February 20th, 2013, New York, NY & West Palm Beach, FL: As the nationwide œCase Fixing scandal gains ground in various states, Florida's 15th Circuit has devised a new, more Machiavellian twist to reward lawyers who act as agents of Case Fixing schemes for judges: Awarding œLegal Fees to attorneys who act as agents to dump œfixed cases, and transferring Garnishment cases that have been dismissed as legally void for lack of jurisdiction to another œforeign state. œOne cannot create jurisdiction via inter-state transference, Kathryn Jordan, founder of JRN and a target of the 15th Circuit's scheme, asserted. œIf the original court lacked in personam jurisdiction to hear a garnishment case, the œforeigncourt cannot œcreate jurisdiction simply by filing an Affidavit without service. CPLR 5222 must be complied with. This latest manipulation was advanced by a conspiracy between Chief Justice Blanc, who signed the Affidavit attesting to the validity of the Garnishment action, Judge Joseph Marx, who fixed the underlying case, and Attorney Ken Johnson, the œagent who concocted the scheme with œshill client John Banister, also an attorney.
Hon. Marx, known as the œclown judge of PBC, was the architect of the original kick back deal. When assigned to hear the Jordan v. Pappas fraud case, where voluminous evidence of HUD Fraud, Forgery, Extortion, Blackmail, and Conversion was produced in an Amended Complaint, Marx devised the œclever scheme of dismissing the Amended Complaint œwith prejudice by setting an impossible deadline for a completely unnecessary amendment. His Honor ignored the œBad Faith of the Defense attorneys in not complying with discovery over three years. Marx apparently was unfamiliar with the legal standards governing dismissal of plausibly pled complaints, including the evidentiary requirements for œbad faith, and erroneously believed, based on two small claims cases, that he could œdismiss the entire action œwith prejudice and without consideration of œlesser sanctions', than the œsanction of dismissal. Marx was undeterred from his agenda to fix the case knowing that the Plaintiff had lost her home via Fraud to Defendants and to reward œfriend Ken Johnson for his assistance with œlegal fees. Part of his motive was retaliation for the plaintiff's confronting him in motion about his unlawful practice of ruling on pleadings the same day her adversary filed them, precluding response. Marx was incensed that he immediately decided to dump the case, using Defense attorney Ken Johnson to œserve up the faux MTD. His Honor then ordered that the docket be closed to Plaintiff ONLY so that an MTR could not be filed, while allowing her adversary to file a motion for œlegal fees , a motion that also could not be opposed due to the docket closing. œThis is Judge Marx' concept of due process, Jordan lamented. Once Marx had effected this onerous scheme, he set about ordering œlegal fees as a kick back to the attorney Johnson who had helped him fix the case.
œIn the Legal Fee case, Judge Keyser was the shill, Jordan said. Keyser disregarded the law, Section 57.105, which requires that a œprevailing party and œproof of bad faith be produced and awarded Johnson $37K in fees to be paid by the œPlaintiff (Keyser made Jordan the Plaintiff so that she would pay Johnson's litigation costs). This was an award of legal fees on a fixed case. After Keyser issued her œjudgment, she intentionally failed to copy Jordan on the Judgment and directed an order for Garnishment. Here is where things started to unravel for the sordid scheme however. Johnson never filed a Motion with his Garnishment notice, an error that Keyser directed the clerk to œrestate in the docket. However, Jordan then filed a Claim of Exemption that attested to her disability status and Banister (acted as the conduit for Pappas) failed to respond within the statutory period with an answer nor did he "contest" the disability. This meant that that Garnishment action terminated on January 23rd, 2012 as a matter of law. Exemption law in Florida and NYS require œimmediate hearing on the Exemption. However, when Jordan attempted to Dissolve the Writ in such a hearing, Johnson had Keyser œdisqualified' over Jordan's objections, and a new judge was assigned, Hon. Sasser, who refused to hold the Exemption hearing and kept the case open for "discovery" for almost a year, a right that was statutorily precluded by the fatal errors of œJudgment Debtor John Banister. When Jordan refused to travel to PBC for a ˜deposition, Judge Sasser threatened her with œarrest and œbodily enforcement.
œI have suspected from the beginning that there was more than the usual greed motive involved here. Ken Johnson is a professional extortionist. Yet Judges don't put their reputations at risk for washed up PBG attorneys. There was someone pulling strings to keep this case open. The original goal was to secure private œintel about me that they had no legal right to. Then the goal became using the system to bankrupt me and to silence me, probably becasuse of our high profile position on Case Fixing. But I believe there was a third motive that was political. I think that is why the void Judgment was transferred to NYS with the aid of the Chief Justice of the 15th Circuit. If Jordan is correct, this could be one of the more sinister case fixing schemes on record. Further, while Judge Sasser was manipulating the case to avoid a final disposition, knowing that Garnishment was œfutile, refusing to dissolve the Writ, Johnson, with the aid of Blanc, filed an identical action in NYS without notice to Jordan as a œforeign judgment. œYou cannot transfer a judgment that lacks jurisdiction to another jurisdiction and gain jurisdiction, Jordan stated. Tell this to Judge Ling Cohen of the NYSSC who agreed to be part of the conspiracy and arranged for the Judgment to be entered. The matter is now on appeal before the 1st Department in NYS. œThere is no doubt in my mind that the PBC Court colluded with NYS on this. Jordan asserted.
This all follows an even higher profile Case Fixing scheme in NYS after Jordan won a landmark discrimination case. The trial judge there (Hon. Rolando Acosta) set his own case up for reversal on appeal when Jordan refused to agree to pay a œContingent Legal Fee kick back of $1.3M to her discharged attorney after winning a landmark case. Acosta delayed disqualification to attack Jordan in the Final Judgment. œIt was character assassination and retaliation by Lippman who built his career doling out favors for friends, not writing scholarly treatises or opinions, Jordan affirmed. œHe wanted his succession plan to advance with Acosta. I was a pawn in the way that had to be removed from the chessboard."
Both Lippman and Acosta have refused to vacate their Void decisions despite knowing they both acted without jurisdiction. Appellate Standards of review do not support the actions taken either in their misapplication of Discrimination law or of œsufficiency law. œThey really believe that they can fool everyone by simply stonewalling this thing. Further, these jurists used the attorneys, probably DBR, to influence Judge Gische vacate the $3.3M Bond that custodied the damages and then had her promoted ahead of her peers as payback, a clear attempt to buy justice. JRN has called for Gische's œpromotion to be recanted based upon Fraud.
Judge Acosta has long courted the NYS Bar Association. His name was ostensibly surfaced for the NYCOA because he was the œgo to Hispanic jurist but many believe DBR was paying back Acosta for their IOU after he reversed the reversed the verdict. "It is not a coincidence that Judge Acosta is on the short list for the NYCOA, this was the payoff by DBR to get their $3.3M verdict "reversed". His Honor also arranged to have all the Malpractice cases related to the Bates matter disposed of, as he threatened he would in the April 2006 hearing in chambers. involved. œIt a terrible shame because if he had simply played by the Rules, we would have supported his nomination, Jordan said. œBut how do you justify rewarding a judge who knew the Rules, repeatedly disregarded them to advance a legal fee kick back and who set up his own case for reversal on appeal?"
Despite myriad opportunities to mitigate the harm he created, Acosta has refused to vacate his Void order. "He has not set the kind of example we need in our Appellate Leaders. JRN stated. JRN is very concerned that the Nomination process is so obviously flawed that these two names even got on the list. Both are also on a list for Impeachment that was forwarded to the NYS Legislature and Congress. Judges who act without jurisdiction lose their immunity and can be prosecuted under Federal and State law.
JRN urges the Bar to begin to use œcredible constituent input to help them œvet their nominations to avoid these crises in the future. œAttorneys almost always have an agenda when it comes to judicial nominations. Usually it's simple partisanship, which does not belong in our Court system. Sometimes it is much darker and can include paying off a judge for œfixing a case.", Jordan asserted. "Further, attorneys live in fear of being disbarred or sanctioned by judges so they are unlikely to surface judicial misconduct. Reaching down into the litigant community can overcome these obstacles and secure first hand witness accounts. œWe also should have some retired judges on the panels who are connected with the œinside the culture.
Despite producing a sworn Expert polygraph to corroborate her claims and a voluminous record of what occurred during the legal fee portion of the case, the Appellate Panel ignored thi