By Julia Donovan
Victims of the CT Family Court might be interested in calling the New Haven FBI office to ask them what they know about the Committee on Judicial Ethics discussion on April 19, 2013.
Try asking them if Judge Gerard Adelman’s position as “Director” of Connecticut Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Inc. [AFCC], was discussed that day.
Justice Schaller, Judge Karazin, Jr., Judge Dennis, Judge Keller, Professor Meyer, and Attorney Martin R. Libbin participated in a discussion called an “Informal JE 2013-15 concerning whether a Judicial Official may serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization that provides services to court-involved clients and receives the majority of its funding from contracts with the Judicial Branch.”
Some more possible questions to ask:
1. Why was that discussion informal?
2. Did anyone discuss whether to refer to the Justice Department to investigate possible interstate racketeering? (The AFCC was originally set up in several states. It seems Attorney Martin Libbin might know the details.)
3. Did the Judicial Ethics Committee discuss Mr. Adelman’s activities as judge (since 2009) as it related to his position as “Director” of Connecticut AFCC, Inc.? Did they discuss his association with Dr. Bruce Freedman as a court evaluator and “Treasurer” of Connecticut AFCC, Inc.?
4. Were any judges and/or attorneys participating in that discussion aware of a remote possibility of crimes Mr. Adelman and Mr. Freedman might have committed with reference to federal racketeering laws? If so, what information, if any was turned over to the Justice Department?
According to the Minutes recorded that day, the Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics discussed the following:
“The nonprofit organization has multiple contracts with the Judicial Branch to provide various assessments and services to, inter alia, litigants in family, juvenile and criminal court matters (hereinafter “clients”). Clients may be referred directly by the court, as well as by probation and family services personnel. Various contracts require the nonprofit organization to provide reports to the court and to have personnel appear in court to testify regarding a client’s success or failure to complete the services and programs provided by the nonprofit organization.”
Judge Adelman Was Director of AFCC
Dr. Bruce Freedman, a court evaluator and proponent of parental alienation, was “Treasurer.”
Rule 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct states that a judge “should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the … impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge violated this Code or engaged in other conduct that reflects adversely on the judge’s honesty, impartiality, temperament, or fitness to serve as a judge.”
Rule 1.3 of the Code states that a “judge shall not use or attempt to use the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others or allow others to do so.”
Rule 3.1 of the Code states that a Judicial Official may engage in extrajudicial activities, except as prohibited by law; however, a judge may not participate in extrajudicial activities that will (1) interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties, (2) lead to frequent disqualification, (3) appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge’s independence, integrity or impartiality, or (4) appear to a reasonable person to be coercive.
Rule 3.7(a) provides that a judge “may participate in activities sponsored by organizations or governmental entities concerned with the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice… including,…(6) serving as an officer, director, trustee, or nonlegal advisor of such an organization or entity, unless it is likely that the organization or entity: (A) will be engaged in proceedings that would ordinarily come before the judge; or (B) will frequently be engaged in adversary proceedings in the court of which the judge is a member or in any court subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the court of which the judge is a member.”
The rule’s commentary states that “[e]ven for law related organizations, a judge should consider whether the membership and purposes of the organization, or the nature of the judge’s participation in or association with the organization, would conflict with the judge’s obligation to refrain from activities that reflect adversely on a judge’s independence, integrity, and impartiality.” Rule 3.7, cmt. (2).
In discussing Rule 3.7(a)(6)(B), the Committee (with one member recused) determined that the prohibition on serving as an officer, director, trustee or nonlegal advisor of an organization concerned with the law, the legal system or the administration of justice if the organization “will frequently be engaged in adversary proceedings in the court of which the judge is a member” applies, not only when the organization is a party to adversary proceedings, but also when the organization supplies witnesses and reports for use in adversary proceedings. Based upon the foregoing, an appearance of impropriety would arise if a Judicial Official serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization or member of the Judicial Official’s staff were to refer clients to the nonprofit organization. Further, the nonprofit organization may use or attempt to use the prestige of the Judicial Official’s office when seeking additional contracts with the Judicial Branch or others. Accordingly, the Committee, with one member recused, unanimously determined that service on the nonprofit organization’s board of directors would violate Rules 1.2, 1.3, 3.1 and 3.7(a)(6)(B).”
Rules and laws have been violated in Connecticut family courts for the past several decades.
Either no one at the Department of Justice has been alert enough to know that laws have been violated — or no one at the Department of Justice has the conscience to care enough to investigate and prosecute the crimes, so parents and children will be protected in family courts from the horrible crimes committed there.