Letter to U.S. Attorney

Scott Lassar

July 17, 1998

Scott Lassar
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Dear U.S. Attorney Lassar:
Suppose a patient, Mr. Kalish, went to his family doctor, Dr. Silbert, because he had an ear infection. Dr. Silbert was dishonest and greedy and wanted to insure that he had more patient business. Dr. Silbert prescribed an antibiotic for Mr. Kalish and deliberately gave him an injection which he knew would cause serious liver damage within 6 months. Five months later, Mr. Kalish made an appointment with Dr. Silbert complaining of his symptoms which were obviously related to liver damage.

Dr. Silbert knew Mr. Kalish had liver disease caused by the injection he had given him and admitted him to the only hospital in the city. Dr. Silbert's father was the hospital's chief administrator. Dr. Silbert, Sr. also was dishonest and greedy and wanted the hospital to be as profitable as possible--by any means. As a term of hospital admission, Mr. Kalish was required to put all of his assets into the hospital safe.

Dr. Silbert ran a series of tests for allergies to milk, cats and dogs. The results were negative. Dr. Silbert then ran tests for allergies to nuts, grass, pollen, wood, feathers and beef. They were negative. Next, he ran tests for bone cancer, lupus, kidney disease, lymphoma and coronary heart disease. Dr. Silbert began expensive treatments with medications that were unrelated to liver disease. Mr. Kalish's medical bills mounted into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Naturally, Mr. Kalish's condition did not improve. Mr. Kalish's daughter, Renee, told Dr. Silbert that she was getting a second opinion from Dr. Jones who practiced at the same hospital. Dr. Silbert called Dr. Jones and told him to not run any tests on Mr. Kalish for liver disease, but instead another series of needless tests. Although it was obvious to Dr. Jones that Mr. Kalish had liver disease from Dr. Silbert's injection, he began running tests for malaria, colon cancer, brain tumors, gastritis and diabetes. Dr. Jones administered expensive treatments ineffective for liver disease.

Mr. Kalish's condition worsened. Renee told Dr. Jones that she wanted to get a third opinion from Dr. Smith, who also practices at the same hospital. Dr. Smith received a call from Dr. Silbert. Although Dr. Smith knew that Mr. Kalish had liver disease caused by Dr. Silbert's injection, he too began running expensive and needless tests unrelated to liver disease. He also performed a series of unnecessary surgeries unrelated to Mr. Kalish's damaged liver.

Mr. Kalish's bills continued to mount, but his condition was even worse. Renee consulted with five more doctors at the hospital and the identical conduct continued.

The assets that Mr. Kalish and some of the other patients had put into the hospital safe disappeared, but the hospital claimed that they had no liability. Mr. Kalish was not the only patient at the hospital that this was happening to. Other patients and their families were complaining to the Hospital's head administrator, Dr. Silbert's father. Although he was aware of the criminal conduct of the doctors on his staff, in fact, their conduct was hospital policy, he told the patients nothing was wrong and demanded they pay their bills or he would sue them.

What would the Justice Department be charged to do after it learned of this criminal activity? Nothing? Just ignore it and leave the city with a hospital that maims, kills and steals in order to be profitable?

Change the words doctors, patients, hospital, hospital administrator, and series of tests, treatments, and surgeries to lawyers and judges, clients, Cook County Circuit Probate Court, Chief Judge O'Connel, Michael Bilandic and litigation and you have the criminal activity which is involved in my case, and which appears to be common in Cook County Probate Court.


In 1990, Ronald Silbert began the scheme to defraud me, my brother and my father's estate. Silbert was confident he could pull the scheme off because he knew that Probate court is corrupt.

Silbert is an expert in Wills and trusts. His law partner, Jay Dolgin, teaches Will writing and probate law at John Marshall law school. (Based on my father's Will, I'd like to sit in on Dolgin's classes to see how he instructs lawyers to defraud clients by writing Wills which are intended to create litigation.)

My father, Harry Kalish, a Holocaust survivor, was unsophisticated and English was not his first language, so he was a very easy target for Silbert's scheme. Silbert deliberately wrote my father's Will to create litigation. Then he just sat back and waited for my father to die. At the time, my father was 73 and told Silbert that he had severe coronary artery disease and that he was in very poor health. Silbert knew that he didn't have a long wait. The only way the scheme could work was if my lawyers and the probate judges would conspire with him. And, they have.

In an impermissible conflict of interest, Silbert represented my father and his third wife, Margaret Kalish, in the execution of a joint and mutual trust contract. A joint and mutual trust contract is one in which two people, usually husband and wife, make provisions for each other and the survivor and, upon the death of the survivor, provide for disposition of the trust property. Hunter Estate Planning and Administration in Illinois. Supplement to Volume 3, September, 1996. My father contributed the bulk of the estate. He and Margaret had conflicting interests--different beneficiaries. My father had two children from a prior marriage and Margaret claimed that she had two children from a prior marriage. Silbert's conflict of interest was only unethical. His real intent was criminal--he planned to rip off the bulk of the estate by fraudulent litigation--first after Harry's death and then after Margaret's death.

To confuse all of the legally naive beneficiaries including Margaret, and create litigation based on the erroneous legal premise that the Will was joint and mutual, Silbert deliberately left out the words trust, trustee and in trust for. He drafted the Will, to superficially appear to be a joint and mutual will. He added an exculpatory clause, which he knew was against public policy, stating that in the management of the estates, Margaret (acting as trustee) shall not be liable for waste He included a fraudulent statement that Margaret had two children from a prior marriage and based on that fraudulent representation a devise of 1/4th of the residuary estate to Linda Ciegler (in the will he referred to Ciegler as Linda Pichler). (A day after my father's death, I learned that Linda, who Margaret fraudulently represented to my father as her adopted child, was unrelated to Margaret . Linda was Margaret's former husband's half-sister and the daughter of a Nazi officer.)

Silbert never gave my Harry or Margaret a conformed copy of his Will. Instead, he gave them a red herring, an early draft Will with a notation Not used. See the will signed on 2/11/90. Silbert kept the signed Will and waited for my father to die.

My father died on 1/7/93. Within 24 hours, Silbert phoned Margaret to solicit representation of the Estate. Margaret asked Silbert what his fee would be. She told him that after the seven day mourning period, January 14, 1998, we would consult with another attorney to compare fees.

On January 14th, since Margaret did not have a conformed copy of the Will, she gave me the draft which she believed was a copy of the signed will. I faxed the draft to a probate attorney and he said that the draft attempted to create a trust, but was missing provisions for the management of the trust. (the signed will contains all the requisite provisions for the trusts)

This attorney said he would charge $1,000.00 to file the Will and prepare the Federal Estate tax return--Silbert had asked for $6,800.00. When I told Margaret that we would save $5,800.00, she authorized me to get the signed Will from Silbert. Silbert knew that we were considering hiring another attorney so, unknown to any of us, and without any authority to do so, on January 11, 1993, Silbert claimed to represent the Estate and filed the Will in Probate.

About January 15th, Margaret offered me my father's car. I told her that the Will creates a trust and that she was required to sell the car and put the proceeds into the trust. She became agitated and told me that she would hire Silbert and pay his excessive fees from her personal assets, not from any of the estate assets.


Margaret was appointed executor of my father's estate. At this point, Silbert began another impermissible conflict of interest-- representing the Estate, Margaret, as executor, and individually.

On January 16, 1993, Margaret invited me to a meeting with Silbert, but then phoned to say that Silbert told her the meeting was private. When I said something fishy was going on, she agreed I could attend. Minutes later, Silbert phoned to say that the meeting was private, I could not attend, and he would arrange a future meeting.

The meeting with Silbert and Margaret occurred on January 31, 1993. The only information regarding my father's Will that Silbert volunteered was that after Margaret died, I would be executor of the Estates. Although Silbert knew that that I only had the draft will because he never provided Harry and Margaret with a conformed copy, twice he asked me if I had the copy of the Will. I thought his question was bizarre.

When I asked Silbert about establishing the trust in the Will, Silbert replied that although the Will was a trust, we could not put the assets into trust. I repeatedly asked him to explain what he meant, but he refused to provide me with any information.

I asked to see the signed Will. Silbert gave me a copy to read. Although Silbert knew the signed Will was different from the draft Margaret had given me, when I stated that it was different, he repeatedly insisted that it was the same as the draft.

Not only did Silbert fail to provide my father with a conformed copy of his Will, but when I asked him for a copy, he refused to give me one except through an attorney. I was forced by the attorney for the executor, who has fiduciary duties to all of the heirs, to hire an attorney to obtain a copy of my own father's Will in which I am a beneficiary.

In March, 1993, I met with former state senator Bernie Neistein of Silbert's firm. Neistein knew my father, personally, and had represented him in some business matters. During the meeting with Silbert and Neistein, Neistein agreed that my father, a Holocaust survivor whose first wife and entire family had been murdered by the Nazis , would never have left 1/4 of the residuary estate to a woman, who was unrelated to Margaret and was the daughter of a Nazi. He asked Silbert to get the matter of the trust and Linda resolved. Silbert agreed to talk to Margaret.

I repeatedly phoned Silbert to ask if he had talked to Margaret, the executor. I told him I believed he was delaying matters, so that I would blow the statute for proving up the Will because he didn't want to inconvenience his family members who witnessed the signing of the Will. Finally, Silbert wrote me a letter saying that Margaret refused to establish a trust satisfactory to anyone, but herself and ignoring the issue of Linda.

Silbert's conduct gave me two choices: litigate to enforce my rights under the will or wave good bye to my inheritance under my father's will.


I hired Michael Hamblet to prove up the Will. Although he repeatedly said that he would prove up the Will, ultimately, he blew the 42 day statute of limitations. I believe he did not want to inconvenience Silbert's family members who witnessed the signing of the Will.

Next I hired the Levenfeld Eisenberg firm. They are noted for their excellent trust and estate planning department. When I met Scott Reynolds, the lead litigator, he told me that he did not know Silbert or the Young, Hauslinger & Rosen ("YH&R") firm. Shortly before I fired him, Reynolds admitted that he co-counsels with YH&R on cases. The facts show Reynold's deliberately undermined my case.

Although I told Reynolds that Silbert admitted the Will creates a trust, Reynolds prepared my complaint with a count for declaratory judgment that the will was a joint and mutual will. At ARTICLE VI, the Will plainly states that Margaret is empowered to write her own Will, so as a matter of well settled Illinois law, the will is not joint and mutual. Therefore, the count for declaratory judgment would have been dismissed. Even if the Will was joint and mutual, as a matter of public policy, the life tenant has a duty to preserve the assets of the estate and prevent waste. It is basic probate law, with too many cites to mention, that the court cannot give effect to a provision of a Will that is against public policy and must strike that portion of the Will. Nevertheless, Reynolds alleged that because the Will contains a clause that says (in the management of the estate) Margaret shall not be liable for waste, that she actually was entitled to waste the estate. The complaint contained a count for the court to impose a constructive trust (why ask the court for a constructive trust when the will creates trusts?) Reynolds refused to add a count for fraud in the inducement regarding Linda's bequest of 1/4th of the residuary estate. Reynolds did everything possible in the complaint to ensure that each count would be dismissed.

Internal Levenfeld notes from the attorney, who researched the law, told Reynolds it was a bad idea to file legal malpractice as part of a probate complaint. Legal malpractice, a tort action, must be filed in law division. Reynolds added two counts in my probate complaint for legal malpractice, specifically stating it was a tort action, against Silbert and his firm for inserting the waste provision. Since the counts were part of a probate complaint , this was particularly convenient for Silbert since there is no record of his having been sued for malpractice in a Will.

While Silbert and his firm were defendants in my complaint, they concurrently represented Margaret Kalish, another defendant, the estate and Margaret, as executor. Defendant attorneys are prohibited from representing other defendants in the same lawsuit. Attorneys who represent an estate are prohibited from representing any beneficiaries. Attorneys who represent the executor are prohibited from representing any beneficiaries. None of my lawyers bothered explaining that the multiple representations were impermissible or the ramifications: that under the guise of acting for the executor, in reality they were representing their own and Margaret's individual interests. Judge Perivolidis, Judge Siracusa and Judge Kennedy did not question or object to this impermissible multiple representation. Everyone implemented the scam.

My first judge, Arthur Perivolidis, had no jurisdiction to rule on tort actions such as legal malpractice. Yet, he had the attorneys file briefs on the malpractice counts and scheduled a hearing. My attorney went to the hearing without a court stenographer and Perivolidis dismissed the counts with prejudice. To rush the malpractice counts away, my attorney then immediately asked for an interlocutory appeal. Reynolds told me that Chief Justice Michael Bilandic, Silbert's former law partner, was responsible for the judge ruling against me. Reynolds didn't tell me that he had filed a worthless complaint or that Bilandic or Silbert were influencing his behavior. He suggested I hire co-counsel with political clout.

Later, Perivolidis was removed from my case for prejudice. Although I didn't understand the law, it was obvious that Perivolidis was part of the scheme. His conduct was outrageous. He repeated insulted me in open court. After he dismissed the counts for legal malpractice, he allowed Peter Sullivan, the attorney who had represented Silbert for malpractice, to participate in the proceedings. Sullivan's participation consisted of insulting and threatening me.

At the time, I didn't know that probate court does not have jurisdiction over certain tort actions. Perivolidis, a probate judge for over 27 years, knew that he didn't have jurisdiction to rule on legal malpractice. He knew that my father's will was a joint and mutual trust agreement, not a joint and mutual will. A judge is not supposed to rule for either attorney when he knows both attorneys are misrepresenting or incorrect regarding the law. But, that is the probate charade--attorneys and judges pretending not to know the law and scamming the estates and the litigants.

In looking for co-counsel with political clout , every law firm I spoke to told me that legal malpractice should be filed in law division. They couldn't understand why I had a hearing without a court stenographer. I began to get very suspicious of Reynolds' conduct.

Next I hired Lydon & Griffin. Lydon, an attorney with many years of experience, told me that the malpractice counts should not have been filed in Probate. He assured me that if I retained him, he would be able to bifurcate the cases. Instead, he filed an Appellate Court brief stating that it was in my best interest that both cases go to trial at once in Probate Court. He could not explain why he did the complete opposite of what he said he would be in my best interest.

Then I hired Forrest Ingram and paid him $1,900.00 to file a brief in the Appellate Court saying that Lydon's brief was contrary to my instructions and asking for the Appeal be stayed until the end of the case. Ingram then filed briefs, which I had instructed not to file, asking Probate Court to re-hear the malpractice counts. It was obvious from his actions that he too was following instructions from Silbert and not acting in my best interest.

After I fired Ingram, I acted pro se and filed a Petition for Change of Judge for Cause from Perivolidis. I was granted the change and transferred to Judge Frank Siracusa. Out of self defense, I began researching probate law to see what I needed to do. With very little effort I, a non-lawyer, was able to see that as a matter of law, the Will did create trusts (as Silbert had admitted); that the Will provided that Margaret had the duties of trustee; that Margaret, as a matter of public policy, was liable for waste and that the court was required to strike the portion of the will that said she was not liable for waste; and that as executor Margaret and her attorneys were fiduciaries to me and the estate and were required to act in the best interest of the estate and all of its beneficiaries. It was also obvious that it was impossible that all of my attorneys did not know the law.

It was evident from my legal research that the first thing my attorneys should have done was to move to terminate independent administration and ask for court supervised administration. Because they were conspiring with Silbert, none of my lawyers even suggested it. Supreme Court Rules require the executor to mail the form to terminate independent administration to all interested parties. The executor, through Silbert, breached her statutory duty to send the form to me when independent administration was granted.

Next, I hired Andrew David of Sugar Friedberg & Felsenthal. When I met David, I told him that I needed to file a citation to discover and recover assets. David agreed that the citation would be the first thing he would do. No matter how many times I asked him to file the citation to discover and recover assets, he refused. I even provided him with the case law showing that a citation was the correct procedure to discover and recover assets, but he continued to refuse to do so.

The first time I was before Judge Siracusa, I walked to court with David. He told me that he had been sued for selling out a client. Later, I found out that this was a warning of what he had in store for me.

From the first time we were before Siracusa, David began preparing fraudulent court orders and Siracusa knowingly signed them. The orders did not reflect the proceedings. Even worse, when Siracusa ruled in my favor, David prepared court orders which omitted the rulings, or had fictitious ruling which prejudiced me.

The last time David wrote a fraudulent court order, I contacted the FBI with my allegations of conspiracy, fraud and court corruption. I showed the intake agent one of the fraudulent orders and the corresponding transcript. He agreed that the order had no relationship whatsoever with the judge's ruling during the proceeding. The intake agent talked to me for over an hour and asked me to put everything in writing and told me he would give it to his superior.

My entire time with David was spent trying to force him to correct his fraudulent orders and mistakes he was making in court. He drove up my legal fees and made me feel like I was in a John Grisham novel and actually, I think it amused him. Finally, I left his firm.

Next, I hired Larry Kienlen of Chuhak & Tecson. I was told that Chuhak has a lot of influence in Probate Court. They are assigned many cases by the Probate judges.

In the short time I was with Chuhak, I learned that they are part of the Probate Court scams. Kienlen admitted to me that Silbert and Margaret's other attorney, Alvin Meyers of Fagel & Haber, had a conflict of interest because they were defendants, co-counsel to defendants, represented the estate, Margaret, as executor, and individually, but he said I shouldn't have them disqualified.

During our initial discussions with Kienlen, I told him that Judge Siracusa acted bizarre and signed fraudulent court orders. Kienlen told me that he known Siracusa, personally, for more than 25 years. To illustrate why Siracusa acts so strangely, Kienlen related a story that Siracusa had taken $5,000.00 from an attorney who appears before him. Kienlen inferred that Siracusa is still on the take.

Since I had had so many horrible experiences with lawyers, I asked Kienlen to put in writing everything that he proposed to do in my case. Our signed written agreement stated that Kienlen was to be the only attorney to work on my case. Once he got my $7,500.00 retainer, he immediately breached every term of the agreement.

Even though I hired a court reporter to do a real time report, the first time Kienlen went to court for me, he and Alvin Meyers prepared a fraudulent court order. Again, Siracusa knowingly signed it. Why would they be so brazen when there is a transcript of the proceeding? Because fraud is the normal in Probate Court and no one stops it.

Kienlen breached the terms of our agreement that only he would work on my case. He assigned another attorney to my case who proceeded completely contrary to their written proposal. When I complained, Kienlen simply refused to take my phone calls. I wrote to Mr. Tecson, the managing partner of the firm, to complain about Kienlen's conduct and asked him to rectify the situation. He ignored my letter. Instead, Kienlen wrote me a letter filled with lies. I then wrote Mr. Tecson and demanded a refund of my retainer and my case file by a certain date. He ignored that letter too.

I sent Tecson a Notice of Demand and filed a Notice of Termination for Cause of Chuhak & Tecson attaching as exhibits my agreement with the firm and all of my complaint correspondences. One of my letters stated that Kienlen had told me that Siracusa took $5,000.00 from an attorney who appears before him, and that Kienlen and Alvin Meyers had prepared a fraudulent court order which Siracusa knowingly signed. The next day, my case file and retainer were returned with a letter saying Chuhak was withdrawing because we had irreconcilable differences. They ignored the fact that I had already terminated them for breach of contract and fiduciary duty and fraud.

Soon after, when Chuhak was in Court to tender their withdrawal, Siracusa recused himself. He said that he was doing so because I had questioned his conduct in the case (the fraudulent order he signed) and that he didn't want to have anything to do with anyone in my case. Siracusa knew that if I filed a Petition for Change of Judge for Cause, I could allege and prove that he had signed a series of fraudulent court orders beginning with the first time I was before him with Andrew David.

Presiding Judge Budzinski reassigned my case to Judge Kennedy. As one litigant who accused Judge Perivolidis of conspiring with attorneys to defraud him and was reassigned to Judge Siracusa told me, they move you from one crook to another. Judge Kennedy does not bother to apply the law or follow proper court procedure. His conduct is consistent with that of Perivolidis and Siracusa.

I rehired the Sugar Friedberg firm, but insisted that David could not work on my case. Charles Valente was assigned to my case. Valente has continued in the same manner as my other attorneys. He does everything possible to make certain that I lose every issue by waiving my rights and pretending to be ignorant of the law and facts.

The law relevant to my case is well settled and my winning should be a slam dunk, but when a case is fixed, it isn't a slam dunk--its like being in a nightmare for years.

When I give Valente my research, he ignores it and writes a brief which is legally /and factually incorrect. I am forced to rewrite the brief or I will even lose on Appeal. When opposing counsel filed a motion for summary judgment hidden within a motion for a protective order, Valente never bothered to tell me to file a counter affidavit denying the allegations of Margaret's affidavit which is filled with complete lies. When I figured out that they were asking for summary judgment, I told him I was filing a counter affidavit. He insisted that I shouldn't and made up some crazy reason why. If I hadn't filed an affidavit, all of the allegations in my petition to remove the executor stood denied and I would have lost. As soon as I filed my counter affidavit, opposing counsel abandoned the motion for summary judgment.

In Court, on July 15, 1998, (I usually go to court, but did not on this occasion), although Valence's firm has instructions not to enter into any agreed orders without my permission, Valente entered into an agreed order waiving my right to proper notice, so that the opposing counsel could file a new pleading to replace their abandoned motion for summary judgment. Proper notice of a motion is governed by court rules and judges and lawyers are bound by those rules as though they were statutes. Nevertheless, Judge Kennedy considered this proper conduct because it enabled him to rule, improperly, on a motion to compel discovery.

During five years of litigation, I have been forced to give up my business and learn the law relevant to my case. I have spent more than $75,000.00 in legal fees for lawyers who undermined my case. My transcripts have been altered and I have been forced to have real time court reporters. Even with real time reports, my transcripts were altered. When I questioned my court reporter, she offered to change the transcript to whatever I wanted. I have had two judges and my third judge is up to the same antics.

Enclosed is a letter I sent to State's Attorney Peggy Chiampas. Chiampas was with the Public Integrity unit of the State's Attorney's office. She phoned me to say she wanted to discuss my allegations of corruption in Cook County Probate Court. I had made allegations of corruption to Kevin Illia, Chief Judge O'Connell's administrative assistant. I confirmed my allegations in a letter and copied Chief Judge O'Connell. First, Illia dismissed my allegations. After I wrote Illia and copied O'Connell, for show, they turned me over to Public Integrity where my allegations were summarily dismissed.

Illinois taxpayers are entitled to an honest court system--we are paying for it. The corruption in Probate Court is flagrant. The case law is a road map for dishonest lawyers. It lets them know which judges will collude with their criminal conduct. I have spent a lot of time observing Probate courtrooms and talked to other litigants. No ifs, ands, or buts, or the slightest doubt, Probate is a cesspool reeking of corruption.

Illinois law requires Probate judges to protect estates. It is obvious in Probate Court that the judges have an entirely different agenda--to ensure that estates are dissipated by outright theft and theft by fraudulent litigation that goes on for years and years and years. I am not the only litigant who is aware of this activity.

The judges look on while some lawyers steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from estates they are administering. Recently, the ARDC found attorney, James P. Gallagher, had stolen $150,000.00 from two estates he was administering. The ARDC did not bother to investigate whether Gallagher had stolen assets from other estates and refused to make Gallagher account to the beneficiaries he had defrauded.

I am certain that an investigation of Probate would show that, in front of the Probate judges, many millions of dollars are stolen from estates by attorneys and executors.

The judges connive and conspire with the lawyers, who conspire with each other and decide amongst themselves which client will win the case based on their conspiracy. The estates are dissipated by judges and lawyers who pretend that they don't understand legal issues which are uncomplicated and were resolved almost 100 years. They litigate those issues for years and years for no other purpose than to steal the estates by needless legal fees.

Operation Greylord proved that the presiding judge of traffic court was in charge of the bribery schemes there. Presiding Judge Henry Budzinski is in charge of the corruption in Probate Court. Read In re Estate of Burgeson 516 N.E.2d 590. In Burgeson, Budzinski, before he was made presiding judge, allowed flagrant attorney fraud. Even though she had the means to live with dignity, poor Zella Burgeson's last days were made a travesty by her attorney. His only interest was speeding up her death, so he could steal her estate with unjustified legal fees which he knew Budzinski would approve. By tricky legal maneuvering, the Public Guardian was defeated in his attempt to to stop the fraud.

My case is typical. Other litigants have made similar complaints to Judge Siracusa, Judge Budzinski, Kevin Illia, the State's Attorney, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI, but all of our complaints fall on deaf ears. NOTHING is being done to ensure that we have honest courts.

Talk to Oscar Rowland about Judges Perivolidis and Siracusa. Ask Christine and Steven Halas, George Hala's children, what went on in their case in Budzinski's court, why it took millions of dollars in needless litigation fees, a series of lawyers who failed to protect them and 16 years to close their father's estate. If you read the transcripts, the Halas children begged Budzinski to stop the lawyers' misconduct.

Budzinski is aware of my change of judge for cause from Arthur Perivolidis. He knows that my second judge, Frank Siracusa, recused himself amidst allegations that he accepted $5,000.00 from an attorney who appears before him, that he signed at least one fraudulent order in my case and allowed the attorneys to commit fraud on the court. My new judge encourages similar conduct.

In August, 1994, I first contacted U.S. Attorney, Scott Mendeloff and confirmed my allegations in writing. I was unsophisticated then regarding the law, but it was plain from what I told him that the (then) series of five law firms I had retained were conspiring with opposing counsel to deliberately undermine my case. I told Mendeloff that I believed the problem with my lawyers resulted from the fact that Ronald Silbert, who deliberately drafted my father's will to create litigation, was the former law partner of then, Chief Justice Michael Bilandic. Mendeloff brushed me off, saying I should hire an honest lawyer. Lawyers, who were honest refused to take my case because it is so fraught with fraud. One told me that he feared repercussions.

It is not possible to be an honest lawyer in such an unquestionably corrupt system. Otherwise, the honest lawyers who understood probate law, but told me they didn't want to have anything to do with my case would have explained that Ronald Silbert deliberately wrote my father's will to create litigation by leaving out the words trust, trustee in trust for and adding an exculpatory clause which he knew was against public policy.

They would have taken my case and quickly resolved it by stating in my complaint that the will creates a trust, that Margaret Kalish has the duties of trustee, that wasting an estate is against public policy and that the judge is required to strike a portion of a will that is against public policy and that I was entitled to an accounting of the estate. That the portion of the Will which is a product of fraud and undue influence, which the executor is aware of, should not have be litigated because an executor does not have the right to litigate when she reasonably knows that a the Will is the product of undue influence. That the executor and the attorneys who represent the estate are fiduciaries to the other beneficiaries and are required to make a complete disclosure of all estate assets. All of this is basic well settled Illinois law.

The FBI never contacted me regarding my allegations about conspiracy and fraud. After several months, I phoned the intake agent. He told me to call him back in about a month. When I phoned again, he got permission for me to call his superior. I believe the intake agent knew that what was going on in my case is criminal. His superior, Jim Davis, was very sympathetic, but told me that the courts here (Cook County) are set up to do things in the manner I described. He said that he'd talked to a U.S. Attorney and they would not do willing to do anything. I told him that conspiracy to fix a case in court must be a federal crime, particularly, if the judges were involved.

Davis said that because I had not alleged that the judge had accepted any money, it was not a federal crime. I told him that if money was exchanged it wouldn't be done in front of me. I told him there was a law about honest services which didn't required the exchange of money. In fact, the U.S. Attorney is prosecuting Ed Rosewell under that law. Davis reiterated that he could not investigate because the U.S. Attorney had told him they would not prosecute my case.

After I fired Kienlen, I wrote to Davis at the FBI and said that Kienlen told me that Judge Siracusa had taken $5,000.00 from a lawyer who appears before him. Kiddingly, I asked if I also needed a video tape and a confession. A few days later, Davis phoned and asked my permission to call Kienlen. I asked if there was another way to investigate the matter. I explained that Silbert's law partner, former State Senator Bernie Neistein, had crime syndicate ties and I was afraid that I would be murdered.

Davis questioned Neistein crime syndicate ties. I said that in 1971, the Chicago Crime Commission called Neistein, the crime syndicate's man in the Senate. Davis told me to think it over.

Frustrated, I called Davis and told him that he could call Kienlen. I said that it was unlikely Kienlen would admit it and that I didn't consider simply asking Kienlen much of an investigation. Davis agreed it wasn't, but said he had to call Kienlen first. When I phoned Davis to see what happened, he would only say that Kienlen said what anyone would expect him to say. In other words, Kienlen denied it . That appeared to be the end of any investigation into corruption in Probate Court.

Later, I phoned Davis and asked if he knew anything about Kevin Illia, Chief Judge O'Connel's, administrative assistant. I'd read a news article saying that Illia had been hired to watch over court corruption. Davis said Illia had been a good agent, but I should consider who he is working for now. I asked Davis to contact Illia to let him know that I wanted to talk to him.

In October, 1997, I met with Illia. He said that most litigants, who come to him, are dissatisfied with his response. Illia response is that if you think it's a bad ruling, you can appeal it. I told Illia that there was conspiracy and fraud going on in my case, that Judge Siracusa signs fraudulent orders and that I was not the only one complaining. After I said that I thought someone should stop Siracusa's misconduct, Illia showed me a letter someone sent to Siracusa accusing him of judicial misconduct. Illia asked if I knew anything about the letter. I told him that it was obvious Siracusa was doing the same thing to someone else's case as mine. Illia said Siracusa was upset by the letter. He was only concerned with Siracusa's feelings, not his misconduct, so I left the meeting.

I sent Illia a letter confirming our meeting. I said that it had been a waste of my time and that I thought tax money was being wasted on his job--covering up corruption. Months later, Illia sent me a letter. The purpose of his letter, again, was to ask me if I knew about the letter Siracusa had gotten. I wrote him back saying that he should be more concerned about Siracusa's misconduct and suggested he tell Siracusa to conduct himself properly, so no one could accuse him of being sleazy. I sent a copy of my letter to the Chief Judge.

Several months later, I received a call from State's Attorney, Peggy Chiampas. She said she was from Public Integrity and wanted to discuss my allegations of corruption. Discuss, is the operative word. I didn't believe she wanted to do anything beyond discuss my allegations, but I thought if I refused to meet with her, she would say I was unwilling to continue to back up my allegations.

At the meeting, I told her that I was skeptical about the State's Attorney doing anything about court corruption. I said it would be obvious if she had me there for show. She acted indignant that I would suggest such a thing. She did have me there for show. She dismissed my allegations of conspiracy, fraud and court corruption by saying nothing criminal was going on. I wrote her a letter saying if conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud and signing fraudulent court orders is not criminal, what is it?

Two of the name partners of Silbert's law firm were involved in Operation Greylord for bribing Judge Reginald Holzer. Bernie Neistein and Irwin Richman had their licenses suspended for 2-1/2 years, but that was just a slap on the wrist . In 1990, while they were suspended, Silbert was busy setting up the scheme to defraud me, my brother and my father's estate. Silbert was certain he would get away with his scam because it is condoned, encouraged and implemented by the judges in Probate Court.

Cook County Court has the reputation for being the most corrupt and politically run of court system in the country. it is the laughing stock of the country. In a recent survey of law students, Illinois was the last state on the list they wanted to practice in. Deservedly so. It's about time the Justice Department starts doing It's job and cleans up our courts.

My ordeal has been going on for five years, so I have not given you all of the facts. I have given you enough information to merit a serious investigation. I look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.

Yours truly,

Renee Kalish


Copyright© 1998 by Citizens for Legal Responsibility®.
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     email: clr@clr.org

Posted July 20, 1998