Sunday, July 28, 2013

Furor Grows To Remove State Judge Over Ethics Conflicts

Petition to Remove Judge Builds Momentum

The ever-growing movement to remove New York Judge Laura Drager from the bench has reached exponential proportions. It is believed that members of the legal community have joined the group of unhappy litigants in questioning Judge Drager's actions.

Apparently, lawyers have formally joined the mounting complaints to The New York State Attorney General's office and The Commission on Judicial Conduct where filings document Drager's unusual impartiality, alarming court orders, blatant conflicts of interest, and a reported disregard of domestic violence.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Unethical "Ethics" Lawyers Get Axed

Unethical "Ethics" Lawyers Get Axed

Three top so-called "ethics" lawyers, based in Albany, have been pushed out.  Two staff attorneys, Steven Zayas and Elizabeth Devane, and their boss Peter Torncello, chief counsel for the Committee on Professional Standards- the attorney "ethics" committee for the Appellate Division, Third Department.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ethics Inquiry Widens Against Attorney Who Set-Up Brooke Astor Son

The Monday, July 22, 2013 New York Law Journal story by Brendan Pierson"State Recommends Medical  Parole for 89-Year-Old Marshall," reports on the pending application before the New York State Corrections Department's medical parole board seeking the release of the wrongly-convicted former U.S. Ambassador, Anthony Marshall.

However, the Law Journal fails to address the recent revelations that support the claim that the convictions of Anthony D. Marshall and Francis X. Morrissey, Jr., were a complete set-up, a sloppy money-grab orchestrated by one of New York's own "officers of the court."

The New York Law Journal has yet to report about the fact that Manhattan's ethics committee, The Department Disciplinary Committee (the "DDC"), on July 5, 2013, formally asked New York admitted attorney Susan I. Robbins, of the Detroit-based Miller Canfield law firm, to explain herself.

The proof of the Robbins' ethics inquiry, and as being officially advanced by the DDC, sits as a public document, filed in federal court in SDNY case #13-4423 in The U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York.

$Twenty Million Reason$

The ethics complaint against attorney Susan Robbins alleges that she, in concert with others in and outside of the Miller Canfield firm, have, since at least 2007, advanced a complex scheme to defraud  law enforcement, courts of law and individuals involved in matters concerning Brooke Astor and her $150,000,000.00-plus estate.  The mainstream media's misreporting of facts effectively clouded the simple fact that Anthony Marshall and Francis Morrissey are innocent.

The Robbins filing references other attorneys from Miller Canfield: Gregory L. Curtner, Esq. (now employed at Schiff Hardin LLP in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and Marcy L. Rosen, Esq. (currently employed at Miller  Canfield in Detroit, Michigan).  Another lawyer, Miller Canfield principal attorney and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. McGee, based in Detroit, Michigan, is alleged to have been fully aware of Robbins' actions.   

The complaint says that, "Ms. Robbins' scheme required the removal of Anthony Marshall so that her client, Philip Marshall, could advance his court filing to be the lone administrator of the Astor monies.  Indeed, had Philip Marshall succeeded in becoming the administrator of the estate, Susan Robbins and her law firm, Miller Canfield, stood to gain $18-20 million dollars in legal fees."

Making Tammany Hall Proud: Triple Dipping

If he were alive today, Boss Tweed would be beaming, "Crank out the legal fees, then use someone else's money to prime your future client (to the tune of $800,000.00).  All, so you can get $20 million as the Brooke Astor estate's attorney.  It might be criminal NOT to set someone up for this......"  Boss Twee would have most likely also cared little about innocent people being thrown behind bars. 

The documents present evidence from Ms. Robbins' former client, Philip Marshall, that Robbins "had been emailing the Manhattan district attorney’s office about the Astor proceedings on many occasions and over an extended period of time...... those emails were never provided, in violation of well-settled Brady provisions, to any member of the  criminal defense team, the court, nor apparently the involved prosecutors...."  

The status of the relationship between Philip Marshall and his former attorney Susan Robbins is unclear, but what is known is that Philip Marshall's children's receipt of $800,000.00, and his (Philip's) filing against his father ultimately cost him (Philip) and his brother Alec $10-15million dollars each.  Apparently, Ms. Robbins, Philip and Alec were unaware of prior legal agreements that provided for a heavy payday for Philip and Alec-  $10-15million dollars each.      

Philip Marshall's confession as to Ms. Robbins behind-the-scenes activity was not made known until April 15, 2013- years after Messrs. Marshall and Morrissey were set-up and convicted.  Had Robbins' Brady material been revealed during the trial, a mistrial would have resulted.

Another issue worthy of a Tammany Hall bronze star is the fact that an alleged forged document was always under Susan Robbins' control.  And it was Robbins who then pushed that document as a fraud to prosecutors- all while secreting the fact she had a potential $20,000,000.00 jackpot riding on the outcome.  

Conflict, What Conflict?

The ethics complaint against Robbins says that it, "is undisputed that while Brooke Astor was alive, Susan Robbins distributed  $800,000.00 to Philip C. Marshall’s two children..... [and] shortly after Brooke Astor’s death, attorney Susan Robbins filed papers, on behalf of Philip Marshall personally, seeking his (Philip’s) appointment as administrator of Brooke Astor’s estate, and where Susan Robbins and Miller  Canfield would receive tens of millions of dollars as the estate’s legal representative."

The conflict, according to the complaint, arises when, "At no time did Susan Robbins reveal her true motives or conflict as Philip Marshall’s attorney after having been Brooke Astor’s attorney....[or] reveal to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, or to the defense, that she and her Miller Canfield law firm were seeking tens of millions of dollars that could only result from criminal convictions." 

A former government employee who has reviewed the Astor filings in federal court has a lot to say on the subject, "Everyone knows Anthony Marshall and Francis Morrissey were framed- completely set-up.  Look at their history. Marshall was a valuable member of the U.S. Marines, receiving a Purple Heart and other awards. He was a U.S. Ambassador and a highly respected member of the State Department.  And most people will unfortunately never know how much they owe Francis Morrissey - all beyond his life a good works.  Francis Morrissey has been recognized for his work in keeping us all safe after 9/11 - just ask someone you know who works for the NSA.  Marshall and Morrissey are American heroes, framed by corrupt insiders."

A high-level former member of the NYPD agrees that Marshall and Morrissey are innocent, adding, "If two white guys with money can get pounded with such injustice, we're all screwed." 


July 20, 2006  -  Philip C. Marshall files an ex parte Order to Show Cause (“OSC”) to strip his father,  Anthony D. Marshall, of any involvement over the affairs of Brooke Astor.

July 21, 2006  -  Judge John E. Stackhouse appoints attorney Susan Robbins as a court evaluator in the Brooke Astor guardianship matter.

July 24, 2006  -  Judge Stackhouse appoints Samuel Leibowitz as court evaluator, and attorney Susan Robbins is appointed Brooke Astor’s attorney/guardian.  Shortly thereafter, attorney Robbins  dispenses $1,200,000.00 to Mrs. Astor’s three great-grand children. $800,000.00 is distributed to Philip Marshall’s two children ($400,000.00 each).

Dec. 4, 2006  -  Judge Stackhouse grants legal fees/expenses to Susan Robbins and her Miller Canfield law firm in the amount of $123,841.34.

August 13, 2007  -  Brooke R. Astor dies. 

August 13, 2007  -  Dela Renta files petition seeking to be appointed co-administrator.

August 22, 2007  -  Anthony D. Marshall files a petition seeking appointment of “disinterested, impartial, independent administrator.”

August 22, 2007  -  Philip C. Marshall files papers supporting the appointment of Dela Renta, and offers himself to also be appointed.

August 26, 2007  -  Anthony D. Marshall files petition seeking appointment of Fiduciary Trust and Howard Levine as co-administrators.

Sept. 28, 2007  -  Philip Marshall files a petition to be appointed sole estate administrator.

Nov. 15, 2007  -  Court appoints Temporary Letters of Administration to JPMorgan Chase and Mr. Levine.

Nov. 27, 2007  -  Criminal Indictments unsealed.

Dec. 13, 2007  -  Filed Surrogate’s Court papers show Susan I. Robbins, Esq. as “Attorney for Philip C. Marshall” (Notice of Appearance of James Ayers).
January 4, 2008  -  A Slip decision reveals Miller Canfield firm as  “attorneys for Philip Marshall” (18 Misc 3d 1124A).

Sept. 5, 2008  -  Another Slip decision reveals Miller Canfield firm as “attorneys for Philip Marshall” (21 Misc 3d 400).

May 20, 2009  -  Philip C. Marshall testifies at the criminal trial that his application to be administrator of Brooke Astor’s estate is “still pending.”

More soon...........................

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ethics Inquiry Widens Against Attorney Who Set-Up Brooke Astor Son

The Monday, July 22, 2013 New York Law Journal story by Brendan Pierson"State Recommends Medical  Parole for 89-Year-Old Marshall," explains the pending application before the medical parole board seeking the release of the wrongly-convicted former U.S. Ambassador, Anthony D. Marshall.