The Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals issued a ruling dated 5/15/13 (click here to read it) which is very hostile to Ellen Mariani and her attorney Bruce Leichty. The order harshly castigated them and imposed financial sanctions against both of them for allegedly filing frivolous briefs and for allegedly offending the court and being “anti-Semitic” by pointing out certain improper connections between Judge Hellerstein (who is Jewish and who is actively involved in the Jewish community) and several Israeli defendants in the case. (Judge Hellerstein’s son, Joseph Hellerstein, is an attorney who worked at a law firm which had connections to Israeli defendants in Ellen’s case.) (These issues are detailed in Ellen Mariani’s 4/19/12 filings with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.) The 5/15/13 order (at the end of it) also threatens Bruce and Ellen with even greater sanctions if they dare to raise these issues again.
The order did not mention the fact that Bruce only alleged that there was an appearance of a conflict of interest, not that Judge Hellerstein actually was biased. (An appearance of a conflict of interest should be enough for a judge to recuse himself.) The order also did not mention a very important issue that Bruce was trying to raise in his briefs, that attorney John Ransmeier, who was and is the fiduciary of Louis Neil Mariani’s Estate, was representing the insurance companies who were going to have to pay out to Ellen and her step daughter Lauren Peters at the same time that he was purporting to be a “neutral administrator” on behalf of Ellen and Lauren Peters. That is an enormous and fundamental conflict of interest on the part of Ransmeier. For the 5/15/13 order to fail to even mention this while it accuses Bruce Leichty of filing frivolous appeals and of bad faith speaks volumes about the lack of impartiality of that panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Remember, every single 9/11 case, about 100 in total (the cases which refused to take the hush money and demanded a trial instead after a relative died in the 9/11 attacks) has been shut out of the courts and prevented from coming to trial. Ellen Mariani was still fighting to find justice and answers through the courts (as opposed to a payout and no answers as to what happened), and the court is doing all it can to slam the door on this case as well.
Additionally, John Ransmeier has filed a motion to remove Bruce as Ellen’s attorney, which would probably be disastrous for Ellen’s case if it succeeds.
Also, there has been a spate of negative articles in the mainstream media in April and May of 2013 (they can be read at the Articles About Ellen’s Case page). However, in the alternative media Martin Hill wrote a nice and favorable article dated 5/18/13. Click here to read it. Also, Christopher Bollyn has written a nice article on this issue dated 5/22/13.
So Bruce and Ellen are being attacked on several fronts at once.
The above comments are from me, Vincent Gillespie, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund.
I know that Bruce Leichty also has many things that he would like to say in response to the 5/15/13 order. However, it is my understanding that an attorney is not allowed to make any public comments regarding an order like this while any further proceedings relating to that order are possible. I understand that Bruce and Ellen are planning to file a petition for rehearing en banc (meaning by a full panel of justices, instead of just the two that heard his prior appeal) with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. When that gets filed we will be able to read other points explaining why the 5/15/13 decision is improper and wrong.