Friday, June 13, 2008

Complaint against Special Counsel for the Judicial Qualifications Commission - Lauri Waldman Ross

June 5, 2008

Office of Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001

Re: Complaint against Special Counsel for the Judicial Qualifications Commission -
Lauri Waldman Ross

Dear Governor Crist:

This is a letter of complaint about Special Counsel to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, Lauri Waldman Ross. Ms. Ross represents attorney Marc Cooper in the defense of a legal malpractice lawsuit, Case No. 99-21062 CA 15, brought on behalf of myself, my husband, Norman Lanson, and our corporation, Baron’s Stores, Inc. The Honorable Jeri Beth Cohen is now presiding over the case.

On February 4, 2008, Ms. Ross joined in a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of her client. The Motion for Summary Judgment is supported by two documents entitled First Amended Plan of Liquidation and First Amended Disclosure Statement. I hired a Forensic Document Expert who has sworn, under oath, that these documents are falsified documents. On May 15, 2008, I filed the Forensic Document Expert Report in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami Dade County. All interested parties received the Expert Report, including Ms. Ross. Ms. Ross has not obtained an opposite opinion from any other expert, nor has she attempted to refute the Plaintiffs’ Expert’s finding. Additionally, the defendants, Ms. Ross, and defendants co-counsels, have not withdrawn their Motion supported by these falsified documents.

This submission of, and continued reliance on, a falsified document, is a violation of the following Florida Bar Rule:

Florida Bar Rule 4-3.3 Candor Toward the Tribunal states:

False evidence: Upon ascertaining that material evidence is false, the lawyer should seek to persuade the client that the evidence should not be offered, or, if it has been offered that its false character should immediately be disclosed. If the persuasion is ineffective, the lawyer must take remedial measures. If necessary to rectify the situation, an advocate must disclose the existence of the client’s deception to the court. If perjured testimony or false evidence has been offered, the advocate’s proper course ordinarily is to remonstrate with the client confidentially. If that fails, the advocate should seek to withdraw if
that will remedy the situation. If withdrawal will not remedy the
situation or is impossible and the advocate determines that disclosure is the only measure that will avert fraud on the court the advocate should make disclosure to the court.

Rule 4-3.3(a)(4) prohibits a lawyer from offering false evidence and requires the lawyer to take reasonable remedial measures when false material evidence has been offered.

Rule 4-3.4(b) prohibits a lawyer from fabricating evidence or assisting a witness to testify falsely.

Ms. Ross is Special Counsel to the Judicial Qualifications Commission. She cannot sit on that Commission, in my opinion, and violate the above-noted rules.

Ms. Ross has ensnarled Judge Jeri Beth Cohen by inducing Judge Cohen to have violated Judicial Canons in support of her client, Marc Cooper, and the other attorney defendants. Judge Cohen has been fully briefed by the Plaintiffs as to the falsified documents.

Canon 3D(2) states:
A judge who receives information or has actual knowledge that substantial likelihood exists that a lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar shall take appropriate action.

Judge Cohen has actual knowledge of the submission of the documents and has actual knowledge of an Expert Report claiming the documents are falsified. Judge Cohen has violated the Judicial Canons.

As Governor of the State of Florida, your power is described in Article IV, Section 7 of the State Constitution:

Article V, Section 12, of the State Constitution creates the JQC and specifies:
Members who are not judges may be removed through the Governor’s power to suspend public officials in certain instances.

As you know, you have the power to suspend a non-judge member of the JQC, in certain instances. This may be one of those instances, and I urge you to conclude that it is, and remove Ms. Ross immediately from the JQC because of her ethical misconduct which has now involved a sitting judge.

Respectfully submitted,

Meryl M. Lanson

Motion for Summary Judgment
First Amended Plan of Liquidation
First Amended Disclosure Statement
Expert Witness Report by Michael G. Kessler

cc: Lauri Waldman Ross, Esq. (w/o enclosures as already in Ms. Ross’ possession)
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director JQC (with enclosures)


Anonymous said...

I applaud your proactive approach to your governor to reprimand this judge. Judges need to be reminded that the most basic function of our court system is to monitor and secure justice for all parties.

I for one would like to know the result of your letter to the governor.

I have just been informed that mye physician/defendant submitted false information in a medical record during summary judgment. He of course won.
I am now researching the exact approach to correct this injustice.
I am in California so it may not be simple.
Kudos and please post a followup?

Donald Baker said...

I am presently working on a case in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where counsel for a defendant forced her client to provide the police (Internal Affairs) a statement as to a beating visited upon him, as well as the police alteration of the surveillance video which captured the beating. At a habeas hearing, counsel perjured her testimony and advised the court that "it was the defendant's idea" to provide the police with a statement. The client was forced to withdraw his habeas action and to "renounce the truth", in order to obtain his freedom. The offending attorney was Madeline Torres, an assistant public defender. Her boss, Howard Finkelstein (of "Help-Me-Howard" fame on Channel 7 TV) knew in advance that Torres intended to perjure her testimony, despite his promise pre-habeas that the Public Defender would appear before the habeas court and confess error. In fact, on the day preceeding the habeas hearing, Torres herself confessed to conflict counsel, Melissa Minsk-Donoho, that the P.D's Office wrongfully sent the Defendant to provide a statement to the police. I have been totally unable to find a case where counsel has lied against her own client in order to save her own skin. The perjury occurred on October 19, 2007, and witness immunity applies; however, the perjury was but an overt act in a conspiracy to deny the client access to meaningful habeas corpus (access to the courts). HELP!!

John McNamara, 3300 N. St., Rd. 7 (A-77), Hollywood, FL 33021

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