For some reason, participating in Hoboken civic affairs and/or local politics comes with a high risk of getting sued.
Fortunate Defendants will have the city, state or federal government pick up their legal tab. All others, too bad.
Nowadays, lawsuits filed against the City aren't the old-fashioned 'friends suing friends' type, where 'friends' split the judgment (allegedly). Lawsuits in the Reform era come with risk to Plaintiffs because Defendants (the City) no longer automatically settle. Nowadays Defendants fight back and may even file a counterclaim.
Nevertheless, some wannabe Plaintiffs still see a pot of gold in suing the City- it's the Hoboken way!
So, GA's been wondering what 2017 will bring to some of Hoboken's most publicized civil and criminal cases...
On that note, here are updates and predictions for five notorious cases pending in federal or state court.
(1) U.S.A. vs Julio Alvarez, et. al
On March 9, 2016 the Southern District of New York charged 4 individuals including former Hoboken City Council President, Christopher Campos with bank and wire fraud charges for allegedly perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain $7 million in car loans. On September 23, 2016, a pretrial conference was held.
PACER's summary read, in part:
"Entry for proceedings held before Judge Denise L. Cote: Status Conference as to Julio Alvarez, Christopher Campos, Geuris Ramos held on 9/23/2016....15 months from arrest to trial! Lightning speed, by SLAPP- suit standards.
Defendant #2 CHRISTOPHER CAMPOS present with attorney Lee Vartan...
Court reporter Martha Drevis present.
Defendants are arraigned and each plead not guilty as charged in 16cr0395. Government informed the Court that it has turned over all discovery to the defendants. Any defense motion defendant shall be due March 24, 2017. Govt's opposition due March 31. Trial date set for June 5, 2017....
Bail continued as to each defendant..."
GA 2017 Prediction: Not a thing. May justice prevail!
(2) Carmelo Garcia v Everybody
Here is what I learned from "Carmelo's Revenge- the lawsuit(s)"
White! White! White!
Did you know these whiter-than-white whiteys function as a "unit" called "the Enterprise"?
click to read
To no avail.
According to an Earwitness, mediation ended when Garcia asked for $2.4 Million- half from the City and half from HUD (HHA). That was last March or February.
As you know, the HHA filed in its own lawsuit against Carmelo! POW! The HHA complaint alleges numerous procurement improprieties.
GA's 2017 Prediction: Garcia's case and the HHA's will be consolidated. It will go to trial and Garcia will LOSE.
(3) David Liebler's "First Amendment" case
That one is chugging along in NJ District Court. All Defendants are being represented by the City, except for Beth Mason whose attorney is Nicholas A. Grieco, Esq. of Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC. Liebler's attorney is Charles X. Gormally, Esq. with Brach Eichler LLC.
A proposed "joint discovery agreement" was filed this past October. GA read it...
Folks, can you spell "EMAIL witch hunt"? Stan G. is Ground Zero.
From the agreement:
Liebler seeks "all emails and other correspondence between any of the defendants and/or Mr. Grossbard relevant to this action..."
Hey Dave, that one could really bite you in the ass!
GA note to Defendants: (1) Get the communications between Liebler and his cartoonist- both email and texts, (2) subpoena Facebook for deleted postings, you'll find ones like this:
|Wow! Talk about malice!|
Did you know that all parties are requesting a confidentiality agreement for email discovery, except Liebler?
Get your copies of Liebler-emails at a courthouse near you! If the case continues; a settlement conference is being scheduled in February; proposed conference dates are February 7, 9 or 16. Stay tuned.
GA 2017 Prediction: the case will not settle. Liebler wants those emails. Real bad. He does not understand his own exposure. He will find out.
(4) Plaintiff "X" v City of Hoboken
This one has been filed. The Plaintiff is a well-known longtime Hoboken politico. A full-court media roll-out prior to the 2017 mayoral race is certain. Trial attorney is Steve Kleinman, Beth Mason's go-to attorney.
GA's 2017 Prediction: Ka-BOOM. That's the sound of yet another ill-conceived legal venture blowing up in someone's face. Like everything else out of her brain-trust, this one splatters all over Plaintiff and all others involved.
(5) Bajardi v Pincus
You know, GA is a party and cannot say much. I can say, it is not over! Nearly five years and counting.
Many folks don't know the Bajardis have an appeal pending to overturn the judgment.
The Bajardis have also just filed an 'interlocutory appeal' to overturn the Honorable Judge Rose's order granting sale of their condo to pay the judgment.
GA's 2017 Prediction: This litigation will end, for good in a manner that cannot be appealed by a higher court. Defendants will proceed on collecting their judgments, including additional fees awarded for filing 2 frivolous appeals, and other gratuitous motion practice. That's my prediction!
And there you go, folks. Time will tell if GA got any of these right.