The Curcio hearings in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere et al., have begun – and, as expected, the first participant, Keith Alan Raniere, has chosen to stay with his current defense attorneys rather than have the presiding judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, appoint an independent attorney to represent him.
And why wouldn’t Raniere do that?
After all, he currently has five highly-skilled, hugely-expensive attorneys trying to keep him from spending the rest of his life in federal prison: Marc Agnifilo, Jacob Kaplan and Teny R. Geragos from the Brafman & Associates law firm – and Paul DerOhannesian and Danielle R. Smith from the DerOhannesian & DerOhannesian law firm.
And his lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo, is also the only attorney who was paid a significant upfront retainer from the Legal Defense Trust Fund that was set up by Clare Bronfman to pay for all of her co-defendants’ legal fees.
All the other attorneys are just billing by the hour – and hoping to get paid as much as possible before the Trust Fund runs out of money (According to Marc Agnifilo, all those attorneys are going to continue working even if they’re not getting paid).
Kathy Russell has also had her Curcio hearing – and has also chosen to keep her current attorneys: Justine A. Harris and Amanda Ravitch from the Sher Tremonte LLP law firm.
Lauren Salzman had her Curcio hearing yesterday – and was expected to choose to stay with her current attorneys: Hector J. Diaz and Andrea S. Tazoli from the Quarles & Brady LLP law firm out of Arizona.
The Curcio hearing for Nancy Salzman is scheduled to take place on February 25th – and the one for Allison Mack on February 28th, which is also the date for the next Status Conference in the case.
Both are expected to opt for keeping their current attorneys: Mark Sullivan from The Ashcroft Law Firm and David Stern and Robert Soloway from the Rothman, Schneider, Soloway & Stern, P.C. law firm for Salzman – and William F. McGovern, Steven G. Kobre, Sean S. Buckley, Matthew I. Menchel, and Gabriela Magda Ruiz from the Kobre & Kim LLC law firm for Mack.
Every defendant who keeps her or his Bronfman-paid attorney will refuse a plea deal.
That is yet to be seen. If the evidence presented to the defense is overwhelming, it would be smart to plea. Even Raniere, the smartest man in the world, may come around on that point.
There once was a lass, Kathy Russell
Who fell for the Raniere hustle
The aged ballerina
To all who have seen her
Is certainly no Darcey Bussell.