Three documents have been filed in the matter of the USA v Raniere that reveal a little more of the legal efforts Keith Raniere is making to get him released from prison. First and foremost we learn that Clare Bronfman has been paying for his team of premier attorneys.
We also learn that his recent team, which included Jennifer Bonjean, Steve Metcalf and Martin H. Tankleff are off the case.
They have been replaced by Jeffrey Lichtman, Jeffrey Einhorn and Jason Goldman or the Lichtman Firm and by Marc Fernich.
The Litchman Firm filed their Notice of Appearance on June 29, 2021 and Fernich filed his on July 2, 2021.
Bonjean filed Raniere’s appeal.
According to our sources, Bonjean has also ceased to represent Raniere.
Raniere and Metcalf at Odds Over Representation
Here is the motion to withdraw by Tankleff and Metcalf, which reads in part, “From the time that undersigned counsel started representing Keith, we have been zealous advocates. In fact, we actively litigated the issue of restitution before this court which granted a hearing, scheduled to commence later this month… It is our understanding that newly retained counsel has agreed to take over the issue of restitution, and all other aspects of representation of the defendant…
Prior to executing the Proposed Stipulation of Substitution of Counsel, a number of attempts were made to set up a legal phone call with Keith, all to no avail.
Based on the representations of newly retained counsel, and the person who is acting as Keith’s Power of Attorney, the undersigned counsel, executed a Proposed Stipulation of Substitution of Counsel
[Editor’s note: It is not known at present who Raniere’s power of attorney is.]
It is undersigned counsels’ position that there has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. To fully explain all the issues would require them to reveal attorney-client privileged information, which we are not willing to do so…
It is not necessary for undersigned counsel to continue with an attorney-client privileged relationship where counsel and client are at odds with how to litigate the case and client no longer wants counsel representing him.
Bronfman Paying According to Prosecution
In another filing, the prosecution filed a document that reveals who is paying for the battery of attorneys to represent Raniere. It is none other than Clare Bronfman.
Their filing reads:
The government respectfully submits this letter to notify the Court regarding a potential conflict involving counsel for defendant Keith Raniere. On June 30, 2021 and July 2, 2021, Jeffrey H. Lichtman, Esq. and Marc A. Fernich, Esq. filed notices of appearance on behalf of the defendant Keith Raniere.
The government has been advised that the legal fees for Mr. Lichtman and Mr. Fernich, who represent Raniere in connection with proceedings related to restitution before the Court as well as his pending appeal, are being paid by the defendant Clare Bronfman.
Raniere was previously advised of, and waived, a nearly identical potential conflict relating to Bronfman’s payment of Raniere’s legal fees, see ECF Docket Entry No. 443 (Curcio hearing relating to payment of legal fees by the CDF Irrevocable Trust).
The government respectfully requests, in an abundance of caution, that the Court obtain the defendant Keith Raniere’s knowing and voluntary waiver of this potential conflict immediately prior to the sentencing hearing regarding restitution scheduled to proceed on July 20, 2021.
Nancy to Be Sentenced in September
In response to a request by Nancy Salzman’s attorney, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis has postponed the sentencing hearing for Nancy Salzman one month. It is now set for Sept. 8, 2021.
Her attorney, Robert Soloway, requested the delay because he had a preplanned vacation and because the scheduling order for filings was not in the same sequence as prior defendants – which created some logistical challenges.
Here is the judge’s order:
ORDER: Defendant Nancy Salzman’s sentencing hearing is RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. The court DIRECTS the parties to adhere to the following schedule with respect to their pre-sentencing submissions: Ms. Salzman shall file her objections, if any, to the Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) by July 19, 2021. The Government shall file its response to the PSR and to Ms. Salzman’s objections by July 26, 2021. Ms. Salzman may file a reply by August 2, 2021. Additionally, the Government shall make its sentencing submission by August 13, 2021, and Ms. Salzman shall make her sentencing submission by August 20, 2021. The Government shall submit any Victim Impact Statements by August 13, 2021, and shall inform the court by September 3, 2021 whether any victims wish to speak at the sentencing hearing. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 7/12/2021. (Freund, Zachary)