Monday, 14 August 2017

Brian McKenna O'Connell

308471

Ciklin Lubitz & O'Connell
515 N Flagler Dr Fl 20 
West Palm Beach, FL 33401-4330 
United States
Office: 561-832-5900
Fax: 561-833-4209
https://www.floridabar.org/mybarprofile/308471

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Eliot Bernstein Deposition in Estate of Simon Bernstein West Palm Florida Sept 22, 2014 with Florida attorney Alan B. Rose of Mrachek Law Deposer

WOW, part of the way that Brian O'Connell and Ashley Crispin pray on folks, is to TEACH Guardianship. SICK SICK SICK I say

"A. LOCAL GUARDIANSHIP PRACTICE UPDATE: (10 minutes)
An update on judicial rotations in the Probate Division and new Administrative Order 6.310-
10/16 regarding Professional Guardian Registry & Appointment of Professional Guardian
presented by Ashley Crispin Ackal"

Source
https://15thcircuit.co.palm-beach.fl.us/documents/10179/104452/Agendas-BBC-2017.pdf

July 26, 2017 Fourth District Appeal: Linda W. BOTTA, Bethany B. BOYD, Nancy D. COLACHICCO, Appellants v. CIKLIN, LUBITZ & O’CONNELL and BRIAN M. O’CONNELL, ESQ., individually.


DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA FOURTH DISTRICT

Linda W. BOTTA, Bethany B. BOYD, Nancy D. COLACHICCO, Appellants,

Vs.

CIKLIN, LUBITZ & O’CONNELL, a Partnership of Professional
Associations, and BRIAN M. O’CONNELL, ESQ., individually,
Appellees.

No. 4D17-379
July 26, 2017

Appeal of non-final order from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth
Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Carlos A. Rodriguez, Judge; L.T. Case
No. CACE15019284AXXXCE.

Michael C. Sasso and Michael A. Sasso of Sasso & Sasso, Winter Park,
for appellants.

Brian M. O’Connell, Ashley Crispin Ackal, and Zachary Rothman of
Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell, West Palm Beach, for appellees.

"The appellant daughters appeal from the circuit court’s order denying
their amended motion to transfer the underlying actions from Broward
County to Seminole County based on forum non conveniens. The
daughters argue the court erred because their evidence showed that
Broward County was not a convenient forum while Seminole County was
the most convenient forum. We agree with the daughters’ argument. We
reverse and remand for transfer of all pending actions to Seminole County."

"The law firm, as the drafter of the 2002 POA, filed an action in Broward
County seeking a declaratory judgment that the 2002 POA was valid as
“freely and voluntarily executed” by the mother, with “the requisite
capacity” and “free from duress, coercion and undue influence.” The law
firm named all three daughters as defendants.

The law firm alleged that daughter Botta resided in Connecticut, daughter Boyd resided in Broward
County, and daughter Colachicco resided in Seminole County.

The law firm alleged that it named all three daughters as defendants to the action based on their “antagonistic and adverse interests.”

"However, by the time the law firm filed its lawsuit, the three daughters
had resolved their differences. Daughters Botta and Boyd then filed a
malpractice counterclaim/third-party complaint against the law firm and
the attorney who drafted the POAs.
Botta and Boyd claimed to be intended third party beneficiaries of the law firm’s and the attorney’s services for their mother. According to Botta and Boyd, but for the law firm’s and the attorney’s drafting of the 2002 POA, they would have withheld their consent to certain expenditures if they retained the “veto” power of the 2000 POA, and the removal of the “veto” power in the 2002 POA was the proximate cause of losses to them.

The three daughters also united to file an amended motion to transfer
venue from Broward County to Seminole County. In their motion and
affidavits, they alleged the following. Daughters Boyd and Colachicco
reside in Seminole County, more than 200 miles from Broward County.
Daughter Botta resides in Brevard County, more than 135 miles from
Broward County. Round trip travel for all three daughters would require
several hours and would be extremely inconvenient. The mother resided
in Seminole County when she executed the 2002 POA. The mother’s
affairs were managed in Seminole County until she died. The mother’s
estate was in probate in Seminole County. Any property being probated
was in Seminole County. No connection existed to Broward County."


"As for daughters Botta’s and Boyd’s malpractice action against the law
firm and the attorney, the daughters argued that action accrued not where
the legal services were provided in Palm Beach County,"

https://edca.4dca.org/DCADocs/2017/0379/170379_DC13_07262017_101101_i.pdf

Brian O'Connell is one of a Gang of Co-Conspirating attorneys and Judges who put families against each other for their own financial gain, as far as I see it, because I can READ.


Brian O'Connell  and Ashley Crispin have a CLEAR Pattern and History and I believe a civil and criminal RICO and Racketeering Complaint will be NEXT up and include the whole GANG.


eMail me any tip you have about the law "practices" of Brian O'Connell
 and / or  Ashley Crispin of CIKLIN, LUBITZ & O’CONNELL
ReverendCrystalCox@gMail.com 


South Florida Probate Court, 4th D.C.A, Florida Guardianship, Ted Bernstein, Attorney Alan Rose, Judge Marin Colin, Judge John Philips, Florida Corruption, Florida Predatory Guardianship, 






Friday, 4 August 2017

Julie Hershman Forensic Accountant

"The firm never disclosed the new opinions of its expert accountant.

In November 2013, the firm disclosed Julie Hershman as its expert forensic
accountant (R7:1222-24). The firm disclosed no substantive opinions on valuation
and tax law. Casey immediately deposed Hershman (R15:2841-78).

 At her deposition, Hershman unequivocally stated that she had no opinions on valuation
of the firm and had not looked at or reviewed any provision of the Internal
Revenue Code in connection with the capital account calculation (R18:3328-29,
3334-35).

After being present at trial during Casey’s expert, Kronstadt’s
testimony, the firm, for the first time, started delving into areas where Hershman
previously had no opinions. Casey objected to the new opinions as surprise and
prejudicial (R18:3326-27).

The court sustained Casey’s objection to Hershman’s new opinions, ruling
“[b]ased on what you’re telling me as of the date of this witness’ deposition
November of 2013, the witness had no opinion about valuation of the firm, and no
opinions about Kronstadt or Casey’s expert testimony” (R18:3329).

The court granted Casey’s motion to exclude Hershman’s new opinions as to valuation
(R18:3329, 3345). The court also sustained Casey’s objections to Hershman’s
reliance on sources that she had not relied on in her deposition 

“[T]he test for exclusion of evidence for non-disclosure during pre-trial
discovery is whether the opposing party was prejudiced in his preparation for
trial.” Gouveia, 823 So. 2d at 222. The trial court excluded Hershman’s opinions
as to valuation of the firm because they were new opinions and prejudicial to
Casey (R18:3328-29, 3344-45).

The court made the same ruling with regard to new opinions regarding reliance on the Internal Revenue Code and other new grounds: “[I]t’s not admissible for her to say well now I’ve done other things that were not disclosed with respect to those opinions. . . . [T]here will not be any new
opinions admitted

he burden was not, as the firm contends, on Casey to follow up with
Hershman before trial. This Court’s opinion in Gouveia makes clear that the
burden was on the firm. As in Gouveia, a reasonable judge could have found, as
the court did here, that surprise and prejudice would result from admitting the
changed testimony. Again, the firm’s lack of preparation was self-inflicted. There
was no abuse of discretion in excluding Hershman’s testimony on these limited
issues. Affirmance is required.

Source and Full Court Document
http://www.4dca.org/calendar/briefs/March%202016/3-22-16/14-3801.Answer%20Brief.pdf

Got a Tip regarding Julie Hershman Forensic Accountant in connection to Forensic Accounting and or connected to Brian O'Connell's law firm. eMail me at ReverendCrystalCox@gMail.com

More coming soon regarding Julie Hershman Forensic Accountant

Dominoes Falling INDEED. Landmark, Game Changing Case. VERDICT "“It sends a message to these unscrupulous lawyers and guardians that they are not going to be able to get away with it anymore.” I See Pattern and History Here and WISH for a Racketeering RICO Complaint to Be FILED by Victims and WON.

"Jury says attorneys for guardian mismanaged money of millionaire Texas oil man"


"Guardianship case came from courtroom of Judge Martin Colin, 
featured in a Palm Beach Post investigation"


"Colin praised the attorneys in his courtroom, calling them honest and trustworthy"


“This first salvo sends a serious message not only to the predatory guardians and lawyers who have been exploiting families all over Florida for decades but especially to the probate judges without whose complicity these cases could never happen.”

"Advocates for guardianship reform clamored in vain for years that Florida’s system failed to properly protect incapacitated seniors, that its primary purpose had been perverted to line the pockets of greedy attorneys and professional guardians with the hard-earned life savings of the elderly.
Brian O'Connell
Now they can point to a new federal verdict awarding a whopping $16.4 million in a lawsuit claiming that two West Palm Beach attorneys breached their fiduciary duties while running up “unnecessary and excessive fees” of $1 million.
“It’s really kind of a landmark case,” said Julian Bivins, who brought the suit as the personal representative of the estate of his father, Oliver, a Texas oil man.

“It sends a message to these unscrupulous lawyers and guardians that they are not going to be able to get away with it anymore.”
The Bivins guardianship case emanates out of the court of Circuit Judge Martin Colin, the subject of an investigation by The Palm Beach Post into the judge’s conflicts of interest because his wife is a professional guardian.
Colin in open court had heaped praise on the attorneys who lost the case and refused to hold a hearing to decide whether the attorneys had “secretly” kept money from the sale of one of Oliver Bivins’ properties in an escrow account for more than a year, according to court documents.
The Post’s award-winning series featuring Colin, Guardianships: A Broken Trust, resulted in an overhaul of guardianship rules in Palm Beach County. Colin retired last December after he was transferred from the Probate & Guardianship Division because of The Post’s reporting.
Weeks after The Post published, Julian Bivins filed a motion to disqualify Colin, saying his concerns about the “close-knit atmosphere of the Guardians, their attorneys” and Colin had been “glaringly brought to light” in the stories.
The younger Bivins said he felt his father was “held captive” in South Florida by the guardianship so the attorneys could liquidate real estate assets — including a New York City Upper East Side mansion — and charge more fees.

Colin granted an emergency order prohibiting the senior from returning to Texas.The jury found on July 28 that attorneys Brian M. O’Connell and Ashley N. Crispin of the Ciklin, Lubitz & O’Connell firm not only breached their fiduciary duty but committed professional negligence.

The lawsuit claimed they failed to get appraisals on two high-end New York City properties being divided among family. They were not of equal value and as a result, Julian Bivins ended up with one that was worth millions less than other.

The jury’s decision to award $16.4 million makes up the difference.

But the fight over the property is far less important to reform advocates than the fact that attorneys who carry out the wishes of professional guardians and are paid with the ward’s money were held accountable.
“This case in one of the longtime hotbeds of guardianship abuse is a tipping point,” said Sam Sugar, director of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship.
“This first salvo sends a serious message not only to the predatory guardians and lawyers who have been exploiting families all over Florida for decades but especially to the probate judges without whose complicity these cases could never happen.”
Oliver Bivins died at age 97 in March 2015. He ended up in the court-ordered guardianship when he visited his condominium in Palm Beach in 2011 and a social worker became concerned with his well-being, according to court documents.
Oliver Bivins appeared to be coming to Florida for a weekend vacation, leaving his refrigerator in Texas fully stocked, plaintiff attorneys told the jury. His son said he often didn’t visit his Palm Beach condominium for years at a time.

The verdict takes a further step toward re-establishing that attorneys are supposed to represent the incapacitated ward, not the court-appointed professional guardian — a position many lawyers have argued in court to thwart families trying to rein in a fee frenzy.

“If it wasn’t for me, they would have completely depleted my dad’s estate,” said Julian Bivins, who now lives in Palm Beach. “I’ve been fighting them from the beginning to just get him back to Texas. Finally, I got him back there 35 days before he passed away.”

As with many family members who challenge the status quo in guardianship in Palm Beach County, Julian said he found himself relentlessly attacked in court. He was even sued by one of the guardians in the case, Curtis Rogers.

The biggest toll, he said, though, was his relationship with his father as Rogers told the elder Bivins that his son only wanted his money. “He turned my dad against me,” Julian Bivins said. “I could never explain to my father how he was being held for ransom, how they wouldn’t let him go.”

The Ciklin firm said it is confident it can prevail on post-trial motions 
in front of U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra.

“We think the verdict was not in keeping with the law or the facts and, in fact, was considerably more than the plaintiff even asked for,” said Alan Ciklin, the firm’s managing partner. “We feel pretty good about our ability to have this reduced dramatically.”

Rogers, one of two professional guardians dismissed as defendants in the lawsuit, testified for more than two days at the trial. He told The Post he believes the younger Bivins financially took advantage of his father. “The verdict was a total shock to me,” he said. “I anticipated there was no way that type of verdict could be made.”


It may come as a shock to Judge Colin, as well.

Colin during a Feb. 3, 2016, hearing in the guardianship case bristled at the suggestion that the Ciklin Lubitz firm was not acting as a good custodian of Bivins’ assets.

The senior’s son questioned why the firm had failed to turn over $472,000 from the sale of his father’s commercial property in New York City, requesting Colin refer their actions to the Florida Bar or keep them from holding onto the money.

“The Ciklin Lubitz law firm has a well-earned reputation of honesty. And this is honesty,” Colin said in court. “Not for a moment do I have any concern because their reputation is well-earned in this respect.”

Colin denied Julian Bivins’ request without hearing any evidence but ordered the firm to return about $400,000.

An attorney for Julian Bivins filed a motion to disqualify Colin because of those statements, but the judge denied it.

“We never got anything done in his court,” Julian said. “We complained about the amount of the fees and he (Colin) cut them down 25 percent, but then we had to pay their fees for them to defend those fees. So they just made it back.”  "

Guardianship Catch-22

It is in this Catch-22 that families often find themselves when trying to decide whether to fight unethical actions by a professional guardian: Either way they pay, and either way the lawyers’ wallets grow fatter.

The guardianship issue is being looked at by a task force formed by Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga. The state Legislature established the new Office of Public & Professional Guardianship as a result of lobbying by advocacy groups and others about lawyers and guardians siphoning off fees.

Attorney Greg Coleman, past president of The Florida Bar, wrote to the work group in June to alert it to “inappropriate, improper and illegal activities of a very small number of Florida attorneys” practicing in the guardianship arena.

“Unfortunately, the way guardianship statutes and rules are currently constituted allows for a window of exploitation by bad attorneys and bad guardians for their own personal monetary gain,” said Coleman, who was not associated with the Bivins guardianship or any of the relating litigation.

Coleman said everything is moving in the right direction for seniors. “The issue has the (Florida Supreme) Court’s attention, I can tell you,” he said. “It is not something that is being ignored or swept under the rug.”

Oliver Wilson Bivins Sr. was an oil man whose family were pioneers in Amarillo, Texas. He visited his Florida condo infrequently.

Dominoes falling?

Sugar’s grassroots-group based out of Hollywood was the force behind legislative reform last year. He said the verdict in Bivins is a sign “the dominoes are starting to fall.”

Several years ago Sugar could barely get a conference with key Florida lawmakers. Now his group has spearheaded legislation and made guardianship an issue around the country. Sugar pointed to the recent federal indictment of a professional guardianship firm in New Mexico, charging the owners with stealing millions from seniors, as an example that justice could be done for these seniors.

Attorneys who represented the Bivins family — Charles D. Bavol and Ron Denman of The Bleakley Bavol law firm in Tampa — compared the trial to a climactic brawl from the movie Rocky.

The Ciklin defendants knocked out their expert witness and cited attorney-client privilege in refusing to turn over crucial emails between the Ciklin lawyers and the guardians. 

The son’s testimony persuaded the jury, his lawyers said.

“What the defendants did in this case was wrong,” Denman told the jury. “It was legally wrong, what they did was ethically wrong, and what they did was morally wrong.”

Bavol and Denman said the verdict builds off a 2015 state court appellate finding out of Palm Beach County, ruling that the guardianship attorneys’ duty is to the incapacitated adult, not the professional guardian.

The 4th District Court of Appeal in recent years has reined in circuit courts in Palm Beach County that reform advocates say patently favor professional guardians and their attorneys. Still, advocates such as Sugar say they hear about abuses almost daily in the guardianship courts.


Bavol and Denman said the verdict underscores 
the need for accountability from guardians and their lawyers.


“Based on this significant jury verdict and the ongoing investigative journalism in Southern Florida concerning professional guardianships, the need for reform of the guardianship system to protect Florida’s elderly citizens is again underscored,” the lawyers said in a news release."

Source of Article and Lot's More
http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/jury-hits-lawyers-with-for-doing-senior-wrong-guardianship/6CnikAZ7x3K9z960lz09BN/

Regardless of What Move managing Partner Alan Ciklin, brother of Judge Cory Ciklin, want to make next, It is DONE. There is a Path to Justice cleared now and HOPE for the Victims of attorneys and guardians such as Brian O'Connell and Ashley Crispin.

Also NOTE that Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga is the top of the Florida Corruption Food Chain, just look at the iViewit Patent Theft Case and Proskauer Rose and the gang.
http://deniedpatent.blogspot.com/search?q=Labarga

Also NOTE that Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga was Judge Martin Colin's MENTOR "He finds a great camaraderie among the Judges in this Circuit and considers Judge LaBarga to be his mentor. "  As Seen at the Link Below

http://www.palmbeachbar.org/judicial-profiles/judge-martin-colin/

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

I Would Say there is Plenty of Reasons for RICO in the Estate Of Simon Bernstein Probate Case in South Florida.

According to Wikipedia, "RICO provides for criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for racketeering acts performed as part of an ongoing enterprise."
 "Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes - 27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes - within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering."   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act