By Martin Hill Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund
A federal court in New York has sanctioned the widow of a 9/11 victim as well as her attorney, for filing “a series of offensive insinuations, unmistakably anti-Semitic.” California Attorney Bruce Leichty and Appellant Ellen Mariani were both chided and fined by the court in an 11-page decision dated May 15th. The case, Ransmeier v. UAL Corporation, et al., was heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. " We conclude that Appellant and her attorney’s conduct in prosecuting this appeal was frivolous and offensive,” the court proclaimed, “and therefore warrants the imposition of sanctions."
Our October 2012 run-down '9/11 Widow Faces Sanctions For Objecting To Judges Israeli Ties' was dubbed an “excellent article" by the Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund and explains how the 9/11 widow and her lawyer were threatened with sanctions for "deeply troubling personal slurs” against U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein. [Editor's note: It is republished below.]
The court's decison filed Wednesday chides Leichty for making "personal slurs against Judge Hellerstein and his family" and alleges “In fact, on closer observation, Leichty's real argument is that Judge Hellerstein cannot be impartial because he is Jewish."
The court also sanctioned Mariani, one of the few 911 survivors who had the nerve to refused to be paid off. They noted that Mariani "is a veteran of federal court litigation" and that she signed a motion which included "some of the most offensive allegations against Judge Hellerstein.” The court concluded therefore that “Mariani, too, is therefore jointly responsible with her attorney for the double costs imposed by this Order."
As we previously reported, Mariani's April 19, 2012 brief noted in part that "Judge Hellerstein and his wife Mildred are known to be active supporters of Israeli causes, and it is implausible that Judge Hellerstein would not at least be on inquiry notice of the affiliations of his son's law firm and the connections of his son's clients to Israeli and Israeli-linked defendants in a case before him, particularly in a case of the magnitude of the 911 case." It continued “It is not plausible that Judge Hellerstein, a highly-educated and connected supporter of Israeli causes, was unaware of the connections of his son's law firm."
Ironically, in their May 15th decision, the court in the Mariani case repeatedly referred to Gallop v. Cheney, another case in which a 9/11 victim sued the government, only to have her case thrown out and financial sanctions imposed. [See Bush court dismisses 9/11 suit against Bush officials, orders sanctions, globalresearch.ca.]
The court closed the decision noting that they were actually being easy on the two, once again referring to the April Gallop case: "Although we have authority to impose additional sanctions in the form of fines or attorney's fees on Mariani and Attorney Leichty, see Gallop III, 660 F.3d at 586, we decline to do so at this time. We trust that this relatively public reprimand will suffice to prevent similar transgressions in the future."
Below are some of the highlights (or rather lowlights) of the courts excoriating admonitions of the Plaintiff and Counsel who ‘dared’ to question the integrity of a public servant. The entire PDF of the ruling can be see here.