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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

$40 Million Reasons Not to Lie to Jonathan Lippman (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

A forty million dollar payday is no good reason to lie to current Appellate Division, First Department, Presiding Justice Jonathan Lippman. Nor was $40 million big ones a good reason to have lied to Presiding Justice Lippman when he was New York State’s Chief Administrative Judge. But that’s exactly what happened….MORE….

There are numerous reasons why lying to Judge Lippman is so objectionable: you simply shouldn’t lie to people, and it’s not a nice thing to do. It’s especially egregious when a lawyer, and who is also a judge, intentionally misleads his own boss- the top administrative judge for the entire state of New York.  And, of course, there are many other reasons.

“Lippman’s a stand-up guy, just a really decent man,” said one twenty-year-plus veteran of a downstate Appellate Division, and who asked that her name not be used. “With all the crap around here, and given the large amount of laziness, it’s nice to have someone as dedicated and hard-working as Jonathan Lippman is at the First Department,” she says.

As we reported in July of 2007, New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Ramos received a "waiver" of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct from then-Chief Administrative Judge Lippman based upon information he (Ramos) provided in writing. The “waiver” pre-approved Judge Ramos to be co-executor of two estates of a couple who were alive and, importantly, over their various trusts.

The Ramos Waiver Request Was Not Truthful

The highly unusual "waiver" of the State Judicial Rules was given by then Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman on May 7, 2003, about a year prior to the jurist's involvement in the 2004 "corporate greed" lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General involving the New York Stock Exchange, former Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso and then-NYSE director Kenneth G. Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot.

The May 7, 2003 dated letter from the Administrative Judge allowed Judge Ramos "to be named and to serve as a co-executor and trustee under the Wills of Ruth and Herb Weissberg.”  
(To see the papers, on the right, click on "Ramos-Lippman-Weissberg Documents")

However, on May 7, 2003, Ruth and Herb were very much alive. And though Herbert Weissberg would die about 2 months later, on July 3, 2003, confirmation keeps coming in that Herb had had a stroke and couldn’t speak due to dementia and aphasia, for well over one year prior to his death.

While Judge Lippman's letter reiterates Justice Ramos' contention that he "had a longstanding relationship of trust and confidence with the Weissbergs going back 36 years," there is no mention as to why the original March 24, 2002 dated Will did not name Charles E. Ramos as an executor or trustee but, instead, the Last Will named trusted accountant Andrew Rubin and long-time friend attorney Paul Herman as co-executors.

It was only by virtue of a subsequent Codicil by the long-incapacitated and dying Herbert Weissberg that Andrew Rubin and Paul Herman were removed as named co-fiduciaries, and replaced with Judge Ramos and the frail, soon-to-be-widow, Ruth Weissberg as the new named co-fiduciaries.

Troubling Beginnings

After graduating Fordham law school, Judge Ramos joined the law office of Benedict Ginsberg in the late 1960’s. After reportedly running that law firm in the early 1980’s, Judge Ramos was appointed to the New York Civil Court by a mayoral committee.

As a Civil Court judge and, from 1988 through 1993, an acting Supreme Court justice, Ramos joined several other judges in publicly criticizing the screening panels that chose Democratic candidates for Manhattan judgeships, claiming they trumped law with politics. In 1992, and after having just lost a run for the Supreme Court, he criticized the selection process in a letter to the New York Law Journal, accusing "those who have accumulated and hold on to political power" of ignoring Hispanic candidates for the bench.

It is reported that the interview with the committee to approve his being a judge was an act of “going through the motions,” as the decision had already been made by the party bosses.

During that interview, candidate Ramos was asked if it was true that he had once represented a client, and proceeded through a full trial with that client, without informing his adversaries or the sitting judge that his client was, in fact, his (Ramos’) wife.  Candidate Ramos reportedly replied, laughingly, “Yes, guilty as charged.”

New Information No Laughing Matter

Various interviews with sources in New York and New Jersey, and who asked not to be identified, have now confirmed that Herb could barely say “yes” or “no” and was in a fetal position during the last year of his life.

All of the nearly two dozen people interviewed for this article, and who knew the Weissberg family for decades, were surprised, if not shocked, to hear that Judge Ramos had presented himself as a long time "dear friend" of Herbert Weissberg. “It’s a lie,” said one 80-year-old friend of Herb’s who says he has known the Weissberg family for 50 years.

It also appears that other plans to wrestle control of Herb's millions were in the works. It is also alleged that in October of 2001, Herbert Weissberg’s attorney, Paul Herman, went to the hospital to visit Herb, who was at that time extremely ill and unable to speak due to dementia and aphasia.

While it cannot be determined exactly how many documents, purportedly signed by Herbert Weissberg, emerged from that hospital visit, or exactly from whom, what is certain is that Herb’s signature varies significantly from one writing to another on papers with the exact same date. Also, and falling under the caption of "sloppy frauds," is one document supposedly prepared by Herb and which misspells the word “Gramercy” – as in the Gramercy Park Hotel- the place Herbert Weissberg had run for decades.

Do People with Dementia & Aphasia Initiate Complex Estate Changes?

It appears that out of thin air, but with a judicial waiver in hand, Judge Ramos then appeared and became a paid trustee. The question remains that if Judge Ramos was such “a close, personal friend of the family” and as presented to Judge Lippman, then Judge Ramos surely would have known that Herb Weissberg had been very ill, could barely scribble a signature, and could not communicate or understand anything complex- all long before the codicil giving him (Ramos) so much was even drafted.

--To see the relevant papers, on the right, click on "Ramos-Lippman-Weissberg Documents"

--Also, to see the Thursday, July 26, 2007, story, “NYSE Grass Langone Judge Gets $20 Million $Sweetheart Deal.”

--Note: we subsequently corrected our $20 Million figure to the now confirmed $40 Million amount.


Anonymous said...

i dont know whether to laugh or cry.
laugh at the balls of these thugs who wear black robes.

or cry because this really is an outrage.... RAMOS FLATLY LIED TO THE TOP JUDGE !!! GET HIM OFF THE BENCH

i like the blog, good work .... keep it up...

you have my vote.....bring in the FEDS !!!

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention that Judge Ramos hired someone to lobby the NYSE for the job of running it. Then he proceeds to act as the Judge in the Grasso case and curries favor with now Gov. Spitzer. Massive conflicts, but no says boo. He told people he was going to get Judge Kaye's job. Fitting justice is that he doesn't get re-elected in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

And Ramos is running for re election in this November's elections.

Ramos is right, there's more money in being a corrupt judge than being some businessman or head of the NYSE.

Nice going Charlie. You're Great.
A crooked judge, but you're GREAT at it!!

Got to give you credit!

Anonymous said...

he doesn't want any credit, he only wants the cash, he knows what counts

Anonymous said...

Ramos was always on the make and he made no bones about it, he wanted the money and made sure everyone knew it......

Anonymous said...

Charles Ramos is a legal pimp and Grasso should sue him seven different ways from Sunday

Anonymous said...

Lippman is a good judge, and Ramos should be ashamed of himself for lying. Is the Commission on Judicial Conduct investigating this?

Anonymous said...

But Ramos gets away with it and no one does anything!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

with all the things that I have read on Ramos, with even more that hasn't been printed, why is he still on the bench?

Anonymous said...

appeared before Ramos, he is a bully and not a good Judge

Anonymous said...

Judge Ramos lied to get a prize. What did Sheldon Silver get?

Anonymous said...

If you lie to the top administrative judge like ramos did, then you should be thrown off the bench.

Anonymous said...

This is referred to as "renting" a Judge. I've heard Judges at a party say they were rented X amount of times. It's just business we all know that.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say that the bad Judge Ramos was re-elected, but anyone running for Judge on the Democratic line wins. So the Democratic Donkeys have made a JACKASS of the voters that voted for the dis-honorable Judge Ramos. Think about that the next time you vote for any Judge.

Anonymous said...

this bum Ramos should be taken off the bench in handcuffs NOW

Anonymous said...

Lippman looks the other way, when the slime slip past him. This isn't virtue, it's being an accomplice. The whole barrel at the top is rotten.

Anonymous said...

Judge Lippman is crooked and a tool of the mob. proof will be published on a dedicated website in the coming days.

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