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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Unethical Ethics Committee: The "Sealed Envelope Defense" (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

The “Sealed Envelope Defense” - According to now-former Chief Counsel Thomas Cahill and his deputy Sherry Cohen, Esq. documents that are “under seal” - even from their view and that of DDC investigators- are considered a legitimate defense against meticulously documented complaints..... MORE .....

by William Galison

The cases of corrupt “whitewashing” alleged in Christine Anderson’s lawsuit are by no means isolated. Consider these new revelations, bordering on the bizarre, regarding the DDC’s treatment of a complaint against an attorney at the law firm Beldock, Hoffman and Levine.

In February 2004, a complaint was filed by musician William Galison against attorney Jeffrey A. Greenberg, of the law firm Beldock, Levine and Hoffman. DDC procedure requires a complaint to be vetted by an investigator, then sent to the lawyer who has been complained about (“respondent”) who has twenty days to respond to the allegations. The complainant then replies to the respondent’s response and the case is decided by the DDC. In this case, Galison’s complaint was vetted by investigator Kevin O’sullivan and sent on to Greenberg for a response. Greenberg ignored the twenty-day deadline, and sent his response after forty days.

Greenberg’s response was in the form of a cover letter, stating that the arguments and documents that vindicating Greenberg were contained in a SEALED ENVELOPE that neither NEITHER GALISON OR THE DDC WERE ALLOWED TO VIEW.

Trust Me….

In an April 19, 2004, letter to DDC Chief Counsel Cahill, Greenberg’s attorney and employer, Myron Beldock, advised the DDC that he was enclosing an “answer” to the complaint, “which is 22 pages in length and attaches 27 exhibits, is provided in two forms: the first redacts all content after pg. 3; the second is a full text, with all exhibits, contained in a sealed envelope.

In an accompanying letter, the respondent, Jeffrey Greenberg, writes to the DDC investigator Joel Peterson, “I will respond in detail to each and every allegation of misconduct set forth in Mr. Galison’s complaint, and furnish backup documentation to evidence their lack of merit.”

Of course, neither Mr. Peterson, Galison or anyone else, could never read Mr. Greenberg’s detailed response (with “backup documentation”) because the material was either redacted or “sealed”.

Under DDC rules, after the respondent answers the complaint, the next step in the process is for the complainant to reply to that response, but since the response was sealed from all eyes but those of God, complainant Galison was left with nothing to reply to. When he complained to the committee he was told to “do the best you can”.

So Galison responded by writing an exhaustive 100 page document elucidating and documenting every aspect of the complaint, in order to counter any argument that could possibly reside in the “sealed envelope”.

After waiting several months for a reply from the DDC, he received the following dismissal from Mr. Cahill:

“The Committee has determined that the dispute between you and the above referenced attorney concerns a private contractual matter which is best resolved in another forum….The committee arrived at this determination after conducting an investigation consisting of several steps. First we obtained an answer from the attorney and sent it to you for as reply…… The committee member concluded that no further investigation or action was warranted. As a result your file has been closed.”

Since his complaint did not even involve a contractual matter, and there had been no defense to his complaint submitted by Beldock (except for the sealed envelope) Galison wrote the following letter to Cahill:

Dear Mr. Cahill,

In or about February of 2004, your office received my disciplinary complaint against the attorney Jeffrey Greenberg. The original complaint is enclosed. Before filing the complaint I consulted with Mr. Kevin O’Sullivan. Mr. O’Sullivan explained to me what kinds of complaints were appropriate to make to the committee and in what form they should be presented. I drafted the complaint and brought it back to Mr. O’Sullivan for his opinion. He told me that the complaint was well written and that the claims were appropriate for the consideration of the committee.

Thereafter I received a letter signed by you and dated March 5th, 2004, which stated:
“A copy of your complaint will be sent to the above-named attorney. When we receive a written answer, it will be forwarded to you for written comments.”

In or about April of 2004, I received the enclosed response from Mr. Greenberg along with the enclosed explanatory letter from his acting attorney (and employer), Myron Beldock.

This response did not answer or even address any one of my complaints.

As you can see, this “response” comprises a list of accusations and complaints regarding my actions, motivations and character. It contains no evidence or documentation of any kind.

The accompanying letter from Mr. Beldock explains that there are an additional 22 pages and 27 exhibits in this answer but that these pages and exhibits are privileged and must remain inaccessible to either myself or the committee.
The letter I received can in no way be considered an “answer” to my complaints.

I am asking you Mr. Cahill; how could I have written a response to this “answer” when I was forbidden to view its contents? How could the committee make any informed and competent judgment about the merits of Mr. Greenberg’s answer, when they too were barred from reading it?

Finally, how can the committee dismiss or even close this case without any notion of Mr. Greenberg’s argument against a complaint the subject of which has been sanctioned by one of its own members?

As soon as I received this document from Greenberg, I called Ms. Taub to ask her what I should do? I told her that I had not received an answer from Mr. Greenberg, so I could not respond to it. Ms. Taub told me that she appreciated the problem but that I must do the best I could and that the examiner would take the circumstances into consideration.

Because I had no points to argue against, I wrote a lengthy and thoroughly documented explanation of all my complaints. I also specifically argued why several of the disciplinary complaints were entirely unrelated to any facts that could be used to my advantage in a court proceeding. I even stated that if the committee decided to postpone its consideration of some of the complaints until the court proceeding was resolved, I would consent to that.

On August 3rd I received the enclosed letter from you, which states:

“The Committee has determined that the dispute between you and the above referenced attorney concerns a private contractual matter which is best resolved in another forum.”

Precisely what contractual matter are you referring to? I can only hope that your secretary sent me the wrong form letter- otherwise, it is obvious that your examiner did not even read my complaint.

“The committee arrived at this determination after conducting an investigation consisting of several steps. First we obtained an answer from the attorney and sent it to you for as reply…… The committee member concluded that no further investigation or action was warranted. As a result your file has been closed.”

As explained above I did NOT receive an answer from the attorney and neither did you. We only received a litany of insults and accusations against me, and a refusal to address any of my complaints- along with a “sealed envelope” that may well contain used toilet paper.

The complaints against Mr. Greenberg are extremely serious and worthy, I believe, of his disbarment if found to be valid. Your committee member decided without any input of fact or documentation from Mr. Greenberg that my claims were without merit. I ask you again; how could your examiner believe the totally unsubstantiated accusations and insults by a lawyer over the carefully researched and documented complaints of a citizen?

I was astounded by your letter and called the committee to see if a clerical mistake had been made. I also sent a written request for reconsideration, which was received and acknowledged. I was told that the examiner would reexamine the case. Several weeks later, I was informed that the examiner had re-examined the case and that he had re-confirmed his decision.

Six weeks ago, I had a personal meeting with Mr. Ranieri. He assured me that a mistake must have been made and I subsequently received a notice from you that the case will be “re-examined” by another committee member.

Yesterday I went in to see Mr. Ranieri at your offices. He did not seem to recall me or my case and gave me no status report on the case. As always, I was given no paperwork to reference or document this meeting. At this point I have no confidence that this matter will be resolved though the usual beaurocratic channels.

In my opinion, there are only two explanations for this series of events.

1) Your organization is so dismissive and contemptuous of the concerns of the public that you serve merely to insulate your fellow lawyers from appropriate reprimand and punishment for violations of professional ethics.

2) The committee examiner was influenced by someone with an interest in protecting Mr. Greenberg.
If the examiner had not re-examined the case and come to the same conclusion twice, I would include the possibility of gross incompetence.

If you have an alternative explanation, I would be eager to hear it. Meanwhile, I am sending a copy of this letter and its enclosures to the appropriate authorities at the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. I will pursue this matter wherever it leads and however long it takes until I am satisfied that the complaints against Mr. Greenberg have been considered with rigor and integrity.

In light of the seriousness of this matter and the obvious mismanagement on the part of some of your committee members, I am asking that this matter be given priority and that I be contacted as soon as possible. I would like to speak with you personally.

I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.

William Galison

PS. Although I believe that the documents in the committee’s possession are more than adequate to establish the need for a hearing, more evidence in support of my complaints has arisen through discovery in the court case and otherwise.

“Cahill and Cohen”: now appearing at The Mirage…

Full disclosure to the Committee charged with upholding the ethical standards of the legal profession is necessary to protect both attorneys and public. Except, in New York where “who you know” will dictate what, if any, ethical standards will be enforced, or even reviewed. The only positive thing about the “Sealed Envelope Defense” is that it does save time. Why bother reviewing any documents if the determination of any complaint has been predetermined by Cahill and Cohen, especially after "the phone call" has been made ?
 Just weigh the opposing sealed envelopes and let the weightier envelope prevail. Or better yet, Cahill and Cohn could just place the sealed envelopes of the opposing parties against their foreheads, like the “Amazing Karnac”, and declare the winner by psychic intuition alone. That way, after they are expelled from the DDC, perhaps “Cahill and Cohen” can get an act in Vegas.


The usual model for corruption is “quid pro quo” arrangement. So what does the DDC get from Beldock, Levine and Hoffman in exchange for throwing the case against them? Consider this: When Cahill’s predecessor Hal Leiberman retired as Chief Counsel to the DDC, he immediately became a partner at the ten-man firm of Beldock Levine and Hoffman. What are the chances?

Will Cahill and Cohen be working for Beldock when they retire (or get out of jail).

There is absolutely no merit to the notion that the DDC can be barred from viewing any evidence in a case, regardless of “client/ attorney privilege” or anything else. Under the theory presented by Mr. Beldock, and accepted by Cahill and Cohen, a client could make a complaint against his former lawyer and prevent that attorney from defending him or herself by citing attorney-client confidentiality.

 According to a former federal investigator familiar with the DDC, and who requested that his identity be withheld, “Cahill and Cohen know full well that the Disciplinary Committee can subpoena, and are entitled to review, absolutely anything and everything concerning the respondent-attorney and the complaint at issue.”

 “Of course, any confidential information needed to conduct a comprehensive review- especially attorney-client material- would be withheld from the complainant- but not from the DDC,” he adds, “The DDC is authorized- indeed, obligated- to review and consider all documents in its investigation of a complaint against an attorney.”

Washington, We Have a Problem

Thomas Cahill left the Departmental Disciplinary Committee in October and the name of his replacement will be made soon. It is common knowledge within state and federal circles that since he was told to retire, Mr. Cahill used his last few months cleaning up (read: destroying) files.

The Jeffrey Greenberg Complaint is just another startling example of the non-existent oversight, ethics, and enforcement of the rules at a New York State attorney Departmental Disciplinary Committee-- the very entity charged with overseeing ethical standards.

With no accountability, you get the brazen bedlam that is our New York court system. We echo the view of the countless viewers of this forum who have made the call: “Bring in the Feds.” New York needs the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the affairs of the New York court system.

See for yourself, see the documents to the right, “Sealing the Truth.”
by William Galison


Anonymous said...

Records are either impound, restricted, sealed or lost, those are the tricks that are used to protect their friends, that way it's all legal. If nothing else they are creative since they make the ever-changing rules that people must adhere to.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps everyone at the DDC needs to be dragged out onto Broadway in handcuffs. That'll get some people there to do the right thing and talk about what Cohen & Cahill have been doing for years.

(Private message to silent DDC people at 61 Broadway: turn north on Broadway and go to the FBI at 26 Federal Plaza- it's a big building on the right- ask for the Public Corruption Squad, C-14)

Anonymous said...

bring in the feds.

Anonymous said...

i dealt with Taub
she also needs to be investigated
i think the feds might be affraid .
think of the man power they would need if they looked at 1/2 the
+/- 2,000 complaints a year for all the years that Caill and crew were thier.

Anonymous said...

I complained about a former attorney, Mr. Cahill said they investigated, telling me that they had sealed all the records to protect me! How do you like that!

Anonymous said...

these bums have more tricks than a barrel full of monkeys, put them all in jail behind bars under the new criminal reduction program

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

All of the DDC investigators must be subpoenaed. Anyone with experiences similar to the above should make themselves known to Fred Brewington and this website.

Anonymous said...

I complained, I was subjected to a dearth of good will and found Ms. Cohen totally useless. I also went to the FBI and found them all clerks who didn't want to do any work. So in the end I gave up which was probably what they wanted.

Anonymous said...

I am certainly aware that OCA is capable of perjury, attempted murder and wire tapping, but they never cease to amaze me!! I guarantee that when a federal agency investigates the entire system,you will see and hear things you cannot believe...i did! Why they all are not running is also unreal to me....i guess they figure that it is so intertwined, that no one will be able to be charged criminally! I hope OCA is not counting on their female employees, because they will turn at even the notion of JAIL! I am observing.... knowing my information is in the right multiple hands!

Anonymous said...

If the members of the DDC were dragged onto BROADWAY in my city, they would most assuredly be mutaliated by crackheads...bring them here!

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath, if that happen everyone would figure out that the system is totally corrupt and not working, then the house of cards would fall.

Anonymous said...

when all the evidence is against their friends, it must be sealed!

Anonymous said...

My friend currently works at the DDC. My friend is afraid. Mostly of Cohen. She is a vicious person.

If there are some people at the top of OCA who are protecting Cohen, then who should my friend go to that can 1. do something, and 2. be fully trusted?

Anonymous said...

From experience.....your friend should never be afraid of anyone, esp an OCA atty! That person must only make reports to the feds, whether they do anything or not. Secondly, they should document alll they have, seal it, like OCA does and give it to several outsiders! Hint to OCA that you have done all of the above and wait until the truth can be revealed...because it will...i have had it happened with them twice before with me and i am waiting for the third time! OCA HATES publicity!

Anonymous said...

PS....I am not from NYC and don't know Cohen, but i have someone in OCA that is a sociopath and female. What i know about this type of person is that they are twisted internally and they are some of the weakest humans you ever met! Record her conversations for the future and document all her behavior, whether against you or not! The courts love dates and times of events in a lawsuit!

Anonymous said...

The term "ETHICS" in the NYS Judiciary is an oxymoron!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So who do you go to, who can you trust?

Anonymous said...

So where is the un-ethical Judge Judith Kaye in this matter? Maybe she will appoint the disgraced former judge Sol Wachler to head a commission to investigate this whole matter. Wouldn't that be something!

Anonymous said...

Trust no one from one, including employees! Talk to the FBI, or any other Federal Gov. agency! I speak from personal experience....hire an employment atty, if you can afford one and file a discrimination complaint, but be aware OCA WILL fire you for that! But, you now have the knowledge that OCA has a propensity to violate the constitution and title vii every time someone exercises their right to protest these discriminations! Federal court is cognizant of this and it will benefit you in a lawsuit! If you choose to be anonymous, just call the FBI!

Anonymous said...

The "sealed envelope" defense is the best and only defense for these people and it works so far.

Anonymous said...

When will the "Chief Criminal" Thomas Cahill be arrested???????

Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that Raniere did not remember Galison when he went to the DDC, Raniere is only interested in Carol Scheuer Office Manager for years and covers up everything along with Cohen and Cahill. They should all be put under investigation since they all worked together in hiding all the complaints that came in on attorneys that they are friendly with. Raniere and Scheuer do anything Cohen tells them they are a bunch of crooks

Anonymous said...

Cohen, Cahill, Taub, Raniere and Scheuer are all vicious and your friend. should not trust anyone at the DDC. They should all be investigated for the way they treat people who work at the DDC They should all be put in the same prison cells because that is how they treat people.

Anonymous said...

If Cahill is gone, why is Cohen still there, are they afraid to let her go so they won't look guilty that she attacked Christine Anderson and caused her to bleed. When will they realize she is a dangerous woman especially when she drinks. Is she staying there to destroy the evidence of the files? She should be handcuffed and removed from the DDC or sent to a refresher course of anger management. Did she ever complete the course that the court sent her to after she attacked Anderson. Is there any proof that she completed these anger managements classes? Cohen should be made to provide ber completion certificate before she hurts someone else.

Anonymous said...

I am not from nyc, but i am an ex-OCA employee. I know they keep all types of disturbed hacks that could keep any forensic shrink in paper, but to keep COHEN, as you have all stated is a severe drunk and vicious abuser and now it is all over the internet... confirms the arrogance and stupidity of JUDY KAYE, LIPPMAN, PHAU, PLUMADORE...ET AL! Talk about losers, maybe we should have them committed to the one of the mental health institutions they assigned NY criminals to. I SAY THEY ARE ALL UNFIT AND INCOMPETENT!

Anonymous said...

I was the subject of an 'investigation' by Ms. Cohen that resulted in the loss of my bar license for neglect, primarily of one case which comprised 36 of 42 charges she leveled against me. The deck was stacked against me before I ever went into the hearing. I would like to move for restoration of my law license. To this end, I would like to speak with Christine Anderson. Could someone please provide me with contact information for her. My email is Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Whenever OCA wants to fire you or rob you of a license, the deck is always stacked...way high! What they stack it with is amusing, dramatic, outrageous, alarming, perjurous(when under oath statments are used)and mostly ridiculous! OCA destroys and does so poorly ,when they feel the slightest bit threatened about exposure or they want to use their tremendous power to prove to someone who is the final BOSS in AMERICA....THE COURTS OF NEW YORK STATE! Dig up their dirt and bury them with it!

Anonymous said...

How many complaint cases did the ethics and JCC bury? Some people made sure that there are no records. With T. Cahill gone and good people coming forward with the truth, outsiders should refile their paper work and let all the material facts come out!

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Sorry for offtopic

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

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