CT Family Court’s Worst Rascal: Attorney Ed Nusbaum Billed $100 K for Emails and Phone Calls

Edward Nusbaum

Family court attorney Edward Nusbaum of Westport, CT is under investigation. His problem is that he uses an allegedly illegal retainer agreement he makes clients sign.

Whatever he does, whatever he bills, his clients must not question it. At $750 per hour, that is a little rich. And may be criminal if there is fraud.

Recently CT Superior Court Judge Charles Lee said Nusbaum’s manner of signing up clients was odd, if not illegal. The tricky part is that Nusbaum’s retainer agreement requires the client to waive discovery in case of a dispute over his billings.

Nusbaum told Frank Report, “If the client doesn’t want to sign it, I won’t represent her.”

The issue might be more complex. A client must have informed consent, and a lawyer can’t merely insert illegal or unethical language into a retainer agreement. An ethical attorney cannot cheat or deceive an unsuspecting client, especially if the client is a vulnerable spouse or parent involved in a highly charged and emotional divorce and custody dispute.

Former Hollywood screenwriter Christopher Zoro Ambrose, fired for plagiarism, often poses online as a barber to lure men and possibly boys.

Let’s take the example of the divorce and custody case of Christopher Zoro Ambrose v Karen Beth Riordan. 

Nusbaum represented Riordan and billed her more than $100,000 in just four months. 

Here is Nusbaum’s retainer agreement:

The retainer language appears illegal on the surface. It says:

We agree that any and all disputes between you, the Firm and/or its employees shall be adjudicated by one arbitrator who shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Connecticut, and who shall be a member of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Family Law Section, and who shall maintain offices in Fairfield County….
You, this Firm and its employees expressly agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator/panel, and we agree to waive the right to conduct discovery during the arbitration, and to a trial by a Court or a jury concerning any dispute that we may have.

Not only is there no discovery, but his retainer requires the arbitrator to be a fellow family law attorney practicing in Fairfield County, where Nusbaum practices.

Another questionable provision in the retainer is that Nusbaum, knowing his language is suspect if not illegal, adds, “Prior to signing this Agreement, you should consult with an attorney concerning the above-referenced terms.”

Got to be in Fairfield?

Why would a lawyer, subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct, advise a client to hire counsel to review his services contract?  If Nusbaum is honest, why advise a client to hire a lawyer to review Nusbaum’s terms?

Nusbaum, 4th from left, with fellow attorneys.

Imagine hospitals withholding medical treatment for failure to waive discovery in malpractice suits. Or a car mechanic who advises drivers to hire another mechanic to review the details of an oil change.

Billing Big, With Possible Fraud

Once Nusbaum got the retainer signed by the vulnerable client, he went to town, billing the daylights out of her, thinking she could not get discovery.

His invoices show phone calls and emails to lawyers and others as the only service. There are no motions, no briefs, no filings, no court appearances, no depositions, no discovery, no proposed orders, nothing but time spent on the phone for $750/hr.

Look at invoices:

Many emails and phone calls were to the opposing attorney and the GAL, who were billing hourly themselves. 

It was a feeding frenzy.

Nusbaum provides no information on the results or necessity of the phone calls or emails.

Some of Nusbaum’s calls were made to people not associated with the case. Other calls were made to people who would testify that he called to find out how much money his client or her family had and where her assets were.

When his client pressed to go to court, Nusbaum demanded another $100,000. Considering he had done nothing with the first $100,000 of billings, his client declined. 

He is now suing for the money.

Riordan refused to pay his giant bill for virtually no services rendered.

Nusbaum filed suit for unpaid fees, using attorney Alex Trembicki.

All seemed well until Judge Lee raised his illegal contract. Nusbaum charged over $100,000 and delivered nothing. And he won’t provide discovery?

Riordan argues that under Connecticut law, professionals can’t contract away certain prospective malpractice. Riordan seems headed toward a malpractice lawsuit. If she does, the arbitration and no discovery clauses are toilet paper.

Who knows what discovery will uncover?

Did Nubaum even make the phone calls he said he made? If he did, what did he accomplish?

Will Nusbaum argue his $100k produced any tangible work product?

Stay tuned.




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • How many times has nusbaum signed agreements without their clients informed consent?

    That would be… everyday. Stay away from this con artist.

  • Ed- Are you going to threaten to hurt someone again with your wrestling moves? Really? At 74? Your kids must be mortified. Poor wife.

  • Why did nusbaum file a single motion in this case? Since his client had no money, couldn’t he file to freeze assets? Screams of a scam. CT family courts.

  • Ambrose is a barber? I’ve seen his messages posted to young men- taking about how they’d look sexy and sophisticated. Says what looks to be a 65 year old albino like creature.

    How is this possibly healthy for children. Clearly Ambrose needs help. And his kids will grow to hate him. But I’m the meanwhile they live with a freak who insists he’s heterosexual even when he spends his time trolling for men and joint dating sites for men.

    Ladies beware! You’ll only serve as a cover for this closeted, creepy homo barber.

  • It seems Nusbaum has been deliberately defrauding clients for decades. Aiding and abetting tortuous conduct of another party… same claims in this case. Connecticut Bar protects it’s own.

    The complaint against Nusbaum and his law firm was in two counts: Deliberate intent to defraud and aiding and abetting the tortuous conduct of another party. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Nusbaum and his law firm on November 21, 1997.
    McHenry v. Nusbaum
    DeLeo v. Nusbaum

  • Nusbaum is a pitiful person,… [redacted] has no soul, [redacted], preys on the vulnerable to fund his horrific life, the epitome of the [redacted] family court lawyer in the cesspool of Connecticut courts, a foot soldier of the child-rape army, protected by doting judges on the evil bench, all under the blessing of Chief Justice Richard Robinson and his [redacted] chosen masters.

    Connecticut practice of law is a craft of plunder under judicial management, protected by the [redacted] players on the judiciary committee of the General Assembly, now chaired by moron, incompetent, token, Gary Holder Winfield, who can’t spell justice, and co-chair [redacted] puppet Steve Stafstrom, with Matt Blumenthal, Mae Flexer, John Kissel, Craig Fishbein, all charlatans ensuring family court remains a form of plunder and loot benefiting a chosen group of lawyers, while destroying families to the glee of a subversive ideology.

  • Every aspect of this article screams “sleazy lawyer”. Illegal wording, and behind the scenes calls about minimal topics to justify $100K??? I wonder if any of those calls were about his expired automobile warranty…
    I also wonder where that $100K went…he seems to generate enough toilet paper that he wouldn’t need to buy more, but who knows, maybe he hoards it (it would make sense considering what he is full of)!

  • Looks like scumbag Ed Nusbaum can’t even get past Rule 1.0 of the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct without finding a way to cheat his clients. Rule 1.0(f) says:

    (f) ‘‘Informed consent’’ denotes the agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct.

    So this schmuck is going to say with a straight face that he adequately communicated the risks of going to fee arbitration with NO DISCOVERY to a single mom who was on the verge of losing her kids and came to him for help. I hope he gets the ever-loving shit beat, I mean sued out of him. I also really hope he gets censured by the State Bar, but we all know that sharks don’t eat their own.

    I think it might be time for cameras in the Family Court parking lot asking the Connecticut Judges when they arrive in the morning why they let the attorneys screw defenseless women and children. Mike Wallace is dead, but the Mike Wallace interview may very well be alive in Fairfield County, Connecticut. I wonder if any of the Judges will pull a Jerry Nadler and shit themselves on camera?

  • Please sue this varmint! It’s going to be great entertainment and a warning to all to see the daily conniving and utter evil of ct family court attorneys.

    Phone calls without minutes and emails without pages or purpose for $750/hr. It’s a violation to gouge, I mean charge, that excessive rate when the average rate in Fairfield county is $430/hr. He’s robbing clients of $300 per hour at a minimum.

    Unless these calls and e-mails to his Westport gal pals required specialized skill or expertise, nusbaum is bleeding the bank.

    He gets his client no access to her own accounts and then demands payment. Love it!

    Sick, abusive, hot headed Nusbaum!

    I missed my three year window to sue— I’ll take vicarious pleasure watching nusbaum squirm like the weak worm he always has been.

  • Nusbaum was rewarded by co-conspirators in this case. In Sept 2020 Nancy Aldrich (Senator Will Haskell representing Fairfield county is her son!- and he votes for judges 😂) and GAL Jocelyn Hurwitz engaged invited Nusbaum onto a different case, where together, they made more money from vulnerable, unsuspecting parents.

    He screwed Riordan over so badly- abusing three children, lying to the judge, and signing away rights without his clients consent (the norm for Nusbaum!)- that he needed to be compensated for taking such risks.

    The three thieves have no morals. Money for children.

    The truth eventually comes out. Glad FR has a pursuing corrupt family courts.

    • You are censoring shit again Parlato. You are such a pussy. You protect ourself and Riordan at every turn. Big tough guy. You’re pathetic. Always were, always will be. Pathetic.

      • This is so obviously Chris the plagiarist Ambrose. It’s all about Edward nusbaum but he targets his ex-wife! Chris (or do you go by barber Chris?) can you say one thing Edward nusbaum did to protect or advocate for your ex-wife? He’s got a history of this.

        Its all coming out. Nusbaum was working with the gal and your attorney and you know it. That’s why you never had to file a financial affidavit and stole all of your spouses money.

        This will go to trial. Cannot wait. Justice will be served. Nusbaums history speaks for itself.

        But you have your own depositions coming up don’t you Chris? Aren’t you suing another innocent woman? Blaming her for your pathetic existence. It’s her fault your kids hate you? Or just another woman who knows the truth of your sleazy, criminal history?

        Kids know the truth. They’ll only grow to hate you more. As everyone does. True colors barber boy.

        Your military posse doesn’t appreciate your exposure. You’re not worth it.

  • Nusbaum has a history. Look him up. He’s a sleeze. He’s been sued personally and professionally. He gets away with most bc of the “Fairfield county bar club” but the complaints are valid. Usually from parents forced to go pro se after having life savings stolen by colluding attorneys and gals.

  • Toilet paper Attorney work product from many family court attorneys. Some charging slightly less. Spent a few thousand dollars arguing with my own Attorney I know she was pushing me to sign a bad agreement. One of the large firms in Hartford. The problems is all over the state

    • Exactly! No work product and the judges, the bar, the judiciary committee and “task forces” give them a rubber stamp of approval.

      They’ve been doing it for decades. Lives of children destroyed. Families broken. Ambrose and s far worse off. He’s got all the money and abuses the kids by breaking loving bonds with all who know the truth.

      But in reality, everyone knows he’s a closeted homosexual with fettishes that would frighten any child. He had no career because of horrific conduct in Hollywood and then he was outed for plagiarism.

      Now he’s home jerking off to buzz cuts and lashing out at three children who will hate him after all he’s done.

      He’ll be alone like a miser with his money.

      • Why does Riordan’s bad decision to hire this attorney merit a vicious attack on her ex? Very strange.

        I’m sure Riordan knew Nusbaum had a reputation for being a sleazeball and that’s exactly why she hired him — so he would use his sleazy techniques in her favor. But it sounds like he is only willing to go the distance for clients with limitless funds. That’s probably why he charges $750 an hour, significantly and obviously much more than the going rate, and advises his clients to pay another attorney to review his agreement before signing. He’s clearly attempting to screen out clients who aren’t filthy rich. Last I checked, private practice lawyers aren’t running charities, so it’s their right to target clients in any income bracket they choose. Also, if he is a lawyer, who is in high demand, it makes plain economic sense to raise his rates. Charging $750 is not thievery of $300, period.

        Now that part about waiving the right to discovery… I am interested to see if that will hold up.

        • Sounds like an attorneys excuse to me. Have you realized woman in Connecticut are having to representing themselves. The only attorney they can find are charging them rediculous fees. In may situation providing extremely poor representation. Happening all over the state of Connecticut. Karen probably had no idea what she was getting into. Thought she was hiring a skilled attorney to represent her and her children. Instead she got the same piss poor legal representation many women are getting. After what Karen has been through he looking for more cash. Really some one is going to defend this?

          • Ever heard the expression “if you play with fire you’re going to get burned?” if you hire a blatantly overpriced lawyer who is supposedly known for playing dirty to achieve his client’s aims, no doubt it’s going to bite you in the ass when you try to stiff him on his payment.

            I know nothing about the legality of that “waive the right to discovery” clause, but it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

            Don’t get me wrong, I have no love for lawyers. I was once totally screwed over by one who took full payment from me for a service and then did literally zero work. Would not even answer or return a call for a status update. Ever. She was eventually disbarred for her bullshit.

        • Where’s the attack on the ex? He’s only defined as trolling as a barber looking for young men. Mentioning the type of person who nusbaum gave all his clients money to seems reasonable. Do you not see that as accurate?

          CT Lawyers are obligated to stay within the charging guidelines of the area in which they practice. Unless the work is so specialized that it is uniques and higher fees are then justified. I Fairfield county that rate is approximately $430/hr.

          So the $750/hr rate is unsupported based on phone calls and emails don’t allow him to raise the average rate.

          Did you take the time to view his charges? Glad you’re staying tuned as the financial abuse by ct family court lawyers is unfathomable. Nusbaum is one of many with illegal contracts which give free pass to Rob parents blind.

          Their contracts are illegal and violate the rules of the profession and state law.

          And males can be raped just as badly. It’s all predetermined. Look at the Luigi DiBella case. Same outcome. Six kids and life savings stolen. These are the issues.

          Most are too afraid to speak out. You’ll see the threats innocent parents like Luigi and others have endured as a result of speaking out or sharing information with frank report.

          And if Ambrose is a barber and does troll the internet, given there are three kids who have been traumatized, that’s worth knowing about. The six kids who haven’t seen Luigi are worth knowing about as well good parents don’t violate state and federal laws and literally remove parents from lives of their children.

          • It appears that maybe these initial agreement for counsel are in preparation for screw the bitch/bastard custody bait and switch CT family court Cash cow dumpster fire.

            Reported all over the state.

            Judges defending attorneys and psychologists. No one really looking into anything. Many attorney grievance complaints.

            Psychologist complaints. The residents are just disgruntled? Suddenly an enemy of the state because they see significant misuses of the family law courts/system. Complain about it.

            The state has a responsibility to its residents The system is not designed for public use. Political appointments of judges, pleasing the legal cummunty. Not appearing to be focused on the public best interest. Best interest of the state over the best interest of the child.

            Valid ethical violations to the standard of practice. Valid code of conduct violation for GALs. Gauging people and retaliation for publicly complaining. Using one blog to silence people. Connecticut family law circuit fights to maintain a dysfunctional profit–driven system. Financial first. I’m guessing the family law system would completely collapse if a real investigation were done.

          • yep that dad got screwed and showed nothing but tenacity for the love of his kids… they used his children as bait/pawn for soooo much financial and custody gain. The attorneys , judges and GAL hated him because he called them out on all thier BS …How did he keep it together

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com


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