Saturday, March 7, 2009

Unethical Billing Practices

For the third time, lawyer Thomas W. Pearlman is in trouble for unethical billing practices, including alleged fee-gouging.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court’s chief disciplinary counsel, David D. Curtin, has filed ethics charges against Pearlman.

The complaint alleges that Pearlman failed to provide competent counsel to a client, charged unreasonable fees and then, when the client hired a new lawyer, failed to refund fees he had been given but not earned.

The allegations stem from a complaint filed by Robert Sisto, who hired Pearlman in connection with probate and estate matters for his late brother Richard Sisto who died last March.

Full Article and Source:
Pawtucket lawyer again facing disciplinary charges

More information:
Fee-gouging complaint about lawyer Thomas W. Pearlman

Unfit Guardian?

It's been more than seven months since the state Department of Children and Families launched an investigation into why Dane County granted guardianship of Deshaunsay Sykes-Crowder to her aunt, Lynda Sykes, in 2005. Sykes had a long record of criminal violence, including several stabbings and an assault for which she served time in prison.

Who would have guessed this person might not be a fit guardian? Not Dane County.

Last July, Sykes allegedly beat and suffocated the six-year-old girl to death after moving with her to Ohio, where she is now facing the death penalty.

Full Article and Source:
Death review nears end

Sterilization Without Consent

In Illinois, the Probate Act of 1975 outlines the general duties for guardianship of an adult with a disability (i.e., a ward). However, currently there are no guidelines for when a guardian seeks to have the ward sterilized. As a result, the involuntary sterilization of people with disabilities can be abused. It is possible for a guardian to violate a person’s basic right to not be sterilized without knowledge and/or consent. Most states in the U.S. have due process protections to prevent this extreme, irreversible and dehumanizing situation… but unfortunately Illinois is still one of 16 states lacking any protections against sterilization without consent.

We need to let Illinois legislators know that we want to end involuntary sterilization now by pushing the passage of H.B. 2290!

H.B. 2290 updates the Probate Act of 1975 by adding guidelines requiring that the guardian must file a motion to request the court’s authority to consent to the sterilization procedure (except when a procedure is necessary to save the ward’s life or to prevent harm to the ward); and other due process protections to prevent the involuntary sterilization of a ward without the ward's knowledge or consent. For example, the amendment requires that there be a determination of the ward's capacity to consent, and that the decision of the ward be respected.

Many parents of adult children with disabilities are not the legal guardians of their children (although they may think that they are), and have NO legal authority to seek the sterilization of their adult children. However, physicians unaware of this fact may agree to do a sterilization based on the parent’s consent, without realizing that doing so is illegal.

Sign this petition to show your support of H.B. 2290 and the end to the involuntary sterilization of people with disabilities in Illinois!

For more information, visit

End Involuntary Sterilization in Illinois Now!

Friday, March 6, 2009

National Whistleblower Assembly

National Whistleblower Assembly Scheduled for March 8 - 11, 2009
This meeting will have the most extraordinary list of speakers and events ever. Please send this invitation everywhere, and please attend.

Invitation to the National Whistleblower Assembly

Co-Sponsored by:
Government Accountability Project International Association of WhistleblowersNational Employment Lawyers Association National Whistleblowers Center Project On Government Oversight University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law

National Whistleblower Assembly:
"Ending the Dark Ages: Turning on the Lights Together"

"Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known."

We encourage all 264 organizations and corporations that signed the Whistleblower Protection Act sign-on letter to join us! We are already bonded by a shared principle that "whistleblower protection is a foundation for any change in which the public can believe. It does not matter whether the issue is economic recovery, prescription drug safety, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, national health insurance, or foreign policy." The program is listed at

National Whistleblower Assembly Schedule – 2009 and kindly attend this great event at Washington DC from March 8th to March 12th 2009.

Make It Safe - 2009 National Whistleblower Assembly

Public Guardian Preyed on Wards

Canada - Bryan Tickell was a wolf in shepherd's clothing. As a case manager for the Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C., he was supposed to look after adults who were incapable of looking after their own affairs. Instead, he preyed on them.

In August, he was charged with 14 counts of fraud, theft, forgery and criminal breach of trust. In October, he pleaded guilty to three of those charges in North Vancouver Provincial Court.

Tickell admitted, firstly, that he defrauded the public guardian's office by falsifying his job application. Secondly, he admitted he defrauded an elderly woman, who had been deemed mentally incompetent, by acquiring a Maple Ridge property that she owned for "$1.00 plus love and affection," then selling it for $1 million. And thirdly, he admitted he defrauded an elderly man in similar circumstances by naming himself a 20-per-cent beneficiary of his $1.32-million estate.

Tickell was to be sentenced last week, but that hearing has been postponed to May 14. Until then, he remains free on bail.

Full Article and Source:
Public 'guardian' preyed on mentally incompetent clients

Clinic for Low Income Seniors

The law school at Campbell University, slated to relocate from the Buies Creek campus to Raleigh later this year, has announced plans for a clinic catering to low-income senior citizens.

According to Britt Davis, Campbell Law's development director, the clinic will provide experience for law students while serving senior citizens who otherwise might not be able to afford an attorney. The clinic is scheduled to open in September.

Dubbed the Campbell Senior Law Clinic, the operation will be led by an attorney specializing in elder law, focusing on wills, power of attorney, guardianship, abuse and neglect, consumer fraud and other issues pertinent to seniors. Cases will be generated through referrals and a partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina.

The clinic is funded in part by a $150,000 gift from Progress Energy.

Campbell law school plans clinic to help senior citizens

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Public Act 386 "EPIC"

Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code, Public Act 386
History: 1998, Act 386, Eff. Apr. 1, 2000

A brief description of EPIC and Proposed Amendment, Michigan House Bill No. 4331

The Estates and Protected Individuals Code governs the affairs and estates of protected persons and the administration of estates of deceased– over which probate courts have jurisdiction. It was created to “codify, revise, consolidate, and classify aspects of” all Michigan laws that influence matters in these areas. It replaces some Acts and parts of other others; in specific instances, EPIC defers itself to a Michigan Court Rule. In other words, IT IS THE SUPREME LAW CONCERNING GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP IN MICHIGAN, drawing other laws into a package for comprehensive reference.

EPIC is 153 pages long, divided into eight sections; first section defines terms, general provisions and court jurisdiction. The Division concerning Guardianships and Conservatorships is ARTICLE V - PROTECTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER DISABILITY AND HIS OR HER PROPERTY (700.5101...700.5520). Rules are specific; to the fair-minded, they are sensible and easily understood. (I recently wrote a letter to Michigan’s Judicial Tenure Commission and mentioned what I thought about the law.) 1Extract

From personal experience and research, it appears that respectable probate/civil court administrators and judges in Michigan have standardized court administration and proceedings to enforce EPIC’s rules. Everything from filing systems to petition procedures are mandated by this law. Some judges are considered ‘experts’ on EPIC. However, there are ‘renegade’ courts in Michigan – such as in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties (around Detroit), often referred to as “bad boy networks” or similar, where disregard of EPIC is conspicuously blatant among judges and attorneys.

Not too many people in Michigan. Estate planning attorneys do. It is the essential handbook for Registered/Certified (“Public”) Guardians and Pro Se Litigants in guardianship proceedings and care of a ‘ward’ (person for whom a guardian has been appointed). Probate judges, court attorneys & administrators should know it like they know their toothbrushes, but this might not be evident. Of attorneys practicing outside its areas of government, probably few know about or access the law. Most of the Public, including many people who are involved in probate matters, do not know that EPIC exists.

The Michigan Guardianship Association certifies individuals from all occupations as Public Guardians and Conservators/fiduciaries; knowledge of EPIC rules is required. They are appointed by the court in EPIC-ruled order of succession when and if an “Interested Person” is unable, unwilling or unqualified to serve. EPIC did not outlaw the practice of judges appointing attorneys as professional guardians and conservators, so some judges will skirt the law and appoint G-C’s out of succession – in contested cases, for spite, or to favor an Attorney-Public Guardian. In the renegade counties, these attorneys are on (what is supposed to be) a rotating roster, awaiting guardianship and conservatorship appointments. Some attorneys are guardian/conservator for as many as 200-300 LII’s & DD’s, collecting fees for administration of estates, etc. Appointing attorneys as guardians is considered archaic and has been banned in Michigan probate courts that are more progressive. Certified Public Guardians who work independently or with an agency are preferred if a judge determines that an Interested Person cannot serve.

“I like EPIC. It is comprehensive and true to its concept; language is concise and easily understandable by the Public – hallmarks of a ‘good law’. It pares down the ‘wiggle room’ for its interpretation. Shall = must; may = do or do not, in best interest of subject; as required = must, or observe other specified law. Sometimes, EPIC recommends certain consequences if rules are ignored, such as CONTEMPT OF COURT or LOSE YOUR JOB. Luckily, those things rarely happen because the law is so explicit. For example, if a Guardian moves his ward from her home, the Guardian must inform the court and Interested Persons (because they are interested) within a certain number of days. The Guardian might have to jump through a few hoops to find them but that is his/her responsibility, according to EPIC. Reporting requirements are even more stringent if a Guardian moves a ward to “a more restricted environment.” This law also defines things that courts and judges must do – such as demand timely Inventories and issue notices on insufficient accountings. If EPIC says that a judge shall do something, the judge is not supposed to say, I might, I just don’t feel like it or, as Judge O’Sullivan said, “We don’t follow those [EPIC] laws here.” Some people say that laws are created to be broken, so I was not surprised when my mother’s Attorney-Guardian-Conservator said that he had never heard about some EPIC rules – but a judge? (This paragraph is offered for staff who failed to recognize several incidents of judicial misconduct, as that term is defined by law.)

Proposed Amendment to
Estates and Protected Individuals Code, Public Act 386

Introduced February 18, 2009 by Reps. Cushingberry, Durhal and Sheltrown and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

EPIC is a 153-page Code/Law that comprises hundreds of separate Rules, each of which is a Section of the law. Its current “TITLE” consists of 80* words that describe its purpose as relating to wills and intestacy, the administration and distribution of estates, trusts, the affairs of legally incapacitated and deceased individuals, court jurisdiction and consolidation and revision of laws.

Ø The proposed Amendment would add 22 words to EPIC’s current 80-word TITLE: to impose fees; to create funds; to provide for the powers and duties of certain state and local governmental officers and entities.

Ø HB 4331 would add one new term to 90+ terms currently defined in EPIC’s ARTICLE 1. The new term and its definition would read:
o "Vulnerable adult" means that term as defined in section 145m of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.145m.

Ø HB 4331 would add two new Sections or Rules to the law. They would be inserted within ARTICLE V – PROTECTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER DISABILITY AND HIS OR HER PROPERTY.

The first HR4331 Rule Addition would offer a place where individuals who are 60years of age or older, or who are “vulnerable adults” can deposit their Power of Attorney documents at the Probate Court where they reside – FOR SAFEKEEPING. They could deposit documents themselves or send a representative to do it for them.
Specified information such as name, social security number, etc. must be given.
The legal document/s would later be accessible only by the Principal, or the Agent, or another Person authorized by in a witnessed statement.
The Court would collect $35 for this service.
All $35 fees would be deposited into a new VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION FUND.

The second HR 4331 Rule Addition would authorize creation of a vulnerable adult protection fund [VAPFund] WITHIN THE STATE TREASURY, into which all the $35 fees from all the Courts in the State would be deposited.
The MI State Treasurer would oversee investments and credit interest and earnings to the fund. The Fund’s money could never be moved to the State’s General Fund.
The Dept. of Treasury would appropriate and dispense money from the VAPFund for only two stated purposes.
One purpose is for Investigation and prosecution of offenses under chapter XXA of the Michigan penal code, which defines various degrees of, and penalties for abuse of “Vulnerable Adults” in nursing homes and licensed adult foster care homes. Only the Title and Section of the referenced code would be identified.
The second purpose is for Administration of [the VAPFund] by the courts and the department of treasury.

Comments by L. P. Lambert
Eighty+ words or topics presently categorize hundreds of sub-topics, Rules or Sections. Twenty-Two additional words to describe only two new Rules and one new term are disproportionate. All the new words relate to funds collected from the Public and the State government’s authority, but do not describe 99% of the essence of the law (which is to define responsibilities of the Courts and certain parties and to protect the rights and estates of incapacitated individuals, as well as affairs of the deceased. The new TITLE wording is inappropriately suggestive of the State Governments’ continual authority over matters that it does not presently have authority over within this law.

Defining “Vulnerable Adult” would only be necessary in context of the two proposed additional Sections. However, if EPIC were amended to include the two new Rules, then the term should be adequately defined to eliminate the need for cross-referencing another law. While some terms in EPIC include cross-referencing for comprehensive definition, most are clearly defined as to their meaning and intent within the EPIC’s Rules.

Regarding the two proposed Sections:
“Power of Attorney” is not adequately defined. As proposed wording suggests, the term can mean a person or a legal document. Does this include all types – General Durable, Limited, Health Care; signed, witnessed and notarized according to Michigan law; etc.? Courts may have problems creating spaces to store the documents and systems to organize and retrieve them. If a person revokes a POA and writes another, will s/he have to pay $35 to the Court, again? Who would administer deposits, withdrawals, fee collections, transfers to Treasury Dept., etc? This service may impose a great burden upon the Courts; according to proposed language, they would not receive compensation for the expenses involved in creating and administering ‘safekeeping vaults’. If Courts would receive a percentage of funds, why not propose this?

Creation of a fund for “Vulnerable Adults” who have been abused in nursing and adult foster care homes sounds wonderful. Who will be able to access the funds, though? The proposed Amendment is silent. If aggrieved relations and friends could be guaranteed a portion to hire attorneys, file Court petitions, etc., there might be some potential to save a few lives here. As proposed, it is too unclear as to who/which government entities would investigate and prosecute offenses under the Michigan Penal Code. I think this may be the job of the State Attorney’s office (on down), but who would authorize the local prosecuting attorney to take action – the Department of Treasury?

My Humble Opinion: If I knew that I would be given money from a special fund – say $30,000 – to hire a reputable attorney and sue my mother’s Guardian-Conservator, or move her case through Appeals Court, then I would be all for this. The proposed legislation is designed to benefit someone, but that person will not be the “Vulnerable Adult” that it proposes to protect under the umbrella of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code, Public Act 386.

Written by NASGA Member:
Lucinda P. Lambert
February 25, 2009

The Billing of Sally Stokes

Los Angeles County has paid private lawyers nearly $13,000 to pursue $1,004 in debt owed by a Compton woman for time her 16-year-old granddaughter was held in a juvenile probation camp.

The disclosure that the county already had spent nearly 13 times the actual debt owed came at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting as Zev Yaroslavsky grilled county counsel about the billing of Sally Stokes.

Her case is scheduled to be considered by a judge in Eastlake Juvenile Court.

Stokes, the legal guardian for her granddaughter, had appealed the county’s order that she pay $25 a month toward the debt. She argued that because she lived on Social Security payments of $1,650 a month, she could not afford the monthly payments. State law allows counties to bill parents and guardians of minors held in juvenile probation camps and halls for each day the child spends in the system, but it prohibits the billing of those too poor to pay.

In Stokes’ case, county probation officials apparently improperly counted toward her income the foster care payments she received for looking after three other grandchildren.

Full Article and Source:
[UPDATED] County spent nearly $13,000 pursuing grandmother's $1,004 debt

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Estates Bled Dry

"They are classic cases of the fox guarding the henhouse."

Jackson County prosecutors allege two men plundered separate estates in probate for a combined $1.7 million.

One defendant, a former attorney in Jackson, is in custody and the other lives in another state and has not been arrested.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer: "Both estates were bled dry in the last year."

Among the alleged victims is a woman with Alzheimer's disease and three Catholic churches in Jackson County.

Richard McQuillan faces three counts of embezzling by an agent over $100,000.

Blumer declined to name the second suspect, pending his arrest. "We are afraid he will go in hiding."

Full Article and Source:
Two men allegedly embezzle $1.7 million in separate cases

See also:
Attorney Plundered $1Million Estate

Bernardini & Munger

This site replaces "Vote NO to Judge Munger" website:

See also:
Puppets Imitate Life

A Grandchild's Fight

$2 Billion Conservatorship Battle

Phoebe Hearst Cooke is battling with family members in San Luis Obispo courts over control of her wealth — currently estimated at $2 billion.

One of the richest women in the world, the recently widowed 81-year-old granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst is one of the heirs to the Hearst media fortune.

George Hearst Jr., Phoebe’s twin brother, is chairman of Hearst Corp. and president of the Hearst Foundation, according to the company’s Web site. He is among the family members trying to gain conservatorship over her assets.

Some of Cooke’s other family members, including her daughter, Phoebe “Misty” Lipari, who lives in Cambria, are pressing the court to put Cooke’s estate under the permanent control of George Hearst Jr.. They claim she is paranoid, irrational and incapable of handling her finances, which makes her prey to elder abuse, according to petitions filed by their attorney, John Ronca, in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

But Cooke is fighting their actions, saying they do not have sufficient facts to prove she is mismanaging her assets or that she is being financially abused by others. She claims that the attempt to put her estate into conservatorship is causing her great and irreparable harm, according to court documents.

Her filing states.: “Further compounding this potential for great harm is the magnitude of the property at stake, approximately two billion dollars.”

Full Article and Source:
Hearst media empire: Heiress fights for $2 billion fortune

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Increasing Criminal Penalties for Guardian Misuse

NASGA blog ran an item on 2/24/09, "Introduction to the Problem," and links to an article "Tougher Penalties for Elder Abuse." There is additional information needed to clarify the legislation in question, which is not as good as appears on its face.

The article only mentions the Senate version of the Bill. Actually, there were two VERY IMPORTANT legislative Bills introduced last week in West Virginia regarding INCREASING PUNISHMENT already on the books for abuse, neglect, and misappropriation or misuse of funds involving elderly or incapacitated people. The first was H.B. 2607, introduced on 2/18/09. The next day, Senator William Laird introduced S.B. 294, subject of the newspaper article.

The purpose of both Bills was to increase the penalties for the financial exploitation of elderly persons and incapacitated adults.

A review and comparison of both versions gives us concern about what's missing from both Bills.

_Problem 1_:
The Senate version adds new sections for murder, neglect resulting in death, and sexual abuse - specifically by "a caregiver, guardian or custodian" - certainly important new law - but then excuses it if there is no "malice."

And it retains the same descriptive language - "a caregiver, guardian or custodian" - in the sections dealing with basic abuse and neglect.

BUT - and this is a BIG BUT - _*it seeks to delete (actually, strike out and remove from the existing law) the very same words "caregiver, guardian or custodian" from the section dealing with misappropriation** or misuse of funds or assets!!! *_

Is this not the most-needed legislation we are aware of to discourage fiduciaries from predatory action against their wards, especially in times of economic downturn? These are the very people who have direct access to and control over the assets, and who, if those descriptions in the Senate Bill are not specific, can be excluded from punishment for such misappropriation or misuse by one means or another!

_Problem 2_:
The remaining language of the Senate Bill - relating only to "Any person" - may appear to cover everyone (everything), but it does not.

__1. While "caregiver" and "custodian" are defined in Section (a) in both Bills, "guardian" is not defined in either Bill.
2. Both Bills also fail to provide for the fact that guardians are sometimes corporations, such as banks or nonprofits.
3. As a matter of law, a corporation, being a legal entity, is treated as an artificial "person."
4. With that understanding, "person" may seem to be adequate; however, in our experience with unethical lawyers and corrupt judges, there must be no "wiggle room"! There must be more clarity in the description and language of the Bills to avoid escape from punishment for wrongdoing of ALL court-appointed fiduciaries.

The House Bill does not have a death component. A definition of "guardian" needs to be added to Section (a) of the house Bill. Section (d) is fine, as is, because it includes "caregiver, guardian or custodian" and there is no effortto strike it as in the Senate version.

Written by a NASGA member

See also:
Senate Bill 294

House Bill 2607

HB305 UAGPPJA is Withdrawn

HB 305 - Adult Guardianship
GENERAL BILL by Schwartz

Adult Guardianship: Creates "Uniform Adult Guardianship & Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act"

Effective Date: July 1, 2009

Last Event: Withdrawn prior to introduction on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 2:26 PM

Florida House of Representatives

See also:
HB305 Adult Guardianship


Tim Kinley & Nancy Lazaryan on "Speechless" Feb 27, 2009

Evidence of Judicial Corruption to be heard by MN Legislators

See also:
Ad Hoc Committee - Crimes By Judges

Monday, March 2, 2009

Probate Judge Orders Return of Money

The probate court is joining the Jasper County public administrator’s office in seeking the return of county wards’ money that was sent to the state.

Rita Hunter, in the final weeks of her tenure as the elected public administrator in December, sent about $85,000 from the accounts of wards to state health-care agencies, said Gretchen Long, attorney for Angie Casavecchia, who replaced Hunter as administrator.

Probate Judge David Mouton has signed orders asking that the money be returned. The orders have been sent along with copies of court motions from Long saying that the payments were not authorized by the court or sought by the state, and that the wards need the money for their care. Under state law, approval by the judge is required for expenditures from wards’ accounts that exceed $1,000. Court records do not show that court permission for the expenditures was ever sought.

Full Article and Source:
Probate court joins in asking for return of wards’ money

More information:
Nursing homes feeling squeeze w/ Gretchen Long letter to facilities and caregivers

See also:
Exceeding Authority

Volunteer Guardianship Program

Volunteers are being sought to assist elderly residents of area nursing homes who have no family.

The Full Life Center Inc., a nonprofit organization led by New Philadelphia attorney Karen Dummermuth, has developed a volunteer guardianship program. Dummermuth, who serves as a guardian for several area residents, said there is a great need for more guardians of the elderly and legally incompetent.

Dummermuth: “The volunteers would befriend these people and provide them with a friend on the outside. As these people, who must meet the legal definition of a ‘ward,’ have no family, the guardian could be making medical decisions for them."

Full Article and Source:
Non-profit organizations seeks volunteers to serve as ‘guardians’ for residents of nursing homes

Text a Tip

WI - In an effort to keep up with high-tech methods of communication, Janesville Area CrimeStoppers is offering a new way to submit crime tips: text messages.

Residents can use their cell phones to text tips to CrimeStoppers. The messages go to the Janesville Police Department.

Officer Chad Sullivan: “Everybody’s texting. This is going to be a very good way to get information.”

People can text 274637 to submit a crime tip. In the body of the text, senders must type JACS and then the message. Senders remain anonymous because the texts are encrypted.

Tipsters also can go online and send tips via the Internet.

Messages will be received instantly 24 hours a day, Sullivan said, and police officers on the receiving end can reply if they need more information.

In the past, phone tips went to voicemail after 3 p.m. weekdays and on weekends, Sullivan said. And police had no way of returning the call if the tipster didn’t leave a phone number, he said.

The result was that officers couldn’t respond quickly enough or get certain details if they were left out.

The text feature also allows more anonymity and real-time interaction with an ongoing criminal situation, said Christine Rebout, president of Janesville Area CrimeStoppers.

Full Article and Source:
Text a tip: CrimeStoppers has a new way to collect clues

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"When Judges Stain Our Kids"

Karen Adamski of Larksville thought she was doing her late son, Brandyn Robbins, a favor when she hauled him in front of Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. She saw him going down the wrong path and thought a stern talking-to was just what he needed.

The next thing she knew, he was taken away.

Adamski told a television audience: "He was bounced back between Pennsylvania Child Care and Camp Adams." Clutching a photo of Brandyn, Adamski explained the effect the ordeal had on her family. Her son committed suicide last year at the age of 17.

Adamski shared her story on Thursday’s WVIA-TV broadcast of “State of Pennsylvania: When Judges Stain Our Kids.” The show delved into the current scandal involving former Luzerne County president judges Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan. Both men are accused of taking kickbacks from the owner and developer of Pennsylvania Child Care in exchange for placing children in the private facility. They recently pleaded guilty in federal court.

Full Article and Source:
Mother tells juvenile son’s story

More information:
WVIA-TV's State of Pennsylvania Presents 'When Judges Stain our Kids'

See also:
Kickback Scheme Judges Sued

Alleged Public Corruption

AstraZeneca Knew of Risks

Internal AstraZeneca reports and e-mails written by company officials show they knew a decade ago that their psychiatric drug Seroquel caused diabetes and major weight gain, plaintiffs' lawyers said Friday after releasing dozens of the previously sealed documents.

Houston attorney Ed Blizzard, one of the lead attorneys representing roughly 15,000 plaintiffs suing the British drugmaker: "They not only failed to warn about the risk of diabetes, but they marketed it as not having that risk."

The plaintiffs claim Seroquel, approved for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, caused diabetes, weight gain and related health problems, from kidney failure and heart attacks to amputations and damage to the pancreas, which makes insulin.

Full Article and Source:
Documents on Seroquel show drugmaker AstraZeneca knew of diabetes risks

More information:
AstraZeneca Knew of Safety Issues With Their Psychiatric Drug

AstraZeneca Seroquel Studies ‘Buried,’ Papers Show

Records: AstraZeneca ignored warning on Seroquel's diabetes risk

Astra documents show Seroquel back-story

Judge Rules Contrary to Wishes

The judge overseeing the probate of the hotelier Leona Helmsley’s will has ruled that, contrary to her wishes, the billions of dollars that will flow into the charitable trust she created do not have to be spent solely for the care and welfare of dogs.

The judge, Troy K. Webber of Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan, said that the trustees who control the trust may distribute the money as they see fit.

Judge Webber: “The court finds that the trustees may apply trust funds for such charitable purposes and in such amounts as they may, in their sole discretion, determine.”

Full Article and Source:
Not All of Helmsley’s Trust Has to Go to Dogs

More information:
Helmsley billions not just for dogs

NY court: Helmsley fortune goes to more than dogs