In New York, it appears that blood ties are also thicker than law.
Earlier in this blog, here, here and here, I wrote about the sudden ex parte transfer to the 4th Department of my disciplinary case and of my husband's file from his closed disciplinary case access to which was subject of a pending federal lawsuit.
The transfer created an impression of (1) retaliation against both myself and my husband, since review of the files became difficult by transferring them hours' drive away from us; and of (2) an attempt to tamper with evidence, or claim that certain files were potentially lost or misplaced in the transfer.
Usually, tampering with the evidence or witnesses in an official proceedings should be subject to a criminal investigation. In view of the ranks of individuals involved in the potential tampering, and blood ties of those people (at least those blood ties that are readily apparent from public records and public attorney advertisements), it is naïve to think that any of the wrongdoers will be brought to justice.
I also wrote in this blog that the 3rd Department issued an order of transfer of my pending disciplinary case and of my "proceedings" pertaining to my husband, where such proceedings ended three years prior, on July 7, 2011 and could not be transferred anywhere.
I also wrote in this blog that the order of transfer mentions that an "application" was made for that transfer.
I also wrote in this blog and that neither Mr. Neroni nor I were served with any such "applications", as is the requirement for motion practice in New York and that the Appellate Division 3rd Department staunchly refused to provide to us copies of the allegedly existing "application" that was never served on us and that was used as a basis of the transfer.
Additionally, by the time the "application" (the equivalent word of a "motion") was made, motion deadlines were over, and the Committee for Professional Conduct (COPS) was not given any leave for the extension of those deadlines, nor did the COPS ask the court for such an extension - at least no such requests were served upon me.
As to Mr. Neroni, his disciplinary case was concluded with his disbarment (without a hearing) on July 7, 2011.
COPS obtained a dismissal of certain causes of action filed by Mr. Neroni in federal court specifically on the basis that his case is concluded and closed.
Rule 22 NYCRR 806.3(b) regulating authority of COPS specifically provides that COPS can only investigate attorneys for misconduct. Mr. Neroni is no longer an attorney, therefore, COPS had no authority to conduct any further investigations after his disbarment.
Both Mr. Neroni wrote to the 3rd Department asking to provide us with a copy of (1) what was transferred to the 4th Department, and (2) of the application which was the basis of the order of transfer.
The 3rd Department denied our request for these documents.
I wrote to the 4th Department with the same request.
Today I received two letters, one regarding my case and one regarding my husband's. I publish here the letter regarding myself and I publish the letter regarding my husband with his permission.
In the letter regarding my husband the 4th Department indicates that all they received is the order of transfer and an accompanying letter.
The letter from the 4th Department does not list any "application" for the order of transfer that the order of transfer mentions.
The letter from the 4th Department regarding my case sheds a little more light on the situation, claiming that included into the transferred papers was a copy of my lawsuit in the Northern District of New York, Neroni v. Peebles.
That lawsuit, as I wrote earlier in this blog, was dismissed before it was served by the court which was the defendant in that same lawsuit. Since the United States (court) was a party in the action, I have 60 days to appeal that dismissal, and 60 days did not expire yet.
Yet, the letter from the 4th Department regarding my case still does not indicate that any "application" was included with the papers transferred to the 4th Department from the 3rd Department.
The letter from the 4th Department claims that there is no indication that our cases were consolidated.
Yet, the order shows one caption for both me and my husband as "In the Matter of [myself] AND [my husband]" which usually indicates one single case.
Moreover, my own and my husband's names are mentioned in one paragraph. So, there is no point playing dumb and pretending that the cases were not consolidated and treated as one by the 3rd Department in making the order.
4th Department's pretense that certain files regarding Mr. Neroni about "pending complaints" could be sent directly to the Committee for Professional Standards of the 4th Department have no legal basis, because, as I mentioned above, Mr. Neroni was disbarred as of July 7, 2011, and as of the same date COPS lost their authority to investigate and prosecute him on any "new complaints" against Mr. Neroni.
Moreover, no "new complaints" were served upon Mr. Neroni.
So, the bottom line that we have here is:
1) there is an order of June 11, 2014 from the 3rd Department claiming that COPS made an "application" for an order of transfer;
2) The 3rd Department considered the "application" and "upon due deliberation" granted it;
3) The application was never served either on Mr. Neroni or on me;
4) The 3rd Department denied access to the "application" to both Mr. Neroni and me despite our requests;
5) The 4th Department did not receive any such "applications".
So - did the 3rd Department lie that there was an "application" made in a court order, thus making the court order based on non-existing application and thus void?
Did the 3rd Department rely upon an oral ex parte application by the COPS? Ex parte communications with the court, whether oral or written, are attorney and judicial misconduct.
Appears that no "application" by the COPS is in existence, and that the COPS, together with the 3rd Department simply falsified a public record, a court order, in order to get their wish.
Will they be prosecuted?
- the son of the late Chief Judge of the 3rd Department Anthony Cardona, Anthony V. Cardona Jr. is an Assistant District Attorney in the Albany County;
- Steven Allinger, the son of an Albany County Family Court Judge Susan Kushner whom I recently criticized in this blog is another Assistant District Attorney in the same Albany County District Attorney's office;
- Amanda Kuryluk, the niece of a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, Mae D'Agostino, who was sued in her individual capacity in the same Neroni v. Peebles lawsuit is a partner in of Anthony Cardona Jr.'s law firm, replacing there her aunt who was a partner in that law firm before coming to the bench;
- two sons of another judge, Gary L. Sharpe, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, also sued in Neroni v. Peebles, are employed, respectively, by the New York State Attorney General's office (Michael Sharpe) and by the U.S. Attorney's office (Robert Sharpe) - and Gary L. Sharpe already sanctioned both my husband and myself after I directly asked him to confirm the fact of his son Michael's employment with the NYS AG's office because NYS AG's office appeared before Gary L. Sharpe in a civil rights lawsuit where I represented my husband -
in other words, when the federal and state government is so tightly entrenched and interweaved by blood ties, there is a real fat chance for criminal prosecution of COPS attorneys, members and the judges of the 3rd Department who made a court order based on a non-existing application while claiming there is such an application (which was never served upon us), and who engaged in a cover-up of their misconduct, including the ex parte communication with the COPS.
Yet, any "person from the street", an "average Joe" who would forge a public document, would be criminally prosecuted. Because they do not have the right pedigree - such as the appellate judges and their pet agency, the Committee for Professional Conduct have.
This is the reality in the State of New York.
This is the reality of attorney regulation and licensing where the Rules of Professional Conduct are inapplicable to the powerful attorneys employed in the government.
As I said earlier in this blog - if the public is not protected from shenanigans of the most powerful attorneys, the whole idea of the regulation of the legal profession is a sham.
My husband's and my own cases clearly show that, instead of the declared "rule of law", what we have in New York, and for quite a while, is the "law of connections" or "law of blood ties" - that is the only "law" that matters here.