On December 1, 2021, attorney Nickola Cunha appeared before Judge Thomas Moukawsher in the Superior Court of Connecticut. She was disbarred for comments she made that day.
The hearing was to determine whether Judge Gerard Adelman should be disqualified for bias in the divorce and custody case of Christopher Ambrose versus Karen Riordan.
During the proceedings, Attorney Cunha said, “My belief is there is significant evidence that Judge Adelman… has a bias against anyone that is not of the Jewish faith.”
Judge Moukawsher pressed Cunha to expand.
Cunha named lawyers and therapists in the case Adelman favored. She said they were all Jewish.
Judge Moukawsher: Judge Adelman secretly knows that certain people are Jews and not Jews, and that somehow he favors them because of that? I mean, this is a very serious thing to say.
Cunha:… I don’t think it’s some secret knowledge…. it’s well-known within the Jewish community who the Jewish professionals are…
Moukawsher: What evidence do you have that there’s a universal understanding among the Jewish community as to what professionals are Jewish or not? I mean, that’s a dangerous thing to say.
When Cunha tried to discuss Adelman’s rulings, Judge Moukawsher added the word, “conspiracy.”
Moukawsher: What I hear from you is allegations about a Jewish conspiracy among these people. … they’re conspiring together to frustrate justice?
Cunha said the conspiracy was based on money.
Cunha: … it’s a money thing… normally it’s the father that has the money, and what they do is they create this false fact pattern to ultimately divest the parent without the money of all of her rights. My client ended not only up penniless. She ended up without her children. She ended up homeless. And this is a consistent pattern that has occurred in cases where Attorney Aldrich and Attorney Hurwitz, Judge Grossman, and Judge Adelman have sat on cases.
Cunha tried to talk about mothers losing their children when they did nothing wrong. She was not pressing the Jewish commonality.
Moukawsher: So, you’re claiming that because they’re Jewish that they are trying to direct money to one another? Is that what it was?”
Cunha: I don’t – that – listen, all I can say to the Court is that they are all Jewish. To me, that rises [to] a level of concern. And, in other cases, it is a consistent level, a pattern, of concern where the mothers end up without their children, end up homeless, and end up broke.
Moukawsher:… I thought what you were saying was that you believed that Judge Grossman, Judge – Ms. Aldrich, Ms. Hurwitz, because they’re Jewish, are conspiring together to help each other to make money. Is that what you’re saying? Or that Judge Adelman helps them to get money because they’re Jewish? Is that you’re claim?”
Cunha: I believe that there is an element of consistency and a pattern that support that. Judge Grossman and Judge Adelman [favor] attorneys that are within the Jewish faith. I believe that support that… And I believe that… occurred in this case.
Moukawsher:… So, what you’re claiming is that Judge Hurwitz [sic] and Judge Grossman favor lawyers who are Jewish –
Cunha: That is my belief, yes. That is my belief. That is my understanding. It is kind of like – it’s a cultural thing. It’s like as if you go to the Italian Club or the Portuguese Club, or there is a community of individuals that are well-known to each other of the Jewish faith, which is common. Same thing with Catholics…
Moukawsher disbarred her the following month.
Cunha retained CT attorney Norm Pattis to fight to get her law license back. His defense of Cunha’s conduct appears to be temporary mental instability caused by physical illness.
Now a guest view from:
By E. P. Pluribus
It looks like Attorney Cunha isn’t “mentally ill.” It looks like she’s a whistleblower who tried her best to address the corruption in a family court case as best as she could.
The Court should have allowed her to say what she said.
Her attorney in her disbarment case, Norm Pattis, and most others probably know that.
Mr. Pattis also probably knows Attorney Cunha couldn’t address the blatant corruption and exorbitant profits made by simply telling the Court: “The judge and attorneys colluded for huge profits and their own interests.”
Mentioning any group of people with common interests who favor working together is generally acceptable.
If the same judge and the same attorneys were members of the same baseball team, Attorney Cunha probably would have mentioned that instead of religion.
If they all played the same instruments in the same orchestra — or were members of the same fraternity at the same college — those facts would have been acceptable for “building the foundation” for her argument regarding corruption.
Most of us hang around with like-minded people. We’re prone to favor those who look, talk, think, pray, earn and eat as we do. Religious groups, political groups, and lawyers with common interests prefer to spend time with each other rather than with those without common interests. That’s a fact.
It’s not anti-Semitism or crazy talk of the “mentally ill.”
Attorney Cunha obviously thought it was safe to mention a common religion among those who were clearly colluding and profiting in the case.
Stating their shared interests seems to have been her foundation for facts about the blatant corruption. Her building of whatever foundation she chose to present her case should have been welcomed — and challenged — in an honest court.
Her comments would have been welcomed if the judges and attorneys were all Norwegians, and she used that as an introduction to prove other points.
Of course, that would have been acceptable because Attorney Cunha isn’t Norwegian.
Italians enjoy carnivals with Italian food and music. Wealthy yacht owners summer with other rich yacht people.
Children who have fun playing soccer enjoy playing soccer with other children who have fun playing soccer. Many people with curly hair prefer to buy dogs with curly hair. Most consider that acceptable behavior.
Some call that “tribalism” or “networking” — or “corruption” when criminals get together to commit crimes.
It’s not a crime to notice any of that.
It’s also not a crime to mention any of that.
There’s minor and major corruption in almost every system of government in America and throughout the world. Corruption has been a problem since civilization began.
Are we supposed to believe there’s no corruption in Connecticut family courts?
The last time the Department of Justice prosecuted crimes committed in Connecticut family courts was: never.
Given the Justice Department ignores corruption and crimes in Connecticut family courts, maybe Attorney Cunha should have started by asking the judge the following question:
“Should Connecticut family courts handle the blatant corruption in the cases, or should information about corruption be sent to the Feds?”
Now that Mr. Pattis did what he did, will all Connecticut attorneys be disbarred, mocked, and shamed for noticing corruption in Connecticut courts?
Unfortunately, Attorney Cunha seems to trust Mr. Pattis.
She apparently doesn’t see that he’s a well-greased cog in the machine that punished her for blowing the whistle on the corruption. Seems like he thoroughly fooled her with his “champion for the underdog” shtick.
Purposeful distraction and deceit are common among criminals, scoundrels, and attorneys in corrupted courts.
That’s their religion.
Attorney Cunha is a whistleblower who tried her best to address corruption in a family court case.
People used to call brave people like that “heroes.”
Attorney Cunha could have addressed the corruption in the case, starting with: “The judge and attorneys colluded for profit in their own best interests.”
Most attorneys in most courts build foundations for their arguments. Attorney Cunha didn’t know that mentioning a group of people with common interests who favor each other is unacceptable now.
If all judges and vendors were Buddhist or Christian, Attorney Cunha could have said that. She would have been “building a foundation” for her argument regarding corruption. The judge probably would have told her, “Go on. What’s your point?” Instead of considering immediate disbarment.
Corrupted judges, attorneys, and vendors in Connecticut family courts target brave citizens who expose corruption and crimes. A cold shoulder to unpopular attorneys and legislators, gossip, mocking, and favoritism used to be good enough to silence dissent.
Quick disbarment is a new one.
It will be a practical option unless more whistleblowers share what they know about corruption in Connecticut family courts.
These days, the number of politically-incorrect ways attorneys can offend a judge with a chip on his/her/their/xir/hir/xim etc shoulder is endless and ad nauseum.