By Janine Morrison
PT Barnum Seaside Park Bridgeport
Fairfield County was the home of Phineas Taylor ‘PT’ Barnum, 1810-1891.
P. T. was a member of the CT assembly and mayor of Bridgeport. Then he founded a circus, Barnum & Bailey, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.”
He took what he learned in CT and was famously quoted “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
Barnum learned a lot in CT – but that’s a story for another day. His successors became attorneys in family law.
But let us move into the 21st century and Dan Lynch, who went for a no-fault divorce in Bridgeport Court.
Remarkable. A CT media outlet published how the family court abused Lynch, who mistakenly entered the CT family courthouse in Barnum’s old town Bridgeport.
He was seeking a no-fault divorce, and he got it and something more – he left 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 the family court. 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.
Lynch had to learn to be a lawyer, as he stated in testimony given in 2014.
According to Lynch, “The mechanisms allegedly in place for review of attorney and judicial misconduct have been covering up obvious malfeasance for decades… hiding behind a range of immunities if challenged in court.”
According to the article, the state granted Lynch permission to sue the state due to alleged judicial misconduct – related to his Family Court case.
This was unusual, because the state has immunity.
Attorney Daniel Portanova represented Lynch, who ironically is the only attorney Nusbaum was willing to let be an arbitrator in his lawsuit with Karen Riordan.
In his representation of Lynch he was a curious no-show at the crucial moment
Here is the 2016 story by Steve Coulter for the Trumbull [CT] Times.
By Steve Coulter; May 11, 2016
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.
Daniel Portanova stayed away from court one day. It might have saved him his law license. Now he is Edward Nusbaum’s chosen arbitrator when his clients have fee disputes.
Lynch’s 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.
Prime Example of Nusbaum- Deleo v Nusbaum–
Seated: Thomas P. Parrino, Edward Nusbaum. Standing: Harold W. Haldeman, Laura R. Shattuck, Randi R. Nelson, Tom M. Melfi.
Let us move on to Edward Nusbaum.
He seems to have been running the same divorce and custody scheme for decades. Frank Report has asked me to investigate the cases and report back about Nusbaum and his clients.
In the case of David DeLeo, Nusbaum seems to have been working for the opposition.
When Deleo began to suspect Nusbaum was working against his best interest, and colluding with opposing counselor and court appointed psychologist – Dr. Robert Kruger (known player in the CT family court group) in his divorce and custody case, Deleo confronted Nusbaum.
Deleo confronted Nusbaum after discovering that his wife’s attorneys, Effron and Rutki, paid $50,000 to Kruger, the psychologist, who would recommend custody to the court and the GAL over their daughter.
Same scenario in all these cases. The one who pays gets the ruling in their favor. Nusbaum and the other attorney choose which parent will win, and then they work together to milk billings — that’s what DeLeo alleged.
There are many people who saw what they thought was malpractice. Karen Riordan, Sabina Brandt, Carleigh Welsh, Harrison Bubrowsky, Robert Foisie, Christopher Homonnay, Sharon Selkowitz, Margaret McHenry, Maria Dolores Collazo, Juan Colon-Pagan, Diane Harrick, Linda Kramer, Randal Swatek and many others have alleged.
[Be patient, we will get to all the cases.]
DeLeo sued Nusbaum for malpractice, and alleged Nusbaum obtained privileged information from him and divulged it to his wife’s attorney.
From a deposition:
DeLeo: There was a meeting in Mr. Nusbaum’s office with the lawyer who was appointed to protect my children’s interest [the guardian ad litem.
Deleo’s Attorney: Was that Attorney Diaga Osis?
DeLeo: 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.
Deleo’s Attorney: Did that lead to some unpleasantness between you and Mr. Nusbaum?
Deleo’s Attorney: Can you tell us how that transpired?
DeLeo: 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.
The litigation was intense, and it truly looked bad for Nusbaum. In fact, the malpractice seems so palpable that even Nusbaum had to be afraid he would end up disbarred.
But Nusbuam found a loophole. The client must sue the attorney for malpractice within three years of the end of the attorney’s representation or discovery of the malpractice.
DeLeo did sue within that period, and the lower court upheld the lawsuit was not time barred.
Nusbaum appealed. His argument was DeLeo had complained about him before they ended the representation.
So the appellate court backdated the souring of their relationship to the date DeLeo complained about Nusbaum’s alleged double dealings, not when he actually fired Nusbaum or when Nusbaum stopped billing him.
The appellate court, protecting one of their own, concluded that the three year statute of limitations had run.
DeLeo could not get to a public trial where the double-dealing allegations would have been tried under oath and witnesses would have been called.
Nusbaum learned an important lesson from this. He vowed afterwards to never expose himself to a trial. All clients afterwards would have to submit to arbitration.
In future stories, we will show how Nusbaum still got into billing disputes and malpractice problems, and how he refined his retainer over time to eliminate the standard arbitration associations in favor of one of his cronies – like Portanova – and that there can be no discovery.
Let us see if disbarment might come at the tail end of Nusbaum’s career, instead of as it probably should have been during the earlier stages when David DeLeo sued him for cheating with his wife’s attorney to destroy his relationship with his child.
The Nusbaum Files
FR is gathering news about Edward Nusbaum’s various cases. The case of Karen Riordan sparked our interest, and we have already uncovered many similar cases of alleged overbilling, collusion with opposing attorneys, withholding records, and fraudulent billing.
Please contact me with information about attorney Edward Nusbaum. All information will be kept confidential.
Email me at: email@example.com