Commentary by Doug Kinan
A recent article in the Boston Globe regarding the case of author Patricia Cornwell, who won a jury verdict only to see it thrown out by Judge George O’toole, is a grand example of the rot at the core of our court system.
O’toole of course leaned on supposed “technical errors” to cast the jury’s vote aside. Technical errors, and other idiotic, mindless nonsensical crap is used in courts across the country to vacate verdicts, dismiss legitimate cases, limit key evidence and refuse to allow it to even be seen or heard: these are just a few tools of the judicial trade.
From the Boston Globe Article:
“The judge acknowledged that some of the claims in the case were not affected by his errors, but still ordered a new trial, saying, “There is no way to assess what the verdict on the remaining claims properly subject to jury evaluation would have been.”
Lukey said Thursday that the decision to limit some of the key evidence in the case effectively dilutes the overall claims that Anchin maliciously wronged Cornwell and her company.”
But then came this comment from Doug Kinan, which needs to be read carefully.
Based on my experience, it appears that legal jujitsu and legal manipulations designed to wear out Ms. Cornwell, change the subject or vacate the award may be alive and well in this case.
In my view, many high dollar cases can be legally rigged, depending on how much money is involved to afford the “legal insurance” necessary, which may reduce the fiduciary’s exposure along the many years it takes to litigate a given case. The possibility of behind the scene bribes, unsaid promises and/or fraternity connections can be very persuasive.
There are numerous cases in probate courts across America to demonstrate that the formula for using the court to steal from the weak, defenseless and/or elderly is standard operating procedure in many cases, and especially in large estates.
Here is how one method works:
1. A fiduciary and/or a predator attorney may have the intention to defraud their client(s)out of a huge sum of money, depending on the case, the amount of money involved and who and/or how weak or defenseless the plaintiff is. If the fiduciary and/or predator attorney believes the plaintiff will not fight or has limited resources to fight, the theft is on and the fiduciary and/or predator attorney has the authority to steal as much as possible, and in some cases the majority of the estate. NOTE: Most lawyers are honest and decent. However, predator attorneys have mastered “gaming of the system” and/or have the necessary connections to achieve their desired result in one form or another. There is almost no penalty or significant consequences involved – Board of Bar Overseer oversight is pitiful.
2. During what I call the “defraud period”, the fiduciary uses some of the “misappropriated” funds (“walking around money”) to “buy off” and/or prolong the administrative/legal manipulations that follow. It’s done in many ways, but usually the fiduciary changes the subject to obfuscate the matter by the pound. The legal manipulations are designed to cloud the primary issue, wear down the plaintiff and increase legal fees.
3. After a period of years, there is either a forced settlement, a “compromise” or the judge in the case can make up any rule to “deliver justice” the way he or she sees fit. You never know what happens behind the scenes.
So long as the “triumvirate” (lawyer, judge, Board of Bar Overseers) can make up and/or ignore any rules they want, essentially there is no oversight and the amount of money determines where and how the case proceeds and ends.
Another way to look at legalized theft is:
1. Fiduciary and/or attorney steals $50,000 in a probate matter.
2. Plaintiff files an objection with the court and files a complaint with the Board of Bar Overseers, not necessarily in that order.
3. Plaintiff learns that retaining an attorney would be cost prohibitive and the gamble to litigate is too risky. NOTE: Most honest lawyers will tell a prospective client that the law, the facts and the evidence mean almost nothing in comparison to the “connections” and/or oversight failure to follow and apply the plain language Rules of Professional Conduct.
4. After years of litigating the case, the fiduciary and/or predatory attorney may offer a “take it or leave it” settlement of less than the “misappropriated” amount of $50,000 (court euphemism for stealing). The plaintiff almost has no choice but to accept, accept a “bench” decision or go to trial. The judge closes the case and simultaneously the Board complaint is a closed matter.
The possibility also exists that a “settlement” can be imposed, even if there is no settlement agreement.
We are at a stage in America where two tiered justice operates in plain sight, the “rule of law” is not the rule of law, that “equal justice under the law” is just a slogan and the reasonable conclusion is that the law can be negotiated, not obeyed.
America talks the best justice in the world. The reality is much different.
Community & Good Government Advocate
Sworn & Commissioned Officer – Massachusetts Trial Court (Retired)
Member – Board of Directors, Boston State Hospital Project