Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.
I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.
I think the fact that the attorney knew the testimony was false makes this worse than perjuy. I'm not gong after the sister, but have to prove the perjury in order to prove subornation of perjury. I can easily prove based on the conflicting statements of the attorney and the sister.The POA was actually obtained prior to when we entered into the property settlement. I have maintained to the court that neither of us knew she was using the homes equity to pay her fees. She told the grievance commission the POA was obtained prior to divorce according to her response and the date she mentions. I recently obtained a copy REAL POA. It was enacted on the date he signed it, I knew he was incompetent, they used him and our home without my knowledge to pay the fees. The agreement stated he was to disclose any funds owed on the mortgage, the house ended up being a major problem before and after; because the attorney knew the sister was the one making the decisions in his place, which (during the real estate crash) she refused showings, etc. prevented it from selling and which only INCREASED the attorney fees. She had control of the house, the equity etc. and I didn't know the sister was acting as agent in fact. The attorney knew, she lied to me and then the court by questing the sister about the POA and saying it was Obtained three years AFTER it was actually obtained, she was lying to the court to protect her self. I think what you are missing is that the attorney lied to the court by using the sisters testimony who was the agent in fact, and therefore acting for her client. She also had a duty to disclose the POA which gave the sister control of marital property that I had an interest in.
The property agreement said that I agreed to let him stay in the house, IF I had known the truth, I would have never agreed to something that caused further financial damage to myself. It was a material omission because all the terms I agreed to were contingent upon the sale of the home. It wasn't settled for another two years, which caused extreme financial damage to me. His attorney had his sister place a contract on the home so she could try to buy it and so her fees would be paid. The POA said that he gave all rights to the property related to it's sale etc to his sister. Again, had I known the truth, I would have never agreed to a voluntary property agreement that caused financial damage to me. They also lied to the Judge regarding when it was enacted because the attorney new she would be help liable for not disclosing the POA to me. Everything was contingent upon the sale. So basically, you are saying an attorney can lie in court and present false testimony that she knows is false? She presented the testimony to protect herself. Fraud of the Court has no statute of limitation. When she went before the Judge the day the agreement was entered into, she had a duty to disclose the POA and she did not. When an attorney hides or misrepresents a document it is fraud - I did file right after the agreement and stated the sister was impeding the sale, and that I suspected it was intentional. I have not ignored what happened, I just was unaware of the POA, which again, the hid from me (and the court) so therefore and again, I would have NEVER agreed if they had been honest. I was making all the payments on the HEL loan and had to borrow more and more money all due to the house and their actions. The painted it and expected me to pay another brother, they all tried to profit and then the attorney was paid from the equity and I was unaware. In the terms of the agreement, I had to take out a new HEL to pay my attorney, I had no other way to pay her at that point, she as going remove herself because I could;t pay. I had no funds to protect my share of the home, and yet they were hiding the POA and it's terms and the fact that she was using the equity to pay her fees. before and after the agreement. All the while the market declined and then ALL the equity in the home went to pay her fees. He was never declared incompetent, they lied to the Judge. I have the proof. Again, how can an attorney lie to a Judge? and why would she lie? because she knew she had a duty to disclose the POA and her fees being used. I was joint owner of the home and no one told me. Sorry, I guess that it's ok then and an attorney has the right to cause financial damage and profit from it.
Hello there --
A different attorney here. I have reviewed the questions and responses above and I also went back to your previous question from 2010 so I am certain that I am fully understanding the situation.
My colleague is correct when he told you that a POA is a private contractual matter and if your husband had not been declared incompetent by the court, then he had the right to grant that POA to anyone that he chose to grant it to and he did not need permission from you nor did he have to legally disclose it to you. Any fiduciary duties that went along with the POA were fiduciary duties that ran from the sister to the brother in regard to her duties under the POA -- but those fiduciary duties did not run to you. You state that you never would have agreed to let your husband remain in the house if you had known about the POA agreement because why would you agree to something that caused you financial harm ? That is actually a good argument, except for the fact that the real estate market all across the US began to crash late 2006 and continued through 2007, 2008, 2009 - etc. and it caught everyone from the leading worlds bankers to your local real estate brokers by surprise. If the POA was granted around 2006 (and not 2008 as they claim) it is not that far fetched for the judge in your case to blame the inability to sell the house during that time period on the overall housing market and not to do with the POA or the timing of the POA. So, there is a strong wave of evidence against a charge of fraud in the POA here because of the housing market when all of this happened and the fact that millions of people found themselves underwater without equity and there are still many divorces going on today that began in 2006-2010 because of problems selling the marital home. Because there is this very strong presumption in your case that the housing market downturn caused the financial losses you would have to show strong evidence of perjury and collusion of the sisters to leave the house on the market as long as possible with the intent to defraud you of your equity payments.
I absolutely agree with you that this whole situation is wrong -- and believe that the sisters did conspire together and did everything that they possibly could to maximize their own profits at your expense (and even at your brother's expense). I also believe that when she gave the wrong date of 2008 to the court, she intended to mislead the court at the very least - and committed perjury at the very worst. The problem here as my colleague pointed out, is proving that it was more than just a simple mistake on her part. Proving that it was out and out perjury is almost impossible -- you cannot make an argument that says " his sister is the attorney and his other sister is buying the house and the nature of these relationships must lead to the conclusion that she committed perjury and did not make a mistake" To prove perjury under these circumstances you would have to either (A) get a tape recording of her admitting that she lied, or (B) find a prior or subsequent written statement made by her where she admits she lied to the court, or (C) find a witness or two that she bragged to about lying to the court and getting away with it. I do not mean to be a complete bummer here, but I am just trying to show you where the court would be coming from in reviewing whether or not the statement can be found to be perjury.
Finally, you have brought another fraud action regarding everything that has happened here and I do not know how you intend to approach it, but I think that if you have enough time before the heaing you should try to get some information from real estate brokers in your area or even an appraiser that discusses the reasons why the house did not sell and why it sold lower than it should have sold -- if you can create some doubt regarding the housing market bust excuse and try to bring it back around to the sisters relationships and show that the real reasons for the lower house sale amount and the little mistakes made by the sisters actually are or were perjured testimony then you may be able to get the judge to at least review everything that has happened here in this case to you.
Finally, there is not a lawyer I know who does not take the oath to refrain from assisting in perjury very seriously. None of us wants to see this happen -- but we realize that it does happen upon occasion. In your situation, as I said, I do believe that there was some serious devious collusion going on here and if the housing market had not turned when it did you may have had a better chance of proving the collusion and possible perjury in this case.
Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply works as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!
Hi Mary, Thanks so much for your answer. First, I would like to explain that during the time the house was listed, the market was good at first. The sister and attorney Refused to lower the price and refused numerous showings. I can prove this, and then the house was 1/2 painted (the brother tried to make me pay 4,000 for painting the house, I had to file contempt twice regarding the sale and non cooperation. I prevailed on those actions. Next, the attorney, herself stated in writing that the sister obtained POA in 2005, in her office, prior to our divorce. No one told me, and the agreement said we had disclose any incumberances on the home. (the sister lied in court, (as her witness) and she told the MD grev comm something different because I maintained he was incompetent. I had obtained an evaluation prior to our separation, they had it sent to the sister. They had hired the lawyer and then forced me to leave. HId our savings etc. I can't change that, but the house issue was due to their actions and all the while using the equity to pay her fees. He was never declared incompetent - the sister now claims that the POA was enacted 1/2008, which is conveniently AFTER the house sale/refi. etc. to cover their actions. The attorney was the one in court questioning her, and yet she had told the grievance commission the POA was obtained in 2005. I can prove the lied. The attorney and sister were protecting themselves, Why else would the attorney let the sister lie under oath and yet say something else herself? I can prove they both lied, It is the intent that is bad, It is fraud according the law, she concealed her breach of fiduciary duty to me, and she dissipated the home's equity (Before and after divorce) My former husband signed a statement also saying he didn't know the attorney fees had reach 46,000. All of the documentation contradicts the sisters testimony. According to the law, I don't need to prove which one was true. I really appreciate your reviewing my questions. Last year, they claimed they ran out of money for his care, and took me to court for MORE alimony. She had told the Judge he used an IRA to pay the attorney fees. Another lie, And I do have ALL the court transcripts which prove this also. At a different hearing, she said she was waiting for the house to sell an then he would be able to pay his attorney fees. They were both there, the attorney and sister, the attorney was the one questioning the sister, they use each situation to their advantage and gave different answers. 1) to cover their actions 2) to make me PAY for what they did. thanks I just didn't know how to explain. I am hopeful the Judge sees what they did now. I don't need anything ( I have all the documents, statements the attorney made, transcripts etc, which contradict themselves.) She should have also disclosed the POA it gave the sister full control of our jointly owned assets, (the house) the terms were contingent on the sale of the house, they were also hiding his mental condition, he went to the door to meet a realtor without any clothes on. :( I can have the realtors testify, but right now the documents about them lying about the money for his care etc, and the WHEN the POA was enacted prove they lied about that. Thanks so much! It was a lot of money and I was forced into debt to pay the alimony and for what happened with the house. thanks again.
Hello again --
Look, I realize that you do not want to pay for opinions that you do not want to hear. I get it. But even given everything that you have told me, you still have big problems with arguing this as fraud and/or perjury. Even if you can show that their fiduciary duty under the POA ran to you also (which is a stretch -- just because it was a joint asset does not make it so -- if you were signing documents yourself with regard to the house and the sister was signing them as his POA then that speaks volumes -- you were representing yourself when it came to issues with the house and she had no duty to care about your portion of the property.). Perhaps if you had been able to prove him not competent back then you might have been able to get the sisters on taking advantage of their brother through their actions (because of the delay in the sale and the inflated legal fees - and they used his POA to sew that up nicely). Now to bring a fraud claim in order to get past the statute of limitations issues you state that they committed perjury -- but again, from what you have added in your additional response, I do not see any deliberate perjury that you can prove. She is going to claim that when she said the POA was enacted in 2008 that she made a mistake and she misspoke. That does not make it perjured testimony -- you point to a paper that the sister attorney signed stating that the POA was obtained in 2005. But that does not mean that the other sister took the stand and lied -- she will claim she made a mistake. And then the attorney sister will say "there are so many documents now in this case that I cannot remember dates" and they will probably get away with it.
As an attorney I have dealt with dishonorable jerks like this sister attorney and her family on many occasions and I can tell you that they are very good at covering their tracks and knowing how far they can go before anyone can prove these things against them. I definitely feel badly for you here because I can tell you have gotten the worst end of this case and perhaps if you had been able to get a judge to listen earlier then some of this might have been stopped and you would have at least gotten some of your equity. Now you should be careful because if they claim that you have no proof of perjury and fraud on the court and the judge agrees with them, she could try to make you pay her legal fees for these additional court actions (if she makes an argument to the court that your continued challenges are frivolous then she has the right to ask that you pay for her legal fees to defend against the challenges and the judge, who is probably the same judge who has not paid attention to this case at all from the beginning, may just issue a court order for you to pay her legal fees. ).
If you win in these matters and I am wrong, please come back and tell me (I will be the first to congratulate you and I would like to know which argument swayed the judge).
If you would like, I can put this back on the board to see if any of the other lawyers has different assessments of the situation -- however, you may not get any more responses because when a customer is hoping for a different opinion or outcome than we can give, the questions are avoided because none of us is paid unless the customer is happy with the answer and wants to press a positive rating. My colleague above jumped off the question for that very reason -- I only stepped in because I genuinely do care what happens to people whether I am paid or not and when I saw your perjury references and your suborning perjury references, overall I just wanted to tell you to be careful because allegations of perjury are hard to prove and judges scrutinize them very closely when it involves a member of the bar (because the judges are members of the bar themselves and would not want such accusations levelled against them when they were in private practice).
I think everyone is misunderstanding. The attorney was my ex husband's attorney, she was hiding the fact that the sister was the one making the decisions, and not my ex husband. The sister AND the attorney both lied to the Judge in a hearing, which I can now prove because I have a copy of the POA. Why would they lie about the POA? Because they knew I was telling the truth and they would have been held accountable. I'm not trying to get out paying for my answers, please tell me how to make sure you are compensated. I maintained they hid his competency in order to hide their actions. IF I had known the POA existed PRIOR to the property agreement, I would have NEVER agreed to any of the terms which were all contingent upon the sale, and If I had KNOWN there was a security agreement regarding the equity being used, I would have never agreed. The sister never signed any documents, they would have him sign the documents. She hid the fact that it was the sister actually making the decisions. IF they had not hidden the phsy eval also, (which I obtained prior the them forcing me to leave our home) I ca'nt do anything about that. But I can prove they both lied. I'm confident of that, it wasnt' a mistake about the POA. I have docuemetns and testimony which prove they intetnionally hid it from the Court and I. My problem is the hearing to dismiss and the appropriate claim to make. It was a torte or void agreement or both? I am not asking for an answer that I agree with, I just think we are not on the same page with what I need and what happened.
Hello again -
Sorry for the delay -- I was offline for a while. You can certainly present the evidence you have as evidence of them lying regarding the POA. However, as I said you run into the overall risk that the judge will simply believe them when they say it was a mistake. Present it as both a tort of fraud and a void agreement -- because you may be beyond the statute of limitations on both you are going to need to get the judge to believe that the attorney was involved in the perjured testimony because then that extends the statute of limitations for ever on the perjured testimony.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).