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Open Letter to Marianne Espinosa, Esq.
 

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OPEN LETTER TO MARIANNE ESPINOSA

Formerly k/a Marianne Espinosa-Murphy

with Notifications to Others

By: Dorothy Mataras

 

Dear Ms. Espinosa:

 

This is to advise you that I listened to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing related to your judicial nomination interview.

 

The Public no longer has the right to protest a nomination

Your comments about me and your position as a defense attorney for four individual attorneys from the Carella, Byrne, Bain, Gilfillan, Cecchi, Stewart & Olstein were not only misleading but several of your statements were downright falsehoods. See Grievances against Murphy [the Attorney], Involving Case Fixing. I'm personally aware you didn’t adhere to court rules, rules of evidence or rules of professional conduct in the Mataras v. Carella Byrne et al case. I have a First Amendment right to let the public know. I believe they also have the right to know how the committee rules were deliberately altered to push through your nomination to the bench. Upon information and belief, the rules require one week notice so the public has an opportunity to express their views. In your case, your interview was scheduled around 2 P.M. Friday afternoon, June 24, 2005 for your Monday June 27, 2005 interview. I can only surmise it’s par for the course for the State of New Jersey – ignore the public as well as all rules.

 

Your Characterization: I Sued A Whole Bunch Of Lawyers???

Your comment to the Senators about me suing a whole bunch of lawyers is misleading. I was informed by my former attorney Robert B. Green as well as our legal ethics expert, Michael P. Ambrosio, Professor of law, that the NJ Rules require that everyone involved must be named. Please review the Entire Controversy Doctrine and relevant court rules that still exist although they were ignored in my malpractice lawsuit where you were one of the defense attorneys.

 

Personally, I still believe you had a serious conflict of interest in representing four individual lawyers as well as the law firm itself since they each had differing responsibilities. It isn’t my fault that the Carella Byrne firm kept changing attorneys in the survival/wrongful death action related to my husband’s untimely demise. It isn’t my fault they neglected to name my son and me as ‘parties in interest.’ It isn’t my fault that I wasn’t allowed in Judge Napolitano’s courtroom when the settlement was put on the record in violation of related court rules. It wasn’t my fault that your clients ignored my right to be informed of the final settlement. At no time did you introduce any evidence that two of your clients, Judith Heim or John Agnello, contacted Mr. Green related to the settlement. I was never sent a copy of the settlement order and never asked to sign any releases. If you deny these statements, please supply me with documentation that so far has not been introduced in any court or to any other official agency.

 

Where is any mention anywhere on the official records that someone in the Carella firm forged my endorsement on a final settlement check to hide the truth of the settlement from me? It took a lot of persistence on my part to obtain a copy of this check and was totally shocked to see the forgery. See Exhibit 1. I sort of expected to see an attorney’s signature or initials, anything but not a forgery. If they had followed the rules, they would have sent the check to me to sign together with notification of the final settlement and a financial statement. Where is my notification Ms. Espinosa? You never included one in any of your court filings.

 

The Settlement of the survival/wrongful death action:

Where was Mr. Green the two days of settlement negotiations? He filed affidavits as to his whereabouts backed up by an affidavit from another attorney he was working with at the time. He swore he wasn’t aware of the final settlement and stated that no one from the Carella firm called him. I know he wasn’t involved because I was in the court house with my son and your client, Judith Heim of the Carella firm -- our only attorney of record at that time. The judge, Andrew Napolitano, kept the entire family out of his courtroom contrary to the rules related to settlements that are put on the record. My minor son was also in the courthouse and he knows Green wasn’t there. How much evidence is required to overcome Heim’s false certification and your total reliance upon it? Doesn’t ‘candor to the court’ mean anything? Why aren’t both sides of a dispute allowed to be heard in New Jersey? Why are certified documents suddenly missing from the court's files as if they never existed?

 

See the copy of the 3 page transcript of the settlement Exhibit 2 and its subsequent Order as Exhibit 3. Can you read who was involved? Where is my name or Green’s name? You were fully aware that neither of us knew about the real settlement until 10 months after the fact and we had to learn about it from an adversary defense attorney. You were fully aware that Napolitano took over the malpractice case although he was a witness to the underlying death action because he was the judge that kept the family out of the courtroom. There’s no question you preferred to believe Judith Heim’s false certification despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary. I believe that’s why you went after Green with your extortionate demands for his recusal. In my opinion, your phony shock when he would not capitulate to what amounted to blackmail is just that, phony. At my request, he sued you in a fourth party complaint with the appropriate summons, something you didn’t bother doing when you sued him as a third party defendant. You ignored the court rules in that instance too. You never served me; the plaintiff thus avoided the summons and my ability to respond. As I recall, didn’t you do the same thing in another case?

 

Green’s involvement as a conduit:

You informed the Senate Committee Green was a conduit, which is nothing more than a ‘conveyor of information.’ Yes, in May 1991 I asked Green to go with me to talk to the Carella attorneys because they wouldn’t respond to me or give me any information and I was moving out of state. Unfortunately, they did the same thing to him so nothing was ever resolved. One of your clients, Judith Heim, told him to leave her alone and he complied. She also told me to leave her alone and I complied until she wanted my son and me to meet her in the courthouse for an alleged trial. She called the conduit, Green, to tell him to call me to inform me a trial was scheduled and both my son and I were expected to be there. She could have sent me a letter to avoid speaking to me. In the end, it became a two day settlement conference with the entire family kept outside of the courtroom.

 

After the settlement was put on the record without my knowledge, I received letters from Heim and Agnello. See Exhibit 4 from Heim and Exhibit 5 from Agnello. Funny isn’t it? Why didn’t they write to my conduit? If he was my attorney, why didn’t they write to him or at least copy him? Napolitano in the end claimed Green was my attorney at settlement. So, which is it, was he nothing more than a ‘conduit’ or was he on the record at the settlement? Do you contend the settlement court transcript and subsequent order are forgeries?

 

All documented exhibits were on file in the malpractice case while Napolitano reigned over it in addition to numerous other documents that implicated him. Especially appropriate is Napolitano’s fax to me ordering me to sign Green’s name. Was I right to refuse or do you think that’s okay for a judge to demand?

 

Wrongful Death/Survival Action:

Another question: Why did your clients send money to S. George Greenspan, the attorney who was supposed to be handling all matters related to me in the Estate? Why didn’t they send a payment to Green, Ms. Espinosa? The law required that they pay all attorney fees out of the settlement money. There might be a case against not paying a ‘conduit’ but then you would have had a problem related to suing him.

 

Why did you tell the Judiciary Committee that Green was at all the hearings when you knew he was not? Why isn’t he at the oral hearing as shown by the March 31, 1995 Order exhibited here as Exhibit 6? Why wasn’t I notified there would be an oral hearing? It was your law firm that prepared the order even though you didn’t believe in mailing copies in a timely fashion. Why didn’t I receive a copy of the Order pursuant to the 5 day rule so I could file an objection?

 

Where’s That Summary Judgment Order Ms. Espinosa?

You informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that you received a summary judgment order against me. To date, you have never sent me a copy of the alleged summary judgment order conforming to the rules of court, specifically R. 4:42-1. Form; Settlement. According to court records it was granted on March 24, 1995 but it was never filed and I never received a copy. According to the appellate court there is also a transcript I was never allowed to see specifically reciting the rubric required when any judge grants summary judgment. The appellate court opined that: “the trial court properly granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's third amended complaint because plaintiff's competent evidence submitted did not raise a genuine issue as to a material fact.” Where is that transcript? Where is any mention that Napolitano refused to allow discovery?

 

Another Missing Signed Order!

Where is Napolitano’s signed order denying my motion for his recusal? I followed the court rules and submitted certifications related to his involvement in the underlying case, how he continually kept me out of his courtroom, refused to allow me to attend hearings, threatened me on the phone, ordered me to sign Mr. Green’s name on a document he sent me via fax. You filed a response to my motion for Napolitano’s recusal. You see Ms. Espinosa; people like me believe they’re supposed to follow the rules and the law while others in position of power have no such limitations. People like me also believe the NJ Statutes are to be followed; not consistently ignored. Yes, I may have made some mistakes, but nothing of a critical nature, while you ignored most of the rules and laws.

 

Jurisdiction:

Since the appellate court didn’t seem to require a signed order related to Napolitano’s recusal one wonders what the rules mean that they can only rule on signed orders. It is still my opinion that Napolitano did not have legitimate jurisdiction. One has to wonder how the appellate court could have had jurisdiction over Orders that I could never appeal because I didn’t have them. If Napolitano followed the court rules, he was supposed to decide the recusal motion and sign an appropriate appealable order together with an explanation for his denial. Do you have a copy of such a signed Order? I’d love to see it.

 

The Estate:

All my extensive efforts to locate the appropriate court documents related to your false statements remain unaccounted, including my husband’s estate filings that actually didn’t concern you. Once again, I had no choice over who to sue because of New Jersey’s rules. My original attorney, S. George Greenspan was involved in the estate and also in the death action; he became the tie that forced me into the State court instead of going after your clients in Federal Court. I would have definitely preferred the Federal courts.

 

You couldn’t resist mentioning the estate to the Committee as if the estate was done in a legitimate manner. You seemed to believe there were three executors – there was only one. But then you might have to explain how the Carella firm eventually represented my three step-sons to my detriment after I discovered their cover-up of the settlement.

 

Retainer Agreement:

Your clients insisted I had to sign the retainer agreement individually and as custodian of my minor son. The only executor of the estate, my eldest step-son also signed but only individually. See Exhibit #7 (coming). My other two step-sons did not have to sign anything. Speaking of agreements, I never agreed to Green representing me in the death action and there was never a signed substitution of attorney. How do you explain this Ms. Espinosa? Do you have any signed releases from me? If not, why not?

 

Missing Court Documents in Three Cases:

See Exhibit #8 for a listing of court documents that remain concealed from me. I’ve sent the list to various authorities including the NJ Supreme Court but all requests are ignored. Unfortunately, the Senate didn’t include the courts in OPRA. My goodness, my son and I have even been accused of filing all sorts of lawsuits and appeals that simply never happened, at least not to my knowledge. My son was NEVER a litigant in the state of New Jersey but has orders against him, how did that happen Ms. Espinosa? Why were you including him? When did you file a motion to bring my minor son into the case as a plaintiff or defendant? The court records show he’s both a plaintiff and a defendant without explanation.

 

Your Ex-Parte hearings with Judge Napolitano:

Really, Ms. Espinosa, how could you tell such bald faced lies that Mr. Green was at all the hearings? He WAS NOT and NEITHER WAS I.

 

The Court records confirm that there was a non-scheduled hearing related to your proposed Order and my attorney’s motion to amend the Fourth Party Complaint against you. Judge Ciolino postponed the hearing. Without notice to all litigants Napolitano took it over. He signed the order dismissing my attorney prior to the five day rule on August 5, 1994. On the same day, without any notice to Green or me, he dismissed the motion to Amend the Fourth Party Complaint. Obviously, Green corrected the original Fourth Party Complaint to conform to the law you wanted. Now if there was a legitimate open hearing maybe the truth would have prevailed but we’ll never know because of the manner in which the case was fixed to benefit you and your clients.

 

Ms. Espinosa, I believe you were threatening Mr. Green to have him thrown off the case based on Heim’s statement that he was at the settlement. In my opinion, it was not only a fraud, it was a form of blackmail and most definitely unethical. Why shouldn’t Mr. Green’s sworn statement hold as much weight as your client? What about my sworn statement and the affidavit of yet another attorney that had nothing to do with the case. You had nothing but Heim’s statement while we had the weight of evidence on our side. Something that didn’t sit well with you, your clients and Napolitano. Ironically, at the open hearing on July 29, 1994 Napolitano admitted on the record that Green was not at the settlement. The reason he gave for dismissing him was that you wanted to ‘impeach me’ through him. Isn’t that what the transcript states Ms. Espinosa?

 

So how in the world at your last ex parte hearing with Napolitano (allegedly March 30, 1995) did he conclude that Green was at the settlement? This is what happens when attorneys and judges violate the laws and rules to fix a case. It can’t be explained except to perpetuate more and more falsehoods and in the end they start contradicting each other. One doesn’t have to worry about trying to cover up one lie with another when the truth is on their side. The order proving neither Green nor I were at the open hearing is Exhibit 6 herein.

 

An Appellate Court Contradiction involving you:

“Further, although no formal application had been made, the trial court granted Carella Byrne's oral application for attorney's fees as a sanction against plaintiff for filing frivolous pleadings.”

Now you should know the rules and law Ms. Espinosa. You were required to file a separate motion with certifications and I was supposed to be allowed to respond and entitled to an open hearing. No such Motion was filed; yet you received a signed Order against me for filing what Napolitano claimed was a frivolous complaint. Where’s the Show Cause Order Ms. Espinosa? How can I respond when you go to the judge behind my back?

 

The appellate court has a different take when it came to Mr. Drasco’s cross-appeal on behalf of my step-sons (one executor & 2 in the same position as my son and me) the court took a different stance and actually cited existing law. They opined: “pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:15-59.1(c), a formal application had to be made, after which plaintiff would be entitled to a hearing. See McKeown-Brand v. Trump Castle Hotel & Casino, 132 N.J. 546, 559, 626 A.2d 425 (1993) (citing Fagas v. Scott, 251 N.J. Super. 169, 221, 597 A.2d 571 (Law Div. 1991)). Why are you treated differently Ms. Espinosa? You’re exonerated for not filing a formal application but it’s a different story for another set of defendants.

 

Although it didn’t involve you, the appellate court had another serious contradiction. I remind you that the attorney that handled my husband’s estate admitted he never contacted me, never sent me a copy of the will, and admitted he never did an accounting. He asked Napolitano for permission to do an accounting and I was all for it. Yet, Napolitano ignored all the laws and rules related to estate accountings. Then we have the appellate court who seemed to want it to appear there was an accounting, but in order to create that illusion they made contradicting statements: (a) “plaintiff received the full amount of all probate and estate monies properly due and owing to her;” (b) “plaintiff did not receive any of the assets from decedent's estate,” and (c) *** she received more than she was entitled to as a matter of law.” These statements literally defy logic and common sense.

 

When you are again a Judge Ms. Espinosa:

When you are a judge are you also going to help certain litigants fix cases? A person has to live through the experience to comprehend how it all works. It’s rather simple, certain lawyers and judges just ignore the rules and laws and do whatever you choose including holding hearings without notice to the plaintiff. The public should be made aware of these types of cases so they don’t have any illusions that the New Jersey Judiciary adheres to the ‘rule of law’ and gives all persons due process.

 

 

EXHIBIT 1

FORGED SIGNATURE

FRONT OF SETTLEMENT CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO THE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE, DOROTHY MATARAS & THE CARELLA FIRM,

Forged endorsement on settlement check

Blow up of forged signature

(real signature is not shown for obvious reasons)

 

EXHIBIT 4

Judith Heim letter to Dorothy after Settlement, no copy to the conduit, Green

EXHIBIT 5

John Agnello letter to Dorothy after Settlement, no copy to the conduit, Green

 

 

 

 

"

Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected.  And if these, or either of them, are regulated by no certain laws, and are subject to no certain principles, and are held by no certain tenure, and are redressed, when violated, by no certain remedies, society fails of all its value; and men may as well return to a state of savage and barbarous independence."

--Joseph Story--

 

 

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INAUGURATED ON: June 30, 2005
Updated on: 11/19/2009