Last week we published an important story that strongly suggest CT Attorney Edward Nusbaum fraudulently billed his client Karen Riordan.
The story came from Nusbaum’s lawsuit against Riordan to get his hands on $64,000 he has in his escrow account of her money.
The money comes from the forced sale of her home at 1 Hemlock Hill Wesport CT that Fanily Court Judge Jane Grossman ordered sold.
It appears that Nusbaum deceptively arranged the sale with other court actors so he and they could rake in the proceeds.
It almost worked. Except that Riordan blocked his rapacious money grab by refusing to permit him to take her hard earned equity, without him even proving he did any work for her.
Riordan recently filed an affidavit regarding the representation she got from the high flying, high billing, but low dealing Fairfield County family law attorney.
It might be worth reading by those considering heading to family court in Connecticut or retaining the shark of Fairfield, attorney Edward Nusbaum.
Here is an abbreviated and slightly edited version of her affidavit, without the legalese.
By Karen Riordan
Attorney Edward Nusbaum represented me in my divorce and custody case, Ambrose v Riordan, for four months – from May 2020 through August 2020.
He billed me $98,163.50. But to this day, he refuses to turn over a copy of my legal file.
The need for my file, to which I am entitled, is exacerbated by an unusual provision in Nusbaum’s retainer agreement, which precludes discovery in the event of a billing dispute.
His retainer also contains nonstandard arbitration with no set rules or governing principles or standards, and restricts the range of qualified arbitrators to attorneys who practice with him in family law in the same county as he practices – Fairfield County.
Such a retainer seems to be Nusbaum’s attempt to stifle his clients from bringing his attorney misconduct, legal malpractice, and fraudulent and tortuous conduct to light in the Connecticut courts.
His withholding of client files is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Because of the unique arbitration clause in Nusbaum’s retainer agreement, his clients cannot seek relief in the American Arbitration Association forum, with its established rules and procedures overseen by qualified neutrals who are most often retired judicial officers.
Instead, Nusbaum limits arbitrators to his cronies – lawyers who practice family law in his county.
Edward Nusbaum MK10art
Although Attorney Nusbaum is required to keep a copy of my complete file, he claims he handed it to my former attorney Nickola Cunha.
Even if he did, that does not waive his responsibility for holding my file in his office and giving me a copy at my request.
My former attorney Cunha was disbarred in January for conduct in my case, which I did not authorize.
But Nusbaum is not telling the truth if he says he turned over my complete file to Cunha.
Missing from the file provided by Nusbaum to Cunha is evidence that his bills are dishonest, inflated, and fraudulent.
The file Nusbaum provided to Attorney Cunha has more missing information than it provides.
I realize that some billings were evidently fabricated and fictional.
The missing information Attorney Nusbaum failed to provide includes, but is not limited to:
a. Evidence of two motions Attorney Nusbaum said he filed with the court on my behalf, but somehow is not found on the docket. See Exhibit A.
b. Documentation and records to reasonably support his four months of billing totaling $98,163.50.
Most of his billings are for emails and phone calls, many of which are highly suspect. I compared Attorney Nusbaum’s billings with Attorney Jocelyn Hurwitz, who was the court-appointed guardian ad litem in the case for which Nusbaum represented me.
Two-thirds of the phone calls and one-half of the emails for which Attorney Nusbaum billed me are not supported on Attorney Hurwitz’s invoices.
Mk10ART painting of ‘the unsavory thief’
c Documentation notifying me, as his client, of status conferences and the purpose thereof which he billed to attend.
d Evidence/legal records provided to Nusbaum of my maternal inheritance exceeding $150,000, and what efforts he made to recover these funds from an absconding spouse. He billed me to review information, but took zero action to recover the money.
Neither did he report to me why he did not or could not obtain my inheritance, which was taken by my absconding spouse, something he admitted in court testimony.
f Information regarding the alleged appointment of Lisa Kerin, including an alleged signed contract and evidence of the alleged marital funds paid for a retainer to Kerin in the amount of $7,500.
g All correspondence/communications to support Attorney Nusbaum’s billing of four months of emails at $750/hr. The referenced emails have not been provided; their existence, purpose, relevance, and length are unknown. Just his word that he wrote or reviewed them, something already suspicious based on the comparison of Attorney Hurwitz’s billings.
Attorney Jocelyn Hurwitz
h Documentation/records stating the purpose and duration of calls allegedly made and received at a billing rate of $750/hr.
i All correspondence regarding court stipulation agreements, which have not been provided.
j Evidence of my informed consent to an alleged supervised visitation ‘agreement,’ as he represented to the trial court judge, and may represent one of the clearest examples of his perjury or forgery.
k Evidence of my legal and proper 72-hour rescission clause in a contract for the sale of my house, which he failed to represent to the court that I rescinded. Instead, he misrepresented to the court that I had fully consented to the sale and persuaded the court to pay him $64,000 of monies from the proceeds. This money, Attorney Nusbaum claims, is in an escrow account and forms the basis of his lawsuit. It is my refusal to let this attorney, who accomplished nothing and apparently over-billed me with inflated time spent, fictional calls, and emails, take this money that prompted his lawsuit.
l Correspondence and records regarding DCF and other medical records demonstrating that the children at the center of the custody dispute suffered from clinical depression, anxiety, and self-harming behaviors, and suicidal ideations because they were in shock from being removed from their mother.
This occurred shortly after custody was flipped from their primary attachment figure and sole caregiver [myself, their mother] and handed to their father.
MK10art’s poetic and classic painting of “the unsavory thief,” whom some people think was based on CT attorney Edward Nusbaum.
Custody was flipped on the basis of a single custody evaluation report paid for by the father, which shockingly recommended that the children be deprived of any contact with their mother to build a better relationship with their father, who they claimed abused them.
The children were moved instantly and traumatically out of their home they had shared with me for their entire life to the home of a father who had been most often away – without any finding of wrongdoing, negligence, or incompetency against me, and fully against the children’s wishes.
This is a fully traumatizing event in the children’s lives and their subsequent and ongoing trauma and depression is proof of the horrible outcomes possible in CT Family Court and when Attorney Nusbaum represents a client.
It was obvious to anyone that the children were plunged into paroxysms of grief, yet Attorney Nusbaum, rather than informing me, his client, and working to protect his client and her children, kept these records of their trauma and abuse secret and worked instead to ascertain more billing opportunities.
i Attorney Nusbaum misrepresented a “letter re: GALS”. It was my instruction to file a petition to remove the GAL who sided with my spouse, who was paying most of her bills out of funds he absconded with from our joint marital assets.
Nusbaum erroneously billed me, then charged me for this without ever filing the requested petition with the court. See EXHIBIT B.
j Evidence of Attorney Nusbaum’s billable time spent investigating family and friends and my net worth to presumably ascertain how much billing he could ultimately achieve before the “well ran dry.”
He was billing me to investigate how he could bill me more.
As evidence of this, Nusbaum invoiced me for phone calls and texts to various individuals who are prepared to testify that his call was made to ascertain the value of family or personal assets. He did not call to discuss the case for which he was retained to represent me.
He spent time eagerly trying to find out how much money I had or could raise and called friends and family to “grill” them.
Of concern is that he has reversed on his invoice in some instances the originator of the call [himself] and texts, and invoiced the call or texts as if the individual placed the call or texted him.
Phone records of these individuals will show this was an error at best, and more likely, an effort to deceitfully hide the fact that he was on the hunt for money and not my best interest.
This further supports my need for my complete file.
k Many Nusbaum billings charge for the review of emails without identifying the person(s), purpose, length, and time spent on this task. There are no emails that support these immense billings.
Many of the emails may be fictional and help explain how Attorney Nusbaum could bill almost $100,000 in four months, but accomplish not one legal objective or ever appear in court to represent me.
l Nusbaum billed for text exchanges without providing the purpose, length, or time spent on this task. Nusbaum has also not provided the referenced text exchanges with several persons.
In an affidavit of January 3, 2023, Attorney Nusbaum refers to a previous grievance I filed against him with the Connecticut Bar Association. The issues raised in my current lawsuit – in particular his billing fraud – have NOT been raised yet with the Bar Association.
This and other information are newly discovered evidence and were not known to me at the time of the submission of my grievance in February 2021. Moreover, the grievance before the Connecticut State Bar is not dispositive of any of the issues raised in this lawsuit.
All the claims I raise are based on new and additional evidence, and are not barred from the CT Court’s consideration.
Just because Attorney Nusbaum is an attorney and shares fees with all the people involved with the administration of justice in Fairfield County, Connecticut, does not mean he should get special treatment, or that I should be denied due process and equal protection of the law.
Comment by Frank Report
A word to the wise for all the adults and their children who might venture to that den of incivility and choice inequity called family court, that if you value your children’s and your own future, shy away.
Run. Don’t walk.
But if you must be foolhardy and self-destructive and go there to settle your grievance with your spouse, then by all means stay clear of one man above all others.
Caveat emptor, my dear friends.
Please, when dealing with the great shark of Fairfield, Edward Nusbaum, whose teeth are sharper than any shark that swims in the nearby Long Island Sound, please do not engage with him, engage him or retain him.
Embrace, a thousand times embrace, instead, the Blue, Mako, Hammerhead or Tresher sharks that swim in Long Island Sound seeking their prey.
At least when they take your flesh or eat you alive, they won’t pretend they are on your side, and giving you the best representation money can buy. They will bite the living flesh right off your bones, but you will know where they are coming from – the deep sea.
Not so with the grand shark of Fairfield. He will eat you with a smile, and when you object, he’ll shout, yell, and eat you faster, and belch at the end a disgustingly perfidious and malodorous belch which signals he is satisfied and done with his feeding. This will coincide precisely at the moment he has extracted the last bit of blood from your bank, home, pension and any stray assets, children’s college funds included – and you will get no results that do not please him.
There is no lawyering here. Just the extraction of your wealth.
Beware of him most of all.