Thursday, April 17, 2014

Northwest Indiana mayor, wife and step-daughter indicted

Editor's note:  FEDs; Don't forget about the crooked judges and lawyers in the Probate Court of Cook County. You have all the evidence you require...court records, bank records and lots of willing witnesses and victims.  Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster,


Northwest Indiana mayor, wife and step-daughter indicted

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The mayor of Lake Station, Indiana and his wife surrendered to federal authorities Thursday morning in Hammond, to face charges of stealing from the city. (Posted on: April 17, 2014)
A northwest Indiana mayor, his wife and stepdaughter have been indicted on federal corruption charges.
Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and his wife Deborah Soderquist, his administrative assistant, are accused of taking money from the mayor’s campaign finance account and the city's food pantry account and spending it at casinos in Indiana and Michigan.
The couple also failed to file accurate tax returns between 2010 and 2012, according to the charges.
In a second indictment, the mayor and his wife are accused of helping the mayor's step-daughter, Miranda Brakley, avoid arrest after she allegedly stole $5,000 from the Lake Station City Court.
The Soderquists and Brakley are expected to surrender to authorities at the Hammond federal courthouse Thursday morning.
Attorney Scott King, who is representing Soderquists, told the Times of Northwest Indiana that both will enter not guilty pleas. "They have been cooperating for more than a year," King told the newspaper.
According to the indictments, the Soderquist lost more than $100,000 at casinos between the spring of 2010 and December of 2012.  During that time, the couple improperly took $18,500 from the election campaign's account as well as an undisclosed amount from the food pantry account, according to the indictment.
Soderquist was elected as Lake Station mayor in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. | Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Who is Guarding the Guardians? A quest for improving Guardianship

Who is Guarding the Guardians? A quest for improving Guardianship

by jmdenison
Dear Readers;
As usual, Ken found a great article on what's wrong with guardianships and how to improve them from the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.
It raises a number of issues that both probate victims and caring attorneys will want to consider.
jmdenison | April 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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Better Rules for Bad Lawyers

Editor's note: New York’s disciplinary procedures for lawyers are “deficient in design and operation.” So come to New York if you plan on being a shady lawyer, I guess.


Better Rules for Bad Lawyers

In 2009, a lawyer in New York helped his client settle a claim for $30,000. The lawyer then had the check issued in his own name, deposited it into his own account and used all of the funds for himself. The client demanded his money to no avail.
It took more than three years before the lawyer was disbarred for stealing a client’s funds. During all that time, the lawyer, who already had a history of serious disciplinary infractions, kept working.
This is a disturbingly common story in New York, which has more lawyers than any other state. Punishments for those who violate obligations to a client — if not the law — are slow, inconsistently levied and often hidden from the public.
Professional discipline is essential to the integrity of any legal system. Unfortunately in New York, the process for dealing with lawyer misconduct is “deficient in design and operation,” writes Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University School of Law in an article to be published next month in N.Y.U.’s Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.
Professor Gillers examined attorney-discipline cases going back to 1982 and all 577 court opinions imposing sanctions issued over the past six years. In addition to the many instances of “unacceptable” delay in the official response to complaints about lawyers, he documents the great disparity in the way similar violations are handled by courts in different parts of the state.
For example, a lawyer who filed false documents, made false statements and improperly notarized a client’s signature was suspended for two and a half years by the appeals court in Manhattan. But, in Brooklyn, comparable actions by a different lawyer resulted only in a formal rebuke but not a suspension. In upstate New York, appellate courts rarely explain the reasons for their decision to sanction or not sanction, and, when they do, they often don’t follow their own earlier rulings.
Perhaps most troubling is the overall lack of transparency that pervades the system. Unlike 40 other states, New York does not inform the public of pending charges against lawyers. It is also unnecessarily difficult to learn when a lawyer has been officially sanctioned, even though sanctions — which can include censure, suspension or disbarment — are part of the public record.
At the very least, New York, which has 166,000 lawyers, should adopt uniform standards for disciplining lawyers. The American Bar Association set clear and sensible standards in 1986, but some states have successfully established their own.
In California, for example, almost all disciplinary cases are handled by a State Bar Court that is staffed with full-time judges who issue thorough rulings. Professor Gillers also recommends that every lawyer’s disciplinary history be made easily available online, and that law firms tell potential clients how to access the information.
Not everyone will be eager to upset the status quo, including the appellate judges who would like to maintain their control over the process, and the lawyers who benefit from the leniency of local courts. But it must change if New Yorkers are to have confidence in the lawyers who represent them.

What You Should Know Before Requesting a Third Party to be Named Guardian of Your Adult Child

What You Should Know Before Requesting a Third Party to be Named Guardian of Your Adult Child

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A very sad article appeared on the Times Online recently entitled, "Who Knows Best? Dispute over disabled man's care magnifies guardianship's complexities." (Read it in full here.) The article recounts the story of Nancy Pantoni and her ongoing legal battle with the guardian of her adult, special needs son, Dominic.
The article's claims seem shocking. According to the article, Dominic's current guardian, the nonprofit Jewish Family & Children's Services of Pittsburgh, refuses to allow Dominic's mother to speak with him on the phone or to visit him more than one hour every month. She is not informed of his medical condition or even of his hospitalizations.
According to the article,
"She [Nancy Pantoni] said she feels decisions made by the guardian have been detrimental. 'His health has significantly deteriorated so much that I'm concerned for his life,' she said. 'I'm on a mission to save my son's life, I really am. I'll do anything.' "
Why was the nonprofit, and not Nancy Pantoni herself, appointed guardian of Dominic? The article explains that when it first became necessary for Dominic to move into a residential care facility paid for by the state, no openings were immediately available. Ms. Pantoni was apparently advised that a nonprofit agency might be able to get Dominic into a home faster than Ms. Pantoni herself could -- but only if that agency was appointed Dominic's guardian. (As a side note, this seems like speculation and I do not know if it is accurate. However, it is true that wait time for openings in residential facilities can be long, depending on one's locale.)
The nonprofit agency was then appointed Dominic's guardian. The agency did, in fact, find placement for Dominic in a group home. The agency has continued to serve as Dominic's guardian.
What is Nancy Pantoni's present goal? "'Ideally, I would like to be his guardian,' she said, 'and if that's not possible, at least have a guardian who will cooperate and honor family choices.' "
As an attorney who specializes in guardianship matters and elder law, I would like to give context to some of the issues raised in the article.
1. When should one seek guardianship of their adult, developmentally-disabled child?
When children hit maturity, they become legally responsible for their own financial and health care decisions. If parents feel that their child is not capable of making those decisions responsibly due to a disability, parents or any party interested in the child's welfare, can seek to have a guardian appointed.
A hearing is held in which a judge may appoint a guardian over the (adult) child.
2. What happens at the guardianship hearing?
Essentially, a guardianship hearing is a fact-finding mission by a judge. Specifically, the judge wants to see evidence that will prove: (a) whether the child, in fact, has a developmental delay that impedes his/her ability to make appropriate financial and health care decisions, and, if so, (b) which individual or organization is best suited to make those decisions for the adult child.
Often, parents will request to be appointed their child's guardian. Sometimes, though, due to extenuating circumstances, parents may request that a different individual or organization be appointed instead. Perhaps the parents simply feel that they cannot handle such a huge responsibility.
Sometimes, a judge may determine that the parents are not best suited to make their child's financial or health care decisions even though the parents want to.
3. What are the obligations and responsibilities of a guardian?
A guardian makes all of the individual's financial and health care decisions to the same extent that one is legally permitted to make those decisions for oneself (or for one's minor child). Additionally, a guardian has a fiduciary duty to the individual; that is, a duty of loyalty and an obligation to act only in the best interests of that individual.
Once, I was a guardian for an elderly woman. The woman, sadly, had a stroke and was transferred to the hospital in critical condition. The hospital staff turned to me and asked: Would I sign a DNR/DNI (Do Not Resuscitate/Intubate) form?
My ward had a grown son. He wanted me to sign the DNR/DNI. My ward also had a sister, and she did not want me to sign the DNR/DNI. However, neither the son's nor the sister's wishes were relevant. The only relevant issue was, What would my ward have wanted?
Similarly, if Dominic's guardian feels that it (the agency) is making medical decisions that serve Dominic's best interests, the guardian is not required to include Dominic's family in those decisions. A guardian might include family members in such decisions, but only to the extent that family members can assist the guardian in determining what the best interests of the ward actually are.
The same thing would apply to limiting the family's visits and phone conversations. Normally, one would think that more family interaction can only be good for a disabled individual. However, if the guardian feels that such interactions are harmful to Dominic, the guardian must act in Dominic's best interest -- and limit the interactions.
Of course, it is altogether possible that there are other reasons -- and not Dominic's best interests -- that are motivating the guardian, and that is what Dominic's mother must now demonstrate to the court. Unfortunately, though, as the article pointed out, such allegations are quite difficult to prove.
It is heartbreaking that Nancy Pantoni was apparently unaware of the possible ramifications of giving up the right to serve as guardian of her son. Contesting an adult child's guardianship is a whole lot messier for a parent than asking a court to be named your child's guardian in the first place.

Estate Planning: Financial elder abuse and undue influence

Estate Planning: Financial elder abuse and undue influence
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On Jan. 1, 2014, California amended its statutory definition of “undue influence” in section 15610.70 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
This new definition of “undue influence” applies both to “financial elder abuse” that affects the victim while alive and also to undue influence that affect the victim’s “testamentary dispositions” after death.
Until 2014, proving undue influence often entailed proving the abuse of a “confidential relationship,” i.e., a relationship in which the victim trusted and confided in the perpetrator, “for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage.”
Now, “'undue influence’ means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person's free will and results in inequity.”
“Excessive persuasion” does not require the existence of any relationship whatsoever between the perpetrator and the victim, although that is one of the specific factors to be considered.
The old focus on a confidential relationship was sometimes preventing enforcement of elder abuse cases where the perpetrator had no real relationship, certainly not a confidential relationship, with the elderly victim.
It is not always the case that a confidential relationship exists between the victim and the perpetrator.
Now what is necessary is to show that an “inequitable result” was obtained through excessive persuasion.
That is a facts and circumstances analysis that requires consideration of each one the following factors: (1) victim’s vulnerability; (2) the influencer’s apparent authority; (3) the actions or tactics used; and (4) the fairness of the results. Each factor is elaborated upon in the statute.
The new definition’s initial focus is on “excessive persuasion that overcomes a person’s free will.”
This derives from a long line of California decisions involving “will contests” where abnormal or excessive pressure either subverted or overcame the free will of the testator and resulted in a disposition contrary to what the testator would otherwise have done freely.
The definition’s back end focus is on “inequity” as the end result. However, “evidence of an inequitable result, without more, is not sufficient to prove undue influence.”
Otherwise, without that language, whenever one beneficiary inherited more than someone else who arguablely should have inherited as much it might be argued that such an uneven result is unfair, even if it was freely intended by the testator.
For example, take a father who leaves most of his trust estate to a favored child and less to other not as favored children.
The new definition applies both to abusive transactions that take effect during a victim’s lifetime and those that take effect at death.
These are very different spheres of abuse.
The former includes the scenario where the perpetrator, “[t]akes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.”
The second includes the scenario where the perpetrator coerces the elderly person into devising an estate plan that gift assets in a way that is not consistent with his free wishes.
Much remains to be seen as to how the statute will be applied by the courts. This is especially true in regards to what is considered to be an “inequitable result.”
Dennis A. Fordham, attorney (LL.M. tax studies), is a State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law. His office is at 870 S. Main St., Lakeport, California. Fordham can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 707-263-3235. Visit his Web site at .

The use of the ADA to quell overreaching guardianship proceedings

The use of the ADA to quell overreaching guardianship proceedings

by jmdenison
From: kenneth ditkowsky 
Sent: Apr 16, 2014 4:29 PM 
To: Eric Holder , Cook County States Attorney , Cook Sheriff , Edward Carter , Jo Anne M Denison 
Cc: Tim NASGA , Diane Nash , NASGA , probate sharks , Chicago Tribune , SUNTIMES , j ditkowsky , Harry Heckert , matt senator kirk 
Subject: Wholesale violations of the Americans with Disability Act on the 18th Floor of the Daley Center/and in the Probate Courts in general.
This morning in Federal Court this morning I was reminded by the words uttered by one of the attorneys for the IARDC in her statements to the Court that the Law of the Land is contained in the Americans with Disability Act and is being readily violated with impunity.
The ADA has three sections.   One of the sections is intended to protect the rights of disabled persons so as to minimize the effect of the disability on the American so affected.    If you read 755 ILCS 5/11a -3 (b) of the guardianship act you will find it totally consistent with the ADA.   However, as the attorney spoke in Court she made it very clear to me by her words and phrases that the policy of the Probate Court, the guardians (including the GALs) was to openly and notoriously ignore this prohibition and to declare as many seniors as totally disabled (whether disabled or not) so as to violate the intent of ADA.
The Executive Branch of Government (whether State or Federal) is by Constitutional duty required to enforce the laws, and in particular, discipline entities that ignore the law and act to deprive citizens of their protections.
Mr. Holder, I would appreciate your reading 755 ILCS 5/11a - 3 (b).    Take a look at the multitude of guardianship cases.   1) start with the CCP211 forms.    Check and see how many were proven by the standard of clear and convincing evidence?   2) TAKE A LOOK AT THE SUMMONS  = how many comply with the mandate fo 755 ILCS 5/11a - 10.   3) check and see how many cases that declare that the disabled person is totally unable to manage their affairs.  If you do an independent investigation I suggest you will find that most are totally over-stated [resulting in nefarious outcomes].   In one recent case after the son rushed into Court and obtained his mother totally disabled, she moved in with her estranged husband, went before a judge and got married.    The couple live quite well together - however from time to time the son locks them out of their apartment.   The couple change the locks are resume their lives as the son reaches out to the court to incarcerate his mother.
The slavery of the elderly must be stopped.  The United States of America has an obligation to protect its senior citizens from exploitation.   I call upon Mr. Holder and law enforcement to investigate this intolerable situation and prosecute the miscreants who are taking advantage of the elderly, violating ADA, and/or aiding abetting this violation of Constitutional Rights.   (A prime example is Mr. Eric Holder)
Ken Ditkowsky
jmdenison | April 17, 2014 at 3:28 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Illinois Victims and their Stories

Editor's note: In today's Trib obit section Your ProbateShark noticed the death of the 101 year old mother of Alice R. Gore's GAL.  This Shark wonders if the GAL's mother had to face the same indignities that  poor Alice was subjected too; having her gold teeth stolen, starved and dehydrated to death; alone without her family.  Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, 

New Illinois Victims and their Stories

Bev Cooper & Alice Gore
Alice Gore was living in an apartment building owned by Mr. Morris Esformes.  The apartment building was at Park Plaza, 6840 N. Sacramento, Chicago.  Alice was required to divulge her complete financial information when she moved into his facility.   

Alice had previously chosen her daughter, Bev Cooper, to be her power of attorney (POA) for health care and financial issues. Bev, in accordance with Alice’s wishes, had promised her mother she wouldn't place her in a nursing home, and would never make a decision to withhold medical treatment.   Bev visited her mom almost daily to help care for her mother’s needs . 

Bev has a daughter, Kimberly Cooper, who was born with infantile Autism; she spent her childhood in and out of 54 foster homes; she had well-documented psychiatric illness, and was diagnosed as a child with Schizophrenia and Borderline-Personality Psychosis with Suicidal Ideations.  This condition was known by both the Lake County and Cook County courts.  During the guardianship proceedings, Bev had provided the Cook County Court with the documentation of Kimberly’s severe mental incapacity, but the court refused to enter it into the public record.   Additionally, Bev believes that Kimberly receives disability benefits from the government; this could have been easily ascertained by the court. 

Karen Bowes was a business and family attorney for the Cooper family for 27 years.   She had represented Kimberly Cooper in the juvenile court of Lake County and was well aware of the psychiatric issues and legal issues that Kimberly Cooper endured during childhood. 

After Bev’s mother, Alice Gore, had moved into the Esformes building and divulged her financial records, Karen Bowes approached Bev.  Karen told Bev that she should go to court to seek guardianship of her mother, rather than relying on her Power of Attorney.   

Ms. Bowes stated to Bev that “Guardianship trumps Power of Attorney”, which is the opposite of what is stated by Illinois law.  Illinois law states that if a power of attorney is in place, a guardian is not required. 

Bev followed the advice of her long-time attorney.  Bev went to court to change her Power of Attorney to Plenary Guardian.    

On January 20, 2006:  petition for guardianship was entered.   

Karen Bowes sent an attorney named Miriam Solo to Alice Gore’s apartment.  Miriam Solo is a cousin of Morris Esformes, the apartment building owner who required that Alice divulge her complete financial information when she moved into his building. 

Miriam Solo interviewed Alice; Solo did not allow Alice’s daughter, Bev, to participate in the discussion, and closed the door so Bev could not hear the interview.  Karen Bowes told Bev that she did not really know Solo prior to these proceedings, and instructed Bev to pay Solo $500.00 for her attorney services. Bev was also instructed by Bowes that she didn’t need to attend court hearings.  

On January 24, 2006:  Miriam Solo was appointed by Judge Lynne Kawamoto to serve as Guardian ad Litem on the case. 

Karen Bowes apparently facilitated the appointment of Miriam Solo as GAL, telling Bev that Miriam Solo was just to be an attorney on the case.  It later became apparent to Bev that Bowes and Solo had a business relationship during the preceding ten years, despite Bowes having told Bev that she didn’t really know Miriam Solo.

Most, if not all, of Alice Gore’s financial records disappeared from her apartment building during this time frame.   Additionally, Karen Bowes elicited the legal help of Bruce Lange, an attorney/accountant who works for Harris Bank and Trust.  Lange and Bowes instructed Bev to make repeated trips to Alice Gore’s bank to secure Alice’s bank statements for them so they could determine Alice’s net worth.  Despite the fact that Lange was paid for his services as an attorney, he never supplied the court with the financial information that he and Bowes had obtained from Bev. 

On February 27, 2006: Kimberly Cooper, granddaughter was appointed as guardian of the person and estate for Alice Gore. 

Bev Cooper’s Power of Attorney was revoked. 

The court is aware Kimberly Cooper has a history of psychiatric illness. 

Subsequent to her appointment, Kimberly told her mother, Bev, that she intended to place Alice into Hospice, a decision that Alice had many times told Bev she did want not enacted.  Alice’s primary diagnosis was arthritis, and she had no qualifying medical diagnoses to support a DNR/Hospice order. 

Other medical decisions made by Kimberly were of concern to Bev, including the removal of the Alice’s gold teeth.  Additionally, Kimberly authorized the placement of a feeding G-tube, while the patient still had the ability to eat and drink without difficulty. 

Alice Gore, the ward, was removed from Esformes' apartment building to the Carlton on the Lake Rehabilitation Center at 725 W. Montrose in Chicago. 

Alice Gore was moved into a nursing home with which Esformes had ties, Lakeview Nursing Rehab, at 735 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL.  Michael Elkes was administrator at Lakeview Nursing Rehab at that time. 

Alice Gore's health declined in this facility.  When Bev requested an accurate weight on her mother, Michael Elkes contacted Miriam Solo.

Attempts by Bev to bring her concerns about her mother’s declining condition to the judge resulted in her being restricted from visiting her mother without supervision for a number of years.   

Rehab Assist, which is owned by Tom Kleinheinz, was assigned to supervise Bev when she visited her mother.  False statements were made by Rehab Assist to the judge about Bev’s interactions with her mother, resulting in further visitation restrictions.  Thomas Kleinheinz, owner of Rehab Assist, and his employees, Melody (last name unknown) and Ben Topp were all participants in these actions.
Full Article & Source:
New Illinois Victims and their Stories

In last ditch attempt, Anna Nicole Smith's daughter may still inherit millions

In last ditch attempt, Anna Nicole Smith's daughter may still inherit millions

By Heather Alexander | April 3, 2014 | Updated: April 3, 2014 8:22pm

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  • Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, is shown with her father, Larry Birkhead, in Los Angeles in 2013.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SONY) Photo: Michael Buckner
    Photo By Michael Buckner 
    Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, is shown with her father, Larry Birkhead, in Los Angeles in 2013. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SONY)
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  • Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, is shown with her father, Larry Birkhead, in Los Angeles in 2013.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SONY)
  • Anna Nicole Smith appears in probate court for a hearing on guardianship of her ailing husband, millionaire J. Howard Marshall, in 1995. She lost.
  • Smith fought for a piece of her late husband's fortune. She smiles for the cameras as she leaves court after the first day of jury selection in 2000.
  • Smith departs during a lunch break in jury selection.
  • Smith shows a photo of her late husband as she testifies to how much she loved him, during the trial in 2001.
  • Smith points to her late husband's son, E. Pierce Marshall, during testimony in 2001.
  • Smith wipes tears from her eyes in court in 2001.

A ruling in favor of awarding Anna Nicole's Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, tens of millions in court penalties is a step closer after a court hearing Monday in California.
A federal judge agreed with an argument to penalize the former Playboy model's stepson for alleged lying and cheating in court during the decade long battle over his oil tycoon father's fortune.
J. Howard Marshall died in 1994 at the age of 90, leaving behind an estimated $500 million to $1 billion.
His then 27-year-old wife of 14 months, Anna Nicole Smith, never saw a penny of his estate. Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall, argued that no changes were ever made to his father's will and no trust for Smith was ever put in place.
Smith died of a drug overdose in 2007.
E. Pierce Marshall died a year before Smith, but his estate may now have to pay out up to $44 million to Smith's daughter amid allegations that he destroyed evidence and lied in court, as well as deliberately depleting his father's accounts to deny the model any money.
Disrespect for authority
In 2004, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of E. Pierce Marshall claim on his father's money, but penalties for misconduct can be awarded years later.
A judge in California's Central District said Monday that he believes Marshall's estate does owe penalties as a result of "bad faith" actions. He also noted that he still had several "open questions" before any award is actually made.
Judge David Carter said in his original ruling last May that, "Pierce's bad faith conduct was too pervasive and too egregious to be ignored, despite the fact that he has since passed away."
Carter noted that acting on such misconduct is essential to the integrity of the legal system.
"It would promote disrespect for the authority of the federal courts to turn a blind eye to actions that so willfully and blatantly attempted to make a mockery of this justice system," Carter wrote.
"Tortuous conduct"
Despite his eventual win in the case, the details of the younger Marshall's misconduct have been well documented throughout the 20-year saga.
"Evidence of Pierce's tortuous conduct is legion," reads a court ruling dating back to 2002. "Acting in concert with (his lawyer), they backdated documents, altered documents, destroyed documents, suborned falsified notary statements, presented documents to J. Howard under false pretenses, and committed perjury."
California's Central District court also noted that it had been ruled that Marshall's actions were specifically designed to ensure all of his father's fortune remained in his own hands, away from his stepmother, referred to here by her real name, Vickie Lynn.
"(It was) all with the intent of denying Vickie the gift that J. Howard intended to make to her. Pierce was the primary beneficiary of these acts. Pierce had private investigators follow J. Howard when he left Texas to visit Vickie," documents continued, alluding to the fact that Marshall spent two years trying to ensure that his young stepmother got nothing.
Legacy for Dannielynn?
Lawyers for the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, to which her 7-year-old daughter Dannielynn is the sole heiress, have demanded sanctions be set at just over $44 million, the exact amount the estate had lost in a previous judgment.
On the other side, lawyers for Elaine Marshall, the widow of younger Marshall, said that amount is beyond the scope of civil penalties for misconduct and is just an attempt to recoup money they have already defended fairly.
"It is ... quite clear that Stern wishes this Court simply to re-impose the award he lost on the merits," said attorney G. Eric Brunstad in court documents, referring to Smith's former lawyer and partner, Howard K. Stern.
The question now is over just how much any sanction can be, the judge has already ruled it cannot be punitive, but civil. In other words, it must be based on real losses because of Marshall's misconduct, like extra time spent in court.
Smith's lawyers have said they don't mind the delay in any award. Philip Boesch told the National Law Journal, "He's dealing with pretty complex legal issues, and since this case has already been to the Supreme Court twice, we don't have a problem at all with him being cautious and careful."
A trial date has been tentatively set for April 29, according to the law journal.