Continuing Luzerne, Pa., Court Probe: Were Auto Accident Cases Fixed?
Posted Feb 23, 2009 3:04 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Was the deck stacked against defense attorneys in uninsured and underinsured motorists cases in Luzerne County, Pa.?
That is the issue on which investigators are now focusing in the latest chapter of an ongoing federal probe of court corruption there, reports the Legal Intelligencer.
A pro-plaintiff arbitration system has been a signficant problem, some say, the Legal Intelligencer reported in an earlier article.
"Frankly, we recommended to a number of our clients that they move to get the arbitration provisions out of their policies because of what we perceived to be rampant abuses in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area," James Thomas, managing partner of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer in Harrisburg, tells the publication.
Meanwhile, the federal criminal investigation, which earlier resulted in guilty pleas by two former top judges in a juvenile jail-for-pay case in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, now has expanded to include alleged alteration of at least one court record by a juvenile probation official.
Sandra Brulo, 56, who serves as deputy director of forensic programs for the county’s probation services department, was arrested Friday and charged with obstruction of justice, reports the Standard-Speaker.
A licensed social worker, she has been accused of altering a computerized document in a juvenile court file and has been suspended from her $78,159-a-year job. Both she and her lawyer declined to comment.
ABAJournal.com: "More Luzerne County Allegations: A Possible Fixed Case and a Mobster Link"
ABAJournal.com: "Luzerne County, Pa., Court Shakeup Expands Exponentially"