Hurricane Sandy Alert - Advice you can actually use
that disaster has struck, it’s time to formulate a plan so you
can get your life back to normal as soon as possible. More often
than not, a few weeks after your claim is filed with your the
insurance company, you will feel victimized all over again. Here
are some easy steps to take that help hasten your financial and
Every now and then, one runs into a lawyer or group of
lawyers that prove it’s far too easy to get a license to
practice law. This is one of those times.
POA was subpoenaed recently by a defense attorney who wants us
to produce the identities of members in a specific geographic
area. One can only assume that the attorney involved doesn’t
know that before a jury is empanelled, they must go through a
series of questioning (called “voir dire” 1) to exclude
potential jurors who may be biased.
At every turn,
POA has objected to the subpoenas based on every party’s ability
to weed out juror biases via “voir dire” and a long standing law
that guarantees American citizens the right to peaceful
assembly, privacy in their associations, etc… No court, would
dare take such a right from anyone and rest assured, no court
has done that here.
But, this guy just keeps pushing it.
So… in an effort to quash any fear that POA members are armed
with knowledge of a case that doesn’t even have a trial date,
let alone a potential group of jurors, we have posted this
to action in hopes of weeding out – very far in advance of “voir
dire” – any folks who just may, one day, be called for jury
duty, that fit any of these parameters: To See the parameters, click here
1 voir dire(vwahr [with a near-silent "r"] deer)
n. from French "to see to speak," the questioning of
prospective jurors by a judge and attorneys in court. Voir
dire is used to determine if any juror is biased and/or
cannot deal with the issues fairly, or if there is cause not
to allow a juror to serve (knowledge of the facts;
acquaintanceship with parties, witnesses or attorneys;
occupation which might lead to bias; prejudice against the
death penalty; or previous experiences such as having been
sued in a similar case). Source: Law.com
AUTHOR UNEARTHS TRUTHS ABOUT MOLD RELATED ILLNESS AND GOV’T
COVER-UPS THAT PROTECT INDUSTRY GRAVY TRAIN ACT NOW: HUGE
DISCOUNT FOR POA MEMBERS
Arnold J. Mann was the first to blow the lid off of
toxic mold (TIME Magazine, USA Weekend).The acclaimed author and
former medical writer at TIME tackles mold and other causes of
environmental illness in his newest book, “They’re Poisoning
Us”—From the Gulf War to the Gulf of Mexico, An Investigative
Report. Mann leads the reader through the tangled maze of
deception, corruption and greed – all rooted in the policies
propagated by federal agencies and medical associations acting
in cahoots with industry, damning millions of Americans to fend
for themselves with serious yet misdiagnosed and untreated
In one chapter, the book reveals how the Centers
For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called in an outside
panel of experts to bury its own research team’s published
findings and turned a blind eye to infants dying in Cleveland's
mold-infested inner city housing. This was done, Mann reveals,
with a past president of Prudential Insurance sitting as CDC
Director! According to the original CDC researchers, whose data
was buried, infants, whose lungs are particularly vulnerable to
the toxic mold Stachybotrys, continue to die from pulmonary
hemorrhaging in Cleveland and nationwide. It's a shocking story
that has never been fully revealed - until now. This is but a
taste of the revelations contained in Mann’s fascinating new
Radio Interview with Dr. R. Shoemaker about illness resulting from water damaged buildings
DOUBLE YOUR INSURANCE PAYMENT A new way POA helps you get “whole” on your loss
POA has figured out how to beat the insurance
companies at their own game.
Everyone knows that insurance companies lowball
payments and replace a Rolex with a Timex, so to speak. This
is standard practice even with “replacement cost” policies.
Insurers offer and pay policyholders about half of what is
actually due, leaving policyholders to either subsidize the
cost of real replacement or hire and pay lawyers to fight
for what is rightfully due. Either way, the policyholder is
left with far less money to replace contents.
POA has now implemented a new
service, designed to make policyholders whole after a loss.
Only Full (paying) members qualify for this service.
POA has negotiated with licensed members of the ASID
(American Society of Interior Designers) whose licenses
enable them to buy at wholesale prices (often at 50% less
than retail), and pass the savings to qualifying members.
Members can even save more if they use out-of-state interior
designers because no sales tax applies to purchases.
The benefits? • Getting made “whole” after a loss by
receiving full replacement for the lowball check received
from the insurer; • Upgrading to more expensive brands
for the same money; • Receiving professional design
advice without the cost; • Delegating the tedious
process of inventorying contents to a professional; and •
Emerging as a winner, not a victim, when the insurer cheats.
In no way does POA excuse insurer bad faith. But, it
is a reality and rarely do Insurance Commissioners punish
this common practice. Until that changes, POA will continue
to help members find new and creative ways around the
realities of insurance bad faith and fraud.
An investigation into how campaign cash is corrupting America's courts (and why and how insurers buy their way out of paying jury awards).
February 19, 2010
Bill Moyers Journal takes a hard look at how campaign cash in judicial races may sway America's courts. The Journal revisits the 1999 FRONTLINE special "Justice for Sale" which reported on the growing concern — even among Supreme Court justices themselves — that campaign contributions may be corrupting the judicial process.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) has changed its tune on mold.
In an Amicus Brief filed in August of 2009, it claims health effects caused by mold are a result of junk science and there's no causal connection between mold and health problems.
CLICK HERE FOR AMICUS BRIEF.
Yesterday, the NAA changed its tune. It changed its website to read:
They further state:
For large areas (more than 100 square feet), the best recommendation is to hire a professional company that is certified to do the job, and follow their direction.
Mold can produce dangerous mycotoxins that can affect the skin, lungs and even the brain. Learn more about indoor mold, what causes mold to grow, how it can harm you and how to prevent it. Watch this
short video from the Discovery Channel.
STATE FARM POLICYHOLDERS
State Farm policies now contain language that renders their policies completely worthless. It says that if multiple things cause damage, and at least one of those things is not covered (like rain, or construction
defect(s), or lack of maintenance), they don’t have to pay ANYTHING.
It is in State Farm’s interest to allege that a portion of the damage was caused by something not covered by the policy so they can avoid payment.
The language is known as an Anti-concurrent clause.
We are a nonprofit association
serving policyholders victimized by insurance companies or just
plain sick and tired of an industry that has spun out-of-control and
know that change can only happen if we, the consumer of a mandated
product, ban together.
POA takes an active role in helping
policyholders receive full payment for claims made and we do so at
We are not advocates of litigation
and are not associated with trial lawyers, public adjusters or any
other group that feeds off of the misfortunes of policyholders. Our
only loyalty is to the policyholder.
POA is nonpartisan however we do
take a stand on political issues, candidates and policies relating
to insurance for one simple reason: You cannot separate insurance
For far too long, the insurance
industry has stacked the deck against consumers by fueling political
campaign coffers with contributions that come from insurance
executives and their PACs. In return, legislators, elected and
appointed judges have bent over backwards for the insurance industry
by stripping away punitive damages for bad faith and insurance
company-committed fraud. This has done nothing but make bad faith in
the claims handling process a profit center.
POA weighed in on the 2006 election
and 94% of the more than 300 candidates endorsed by POA won. With a
new Congress, the policyholder now has a real chance to implement
reform and put an end to the serial bad faith, price gouging,
lowballing and wrongful denials practiced by insurers.
POA has two categories of
membership: full and free. Full membership is appropriate for those
who require access to legal and scientific documents beyond what is
published in our free access area. The cost of full membership is
$100 per year so that we can offset some of the cost of obtaining
these documents. Our free category of membership is appropriate for
nearly anyone, even those embroiled in a dispute with their insurer.
Free members are given access to most of our documents. Whether you
are a free or full member, we will help guide you through the claims
process. POA does offer a free category of membership which many
members find is all they need to get their claim paid. Only members
(free and full members) will get help from POA. We will help you
with everything from documenting your claim to letter writing and
negotiating with your insurer to maximize the settlement of your
POA will continue to assist
policyholders receive prompt and full payment when a claim is filed
but we will also continue to assist policyholders fight for coverage
when an insurer wrongly denies a claim.
We do all of this by helping
policyholders document the cause of the loss, communicate (in
writing) to the insurer in language that gets desired results and we
help poke holes in the insurers’ position about the cause of the
peril. (Insurers often claim a loss was caused by something NOT
covered in the policy so they can avoid any and all liability for
One of POA’s most exciting missions
for 2007-2008 is an outgrowth of the 2006 election. The tide has
turned and we are in a far better position to get the following POA
measures passed for the policyholder:
• Bad faith and breach of
contract should not be a profit center: We are helping to craft
legislation that penalizes bad faith and insurer-committed fraud by
encouraging criminal charges against insurance executives and/or
stiffer financial penalties against those companies found to have
committed these acts;
Insurers have successfully cherry picked consumers by pulling
out of one area (homeowners) while continue to sell other
product lines (auto). This has caused a shortage of insurance in
key regions or states and has caused premiums to skyrocket. POA
is helping craft legislation that puts a stop to this practice
and implementation of this legislation will stabilize
availability and lower premiums.
CLUE reporting: POA has
been diligently working on language that would limit what an
insurer can report on the CLUE database (CLUE is a database that
tracks claims and/or potential claims made by the policyholder
and his/her property. It is used by the industry to determine
coverage offered and premiums. What is currently reported on
CLUE can and does have a negative impact on one’s property
The Appraisal Process:
A little known clause exists in nearly ALL homeowners policies.
It allows both the insurer AND the policyholder to demand
appraisal should a dispute arise over the amount due under the
policy. POA is working on legislative language that broadens the
scope of appraisal and levels the playing field. The appraisal
process, if done properly, is faster and less expensive than
litigation but in its current form, often favors the insurer.
Politics UNusual: POA
plans to weigh into the 2008 election in full force with
hard-hitting issue ads that educate the public about various
candidates and their track records on insurance and related
areas such as climate change. We will continue to endorse
candidates we believe are catalysts for insurance reform.
WHY YOU SHOULD TEST YOUR OWN HOME BEFORE PURCHASING!
POA SPECIAL MEMBER
POA is proud to offer many products
and services geared to our membership and at dramatically reduced
Water leak detection: POA
researched nearly all of the leak detection systems available on the
market and rated each on several factors: effectiveness, ease of
installation, and price. One system stood out and we're offering it
to you at a heavily discounted price. For most homeowners, the cost
of fully protecting your home is less than $99. Other, equally
effective systems, can cost thousands. To read about the system
CLICK HERE. To order,
Sample analysis: POA joined
forces with two of the nation’s leading labs to offer many types of
mold testing. If you like saving money or want more info,
Medical testing: Think your
symptoms may be caused by mold exposure, here’s a way to get blood
testing for less,
STATE OF INSURANCE.
Rep. Gene Taylor's Congressional Report
(Feb. 28, 2007)
Representative Taylor unleashes
on the insurance industry to a Congressional Subcommittee. His
allegations mirror what POA has been saying for years about
insurance companies dumping onto Uncle Sam (all U.S. taxpayers via
FEMA) their obligations.
For more information
DEPUTY INSURANCE COMMISSIONER (Mississippi) DEPOSED IN KATRINA LAWSUIT;
STATE FARM PAYS THE LEGAL BILL AND INSTRUCTS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER NOT TO ANSWER PERTAINENT QUESTIONS.
Biotoxin Illness- Diagnosis and Treatment with 21st Century Medicine
Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, and his research team share their discoveries and research through informative articles, presentations, video’s and a blog.” For more information on Mold and other biotoxin-mediated illnesses along with an on-line screening test go to
State Farm Busted for Massive Fraud Against
State Farm Insurance
supervisors systematically demanded that Hurricane
Katrina damage reports be buried or replaced or
changed so that the company would not have to pay
policyholders' claims in Mississippi, two State Farm
insiders tell ABC News.
Kerri and Cori Rigsby,
independent adjusters who had worked for State Farm
exclusively for eight years, say they have turned
over thousands of internal company documents and
their own detailed statement to the FBI and
Mississippi state investigators.
In an exclusive interview
with ABC news, to be broadcast on 20/20 -- Watch
20/20 tonight at 10 --and World News, the Rigsby
sisters say they saw "widespread" fraud at the State
Farm offices in Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss.
"Katrina was devastating, but so was State Farm,"
says Cori Rigsby.
At one point, they say State Farm brought in a
special shredding truck they believe was used to
destroy key documents. State Farm says shredding is
standard to protect policyholders' privacy.
The sisters say they saw supervisors go to great
lengths to pressure outside engineers to prepare
reports concluding that damage was caused by water,
not covered under State Farm policies, rather than
They say reports that concluded that damage was
caused by wind, for which State Farm would have to
pay, were hidden in a special file and new reports
Cori Rigsby says she recalls a senior coordinator
ordering that an engineering company be told to
alter the findings in its report so that State Farm
would not have to pay. "Tell them if they don't
change their report, we're not paying their
invoice," she remembers the supervisor saying.
A lawyer for State Farm, Wayne Drinkwater, told ABC
News he was unfamiliar with the Rigsby sisters but
denied State Farm cheated policyholders or pressured
outside engineers to reach particular conclusions in
their damage reports.
"We, of course, have not been cheating," Drinkwater
The allegations, if proven, would support the
suspicions of thousands of homeowners along the
Mississippi Gulf Coast who have been unable to
collect enough insurance money to rebuild their
Many have filed lawsuits against State Farm and
other insurance companies alleging the companies of
wrongly denying or low-balling their claims. The
Rigsby sisters' allegations are now a key part of
suits filed against State Farm by well-known
Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs, famous for taking
on the tobacco companies.
ploys in litigation per the Wall Street Journal
Court of Opinion Amid Suits Over Mold, Experts Wear Two
Authors of Science Paper Often Cited by Defense Also
Help in Litigation
By DAVID ARMSTRONG
January 9, 2007; Page A1
Wall Street Journal
moving into a New York City apartment, Colin and Pamela
Fraser say, they began to suffer headaches, rashes,
respiratory infections and fatigue. They attributed it
their lawsuit against the cooperative that owns the
building hit a roadblock when the court wouldn't let
their medical expert testify that mold caused their
problems. This is "unsupported by the scientific
literature," the state trial judge said.
relied in part on a position paper from the American
College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, or
ACOEM. Citing a substance some molds produce called
mycotoxins, the paper said "scientific evidence does not
support the proposition that human health has been
adversely affected by inhaled mycotoxins in the home,
school, or office environment."
The paper has become a key defense
tool wielded by builders, landlords and insurers in
litigation. It has also been used to assuage fears
of parents following discovery of mold in schools.
One point that rarely emerges in these cases: The
paper was written by people who regularly are paid
experts for the defense side in mold litigation.
The ACOEM doesn't disclose this,
nor did its paper. The professional society's
president, Tee Guidotti, says no disclosure is
needed because the paper represents the consensus of
its membership and is a statement from the society,
not the individual authors.
The dual roles show how conflicts
of interest can color debate on emerging health
issues and influence litigation related to it. Mold
has been a contentious matter since a Texas jury in
2001 awarded $32.1 million to a family whose home
was mold-infested. That award, later reduced, and a
couple of mold suits filed by famous people like Ed
McMahon and Erin Brockovich helped trigger a surge
in mold litigation. Insurers and builders worried it
would become a liability disaster for them on the
scale of asbestos.
number of suits hasn't been as big as anticipated. One
reason appears to be the insurers' success in getting
many states to exclude mold coverage from
homeowner's-insurance policies. But also helping turn
the tide, lawyers and doctors say, is the ACOEM report.
Building groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have
cited it to rebut the notion that mold in the home can
Craner, a Nevada doctor who has testified for scores of
people who claimed ill effects from mold, says the paper
"has been used in every single mold case. The lawyer
asks, 'Isn't it true the American College of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded that
there is no scientific evidence that mold causes any
serious health effects?'"
result, Dr. Craner maintains, is that "a lot people with
legitimate environmental health problems are losing
their homes and their jobs because of legal decisions
based on this so-called 'evidence-based' statement."
Craner says a majority of his work is on the plaintiff
side and he is paid when he testifies, but he says he
currently is an expert for the defense in a case where
he concluded the plaintiffs' health issues weren't
related to mold.
other medical societies have also published statements
on mold written, in part, by legal-defense experts. The
societies didn't disclose this when they released the
papers, although one later published a correction saying
two authors served as expert witnesses in mold
the full text of Dr. Borak's September 2002
email to the leaders of the American College of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine about
his struggles in drafting their position paper
Mold reproduces through tiny
spores. These can float into homes through windows
and vent systems or be carried in on clothes or
shoes. Indoors, mold grows when moisture is present.
There's debate about how much this
matters. Plaintiffs attribute ills ranging from
asthma to cognitive problems to inhalation of mold.
The Institute of Medicine, a largely federally
funded nonprofit, reviewed the research in 2004 and
said "studies have demonstrated adverse effects --
including immunotoxic, neurologic, respiratory and
dermal responses -- after exposure to specific
toxins, bacteria, molds or their products." But it
added that the dose required to cause adverse health
effects hasn't been determined. The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, for its part, says
on its Web site that mold can cause wheezing and eye
or skin irritation, but a link to more serious
conditions "has not been proven.
The ACOEM paper goes further. It says not only is there
no evidence indoor mold causes serious health effects,
but even if mold produced toxic substances, it's "highly
unlikely at best" that anyone could inhale enough to
cause a problem. The paper reaches this conclusion by
extrapolating from animal studies in which rodents'
throats were injected with molds.
paper's authors say their conclusions are validated by
the Institute of Medicine's paper. But the author of the
Institute paper's mold toxicity chapter, Harriett Ammann,
disagrees, and criticizes the ACOEM paper's methodology:
"They took hypothetical exposure and hypothetical
toxicity and jumped to the conclusion there is nothing
Ammann, a recently retired toxicologist for Washington
state's health department, recently helped the plaintiff
side in a mold case. She says this was the only time she
has done so for pay. In the Fraser lawsuit in New York,
after the judge barred testimony that mold caused health
problems, Dr. Ammann, on her own and without pay,
provided an affidavit filed with the appellate court
saying the judge misinterpreted the research.
ACOEM, a society of more than 5,000 specialists who
investigate indoor health hazards and treat patients
with related illnesses, first moved to develop a
position paper on mold in early 2002. Dean Grove, then
the medical society's president, asked the head of its
council on scientific affairs, Yale medical professor
Jonathan Borak, to set the process in motion.
turned to a retired deputy director of the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health -- part of
the CDC -- to spearhead the project. Dr. Borak says he
wanted someone with "no established background record of
litigation related to mold."
person he chose, Bryan Hardin, says he hadn't worked on
any mold lawsuit at that point, though he was a
consultant on other matters for GlobalTox Inc., a firm
that regularly worked for the defense in mold cases. And
Dr. Hardin says he consulted for the defense in a mold
case while he was helping write the ACOEM paper.
Feb. 27, 2002, email, Dr. Borak told Dr. Hardin: "That
position paper would be prepared by you and your
GlobalTox colleagues." Dr. Borak says he believes he
didn't know at the time that GlobalTox did mold defense
GlobalTox colleague who aided Dr. Hardin was Bruce
Kelman, now president of the firm, which recently
changed its name to Veritox Inc. Drs. Kelman and Hardin,
now principals at the firm and entitled to a share of
its profits, were two of the ACOEM paper's three
authors. They are paid $375 to $500 an hour for work on
mold cases, court records say.
Mold defendants rely on medical-society position
papers that reject a link to serious ills, but
papers were written by scientists who often work
for defense side in mold cases.
Whether courts get accurate or skewed view of
possible health effects of indoor mold.
•What's at Stake:
Outcome of widespread litigation over mold.
The paper's third author was Andrew Saxon, then
chief of clinical immunology and allergy at the
medical school of the University of California, Los
Angeles. He, too, has served as a defense expert in
numerous mold suits. Dr. Saxon says he is paid $510
an hour for his help. If called to testify in court,
his rate rises to $720 an hour, according to a
deposition he gave.
Until he retired from UCLA in September, money he
earned as a legal-defense expert was paid to the
university, and he says UCLA then gave him a little
less than half of it. Dr. Saxon estimates he
generates $250,000 to $500,000 a year from expert
defense work, which includes non-mold cases.
The ACOEM knew about mold defense work by the
authors of its paper. Dr. Hardin informed the
society in a Sept. 23, 2002, document under his
letterhead. Labeled "confidential" and "share only
with the ACOEM board of directors," it told of his
work as a defense expert on one mold case.
letter said the other two authors, Drs. Saxon and Kelman,
"have been retained by both the defense and plaintiff
bar in litigation relating to indoor mold." Both say
they work mostly for the defense in mold cases.
Internal ACOEM documents indicate that as the paper was
being written in August 2002, there was concern within
the society that the paper was too friendly to defense
interests. Its authors were asked to modify the first
draft's tone "because of the concern about possible
misinterpretation of 'buzz words' and phrases such as
'belief system,' 'adherents may claim,' 'supposed
hypersensitivity,' and 'alleged disorder,'" according to
a June 2002 email to Dr. Hardin from the society's
communications director. (The email was obtained by a
plaintiff's attorney in a mold case, Karen Kahn.)
Borak, the head of the society's council on scientific
affairs, suggested sending a draft for review to one
particular mold authority, Michael Hodgson, director of
the occupational safety and health program at the U.S.
Veterans Health Administration. Dr. Hardin objected. He
said it would be "inappropriate to add ad hoc reviewers
who are highly visible advocates for a point of view the
draft position paper analyzes and finds lacking." The
draft ultimately wasn't sent.
In September 2002, Dr. Borak emailed colleagues that "I
am having quite a challenge in finding an acceptable
path for the proposed position paper on mold." He said
several reviewers "find the current version, much
revised, to still be a defense argument."
society released a paper two months later, and its
authors, as well as ACOEM officials, say it accurately
reflects the science on indoor mold exposure. The
authors' "views, if prejudicial, were removed," Dr.
Borak says. "It went through a dramatic change of
top-heavy peer reviews." He says objections come mainly
from "activist litigants" who find it "annoying."
Hardin and Kelman say the paper has been controversial
because it challenged "a belief system" that mold can be
toxic indoors. "A belief system is built up and there is
anger when the science doesn't support that belief
system," Dr. Kelman says.
Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, paid
Veritox $40,000 to prepare a lay version of the paper.
That version said "the notion that 'toxic mold' is an
insidious, secret 'killer,' as so many media reports and
trial lawyers would claim, is 'junk science' unsupported
by actual scientific study." Its authors were the three
writers of the longer paper plus a fourth, who also is a
principal at Veritox.
defending mold suits also cite a position paper from the
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. This
paper says it concurs with the ACOEM that it is highly
unlikely enough mycotoxins could be inhaled to lead to
toxic health effects.
the academy paper's five authors is Dr. Saxon. Another,
Abba Terr, a San Francisco immunologist, has worked as a
defense expert in mold cases. The academy published the
paper in its Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
last February, not citing the mold-defense work of
either man. The publication later ran a correction
disclosing their litigation work.
academy's president says officials were aware Dr. Saxon
was an expert witness. "We should have published their
[disclosure] statements with the paper," says the
official, Thomas Platts-Mills. He says the lapse
resulted from a variety of factors, including confusion
about whose responsibility the disclosure was.
author of the academy's paper, Jay Portnoy, chief of
allergy, asthma and immunology at the Children's Mercy
Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., says he "felt that there
was an agenda" -- the effort "seemed very biased toward
denying the possibility of there being harmful effects
from mold on human health." He says he considered
removing his name from the paper, but it was published
before he could decide.
Portnoy says a section he contributed was rewritten by
Dr. Saxon to be "a lot more negative." He says the paper
wrongly says mold isn't proven to cause allergic
rhinitis, with symptoms like wheezing, sore throat and
sneezing. Dr. Saxon denies the authors had a bias but
says they applied a high standard for proving mold
causes a particular effect. He says he didn't skew the
content of Dr. Portnoy's section but rewrote it because
it was "too diffuse." Dr. Terr in San Francisco didn't
return a call seeking comment.
York, the Frasers are appealing the refusal of the trial
judge, state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner
Kornreich, to let their expert testify that indoor mold
caused their health complaints. The Frasers had moved
into the East Side Manhattan apartment in 1996. Their
2002 suit said they repeatedly complained to the co-op's
board of dampness and leaks as their health
appeal attacks the credibility of mold position papers
drafted by scientists who work for defendants. "What you
have here is defense experts authoring papers under an
official guise," says their attorney, Elizabeth Eilender.
Justice Kornreich declined to comment.