This state allows a judge to summarily disbar lawyers; it recently happened in a divorce case

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A lawyer in Hamden, Connecticut, has been disbarred by a judge who said she made “empty and malicious claims” that another judge favored Jewish litigants and protected the sexual abuse of children.

Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher disbarred lawyer Nickola J. Cunha in a decision last Tuesday, report the Hartford Courant, the New Haven Register and the Journal Inquirer.

Connecticut allows judges to summarily disbar lawyers for conduct that “occurs in the actual presence of the court,” the Hartford Courant explains. The Statewide Grievance Committee also disciplines lawyers, but it has to defer to judges who exercise jurisdiction.

Cunha told the Journal Inquirer that she is “shocked and embarrassed” by the disbarment, and she will appeal. She told the New Haven Register in a statement that she is being “targeted for going public with the truth.”

“What they expect and will not get is for me to bow down and apologize. I will not apologize for something I did not do,” she told the Journal Inquirer.

Moukawsher had asked Cunha to produce proof backing up her allegations of bias by Judge Gerard I. Adelman, according to the Hartford Courant. Moukawsher got the divorce case after Cunha sought to disqualify Adelman. Cunha represented the wife, Karen Ambrose of Glastonbury, Connecticut, who now uses the last name Riordan. The husband is Christopher Ambrose of Madison, Connecticut.

During a hearing on her claims, Cunha talked about a Jewish conspiracy and said she could prove her allegation with “a list of cases,” Moukawsher said. Asked to produce the list, Cunha acknowledged that she doesn’t have one, according to the judge’s opinion.

She also alleged that her client’s children had been sexually abused, and Adelman was ignoring the issue. But the Connecticut Department of Children and Families had found the abuse allegation to be unfounded, Moukawsher said.

Moukawsher said Cunha and her client had claimed that the system is broken and corrupt, but in reality, the system had indulged Cunha too much.

“In a quest to achieve fairness and give the benefit of every doubt, the system has allowed itself to be tied in knots,” Moukawsher wrote.

“Misconduct like this threatens to drag the courts into the primordial ooze that passes for public discourse in some quarters today,” Moukawsher wrote in his decision. “One whiff of this swamp should be enough for the courts and those of its officers who are true to their duties to set out firmly in the other direction. This moment is one chance to do so.”

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