Wannabe Judge Attorney Writes About Ethical Dilemmas SHE Failed to Report

Wannabe Judge Attorney Writes About Ethical Dilemmas SHE Failed to Report

Wannabe Judge Attorney Writes About Ethical Dilemmas SHE Failed to Report

It was reported in The Westchester Guardian (“Carvel Niece Fights Westchester Judicial Machine”, May 17, 2007) that Manhattan attorney Eve Markewich had “itemized in a New York Law Journal article how many different violations of professional ethics and disciplinary rules the attorneys in the Westchester Carvel proceedings inflicted on Agnes Carvel.”

Many blog readers wrote to us saying they were confused, so we looked into the story.

We wondered whether Ms. Markewich did, in fact, author an article that explained how she saw violations of attorney disciplinary rules. “Impossible,” said one lawyer we asked. “She knows that she is obligated to report the improper acts of other attorneys to the disciplinary committee. She can’t use that knowledge as material for a story without reporting it.”

Well, we looked for, and found, that New York Law Journal article, dated Monday, February 14, 2005, “Getting Grounded On Ethical Dilemmas”. The article is a part of the Carvel estate file and available to the public. The New York Law Journal article provides the following credit: “Eve Rachel Markewich is a member of the Blank Rome litigation department. Barbara MacGrady, an associate with the firm, assisted in the preparation of this article.” (Note: Eve Rachel Markewich is no longer with Blank Rome)

We took further note that The Westchester Guardian reported that attorney Markewich had recently run for Manhattan Surrogate. Sure enough, we found attorney Eve Rachel Markewich’s name on the primary ballot for Manhattan Surrogate in 2006. (Note: Ms. Markewich lost the primary election to the current Surrogate, Kristen Booth Glen)

We then poised the following to 36 New York State licensed attorneys:

You become involved in an estate litigation and are astounded that: (1) the will was drafted by an attorney who never met the decedent, or even spoke to him on the telephone; (2) the wife was never advised to seek separate counsel, and never asked to consent to joint representation; (3) the attorney supervising the execution of the documents was not an estates practitioner but was charged with explaining the documents (which were not simple) to the wife; and (4) the wills named several executors, two of whom were corporate attorneys involved in the estate planning process, although they were not the ultimate drafters of the documents- and one of those lawyers also was named as a beneficiary.

We then asked the 36 lawyers: What would you do given the provided facts?

(a) Confront the lawyers about the astounding facts, and maybe advise the court attorney or judge, but surely report the revelations to the disciplinary committee?

(b) Say nothing about the astounding facts because those responsible for the improper acts must approve the $3 million in legal fees you seek. But write an article about the lacking ethics for The New York Law Journal, and then run for Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge in the next election; or

(c) Go to Disney World.

Our findings were inconclusive and our survey abandoned because not one of the queried attorneys would stop laughing.

Attorney Markewich’s conduct is reprehensible, and obviously not funny. And her failings are, unfortunately, not a joke. The Westchester Guardian may be right, “The Estates of Thomas and Agnes Carvel are a microcosm of the political corruption that festers in Westchester Surrogate’s Court.” The facts in the 17-year-old Carvel estate case, and the actions and inaction of Ms. Markewich, point to the critical condition of certain courts in New York.

It is a fact that on Monday, February 14, 2005, the New York Law Journal published an article written by New York attorney Eve Rachel Markewich, titled “Getting Grounded On Ethical Dilemmas.” In that article, Ms. Markewich had that temerity to write about events subsequently brought to her attention in an estate proceeding that resulted in her penning, “It was astounding to me that none of the following issues had been raised in the probate proceeding.” Ms. Markewich then went on to list the grossly improper happenings and failures, which included numbers 1-4 from the above poised facts. Incredibly, wannabe judge Markewich then cites numerous attorney disciplinary rules in her “review of basic ethical precepts.”

The apparent and brazen disregard of Ms. Markewich’s own attorney ethical obligations to report the improper actions of other attorneys is only outdone by her nerve in then writing about it. And both of those acts are eclipsed by her gall in attempting to be elected Manhattan Surrogate Judge.

We are informed that Ms. Markewich is currently seeking legal fees in excess of $3 million dollars in the pending Westchester County Surrogate Court Carvel estate. (Meanwhile, Pamela Carvel, as executrix of Agnes Carvel’s estate, is still seeking reimbursement of $6,000.00 for Agnes’ 1998 funeral expenses.)

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One Response to “Wannabe Judge Attorney Writes About Ethical Dilemmas SHE Failed to Report”

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