June 22, 1998
I hereby request that disciplinary proceedings be instituted against Jonathan Fink, Esq., of Fink, Katz & Walz, Pllc, 5 Beekman Street, Suite 205, New York NY 10038.
The circumstances are as follows:
I am a defendant in a criminal case brought in Brooklyn Criminal Court by my former girlfriend, Passion Julinsey, who, incidentally, is a graduate of SMU Law School and a candidate for admission to the New York State Bar, although she failed her bar exam in February.
The case against me was brought on February 19, 1998, but then was dismissed on March 24, 1998 without any objection from the DA. However, I subsequently received a call from my attorney, John Monteleone, who said that an ADA named Robert Pritchard wanted to reinstate the case and that I should appear in court at 2:30 PM on the afternoon of April 14, 1998.
I appeared in court at the time and place specified. The day before, I had called Mr. Monteleone and he had confirmed that he would be there. After arriving in the courtroom, I called his office and his secretary confirmed that he had just left the office and was on his way over to the courthouse.
However, when my case, which was not on the calendar, was called a few minutes later, Mr. Monteleone had not yet arrived in court. I stood up and appeared before the court and said that my lawyer was not yet there but was on the way.
After I said that, a person previously unknown to me stood up behind me and said "Judge, I am standing up." When he said that, I naturally assumed that he was an ADA from the DA's office assigned to my case.
A few moments later, I finally realized that this person was claiming to be my attorney. I immediately protested and told both him and the judge in no uncertain terms that he was not my attorney and I objected strenuously to his purporting to represent me.
Nevertheless, Mr. Fink, as I later learned his name to be, insisted on continuing to represent me, in spite of my vehement protests. More than that, Mr. Fink, on the record, waived the reading of the charges.
One of the most important provisions of the Constitution of the United States is the right of a criminal defendant to be informed of the cause and the nature of the accusations against him. In this case, the charge against me has been fuzzy from the beginning. I was originally told that I was being arrested solely on a charge of sending an abusive e-mail to my former girlfriend. I still do not know if this is the charge or exactly what the charge is. The felony charge against me was dismissed on March 24. The case brought on April 14 was a new misdemeanor charge under different code section numbers. Under no circumstances would I have ever agreed to waive the reading of the charges against me. It is vitally important that I know the exact charges against me so that I can prepare my defense.
I am enclosing transcripts of two hearings, so that you can see for yourself how critically important it is in this case that I receive a clear statement of the charges against me. However, neither transcript is complete. It seems that the court reporters often did not record my words. I can remember saying things which were not recorded, especially at the hearing before Judge Jerome Kay. The explanation given by the DA at the initial arraignment which took place on February 19 was so muddled and confused that the DA concluded by saying: "That's our version of the case" and the judge remarked, "How can you sexually abuse someone named Passion on a computer?"
After the initial case was dismissed and then was brought up again on April 14, there was both a different judge and a different DA. Had my attorney been present, he could have clarified the situation and, I believe, that would have ended it right there, because the case against me is entirely frivolous.
As soon as I realized that Mr. Fink was claiming to represent me, I demanded that he object to the reinstatement of the charges against me and that he also object to an order of protection which the DA wanted. I must note here that since the time that my girlfriend moved out of my house on January 18, 1998, there has been no contact between us and consequently there is no need for any order of protection. Furthermore, I have received two threatening letters from her boyfriends and if there is anyone who needs protection it is me, and not her.
When the DA asked the court to reinstate the previously dismissed charges against me, he handed up what he called a "superseding information". I was able to observe that Mr. Fink did not read or even glance at it. I also observed that Judge Kay did not read it either. No doubt both Mr. Fink and Judge Kay assumed without reading it that it contained grounds for a criminal charge against me, but in fact it does not.
I am enclosing a copy of this "superseding information". What it describes is the sort of thing which frequently happens between husband and wife and between boyfriend and girlfriend. When understood in the context that Passion Julinsey was my regular girlfriend, that we had been sleeping in the same bed together almost every night for three months, that we had been regularly having sex together, that we had not yet gotten out of bed on 10:00 AM that Sunday morning and were in bed together when the incident of which she now complains occurred, and that there is no allegation that I hit her, hurt her, injured her in any way, had sexual intercourse with her on this occasion or even touched her on her sexual parts such as the breast or vagina, it becomes readily apparent that the "superseding information" fails to set forth a legally cognizable criminal complaint under New York State Law.
The only reason why this case was reinstated against me was that Mr. Fink never read the superseding information, never read the case file, never discussed the case with me and indeed never did anything at all except waive my constitutional rights to a reading of the charges.
Immediately after this incident, I demanded that Mr. Fink come out into the corridor and discuss the case with me, which he did. I asked him if he knew what this case was about. He replied that he had no idea. He also told me that he was in no way associated with my lawyer, John Monteleone, and that he had not discussed this case with Mr. Monteleone.
I told Mr. Fink what this case was about and demanded that he go back in the courtroom and demand a rehearing before Judge Kay. Mr. Fink totally refused to do this.
Throughout this entire incident, Mr. Fink conducted himself in a flippant and cavalier manner. He made it clear that he was not the slightest bit concerned about the predicament in which his acts had placed me. It is clear that Mr. Fink gets paid money for every time he "stands up" in a case. His decision to "stand up" behind me was not based on his desire to provide needed legal assistance to a criminal defendant. Rather, it was to add one more case to his list of cases in which he appeared that day so that he would get paid more money.
I have personally argued my own appeal orally before the full panel of the United States Supreme Court. I won 9-0 in S.E.C. vs. Samuel H. Sloan, 436 US 103 (1978), something which no other non-lawyer that I have ever heard of has done. I do not appreciate it when some jackass such as Mr. Fink who knows absolutely nothing about a case involving me and who does not want to learn either stands up and interferes with my constitutional rights as a criminal defendant.
I had never met Mr. Fink before and I hope that I never meet him again. I cannot tell you how enraged I am at his gross misconduct. Because of his despicable conduct, I must now devote substantial resources to prepare for trial, to subpoena witnesses and so on, plus I may ultimately be wrongfully convicted, all in a case which is frivolous, which should never have been brought and which could never have been sustained had it not been for the misconduct of Mr. Jonathan Fink.
Therefore, under these circumstances, I demand the maximum penalty, that Mr. Jonathan Fink be permanently disbarred from the practice of law.
Very Truly Yours,
Samuel H. Sloan