CONNECTICUT D’ATTILO V KOSKOFF ET AL CASE UPDATE: PLAINTIFFS’ PETITION TO THE CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT:
In the Connecticut lawsuit D’Attilo v. Koskoff et al of major importance because it involves grave allegations of intentional, systematic, conspiratorial criminal activity and legal malpractice among seven named lawyers at two supposed top Connecticut corporate law firms (Kosskoff Koskoff & Bieder of Bridgeport and Day Pitney of New Haven), the plaintiff’s lawyer Howard Altshuler (Bethany, CT) has filed a Petition to the Connecticut Supreme Court. On April 28, he filed a document with a correct heading after first withdrawing a previous filing incorrectly labeled for electronic filing.
In this Supreme Court Notice, Altshuler summarizes arguments to this high court he has made in several earlier filings at the New Haven Superior Court. For the most part, the New Haven judge Matthew Frechette has ruled against the plaintiffs determining the case is basically a contract dispute requiring arbitration since the plaintiffs’ contract with the Koskoff law firm contained an arbitration clause. By contrast for Altshuler representing the plaintiffs, the undeniably great sum taken from the D’Attilo family by the defendants (over $4 million) in excess of fees owed according to the statutory formula contained in the contract along with the several named defendants’ fraudulent and conspiratorial activities including duping two probate courts make the case one founded on manifold, prolonged, unscrupulous, and knowingly harmful criminal acts and legal malpractice.
This difference in regard of the fundamental nature of the D’Attilo v. Koskoff et al case is not what is at issue at this time. The express issue in the plaintiffs’ Petition to the Supreme Court concerns the plaintiffs’ right to actually obtain (i. e., be paid) an award determined by arbitration and/or a jury at the finality of the case should there be such an award. There is little doubt considering the many pages of exhibits (evidence) Altshuler has filed electronically to be reviewed by anyone who is interested that there will be an award of considerable amount. The large majority of the exhibits are the defendants own documents. Not only these abundant, undeniable documents, but also the defendants’ posture in defending themselves against the plaintiffs’ allegations whether these be ultimately regarded as a contract dispute or criminal activity shows that the defendants themselves recognize that their defense is weak. The main matter for the defendants is how large an award against them will be. Altshuler says an award considering the millions wrongfully, illegally kept from the D’Attilos by the defendants plus punitive damages for varied intentional crimes and malpractice could reach $30 million or more.
Altshuler argues that ultimately facing multimillion damages most of which would not be covered by legal malpractice insurance since the actions were intentional, the defendants could over the course of the protracted arbitration and/or litigation hide or transfer assets which would be used to pay damages. Moreover, Altshuler argues, as the defendants’ crimes and other misconduct comes to light and their gravity is recognized, the defendants may be disbarred by the Connecticut Bar Association or prosecuted and put in jail. Not only the circumstance that malpractice insurance would not cover most of any damages awarded, but also the likelihood of reduced capabilities of the defendants for earnings that would go toward payment of damages raises the concern for the plaintiff regarding current assets of the defendants that could be hidden or transferred and thus unavailable for payment for damages at the conclusion of litigation.
With this concern, plaintiffs’ lawyer Altshuler seeks a prejudgement remedy, i. e., a legal motion that assets of the defendant be in effect frozen so as to remain accessible for payment of any damages awarded in the future. Altshuler makes the Petition to the Connecticut Supreme Court because the New Haven Superior Court judge Frechette has by his order staying (suspending) the case until arbitration is completed and also denying the plaintiffs’ motion to lift the stay for the limited purpose of filing a motion for prejudgement remedy rendered the situation, or standing, of the case such that the plaintiffs are unable to file such a motion. Altshuler’s Petition to the Connecticut Supreme Court is like an appeal of judge Frechette’s denials of the plaintiff motions to be allowed to file a motion for prejudgement remedy.
The plaintiffs and their lawyer Altshuler regard the matter of prejudgement remedy (known to lawyers as PJR) as critical to the character and purpose of the case they have brought. PJR is critical not only because of the possible — and reasonable — size of damages of $30 million or more, but also because of the demonstrable unscrupulous, conniving, conspiratorial behavior of the defendants as amply demonstrated in documents Altshuler has obtained and filed with the electronic record of the case at the Connecticut Judicial Website (docket number NNH-CV14–6051836-S). In the plaintiffs’ view, considering not only exceptionally high damages possible in this case with accusations by the plaintiffs that they have been swindled out of millions by the defendants, but also the demonstrable determined, multifaceted, treacherous behavior of the defendants to carry out the swindle — which behavior includes the duping of probate courts, misuse of documents with suggestions of fabrication of some, and fraudulent billing — the defendants are self-evidently unreliable, prone to criminality, and motivated as well as positioned to avoid accountability in terms of damages. In light of such facts including astonishing and voluminous unscrupulous and unprofessional behavior, the question is not why would a prejudgement remedy be applied, but why on earth it wouldn’t be.
The Connecticut Supreme Court’s handling of and ruling on Altshuler’s Petition to it concerning the matter of prejudgement remedy in this case will disclose and also affect one way or another the question of the responsibilities and the accountability of so-called leading law firms in the state of Connecticut of interest to all residents of the state and the legal profession. As I found in the course of my lawsuit against the law firm Pullman and Comley and two of its lawyers (James T. Shearin and Timothy A. Bishop) for claims of wide-ranging legal malpractice and theft similar to the ones in the D’Attilos’ case written about in my book “A Clicking in the Air — A Connecticut Whistleblower’s Story,” as far as the state courts, the state bar association, and law-enforcement are concerned, so-called leading Connecticut law firms have no responsibility and will not be held accountable. We’ll see by the Connecticut Supreme Court’s handling and ruling of Altshuler’s Petition if anything has changed since the time of my case against Pullman and Comley about a decade ago.