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Con Man and Snake Oil Salesman Ed Fagan Tries To Shut Down Parentadvocates.org., Lewenstein Serves Subpoena on Gizella Weisshaus
30 New York City teachers confined to 'rubber rooms' in New York City hire Ed Fagan to represent them in Federal Court, despite the hard work of Randi Weingarten and her 'SWAT' Team to gather the information needed for a fair and just resolution of their issues to proceed. Mr. Fagan is about to be disbarred in New Jersey, is bankrupt with $13.6 million in outstanding debts and in bankruptcy , and joined his ex-wife in a lawsuit against his ex-wife's partner, Margie, and Margie's parents, grandparents, etc., for $20 million. Full disclosure: his first and probably most famous client was holocaust victim Gizella Weisshaus, my friend for more than 10 years. On February 20, 2008, Plaintiff Florian Lewenstein served a subpoena on Gizella Weisshaus at her home in an effort to intimidate her and stop her from giving out information about Ed Fagan. I guess neither Florian nor Ed know Gizella very well.
           by Betsy Combier

   Ed Fagan, picture courtesy of Black Star News   
From the desk of Betsy Combier:








DISCLAIMER: All information in this article, including the information on the blog "NYC Rubber Room Report", is already posted on the internet or was given to me by Gizella Weisshaus, a friend of mine for more than 10 years. In determining what is "true", I ask the reader to consider this: Mr. Ed Fagan has never spoken with Gizella Weisshaus since he "stole" (her words) her $82,000+. He calls her a liar without clarifying what she is lying about. We are not saying anything about Ed Fagan that has not been documented by evidence and witnesses.

But Edward D. Fagan, Esq. doesn't want me to tell you. On March 4, 2008, he appeared at my apartment building and asked for me. I was not there - I was in Brooklyn - and the doorman told him that I was not there, that my daughter was. She (my daughter) called me and was worried about what to do, so I told her not to worry and just be sure that the doorman would not let Mr. Fagan upstairs. I called the doorman, and found out that Mr. Fagan had told him he had to go to the bathroom, and he entered the building and was wandering the building. I called my daughter who was home alone and told her not to open the door (she then called my second daughter and told her not to come home). My Superintendent found Mr. Fagan, who then sat himself down in the lobby and would not leave. Finally, Mr. Fagan did leave, asking if he could give some papers to the doorman who said "no". Mr. Fagan left, saying "I'll be back". I filed a police complaint that evening.

As of March 11, 2008 I have not seen any papers, and my understanding is that no party to a case may serve their own papers on another party.

A lawsuit was filed against me, Michael Bloomberg, Joel Klein, Randi Weingarten, and the "United Federation of DOE staff" (whatever that is) on February 22, 2008, with Index number 08 CIV 0548, in United States District Court For the Southern District of New York. I was sued for writing this article about Ed Fagan, which I have done to help the victims of the actions of Ed Fagan in the Swiss bank case, one of whom I know quite well, Gizella Weisshaus. I have re-posted material already published elsewhere, or given and verified by me and other people connected with Mr. Fagan. I have made nothing up, nor am I out to "get" anyone. I also have put this article together without the assistance of anyone else except concerned non-parties to the lawsuit who have kindly sent me the documents you see on this website, in my capacity as a reporter and editor, so the following statement is not true (in a memo sent out by email to almost 100 people):
"Ms. Combier is not working on her own, but her work is clearly being supported and orchestrated by other parties...She does not have the time or the resources to invest in putting together the material she published so shortly after our last court hearing."

Gizella Weisshaus wanted to attend the hearing, so I did too, on February 8 in Federal Court which is open to the public, Mr. Fagan.

Mr. Fagan was supposed to get his amended complaint in to Magistrate Peck at the beginning of February, but no complaint was filed until Feb. 22, 2008, much to the dismay of Magistrate Peck. See the transcript of the January 28, 2008 court appearance of Ed Fagan before Magistrate Judge Peck: pp. 1-36, pp. 37-50. (see Twana Adams v NYC BOE and the sanctions recommended by Fagan's partners, Attorneys Joy Hochstadt and Nick Penkovsky).

At approximately 5PM on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, Mr. Ed Fagan showed up at UFT headquarters and tried to serve a subpoena against me and this website. No one would accept this service, and Ed Fagan left. At approximately 9 PM the same night, Florian Lewenstein barged into the apartment of 78-year old holocaust victim Gizella Weisshaus and served her with a subpoena demanding
"Any documents in your possession, custody, and control related to:
(1) The attached article published on or about February 18, 2008 (this article that you are reading right
now -Ed.)
(2) Edward D. Fagan, Elizabeth Silver Fagan, Margaret E. Rogers, Jeffrey Plaza, Levy, Erlich & Petriello, Gizella Weisshaus, The Kaprun Ski Train Case, Fagan's bankruptcy, NJ Office of Attorney Ethics, Ed Fagan's business or cases in NY;
(3) emails or faxes or phone records upon which the above article is based or related to any of the people mentioned in Item #2 above."

Lewenstein gave stunned Mrs. Weisshaus $40 to appear in "March 2008" at 5 Penn Plaza, 23rd Floor (where there are no offices, apparently, according to the custodian of the building). I called the Defendant in the caption, Mr. Plaza, friday, February 22, 2008, and he was stunned to hear that a subpoena had been served in the case Ed Fagan filed in 2007 (see subpoena). Mr. Plaza was the Attorney of record in the case of Fagan v Margaret Rogers, when Ed and Elizabeth Silver Fagan, Ed's ex-wife, sued Elizabeth's current "wife" Margaret or "Margie" Rogers. Mr. Plaza was hired by Mr. Jaffe, Margie's grandfather, and Mr. Plaza won the case. Then Ed Fagan sued him.

Milton Allimedi, Publisher of Black Star News, published the article below on Ed Fagan on January 30, 2008:

"Says Disbar Holocaust Attorney
By Milton Allimadi, January 30th, 2008
LINK

Following a complaint for misappropriating money from escrow accounts, a Special Ethics Master in New Jersey has recommended the disbarment of Edward Fagan, the attorney who became famous when he filed the Swiss banks case on behalf of Holocaust survivors in 1996.

The Black Star exclusively reported the investigation of Fagan on January 25, 2005.

After the Swiss banks case was settled for $1.25 billion in 1998, (without Mr. Fagan, who was thrown out by the other lawyers) Fagan gained global notoriety. He even discussed representing African American organizations working on legal action against the US government for Slavery reparations and groups in South Africa seeking action against foreign banks that helped sustain apartheid regimes.

In recent years, Fagan’s reputation has gone into a freefall. For years the first client he represented on the Swiss banks case, Holocaust survivor Gizella Weisshaus, 78, had alleged that Fagan stole money from the escrow account of her dead cousin Jack Oestreicher.

Fagan was later accused of misappropriating some of the $500,000 settlement money he had secured from the Swiss banks on behalf of another one of his elderly clients, Estelle Sapir, another elderly Holocaust survivor. He continued spending the money from an account he controlled even after Sapir died, it was alleged.

Fagan was accused of misappropriating a total of $122, 582; from the Oestreicher account and from Sapir. He was also accused of improperly disbursing $303,582 from Sapir, by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.

Fagan “knowingly misappropriated $40,000” from Oestreicher’s New York Estate, on March 27, 1996 and “misappropriated $82,582 of the Sapir Settlement funds that he maintained in his New Jersey Summit Bank account on August 19, 1998,” read the complaint from the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.

In the 2005 article, The Black Star reported that it was only after his client Sapir had died that out of the $500,00 he secured on her behalf that Fagan sent some money to her family to cover funeral cost---$7,300.

In his defense in the New Jersey ethics case Fagan argued that he had oral agreement to “borrow” the funds, separately, from his clients, Weisshaus and Sapir. Hearings on the matter were conducted between November 15, 2005 and April 19, 2007.

In his January 24, 2008 recommendation Special Ethics Master, Arthur Minuskin, concluded that Fagan had “lied by claiming he had unlimited authority to use the $82,582 given to him” by Gizella Weisshaus from the Oestreicher estate and that Fagan “lied by claiming he had unlimited authority to use the Sapir settlement funds; he also improperly disbursed $305, 582 of those funds.”

Weisshaus said she welcomed the news. “He should have been disbarred before he started the Swiss case because he stole my cousin’s escrow account before hand and I didn’t know,” she said, in an interview with The Black Star.

The recommendation will be forwarded to a Disciplinary Review Board which will then send its decision to State Supreme Court in New Jersey for final ruling. The process could be concluded by the end of the year, says John McGill, III, Deputy Ethics Counsel Office of Attorney Ethics."

The story of the NYC Rubber Rooms is a big one, and I became a member (along with NY Teachers reporters Jim Callahan and Ron Isaac) of the 'SWAT TEAM' put into place in September by United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Randi Weingarten. We have been working to resolve the issues presented to us by the NYC BOE employees sent to temporary re-assignment centers, or "rubber rooms" throughout the New York City area.

In anger and frustration, several teachers decided to sue the NYC BOE, Randi Weingarten, and everyone else they could think of, in a lawsuit with the Index number 08 CIV 0548 under Andrew Peck, Magistrate, United States District Court for the Southern District. Mr. Fagan must file - after three extensions of time - on friday, February 22, 2008, his amended complaint. Peck has told Mr. Fagan that he is "wasting his time" (Feb. 8). Mr. Fagan told Peck that he had lost his computer, and he was trying to get the emails back.

This sounds strangely familiar, so I asked Gizella to give me an idea why, and she gave me the documents of the case Ed Fagan filed in September 2006 against the Polish Government, the Polish Ministry of Finance, the Polish National Bank, City of Warsaw, Citibank, JP Morgan and Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., and Fleet Boston on behalf of the late Ester Sapir and other non-existant entities. Mr. Fagan wrote a letter on January 31, 2007, to USDC Judge George Daniels in which he states:

"Honorable Judge:

I write this letter on behalf of plaintiff to request a brief adjournment of the date within which plaintiffs response to defendant's pending Motion to Dismiss.

This request is necessitated because the computer on which all my research, files and documents related to this case are stored has malfunctioned and has had to be shipped for service..."

Judge Daniels dismissed the case on April 24, 2007 partially due to the fact that Ed Fagan NEVER answered the Motion to Dismiss! On May 4, 2007 Gizella wrote the Consul General of Poland and offered to give him information on Mr. Fagan.

When I first heard at the end of January 2008 that a lawsuit was being filed in federal court in protest of the civil, due process, and constitutional rights violations of the teachers and other educational professionals confined to temporary re-assignment centers in New York City nicknamed "rubber rooms" (because of the effects upon the minds of the tenured people who are innocent of anything, falsely accused by DOE personnel and/or the Special Investigator, and told to appear daily in windowless rooms located throughout the New York City), I was stunned to hear that a man named Ed Fagan was their attorney. One of the finest and most honest people I have ever met, Gizella Weisshaus, was a victim of Ed Fagan in 1998. Gizella's entire family was killed during World War II in the holocaust, and she is now 78 years of age and an activist. In her father's memory she wants to get back the money he put into a swiss bank account before he was killed. Ed Fagan became her attorney, then proceeded to steal her money, destroy her case in court, (see fax pages 1-7 and page 8, which Fagan sent to Gizella Weisshaus on February 18, 1998 - yellow marked passages are added by Gizella) and used a picture of her with her dead family to raise money for New York State Senator Alfonse D'Amato's re-election campaign, according to Gizella and other sources.

Teachers have called me in despair over what they see as Ed Fagan's disorganized approach to the case, and his demands, especially in his certification and his retainer agreement. We believe that there are justified reasons for several of the teachers who are plaintiffs in this case to file a lawsuit against the Department of Education in New York City, but we also know that the UFT is meeting with the NYC BOE to resolve many of the issues. We do not believe that Ed Fagan is the person who should bring these claims to Court.

Currently, Ed lives with his ex-wife Elizabeth Silver Fagan, who had left him to marry (in a civil ceremony) a woman named Margaret Rogers. Elizabeth Silver Fagan threw her girlfriend out, moved her ex-husband Ed back into the house, then sued Ms. Rogers on December 31, 2007, as well as her parents, grandparents, Baldwin & Associates Construction, Inc., Mayflower Realty Co, LLC, Best Valley Realty, Inc,. The Jaffe Family, the Jaffe Family Irrevocable Trust, etc., for $20 million. Ms. Silver Fagan claims that Ms. Rogers is mentally ill and is harassing her. The Defendants hired Attorney Peter Till, who filed a Notice of Removal. The Fagans filed answering papers and a Memorandum of Law, opposing the Till papers on February 6, 2008... stay tuned.

In August 2007, US District Court Judge (Southern District) Shira Scheindlin fined Ed Fagan $5,000 and removed him from a case involving victims of a ski train fire in Austria on November 11, 2000, citing incompetency and Fagan's own bankruptcy, saying "The fact that Fagan is relying on this case to cover such substantial personal debts seriously undermines this court's confidence in his ability to devise a prudent litigation strategy for his clients". Mr. fagan recently declared bankruptcy reporting that he has "$13.6 million in debts. He hoped to win a $16 million settlement from the Kaprun fire lawsuit to pay his debt and end his bankruptcy proceedings. We suppose that the lawsuit against the Jaffe family serves the same purpose.

The teachers who hired him to file the lawsuit on their behalf against the NYC BOE probably were "sold" on Fagan by his "fame" as the attorney in the holocaust victims' case. But attorneys who worked on this case have said that Ed Fagan did no work, and simply flew all over the world talking about the horrific theft of money from holocaust victims.

On Friday, February 8, 2008, Ed Fagan appeared in Federal Court in front of magistrate Andrew Peck. I was there, and so was Gizella Weisshaus, who was told by me of the appearence and wanted to attend. Magistrate Andrew Peck asked Fagan why he had violated his order to submit an amended complaint no later than February 4, 2008; Fagan told Peck that he had lost his emails due to his computer being stolen, and he asked to please get more time to submit an amended complaint? (The papers in response to Attorney Till in the Fagan v Jaffe case were filed February 6, 2008, so what computer was he using for that filing???). Peck asked Fagan to give him a date to submit his Amended Complaint, and Mr. Fagan told Peck that he would have the papers in to the Court on Wednesday, February 13, 2008. No papers were submitted on Feb. 13. We understand from sources that the extension is now February 22, 2008.

I have a question: "Mr. Fagan, what about the case you filed in Fedral court against the Polish government, The Polish Ministry of Finance, Polish National Bank, City of Warsaw, Citibank,JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fleet Boston? Didn't you fail to file necessary papers and the case was dismissed?

Fagan then met with the teachers who appeared that day at a coffee shop (I checked out his new "office" at 5 Penn Plaza, and there is only a desk and telephone; the security told us that all the people on the 23rd floor are 'shady', are 'not to be trusted', and that Ed Fagan has no office there), and told them that they must never speak with me, and that Gizella Weisshaus is a liar.

My reply: dear reader, make your own decision, based on the information available.

Betsy Combier

Teachers sue to ax 'rubber rooms'
BY ERIN EINHORN, NY Daily News, Tuesday, January 22nd 2008, 4:00 AM

A group of city teachers filed suit Monday demanding the city shut down the so-called rubber rooms where school employees are sent to await disciplinary hearings.

The teachers filing suit are among hundreds accused of serious crimes, like having sex with students, or minor infractions, like talking back to a principal.

Some are accused of simply being ineffective teachers.

Because of agreements in their union contracts, they can't be fired or disciplined until they receive a hearing, so they collect full salaries for months or even years while doing nothing more than reporting every day to what's officially called a "temporary reassignment center."

"It's an abuse of public money," said Florian Lewenstein, who in the suit describes the rooms as "modern-day internment camps."

Lewenstein is the only plaintiff identified by name in the suit, which was filed in Manhattan Federal Court, but he said 15 teachers are members of his Teachers4Action group and that he is recruiting others.

Lewenstein says he was originally taken off duty from Middle School 217 in Briarwood, Queens, after he was accused of hitting a kid with a book bag. He denies the allegations.

The city teachers union says the suit is the first to formally challenge the rubber rooms. The suit alleges that the rooms are part of a "scheme" to discriminate against experienced teachers and "reduce salaries by forcing teachers to quit or be fired."

"We're talking about people ... with 20 years of satisfactory ratings who have been set up asincompetent or set up on corporal punishment charges. They're some of the most frivolous and ridiculous charges," Lewenstein said.

United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said she's not supporting the lawsuit because she's working with the Education Department to address problems with the rubber rooms.

"I understand their frustration," Weingarten said. "Many of them believe they are innocent and believe they should be exonerated and they don't understand why they are languishing in these rooms, regardless of whether or not they're being paid."

"We are already working with the UFT in this area. There's no merit to the lawsuit," said schools spokesman David Cantor.

eeinhorn@nydailynews.com

NJ Ethics Counsel says NY Holocaust Lawyer Ed Fagan should be Disbarred
NJ Star Ledger Sunday, February 10, 2008

In a report dated January 24, 2008, New Jersey Special Ethics Master, Arthur Minuskin, recommended that attorney Edward D. Fagan be disbarred from the practice of law in the Garden State. Fagan, who disputed the New Jersey charges, currently holds a license to practice law in New York.

Edward Fagan is most known for representing the original first named plaintiff, Gizella Weisshaus, in the 1996 Holocaust lawsuit against the Union Bank of Switzerland. That heavily litigated proceeding resulted in a $1.25 Billion dollar settlement in 2001, and generated a $1.3 million dollar legal fee to Fagan.

The blistering New Jersey Ethics Report concluded that Ed Fagan improperly used $39,902.25 of Holocaust Survivor Gizell Weisshaus’ money to pay his New York law office rent at 26 Broadway in Manhattan.

The disciplinary probe by the Office of Attorney Ethics of the Supreme Court of New Jersey also found that Mr. Fagan had lied about being authorized to disburse monies totaling nearly $400,000.00 given to him by Mrs. Weisshaus and another holocaust survivor, Estelle Sapir.

The New Jersey complaint resulted from a routine investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney Ethics when Mr. Fagan failed to pay his required annual client security fund fee. After he was suspended for nonpayment of the client security fund fee, the ethics committee further investigated Fagan to determine whether he was practicing law during the period of the suspension. That investigation raised questions about his possible misuse of trust account funds, including the Weisshaus and Sapir monies.

Fagan’s testimony during the ethics hearings revealed that in July of 2001, he received a $4.3 million lee fee in a Holocaust related German Global property settlement, in addition to the $1.3 million fee from the Swiss Bank case.

Previously, on Tuesday, August 28, 2007, this forum reported on one of the on-going horrors facing what people who know her describe as "the strong and beautiful Holocaust survivor Weisshaus." That report was titled, "Patentgate Ethics Scam Hits Holocaust Survivor."

As a young girl, Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus survived the Holocaust, but recently and now 77-years-old, she finds herself on the growing list of victims ensnarled in the Manhattan attorney ethics scandal shaking the New York State Court system.

Background

In July of 2007, it became publicly known that many ethics complaints against attorneys in the Bronx and Manhattan were methodically mishandled-- effectively buried or stalled—due to politically-based connections, favors or back-room deals. The "Patentgate" matter quickly highlighted the need in New York for federal intervention since the alleged theft of dozens of U.S. patents by the inventor's own New York lawyers-- the once respected and politically connected Proskauer Rose law firm-- went largely and substantively unaddressed. The Patentgate ethics complaints were obscured in New York at the very same time the identical issues found The United States Department of Justice widening their own investigation and, additionally, where members of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary committees called for further probes. The ongoing ethics shake-up resulted in the quickly announced "retirement" of Manhattan's top State ethics Chief Counsel, Thomas J. Cahill, Esq., and whose replacement is expected to be announced soon. (See the related August 24, 2007 story below: "Justice Department Widens "Patentgate" Probe Buried by Ethics Chief Thomas J. Cahill" )

Holocaust Survivor meets New York “Ethics”

Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus was the named plaintiff in the 1996 filed historic lawsuit against Swiss banks that, after being designated as a class action proceeding, was settled in 1998 on behalf of thousands of Holocaust survivors for $1.25 billion.

Gizella, however, opted out of that settlement because, she says, certain involved attorneys were more interested in paying themselves millions of dollars even before some of the survivors had received any money. She would also learn, she says, that someone "manufactured" a necessary amended complaint in 2000 by backdating that court document to 1997. And she would also find that in an unrelated estate proceeding where she was the executrix, her own lawyer, Edward D. Fagan, had failed to deposit more than $82,000.00 into an attorney escrow account choosing, instead, to use the money for his own various personal expenses. (Mr. Fagan also represented Mrs. Weisshaus in the subsequent filing against the Swiss banks and from where he ultimately received millions of dollars in legal fees)

The Devil's Advocate

An attorney ethics complaint followed, and in a letter dated May 6, 1998, attorney disciplinary Chief Counsel Thomas J. Cahill's predecessor, Hal R. Lieberman, Esq., wrote to Gizella to advise that since her complaint against attorney Edward Fagan had involved an "ongoing criminal proceeding" his office would await the outcome of that proceeding before concluding their disciplinary investigation. Then-Chief Counsel Lieberman also advised Gizella that his New York State ethic's office had requested a written answer to the complaint from attorney Fagan. Edward Fagan then hired his own lawyer.

Letter to Self

Approximately 9 weeks later, in a July 15, 1998 dated formal answer to the charges against him, attorney Fagan's lawyer submitted a 6-page denial of the various charges made by Mrs. Weisshaus. Astonishingly, attorney Fagan's lawyer, who he had recently engaged, was none other than Hal R. Lieberman who, in a 9-week period of time, had left his position as Chief Counsel of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department Disciplinary Committee to join the law firm Beldock Levin & Hoffman, LLP.

So, essentially, on July 15, 1998 private attorney Hal Lieberman was responding to himself-- to his own May 6, 1998 letter wherein he, as the New York state-employed Ethics Chief Counsel had advised Gizella of the request for a written answer from the attorney she had filed a complaint against, and the same person who was to be Lieberman's client-- Edward Fagan.

Concerning the various ethics complaints against him in New York, no known action has ever been taken against attorney Edward D. Fagan.

Ed Fagan: Attorney at Law
Short Hills, NJ
LINK

Ed Fagan told the Austrian weekly NEWS he had paid for sex with a woman from Lithuania, but says she assured him she would be 22 this year. He says he met the woman, Inga, through a man who has since been sentenced over the escort service affair. Mr. Fagan says when he 'noticed that the guy was running a call-girl ring, I didn't really care. I was more interested in getting to know this Inga'.

The lawyer is quoted as saying "it would have been a crime not to have slept with the woman." He says he later had sex with her when no payment was made and she accompanied him on several trips and visited him again in Austria.

Knowingly having paid-for sex with a woman under 18 carries a sentence of up to three years in Austria.

Lawyer in Holocaust Case Faces Litany of Complaints
By BARRY MEIER, New York Times - September 8, 2000

Less than four years ago, a little-known personal-injury lawyer named Edward D. Fagan stood next to an Auschwitz survivor at a news conference in New York and announced an audacious lawsuit, accusing Swiss banks of stealing money 50 years ago from those who died in the Holocaust.

Today, Mr. Fagan has a new and glamorous career and is likely soon to earn millions of dollars in legal fees. He has since filed lawsuits against banks, insurers and other companies in Austria, Germany and elsewhere, charging that they too profited from Nazi ties or exploited victims. Settlements of actions against Swiss banks and German industry worth over $6.2 billion were recently approved.

Dozens of lawyers got involved in the Holocaust claims. But the 47-year-old Mr. Fagan cast himself a part as a media-savvy street fighter who became the public point man in the cases. This July, he hopscotched in a few days from Berlin to Vienna to Warsaw on behalf of tens of thousands of people whom he and lawyers associated with him represent.

They have also opened a second front, charging Japanese companies in lawsuits with using thousands of Asians and others as forced labor during World War II.

"It's like a posse," the tall, curly-haired and engaging Mr. Fagan said. "There are all these bad guys all over the world, and we have to track them down."

His mission, he said, is to reach back into history and force a reckoning with those who profited from evil. But an investigation by The New York Times and the ABC News program "20/20" has found that Mr. Fagan is facing his own reckoning.

As he recast himself as a "human rights" lawyer, Mr. Fagan left neglected personal-injury clients in his wake, abandoning their claims or not returning their phone calls for years, according to court papers and interviews. One former client recently won a malpractice judgment against Mr. Fagan and ethics officials in New Jersey filed a misconduct complaint against him last month on behalf of another client.

Mr. Fagan, so at ease with using the emotional force of the Holocaust as a weapon, also ignored for months scores of calls and letters from aging Nazi-era survivors anxious about whether their claims had been received, said a paralegal who worked last year for him and his partner at the time. That paralegal, Jane Warshaw, was so distressed by what she saw that she wrote in January to the judge handling the Swiss banks case to complain.

"I never expected to witness what I have seen at this office," she wrote. "What is happening to these poor, old, injured and neglected people is heartbreaking."

For his part, Mr. Fagan conceded he may have failed some clients by taking on too much work. But he insisted that he did his best to represent his personal-injury clients and that he labored ceaselessly in the Holocaust cases without financial guarantees, winning results few would have imagined.

"It was remarkable to be a lawyer and to be able to use your profession to do good," he said. "To change history. To stand up for people's human rights is incredible, and that's what we did."

Mr. Fagan's conduct does not appear to have jeopardized the financial claims of his Holocaust clients. In any settlemen

 
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