Yesterday [Jan 5, 2018}, NXIVM lawyer Robert Crockett wrote to inform United States District Judge Katharine S. Hayden that, in the case of NXIVM V. Franco, his clients cannot go forward with the trial because he cannot try the case in person.
Earlier this week, Frank Report revealed that Crockett requested an adjournment of the January 16, 2018 trial date because of the fact that due to recent eye surgery to re-attach the retina to his right eye, he risked blindness by traveling from California to the Newark, New Jersey courthouse where the trial will be held. Crockett has represented NXIVM for nine years.
The judge refused to adjourn the case which is now in its 15th year of pre-trial.
In his “Declaration and Notice of Unreadiness of Counsel for Trial” Crockett wrote, “It is with great regret that I must inform the Court that NXIVM will not be ready for trial on the scheduled date…. I asked if [I] could at least cross the Continental Divide at 4000 feet. My doctors have advised that my recovery from said surgery precludes me from exceeding 2000 feet without risking blindness until a gas organic ball in my eye is fully absorbed. That date is approximately six weeks from December 16, 2017….
“I have fully advised my client that the likely outcomes [of not proceeding with the trial] are (a) the Complaint will be stricken, (b) a default granted on the Cross-complaint, (c) proveup on the Cross-complaint, and (d) costs and damages awarded….
“… recently deceased [NXIVM attorney] Bill McGuire and I worked together for many years developing the case, understanding the facts and preparing for trial…. I made no effort to bring any other lawyer up to speed to handle the case because I was in perfect health, run 100-mile races and marathons, have an active practice, manage a law practice of several lawyers in California, have plenty of experience in jury trials and federal cases, and there appeared to be no prospect of an inability to get in a plane or train or car to come to New Jersey…. the NXIVM Parties are not prepared to proceed to trial in my absence as primary counsel.
Corckett indicated he needed a minimum three week adjournment.
The full name of the case is Nxivm Corp. (formerly known as Executive Success Programs Inc.) and First Principles, Inc. Plaintiffs, v. Morris Sutton, Rochelle Sutton, The Ross Institute, Rick Ross (a/k/a “Ricky” Ross), Stephanie Franco, Paul Martin, Ph.D., and Wellspring Retreat, Inc. Defendants. AND Rick Ross, Counterclaim-Plaintiff, – against Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Kristin Keeffe, Interfor, Inc., Juval Aviv, Jane Doe, and John Does 1-10.