"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

As the 4th Department disciplinary committee is afraid to touch the case against Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis, James Hartmann and Denis Dineen, I am publishing the affidavit of the witness to protect the witness and the integrity of future civil and criminal proceedings for fraud and fraud upon the court

I wrote on this blog about the complaint that my husband filed against attorneys Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann and Denis Dineen, all either relatives of judges (Richard Harlem - son of a judge), or law partners of judges (Eric Jervis), or married to judge's law clerks (James Hartmann is married to Judge Gary Rosa's law clerk Nancy Deming) or who were confidential law clerks for a judge (Denis Dineen, former law clerk of retired and deceased judge Robert Harlem, see my blog "the Blanding saga").

Here is a copy of my husband's complaint against these attorneys, made in accordance with the old rules of attorney discipline on November 30, 2015.

The 4th Department committee, after some time, reacted by a letter claiming that if Fred's complaint against the above attorneys was not pending at the time of the order of transfer of June 11, 2014, they do not have jurisdiction over the case, and asked to confirm whether Fred's complaint was pending on June 11, 2014.

It was very obvious that the order of June 11, 2014 transferred all of disciplinary proceedings against me and all complaints I or Fred made against other attorneys, unconditionally, to the 4th Department.

Yet, very obviously, the 4th Department was afraid to touch Fred's complaint against the above 4 powerful attorneys (Richard Harlem is also the long-time landlord of NY State Republican Senator James Seward), and the reason was that it was not easy to refuse to investigate the complaint when it was supported by an affidavit of a person who Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis claimed to several courts and James Hartmann claimed to the Delaware County Supreme Court they were representing.

Denis Dineen was part of the complaint because there is no statute of limitations on attorney misconduct, and because of Denis Dineen's help to the now-deceased judge Robert Harlem to defraud the Otsego County Surrogate's Court by acting as a witness on one of the codicils (additions to a will) that Judge Robert Harlem illegally drafted while being a Supreme Court justice, bequeathing to himself more than 1/2 million dollars worth of shares of IBM, among other things.

As to attorneys Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann, surely these attorneys had to talk to their alleged client when undertaking an 8-year-long litigation on his behalf.

Surely, these attorneys had to talk to David Mokay at each stage of litigation, before each motion was made by them or opposed by them at the trial or appellate level, before each appeal was filed by them or opposed by them.

Since these attorneys conspicuously did not invite any of the Plaintiffs to testify at their own trial on damages, it is clear that Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann knew they were committing fraud upon the court and upon Judge Kevin Dowd.

Whether Judge Dowd knew of the fraud or not - I do not know, there is evidence of ex parte communications in the record, so there is a likelihood that he knew - but he did not care one way or another, as long as he could settle personal scores with me and with my husband.

Here is the affidavit from yet another victim of Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann (in addition to my husband):  David Mokay.

This is the amount of legal fees and costs that Richard Harlem claimed to Judge Kevin Dowd against all Plaintiffs, including David Mokay, knowing full well that David Mokay did not hire Richard Harlem - EVER - to represent him against Mr. Neroni, and that David Mokay never sued Mr. Neroni.

This is a major kind of fraud, ladies and gentlemen.  

In order for Harlem to claim legal fees as damages against Mr. Neroni, Richard Harlem first had to claim such legal fees against his own clients, and he included into clients David Mokay who was never his client, and Richard Harlem knew it very well, because David Mokay confronted him.

David Mokay, as open public records I have on file indicate, is indigent.

David Mokay, or even other Plaintiffs, who I know are not very rich people, would never have agreed to incur $156,290.48 in legal fees, and to put such a judgement, first and foremost, against themselves, in order to obtain damages of $23,890 apiece (treble damages of $215,011.38 where 1/3 goes to Harlem as attorney fee and the remaining 2/3 of $143,340.92 are split between 6 alleged plaintiffs): 

Such an "award", for David Mokay, of $23,890, even if combined with $95,000 obtained from the Estate, if David Mokay's petition is granted (Harlem opposes it, which is one other indication that David Mokay tells the truth when stating that Harlem never represented him), if the Estate is not completely ransacked by Richard Harlem which it could be by now, that will only make $118,890.

That amount of $118,890 does not satisfy the judgment of $156,290.48 that Richard Harlem fraudulently obtained against David Mokay, without David Mokay's presence at the trial or testimony that he, indeed, hired Richard Harlem or approved his legal fees.

Harlem instead did not invite David Mokay to testify, actually hid from David Mokay the subpoenas that I served upon Harlem as David Mokay's purported attorney, and withheld from David Mokay even witness fees for trial, which Harlem had no right to do.

It was obvious that Harlem tried to block direct contact between me and my husband and any of the Plaintiffs, and I have a funny feeling that none of the Mokay siblings may have hired Harlem to sue my husband, other than the executor of the Estate Daniel Mokay who signed verification on the 2nd Amended Complaint, but after the trial, filed an Affidavit in another court showing that he did not understand what the case was about.

Since the Mokay plaintiffs, other than Daniel Mokay, never were present at the proceedings, never provided any signed affidavits and none of the Plaintiffs, including Daniel Mokay, ever testified,  - throughout 8 years of litigation - the Mokay case is a case of one big fraud from start to finish, and the "Mokay Children" can be called Harlem's "ghost clients".

Richard Harlem got $48,000 out of attorney fees from the Supreme Court action through Surrogate Court (please, bear with me, it is an intcricate web of lies), and then claimed the same legal fees which were already satisfied, as unclaimed and the basis of damages, and treble damages, at the April 7, 2015 trial.

Obviously, Richard Harlem is thriving on such "ghost clients", on such fraud upon the court, and on his pedigree of a son-of-a-judge which in New York means everything.  A person with such a pedigree, as Richard Harlem's case indicates, can do ANYTHING, commit ANY fraud.

A son-of-a-judge like Richard Harlem has so far been protected by the 3rd Department disciplinary committee where one of the members of the committee was a partner in the law firm representing Harlem in the Neroni v Harlem case filed in May of 2011.

Instead of investigating and disbarring Richard Harlem based on evidence available from David Mokay AT THAT TIME - the 3rd Department committee protected Harlem and instead disbarred my husband.

Then, when my husband's case was transferred by the 3rd Department to the 4th Department, and the 3rd Department recused, the 4th Department is now afraid to touch the case, even with the affidavit of David Mokay, and preferred to turn down the case on jurisdictional grounds and return the affidavit back to Mr. Neroni.

But, in view of what Richard Harlem did with his father in the Blanding saga, in view of what Richard Harlem did - and continues to do - in the Mokay case, we do not know how many more such "ghost clients" Richard Harlem has, but it would be definitely prudent for any party or attorney opposing Richard Harlem and his law firm in litigation to verify whether Richard Harlem and his law firm, indeed represents who he says he represents.

Many attorneys pointed out to me when I practiced in Delaware and Otsego Counties that Richard Harlem is "sleazy", "be careful around him", "he is a dangerous person", and that he is known to squeeze attorney fees out of a stone and create them out of the thin air.

Now we know that legal fees in the Mokay case, at least against David Mokay were certainly created out of the thin air.

It is interesting that I have had reason to believe since April of 2011 that the recently-retired Judge Carl Becker, who presided previously over the Estate of Andrew Mokay's case in the Surrogate's Court from 2007 to April of 2015, knew about the fraud, because back in January of 2011 Judge Becker told David Mokay that Richard Harlem does not have to speak to David Mokay when David Mokay complained that Richard Harlem refuses to speak to him.

The only reason why Richard Harlem would not have to speak to David Mokay was if Richard Harlem did not represent David Mokay.  Richard Harlem claimed at the same time to the Delaware County Supreme Court, Judge Fitzgerald, that he actually did represent David Mokay.  Becker knew that David Mokay is listed as a Plaintiff in the Mokay case in the Supreme Court.  Becker was later assigned to that case without disclosure of his possible knowledge that David Mokay was NEVER a Plaintiff.

Moreover, Becker granted to Harlem a motion blocking my discovery in the case, including interrogatories that each of the alleged Plaintiffs, including David Mokay, had to personally sign under oath. 

That is where Harlem's fraud would have come out, because David Mokay could have said right there, in answer to interrogatories, that he is not a Plaintiff in that action.  

Moreover, back in January of 2011, in the Surrogate's Court hearing where my husband was not a party and was not called despite his clear interest in what was discussed, Becker rolled right over David Mokay in that same transcript, hinting at him that David Mokay is "moving against the current".

After I discovered that obvious sign of fraud, events started to happen rapidly.

Judge Becker "impounded" the transcript of surrogate court proceedings of January 18, 2011 (you can check that with the Delaware County Surrogate's Court clerk, File No. 2007-021 must be still there since Judge Guy, assigned to the case when it was transferred to the Supreme Court, refused to abide by the order of the court and refused to transfer the file to the Supreme Court).

The "impounded" transcript revealed Becker's likely knowledge of the fraud back in 2011 and hid it from public view, dismissed my husband's lawsuit against Richard Harlem and crew (Neroni v Harlem, Delaware County Index No. 2011-547), punished me for violation of Judge Robert Harlem's privacy (!) by quoting his and his son's misconduct from open court records and pleadings of NYS Attorney General (!), and for making frivolous pleadings.

Since the punishment (several thousand dollars) was imposed for my pleadings for a plaintiff at the pre-answer stage, when such pleadings are presumed-true, I was punished for TRUE CRITICISM of judicial misconduct.  It was very like Becker to do that.

Also, right after my discovery of fraud, my husband was disbarred (by a disciplinary committee where one of the members' law firm represented Richard Harlem in Neroni v Harlem and, judging by their billing statements, were engaged in ex parte communications with Becker and the next judge on the case, Ferris Lebous).  Then my husband and I were sanctioned in various cases, first only by Becker, then, based on Becker's sanctions, by other judges, and then my own law license was suspended.

The root of all of the assault upon my husband and I was - Becker's personal grudges against us, his jealousy against my husband, who was Becker's law school classmate and did better in life than Becker, and Becker's obvious involvement in the cover-up of Harlem's fraud in the Mokay case.

It is also interesting to trace how Richard Harlem's attempt to put his every sneeze and into attorney fees backfired.

I do not know whether trial exhibits existed in the Mokay trial, because Judge Dowd held the trial ex parte, behind closed doors, did not allow public to view the trial, blocked my access to trial exhibits after the trial and ordered trial exhibits released to Richard Harlem, so exhibits either disappeared or are irreversibly contaminated by now.

But, the trial transcript of the ex parte trial refers to multiple exhibits listing motions made by Richard Harlem.

For each motion described in the trial transcript, there must be a supporting attorney's affirmation.

Each supporting attorney's affirmation is made under oath.

Each supporting attorney's affirmation of Richard Harlem claiming that he represented David Mokay was false and was a separate count of fraud upon the court, because it claimed that Richard Harlem and his law firms represented David Mokay, which was not true, and Richard Harlem knew it was not true.

I wonder whether Delaware or Otsego County district attorney will have enough courage to bring fraud upon the court charges against Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann.

Actually, they both may be disqualified from the case as witnesses.

Richard Harlem billed his alleged clients for conversations with Delaware County DA and two ADA's, and Co-Defendant's attorney Michael Getman who "aligned himself with" Richard Harlem's purported clients, is the Chief Assistant District Attorney of Otsego County, disqualifying both offices, so a special prosecutor may have to be assigned to the criminal case against these attorneys.

Harlem did the same thing in the Estate of Andrew Mokay, as he did in the Blanding case.

At the same time as holding me as Mr. Neroni's then-counsel and Mr. Neroni at bay and blocking us from direct communications with David Mokay because we thought he was a represented party, Richard Harlem robbed the Estate where David Mokay was a creditor, with his $95,000 petition against the Estate.

In the Estate of Andrew Mokay, Richard Harlem sold assets of the Estate and claimed attorney fees out of the sale proceeds, over David Mokay's objections, before satisfying David Mokay's claim as a creditor.

David Mokay, a disabled unrepresented individual, apparently felt helpless to oppose the robbery.

Now, apparently both David Mokay and my husband Frederick J. Neroni have claims against Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis, their law firms and James Hartmann for fraud upon the court - and the statute of limitations for these claims is 6 years.

Many of the currently presiding judges will reach mandatory retirement age before the end of those 6 years, allowing at least a possibility that a fair and impartial judge with no personal investment in the case may be assigned.

Since the fraud upon the court continues as we speak, where Richard Harlem and his law firm oppose Mr. Neroni's appeal claiming, once again, that he represents David Mokay, the statute of limitations gets more and more extended.

The 4th Department committee actually returned David Mokay's original affidavit back to Mr. Neroni, afraid to proceed with the investigation of such an obvious and major fraud against the politically connected attorney.

I am publishing this affidavit here as a citizen journalist, to expose misconduct of Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann.

I cannot speak to David Mokay since my suspension of November 13, 2015, since it will be then misinterpeted as an attempt to give "illegal legal" advice, and our family already had enough of that kind of harassment with my husband - my husband had to file a lawsuit to fend off 3rd Department's disciplinary committee with their claims that he cannot talk to my clients, cannot sit in front of his own computer, talk to people in his own home or accept delivered mail without being accused with practicing law without a license.

Yet, I can publish David Mokay's affidavit as a journalist.

I did not make the decision to publish the affidavit lightly.

But, when the 4th Department returned the affidavit and refused to investigate, on pretextual grounds, I started to fear that the next thing will be pressure upon David Mokay to recant, or threats to punish him for exposing Richard Harlem and his crew.

With his affidavit published, any reasonable person will clearly see that if any pressure is imposed upon David Mokay from November 30, 2015 (when my husband first sent David Mokay's affidavit to the 4th Department, obviously stirring up a storm), if any government agency associated with Delaware County, Otsego County or other entities where Richard Harlem and his father judge Robert Harlem had connections, if David Mokay is deprived of any rights by local governmental authorities, you will know that it may be retaliation against him for coming forward and exposing the fraud of Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann.

And, one thing may actually work in our favor in attorney disciplinary rules.  New York did not change in attorney disciplinary rules when it changed those rules in December of 2015 - there is still no statute of limitations for attorney discipline.

Thus, fraud upon the court of Richard Harlem, Eric Jervis and James Hartmann can be brought up at ANY time as a disciplinary matter.

And, come July of 2016, a complainant now has a right to appeal dismissals of a complaint.  

So, the complaint that was rejected by the 4th Department on jurisdictional grounds can just as well be refiled after the new rules, complete with the right to appeal the possible dismissal of the complaint.

I will certainly describe the reaction of disciplinary authorities to this extraordinary case of fraud upon the court by politically connected attorneys that lasted so long and caused, and is continuing to cause, so much damage to so many people.

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