A Queens Obstetrician/Gynecologist dramatically took a guilty plea Friday to an uncharged, lesser-included offense of Criminally Negligent Homicide at the end of the third day of jury deliberations in his trial for Reckless Manslaughter stemming from the July 2016 death of a patient following a 23+ week abortion. The decision to take the plea occurred literally seconds before a previously deadlocked jury came back with a verdict – and only after the defendant was reported to have made contact with a juror with information about the case which had not been entered into evidence, necessitating the questioning of all 12 jurors by the court to determine if they could remain fair during deliberations. Instead of facing up to 15 years in prison on the Reckless Manslaughter charge, the defendant, Dr. Robert Rho, will receive a sentence of 1 1/3 years in prison, eligible for work release in less than a year. Continue reading
Khari Noerdlinger was fully vindicated inside the Bergen County Courthouse today: a manslaughter charge which had been dismissed in September by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office due to prosecutorial misconduct and perjury by the case detective in the grand jury, led to today’s agreement by the prosecutors to dismiss the remaining weapons and obstruction of justice charges once Khari completes six months of pretrial intervention which includes some community service and drug testing. Khari will be left with no criminal record from the incident of January 31, 2016 in which he was attacked by three armed men outside his home, two with knives. In addition, we will initiate a lawsuit on behalf of Khari against the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer and Detective James Costello of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. Furthermore, Khari’s attorney Jeffrey Lichtman will seek the disbarment of Grootenboer and will request a criminal investigation of Grootenbeor and Costello for their misconduct and perjury. Sworn to uphold the law, Grootenbeor and Costello will now be forced themselves to face justice.
Nearly Two Years Later, Khari Receives Justice
Today’s court action ended nearly two years of a legal nightmare for Khari which began when he was attacked by three armed men in Edgewater, New Jersey. Khari was lucky to survive the attack; while one of the attackers was killed as Khari defended himself, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office did the unthinkable: it treated Khari as a criminal and charged him with the homicide of one of his attackers – while simultaneously charging his attackers with armed robbery of Khari. Of course, this inconsistency made little sense and it was not until the grand jury minutes were released did we learn how the seemingly impossible occurred: the grand jury was misled by Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Costello. During his grand jury testimony, Costello stated that Khari was attacked by three men carrying just a single, “long, cylindrical object” as a weapon – and that Khari was not injured at all, that he had not a scratch on his body from the attack as evidenced by pictures taken of Khari’s body following his arrest by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
When it comes to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, the world seems to have turned upside down over the past few months: we’ve heard stories from the entertainment world about Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, and in politics about Al Franken and John Conyers – and dozens more. What used to be taken for granted as simply obnoxious behavior in the workplace is now unacceptable and actionable – and that is where a top New York sexual harassment attorney comes into play. Simply put, society today does not take kindly to groping, forcible touching, rape and sexual assault or even sexual talk in the workplace. Consensual sexual relations between a boss and an employee can be a form of sexual harassment if the sexual contact is a condition of the employment. Finally, if you have been given a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by your employer or supervisor, you may be able to sue for damages. In all of these cases, finding the best New York sexual harassment attorney to help you navigate these very uncomfortable waters is crucial to getting you justice and a monetary award or settlement for your damages. Continue reading
Despite promising the Court in September to “respond the same as I always do” to Khari Noerdlinger’s motion to dismiss the remaining charges against him due to prosecutorial misconduct and perjury in his grand jury, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office did quite the opposite this week: she refused to respond to Mr. Noerdlinger’s allegations and instead simply re-indicted Mr. Noerdlinger on the minor charges still in existence – presumably without the problems of the massive perjury which fouled the last indictment. By tossing out the indictment and refiling the same charges, the Prosecutor’s Office actually believes it can avoid having to explain away the massive perjury and misconduct which permeated the original indictment filed nearly two years ago against Mr. Noerdlinger and attempt a fresh start in this case – despite the fact that Mr. Noerdlinger was damaged by the false public accusations from Grootenboer that he was a killer and a drug dealer all this time. It was only when the Bergen County Prosecutor was shown the misconduct of Grootenboer and the perjury of case detective James Costello that the manslaughter charge was dismissed. However, simply telling the Court that it “will not be filing a response to defendant’s motion to dismiss,” will not put an end to our inquiry and attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman and Lee Vartan will continue their efforts to dismiss the remaining charges against Mr. Noerdlinger as well as filing a lawsuit against Grootenboer, Costello and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for the deprivation of Mr. Noerdlinger’s civil rights. Only in this way will the people of Bergen County see the true face of the prosecutors who have sworn to protect them. Continue reading
Nineteen months after charging Khari Noerdlinger with manslaughter and describing him as a violent drug dealer, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office has dismissed the charge and admitted that Noerdlinger was not involved in a drug deal during an attack on him which left him injured and one of his three attackers dead. A review of the grand jury transcript revealed that the Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor and case detective worked together to deceive the grand jury about the danger facing Khari when he was attacked by three men with weapons including multiple knives as well as the injuries he suffered during it – all in an effort to negate any legitimate claim of self-defense the grand jury repeatedly asked about. During this 19 month period, there was apparently no oversight in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and it took the defense to carefully lay out the obvious perjury in the grand jury presentation in order to get the faulty manslaughter charge dismissed. All of the materials provided by defense attorneys Jeffrey Lichtman and Lee Vartan which proved the commission of perjury were in the possession of the prosecutors and provided to the defense as part of routine discovery disclosure. Despite the obvious subornation of perjury by the Assistant Prosecutor, Danielle Grootenboer, and the perjury of the testifying case detective, James Costello, they have not been suspended and continue to menace the people of Bergen County. No apology, additionally, has been issued by the Bergen County Prosecutor for the perjury which led to the bogus manslaughter indictment as well as the repeated false public claim that Khari was dealing drugs at the time of the incident. Continue reading
The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman has sued Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital for negligently faxing over our client’s HIV diagnosis to his office’s fax machine at the Actors Equity Association, despite his previously requesting in writing that the entirety of his medical records be sent to his private post office box or home. The hospital was investigated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and found to have made this same mistake before with a patient’s HIV status; after admitting its responsibility in violating our client’s rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and paying a $387,000 fine, the hospital refuses to even enter settlement negotiations with our client over the damages he suffered due to their negligence. Left with no other recourse, we brought this lawsuit. Continue reading
The Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel is one of the bedrock principles of the American justice system: all those charged with a crime are guaranteed the right to counsel. If an individual charged with a crime cannot afford an attorney, since 1963 the Supreme Court has ruled that an attorney will be provided to him at no cost (Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)). This attorney will either come in the form of a fulltime public defender or an attorney assigned by the court and paid by the hour. In either situation, these attorneys have a very large caseload and limited resources to devote to each assigned client. And now we come to the case of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman: extradited to the United States from Mexico in January of 2017, Guzman was provided federal public defenders at his first court appearance in the Eastern District of New York – despite the prosecutors claiming that his purported massive wealth did not entitle him to taxpayer-funded counsel. After all, the government was concerned that the American taxpayer would be forced to foot the massive legal bill generated from the numerous indictments lodged against Guzman in six separate American jurisdictions. Seven months later, the government is doing all that it can to prevent Mr. Guzman from hiring private counsel, ensuring that taxpayers will be forced to pay all legal expenses, as the first of up to six trials and appeals looms, in April of 2018. Continue reading
Jeffrey Lichtman has been retained to represent Joaquin Guzman in connection with his upcoming federal narcotics trial in the Eastern District of New York.
“Mr. Guzman has been subjected to the worst prison conditions I have ever seen in 27 years of visiting prisons all over the world. In the nearly seven months he has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan, he has had not contact with any member of his family, either by mail, phone or in a visit; has not had contact with any inmates and spends 23 hours a day locked up in a cell with limited reading material. His only human contact is with prison guards who do not speak his native Spanish and attorneys who must communicate with him – and review voluminous discovery with him – through glass. I have spent approximately 100 hours with Mr. Guzman and have yet to shake his hand.
“In addition, due to the failure of the government to provide security clearance to any of his relatives, he has not even been able to make arrangements to retain a private attorney – despite the government’s insistence that he should not be permitted to continue to be represented by the Federal Defenders of New York, taxpayer-funded attorneys. The government, while claiming that Mr. Guzman is capable and thus required to hire private counsel, has not promised not to seek forfeiture of this fee. After seven months wasting away in prison, Mr. Guzman will finally be able to hire the legal counsel of his choice, seven months too late.
The recent news about R & B singer Usher being sued for $10 million for knowingly infecting a woman with herpes comes on the heels of the disclosure of a $1.1 million settlement he paid in 2012 for the same transgression – and now reports are out that Usher may have infected multiple women with herpes who are now coming forward, presumably to initiate litigation against him. Recently we sued a movie producer/director who infected our client for $5 million – his then girlfriend – with herpes. As detailed in our lawsuit, the defendant had previously received a herpes diagnosis and had unprotected sex with our client, even though she had pointedly asked him previously whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases – and he denied that he did. Sure enough, she tested positive for the herpes simplex virus type 2 soon after; her former boyfriend’s excuse? “I thought I told you.” Our lawsuit was filed in Richmond County Supreme Court (Staten Island) and with the civil complaint we annexed the confirming text messages between the parties in which the defendant admitted what he had done. Continue reading
Unlike the typical criminal case which includes charges of violence, defendants charged in domestic violence cases are often professionals where the stakes are high: not only is freedom at stake but even a conviction on a reduced charge could spell the end of one’s career. At the same time, domestic violence cases are traditionally tougher to prove than the garden-variety case of violence due to the fact that oftentimes the only evidence is the word of the purported victim. For this reason, prosecutors and law enforcement officers will use every bit of subterfuge at their disposal to trick a target into creating the very evidence required to charge and convict them. The most important advice I can offer anyone who is being investigated for a crime of domestic violence is to simply resist the urge to explain your side of the story to law enforcement. Resist the urge to discuss the matter with the purported victim – you are probably being taped and will only make things worse. Without the admissions of the target, a case is oftentimes impossible to make, let alone prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re being investigated in New York for a domestic violence case, immediately call a top New York domestic violence criminal defense attorney – and do nothing more until that time. Continue reading