No docket of that decision and order.


i~

that I paid

fine and I paid restitution.


Everything in Rockland County, when it

23

comes my case in that package,

24

fraudulent in nature,

sir,

is

to cover up for the

I4J 042

1~2

crimes that the lawyers and jUdges in that

county have committed.

retaliated against.

look at that package and hear what I'm

saying, you will find that it 1 s undisputable

evidence.

litigation in Rockland county Court with no

docket.

Like

And I'm being

And if somebody would

told you,

a three-year

I'm in a court right now

fo~

criminal

10

charges going back three years ago.

11

grand jury, no

12

for three years later they reduced the

13

charge to harassment and want to send me to

14

jail -- right on the brink of me coming to

15

this hearing because they want to stop me

16

from coming here.

indi~tment,

No

no anything.

well,

I mean,

And

I'm

17

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

18

glad you made it here,

19

that we go through this and get a response

20

back to you very quickly.


MR.

21

KELLY:

and I will make sure

I appreciate it.

And all

22

the committee letters where I'm -- they're

23

all

24

no problems.

rubber~stampB:

We see nothing,

we see

They always have like a catch

8/01/2009 21:14 FAX

141043

193

phrase:

jurisdiction, at cetera,

Your complaint doesn't fall in our

But based on -- following those

complaints is fact,

verify.

happening now.

people.

a
9

10
11

12
13

et cetera.

sir,

that you can

And there is corruption, and it's


And you can catch these

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
much, Mr. Kelly.

Illl

Thank you very

make sure we

definitely follow it up.

Thank you.

The next witness is Kathryn Grace

Jordan,
MS.

of New York.
JORDAN:

Good afternoon,

14

Honor.

15

Commission on Judicial conduct.

16

By way of background,

Your

I'm here to talk about the

though,

I do want
~f

17

to identify myself as the president

END,

18

End niscrimination Now,

19

I started in 2008 after i t became apparent

20

to me that our nation's and state's

21

antidiscrimination laws are not being

22

enforced by the judiciary and that many

23

activist jUdges are actually rewriting the

24

laws on a regular basis.

an organization that

141 044

194

I myself endured a 13-year litigation

1
2

on a disability discrimination case.

Ten

years of that litigation resulted in a jury

verdict in my favor which was reversed by

the First Department under Jonathan Lippman.


I believe I have stepped back --

6
7

because my training is as a management

consultant and Fortune 100 executive,

have done a thorough analysis of all the

and I

10

information that's available,

11

Tembeckjian's 2009 annual report and all the

12

data that's in it.


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

13
14

including Mr.

What's your

analysis?
MS. JORDAN:

15
16

this.

17

proud of.

I will tell you

I don't think there's anything to be

First of all,

18

Well,

jUdicial misconduct is

19

up.

20

second here,

21

the page.

22

things are very bad when you have to refer

23

to 30 years worth of work and 69,000

24

complaints over 30 years.

And he talks about managing -- just one


one second.

I've got to flip

He talks about you know that

what he didn't

I4J 045

lSJS

focus on was the 1,923 new complaints that

:2

are up 12 percent from last year,

part of the evidence

rules of judicial conduct are not being

enforced,

appellate level,

complaints, because jUdges, as I

are not enforcing the laws.

jUdicial misconduct commission is not doing

10

their job in terms of reviewing the conduct

11

of these judges.

~hat

which is

shows that the

either in district court or at the


despite the increase in
just said,

And the

12

And they talked about the fact that

13

they have 22 commission attorneys and 12

14

commission members and the, fact that you

15.

gave them extra money -- I don't know what

16

they've been doing with it, but obviously

17

they haven't been doing it to thoroughly

18

review complaints and to make sure that

19

these jUdges are held accountable.

20

One of the most astounding statistics

21

is that there were 40 complaints against

22

appellate jUdges, and zero were

23

investigated.

24

If you take Mr.

Tembeckjian at

~is

I4J 046

196

word,

bang-up job and we have a bunch of

delusional litigants who are just populating

the system with meritless complaints.

dontt

what's going on is that we have a crisis of

leadership in the judiciary, and a culture of

corruption and cover-ups.

that the Commission on Judicial Conduct is

10
11

at its face value,

~elieve

they're doing a

that 1 s the case.

And.r

think

b~li~ve

part of that.
Mr. Tembeckjian,

r wanted to ask a

12

couple of questions to him when he was, in

13

the room before,

14

still have his cable television show where

15

he interviews judges and lawyers -- because

16

that's kind of a conflict of interest with

17

your current position -- and how he goes

18

about conducting investigations.

19

myself have filed s~veral complaints with

20

the jUdicial conduct commission, very,

21

meritorious' complaints where jUdges

22

expressly violated, either through ex parte

:23

conduct,

24

one of which is does he

Bec~use

acting -- making -- attacking

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

very

-~

Those complaints

101/2009 21:15 FAX

141 047

197
1

were dismissed and never followed up with?


MS. JORDAN:

They were dismissed

almost like within a month,

months,

a eouple of

no explanation.

The process is not transparent.

all secretive.

appeals,

benefit of the jUdges.

opinion,

It 1 s

And as far as appeals,

as he's just admitted,


It is

the

are for the

~-

in my

the jUdicial commission on

10

misconduct has numerous problems.

I'm going

11

to list them very quickly.

12

transpa~ency,

13

composition of the actualcommission itself.

LaCk of

conflicts of interest,

the

14

The investigators, who actually,

15

paper, many of which have -- seem to have

16

good qualifications,

17

an interesting question, which. is why can't

18

they resolve these investigations positively

19

and in a timely manner.

20

the complainant,

22

going on.

24

which kind of creates

There's actually no interaction with

21

23

on

so you have no idea whatts

The priorities seem to be on routing


the town and village errant judges while

08/01/2009 21:16 FAX

141048

1~8

letting the big fish swim away.


I don't know how they handle evidenc@j

know there's a huge issue about evidence

handling that has been spoken about by a

number of people in this room,

serious.

will know the lack of integrity that exists

in terms of files.

take a file out,

If you go to 60 Centre Street,

and therels nothing that

can be done about it.

11

proof, nothing.

12

files need to be digitized.

13

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

15

16
17

summing it up,
MS.

mean,

there's no

What has to happen is the

Ms.

JORDAN:

So basically

Jordan,
Yes.

just want to --

live talked faster

than anybody up here.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

That's correct.

18

And that's why -- because you seem to be

;1..9

very specific in what you want.


JORDAN:

Right.

20

.MS.

21

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON;

22

looking for,

23

changes that you

24

MS.

you

Anybody could' walk in,

10

14

and itls very

That's what Ilm

the recommendations,

JORDAN;

Yes.

the

think that a

08/01/2009 21:16 FAX

141049

199

task force should be formed to review

whether or not the Commission on JUdicial

Conduct is an effective body and

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

force,

Of this task force?

When you say task

who do you think should be comprised

MS.

JORDAN:

I am not going to make

specific recommendations here,

because I don't have enough time to do that.

10

11

Your Honor,

But I will get back to you with that.


I do believe,

though,

that we need a

12

multi-stak~holder

13

whether or not the Commission on JUdicial

14

Conduct is doing its job.

15

what kind of entity might replace it.

16

Because we definitely need to monitor the

17

judges and make sure that they are enforcing

18

the laws,

19

not doing it at the moment.

20

21

task force to investigdte

if i t ' s not,

because it appears that they're

CHAIRMAN

SAM~SON;

Ms.

Jordan,

thank

you very much.

22

MS.

23

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

24

And

JORDAN:

Thank you.
The next witness

is James -- how do you pronounce your last

141 050

08/01/2009 21:16 FAX

200
1

name, James?
MR. MONTAGNINO:

Montag-neeno,

Senator.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

AUDIENCE MEMBER:

Montagnino.
I object -- I

object, because I have personal knowledge of

his personal activities.


CHAIRM~N

8
9

10

SAMPSON:

objection right here.


Mr.

There's no
We1re going to let

Montagnino make his comments.


And if you have comments to make,

11

12

you',re on the list,

13

your oomments.

14

this is over and then we can follow up.

15

Okay?

17

Or you can talk to me after

Thank you.

Thank

you very much.


Thank you very

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

18
19

then we can listen to

AUDIENCE MEMBER:

16

if

much.

Go ahead.

20

MR. MONTAGNINO:

21

Thank you,

Senator.

just want to begin by saying that I

22

don't have an ax to grind,

1 1 m not here with

23

a specific gripe about anything in

24

particular with regard to myself.

l{&J UUl

08/02/2009 19:12 FAX

201

On a personal level,

I've been an

employee of the Unified Court System since

1995,

for the last 10 years.

legal career in the Bronx District

Attorney's Office.

the

Aid lawyer in Westchester.

law clerk to a county judge for five years

10
11

live been a court attorney/referee

started out in my

was a prosecutor in

Westchester DAI s office.

I
!

was a Legal

was principal

in Westchester.
The last three years,

I've been

12

attorney/referee here in the Capital

13

District.

And I

court

love my job.

14

And one thing I've learned in years in

15

the jUdiciary is that with every decision a

16

judge makes,

17

friend and one

18

something that really has to be considered

19

when weighing the probative value of

20

complaints that are made against judges over

21

the course of the years.

22

that jUdge makes one temporary


perm~nent

enemy.

And this is

can say with pride that my experience

23

in the capital District,

24

District,

the Third Judicial

has been wonderful over the last

08/02/2009 19:12 FAX

141002

202
1

three years,

I'm assigned to the chambers of various

judges on a rotating basis.

i've worked

with Supreme Court justices,

Court of Claims

judges, county judges, a Family Cotirt judge,

some City Court judges.

around the Third District.

8
9

And I

As a court attorney/referee

l've been all

can say cat.egorically that the

judges of this district do their jobs to the

10

best of their ability,

they are hardworking,

11

they are ethical people.

12

reasons,

one of the big reasons for that is

13

that the

administrati~e

14

district, George Ceresia,

15

highest moral and ethical caliber,

16

sets the tone for the way business is

17

conducted in this district.

18

Having said that,

And one of the

judge for this


is a man of the
And he

I'm here because in

19

the seven years that I worked as a court

20

attorney/referee assigned to the matrimonial

21

part in Westchester County,

22

condition did not apply to Westchester.

23

That for years in Westchester It

24

assigned to matrimonial cases,

that same

having been

saw on a

08/02/2009 19:12 FAX

141003

203

regular basis that the district

administrative judge entertained ex parte

c0mmunications from well-connected attorneys

and well-connected litigants, and those ex

parte 90mmunications often resulted in

transfers of cases from one judge to

another -- in one case,

decision that a jUdge had

sent out to the parties,

10
11

the change of a
~lready sig~ed.and

based upon ex parte

communications.
I

saw this for years and finally

12

decided that 1 had to take action,

13

brought an internal complaint to the various

14

chief administrative jUdges of the Office of

15

Court Administration, and the result of that

16

was retaliation against me.

17

by the target

18

Judge.

19

~-

and I

Not by OCA,

but

by the administrative

I'm going to cut through some of the

20

details and get to the point,

21

here today,

22

understand the Commission on Judicial

23

Conduct taking a jaundiced eye looking at a

24

complaint brought by a litigant who lost a

Senator.

what brings me

I can certainly

8/02/2009 19:13 FAX

I4J 004

204

case in court.

filed a complaint ultimately with the

commission on Judicial Conduct that was

detailed.

gave dates.

of dumpsters, dumpsters of court records

that were ordered destroyed.

files by law must be retained permanently.

They were destroyed.

10

In Westchester County,

It named names,

it gave cases,

it

Attached to it were photographs

Matrimonial

It would have been one thing i f I

11

been the only complainant,

12

retired acting justice of the Supreme Court,

13

Fred L. Shapiro,

14

the commission on Judicial Conduct against

15

the same administrative jUdge,

16

Nicolai,

17.

-- naming names,

18

information that he had personally obtained.

19

Senator.

had

But a

sent his own complaint to

Judge Francis

alleging the same kinds of abuses


giving dates,. giving

And it wasn1t just the two of us,

20

Senator.

There was a third individual,

21

principal law clerk to a Supreme Court

22

justice in the Ninth Judicial District,

23

Barry Skwiersky,

24

the Commission on Judicial Conduct,

the

sent his own complaint to


with his

08/02/2009 19:13 FAX

141005

.205

information on routine,

patterns of misconduct whereby Judge Nicolai

would steer cases.

regular,

consistent

When a lawyer who had the right

connections didn't like the way his

6"

matrimonial case was being handled,

go to Judge Nicolai --

opposing counsel having any idea of it

explain the fact that he had a problem with

without,

he could

of course,

10

the judge who was assigned to the case,

11

10 and behold,

12

to a more sympathetic judge.

13

and

the. case would be reassigned

There were written complaints.

A law

who was involved in a child custody

14

gua~dian

15

proceeding where the judicial hearing

16-

officer who was presiding over that case

17

ordered that the father have the right to

1B

see his children,

19

supervised conditions to protect everybody'S

20

safety.

21

JUdge Nicolai,

22

jUdicial hearing officer to change his

23

decision.

24

about it.

and made it so under

That litigant went ex parte to


and Judge Nicolai told that

He did that,

and then complained

U':I':UUl:l

l.l:l:l.J t'A.A.

141 006

206

The law guardian,

the attorney for the

children in that case,

herself to Judge Nicolai and said to him:

You can't do this,

the worst of ex parte communications.

what did that law guardian get for her

troubles?

B'

Judge Nicolai he forwarded on to the woman

who was in charge of the law guardian panel

wrote a leLser

this is improper,

this is

And

That letter that was sent to

10

with a cover letter saying IIFor whatever

11

action you deem

12

~he

app~opriate.t1

bottom line,

Senator,

is that

13

without a hearing,

without an investigation,

14

without any contact with any of the three

15

members of the court system and retired

16

member of the court system who brought the

17

complaints -- no contact with US

18

documents subpoenaed,

19

requested,

20

testimony taken,

21

-- the Commission on Judicial Conduct in one

22

sentence dismissed all three

23

against JUdge Nicolai,

24

of the matter.

no

no documents

no information requested,

no

no witnesses put under oath

complai~ts

and that was the end

With nO accountability,

no

08/02/2009 19:14 FAX

I4J 007

207

explanation, no transparency.
And so I

think,:Sen~tor,

that at the

very least Mr. Tembeckjian himself mentioned

it this morning,

after year in their annual report themselves

asked for it, open up the proceedings to the

public.

dre public officials.

trust.

and the 'commission has year

Why should this be secret?

Judges

They have a public

Many of our jUdges are elected

10

officials.

The public has a right to know

11

how complaints against jUdges are handled.


Ilm sensitive to the

12

concerns that many

13

judges have,

14

are either appointed or elected officials,

15

that abuses can occur,

16

complaints can be lodged for purposes of

17

political gain or,

18

often,

19

Mr. Tembeckjian will confirm -- most of the

20

complaints come from litigants who simply

21

lost.

22

because of the fact that they

that frivolous

as happens very,

very

most of the complaints -- I'm sure

I know from personal experience,

having

23

presided over contested matrimonial cases

24

for seven years,

every day of the week,

8/0212009 19:14 FAX

I4J 008
208

Monday to Friday, you know,

Senator,

ruling that says this parent will have

custody of the child and tte other parent

will not,

who loses goes home and says,

an unfit parent and that's why

That:s not the way it works;

it's human

you can imagine,


If I make a

na~ure.

how often do you think the parent


well,
I

lIm just

lost?

we know that.

So it's so common, particularly in

10

family cases/

11

cases,

12

will try to blame someone:

13

fault,

14

the judge's fault,. the judge did something

15

wrong.

16

so.

17

custody cases and matrimonial

the litigant who loses frequently


Itts my lawyer's

my lawyer did something wrong;

Most of the time we know

The problem is,

though/

it's

that~s

not

when you have

18

in with those thousands of complaints that

19

get dismissed without investigation where

20

you have a complaint that wasn't brought by

21

a .disgruntled litigant or a disgruntled

22

former employee, but brought by three people

23

on the inside of the court system who give

24

information with dates and names and places

08/02/2009 19:14 FAX

I4J 009
209

and photographs and copies of documents and

it's just tossed aside.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

But my question to

you is I'm assuming there was some sort of

retaliation because of these allegations

that you made;

correct?
Yes.

MR. MONTAGNINO:

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

And that resulted

into negative evaluations; is that correct?


No,

MR. MONTAGNINO:

Senator.

I've

11

never had a negative evaluation.

1;2

what happened,

13

question -- r didn't want to get into

14

personal things,

15

Judge Nicolai essentially opened his file of

16

every complaint that any litigant who wasn't

17

happy with the resuLt of their matrimonial

18

cases had with me.

19

the Inspector General for the Unified Court

20

System.

21

In fact,

since you asked the

but I'm glad to do that

And he gave that over

r went through about a month and a half

22

of hell having to answer for every decision

23

that anybody had a question about it:

24

did you rule this way?

Why did you say

Why

08/02/2009 19:15 FAX

141010

210

Did you say this?

this?

this

litigant~

litigant~

MR. MONTAGNINO:
e~d

Thatts a form of

Yeah.

And at the

of all that, at the end of all that -CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

8
9

I had to answer --

retaliation.

6
7

Did you not talk to this

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Did you talk to

At the end, what

happened?
MR. MONTAGNINO:

10

At the end,

the head

11

of human relations said to me orally -- I

12

got nothing in writing --

13

you to know there

14

findings against you.

1?

file

16

personnel file,

17

reflect the fact that an investigation had

18

ever been taken against. you.

I. - -

ha~e

said,

III

want

been no negative
And your personnel

she gave me a full copy of the


she said,

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

19

sh~

I'it

will not even

II

And I

think being

20

that no -- if you have complaints of

21

individuals on the inside, you would

22

probably want to look at that a little bit

23

closer because of the positions that you

24

have.

08/02/2009 19:15 FAX


I41011

211

MR. MONTAGNINO:

new~~att~ched.

little bad

transferred.
CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

4
5

But there was a

transf~rred

got

You got

up to what?
I was ordered

Well,

MR. MONTAGNINO:

transferred to Bronx county.

a r r a;l gem e n t .

transferred where we have our second home,

s a"i d ,

II

L0

k' /

And
I

made an

d rat her 1;> e

10

up in Saratoga springs,

we love upstate'New

11

York.

12

voluntary.

13

then I'd consider that a retaliatory

14

employment act under the Whistleblower Law.

15

And,

16

would be something else.

If you can do that,

you know,

where it would go from there

18

accommodated the "request.

19

voluntarily

transf~rred

20

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

21

Yeah/

23

24

elsewh~re,

If I'm foroed to go

And they were kind enough,

17

22

it will be

they

And so r

up here.

Okay.

I got five minutes/

know,

know.
AUDIENCE MEMBER:

lid like to know

what happened to my transcript where you --

II

8/02/2009 19:15 FAX

141 012

212

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

don't have

have the floor.

We're trying to be

Hello,

~ourteous

You don't
hello.

here.

I'm sorry.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

I'm

You don't have the

floor.
AUDIENCE MEMBER:

10

Hello.

you

sorry.

excuse me.

--

AUDIENCE MEMBER:

5
6

--.th1~

Gentlemen,

children

my wife and my

--

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

11

Mr.

Montagnino,

12

thank you very much for your testimony here

13

today.

14

MR.

15

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Thank you,

MONTAGNINO:

And if I

Senator.
could

16

just have a two-minute break,

17.

a quick phone call.

18

We're going to have the next witness -- I

19

guess the next witness could come upr Ruth

20

Pollack.

have to make

Two-minute break.

If I could just have a two-minute

21
22

break, make a phone ca11,

23

back.

24

and I ' l l be right

(Brief recess taken.)

08/02/2009 19:15 FAX

141013

213

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

1
2

get t ing ready. to

Ruth Pollack,

3
4

we1re

All right,

tart.
Ms.

Pollack,

go right

ahead.
MS. POLLACK:

Good afternoon,

6"

Senator, and thank you very much.

is Ruth

east end Of Long Island -- Riverhead,

York.

I'm an attorney in the

practiced 26,
I

10

Polla~k.

My name

New

going on 27 years.

love my career, and I have had a

11

wonderful career . . live practiced in just

12

about every court that you can practice in.

13

live tried cases in Surrogate's Court and

14

took a verdict at 2 o'clock in the morning

15

and won.

16

federal courts and agencies,

17

former prosecutor for the Nassau

18

26,

19

haven't seen and done.

20

part I love what I do,

21

any new attorney or judge that I meet.

22

I have been in the state and

27 years ago.

and I'm a
DA

about

There's not much I

I'm here today,

And for the most


and I

look forward to

however,

because of the

23

breakdown of the system and my brief

24

suggestions for what

think

as a member of

V":/":VVl:l .1l:l:.1t1

rAA

141014

214

the brothers and sisters in law in the

trenches, we

do to fix it.

c~~

T got ovarian cancer in June of 2003.

went through the full monty,

and

survived that.

even though I still suffer from lymphodema

in both my legs.

pounds of extra fluid in-my legs every day,

so lim partially physically disabled.

I'm now considered cured,

That means I carry 60

10

of course, as a survivor,

11

sympathy, we just

12

some accommodation.

13

here and happy to be alive.

14

But

w~nt

And

we donlt seek

understanding and
1

m just happy to be

tried a case in Eastern District

15

federal court against the US government,

16

many of my cases,

17

up against some big-league people.

18

against the federal government,

19

against banking institutions, many school

20

districts and so forth.

21

case involving a school district on Long

22

Island right now.

23

controversial, and lim not afraid to go

24

after anyone,

despite my 8tature,

My

and
go

I go up

live gone up

I have an asbestos

c~ses

are

including an attorney,

if the

08/0212009 19:16 FAX

141015

215

attorney is doing something that is

improper.

3
4

so to speak,

had against the federal government was,

partly on account of my disability,

dismissed in the middle of my direct

examination of

about eight to 10 witnesses at that point.

10
11

When I returned bACk into active duty,


as an attorney,

the case that I

I must have been through

And that was on June 5,

2007.

That led to a contempt hearing,

and

12

was held in contempt of court, and I l l l move

13

on from there.

14

The very next day I walked into an

15

ongoing Family Court case in Manhattan

16

Family Court,

17

representing a father and his infant son

18

or actually I

19

behalf of him and his son.

20

there many times before.

21

what I saw was tampering of witnesses by

2.2

Child Protective Services,

23

records,

24

and poorly run proceedings.

the Jubb case,

J-U-B-B,

represented the father on


And lid been
l'd objected to

the general poorly

tampering with
ru~

courtroom

08102/2009 19:16 FAX

141016

216

And at 9:30 in the morning,

in Family

Court at 60 Lafayette,

of

male court officer proceeded to come toward

me without provocation.

forward

able to sit down.

officers

when I

hearing before

and at the beginning

Judg~

Susan Knipps,

He placed me in a

in a front headlock before I'was

th~t

And the ten or so court

were already in the courtroom

walked in, of that group,

about five

10

of them came around me from behind and put

11

me in a full bodylock,

lifted me from the

12

floor,

crashed me against

13

the wall, and then threw me out into the

14

court lobby, physically, bodily.

15

dragged me out,

Everyone -- I have lay witnesses and I

16

have my client and other witnesses to this

17

oc currence.

18

judge and everyone,

19

I had done nothing.

20

the courtroom now," when 1 had simply said

21

to the court officer:

22

witnesses,

23

that's all I said.

24

Everyon.e in the courtroom I

denied that it happened.


The judge said,

III

"Clear

have two

they're not testifying."

As a result,

the

And

I suffered tremendous

I4J 017

217

I never

posttraumatic stress syndrome.

walked into a courtroom again feeling the

same safety and

years.

secur~ty

that

had for 26

I filed a case against the State of

5
6

New York which is pending with the Attorney

General's office.

hoping that the Attorney General will

investigate this.

I had hoped and I am

But then it continued.

10

Because

11

thereafter,

on September 28th of 2007,

12

I went back to that court to the financial

13

judicial hearing

14

portion of the case,

1;;

by the

16

desk against the wall and told me to get up,

17

and my client,

and get out.

18

surrounded us,

but theydidn't touch us.

19

took the badge numbers as well.

20

more internal terrorism,

offi~er

when

for the monetary

the record was shut off

JHO and the court officers slammed my

And they
I

So it was

so to speak.

I have never before been attacked by

21

22

anyone in my lifetime.

23

more of a message of some sort;

24

what.

So this was,

aSain,

I'm not sure

08/02/2009 19:17 FAX

I4J 018
218

since that time,

~ff~cers

I've been menaced by

court

district court in Hempstead in a criminal

case,

because I do a lot of criminal defense

work,

and that has caused me great

consternation.

occurrence as well -- I have witnesses.

8
9

on behalf of two judges in

I've had witnesses to that

1 1 m here because while

could gb on

and on about my long career -- and my

10

curriculum vitae is up there for you and for

11

the panel -- the system is breaking down.

12

We need to fix it.

13

You know,

14

Second World War,

15

today.

16

foremothers and forefathers that we l re here

17

tpday able to speak out about how we feel

18

about this country and our state.

19

It's worthy of that.

my father was a top gun in the


and I

still have him

And it's because of him and our

And 1 1 m here to be part of the

20

solution,

21

will do everything that I

22

the solution,

23

need of huge help.

24

not part of the problem.

And

can to be part of

which is a huge,

huge -- in

I personally am now -- Ilve been

8/02/2009 19:17 FAX

I4J 019

219

suspended for two years.

started out

:2

with's. 45-day suspension with a threat of

six months

45 days af suspension in the Eastern

District of New York because I disagreed

with a

court due to my legs.

courthouses in the Eastern District l

51

of which are

It

incarceration.

And

served my

judge and because I missed a day of


I went to two federal

ADA~compliant.

neither

I have

10

complained about it; nothing's been done.

11

So that my disabled clients -- who are also

12

whistleblowers

13

parking to get to those courthouses.

14

and I have difficulty

1 1 m moving rather rapidly because I

15

just want to hit on certain points that I

16

think people should know.

17

Since that time,

I have had -- since

18

the federal suspension which I

19

advised rather cryptically that they thought

20

that I had violated my 45-day suspension by

21

using my former law partner to

22

cases for me,

23

just sent me a letter saying,

24

responded in 20 days,

one case for me.

served,

cove~

I was

my

And so they
You haven1t

so we're going to

08/0212009 19:18 FAX

141 020

220

suspend you for two years now.

CH~IRMAN

MS.

Who is this?

SAMPSON:

POLLACK:
~hat

Only in Eastern

District.

that there is an Eastern District of New

York grievance committee,

seen any

10

They claim

have never

thing.
So you were

suspended from practicing in the Eastern


District?
MS.

11

POLLACK:

12

years.

13

are.

14

audience today,

15

but I

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

.8
9

su~h

was Judge Cogan.

Only.

For two more

That's where almost all of my cases


One of my clients is here in the

Again,

Mr. Kevin Chesney.

that was to put me out of

16-

business.

17

own appointed attorney told me to give up

18

all my cases in the Eastern District,

19

to urine tests or else I

20

And that would be the best thing,

21

she could do.

22

mentally ill,

23
24

That was to get rid of me.

My

submit

would go to jail.
you know,

She accused me of being


something I

am

clearl~

not.

So I was essentially put in a position


where they were going to have me suspended

I4J 021

221

to get me out of the Eastern District come

hell

today,

And that is a fight for another day.

O~

high water.

And that's where I am

fighting all the way to come back.

But the point is that now the Eastern

District has sent paperwork behind the

scenes, without my knowing what it is,

the 10th Judicial District where I

and Rita Adler,

to

reside,

who is the chief counsel

10

there,

11

letter after letter,after letter,

12

day after ~ay,

13

which! was held in contempt in 2007,

14

that she thinks I'm a criminal and I should

15

be treated as a criminal and I

16

allowed to practice and we should do

17,

something about this woman

18

has bombarded me with letter after

CHAIRMAN

day after

relating to that case in

SAMFSON~

saying

shouldn't be

I mean,

when you

19

say -- she didn't write you a letter to that

20

extent.

21
22
23
24

MS. POLLACK:

She wrote a letter to

Mr. Pelzer to that effect.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:
criminal.

Not calling you a

08/02/2009 19:18 FAX

141022

222

MS.

POLtACK:

"What she did was

criminal" essentially is what she says in

her letter.

Basically saying,

criminal,

actually citing to sections of the Penal

Law.

former prosecutor,

with the Penal Law.

10

And that's part of my packet.


yeah,

her actions are

they're -- you know,

quite strong,

And as a criminal defense attorney and


I'm very well acquainted

So part of her approach,

if we may look

11

at how rules are to be followed,

12

pretended,

13

she couldn't reach me or serve me.

14

is she

as did a member of the 10th,

that

So an investigator came to my home,

15

left a business card in my door

16

could have floated off into the atmosphere.

17

My 86-year-old father saw that,

18

slipped under the door.

19

which

saw orders

And one day when I walked into my

20

office in 2008,

I was met with an order that

21

was taped to my door with red masking tape

22

-- I'm holding it up now -- which 1 took a

23

picture of and blew up so that you

24

the door of my office.

~ould

Everybody in my

see

08/02/2009 19:19 FAX

141 023

223

1
2
3

office building saw this,


~red

my suite with this

masking tape -- I don't know where you

get it -- taped to my door.


So again,

these terror tactics or

whatever you want to call them have been

used to intimidate me and to make me go

away_

east end, but I do not go away.

always fought for the underdog my whole

I may just be a country girl from the

10

life.

11

kid.

12

everybody.

13

person is about,

15

I've seen injustices since I was a


And I do discriminate;
I

represent

don't care who or what the

Mr. Kelly,

14

I have

I represent them all.


in Rockland,

is my newest

client.

I'm a new kid on the

lIm an outsider.

16

I've seen wnat he has described.

17

block.

18

~s

19

my life of any kind l

20

other than one incident with the grievance

21

committee back in the late

22

matrimonial which was clearly a political

23

way of getting a easel

24

case involving the Manuses, Morton Manus,

a fact.

It

I have never had any problems in


criminal or otherwise,

'90s involving a

a very interesting
a

vo/v.::/.::vv~

.l~:.l~

YAA

141024

224

away from me when it was going

matrimonial,

rather well and given to another attorney.

And because I

and I was in the middle of a retaining lien

hearing,

me.

9th District that dido.lt know me at all.

that was my first foray into the 9th.

had charges brought up against

But my case was transferred to the

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

10

stood up for my retaining lien

sum it up,
MS.

11

Ms.

So

So if you want to

Pollack.

POLLACK:

Yeah.

My summary is

12

that the solution to these many things that

13

you've heard today,

14

many things that we1ve heard as a group

15

here,

16

transparency must look like this.

without my repeating the

is that we need transparency,

and the

We need transparency in terms of jUdges

17
18

and all public officials that serve in our

19

system and on these committees should

20

disclose what insurance companies insure

21

them,

22

their pensions or finances in through the

23

system, what banks are involved

24

disability insurance companies are involved

what financial

institution~

they have

what

08/02/2009 19:19 FAX

141025

225

-- because when live sued these various

cypes of companies,

there was a conflict of interest between

those people that I was working in front of

as

was a conflict of interest.

jUd~es

live never known if

or against as litigants,

if there

So I highly, highly support full

disclosure of any and all

things on the docket,

o~

those

ty~es

,of

including all

10

committee members on all of the committees

11

we've discussed today.

12

they're from,

13

what their trainings are.

14

of it,

15

Who are the people on the committee, where

16

did they come from,

who they are,

where

all of their affiliations,


X can't find any

and l've looked allover the place.

et cetera.

17

And I don't think I need to go on,

18

think it's a point that's been taken. '


CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

19
20

MS.

POLLACK:

And I

just wanted to

thank you sincerely for your time.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

23
24

Thank you very

much.

21
22

much,

MS.

Pollack.

Thank yOU very

Thank you very much.

102/2009 19:20 FAX

141026

226

The next witness is Lawrence Grey.

l
2

Mr. Grey,

bere.

hi~

He submitted

testimony.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

Ken Jewell, Esquire.

Mr. Grey is not

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:

4
5

are you here?

here?

Okay,

great.

Mr. Jewell, you

Mr. Jewell is not here.


Kevin Patrick Brady?

10

MR. BRADY:

11

Senator,

Yes.

r want you to remember me as

12

being. the one guy who used the least time as

13

possible to tell you my story and will move

14

on.
I haven't heard yet today my kind of a

15

l6

case.

17 ,

prosecuted criminally three times,

18

incarcerated, prosecuted in

19

prosecutions twice,

20

courts had jurisdiction.

21

I am a nonlawyer,

Now,

I have been

quasi~criminal

and not one of these

the assistant attorney general

22

managed to shove through a money judgment

23

against me that's not valid.

24

been petitioning courts for the last six

And

have

08/02/2009 19:20 FAX

I4J 027

227

years to recognize that these judgments are

void,

showed proof every time that the judgments

were void.

one thing about it.

they must be taken off my

And no court,

r~cord.

to date,

has done

I'm talking about the Fourth

NOW,

Department,

I'm talking about the First

Department and the Third Department.

The

petitions and appellate briefs that I

filed

10

enunciated these issues perfectly.

11

not be mistaken.

12

dumped them.

13

or they read it just far enough to hear me

14

complaining about corruption in the courts.

15

and that's all they needed to know.

16

It

could

.I believe they all just

They didn't read the petition

I have been,

like I

told you,

17

petitioning courts -- live got in excess of

18

30 trying to get those two or three issues

19

across.

20

jurisdi~tion.

21

And three,

22

has absolutely no authority to be

23

prose~uting

me under jUdiciary law for his

24

own fraud.

In all of those actions,

one,

the courts never had


Two,

the jUdgments are void.

the assistant attorney' general

not one

I4J 028

228

single issue has been adjudicated.


So I have given proof,

it's all there,

I've put them on

that the system is

CDs,

corrupted far beyond what anyone can really

imagine.

look at my proof because it's prima facie'.

okay?

really encourage ,you to take a

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

8
9

do that,

10

MR.

11

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

12

much, Mr.

Brady.

BRADY:

I give you my word.


Thank you.

~rady.

Mr. Lanzisera.
MR.

15

LANZISBRA:

16

you go in the sUbway,

17

says

18

Thank you very

The next witness is Carl Lanzisera,

13

14

Mr.

We will definitely

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

How you doing.

When

you see a sign that

just want to let

19

everybody know,

about 2:45 we're going to

20

take a break for another 15 minutes and then

21

Irll be back.

22

session.

23

Mr.

Lanzisera?

24

MR.

LANZISERA:

just want to check into

Okay?

Yes.

Carl.

8102/2009 19:20 FAX

I4J 029

229

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

1
2

All right,

got another eight minutes.


MR.

LANZISERA:
you see a sign:

~ubway,

something,

airports,

something."

IIIf you see something,

Let's go ahead.

If you go in the
you see

IIIf

If you go in the

say something. II
n

we've

If you see something,

say

If you go to a marina,

they say

say something."

If you go in the courts and you see

10

something and you say something,

11

worst day of your life.

12

here with that same complaint.

that's the

And everybody is

The first two speakers, Martin and

13
14

Alan -- or Alan and Martin -- they really

15

should have a Broadway skit,

16

two jokers.

Either they don't have --

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

17

no,

Lanzisera,

no,

you

know,

19

it. but everybody's

20

Everybody here is afforded the courtesy and

21

respect.

22

is a public hearing to get to the issues

23

because we want solutions.


MR.

Lanzisera

Mr.

18

24

Mr.

because they're

I understand

listen to me,

please.

NO character assassinations.

LANZISERA;

Well,

This

I was arrested

08/02/2009 19:21 FAX

/4]030

230

1
2

3
4

for telling jokes,

so --

CHA!RMAN SAMPSON:
arrest you,
MR.

We donlt want to

all right.

LANZISERA:

They had a grand jury

hearing and I told lawyer jokes.


But I'm in the investment business'

45 years.

In the investment business,

you have a complaint,

the NASD,

you go to now FINRA or

it's called,

or the SEC.

Can you

10

imagine it the SEC or FINRA was run by

11

stockbrokers,

12

40 years,

13

probably get six months in jail.

14

if

what would happen after

50 years?

Bernie Madoff would

The legal profession is run by lawyers

15

for a hundred years.

16

grievance committee did when they were

17

assigned to uphold the Constitution of the

18

united states,

19

judicial immunity.

20

have jUdicial immunity.

21

to us.

22

anyone.

23

24

The first thing the

was to give themselves


Even you have

don't

You have to answer

But they don't have to answer to

In the securities business,

if you have

a complaint against a stockbroker,

you go to

I4J 031

231

the NASD for a few dollars and you have a

public hearing before three. panelists.

panel,

where they eat,

they have.

of the three panelists if there's the

slightest inkling.

their complete, history is listed


where they sleep,

what cases

And you a right to eliminate any

With the grievance committee,

no idea who the commission is and what

10
11

The hearings are all public.


findings are more than 60

13

cases the public gets. an award.

1~

16
17
18

you

ha~e

they 1 re doing.

12

14

The

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

The

per~ent

of the

Which proceeding

is this?

MR. LANZISERA:

In NASD or FINRA,

in

mandatory arbitration.

And if there's a finding against you,

19

it 1 s made public,

20

you operate in but throughout the world.

21

Thirty-five years ago l

22

that I

23

and I had to give someone $250.

24

years later,

not only in the state that

there was a finding

didn't bUy a stock at the best price


Thirty-five

if you look up my Social

08/02/2009 19:21 FAX

141 032

232

1
.2

Security number, you will see it on my


record.

If there's a finding against me and

they ever took my license away,

throughout the United States.


I~

the legal profession,

it would be

if there's a

finding in New York State,

the lawyer can go

to New Jersey, get his license over there

and practice law ih New York.

they can't follow the lawyer and his past'

They claim

10

history.

That's a bunch of malarkey.

11

That's why I made the original comments that

12

I made.

13

and age you can't follow someone with a

14

Social Security number throughout the world.

There's no reason in today's

15

The findings are public,

16

are pUblic, you face your accuser,

17

defend yourself,

16

say.

19

~ay

the hearings
you

you know exactly what they

As a result of' my personal history,

20

started a group, Americans for Legal Reform.

21

If you look at it,

22

live been doing this for more than 20 years.

23

In there you see a list of lawyers and

24

judges that we have found that do things

that's our newsletter.

/02/2009 19:22 FAX

141 033

233

that we feel are questionable.


We can't say what they do,

because your

senator friend to your left from syracuse,

one of his lawyer friends in Syracuse sued

me for libel by innuendo.

maybe three cases in the world of libel by

innuendo,

defending myself because I put his name on

that list and h@ felt he was damaged.

There's only

and I had to spend $100,000

They're so afraid of their reputation.

10
11

Why are they any different than a

12

stockbroker or

13

Consumer Affairs and there are 500

14

complaints against a plumber,

15

them all and evaluate whether they're

16

frivolous or real.

17.

account with a stockbroker, you should check

18

with FINRA and find out his history.

plumber?

If I go to

can look at

If you want to open an

But if you're a lawyer,

19

as Jack

20

Solowitz, my divorce attorney,

21

divorce attorneys,

22

people.

23

48th;

24

and so on.

one of my

stole millions from 49

The 49th didn't know about the

the 48th didn't know about the 47th,


Eventually he did go to jail.

U~!U~/~UU9

19:~~

I4J 034

FAX

234

And when he comes out of jail, he could have


been a lawyer again.
It'S all secret,

it's the only


It's a bunch of

profession it's a secret.

malarkey about their reputation.

lawyers as a group are considered the most

criminal group in America,

in life is less than a New York City taxicab

driver.

Th@

Their position

And they're trying to,

by secrecy,

It's a good-ale-boy

10

protect themselves.

11

brotherhood that

12

if it's not stopped by people like you,

13

public is not going to take it forever.

Ladies and gentlemen,


15~minute

17

about a

18

in session.

19

these hearings.

23
24

the

Lanzisera,

break;

I have to take

I have to register

And I ' l l be back to conclude


Thank you very much.

(Proceedings adjourned at 2:45

20

22

And

thank you very much for that comment.

16

21

has to stop.

Mr.

CHAIRMAN SAMPSON:

14
lS

~omebody

p.

m. )