Judge Ellen Huvelle
In 2012, I sent a letter to Congressman Lamar Smith, who was then the chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, about Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C. Here’s an excerpt:
You can read the rest of the letter here. Since then, I have obtained evidence that Judge Huvelle communicated ex parte with my opposing counsel and a witness (i.e., she communicated with them secretly, which is expressly prohibited by the rules governing lawyers and judges), and that she covered up at least two frauds committed in her court, maybe more. I am making that information publicly available (below), some of it for the first time. As if Huvelle's behavior was not bad enough, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has repeatedly refused to acknowledge or discuss her conflict of interest. Most recently, the appellate court affirmed the dismissal order and the sanction without any discussion or explanation.Judge Huvelle knowingly assigned herself to a case that implicated her in a crime, then refused to step aside when I objected to her conflict of interest. Shortly thereafter, she summarily dismissed the case with prejudice and sanctioned me $123,802.17 in retaliation.
Unfortunately, this is nothing unusual. For decades now, legal scholars have derided the growing tendency of appellate courts to issue perfunctory and "unpublished" appellate decisions. In the federal courts of appeal, approximately 80 percent of cases are now decided this way. In a nutshell, this means that the appellate court gives only a minimal explanation of its decision, and in some cases (like mine) no explanation at all. As discussed below, the practical result of this is that when an appellate court wants to do something indefensible, it doesn't try to defend it. Instead, the court essentially says "you lose, and we're not going to tell you why."
Wade Robertson v. William C. CartinhourIn 2009, one of my classmates from Stanford Law School, Wade Robertson, sued his business partner, William C. Cartinhour, Jr., in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., and Cartinhour counter-claimed in the suit that came to be known as Robertson I. Judge Huvelle was assigned to that case, and Wade was represented by attorney Ed Griffith, one of my former colleagues at the Washington, D.C. office of Paul Hastings.
The first sign of trouble occurred on December 15, 2009 at the initial scheduling conference, which normally is a pretty low-key event where the judge sets the calendar for the case. With nothing more than the pleadings in front of her, Judge Huvelle suggested that Mr. Robertson was a “rat,” stating as follows: “I mean, I have not sat on the bench for all these years and not got a sixth sense of a rat.” December 15, 2009 Transcript, p. 5. She then declared – without having heard any evidence – that she was going to award the disputed funds to Cartinhour (“We’re going back to Go; get it back to him”). Id. at 10. Finally, she froze all of Wade's assets sua sponte (i.e., on her on initiative, without any request from Mr. Cartinhour or his attorneys), without notice or an opportunity to respond, and without any pretense of following the laws regarding pre-judgment seizures of assets. All of this was based on Huvelle's assumption that she was going to give everything that Wade owned to Cartinhour, never mind the fact that Wade had demanded a jury trial and neither she nor the jury had yet heard the evidence.
When Wade objected that he could not pay his attorneys because Judge Huvelle had seized everything he owned, Judge Huvelle responded that it was not her concern. Meanwhile, she conducted her own extrajudicial investigation on the Internet (another violation of the rules governing judges), then accepted the results as evidence. Three months after the scheduling conference, things got even more bizarre: in open court testimony, Cartinhour implicated two of his attorneys, Patrick Kearney and Michael Bramnick, in the fabrication of a false affidavit. See March 26, 2010 Transcript, pp. 46-47. As with most other documents in federal court, the dubious affidavit had been filed electronically by Cartinhour's attorneys, and no one had seen the original. However, when Ed cross-examined Cartinhour about various statements in the affidavit, Cartinhour testified (1) that he had no knowledge of whether one of the statements was true, (2) he had never seen the affidavit before, and (3) it appeared that someone had forged his signature onto the affidavit. (In fact, the affidavit looks like a forgery, even to a layperson: notice how the signature appears on a separate page from the body of the affidavit and how it is tilted at an angle).
Having heard that sort of testimony, most judges would have blown a gasket and demanded a criminal investigation from the Justice Department, but Judge Huvelle did absolutely nothing. It was beginning to look like Judge Huvelle was protecting somebody. In Robertson I, Cartinhour was represented by Kearney, Bramnick, and two other attorneys from the Selzer Gurvitch law firm: Carlton Obecny and Robert Selzer. Bramnick was an associate and the junior member of the team, but his fingerprints appeared all over the criminal misconduct.
For example, Ed obtained evidence that Cartinhour had lied under oath in order to conceal the identity of a witness who would disprove one of Cartinhour's key claims. Specifically, Cartinhour claimed that, in reviewing partnership documents with Wade, he had relied on Wade to act as his attorney, even though he had signed a document agreeing that Wade could never act as his attorney in partnership matters. Furthermore, Cartinhour swore that he had never received any independent legal advice about the partnership documents. However, Ed independently learned that attorney Larry Ash had reviewed the documents and advised Cartinhour against forming the partership, but Cartinhour did it anyway. In fact, Ed obtained e-mails in which Bramnick had been communicating with Ash. In other words, when Bramnick drafted the discovery responses on behalf of Cartinhour, he knew that Cartinhour was lying under oath, but he submitted the false responses anyway. Again, this is the sort of stunt that would get most lawyers disbarred or sent to prison, yet Judge Huvelle did absolutely nothing when it was brought to her attention.
In response to Cartinhour's testimony that his signature had been forged onto the affidavit, Kearney and Bramnick actually began attacking his credibility, suggesting that he was elderly, confused, and in "poor health." That was an amazing thing to watch, as the lawsuit boiled down to Cartinhour's credibility versus Wade's credibility, yet Kearney and Bramnick were undermining the credibility of Cartinhour in order to save their own skins. In fact, Cartinhour was suffering from poor health, but he lied about the nature of his health problem. After the jury trial in Robertson I was finished, I learned that Cartinhour is a paranoid schizophrenic and a pathological liar who spent years at a time in psychiatric hospitals.
Far more significantly, and as discussed below, it appears that Cartinhour's psychiatrist may have told Kearney, Bramnick and Judge Huvelle about Cartinhour's mental illness. Yet none of them disclosed that information to Wade or the jury. Ironically, Cartinhour himself introduced his psychiatric treatment into evidence, seeking to prove that he was easily manipulated by a crafty lawyer. He also obtained a delay of the trial for health reasons, but he gave conflicting explanations of the nature of his health problem, at one point suggesting it may have been a heart problem. Ed questioned the nature of Cartinhour's illness, but Judge Huvelle derided and belittled Ed for daring to make the inquiry. See November 29, 2010 Transcript, pp. 3-4. In retrospect, based on Cartinhour's bizarre behaviors and statements around the time of his mysterious illness, it now appears that he was having a schizophrenic episode during the trial.
People with paranoid schizophrenia can be very functional between bouts of the illness -- Cartinhour himself is a successful investor and a graduate of the medical school at Emory University -- but their paranoia causes them to lie in order to avenge themselves from perceived wrongs. In any event, the jury clearly had a right to know that Cartinhour suffered from an illness that altered his perception of reality, made him hallucinate, and rendered him a pathological liar.
On February 8, 2011, shortly before the Robertson I trial, I tried to enter an appearance before Judge Huvelle as one of Wade's attorneys. See February 8, 2011 Transcript, pp. 9-15. That is normally just a formality, but Judge Huvelle was immediately hostile and resistant. Id. I did not know about the schizophrenia at that time, but I explained to her that I intended to present evidence that Bramnick and Kearney had suborned perjury, fabricated an affidavit, and obstructed justice. Id. In response, she made it clear that she was not interested, and she blocked me from appearing as Wade's attorney. In other words, no matter what crimes they committed, she did not want to hear about it, much less do anything about it. Id.
According to some courts, Huvelle's failure to report Bramnick and Kearney was itself a crime. See, e.g., Suntrust Mortg., Inc. v. Busby, 2009 WL 4801347, *3 (W.D.N.C. 2009)(citing 18 U.S.C. § 4). At the very least, Judge Huvelle violated Canon 3(B)(5) of the Code of Conduct for United States
Judges: “[a] judge should take appropriate action upon learning of reliable evidence indicating the likelihood that a judge’s conduct contravened this Code or a lawyer violated applicable rules of professional conduct.”
Robertson IIAfter it became clear that Bramnick and Kearney had committed crimes in Huvelle's courtroom with Huvelle's tacit approval, I filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of Wade in New York (later known as "Robertson II") against Cartinhour, Kearney, Bramnick, Obecny, and Selzer, as well as several of Cartinhour's other associates and attorneys. Dean Yuzek, a partner at Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP, soon called me on behalf Cartinhour. Interestingly, Yuzek admitted from the outset that he had not spoken directly to his purported client, but only through "intermediaries."
I told Yuzek during the phone conversation that I was concerned that the intermediaries were none other than Kearney and Bramnick, and I explained that they had serious conflicts of interest with Cartinhour. Yuzek never identified the intermediaries during the conversation, and I later sent an e-mail to Yuzek and his associate, Cherish O'Donnell (now Cherish Benedict), restating my concerns. Even though I did not know about Cartinhour's schizophrenia at that time, I had already begun to suspect that Cartinhour was being exploited by Kearney and Bramnick. For one thing, Wade had offered to settle with Cartinhour, but Kearney responded with a counter-offer that would require Wade to dismiss all claims against Kearney and his firm.
As I noted in my very first e-mail to Yuzek, Kearney had a serious conflict of interest in making settlement of Cartinhour's claims contingent on a release of claims against Kearney. Kearney admitted that Cartinhour had not actually seen the counter-proposal, although he claimed that Cartinhour had "approved the major terms." There are a couple of problems with that admission. First, given the conflict of interest, a passing familiarity with the counter-proposal was grossly inadequate. Kearney was required by the rules of professional conduct to advise Cartinhour to seek independent legal counsel regarding the counter-proposal, i.e., whether Kearney should be able to condition settlement of Cartinhour's claims on a release of claims against Kearney. Almost any unbiased attorney would have advised Cartinhour to tell Kearney to get lost.
Second, in light of the subsequent revelations about schizophrenia, it is doubtful that Cartinhour had the presence of mind to consent to Kearney's counter-proposal. Recall that Yuzek had only spoken to intermediaries, but never to his own purported client. Why not? Most likely because Cartinhour was having another schizophrenic episode.
As I wrote in my December 28, 2010 e-mail to Yuzek, I was concerned that someone was "pulling the strings" behind the scenes. In response, Yuzek got rather thin-skinned about my repeated requests that he show proof of his authority to represent Cartinhour:
Your purported issue regarding my firm's authority to represent Dr. Cartinhour is without merit, and the Court has already signaled you regarding its negative view of this line of inquiry. Although the nature and extent of my firm's communication with Dr. Cartinhour is none of your business, we have spoken with him directly and have been duly retained by him. We do not intend further to discuss this non-issue with you.December 28, 2010 E-mail from Dean Yuzek to Ty Clevenger. After that nasty little missive, I quit pushing the issue. In retrospect, that was a mistake. I later obtained Yuzek's billing records, and those records show that Yuzek lied to me. According to those records, Yuzek did not speak to his purported client until January 7, 2011, i.e., ten days after the December 28, 2010 e-mail wherein he claimed that he had already spoken "directly" with Cartinhour. Why would Yuzek lie to me? He was trying to hide the fact that he had been hired by someone other than Cartinhour.
According to Yuzek's billing records, the "intermediaries" who hired him and gave him his marching orders were none other than "Mike B." and "Carl O.," i.e., Michael Bramnick and Carlton Obecny. That meant Yuzek was taking orders from Cartinhour's co-defendants rather than Cartinhour, even though Yuzek was fully aware of the conflicts of interest between those co-defendants and Cartinhour. As outlined in my brief to the Court of Appeals, Yuzek and O'Donnell communicated primarily with Kearney and Bramnick and did not speak to their purported client for as long as fifteen months.
Meanwhile, back in D.C., Judge Huvelle forged ahead with trial and Cartinhour won a $7 million jury verdict. Of course, the jurors were never told that Cartinhour was a paranoid schizophrenic and a pathological liar, and Judge Huvelle excluded some of the documentary evidence that supported Wade's version of events. Regardless, and not surprisingly, all the lawyers in New York demanded that I dismiss Robertson II immediately. Instead I asked Judge Swain to stay the New York case pending the appeal of Robertson I in D.C. Judge Swain never made a formal ruling on the motion for a stay, but she left the case pending in her court for another seven months after the Robertson I verdict. Finally, on October 28, 2011, Judge Swain transferred the case to D.C., where the case was randomly assigned to Judge John Bates.
The attorneys for Kearney, Bramnick, Obecny, and Selzer quickly filed a motion to transfer the case from Judge Bates to Judge Huvelle or Judge Royce Lamberth. In that motion, the attorneys noted that Wade consented to transferring the case to Judge Lamberth, but he objected to transferring the case to Judge Huvelle. According to Local Rule 7(b), Wade had 14 days to file a written response explaining why he objected to transferring the case to Judge Huvelle. The motion was supposed to go to the local calendars committee, which was chaired by none other than Judge Huvelle. On the sixth day, i.e., before I had an opportunity to file the written response, Huvelle used her position as chairwoman to assign the case to herself. It does not appear that the matter was presented to the full committee, and the committee certainly was not made aware of Huvelle's conflicts of interest.
On February 24, 2012, I filed a motion to disqualify Judge Huvelle from Robertson II, and the motion included documentary evidence of her conflicts of interest and judicial misconduct. See Plaintiff's Memorandum and Exhibits A, B, C - E, and F - H. In the federal system, as perverse as this may sound, the judge accused of conflicts of interest and misconduct gets to decide whether she has conflicts of interest or whether she has engaged in misconduct. Not surprisingly, Judge Huvelle exonerated herself instead of disqualifying herself, then dismissed Robertson II in its entirety.
Kearney and Bramnick then filed a motion for sanctions against me and asked Judge Huvelle to order me to pay all the bills of Yuzek's and O'Donnell's firm. I demanded a copy of Yuzek's and O'Donnell's billing records as well as proof that Cartinhour had actually hired them or authorized them to represent him, but the lawyers only provided redacted billing records. I showed Judge Huvelle that the law required them to produce unredacted billing records and, to her credit, Judge Huvelle ordered them to produce unredacted billing records. However, she refused to make Yuzek and O'Donnell produce any proof (e.g., a retainer agreement) that Cartinhour had actually hired them.
According to the available evidence, Kearney's law firm hired Yuzek and O'Donnell and gave them directions, even though every lawyer involved knew there were serious conflicts of interest between Cartinhour and his co-defendants, i.e., Kearney and the other lawyers at his firm. After all, Kearney had already tried to make settlement of Cartinhour's claims contingent on the release of all claims against Kearney.
Nonetheless, Judge Huvelle sanctioned me $123,802.17, supposedly to reimburse Cartinhour for attorney fees paid to Yuzek's firm, even though Kearney admitted that his firm paid at least part of the fees. In her blistering 16-page opinion, Judge Huvelle made a number of false accusations against me, the most egregious of which was that I had filed a bankruptcy case for the purpose of interfering with a case in her court. The problem? I did not file the bankruptcy case at all. William Wooten, an attorney in Memphis, filed the involuntary bankruptcy petition against my client and I responded to the petition. After Judge Huvelle accused me of filing the bankruptcy case, I filed a Rule 59 motion asking her to correct the false allegations, but she flatly refused to correct the order, claiming that she had correctly quoted another judge. I suppose if you are a federal judge and you declare that the moon is made of green cheese, that settles the issue as far as the federal courts are concerned.
The final appeal
On September 28, 2012, I appealed Judge Huvelle's sanctions order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. (If you're a legal nerd, you can click on the following links to read my opening brief, Kearney's response brief, and my reply brief). After we finished briefing the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its opinion in Ligon v. City of New York, where the appellate court removed a trial judge on its own initiative because the trial judge appeared to be manipulating the random assignment process in order to get herself assigned to the case.
I filed a Rule 28(j) letter, which is designed to notify the appeals court of a relevant decision that was released after the completion of the briefs. In Ligon, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin of Manhattan was removed as trial judge for actions that were less extreme than the actions of Judge Huvelle, and as a result of that decision the trial court adopted new rules regarding the assignment of cases to judges. Yet the D.C. Circuit affirmed Judge Huvelle's sanctions order without explanation.
I filed a petition for rehearing en banc (a request that all eleven judges on the D.C. Circuit to reconsider the case) because I was hoping that some of Obama's newly-confirmed appointees might be idealistic enough to take up the case. None of them voted for the rehearing. I doubt they even read the petition, much less the briefs. According to some legal academics, perfunctory per curiam opinions -- like the one in my case -- are often written by staff attorneys on behalf of judges who have not read the briefs (if you are a judge, staff attorney, or law clerk and you are willing to talk about this phenomenon for my book, please contact me, even if it's off the record).
In my petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, I cited and quoted some of the legal scholars and judges who have decried the growing trend of unpublished and unexplained appellate opinions. According to the late Judge Richard S. Arnold, "the temptation exists" that if “a precedent is cited, and the other side then offers a distinction, and the judges on the panel cannot think of a good answer to the distinction, but nevertheless, for some extraneous reason, wish to reject it, they can easily do so through the device of an abbreviated, unpublished opinion, and no one will ever be the wiser.” Penelope Pether, 56 Stanford Law Review 1438, 1485 (May 2004), quoting Richard S. Arnold, Unpublished Opinions: A Comment, 1 J. App. Prac. & Process 219 (1999).
As I was building this website, I stumbled across www.nonpublication.com, a site maintained by California attorney Kenneth Schmier. His site is the most thorough compilation of law review and news article that I have found on the subject, and in the "Bullet Points" section of his site he explains the problem in terms accessible to non-lawyers. In her Stanford Law Review article, Professor Pether referred to the non-publication practice as "the scandal of private judging." When 80 percent of federal appellate cases are decided this way, it is indeed a scandal.
A blessing in disguiseIn 2012, a lawyer in Texas filed a bar grievance against me based on the sanctions orders that Huvelle and Judge Walter S. Smith had issued against me. You can read the background story at BoogerCountyMafia.com. As strange as it may sound, I actually encouraged the State Bar of Texas to file disciplinary charges against me, and on April 11, 2013, the state bar did just that.
I told the state bar up front why I wanted to be charged: I wanted a jury trial, and I wanted the subpoena power that I would have as the defendant in a state court proceeding. Texas is one of the few states that allow a jury trial for disciplinary charges, and it may be the only state where the allegations in a sanctions order can be challenged in a subsequent jury trial. See Neely v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 976 S.W.2d 824 (Tex.App. - Houston [1st Dist.] 1998, no pet.). In other words, I would have an opportunity to prove that Huvelle was lying, and that she had gross conflicts of interest.
Dirrell S. Jones, the state bar prosecutor assigned to my case, said he would not interfere with my efforts to get the evidence that I had been denied by Judge Smith and Judge Huvelle, and Mr. Jones proved to be a man of his word. Through the state bar proceeding and my own investigation, I recovered several “smoking guns” which I have posted on this website.
As an extension of my state bar case, I filed a special proceeding in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Circuit Court in order to serve subpoenas on Cartinhour, his psychiatrist, and his attorneys. Kearney had steadfastly refused to let me see the original version of the affidavit that Cartinhour had declared a forgery, but Judge Michael D. Mason ordered Kearney's firm to let me see the original. On Christmas Eve of 2013, Kearney filed a court document admitting that he could not produce the original. Kearney claimed that the original had once existed and had been signed by Cartinhour, but Kearney steadfastly refused to make that statement under oath. He later suggested it was my fault that I had not asked to see the original sooner, but that overlooked a couple of key facts: (1) federal court rules required him to preserve the original; and (2) within six months of Cartinhour's testimony that the affidavit was a forgery, I sent Kearney a letter demanding that he preserve the original. Besides that, when an attorney's client implies that the attorney has forged the client's signature onto a scanned document, common sense should tell the attorney to preserve the original.
Judge Mason also ordered Kearney to produce a statement about any ex parte contacts with Judge Huvelle. Kearney filed that statement on Christmas Eve as well, and it raised more questions than it answered. I had previously obtained the testimony of attorneys Robert Grant and Philip O'Donoghue, and O'Donoghue testified that Judge Huvelle contacted him after the Robertson I verdict and asked him to evaluate whether Cartinhour needed a guardian to oversee any funds that might be recovered as a result of the jury verdict. O'Donoghue referred the project to Grant, and Grant testified that the request was unusual, and that he had never heard of a judge making such a request. Stranger still is in an e-mail from O'Donoghue to Grant wherein O'Donoghue recounts his conversation with Judge Huvelle. According to that e-mail, Huvelle said Kearney and Bramnick did a good job in Robertson I and they were to be paid out of the funds recovered from Wade. This would not be significant in and of itself but for the question that it raised: How did she know that Kearney and Bramnick were being paid out of the funds in the court's registry?
Kearney and Bramnick's payment arrangements with Cartinhour had never been discussed as part of Robertson I. I had suspected that Huvelle was communicating ex parte with Kearney and Bramnick, but this was the first clear proof of it. In his affidavit, Kearney downplayed the nature of his firm's ex parte communications with Judge Huvelle, but when you combine his affidavit with the billing records from Grant and O'Donoghue, a clearer picture emerges: on July 12, 2011, Judge Huvelle asked Grant to find out whether Cartinhour would be willing to have someone co-sign any checks that he received as part of the damages from Robertson I. In other words, Huvelle was using Grant as an intermediary to relay ex parte messages to Cartinhour. At a subsequent hearing on June 25, 2014, Kearney again tried to downplay the ex parte communications, but he admitted that he relayed a message through Grant back to Huvelle that Cartinhour would not be willing to accept a co-signer, and Kearney admitted that these ex parte communications "probably" should not have happened.
The ex parte communications definitely should not have happened, because Judicial Canon 3(A)(4) prohibits judges from communicating ex parte with lawyers and witnesses, and Maryland Professional Conduct Rule 3.5(a)(7) prohibits lawyers from communicating ex parte with judges. While you can argue that Judge Huvelle was acting with good intentions and simply trying to help Cartinhour, you can also argue that Judge Huvelle had long before abandoned her role as a neutral arbitrator and had since been acting as an advocate for Cartinhour. Even if Wade was the "rat" that Judge Huvelle had assumed based on her vaunted "sixth sense," he had a right to a fair trial, i.e., one that did not include Judge Huvelle constantly putting her thumb on the scale. Recall that she had declared at the initial scheduling conference -- before she had heard any evidence -- that she was going to award the disputed funds to Cartinhour. Regardless of her motives, the ex parte communications proved that Huvelle was willing to break the law in order to accomplish her objectives. And if she was willing to communicate ex parte about lesser matters, I have to wonder whether she was communicating ex parte about more serious matters.
It appears that she may have done just that. Her biggest problem may be a revelation from Cartinhour's psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Slater. As part of the Maryland case, I subpoenaed Dr. Slater, and he was very cooperative by telephone initially, openly discussing the fact that Cartinhour was a paranoid schizophrenic. His deposition was repeatedly postponed over a period of months, and in the interim Wade contacted Slater about being deposed for a separate case. According to Wade, Slater again discussed the fact that Cartinhour was a paranoid schizophrenic and Slater said he had told "the lawyers and the court" that Slater was a paranoid schizophrenic.
On the day before his deposition, Dr. Slater left a voicemail saying he would not testify and he would not appear for his deposition. I later asked Judge Mason to compel Dr. Slater to testify, and I attached an affidavit from myself and an affidavit from Wade recounting our conversations. Dr. Slater never disputed the statements we attributed to him, including his statement to Wade that he had told "the lawyers and the court" about Cartinhour's paranoid schizophrenia. I can only conclude that Judge Huvelle communicated ex parte with Dr. Slater about Cartinhour's mental illness, because I am not aware of any other court proceeding where the issue would have arisen.
Other evidence supports this explanation. As part of the proceedings in Robertson I, Cartinhour insisted that he was a sophisticated investor and competent to manage his own affairs. Yet Judge Huvelle obviously was not buying it, because she asked two outside attorneys to evaluate him, then asked Cartinhour ex parte whether he would consent to a co-signer for his checks. Why? Perhaps because she had spoken with Dr. Slater and already knew that Cartinhour was a paranoid schizophrenic.
It is not yet clear whether all of the ex parte communications occurred before or after the verdict in Robertson I, but they certainly occurred while Robertson II was pending. The bottom line is that Judge Huvelle was communicating ex parte and conducting an extrajudicial investigation into facts that were relevant to Robertson II. She knew about most of the fraud in Robertson I and maybe all of it, yet she did not report any of it. Instead, she covered it up by assigning herself to Robertson II and dismissing the case on the pleadings.I have since settled my case with the State Bar of Texas, and the bar dismissed all charges that were based on Judge Huvelle's accusations against me. I obviously cannot speak for the bar, but I think it became obvious that Judge Huvelle's false allegations would not hold up in front of a Texas jury. Meanwhile, I am still trying to figure out whether there are any personal connections between Judge Huvelle and Bramnick. If you have any tips, please send them my way.