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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Here is my favorite Munro story:
The psychologists that were big into the "custody study" business realized that it if they actually had to write a custody study, someone might actually read it and realize that there was no scientific, psychological or other basis for anything in the report.
So Horowitz & Krieger perfected the art of delaying, deferring, demanding "feedback sessions" and other dirty tricks to avoid ever having to issue the report.
Of course, they still got paid for their work but they'd try to make the case settle without having to write anything for which they could be held accountable. The other psychologists started to copy their methods. Then the game became how to bill the greatest number of hours and make life as difficult as possible for the parents to force the family to settle (or just let the crazy people kill each other or the kids) and never have to issue a report.
However, in some rare cases, they actually had to write a report, which some logical litigant might actually read.
What to do?
Answer: get the judge to order that the parents not be permitted to read the report. You make up some reason like the parents might release the report to the public in a manner that would hurt the kids.
(Remember, in family court fantasyland, the PARENTS are bad for the kids, while the DIVORCE INDUSTRY is good for the kids.)
Thus, in a Stamford matter, Munro ordered the parents to take the kids to (I think) Horowitz, pay him whatever he asked for, then Munro ordered that the parents not be permitted to read the Custody Evaluation, and then she started issuing orders based on the Custody Evaluation that she had forbade the parents from even reading. At this point, the ultimate goal has been realized: the parents role has been reduced to simply writing checks to the divorce industry.
True story. This is due process in Connecticut family court. You get to write the check, or you will lose custody of your kids and be incarcerated.
ANOTHER READER RESPONSE TO NEWS THAT THE FAMILY COMMISSION IS DISBANDING, GOING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!
There are lots of Munro stories. My favorite relates to her supposed oversight of Stamford attorney Gary Cohen's "community service." Cohen had been grieved by a former client for extorting $300,000 for himself and another $300,000 for the client's ex wife's lawyer. Miraculously, the grievance panel found that Cohen had engaged in unethical conduct.
See: http://www.jud.ct.gov/SGC/decisions/060020.pdf. (For a good laugh, note the discussion of Cohen's expert, fellow divorce lawyer Gaetano Ferro, who found Cohen's behavior ethical.)
This case represents, to my knowledge, the only time any member of the Connecticut divorce bar has been sanctioned for any behavior whatsoever.
Cohen was then required to perform something like 200 hours of "community service" pursuant to a subsequent settlement with the Statewide Grievance Committee. Munro was assigned to "oversee" Cohen's community service. However, Cohen wasn't up doing the required hours of community service. So Munro then gave Cohen credit for community service performed on his behalf by one of his associates, whom Cohen presumably paid. Thus, Munro unilaterally eliminated the Statewide Grievance Counsel's community service penalty.
Munro subsequently retired from the bench and is now a partner at Pullman & Comley which just happened to be the law firm that represented Cohen in the grievance matter.
To summarize: Cohen is actually found to have engaged in unethical conduct, Munro unilaterally commutes his community service sentence, and then Cohen's law firm pays back Munro by making her partner.
Just another day at the office for corruption in Connecticut's family courts . . . .
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
In late 2008, early 2009, Munro was given permission to invite certain non-judicial members of the bar to serve on her "Committee". Later, she changed the name to "Commission", I believe she changed the name on her own, and by no official process. She sent invitations to attorneys before she was given permission to do so, I believe.
One of the attorneys was invited to join at the very time he managed to extract himself from a highly contentious Stamford case over which Munro had presided, and at exactly the same time she left Stamford for Middletown, after assigning that same contentious case to Middletown where she was heading... This attorney had admitted to a certain jurist that he had been aware of his client's fraud upon the court for nearly a year and requested to be relieved of the case. Before he abandoned his client, he had Munro order the family's pensions liquidated to address, pre-judgment, insane fees that were never before the court and were later found unreasonable, just after he had her invade minor children's trust funds to pay for bogus forensic psychological evaluations with Sidney Horowitz.
Some of the first items on the Commission's agenda were emergency ex-parte motions for custody, GAL training and fees, and invasions of minor children's "custodial accounts" for payment of forensic psychological testing. These issues were urgent, because Munro had made some crazy rulings and needed some quick rule changes before she was personally sued. (Trust funds are not "custodial accounts" - they are independent legal entities that are specifically protected by state statutes) .
Munro and the attorney who proposed the rule change that would allow the court to order minor children to pay for their family's bogus psychological evaluations and did so under false pretext, for they failed to disclose to the Commission the fact that the case had been before Munro and Munro had ordered minor children's trust funds improperly invaded while she denied the mother a support hearing even after learning the mother and children had no heat or phone service and had been heating the home with an oven, that the mother and children had received zero dollars in child support in 2 years because that special attorney had made sure the mother never had her hearings by scheduling with Munro "emergency status conferences" (15 in 8 months!) during which she granted for him motion that were not even drafted, before canceling that mother's scheduled hearing and ordering the pensions liquidated without a financial hearing for inflated legal fees that later were found to be "unreasonable" but were until that point the cause for the attorney to bankrupt the family by placing a lis pendens on their home and failing to remove it upon court order…
Because all the orders were made "without prejudice and to be addressed at trial" the mother was unable to remedy the situation until trial, which was cancelled by Munro 7 times and ultimately never occurred due to the litigant's being stripped of their net worth. The mother could therefore not appeal.