NXIVM started the lawsuit against Rick Ross, Stephanie Franco and her parents, 14 ½ years ago. It began in the United States District Court (USDC) for the Northern District of New York (which is based in Albany, NY) and switched to USDC in Newark NJ.
It was called NXIVM Corp. v. Ross – Civil Action No. 03-0976
Over the course of the lawsuit, NXIVM has retained a total of 10 law firms, and subsequently, relieved eight of them.
The only two law firms still standing are Tompkins, McGuire, Wachenfeld and Barry LLP and the Crockett Law Firm.
On October 18, 2017, the New York Times published a front-page article on the practices of NXIVM and Raniere. It included reports of female members providing incriminating information and/or nude photographs as “collateral” – and female members being branded with Raniere’s initials: KR.
These revelations led to scrutiny of NXIVM and Raniere, including an episode of 20/20 that was entirely devoted to the organization.
The New York Times further reported in December that NXIVM leaders were being criminally investigated by the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of New York. The Albany Times-Union also reported that the criminal investigation includes examination of its “business dealings, including its practice of recruiting members from abroad.”
These disclosures have significantly impacted Raniere/NXIVM’s ability to perjure themselves in court and may prevent Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman from appearing at the Franco trial as witnesses because law enforcement officials will likely attend to see if any disclosures are made regarding criminal activity.
For nearly 15 years, NXIVM has harassed Franco with vexatious litigation, costing her and her family personally and financially. NXIVM dragged out the resolution of the case with their constant change of counsel, flip-flopping of damages theory, and “guerrilla litigation” tactics .
Franco incurred significant time and expense preparing for trial. More importantly, Franco’s parents Mr. and Ms. Sutton, died during the case – as named defendants.
The case is unprecedented in the length of time it has been active at the trial court level and the amount of resources it has required the Courts to expend.
Now, maybe as soon as February 6th, this case will come to a close – and justice or karma will have its way.