Saturday, October 7, 2017

Guardianship Town Hall Meeting in West Palm Beach Florida on September 26 2017

Eliot Bernstein at 56 minutes advising victims of Court Corruption to file criminal complaints against Judges and Attorneys involved in Court Orchestrated Predatory Guardianship.

AAAPG PBC Town Hall September 26, 2017 moderated by Dr. Sam Sugar


Friday, September 29, 2017

Julian Bivins through his attorney J. Ronald Denman of The Bleakley Bavol Law Firm Tampa, Florida Files for a New Trial, it seems to pursue further justice in the Oliver Bivins Guardianship case. This New Trial fling is specifically in regard to Defendant Keith Stein.

Motion for New Trial as to STEIN Defendants

“Plaintiff, JULIAN BIVINS as Personal Representative of the ancillary Estate of Oliver
Wilson Bivins (“the Estate”), by and through undersigned counsel, and pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59, hereby files its Motion for New Trial as to only Keith Stein, Beys Liston Mobargha & Berland, LLP f/k/a Beys Stein Mobargha & Berland, LLP, and Law Office of Keith B. Stein, PLLC n/k/a Stein Law, PLLC (collectively, the “Stein Defendants”) and in support thereof provides the following Memorandum of Law.”

Source of above quote and Full Motion for New Trial as to STEIN Defendants. READ IT ALL

Memorandum of Law and TONS of Good Information for you to KNOW


A Look at the Complaint and  Allegations of  Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Professional Negligence regarding the professional services of Keith Stein.

“The Law Offices of Keith B. Stein, PLLC n/k/a Stein Law, PLLC (hereinafter,
"Stein Law Firm") is a professional limited liability company doing business in Palm Beach
County, Florida with its principal place of business in New York. Keith B. Stein is the sole
member of the Stein Law Firm.”

“Stein, Beys, and Stein Law Firm committed tortious acts in Palm Beach County, Florida which resulted in the causes of actions under this complaint causing injury to the Estate of the Deceased Ward in Palm Beach County, Florida. Stein, Beys, and the Stein Law Firm expected or should reasonably have expected to have consequences in Palm Beach County, Florida because they each derived substantial revenue from the legal services they provided Rogers and Kelly from New York to Florida.”

“In or about October 2012, Rogers also engaged Keith Stein of Beys to partition the
808 Lexington property (“New York litigation”).

Prior to initiating the partition action of 808 Lexington, Stein, who was not a
litigator, had only prepared, at best, one prior partition action in the course of his more than two
decades of practice.”


“143.  Stein represented both Rogers and Kelly in their capacity guardians for Oliver Sr.
with the full knowledge and understanding that Oliver Sr. was the intended beneficiary of his legal services.

144.   During the guardianship, Stein undertook to provide legal services to the guardianship. At all times Stein held himself out as competent in the areas of law for which he was retained to provide representation.

145.   Stein was required to exercise the same legal skill as a reasonably competent
attorney and to use reasonable care in determining and implementing a strategy to be followed to achieve the guardianship’s goals.

146.    In the course of handling legal matters for the guardianship, Stein negligently failed
to act with the degree of competence generally possessed by attorneys in the State of Florida who handle similar matters. The guardianship paid Stein a substantial amount of money for the sole purpose of representing the guardianship.

147. Stein was negligent and/or committed malpractice in the following ways:

(a) By failing to perform proper due diligence of the value of 808 Lexington and 67th Street,
Ocean Boulevard or the London Property to properly evaluate the fairness of the New York
Settlement;

(b) By failing to advise the guardianship regarding the clear discrepancy in the values of
the properties involving in the New York Settlement;

(c) By advising the client to enter into the New York settlement against the best interest of
the guardianship;

(d) By failing to advise the guardianship to take action against Oliver Jr. to collect rents
and taxes owed by the Estate of Lorna or Oliver Jr.;

(e)  By failing to advise the guardianship to ensure that rental income from 808 Lexington
was used to pay down the Beachton mortgage;

(f)  By failing to arrange for commercially reasonable substitute financing for the Beachton
mortgage, as opposed to preventing such an alternative unless it also included financing to
cover attorney’s fees for himself, his firm, and the guardians and their other counsel;

(g)  By failing to pursue action against Beachton to have its mortgage deemed satisfied or
Released;

(h) By failing to advise the guardianship regarding the usurious interest charged by
Beachton;

(i) By charging and taking from the guardianship excessive attorney’s fees;

(j) By taking large sums of money under the guise of retainers without accounting or
documentation therefore; and

(k) By failing to account to the Court or to Julian regarding the failure to comply with the
terms of the Global Settlement Agreement as the closing agent.

148. As a direct and proximate result of Stein’s negligence and/or malpractice, the Ward
sustained damages. “

“O’Connell, Crispin, Ciklin, Stein, Beys, and the Stein Law Firm (“Counsel for
Rogers”) represented Rogers, in his capacity as guardian for Oliver Sr., in connection with the
New York Settlement and thereafter.”

“O’Connell, Crispin, Ciklin, Stein, Beys, and the Stein Law Firm represented Kelly
(“Counsel for Kelly”), in his capacity as successor guardian for Oliver Sr.”

“Beys Liston Mobargha & Berland, LLP f/k/a Beys Stein Mobargha & Berland, LLP
and The Law Offices of Keith B. Stein, PLLC n/k/a Stein Law, PLLC are vicariously liable for the
negligence of their attorneys including Stein.”

“WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, JULIAN BIVINS, as Personal Representative of the ancillary
Estate of Oliver Wilson Bivins, deceased, requests the Court award damages against Defendants Rogers, O’Connell, Crispin, Ciklin, Stein, Beys, and the Stein Law Firm and such other relief as the Court deems just and proper, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs against Defendants.”


Source, Amended Complaint, Read the Full Complaint to get an idea of STEINS role.


READ ALL OF THESE DOCUMENTS FOLKS. It will help you to get a deeper understanding of the Issues that so many Face in the Florida Guardianship Courts.

Entry 419, Motion for a New Trial, Memorandum of Law
STEIN Defendants Motion in Opposition of New Trial



More on the Landmark Guardian Case JULIAN BIVINS v. GUARDIANSHIP OF OLIVER BIVINS
https://julianbivinsfloridaguardianshipcase.blogspot.com/

AND

Ongoing Document with Court Filings and information regarding this case.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/10s5ECcJoYh0XJkKoI92LD35vpk0mXamwA4_cE9mzWqI/edit

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"The jury’s $16,400,000 verdict award against Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin, for actions taken in connection with the guardianship, presided over in the guardianship court by Judge Martin Colin,"

"On Friday, July 28, 2017, a unanimous jury in the U. S. District Court, West Palm Beach Courthouse, awarded $16,400,000 to the Estate of Oliver Wilson Bivins, Sr., and against West Palm Beach guardianship attorneys, Brian O’Connell and Brian O’Connell of the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell law firm. The hotly contested two-week jury trial was handled by BBLF partners Ron Denman, Chuck Bavol and Grant Kindrick.

The jury found that attorneys Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin had breached both their professional and fiduciary duties to Oliver Wilson Bivins, Sr., an incapacitated ward of the State of Florida. 

The complaint against Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin and their law firm, Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell, alleged that they engaged in actions that increased their own attorneys’ fees to the detriment of Mr. Bivins’ guardianship estate.

In the federal lawsuit filed by his son, Julian Bivins, in his capacity as personal representative of the Estate of Oliver Bivins, Sr., lawyers for the Estate argued during the trial that guardianship attorneys Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin, litigated to keep Mr. Bivins located in Florida and to prevent him from returning to his decades old home in Amarillo, Texas, in order to maintain control over the Florida guardianship so they could generate legal fees.

Attorneys for the Estate argued that throughout the four-year guardianship, Brian O’Connell, Ashley Crispin and the Ciklin Lubitz & O’Connell law firm charged Mr. Bivins’ guardianship estate over $1,000,000 in legal fees while liquidating real estate assets at values detrimental to the estate and entered into self-serving agreements with third parties that failed to serve the best interests of the guardianship estate.

During the guardianship, the court record reflects that Mr. O’Connell and Ms. Crispin also filed lawsuits against both of Oliver Wilson Bivins Sr.’s children and funded the litigation through the substantial assets of their incapacitated father.

The jury’s $16,400,000 verdict award against Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin, for actions taken in connection with the guardianship, presided over in the guardianship court by Judge Martin Colin, marks yet another entry into the intrigue surrounding professional guardians in the Palm Beach County Guardianship and Probate Courts.

Based on this significant jury verdict and the ongoing investigative journalism in Southern Florida concerning professional guardianships, the need for reform of the guardianship system to protect Florida’s elderly citizens is again underscored.

After the verdict, the Estate’s lead counsel, Ron Denman, commented “through the jury verdict, it appears the people of south Florida demand accountability from the lawyers (and guardians) appointed by the legal system to represent the interests, and protect the assets, of its incapacitated citizens.”"

Source
http://aaapg.net/florida-jury-awards-16-4-million-against-guardianship-attorneys/

Monday, August 14, 2017

Martin Howard Colin

187700
501 N Country Club Dr 
Atlantis, FL 33462-1005 
United States
Office: 561-379-2833
Cell: 561-379-2833
https://www.floridabar.org/mybarprofile/187700

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dominoes Falling INDEED. Landmark, Game Changing Case. VERDICT "“It sends a message to these unscrupulous lawyers and guardians that they are not going to be able to get away with it anymore.” I See Pattern and History Here and WISH for a Racketeering RICO Complaint to Be FILED by Victims and WON.

"Jury says attorneys for guardian mismanaged money of millionaire Texas oil man"


"Guardianship case came from courtroom of Judge Martin Colin, 
featured in a Palm Beach Post investigation"


"Colin praised the attorneys in his courtroom, calling them honest and trustworthy"


“This first salvo sends a serious message not only to the predatory guardians and lawyers who have been exploiting families all over Florida for decades but especially to the probate judges without whose complicity these cases could never happen.”

"Advocates for guardianship reform clamored in vain for years that Florida’s system failed to properly protect incapacitated seniors, that its primary purpose had been perverted to line the pockets of greedy attorneys and professional guardians with the hard-earned life savings of the elderly.
Brian O'Connell
Now they can point to a new federal verdict awarding a whopping $16.4 million in a lawsuit claiming that two West Palm Beach attorneys breached their fiduciary duties while running up “unnecessary and excessive fees” of $1 million.
“It’s really kind of a landmark case,” said Julian Bivins, who brought the suit as the personal representative of the estate of his father, Oliver, a Texas oil man.

“It sends a message to these unscrupulous lawyers and guardians that they are not going to be able to get away with it anymore.”
The Bivins guardianship case emanates out of the court of Circuit Judge Martin Colin, the subject of an investigation by The Palm Beach Post into the judge’s conflicts of interest because his wife is a professional guardian.
Colin in open court had heaped praise on the attorneys who lost the case and refused to hold a hearing to decide whether the attorneys had “secretly” kept money from the sale of one of Oliver Bivins’ properties in an escrow account for more than a year, according to court documents.
The Post’s award-winning series featuring Colin, Guardianships: A Broken Trust, resulted in an overhaul of guardianship rules in Palm Beach County. Colin retired last December after he was transferred from the Probate & Guardianship Division because of The Post’s reporting.
Weeks after The Post published, Julian Bivins filed a motion to disqualify Colin, saying his concerns about the “close-knit atmosphere of the Guardians, their attorneys” and Colin had been “glaringly brought to light” in the stories.
The younger Bivins said he felt his father was “held captive” in South Florida by the guardianship so the attorneys could liquidate real estate assets — including a New York City Upper East Side mansion — and charge more fees.

Colin granted an emergency order prohibiting the senior from returning to Texas.The jury found on July 28 that attorneys Brian M. O’Connell and Ashley N. Crispin of the Ciklin, Lubitz & O’Connell firm not only breached their fiduciary duty but committed professional negligence.

The lawsuit claimed they failed to get appraisals on two high-end New York City properties being divided among family. They were not of equal value and as a result, Julian Bivins ended up with one that was worth millions less than other.

The jury’s decision to award $16.4 million makes up the difference.

But the fight over the property is far less important to reform advocates than the fact that attorneys who carry out the wishes of professional guardians and are paid with the ward’s money were held accountable.
“This case in one of the longtime hotbeds of guardianship abuse is a tipping point,” said Sam Sugar, director of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship.
“This first salvo sends a serious message not only to the predatory guardians and lawyers who have been exploiting families all over Florida for decades but especially to the probate judges without whose complicity these cases could never happen.”
Oliver Bivins died at age 97 in March 2015. He ended up in the court-ordered guardianship when he visited his condominium in Palm Beach in 2011 and a social worker became concerned with his well-being, according to court documents.
Oliver Bivins appeared to be coming to Florida for a weekend vacation, leaving his refrigerator in Texas fully stocked, plaintiff attorneys told the jury. His son said he often didn’t visit his Palm Beach condominium for years at a time.

The verdict takes a further step toward re-establishing that attorneys are supposed to represent the incapacitated ward, not the court-appointed professional guardian — a position many lawyers have argued in court to thwart families trying to rein in a fee frenzy.

“If it wasn’t for me, they would have completely depleted my dad’s estate,” said Julian Bivins, who now lives in Palm Beach. “I’ve been fighting them from the beginning to just get him back to Texas. Finally, I got him back there 35 days before he passed away.”

As with many family members who challenge the status quo in guardianship in Palm Beach County, Julian said he found himself relentlessly attacked in court. He was even sued by one of the guardians in the case, Curtis Rogers.

The biggest toll, he said, though, was his relationship with his father as Rogers told the elder Bivins that his son only wanted his money. “He turned my dad against me,” Julian Bivins said. “I could never explain to my father how he was being held for ransom, how they wouldn’t let him go.”

The Ciklin firm said it is confident it can prevail on post-trial motions 
in front of U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra.

“We think the verdict was not in keeping with the law or the facts and, in fact, was considerably more than the plaintiff even asked for,” said Alan Ciklin, the firm’s managing partner. “We feel pretty good about our ability to have this reduced dramatically.”

Rogers, one of two professional guardians dismissed as defendants in the lawsuit, testified for more than two days at the trial. He told The Post he believes the younger Bivins financially took advantage of his father. “The verdict was a total shock to me,” he said. “I anticipated there was no way that type of verdict could be made.”


It may come as a shock to Judge Colin, as well.

Colin during a Feb. 3, 2016, hearing in the guardianship case bristled at the suggestion that the Ciklin Lubitz firm was not acting as a good custodian of Bivins’ assets.

The senior’s son questioned why the firm had failed to turn over $472,000 from the sale of his father’s commercial property in New York City, requesting Colin refer their actions to the Florida Bar or keep them from holding onto the money.

“The Ciklin Lubitz law firm has a well-earned reputation of honesty. And this is honesty,” Colin said in court. “Not for a moment do I have any concern because their reputation is well-earned in this respect.”

Colin denied Julian Bivins’ request without hearing any evidence but ordered the firm to return about $400,000.

An attorney for Julian Bivins filed a motion to disqualify Colin because of those statements, but the judge denied it.

“We never got anything done in his court,” Julian said. “We complained about the amount of the fees and he (Colin) cut them down 25 percent, but then we had to pay their fees for them to defend those fees. So they just made it back.”  "

Guardianship Catch-22

It is in this Catch-22 that families often find themselves when trying to decide whether to fight unethical actions by a professional guardian: Either way they pay, and either way the lawyers’ wallets grow fatter.

The guardianship issue is being looked at by a task force formed by Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga. The state Legislature established the new Office of Public & Professional Guardianship as a result of lobbying by advocacy groups and others about lawyers and guardians siphoning off fees.

Attorney Greg Coleman, past president of The Florida Bar, wrote to the work group in June to alert it to “inappropriate, improper and illegal activities of a very small number of Florida attorneys” practicing in the guardianship arena.

“Unfortunately, the way guardianship statutes and rules are currently constituted allows for a window of exploitation by bad attorneys and bad guardians for their own personal monetary gain,” said Coleman, who was not associated with the Bivins guardianship or any of the relating litigation.

Coleman said everything is moving in the right direction for seniors. “The issue has the (Florida Supreme) Court’s attention, I can tell you,” he said. “It is not something that is being ignored or swept under the rug.”

Oliver Wilson Bivins Sr. was an oil man whose family were pioneers in Amarillo, Texas. He visited his Florida condo infrequently.

Dominoes falling?

Sugar’s grassroots-group based out of Hollywood was the force behind legislative reform last year. He said the verdict in Bivins is a sign “the dominoes are starting to fall.”

Several years ago Sugar could barely get a conference with key Florida lawmakers. Now his group has spearheaded legislation and made guardianship an issue around the country. Sugar pointed to the recent federal indictment of a professional guardianship firm in New Mexico, charging the owners with stealing millions from seniors, as an example that justice could be done for these seniors.

Attorneys who represented the Bivins family — Charles D. Bavol and Ron Denman of The Bleakley Bavol law firm in Tampa — compared the trial to a climactic brawl from the movie Rocky.

The Ciklin defendants knocked out their expert witness and cited attorney-client privilege in refusing to turn over crucial emails between the Ciklin lawyers and the guardians. 

The son’s testimony persuaded the jury, his lawyers said.

“What the defendants did in this case was wrong,” Denman told the jury. “It was legally wrong, what they did was ethically wrong, and what they did was morally wrong.”

Bavol and Denman said the verdict builds off a 2015 state court appellate finding out of Palm Beach County, ruling that the guardianship attorneys’ duty is to the incapacitated adult, not the professional guardian.

The 4th District Court of Appeal in recent years has reined in circuit courts in Palm Beach County that reform advocates say patently favor professional guardians and their attorneys. Still, advocates such as Sugar say they hear about abuses almost daily in the guardianship courts.


Bavol and Denman said the verdict underscores 
the need for accountability from guardians and their lawyers.


“Based on this significant jury verdict and the ongoing investigative journalism in Southern Florida concerning professional guardianships, the need for reform of the guardianship system to protect Florida’s elderly citizens is again underscored,” the lawyers said in a news release."

Source of Article and Lot's More
http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/jury-hits-lawyers-with-for-doing-senior-wrong-guardianship/6CnikAZ7x3K9z960lz09BN/

Regardless of What Move managing Partner Alan Ciklin, brother of Judge Cory Ciklin, want to make next, It is DONE. There is a Path to Justice cleared now and HOPE for the Victims of attorneys and guardians such as Brian O'Connell and Ashley Crispin.

Also NOTE that Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga is the top of the Florida Corruption Food Chain, just look at the iViewit Patent Theft Case and Proskauer Rose and the gang.
http://deniedpatent.blogspot.com/search?q=Labarga

Also NOTE that Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga was Judge Martin Colin's MENTOR "He finds a great camaraderie among the Judges in this Circuit and considers Judge LaBarga to be his mentor. "  As Seen at the Link Below

http://www.palmbeachbar.org/judicial-profiles/judge-martin-colin/