February, 2015

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Conti Enterprises, Inc. v. U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service


United States Department of Agriculture

RE:      Conti Enterprises, Inc. v. U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service  AGBCA #97-191-1

Dear Erich:

I want to thank you for your expert, and timely assistance in helping the Government defends against Conti Enterprises’ $6 million claim.  Your expert analysis of Conti’s construction superintendent’s work diary was the most important evidence in the Government’s defense and when confronted with your analysis, and other matters, Conti decided to drop its claim entirely.

Thank you for your patience, and a job well done.  I learned a great deal from talking with you, and consider your firm to be a resource to be drawn on in the future.


Nicholas Mamone




Eliot Spitzer Attorney General Regional Offices

Marty Mack Deputy Attorney General

U.S.D.V., W.DN.Y.

Dear Mr. Speckin:

This letter is to advise you that on today, Thursday, May 6, 1999, the jury returned a favorable verdict in the above-captioned matter, dismissing the case against my client.  This result was due in part to your testimony rendered in this trial on behalf of Officer Richter.

Thank you very much for your assistance to my efforts in this case.  Should the need ever arise again, I will not hesitate to contact you for future assistance in litigation matters.

Kindly send me your statement for services rendered so that I can complete my financial obligation to you.  Again, it was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to the opportunity for us to collaborate again sometime in the future.

Very truly yours,

Jerry McGrier, Sr.
Assistant Attorney General





Marcus Moats-Com, etc. v. Janie Zart, M.D.


RE:      Marcus Moats-Com, etc.  v. Janie Zart, M.D.

Lake County Court of Common Please, Case No. 05 CV 000095

Dear Mr. Speckin:

This letter will serve as confirmation that the above-captioned case has resolved.  Although I cannot share the specific terms of the settlement, I will tell you that the resolution will provide Marcus Como the ability to have the best medical care during the course of his life and help him cope with the obvious wage loss claim that he would have had.

On behalf of Marcus and his family, I wish to thank you personally for taking the time to review this case and participate in this matter.  Obviously, we cannot successfully pursue matters in cases in merit such as this with out competent individuals such as your self to review and testify.

Realizing that you have invested time into this case, I want to make certain that you have no time outstanding that is uncompensated for.  At your earliest availability, please review your file and forward any bill that is outstanding.  For convenience, please fax that bill to my attention at (440) 442-8281.  If there is any billing for deposition time, please make sure to itemize that out as the opposing counsel would be responsible for the same.

Again, thank you very much.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my paralegal, Tina Morton, at (440) 995-0105.

Very truly yours,

James M. Kelley, III







Burke v. Samaritan Health Services, Inc. et al.


Richard M. Rogers
Patrick L.  Block

Re:       Burke v. Samaritan Health Services, Inc. et al.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Case No. 0605-04819

TRIAL DATE:  September 24, 2007

Dear Erich:

I am happy to tell you that the Sydnie Burke case has settled.  Will you please wrap up your final bill and sent it to us?  I don’t think we owe you anything but I always want to make sure.

This family really held the defendant’s feet to the fire – we obtained a higher settlement than we ordinarily would have simply because of a punitive damages claim – that claim was added because a short three months before Sydnie died, a little girl named Shakela Courtney died after being released from the same ER – we represented that family too.  During the course of discovery depositions in this case, Rich asked if any changes had been made in the ER since Shakela died – every single person said no and that they hadn’t done a peer review in the pediatric CME for five years for all ER doctors, ER nurses and anesthesiologists – this CME will be monitored by the judge in this case. Finally, the release the family will sign will not contain any language that says this is a doubtful and disputed claim.

Hopefully this little girl’s death will help bring changes to this hospital and the Samaritan system..  Thank you so much or helping us – please call me if you have any questions.

Sincerely yours,

Penny Lippold, Assistant to

Richard. M. Rogers



South Bend Tribune – Dem chair rejects call to resign

Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Election Fraud Indiana,

South Bend Tribune - Dem chair rejects call to resign

October 15, 2011|KEVIN ALLEN | Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — The chairman of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party is rejecting a Republican call for him to step down in light of recent news that hundreds of local signatures were faked on petitions used to qualify the party’s presidential candidates for the Indiana primary in 2008.
Butch Morgan, the county’s Democratic chairman since 1995, said Friday through his attorney, Shaw Friedman, that there is no reason for him to resign.

“There is no evidence that Butch Morgan condoned, authorized or directed the forging or alteration of any of the questioned petition signatures,” Friedman wrote in an e-mailed statement to The Tribune.

“Butch Morgan is known as a hard worker and a strong campaigner for his candidates,” Friedman said, “but he will not engage in or tolerate unethical or illegal conduct. That’s one of the reasons he’s had the support of the precinct organization and

On the WebFollow all The Tribune’s coverage of this issue at http://www.southbendtribune.com/forgery.so many elected officials all these years and has helped build one of the stronger campaign organizations in the state.”

Deb Fleming, chairwoman of the St. Joseph County Republican Party, issued her call for Morgan’s resignation earlier this week after The Tribune and Howey Politics Indiana published an article Sunday revealing hundreds of northern Indiana residents’ signatures were faked on petitions used to place Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the 2008 primary ballot.

The Tribune reported in another article this week that the county’s bipartisan voter registration office certified the pages in question during a period in early 2008 when Linda Silcott, the Republican head of the office, was out on bereavement leave. There likely are enough forged signatures that their exclusion would have meant Obama and possibly Clinton lacked enough to be on the ballot.

According to Kip Tew, former chair of the Obama campaign in Indiana, the St. Joseph County Democratic Party was among the groups and individuals that helped collect signatures to put Obama on the ballot in 2008. “Without a doubt,” he said.

But that is not uncommon, Tew noted. Local party organizations often participate in petition drives on behalf of candidates for federal office.

Candidates for president, governor and U.S. senator in Indiana need to collect 500 signatures from registered voters in each of the state’s nine congressional districts to qualify for statewide ballot.

Friedman said Morgan, who also is chairman of the state’s 2nd Congressional District for the Indiana Democratic Party, doesn’t remember — nor should be expected to remember — all of the volunteers who helped the party collect petition signatures during the 2008 campaigns.

Fleming clarified in an interview Friday that she does not believe Morgan was actively involved in the apparent fraud.

“I don’t think (Morgan) personally went out and solicited these signatures,” she told The Tribune, “but he is the one that appointed the people that work in voter registration, and he’s definitely the one who sets the tone and expectations for the people that work in the (Democratic) organization … so the buck has to stop with him whenever any egregious activity like this occurs.”

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has opened an investigation into the suspicious petitions.

The heads of both the state Democrats and Republicans have voiced support for a federal probe. Indiana GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb sent a letter Friday to the U.S. Department of Justice, requesting such an investigation.

“What I want to know going forward is what happened, who was involved and what the appropriate punishment is for that crime,” Holcomb said in a news release.

Indiana Democrats also continue to support the investigation into what state Chairman Dan Parker called “this isolated incident in St. Joseph County.”

“We want to know who committed this act,” Parker said in a statement, “and we want that person held accountable. Like Republican Chairman Holcomb said, the focus right now needs to be on finding the person responsible in this case.”

Tribune staff writer Erin Blasko contributed to this report.

Staff writer Kevin Allen: kallen@sbtinfo.com 574-235-6244



Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Election Fraud Indiana,

South Bend Tribune – Vote worker tied to fake petitions

Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Election Fraud Indiana,


SOUTH BEND — A Mishawaka man has been linked to some of the pages filled with fake signatures submitted as part of Barack Obama’s petition to be on the 2008 Indiana primary ballot.

A forensic document analyst hired by The Tribune and Howey Politics Indiana identified Dustin Blythe, 37, by matching the handwriting on his voter registration card and two political petitions with that on nine suspicious pages from the Obama petition.

The analyst, Erich Speckin, concluded that all of the printing on the nine pages definitely is Blythe’s, and the signatures likely are his, as well.

“That’s speaking only forensically,” Speckin said. “That doesn’t even address the common sense that if he is definitely the one who printed all of the other information and he is most likely the one who signed them, he is that much more likely to be the guy. It’s just common sense.”

It is legal on political petitions for anyone to write the printed name, birth date and address of a person, but only the person named is allowed to sign the document.

Blythe isn’t the only person whose handwriting reoccurs on the suspicious petition pages. Speckin said it appears Blythe and three other people filled more than 20 pages of the Obama petition.

Also, a source who claims direct knowledge of the petition faking told The Tribune there were seven people, including Blythe, involved in the effort. That source’s comments were made before Speckin made his analysis, and Speckin arrived at his conclusion without knowledge of the source’s comments.


Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Election Fraud Indiana,

Warner Bros. Fights Lawsuit Over ‘Last Samurai’

Warner Bros. Fights Lawsuit Over 'Last Samurai'

Warner Bros. Rights Lawsuit Over 'Last Samurai',

 How a delivery from an anonymous source is playing a central role in a big lawsuit. Smoking gun evidence or a big hoax?

When The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, was released in 2003, it was a big success, raking in more than $456 million in worldwide box office. But almost immediately after the film came out, Warner Bros. had a problem on its hands in the form of two brothers, Aaron and Matthew Benay, who claimed they had also authored a WGA-registered script entitled “The Last Samurai.”  The brothers pushed a lawsuit claiming that Warner Bros. had taken their ideas without paying them.

The case was later dismissed on summary judgment, then revived on appeal at the Ninth Circuit. But the real intrigue was occurring behind the scenes. Just days before the first hearing upon remand earlier this year, the parties and their lawyers received a mysterious letter from an anonymous person. The letter seemingly contained smoking gun evidence of how the film’s producers had seen the Benay brothers’ script before making the blockbuster.

Now that the lawsuit is back on, the mysterious letter could play a key role in the outcome of the case.

When the Ninth Circuit revived the Last Samurai case in June 2010, it was a big moment. The decision, along with another that summer, has made it easier for writers pursuing implied breach of contract lawsuits against Hollywood studios over allegedly stolen ideas.

But plaintiffs in these types of cases still have to demonstrate certain facts to ultimately win.

Among the most important is a concept called “privity,” or knowledge of something private that is shared between parties. In the Last Samurai case, the question has become whether Warner Bros, and its producing partners (including Bedford Falls) had sufficient knowledge of the Benays’ script to have entered into a contract with the brothers that implied compensation if the material was later used.

Warner Bros. says the fatal flaw of the lawsuit is there was no privity. As such, the studio is attempting to strike down the suit once again on summary judgment on the theory that the plaintiffs can show no evidence that Warners saw the script before the film was made.

But alas, there is that mysterious letter. What’s in it?

The letter provides the missing evidence the could potentially doom Warner Bros. in the case because it attached several key documents. One is a May 2000 e-mail purported to be from Warner Bros. vp Kevin McCormick to Last Samurai director/producer Ed Zwick describing how he had just received a script submission entitled “The Last Samurai”  from a man named Dan Cracchiolo, an employee at Silver Pictures Management, which had offices on the Warners studio lot and had a first look deal with the studio. Another is an attachment of a fax purportedly from Zwick that contains excerpts from the Benay script.

Pretty damning stuff. That is, if it’s real.

Warners has a history with mysterious packages delivered to its doorstep. A few years ago, the studio got a large package from an anonymous sender that contained documents related to its fight to hold on to rights to the Superman franchise. Later, it turned out that the documents were stolen from its legal arch-enemy, and Warner Bros. tasked its star litigator Daniel Petrocelli with figuring out a way to make the material admissible in court.

Now, another mysterious package holds the prospect of hurting the company, and it’s up to Petrocelli to have these Last Samurai documents ruled inadmissible. Quite an ironic twist of events. In a motion for summary judgment filed on Friday, Petrocelli argues that the evidence has to be thrown out because it can’t be authenticated.

The studio has submitted a declaration from Erich Speckin, an expert in forensic document analysis, who submits that the attachments are “forgeries.” As proof, Speckin points to Zwick’s signature in the faxed document and compares it to another document in the court record, finding an exact reproduction. As a result, Speckin concludes it must be a copy-and-paste job. As to the McCormick e-mails, Speckin determines they’re fake by pointing to wrong timestamps and the use of the same AOL e-mail templates with supposedly similar printing errors.

The Benay brothers have argued that the documents can indeed be authenticated, pointing that the contents are consistent with the facts of the case. Warners says it doesn’t matter.  “Defendants are unaware of any case that holds that a document of anonymous origin can be authenticated solely by reference to its contents,” argues Warners’ motion for summary judgment. “Such a document is inherently suspicious…”

There is one man who would have been able to put this to rest this once and for all. That would be Cracchiolo, who has emerged as the central figure in this case — the man who allegedly was enthusiastic about the script and attempted to see if Warner Bros. was interested. David Phillips, the agent for the Benays, testified that Cracchiolo had once told him that Warner Bros. had decided to pass on the Benays’ version of “Last Samurai.”

Unfortunately, Cracchiolo won’t be coming forward and Warner Bros. says that Phillips testimony is hearsay. Why?

Cracchiolo died in 2004.



Warner Bros. Rights Lawsuit Over 'Last Samurai',