High Court Concerned, Just Not Enough

The old widow wasn’t asking for much. All she wanted was a chance to plead her case to an unbiased judge, a fresh eye to decide whether the people charged with protecting her were justified in sucking up her life savings.

Two courts, after all, had said the probate commissioner overseeing her estate acted unethically, that the court-sanctioned siphoning of her bank account was “inexcusable.”

The widow’s story prompted no less than the chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court to convene a committee to consider reforms to the Probate Court. “I’ve read your columns,” Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch told me in 2010. “They cause concern.”

As a result of what happened to Marie Long and a few others, laws were changed and reforms were enacted in the hope of better protecting the most vulnerable among us.

All, that is, except for Marie Long.

The state Supreme Court dashed her hopes recently by refusing to consider her appeal.

“It’s a very sad day for Marie Long,” attorney Candess Hunter wrote after being notified that Berch’s court denied Marie’s request to take a look at what happened.

Marie Long was worth $1.3 million when she suffered a stroke and came under the “protection” of the Probate Court in 2005. By 2009, she was destitute and dependent upon taxpayers for support, her savings sucked dry while the Probate Court looked the other way.

In 2010, then-Commissioner Lindsay Ellis wrote that the attorneys and fiduciaries were justified in helping themselves to well over $1 million. As for the lawyers who tried to stop the bleeding — the ones who were volunteering their time to help Marie — Ellis laid into them, charging that their “venomous” attacks challenging the six-figure bills forced the other side to defend itself.

With Marie’s money, naturally.

Two months after Ellis’ ruling, we learned that Ellis had her assistant slip an advance copy of her ruling to one side — the side that wound up with Marie’s money.

Full Article and Source:
High Court Concerned, Just Not Enough

See Also:
Guardianship Agency Cost Elderly Woman Dearly

Advertisements

13 Responses to “High Court Concerned, Just Not Enough”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Well the high court sent a loud and clear message, didn't they? Old people just don't count…..Very sad.

  2. Mike Says:

    Barbara, you're absolutely right.What a disgrace!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Get the b**** off the bench!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    There seems to be a conspiracy in all of the Probate Courts, to enrich themselves, and the "good ole Boys" on the hard earned money of seniors in this country. The judiciary and law enforcement, shows no interest in pursuing fraud, or even fraud of the courts, because it would not be worth their while, to protect the civil rights of a senior citizen (soon to be no bother at all.)eb

  5. Thelma Says:

    This is really a disgrace:1. The judge acted ex-parte; voiding her order. Did anyone move to vacate it?2. The legislature got prodded into action?3. The high court woudl not allow Long an opportunity to address the preoblem.4. The taxpayers got screwed.SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!

  6. StandUp Says:

    The so called "high court" could have done something. I realize judges pretty much cover the arses in court and the higher courts sometimes have not much to work with. But, they could have found something for crying out loud.I hope the lawyers in the Marie Long case filed discipline complaints on all the vultures involved.

  7. Dianna Says:

    THIS is why people think all lawyers are sharks and the justice system is a joke. What was done to Marie Long and the failure of the justice system to correct it is a cruel joke not only on Mrs. Long, but the American public.

  8. Holly Says:

    When Marie Long retained Attorney Grant Goodman (ON CONTINGENCY) to recover some of what they taken from her, he was cut off at the knees with a temporary (5 YEAR) suspension of his law license. Laurie Roberts reported the truth on that story too but she was shut up quickly. Ske knows the truth and is a good honest reporter!!Thank you, LaurieBest Wishes, Grant

  9. Holly Says:

    When Marie Long retained Attorney Grant Goodman (ON CONTINGENCY) to recover some of what they taken from her, he was cut off at the knees with a temporary (5 YEAR) suspension of his law license. Laurie Roberts reported the truth on that story too but she was shut up quickly. Ske knows the truth and is a good honest reporter!!Thank you, LaurieBest Wishes, Grant

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Next case…..this system is designed to enable the abusers it's as simple as that now how to fix the corrupt system? One way would be for opposition to business as usual be elected or appointed to positions of power and authority. Until then, we continue with out outrage. Any volunteers out there to be the next Marie Long?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    It's even more insidious. When I told one of the lawyers I contacted about revisiting the case in which I was never allowed to defend myself or even see the charges levied against me at a secret hearing (no notification of interested parties) he pointed out that there are "draconian penalties for family members who run up the legal bills." In other words, in probate court, a defendant (it's almost always a family member who is accused of something) who tries to defend himself has insurmountable hurdles and, like me, will not be able to mount a defense without incurring those huge penalties, typically being forced to pay all lawyers fees, even if you prevail. Probate court apparently overrides the Constitution. In addition, all the lawyers tell us there is court oversight to prevent unreasonable spending. But the judges are not reviewing the court appointees invoices. The family must do it, and they are not allowed to see what has been spent until the first anniversary. By that time, the ward's assets may have been drastically depleted. In its first year, litigation and the guardianship has cost my mother nearly 1/4 of her total assets (and, from what I understand, the rate of depletion has not changed from the months of litigation thru the period of the guardianship. There are still several months before the first year of the guardianship is over and before we can see the bills. Only then can we complain. But still, complaining isn't enough: we must sue to get any oversight, and the cost of litigation is so prohibitive that every court appointee knows he can pad his bills by as much as 50% before litigation is cost effective. Then the "draconian penalties" come into play: the family that sues is now guilty of running up the costs! So where is the oversight?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Kudos to Laurie and Grant for fighting the fight for Marie…

  13. VARADEE DUNASKIS Says:

    MARIA LONG IS THE STORY OF MY LIFE WITHOUT A STROKE. 2005 MY DAD DIED MY BROTHER MATHEW DUNASKISS STARTED ASSEMBLING THE BOTTOM FEEDERS AKA PROBATE ATTORNEYS MOM DIED IN 2007 THE PLOT THICKENS " CONFLICT OF INTEREST" MY BROTHER IS APPOINTED "BY THE COURT" HE RETAINS TWO ATTORNEYS AS "CO-COUNSEL" TO REPRESENT HIM AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND AS THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE MY HOME / MY MOM'S HOME TITLED TO HER AND I RECORDED BY HER IS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME AND I AM BILLED FOR THEM STEALING OVER A 4 MILLION ESATE SPLIT BY THE ATTORNEYS AND MY BROTHER OVER FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND APPROVED IN FEES TO LIE NOT CO-COUNSEL YET BOTH APPEARED AND RECEIVED FEES WOW NOTHING BUT THIEVES I WAS WORTH MYSELF A HALF MILLION NOW I AM SLOSE TO DESTITUTE. ANDREW THOMAS TRIED GRANT GOODMAN TRIED SO I SURE DO NOT HAVE A CHANCE MY PAPER GOES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT DEC 24TH 2012 A BETTING PERSON WOULD PROBABLY BET AGAINST IT BEING HEARD. THIS IS RAKETTEERING A CONTINUING CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. DAVID CUNANAN IS A DANGEROUS MAN HE STEPPED ASIDE FOR THE ATTORNEYS TO STEAL MARIA LONG'S MONEY HE HAS TURNED THE OTHER WAY TO PROTECT THE BOTTOM FEEDERS AGAINST ME. WILL NOT RULE DECLINES WHEN THE FACTS SCREAM OF WRONG DOING WILL NOT SIGN HIS ORDERS TO PREVENT APPEAL. HE IS YOUNG THAT IS WHAT MAKES HIM DANGEROUS. SOME HOW SOMW WAY THIS CORRUPTION HAS TO STOP.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: