Mr. Paul, I am trying to address a matter of fraud that was not addressed in my trial, and I am in need of some advice on the time frame for addressing a matter of fraud when fraud is discovered after a verdict has been given in a case?
There was evidence used by the opposing side's expert witness in my trial for which I have found additional evidence (after the trial) to support that there was not only fraud regarding the evidence used to form their expert's opinion, but that the effort to deceive regarding this evidence was intentional. (the evidence I had during the trial regarding this was not presented or submitted as evidence in my trial, so the jury did not deliberate or make a decision with any knowledge that any of the evidence was fraudulent)
In my trial, the Judge admitted the evidence the expert used into my trial with no problems, and their expert gave testimony to the jury basing his opinion on this (I understand from reading- I am not a lawyer- that part of a Judge's job during trial is to determine whether any of the evidence that the parties want to use is illegal or improper? If that is so, he accepted and admitted that evidence the expert witness used with no indication that he thought it was illegal or improper.
In my case, the Judge stated he polled the jury after the trial and they stated they gave the verdict to the other side because they believed the other side's expert witness (whose testimony was based on only this fraudulent evidence.)
I appealed my case and lost (not surprising since I'm not a lawyer).
So I am wondering if you can give me advice about this -- again, after trial, I found some irrefutable evidence that the evidence their expert witness used was not only fraudulent, with part of it hidden from the expert, but that the hiding of this evidence was intentionally done. (and again, I did have other evidence before the trial that was not presented in the trial, but put all together now, it is definitive proof of this intentional deception- the evidence the expert witness used was itself fraudulent, and other parts of the evidence (which would have told the truth in this matter) were hidden from him. I have found case law Hazel-Atlas which states "Likewise, in cases where the fraud is discovered after judgment has already been entered, courts typically vacate or set aside the fraudulently begotten judgment no matter how long it has been in effect." and also "Equitable relief against fraudulent judgments is not of statutory creation. It is a judicially devised remedy fashioned to relieve hardships which, from time to time, arise from a hard and fast adherence to another court-made rule, the general rule that judgments should not be disturbed after the term of their entry has expired" This case precedent also seems to relieve me of the burden of having to have put all the fraud matters together before the trial: "(a) Even if Hazel failed to exercise due diligence to uncover the fraud, relief may not be denied on that ground alone, since public interests are involved. P. 322 U. S. 246." (The company committing the fraud continually deals with hundreds of thousands of members of the public across the US)
My appeal was decided at the end of February this year. During the time I filed the appeal (28 days after the trial ended) I also petitioned the Judge to overturn the verdict because of the fraud but he answered he could not deal with this matter because I had already filed an appeal.
So I am wondering what time frame limits you know about to advise me if this this matter can be taken back up now that the appeal is over?
One lawyer I spoke with said there's no doubt the fraud can be proved, but that they would have to involve not just the party who committed the fraud, but the main party the suit was against, (whom they have a conflict of interest with), so they can't take the case. That lawyer did express concerns about a statute of limitations in this, though-- but he was not aware of this Hazel-Atlas case, (which was used in a more recent 2002 case Cobell v Norton). Additionally, a second lawyer I spoke to yesterday said the same things - great proof of fraud, but he is also questioning the statute of limitations (I gave him this case to look at-- do you have knowledge of these statutes?
trial dec 2012,
filed appeal within 28 days, (also wrote Judge of trial court about this but answered couldn't deal with it because it was under appeal in another court)
appeal answered (I lost) late Feb 2014
You have been an invaluable source of information for me throughout this whole ordeal, and I would much appreciate your input about time rules and fraud-- do I press on and try to find a firm to handle this to prove that the jury gave a wrong ruling because they believed an expert who had evidence I can now prove was not only fraudulent, but intentionally so, and ask for default judgment?