the link: (if you have problems with the links and cannot view, download the Google software)
See my comments below and thanks to Ken for bringing this travesty of justice to all our attention:
Justice Connors deposition–my comments
At the outset, KD had told me the agreement was for an “evidence deposition” but the introduction (and perhaps this is just bad lawyering) does not state that. I would argue then that Justice Connors has to appear because it was waived if not asserted at the beginning of the deposition for the purposes of presenting evidence at trial.
P.10 Justice Connors states that here case load in Probate was huge (oh, gimma a break, m’lady. Most afternoons you have nothing in that courtroom. You work half days most of the time).
P13. The appearance form is introduced with a letter. KD objects because it is not clear that appearance form was ever sent with a letter to Dr. Patel.
P.14. Ken does his job and objects on the grounds of heresay and authentication. There is no evidence the appearance form belongs with the letter.
P.16 LB asserts that the Appearance form was sent with the letter and KD does his job and objects. Justice Connors says in court that KD told her that he sent the letter when the record indicates otherwise. In her haste to cause trouble for KD, when Judge Connors asks “did you send the appearance form to Dr. Patel”, KD does not answer, but nutty CF does by saying “yes he did, your honor”. Way to go, babe. Guess the court reporter figured out you, Ms. Farenga, were not an extension of KD’s mouth.
P.19 KD is making an objection for the record, and LB interrupts him. Interesting. He is allowed to object and state a reason. If LB wants to say he need not state a reason (not advised, you can waste time getting down the wrong track and then your opponent can come up with a litany of reasons later. Best to ask to keep it short and to the point.) LB should just say, I’d prefer if we skip reasoning and just everyone say “objection.” That is a valid preference. She does not say that. Instead she argues with his grounds for the objection, which is not proper.
P.22 LB starts in with a number of emails and KD objects due to foundation, heresay, best evidence. LB should have taken KD’s deposition first and had him pop open his yahoo emails to show they are on the server, print them out in front of the court reporter and then label them. That’s the only true way to authenticate a public email is to find it on the server and print it out in front of a court reporter.
P.26 LB line 19, you gotta read this. KD objects to emails on the grounds of heresay. LB responds that they’re not being admitted for the truth of the matter asserted. LOL. So why is she asking questions about them? Is she withdrawing them as a basis for her complaint against Ken? If these are in fact the operative documents, she MUST 1) provide foundation (time, date, place); 2) authenticate or have the witness swear they came from his or her business records; 3) make sure they do not contain heresay which is defined as a statement out of court which proves the truth of the matter asserted. She has to bring it “into court” by having CF first testify she received the email and printed it out and kept it in the ordinary course of business. Now, technically CF can’t do that because it is copyright infringement BUT CF could keep the URL and use that and a summary in her own words. LB can find it and print it out because she is technically a court being a hearing board or agency and courts do not infringe copyrights, far as I know.
P.28. KD continues his standing objections on the emails based upon foundation, authentication, Best Evidence, etc. Now at this point, an atty should think about whether to make these standing objections. The reality is, one of the reasons you make standing objections is to primarily save time and effort. But making a lot of objections often gets your opponent off track and they forget questions and do little follow up–it’s just too much trouble. LB is a got atty, so taking the latter tack is often a good idea. Make her work. Make her forget, make her want to go have a coffee break and get off by 5 pm.
P.36. KD cross examines Justice Connors. He gets her to admit that Sodini is jurisdictional. However, it’s interesting that on line 8 she says “there may be exceptions.” No, nice lady, Sodini does NOT say there may be exceptions. They say the notice is MANDATORY and NO EXCEPTIONS and NO EXCUSES. Duh. The word “shall” is used. Sodini discusses this at length.
P. 38. KD questions MC (Justice Connors) regarding where venue is proper. MC says it’s Cook County because Mary has property there. Okay, this is scary, that’s not what the SCOTUS has said on residency. It’s well known residence is presence in that county and a permanent intent to remain there, so once Mary leaves with Carolyn and Carolyn tells others Mary is not going home and she is keeping her, the temp guardianship has to be transferred to DuPage and guardianship entered there. Duh!
But getting back to my main point on this question is that Atty Apostol is objecting! What’s up with that? Only ONE atty gets to question and that SAME atty is the only one to make objections. No two on one. This isn’t hockey, you know with 1400+ ice brawls per year.
P. 40. Hey KD, what up with this, Atty Apostol is continuing to interject. What’s wrong with this guy? LB is questioning and Apostol is objecting? Come on now.
LOL bottom of page. JMC admits sometimes in the petitions the Petitioern does not know all the close relatives. Is she kidding? CT did not know Mary’s sister 1 and 2? Hah! Mary talked to them on the phone ALL the time. Does Justice Connors ever ask when she gets a petition if the Petitioner knows all the close relatives? Carolyn knew them. The Petition was deficient and fraudulent without all the close relatives (defined in the statute as adult parents, children and siblings).
P. 42+. KD does a great job on getting JMC to admit Mary was entitled to counsel, she was entitled to a Notice of Rights, she was entitled to live testimony and clear and convincing evidence, she was entitled to a 6 person jury. KD should have followed up with “how many times has ANY OF THOSE happened in your courtroom?” NEVER. I have never seen that in probate court and I have spent days and days there watching and listening. Based upon the video tapes I am absolutely certain, that Mary, if questioned apart from Carolyn would want an independent atty, live testimony from a doctor that carefully examined her, etc. All these rights were violated–over and over, the guardianship was railroaded.
P.46. Ken gets out a meat cleaver and takes a whack at the jugular vein of JMC.
Now recall above, KD accuses the court of “doctor shopping.” JMC denies this above. But on p. 46 he nails it—on a transcript “get another doctor” when Mary’s doctor won’t say she’s incompetent. (C.f. p. 23 JMC is asked, is there any basis for claiming you advised “doctor shopping” A: None whatsoever. Bottom of page.)
P.47. JMC incredulously advises on doctor shopping. In fact, she continues to recommend it. Way to go babe. (If you can’t get a CCP211 you like from doctor no.1 , then FIND A DOCTOR, just like when I go to CVS and can’t find my favorite nail polish, I go find what I want at Sally’s–and that’s not nail polish shopping around?)
P.50, line 14, KD asks if many Respondents are “cowed” in court or “taken aback.” JMC replies that many Respondents are outspoken and it depends on the effects of their dementia. Is she gonna read this? She is clearly presuming that if a Respondent is cowed, they’re demented, and if they are outspoken, that’s another form of being demented. Clearly she presumes dementia no matter how the Respondent replies in her courtroom. (If you go to court, be prepared to spell “world” backwards, that’s all I can say).
P.53. Ken is asking all sorts of questions as to whether JMC recalls the problems with the POA for CT and no accounting, if she recall the problem with the lack of accounting on the safe deposit box–and it had Gloria’s name on it too, as well as numerous other issues. JMC says she can’t recall and is getting clearly nervous and defensive. At this point, I would have calmed the witness down and told her “it’s okay to say you don’t recall rather than speculate and get it wrong.”
Once that happens, then the witness will start freely remembering they don’t recall and then your opponent has a non witness on those issues.
You pin it down.
P. 53. JMC admits that an accounting is appropriate procedure after a guardian is appointed and POA’s are terminated. Good admission. Why was this not done?
P.59. On the issue of other daughter’s visitation. JMC waffles on whether the other daughter could visit and then she says she was told the other daughter upset her mother. KD’s perfect, right on question–Before you “banned the other daughter”, did you hold a hearing?
Yeah, I wanna know that? Why doesn’t she hold hearings on the ”banning visitation” issue and get feedback from both sides?
P.60. KD gets JMC to admit Mary can get her own lawyer, then she takes it back and says JMC must appoint a lawyer for her.
There is a notice and a statute that says a Respondent can get an atty if they just ask, so what exactly is JMC’s standard for getting an attorney for someone? Does she follow the law as written, the court’s official notices as written? Those say the Respondent just has to ask, she just has to say she wants an atty. That’s what Mary did in not one but two handwritten notes to the court.
But Judge Connors doesn’t like that standard (Respondent just has to ask for an attorney). Heck no, JMC says she would appoint an attorney for a Respondent if “I truly thought the person needed an attorney.” (Line 13). Whatever happened to the Respondent’s needs and the Respondent’s requests? I guess that is not important to JMC.
Next, KD gets on the issue of what doctor a Respondent can utilize.
P.63. JOC admits there is “no way” she will let “other daughter” care for Mary. And why not? This other daughter is not a felon, she is not under a Petition for an Order of Protection like CT.
P.67 to 68. JMC basically admits that a summons for Mary for her home in Chicago is void if she is living in Naperville and CT was temp guardian and said Mary would not be returning, more or less. It is wrong and Ken is right. The Summons on Mary is defective. No proper Summons admitted by JMC, there is no jurisdiction on that grounds either.
He is doing good with, did you hold a hearing on that issue? Did you hold a hearing?
These are very good questions to ask JMC.
P.70. JMC is getting a bit stubborn. KD asks her if the 14 day Sodini notices are not served, then there is no jurisdiction. She replies she is not there to speculate. Oh, but my little Judgy buttercup, yes you are! You are an expert in this field, you can educate the ARDC, Ms. Black and Mr. Apostol on these issues. They are not experts. The line of questioning is entirely appropriate and relevant. I wanna know how you Judgy types in Probate get away with skirting clear laws when the FED courts on the 14th floor never do. Jurisdiction and 5 day notices, 10 day or whatever are inviolate on that floor, and the defendants get HEARINGS on issues, not just conclusions from a court appointed, buddy system GAL. I never hear the judges on the 14th floor saying, you can have an atty if I think you really need one in this case, just let me take care of you…… Heck no to that one.
But no matter, KD will not push it and I agree, best to just lead her thru the statute like a little week old puppy learning to walk after opening its eyes.
P.73 KD goes after the fact Judge Connors issued a restraining order to prevent the other daughter from fixing up 6014 (this is a typo in the transcript), WITH NO BOND, as required per statute. If the other daughter was going to do $100,000 in repairs, a $50,000 bond would have been typical and mandatory in any other court, or the judge would not grant a TRO or Preliminary Injunction. JMC skips this part.
P.75. KD goes after JMC on the Illinois CPA or anti-SLAPP litigation which protects a person’s First Amendment rights. JMC admits she heard of it. Good for her! Way to go!
P.76 KD asks if he can accuse JMC of being corrupt (based upon her complete lack of following court procedures and statutes). THIS IS GOLDEN–She has no comment on that! LOL (The word corruption is defined via Wikipedia as any deviation from ethical or moral ideals. It’s not just about paying money in a case. It can also be not following the laws as written.)
P. 81. After a long path, KD gets JMC to admit the only way you can invalidate a court order is by following Illinois Compiled Statutes sec. 1401 and doing it within 2 years with due diligence and a meritorious defense. I think this took several pages. He read the transcript into the record where she said she didn’t have to do that.
P. 83 long debate between KD and JOC that “his client” (hmmm, interesting) “fought any inquiry into the ownership of funds” at every turn. Well okay, except for the number of times the other daughter tried to explain it to the court, her numerous pleadings in the file, the times that Brodsky could and did explain it to the court. Been there, done that. Over and over. Yes, except for those numerous explanations which are on the record.
P. 84. A sister testifies in court as to a bag of coins a foot high and 6 inches wide, and JMC does not recall that testimony? JMC can’t recall the theft of a million dollars from Mary’s estate?
P.85. KD questions JMC on seizing property of the “other daughter”. That there must be a citation to discover, that there must be a hearing, a two step process. You can see at the bottom of the page a paragraph of waffling from JOC–it is clearly not an answer to the question of what the legal process was and was it adhered to in the format prescribed to by the Ill. Legislature:
Counsel, we’re In a very
18 unique situation. We’re dealing with the assets of
19 a disabled person.
20 This woman needed this money to live,
21 to provide for a caregiver. She wanted to be in her
22 own home. I would have loved to have placed her In
23 her own home and given her 24-hour care, but your
24 client wouldn’t allow it.
1 We couldn’t get to the bottom line,
2 was any of this money hers or not? If it wasn’t her
3 money, counsel, fine, it was not Mrs. Sykes’ money,
4 it was her daughter’s money.
5 That’s great. Keep your million
6 dollars. All we wanted to find out was was this part
7 of her money so we could get this money and pay for
8 this woman to live in her own home, but we could
9 never get to the bottom of it because your client
10 fought all along the way. That’s all I wanted to
11 find out, so.
This is despite the fact that it was explained by the other daughter in open court numerous times, she put it in pleadings, I believe two lawyers explained it to the court.
P.93 The piece de resistance of the entire deposition. JMC says, well, perhaps the sisters were not notified, but they were present in court. All that would have happened is that I would have vacated the case and we would have started all over.
What a lie! No, you can’t. Mary would have been free, free to move to another state, free to get the heck out of Dodge before it was too late.
The only way you get jurisdiction according to SCOTUS is by having a presence in that jurisdiction and an intent to remain there permanently. The other daughter would have had Mary out of state so fast Mary’s head would swim and that would be the end of greedy, corrupt, over reaching jurisdiction!
And Ken, you know you led her on to voice a judicial opinion directly CONTRARY to what Sodini held, you dirty dog! Being present in court on the day of adjudication does not give sufficient notice to the sisters and the Illinois Supremes held that Probate notice of hearing requirements must be strictly adhered to and notice is mandatory in order for the court to obtain jurisdiction. In fact, they go into a whole monolog in Sodini on how just telling someone about the hearing is not enough, doing it less than 14 days in advance is not enough, and they make it clear that deviations from the notice requirements of 1) written notice by Petitioner, 2) of time, date and place of hearing; 3) served on close relatives, defined as adult parents, siblings and children; 4) served in person or by mail — there is NOTHING optional about any of this. They specially said that “some exceptions” rule was overturned by the State Legislature when enacting the new Probate Act. Judge Connors knew that and chose to ignore and confuse the ARDC with the change in the law that happened years before. Disgusting. Utterly disgusting. She knows these laws. She CHOOSES not to follow them and then says “oh, well.”
Other than that, excellent job at upholding all our civil rights and our right to a hearing, our right to live witnesses the other sisters could have cross examined, etc.