The Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals issued a ruling dated 5/15/13 relating to its previous Order To Show Cause why Ellen and Bruce should not be sanctioned. (Click here to read it.) (That previous order was dated 6/26/12, almost a year earlier than this recent order.) The 5/15/13 order is very hostile to Ellen and Bruce, issuing 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 with connections to Israeli defendants in this 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 threats 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 that panel of the Second Circuit of Appeals accuses Bruce Leichty of filing frivolous appeals and of bad faith speaks volumes about the lack of impartiality of this panel of that court.
Remember, every single 9/11 case, about 100 in total (the cases which refused to take the hush money and demanded a trial instead) has been shut out of the courts and prevented from coming to trial. Ellen Mariani was still fighting for a trial, to find justice through the courts, as opposed to a payout and no answers, and the court is doing all it can to slam the door on this case as well.
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 this 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 Second Circuit Court of Appeals’s 5/15/13 decision is improper and wrong.
There have also been some recent news articles about Ellen’s case:
Here is a piece by the New York Law Journal dated 5/16/13. It basically just mirrors the 5/15/13 order and barely even mentions anything from any other point of view (such as the fact that Ransmeier was representing the insurance companies involved at the same time that he was purporting to be a “neutral administrator”).
Here is an article by Martin Hill dated 5/18/13. Unlike the New York Times article (above) and the New York Law Journal (above) this article includes additional perspective besides just that of the Second Circuit of Appeals.