by the other party. Of course, you could argue that’s not fair, and it gave Ken a distinct disadvantage, but when you think about the hypocrisy of it all, it shows extreme bias.
As in all case, the underlying facts (without excessive analysis performed), are always crucial to any determination of justice. Simply because you tell one party “don’t go there”–despite the fact these are crucial facts–means the other party, in order to prove its facts, simply has to go there.
Same thing happened with Ken’s trial.
I could also argue letting the ARDC put on its case, and then saying they didn’t have enough time to allow for Ken to bring in his witnesses, was also unfair, except for the fact, the cross examination of the witnesses was brutal.
At the end, one had to wonder, what is it about all the fuss regarding appointing a GAL anyway, since they seem to do so very little–they’re more like a public defender with about 200 cases per day–and why are they getting paid anything anyway, other than a small stipend?
From Judy Ditkowsky–she had some great observations:
I understand your frustration at not being allowed to testify. BUT the fact is that Osorian had disallowed all testimony which he judged to be underlying the ARDC case. You were not allowed to be in the courtroom for most of this.Nevertheless, the excellent cross examinations of Ken and of Larry Hyman of the ARDC witnesses caused the three lawyers/guardians Schmiedel, Stern and Farenga to admit that they were guilty of failure to exercise any of their powers to protect Mary. Farenga even had to admit that she had only seen Mary in her office, because Naperville was too far for her to travel to and Adam lived closer. Farenga and Stern admitted that they were not present when Carolyn had the safety deposit box drilled, so that they had not protected Mary’s potential interest against Carolyn, even though they knew that Mary had initially accused Carolyn in her initial action of stealing $4000. Farenga admitted that (representation by) most (guardians ad litem) end after a few months and do not continue with no pay for three years and five months. In the cross examinations it was brought out that Schmiedel knew that the Lumberman suit was against Gloria only and Mary had no part in it. Stern made numerous factual admissions which showed that he was not acting in Mary’s interest at all. But most important was that the arrogance of Mr. Apostel (or whatever his name was) allowed Ken to bring in just about everything that Torosian had previously disallowed!!! The result was that Ken got to make his closing statement during the redirect questioning of him as the adverse witness, and THEN Larry was able to make his own closing statement that the three : Schmiedel, Stern and Farenga, could have merely blocked all Ken’s emails FOR ALL THE USE they made of them to investigate anything whatsoever. The implication was that their discomfort was clearly the result of their inaction and time wasting. Their witness, Dr. Patel, clearly indicated that he, an ordinary family physician, did NOT see anything in Ken’s letter that he thought required him to take action; thus, the letter did not in fact contain anything implying that it was mandatory no matter how the guardians, the attorney for Carolyn Toerpe, OR the ARDC wanted to parse it. Only persons who were looking for trouble could even imagine
that there was trouble.In the meantime, even Orosian, seeing my demeanor, had to see that Apostel was doing his best to drive Ken into a stroke. I saw him take immediate though subtle action, once he saw how distressed I genuinely was (I got up and gave Larry a note, and I suspect that I was pale and possible shaking) and Ken’s color all too slowly did go back to normal. I do not think Osorian wanted 911 ambulances or a corpse in his hearing room. He and Hilliken could see that Ms. Black was wagging her fanny at them and emphasizing her bosom to Apostel every time she consulted with Apostel. These hearing officers, and hearing officer Mrs. Williams could see Ms. Black rolling her eyes and making faces like a pre-teen. Both men doubtless have much prettier and younger females whose shoes (with six inch heels) fit doing the same in their offices all day long and are not in need of or in awe of her attempted stimulations. Ms. Williams probably had my reactions to Ms. Black’s activities.
Until much after the hearing, I was under the false impression that the three hearing officers were employees of the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois. In fact, they are pro-bono lawyers from big firms — at least the two men are from large and probably national law firms and I missed which firm Ms. Williams is employed by, frankly, because I thought these were the activities that qualified them for a paying job as hearing officers, not their current affiliations. Taurig-Greenberg, of course, represents many politicos, including, in the past Abamoff, and all of the Indian tribes he was setting against each other. I think it might have been involved with either Rezko or Cellini but I have not researched that. Nevertheless, if you noticed, the men’s suits did not come off the sale rack at TJMaxx, Cosco, J.C.Penney, or the like. Hilliken’s tonsure probably cost what Romney’s, Clinton’s, Kerry’s did. These are the kind of people who CONSTANTLY have to guard their own personal assets against their own financial managers, their former wives, their former trophy wives, their feuding step-children — and there have been plenty of well publicized cases in the last few years of heirs and heiresses and other business titans who have been dispossessed by family members. Also, they also probably have to appear occasionally in court, and certainly have to manage the way their cases are run. If THEY THEMSELVES happen to guess wrong as to which political or economic powerhouse to displease, they could also be hauled before the ARDC. Maybe they were not favorably impressed by a twenty eight year old twerp almost pornographically rhapsodizing about the “Disciplinary” powers he had been granted. You and I don’t know anything about the fond family relations that may OR MAY NOT exist in hearing officer Williams’ family, or what depredations her immediate or extended family might have suffered in the recent or more distant past from over-reaching governmental agencies.
So, until they make their finding, which could be tomorrow but is more likely to be six months or a year distant, we do not know what they are going to do. We do know that in theory, this was not a trial of the ARDC; the hearing officers, however, do have the power to make a finding in which they denote that they expected not to have to use the second day of the hearing at all, and were reserving it only for emergency purposes. Instead they were forced to listen to the Administrator attorneys wasting their time pretending that an investigation of someone accused of miscreant behavior was properly made by asking them under oath whether they were miscreants for hour after hour, whether they were forced to listen to the administrators’ lawyers reading to them as if they illiterate after they had been told not to, whether they thought that it was appropriate for Ken’s arrival ten minutes late on Thursday would be mentioned when they (the hearing officers) themselves did not enter the courtroom until 9:40 AM on Friday, and when Black was herself late several times after breaks (when there were no possible issues of traffic or holdups at the front desk). They may well have noticed that hours were spent detailing a sanctions motion which was declared a non-entity by an appeals court, and they could mention that. The superiors of Black and Apostel (or whatever his name is) had OFFICIAL eyes and ears in that courtroom as well, such as the lady in purple in the desk behind me, the security guard and even the court reporter.
In short, your support was much appreciated. Both Ken and Larry are experienced courtroom lawyers. Drew Peterson was convicted by the fact that Brodsky and his cohort over-reached and allowed in testimony which totally incriminated their witness beyond a reasonable doubt to the one person who took the attitude you or I as a juror would take when faced with a defendant already adjusted guilty by the 11 other jurors — the defendant MUST be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I did take that position in the one jury trial I was a juror in, which cost eleven other people, many of whom made little more than minimum wage, two days work instead of only a day’s work for the pittance of seventeen dollars a day… and they were very gracious about that because they too wanted to be sure they were doing justice). When Ken and Larry decided that the case had been made by the unforced errors of their opponents, they did not continue the game and take a chance that they might make forced or unforced errors. They made points by ending early (a 20 minute instead of a 30 minute closing statement) and that donkey Apostel surely lost even more points by taking advantage of Osorian’s invitation to use up a few of those ten minutes.
So if the panel is straight, they had all the evidence they needed that the proceeding was a waste of time and money. If they are not straight, no facts would change their minds!
I have to agree with all you said and then some. The case clearly was about the fact Ken was trying to help Mary and bring justice to the table in his own way. Either a person’s emails are protected first Amendment speech (he did not advise anyone to commit a crime, or hide a murder or anything serious), or they are not.
Either they “get that” or they don’t. Perhaps Ms. Black was urged on to do this (moronic) duty of a waste of time 2 day trial because the Appellate court, in reaching their decision to overturn the $5,000 sanctions award said in the end to report all of it to the ARDC and let them make a decision. Of course, the real question is, why did not the the Court of Appeals tell the ARDC to investigate the allegations of lack of jurisdiction in Mary’s Probate case–a most serious error–together with the wrongful sanctioning of an attorney that had never even filed one piece of paper there. Those would be the miscreants to investigate, not Ken who was cleared of the alleged sanctions violation.
In the end, I suspect nothing will be done well, because it is Probate. And Probate is too messy, complicated and time wasting for most other attys who have important paying clients and matters.
That is JMHO. If Mary wants justice, a sister or daughter will have to file the Motion to Dismiss properly (which has been done) and take it up on Appeal (waiting for that), because we all know there is little justice going on in Probate.
And the miscreants depend upon that.
Now from Ken:
As I citizen of the United States of America you have the right to write to the powers that be – i.e. the Illinois ARDC, the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, the Supreme Court itself, the United States Attorney, and the Bar Associations and express your opinion on the conduct of the case and the conduct of the people engaged in it.
Contrary to the statements of the ARDC attorneys, the Supreme Court in the Alvarez case ruled that the First Amendment is alive and well. You do not need anyone’s permission to write to the powers that be and in fact you should express your views. Contrary to the statements of Ms. Black the border of the United States has not receded and Illinois is not part of the Soviet Union.
What has happened in the Sykes case is a travesty! The retribution against Gloria Sykes is outrageous, and in my opinion the prosecution by the ARDC against me absolutely chilling. If you noticed the ARDC attorneys stayed far away from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alvarez! They also stayed far away from Sodini! This 1988 decision was well known to Farenga, Stern, Schmiedel and the judges. It has been reported to me that in some courtrooms the judges are actually making inquiry of the applicants for guardianship if the Sodini requirements were made. That is big progress! Had the Sodini requirements been observed many of the cases that pollute the landscape would never have occurred.
Let me reiterate – just agreeing with me is soothing to my ego and makes me feel proud; however, I am the choir! If we want to preserve our liberty we have to make our voices heard. As it was pointed out by Farenga in her testimony – she and Stern were aware that Carolyn was drilling safe deposit boxes and they were uninterested in making certain that Carolyn did not loot the boxes – neither could take the time to ascertain what was in the safety deposit box! However, both were Johnny on the Spot to deny the word of family members! It is interesting that Carolyn has never denied the fact that she took a million dollars in collectible Au coins and never inventoried them. It is also interesting that the ARDC never investigated that fact before calling me a liar.
No one talked to Gloria, Aunt Yo, the Biddy Estate etc.
Similarly no one ever took the time to follow through on the Petition for a Protective order, or the Edward’s Hospital fiasco in which Mary was brought to the hospital having lost 10% of her body weight. Even though Carolyn admitted to family members her neglect of her mother, Farenga (and ultimate the ARDC attorneys) failed to do a scintilla of investigation. Indeed, no one was interested in the fact of Mary’s isolation and her younger daughter and her elderly younger sister were deprived of even telephone contact with Mary.
Indeed – if you care about the elderly and their financial exploitation, I believe that more has to be done than lecturing the choir.
that said – I thank everyone for their support. I appreciate the fact that so many have expressed it. I am a minor player in this drama. As I stated in open Court = as long as the Good Lord (Lady too, can’t be sexist here–JMD comments) allow me breath I intend to exercise my First Amendment Rights. I will not be intimidated as it is my duty as a human being to speak out and continue to speak out until this nefarious situation is resolved. I respectfully submit that democracy is not a spectator sport and most importantly participation in the democratic process is a human responsibility.