Saturday, August 16, 2008

Investigations, Reports on Mismanagement, Newspapers Editorials and the Court is the Energizer Rabbit… Keeps Going, and Going and Going

There is very little follow-up, institutional memory beyond the fact that the court has problems.

“Federal investigators are pressing a separate investigation into operations of the Surrogate’s Court, including the public administrators’ office. . . United States Attorney in Manhattan, Otto Obermaier, called a continuing investigation that identified the Surrogate’s Court as a “racketeering enterprise” used by the defendant.” –NY Times, July 24, 1992

“In 1972, Mr. Vincent Catalfo was suspended from practicing law for three years after appropriating a client’s money without permission. Last year, the State Appellate Division overturned a $150,000 fee awarded to him by Surrogate Marie Lambert after he applied for $212,800 in legal services as the court-appointed representative of a 17 year old heir, Ryk Schoonheim. The court found that Mr. Catalfo had never drafted a single legal document, except the request for his own fee.” – NY Times, August 14, 1991

The central fact in that the Surrogate Court supervises the disposition of nearly $1 billion in property each year. The judges command a rich flow of patronage because of their power to appoint guardians and administrators. Fees in this court have sometimes been shockingly high, and appointments have tended to go to cliques of lawyers who stood well with the surrogate. In short, this court is in need of a thoroughgoing reform. In fact, we favor its abolition.” –NY Times, June 24, 1966


Ellian Lopez said...

John Reddy is the most qualified candidate to clean up Manhattan Surrogate's Court. He already has a ten point plan for Surrogate Court reform. Read it at
Remember to vate Sept. 9th.

Ellian Lopez said...

Articles from 1966, 1991 and 1992. Three criticsmsin the last 42 years? Is that the best that Justice Tingling and Nora Anderson can offer? For real reform at Surrogat's Court check John Reddy's web site at

Ellian Lopez said...

September 4th NY Daily News:
"Anderson has borrowed $225,000 from her longtime employer, trust lawyer Seth Rubenstein, who is the grandson of a surrogate and the father of Manhattan lawyer Joshua Rubenstein, who heads the trust and estate section of a major law firm.

That's almost certainly a violation of Article 14, Section 114 of New York State election law, which specifies that a campaign loan "shall be deemed, to the extent not repaid by the date of the primary, general or special election, as the case may be, a contribution."

The $225,000 is far above the legal contribution limit. So Anderson, if she wins, will likely be in violation of the law."

Anderson has no intention of paying back that "Loan" and will only be subject to a small fine for violating the election law. Sad, a candidate for Judge violatig the law on her way to the bench.

John Reddy is a reformer with a 10 point plan on cleaning up Surrogate's Court. He worked hard to raise the money to pay for those mailers, and every contribution he got was legal and didn't violate the elections law.

The lawyer that loaned Nora Anderson the $225,000 will be appearing before her as a judge for guardianships if she is elected. You tell me, do you think he will get his money back tenfold with her as judge?

Vote for reform. Vote for Reddy.