Berry details scientology attorney misconduct
06 Apr 2001
Personally, I would have made this shorter, but looking it over, it is not easy to tell just what should have been left out. It is a long tale which only grows with time.
I lost a bunch of indenting in the transfer process. Sorry
GRAHAM E. BERRY
3384 McLaughlin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Phone: (310) 745-3771
Fax: (310) 745-3772
April 6, 2001
William E. Davis, Esq.
Special Assistant to the Chief Trial Counsel
1149 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2299
Dear Mr. Davis:
I am in receipt of your letter dated April 3, 2001, which was copied to the Board of Governors, Judy Johnson, Mike Nisperos, Jr., and Francis P. Bassios and which strongly suggests an old tale the punch line of which is “kick the dog”. I do not believe that anything I said in my letter dated March 29, 2001, suggested that I believed that your Office is ignoring on-going criminal conduct by scientology’s attorneys while at the same time pursuing me in a disciplinary proceeding. Rather, it seems that your Office is ignoring on-going criminal conduct by scientology’s attorneys wholly independent of pursuing me in a disciplinary proceeding! Moreover, my March 29, 2001, letter was not intended to cause debate over the pending State Bar disciplinary proceeding against me. That should run its proper course and it was not/is not my intent to abrogate that process.
However, you are correct as to one point contained in your letter. On the date you wrote it, an Early Neutral Evaluation Conference was held in the Matter of the State Bar v. Graham Berry (SB#128503) arising from the joint complaint of Church of Scientology attorneys Michael Gerner and Donald Wager, representing the interests of the Church of Scientology. In essence, the Church of Scientology and the State Bar allege that: (1) in filing the Berry v. Cipriano /Barton/Miscavige (Ingram/Moxon/Abelson) and Pattinson v. Church of Scientology cases I was maintaining “unjust actions”; (2) I paid/advanced some client costs from my business account instead of my trust account; (3) I paid a pure earned fees payment into my business account instead of my trust account; (4) I disobeyed court orders by not paying the costs and sanctions orders in Pattinson, Barton, Jeavons and another case (despite my bankruptcy); (5) I tried to shield personal business operating money from levy by scientology’s Barton. The State Bar Court’s Supervising Judge Michael D. Marcus considered the draft eleven count State Bar complaint to be factually and legally flawed. Indeed, he described two counts (one and eleven) as being “theoretical ” [which merely adds to the widespread speculation that scientology attorneys actually drafted the State Bar’s Draft Complaint.] Moreover, the State Bar judge commented that as currently pled, it is unlikely that the State Bar would prevail on its latest (fourteenth?) complaint against me! I declined the suggestion of a protective order quoting Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Outside the courtroom Ms.Goldade volunteered that it would be a waste of time for the State Bar to let me see the relevant documents again [Why? Is “actual suspension” the Chief Trial Counsel’s order to her irrespective of the lack of legal, factual and policy merit to the State Bar’s position?] I responded, “I need to see those documents in order to try and get justice. Is it the State Bar’s position that it is going to deprive me of easy access to relevant documents if that deprives me of justice, because letting me see the relevant documents for a second time is a waste of time?” Only that morning, Rose Sandoval, another State Bar prosecutor had characterized the Wager deposition as “a smoking gun” in a telephone conversation with Keith Henson. (Mr. Henson had included about 2 pages of the Wager deposition testimony in his letter to Judge Marcus and had sent a copy to Ms. Sandoval. Ms. Goldade turned on her heels and stormed off while angrily shouting, “Write me a letter. You are very good at that!”
The primary thrust of my March 29, 2001, letter is: “ . . . that the State Bar continues to ignore this evidence of attorney criminal [and unethical] conduct even though brought to its attention by complainants such as Dr.Uwe Geertz, Keith Henson, Arel Lucas, others and me.” Putting aside your ad hominen attack on me and denials made too assertively and too rapidly, your April 3, 2001, letter expressly and emphatically states: “ . . . allegations and denials of misconduct which [I] have made in the past involving attorneys representing the Church of Scientology were fully investigated by the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel and the files were thereafter closed. [My] current assertion…is equally lacking in merit.”
It is important both we, and those who may soon become involved (such as the California Supreme Court and U.S. Department of Justice), are all “on the same page” as to “the allegations of misconduct” to which you refer. In that regard, it appears that you are making an all-encompassing statement as “lacking in merit” in connection with what is contained in many bankers’ boxes of documents submitted over the past seven years. These various boxes of relevant documents have been submitted as part of my hitherto various successful responses to the many State Bar complaints initiated against me by the Church of Scientology and its various attorneys. Indeed, your hasty and revealing response is even more astounding when considered against the following few examples of irrefutable attorney misconduct that are contained among the various documents that I have provided, and to which you refer in your April 3, 2001, letter under reply.
Specifically, the following few examples are from documents provided in the Dr.Geertz State Bar complaint and the Hurtado v. Berry attorney client privilege brief filed after Judge Lachs opined that the conduct of a number of attorneys (including Wager, Moxon, Kobrin, Paquette, Abelson, Byrnes and Wager) had triggered the crime-fraud exception to the attorney client privilege as between them, Hurtado and the Church of Scientology. The exhibits referred to are attached to that attorney-client privilege brief which was provided to State Bar Attorney Terri Goldade, Esq.
In 1994, Moxon & Kobrin’s investigator, Eugene Ingram, was seeking to discredit me. (Exh. 1, p. 61, 133; Exh. 4, p. 128:10-24) as a result of the successful defense of the Yanny II and Fishman/Geertz cases. In May 1994, Ingram (Moxon & Kobrin’s and Abelson’s “chief investigator”) appeared uninvited at the door of Robert J. Cipriano’s secured New York high-rise. (Exh. 1, pp. 64-66) Ingram said he was a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department and “intimidated” Mr. Cipriano into signing a declaration that Ingram had prepared. (Exh. 1, pp. 71-80) The declaration contained a variety of statements falsely accusing me of reprehensible and illegal conduct. (Exh. 1, 2, ¶¶ 5, 11) The May 5, 1994, Cipriano declaration has been widely circulated. It has even been published on the Internet. Ingram said, and has since testified by declaration, that the Cipriano declaration would be used in the Church of Scientology v. Fishman/Geertz defamation case. However, the church had already voluntarily dismissed that case upon the eve of trial. It was also to be used, and was so used, in connection with unsuccessful, false criminal and State Bar complaints against me.
In early 1995, the Church of Scientology, Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard, and the American Insurance Group, entered into a secret settlement agreement, without the client’s (Dr. Geertz) knowledge or consent, depriving him of his own files for use in prospective litigation and transferring the joint ownership of Dr.Geertz’s files to Robert F. Lewis and the Church of Scientology. The erroneous justification was that the insurance carrier owned Dr.Geertz’s files because Dr.Geertz’s professional indemnity policy had funded his successful defense. Abelson, Moxon & Kobrin represented the church. The Secret Agreement followed an uninvited surprise visit that Abelson made upon Robert Lewis in early January 1995. Ingram had been investigating Robert Lewis and other senior partners of his law firm. Evidence strongly indicates that Abelson blackmailed Robert Lewis with information obtained through Ingram’s “investigation”. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Secret Settlement Agreement provided for Dr.Geertz’s files to be “transferred to the control of Robert F. Lewis…the cost of storage will be paid by the Church of Scientology International…Church of Scientology International will choose the storage facility… Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard (and implicitly the client Dr.Geertz) shall not have access to the documents…” Dr.Geertz’s successor counsel had to obtain a federal court order to get the Geertz files released for use in his malicious prosecution case against the Church of Scientology. However, the files were not delivered in time to be of use in the subsequent Fishman/Geertz v. Church of Scientology malicious prosecution and abuse of process case. The scientology attorneys’ (including former LA County Bar President, John Quinn, and Gerald Feffer from Williams & Connolly) motion for summary judgment in the malicious prosecution case, pending before Judge Alexander Williams, III, was granted and the Fishman/Geertz malicious prosecution case dismissed .The State Bar rejected Dr.Geertz’s complaint regarding the scientology attorney’s conduct because they were not Dr. Geertz’s attorneys. No action was taken against Dr.Geertz’s own attorney Robert Lewis.
In 1998, I sued Robert Cipriano and others associated with the Church of Scientology for libel and slander as a result of the false statements that I am a pedophile. The case was assigned and re-assigned until it reached the very same Judge Alexander Williams, III. He dismissed the Cipriano case upon the pretext that I had not fully responded to all of the over 2,500 interrogatories he had ordered I answer, as if I had not answered enough questions after 13 days of my deposition! Very much later he disclosed that his fiancée works for the same Church of Scientology management entity for which Ingram, Abelson, Moxon & Kobrin also work. When this was finally disclosed, Judge Williams refused to disqualify himself and declared me a vexatious litigant for having filed the Berry v. Cipriano case! The vexatious litigant motion was filed by Gerald Chaleff, Esq., who was then Chairman of the Los Angeles Police Department Commission.
This was the only appearance Mr. Chaleff of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe made in the Berry v. Cipriano case. Because of the stress associated with the Cipriano action (and related opposing counsel misconduct) and continued harassment by the Church of Scientology, I subsequently sought to be temporarily relieved as counsel of record in all of my active cases. Finally, I was driven into bankruptcy where Moxon, Kobrin and Paquette again appeared as counsel for my adversaries Barton, Hurtado, Moxon and the Church of Scientology. Barton claims his defense costs in Berry v. Cipriano. Hurtado claims I raped him, although he has voluntarily dismissed those very same claims in superior court rather than proceed to trial thirty days later. Moxon claims I frivolously and baselessly alleged, in the Pattinson v. Church of Scientology case that Moxon was engaged in criminal, tortious and unethical conduct on behalf of the Church of Scientology.
A year after the Cipriano case was dismissed, Mr. Cipriano was deposed on June 12, 2000, and August 7, 8 and 12, 2000, in the Hurtado v. Berry action. Moxon repeatedly attempted to stop the Cipriano deposition by threatening a protective order suspending the deposition on June 12, 2000, and attempting to again suspend the deposition on August 7, 2000. Moxon even attempted to “seal” Mr. Cipriano’s testimony. In his subsequent deposition, Mr. Cipriano once again recanted all of the damaging statements contained in the May 5, 1994, declaration. (Exh. 1, pp. 94-105) Mr. Cipriano testified he wanted the “truth” to come out. (Exh. 1, pp. 61-62)
Mr. Cipriano also testified that Moxon and Ingram had solicited his representation and provided him (and his girlfriend) with a variety of free legal services. Moxon paid Wasserman, Comden & Casselman to also represent Cipriano in Berry v. Cipriano in exchange for Cipriano’s “cooperation” in litigation against me. (Exh. 1, pp.16-17, 20, 137:23-25, 138:1-3, 142:19-25) Moxon provided Cipriano with an automobile in order to make it worth Cipriano’s while not to say anything about the false statements in the May 1994, Cipriano declaration. (Exh. 1, pp.154: 6-25, 155:1-25, 156:1-6, 167:6-25) Moxon paid for Cipriano’s condominium and leased a four-bedroom house for Cipriano in Palm Springs. (Exh. 1, pp.156: 13-18, 157:6-12, 158:25, 159:1-14, 21-23, 160:4-25, 161:1-8, 165:18-21, 166:8-14, 168, 169:1-9, 240:15-25, 241:1-17) Moxon paid off a judgment of restitution against Cipriano in New Jersey and paid Cipriano’s legal fees for then expunging the related criminal conviction from Cipriano’s record and possible impeachment use thereof in Berry v. Cipriano. (Exh. 1, pp.169: 10-25, 170:1-20, 251:10-20, 252:9-25, 253:1, 255, 256-259) Moxon also gave Cipriano an allowance for living expenses for his “cooperation” in Berry v. Cipriano. (Exh. 1, pp.171: 8-25, 172:1-17, 174:8-24, 175:2-14, 176:1-16, 244:5-25, 245:1-4)
Moxon even purchased a computer for Cipriano. (Exh. 1, pp.249: 25, 250:1-18) Moxon funded Cipriano’s “non-profit” Day of the Child, obtained IRS section 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status for the pass-through “non-profit” and performed or paid for all the legal work and related fees for the business. (Exh. 1, pp.180: 15-25, 189:1-15, 195:10-25, 196:1-6) Barbara Reeves, Esq., then of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker was consulted and was to be involved as counsel. In fact, Cipriano testified under Moxon’s cross-examination: “You were providing the funds to run a company so I would testify on your side.” (Exh. 1, p. 317:17-25) Cipriano testified that the Church of Scientology International paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cipriano’s personal, business and living expenses during the pendency of Berry v. Cipriano.
Moxon stated that even $ 750,000 would not be a problem. He has also testified as to the role of Samuel D. Rosen of the Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker law firm who was also involved. Cipriano testified that Rosen, in effect, coached him to commit perjury. You have over fifty corroborating documents among the files your office has “reviewed and rejected” as “lacking in merit.” Many of these documents are in Moxon’s own handwriting and with his signature.
In December 1999, Cipriano was paid $800 to sign a settlement and release of any claims he may have against Moxon and a declaration, which Cipriano now contends, is inaccurate. Moxon elicited the following testimony on cross-examination of his former client Cipriano:
“Q: Was it your intention to sign it under the penalty of perjury or not?
A: Just as through this whole case perjury has not meant much to.-- to us, in my opinion. And in return for the $800 you paid me I signed this.
Q: Did you make any representation to anyone when -- that you signed this declaration, it was inaccurate?
A: That it was inaccurate . . . let me ask a question. If it was accurate, then why was I being paid $800?
Q: Would you answer my question?
A: It was understood. You don’t pay people to write affidavits unless you’re doing something . . . . I didn’t have intent one-way or the other. You presented two documents to a settlement agreement, an affidavit, offered me 500 out of nowhere. I did not solicit it. That number settled at $800. I signed in return for the $800.” (Exh. 1, p 295, p. 297, see also pp. 299:5-9, 300:2-13, 304:1-25)
Again, under Moxon's cross-examination, Cipriano testified:
"Well, you kept providing money. And based on the fact that our whole relationship started with your agent, Mr. Ingram, threatening and intimidating me to give the false declaration in 1994. It was just a continuation of all that, Sir." (Exh. 1, pp. 325:20-25, 326:1-8)
Under further cross-examination, Cipriano told Moxon:
"That is what you wanted to hear. That is what you coached me to do. That is what I was threatened and intimidated to do. And that's what I was paid to do." (Exh. 1, p. 359:16-23; see also pp. 333, 334, 341 and 352.)
Cipriano described the procedure Moxon used in preparing declarations in Cipriano v. Berry:
"Every declaration that you prepared for me to sign was what you wanted to hear, and what you wanted written, and what you wanted to file in court, and what you wanted for everything. . . . I signed what you prepared with the commencement of the threat and intimidation and the payments thereafter. Almost every time you gave me something to sign, you look at the same date or day after and there is a payment of some sort." (Exh. 1, p. 362:9-21)
Cipriano’s claims that Moxon paid him, and that he received multiple items and services of value from Moxon, are well documented. (Exh. 3, pp.3-11) Put simply, why else would Mr. Cipriano make false statements about me? Mr. Cipriano was paid for perjury by attorneys representing the Church of Scientology. Similar declaration testimony, and its 50 corroborating exhibits, has been with the State Bar for at least 18 months. However, your letter expressly states that my allegations of attorney misconduct are “lacking in merit.”
Cipriano also testified that Moxon and Ingram told him that they had located a person named Michael Hurtado who purportedly, “Had exchanged sexual favors for legal services by me.” (Exh. 1, pp. 106-109) Ingram told Cipriano that the information regarding Michael Hurtado would be used to file a State Bar complaint against me and to be used by being included in leaflets on cars around my neighborhood. (Exh. 1, p. 110) In fact, just as Ingram told Cipriano, a State Bar complaint was filed against me (by Gerner and Wager) and leaflets have been left in this neighborhood identifying me as a child molester.
In the Berry v. Cipriano case, attorney Moxon and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker attorneys and Samuel Rosen and Barbara Reeves deposed me over 13 days. On November 25, 1998, Moxon and Rosen (of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker) questioned me about my sexual relationship with Michael Hurtado. (Exh. 12) The deposition was videotaped.
Less than one month later, in December 1998, Elliot Abelson, a scientology attorney, first told Donald Wager about Michael Hurtado. (Wager Depo., pp. 18:23-25, 19:1-24, 20:1-8) Wager opened his file on Michael Hurtado in December 1998, and began billing even though he had never met Hurtado. (Wager Depo, p. 13:20-25) Wager then spoke with Eugene Ingram about Michael Hurtado at least three times. (Wager Depo., p. 25:1-25) Wager understood Ingram was working for scientology because Ingram told him he was working for Moxon at the time. (Wager Depo., pp. 26-27, 32:7-14) Moxon, acting as scientology's counsel, also contacted Wager regarding Mr. Hurtado. Wager had at least six Hurtado-related conversations with Moxon before he ever met plaintiff Hurtado. (Wager Depo., pp. 27-28)
In mid-January 1999, Eugene Ingram appeared at the Hurtado’s home in Santa Monica, once again unannounced and uninvited. (Exh. 13, pp. 29:3-6, 27:7-25, 29:6-10, 25; Exh. 14, pp. 19-25) Ana and Vanessa Hurtado testified that Ingram told them that I was a child molester. (Exh. 13, pp. 10:3-6, 27:7-25, 29:6-10, -25; Exh. 14, pp. 19-25) Mr. Ingram said he was investigating me from New York and had been investigating me for a long, long time. (Exh. 13, pp. 31:9-25, 32:1-25, 33:1-24, 38:18-25, 39:1-11; Exh. 15, pp. 131:16-25, 132: -13) Ingram suggested to the Hurtados that I had taken advantage of 24-year-old Michael Hurtado.
When Ingram showed them the videotape of my testimony regarding my sexual relationship with Michael Hurtado, Mrs. Hurtado did not want to see it or look at it and she refused to keep it, saying: “Forget it. Take it.” (Exh. 13, pp.37: 2-11, 20-22, 25, 38:1-2) The entire Hurtado family had long believed that homosexual conduct was inappropriate. (Exh. 14, pp.157-158) Yet, Ingram showed them the false Cipriano declaration, multiple other documents, and even told them that I liked to be defecated upon. (Exh. 14, pp. 46, 143) Ingram wanted the Hurtados “ . . . to see a lawyer because of this matter,” and suggested that there was a possibility that there could be a civil suit against me. (Exh. 14, pp. 123:2-14, 22, 130:24-25, 131:1-4) Within a very few days, Ingram took Ana, Miguel, Vanessa and a Cuban writer friend to see Wager. At Wager's office, they were introduced to Moxon. (Exh. 13, pp. 34:18-25, 35:1-25, 36:1-4, 11-25, 45:9, 46:1-25, 55:2-8, 59:1-17)
Both Ana and Vanessa Hurtado thought the purpose of the meeting was to find a lawyer who would represent Michael in a lawsuit against me. Neither of them knew about the then- pending drug paraphernalia charges against Michael Hurtado. (Exh. 14, p. 49:15-25) (Exh. 13, pp. 27:7-17, 29:6-24, 30:1-20, 31:14-25, 32:1-13, 33:4-11, 46:19-25, 47:1-6, 58:14-17, 59:12-17) No one in the Hurtado family discussed my relationship with Michael Hurtado at any time before they attended the meeting with Wager and Moxon. Instead, Vanessa, Ana and Miguel Hurtado -- without Michael Hurtado -- met with the attorneys and, before even discussing any of it with Michael, decided to file the Hurtado v. Berry lawsuit against me. (Exh. 13, pp. 35-41, 53-54) After the meeting, the elder Mr. Hurtado told Michael that Mr. Wager would now be representing him in the criminal matter.
The Hurtados went along with whatever the lawyers, Wager and Moxon, and investigator Ingram told them to do. (Exh. 14, pp. 40-44.) The Hurtados even went so far as to allow Ingram to tap their phone to [attempt to] entrap me. (Exh. 14, pp. 59-85) In fact, Michael Hurtado is not suing because of what was allegedly done to him. Instead, he is suing for “money” and because:
“I figured, you know, a person like this, doesn’t deserve anything good; so I just don’t believe a person in a career that should be able to have sex with minors and do drugs and offer drugs to minors. I don’t believe in that; so that is why I’m suing.” (Exh. 15, p. 131:2-15)
Wager did not meet with Michael Hurtado until January 22, 1999, after Wager had met with Abelson, Ingram, Moxon and the Hurtado family. (Wager Depo., pp. 20:17-25, 21:1-23, 22:25, 23:1, 24:1-21) Wager and plaintiff did not sign a retainer agreement until January 27, 1999. In the meantime, Moxon and Ingram had Cipriano use a Los Angeles city social services agency to locate a transvestite street prostitute by the name of Anthony Apodaca. He later testified that he knew Hurtado!
Wager and Moxon filed the Hurtado v. Berry verified civil action on April 5, 1999. Moxon & Kobrin made an early and opening settlement demand upon my malpractice insurance carrier. It was for $ 750,000. They later filed the exact same case in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Although Wager never represented him, on April 13, 1999, Wager visited Anthony Apodaca in jail and left between $100 and $300 for him. Moxon reimbursed Wager. (Wager Depo., pp. 46:3-14; 53:10-25; 57:16-24, 59:20-22; 64:23-25) Apodaca was not a witness to anything relating to the Hurtado drug paraphernalia case wherein Wager was counsel. (Wager Depo., pp. 63:16-22, 64:11-25) In fact, on April 13, 1999, “There was a real question in [Apodaca’s] mind as to who I was.” However, on April 22, 1999, Ingram, Moxon and Wager met with Apodaca and he was videotaped. (Wager Depo., pp. 48:7-22, 50:9-15, 58:5-19) Mr. Apodaca may also have been given money on April 22, 1999. (Wager Depo., p. 60:9-25)
Mr. Apodaca was now able to identify me as a man he had been with four to five years earlier. (Exh. 18) In the videotape, Mr. Apodaca said that while he was under age, he engaged in sadomasochistic activities with me (Exh. 18.). Barbara Reeves of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker attempted to introduce the Hurtado and Apodaca “testimony” into Berry v. Cipriano. On April 26, 1999, Moxon noticed Mr. Apodaca's deposition in this action. (Exh. 19)
However, at his deposition on May 3, 2000, Mr. Apodaca testified he was very high at the time of the videotaping, had no recollection of it and he could not even recognize me. (Exh. 16) Mr. Apodaca said he was pressured into giving his videotaped statement. According to Mr. Apodaca, some lawyer came to County Jail and gave him $200. He was given money, McDonald’s food certificates and clothing to testify against me. He refused. According to Mr. Apodaca, “All this stuff about this plaintiff trying to bribe me to testifying -- okay? -- I don’t go for that. (Exh. 16, p. 12)
In the spring of 1999, Wager, along with scientology attorney Abelson and Ingram also met with Detective Petz and District Attorney Paul Turley to encourage them to prosecute me for pandering. (Wager Depo. pp. 101:13-16, 103:9-25, 104:13-25, 105-106) During that meeting, Wager told Turley about his client's criminal history, the pending charges against Hurtado, and Hurtado's claims against me. (Wager Depo. pp. 105:10-25, 107:11-15, 22-25, 108:1-4, 21-25, 109:1-6, 112:17-25, 113:1-19) Wager called Detective Petz several times to see if I would be prosecuted and was ultimately told no charges would be brought. (Wager Depo., p. 114)
Although Wager declined to represent Hurtado when still more criminal charges were brought against him, he did discuss the additional charges with both Abelson and Ingram. (Wager Depo., pp. 118:4-19, 119:13-17) However, Wager did file a motion to vacate Hurtado’s diversion plea and to reinstate his not guilty plea to the possession of drug paraphernalia charge. On the basis of Hurtado’s perjured allegations against me as his original counsel in the matter, Wager [fraudulently] convinced the Santa Monica Supervising Judge to dismiss the drug paraphernalia charges in the interests of justice. The presiding Santa Monica Superior Court Judge then referred Hurtado’s now demonstrably solicited and perjurious declaration to the State Bar for action against me.
Meanwhile, and also at the instigation of Wager and Gerner, State Bar proceedings were brought against me arising out of Michael Hurtado’s verified but now demonstrably perjured allegations. Scientology’s representatives regularly contacted the State Bar demanding that I be disbarred or suspended on the basis of Hurtado’s allegations.
Abelson represented Wager for purposes of the deposition in the Hurtado v. Berry case. Abelson has spent years “investigating” me. By way of example, on September 13, 2000, Mr. Abelson wrote to an attorney in New Zealand:
“I am writing to you in connection with an investigation I am conducting into Graham E. Berry. The purpose of my investigation is to uncover unethical or illegal conduct committed by Mr. Berry. I understand you may have data that may be of help in my investigation. Specifically, I would appreciate any information you can provide concerning Mr. Berry’s motives for embarking upon a course of action which would seem, to any objective observer, to be contrary to his own best interests, and a blatant attack on international religion.” (Exh. 17)
Mr. Abelson saw fit to copy this letter to everyone from my elderly parents in New Zealand to the New York State Bar Disciplinary Office, to the Department of Justice in New Zealand as well as to my friend’s (Jane Scott) neighbors in unincorporated Marin County.
Since bringing the Hurtado v. Berry action, Michael Hurtado has been arrested multiple times and is currently in jail for violation of probation -- five years for stalking. As the District Attorney’s office knows, Ingram attempted to intimidate Hurtado’s victim into changing her testimony. Ingram continued to provide substantial investigative services for Hurtado in those several criminal proceedings, attended court proceedings and took Hurtado to AA meetings. These were in the same area where I attended AA meetings. Although Hurtado was represented by Public Defenders before the Hurtado v. Berry lawsuit, he has been consistently represented by private criminal defense attorneys since the day his family agreed to sue me.
Thus, there is strong evidence that scientology and its lawyers have consistently either used or planned to use false statements both in civil, criminal and State Bar actions and to foment legal proceedings against me. Like Cipriano, Michael Hurtado received substantial benefits for prosecuting the Hurtado v. Berry action which Hurtado, Moxon and Thomas Byrnes, Esq., voluntarily dismissed one month before trial (scheduled for March 5, 2001). Hurtado did so from prison, during the pendency of a motion to compel testimony because, as indicated by the retired discovery judge, the crime-fraud exception applied and the attorney-client privilege had been waived.
In your April 3, 2001, letter it is quite clear that you believe that such matters were determined by your office to be “lacking in merit.” Clearly, on the basis of that statement you believe that the activities described herein are not evidence of criminal activity. Please enlighten me as to what else one might call the above-delineated perjury, subornation of perjury, solicitation, maintenance, wiretap, fraud, etc. If the above delineated crimes are, in fact, not crimes, then please explain to me what precisely they are. As nearly as I can ascertain we have two and only two choices regarding these matters; first, that the above described conduct by the scientology attorneys is legal (to say nothing of ethical and moral) and the State Bar should rightly and properly ignore my accusations (irrespective of how well documented they are) or; second, that that the above described conduct by the scientology attorneys is illegal (and immoral and unethical) irrespective of whom the perpetrators are and should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted by the State Bar.
Please anticipate a far more detailed rebuttal of your amazing and provocatively defensive letter in due course. In the meantime, the victims of this band of rogue attorneys obviously must proceed in other more responsive and objective forums. This is one reason that so many people (including other State Bar complainants, above partially enumerated herein) have requested a public inquiry. This inquiry panel must be comprised of three retired judges who are able to take evidence from the several dozen witnesses who are currently known to have personal knowledge of the matters of which I write. After public investigation is concluded, the Chief Trial Counsel’s office and the District Attorney could then initiate any appropriate proceedings. The contents of your April 3, 2001, letter merely serve to underscore the need for a more open and accountable forum.
Very truly yours,
Graham E. Berry
cc: Board of Governors
Mike Nisperos, Jr.
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