One more lawyer for Nancy – top criminal defense lawyer David Stern; NXIVM lawyers now total 18 [and counting]

The time has come for Nancy Salzman to sing.

Well known New York City criminal defense attorney, David Stern is representing Nancy Salzman and appeared with her at her arraignment. Also representing Nancy is former US Attorney Michael Sullivan.

Sullivan represented Keith Raniere prior to his arrest. He was the lawyer who, as improbable as it sounds, was unable to find out that Keith Raniere was under investigation by the EDNY DOJ –  because, according to Raniere’s lawyers in his unsuccessful bail package application, he only called the NDNY DOJ.

Nancy Salzman with one of her attorneys, David Stern

David Stern is a bona fide criminal trial lawyer. He has tried over 100 criminal cases in state and federal court, including three federal capital murder cases to verdict.   Stern began his career as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan Criminal Defense Office where he remained for 11 years.

He then founded a partnership with Franklin RothmanJeremy Schneider, and Robert SolowayRothman, Schneider, Soloway & Stern, LLP.  His practice focuses on the defense of serious federal criminal cases, including capital murder, terrorism, and racketeering cases.  He often serves as “learned counsel” in serious federal felony cases in which the accused faces the possibility of execution.  Stern has represented clients facing the possibility of capital punishment in more than 25 federal capital cases.

With the addition of David Stern, the phalanx of NXIVM lawyers now stands at 18.

Here is the list [and I expect it to grow]:

Keith Alan Raniere
1 Marc Agnifilo – Brafman & Associates, P.C.
2 Paul DerOhannesian II – DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian
3 Danielle R. Smith – DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian
4 Jacob Kaplan – Brafman & Associates, P.C.
5 Teny R. Geragos – Brafman & Associates, P.C.
6 Brian Poe – Fort Worth, TX

Allison Mack
7 Steven Kobre
8 William F. McGovern
9 Sean S. Buckley

Clare Bronfman
10 Dennis Burke –Ballard Spahr
11 Susan R. Necheles – Hafetz & Necheles LLP
12 Kathleen E. Cassidy – Hafetz & Necheles LLP
13 Gedalia Stern – Hafetz & Necheles LLP

Nancy Salzman
14 Michael J. Sullivan
15 David Stern

Lauren Salzman
16 Hector J. Diaz – Quarles & Brady, LLP
17 James L. Burke – Quarles & Brady

Kathy Russell
18 William Fanciullo [former Assistant U.S. Attorney.]

This list does not count lawyers who are representing NXIVM members who have not yet [and may not be] indicted – such as Emiliano Salinas, Nicki Clyne, Rosa Laura Junco, Edgar Boone, Jim Del Negro, Michelle Salzman, Ben Meyers, Steve Ose, etc..

If ever Clare Bronfman enjoyed having lawyers galore – as she likely did when she was paying to sue [and/or indict] Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, John Tighe, Barbara Bouchey, Rick Ross, Susan Dones, Kim Woolhouse, Yuri Plyam, Natalia Plyam, Juval Aviv, Morris Sutton, Rochelle Sutton, Stephanie Franco, Conde Nast, The Albany Times Union, James Odato, Suzanna Andrews, Metroland, AT&T, Microsoft, Continental Airlines, Trump Towers, Paul Martin, PhD., John Hochman M.D., Interfor, Doug Rutnik, Denise Polit, Sitrick and Company, Canaprobe, Kristin Keeffe, Global Technologies, Sarah Edmondson, Toni Zarratini, Catherine Oxenberg, myself, and others  – she must really be living it up now.

Think of it – Clare has 18 lawyers – that she and very likely her sister, Sara Basit-Igtet, are paying  – and the prosecution has only four attorneys-of-record on the case.

Richard P. Donoghue – U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York
Moira K. Penza – AUSA (Criminal Division)
Tanya Hajjar – AUSA (Criminal Division)
Karin K. Orenstein – AUSA (Civil Division)

That’s the kind of odds Clare likes – 18 against 4. She loved to outspend her opponents with her old phalanx of attack-dog lawyers – and simply spend them into submission with meaningless legal filings and appeals.  Only this time, the government seems to be able to match her filing for filing – which, for Clare, must not seem to be very fair.

Clare has one consolation: She is in the arena she loves so well. It has long been her preferred method of torture and conquest. As one of Clare’s own lawyers, Susan Necheles, pointed out – no, it’s not violent to use the courts to destroy others through abusive litigation practice.

Let’s see how it works in reverse.



Happier days: Clare Bronfman in 2009 during the time when she was bringing in the Dalai Lama to promote world peace and suing Barbara Bouchey to destroy her – utilizing perjury by making false claims that Bouchey and others tried to extort her.

Allison Mack flanked by two of her lawyers.

The lovely lady who reaped this joy – Clare Bronfman.

With 18 lawyers billing hourly – probably averaging more than $500 per hour each – and working an estimated 40-80 billable hours per month each – it may cost as much as $700,000 per month to pay for all of them.

It seems almost certain that Sara Bronfman-Igtet is now helping fund the litigation. [It is not known if Carlos Salinas is helping out at all.]

It was curious that Sara did not come  – the one with the actual wealth – for the bail hearing – but sent her penniless husband [Sara put a few assets in their joint names] and her mother.

In Clare’s heyday of lawsuits, she did not need this many lawyers to be happy. But joy evolves does it not?


This is a slide from a presentation from Vanguard Week, a now-defunct annual 10-day birthday celebration of the nativity of Keith Alan Raniere. Never was the caption more true: “And because of you, Vanguard, we experience life more joyfully…”  I know 18 lawyers who agree with that sentiment precisely.


For more on Clare and Keith’s lawsuits see:

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Frank Parlato


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  • Just keep posting Scott’s address on the internet. That seems to annoy him quite a bit.

    3241 Portside Lane
    Plano TX 75023

    Plus, with all the people he loves to piss off – Someone might just visit him

  • I think Scott Johnson and shadowstate1958 is the same person. Twice the attention and twice the BS

  • These attorneys are swimming in a shark pool, they smell blood and come running. The thing is, in the end, it doesn’t matter who’s blood they dine on, this time it’s Clare and Co. who are the dinner. I’m particularly enjoying these articles, but still holding my breath – it’s hard to believe that these people are even indicted much less going to prison. I will believe that when I see it.

    • It is like there is some underlying fear that they are going to get away with it the way they always used to, and I do think it affects peoples’ willingness to talk about what they have been through.

      I take comfort that I believe things are changing. More light is being shown on things in general, and more people are being held to account, and I hope that continues to escalate.

  • shadowstate1958 – you appear to be taking on Scott Johnson (who is on his best behavior in this post – so far) place for the most annoying postings.

    I have some great friends who happen to be lawyers. Not all are scumbags and I personally find offensive.. Your jokes are a waste of space/time for those that come to this blog.

    How about you tone it down and write about what is important in this case.

    People can Google jokes about lawyers if they want to read them, we are not here to give you the attention you seem to need.

    • Thank you Shadowstate has certainly become quite annoying. I am here to be informed not to listen to an old fart obsessed with young women become a failed comedian.

      • I bet Shadow would have given his right nut (assuming he has one) to be with Allie and India last August as they watched Nicki C. perform on stage at the Saratoga Springs comedy club. It was August 24th 2017 Shadow. sorry you missed it. They have open mike every thursday, so give it a spin. You could also sit in the same seat India and Allison sat in. You would need a years supply of Viagra after that.

        • The only hilarious thing about Nicki Clyne’s stand up comedy is how bad it is, a fact that even Ms. Clyne acknowledges.

          Good stand up comedy comes from a sense of being an outsider, of being persecuted and the comedy is actually a defense mechanism. A survival mechanism.
          That’s why Jews dominate stand up comedy.
          Jews were even more persecuted in Eastern Europe than in Germany.

          Nicki Clyne is too whitebread, too normal to do good stand up comedy.
          She’s a white girl from suburban Vancouver.
          If Raniere knew anything he would never have encouraged Nicki Clyne to be a stand up comedian.

          Definition of white-bread
          : being, typical of, or having qualities (such as blandness) associated with the white middle class

      • The only failed comedian in NXIVM is the stand up comedian Nicki Clyne, aka Mrs. Allison Mack.
        BTW Ms. Clyne also allegedly participated in the branding of DOS slaves at Mack’s direction.

        Apparently audiences didn’t find anything funny about women being branded like cattle.

    • How do you keep a lawyer from drowning? Take your foot off his head.

      Are you offended? Boo-hoo, my heart bleeds for you. Piss off, snowflake.

      • These sheltered people have never had the dubious pleasure of dealing with lawyers.

        I’ve dealt with them on a wide range of issues, entirely civil.

        It was never very pleasant.

    • William Shakespeare wrote on the issue of lawyers over 400 years ago.

      “Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a line from William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2. The full quote is “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.[1] It is among Shakespeare’s most famous lines,[2] as well as one of his most controversial,[3] and has been used as the title of movies[4] and books.[5] Shakespeare may be making a joke when character “Dick The Butcher” suggests one of the ways the band of pretenders to the throne can improve the country is to kill all the lawyers.

      I am sorry that you would probably find one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines to be an insult to lawyers.

      FYI most lawyer jokes come from lawyers.

  • You missed Alex Betancourt as NXIVM member who have not yet indicted, .– such as Emiliano Salinas, Rosa Laura Junco, Edgar and Omar Boone, etc. They are as soft dangerous as Keith Lauren, Nancy and the Brofmans; except that they were acting in their Mexican corrupt field…and Salinas it’s the Master of Master of the Mob. Must be indicted…they made so much harm to many.

  • One might think that my slew of lawyer jokes is being mean to lawyers.
    But ask yourself this question:
    At any point were Raniere and Bronfman unable to hire a lawyer to file bogus, asinine lawsuits to harass people?

    They even found a lawyer to file an asinine lawsuit against A,T & T and Microsoft claiming that Raniere invented teleconferencing.
    A man who slept all day and caroused around all night.

    I’m not being harsh enough on lawyers.

    • A nervous woman frantically asks her doctor, “Can I get pregnant through a— intercourse?
      “Certainly,” the Doctor replied. “Where do you think lawyers come from?”

  • John Tigue said that Kristin Kreuk performed a NXIVM inspired play for Nancy Salzman on her birthday.

  • Doesn’t Michael Sullivan have a conflict representing Nancy Salzman? In that he previously represented Raniere? Part of Nancy’s defense might be to point fingers at others, including Raniere. Sullivan can’t do that, ethically.

    Where is Karen Unterreiner? Maybe Laura Darby knows…

    • Lawyers have no conflict, it’s all about going for the money. When I was sued by Amway, the lead lawyer was a dirtbag by the name of Charles Bundren, who was recommended to me by another lawyer who worked with him when Amway sued a group of Amway distributors he was associated with. I told him that I couldn’t hire Bundren, he had flipped 180 degrees. Charles was a relatively high level Amway distributor under a guy by the name of Kelly Rogers, an Amway diamond now serving 20 years for stealing money from others, including much of his Amway downline, in a fake oil drilling scam. You can’t make this stuff up, or at least whatever you make up would be lame compared to the truth.

      • I still think that if Sullivan, in the course of defending Nancy, impugns Raniere, a former client, it would be a conflict of interest. Lawyers ethically are not supposed to flip and go after their own former clients. Maybe that’s why Nancy brought in another lawyer – just speculating. I don’t care too much – they should all get a vigorous defense as per the American system; I just don’t want to see the prosecution bought off or intimidated. I don’t think that will happen here.

        Raniere could file a complaint with the State Bar Association, if need be! 🙂

          • We are having this Amway in Russia.FSB visit for no pay taxes,I know this thing.Sister of Boris is selling for many years but make no money.Spasibo!

    • Good Evening, OCD. I have not seen hide nor hair of Karen since the French documentary crew was in town and she drove off in her vehicle. Her curtains (they actually look like a sheet) are pulled down once again. That is not to say that she has not gone into her unit, or her car is garaged at #3 Flintlock, I just haven’t seen her myself.

      I was just thinking about Karen today and realized she has no one left from the old days really and is ripest for the flip: Keith is in jail. Barbara Jeske and Pam Cafritz are deceased. Kristin Keefe defected, Toni Natalie long gone and there you have your core originals from the CBI days. From the earliest days of NXIVM, you have Nancy Salzman also indicted. The only other old timers might be Dawn Morrison, Esther Chiappone and Jim Del Negro. Being an outsider I do not know what her relationship was if any with Clare or Sara Bronfman, nor with any of the other “high rank” who are left.

    • I’ll bet Karen Unterreiner is cooperating.
      I’ll also bet that Kathy Russell begins cooperating soon.
      And looking at unhappy pictures of Nancy Salzman, she will probably begin cooperating.

      Together with the text messages, emails and videos collected by the Feds there is a solid case against the triumvirate who ran NXIVM. Raniere, Mack and Bronfman.

    • A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did for a living. “Tim, you be first,” she said. “What does your mother do all day?” Tim stood up and proudly said, “She’s a doctor.” “That’s wonderful. How about you, Amie?” Amie shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, “My father is a mailman.” “Thank you, Amie,” said the teacher. “What about your father, Billy?” Billy proudly stood up and announced, “My daddy plays piano in a house of ill repute.” The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography. Later that day she went to Billy’s house and rang the bell. Billy’s father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and asked if there might be some logical explanation. Billy’s father said, “I’m actually an attorney. But how can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?”

  • A lawyer dies and shows up at the pearly gates. St. Peter greets him and they sit down together to do the required paperwork. At one point St. Peter is looking through the lawyer’s official heavenly dossier, and he says, “Oh, congratulations, I see you qualify for the better grade housing we have up here.”

    “Oh, really?” says the lawyer. “Why is that?”

    St. Peter replies, “Well, the Big Guy has a rule that anybody who lived to be more than 100 was obviously leading a virtuous life on earth, so it’s appropriate for that person to spend eternity in the best possible quarters.”

    “But that doesn’t make sense,” says the lawyer. “I died of a heart attack at age 58.”

    “That’s impossible,” says St Peter, looking at the lawyer’s dossier. “According to your billable hours records, you have to be at least 182 years old.”

  • What Do You Call 100 Lawyers At The Bottom Of The Ocean? A Good Start.

    Q: What do you call a planeload of lawyers that goes down at sea with one
    seat empty?
    A: A Damn shame!!!!

  • Right now, it looks like Nancy Salzman will flip.

    So with regard to the other co-defendants there are two questions for the plague of attorneys to consider:

    1) Will their client/ the Defendant testify?
    2) Is their client likable, how will they appear in front of a jury?

    If the Defendants choose not to testify, then all the Defense attorneys can do is attack the government’s evidence. Hard to do if an insider flips.

    Also, none of the Defendants are likable (or could play to a jury’s sympathy) except for professional actress Allison Mack.

    Tick tock, Tick tock . . . as a wise person once said.

    • Nancy Salzman as the NXIVM business manager actually knows more about the day to day operations of the cult.

      And as an older woman she was probably shocked and outraged to learn about the strange doings at the DOS slave cult run by Raniere and Mack.

      Lastly as a mother she probably wants to save her daughter Lauren.

    • Former Nexian, being an attorney, you may be aware of a book called “reptile.” Which basically demonstrates how to influence a jury through emotions, by appealing to the “reptile brain”. Basically similar teaching as hypnosis and NLP. Point being, Nancy may very well be able to appear likable an influential to a jury. Just my 2 cents.

    • Is the presumption that she will flip based on the addition of counsel or her fight with cander? I am curious as to the reasoning here.

    • I would think that Nancy could probably cut a deal to keep Michelle from being indicted. The least a grandmother could do, really.

      Also, she will get to retain some of the wealth she hoarded over the years by not spending it all on her defence.

      I strongly suspect the 500K in the shoebox was a drop in the bucket, accidentally not moved with the rest.

  • Three men are in a life raft stranded in the South Pacific.
    A priest, a doctor and a lawyer.
    The life raft is surrounded by a pack of hungry sharks circling about.

    There is an island near by and the three men draw lots to see who will try to swim to the island to seek rescue.
    The lawyer draws the short straw.
    The lawyer must swim through the hungry sharks to the island for rescue.

    As the lawyer is swimming the hungry sharks start circling.
    But instead of devouring the lawyer the sharks protect him all the way to shore.
    “It’s a Miracle,” shouts the priest.
    “No,” explained the Doctor. “It’s professional courtesy.”

  • In the largest ever RICO trial involving a gang there were eleven defendants.
    Ten were convicted and one had a mistrial.

    Right now there are six defendants in the NXIVM case.
    Nancy Salzman
    Lauren Salzman

    Will NXIVM have more defendants to set a new record for number of defendants in a
    RICO case?

    What do you call 18 lawyers?
    A Plague of Lawyers.

    • I would be willing to bet Nancy socked away a small fortune over the years.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083