Chase Manhattan Bank / sexual harassment cover up!
My nightmare began on or about February 6, 1996, I had just been terminated from Chase Manhattan Bank, in retaliation for complaining about unlawful sexual harassment. Immediately after the bank terminated me, I called Joshua Friedman. (Law Offices of Joshua Friedman 375 Park Avenue New York, NY 10152 Suite 2904.) I was referred to him by the New York City Bar Association’s attorney referral line. I had talked to him during the bank’s internal investigation of my sexual harassment complaint. He told me that there was nothing he could do for me unless the bank fired me. He instructed me to give him a call when and if the bank fired me. I telephoned Joshua Friedman on or about February 6, 1996, and scheduled an appointment to meet with him on or about February 16, 1996. Nine days had past since my phone call to Joshua Friedman, and now I was meeting with him in his office on or about February 16, 1996. At our initial meeting he explained to me that he is an attorney who specializes in settling matters of this nature, outside of court, and therefore, he who be contacting Chase Manhattan Bank in order to negotiate a settlement between the bank and me. Additionally, he advised me not to file charges with the EEOC, The New York State Division of Human Rights or The New York City Division of Human Rights; he said that he would use, filing charges with an administrative agency as a bargaining chip in his negotiations with the bank. Moreover, he said that I should only file charges if the bank refused to settle. Joshua Friedman also informed me that his retainer fee would be $3000.00. At that moment I said okay and I signed off on his retainer agreement, I looked forward to him settling this matter to my satisfaction.
On or about March 4, 1996, I telephoned Joshua Friedman to see how he was progressing with my case, and to see if he had made contact with Chase Manhattan Bank, he said no. He said that he was researching the laws surrounding my case and that he would get back to me as soon a he was finished. I waited patiently for his call; however, days went by and weeks went by, so I telephoned him again on or about May 7, 1996, to check on the status of my case; this time he told me that he was suffering from an injured back and that he had to put my matter on hold until he was better. He told me that if he did not get better soon that he would turn my matter over to another attorney for completion. I gave him some time to get his act together, giving him the benefit of the doubt. On or about the first week of June 1996, I called him again only to be told by him that he was suffering from an ear infection and an as a result of his condition, he has not been able to contact the bank regarding my case. Patiently I waited and finally to my surprise I received a letter from Joshua Friedman saying, we have a meeting at Chase Manhattan Bank, with Claude Weir on or about July 11, 1996. On or about July 11, 1996, I met Joshua Friedman at his Park Avenue office and we walked over to Grand Central Towers and met with Claude Weir, Ron Katz and Janet Bevers, for a meeting that amounted to a waste of my time. A few days after our meeting with Chase Manhattan Bank, Joshua Friedman told me that it did not look like he would not be able to negotiate a settlement with Chase Manhattan Bank. I told him not to worry because I was no longer in need of his services and then, I fired him. On or about September 4, 1996, I filed a charge of discrimination and retaliation against Chase Manhattan Bank, with the EEOC. (The EEOC had just increased their time for filing from 180 days to 300 days.) On or about March 18, 1997, the EEOC issued me a right to sue letter. After receiving my right to sue letter from the EEOC, I decided to shop around for a new attorney. On or about April 8, 1997, I called the Suffolk County Bar Association’s attorney referral line and I was given the name and phone number of a Scott Michael Mishkin. (Mishkin & Tully One Suffolk Square Suite 430 Islandia, NY 11722) The SCBA representative said that he handled employment discrimination and civil rights matters. On or about April 8, 1997, I telephoned Scott Michael Mishkin and I related to him all of the details surrounding my unlawful termination from Chase Manhattan Bank. After hearing about my ordeal Mr. Mishkin told me to come to his office on or about April 16, 1997, so we could talk more about my legal problem and the possibility of a lawsuit in federal court.
On or about April 16, 1997, I met with Scott Mishkin and I gave him a written and oral summation of the sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation that I had experienced at Chase Manhattan Bank. As Mr. Mishkin read the account of what happened to me at Chase Manhattan Bank, he started to smile and he said, “Yes!” “This is great, you can’t make stuff like this up.” I took that to mean that I had an actionable case that could be pursued in federal court. After he finished reading my account of the discrimination and retaliation that I had experience at Chase Manhattan Bank, he informed me that he would be taking my case and that he would like to get things started as soon as possible. He explained to me the cost of his services and he gave me a copy of his retainer agreement to look over, sign and return it to him (Retainer agreement signed and returned to him on or about 6/17/97). The retainer agreement asked for $1000.00 up front, however, he said that I could pay him whenever I had the money. He understood that I was unemployed and that my funds were limited. I think that he was more concerned with money he would receive on contingency, his retainer agreement also asked for 33.50 % of whatever I recovered in a settlement from Chase Manhattan Bank. On or about June 9, 1997, I met with Scott Mishkin to review his initial draft of my civil complaint. He misspelled my last name but that was not a big deal. What I did have a problem with was that Scott Mishkin had omitted a great deal of information, detailing the sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and retaliation that I had experienced at Chase Manhattan Bank; In addition, to omitting some of the factual details surrounding my Title VII matter, he failed to assert claims under New York City’s Human Rights law. He was well aware of the fact that the unlawful discrimination by Chase Manhattan Bank occurred in New York City and that the applicable New York City Human Rights law would be relevant to my case. (Unlimited punitive damages under NYC law) When I asked him why he left out so much important information from my complaint, he said that he did not want to be guilty of overkill, and that he could always amend the complaint to reflect the missing information at a later date. His statement was not completely accurate; if he failed to file the amended complaint in a timely manner pursuant to the rules of the court, he could forfeit his right to do so at a later date. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). See Fed. R. Civ. P 6(b)(1)(2).
On or about June 27, 1997, Scott Mishkin telephoned me and asked me to go to the city with him to meet with the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. He said that they wanted to show me statements from their staff that would make me drop my case. I asked him if this was a meeting to discuss some kind of monetary settlement and he said no. Then I asked him what would be the point of meeting with them? He did not give me an answer. I told him that I did not wish to meet with the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank, because I did not see where such a meeting would be beneficial to me or serve any purpose but to delay the litigation process; Moreover, the bank would have an opportunity to submit statements from their staff by way of interrogatories, depositions, and on the witness stand in court. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 27(2), 33,34 and 36.
On or about June 24, 1997, Scott Mishkin telephoned me to tell me that the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank had been served, and that all we had to do now is wait for Chase Manhattan Bank, to answer the complaint. He said that we should have an answer by next month. On or about July 2, 1997, Scott Mishkin telephoned me and said, “Joel I am giving Chase more time to answer the complaint.” Then I said, “why?” “They are only entitled to 20 days by law, to answer a civil complaint.” He went on to say, “I have to give them the time, if I don’t they will go to the judge and get it.” I said, “fine let them go to the judge and if he gives it to them fine.” “If they go in front of the judge for the additional time they have to show good cause, and they would have to prove to the court that they are not just asking for the additional time, as a ploy to delay the litigation process, which would be a violation of my constitutional right to procedural due process.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b), Fed. R. Civ. P. 1. “Furthermore, I would like to get this matter resolved as soon as possible; it is not like Chase Manhattan Bank really needs the time to answer, they have been aware of this matter since February 6, 1996, and they have had more than enough time to fabricate a lie in their defense.” “Who are you representing Scott, Chase Manhattan Bank or me?” “I want you to be a little more aggressive in the way you are handling my matter, wake up Scott, if the shoe were on the other foot Chase Manhattan Bank, would vehemently oppose any request we might have for additional time in this matter.” See Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR §1210.1 (7). Scott Mishkin’s reply to me was, “I am giving them until August 29.”(August 29, 1997) Then he hung up the phone. The defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank was served on or about June 24, 1997, and the law states that the defendant has 20 days to serve an answer to my complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(1)(A). Why was he being so generous with them by extending the time for them to answer my complaint? When the Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility Cannon 7 states: “A Lawyer Should Represent a Client Zealously Within the Bounds of the Law.” and Fed. R. Civ. P. 1 says, “These rules govern the procedure in the United States district courts in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity or in admiralty, with the exceptions stated in Rule 81. They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.” The rules and/or laws are there to ensure my constitutional right to procedural due process in federal court. Had he given them (Chase Manhattan Bank) 5 or 10 days more to serve an answer to my complaint, I would have considered that a reasonable request by the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. See, DR 7-101 [1200.32](B). However, he did not, he gave them approximately 45 additional calendar days to serve an answer to my complaint and that was excessive as far as I am concerned. Scott Mishkin was Zealously accommodating the defendant Chase Manhattan Bank. (Synonyms for Zeal: enthusiasm, passion, fanaticism, fervor, ardor, keenness and eagerness.) See DR 9-101 [§1200.45] Avoiding Even the Appearance of Impropriety. The Statement of Clients Rights 22NYCRR §1210.1(3) says, “You are entitled to your lawyer’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.” See DR 7-101 [§1200.32] Representing a Client Zealously, (A) A Lawyer shall not intentionally: 1. Fail to seek the lawful objectives of the client through reasonably available means permitted by law and the Disciplinary Rules, except as provided DR 7-101 [1200.32](B). A lawyer does not violate this Disciplinary Rule, however, by acceding to reasonable request of opposing counsel which do not prejudice the rights of the client, by being punctual in fulfilling all professional commitments, by avoiding offensive tactics, or by treating with courtesy and consideration all persons involved in the legal process.
On or about August 8, 1997, I received yet another phone call from Scott Mishkin, he called to inform me that he was giving the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank even more time to serve an answer to my civil complaint. Once again I conveyed my displeasure about his decision to give the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank additional time to serve an answer to my civil complaint. I told him that the delay was causing me undue stress and emotional pain. I told not to give them anymore time. He responded to me by laughing, and then he said, “Listen, Joel I am going to give them until the 30th of September (September 30, 1997) bye, talk to you later.” Once again he was zealously accommodating the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank by failing to seek my lawful objectives in my civil matter. See, DR 7-101 [§1200.32](A)(1). , Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR §1210.1 (7), Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b), Fed. R. Civ. P. 1., DR 9-101 [§1200.45], DR 7-101 [§1200.32](A), DR 7-101 [1200.32](B), Statement of Clients Rights 22NYCRR §1210.1(3).
On or about September 24, 1997, I received another phone call from Scott Mishkin; he called to inform me that he was extending the defendant’s (Chase Manhattan Bank) time to serve an answer to my civil complaint. Once again, I told him no and once again he said he had to. I told him that I did not foresee the bank being this generous us if we were in need of additional time. Additionally, I asked him why he kept saying that he had to give them the time when the law says you don’t? I told him that the law says that he should be seeking default judgment. See, Fed. R. Civ. P 55 (a)(b)(1) and Local Rules of Civil Procedure 55.[protected]) and Local Rules of Civil Procedure 55.2 (a)(b)(1)(2)(3). His excuse this time was that one of the defendant’s attorneys had a death in the family and that he would be giving them until October 7, 1997, to serve an answer to my complaint. I told him no, do not give them anymore time; this is ridiculous, I have waited long enough, make them produce the death certificate. He just laughed at me and said goodbye. Who was Scott Mishkin working for the bank or me?
When it comes to a litigant appealing a lower court’s decision, where their case has been dismissed due to the negligence of their attorney, the appellate court frequently holds the litigant responsible for his or her attorney’s actions, as if the litigant, has absolute control over what his or her attorney does throughout the litigation process. See, Davidson v. Keenan, 740 F.2d 129, 133 (2d Cir. 1984). This being the case, Scott Mishkin should have acceded to my lawful request, when it came to enlarging the time to answer my civil complaint. See, DR 7-101 [§1200.32] (A)(1). I made it perfectly clear to him that I did not want to give the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank anymore time beyond the 20 days that they were allowed by law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(1)(A) and The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01 (7). Had he given them an additional 5 to 10 days above the initial 20 days allowed by law, I would have viewed him as an attorney acceding to a reasonable request from opposing counsel. See, DR 7-101 [1200.32](B). However, He did not, he gave them approximately 105 calendar days to answer my civil complaint. “It is well settled that an attorney is his client’s agent and representative and that a litigant is legally responsible for his attorney’s conduct.” Davidson v. Keenan, 740 F.2d 129, 133 (2d Cir. 1984). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(1)(A). Fed. R. Civ. P. 1. See DR 7-101 [§1200.32](A)(1), The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01 (7) says, “You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter.” (Court approval of a settlement is required in some matters.) The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01 (9) says, “You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.” The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01 (6) says, “You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter.”
On or about October 13, 1997, I met with Scott Mishkin to review the long awaited answer to my complaint; the answer we received was very incriminating to the bank. In their answer to my complaint, they acknowledge the fact that I came to them complaining about sexual harassment and concerns about my safety; additionally, they said that if I should receive a settlement in this matter, that the settlement amount should be reduced to reflect the unemployment benefits I had received. Furthermore, the information contained in their answer did not give them an arguable defense for terminating me. (See paragraphs… of the bank’s answer to my civil complaint) The defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank was served on or about June 24, 1997, but we did not receive an answer until October 7, 1997. I think Scott Mishkin went above and beyond being reasonable when it came to accommodating the bank. Additionally, I believe that Scott Mishkin, in collusion with Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson were engaged in a calculated scheme to perpetrate fraud upon the court.
On or about October 13, 1997, Scott Mishkin called to tell me that he would be making a motion to the court for a pretrial conference. Immediately after he informed me about his motion to the court he went on to say, “Joel, Stacey (Stacey L. Davidson) said that you had sex with someone who works for the bank.” My reply to him was, “And, who might that be?” Then he said, “She didn’t say.” And my reply to him was, “So, what is your point?” He did not respond to my question, however, he go on to say, “Tell me Joel, how big is the guy who rubbed his penis up against you?” My reply to him was, “What do you mean?” And then he said, “The judge will want to know how big his penis is (He laughed as he made his statement) it is important to your case.” Annoyed, feeling ridiculed by my lawyer, I told him that I would talk to him later and then I hung up the phone.
On or about February 19, 1998, Scott Mishkin called me to tell me that the initial pretrial conference was scheduled for April 13, 1998. On or about April 13, 1998, Mishkin called me to let me know how things went at the initial pretrial conference. He summed things up for me by telling me that the judge was upset with him and opposing counsel for showing up at the conference unprepared, both side had complied with the court’s rule on automatic disclosure and as a result of their negligence nothing was accomplished at the initial pretrial conference. On or about April 18, 1998, I met with Scott Mishkin to assist him in the preparation of the first set of interrogatories he would be sending to the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. The meeting started off with Scott Mishkin saying, “Stacey (Stacey L. Davidson) sent me a stipulation of confidentiality for you to sign.” My reply to him was, “Why would I want to do such a thing?” And then Scott Mishkin said, “Well, it’s part of the litigation process it’s done like this all the time.” Then I said, “That doesn’t sound right, I have nothing to hide and I don’t care who knows.” “So, tell me Scott, how does this benefit me?” He did not give me an answer; he just stared at me with a blank, confused, somewhat disappointed look on his face. After waiting for him to give me an answer I said, “No, I will not sign it.” His reply was, “Ok, you don’t have to sign it.” See, Federal Rule 26(5) Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial Preparation Materials and Rule 26©[protected])(8) PROTECTIVE ORDERS. As he ruffled through the piles of paper on his desk he said to me, “Joel, have you ever thought about dropping your case?” “You know if you lose your case the bank will be able to file criminal charges against you.” “They could say you made it all up so you could sue them.” See, DR 7-105 [§1200.36](A). Also, see, Penal Law §135.60(4)(5). And my reply to him was, “Tell me Scott, how is that possible when they fired me?” “Had they honored my request for a transfer, after I filed my internal Title VII complaint with them I would still be employed by them and I would not have a cause of action to pursue this matter in federal court.” “If you look at their answer to my complaint you will see that they acknowledge the fact that I came to them complaining about sexual harassment and concerns about my safety.” “So, tell me Scott, how would they turn that around into an act of extortion by me?” “They had the power to resolve my internal complaint by honoring my request for a transfer to another department but they did not, they chose to fire me in retaliation.” “Tell me Scott, are they offering me my job back?” Our meeting ended abruptly, he told me that I could leave and that he would finish drafting the interrogatories on his own. See, DR 7-105 [§1200.36] (A) A lawyer shall not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.
On or about April 24, 1998, I met with an attorney by the name of Lai Lee Chan. I had heard about her from the TV news and the Long Island Newsday, they were reporting on a case of egregious acts of sexual harassment and retaliation at a Long Island brokerage house called Lew Lieberbaum & CO., INC. See, Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: June 27, 1998. pg. A27. Ms. Chan and I talked for about an hour, discussing the particulars of my case. I gave her a copy of my civil complaint and a copy of the defendant’s answer to my complaint. (Complaint and answer are a matter of public record) I even told her about the flyers that I had been handing out on the streets, I explained to her how I used the flyers to protest the unlawful acts of discrimination I had experienced while working for Chase Manhattan. She asked me if the flyers contained any direct statements outside of my civil complaint and I said no. She commended me for exercising my first amendment rights and advised me to continue handing out the flyers. Based on my oral presentation of the facts surrounding my case, and her cursory glance of the civil complaint and answer to the civil complaint, she told me that it looks like I have a very good case. She went on to say, “I don’t understand why your lawyer, Scott Mishkin hasn’t reached a settlement with Chase.” “You have a very good case Mr. Woodard.” I told her that I was not very comfortable with the way my case was being handled by Scott Mishkin, and that I was considering other counsel, someone who could resolve my matter to my satisfaction. She went on to ask me, if I was going to let Scott Mishkin know that I came to see her and I said, “No, I had not planned on telling him.” Then Ms. Chan went on to say, “I want you to tell him, tell him that you came to see me.” Then I said, “Ok, I will.” Shortly after I returned from the city, I telephoned Scott Mishkin to tell him that I had met with Lai Lee Chan for a second opinion on how to proceed with my case. I wanted to let him know that I had not decided to replace him as the attorney of record; I was just shopping around to see if I was getting the best representation possible with him or someone else. That is what I called to tell him, however, before I could complete a sentence Scott Mishkin was saying, “[censored] you!” “You have betrayed me!” “Did you, did you show her any papers?” “What did you say?” “I am calling Magistrate Orenstein, right now, and I am going to ask to be relieved as counsel.” “How could you go behind my back and speak to another lawyer?” My reply to him was, “Scott, I didn’t say I was firing you, all I said was that I went to her for a second opinion on how my matter should be handled; I didn’t say I was retaining her.” His reply to me was, “Well you don’t have to I’m taking myself off your case.” “You will need to find a new lawyer.” He hung up the phone, only to call me back fifteen minuets later to tell me that he could not just call up the judge and ask to be relieved as counsel. He would have to put his request in writing in the form of a motion and it would take time for him to be removed as the attorney of record who was handling my case.
On or about April 24, 1998, I telephoned Lai Lee Chan to tell her what had transpired between Scott Mishkin and me. She asked me if I really wanted him as my lawyer? I paused for a moment to think about her question, and then I told her, “No, not really.” Then Ms. Chan said, “Don’t oppose him, I will take your case.” “I spoke to my boss Richard, (Richard Missan) he thinks you have a good case too.”
On or about April 30, 1998, Scott Mishkin called to ask me why I was handing out flyers protesting the unlawful discrimination that I was subjected to at Chase Manhattan Bank. I asked him why was he concerned, since he was just sitting around waiting to be relieved as counsel by Magistrate, Orenstein? He had made it perfectly clear to me in an earlier phone conversation that he was removing himself from my case. How long does it take for him to draft a motion and submit it to the court? On or about June 9, 1998, I received a copy of the letter motion that Scott Mishkin submitted to Senior Judge, Leonard D. Wexler asking him to be relieved as counsel. I opened the envelope and read his letter motion and to my shock and disbelief he used this letter motion to assassinate my character, prejudice my case, and perpetrate a fraud upon the court. His letter motion served as an instrument to poison the mind of any judge who would read it. His letter motion became part of the official court record, and it was used to prejudice my case giving the defendant an unfair advantage. Based upon information or belief, Scott Mishkin in collusion with the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson, participated in a calculated scheme to perpetrate a fraud upon the court by sabotaging my civil action. Additionally, I believe that his actions were motivated by the promise of some kind of kickback, future consulting fee or legal assignment from the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson. In other words, my attorney, Scott Mishkin, sold me out to the highest bidder. All of his unnecessary delays in the litigation processes were part of a calculated scheme that he participated in with Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson, and part of that scheme was to discourage me from proceeding with my legal action against the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. Scott Mishkin even presented the threat of criminal prosecution to me as a way to get me to drop my case. He ignored my lawful request, when it came to him giving the bank additional time to answer my civil complaint, I told him no, do not give the bank anymore time to answer the complaint and yet, he failed to seek my lawful objectives in the matter. Furthermore, I told him that he should be seeking default judgment instead of an enlargement of time for the bank to answer my complaint. His actions throughout the litigation process were calculated to deceive the court into dismissing my action and rendering a favorable decision to the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank, and its agent Stacey L. Davidson. Based upon information or belief, there is no system in place where an attorney can be audited to see if he is accepting kickbacks or money under the table to sabotage his or her clients case, as a result of this fact we have to look at a preponderance of evidence to come to an accurate conclusion; in other words we have to ask ourselves, based on all of the evidence in front of us, what would a reasonable person of ordinary intelligence assume? Scott Mishkin, like most attorneys in private practice, is in it for the money. Yes, lawyers take on cases hoping to win them so they can make a profit; lawyers need money to pay for overhead and human resources. In addition, to needing money to cover the cost of operating a business they need it to pay for the kind of lifestyle that they aspire to. Attorneys are part of corporate America and the bottom line for them is profit. Tell me, who was Scott Mishkin working for, Chase Manhattan Bank or me? This will be ever so clear after an analysis and interpretation of his letter motion to the judge.
In paragraph one of his letter motion to the court, he says, “This letter is to respectfully be relieved as counsel for the plaintiff Joel Woodard in the above referenced matter.” “Mr. Woodard has also requested that I make this letter motion to be relied as counsel.” The sum of what he says in paragraph one is all that he needed to state as a reason for withdrawal or displacement. Local Rule of Civil Procedure 1.4 says, “An attorney who has appeared as attorney of record for a party may be relieved or displaced only by order of the court and may not withdraw from a case without leave of the court granted by order.” “Such an order may be granted only upon a showing by affidavit or otherwise of satisfactory reasons for withdrawal or displacement and the posture of the case, including its position, if any, on the calendar.” Analysis and interpretation of paragraph one: In paragraph one of his motion letter to the court he states or implies, that he (Scott Mishkin) and I (Joel Woodard) have mutually agreed to terminate the attorney-client relationship, there was no opposition from me (Joel Woodard), so he did not have to make an argument to the court to be relieved as counsel. The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01 (2) says, “You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time (court approval may be required in some matters and your attorney may have a claim against you for the value of services rendered to you up to the point of discharge).” The Statement of Clients Rights says, that I can fire him at anytime. See, DR 2-110 [§1200.15](B)(4) Withdrawal from Employment. Mandatory withdrawal: A lawyer representing a client before a tribunal, with its permission if required by its rules, shall withdraw from employment, and lawyer representing a client in other matters shall withdraw from employment, if: The lawyer is discharged by his or her client. DR 2-110 [§1200.15](B)(4).
In paragraph two of his letter motion to the court he says, “Mr. Woodard has met with other counsel for representation in this matter.” “He has also vehemently disregarded my legal advise in this matter.” “Mr. Woodard requested that I present his matter to the media.” “After advising him that I chose not to contact the media regarding his matter, he advised that he was seeking new counsel.” Analysis and interpretation of paragraph two: In paragraph two of his motion letter to the court he states or implies that I had retained new counsel when in fact, I had not retained new counsel. Lai Lee Chan did say that she would take my case, but the two of us had not executed a retainer agreement at the time of his letter motion to the judge; moreover, it was him who made it perfectly clear to me that he was withdrawing from representing me regardless of if, I wanted him to continue prosecuting my case or not. He made this perfectly clear to me on or about April 24, 1998. I am still confused, as to why it took him so long to file his motion letter to the court, he said he was withdrawing from my case on or about April 24, 1998, and yet, his motion letter to the court is stamped May 29, 1998. In paragraph two of his letter motion to the court, Mr. Mishkin goes on to state or imply, that I have in some way broken the law in relation to my civil matter, he says, “He has also vehemently disregarded my legal advice in this matter.” Strong words what law did I break? What kind of impression would the judge have of me? Would the judge have a positive impression of me? Or would the judge have negative Impression of me? Mr. Mishkin, doesn’t stop there, he continues his character assassination of me by lying, revealing my confidences and secrets to the court, and to opposing counsel. He aggressively goes on to cast a negative light on my first amendment rights. Additionally, I never told him that I was seeking other counsel because he refused to take my matter to the media; in fact, I asked him, on our initial meeting on or about April 16, 1997, if he would present my matter to the media and he said no. I thought that presenting my to the media would give other victims the courage to come forward and put an end to the unlawful acts of discrimination at Chase Manhattan Bank. My motives were injunctive. I was looking to put an end to what I perceived to be a sexual exchange at Chase Manhattan Bank; in other words, a person should not have to have sexual relations with the bank’s high raking officers as a condition of employment. I discussed my interest in taking my matter to the media once, with Scott Mishkin, at our initial meeting and I never mentioned the subject again. Furthermore, is there something wrong with a person exercising their first amendment rights by talking to the media? It is done quite often; for example, a litigant by the name of Joseph Parnarello is cited in Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: Oct 14, 1998. pg. A.24 for filing a same-sex sexual harassment lawsuit against Saint Mary’s High School, according to the newspaper report he was suing Saint Mary’s High School for 1.8 million dollars in damages. Was it wrong for Joseph Parnarello to present his case to the media, telling them every salacious detail surrounding his termination from Saint Mary’s High School? Not only did he present his case to the media, he litigated his matter in the court of public opinion. Did his attorney, Scott Mishkin, who was representing him in this matter against Saint Mary’s High School, withdraw from representation because he brought his matter to the media? No he did not, in fact, Scott Mishkin is cited in Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: Mar 25, 1999. pg. A.50. The paragraph says, “But when the case went before Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky in federal District Court in Uniondale, Panarello withdrew “all allegations and charges” on Feb. 5 in a disposition singed by both parties, (Sounds like they agreed to a confidential settlement) according to a statement released by the church.” “Pohorelsky dismissed the case that day while ordering Panarello not to pursue it any further, both church officials and Panarello’s attorney, Scott Mishkin, of Islandia, said.” Does Scott Mishkin believe that there is something wrong with one of his clients taking their civil matter to the media? I do not think so, because not long after he concluded his business with Joseph Panarello and Saint Mary’s High School, he was in the media’s eye again. This time he is representing Kathleen Payne in a 1.5 million dollar lawsuit against the Huntington school district, Payne was alleging disparate treatment. See, Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: May 19, 2000. pg.A.05. He does not stop with Payne. Another Newsday story catches my eye, Teacher Sues School for Bias/Lesbian says case downplayed: [Nassau and Suffolk Edition] Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: Oct 1, 2002. pg. A04. The story reports on a bias suit by Scott Mishkin’s client Joan Lovell against the Comsewogue school district. Scott Mishkin has no problem with litigating his clients’ civil matters in the court of public opinion; one could even say that he has used the media to defame the good name of the defendants (Or blackmail them in to settling) in the above referenced matters. I told Scott Mishkin about by interest in going to the media once, at our initial meeting, (On or about April 16, 1997) in his office, in private and I did not give him permission to tell anyone about that interest. That conversation along with any other conversation was protected under attorney-client privilege and it should not have been divulged to the court, opposing counsel or anyone else. Moreover, he should not have presented it in such a negative way, making the reader think that I was going to engage in some kind of unscrupulous act. What does the law say about attorney- client privilege? The Statement of Clients Rights 22 NYCRR Part 1210.01(8) says, “You have the right to privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law.” DR 4-101 [§1200.19](A) says, “Confidence” referrers to information protected by the attorney-client privilege under applicable law, and “secret” refers to other information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the client.” DR 4-101 [§1200.19](B) says, “Except when permitted under DR 4-101 [§1200.19](C), a lawyer shall not knowingly: 1. Reveal the confidence or secret of a client. 2. Use a confidence or a secret to the disadvantage of the client. 3. Use a confidence or secret of a client for the advantage of the lawyer or of a third person, unless the client consents after full disclosure. In his letter motion to the court, Scott Mishkin revealed my confidences and my secrets to the judge and opposing counsel, he did this in an attempt to prejudice my civil action against the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. Scott Mishkin was using my confidence or secrets to my disadvantage. He was using my confidence and secrets for the advantage of a third party, Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent, Stacey L. Davidson. His statements succeeded in casting me in an unfavorable light with the court.
In paragraph three of his letter motion to the court he says, “Prior to retaining this Firm, Mr. Woodard utilized defendant’s premises to distribute certain flyers which defamed specific employees at defendant Bank.” “Upon retaining this Firm, I advised Mr. Woodard not to distribute any more flyers.” “However, on April 28, 1998, Mr. Woodard once again utilized defendant’s Park Avenue and 47th Street location in Manhattan, and distributed flyers defaming certain employees at defendant’s bank.” Analysis and interpretation of paragraph three: In paragraph three of his letter motion to the court he states or infers that he was aware of me exercising my constitutionally protected right to free speech (See, First Amendment of United States Constitution) by handing out flyers that protested unlawful discrimination at Chase Manhattan Bank. In fact, I gave him a copy for his review and he noted that there were no statements contained in the flyer that would give the defendant a cause of action in state or federal court under the applicable laws pertaining to defamation of character. Moreover, if he erroneously thought that my actions (Handing out flyers protesting discrimination at Chase) were in some way unlawful and defaming to the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank, why did he agree to take my case? My actions may have been unconventional, but they were in no way unlawful or defamatory to the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank. Additionally, if my flyers had created a cause of action for the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank they would have sued me pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 13 (a), which says, “Compulsory Counter Claims.” “A pleading shall state as a counterclaim any claim which at the time of serving the pleading the pleader has against any opposing party, if it arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction.” Also, See, Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(b). Had I defamed Chase Manhattan Bank or one of its employees they would have sued (Chase Manhattan Bank has hundreds of well-educated attorneys at their service, they did not need my attorney who has a fiduciary responsibility to me to speak for them) me in accordance with federal rule 13(a) or 13(b). However, they did not, there was no counterclaim attached to their answer to my civil complaint. Doesn’t the law prohibit attorneys from making a false statement of law or fact? See, DR 7-102 [§1200.33] (A)(5). In paragraph four he lies and says that I asked him to withdraw from representation because he did not want me handing out flyers. Scott Mishkin told me that he was withdrawing as counsel for me on or about April 24, 1998, I was shocked to find out that he had not submitted his motion to the court requesting his withdrawal. I had no plans on opposing his motion because I feared that he would retaliate against me in the manner that he did in his letter motion to the court. In paragraph five he informs the court on the status of my matter in accordance with Local Rule of Civil Procedure 1.4. The information contained in paragraphs one and five is all the information he needed to present to the court, since there was no opposition to him withdrawing as attorney of record. On or about June 15, 1998, I picked up my case files from Scott Mishkin’s office; everything was accounted for except for my micro cassette that contained evidence of the discrimination that I was subjected to at Chase Manhattan Bank. The following day a called Scott Mishkin and asked him for my micro cassette and he said that he would mail it to me. On or about June 16, 1998, I delivered my case files to Lai Lee Chan. Shortly after delivering my case files to Lai Lee Chan I received a phone call from her, she said that she was very disturbed with the way Scott Mishkin had handled my case. She said that if I had stayed with Scott Mishkin I would have had criminal charges filed against me by the bank. Moreover, she told me that I had a very strong case and that she would be more than happy to represent me in my matter against Chase.
On or about 09/16/98 I met with Lai Lee Chan and her boss Richard Missan, they vigorously questioned me about the discrimination I had faced at Chase Manhattan Bank; they even tried to say that I really didn’t have any evidence and I reminded them that my testimony is considered evidence and that they can use interrogatories, depositions and cross-examination of the bank’s so-called witnesses as a way to impeach the credibility of the bank’s defense. Ms. Chan responded to me by saying, “even the tape recording you have does not prove anything; the only thing I can hear is Gloria Perez, telling David that you think that they want to kill you.” Then I responded to Ms. Chan by saying, well didn’t the bank say that neither they nor any of their staff had any knowledge of the death threats? Ms. Chan went on to say, “Yes you are right they said that Gloria Perez had no knowledge of what was going on in the branch.” In that moment Missan turned to Chan and said, “He is a very credible witness.” On or about 09/28/98 Lai Lee Chan, Richard S. Missan and I met at the courthouse in the Eastern District Federal Court House on Long Island, where Lai Lee Chan, at the request of Stacy L. Davidson (in house attorney for Chase) removed my case from the Eastern District on Long Island to the Southern District in Manhattan. I whispered my objections to Lai Lee Chan but she said it was necessary in order to get Chase Manhattan Bank to receive an updated complaint that would include laws and statutes that Mishkin had omitted from the original civil complaint. It was also stipulated and agreed on that the two parties, Chase Manhattan Bank and my attorney Lai Lee Chan would meet to discuss a settlement. Lai Lee Chan told me that she would be meeting with the bank on October 15, 1998 to discuss a settlement. On or about 10/19/98 Lai lee Chan called me regarding her meeting with the defendant. She said, “ I don’t know Joel, Chase has statements and affidavits from their employees stating you were at fault, I don’t know if I can settle this.” Then I said, “Isn’t that normal, how many companies that are being sued confess to wrong doing, and don’t most companies intimidate their subordinates in to lying for them?” “In fact isn’t that why there are deposition, interrogatories and cross-examinations to impeach the credibility of the defendant and prove that they are lying?” Ms. Chan’s reply to me was, “Ok I think I can settle this, can you come to my office this Friday?” My reply to her was, “yes.” On or about 10/23/98 I met with Lai Lee Chan to talk about settlement with Chase Manhattan Bank. She said that she was pretty confident that she could settle but there was one thing she needed me to do before she could get the bank to make a firm offer. She then when on to tell me that the bank’s attorney Stacey L. Davidson wanted us to sign a stipulation of confidentiality that required me not to speak to anyone about the case especially the media and that she would impose steep monetary sanctions against Ms. Chan if there was a breach in the stipulation of confidentiality. Moreover, Ms. Chan said that she thought it was a good idea and that I would have to sign it if I wanted her to try and negotiate a settlement with Chase Manhattan Bank. Feeling annoyed and disrespected I asked her if that is what she had the women sign when she plastered their faces and the faces of their sexual harassers all over the media causing other employees to come forward and file additional complaints with the EEOC, which turned into a class action lawsuit that was settled for the plaintiffs by the EEOC in the amount of $1.55 million dollars. (In EEOC v. Lew Lieberbaum & Co., the Commission recovered $1.55 million for 17 victims of discrimination and $200,000 for future claimants in the case. EEOC alleged that the defendant subjected its African-American and female employees to a racially and sexually hostile environment; paid them less than other employees; failed to promote them; retaliated against those individuals who complained about the harassment and, in some instances, discharged them.) See, Casper v. Lew Lieberbaum & Co., Inc., 182 F.Supp.2d 342 (S.D.N.Y., 2002). She did not reply to my question she just stood there with a perplexed look on her face as I told her no, I would not sign it since that is something that one usually signs after the settlement had been reached! Additionally, I said that she should be looking out for what I want and not what the defendant wants. My words fell on deaf ears because she went on to tell me, “If you don’t agree to sign I am withdrawing as your attorney.” My reply to her was, “you cannot do that because that is blackmail there is no law stating that I have to concede to the wishes of the defendant and I am certain that I can not force them to obey my wishes.” Who are you working for me or the bank Ms. Chan?’ She just when on to repeat herself saying that she would not move forward unless I agreed to the stipulation of confidentiality. Ms. Chan tried to blackmail me into signing the stipulation of confidentiality for the bank and she tried to blackmail and coerce me into signing a statement promising not to oppose her motion to withdraw as counsel on my case. Lai Chan’s actions clearly violate DR 1-102 [§1200.3] A (3) which says, A lawyer or law firm shall not: Engage in illegal conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer. Moreover, DR 1-102 [§1200.3] A (4), which says, “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. On or about 11/02/98 I spoke with Lai Lee Chan again about the stipulation of confidentiality and she was adamant about withdrawing as counsel for me unless I signed the stipulation of confidentiality that the defendant Chase Manhattan Bank wanted me to sign. In fact, she told me that I can come to her office to pick up my civil case files and she told me that I would have to sign a statement promising not to oppose her motion to withdraw as counsel. I immediately told her no, I will not sign such a statement and she said that she would not release my civil case files unless I agreed to signing a statement promising not to oppose her motion to withdraw as counsel. After my repeated no’s she said that she would see me in court and she never returned my civil case files. On or about 12/08/98 I appeared in federal court to defend myself from my lawyer, Lai Lee Chan who was making a motion to withdraw from case. Upon entering the court I noticed my Lawyer, Lai Lee Chan sitting next to the bank’s attorney Stacy L. Davidson, they were talking and smiling as if they were the best of friends. I walked pass them and took a seat on the opposite side of the courtroom and waited until the trial that was in progress ended. Recess was called on the trial and then the Judge ordered that the court be cleared of everyone except the parties involved in Woodard vs. Chase Manhattan Bank. In no time the courtroom was cleared and the judge called all side to the dispute upfront. Ms. Chan and Ms. Davidson rushed up to the front of the court to sit with each other and the Judge had to order to sit with her client, which was I since she had not been given permission to withdraw from my case yet. In Lai Lee Chan’s motion to the court she was looking for a charging lien against me for fees in excess of $30,000.00, which is the same as asking for a charging lien in excess of 1.5 million dollars since she did not specify a fixed amount. Keep in mind she never submitted an itemized bill to substantiate her request for a charging lien and she even suggested that the court prohibit me from moving forward on my civil action until I paid her those unspecified fees. Moreover, Lai Lee Chan tries to further prejudice my case by offering to testify against me on an in camera review and alleged papers setting forth other reasons why she should withdraw as counsel from me. DR 1-102 [§1200.3] A (5) says, a lawyer or law firm shall not: Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. (See exhibits). Lai Lee Chan took my case on contingency knowing that I would not be able to pay her fees in advance of the settlement of my civil action against Chase Manhattan Bank so why would she suggest that I be stopped from pursuing my legal matter until I paid her an unspecified amount of money in excess of $30,000.00? Wouldn’t benefit her to see me settle so she would have a change a collecting her fees? Furthermore, why is it that she had no difficulty suing me with zeal and yet she was walking on eggshells when it came to zealously suing Chase Manhattan on my behalf? Although, the Judge denied her charging lien (based on my objections) and told her to take her alleged right to a charging lien to state court she still maintains that the Judge granted her a charging lien. In her letter to Stacey L. Davidson she says, “Dear Stacey: As you know, the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff has permitted me to withdraw as counsel for Mr. Joel I. Woodard in the above referenced action. In this connection, I write to advise that, pursuant to section 475 of the New York Judiciary Law, I am entitled to a charging lien on any amount that Mr. Woodard might recover in the above- referenced action. As such, no proceeds for any settlement of the above-referenced action should be remitted to Mr. Woodard until such a lien is accounted for.” (See exhibit). It is odd that Lai Lee Chan would send me a copy of this letter since she was denied her charging lien and the only thing that Judge Rakoff granted her was a withdrawal from representing me. DR 1-102 [§1200.3] A (4) says, “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Ms. Chan is definitely misrepresenting what Judge Rakoff ordered. Based upon information or belief, Lai Lee Chan and her Boss Richard S. Missan in collusion with the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson, participated in a calculated scheme to perpetrate a fraud upon the court by sabotaging my civil action. Additionally, I believe that Lai Lee Chan, and Richard S. Missan’s actions were motivated by the promise of some kind of kickback, future consulting fee or legal assignment from the defendant, Chase Manhattan Bank and its agent Stacey L. Davidson. In other words, my attorneys Lai Lee Chan, Richard S. Missan and Scott Mishkin sold me out to the highest bidder in violation of DR 1-102 [§1200.3] A (4), which says that “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In support of my claims against Lai Lee Chan and Richard S. Missan, I would like to point out similar egregious behavior and conduct in some of their other cases: In the matter of Patricia M. Gurry v. GLAXO WELLCOME, INC., 98 Civ. 6243 (DC) 2000 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 16455 (2nd Cir. November 13, 2000) Lai Lee Chan and Richard Missan demonstrate the same pattern of prejudicial and damaging behavior against their client Patricia M. Gurry. They withdrew as counsel from her and they went on the record stating that she was a difficult client and they made motion to the court for a charging lien. Moreover, after her case was settle by substitute counsel they where in court suing Patricia M. Gurry for fee in the amount of $ 118,538.25, which the Judge ruled excessive and reduced and awarded Chan and Missan fees totaling $50,000.00. In the matter of Kimberly A. Casper, et al., v. Lew Lieberbaum & Co., Inc., et al., 97 Civ.3016 (JGK) (RLE) 1999 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 7779 (2nd Cir. May 24, 1999) which Chan and Missan told the world about through extensive media coverage that led to other employees coming forward to file charges with the EEOC, which caused the EEOC to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of the other employees who came forward from alleging wide spread discrimination against Lew Lieberbaum & Co., the Commission recovered $1.55 million for 17 victims of discrimination and $200,000 for future claimants in the case. See:
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