CURTIS MALLET INTRIGUES
Our first case deals with multifaceted Curtis Mallet, New York City law firm partner intrigues. Curtis Mallet partner behavior is a casebook study of allegedly exploitive abuse of at least one senior citizen client and his estate. Approximately $24,000,000 worth of the Kevin J Collins estate assets has allegedly been converted into the possession and control of an entrusted Curtis Mallet partner and his family “in perpetuity”. Despite alleged conflict of interest, self-dealing, conversion and what may be at least one instance of outright theft, Curtis Mallet partner allegedly refuses to relinquish his trusteeship over the mishandled Collins estate. The Curtis Mallet partner in concern has an alleged checkered past.
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK:
CHARLES F. GIBBS and ROBERT W. SHEEHAN Plaintiffs,
-against- Index No. 37028/92
BREED, ABBOTT & MORGAN, and WHITMAN BREED ABBOTT & MORGAN Defendants.
Plaintiffs, Charles F. Gibbs (“Gibbs”) and Robert W. Sheehan (“Sheehan”) are attorneys who were formerly partners of defendant Breed, Abbott & Morgan (“BAM”), a New York City law firm. They withdrew from the firm in July 1991 and joined Chadbourne & Parke (“Chadbourne”), another New York City law firm.
In this action, plaintiffs seek to recover various sums of money that they allege are due to them pursuant to the BAM Partnership Agreement. BAM interposed an answer and counterclaims including defenses based on plaintiffs’ claimed breach of their fiduciary duties to BAM. BAM asserts that plaintiffs improperly solicited BAM clients, induced BAM associates to move to Chadbourne, misappropriated BAM property, improperly handled matters for certain BAM clients and disparaged BAM. BAM, in addition to asserting that the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty are a defense to plaintiffs’ claims, asserts that it is entitled to recover damages from plaintiffs because of their claimed breaches of fiduciary duty.
The issue of whether plaintiffs breached any fiduciary duties to BAM and its partners was severed and tried first before the undersigned without a jury. This decision relates to that issue. Plaintiffs’ claims and the balance of defendants’ counterclaims have been bifurcated and will be subsequently tried.
Sheehan alleged misappropriation in violation of fiduciary duty — He (Austin Willkie) testified that Sheehan spoke to him, denigrated BAM, and encouraged him to move to Chadbourne. … It is clear from the evidence that Gibbs and Sheehan arranged for the bulk of the staff of the T/E department to leave BAM and to move to Chadbourne. Effectively, this denuded BAM of a Trust and Estates Department. … After Sheehan left BAM for Chadbourne, Willkie stayed at BAM for a week to ten days. During this period, Sheehan called Willkie and asked him to obtain a list of trusts represented by BAM. Sheehan told him the name of the computer person to approach for the information. Willkie tried to get the list, but was unsuccessful. Apparently, the list was blocked from his view and he so told Sheehan. The court notes that Sheehan, as a former partner, no longer had any right to obtain this material, which was confidential to BAM and its clients. … BAM has proven that the desk files and the documents and letters contained therein were its property.
In 2000, an appellate court questionably reversed a trial court ruling that the two (Gibbs & Sheehan) had breached their duty by discussing plans to leave Breed Abbott and by taking files with them. The panel also upheld a finding that the two lawyers were liable for providing Chadbourne information on compensation and billing rates for Breed Abbott trust and estates personnel. Dated: September, 1998 ENTER: J.S.C
The New York Appeals Court incongruously ignored the fact that Robert W Sheehan failed receive a notarized or otherwise written consent from Kevin J Collins and suspected other Breed Abbott Clients when Sheehan unilaterally shifted Kevin J Collins accounts from Breed Abott to Chadbourne. From information and belief alleged fraudulent documents were causally presented to Chadbourne. For some unknown reason this subject was never broached by the New York Appeals Court. Ramifications of this New York Appeals Court highly controversial decision has causally continued to this very day.
While the above scenario was being played out within the New York State Appeals Court, Robert W Sheehan was continuing his alleged dubious behavior without fear of judicial retribution, somehow. Time and time again Robert W Sheehan has been involved in self-serving conflict of interest while continuing to shift present Curtis Mallet client Kevin J Collins estate assets. Curtis Mallet partner Robert W Sheehan continues shifting Kevin J Collins estate assets without written authorization, while delving into allegedly seamy self-serving conflicts of interest. We will see Curtis Mallet partner Robert W Sheehan allegedly continues to violate his fiduciary responsibilities towards at least one client with the knowledge and assent of Curtis Mallet. There is no room for mistake or inadvertence. Curtis Mallet has been forewarned but continues to ignore their fiduciary duty towards the Kevin J Collins estate recipients. What is the judicial reality to which Curtis Mallet predicates its reticence?
April 29, 2011
Attorney Joseph Pizzurro, Managing Partner
Curtis Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle
101 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10178-0061
Re: Kevin J Collins Revocable Trust managed by Curtis Mallet
Dear Attorney Pizzurro:
Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle (herein Curtis Mallet) law firm has been responsible for managing Kevin J Collins estate matters for more than a decade. Below is a chronology of compiled events with corroborating documents. We are requesting further documents pertaining to these events initiated by a … assigned to client Kevin J Collins. … Let us explain.
Initially, Kevin J Collins (herein Kevin) retained a specific — partner known to Kevin for management of Kevin’s estate. When this attorney accepted the position of Ambassador to Ecuador, — assigned Kevin to an employee lawyer. Kevin did not know this — employee before the lawyer was assigned to him. Another New York law firm, prior to his employ with Curtis Mallet, — this lawyer for known reasons. The Kevin J Collins Revocable Trust (herein TRUST) was subsequently created by Curtis Mallet within New York State and as such is a matter within public venue subject to both Federal and New York State scrutiny. New York State laws provide Curtis Mallet mandatory accountability and transparency with regard to the TRUST. This has not happened. Many of the continuing actions, but not necessarily all, mentioned herein occurred while a mentally unstable Kevin was on his Palm Beach, Florida deathbed and his wife Louise in Miami, Florida Mt Sinai Hospital intensive care. Let us explain briefly with but two instances. [Both Kevin and his beloved wife Louise were residents of of Florida and not New York state.]
Firstly, Curtis Mallet has attempted to circumvent their fiduciary responsibility to abide by the respective New York State and Federal laws in sending Louise G Collins (herein Louise, now wife of Herbert K Mallard) a dubious demand release absolving Curtis Mallet of their actions (see 2/23/11). Scrutiny of this Curtis Mallet release, as well as other documents, has shown a further pattern of suspect Curtis Mallet inconsistencies within the normal and correct revocable trust legal procedures. As such, the Kevin J Collins survivors reserve the right to litigate against Curtis Mallet if there have been acknowledged violations of the New York State and Federal revocable trust or other regulations. This includes tax liabilities, or lack thereof.
Secondly, a contentious Curtis Mallet partner, as sole trustee of the TRUST, urged both Louise G Collins and present husband Herbert to perjure themselves by signing false AFFIDAVIT OF SEPARATION Florida State documents (see 12/14/10). There can be no mistake or inadvertence since a Florida attorney paid by the TRUST communicated with the Palm Beach County tax officers on several occasions to perfect these false separation documents. A concerned Herbert, initially accompanied by Louise, had a series of meetings with Palm Beach County tax officers. The officers said the Curtis Mallet generated AFFIDAVIT OF SEPARATION documents were not meant for what Curtis Mallet was purporting. “There may be other negative consequences if the Curtis Mallet generated documents were signed.” Louise and Herbert refuse to perjure themselves by signing false Curtis Mallet generated Florida State AFFIDAVIT OF SEPARATION documents germane to nothing. Oh yes, Palm Beach County Florida tax authorities said the Louise and Herbert tax information completed by them during their marriage was proper. When the scheme was discovered, the Curtis Mallet partner allegedly urged Louise to keep the matter secret else Curtis Mallet initiate some Florida action against Louise and husband Herbert. [Again, Louise, Kevin and Herbert were all citizens of Florida.]
These continuing questionable Curtis Mallet opaque initiatives have caused a great deal of interest, necessitating this document demand to Curtis Mallet. Curtis Mallet has repeatedly ignored queries in the past opting for an evasive policy toward written document requests. Among other things, conversion comes to mind. At this juncture, we ask that Curtis Mallet provide Louise et al the following documents for presentation to council representing the interests of Louise, her present husband and pertinent others. It is of information and belief these documents should be in the public venue.
1 We ask for the New York State and United States Government mandatory written letter of authorization for the insinuation of a Curtis Mallet partner’s sons William and Thomas, “or the survivor of them” in perpetuity, as future sole TRUST trustees (Exhibit H).
2 A Curtis Mallet partner transferred the TRUSTs approximately $9,000, 000US stock account to his stockbroker/wealth manager son Thomas. Thomas was at the time an employee of Inverness Management of New York City. We ask for New York State and United States Government mandatory written letter of authorization shifting TRUST account assets.
3 Allegedly after Curtis Mallet partner and his son Thomas’s alleged conflict with Inverness Management, Curtis Mallet partner shifted the TRUST stock assets from Inverness Management to an alleged start-up company owned by son Thomas (see 7/20/10). Louise attempted to mail Thomas at his New York residence but it was sent back “no mail receptacle” (see 7/15/10).We would like the written letter of authorization allowing the shifting TRUST account assets.
4 In 2009 a Louise — Real Estate sales friend discovered Southampton County, New York was tax overcharging the [alleged] TRUST 1384 Meadow Lane, Southampton, NY (herein 1384) property. For more than a decade through incompetence, neglect or outright negligence Curtis Mallet did no due diligence. Despite Curtis Mallet being given the use of a Southampton attorney, Curtis Mallet refused to take action. April 11, 2011 Louise and Herbert received yet another solicitation (Exhibit J).This presently may spill over into gross negligence by Curtis Mallet. As such, we would like all Curtis Mallet legal fees, costs, correspondence and other documents pertinent to this specific TRUST 1384 tax matter.
5 Come January 1, 2011 New York State revocable trust regulations allowed the [alleged] TRUST to be dissolved in Louise’s favor. Curtis Mallet has acknowledged this matter orally to Louise. Curtis Mallet has repeatedly orally said Louise’s [alleged] TRUST rights had been terminated upon marriage to Herbert K Mallard on or about April 27, 2010. These declarations cannot be found in any written correspondence or documents from Curtis Mallet. We would like copies of these Curtis Mallet declarative documents.
6 In 2008 a Curtis Mallet partner took possession of Louise’s Florida registered Cadillac car while Louise was in hospital. This was done with neither Louise’s knowledge nor consent. We would like the letter of authorization allowing the Curtis Mallet transfer of title and possession of the car in conformity with Florida State law.
7 In 2008 a Curtis Mallet partner was witnessed rummaging within Kevin and Louise’s substantial sea front 101 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, Florida condominium. At that time the Curtis Mallet partner allegedly took some of Louise’s jewelry from her closet while she was in intensive care at Miami, Florida Mt Sinai Hospital and Kevin on his deathbed. We would like the letter of authorization allowing these acts to occur.
8 We would like the letter of authorization for Curtis Mallet hiring a Florida family lawyer to [allegedly] represent Louise against husband Herbert without known written consent.
9 We would like all legal fees and other charges billed to the [alleged] TRUST regarding Curtis Mallet’s continuing attempt to harass, intimidate, etc Louise and husband Herbert through the hiring of Palm Beach County lawyers seeking their separation and divorce(see 3/21/11 & 3/31/11).
These are some, but not necessarily all, of the documents to be requested in conformity with Florida and New York State law. We reserve the right to ask for other documents allowing transparency into Curtis Mallet continuing questionable actions.
We ask that any further communication from Curtis Mallet be in writing, especially from the partner and his above-mentioned family members, until council. These matters need to be addressed in a timely fashion. We await your timely written response, as well as the requested documents.
cc: et al
Shortly after this letter was sent Robert W Sheehan was allegedly promoted by the Curtis Mallet culture. He is now “Chair, Private Client Group & Chair Trusts and Estates Practice”. This letter was followed by the below letter. One must look deeply to realize the nuances and severity conveyed within this September 8, 2011. It is difficult indeed to fathom how Curtis Mallet can justify such behavior.
CURTIS MALLET LAWYER FORGES USA LAW SCHOOL GRADES
American Law reports: “Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle (lawyer) suspended from practicing law for three years for lying at just about every stage of his career. The attorney, Loren Friedman, appears to be a sad, remorseful man desperate to prove his worthiness. … He altered every completed grade, often inflating C’s to B’s, by simply whiting out the real grades and typing in new ones … Friedman eventually was admitted in both Illinois and New York, and he worked as an associate at Curtis Mallet in New York. … a former Curtis Mallet associate, testified that Friedman ‘has a very strong reputation for truth and veracity,’.” A1 This fraudulent Curtis Mallet lawyer represented sundry Curtis Mallet unknowing clients victims. Attorney Friedman and Curtis Mallet partners knowingly jeopardized their representations of Curtis Mallet client victims with alacrity. Every insinuation made into Curtis Mallet client cases should have been voluntarily exposed by Curtis Mallet to their client victims, opposing counsel, respective courts and the court of public opinion. From information and belief, it is alleged the forgeries were hidden from all. As we will see, this Curtis Mallet indifference towards violations and respect towards clients, courts, opposing councils et al continues to this day.
September 14, 2011
Attorney Joseph Pizzurro,
Curtis Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle
101 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10178-0061
Re: Kevin J Collins Revocable Trust managed by Curtis Mallet
Dear Attorney Pizzurro:
Your Curtis Mallet office has not responded to the April 29, 2011 request for documents pertaining to the Kevin J and Louise G Collins client matters. The pertinent Curtis Mallet partner is on record denying any knowledge of either the April 29, 2011 letter or its contents. Your Curtis Mallet office allegedly never told the partner, thus contravening customary law firm due diligence. Upon information and belief, this dismaying behavior is allegedly standard Curtis Mallet operating procedure when dealing with clients. As you readily know, I have the “power of attorney” capability to demand, among other things but not necessarily all, Curtis Mallet conform to Federal and New York State laws. The Curtis Mallet arrogance in ignoring the laws must be based upon some sort of judicial reality successful in the past. Trump may be the best suit. Again, we strongly request these documents from Curtis Mallet.
Our attention has been drawn to the New York Supreme Court public records. At least one law firm partner presently at Curtis Mallet has allegedly breached fiduciary relationships in the past. The Curtis Mallet partner allegedly destroyed or otherwise manipulated averse client related documents (see SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Charles F Gibbs and Robert W Sheehan v Breed, Abbott & Morgan, Index No. 37028/92). Upon perusing the case, we have found a similar Curtis Mallet pattern rife with alleged palpable conflicts of interest in and conversion of client Kevin J Collins family asset matters. We also see at least one Curtis Mallet partner on his 3rd known partnership willing to mimic previous stances by jeopardizing yet another law firm, Curtis Mallet.
We put Curtis Mallet on notice that we expect none of the requested Collins related documents will succumb to the same ending. In particular, we are concerned about the disposition of approximately $9,000,000 in liquid assets allegedly deviously wrenched from a respected and substantial international financial corporation, only to be given to a Curtis Mallet partner son’s start-up financial LLC (limited liability company) advisory to control. This Curtis Mallet self-serving conflict of interest was further accomplished without any written authorization from Collins family members. It was never the intent of the Collins family to unjustifiably enrich any Curtis Mallet partners and their families.
A New York City area initiated concerted and comprehensive law firm interview effort is underway, regarding the above-mentioned Curtis Mallet judicial reality, to determine the best course of action. We can see no further Curtis Mallet mistake or inadvertence justifications not to abide by United States Federal and New York State laws. We trust Curtis Mallet will answer this letter in a timely manner.
CURTIS MALLET HIRES ETHICALLY BANKRUPT BANKRUPTCY LAWYER
American Bar Association Journal reports: “Loren Elliotte Friedman is accused in a complaint filed May 6 by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He was listed as an associate at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle in New York on the firm’s website earlier Tuesday, but his name was removed by the afternoon. Joseph Pizzurro, managing partner of Curtis Mallet-Prevost, told ABAJournal.com that Friedman, a bankruptcy associate, disclosed the bar complaint to the law firm on Friday and submitted his resignation. The complaint says Friedman altered transcripts of his law school grades in 20 classes to reflect better grades than he received. … Pizzurro said he was shocked to learn of the ethics complaint. ‘I can’t say that this is something that anybody would have foreseen,’ he said. Pizzurro said he does not know if Friedman’s grades were altered in his application with Curtis Mallet-Prevost, but the law firm generally does not check the accuracy of law school transcripts. ‘We generally will take it at face value if someone submits what looks like an authentic transcript,’ he said. Curtis Mallet-Prevost performs the checks done by most law firms: It makes sure a lawyer is a bar member in good standing, and it checks references, according to Pizzurro. When asked if Curtis Mallet-Prevost would change its procedures because of the allegations, Pizzurro replied, ‘We’re going to have to give that some thought.’ ” A2 The continuing indifference of Curtis Mallet managing partner Joseph Pizzurro, ethics committee and other partners did no proper due diligence upon either Robert W Sheehan or Loren Friedman before hiring them to represent Curtis Mallet clients, however slight. The real travesty is how Joseph D Pizzurro personally has attempted to slither out of responsibility by saying it was a Curtis Mallet problem. This continuing Curtis Mallet culture ultimately jeopardizes their client, opposing councils, judicial et al victims. One cannot even guess as to how many Curtis Mallet clients have been victims of this type of dubious activity. It is known that it continues to this day. Robert W Sheehan was not fired but promoted after his ongoing questionable activities against client interests became evident. The now Curtis Mallet partner has long history of ongoing violations and questionable legal activities, some of which will be evident in future issues. The real travesty is the continuing deliberate disregard for clients by Curtis Mallet. It may be irretrievable within Curtis Mallet dubious culture.
If desired, readership need only google Robert W Sheehan, Curtis Mallet or Loren Friedman, Curtis Mallet as well as other firm lawyers to read true and correct ethical missteps interspersed between self-generated “accolades”.
Continuing legal opaqueness relies upon cronies responsible for regulating known Wall Street/Midtown fraudsters. Their success at hiding these initially questionable matters from the World seems to have abruptly changed for a while with the advent of highly respected Preet Bharara, USA Attorney for Southern District of New York (Manhattan). USA Attorney Bharara shuns the endemic cronyism that has allowed known Curtis Mallet attorneys Friedman and Sheehan to circumvent justice. Preet is creating feared transparency. From information and belief, the New York Attorney General’s office has been arms length quiet regarding the Sheehan actions. In deference, it is common for USA law firms to allegedly seek after the “special relationship” for favorable treatment. Influential law firms call it their game preserve and charge clients increase fees to utilize this “special relationship” capacity. This also hinders the lawyer/client that cannot afford this relationship.
Implicating audiotapes, exhibits and other evidence will be given to the readership in succeeding issues. Confidential comments as well as revelations will be readily accepted and appreciated. As recognized international journalists, we have a fiduciary relationship with our reliable sources. We cannot be forced in a United States court of law to divulge our sources.