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Judge Bransten begs

Judge Eileen Bransten sits on the New York Supreme Court, eating her curds and whey ... apparently lots of them.

But seriously folks ... BankruptcyMisconduct predicted back in our early coverage of the Kasowitz Fee Padding allegations that there would be secondary issues facing whatever judges heard the Kasowitz Benson dispute.

AboveTheLaw.com Snapshot of AboveTheLaw.com 'In defense of Berry'      Judge Bransten Judge Bransten struggles with her duty to address Kasowitz Benson

Joseph A. Piesco, Jr. pantomimes the Omertà

And then in our subsequent somewhat broader coverage of the Kasowitz Krew - we sent a shout across the bow of the good ship Neo-Mafia Pop:
"we'll be able to track down the particular judge's name who will be embracing his own Hobson's choice regarding compulsory referral."

In simple words - we saw through the pageantry and perceptual blindness on the part of Joseph A. Piesco, Jr. and the legal industry's self serving media punditry. It is understandable that players in the dirty lawyer game would prefer to transmogrify the Berry v. Kasowitz lawsuit into a simple employment matter significant solely due to Berry's confidence and asserted damages. But the underlying lawsuit is both much more significant and simple at the same time. Berry swore above his signature as brother of the bar, that Kasowitz et al. were engaged in conduct which had the affect of gouging client billings. It was after Berry became a whistleblower, sending communications internally through the proper channels, that the warnings and retribution fell upon Berry.


What were Two big issues have grown to Three

The Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility governing all lawyers in New York State is clear as to the requirements of all lawyers (including judges). Moreover, it is the only applicable official code. The unofficial Omertà behind which many a lawyer and judge cower will not withstand the scrutiny of the public or a Federal Special Prosecutor.

  1. Client Overbilling
  2. Whistleblower Retaliation
  3. Judicial System Failure to self police the Overbilling and Whistleblower Retaliation

This third prong of the growing Kasowitz story is where the juicy meat lies. Whilst no person can predict the future, BankruptcyMisconduct has a spider-sence about another page or two coming along on this budding mini-series. We can just imagine the senior executive committee members at other BigLaw firms lamenting the momentum:

Oh, Why couldn't Kasowitz have just taken one for the team? Now "everybody's business model" could get thrown under the microscope.

What Does The Official NY Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility Have To Do With The Kasowitz Berry Story?

It is the story.

We won't second guess why Berry filed the complaint that he did. For all we know, Kasowitz had reneged on the severance payment, or they just took too long to make their payments under the separation agreements, and Berry was thus forced to file a lawsuit. And perhaps a superior game theorist understands the imperative taught by "tit for tat". Then again, Kasowitz certainly held an illicit incentive to be punitive to Berry. The tacitly accepted and undenied allegation by Berry that he was warned not to be "so arrogant" as he attempted to steer his employer away from client fee padding, as partially covered by Young Conaway's Lauren Moak, Esq. Certainly, Kasowitz would want to shut Berry up. Maybe Berry was roughed up? But in the whole scheme of things - none of those questions matter.

It's the Fee Padding, Stupid

Berry swore above his name that Kasowitz was engaged in fee padding. And Above The Law corroborated this allegation. And BankruptcyMisconduct made it clear that we understood the allegation and the responsibilities of all the lawyers involved with respect thereto. "Involved" was specifically described as including the any judge which heard the case. Yes, the Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility
imposes a specific burden on all lawyers to report misconduct. Not that BankruptcyMisconduct, or any third party, must speak up before any New York lawyer does his or her duty. But we did make sure that anyone who read our site knew that it was "teed up".

To be sure, while BankruptcyMisconduct does not claim to have any knowledge of Judge Bransten having read our analysis, but we do know that Team Kasowitz most certainly has read our apprisal, our notice, our caution, our overabundance of professional courtesy. Perhaps more than any other lawyer, Eileen Bransten had a duty to address the Fee Padding. So it does beg the question, why would Kasowitz keep Judge Bransten in the dark on this? To be sure, Judge Bransten must have read Berry's sworn filings. But did Bransten know of this lurking issue, that Kasowitz (a/k/a 38.121.148.*) was already "in play" and being watched?

To be clear, Kasowitz knew the issues as clearly outline here on Bankruptcy misconduct, and knew so before Bransten ruled. Kasowitz wilfully kept Bransten in the dark.

Did not Kasowitz et al. have a duty to bring this issue before the judge? Just because Joey Piesco "What do you mean I'm funny?" failed to acknowledge or deny the fee padding doesn't keep Bransten off the hook. Kasowitz knows they are being featured in this evolving controversy and they seem to decide on their own to withhold this issue from the Court, even after explicit scienter referenced above and beyond their roles as both party and counsel in the matter.

Kasowitz could have sought to have Berry thrown out of the bar as an untrustworthy lawyer, but they chose not too. If Kasowitz had believed that Berry swore false allegations, they were obligated to have filed a complaint with the bar. But now we have Judge Bransten facing sworn allegations of fee padding, and upon information she intentionally ignored same whilst grilling Berry with transparent exasperation. We've said it before and we'll say it again:

Tracking the careers of the criminal apologist bureaucrats who enable the corruption of our justice system is not merely fun, it is our obligation if we desire a stable country in which to live free.

Against Whom does a good citizen file a New York Bar Complaint first?

  • Andrew Cuomo, for failing to prosecute, or even file a bar complaint against, Eliot Spitzer for his longstanding business ties to organized crime and money laundering crimes
  • Andrew Cuomo, for failing to prosecute, or even file a bar complaint against, Judge James Peck the wife beater for his slap happy reflex
  • Judge Bransten, for failing to file a bar complaint against, or even make adequate inquiry to, Kasowitz Benson in light of the sworn fee padding allegations.


... Well, this was a trick question: Hyman & Rotella are in Florida.