Nusbaum’s Fairfield County Family Law ‘No-Rules’ Arbitrators Challenged

FR is covering the CT lawsuit Nusbaum v. Riordan. The suit concerns CT attorney Edward Nusbaum’s attempt to convert $64,000 he holds in his escrow account to his account. 

The money came from the sale of Karen Riordan’s home in Westport. He wants the entire sum as rightfully earned legal fees.

Riordan objects. She claims Nusbaum charged her for fictional emails and phone calls. She claims he accomplished not one of her legal objectives. He never once appeared in court or filed a single motion.

Instead, he billed her more than $98,000 over four months for phone calls, emails, and texts. Evidence uncovered by FR shows many emails and phone calls are fraudulent.

Nusbaum billed, based on his retainer agreement, at $750 per hour. At the core of the lawsuit is Nusbaum’s retainer agreement.

The attorney arranged for Riordan, then involved in a divorce and custody dispute, to sign an unusual retainer agreement.

According to the agreement, a novel, no-rules arbitration mediates fee disputes. It ensures the arbitrator is a lawyer of Nusbaum’s acquaintance.

This retainer is different than most. Most permit disputes to be adjudicated by a jury trial or mediated by standard arbitration.

Nusbaum’s retainer does not permit recognized arbitration associations like the AAA. His retainer agreement limits arbitrators to family law attorneys in Fairfield County, CT.

The same lawyers who appear in case after case with him.

Family law works like that: In one case, a family law attorney will represent the husband and, in another, the wife. And on another occasion, the children.  They all switch around, and family law attorneys who practice in Family Court in a county all know each other. Cooperation is essential to maximize billings. 

A fee dispute resolution provision requiring a Nusbaum’s colleague to arbitrate can green light excessive billing.

There are no set rules for the Nusbaum arbitration, other than what the Nusbaum crony decides. The fact that the retainer agreement requires a sealed record can help preserve an overbilling scheme if there is one.

Nusbaums’ retainer agreement also includes a provision that decrees there can be no discovery.

“Discovery,” in civil litigation, is a period during which the parties ask for and receive from the “other side” information about the facts and opinions relevant to the issues underlying the litigation.

Discovery encompasses “fact discovery” and “expert discovery.”

Fact discovery is when the parties disclose all “relevant” non-expert facts. Many seasoned litigators say a case is won or lost during discovery. 

With the Nusbaum no discovery provision, the client cannot seek facts from Nusbaum that could prove overbilling or fraud. 

For instance, if Nusbaum were billing for fictitious phone calls, Riordan would have no right of access to his phone records, which would show if he never made the calls.

In a normal lawsuit, the parties would have access to phone records if the dispute concerns possible overbilling or fraudulent phone calls. 

Despite the suspect retainer, Riordan is not surrendering to the hot-tempered Nusbaum.

This writer experienced his rabid temper. Nusbaum once called this writer, then in Nashville, to chastise him. Nusbaum threatened him physically and made other extra-legal threats to harm him.

This writer captured Nusbaum’s angry 40-minute call on an audio recording. A transcript was made. 

Edward Nusbaum

Riordan is challenging the retainer, as it violates due process and informed consent. Nusbaum, she claims, never told her of the unusual aspects of the retainer. 

Her present goal is to find out how cozy the relationship is with the other family law attorneys.

Fairfield County family law attorneys are the only ones who can arbitrate.

How many family law attorneys in Fairfield County are in on this no-rules arbitration? Is a group of lawyers covering up their overbilling?

Do other family law attorneys in Fairfield County use the Nusbaum clauses of rules-free arbitration conducted by fellow practitioners, with no discovery and a sealed record? 

Riordan sent the following email to 33 family law attorneys in Fairfield County. It will be interesting how many respond to her email. 

  1. Melissa Needle
  2. Alexander J, Cuda
  3. Thomas P. Parrino
  4. John Aldrich
  5. Nancy Aldrich
  6. Marianne Charles
  7. Michael T Meehan
  8. Paul H. McConnell
  9. Frederic J. Siegel
  10. Anthony L. Cenatiempo
  11. Jill Heitler Blomberg
  12. Ross Kanfman
  13. Carole Topol
  14. Jacqueline F. Barbara
  15. Annmarie P. Briones
  16. Jane B. Emons
  17. Lauren M. Healy
  18. Andrew M. Eliot
  19. Kieran J. Costello
  20. Christopher P. Brennan
  21. Aidan R. Welsh
  22. Katherine Bakes
  23. Jonathan Von Kohorn
  24. Tara Von Kohorn
  25. Jenna A. Shankman
  26. Claire DeVidas
  27. Edward L. Sinclair, III
  28. Deena Lynn Gans
  29. Myrna Gans
  30. Matthew J. Broder
  31. Andrew M. Eliot
  32. Carole Topol Orland
  33. Jocelyn Hurwitz

Here is the email:

RE: Fairfield County Family Lawyers Arbitration Panel
Informal Request for Information

Dear XXXXXXX:_

I am a litigant in a matter against Attorney Edward Nusbaum. The case number is FST-CV-21-5024907-S.

Attorneys Edward Nusbaum and Alex Trembicki have made it known that they and other Fairfield County attorneys compel clients to sign contracts of adhesion mandating participation in a private arbitration process.

Arbitral panelists must maintain a family law practice within Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Additionally, Edward Nusbaum’s retainer agreement contains a highly unusual “no-discovery” clause.

Litigants are not entitled to discovery in the arbitration proceedings. This is an unusual provision, because the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and every other bonafide arbitral body has published rules and regulations, including for the discovery process.

Unlike the Connecticut Bar’s program or the AAA, this private Fairfield County Arbitration group appears to have no written rules or guidelines, nor any oversight. There are also no fees provided anywhere.

The outcomes of this arbitration must also be sealed.

Connecticut Supreme Court precedent suggests that Attorney Nusbaum’s retainer agreement is unconscionable and void as against public policy. [See Hanks v. Powder Ridge Restaurant Corp., 276 Conn. 314, 885 A.2d 734 (2005).]

Additionally, this Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration group appears to be operating in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § 1).

The Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration group’s conspiracy and agreement to allocate this market may be  actionable by the US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

There is also a private right of action, which may be brought in the Connecticut Federal District Court.

The elements of the crime and the civil action have been met. The conspiracy comprises an agreement, understanding, and meeting of the minds between Edward Nusbaum, Alex Trembicki, and others, competitors and/or potential competitors, for the purpose or with the effect of unreasonably restraining the family court market in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

If you could be so kind as to answer these questions:

Can you tell me if you have participated in the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process?

Can you provide me with a copy of the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration written rules and procedures?

Please provide me with what you charge if you are an arbitrator in the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration program, and how the process works.

Can you explain how a no-discovery clause works?

Does the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process have discovery rules that address this apparently commonplace situation?

Has the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process considered whether a “no-discovery” clause is a violation of due process?

Are certain Connecticut Superior Court and Family Court Judges familiar with the practices of the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process?

Are said judges involved in the operation of the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process?

Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation.

Very truly yours,

Karen Riordan

 

The Transformation of Ed Nusbaum

How Attorney Nusbaum progresses in his representation of clients. The photo on the upper left shows how he looks when he first asks for his retainer.  The bottom right is when Nusbaum takes his client to his private arbitration based on his retainer agreement.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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  • Are the media and national leaders too afraid to cover stories like this? Are they that beholden to shitbag attorneys and family courts? It would only take one reporter, one tv commentator, to help shine a light on this, to expand on what you’ve done, Frank. I suppose I’m too naive to ever understand how the interests of children and those who genuinely care about them are trampled in favor of courts, attorneys and other bad actors.

    • There is easily 52 weeks worth of material. The judges, family services, the attorneys. The psychologist. The gals. They can hire Frank he’s got the inside scoop.

  • Shouldn’t it be “All the best to you and your family,” instead of a fancy yet meaningless “Best,”? says:

    Some attorneys reading Karen’s email might be considerate enough to respond, but this time last year, two Connecticut judges gaslit, intimidated, disbarred and disparaged an honest attorney who spoke up in her own way about corruption she witnessed.

    Ms. Needle and Mr. Nusbaum work in the same town. If Ms. Needle read Karen’s email and wanted to respond, was she too shocked, too afraid or too complicit to send an honest response?

    Any good attorney reading Karen’s email who cares enough to want to improve family courts could easily copy a few paragraphs from their website to paste a quick response to such simple questions. Any response would be better than no response wherever some lawyers don’t respond to emails to enable unethical actions and crimes — and a few quick responses to a few simple questions about such important topics isn’t too much to ask.

    Attorneys sharing the privilege of working in family courts in any county, state or nation should be happy to help improve their field of practice. Family court corruption is an international scourge in which more harm has been done to children and families for the past forty years than the harm done in any single war or pandemic.

    After so much corruption has been so openly allowed for so long, uninvolved lawyers have an obligation to do something to help. Lawyers like Ms. Needle could do her part, taking three minutes to cut and paste information from the “Divorce Arbitration In Fairfield County, Connecticut” section of her website. Such minimal effort might help and it might look something like this:

    Dear Ms. Riordan,

    Happy New Year! I took a little time to glance briefly at the many cases stemming from your divorce case in family court. While I can’t offer an opinion about the ethics, rules and procedures regarding every action in each of those cases as they relate to the arbitration case, here are a few standard responses to a few of your questions about arbitration in Fairfield County.

    I cut and pasted information from my website to respond quickly to your email. I included a few of your questions and a few other questions you might have so that all could be answered with a few general statements and phrases found on my website. It’s the least any attorney in Fairfield County should do to help the population we’ve promised to serve.

    What procedures should attorneys follow when settling disputes about questionable fees?

    “… The majority of individuals want to avoid trial if at all possible, and this is particularly true in divorce and other family law matters … If your case requires a definitive, binding decision, arbitration may be your best option …”

    2. What happens when my attorney’s goal is to take as much money from me as possible? Why would an attorney who tries to collect questionable fees prohibit discovery?

    “Arbitration is like litigation in that a third party, the arbitrator, will hear testimony and evidence from both sides and then make a binding decision …”

    3. Testimony and evidence from both sides? Can you provide me with a copy of the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration written rules and procedures?

    “Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution used in a variety of civil law disputes. Unlike mediation, where a neutral third party helps parties reach compromises, arbitration resembles a private trial. Parties and their attorneys submit evidence and make arguments to an arbitrator, who acts as judge …”

    4. What kind of private trials and arbitration expect evidence and arguments without discovery?

    “What separates arbitration from mediation is that the arbitrator’s role is not to encourage compromise or settlements but rather to hear evidence and testimony and decide, like a judge …”

    5. Why would any arbitrator or judge expect evidence and testimony after prohibiting discovery?

    “One of the benefits of arbitration is that it is usually more final than a decision in court, as there are greater limits on the ability to appeal an arbitrator’s decision. It is also a way to have a more confidential trial, without the issues playing out in open court …”

    6. In what kinds of cases would arbitrators prohibit discovery when arbitration is “more confidential” and “more final” than procedures in open courts?

    “Since most arbitration issues are financial, the parties must pledge full transparency. There should be an appropriate discovery process leading up to the arbitration. Each party should present their financial records, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan records, deeds and other documentation as evidence. Parties are also allowed to call witnesses, including expert witnesses on asset valuation and other economic measures …”

    8. “Parties must pledge full transparency? Does the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process have discovery rules? Can you explain how a no-discovery clause works?

    “Before entering arbitration, the parties must be fully transparent …”

    I hope this helps.

    Best,

    In the above hypothetical response, if at least the last part is true: “(b)efore entering arbitration, the parties must be fully transparent”, here’s another question:

    In what way(s) do all attorneys in the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration group offer full transparency before no-discovery Fairfield County Family Court “arbitration” begins?

  • “Evidence uncovered by FR shows many emails and phone calls are fraudulent.”

    But was that really evidence? I know it didn’t match with another lawyer’s records, but who’s to say that her records are correct? To me that mismatch raises a red flag, but it is hardly dispositive evidence.

    “Nusbaum, she claims, never told her of the unusual aspects of the retainer.”

    However, the terms were very clearly laid out, right above where the client signs.

    Is it really the lawyer’s responsibility to point out where their retainer might differ from another lawyer? I don’t think so.

    I’m sure he over billed, and I would love to see Karen get her money back, but I think she has no hope of it since she signed that contract. Unless she goes to arbitration and the arbitrator rules in her favor.

      • No, I’m not a lawyer. I never said I was.

        It is evidence that there are discrepancies between the two lawyer’s records, but I don’t think it’s evidence that proves Nusbaum’s records were falsified. Maybe Nusbaum had it right and the other lawyer had it wrong. At this point, without the actual phone records etc of either lawyer, we just don’t know.

      • Just to clarify… When I asked, “but was that really evidence?” I meant was it really evidence that shows the listed emails and phone calls were fraudulent? I don’t believe it shows that.

        • Aaannd …. voilà!

          ✅ There are discrepancies between the two lawyer’s records.
          ✅ Evidence could prove Nusbaum’s records were falsified.
          ✅ At this point, without the actual phone records etc of either lawyer, we just don’t know.

          And … “No discovery is allowed in arbitration”!? 👀

          How convenient. 😝

    • Take the time to read other comments…
      “To form a valid and binding contract in Connecticut, there must be a mutual understanding of the terms that are definite and certain between the parties. . . . If the minds of the parties have not truly met, no enforceable contract exists. . . . [A]n agreement must be definite and certain as to its terms and requirements. . . . So long as any essential matters are left open for further consideration, the contract is not complete. . . . A contract requires a clear and definite promise. . . . A court may, however, enforce an agreement if the missing terms can be ascertained, either from the express terms or by fair implication.” (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.)Geary v. Wentworth Laboratories, Inc., 60 Conn. App. 622, 627-28, 760 A.2d 969 (2000).

      • I read the contract and I didn’t see any missing terms.

        Are you saying that most lawyer’s contracts actually say “my contract is not the same as other lawyer’s contracts”. ? Is a lawyer supposed to ask for copies of all the other lawyers’ retainers in their area to make sure theirs is the same, and if it’s not the same, they must tell the client? That doesn’t makes sense to me.

        • “I read the contract and I didn’t see any missing terms.” 🤔 Huh?

          “Are you saying that most lawyer’s contracts actually say “my contract is not the same as other lawyer’s contracts”. ? “ 👈 If you really think that’s only the problem, read the following again if you haven’t yet, 10:07:

          “To form a valid and binding contract in Connecticut, there must be a mutual understanding of the terms that are definite and certain between the parties. . . . If the minds of the parties have not truly met, no enforceable contract exists. . . . [A]n agreement must be definite and certain as to its terms and requirements. . . . So long as any essential matters are left open for further consideration, the contract is not complete. . . . A contract requires a clear and definite promise. . . . A court may, however, enforce an agreement if the missing terms can be ascertained, either from the express terms or by fair implication.” (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.)Geary v. Wentworth Laboratories, Inc., 60 Conn. App. 622, 627-28, 760 A.2d 969 (2000).

          KEY WORDS AND PHRASES:

          a valid and binding contract
          there must be a mutual understanding of the terms
          definite and certain between the parties
          If the minds of the parties have not truly met, no enforceable contract exists.
          [A]n agreement must be definite and certain as to its terms and requirements.
          So long as any essential matters are left open for further consideration, the contract is not complete.
          A contract requires a clear and definite promise.

          “Is a lawyer supposed to ask for copies of all the other lawyers’ retainers in their area to make sure theirs is the same, and if it’s not the same, they must tell the client? That doesn’t makes sense to me.” 👈 That might not make no sense to anyone else, either. What’s your motive for muddying the water, 10:07?

          • “KEY WORDS AND PHRASES:
            So long as any essential matters are left open for further consideration, the contract is not complete.”

            There was nothing left open for consideration. It clearly said all disputes go to arbitration with a Fairfield County family law attorney, and no discovery is permitted for either side.

            The contract was in plain English and even in a fairly large font. It said consult a lawyer if you don’t understand it. Karen did not consult a lawyer, so it’s implied she understood.

            Btw, the judge already ruled that the contract is enforceable.

            My only interest in this case is as a reader of this blog and a person who likes to learn new things. like most everyone else, this was the first time I heard that someone could say no discovery allowed, and I wondered if that was legal. So I did some research, and yes, it is legal. Personally I think it would be great if it wasn’t, but the fact of the matter is that it is 100% legal, even standard, in private arbitration.

            Sorry if I am sharing information that people don’t want to hear, but it’s the reality of arbitration in the USA. The consumer gets screwed, as usual.

    • Is that you, Sherizzy? 🙂

      With regard to your comment stating ‘she signed the contract’ —- please lookup the legal principle known as “unconscionability”.

      https://www.plaintiffmagazine.com/recent-issues/item/analyzing-unconscionability-in-arbitration-agreements

      It renders all contract clauses, which meet its definition, non-enforceable.

      It’s pretty universal across all states and federal law.

      Here’s a quote from the article (not from CT, but CT courts have similar rulings)

      “Limited discovery is a hallmark of arbitration. (Ramirez, supra, 75 Cal.App.5th at p. 385.) However, discovery must allow a party to vindicate their statutory rights in consumer and employment arbitrations. (Baxter, supra, 16 Cal.App.5th at p. 727.) If a party cannot do so, the discovery limit is unconscionable. (Ibid.)” -End of Quote

      Part of deciding if a contract is unconscionable is how much power one party has over the other party (to deceive them when signing the deal).

      In this case, the sophisticated ‘legal knowledge’ possessed by her shitbag attorney (Nusbaum) gave him an unfair advantage —- because he knew that Karen’s legal knowledge wasn’t sophisticated enough to realize what RIGHTS she was truly giving up by signing his one-sided, unusual, and unconscionable arbitration agreement.

      Also, the fact that CT family attorneys are likely protecting their own colleagues (in arbitration disputes) is so grossly unfair, and possibly illegal, that no court would assume that any reasonable person would enter into such an agreement if they truly understood the scheme behind it.

      Disagree?

      Then WHY would an attorney insist on having his own colleagues, from CT family court, arbitrate his disputes?

      Why not allow a neutral arbitrator who won’t favor anybody?

      It’s cuz Nusbaum is a shitbag who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

  • “To form a valid and binding contract in Connecticut, there must be a mutual understanding of the terms that are definite and certain between the parties. . . . If the minds of the parties have not truly met, no enforceable contract exists. . . . [A]n agreement must be definite and certain as to its terms and requirements. . . . So long as any essential matters are left open for further consideration, the contract is not complete. . . . A contract requires a clear and definite promise. . . . A court may, however, enforce an agreement if the missing terms can be ascertained, either from the express terms or by fair implication.” (Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.)Geary v. Wentworth Laboratories, Inc., 60 Conn. App. 622, 627-28, 760 A.2d 969 (2000).

    Nusbaum did not explain all due process rights would be violated. This is true in MANY of his cases.

    The level of cover-up and deceit should cost him his license.

    First a no-discovery clause and then the demand of private arbitration with his buddies. Where the costs of arbitration will be assigned to the “loser.”

    This is criminal– Fraud and conspiracy among Nusbaum, Portanova, Trembicki and many others.

    • “First a no-discovery clause and then the demand of private arbitration with his buddies. Where the costs of arbitration will be assigned to the “loser.”

      This is criminal”

      Actually, it is standard practice in the USA.

        • “Is it standard in America?

          In arbitration, I think it is. For example, I found this:

          “It is important to recall that arbitration is a matter of contract. Consequently, the parties may contract to provide for expansive discovery (written discovery and depositions), limited discovery (restricted written discovery and deposi tions), or no discovery. Assuming no overreaching by the party with greater bargaining power, the courts will respect what the parties contracted for in terms of discovery. ”

          https://www.fedbar.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/discoveryinarbitrationmay2009-pdf-1.pdf

          It seems the courts determined that Nusbaum did not overreach since they ordered to compel arbitration. I’m not saying it’s right, but it does seem like it’s perfectly legal. Unfortunately.

          • You forgot the:

            “Assuming no overreaching by the party with greater bargaining power“ part.

            A few family court lawyers and random vendors give Connecticut’s family courts a bad reputation. In cases involving those groups of scoundrels, one can assume: extensive overreach, clever deceit, blatant deceit, sinister deceit, over billing, mocking, gaslighting and bogus contracts such as “Nusbaum’s Fraud Planned from the Start, so There Will be no Discovery Allowed in Arbitration Contract”.

          • “You forgot the:

            “Assuming no overreaching by the party with greater bargaining power“ part.”

            No I didn’t. I wrote that the courts ruled that he did not overreach since they ordered to compel the arbitration.

          • Any contract used to try to guarantee that a lawyer’s friends will conduct arbitration in which discovery can’t be used to prove crimes: isn’t a legitimate contract

            When discovery is needed to prove wrongdoing, what kind of crooks argue against discovery?

  • “The State Bar of California announced today that Enrique Zuniga has been appointed as the agency’s first-ever Public Trust Liaison. The Public Trust Liaison will ensure that members of the public, applicants for admission, legal consumers, attorneys, and other constituents, can meaningfully voice their complaints about State Bar action or inaction and receive assistance in having those concerns addressed. The Public Trust Liaison acts independently, with a dotted-line relationship to the State Bar Board of Trustees Audit Committee. The Public Trust Liaison will produce annual reports containing recommendations for system improvements to present for consideration to the committee and Board.” https://www.calbar.ca.gov/About-Us/News/News-Releases/state-bar-of-california-announces-first-ever-public-trust-liaison

  • Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration Panel???

    Do you mean to tell me that these asshole attorneys in nowhere Connecticut set up their own kangaroo kourt within the Family Courts to run a fraud?

    THIS IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS and ASTONISHING

    Frank, surely you’ve shared this with your NYT contacts?

    • Anyone can set up a contract like that and keep arbitration in their own kangaroo court. If you agree to the terms, you are screwed if you have a problem down the road. This isn’t news, sadly. It’s life in the USA.

  • Q: Has the Fairfield County Family Court Arbitration process considered whether a “no-discovery” clause is a violation of due process?

    A: A party to an arbitration agreement may NOT unreasonably restrict the right to disclosure of ANY facts by a neutral arbitrator.

    Connecticut’s REVISED UNIFORM ARBITRATION ACT: “… Sec. 52-407dd. Effect of agreement to arbitrate; nonwaivable provisions … (b) Before a controversy arises that is subject to an agreement to arbitrate, a party to the agreement may not …(3) Agree to unreasonably restrict the right under section 52-407ll to disclosure of any facts by a neutral arbitrator …”

    • “A party to an arbitration agreement may NOT unreasonably restrict the right to disclosure of ANY facts by a neutral arbitrator.”

      Riordan can disclose all facts she wants to disclose to the arbitrator. She just can’t compel anyone to give her any discovery, aka documents/testimony etc.

  • No one is going to respond unless they don’t know of Riordan’s penchant for viciously smearing people online with unfounded accusations of pedophilia.

    • Christopher Ambrose… Why don’t you go find a barber your own age and shave his head.
      Are you setting up your own legitimate barbershop? Are you going to focus on shaving kids heads? God help you. You are a sick, disturbed individual.

      Law & Order knew it. So does all of Hollywood!

  • NUSBAUM FUCKS OVER ANOTHER PARENT and CHILDREN. He is an attorney predator and he’s been doing this for decades– He plays for the other team- ZERO integrity.

    In this case from 2003 the court agrees that had Nusbaum actually acted in his clients best interest he would have unsupervised, full access to his children! He was a fit parent, but Nusbaum omitted and concealed all relevant information and played for his wife’s attorney! Sound familiar? He did the same thing in the Ambrose case– Nusbaum played for GAL Jocelyn Hurwitz, protected the custody evaluator– Biren Caverly (similiar to Kruger in DeLeo case), and worked in lockstep with Nancy Aldrich (son is the sentor– Will Haskell).

    In this case DeLeo was denied because the statute of limitations apparently ran out– by 4 days.

    This creep is fucking with out lives and abusing children in the process. TOTAL SCUM

  • Remarkable a CT paper actually published family court abuse of Dan Lynch, who went for a no-fault divorce in Bridgeport Court, and was left financially and emotionally bankrupt — on top of being wrongfully incarcerated for contempt of court.

    When is Connecticut going to STOP treating parents like criminals? Law abiding, productive parents enter family court and within months, after decades without an issue, the character assassination and violation of rights leave them penniless, and traumatized with little if any legal recourse in a rigged system.

    DAN LYNCH’s STORY: DANIEL PORTANOVA– Nusbaum’s go to arbitrator–Is a NO SHOW.

    Trumbull man to sue state for attorney, judicial misconduct
    Steve Coulter
    May 11, 2016
    Comments
    Trumbull resident Dan Lynch testifies in Hartford earlier this year.

    Divorce has cost Trumbull resident Dan Lynch a lot more than a life partner — it has cost him his business, his physical and mental health, and his faith in the judicial system.

    Perhaps most important, the legal situation cost him time — almost a decade’s worth of it, more than 15 times the average period for such a matter.

    Lynch, who has been seeking an opportunity to sue, among others, Connecticut’s Statewide Grievance Committee and the Judiciary Department over alleged attorney and judicial misconduct for the last seven years, received some long-awaited good news from the House of Representatives and Connecticut State Senate Tuesday, May 3.

    In the final hours of this year’s legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly granted a rare reversal enabling Lynch to recover damages — he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages in his federal complaint which will now be amended to include additional defendants and claims — resulting from his 2009 divorce and related actions in Bridgeport.

    To the extent allowed by law, he noted certain claims allow for treble damages, so the damage awards could be substantially higher.

    “In the end, it’s a very emotional victory,” Lynch told The Times Friday. “I don’t get back my clean record, I don’t get back all the time I’ve spent researching and responding to these cases, but now I can continue my pursuit for justice and make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

    Lynch, a former member of Trumbull’s Economic Development Commission, said his claim for damages derives, in part, from a decision by several state officials that include Bridgeport Family Court Judge Howard T. Owens who put him in jail for an allegation of contempt.

    His own attorney at that time, Trumbull resident Daniel Portanova failed to show for that 2009 hearing. Opposing counsel, Stanley Goldstein, lied and misrepresented other facts before Judge Owens.

    “Even after Owens found and stated on the record his concerns that my former wife had taken it upon herself to change the court orders and that he couldn’t find me in contempt, he ultimately acquiesced to Goldstein’s demands and ordered that I be immediately incarcerated,” Lynch explained.

    He said that Connecticut employees later allowed Goldstein to resign from the bar, despite pending disciplinary actions being prosecuted by the state from a litany of Fairfield County complaints.

    “There were several people after him for doing the same thing he did to me — falsify records, making knowingly false statements, producing fake exhibits,” Lynch said of the attorney who represented his wife in the case.

    Goldstein, whose practice was based in Trumbull and was a longtime Monroe resident, had been on an earlier one-year disciplinary probation ordered by the same court in Bridgeport. He resigned in 2012 in the midst of four grievance complaints that were being prosecuted by the state’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel. His resignation was accepted by Bridgeport’s Presiding Civil Judge, Barbara N. Bellis, even though Goldstein was not present to attest to the authenticity of the letter or be questioned about its contents.

  • Key Words and Phrases: material interest; substantial relationship; neutral; disclosure by arbitrator; financial interest; impartiality of the arbitrator; equity

    Rewind and Read-Again:

    “Sec. 52-407kk. Appointment of arbitrator; service as neutral arbitrator …

    (b) An individual who has a known, direct and material interest in the outcome of the arbitration proceeding ⬅️ or a known, existing and substantial relationship with a party ⬅️ may not serve as an arbitrator required by an agreement to be neutral.”

    – – –

    “Sec. 52-407ll. Disclosure by arbitrator. (a) Before accepting appointment, an individual who is requested to serve as an arbitrator, after making a reasonable inquiry, shall disclose to all parties to the agreement to arbitrate and arbitration proceeding and to any other arbitrators any known facts that a reasonable person would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the arbitrator in the arbitration proceeding, ⬅️ including:

    (1) A financial or personal interest in the outcome ⬅️ of the arbitration proceeding; and
    (2) An existing or past relationship with any of the parties to the agreement to arbitrate ⬅️ or the arbitration proceeding, their counsel or representatives ⬅️, a witness or another arbitrator.
    (b) An arbitrator has a continuing obligation to disclose to all parties to the agreement to arbitrate and arbitration proceeding and to any other arbitrators any facts that the arbitrator learns after accepting appointment which a reasonable person would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the arbitrator ⬅️.
    (c) If an arbitrator discloses a fact required by subsection (a) or (b) of this section to be disclosed and a party timely objects to the appointment or continued service of the arbitrator based upon the fact disclosed, the objection may be a ground under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 52-407ww for vacating an award made by the arbitrator.
    (d) If the arbitrator did not disclose a fact as required by subsection (a) or (b) of this section, upon timely objection by a party, the court, under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 52-407ww, may vacate an award.
    (e) An arbitrator appointed as a neutral arbitrator who does not disclose a known, direct and material interest in the outcome of the arbitration proceeding or a known, existing and substantial relationship with a party is presumed to act with evident partiality ⬅️ under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 52-407ww. …”

    – – –

    “Sec. 52-408. Agreements to arbitrate. An agreement in any written contract, or in a separate writing executed by the parties to any written contract, to settle by arbitration any controversy thereafter arising out of such contract, or out of the failure or refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof, or a written provision in the articles of association or bylaws of an association or corporation of which both parties are members to arbitrate any controversy which may arise between them in the future, or an agreement in writing between two or more persons to submit to arbitration any controversy existing between them at the time of the agreement to submit, or an agreement in writing between the parties to a marriage to submit to arbitration any controversy between them with respect to the dissolution of their marriage, except issues related to child support, visitation and custody, shall be valid, irrevocable and enforceable,
    except when there exists sufficient cause at law or in equity ⬅️ for the avoidance of written contracts generally.

    – – –

    “Sec. 52-418. Vacating award. (a) Upon the application of any party to an arbitration, the superior court for the judicial district in which one of the parties resides or, in a controversy concerning land, for the judicial district in which the land is situated or, when the court is not in session, any judge thereof, shall make an order vacating the award if it finds any of the following defects: (1) If the award has been procured by corruption, fraud or undue means ⬅️ ; (2) if there has been evident partiality or corruption on the part of any arbitrator ⬅️ ; (3) if the arbitrators have been guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause shown or in refusing to hear evidence ⬅️ pertinent and material to the controversy or of any other action by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced …”

    https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_909.htm#sec_52-407ff

    • Deleo v Nusbaum–
      Ed Nusbaum has been running the same scam for years. In this case, Nusbaum was once again working for the opposition. When Deleo realized Nusbaum was working against his best interest, and colluding with opposing counselor and court appointed psychologist– Dr. Kruger (known player in the CT family court cabal), Deleo confronted Nusbaum.

      “[The Plaintiff]: A short time before I wrote that letter, there was a meeting in Mr. Nusbaum’s office with the lawyer who was appointed to protect my children’s interest.

      In this exchange, Deleo confronts Nusbaum when he discovered his wife’s counsel had sent $50,000 to Kruger, the psychologist who would rule against him and for the wife.
      Same scenario in all these cases– the one who pays gets the ruling in their favor. The trusting parent gets hosed by Nusbaum.

      “[The Plaintiff’s Counsel]: Was that Attorney Diaga Osis?

      “[The Plaintiff]: Yes, Diaga Osis, and I remember sitting there in the conference room, and Mr. Nusbaum said, `Did you know that Effron and Rutkin sent $50,000 worth of business to a guy named Herb Sax,’ who I never heard of before, `and Kruger?’ And I just sat there, and I said — I didn’t say anything. I said, `You have got to be kidding me.’ Here we have Effron and Rutkin sending all their business to Kruger, and Kruger is running the show. At that time, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. At that time, it really, you know, you go to an expert, you get a specialist, you put your faith in them, you trust them, you pay them money and it was unbelievable.

      “[The Plaintiff’s Counsel]: Did that lead to some unpleasantness between you and Mr. Nusbaum?

      “[The Plaintiff]: Yes.

      “[The Plaintiff’s Counsel]: Can you tell us how that transpired?

      “[The Plaintiff]: I remember that he showed me the letter that I sent to my wife and said, `What about this?’ you know, `What about this?’ And I said, `You know, I got the shaft here, you know. I am not happy at all. Here we had these ridiculous allegations, there was never any evidence, I mean, nothing, and here I am almost a year later still getting the shaft, you know. I think we ought to part ways.’ Words to that effect.”

  • Interesting. Though if I were Ms. Riordan, I wouldn’t have sent the inquiries via e-mail, but rather via U.S.P.S. Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. The recipients aren’t obligated to respond, of course, but building a paper trail would be an important step toward any future potential federal lawsuit.

  • Add Daniel Portanova to the list. He’s the go to guy for trembicki and nusbaum.

    Trembicki is a tubby lowlife. Brainless pig who exploits hard working parents.

  • Nusbaum is a hot tempered bully. Glad you got to see it first hand.

    Usually he saves his wrath when his clients catch onto his game- that he’s throwing them under the bus for personal profit.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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