I just got this letter from Kenneth B. Perlmutter
The purpose of this letter is to memorialize that on June 7 after completion of my 4.5 hour deposition you refused to pay my fees for the deposition and you did not then and have not since then paid the total fees due of $1800.
You noticed my deposition with a Deposition Subpoena dated May 18. I accepted the subpoena on May 20. We agreed to set the time for June 6 to start at 12:30 p.m. and to end at 5:00 p.m. (or possibly later if you needed more time) I told you I would wait until the end of the deposition to receive your payment. I addressed all of this and the fees that would be required that day in my June 2 e-mail. I showed you the courtesy of not requiring that you pay me before the deposition commenced. In my June 2 e-mail I specifically stated my policy regarding fees for the deposition appearance and how I charge for travel. You did not question my policy either in advance of June 6 or prior to starting the deposition on June 6.
My understanding of the Deposition Subpoena is that you are legally required to pay the fees for the deposition. I await your payment. In the event you determine to not pay these fees I will not schedule a second deposition. Further any future depositions will be paid for in advance.
I am sending this reply:
I received your letter dated June 9, 2010.
Your fee policy is not the law. You are a witness to a court case, and you are required to provide your testimony to the court pursuant to a subpoena.
Let me remind you of the facts. You billed me for $19,350 to write your report, even though the order said that [my ex-wife] was liable for half. You sent the report to Cmr. Irwin Joseph, even though you knew that he was no longer the family court judge, and you had the opinion that he had mishandled the case. You recommended that he eliminate my joint legal custody, even though you had never heard of that ever happening before. He ordered your recommendation, without any due process.
I have a right under the law to get an explanation of the order that binds me. I can only get that by deposing you. In your June 7 deposition, you refused to answer about a dozen important and legitimate questions. You offered no legal justification for your refusals. Your refusals were particularly irresponsible considering that you wrote the current court order.
Your letter arrogantly brags about your continued refusal to answer those questions. The subpoena compels you to answer, under the authority of the court. I don't know where you got the idea that you could write court orders and then not answer questions about them. I demand that you continue the deposition, and that you answer all pertinent questions about your report and order.
I told you at the deposition that I would pay you whatever I am legally obligated to pay. But I will not pay you for what you plainly did not do.
I hope that he consults a lawyer about his legal obligations.
You never know what will happen when you take on a powerful person like the Court's expert. What's the worst that can happen? Maybe he will run to the Judge and complain. Chances are he's been doing that for a long time anyway. Maybe he will sue you. Doubt it. Then you get to re-ask the unanswered questions in a different court. If he sues you there will be free depositions. I find it ironic how he said you are legally bound to pay him. If you ask a psychologist about simple legal matters while they are on the stand, they shut down. "I don't know. I'm not a lawyer." Then all of the sudden they become Matlock when the Judge isn't around. Do you have a responsibility to pay him for a deposition? Yes. Does he have the responsibility to answer questions during a deposition? Yes. Let him be the one to try to break the tie. Everyday I hope and pray that my custody evaluator, Dr. Edward J. Connor, sues me. The same goes for the two recused judges, the county prosecutor, opposing counsel, opposing appellate counsel, etc... Then you have real rights. My first motion would be asking permission to Podcast the hearing to protect myself from an officer of the court. I would post every document filed in court. Unfortunately, thinking about it is about the same as pondering what I would do if I won a 200 million dollar lottery. It would be a lot of fun, but it probably ain't going to happen.
This guy is going to run to the court and try to get you in trouble. That's what they always do. I have a friend in Kentucky who filed a complaint against a psychologist with the state board and the psychologist went to the family court judge and requested that the judge compel my friend to pay the legal fees she expended in dealing with the complaint. They always try to retaliate. If you be as nice as possible, they'll screw you in a nicer way. It's like having the choice of getting kicked in the shin or the groin. They both hurt but one more than the other. I'd rather be kicked in the groin for standing up to corruption than be kicked in the shin and having to smile and say, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" There is no dignity in the latter.
Good luck as always and you have to do whatcha gotta do. All I know is playing nice with family court officials is like allowing someone to beat you up in the hopes they go away faster. Keep up the good fight.
-Dan Brewington, fellow SuperDad
I think you are right that the shrink will not sue me for the money. It would only subject him to greater embarrassment. He may complain to the family court, altho any such communication would be irregular. I hope he asks his own lawyer what to do.
Yes, the shrink claimed ignorance of the law when it suited him. And yet he was willing to write court orders deciding the ultimate outcome of the case, as if he knew all the applicable laws, precedents, and legal arguments.
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