Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Hen's teeth and heroes
It was odd last month when the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel David Curtin reportedly filed a complaint accusing Attorney Robert T. Karns of unethical conduct for twice offering his services to a tragically bereaved widow (Tracy Breton, “Lawyer faces disciplinary hearing,” The Providence Journal, March 30, 2012, Section: Rhode Island; Page A5 COURTS).
Mr. Karns’s representatives had barely rung that doorbell twice. There was no contract, no litigation. He apparently admits he violated Rule 7.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct that prohibits lawyers from soliciting prospective clients.
His offense seems minor compared to years of Family Court litigation full of blatant violations that have removed parental rights with no due process, no notice, no hearing, no evidence, no cross examination—all done in the usual way, ex parte, through so-called “emergency” orders when no emergencies existed, sometimes with DCYF involvement and behind closed doors.
Mr. Karns’s offense does not compare to the lifelong damage done to traumatized children by lawyers in cases I have written about at http://LittleHostages.blogspot.com, http://TrophyChild.blogspot.com, and http://CustodyScam.blogspot.com
Based on those cases, I had long ago concluded that the Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Counsel and Rhode Island’s Rules of Professional Conduct have less bite than a hen’s teeth.
I plan to attend Mr. Karns’s hearing at the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel, 24 Weybosset Street, 2nd floor, Providence, on Monday, May 21st at 3 pm to gain some understanding of what needs to be done to end the wholesale violations going on in Family Court and in DCYF.
Meanwhile, I will look again at the record of the current “Trophy Child” case, http://TrophyChild.blogspot.com, where three attorneys, Cynthia Gifford, Cherrie Perkins, and Kerry Rafanelli, allegedly violated Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/ri/code/RI_CODE.HTM
Finally, we need heroes, not hen’s teeth. So it is good to know that the Bar in Texas (where the election of judges still inclines the scales of justice toward campaign contributors) that Talmage Boston has produced a book of positive role models “reestablishing the legal profession’s once hallowed reputation”--Raising the Bar: The Crucial Role of the Lawyer in Society http://texasbarbooks.net/books/raising-the-bar/.
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About the mother and child pictured at the top
She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.
About the Author and the Cause